Fresh Paint
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Iraqi Art Scene, Part II
Art Imitates Iraqi Life in All Its Chaos and Misery
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 19: Adnan Abbas spends his days bent over an easel, turning bloodshed into art.

Twenty-seven years old, surrounded by violence and gloom, he spreads a newspaper at his feet, dips his brush in linseed oil and tries to paint what it feels like to be an Iraqi.

His whirls of color express the mayhem of a suicide bomb, the agony of a mother who has unearthed the dusty bones of her son, the confusion of his country today.
Good article about a few Iraqi artists, once again making me feel utterly dilettantish and inadequate.

Good morning, people. Not much art for the past few days, though the weather has been pleasant, almost chilly -- good painting weather, and good canvas-stretching, gessoing weather. Now have a few surfaces to work on, and will do some stuff later, if the depression ever lifts. Have a piece in a show opening this afternoon which I must get to.

Watched Barack Obama on the news shows this morning (which I never have the stomach to do so early in the day) and was struck by how elegantly he made his questioners look like the hack fools they are, and by remaining on message at all times, in an almost Republican manner, yet very simple and direct, without rhetoric. In comparison, Dan Balz of the Washington Post sounded like an hysterical nut, and the topics they kept trying to bring up so very beside the point. He sounds like the very voice of reason in an evil world. (Grantham and Richardson were fine too, but since they're not from Illinois, I paid less attention).

Surprising, however, that not one word was mentioned about the lack of a running mate for him. Strange, you might even say. The Russert appearance was the longer (and better) of the two, since he was able to give answers a little longer than sound bites. And he had a chance to laugh at being labeled a liberal -- a wonderful sight to see, indeed.

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