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Jon Rappoport: A message to the pod people wearing masks

18 Apr

I read this thrilling and witty piece by Jon Rappoport last night on his blog “No More Fake News” and I just can’t help but sharing!

“Our world has literally turned into the movie set of “They Live.” Only, these days, no special glasses are required. They openly push their agendas in our faces and we lay down and take it like the good slaves they’ve trained us to be.” (picture and the caption found here)

A message to the pod people wearing masks

“You’re sincere. We get it. You can stop now. You’ve already won a gold star on the blackboard from the teacher. And yes, the epidemic is all Trump’s fault, because he called it the China virus, and he should have starting locking down cities in 1998. Right. Sure. Of course.

I won’t try to make a distinction between the junk science you worship and actual science. You’re too far gone for that.

You’re in a box. In your minds. You’ve been in that box for a long time. It’s created by the “authorities in charge,” and their super-coiffed high-priced press hookers. The recent order to go on lockdown was just another piece beamed into that box, and you stood at attention. Yes sir.

Even some of you anti-vaxxers are in the box. What did you think you were saying about viruses with your stance on vaccines? Let me translate. You were saying, “We can deal with viruses, we don’t need your toxic vaccines to gain immunity.” But now, all of a sudden, with this ghost fake virus, you fold up like puppets. You ask your masters to pull on the strings so you can put on your masks. All along, you’ve had a piece of mind control stuck in your domes you didn’t know about. I mean, really.

To all you pod people: you needed a new religion at this late date?

I’m sure some of you were actively against the Iraq war under Bush 2. You bucked the artificial consensus. But now, you salute and enlist. Can you back up just a step and take a peek at yourselves and glimpse how ridiculous you look, in lock-step, masks on, gloves on, trudging 27 feet apart down the middle of some deserted Main Street?

I’ll even bet there are long-time JFK assassination researchers in masks. For decades, they’ve combed through one false trail after another, traveled through halls of mirrors, finally arriving at the door of the CIA…but now, after three sentences from that petty bureaucrat Fauci, they’re in the cult. Bingo, bango, bongo…..”

(read the rest of it here.)

YouTube Bans David Icke: Censorship Will Stop Your Excess Thoughts

7 Apr
Make poverty your perfect home
Allow your leaders to control you
Questions are now blasphemy
Why walk when you can crawl
Stay on your knees and kiss my feet
Censorship’ll stop your excess thought
(Manic Street Preachers – Crucifix Kiss)

Mikhail Larionov, Red Rayonism, 1913

One thing that easily makes my blood pressure jump high is political correctness. Other thing that has the same effect is censorship and this problem is more important than we realise. Just because you never had a problem with censorship personally, doesn’t mean the problem isn’t real. You don’t have to touch fire to realise it burns. I feel very strongly about the freedom of speech, freedom of holding different opinions even if they are morally wrong or unpopular, I believe in freedom. I don’t believe in suppressing one’s thoughts and opinions. It is tremendously important to be able to express oneself freely and also to be able to inform yourself on the topic from many different sources. I don’t need Google, Facebook etc to tell me if something is “disinformation” or “false information”. “False information” is the same as “ceonsored information that we don’t want you to see” and that’s the same shit wrapped in a nicer, smoother vocabulary. I need all the sources to be available to me and I will make my final judgement.

But unfortunately, this isn’t how the world works these days. YouTube channel “LondonReal” had a live stream yesterday with David Icke who spoke of this virus and this pandemic being fake, about the horrible impact of 5G on humans and nature alike, elite, Bill Gates and vaccines and all that. Well guess what, YouTube banned the video without any warning or without stating a reason why. Brian Rose, the interviewer, said something that sums the point, he said he doesn’t agree with everything David Icke says, but that he will fight to death for his right to say it. I remember reading about a politician in Canada whose Twitter account was deleted because she tweeted “men are not women” which is a biological truth, or a teenager being sent out of the class for saying there are only two genders. Truths are becoming something that one should be ashamed to say. “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. (George Orwell) The emperor is naked, but don’t dare anyone say it out loud! Sure, you are allowed to quarrel over the way avocado on bread is eaten, or trivial day to day stuff, clothes and shampoos, but oh oh don’t talk about the disease that cannot really make you sick because it doesn’t exist!

Jean-Leon Gerome, Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896

I strongly urge you to check out what David Icke has to say about this whole situation and you can still watch the video here. If YouTube, Google and BBC don’t want you to see it, then you should definitely watch it!!! If Icke was really saying silly things, no one would care to censor him. The truth that might reach many people and make them question the world they live in, that is why they try so hard to ban him. You don’t have to agree with what he says, but he should be allowed to say it. And that goes for everyone else! Let us remind ourselves of this:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

But now there’s an article on BBC, which you can read here, which explains why the video was removed. Thank you BBC for explaining to me what the problem with the truths… I mean the video was. I feel so relieved that you are out there to protect me from misinformation. I am relieved I am safe! (being very sarcastic here). F* you BBC and F* you censorship! You cannot stop my mind from questioning things, in fact you only make me wanna spread this information further and to explore the truth further. This cold-blooded “elimination” of information, hysterical efforts to destroy any info out there which doesn’t fit the agenda reminds me so much of, not only Orwell’s 1984, but also Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” where books are burnt and it is a crime to read them. I chose Larionov’s painting for this post because these yellow and red rays remind me of fire, fire which burns books and with them, information. Here is a passage, I wonder do these people who decide on censorship also get off on it or are they “just doing their job”:

And then Clarisse McClellan said:

“Do you mind if I ask? How long have you worked at being a fireman?”

“Since I was twenty, ten years ago.”

“Do you ever read any of the books you bum?”

He laughed.

“That’s against the law!”

“Oh. Of course.”

“It’s fine work. Monday bum Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn ’em to ashes, then bum the ashes. That’s our official slogan.” They walked still further and the girl said, “Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?”

“No. Houses. have always been fireproof, take my word for it.”

“Strange. I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames.” He laughed.

This censorship these days is an act of desperation because people are starting to wake up and question things. It’s not aimed to protect us, it’s not aimed at creating a better world of information out there. Its only purpose is to impose one way of thinking, one version of reality and leave no space or freedom for any critical discussion.

Wake Up to the Truth People!

27 Mar

I have always envisioned this blog as my little internet space for art, poetry and Beauty. I don’t believe in placing focus on ugly aspects of life. They happen anyway, I don’t want to give them power and attention by putting focus on them. Just let them go. let them flow out of you the best that you can. Don’t dwell on it, it truly sours the day. But what is happening all around the globe these days is very hard to ignore and my common daydreamy escapism has failed me for a moment. So, I will take a moment to share my thoughts and here is a vibrant painting of sunflowers to bring some lightness into these dark days of despair.

Vincent van Gogh, Vase with 12 Sunflowers, 1888

One person cannot change the world, but one person can spread the message that might change things, or might change perspectives. An individual cannot fight the system, but what if many individuals from different places suddenly said: hey, wait a minute, this doesn’t seem true to me. And went on to do their own research instead of passively believing the lies that media is here to fed us with.

A person whose books, videos and wisdom have been my source of inspiration these days is David Icke, infamously dubbed ‘conspiracy theorists’, but what is conspiracy anyway? Anything that doesn’t follow the narrative we are suppose to believe. People have been laughing at David Icke for years, well who is laughing now when the things he was talking about decades ago are starting to be our reality. Without a doubt, some of the things he says sound crazy at first, but then it sinks in, you read his books and see how filled with quotes and research they are, you stop to thing and the bubble of lies you were led to believe by the entire society, educational system and media suddenly bursts. Maybe he is funny to some, but the reality we are waking up to these days is far from funny.

George Orwell’s 1984 isn’t a distant literary bad dream, it’s turning into reality with things like these: police in UK using drones to shame the public for going outside. News are being censored and labelled as “disinformation”, oh really? Where’s the freedom and the freedom of speech that we all thing we one hundred percent have, at least in the western countries. I woke up one morning and suddenly I am living in a totalitarian world. What happened? Suddenly the bubble is burst and I feel very disillusioned by the whole situation, not by the disease itself (many diseased, way worse, have plagued the mankind and yet we managed to get to the twenty-first century) but with the exaggerated, over-proportioned, mad, hysterical reaction to things, reaction completely created by the media and fully accepted by the most. This interesting article “Decadent like the late Roman Empire, the West is committing suicide through its irrational response to Covid-19″ shows the full scope of irrationality and stupid decisions taking place. To quote a bit of the article:

A large number of Westerners are happy to accept the suicidal shutting down of their economies to try to halt a virus that predominantly causes old and sick people to die just a few weeks or months before they would have anyway. Just as they enthusiastically endorse proclamations such as that there are 46 sexes, not two; that the flatulence of a cow must be reduced to save a polar bear; that millions of migrants from the Third World must be invited to Europe and assumed to be neurosurgeons; and so on.

The widespread opinion that everything, including economies, must be sacrificed to beat coronavirus is a revival of medieval witch hunts; the sacrifice seems more important than finding an effective method to deal with the problem.

Our increasingly decadent mass culture has gradually become more ideological and openly opposed to the values Western civilization is based upon. And while it boasts of being ‘counter-culture’ and independent, it’s acquired a monopoly over almost all the information channels that determine opinions, including mainstream media and political parties.

If the disease was actually worth the hysteria, I am sure our natural humane rational fear would kick in to save us. I would run fast from syphilis or plague, but a mere flu-type of disease, worth of shutting down the same economy which will feed us later? I don’t think so. And since when did governments and people in power actually cared about us anyway. They care about their agendas and interest. “When something appears out of nowhere and suddenly it’s everywhere, then it’s an agenda”, to quote the wonderfully intelligent and eloquent David Icke. This whole thing is an agenda and if you don’t see that, please take off your blind fold and awake to the truth.

David Icke:

The reason we are so controlled is not that we don’t have the power to decide our own destiny, it is that we give that power away every minute of our lives. When something happens that we don’t like, we look for someone else to blame. When there is a problem in the world, we say “What are they going to do about it”. At which point they, who have secretly created the problem in the first place, respond to this demand by introducing a ‘solution’ – more centralisation of power and erosion of freedom. If you want to give more powers to the police, security agencies and military, and you want the public to demand you do it, then ensure there is more crime, violence and terrorism, and then it’s a cinch to achieve your aims. Once the people are in fear of being burgled, mugged or bombed, they will demand that you take their freedom away to protect them from what they have been manipulated to fear. The Oklahoma bombing is a classic of this kind, as I detail in ..And The Truth Shall Set You Free. I call this technique problem-reaction-solution.

Create the problem, encourage the reaction “something must be done”, and then offer the solution. It is summed up by the Freemason motto ‘Ordo Ab Chao’ -order out of chaos. Create the chaos and then offer the way to restore order. Your order. The masses are herded and directed by many and varios forms of emotional and mental control. It is the only way it coud be done.

The situation now is how it is, unfortunately I do not posses magical powers to change it, although I wish I did. But these days I find myself asking: what can I do? What can we all do? We – the powerless silent people who are controlled and manipulated by the media and the governments. I feel so futile against the madness, the hysteria and stupidity everywhere, the bizarre 1984 ridiculousness which I never thought I would see in my life. Dystopia left the book pages and is walking freely among us. So, what can we do? We can take a deep breath and calm down, we can stop believing everything we read in the media and realise this whole panic for what it is – panic. Use reason and calmness to fight this irrational fear and panic. Question everything and widen the scope of your reading and research. Ponder on the nature of events, don’t believe the narrative. Be skeptical and don’t just accept this situation for what we are made to believe.

When we read these dystopian novels, it is easy to sympathise with the main character and it’s easy to see how controlling and cruel the system is, but in real life we can’t seem to distance ourselves in that way, and we should. We should observe the situation and not see it as real, for after all we are “the timeless space in which the phenomena are happening”, as David R. Hawkins wrote in his book “The Stairway to Enlightenment”. Both David Icke and Hawkins suggest the most important thing is to have high vibration; that of love, peace and joy. Humour, hope and love, not panic, fear and uncertainty. Yesterday I opened another one of his books, my favourite one, “The Pathway to Surrender” on page thirty-three and the message was there:

“The lower our emotional state, the more negatively we influence not only our lives but also all of life around us. The higher the emotional level of evolution, the more positive our life becomes on all levels, and we support all life around us. As negative emotions are acknowledged and surrendered, we get freer and move up the scale, eventually experiencing predominately positive feelings. All lower emotions are limitations and blind us to the reality of our true Self.”

I don’t wish to argue or impose any truths on my readers, but I do want to enjoy my freedom of speech right while we still have it and just point out at the strangeness of the situation and encourage people to think and awake to the truth. I was angry at first, but now I am almost glad that things are getting so ridiculous because it means that even the most ignorant people will wake up and see there’s something wrong. You don’t have to be conspiracy theorist to see that something is very very very wrong now!!!

I chose Vincent van Gogh’s painting for this post because his art was creates by chaos and sadness, Beauty out of despair, and we can all see this situation as a springboard to creativity and a chance to reconsider our values in life. With your freedom so crudely taken away, you begin to value it and cherish it.

5 Years on the Blog: Mysteries not ready to reveal, sympathies I’m ready to return…

20 Oct

My blog is 5 years old today! I am celebrating with Arthur Rimbaud because it is his birthday too today, nothing fancy, just some absinthe and poetry. Honestly, it feels as if a century has passed and not just five years. It’s funny how much can change in five years, how different everything around me is, and how it’s exactly the same in many ways. I started this blog as a place to explore topics that are dear to my heart; it started as my art journal and my best friend, and eventually led me to my real friends, and what could be better? It also led me to more art and more poetry, and it gets better and better.

Hommage a Cornell, by Colette Saint Yves, photo found here.

Today I’d like to share a song which I’ve known for quite some time and which has become especially dear to me in the last few months: Thirty-Three by Smashing Pumpkins. The music is mesmerising, gentle and melancholy, and I cannot resist listening to it over and over again. The lyrics are beautiful too, and I don’t know why, I can’t pinpoint the exact reason, but they somehow match how I feel at this point in life; Tindersticks’ song “Travelling Light” has the same effect on me. Both are wistful and remind of the passing of time. Please, read the lyrics as you would a poem and you will feel its beauty. And the video has a perfect Victorian aesthetic.

Speak to me in a language I can hear
Humour me before I have to go
Deep in thought I forgive everyone
As the cluttered streets greet me once again
I know I can’t be late, supper’s waiting on the table
Tomorrow’s just an excuse away
So I pull my collar up and face the cold, on my own
The earth laughs beneath my heavy feet
At the blasphemy in my old jangly walk
Steeple guide me to my heart and home
The sun is out and up and down again
I know I’ll make it, love can last forever
Graceful swans of never topple to the earth
And you can make it last, forever you
You can make it last, forever you
And for a moment I lose myself
Wrapped up in the pleasures of the world
I’ve journeyed here and there and back again
But in the same old haunts I still find my friends
Mysteries not ready to reveal
Sympathies I’m ready to return
I’ll make the effort, love can last forever
Graceful swans of never topple to the earth
Tomorrow’s just an excuse
And you can make it last, forever you
You can make it last, forever you

Franz Kafka’s Letters to Milena: “You are the knife I turn inside myself; that is love”

23 Dec

“You are the knife I turn inside myself; that is love. That, my dear, is love.” – this is what Kafka wrote to the mysterious Milena, and isn’t this sentence alone, with Kafka’s vibrant expressionistic definition of love, enough to lure you into reading the book?

The lucky lady: Milena Jesenská. Kafka wrote to her: “Written kisses don’t reach their destination, rather they are drunk on the way by the ghosts.”

In 1920, Franz Kafka and Milena Jesenská began a love affair through letters. Kafka is a well-known figure in the world of literature, but who was Milena? Milena was a twenty-three year old aspiring writer and translator who lived in Vienna in a marriage that was slowly falling apart. She recognised Kafka’s writing genius before others did. Despite the distance, despite the turbulent sea with insurmountable waves between Kafka in Prague and Milena in Vienna, the two developed an intense and intimate relationship. They stripped the masks of their bourgeois identities and bared their souls. The correspondence started when Milena wrote to Kafka and asked for a permission to translate his short story “The Stoker” from German to Czech. Such a simple request and formal demand very soon turned into a series of passionate and profound letters that Milena and Franz exchanged from March to December 1920. Kafka often wrote daily, often several times a day; such was his devotion. This is what he tells her: “and write me every day anyway, it can even be very brief, briefer than today’s letters, just 2 lines, just one, just one word, but if I had to go without them I would suffer terribly.” The letters are interesting from a linguistic point of view as well; Kafka wrote his letters in German while Milena wrote most of hers in her mother tongue, Czech. I found it really interesting to know that Kafka was fluent in Czech.

Although Kafka confided to Milena about his anxieties, fears, loneliness, it wasn’t all honey and roses; Kafka’s letters revealed the extent of his anguish caused by Milena, the sleepless nights, and the futile situation of their love. Milena haunted his thoughts, but he wasn’t the only one to suffer. In the introduction to letters Williy Haas describes Milena as a caring friend inexhaustible in her kindness and a desire to help. Kafka later writes to her calling her a ‘savior’. Passionate, vivacious and courageous, Milena suffered greatly nonetheless because of him, as Kafka said himself: “Do you know, darling? When you became involved with others you quite possibly stepped down a level or two, but If you become involved with me, you will be throwing yourself into the abyss.” She must have known that herself, and yet she chose to sink because ‘lust for life’ was part of her personality, and pain and rapture go hand in hand. Haas also reminds us that Dostoyevsky was her favourite writer and that we also mustn’t forget the propensity towards pain which is so typical for Slavic women. Slavic soul is a deep and dark place, one you better not wander into out of mere curiosity. It is almost hard to imagine how two such strong, profound, dark souls could even live a simple life together. Their relationship was of a hot-cold character; intense at one moment because their minds were alike, then alienating the other because of the distance. When one side was attached, the other cooled down, and vice versa. When she yearned to see him in Vienna, he was reluctant; when he wanted her to divorce her husband and come live with him, she wasn’t keen to do so.

They were very different in age and personalities but they fit perfectly as two hands when clasped together. No other woman entranced Kafka so much, and despite the abrupt sad end of their passionate correspondence I still think Milena was just what he needed. Here are two quotes which discuss their age difference: “It took some time before I finally understood why your last letter was so cheerful; I constantly forget the fact that you’re so young, maybe not even 25, maybe just 23. I am 37, almost 38, almost older by a whole short generation, almost white-haired from all the old nights and headaches.” He also tells her: “You see, the peaceful letters are the ones that make me happy (understand, Milena, my age, the fact that I am used up, and, above all, my fear, and understand your youth, your vivacity, your courage.

“I miss you deeply, unfathomably, senselessly, terribly.”

They met only two times in real life; on the first occasion they spent four days together in Vienna in June 1920, and the second time, in August 1920, they only met briefly in Gmünd on the Austrian-Czech border. It was Kafka who broke off the relationship because the situation seemed too pointless; they lived far away and Milena wasn’t willing to abandon her husband. They exchanged a few more letters throughout 1922 and 1923, but they were more reserved in nature and fewer in number. He tells her: “Go on caring for me.” In 1924, Kafka died. Milena died twenty years later, ill and alone in a concentration camp.

And now my favourite quotes:

Yours

(now I’m even losing my name – it was getting shorter and shorter all the time and is now: Yours)”

I have spent all my life resisting the desire to end it.

It’s a little gloomy in Prague, I haven’t received any letters, my heart is a little heavy. Of course it’s impossible that a letter could be here already, but explain that to my heart.

That’s not the point, Milena, as far as I’m concerned you’re not a woman, you’re a girl, I’ve never seen anyone who was more of a girl than you, and girl that you are, I don’t dare offer you my hand, my dirty, twitching, clawlike, fidgety, unsteady, hot-cold hand.

All writing seems futile to me, and it really is. The best would probably be for me to go to Vienna and take you away; I may even do it, although you don’t want me to.” (9 July 1920)

I wanted to excel in your eyes, show my strength of will, wait before writing you, first finish a document, but the room is empty, no one is minding me – it’s as if someone said: leave him alone, can’t you see how engrossed he is in his own affairs, it’s as if he had a fist in his mouth. So I only wrote half a page and am once again with you, lying on this letter like I lay next to you back then in the forest.” (16 July 1920)

With my teeth clenched, however, and with your eyes before me I can endure anything: distance, anxiety, worry, letterlessness.” (16 July 1920)

I am caught in a tide of sorrow and love which is carrying me away from writing.” (17 July 1920)

This one is particularly beautiful and profound, straight from the heart. When I first read it, I loved the fact that he needs solitude and time to think about Milena, but then when I read it the second time, something else struck me: when he says his office job is boring, his flat is stupid, but he feels he must not complain about his everyday reality because Milena is part of it too, and the gratefulness he feels for that: this moment which belongs to you:

A slight blow for me: a telegram from Paris, informing me that an old uncle of mine (…) is arriving tomorrow evening. It is a blow because it will take time and I need all the time I have and a thousand times more than all the time I have and most of all I’d like to have all the time there is just for you, for thinking about you, for breathing in you. My apartment is making me restless, the evenings are making me restless, I’d like to be someplace different and I’d prefer it if the office didn’t exist at all; but then I think that I deserve to be hit in the face for speaking beyond the present moment, this moment, which belongs to you.” (6 July 1920)

…and I am here just like I was in Vienna and your hand is in my own as long as you leave it there.” (29th July 1920)

You’re always wanting to know, Milena, if I love you, but after all, that’s a difficult question which cannot be answered in a letter (not even in last Sunday’s letter). I’ll be sure to tell you the next time we see each other (if my voice doesn’t fail me.” (30 July 1920)

Milena among the saviors! Milena who is constantly discovering in herself that the only way to save another person is by being there and nothing else. Moreover, she has already saved me once with her presence and now, after the fact, is trying to do so with other, infinitely smaller means. Naturally, saving someone from drowning is a great deed, but what good is it if the savior then sends the saved a gift-certificate for a swimming course?” (31 July 1920)

And how can I fly if we are holding hands? And what good is it for us to both fly away? And besides – this is actually the main thought of the above – I’ll never go so far away from you again.” (31 July 1920)

I am dirty, Milena, endlessly dirty, that is why I make such a fuss about cleanliness. None sing as purely as those in deepest hell; it is their singing we take for the singing of angels.” (26 August 1920)

Why, Milena, do you write about our common future which will never be, or is it that why you write about it? (…) Few things are certain, but one is that we’ll never live together, share an apartment, body to body, at a common table, never, not even in the same city. (…) Incidentally, Milena, you must agree when you examine yourself and me and take soundings of the “sea” between “Vienna” and “Prague” with its insurmountably high waves.” (Prague, September 1920)

***

Kafka’s “Letters to Milena” left a scar of Beauty on my soul. I enjoyed the book tremendously. Since Kafka as a person and his work are both pretty dark, I was amazed to see a tenderer, loving side of his personality, and to be inside his mind. I started reading the book thinking ‘this is interesting’, but as I turned the pages I felt more and more drawn in by his words. It’s hard to explain, but they touch me right in the heart even though they were not meant for me, just like a sewing needle pierces your skin and causes a sharp and burning pain which lasts for a second but leaves an echo. Kafka’s words, in the letters as well as in his stories, are simple at first reading, but they stir the waves inside me after I close the book. I hope this post inspires you to read the book. As of 2017, I have been immensely interested in letters, diaries and memoirs. The depth of feelings and the aspect of sincerity and intimacy in those literary forms just wins me over. So, if you have any suggestion about correspondences I should read, feel free to tell me.

My First Interview – Me, Myself and I

13 Jan

I have something very very very exciting to share with you today. I had the pleasure and the privilege to be interviewed by a fellow blogger John Corbet. It was a really exciting thing for me. I mean, I don’t gets asked to do interviews every day! It was my first ever interview, but hopefully not the last one.

You can read it hear:

https://1810photography.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/interview-with-byrons-muse/

For all of you who wanted to know more about me – the person behind ‘Byron’s Muse’, perhaps this interview will indulge your curiosity!

1889-the-starry-night-van-goghVincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889

Syd Barrett – Favourite Artists and Artworks

6 Jan

Today would have been Syd Barrett’s birthday, and, as always, I decided to write a post to commemorate that. In 2016 I wrote about British Psychedelia and in 2015 I wrote about Syd’s fashion style. You can check those out if you like, but today we’re going to focus on two topics that I like – Syd and art. Despite having achieved fame as a musician, first with Pink Floyd, and then later with two solo-albums, Syd was a painter first and foremost. He attended the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London, and continued painting later in life. Let’s take a look at the artists and artworks Syd loved!

syd-78

Syd’s first passion was art. Some even went as far as saying that he was a better painter than a musician. Even David Gilmour said that Syd was talented at art before he did guitar. I’ve seen his paintings, and I wouldn’t agree. What could surpass the beauty that he’s created musically?

All quotes in this post are from the book ‘Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe’ by Julian Palacios, and so is this one: ‘Waters brought older, upper-class friends round to Barrett’s house after school, among them Andrew Rawlinson and Bob Klose. They found him painting, paint below his easel, newspaper as a drop cloth and brushes on the windowsill. Painting and music ran in tandem, and Barrett was good at both. (…) Barrett sketched, painted and wrote, his output prolific.

syd-80Syd holding one of his paintings.

Syd first attended the Saturday-morning classes at Homerton College, and then started a two-year programme at the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology in autumn 1962. Along with his enthusiasm and skill at painting, he was good at memorising dates and authors of paintings. Here’s another quote that demonstrates Syd’s painting technique: ‘Syd drew and painted with ease, demonstrating a deft balance between shadow and light. He had a talent for portraits, though his subjects sometimes looked somewhat frozen. Best at quick drawings, Syd had a good feel for abstract art, creating bright canvases in red and blue.‘ It seems to me that Syd would have loved Rothko; an American Abstract-Expressionist artist who painted his canvases in strong colours with spiritual vibe.

Then, in autumn of 1964, Syd came to London to study at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. The curriculum at Camberwell was more rigorous than what Syd was used to at his previous college of arts: ‘At Camberwell, drawing formed the core curriculum. Tutors put Barrett through his paces working in different mediums and materials.‘ Syd’s art tutor, Christopher Chamberlain was taken with Syd’s tendency to paint in blunt, careless brushstrokes. Later in life, Barrett tended to burn his paintings, ‘psychedelic paintings, vaguely reminiscent of Jackson Pollock‘ because he believed that the point lies in creation and the finished product is unimportant. I can’t understand that at all – my paintings are my children.

Now I’ll be talking about seven artists that are in one way or another connected to Syd Barrett.

1918. Hébuterne by ModiglianiAmedeo Modigliani, Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918

Modigliani

Sitting cross-legged in the cellar at Hills Road, Mick Rock was impressed as Syd rolled a joint with quick, nimble had. Nicely stoned, they listened to blues and talked about Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani, until the morning light peeked through the narrow slot windows.

Amedeo Modigliani; whose name itself sounds like a sad hymn of beauty, is perhaps one of the most unsung heroes of the art world. And the story of Amedeo and Jeanne’s love is perhaps the saddest of all. When Modigliani died, she couldn’t bear life without him so she threw herself out of the window, eight months pregnant at the time, oh how engulfed in sadness that January of 1920 must have been. Modigliani painted women, he painted them nude, and he painted their heads with large sad eyes, elongated faces, long necks and sloping shoulders. I think Modigliani expressed melancholy and the fragility of life like no other painter. I can’t tell for sure that Syd loved Modigliani, but since he talked about him, I take it that he was at least interested in the story behind his art. I would really like to hear that conversation between Syd and Rock.

gustav klimt beechwood forestGustav Klimt, Beechwood forest, 1902

Klimt

Appealing to Barrett’s Cantabrigian sensibilities were paintings like Gustav Klimt’s 1903 Beechwood Forest, where dense beech trees blot the sky, each leaf captured in one golden brushstroke.

Smouldering eroticism pervades all of Gustav Klimt’s artworks. Sometimes flamboyant, at other occasions toned down, but always burning in the shadow. In ‘Beechwood Forest’, Klimt paints trees with sensuality and elegance. He always painted landscape as a means of meditation, usually on holidays spent in Litzlberg at Lake Attersee, enjoying the warm, sunny days with his life companion Emilie Flöge. Klimt approached painting landscapes the same way he painted women, with visible sensuality and liveliness. The absence of people in all of his landscapes suggest that Klimt perceived the landscape as a living being, mystical pantheism was always prevalent. The nature, in all its greenness, freshness and mystery, was a beautiful woman for Klimt.

1891. James Ensor, Skeletons Fighting Over a Hanged ManJames Ensor, Skeletons Fighting Over a Hanged Man, 1891

James Ensor

Stephen Pyle recalled that Syd’s main interests were expressionist artist Chaim Soutine and surrealist painters Salvador Dali and James Ensor. Ensor’s surreal party of clowns with skeletons cropped up in his artwork even thirty years later.

Belgian painter James Ensor (1860-1949) was a true innovator of the late 19th century art. He was alone and misunderstood amongst his contemporaries, just like many revolutionary artists are, but he helped in clearing the path for some art movements like Surrealism and Expressions which would turn out to be more popular than Ensor himself. Painting ‘Skeletons Fighting Over a Hanged Man’ is a good example of Ensor’s themes and style of painting: skeletons, puppets, masks and intrigues painted in thick but small brushstrokes, with just a hint of morbidness all found their place in Ensor’s art. There’s no doubt that Barrett was inspired by the twisted whimsicality and playfulness of Ensor’s canvases.

1920. Les Maisons by SoutineChaim Soutine, Les Maisons, 1920

Soutine

Art historian William Shutes noted,Barrett used large single brushstrokes, built up layer by layer, layer over layer, like relief contours.

Chaim Soutine was a wilful eccentric, an Eastern Jew, an introvert who left no diaries and only a few letters. But he left a lot of paintings, mostly landscapes that all present us with his bitter visions of the world. He painted in thick, heavy brushstrokes laden with pain, anger, resentment and loneliness. In ‘Les Maisons’ the houses are crooked, elongated, painted in murky earthy colours. Their mood of alienation and instability is ever present in Soutine’s art. He portrayed his depression and psychological instability very eloquently. Description of Barrett’s style of painting, layers and layers of colour, relief brushstrokes, reminds me very much of the way Soutine painted; in heavy brushstrokes, tormented by pain and longings, as if layering colours could release the burden off of his soul.

Ren? Magritte, The Son of Man, 1964, Restored by Shimon D. Yanowitz, 2009 øðä îàâøéè, áðå ùì àãí, 1964, øñèåøöéä ò"é ùîòåï éðåáéõ, 2009Rene Magritte, The Son of Man, 1964

Rene Magritte

There’s no doubt that, as a Surrealist, Magritte was inspirational to young people in the sixties who were inclined to listening to psychedelic music or had a whimsical imagination. With Barrett, Magritte is mostly associated with his ‘Vegetable Man’ phase, in times when his LSD usage was getting out of control, just prior to being kicked out of band. Magritte is, along with Dali, another Surrealist that appealed to Barrett’s imagination. Belgian artist, Magritte meticulously painted similar, everyday objects like men in suits, clouds, pipes, umbrellas and buildings with strange compositions and shadows. In ‘The Son of Man’, some have suggested that he was dealing with the subject of one’s own identity, and that might be something that appealed to Syd when he appeared in the promotional picture with spring onions tied to his head which is an obvious wink to Magritte, not to mention Acimboldo.

1875. Les Raboteurs de parquet - Gustave CaillebotteGustave Caillebotte, Les Raboteurs de parquet, 1875

Gustave Caillebotte

Lying in bed one morning, he stared at his blanket’s orange and blue stripes and had a flashback to Gustave Caillebotte’s 1875 painting ‘The Wood Floor Planers’, which depicts workers scraping the wood floors of a sunlit room in striated patterns. Inspired, with Storm Thorgenson’s garish orange and red room at Egerton fresh in his mind, he got up, pushed his few belongings into a corner, and sauntered off to fetch paint from the Earl’s Court Road.

This is perhaps Caillebotte’s best legacy – inspiring Syd Barrett to paint his floor in stripes which later ended up gracing his first solo-album, the famously dark and whimsical ‘The Madcap Laughs’, released on 3 January 1970. Like the cover, other pictures taken that spring day in 1969 by Mick Rock and Storm Thorgenson, are all filled with light and have a transcendent mood.

1935-dali-paranoiac-visageDali, Paranoiac Visage, 1935

Dali

I believe none of you are surprised that Dali is on this list. Anyone who is familiar with his art will know that it ties very well with the music of Pink Floyd, and perhaps some other psychedelic bands. There’s no one quite like Dali in the world of art. Art he created, like Surrealism in general, is a visual portrayal of Freud’s ideas of the unconscious, and is based on irrationality, dreams, hallucinations and obsessions. His paintings are mostly hallucinogenic landscapes in the realm of dreams; realistic approach combined with deformed figures and objects which, just like in the art of Giorgio de Chirico, evokes feelings of anxiety in the viewer.

When I like an artist, musician or a writer, I always want to know what inspired them, or what they thought of something that I love. What did Barrett really think of Modigliani, for example? But, some things will forever stay a mystery. Perhaps it’s better that way.