October 1, 2020

October 1913 - The Year Before The Storm

Apocalyptic Landscape by Meidner, painted a year prior
The levity of the summer months is past, tensions grow, along with the number of people with the sniffles.

Ludwig Meidner invites other great artists to his studio to showcase the art he's been working on for a while--a series of tableaux he calls 'Apocalyptic Landscapes.' These, in turn, worry his friends, who wonder if he isn't losing his mind.

But the visions Meidner depicts in his paintings will very soon turn out to be prophetic--cities on fire, people exploding, the world destroyed.

He writes: "A painful impulse inspired me to break away from all straight-lined verticals. To spread ruin, destruction and ashes across all landscapes. My brain bled amid these awful visions. All I could see was a thousand-strong roundelay of skeletons prancing around in front of me. Numerous graves and burned-out cities with plains winding through them."

1913, The year before the storm, by Florian Illies

September 19, 2020

Irish Despair

"Nothing relieves Irish despair. The Irishman's complaint lies not with his circumstances, which might be rendered brilliant by labour or luck, but with the injustice of existence itself. Death! How could a benevolent Deity gift us with life, only to set such a cruel term upon it?  
Irish despair knows no remedy. Money can't help. Love fades. Fame is fleeting. The only cures are booze and sentiment. That's why the Irish are such noble drunks and glorious poets. No one sings like the Irish or mourns like them. Why? Because they're angels imprisoned in vessels of flesh."
Killing Rommel, by Steven Pressfield

For you, papa.

September 1, 2020

September 1913 - The Year Before The Storm

Even though Peter Davis was the one who handed him a trumpet, Louis Armstrong was mostly self-taught (as PD never taught him to read music).

It is September 1913, and Louis Armstrong, 13 himself, is part of the Colored Waif’s Home Band. They are to march around in New Orleans as part of a beautiful, lively parade, wearing discarded police uniforms that had been passed down to them, as was the custom then.

It's his first time performing jazz in public. The first of many. And he loves the music so much that he keeps on playing it, even long into the night after the band's come back to the home.

1913, The year before the storm, by Florian Illies
Louis Armstrong and the Colored Waif's Home for Boys, by Matt Micucci