It is Radycki’s premise that Modersohn-Becker was a “pioneer and groundbreaker,” one of the key early German modernists—the “missing piece in the history of modernist imagery.”
In the United States, ExxonMobil has the biggest footprint as a producer of natural gas by fracking.
When I first wrote about the Safe Climate Caucus, they were new on the scene.
Last year, the agenda of the Safe Climate Caucus was to have a member of the House of Representatives speak daily on the impact of climate change. Now, with new members on board, they are taking the social media track with weekly videos on YouTube and blogs on Huffington Post Green….
When I first wrote about the Safe Climate Caucus, they were new on the scene.
Last year, the agenda of the Safe Climate Caucus was to have a member of the House of Representatives speak daily on the impact of climate change. Now, with new members on board, they are taking the social media track with weekly videos on YouTube and blogs on Huffington Post Green.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has spearheaded the caucus, with 35 members committed to working on the issue. He has been a driving force in calling out the House Republicans on their recalcitrance, both verbally and by documenting it in papers about anti-environmental legislation. He has also been clear about the logistics and moral choice of moving forward with the XL Pipeline, underscoring his hope that the contentious debate with be finalized with a “No” from President Obama. His bottom line is, “Our group is about speaking truth to power.” Waxman, who will be retiring after this congressional session, has been a leader in the fight for environmental legislation, since the days of President Ford.
The attitude of Republicans to climate change concerns has been referenced as “intentional ignorance.” Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), who hails from Texas, has spoken of the “special responsibility” that he feels coming from his state. He said, “Texas leads in green house gas production and perhaps in climate change denial.” Texas also has a coastline that is “receding.” Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), whose home turf has been experiencing droughts and fires has related that her grandchildren have asked her quizzically, “What’s happening?”
We need more people to pose these questions and challenge their elected officials on what they are doing to be part of the solution— rather than part of the problem. A look at how your elected officials are responding can be found at the League of Conservation Voters. They just released a 2013 National Environmental Scorecard. The graphics tells a familiar story. On climate change safeguards, Rep. James Inhofe (R-OK) sponsored an amendment that would gut funding put in place to ensure that federal agencies had the power to curb greenhouse gas emissions…not especially surprising from a representative with an LCV Lifetime pro-environment score of 5 percent.
I reached out to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) for his thoughts on why the continuous argument from Republicans on environmental safeguards pulls the “economic” card. He responded via e-mail:
“The threat of climate change is increasingly clear. However, it presents opportunities for innovation and economic growth in areas like renewable energy, energy efficiency, and severe weather mitigation. We cannot afford to be outpaced by other countries, like China, in these emerging industries. The Safe Climate Caucus will continue to highlight the importance of this issue and advocate for immediate action in the Congress.”
Secretary of State John Kerry recently delivered a powerful speech about the ramifications of climate change, putting it in the same category of global threats as “terrorism…and the proliferation of mass destruction.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich lost no time in mocking Kerry with comments suggesting he was “delusional.”
Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) responded with a letter to both men with a primer on why they were so far off the mark. One of the points included the statement from Admiral John Nathan, former Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces. He said, “There are serious risks to doing nothing about climate change. We can pay now or we’re going to pay more later.”
If you can’t get Republicans to heed the warnings of those in the military, you have to wonder what will make a dent in their consciousness.
Image: Courtesy of the Congressional Safe Climate Caucus
This article originally appeared on the website Moms Clean Air Force
Not Dudley Charles.
A soft-spoken man with a melodic cadence to his voice, Charles shared with me his story of growing up in Plaisance, Guyana, and the path that placed him on the road to art.
Charles talked about his early years in elementary school, when he was about 10 years old. He was not a top athlete and, despite his desire to play cricket with his peers, was not sought out to be on their teams. Charles had to fill his school time with another activity, and the only choice available was arts and crafts. The class was comprised primarily of girls. He would look out the window at the boys chasing the ball and be filled with resentment. “I didn’t want to play with paints and do drawing,“ Charles told me. “It was not a cool thing.”
Taking out his anger on the paper he was using for his projects, Charles described his behavior as being “like a disobedient kid.” Yet, the aggressive markings and interactions with his surface medium would find its way into his technique as an adult.
The parents of Charles raised him to be “a quiet boy,” and he internalized those directives. He preferred a solitary and introspective approach to life. Describing the village he grew up in, he outlined the societal strictures. Children were expected to maintain certain standards of behavior—and the neighbors were always around to keep you in line. “Even now,” he told me, “I still feel more at ease by myself.”
Both of Charles’s parents worked with their hands. His mother was a seamstress, who often showed him her sewing techniques. His father was a carpenter and furniture maker. The family relationship was close.
Charles’s father collected his son’s drawings and showed them to people in the community. The developing young artist began gaining a reputation. “I didn’t want to let my parents down,” Charles said, “so I sought out books about art and art history.” In his teen years, his father put together a selection of his work. He brought it to a local woman whose sister was a practicing artist. This led to a letter of introduction to Donald Locke, who lived only five miles away.
Charles was unaware of Locke’s standing, and the fact that he had studied with E.R. Burrowes, considered by many to be the “Father of Guyanese Art.” At the time, Locke was serving as the art master of Queens College in Georgetown, Guyana. Charles packed up his portfolio and took it to Locke for his feedback. “You’re very talented,” Locke informed Charles. “However,” he advised Charles, “talent is not enough. You have to have drive and know what you are going to do with it.” Locke lectured Charles about what it meant to be an artist, and a relationship between the two developed and evolved. He was a frequent visitor to the Charles’s home. Locke brought his young student into a class that he was leading called Group 67. All the members were considerably older. Among them was Philip Moore.
The cross-dialogue led to fertile ground for exchanging ideas, as well as a progressive space to experiment with subject matter and materials. Charles referred to this time as “his learning period.” He articulated, “I would constantly be visiting the library. In Guyana, there weren’t that many people or institutions to turn to.” By the time he was 18 years old, Charles was painting full-time—with the financial support of his parents.
In 1970, when Moore left Guyana to become an artist-in-residence at Rutgers and Princeton universities, he recommended Charles for his post at the National History and Art Council. It was a fortuitous opportunity that sustained Charles until 1989. It allowed him time to pursue his own work. As Charles acknowledged, “In life, sometimes things move in a certain way.”
Charles discussed his journey to find his authentic voice. He pored over books on European art, trying to connect with potential influences he had an affinity with. He looked at Rembrandt. He looked at Gauguin. Then it struck him. “I’m not those people! Who am I? What is my story?” He remembered narratives that his Grandmother had shared with him—Guyanese folktales. He recalled legends about spirits that inhabited the big, ornate homes that had belonged to plantation owners.
“I decided to try to tell my story,” Charles recounted. He began by looking at the facades of those houses of his grandmother’s myths. Many had intricate but crumbling architecture. He let his imagination wander beyond the visible walls, to consider what may have taken place inside of those edifices. The result was a series entitled, Image Old House.
In 1973, Charles was chosen to represent Guyana in the XII Bienal Internacional de Sao Paulo. Four years later, the Guyanese government sent him to Nigeria as part of a delegation of the nation’s artists in the World Black and African Festival of Art and Culture known as FESTAC. His work began appearing in group shows from Caracas to New York. He was included in the London exhibit of 1986, “Contemporary Caribbean Art.” He was part of the 1988 “Art for Life” exhibit at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C. Art historian Samella S. Lewis included him in her book Caribbean Visions: Contemporary Painting and Sculpture.
I questioned Charles about his physical approach to his work, specifically his technique of using his brush to “scrub” the surface of his ground. He uses either canvas or paper. His process involves a series of “mark-making” that is not premeditated. Charles then steps back, sees relationships that have developed, and builds on them. “The work talks to me,” he said. “I want each mark to be individualistic.”
On a philosophical note he stated, “ We’re living in the 21st Century, a time when everyone has electronics. I’m creating an illusion of space on a flat surface! I want to tell a story of a time and a place. To have depth. To be timeless. I’m inviting people to come into this space.”
Charles referenced Hello Africa, which specifically deals with “space, time, and lines. It is currently being shown at the Skylight Gallery in Brooklyn, New York City in the exhibit, “I Kan Do Dat.”
Conversing at length about Blue Venus #5, from his well-known Blue Venus series, Charles is definitive about his blue. It’s aquamarine. The shimmering surface has been achieved by rubbing pastel onto heavy, archival paper. Charles used acrylic emulsion paste to collage pieces of paper on the primary surface. A repeated engagement of applying color in different stages ensures that the paper is impregnated with pigment. The result is a three dimensionality from the combined papers, hues, and intensities. The finished piece hangs directly on the wall. “I want the viewer to get lost,” Charles explained.“ I want them pulled into this vast sense of infinity.”
Pausing, Charles picks up a different train of thought. “Once you are involved in making art, everything seems secondary. Art is like breathing. Nobody knows the pain and suffering that an artist feels trying to express himself.”
Tempering the intensity of his remarks Charles said, “Once people are pulled into my work, I want them to feel joy and happiness—because when I’m painting I’m happy.”
Photos: Jamaal M. Levine
This article is from the series “Evolution of an Artist”
The Internet has become a stomping ground for outrageous stories that are destined to go viral. The latest one concerns Rex Tillerson, Chief Executive and Chairman of ExxonMobil Corporation. It’s the kind of material that late night comedians dream of.
Tillerson has become part of a legal suit against the potential construction of water tower near his property. He actually showed up at a town meeting in Bartonville, Texas, to express his distress and dismay. He owns a horse ranch that covers 83 acres, as well as a home situated nearby on an 18 acre spread, that are in close proximity to the proposed construction. The tower would measure 160 feet high, or the equivalent of 15 stories. The lawsuit that Tillerson is a part of, along with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, claims that its placement is illegal within the context of local zoning ordinances.
And the purpose of the tower? To store water for use in fracking.
The irony of the situation is evident. In the United States, ExxonMobil has the biggest footprint as a producer of natural gas by fracking.
According to FracFocus, in March of 2012, Texas had 6,000 oil and gas fracking wells. ExxonMobil has the biggest footprint as a producer of natural gas by fracking in the United States.
Rather than underscoring a concern about what fracking can do to drinking water, water supplies, the environment and public health, the complaints from the affluent neighborhood have pointed to an increase in traffic from trucks and noise issues as their top causes for apprehension.
In an effort to distance himself from the fracking debate, Tillerson has explained via counsel that his primary issue is about property values and the destruction of the view from his home.
If Tillerson really want to get the scoop on the downside of fracking, there is plenty of information for him to mine from neighbors in his state. Residents of Azle believe that the thirty earthquakes they have experienced since November have been as a result of fracking. He might like to take a visit to the low-income communities and disproportionate communities of color that have been bearing the brunt of health issues related to petrochemical activity.
The property that Tillerson is fighting to protect is estimated to be worth $5 million. His total compensation for 2012 as list by Forbes was $40,266,501.
While the rest of the country suffers from the actions of ExxonMobil, Tillerson will always be able to finance his way out of pollution problem. According to the article in the Wall Street Journal, Tillerson told the council meeting he attended that if the tower were built, he might have to consider moving.
Unlike the other people whose lives and property have been destroyed by fracking, he has the financial resources to make that choice.
Image: Courtesy of RVR Associates
This article originally appeared on the website Moms Clean Air Force.
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