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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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3 September 2021

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No. 2,923 (cartoon)

I’m going out of my mind.

Stay away from mine.

4 September 2021

Herbert, Wilma, and Expectation Management

Herbert and Wilma are having some challenging and sometimes difficult times together. That’s almost a priori knowledge; is there any other kind of relationship?

She described him as, “a no-good, low-down, no-account, double-dealing, back-biting, two-faced, flea-bitten, two-timing, double-crossing, two-bit, mealy-mouthed polecat.” She admitted that she plagiarized that remark verbatim from some Internet site, then went on to describe much worse behavior.

She’s apparently seen the look I gave her many times before; she explained why she’s partnered with him before I could ask. Her romantic experiences with ostensibly nice guys were one disappointment after another. She felt comfortable with Herbert because she had no positive assumptions, so he’s never disappointed her.

That’s not amore where I come from, but I agreed that expectation management usually works, even with a varmint like Herbert.

5 September 2021

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The Whiting Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Building

I originally made this as a postcard from Flint, Michigan. I couldn’t take it seriously since it looked like I was imitating Lewis Baltz, and rather poorly at that. Yogi Berra’s advice has always served me well: “If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.”

My friends pleasantly surprised me; they liked the visual ambiguity and lack of scale. I didn’t recognize that it looked like a wall instead of the square building I photographed. Since the size of the structure was in doubt, that suggests most people have more rewarding things to do than count bricks.

After I learned to appreciate that the photo was all mine—to the degree to which that’s possible—I went back and made a better, final version of, The Whiting Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Building.

6 September 2021

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Desert Chair With Yucca

I may or may not lie on occasion, but calendars never do.

Five months ago today I made a photograph of a yucca growing through the arm of a plastic chair beside a bike trail through the New Mexico desert. I didn’t think much of it at the time after spending the first year of Coronarama there, but after traveling for months it now looks unusually exotic, which, relatively speaking, I suppose it is.

There’s a reason I titled this journal An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts. Well, two reasons, actually:

It’s a notebook.

Of sorts.

This notebook ain’t never been no gallery, so I note things here I’d never call art, including this photograph. The image is, however, a reminder that things I take for granted visually today may be of more interest in a different time or place.

I imagine that the old plastic chair with a filthy cushion entwined with a prickly yucca may have postcard potential, but who wants a postcard?

7 September 2021

Evanescent Fugacity

I like discovering new words, but rarely incorporate them into my active vocabulary. After looking up the definitions for words like obdurate and otiose, I learned that although they are indeed useful, they’re synonyms for more familiar and perfectly adequate words I regularly use.

There’s still room for discovery on a good day like today, when I came across “fugacity.” I discovered that’s a synonym for “evanescent,” which required a second trip to the dictionary. Nice!

And there you have it: four new words I’ll probably never use again since I usually avoid sesquipedalian hokum. Oops, make that five or six words!

8 September 2021

Seamus “Guiseppi” O’Flahertie’s Authentic Italian-Inspired Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza

I’m fortunate to have such a low entertainment threshold that it’s buried under the cellar. That allowed me to be amused by a discovery in the frozen food section of a local grocery store, Seamus “Guiseppi” O’Flahertie’s Authentic Italian-Inspired Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza, made with “100% Human-Grade Ingredients.”

Fool that I am, I’ve always assumed that the food I buy is fit for human consumption. Sure, it has the usual rodent feces, toxic additives, carcinogenic pesticides, et cetera, but at much lower levels than the rubbish people feed their dogs. As the Food and Drug Administration notes ...

Food fed to animals may contain various biological, chemical, or physical contaminants. These may be naturally occurring (e.g., mycotoxins, bacteria) or introduced during the manufacturing process intentionally or by accident.

Introduced intentionally?! Bad Fido, bad doggie!

Someone hawking frozen cabbage pizza raises two questions. Who eats that crap? And if human-grade ingredients are a selling point, does that mean that a lot of food in grocery stores is unfit for human consumption?

I’ll stop there, since unless you’re feasting on Seamus “Guiseppi” O’Flahertie’s Authentic Italian-Inspired Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza the answers are painfully obvious.

9 September 2021

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A Hot Show of Cool Art

I’m thinking of having a gallery show, a possibility I haven’t entertained in decades. I tolerate the barely adequate low-resolution reproductions of my two-dimensional work on the Internet, but my idea for a hot show of cool art requires one or two more dimensions.

It all started when I was walking on Crapo Street in Flint, Michigan, which, appropriately enough, is the southern boundary of the Flint Cultural Center. I spotted an air conditioner in the window of a dilapidated house. Some miscreant bent the thin aluminum fins to create a crude but pleasing drawing. Now that I think about it, perhaps the perp wasn’t a reprobate. After all, who can resist such a blank canvas?

My exhibition would feature eleven air conditioners installed in the gallery walls with the backs of the units at eye level. I’d make designs on each by flattening the fins. As for the extra dimension(s), I’d run each one at maximum capacity to create a deafening drone and use the searing exhaust to turn the gallery into an oven and roast the visitors.

Et voilà! A Hot Show of Cool Art!


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©2021 David Glenn Rinehart

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