Eyes Wide Shut and other anomalies

by Alden Cole on February 3, 2015 · 0 comments

“Art is meant to disturb. Science reassures.” – George Braque (1882-1963)

1962MrChandler'sPhysicsClassWP1962: As a senior at Thornton Academy taking College Prep classes, studying physics with Mr. Chandler was a prerequisite.
Mr.Chandler'sClassesWP“Hap” Chandler was a great man of humor who had been our Chemistry teacher junior year. He was a breath of freer, more invigorating air in an educational institution that often took itself very seriously. Despite the fact that physics seemingly flew over my head, and chemistry literally stunk on occasion, our classes with Hap were governed by a much more jovial approach to the process of ‘getting smart’. Apparently it worked for me though I wasn’t particularly conscious of it; at the end of senior year I was awarded the Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute’s Science and Mathematics Medal, which came as a surprise. “Nothing delights like unexpected pleasure.”

EyesWideShutx3WPMeanwhile back in my interior world when I wasn’t doing homework or watching television, I was continuing my own private art therapy;
SheWalksInBeautyWPdrawing women in lotsa different costumes to express the ‘lady within’ that would never see the light of day in any other way. The women featured in today’s four drawings all have their eyes closed; they’re anomalies different from the fifty-plus drawings from the same time period that I have featured recently, whether drawn in profile or frontally. They’ve gone inside themselves, as had I at the time. The attitude expressed in the drawings reminds me of a Hal David/Burt Bacharach song first recorded by Dionne Warwick in ’63 when I was a freshman at RISD, and made famous by Dusty Springfield in 1964: Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’, plannin’ and dreamin’ each night of his charms…

RomanSoldierPlusWPSo was this what I was dreaming of at the time? a Roman soldier? Pretty much! Probably inspired by having seen BenHur, the first movie I ever watched in a theater, in 1960 at age 16. The two drawings at left are singular anomalies: the only drawing of a solitary male figure, facing front; and a page barely begun of war helmets in profile, which obviously did not particularly fascinate as there are only three examples, with a lot of white space. Must have been an early Peacenik in the making who lost interest in drawing historical head protection for games of combat. “Make Love, Not War!” would soon become my rallying cry…

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