Saturday, November 22, 2014

Flusser Apologetics and JMW Turner Unapologetically

I kinda miss ole Daddy. ‘specially now since I’m a full-fledged orphan. Daddy this time being God, aka Alan Flusser. God you say? Yep. He’s a reluctant owner of the moniker but not too reluctant. I mean really, it makes no difference if you are a nice Jewish boy turned Buddhist from the upper middle class enclaves of the Garden State and then four decades Gotham habituĂ© or like me, a country-ass redneck from the Palmetto State. Everyone loves a bit of adulation.  But my life circumstances have had me missing Alan’s Washington visits and my scant Gotham sorties haven’t offered Flusser Fellowship in over a year.
I started it. I’m the one who first called Alan God. I’ve admired him since way before he ever befriended me and started taking a lot of my money. And I’ve said it a zillion times and I’ll say it again to you knuckleheads who say “Alan Flusser? What happened?” Nothing has happened, dumbasses. Alan’s riding the waves of time just like the rest of us. 
And the “What happened?” question seems always posited on those forums in context to thirty year old publicity/jacket cover photos of Alan. Unless you are splashing on embalming fluid every morning, I’d bet that a thirty year progression of your mug shots would show us a journey not dissimilar. So back off of Daddy.
I’ve aged ten years in eighteen months. Shut up.
I too used to hang on to the idea of Alan Flusser, circa 1984 just like I did with Ralph Lauren, circa 1978. These were my Ed Sullivan moments for both Beatles-esque sartorial acts. The moments when they not only forever installed themselves in my sartorial and aesthetic register, but when they were also both on f_cking fire. Shut up. These were Ralph’s horse blanket Shetland plaid sport jackets (made in the USA by Lanham) moments and Alan's horizontal dress shirted, gut end braces, chalk striped drapy trousered, double breasted days.
But things change—all life is transitory and that includes sartorial epochs. Bruce Springsteen said “every now and then you have to break your own narrative” and National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones said that “if we don’t question our patterns, they become our prisons”. Alan and Ralph have never strayed too far from their core strategies but for the sake of their own engagement, relevance, and perhaps amusement, they mix it up a bit.
Artistic licence (If he’s is anything, he’s an artist) and relaxation would be two characteristics of Alan that I’d use to distinguish the current state of his evolution.  Alan is a grandfather and is long past the need care too much about the opinions of the general public or investors or journalists. So what if most of the world thinks he needs a haircut? I hope he grows it down to his ass and then sells locks of it. I'll buy some and a make a bracelet. Shut up.
Courtesy of Gentleman's Gazette
Look at the sockless daddy...with kick ass Gucci Deal Sleds on. Stronger than wolf nooky. Yep.The one-time arbiter of beltless, Thurston braced drapy trousers and made by Old Man Cleverley himself, buckled or laced shoes, now wears slip ons and flat front belted trousers almost exclusively. His two daughters flipped out when they discovered that he actually bought a pair of jeans. 
And the man is obsessed with comfort. Lora Piana drawstring lounge togs? If they exist, I bet Daddy Fluss has them on right now. Me? I’m in a dirty, terrycloth zebra print robe that I stole from the Hotel Monaco. 
Photo from The Trad
When scores of you suggested that I remove of couple of the dingy-ass cotton bracelets from my left wrist, I added three more. I only thinned out my circular fellowship of bracelets for my mamma’s funeral last week and I hope that Alan only grooms differently for such rare situations. I walked my sister down the marital aisle twice. I don’t think I’ll have to attend a re-do of my mamma’s send off so I’m going to reload my wrist. GTH.
And speaking of “GTH devotees”, I just saw the JMW Turner Late Pictures exhibition at the Tate Britain and was blown away. Every picture in this show was Turner aged sixty-five to his death at seventy-six. Nothing earlier. Radical. Mind bending. And imagine how imposing his pictures were to the aesthetic sensibilities of the Art Establishment of the time. Oh and here's a Turner self portrait as a young man. Probably idealized a bit but still, he was a young shaver when he painted it.
“The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free is the first exhibition devoted to the extraordinary work J.M.W. Turner created between 1835 and his death in 1851. Bringing together spectacular works from the UK and abroad, this exhibition celebrates Turner’s astonishing creative flowering in these later years when he produced many of his finest pictures but was also controversial and unjustly misunderstood”.
Turner even as a young man was always an incredible capturer of water and clouds. Water and air’s movement, energy and emotion are difficult to memorialize in any medium; watercolor, pastel, drypoint, tempera, or oil. And an artist’s attempt to convey it tests greatly their mechanical skill and even more so their talent for finding and then really, really seeing these magical properties.
Whistler had the same talent for seeing and conveying dawn, dusk and midnight. Anyone with basic artistic skill could capture a lush, painterly image of the old Battersea Bridge. But Whistler shrouded it in atmospherics. Twilights and dawn peeks, mists and vapors. He and Turner saw what others didn’t but that’s only one part of the gift. The artist must then transfer it. And this is the moment when talent and skill must congregate. Ralph and Alan. Congregationalists.
The volume of Whistler’s Venice pastels exist mainly because of chilly mornings and early evenings.  When he deemed it too cold to transfer artfully his mind’s eye capture on to an etching plate with a needle, he would bide his time drawing, courtesy of a little box of pastels and light brown cards that he kept in his pocket. 
When his hands warmed up, he’d tuck away his pastel kit and commence etching. I'm just happy that there were days when his hands were cold.
Photo Courtesy of My Damn Self
Folks, to be able to do that is talent and skill combined and Flusser has it out the ass. Still does. His eye remains unrivaled and his skill for conveying it courtesy of colors, textures, and mediums is as Turner-esque as ever. I deemed Flusser “God” long ago after manifold moments of him gently pulling me back from the crag where I’d unwittingly almost fall into the Canyon of Clowndom. Had Alan not steered me to this heathery green cashmere and wool option, surely I'd have ended up with some kind of bright green hootchie cootchie coat.
Photo from Off The Cuff DC
And I'd ape the hell out of Alan. There was a time when I’d simply see what Alan was wearing at the opening of a season or a trunk show and just say, “I’ll have that.” And that was always a good decision. Why try to knock off Turner and Whistler when you can simply have the Master create one for you?
Turner was sixty-five when he threw into overdrive his slaying  of the staid opinions and calcified mores of London’s Art Establishment. And he didn’t let up until he died eleven years later.  They literally thought Turner was demented. Maybe he was and thanks be to the neurosynaptic gods for it. Look at this picture. You almost need to dress for it. Barbour at minimum. Maybe a crash helmet too. 
Turner looked like this when he opened his final can of whoop ass, punching the Establishment right in the nose. Not quite the dashing fella of previous decades but still loaded with juice.
And how could I have rambled on about all this without including my friend and soothsayer of balance and restrained playfulness, the mighty eruditey, G. The Bruce. Boyer.  Bruce’s  afterburners didn’t even feel the need to kick in till he was into his fifth decade of extolling on things sartorial.  I know of no one who has more thoroughly enjoyed…reveled practically, in the digital age of sartorial expression. Like I’ve said before, nobody shit-talks Bruce Boyer.
Flussdaddy remains the go-to man, the unimpeachable control tower for the sartorial takeoffs and landings of stick and rudder Cessna guys like me who think they are the lead solo jet on the sartorial Thunderbirds.

Now get your b_tch ass in the kitchen and make me some pie.

Onward. Going home this week to mamma’s for Thanksgiving.

ADG2. Thankful. 


yoga teacher said...

Dress for that absolutely stunning Turner painting in your crash helmet and that zebra robe, and I hope you and the helmet make it back out.

LPC said...

I don't know nuthin' about boys' schmatta but boy do I love Turner and it seems a rather brilliant comparison.

But wouldn't Ralph be more like Constable?

ADG said...

Yoga...I'm a dedicate my asanas to you tonight. Are you saying that you don't like my zebra robe? It's magic. Unicorn caliber magic. Yep.

LPC...the Turners were amazing. I spent almost four hours with them in London last month. With my 83 year old partner in crime who I will write about in a post sometime soon.

Pigtown*Design said...

Remind me to tell you my Turner story one day. Thankfully, it all ended well.

Anonymous said...

wahhapen? glad you're back online old sport...i know, that's the most pretentious ass thing to say. thought i'd just mess witchu

Anonymous said...

Seeing this blog back is a heck of a Christmas present!Just for that I am sending you a fruitcake today.
Your faithful correspondent,
New York Slim (Whitman)

Gail, northern California said...

Hope you're with your little golden-haired girl this evening. Thinking of you, Max.