July 27, 2006

You're so beautiful to look at when you cry

morris louis, number 99, 1959-60

Morris Louis Bernstein was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1912. He studied at the Maryland Institute of Fine and Applied Arts from 1928–1933 and left shortly before completing the program. Although he lived in New York City from 1936 to 1940, Louis was never fully a part of the New York art scene. He dropped his last name around this time. From 1940 on, he worked alone in Maryland and Washington, D.C. American artist Kenneth Noland was one of his few close friends among other artists.

During a trip to New York City with Noland and art critic Clement Greenberg in the spring of 1953, Louis saw the work of Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock and was introduced to Helen Frankenthaler, whose painting Mountains and Sea (1952) had a profound effect on him. In Louis’ words, Frankenthaler created 'a bridge between Pollock and what was possible.' After this experience, Louis began his first series of Veil paintings in 1954.

* Molly Ivans. excerpt:

"From the first day of 24/7 coverage, you could tell this was big. By the time Chapter 9,271 of the conflicts in the Middle East had gotten its own logo, everyone knew it was huge. I mean, like, bigger than Natalee Holloway. Then anchormen began to arrive in the Middle East, and people like Anderson Cooper and Tucker Carlson—real experts. Then Newt Gingrich—and who would know better than Newt?—declared it was World War III. Let’s ratchet up the fear here—probably good for Republican campaigning.

"By then, of course, you couldn’t find a television story about the back corridors of diplomacy and what was or, more important, what was not going on there. Between Anderson Cooper and Tucker Carlson, it was obviously World War III, and besides, there were a bunch of American refugees in Lebanon who couldn’t get out, and so elements of the Katrina story appeared. Thank God Anderson was there.

"Meanwhile, people who should have known better were all in a World III snit over Chapter 9,271. Actually, they all knew better, but it was a better story if you overplayed it—sort of like watching a horror movie that you know will turn out OK in the end, but meanwhile you get to enjoy this delicious chill of horror up your spine.

"What if it really was The End? I mean, any fool could see it could easily careen out of control, and when George W. Bush is all you’ve got for rational, fair-minded grown-ups, well, there it is.

"If I may raise a nasty political possibility: One good reason for the Bush administration to leave Chapter 9,271 to burn out of control is that this administration thrives on fear. Fear has been the text and the subtext of every Republican campaign since 9/11. Endless replay of the footage from 9/11 has graced every Republican campaign since. Could it be that 9/11 is beginning to pall, to feel as overplayed as Natalee Holloway? Fear is actually more dangerous than war in the Middle East. For those who spin dizzily toward World War III, the Apocalypse, the Rapture—always with that delicious frisson of terror—the slow, patient negotiations needed to get it back under control are Not News."

* Marijuana gumballs. excerpt:

"At first glance, the yellow smiley face gumballs confiscated from Howard High School seem innocent enough.

"But stuffed in the so-called 'Greenades' was something that caught the attention of federal drug enforcement agents: marijuana.

"'It’s a new idea and it’s new to the DEA,' said Gregory Lee, a retired supervisory special agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency, who had never heard of anyone packaging marijuana in such a way before. 'When it comes to drug-dealing, you’re only limited by your imagination.'"

* "I live in two worlds. One is real and the second is an alternative created from the negative of bad qualities of the real world. The second one is of higher value for me. It is my mirror or my picture. It is changing by the incessant self-control, it is developing. I am closing myself into this world little by little, maybe voluntarily, maybe out of necessity, because this world is better and more perfect than the real one. It is not pragmatic, logical, intolerant or superficial. There is nothing to explain-it is filled with fantasy, absurd situations and play. Sometimes it is determined by the real world, then also violence and evil can appear in it." -- Pavel Pecha

* Here is a picture of the guy who threw a bag of cocaine at the feet of Foreign Press guitarist Dave during our Mt. Pleasant show a few weeks ago. apparenly, his way of saying thanks for the sounds that were coming out of the guitar. click here for additional background, and here for more of Stereogab's pictures of The Foreign Press.

In other Foreign Press news, the wonderful folks at West Main Development have agreed to put out our first release, a yet-untitled ep. Keep your eyes here, on the West Main Development page and on our myspace page for more details.


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