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Thursday, November 29, 2007
(Circa 1921 - Lotte Reiniger)
Thursday, November 15, 2007
You can read the letter HERE, and I have also posted it, below.
Stephen Kasner receives both plaudits and pans for creating "dark, ethereal, nightmarish, dreamlike" works of art.
I have been a Kasner enthusiast for some time now and agree with those descriptions – sort of. His works are like litmus tests. If one shuns the darkness within, suffers enchantment myopia but is enraptured by the mundane, then he may be put off by Kasner's images. After many attempts to conceptualize what I love about his paintings, I have finally arrived at the feeling rather than adjectival labels.
Upon waking from a nocturnal journey, the state of being can be akin to having just ridden on a roller coaster or having just seen a frightening film: Upon exiting he coaster or emerging from the theater, we remember not only the frightful but also the balmy breeze in the park, the smell of cotton candy, the beautiful old mansion set in a lush forest, the handsome man in a burgundy smoking jacket.
Upon awakening, we think, whew, glad that wasn't real... and yet... that one thing... that exquisite mermaid in the fish tank on the midway... if I could... maybe... if I close my eyes and concentrate, perhaps.... It's a haunting refrain that taps at the window of your mind, the sense of wonder that lingers in your memory of a time or place to which you want to return again and again.
That is how I feel about Kasner's paintings: Next time, will the birds break from their frenzy and take flight, the beautiful woman fully emerge or the high priest turn to contemplate the offering of flowers? Or will he slash the birds, lay them upon the pale belly of the lifeless woman and frame the scene with blossoms?
It's all sensation, where dread and joy are intertwined. Don't try to explain or understand. Just feel.
– Diane LaVey
San Francisco, CA