Art of the Day Double: Two by Irving Penn: “Ripe Cheese” and “Still Life with Watermelon”

  March 8th, 2011


       Irving Penn, Still Life With Watermelon, 1947

 
 

       Irving Penn, Ripe Cheese, 1992

 
 
    Shit, I can’t seem to string together two days in a row of Art of the Days can I? Well, doubles it is then in the meantime. Going to freeform extempo here since I’ve got limited time to work with, am slightly drunk, and tired.
     Pac-Man coughs it up. Dali ants drunk off his washed rind. Coughs up the pellets, the power. Big fat disk man oozing out manna. Penn loves the ooze, the squish, the curds, the crumbs, the antennae, seeds, debris, fractures, pubes, tangles, bits, wiggly floaters across the collective retina. God bless him Pac-Man, he poked a hole in yr duodenum so the world could see the sludge you’d sucked. He took the serenity of Home & Garden, Architectural Digest’s sleek, pried the gild off the works and giggled at the squirming larvae underneath. But not to hurt you Pac-Man. Hell, you were dead anyway from your stone-fruit megadose & workaholic ghost dance. No, he did it to show us the beauty of all of it. Of not just the flawless & lustrous, the perfect pocked in-the-palmness of a lemon, the comfort and warmth of the iconic baguette, the careful prettiness of the still life of artfully-rumpled cloth and fruit-bowl, the grape cluster in its ripe abundance. No, not just all that, but the crumbly chawed-off breakages of bread, the dark bruises of pear, the smudges of decay, the weird broken mushroom cap, the eaten cherries and abandoned stems, the rotted cheese toxic-puddled and, most importantly, the bugs. Because all of this belongs with All. None of this doesn’t fit, none of this is better or worse than the rest. Every day we live we’d better honor the underside of the log and rock and root or we’ll spend all our days desperate to deny that the dark pupae-squirm underthings exist and instead just run around eating power pellets to stay immortal fat round and glowing. ‘Til one day someone pricks our guts and sends us puking our souls out.
 
 
 
 
 
 Please learn more about the recently deceased Penn at nytimes.com’s obituary page for him.

 
 
All writing © copyright C. Way / Snailcrow.com 2011

[posted by C Way at 11:44 PM]

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