Last post I wrote about a hitherto unremarked connection between a poem by V.R. Lang and an invented map by the artist Bernard Sleigh, both of whom are probably obscure enough to not warrant the attention, but whatever. As may be obvious from a few of my other posts I have a kind of fascination with minor cultural figures. I’m not entirely sure why that is.
I got interested in V.R. Lang through my involvement with one of the many ad hoc theatre collectives that formed around the Edmonton Fringe Festival back in the 1980s. Our collective was named “Crybaby Killer Theatre” after an old Roger Corman movie. Not a name I liked very much but it did sometimes draw people in out of sheer curiousity.
Now that we’ve got this whole global trivia management system we call the web, it’s getting a lot harder to make original observations – or at least, to fool oneself into thinking the observation one is about to make is original. Usually a quick search on the google will turn up numerous pre-existing versions of whatever it was you were going to say. However, the connection I’m about to make is so trivial that I may just be the first person to write about it online. Or maybe anywhere.
I was sorry to hear, courtesy of the Georgia Straight, that longtime Vancouver bookstore Oscar’s Art Books is shutting down at the end of March.
Back in the early-mid oughts I lived about 3 blocks from there and I’d stop in a couple of times a week, happily blowing a not insignificant amount of cash in the process. Thinking about it, I’m a bit surprised they managed to survive what must have been a sizable hit to their bottom line when I moved to Victoria eight years ago …
I went back again when I was in town for a day last fall and picked up a coffee table book of Elizabeth Murray’s paintings from the sale table and a couple of other things. Stumbling across cool stuff like that was a common occurrence at Oscar’s. It’s great they lasted 24 years; it’s a darned shame they won’t be around much longer.
As a painter, it seems to me that our civilization takes an attitude toward painting that might charitably be described as “wacko”. Ultimately I think the problem can be traced back to economics.