Category Archives: art

‘Don’t Give Up’

Jeremy Morton 4-Run Screen Print

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Impressionism: Genius or Nearsighted?

I sometimes marvel at the multitudes of people who flock to museums every year to see what they call “art.” Museums are supposed to display artifacts of cultural value, but I can never find any.  All I do find are a bunch of blurry, misdirected paintings by old Frenchmen who called themselves impressionists.  I got the impression that 4-year-olds painted these with scrawny, post-infant fingers.  It reminds me of my own childhood.

I’ve had glasses since before I could talk. In fact, I recall coming out the womb with specs and a five-piece Italian calf-suede suit.  Whenever my parents would get drunk and forget about me I would wander into the woods behind our Indiana single-level ranch-style home pretending I was negotiating legal contracts or trading stocks with the trees. (It was a bull market if I’ve ever seen one)

One late-autumn afternoon I came across an old hippie camping in the woods.  He told me that the Vietnam War was a plot by Satan to destroy the world and that Nixon was sending kids like me out to the jungles.  Now he was dirty and probably high on the grass but I disagreed with him, saying that Nixon was a God among mortals and if he did start sending kids to Vietnam it was the best for America, freedom and capitalism.  That’s when that stoned old bastard grabbed my brand new lead-framed glasses and threw them against a sycamore tree.  I said “Fuck you old man, I hope the bears find you before the cops,” and started the long walk back home.

It was then, while wading through the knee-high piles of recent-fallen leaves, that the evasive beauty of the forest struck me. Blurry.  Without my glasses, all I could see were splotches of red and brown, and an occasional orange, propped against a fleeing shadow.  Nothing more than a terrible-fucking finger painting.  This is what I see in “impressionism.” Continue reading

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Photography: Jessica Wright

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cover photo

‘winter’ by hannah hemmelgarn

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