The Way We Were Made

 

 

The Way We Were Made

 

Marcus Wicker, American born 1984

  The Way we Were Made is included in Maybe The Saddest Thing, published in 2012 

 

 

 

 

But you made every

delicate, elegant wrist

 

 

 

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A member of one of two families expert in weaving textile in the tradition called ‘potola’  (double silk ikat) in which threads are dyed to produce a pattern which emerges only when the weaving is complete. 

 Patan, Gujerat, India, 2010

 

 

&  glistening ankle

 

 

 

 

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The embroidered ankle of a colleague’s salwar, Ahmedabad, India. 

Sarah, my friend would say, you are in India. Do not be focusing on feet like this.  Yes, I would say:  I know, I know. But then why such beautiful salwar? I would reply.

 

 

 

 

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La Toilette, 1869-1870, oil on canvas, and detail. 

 Frédéric Bazille, 1841-1870. 

On loan from the Musee Fabre, Montpellier to Wallach Gallery, Columbia University, NY in 2018/2019

 This painting, in the Orientalist manner favoured by Bazille’s teacher, Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904, French), was rejected by the Salon.  After which rejection, the artist focussed on modern subjects.

 

 

 

 

 

But you made them

beautiful

in braided rope

 

 

 

 

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Braided and beaded rope hanging for sale in an arcade leading to the temple of Lord Krishna on Bet Dworka, an island off the coast of Gujerat, India, 2010.

 

 

 

 

& dime store gold.

But you made every

necklace clasp.

But you made them

caress the nape

 

 

 

 

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African Venus, 1851, bronze. 

Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier, 1827-1905, French.

Photo by Annie Tritt for the New York Times.    Loaned by the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris to the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, NY in 2018/19.

 

 

 

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African Venus, 1851, bronze. 

Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier, 1827-1905, French.  Baltimore Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

like an errant wind

after a shower.

 

 

 

 

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Purple Wind, oil on linen, 1995. 

Alex Katz, born 1927, American.  Metropolitan Museum, New York

 

 

 

 

 

But you made every 

eyelash erotic.

 

 

 

 

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closeup of Portrait of Dora Maar, 1936, gelatin screen print. 

Man Ray, 1890-1976, American.  On display at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, 2016.

 

 

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Superimposed Heads, 1938, oil on wood.  Francis Picabia, 1879-1953, French. Private collection exhibited in an exhibition about Picabia at MOMA, New York in the winter of 2016/2017

 

                                                

                                                 Every

single strand of hair soft.

 

 

 

 

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Woman Brushing Her Hair, oil on canvas. 

Wladyslaw Slewinksi, 1855-1918, Polish.  I do not recall where I saw this painting or who owns it.

 

 

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Fragments, 2016, pigmented inkjet print. 

Aïda Muluneh, Ethiopian born 1974. MOMA, NY

 

 

 

But you made them

from dust & bone.

Made every glorious

singing thigh.

 

 

 

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Patchwork Quilt, 1970, cut and pasted cloth and paper with synthetic polymer paint on composition board.

  Romare Bearden, 1911-1988, American. 

Loaned by MOMA, NY to the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, NY in 2018/19. 

 

 

 

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Reclining Nude and detail, 1928, oil on canvas. 

Suzanne Valadon, 1865-1938, French. Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

                                       

 

                                            Every

button nose.

 

 

 

 

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A young boy the first time he saw an African. 

We met in a temple dedicated to Bhadra Kali near the bank of the Sabarmati River, west Ahmedabad, Gujerat, 2010.

 

 

But you made them

with holes—

wide open

to the faintest hints

of salt

in a sea breeze,

 

 

 

 

 

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Sailing in the Mist, oil on canvas, c. 1895. 

John H Twachtman, 1853-1902, American.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia

 

Wave and detail, 1885, oil on canvas. 

Alexander Harrison, 1853-1930, American.

 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia

 

                                          

                                                             salt,

in the sweaty mouth

of a navel,

 

 

 

 

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Turtle Umbilical Amulet, c.1880, hide, glass, bead, turtle bone, brass bead and copper bell.  Thought to be Lakota (Sioux), north or south Dakota. 

This holds the umbilical cord of a female child and was worn as symbol of protection, health and strength.

Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

 

 

 

                                               

                                              salt,

in the blood, sweet

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter Sunday in Harlem, 1947, gelatin silver print. 

Henri Cartier Bresson, 1908-2004.  On exhibit at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia in 2016.

 

 

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The Powdered Woman and detail, 1922, oil on cardboard. 

  Adolfo Best Maugard, 1891-1964, Mexican. Lance Aaron and Family.

  Exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Museum 2016/2017 in an exhibition about the artists of the Mexican Revolution

 

 

 

in every wrong way.

 

 

 

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Fallen Angel and detail, 1992, oil on panel. 

Lisa Bartolozzi, born 1961, oil on panel.  Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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