For inspiration, in addition to the desert, I turn to books: epic novels, epic histories, and fiction rich in visual imagery. I especially appreciate thinkers who address the grandest of human themes, which are also my themes: grandeur and the ordinary, struggle and futility, illusion and disillusionment, meaningfulness, age, and death.
Working in the desert has come to be a form of meditation. Days are spent, sometimes with a crew but more often in solitude, wordlessly driving, carrying supplies, erecting structures and sets, and studying the slow progress of the sun overhead and its all powerful, shape-changing, comfort-giving and comfort-taking effects. My state of mind while I work can range from joy and contentedness to emptiness and doubt, and I believe these shifting emotions, intensified by an intense place, carry through into the best of my eventual photographs."
"Henry Darger (1892–1973) was a self-taught reclusive artist who created and inhabited an imaginary world through extensive writings, paintings, and drawings. After Darger’s death, his Chicago neighbor and landlord discovered and made public Darger’s previously unknown volume of work.
This solitary artist left behind several diaries and manuscripts including a six-part weather journal, an autobiography in eight volumes, and his 15,000-page illustrated epic, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal. Accompanied by watercolor paintings and collages, the novel focuses on a band of girls’ heroic efforts to free enslaved children held captive by an army of adults. The novel and its illustrations are whimsical and sinister in their depiction of war and peace and good versus evil.
Drawn from the American Folk Art Museum’s Henry Darger Collection, this traveling exhibition includes twenty paintings, drawings, and tracings by the artist, source materials—including newspaper clippings, magazines, comic books, cartoons, and coloring books—and Darger’s personal documents and other ephemera. One bound volume of the original typewritten manuscript for In the Realms of the Unreal will also be exhibited."
Now truthfully although I find his work extremely intriguing I also find it unsettling. But it definitely was quite fascinating to see in person. The Frye will have Darger's work on exhibit until October 29th so do check it out.
From the Frye we went back downtown to the market to have lunch at the Italian restaurant The Pink Door. It happened to be one of those warm fall days so we just had to eat outside among the hanging baskets and view of the water. It had been a while since having a meal at The Pink Door and either the quality of food has declined or my standards have changed. The lasagna just wasn't as delicious as I remembered. But despite the lackluster meal it was nice to sit outside and enjoy the lovely weather.
From lunch we took a quick browse at Watson Kennedy, Nordstrom and Target then headed back home to Bellingham.