Thursday, September 4, 2008

Random Thoughts

I just wanted to post some random blog- and/or art-related thoughts in one potpourri post, so here I go freely associating like Jackson Pollock painting Number 1, 1950 (aka, Lavender Mist) (above, from 1950):

(1) Many thanks to everyone who’s been reading and commenting. I always find it amazing that I have any readers, let alone 300 visitors every day. My goal from day one has always been to learn more about art and myself, but if anyone else wants to come along for the ride, you’re more than welcome. I’ll always try to find interesting things to (hopefully) write interestingly about even if I’m the only one in the audience.

(2) Speaking of commenting, thank you for all the kind words and encouragement. I was especially happy to get feedback regarding my review of Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose from people of Indian descent who already knew how great an artist Nandalal Bose is. As proud as I am that my hometown museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, opened doors with that exhibition, I take pride in being able to spread the word and contribute to the greater understanding not only of art but also of other cultures. Like The Monkees once sang, “Love Is Understanding,” and (as Dionne Warwick and others once sang) “what the world needs now is love, sweet love.” (Please note that a double schmaltzy song quote is the blogging equivalent of a Scrabble triple word score.)

(3) Speaking of commenting and love, please remember when commenting that this is an open forum and to be respectful of the host. I don’t delete comments unless they’re profane, spam, or both. However, people who question my integrity, intelligence, patriotism, etc., shouldn’t read my lack of response as an inability to respond. Some testy comments in reply to my more politically charged posts tested my ability to be civil, but, thankfully, I found my Zen and decided that a novella-length diatribe won’t open a closed mind no matter how artfully argued. I refuse to engage in a dispute over the socioeconomic equivalent of what color the sky is. (It’s blue.) That being said, I can’t guarantee I’ll resist the urge to write a liberal rant or two between now and November 4th, so those so inclined will have their opportunity to comment again, hopefully with more tact.

(4) Speaking of making friends, if you’re a Facebook user, please check out my Facebook page (search for “Art Blog By Bob”). While you’re there, consider becoming a friend of the blog and meet others who have become friends. (Or more than friends. If anyone gets married thanks to the Art Blog By Boblove connection,” please let me know. Alex can be your ring bearer.) Join Haikoo Zoo, one of Facebook’s quirkier applications, and you can pet the Art Blog By Bob pet/mascot, Utley the Hedgehog, who’s usually napping peacefully in his art gallery environment after a delicious bowl of udon. (Why Utley? Phillies phans know.)

(5) As always, many thanks to the museums and publishers who provide me with review copies of the latest art books and catalogues. As part of the larger death of the American newspaper, the book review finds itself on the endangered list. While extinction looms over the print book review, I think the last, best hope for good writing about good writing is online. I’ve chosen art-related books because that’s where my bliss lies, but there are plenty of other blogs and websites out there filling other niches. Art books rarely found column space when newspapers actually did run book reviews of any kind, so I like to think I’m performing a long-needed public service—while getting to read and enjoy and learn in the bargain.

(6) And, finally, no, Jeopardy! hasn’t called me yet to appear on the show. I’m in the pool of potential contestants for filming through the end of 2009, so I may have a lot of waiting ahead of me. If I ever get on television, I’ll be sure to let everyone know so they can tune in and pray along with me for lots of arts and literature categories and as little geography (my Achilles’ heel) as possible. Watching the recent Tournament of Champions, I agonized on the sofa as question after question stumped all three contestants despite my yelling the answer at the television 3,000 miles away and months after the actual filming. God (and Alex Trebek) willing, I’ll get my chance someday.

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