Escape Into Life Digest No. 39
EIL contributors, organizers, and editors met in person a week ago in Chicago to remember Chris Al-Aswad and to plan for the future of the work that meant so much to him. It was a celebration of a past year of hard work and perseverance–all in an effort to ensure that the site continues to live. From here, look forward to both expansion and focus on the site, as we continue his work in examining and supporting cutting-edge and classic art and literature. With this in mind, EIL introduces the first Blog entries in what will become a rotating commentary on a variety of subjects written by our contributors and staff. Sometimes serious, sometimes zany, but always intriguing, this new feature will be full of challenges and surprises.
EIL CEO, and sister of Chris, Mandy Al-Aswad, announced the official opening of the EIL Store. All artists have previously been featured on EIL and now have the opportunity to easily (very easily) sell their work online. Check out what we have available in the new EIL Store.
Lives of the Artists: Chris Rusak . . . It is a special privilege to have the opportunity to look behind the scenes of an artist at work and this is one of the most popular and inspiring of EIL offerings. Rusak is a California artist working primarily in collage and mixed media. Finding this medium more rewarding than his early work with paint, Rusak relates how a fascination with the pattern and texture of mundane business ephemera (usually bound for the shredder) has resulted in the creation of intricate and engaging fine art pieces. Shapes and words take on new roles as Rusak reveals hidden patterns in our everyday lives.
Poetry: Karen J. Weyant . . . Often poets seem too little aware of the shifting relationships between poetry and prose, choosing to visually break lines into a verse form, which could otherwise simply be read as prose. Weyant’s awareness of prose-verse relationships makes her prose-like poems or verse-like prose into moving vignettes of a haunting finality. Find the scent of loss and the aroma of childhood in these lines.
Movie Review: The Tree of Life . . . Some movies are easier to describe than others, and our reviewer Luke Grundy manages to find words for the sweep and specificity of Terence Malick’s latest film. Featuring Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain, the film is only the director’s fifth in four decades. As the Baby Boomers move into the Conclusion and Review portion of their lives, Malick’s examination of the process becomes timely and all-too-relevant. The review and the film are a perfect fit for Indian Summer.
Essays: Picasso’s Poetry . . . EIL contributor Christian Harder explores the little-known oeuvre of Picassalian Poetry (okay I made the word up, but I think we can agree the man deserves his own adjective, would Picassonian be preferable?). Considerable energy has been expended by fans and experts alike, in trying to find the message, the viewpoint, the passion, the complexity of the man, Pablo Picasso as it is expressed so vividly in his increasingly iconic paintings and drawings. You will enjoy with Harding the opportunity to read the words of the artist, and may find that as a poet, this giant of an artist is only human.
Artists Watch: Amy E. Mayfield . . . Glimmering with the energy of high summer, these paintings pop. According to Mayfield, her “subliminal” landscapes are created with “excruciatingly seductive, lecherous, saturated pours of paint that look at times as though they might ooze off the surface.” The subject matter is as seductive as the colors, however, illustrative but twisted scenes, which are full of a wild life and noise. Mayfield’s paintings blend the interior narrative with joyful macro/micro scenic revelations.
Stacy Ericson who 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.