Funky weekend

I had a funky weekend of trying to draw, collage, and paint, but nothing felt quite right. Sometimes when I don’t know what to draw, I just start with drawing parallel lines as straight as I can. It’s being stuck doing a free write and scrawling out “I don’t know what to write” until something comes.

I think that the collages I’ve been doing lately have actually caused a certain amount of tension for me, as they seem more polished and striking than things I’ve done in the past–so now I want everything I make to be that exciting, which in turn leads me to be impatient with myself.

The Man with a Lot to SayPeople in Berkeley Cafés, I

I spent some time last week trying to track down more information related to a brief mention, in the blurb for a 1999 exhibit on Kuba cloth, that Gustav Klimt collected African textiles. I couldn’t find a thing, not even in the journal databases accessible through the university. The man’s jacket in The Kiss looks so much to me like strip-woven cloth, such as Kente, from Western Africa, and I wonder whether he had seen any.

kiss 2 kente 60

I did find a few notes that his companion, Emily Flöge, who with her sister ran a major fashion house, collected folk textiles (e.g., from Bohemia and Northern Hungary). Flöge and Klimt designed dresses together, as part of the the dress reform movement, which sought to free people from cruel and unusual clothing.

(Kente photo, above, right, by okrahoma, published under an Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons license.)

One thought on “Funky weekend”

  1. Klimt did indeed collect African textiles, there is an image of a tunic of North African origin that he wore in a book entitled ‘Emile Flöge and Gustave Klimt’ and also there is a new book about his ethnographic collecting activities: Traeger, Verena, der Schönheitssucher, Gustav Klimt und seine ethnographische Sammlung aus dem Czernin Verlag 2007 isbn 978 3 7076 0247 0

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