Thursday, November 26

Going Savage: Thanksgiving

"I do not feel able to encourage your art. It revolts me and I do not understand it." — Roujon, director of Beaux-Art, to Paul Gaunguin

In 1883, Paul Gauguin gave up his job as a successful stockbroker to free himself from the trappings of French civilization and sacrifice everything for his artistic vocation. Although most people might not known Gauguin as well as his friend Vincent van Gogh, his witty, wide-ranging and aphoristic thinking made a lasting impact on Impressionism.

Side by side with art, he wrote,
And his critics could not prevent it.
He penned his words much like his art,
Daring amateurs to try, and not lament it.

Primitive art on burlap sacks,
Naked flames and blackened sands.
His quest for talent over genius fed
By trading etiquette for native lands.

It was under Temetiu
His friends and family far behind;
A painter’s heart breaks, so far away
From the café, on the Boulevard, No. 9.

— Richard Becker, from his Figment collection

At first blush, this might not seem very fitting for a Thanksgiving post. But I've always been fascinated by the undercurrents of culture and unseen influence at the hands of people so easily diminished by others with measures of popularity and a prejudice for rules. Paul Gauguin was one of those people.

So in searching for things to be thankful for this year, I decided to settle on the people who read, comment, contribute to not only this blog but also the various social networks, message services, and public gatherings I subscribe to and participate in.

You make a difference.

So thank you, as I'm grateful for all those seemingly insignificant moments that have made up an immeasurable amount of unseen influences that, in some cases, have and will span my entire lifetime. Happy Thanksgiving. All my best.


Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Rich on 11/29/09, 10:16 AM said...


Interesting addition. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.



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