Monday, June 30, 2008
June 27, 2008 -- Medieval bones from six different Danish cemeteries reveal that monks who wrote Biblical texts and other religious materials may have been exposed to toxic mercury, which was used to formulate just one of their ink colors: red.
The study, which will be published in the August issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, also describes a previously undocumented disease, called FOS, which was like leprosy and caused skull lesions. Additionally, the researchers found that mercury-containing medicine had been administered to 79 percent of the interred individuals with leprosy and 35 percent with syphilis.
Since the monks, who were buried in the cloister walk of the Cistercian Abbey at Øm, did not have these diseases but contained mercury in their bones, scientists believe the monks were either contaminated while preparing and administering medicines, or while writing the artistic letters of incunabula, or pre-1500 A.D. books.
Kaare Lund Rasmussen, a University of Southern Denmark scientist at the Institute of Physics and Chemistry, suspects that ink used in the abbey's scriptorium was the culprit.
He told Discovery News "it is very human to lick the brush, if one wants to make a fine line."
Even today "one should really not touch, or much less rub, the parchment pages of an incunabulum," Lund Rasmussen said, adding that mercury "was used in the first place because cinnabar (a type of mercury) has this bright red, beautiful color."
It is also known that metallic liquid mercury was given in vapor form to diseased patients. So if the monks "were just a little careless, they would be exposed this way, however, they might also be exposed during the preparation of the medicine."
For the study, Lund Rasmussen and his team drilled bone samples from the buried individuals, some of which were also friars buried in the cloister walk of the Franciscan Friary in Svendborg. Unlike the Øm monks, the friars showed no signs of mercury poisoning.
FYI--the flourescent bulbs everyone is cheering about in america are full of the same mercury
Yesterday I went to the met and viewed some Millet paintings I had not seen before! This painting stopped me in my tracks---He was a true master and another artist I hear very few people speak about anymore. This painting is a true masterpiece (bad photo) In fact, this is one of the great works of all time!
I was standing next to a person mumbling about the artists Gerome and his "genius" and I knew they were blind to the genius of what was in front of them.
Most artists are not writers nor are they philosophers but rather they are “noodlers” pencil and brush “pushers” whose work is severely limited by their lack of learning in the areas of literature, philosophy and humanity. Leonardo lived a life of shame because his name was not “high born” as was his rival's Michelangelo. Michelangelo need only to look back in his rear view mirror a few miles to see a line of princes and dignitaries who shared the Buonarroti name. Leonardo was a bastard child whose “low born” name simply meant “from the town of
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
1) a 90 foot glass wall of carved birch trees (for a hotel.)
2) a mirror of carved orchids for veniero's pastries.
3) a carved art deco skylight for a private party space in NYC.
4) an illustration of an angel for realms of Fantasy magazine.
5)my ongoing "barter project"
6) a painting --eyes of texas (in progress)
The tetrahedron, cube, and octahedron all occur naturally in crystal structures. These by no means exhaust the numbers of possible forms of crystals. However, neither the regular icosahedron nor the regular dodecahedron are amongst them. One of the forms, called the pyritohedron (named for the group of minerals of which it is typical) has twelve pentagonal faces, arranged in the same pattern as the faces of the regular dodecahedron. The faces of the pyritohedron are, however, not regular, so the pyritohedron is also not regular.
In the early 20th century, Ernst Haeckel described (Haeckel, 1904) a number of species of Radiolaria, some of whose skeletons are shaped like various regular polyhedra. Examples include Circoporus octahedrus, Circogonia icosahedra, Lithocubus geometricus and Circorrhegma dodecahedra. The shapes of these creatures should be obvious from their names.
Many viruses, such as the herpes virus, have the shape of a regular icosahedron. Viral structures are built of repeated identical protein subunits and the icosahedron is the easiest shape to assemble using these subunits. A regular polyhedron is used because it can be built from a single basic unit protein used over and over again; this saves space in the viral genome.
In meteorology and climatology, global numerical models of atmospheric flow are of increasing interest which employ grids that are based on an icosahedron (refined by triangulation) instead of the more commonly used longitude/latitude grid. This has the advantage of evenly distributed spatial resolution without singularities (i.e. the poles) at the expense of somewhat greater numerical difficulty.
This morning I got up at my usual 4AM and went onto the internet and started my usual research into art and science. It is rare that I get as excited as I did today when I came upon a great revelation of glass shattering importance. I have always (as you may Know) been fascinated by the platonic solids and by the works of Plato and especially his inquiry into platonic solids of which I do not need to explain here except to say that they are pictured above and the top right solid is the icosahedron. Scientists are just now coming to the conclusion of something I suspected for a long time is that the atoms of glass are actually "stacked" in icosahedron shapes--- that means never really fit together very well. I learned about this by my inquiry into Radilolaria (of which I have carved many a Radiolaria in glass) in order to better understand their structure-see above glass carving from 1999...and so it goes..I hope I explained this sufficiently--read on
Being an artist who has spent twenty years exploring the possibilities of glass as an art form and one who knows the importance of such great artists as Tifanny and Lalique I have always been fascinated by the properties of this wonderfully fragile substance. I have always known that glass is actually a "slow liquid" and that in time windows actually "seep down" and get thicker at the bottom as in old homes and churches. Glass is like not unlike the artist Jackson Pollock in that no matter how hard he tried he could never draw or paint very well and by this I mean glass no matter how hard it tries it can never become a true solid. If you are an artist you must "know thyself" (in a socratic sense) and if you are neither fish nor fowl you will never rise to the challenge of making good art that will last longer than a frog on the jersey turnpike. Here is some more fascinating news regarding a groundbreaking discovery in the study of glass and what it can mean for the future of art and non-art.
Some materials crystallize as they cool, arranging their atoms into a highly regular pattern called a lattice, Royall said, but although glass "wants" to be a crystal, as it cools the atoms become jammed in a nearly random arrangement, preventing it from forming a regular lattice.
In the 1950s, Sir Charles Frank in the Physics Department at Bristol suggested that the arrangement of the "jam" should form what is known as an icosahedron, but at the time he was unable to prove it.
An icosahedron is like a 3-D pentagon, and just as you cannot tile a floor with pentagons, you cannot fill 3-D space with icosahedrons, Royall explained. That is, you can't make a lattice out of pentagons.
When it comes to glass, Frank thought, there is a competition between crystal formation and pentagons that prevents the construction of a crystal.
If you cool a liquid down and it makes a lot of pentagons and the pentagons survive, the crystal cannot form.
It turns out that Frank was right, Royall said, and his team proved this experimentally.
You can't watch what happens to atoms as they cool because they are too small, so Royall and his colleagues used special particles called colloids that mimic atoms, but are large enough to be visible using state-of-the-art microscopy.
The team cooled some down and watched what happened.
What they found was that the gel these particles formed also "wants" to be a crystal, but it fails to become one due to the formation of icosahedra-like structures — exactly as Frank had predicted.
"It is the formation of these structures that underlie jammed materials and explains why a glass is a glass and not a liquid — or a solid," Royall said.
The findings are detailed in the June 22 issue of the journal Nature Materials. The research was supported in part by a grant from Britain's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as well as the Royal Society.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
all the besto
Monday, June 23, 2008
My friend Rebbecca took this photo from her apt. in NPT long island. There was a big storm and/ or tornado that tore through and did some damage. As a child in Texas I saw a lot of tornadoes and these clouds have that same ominous color and feel that would swell up before a twister touched down. I think I will paint an oil from this photo soon. This reminds me of work of the painter Courbet.
buy it here:
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I had a friend who tried to tell me crop circles are just a hoax and a bunch of people with sticks sneaking into fields at night. I decided not to argue pearls before swine but this image was not made by people with sticks.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
I was down in Amish country a number of years ago. On the Friday night we arrived, shortly down the road from where we were staying, we watched a huge barn burn to the ground. On my daily runs, starting on Sunday morning a proceeding through the following Friday, I watched as what seemed to be the entire male community descend like ants in and around the ashes. Before the week was up, through a massive communal effort, a bigger and more beautiful barn was erected before my eyes . There must have been 100 - 150 men young and old working day and night. This must have been 30 years ago and the sight sticks with me still. I thought it was truly an amazing display of humans working together.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Veniero's famous pastry shop offered me 1,000 dollars worth of pastries to etch and replace an old mirror for them. I have many a birthday cake covered for the next year or so. I used to live by them when I was too poor an artist to afford to eat. I am very happy about this trade.
Today I traded a Gardega original watercolor original for a lunch at a restaurant called Finnegan's Wake on the upper East side. Lunch was Great and an owner of another place called Murphy's Law was there and he offered me a dinner for art. I let him pick his watercolor because he was a class act.
Lately I have been thinking about the value of art. Art is worth what people pay for it. Is a Picasso worth 60 million? Perception is what matters. Really is manifested through perception and it is through agreement that we come to think that a Picasso, or any art is worth a lot of money. Today I treaded a watercolor for a $44 flashlight. I didn't need the flashlight but I was curious about what value a piece of paper with a picture I made has for people. I intend to shine a light on the idea of the value of art and the relationship to perception vs. reality.
I have been thinking about how great it is that the Amish use barter as much and often more than cash and that they are not a people consumed with greed and material things like myself. My rusty old cogs started turning yesterday and I was wondering what it would be like to exist by trading art work instead of selling artwork for a living. I am planning a trip to Amish country soon because I have never been. I think the crazier the world gets the more appealing a simpler life gets.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Waiting for the worlds applause
Rebel without a conscience
Martyr without a cause
Static on your frequency
Electrical storm in your veins
Raging at unreachable glory
Straining at invisible chains
And now youre trembling on a rocky ledge
Staring down into a heartless sea
Cant face life on a razors edge
Nothings what you thought it would be
All of us get lost in the darkness
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars
All of us do time in the gutter
Dreamers turn to look at the cars
Turn around and turn around and turn around
Turn around and walk the razors edge
Dont turn your back
And slam the door on me
Its not as if this barricade
Blocks the only road
Its not as if youre all alone
In wanting to explode
Someone set a bad example
Made surrender seem all right
The act of a noble warrior
Who lost the will to fight
And now youre trembling on a rocky ledge
Staring down into a heartless sea
Done with life on a razors edge
Nothings what you thought it would be
No hero in your tragedy
No daring in your escape
No salutes for your surrender
Nothing noble in your fate
Christ, what have you done?
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Over the past few years, a chorus of propaganda intended to demonize the Internet and further lead it down a path of strict control has spewed forth from numerous establishment organs:
- Time magazine reported last year that researchers funded by the federal government want to shut down the internet and start over, citing the fact that at the moment there are loopholes in the system whereby users cannot be tracked and traced all the time. The projects echo moves we have previously reported on to clamp down on internet neutrality and even to designate a new form of the internet known as Internet 2.
- In a display of bi-partisanship, there have recently been calls for all out mandatory ISP snooping on all US citizens by both Democrats and Republicans alike.
- The White House's own recently de-classified strategy for "winning the war on terror" targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for terrorists and threatens to "diminish" their influence.
- The Pentagon recently announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.
- In a speech last October, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a "terror training camp," through which "disaffected people living in the United States" are developing "radical ideologies and potentially violent skills." His solution is "intelligence fusion centers," staffed by Homeland Security personnel which will go into operation next year.
- The U.S. Government wants to force bloggers and online grassroots activists to register and regularly report their activities to Congress. Criminal charges including a possible jail term of up to one year could be the punishment for non-compliance.
- A landmark legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and other global trade organizations seeks to criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web - and their argument is supported by the U.S. government.
- A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.
- The European Union, led by former Stalinist and potential future British Prime Minister John Reid, has also vowed to shut down "terrorists" who use the Internet to spread propaganda.
- The EU data retention bill, passed last year after much controversy and with implementation tabled for late 2007, obliges telephone operators and internet service providers to store information on who called who and who emailed who for at least six months. Under this law, investigators in any EU country, and most bizarrely even in the US, can access EU citizens' data on phone calls, SMS messages, emails and instant messaging services.
- The EU also recently proposed legislation that would prevent users from uploading any form of video without a license.
- The US government is also funding research into social networking sites and how to gather and store personal data published on them, according to the New Scientist magazine. "At the same time, US lawmakers are attempting to force the social networking sites themselves to control the amount and kind of information that people, particularly children, can put on the sites."
ISP's have resolved to restrict the Internet to a TV-like subscription model where users will be forced to pay to visit selected corporate websites by 2012, while others will be blocked, according to a leaked report. Despite some people dismissing the story as a hoax, the wider plan to kill the traditional Internet and replace it with a regulated and controlled Internet 2 is manifestly provable.
"Bell Canada and TELUS (formerly owned by Verizon) employees officially confirm that by 2012 ISP's all over the globe will reduce Internet access to a TV-like subscription model, only offering access to a small standard amount of commercial sites and require extra fees for every other site you visit. These 'other' sites would then lose all their exposure and eventually shut down, resulting in what could be seen as the end of the Internet," warns a report that has spread like wildfire across the web over the last few days.
The article, which is accompanied by a You Tube clip, states that Time Magazine writer "Dylan Pattyn" has confirmed the information and is about to release a story - and that the move to effectively shut down the web could come as soon as 2010.
Kley studied "practical arts" at the Karlsruhe Akademie and finished his studies in Munich. His early works were conventional portraits, landscapes, still lifes, city scenes and historical paintings. From about 1892 he won a reputation as an "industry artist", painting manufacturing scenes in oils and watercolors. They proved his deep understanding of the modern machine world. Kley attained greater notoriety with his sometimes darkly humorous pen drawings, published in Jugend and the notorious Simplicissimus.
The date of Kley's death is uncertain. Rumors initially suggested his demise in the early 1940's. It is also suggested that Kley died on August 2, 1945. Some sources mention the time of death on February 8, 1952.
Cartoonist Joe Grant was well aware of Kley's work and introduced his drawings to Walt Disney, who built an extensive private collection. A number of early Disney productions, notably Fantasia, reveal Kley's inspiration.
Due to Disney's interest and reprints by Dover Publications, Kley is still known in the USA, while he is nowadays little regarded in Germany.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Today I was thinking about about Van Gogh...Is there anyone not moved by his work?! I think humans have empathy for those of us who are boiling with passion so much you can barley keep the lid on and half the people you meet think you are cracked. You are guaranteed to anger a lot of people and to alienate others but in the end it is worth it. Artist are no different than anyone else but rather they are just more mono-focused on things most people dont pay attention to. It is better to live five years alive and on fire and misunderstood than to live sixty years in a cocoon --- then again the lumps hurt worse when you grow older.
It's cold comfort
To the ones without it
To know how they struggled --
How they suffered about it
If their lives were
Exotic and strange
They would likely have
Gladly exchanged them
For something a little more plain
Maybe something a little more sane
We each pay a fabulous price
For our visions of paradise
But a spirit with a vision
Is a dream with a mission...
Monday, June 9, 2008
counseling has one L....
Sunday, June 8, 2008
I went kayaking in Northport Long Island today. I took some photos: here is a photo of an old boat engine on a floating dock. I like this as a possible painting subject but It would have to be a photo realist piece and be f0ur foot square otherwise there is no point in painting it--unless you made it smaller and then it would have less impact...I have a million ideas and never enough time. I think this photo gives a sense that it is almost 100 degrees outside. it has occurred to me that this things has a wheel on it which was probably used for moving it or it is in fact not a marine vessel at all. Any mechanics out there know what she is?
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I made this piece a few years ago for a hedge fund in NYC. It is an etching of a mountain in South Africa called The Sentinel. It is very hard to etch landscapes in glass because you do not have color as an option, only white and and black (etched or non-etched) It was very difficult to get installed and is still not lit correctly.....such is life..some jobs leave me feeling less than 100%. this job needs to be lit correctly to breath life into the glass.
Here is a mural in St. Michaels church done by Louis comfort Tiffany. It is a glass mosaic and the picture doesn't do it justice. This mural has got to be insured for an incredible amount of money as it is one of the largest Tiffany murals still in existence. I am doing a few glass panels with mostly text and one image for the church but I will be in good company.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
12 x 16 inches on arches paper to purchase https://tendollarart.com/products/alice-in-winter-watercolor
Here is a rough sketch layout for a new Palm Beach mural. I always keep my initial sketches rough as you never know where a client's...
Tangled Up In Blue (purple) Early one mornin' the sun was shinin', I was layin' in bed Wond'rin'...
ALEX HAS A NEW BLOG! http://gardega.blogspot.com/ or feel free to cruise the memory of this one...