Monday, July 3, 2017

The Long View: Being, in no particular order, 25 things I've bumped into along the way and have not forgotten. Yet.

13. Painting
There's Velazquez and there's Bacon, then there's all the rest, scores of geniuses among them, but Velazquez and Bacon were giants, they stand apart, even Picasso was not of their caliber, even Rembrandt, Michelangelo. To stand before Velazquez's Las Meninas, painted in 1656, is to fall into that time, the lives of those people -- yes, their emotional world and interrelationships; he knew them all. Velazquez invented cinema centuries before the Lumiere Bros; he painted in time and out of time. He breathed painting and his heart continues to beat beneath those canvases in the Prado. Bacon got Velazquez more deeply than can be fully grasped; he channeled him. Bacon took Velazquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X, appropriated it and reinvented it as a horror, a nightmare, rendered as skillfully as the original -- a screaming pope looking into the heart of hell.

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