Tag Archives: Arts

October 29

Goebbels, Reich and Art

On the 29th of October 1897,  Joseph Goebbels was born in Rheydt, Germany. He was one of the closest associates of Adolf Hitler and a zealously devoted propagandist of National Socialism in Nazi Germany. Between 1933 and 1945 he held the position of Reich Minister of Propaganda and contributed significantly to the initial success of […]

October 27

Kazuo Ohno’s Dance Philosophy

On the 27th of October 1906, the Japanese Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno was born in Hakodate, Japan. A hundred years later (only four years before his death!), unable to walk or stand any more, Ohno continued to ‘dance’ with his hands, thus summarising the essence of Butoh as the dance from ‘within’. He started dancing before […]

October 25

Existential Pain of Alfonsina Storni

On the 25th of October 1938, Alfonsina Storni, one of the most prominent Latin-American poets of the modernist period, drowned herself at La Perla beach in Mar del Plata, Argentina. She was born in 1892 of Italian-Swiss parents, Alfonso and Paulina, in Sala Caprisca in Switzerland. When she was four years old her parents decided […]

October 19

Quincunx, Electricity, Computer… The Mastermind of Sir Thomas Browne

Sir Thomas Browne was an English author of numerous medical, religious, scientific and esoteric works. He was born on the 19th of October 1605 and died exactly 77 years later on the 19th of October 1682. This numerological symmetry seems in his case more of a necessity than a coincidence for it supports his theory […]

October 11

Piaf and Cocteau: Les Enfants Terribles

When I write I disturb. When I make a film I disturb. When I paint I disturb. When I exhibit my paintings I disturb, and I disturb if I don’t. I have a knack for disturbing. (Jean Cocteau, Diary of an Unknown) On the 11th of October 1963, a French poet, novelist, designer, playwright, artist, […]

October 04

Mount Rushmore: Personal Ambition to National Heritage

On the 4th of October 1927, Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941) began sculpting Mount Rushmore, a long project which ended unfinished in 1941, the year of the artist’s death. Borglum was a Danish-American  sculptor, son of a bigamist Mormon father who started off as a woodcarver, then moved with Gutzon’s aunt to New York to train as […]

October 02

Duchamp and the Dadaist Gender Offensive

On the 2nd of October 1968, artist Marcel Duchamp died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. His Rouen grave was engraved with the humorously defiant epitaph “Besides, it’s always the others who die!”. In death, as in life, he remained a master of sarcasm and controversy. A puzzling development in his career occurred in 1920, when Duchamp started adopting a […]

October 01

James Allen St. John: Tarzan and Pulp Fiction

On the 1st of October 1872, James Allen St. John, often referred to as ‘the godfather of modern fantasy art’, was born in Chicago, Illinois. His work set the spirit and rhythm for the important science fiction sub-genre of heroic fantasy illustration. St. John studied in Paris, Belgium and Holland and worked for most of his career […]

December 29

The Awakening of Joyce’s Lust for Beauty

For those soul-searching, here is an excerpt from  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the first novel of Irish writer James Joyce (1882 – 1941). This autobiographical Künstlerroman is unprecedented in literature for its use of free indirect speech prefiguring Joyce’s stream of consciousness technique. American modernist poet Ezra Pound had the novel published in book format […]

November 21

Voltaire: The Father of Sci-Fi?

On the 21st of November 1694, François-Marie Arouet, known under the pen name Voltaire, was born in Paris. This French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher, who was also a great enthusiast of science and empirical knowledge, was probably one of the most prolific authors of all times. Throughout his life he produced about 2,000 books […]