Porfirio DiDonna A Painter’s Journey At The Danforth

didonna_2A retrospective of the work of Profirio DiDonna (1942-1986) is currently on exhibit at the Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham. The accomplished and mature work belies the artist’s death at a very young age. In many of the large, late career paintings sinuous vertical marks reach upward forming a path vibrating with color to create a kind of mystical, enrapturing experience — meditative, magical, very powerful. John Baker, author of the recently published Porfirio DiDonna: The Shape of Knowing, in commenting on the “undulating corridors” has said, “… the pathways suggest a metaphorical as well as a literal allusion to the existential and historical evolution of [DiDonna’s] work.” Baker suggests the “road” may be seen as “the symbol for [the artist’s] entire studio journey.” Baker further opines that “perhaps movement and change [as seen in these paintings] may be seen as the radiant core of any human search for meaning in life.” This interpretation gives these paintings and the evolutionary drawings in the exhibition a universality that reaches far beyond their beauty. Author John Baker and poet, essayist, and publisher William Corbett will be present at the Danforth on Sunday October 20, 3-5 pm for a reading and book signing of Baker’s book on the artist Porfirio DiDonna.

Curated by John Baker and Nina Nielsen former owners and directors of Nielsen Gallery, Boston
Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA, September 8 – November 3, 2013

DiDonna Opening Reception at the Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA

“David Bowie is” Opening In Toronto

If you didn’t catch it in Londinium, you know, across the pond, that place where they have the terrible infrastructure, since the bridge is falling down, and you happen to be in Toronto, there is an exhibit you must check out. The North American debut of ‘David Bowie is’ will premiere at the AGO this fall. Costumes galore, and did you know that the ‘Thin White Duke’ has a 26 1/2” waist and they had to design manikins to exhibit his clothes. Think about that. Manikins were too wide to use. We found and offer up a list of Bowie’s top 100 book recommendations. So, if you can’t look like him, and you can’t go see the show, well, maybe you can read like him.

David Bowie is will open on Sept. 25, 2013 and runs to Nov. 27, 2013, at Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

David Bowie’s Book List from Open Book Toronto.
The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby, 2008
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz, 2007
The Coast of Utopia (trilogy), Tom Stoppard, 2007
Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, Jon Savage, 2007
Fingersmith, Sarah Waters, 2002
The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens, 2001
Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, Lawrence Weschler, 1997
A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1890-1924, Orlando Figes, 1997
The Insult, Rupert Thomson, 1996
Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon, 1995
The Bird Artist, Howard Norman, 1994
Kafka Was The Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir, Anatole Broyard, 1993
Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective, Arthur C. Danto, 1992
Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, Camille Paglia, 1990
David Bomberg, Richard Cork, 1988
Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, Peter Guralnick, 1986
The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin, 1986
Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd, 1985
Nowhere To Run: The Story of Soul Music, Gerri Hirshey, 1984
Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter, 1984
Money, Martin Amis, 1984
White Noise, Don DeLillo, 1984
Flaubert’s Parrot, Julian Barnes, 1984
The Life and Times of Little Richard, Charles White, 1984
A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn, 1980
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole, 1980
Interviews with Francis Bacon, David Sylvester, 1980
Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler, 1980
Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess, 1980
Raw (a ‘graphix magazine’) 1980-91
Viz (magazine) 1979 –
The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels, 1979
Metropolitan Life, Fran Lebowitz, 1978
In Between the Sheets, Ian McEwan, 1978
Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, ed. Malcolm Cowley, 1977
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes, 1976
Tales of Beatnik Glory, Ed Saunders, 1975
Mystery Train, Greil Marcus, 1975
Selected Poems, Frank O’Hara, 1974
Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s, Otto Friedrich, 1972
In Bluebeard’s Castle : Some Notes Towards the Re-definition of Culture, George Steiner, 1971
Octobriana and the Russian Underground, Peter Sadecky, 1971
The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll, Charlie Gillete, 1970
The Quest For Christa T, Christa Wolf, 1968
Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock, Nik Cohn, 1968
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov, 1967
Journey into the Whirlwind, Eugenia Ginzburg, 1967
Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby Jr. , 1966
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1965
City of Night, John Rechy, 1965
Herzog, Saul Bellow, 1964
Puckoon, Spike Milligan, 1963
The American Way of Death, Jessica Mitford, 1963
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, Yukio Mishima, 1963
The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin, 1963
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, 1962
Inside the Whale and Other Essays, George Orwell, 1962
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark, 1961
Private Eye (magazine) 1961 –
On Having No Head: Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious, Douglas Harding, 1961
Silence: Lectures and Writing, John Cage, 1961
Strange People, Frank Edwards, 1961
The Divided Self, R. D. Laing, 1960
All The Emperor’s Horses, David Kidd,1960
Billy Liar, Keith Waterhouse, 1959
The Leopard, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, 1958
On The Road, Jack Kerouac, 1957
The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard, 1957
Room at the Top, John Braine, 1957
A Grave for a Dolphin, Alberto Denti di Pirajno, 1956
The Outsider, Colin Wilson, 1956
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, 1948
The Street, Ann Petry, 1946
Black Boy, Richard Wright, 1945
The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker, 1944
The Outsider, Albert Camus, 1942
The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West, 1939
The Beano, (comic) 1938 –
The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell, 1937
Mr. Norris Changes Trains, Christopher Isherwood, 1935
English Journey, J.B. Priestley, 1934
Infants of the Spring, Wallace Thurman, 1932
The Bridge, Hart Crane, 1930
Vile Bodies, Evelyn Waugh, 1930
As I lay Dying, William Faulkner, 1930
The 42nd Parallel, John Dos Passos, 1930
Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Döblin, 1929
Passing, Nella Larsen, 1929
Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence, 1928
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot, 1922
BLAST, ed. Wyndham Lewis, 1914-15
McTeague, Frank Norris, 1899
Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual, Eliphas Lévi, 1896
Les Chants de Maldoror, Lautréamont, 1869
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert, 1856
Zanoni, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1842
Inferno, from the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri, about 1308-1321
The Iliad, Homer, about 800 BC

Locke & Key

395px-Joehilllockekey“After the gruesome murder of their father, the Locke kids, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode move with their mother Nina to the ancestral family home, Keyhouse. They soon discover that the house is full of secrets when they start finding magical keys which hold impossible powers such as turning people into ghosts, or being able to erase someone’s memories. They are not the only ones who know of the keys; a demonic creature known as Dodge is also after the keys, with the goal of opening the Black Door, which will allow the demons of hell to enter our world.” wikipedia

Locke and Key has been published by IDW since 2008. This coming Halloween, the last graphic novel in the entire series is getting released, and the collection for volume six will be released in 2014. A television series might be in the works. First optioned by Fox – they made a pilot in 2011, but didn’t pursue it. It’s still being shopped. MTV is making noises and might pursue a series, and a film is in the works at Universal with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci from Transformers and Star Trek at the helm.

Joe Hill is one of the hottest speculative fiction writers out there right now and being a rock star writer runs in the family. His dad is none other than Stephen King. Hill made a great choice working with Gabriel Rodriguez’s. The art works wonderfully. Big manga eyes and clean lines tell the story and set the mood easily. The characters are likable and one can identify with each of the characters inner story arcs.

The earlier books are available in bound collections. Each miniseries is plotted in three acts with three story arcs for six books per year. This year has seven to finish it out, with two extra guide books.

Hardcover Collections
Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft ISBN: 978-1-60010237-0
Vol. 2: Head Games ISBN 978-1-6000-483-11
Vol. 3 Crown of Shadows ISBN 978-1-60010-695-8
Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom ISBN 978-1-60010-886-0
Vol. 5: Clockworks ISBN 978-1-61377-227-0
Vol. 6: Omega – Alpha (collection in 2014)
Two extra books, The Guide To Known Keys, and Grindhouse

Locke and Key is a graphic novel series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez published by IDW.

Comic Book Guy

comic_book_guy_slideshowI started out reading DC comics. They were action packed and no matter who the hero or heroine was, there was a moral to the story. In place of any sort of guidance from my elders on moral turpitude, the stories served as a paradigm by which to live my life. I was the underdog in my own life story and someday, I would rise to the yet unknown heights I deserved. After a pernicious phase of Archie and romance comics, I lost interest in the medium, only to rediscover its epic meaning during my twenties. I thank my luck stars that I dated comic book collectors.

Carmine Infantino's take on Batman
Carmine Infantino’s take on Batman

To a certain extent, one of the comic book industry’s great contributors, Carmine Infantino’s rise to fame is one that mirrors that of his beloved characters – a saga of rags to riches through innovation and hard work, but tinged with a bit of mercurial magic. He came up during the depression and was a protege to men like Jack Kirby and Will Eisner during the Golden Age of comics. When we get to the nineteen fifties, Infantino was coming into his own. He took the atomic age by storm. He reinvented Bob Kane’s Batman from a detective with gadgets into a full blown super hero. He did the same for The Flash – removing the trappings of World War II – losing the helmet and the lingo – and added the sleek red costume we know today.

During the Silver Age of comics, Infantino went where he was needed, helping Timely Comics become the power house it is today more associated with his compatriot Stan Lee – Marvel Comics. During the seventies and eighties he was at the head of all the untold Star Wars tales and associated with more than just the print medium. His contribution reads almost like a roster of who’s who in comic book characters including: Spider-Woman, Nova, Ms. Marvel, and Howard the Duck, Adam Strange, Batman and The Flash.

His contribution is epic, to say the least.

Carmine Infantino passed away on April 4th, 2013 in a borough of New York, or perhaps I should say Gotham. He was a dynamic man of the Silver Age of comics and his influence will be felt for years to come by all of us, but especially by the nerds at cosplay in big convention halls during Comicon, and by hipsters and geeks in search of the perfect vintage lunch box for their bento boxes, and anyone seeking a moral code to live by.