rae strozzo
This is an attempt at being real.

Each week a story, a sketch, or a poem, or a tracing will appear in this space. And then it will be replaced by another.

This image is from Over and Over

Father's Day 2013

We drove from Tucson to Marfa, Texas. I have always wanted to go there. Lets face it there is something funny about the idea of a small southern town being bought and made over by minimalists. My sweetheart wanted to go as well. Her dad was stationed there during World War II before the town was decommissioned in 1949 and basically ignored until the 1980s. It was the place her parents remembered with happiness.

So we loaded ourselves into the car and made the longish but never unpleasant drive to Marfa to see the works of Donald Judd and company and to be somewhere else for a moment.

There is just something creepy about foundations for dead artists. The work in suspended animation, the reverence, the secret doorways only marked “JUDD” in mysterious red letters. Will I see inspiring artwork or will I fall into a vortex with just enough surface or color for me know it exists yet not enough to grab onto and pull myself out again. Like Alice in a Wonderland filled only with carefully placed bottles and a hat box and lots of space.

I like the idea of permanence that all of Marfa seems to represent. Donald Judd hated the way that museums constantly switch out work and how curators are busy touching everything all the time. He wanted permance. And interesting that he found in a small town in Texas that feels like it could just stop running at any second and that his art and the art of many friends is housed in places that were on the verge of disintegration prior to the instillation of aluminum boxes and crushed cars. The hollow of the military hospital is a beautifully crumbling memorial to temporal causality as they call it on Star Trek. They just mean that as time moves forward things happen. They begin. They end. And we fight like mad for them not to cease to be.

My own temporal causality was why I wanted to be in Marfa on Father’s Day Weekend. Minimalism seemed appropriate. Well contained. Sterile perhaps. All about the tidiness of objects in space.

But To see it in it’s home has nothing to do with sterility or anything lacking emotion. The works are tied to the space but constantly shift with the viewer’s perspective, with the light in the spaces, with the seasons. and it some cases with how fast the docent and your group is pushing to be on to the next space. Even in Judd land it’s still true, wherever you go, there you are.

But what does one learn from being in a place like Marfa?
1. Prada can be fake and still fabulous
2. Truck ownership is impermanent.
3. Crushed cars can be beautiful
4. Minimalism is about being taken to an essence and it’s the viewer that then immediately complicates it
5. Monads, Leibnitz, and Spinoza are all funny especially when driving through El Paso.
6. It is amazing to have Jennifer Finney Boyan read to you.
7. Stores called the velvet antler do not sell those.
8. Yoga poses are very important to recovery from overly soft hotel beds.
9. Grief is still present even when looking at Andy Warhol’s last supper.
10. Deep breaths near falling adobe and desert wildflowers are a reason to go to West Texas.