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Death Cycle

Deathcycle-Expressionist-Abstracts-Danijela-Jovic

I see the frontal shadow of a black motorcycle on the right bottom portion of the canvas. I imagine two scenarios in this bold, even violent abstract by Serbian artist and composer Danijela Jovic. On the one hand, motorcycle and rider have been squashed against a white wall. Oil and blood splatter. Or perhaps we tilt the entire viewpoint 90 degrees, such that motorcycle lies flat on the ground, front wheel turned upwards. The rider is off the canvas – likely unconscious on the ground. Blood and oil form streaks on white snow.

The audio of Hugues Racine aka ‘Stale’ is hard hitting but extremely upbeat. Hugues shares that the track was written in memory of a friend who died in a motorcycle accident. The track is the biker’s celebration of freedom. Clearly the composer opted to celebrate his friend’s life in the track. But how to reconcile the harsh, violent brushstrokes of the painting. Or does the music lead you to a completely different response to the visual?

The painting speaks of a wipeout. I see the black outline of a motorcycle in the lower right corner. It seems the rider slammed into a wall and the forward energy is conveyed in grotesque splashes of blood and oil against the white surface. It is a dramatic, if tragic ending to a life well-lived – a life which took freedom by the handlebars and rode it for all it was worth.

And surely this is at least one connection we can make between Danijela’s painting and the celebratory rock track of Canadian rocker Hugues Racine. We learn from Hugues that he wrote his track – ‘In Speed’ – in memory of a friend who died in a motorcycle accident. But Hugues does not reflect upon the violent end, but rather the assertive and exhilarating life.

Expanding like a flame, the speed of sound I chase. Sailing down the road, I’m in control. The wind is in my face, nothing can go wrong (In speed, I belong. So free, can’t go wrong.) The colours are passing by, like a blurry scene. Nothing’s in the way. I’m in control. Nothing’s stopping me, nothing can go wrong. (In speed, I belong. So free, can’t go wrong.) . . . IN SPEED I BELONG . . .

Prints are available of Danijela’s ‘Death Cycle’ in my Facebook Shop here:

https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1574252959300924/

Dan Goldstein

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

City of Oaxaca

Oaxaca-City-Street-Scenes-Uriel-Augustin

Oaxaca is a state in southern Mexico known for its indigenous cultures. Its capital, the City of Oaxaca, is noted for colonial buildings often made of green volcanic stone. In the main square, El Zócalo, stands the baroque Catedral de Oaxaca. Beyond the city, pre-Columbian archaeological sites include Mitla, Yagul and Monte Albán, the Zapotec capital dating to around 500 B.C.
Given that artist Uriel Agustin’s church has more of the colonial than the baroque about it, we suspect his painting is not a depiction of the City of Oaxaca public square, but perhaps of an ‘old town’ neighborhood. The proximity of planted fields to the church seems to support this theory, as does a long row of low-lying shops or residences, painted uniformly red, across the road on the right. The reds of shops and church roof along with greens of plants and shrubbery lend the painting (and probably the town itself) its particular ethnic flavor.
And so does the audio selection by ShortBusMusic offer Spanish ambience appropriate to this depiction of colonial influence in a Mexican town. The track features a rich flamenco style 12-string guitar and, later, a sensuous vocalise in counterpoint. Perhaps the track is a bit too active, and romantic, for what really looks to be a pretty sleepy town. But hey, watch out what goes on behind closed doors in sleepy Mexican towns!

You can order a print of City of Oaxaca in my Facebook Shop, here:

https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1413509072103382/

Dan Goldstein

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Cathedral Reflections

Cathedral-Reflections-Interior-Photography-Shelley-Neff-7.25X5.25

The shiny reflection on the floor of Washington National Cathedral’s Bethlehem Chapel attests to some humble man performing his humble duty in magnificent fashion. The visitor here, whose depressed spirit allows perhaps only a downward glance, is offered reflections of hope and elevation, reflections of his own potential for self improvement and greatness. As the eyes of our encouraged guest draw upward, he sees the column bases, solid blocks, unshakable foundations. The columns’ first decorous bands, protruding gently, smooth and curved, speak a graceful word, one of comfort. So he lifts his eyes still further and upward. Even as the whole space is filled with grandeur, so is our inspired witness filled with awe. It is awe for man’s creation. It is awe for G-d, whose glory all this celebrates.

Dan Goldstein chooses a warm, resonant brass sound for an ambient effect. Cathedral spaces have always been favorite venues for brass quintets. Perhaps two trombonists stand just out of sight and offer their humble meditation, their humble prayer. The sparsity of interval and rhythm speaks to the stillness of the place. Somehow the noble simplicity of this brass chant allows us to be impressed by this grand interior without being overwhelmed by it.

If you would like a print of Cathedral Reflections, you can order in my Facebook shop, here:

https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1894443170571629/

Dan Goldstein

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Adrenaline Beach

Adrenaline-Beach-Ocean-Photography-Shelley-Neff

Photographer Shelley Neff presents an expansive view of Labadee, Haiti’s Adrenaline Beach. Blue waters, a long stretch of coral reef, and red beachfront cabanas invite us to start fantasizing about a tropical getaway.

Music Produceer Mic Mene offers a chill beat which is just what we would be listening to while sipping a cold one during vacation at this scenic spot.

Labadee, Haiti, a private peninsula, situated on the northwest corner of the island of Hispanola and separated from the rest of Haiti by a mountain range, is owned by Royal Caribbean International. The peninsula is used by the cruise line as a port of call for select itineraries. Each of Labadee’s beaches offers something different, from family attractions to private cabanas, for cruise passengers to enjoy.

Adrenaline Beach, located near the city’s town square, offers the opportunity for cruise passengers to play several sports, including beach volleyball, basketball and soccer. The beach is also home to the Dragon’s Tail coaster, which offers a scenic view of the island and beaches at 30 miles per hour.

We hope you can make it to this alluring destination sometime soon. In the meantime, you can order a print from my Facebook Shop to keep the goal fresh in your mind.

https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1720325487997259/

Dan Goldstein

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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Fancy Lace Edwardian

Edwardian-Fancy-Lace-Edwardian-Portrait-Photography-Carneys-Colour-Photo-Creations

Humility, pride and strength are expressed in this colorized photograph of a beautiful Edwardian era woman. Accompanying our view is the joyfully romantic piano solo of Elize Kaisser.

No less than 100 years separate us from the Edwardian era. High fashion at the very beginning of the 20th century, informed by English King Edward and his circle, nevertheless engage us. And certainly the fashion innovations and evolutions of the period are compelling. Wide brimmed and ornate hats make bold statements about women’s rising status in society. Tight skirts along with narrowing and rising hemlines offer the first siren calls of sexual liberation. Fashionable waistcoats likewise comment on the accelerating struggle for equal rights by adding a certain masculine strength to the female fashion statement.

Perhaps what makes the feminism of this era, and by association the image before us, so compelling, is the context. The context of the woman’s struggle for equality was a desire to contribute more fully to the strengthening of family and society. The goal was not to become more like the man – smart feminism has never been about that – but rather to become a more fully expressed woman. The Edwardian female liberation movement was about fully realizing feminine potential to contribute in family and society.

We see not only humility in our Edwardian beauty’s face, but courage. There is a struggle underlying the perfectly smooth, cream-colored complexion of our lady. She is quite immediately rooted in the more restrictive traditions of her mother and grandmother. She is asked now to step out and assert herself in ways which she must invent. It is clear our Edwardian lady does not cast aside all the good she has received from previous generations, but bravely rises to the challenge of her new world.

The romantic, uplifting piano ramble by Ms. Elize Kaisser offers notes of joy, encouragement and hope for this truly heroic struggle. The track does so in harmonies and melodic phrases which take root easily in an old-school romantic style which can easily be associated with Edwardian times.

Fine photo prints of “Edwardian Fancy Lace” are available.  Please fill out the contact form if interested. Thanks.





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Posted by on July 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Portal Cuetza

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portal_cuetza_firma-12-x-16

Mexican photographer and biologist Uriel Agustin explores images of ancient and modern urban decay.  The subject of Uriel’s photograph is from the ruins in Cuetzalan, located in the Sierra Norte region of Mexico.  Our perspective is as of standing with the photographer inside the crumbling structure.  We look out upon nature’s encroachment.  Really we feel at the moment when nature claims again for herself this space.

Audio by MidiSparks (Dan Goldstein) with its native beat and calls suggests the region’s magic, the mysteries and the ghosts.

Portal Cuetza is available in a limited edition of 50 signed and numbered prints. Please drop a line if interested.

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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Accepting The Day

Accepting The Day

Daily wins and losses provide opportunities for personal growth.  Even as the new day brings both blessing and hardship, so does the day challenge us to find appropriate responses to success and adversity which fuel that personal growth.  Accepting this daily challenge is what we mean by ‘accepting the day’.  It is accepting responsibility for tipping the scales each day to the positive.

Gratitude and Negative Thinking

Expression of gratitude for what goes well brings peace and contentment.  These feelings in turn tend to attract more good.  A sense of well-being helps us to better confront the adversity which inevitably faces us.  On the other hand, allowing negative thoughts, and especially negative thoughts which are irrational, to go unchecked creates stress in our system and weakens us.  As a result, we are less available and receptive for the good.  We are also less resilient in facing hardship.

With respect to what goes right, our response is too often a brief acknowledgment and a fleeting moment of satisfaction.  No wonder we forget by afternoon the blessings of the morning!  But for some reason we obsessively dwell on what we perceive as negative.  Of course really bad things do happen.  Sometimes, though, the perception of negativity is worse than the reality.  An investment goes down so we feel ‘poorer ‘.  But really our condition has not changed if the investment is sound for the long term.  A friend does not respond to our text.  We think the worst rather than just assuming there is some issue preoccupying our friend.  The reality is that generally friends get back to us eventually and matters resolve. Perhaps we can use some time alone anyway!

Useful Ritual for a Positive Acceptance of the Day

Rituals are structured and periodic behaviors which give tangible expression to beliefs and values.  It is no accident that expressions of gratitude are ritualized in religious liturgy.  If we don’t have a religious bent, we should definitely consider borrowing in this case from the liturgical playbook.  A somewhat more extensive, more inclusive recitation on a regular basis of what is going well helps to reinforce in our minds the existing conditions of goodness and blessing.  When we recount good that has already come our way, we become more open to the possibility, really the likelihood, that more good is coming.  The recitation ritual helps establish a positive tone to our thinking and is a good practice for morning and night.

Expelling the Negative

We can also develop techniques for increasing our awareness of negative thoughts that creep into our heads and for expelling those thoughts.  Expelling negativity can be a helpful bit of daily mental housecleaning that keeps the channels free and clear for a positive flow to our day.  Morning time is great for many people to hear these thoughts most clearly.  It can be helpful to write these thoughts down – thus externalizing them.  A next step can be to rephrase the thoughts in more productive, hopeful ways.

An Overload of Positivity?

It is possible to become overwhelmed by positivity.  In fact this condition in its unhealthiest extreme has a special term: mania.  Generally speaking, when we don’t process the positive flow which we have attracted, we can short-circuit and become debilitated.  If you are having this quite manageable problem then stay tuned for additional posts!  In the meantime, get that positive flow going by accepting the day!

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

 
 
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