I’ve been playing around a lot with digital copies home movies taken primarily by my great grandfather before and after World War II, mostly in Germany and Belgium. I have been really taken especially by the juxtaposition in post-war vacation footage, between footage of my Oma and her children (my grandfather and great aunt) hiking, kayaking, sightseeing etc., and scans of the bombed ruins of European cities, beginning to be rebuilt. Most jarring for me was the footage of sex workers posing for my great-grandfather’s video camera, amidst the rubble. I’ve been playing with that footage and this is what I came up with today:
The amazing and talented Clara Bee Lavery came to visit me over Sukkot, bringing good cheer, an amazing tolerance for my grumpiness, and amazing baking abilities. I was blown away especially by her productiveness–Clara pumps out the art. For proof of this, witness my single sketch of Clara eating a popsicle in our makeshift sukkah, versus the many beautiful pieces from our visit on Clara’s site.
Back to the mid-semester grind,
miss you ❤ jb
Working on watercolors by sketching Facebook pics of one of my favorite subjects and collaborators, the venerable Jami Sailor.
You can look around the Internet and find all sorts of cool information on the radical roots of Mother’s Day. I am also content to just hang out with my mom, with whom I disagree on almost everything, but who I resemble intensely in personality and love dearly. She also thinks it’s funny when I sketch our family as the Addams Family for her Mother’s Day card, which is a unique attribute. One of these days I’ll draw my family in actual proportion, so you know, my dog isn’t bigger than my 14 year old sister.
I recently started drawing a piece about physical memory that I ended up not finishing–I’ll probably return to it in another guise at some point–and decided to ink the first two panels to play with some different styles.
Like many people invested in old things (thinking of course of garçonnière), I love the history of objects, the way they carry memory and affect across time and space. One of my most treasured possessions is this gold bangle that I inherited from my Oma–one of a set of seven, for the seven days of the week that my Opa loved her. During WWII, they were imprisoned in an internment camp in France which was bombed. My grandfather, a toddler at the time, was playing with the bracelets in the dirt when the bombs started to fall, and in the haste of their escape, my Oma always said, she lost her “Sunday”. This was a story we grew up with–part of my family mythology. When I was given the bracelet, and slid it over my hand, I couldn’t imagine how they even got them off my Oma’s wrist. I always imagined them as a part of her body. So that’s what I had started drawing about.
Solidarity in struggle on this International Workers Day, to everyone on strike and everyone stuck at work, and to comrades fighting for their lives, like Cece McDonald.