Sunday, December 21, 2014


Serbian Piper
24" x 24", oil on canvas, 2014
Today's painting is done in a rather straightforward manner. There's the grainy black and white photograph taken by a tourist in Belgrade, another, yet bigger, canvas prepared by an amateur minimalist painter, than there's the customary set of oil paints (again donated by an amateur painter), and, most essentially here, a couple of rags. There were no criteria, no expectations, and not even the burden of having to make the person in the painting resemble the person in the photograph. The piper in the photograph is anonymous and without any discernible features. He functions to illustrate another anonymous piper from a small village in Serbia not too far away from Belgrade. The piper in question accompanies a small group of older men from Dupljaja engaged in a 'numera' performance way back in in 1951. They were recorded by Peter Kennedy for yet another volume of the Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music series that were edited by Alan Lomax. This is from volume 12 dedicated to Yugoslavia. (I do need to mention here that the liner notes to the album came from Albert Lord, who is kind of a hero to me, and provided me with the historical contextual concept my ideas of music appreciation are based on.)

p.s. It sure feels good to talk about your paintings, beginning the first paragraph with the sentence "today's painting." Yes I have time off from teaching! Happy Holidays dear readers! Let's see what tomorrow brings!

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