Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guggenheim and art

In 2003 my son Tom and I went on a 3 week trip to France and Italy. I wanted to go to Italy to see the art, and there was plenty of it. After two weeks I stopped turning around to see another statue, though they were fantastic. We took an overnight train from Paris to Venice, and on a shuttle I met a lady who was the manager of the Guggenheim museum. She invited me to the museum, with perhaps a coffee or a glass of wine. She was attractive but I was married and thought this would only be an adventure in art. So Tom and I visited the museum, which backed on one of the large canals.

What impressed me was that Peggy Guggenheim had to be blinded by the personalities of the artists she took to her bosom, (and from what I see she held a number rather close to it), for the art at that museum consisted of smudges of paint on a canvas. There were a few pieces that had some aesthetic appeal, and I like modern art, but I remember one huge canvas with a small black brush mark in the upper left corner with a huge price tag. The only one that made sense to me was this picture I took of the horse and rider which was outside on the deck by the canal. I saw a copy of it in the Getty museum in LA as well. Not sure what it says, but art is of the soul, not of this earth, and needs no definition for it stands alone. I kinda understand this rider's problem, but art is to be felt, not understood. Right? I think it is funny, and compared to the other totally ridiculous stuff I saw in that museum is really not bad.

What started this was the article in this morning's (August 26, 2010) Writer's Almanac which follows:

It's the birthday of memoirist and art collector Peggy Guggenheim, (books by this author) born in New York City (1898). Her father died on the Titanic shipwreck, and at the age of 14 she inherited nearly half a million dollars.
She moved to Europe to live a Bohemian lifestyle. She had an affair with Samuel Beckett, as well as several other artists.
Back in her native New York City, she opened a gallery called "Art of this Century" on West 57th Street. She became the patron of an unknown abstract painter by the name of Jackson Pollock, supporting him so he could be a full-time artist, and she held a one-man show for him at her gallery, one of his first. Soon he was famous.
She wrote some memoirs about her affairs with the rich and famous and artistic, including Out of This Century (1946) and Confessions of an Art Addict (1960).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Responsibilities of Patriotic Americans

My Dear Friends:

I am forwarding this*, not because I am forwarding negative things, but as a note of pride as an American and perhaps with a view that we can make a change in the way things are happening and even in how we think about today's confusions.

A giant of a man, Patrick Valtin, ( is my partner in co-writing The Business Owner's HIRING BIBLE, a manual to help small business people walk through the minefield that exists today in negligent hiring, discrimination lawsuits, etc. The judgments against business are incredible and shocking. We are writing this book, followed by seminars and consultation in this area, to help the floundering and even baffled businessmen and women through the maze of potential liability by hiring the wrong person, and helping them hire the top players. My partner is one of the top business consultants in all of Europe.

He tells me that while he was growing up in Belgium, America was considered an honest country that stood tall in integrity and ethics. It was the promised land. He says the viewpoint is now different, in doubt, and there is deep suspicion of what we are really about after all.

I almost weep when I think of how those who first saw the noble lady standing in the harbor and they knew of these words:

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
So how do we handle and live with those "yearning to breathe free" from the south of here, who evidently are a different class and viewpoint of need than those who first kissed the earth at Ellis Island years ago, and came here through open door that still exists?
We are confused, hurt, and angered at those who do not respect the concept and reality that is the home of the free and the brave yet violate the law to come here and enjoy the fruits of our toil and soil. We own this place. So how do we, as a nation of freedom loving men and women, cope and deal with this?

My partner says Americans love freedom (which we take for granted) and that is one thing we will not give up. We just assume our freedom is free. Europeans and other cultures do not have such. We just don't appreciate it for we have never been without it in our memory. When he told me that Americans love freedom, I was surprised for that was a “given” in my mind, not a gift but some kind of free license. Hey, it exists here but nowhere else!!!

The wrong thing to do is to do nothing. If you are sailing on the ocean and you are not steering your boat, you will crash on the rocks or someone else will steer for you and you better like the direction he is taking you. Don't just squat on the deck and bitch. Join a group that you know is enlightened who can direct, as a group with an enlightened and intelligent leader and leadership, to a true patriotic goal of restoration of respect and constitutional order. Not a teaparty of cussin' wild gun toters (I am a gun toter and proud of it) going in all directions at once. I want to hook up but don't know what to hook up with.

I am investigating Dr. Richard Davis, MD ( ( The stats are remarkable and the purpose good. I only know that I must do something, and not sit on my behind and groan when I get such things as I am forwarding here. I have vowed not to forward such if there is nothing that can be done, when forwarding only causes us more grief.

I don't have stats or time or wherewithal to start my own, so I am looking for the star to hook my wagon to, and then rally others to ride the wagon. Maybe Davis is the answer. It is to be seen. Meanwhile I am sure there are others, but his seems pretty cool. I will report. There is a meeting on September 7 in Tampa. I will give more details when I get them.

Consider this as a positive, not a negative forward, for I want you to look at what you can do. The Mexican exodus is only a symptom of a much greater problem, and the source of the bleeding must be found and not just bandaided, but fixed for good, not replacing one batch of SOBS for another batch of SOBS.

Let us not flush ourselves down the drain by inactivity, by apathy, by undefined anger and wasted energy by striking out in the wrong direction. Get a direction and move on it, put some money and energy to it, and then ride.

If you have any creative ideas, share, and I will disseminate. I am tired of getting this kind of forward without answer. I get this all the time from my friends who should know better. If you have a bellyache, don't tell me about it. I have a bellyache of my own. Fix yourself or shut up. But stop whining by forwarding things that have nothing but frustrating bitching, true or not. Be positive, where are you on the tone scale by sending this without a positive answer to it? Think about it.

You will hear more about this, count on it. Meantime, wake up, take responsibility, do something!!

Much love to all of you

L D Sledge

*Pictures of those who first came to Ellis Island and then pictures of Mexicans degrading America and our Flag.