Saturday, July 1, 2017

Nature, Art, and Chicken Salad

Today was full of my favorite things: nature, art, and food.  Mundane things, I admit, but pleasurable.

I bicycled to the farmers' market to buy lettuce and a cucumber.  The morning breeze was cool and refreshing on the trail.  Birds were singing in the trees.

I arrived at the farmers' market, locked my trusty Lemond, and sauntered down the row of booths to my usual produce seller.  The red lettuce was especially beautiful today.

I biked back home and immediately jumped in the car, drove to the nearby light rail station, and took the light rail downtown.  Objective: the free Denver Art Museum (DAM) exhibits.  Today the DAM was partnering with the adjacent Clifford Still Museum.  After a quick stroll past the DAM exhibits, I betook myself next door to see the Clifford Still (1904-1980) paintings.

While I confess that I am mostly blind to the merits of Mr. Still's abstract expressionism -- I favor art that retains some tie to nature -- some of the paintings were striking in their contrasts of color and composition.  His later paintings were behemoths taking up an entire wall.  Here are the two that I found most interesting (or perhaps I should say least deranged and bewildering).

This second painting was involved in a notorious 2012 arrest.  From the Denver Post article:

A 36-year-old Denver woman, apparently drunk, leaned against an iconic Clyfford Still painting worth more than $30 million last week, punched it, slid down it and urinated on herself, according to a criminal case against Carmen Lucette Tisch.
“It doesn’t appear she urinated on the painting or that the urine damaged it, so she’s not being charged with that,” said Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, said Wednesday.
“You have to wonder where her friends were.”
Tisch is being charged with criminal mischief in the incident that happened at the Clyfford Still Museum at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 29.
Damage to the painting — “1957-J-No. 2.” — is estimated at $10,000.
The painting, which is nearly 9 1/2 feet tall and 13 feet wide, is estimated between $30 million and $40 million by the museum.
I can sympathize with the unfortunate Ms. Tisch.  My own emotion reaction to the painting was roughly similar, but I restrained myself from resorting to either violence or urine.

I walked to the light rail station, my mind still agitated by the angry splashes of color on the Clifford Still paintings.  I boarded the light rail and settled into my seat in hopes of a relaxing ride.

The light rail rolled past the Denver ComicCon crowds.  Their costumes ranged from charming to wacky to disturbing.  On the charming side: I saw a fetching middle-aged Princess Leia, complete with white gown and macaroon hairstyle.  On the wacky side: I leaned toward the light rail window and snapped a shot of two ladies with colorful hair.  On the disturbing side: there were several young people riding the light rail who were disfigured with large and garish tattoos.  However, these pitiable people may not have had anything to do with ComicCon.

Here are the wacky girls:

I reached my destination station, detrained, walked to my car, and drove to The Bagel Deli for an excellent chicken salad sandwich.

All in all, what kind of day could be more satisfying to an Iowa boy in the big city?

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