“In his face there came to be a brooding peace that is seen most often in the faces of the very sorrowful or the very wise. But still he wandered through the streets of the town, always silent and alone.”
It was in April, but for a second or two as he was coming awake in the strange room and the racket of big and little cousins’ feet down the stairs, he thought of winter, because so often he’d been wakened like this, at this hour of sleep, by Pop, or Hogan, bundled outside still blinking through an overlay of dream into the cold to watch the Northern Lights.
They scared the shit out of him.
—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
“People are so fucking dumb. Nobody reads anymore, nobody goes out and looks and explores the society and culture they were brought up in. People have attention spans of five seconds and as much depth as a glass of water.”
― David Bowie
In the City of New Orleans there is a fantastic arrangement of sculpture along Poydras Street. Walking down and back from my son’s apartment to the Running of the Bulls I took photos of a few of them that I’ll share with you.
From the exhibition Label:
ABOUT THE ART”
“David” is a bronze casting of a larger-than-life-size figure that was sculpted in layers of bluestone. The unique style of Vaadia’s work is directly inspired by the natural formation of stone in the earth and other forces of nature. Through the materials he works with and the sculpture he makes, Vaadia explores the primal connection of Man to Mother Earth.”
Down at the river end of Poydras is another sculpture entitled “David” very different than the one by Enrique Alferez that I wrote about the other day. This “David” is by Boaz Vaadia and is an almost-abstract figure of bronze cast from flat layers of stone.
I’m sure thousands of commuters drive by every day on their way to work and thousands more tourists go by on their way to the French quarter or the Casino. None of them notice the giant figure standing there at the intersection. Shame, really.
Take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave
—-Rolling Stones, Dead Flowers
“The serial number of a human specimen is the face, that accidental and unrepeatable combination of features. It reflects neither character nor soul, nor what we call the self. The face is only the serial number of a specimen”
― Milan Kundera, Immortality
“Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.”
― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
I was walking along the strip of concrete along the top of the Mississippi levee that separates the French Quarter from the vast moisture of the Big Muddy. There was the path, a narrow strip of weedy grass, a band of riparian riprap rock used for erosion control and then the water itself.
I noticed a pile of rock in a peculiar arrangement, down right next to the water. At first I thought someone had simply piled them up, but as I looked closer, it seemed that they would not hold together in that formation by themselves. Gravity would pull them asunder. Someone had gone down there with some industrial adhesive or quick-set epoxy and glued the stones together. It was a sculpture, a work of art.
An Internet search failed to reveal any information about this impromptu pile of granite.
Who knows how long they will hold together under the assault of the elements, but if you want to check – it’s right there near the entrance to Jackson Square.
“She didn’t need to understand the meaning of life; it was enough to find someone who did, and then fall asleep in his arms and sleep as a child sleeps, knowing that someone stronger than you is protecting you from all evil and all danger”
― Paulo Coelho, Brida