Cotán’s Bodegónes

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Towards the end of his highly successful secular career as a painter in Toledo, Juan Sánchez Cotán turned towards the Spanish still-life tradition of Bodegónes (a painting of the contents of a larder or pantry), and in doing so created some of the most memorable and mysterious still-lifes in the history of art.

In marked contrast to the still-lifes of the Nederlands and Italy with their tables replete and overladen with all manner of  extravagant, expensive delicacies,  Sánchez Cotán’s paintings are austere, almost severe. The objects portrayed are limited in number and are of a humble everydayness. They are either perched on bare grey ledges or hanging from strings (a method prevalent at the time to stop food from rotting and out of reach of pests), without a beginning that we can see, and set against a stunning use of negative space, an intimate almost mystical velvety blackness. None of…

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Summer with Burroughs

Remember the summer
we were obsessed with Burroughs?
Anything familiar like  far off thunder
close enough to subdue  mad-paced hours.
Something  inciting,  a strike of lightning
the scent of combustion ready to ignite
everything electric that made us come alive.
Our hearts caught between whale song and sigh
spontaneous thunder and intermittent quiet
sporadic  as a summer storm.

 

Leonid Afremov  “Rains Rustle”

I steer my boat
upstream beneath the lacy moss of
cedar trees where a  nightingale drapes
his song,  a spray of flowers over
whispering waters.
Beyond the shallow a wooden bridge
where we cast our secrets to the river.
Goldenrod along the bank bears witness
to  a  summer kiss and  breathless lovers
on a crumpled serape.
So blue were your eyes,
how deep the longing for those star lit nights.

 

Vanity, 1897 - Giovanni Segantini

 

 

Calle Ocho

In the shadows of a rundown bar

she breathes cigars and Cuba Libre.

A Spanish guitar plays Guananey

as she swallows the night

in a sunflower dress with no shoes.

She  longs for her homeland

and the impossible dream of

freedom.

 

 

” Havana ” Roman Virdi

 

 

Do These Thing

Assemble a poem around me

paint me on your canvas

lift me up on whispers

released into your dreams

the embodiment of want

inescapable taboo

let me be the rhythm of

your beating heart.

 

figure oil painting of woman by ocean rocks and tide pools by Sarah Trefny

art by Sarah Trefny