Escape Into Life Digest No. 35

Daniel Lumbini, Son Of Siam, oil on canvas, 2010

Essay: Fingerpainting for the Twenty-First Century with Matthew Watkins . . . When a new art form enters the world, the birth can be a little rough. No doubt the advent of pigments to cave art brought with it the inevitable debate about method, what is or is not “fair for inclusion,” what tools should be used, and who can be counted as a practitioner. EIL contributor Christina Wegman provides a lively introduction to art making in the digital realms of photography, collage, and painting by allowing the reader to meet Matthew Watkins, iPhone artist and a founding member of the iAMDA (International Association of Mobile Digital Artists). Birth is always something to celebrate!

The Poetry of Lee Rossi . . . From the visceral and merry mating call of “Mantis in Spring” to a haunting ex-wife dirge, to fast Shakespearean by-play, Rossi’s work sparkles, twitches and whittles away at preconceptions. If you have end-of-the-winter ennui, these verses will get your sap running again.

Art Review: Fictional Portraits by Jonathan Parker . . . this review introduces  a collection of  imagery that is both mysterious and direct. Portraits from the imagination, these images are created in layers on canvas and wood. The subject or character is not manifested until that initial exploratory layering reaches a critical point of illumination. Reviews such as this give us the opportunity to examine specific works of art from an outside and critical view while providing a window on to the artist’s observations, process, and experience.

Music Review: nostalgia, ULTRA by Frank Ocean . . . Frank Ocean has written songs for singers like John Legend and Brandy and recently made his mark as a member of the L.A. band OFWGKTA (or more simply known as Odd Future), but nostalgia, ULTRA is his first solo recording. Ocean’s lyrics are earnest, often poignant, humorous, and intelligent, according to EIL reviewer Luke Grundy. The album is currently available AT NO CHARGE  on Ocean’s website and is a hybrid work, full of surprises, and underscores his enviable ability to create RnB that doesn’t sound artificial.

Film Short: Through the Middle . . . This beautiful short film documents the decline of an old-fashioned men’s barber in a dying area of north London, the end of a family business, and the remnants of the ancient barber’s trade. With a fittingly razor-like clarity, film makers Simon James Lane and Tom Sweetland record one specific place, the time, and the characters and at the same time remind us that such specificities are representative of cultural losses being played out in cities large and small around the world.

Stacy Ericson is an editor and photographer who is interested in imagery both in word and in art.  Her work often reflects her roots in the western states and her abiding interest in other cultures, ancient languages and religion, and visceral passions. She lives and works in Boise, Idaho. and her poetry, fiction, essays, and photos can be found at the old bouquet.

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