Originally trained as an architect, Roberto Matta settled in France in 1933, where he worked with Le Corbusier. During a visit to Spain in 1934, he befriended the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was assassinated two years later by agents of the Fascist leader, Francisco Franco. In a tribute to his friend, Matta composed a screenplay called The Earth Is A Man, and the text’s apocalyptic imagery, rapidly shifting perspectives, and emotional language became the principal source of his artistic work over the next five years.
This large canvas is the culmination of Matta’s project. Exhibited shorty after its completion (in 1942) in New York City, where the artist had immigrated at the onset on World War II, the painting’s abstract and visionary qualities influenced a new generation of artists, who would later become known as the Abstract Expressionists.
This painting depicts a St. John’s Day eve in the Brazilian town of Ouro Preto, whose central plaza is illuminated with colored lanterns to mark the end of the winter solstice. Lincoln Kirstein commissioned Guignard to make the painting after seeing a drawing of the same subject. His description of the artist’s work — “tight and detailed’– characterizes much of the art that Kirstein favored. Guignard’s meticulous craftsmanship and attention to particulars are visible in this works finely rendered architectural features, tiny revelers, and distinctive indigenous flora.
Ouro Preto: St. John’s Eve (1942) by Alberto da Veiga Guignard was photographed as part of the exhibit Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern, on View at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art Through June 15th, 2019.
Lou Reed, whom I think we can all agree is a Rock Legend, was born on this day, March 2nd in 1942. I can wish Lou a Happy Birthday for giving us great songs like “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love,” but I can’t seem to get past that mortifying horrorshow of an album he made with Metallica last year.
Jerry Garcia, guitarist and songwriter for the Grateful Dead and undeniably one of contemporary rock music’s most enduring pop culture icons, was born on this day, August 1st, in 1942.
Today is also a day to remember the late Tommy Bolin, guitarist for the James Gang and Deep Purple, who died of a heroin overdose at the very young age of just 25, and who was born on this day in 1951.
Last but not least, Happy Birthday to Joe Elliot of Def Leppard who was born in 1959. Def Leppard can still kick any band’s ass live.
Metal maestro Ronnie James Dio – commonly considered to be the “inventor” of the Devil Horns / Throwing Metal hand sign that is so popular in the heavy metal community – was born on this day, July 10th, in 1942! Metal! \m/
Sir Paul McCartney was born on this day, June 18th, in 1942. I know Paul has had at least one facelift in the past ten years (thank you) so he is still looking pretty good. But damn if he wasn’t just the cutest boy in the whole wide world back in 1966, when I was five years old and wanted to marry him and join The Beatles (I was an ambitious youngster). While I am still a teeny bit bitter over the fact that he would choose to marry a piece of gold-digging trash like Heather Mills when I had been waiting for him to be available again for most of my life (and I’m pretty sure I was single at the time), I want Paul to know that if he is unhappy with his current love-interest, I am available, baggage-free, know the lyrics to every Beatles’ song and am willing to relocate. Happy Birthday, Paul!
On This Day, June 4th, in 1942: Glenn Wallichs started Capitol Records. Wallichs “invented” the art of record promotion by being the first record company owner to send free copies of label’s new releases to radio stations in hopes of gaining airplay. Capitol Records was, of course, home to The Beatles for decades, as well as artist like The Beach Boys, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Glen Campbell, Steve Miller, Dr. Hook, Bob Seger, Tina Turner and Heart.