Archive for April 27th, 2012

April 27, 2012

Sentimental Conversation

In the artistic work of Salvador Dali, it is possible to discover numerous sporting elements incorporated almost exclusively in the presurrealist and surrealist periods.

Dali’s affection for cycling is reflected in some of his pictorial works. In several of them, he represents a horde of cyclists, riding in various directions in a perspective of great depth ; the
cyclists — all bearded — carry different objects on their heads : round stones in “Illuminated Pleasures” (1929), long loaves of bread in “Babaouo” (1932), heavy stones that hold down the
ends of an ample wedding veil in the decor for the ballet “Sentimental Conversation” (1944) and strange tubers in “Surrealistic Gondola on Burning Bicycles” (1934). In other canvases — “The
Little Theatre” (1934), “Medium-paranoiac Image” (1935), “Perspectives” (1936), or “Hollywood” (1967) — it is possible also to observe among the characters a few cyclists crossing the
scene. In 1959, Dali painted one of the twentythree official postcards for the Tour de France.

April 27, 2012

Self Portrait of Ramon Casas i Carbó with Pere Romeu on a Tandem, 1897 (oil on panel)

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April 27, 2012

at the cycle track ….

Jean Metzinger, a sensitive and intelligent theoretician of Cubism, sought to communicate the principles of this movement through his paintings as well as his writings. Devices of Cubism and Futurism appear in At the Cycle-Race Track, though they are superimposed on an image that is essentially naturalistic. Cubist elements include printed-paper collage, the incorporation of a granular surface, and the use of transparent planes to define space. The choice of a subject in motion, the suggestion of velocity, and the fusing of forms find parallels in Futurist painting. Though these devices are handled with some awkwardness and the influence of Impressionism persists, particularly in the use of dots of color to represent the crowd in the background, this work represents Metzinger’s attempt to come to terms with a new pictorial language.

The question of whether the theoretical aspects of Cubism enunciated by Metzinger bore any relation to the development in science at the beginning of the twentieth century has been vigorously disputed by art critics, historians and scientists alike. Yet in Du “Cubisme” Jean Metzinger and Albert Gleizes articulate: “If we wished to relate the space of the [Cubist] painters to geometry, we should have to refer it to the non-Euclidian mathematicians; we should have to study, at some length, certain of Riemann’s theorems.”

There was, after all, little to prevent the Cubists from developing their own pictorial variants on the topological space in parallel to (or independently of) relativistic considerations. Though the concept of observing a subject from different points in space and time simultaneously (multiple or mobile perspective) developed by Metzinger and Gleizes was not derived directly from Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, it was certainly influenced in a similar way, through the work of Jules Henri Poincaré (particularly Science and Hypothesis), the French mathematician, theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, who made many fundamental contributions to algebraic topology, celestial mechanics, quantum theory and made an important step in the formulation of the theory of special relativity.

April 27, 2012

the metaphor is the simile …

Consider a man riding a bicycle.  Whoever he is, we can say three things about him.  We know he got on the bicycle and started to move.  We know that at some point he will stop and get off.  Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it.  That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things.  ~William Golding

(A metaphor is an equation where a simile is an approximation.)

April 27, 2012

wheels and the man …

April 27, 2012

wheel ….

I took care of my wheel as one would look after a Rolls Royce.  If it needed repairs I always brought it to the same shop on Myrtle Avenue run by a negro named Ed Perry.  He handled the bike with kid gloves, you might say.  He would always see to it that neither front nor back wheel wobbled.  Often he would do a job for me without pay, because, as he put it, he never saw a man so in love with his bike as I was.  ~Henry Miller, My Bike and Other Friends

April 27, 2012

Mulga Bill’s Bicycle by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson


‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;

He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;

He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;

He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;

And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,

The grinning shop assistant said, “Excuse me, can you ride?”

“See here, young man,” said Mulga Bill, “from Walgett to the sea,

From Conroy’s Gap to Castlereagh, there’s none can ride like me.

I’m good all round at everything as everybody knows,

Although I’m not the one to talk – I hate a man that blows.

But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;

Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.

There’s nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,

There’s nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,

But what I’ll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:

I’ll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight.”

‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,

That perched above Dead Man’s Creek, beside the mountain road.

He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,

But ‘ere he’d gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.

It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver steak,

It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man’s Creek.

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:

The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,

The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,

As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.

It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,

It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;

And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek

It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dean Man’s Creek.

‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:

He said, “I’ve had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;

I’ve rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,

But this was the most awful ride that I’ve encountered yet.

I’ll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it’s shaken all my nerve

To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.

It’s safe at rest in Dead Man’s Creek, we’ll leave it lying still;

A horse’s back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill.”

April 27, 2012

the art of bicycling ….

Wonder, silence, gratitude

one who is going upstream ......

one who is going upstream ......

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