“Lois Kaminsky (1936-2017). Originally a leading Freudian psychoanalyst, she ‘turned apostate’ and later became a noted philosopher of science. Although her groundbreaking work on conceptual spaces in the processes of cognition is considered her most important contribution, leading to new paths of research in neuroscience, she is probably best known for her controversial 1978 bestseller, ‘The Freudian Vagina: A Mythos of Misogyny.'” Pencil sketch.
“Carpet adorned with maps of the cosmos, Damascus, 1097.” Circular pen, digital paint.
“The Angelic Heralds at the gates of Gil-gal, demanding the city’s surrender to Joshua and the Israelites, lest it be destroyed and all the people in it.” Ink brushes, digital paint.
“There was once a being, a human, who in form and wisdom surpassed all others, even the Buddha. In this creature’s heart were understandings of how to achieve unshakeable inner peace and make society a garden where every flower flourished in its own way, in balance with one another, steeped in passion and comedy, warm with the full heat of flesh and blood. There was such a person, on this earth, born among us in the usual way, living as we lived, subject to the same laws. But when this great soul was still a youth, before all these gifts of understanding could be made manifest, a troubled time overwhelmed the land, and took many down to be forgotten by time, their treasure uncounted and lost to us.
Who knows how many times this has happened?”
Len Crawford, excerpt from his 1966 collection of essays, Pale Green Heart. Pencil sketch.
“Thomas Fowler, American poet (1921-1965). Born in Sevierville, Tennessee, Fowler ran away from the family farm at age 14 and rode the rails around the US for years. After serving in the Merchant Marine during World War II, Fowler settled in Greenwich Village and began to write. Taken up by local poets such as Frank O’Hara and Barbara Guest, Fowler published two collections, ‘Confusion and a Little Luggage’ and ‘Beatrice and the Acceptor.’ He died at age 44 after struggling with rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments for several years. Below is a poem from his last book:
Behold the ancient pseudoscience.
Let me choose in the right way.
Teach me even if I’m not safe.
Teach me even if I’m not good.”
Pencil sketch, digital color.
Art and text ©2019 by Chris Floyd
“Jesse and Jezebel, the name given to outlaw couple Jesse Weathers and Janice Lister after they began a sporadic crime spree in Arkansas, robbing a few gas stations, hijacking a truck and trying (and failing) to hold up a bank. Newspapers desperate for lurid copy just weeks after the death of Bonnie and Clyde seized on the couple’s low-rent capers and blew them up into a ‘national menace.’ With Janice’s sister Mavis in tow, the pair tried briefly to live up to the hype, first with a couple of insurance office robberies, then a brazen daylight attack on an armored payroll truck, which ended in a shootout on the streets of Fayetteville that left two bystanders dead, although it was never clear if they’d been hit by the robbers, the security guards or the police. Shaken by the incident, Lister and Weathers abandoned the life of crime, fled to Mexico and lived incognito for three years, then moved to Arizona using false identities, living out their lives as John and Sally Watson, a quiet, diligent car mechanic and a secretary for an insurance firm who ended up as head of administration. Jesse died in 1963 of congenital heart failure. The indomitable ‘Jezebel’ lived another 35 years, dying in her sleep at the age of 88. As for Mavis, who had returned to her parents’ home before the final job and was never formally charged with a crime, she parlayed her notoriety into roles in a couple of Hollywood B-movies, then spent a few years as an exotic dancer in dubious Chicago clubs. But with the advent of drive-in movies, she came into her own as a raucous, hard-bitten character actor, contributing memorable roles in films by Roger Corman, Russ Meyer, William Castle and others. She always claimed that she had never heard from her sister again after Janice fled to Mexico, but when Mavis died of lung cancer in 1974, a shoebox was found under her bed containing dozens of postcards with an Arizona postmark, left blank except for a small ink-drawn heart.” Pencil sketch, digital paint.
art and text ©2019 by Chris Floyd
“Sketch of Boris Pasternak, allegedly made by Pablo Picasso at the International Conference for the Defense of Culture, the great anti-Fascist gathering of world artists and thinkers in Paris, in June 1935. A Soviet delegation was invited. But when Pasternak — suffering mentally and physically and out of favour with the Stalinist regime — was not included, Andre Malraux, one of the main forces behind the Conference, insisted that he and Isaac Babel be sent. The next day, Pasternak was confronted by Soviet officials who bundled him onto a plane, provided him with an ill-fitting suit and sent him to the West. Pasternak, in a feverish and dazed condition, took part in the conference along with such luminaries as Andre Gide, E.M. Foster, Robert Musil, Heinrich Mann, Berolt Brecht, Aldous Huxley, Theodore Dreiser, Rosamond Lehmann, W.H. Auden and others. One of the only two photographers present, Gisèle Freund, took down part of Pasternak’s address to the Conference: ‘[Poetry] will always be in the grass, it will always be necessary to bend over to see it, it will always be too simple to be discussed in assemblies. It will always remain the organic function of a happy being, overflowing with all the felicity of language, lying contracted in the native heart ever heavy with its load, and the more happy men there are, the easier it will be to be an artist.’ The sketch here was found in a Paris bookshop in the 1980s, in the leaves of a used, battered copy of Pasternak’s early work, ‘My Sister Life.’ Its original attribution to Picasso is now largely thought to be mistaken; there is no record of Picasso attending the Conference or meeting Pasternak while he was in Paris.” Pencil sketch.