From My Blood-Red Orange: “New York City”

“2008” acrylic on canvas, 54 x 107 cm
In private collection
Where I live there are no ice cream parlours,
no snack bars on the beach,
no fast food on the harbours.
Where I live the food is nasty, hard to eat,
the water tastes like piss,
the fruits smell like sewer rats
that before you bear their teeth.

Where I sleep the air is not conditioned cool,
or warmer during frozen days.
My mattress is a cardboard box,
I'm up as soon as I feel the first of that yellow ball's rays.
My breakfast, in the dumpster on Eighth Avenue and Fifty Seventh Street,
If I can find anything after all my neighbours eat,
'cause they're bigger and they're meaner and they never let me pass,
I guess when I turn ten or twelve I'll get something at last.

Yes, I'm from right here, Manhattan, Midtown,
but I was born in the Bronx,
and when I was just a baby my mother crossed the river
and New York's been my home.
My mom?
Lying in an alley, just west of Ninth and Forty Second Street.
She's been there for a whole day,
can't rouse her from that sleep.
But I don't care, I never knew her well,
she brought me to this island city
where the devil seems to dwell.

I was remembering a song by the Beatles, that Paul wrote and sang that started like this: “Ah, look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from? Where do they all belong?” The song, “Eleanor Rigby”, was released as a double A-side single with “Yellow Submarine,” in August of 1966. Both are from the album Revolver.

The song is about two lonely people, Eleanor, an old woman who exists in a world of her own, population one. Her main purpose in life is nothingness. She “picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been.” The other is the priest, Father McKenzie, who preaches in an empty church and whose sermons “no one will hear.” Eleanor dies and he buries the old woman. To her funeral, nobody came, just him, seemingly caring little for the lonely people, “he walks from the grave.”

“No one was saved, all the lonely people, where do they all come from, all the lonely people, where do they all belong.” The cycle of life and death among the “lonely people” simply begins again…

What do you think? As an artist, I encourage all others engaged in the creative arts, or not, to get involved. This is our world, this is our problem. I have been focusing on two very serious conditions found in the world today, mainly poverty and the plight of immigrants. I think that if we all do our part, we can begin to change things, even if we have to do it helping only one person at a time. That is one less. It’s worth the effort.

If you agree, please share, comment and hit that like button. Let’s discuss these topics. Whoever said that topics such as politics and religion…or others also considered polemic…should not be discussed was lying. Such topics should be the source of discussions and conversations perpetually on everyone’s agenda. Of course, only through civilised discussions, no fights, no argumentum ad hominem, let us argue only the facts.

You can see my artwork…like the one above…drawings and paintings, on my Instagram, @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries, featuring my 2019 collection, “JaZzArt en Valencia” at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155 (you can browse, you need not purchase anything)

THANKS!

From My Blood-Red Orange Part 11: Express Yourself!

“Thinking of Spain” “Julen” “Twin Personalities”
Acrylic on canvas 30cm X 50cm

Expressionism is an artistic genre and style that seeks the opposite of Impressionism…mostly…and to represent thoughts and emotions of the artist. Expressionism began in the early days of the XXth C. in Germany. Its most iconic works are films such as: “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, 1920, Directed by Robert Wiene), and “Nosferatu” (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, 1922, directed by F.W.Murnau and starring Max Schreck as the vampire). This film was the unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Because Bram Stoker’s widow protested the name of the vampire was changed to Count Orlok, however, the legal battle to stop the film continued resulting in most copies being destroyed.

In any event, I look at “expressionism” as a useful tool to create interesting art as I never paint what is there (as in Impressionism) but what is inside my head. In my three paintings above (Valencia 2019) I have used the techniques of expressionism combined with what I call “Jazz Art” to create three portraits…of imaginary people…that represent thoughts, feelings, emotions and even fantasy.

“Thinking of Spain” is my most gentle and serene of the three portraits and it represents the stoic, firm disposition of a person combined with the dreams and fantasies that populate that other part of the brain creating a perfect duality. People never have just one face, one thought, one form of behaviour. Behaviour is adapted to the situation and to the mood, affected both internally and externally, it is the only psychological characteristic that is clear and observable.

“Julen” represents a mind tormented by doubts, fears and irritations. Anger produces depression, depression produces anxiety and despair. Human traits that come and go throughout a person’s lifetime…sometimes a person’s day…and that in healthy (mentally) individuals, leave no secondary negative effects. However, in some it becomes a way of life. Such is the face of “Julen.” Is “Julen” your passing phase or your living hell?

“Double Personality” seems to look back at “Thinking of Spain” to say, “you’re not the only one that can look forward and to the side.” Yes, but the thought and the expression, as seen in the painting, is quite different. When you look one way and I mean not just with your eyes but with your intentions, you may seem to others to be something that perhaps you are not. Yet, when you look and act, the other “way” you become, the one people consider to be, the real you. But since no one knows what is inside your head, they judge you only on your behaviour. Behaviourism is the only psychological theory that can be most effective as it deals with observable phenomena.

In any event, art is there to give you pause for thoughts and reflections and if it is good enough, every time you look at a painting it should serve as a catalyst for more thoughts, impressions, expressions and meditations. A good work of art should always say something to the observer. So I give my explanations…which I think are important…very lightly, not wishing to influence, but to be there only as a starting point. You provide the rest. After all in life, no one can explain it all to you, some things…most…you must discover, interpret, figure out, yourself.

Thank you for your patience and for your interest. Please like, share and follow if you will. You can also comment, as it would be nice to generate discussions on art. You can see more of my paintings and drawings on Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and if you would like to see my 2019 collection titled “JaZzArt en Valencia” you can visit…you do not have to buy…my virtual galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

THANKS!