Friday, June 24, 2011

Today's fortune: June 24, 2011

Today's fortune: More art in your life at this time will help you feel better.

You won't read many of my own words here today. I took a survey of my friends by asking a simple question: Who is your favorite artist? I didn't place any other limit on the question - whatever the responder deemed as an "artist" was an acceptable answer to me.

The answers I received were unexpected and wonderful. Let's take a look.

Friend: Micah
Favorite artist: Photographer Peter Lik, whose weather and nature photos can be found on The Weather Channel and at his online gallery.

Friend: Steven
Favorite artist: Orson Welles, filmmaker. Here's the vividly intense and way-ahead-of-its-time opening scene from the 1958 film, "Touch of Evil."

Friend: Garrett
Artist: Noguchi, sculptor. More of his work can be found here.

Friend: Eric
Artist: Sting, musician. Especially the acoustic stuff.

Friend: Luke
Favorite artist: Todd McFarlane, comic book artist. See more here. When asking Luke about his favorite artist, I discovered my friend was once a graphic design major. You learn terrific things about people when you try to get to know them. Who knew?

Friend: Katie
Favorite artist: Ellen Degeneres, comedian

Friend: Andy
Favorite artist: John Irving, author. Here's an excerpt from Andy's favorite novel, "A Prayer for Owen Meany."

Owen was so tiny, we loved to pick him up; in truth, we couldn't resist picking him up. We thought it was a miracle: how little he weighed. This was also incongruous because Owen came from a family in the granite business. The Meany Granite Quarry was a big place, the equipment for blasting and cutting the granite slabs was heavy and dangerous-looking; granite itself is such a rough, substantial rock. But the only aura of the granite quarry that clung to Owen was the granular dust, the gray powder that sprang off his clothes whenever we lifted him up. He was the color of a gravestone; light was both absorbed and reflected by his skin, as with a pearl, so that he appeared translucent at times -- especially at his temples, where his blue veins showed through his skin (as though, in addition to his extraordinary size, there were other evidence that he was born too soon). His vocal cords had not developed fully, or else his voice had been injured by the rock dust of his family's business. Maybe he had larynx damage, or a destroyed trachea; maybe he'd been hit in the throat by a chunk of granite. To be heard at all, Owen had to shout through his nose.

Friend: Ty
Artist: Green Day, rock band. I ran a video from this band back during Green Week. Ty's favorite song is "Basket Case."

Friend: Jamie, aka the ol' ball and chain
Favorite artist: Georgia O'Keeffe, particularly this painting.

Friend: Dejon
Favorite artist: Michael Jackson

Friend: Phil
This one was like pulling teeth. Here's our text message dialogue.

Matt: Who's your favorite artist (besides me)? Need it for a fortune.
Phil: Abstract or expressionist?
Matt: Anything. Doesn't even have to be a painter.
Phil: What medium then?
Phil: Don't yell at me. What country?
Matt: Bulgaria.
(Two hours later, after Phil had Googled 'Bulgarian artist')
Phil: Daniela Markova

Sure enough, Daniela Markova is a Bulgarian painter.

Friend: Cassie
Favorite artist: Thomas Hart Benton. I saved this one for last, because Benton happens to be my favorite artist, too.