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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

News & Sillies & Confession & Praise


Mako Fujimura does the most interesting collaborations. I had the fun of doing one with him not long ago, and here is a new one that sounds especially attractive. If you're in New York City, this just might be something wonderful to do:

Fujimura Studio Announces: Makoto Fujimura to become first visual artist ever to paint live at Carnegie Hall in his collaboration with Susie Ibarra, composer.

World-renown percussionist and composer Susie Ibarra will premiere her new work, Pintados Dream (The Painted's Dream), a concerto for percussion and orchestra, in collaboration with visual artist Makoto Fujimura and American Composers Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on October 19th. Tickets are available at or by calling (212) 247-7800.

While Fujimura and Ibarra have collaborated and experimented with live performance art several times in the past three years, this premiere will represent a first for Carnegie Hall: never before has an artist painted on stage during a performance there. Fujimura's technique, heavily influenced by Japanese Nihonga as well as American abstract art, provides a visual complement to Ibarra's largely improvised percussion sounds, underscored by the American Composers Orchestra.

Fujimura, founder of International Arts Movement, uses all natural materials in his art. "I am more and more convinced that the imperfections are more important to define humanity than perfected products. Acrylic and synthetic mediums can accomplish great feats in design and other plastic applications, but in direct painting, I believe that natural mediums.... have 'memory imprints' of the past, and Japanese materials in particular (reflect) a collaboration with nature, heritage crafts and art."

Educated bi-culturally between the US and Japan, Makoto Fujimura's paintings have been exhibited all over the world. He was honored in 1992 as the youngest artist ever to have had a piece acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. He was also the youngest person ever to be given a Presidential appointment to the National Council on the Arts, the highest arts position in the United States.

Susie Ibarra's Pintados Dream (The Painted's Dream), a collaboration with visual artist Makoto Fujimura and American Composers Orchestra, will premiere at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on October 19th. Tickets are available at or by calling (212) 247-7800. The performance will be repeated in Philadelphia on Sunday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Harold Prince Theatre of the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, University of Pennsylvania. Details can be found at

International Arts Movement will host a fund raising event to commemorate the event. "Evening with Fujimura and Ibarra" will feature a studio tour, premier seating for the October 19th event, and buffet meal at IAM's brand new Space 3839, as well as invitation to the reception with Susie Ibarra and Makoto Fujimura. Please contact Christy Tennant at for more information. Photo credit: IAM press release.


N: Hey, what do you think this?

(Slaps torso wildly)

N, in a silly but fierce voice: The Macarella!


R (15) and N (10) are cutting up on the way back from North Carolina. R slaps N playfully.

R: How dare you!

N, in an obscure and romantic foreign accent: Oh, what a beautiful lady. But so dangerous!


N calls out as the car passes River St. at night: Guys! Penguins! Go back!

The penguins turn out to be a crowd of orange cones nesting on the sidewalk and in the street.

The Next Morning

(Much teasing from older siblings over breakfast.)

N's salvo: Why would there be so many if they're not penguins in disguise?

Teenagers, arguing about whether one of them is a midget or not.

Small classmate turns to R: Well, what do you think? Am I a midget or not?

R: Only a little.

Meanwhile B is a senior of 18 and still plans to be a general (he has been deeply, deeply obsessed with military history since first grade) and President. Dear reader of these words, my advice is that you immediately put on your boots and tremble. Trembling in boots is a time-honored mode of dealing with fearsome prospects, and it's as good as anything as a way to get ready for the Dominion of B.



Yes, I now confess my utter laziness in not checking for Firefox, Safari, Utnostifelque, Opera, Rosti, Snitter, Lear, and other browsers in re-making my simple, primitive website at However, as the planet has whirled around the sun once more and time has thus come round for the famous 2-day birthday bash of R, I simply have time for nothing else than the usual events plus the approaching extravaganza of drama, gustatory piggishness, songs (some mocking), detection, sleeplessness, costume changes, charades, etc. You will just have to put up with the darn ignorant thing as is, at least for a while. I'm just too busy. Also, some of us are web morons and not even properly ashamed.


I am now officially expressing my gratitude to teachers of small children. Do you know how hard it is to teach the same dratted material four times in a row to hordes of children packed full to bursting with questions?

It wore me out.

Let's pay the teachers more, or at least give them a good lie-down and a cup of tea.


  1. Drat. I will just have missed the opportunity to see a performance like this one. How lovely to combine the visual and auditory.

    Much amused by the latest account of N and R.

  2. It is quite exhausting just reading your posts Marley, in the nicest possible way ofcourse. As fo rthe website its fine, forget it, it works perfectly; and as for N and R worth a million and the teachers, yes, they earn every penny (cent).

  3. Don't listen to Robert. The links on the website still don't work for me!

  4. Yes!
    go put your feet up
    have a cup of tea
    lie down and drink in long drafts of calming air


    Then, let us all praise and pay teachers the gold they are worth

    Adorableness falls from the mouth of thy offpsring!!

  5. Amanda,
    Yes, I would like to go too! I just missed a friend's opening (musical) and am wishing I were a couple hours closer to NYC.

    I'm sorry that the frenetic pace of my mostly happy (except when I must enter the territory of boy-schoolwork) dervishness is so exhausting. Things should slow down a wee bit in a year. Or maybe two.

    If that's not spoken like a zephyr... Wish you would waft the calming kind up here! Especially around homework time. Wouldn't it be nice if only adorableness fell from those mouths? Of course, perfection would be irritating.

    I will work on it, honest. After the Great Bash is over. I did that version the lazy way and am punished for it by being nipped by Firefoxes and dragged on Safari by my heels through deserts of pixelated sand.

  6. Sod the website, give N a mini-series!

  7. Grand idea!

    N will be either a stand-up comic or an athlete. Or an athletic stand-up comic with mime tendencies. Or maybe a really silly athelete.

    It's very entertaining and surprising: I produced one child who gives not a hoot about school and not much about books.

  8. Great juicy post.
    I used to teach little ones but now teach big ones ( fully formed adults) and love it.
    Loved the little ones too but it WAS unbelievably shattering at times.

  9. Wow, that painting rides space waves for sure. That is sort of how Mike colors, where it bleeds together. I cant even explain it. I will have to take a picture of his coloring. ITs so strange.

    The clasest brush with a painter painting before my eyes is Bob Ross and his afro with lots of happy trees with all their friends around. I loved him. I would watch him everytime he was on.

    I wonder what is worse, teaching a 18/19 year old, or a child. Probably a room full of kids. I just couldnt do it.

  10. Halloo, Jan--

    Amazing that we can talk across the water this way without shouting... Technology has reached the condition of magic.

    "Unbelievably shattering."

    That I can believe! "Shattering" sounds exactly right.

    Are you sure they're "fully formed"? That's a pretty high accolade. I don't think I could have been described that way until at least 30. (Although I keep thinking the phrase belongs in the lingerie department!)


    That image is a composite photograph with an image of Susie Ibarra overlaid with an image of paint (looks like gold and lapis lazuli, two of the materials that Mako uses), but if you want to see some Makoto Fujimura paintings, you can look at his website,

    I'd say the kids are more exhausting. Plus a college teacher rarely does more than two identical classes back-to-back.

  11. N and R -- brilliantly funny, those two, thanks for sharing...

    Stuffed sinuses (sinaii? sinuseses?) rendering me bleaugh, but more as soon as my ears pop.

  12. Lori,

    Hope your juggling goes well. I have survived the Bash for another year... The house is littered with bright feathers and dress-up box clothes.

  13. I love the comments by R. and N. they are both just too funny. How doew R. propose to go about becoming president? A politician after becoming a general?

    I'd take a good cup of tea and a lie down this week. I see 696 kids every six days. Plus there is the paperwork and now TESTING in art believe it or not. Testing had to be turned in to central office this week, plus major paper work done by Monday. Several days of after school work, and ta da, it's done.

    My schedule reads like this during the work week. 7:05-7:40 bus duty, 7:40-8:00 planning, 8:00-8:45 Kindergarten, 8:45-9:30 1st grade, 9:30-10:30 3rd grade, 10:30-11:15 2nd grade, 11:15-11:45 lunch, 11:45-12:45 4th grade, 12:45-1:45 5th grade, and then 1:45-2:05 planning, 2:05-2:30 bus duty. Then after school stuff as needed. Repeat every day for six days as needed.

    Yes it is exhausting, which is why I come home and take a nap every evening. Couldn't do it if I had kids in the house. Glad mine are grown and having kids of their own.

    I'd take better pay too as well asa the tea and lie down.

  14. happy birthday to R.; I have firefox and have just darted over to revised website; looks great to me.
    Of course those were penguins in disguise. The world is filled with sneaky things in disguise--rocks that turn into birds and fly away, and birds that turn into rocks, and of course flocks of penguins disguised as traffic cones.
    We have one in our bookstore, but it has yet to move from orange cone status back to black and white penguin.
    we are waiting patiently.

  15. I love your new site. The best thing about it is that you can really read the titles clearly and your work is easily searchable.

    I am using Safari and it works here.

    you should add a pic of yourself outside in your garden or backdrop of woods. I think a third element might tie it all together, or not, its great just like it is.

  16. Donna,

    I now grasp how hard what you do is, how tiring! And I shake a box of gold stars over your head.


    Good idea. I very rarely have my picture taken, though. Perhaps it is time.


    I think you might try passing it at a speed of about 35 mph--that's how our cones were first detected.

  17. Thank you for the gold stars. I needed them today.

    I checked out the new website and I like it. Clean and easy to navigate.

    By the way it's been almost 2 and a half years since NCCAT now.

  18. Yes, that highly significant week... I wonder if all your cohorts-of-the-time are still writing and still teaching. No doubt there are new babies and grandchildren and other glad or sad things.

    There are lots and lots of stars in that box! I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to hold an infinite number.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.