Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sal Westrich

Art students at Pratt Institute in New York will know Sal Westrich. He teaches history there during the school year and then spends the summers in southern France, enjoying the delights of tomates à la Provençale and salade niçoise. What could be a better life?


i, me said...
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jeff jordan said...

Only people who HAVE money can have contempt for money.I'm trying to be one, but not as much luck so far as I'd like.

Just out of curiosity, Jim, how many sci-fi covers did you do?

i, me said...
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James Gurney said...

I, me: I'm sorry, but I had to delete your comments, something I almost never do. I welcome all opinions as long as they are not insulting to a person. Sal was my guest in my home, and with his permission I sketched him and quoted him. If you like, you can restate your argument in the abstract, as Jeff has done.

i, me said...
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i, me said...

I am sorry if you found my comments insulting to your guest, and I certainly don't want this blog (or maintaining it) to become a burden to you, as it is a great resource for artists.

jeff jordan said...

I saw a bumper sticker a couple weeks ago that might apply to Mr. Westrich's remarks.........
The Best Things in Life Aren't Things.

Works for me!

jeff said...

Sal sounds like my kind of guy.
Teach, go to Provence in the summer, ahh what a life.

Having contempt for money is not a wish to be poor. It's merely a statement on the American obsession with it. Dieing poor or at least spending it all is not a bad idea.

Steve said...

Lawrence Summers one day, Sal Westrich another -- not exactly policy twins -- but you share with us the artwork that resulted from spending an evening or afternoon with them both.

For me, this evokes a sense of being present in an open, friendly way -- it doesn't mean your views are identical to either man. Much of what I value in Gurney Journey is its open-hearted graciousness and spirit of curiosity.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, I,me, that's generous of you. I understand how Sal's comments can be provocative; he tosses things out to get a conversation going.

Jeff F and Jeff J...yes, that's the way I took Sal's meaning, too: money ain't everything. In his life it happens that he has been both rich and poor at different stages, and he'd rather try to detach himself from the Wheel of Fortune. Not easy.

Steve, thank you. I try to learn something from everyone. Sketching a portrait is really just an attempt to sympathize with another soul.

Jeff J: I painted about 70 paperback covers in all, and they'll all be listed in the back of the new book, Imaginative Realism.

Erik Bongers said...

Well, this is the most political post on this blog I've seen so far.
But I like discussing politics.
Apparently the word 'socialism' still works like a red flag on a bull in the US.

I'm one of the (many, no doubt) European readers, and I assure you that socialism in Europe is basically "higher taxes and in return the goverment pays our medical bills". (I'm simplyfing)

Lack of freedom in our countries? Well, you have the 'freedom' to try and get rich in Europe, but it will take longer because of the higher taxes.

Risk of getting poor, loose your house and no way to pay for your medication? Well, much less risk for that than in the US as much of that tax payers money is used as a 'safety net'.

Do not confuse socialism with communism, where you indeed have to give up the freedom of trade (to start with). History has clearly shown what communism leads to.

Less democracy in our 'socialistic' countries?
Well, in most european countries you have a 'socialist' party, traditionally representing the working class, you have a 'free trade' party, representing bussines owners, a 'christian' party and a 'green' party. (I'm forgetting the racist party)
So, as a voter you have much more variety to choose from, and most of these parties are big enough to be worth voting for in the sense that they all make a chance of being part of a governement every odd election. I'd call that MORE democracy.

But our more 'socialistic' way of government is far from perfect. It can lead to excess and abuse of this 'safety net'. And the multi-party system often results in lack of leadership and errmmm...audacity of hope.

As a final remark:
to say that you can't get hungry in the south of France...I don't think you'll be eating much "Salade Niçoise" if your poor. Just like everywhere in the world the poor southern Frenchies eat McDonalds leftovers. Dommage!

Unknown said...

I really like Steve and Jim's comments about being open and to rephrase, "Seek first to understand". I think we could all try to agree to disagree with others. American society seems to be plagued with dualisms, with those who hold one extreme position demonizing those who believe the opposite. A lot of times, I seem to land somewhere in the middle. Somehow we seem to feel threatened with others don't agree with us on politics, religion, etc.

Mary Bullock said...

Well said Andrew!

S. Weasel said...

A bland refusal to take sides on the big questions is another luxury only the comfortable can afford.

Contrary to appearances, though, artists (in my experience) aren't really very political. Just deliberately provocative, and they know politics and religion are easy hotbuttons to push. I've been waiting all my adult life for some counterculture attitudes to become so mainstream that the art community runs the other way and goes all Victorian on us.