Monday, April 24, 2017

Artist Claire Giblin on Borges and Max's Kansas City

Adam Cast Forth, based on the poem by 
Jorge Luis Borges, © 2016, acrylic, 
gold leaf, mica, on canvas 60" H x 48" W 
available for purchase
Adam Cast Forth by Jorge Luis Borges
(The Self and the Other, 1964)

The Garden was it real or was it dream?
Slow, in the hazy light, I have been asking,
Almost as a comfort, if the past
Belonging to this now unhappy Adam
Was nothing but a magic fantasy
Of that God I dreamed. Now it is imprecise
In memory, that lucid paradise,
But I know it exists and will persist
Though not for me. The unforgiving earth
Is my addiction, and the incestuous wars
Of Cains and Abels and their progeny.
Nevertheless, it means much to have loved
To have been happy, to have laid my hand on
The living Garden, even for one day.

(The original Spanish) 

¿Hubo un Jardín o fue el Jardín un sueño?
Lento en la vaga luz, me he preguntado,
casi como un consuelo, si el pasado
de que este Adán, hoy mísero, era dueño,

no fue sino una mágica impostura
de aquel Dios que soñé. Ya es impreciso
en la memoria el claro Paraíso,
pero yo sé que existe y que perdura,

aunque no para mí. La terca tierra
es mi castigo y la incestuosa guerra
de Caínes y Abeles y su cría.

Y, sin embargo, es mucho haber amado,
haber sido feliz, haber tocado
el viviente Jardín, siquiera un día.


Artist’s statement about her self-portrait: Midnight at Max’s, ©2014, Claire Giblin

This piece is an homage to Andy Warhol. I wanted to use a celebrity photo for this screen, but wasn’t going to step on another artist’s copyright. So I settled on a selfie, which appropriately defines our techno age. The digital photo silkscreen is printed on canvas with ink, acrylic and “diamond dust.” Around the canvas edges are names of people who hung at Max’s Kansas City when I was there. Just a girl from the boroughs, dancing on the fringe.

In the late 60s and early 70s, Andy was at Max’s Kansas City almost every night. Max’s was the hangout for the biggest names in the New York School. In the back room, after midnight, Andy sat at a round table. The Factory was at Union Square and east 16th, a block away. My friends and I went to Max’s almost every night. Like many other underground places in the City, the scene didn’t start until midnight. The music upstairs was accessible only by going through the door where “Chester” was stationed—a large man with long dark hair and a quiet nature—on a stool at the foot of the stairs. Most nights he let us in. 

All the freaks and regulars were there. Holly Woodlawn dancing in a fishnet (with nothing else on). Candy Darling doing her flirty, bossy, mashing. The nights when there was no live music (Jeff Beck and the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Phil Ochs, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, etc.), the first song that played was always “Gimme Shelter” by the Stones, and absolutely no one could stay seated. The vibe was electric... modern.... young. The scene was live with an anything-can-and-usually-does-happen air. The pair of Irish Wolfhounds were regulars. A white horse with a naked rider was a visitor. After 1970 there was a shift in the world, and in the arts, and by 1974 Max’s had closed. Andy moved his studio a third time, and the wave moved out to sea.

Artist Claire Giblin is based in Millersville, PA. Her visual art is much influenced by poetry. See, for example, her collaboration with poet Barbara Crooker in 2013 here. She is the recipient of national and regional art awards, and is listed in Who’s Who in the Arts, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who of American Women. Giblin was honored as 2003 “Woman of the Year” by the Women’s Center at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA. Her work is in national and international corporate, museum, and private collections. Giblin has taught in her studio, at workshops, and at Franklin & Marshall College (adjunct) in curriculum. She is former co-owner and Director of Pfenninger Gallery in Lancaster City. She is former Curator of Exhibitions at the Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin & Marshall College, where she has taught introductory painting and workshops in professional practices, and facilitated a weekly life-drawing studio.

More of Claire’s art and exhibit information can be seen on her website http://www.giblinart.com/ 

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