Saturday, September 21, 2013


It's your time now baby,
But it's gonna be mine 
after awhile;
It's your time right now baby,
Lord, but it's gonna be mine after awhile.
You know you know if things don't change
I'm gonna move on down.

A couple of years ago I posted another blog called My Time After A While, which examined, after a fashion, the life of career of the 20th century French painter Jean Hélion, who has for a long time been a great favorite of mine.  I know more about painting than a lot of people, but until I read about a Hélion retrospective exhibition being held at the Pace Gallery on East 57th Street sometime in the mid-1970s, I wasnt aware of his work. The person writing about the show in the Village Voice (at that time a fine, highly individual newspaper and  go-to source for New York culture and politics) was so enthusiastic, and the art illustrating the article, paintings in Hélions comic book style, was so arresting that I rushed to see the exhibition as quickly as possible. The works  displayed really were masterpieces both the figurative and the earlier  abstract paintings and had the "reconciling contraries quality undergirding most art I like.  I aspire to that kind of energy balance in my own life, but instead of achieving a Charles Atlas-like dynamic tension, I tend either to flail around unattractively and ineffectively or seem utterly inert and dispirited. I tell myself that I am sincere, however; I am not counterfeiting anything, and theres nowhere to go but up.  The Buddy Guy song that titles the two posts is a masterpiece also.



  1. Curtis,

    Totally and a bit uncomfortably believe I know what you mean about the dynamic tension loss and the flailing. Yegads. But those are inspirational sentences, dadgummit. Your sincerity and your refusal to counterfeit suggest the existence of a moral universe. It will be your time after a while. And here it is Sunday morning, grey, no longer summer. The steep steps, the balance issues. Best tarry within.

    (Buddy Guy, a god.)

    1. Thanks. I'm trying. It is no longer summer here either. As the movie title said, It Happened One Night. Buddy Guy is something else. I wander away from him for a while because standing too close is kind of blinding, but every time I come back I wonder why I go anywhere else. I don't know whether you've seen what's become of the Village Voice, but it's past heartbreaking, just in terms of the fact that it was once such a thick publication (it doesn't matter that the content varied in quality -- there was a lot of it) and now it mostly exists for the porn/personal ads, which were always a feature but they really don't serve to carry a newspaper. Anyway, I really liked that Jean Helion show way back when. It was one of those exhibitions that was fresh, exciting and made you think a little differently than you did before you walked in the room. Curtis