Meditation: On Three-Fifths Joy

Meditation: On Three-Fifths Joy

Jan 28, 2007

Great artists steal, so let's piggyback on AT:SF's great idea and do the same here in New York. If you've got art to donate to an online auction to benefit the Hall Farm Center for Arts and Education, which sends kids from Vermont and New York City to share their photography skills with the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, please let me know.

And no Art Month would be complete without a toast to Frank O'Hara, well-known as the consummate "painter's poet" but less so as a student of "Spartan chic," or so says John Ashbery in his tribute:

I too stayed at the Robinsons' and remember admiring Frank's room for the kind of Spartan chic he always managed to create around him. The room looked out on a courtyard of trees and was practically bare except for an army cot and blanket and a frying pan on the floor, used as an ashtray, an idea he got from George Montgomery, a sort of arbiter of Spartan chic who had been at Harvard with us. Hence, no doubt, the line: "How many trees and frying pans I've loved and lost." There were probably reproductions from MOMA and maybe a clay candelabra, but I don't remember them.

Even if you're somebody who doesn't especially like poetry (which is to say, pretty much everybody, and who can blame you?), Frank O'Hara's poems are just great role models for urbanites:

"Cosmopolitan, witty and open to life, the poems established a tone that was two-fifths melancholy, three-fifths joy."

--David Lehman, "O'Hara's Artful Life." Art in America, February 2000.

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