Some come, some go and some never leave…



000 little birdsBeach Landscape painting created in March 2001.


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It was the summer of ’72, the summer I graduated from college and discovered the music of Matching Mole, Keith Jarret, Nick Drake and of Jimmie Spheeris, who later became a good personal friend. It was a time spent dreaming, tossing cares and concerns about the future lightly aside. And when she’d walk across the porch, slip in the door, climb the stairs and embrace me, oh what a summer it was…



000 summer it wasOriginal oil painting from 1972 by an unknown artist photographed in Paris at a flea market in May 2015.

000 905 NHThe strange house that Crocetti built in the middle of six acres of woods in an otherwise normal neighbourhood. The porch and the entrance to the upstairs apartment are on the right.


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After opening in Bordeaux in 2012, and then moving on to Chicago and Houston in 2013 and 2014, Montreal in 2014 and Brussels in 2014 and 2015, the Lascaux exhibit has now come to Paris. From May 20th until August 30th 2015 the exhibit can be seen at the Parc des Expositions at 1 Place de la Porte de Versailles. The presentation is well thought out and very informative, with the information in both English and French. It will be moving on to Geneva, Korea and Japan in 2016 and 2017.

Last year I posted a blog about my personal experiences, both in the original cave in 1961 and in Lascaux II in 1985 and 2006 (see An Archaeological Moment – Lascaux).

This new presentation plays down previous assessments of ongoing damage to the paintings (addressed in my post) and claims that the environment within the cave, though still extremely fragile, has stabilized. Given their past record of mismanagement and blunders I remain skeptical about the health of the art work. But that aside, the exhibition is well worth seeing if you get the chance.


000 Lascaux 2A Cro-Magnon woman paints the face of a child. One of the realistic reconstructions in the Lascaux exhibit.

000 Lascaux 1A reproduction in the Lascaux Exhibition of the Scene in the Shaft, a mysterious painting and the only human figure found among the paintings at Lascaux.

Both photos taken at the Lascaux Exhibit in Paris in May 2015.


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Well, what do you know, today is Gertrude Stein’s birthday. Born 141 years ago, she was, at least in her opinion, one of America’s most influential writers. No matter what anyone thinks of her writings, her visionary recognition and early collection of the work of the Modernist artists, like Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir and Delacroix, helped to open up a wider acceptance of their endeavours. And despite the difficulty most people had with her literary works, she was a major influence on many of the writers in the Modernist movement. In short, Gertrude Stein was a world of her own; she was in modern terms, a real trip.

I try to refrain from repeating posts of my poetry, but seeing as how it is her birthday I have, in her honour,  resurrected an early post of a poem, this time with a different photo, done in the Gertrudian style. Like much of her work, it needs to be read fluidly and aloud. The accompanying photo was taken in the garden of her apartment at 29 Rue de Fleurus. The second photo is a signed copy of The Autobiography Of Alice B. Toklas and is from my personal library. Her signature is just recognizable at the top of the page, above an indecipherable dedication. Her hand writing is very much like her writing. Indiscernible…

000 GertrudianPhoto of the garden outside of Gertrude Stein’s apartment at 29 Rue de Fleurus taken in Paris in July 2013.

000 Stein Autobiography Alice  B. ToklasPhoto of a signed copy of Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography Of Alice B. Toklas from my personal library.


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Recognized as one of the 25 most influential artists of the 20th century. Man Ray’s groundbreaking photography, his experimentation in film, his painting, sculpture, collages and  assemblages were the prototypes of what would eventually be called performance art and conceptual art. He became a major proponent of Dadaism, which takes its name from the French nickname for a rocking horse. This new art form challenged existing notions of art and literature, and encouraged spontaneity. After an early career in New York Ray moved to Paris in 1921. There, he became a part of the artistic avant garde, where he became famous for his portraits of his artistic and literary associates. He eventually photographed most of the English and American writers who were then living in Paris along with many of the artists he admired, including Picasso, Matisse, Gris and Braque. He also developed a thriving career as a fashion photographer, taking pictures for such magazines as Vogue. Using the money he made from these commercial endeavors he was able to support his pursuit of his fine art efforts. A photographic innovator, by accident one day in his darkroom, Ray discovered a new way to create interesting images. He called these photos “Rayographs,” and they were made by placing and manipulating objects on pieces of photosensitive paper.

One of his most famous works from this time period was 1924’s “Violin d’Ingres.” This modified photograph features the bare back of his lover, the well known model and performer named Kiki, styled after a painting by the neoclassical French artist Jean August Dominique Ingres. In a humorous twist, Ray added the two black ƒ-holes to make her back look like a musical instrument. During this time he also explored the artistic possibilities of film, creating such now classic Surrealistic works as L’Etoile de Mer (1928). Along with his later muse, lover and partner, Lee Miller, Ray also experimented with a technique called the Sabatier effect, or solarization, which added a silvery, ghostly quality to his images.

Here in this building at 30-31bis on the Rue Campagne Première he obtained the rooms for a studio. The building, built in 1911, offered studio space that was combined with living quarters that included central heating, toilet facilities, electricity, gas and even a telephone. Quite luxurious for an artist’s studio in Paris in the 1920’s. Before this he had lived in the Hôtel des Écoles, where he had set up a studio in his hotel room. It was there that he photographed Gertrude Stein, who later wrote, “I have never seen any space…so admirably disposed. He had a bed, he had three large cameras, he had several kinds of lighting, he had a window screen and in a little closet he did all of his developing.” In his new studio he was able to expand and operate much more comfortably and efficiently. When Man Ray wrote his friend Duchamp about acquiring his new studio, Duchamp replied, “A studio in that building is a remarkable thing.” The building is located next to the famous L’ Hôtel Istria. But that is another story for another blog…
 000 Man Ray 1

 In this view of 30-31bis on the Rue Campagne Première, Man Ray’s studio was on the ground floor just to the left of the entrance on the right side.

000 Man Ray 2In this view from the opposite side of the building one can see that the studio had its own small white entrance doorway on the street.

Photos taken in Paris in July 2014.


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If you are traveling to Paris before the end of October and want to visit the Picasso museum, you will be disappointed. If you journey after the end of October you will be happy to know that the Paris Picasso museum is finally set to reopen – three years later than planned. The museum, housing one of most extensive collections of Spanish artist’s work, is now scheduled to reopen five years after closing for renovation on October 25th 2014. In May of this year the Culture Ministry announced that it would open in September, but apparently that date has now been changed to October. 

The final bill for the refurbishment of the 17th-century baroque mansion now stands at 52 million Euros, 22 million Euros  higher the original budget due to changes in the scope of the work. The museum’s exhibition space will be more than doubled to 40,000 square feet (3,800 square metres) after the renovation.

Although the museum has around 5,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs and documents, previously only a fraction could be displayed at any one time due to limited space. There will also be a corresponding rise in the number of visitors that can be admitted at once from 380 to 650, and annual admission figures are expected to jump from 450,000 to 850,000.

Photos taken in Paris in July 2014.


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Death and the rose, an arrow quivers in the bark, found true its mark, but then, trees are taught not to show the pain…


000 I burn only for you baby

The painting of  “I Burn Only For You Baby” by M. Campbell © 1968


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