"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method". Herman Melville

"I know nothing but miracles." Walt Whitman

sábado, 25 de dezembro de 2010

Two objects of beauty I received for Christmas

A glass and Steve Martin´s latest novel. The cover of this book is very beautiful, with a texture similar to canvas.
I ordered the book late November, from Amazon, and I received it on Christmas eve.

quarta-feira, 22 de dezembro de 2010

Today I came upon these two images

Photo by Brett Costello, of Jessica Watson, aged 16, as she approached the Sydney harbor after completing a 7 months long voyage around the world:
(click images to enlarge)

"The Voyage of Life Old Age", by Cole Thomas, 1842, oil on canvas. Part of the "Voyage of Life" series:

quarta-feira, 15 de dezembro de 2010


click to enlarge.

domingo, 12 de dezembro de 2010

A (almost) ready made sculpture

With a mat, a small woden bench and a lamb`skull:


(next, I´m going to contact The MOMA NY, Saatchi and Tate Modern.)

sexta-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2010

Thought of the day Dec, 10, 2010

Why are there no double or triple flush toilets on sale? Huumm?

segunda-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2010

Thought of the day

It just ocured to me: the fact that the names of all continents outside of Europe start with an A (America, Africa, Asia, Australia) is well fit for lands called "The New World", and might be more than a coincidence. They all start with the first letter of the alfabet and it echoes the Ahh of amazement the european navigators utered when they first saw those places.

domingo, 5 de dezembro de 2010

Eating meat and fish without killing animals.

Yes, it´s possible. Realy pork, veal, tuna, sardine, etc. in big slices, not any tasteless soya substitute. And complying with the buddhist norm of "Save all sentient beings", avoiding any sufferings to animals.
I had this idea some years ago and I guess I read about it last summer in a magazine or newspaper. I made a drawing: click to enlarge

In this way we would get blocks of diferent meat and fish, even from small fish, like eels and sardine, like those blocs of ham or paté. There would be no suffering, because no animal would be born nor killed, there would be no nerve cells and no nervous sistem to feel pain. Just muscle cells and tissue. The constant flow of water, oxigen and nutrients (vitamins, aminoacids, glicose, etc.) would work like a blood stream for the membrane with stem cells designed to produce muscle.
In this way one could have big slices of sardine or eel for sushi, and not just the small ones one gets from the actual fish.
There is another idea I had some ten years ago, also concerning biotechnology and food. I told this one to my students that went to university, hoping they would develop the idea: have olive trees produce olives in infructescences (clusters of fruits, like for instance, the grapes) instead of isolated small fruits that are so dificult to harvest. You would have to identify, extract and intruduce in the olive trees DNA, the gene that some plants have to make infructescences. Easier said than done, I know.

domingo, 28 de novembro de 2010

A personalized walking stick

This is a strong, artistic, personalized walking stick Suzanne offered me. The objects atached refer to my interests when I wander in the fields or the seashore:

sexta-feira, 12 de novembro de 2010

How I came to be featured in russian Esquire magazine

On April, 14, 2009, my birthday, I was just expecting to get three or four phone calls from close relatives (I don´t care much for birthdays, mine or other people´s), and it was a complete surprise when the mobile phone rang and a guy from across the Atlantic, from New York City, asked me if I was interested in having some photos of my paintings published in the May issue of russian Esquire magazine. He was a brazilian, the international editions editor for Esquire, and he was contacting me because the russian editors were interested in some of my paintings from the odd planets series, to illustrate an article about an astronaut. I first thought the article was by some russian astronaut, but it turned up to be about the american astronaut Sandra Magnus who spent four months aboard the International Space Station. The actual article consist of entries from the diary she kept while in orbit. The russian editors had seen my paintings in my old death site whose contact wasn´t working anymore (it has been updated). The brazilian guy must have googled my name and found the site and the phone number of a Tourism office in a small town in Portugal where I had an exhibition. It was from them that he got my mobile phone number. Being brazilian sure helped doing the talk.
The russian editors had specific quality requirements for the photos. Two of the paintings were no longer with me: Planet Cabage was in Holand, and Planet Melon was in Porto. I emailed the owners asking them to have the paintings photographed by a professional and the photos sent to me as soon as possible, because I had a very tight schedule. I took Planet Boob, that is still with me, to a professional photographer. I managed to send the photos in time to be published.
The guy in New York sent me a 200 usd check from Hearst Corporation, and promised to get me a couple of issues, as soon as he received them from Moscow.
In May, June, July, I kept visiting the russian Esquire oficial site to see if my paintings were realy published, but the site was not updated. I decided to contact some russians readers in the site forum, and eventualy one sent me photos of the pages in the magazine featuring my paintings. In May I also contacted some friends in London and Amsterdam asking them to search for russian Esquire, but it seems the magazine is not sold outside of russian speaking countries. In September 2009 I finaly received two issues in the mail.
I was very happy that, for a month in 2009, I was a tiny little bit famous in a huge territory that expands from Vilnius to Vladivostok.

That´s Nick Cave in the cover:
Clik photos to enlarge.

On the right it´s writen "Quentin Tarantino":

KOCMOC reads COSMOS, that one I know...

Russian Esquire magazine is famous for a very innovative graphic quality. Notice the fake hairs on this pages:

Notice the elongated legs in this photo of Nick Cave. Latter the same year, ellongated legs in the photo of an american actress published by a western magazine, caused some controversy. But the russians did it first.

quarta-feira, 10 de novembro de 2010

Look, another painting from 2006

I started reading a literary critic by Joseph O`Neil on the December 05 "The Atlantic" magazine, and I was so impressed by the first paragraph, found it so well writen, so concise and revealing, that I decided to put it on a painting. I was inspired by those naive, goody two feet pictures with a beautifull landscape and a poem. The little dots in the middle are flocks of birds. Click to enlarge:

quinta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2010

A painting from 2006

I like this small painting (20x40cm), though I feel it´s incomplete...

quarta-feira, 27 de outubro de 2010

Food from the forest

They say in Autumn you wouldn´t starve in the fields. Plenty of chestnuts, boletus and arbutus-berries.

segunda-feira, 25 de outubro de 2010

Lionel and Suzanne´s house

My friends Lionel and Suzanne are two of the nicest, most creative, most read and travelled persons I know. Their house shows how creative they are. Last winter Lionel started making sculpture out of orange peels that he hang from doors and lamps:

Suzanne made a big collage on a wall in the dinning room, with food related photographs. She is the best cook of international cuisine that I know in real life.

The painting on the right is by Paul Bakker:

The sea the sea

terça-feira, 19 de outubro de 2010

quinta-feira, 14 de outubro de 2010

quarta-feira, 13 de outubro de 2010

Notes on the Chilean miners rescue

I suffer from claustrophobia, and so, from the beginning I was very impressed with the news from thirty three Chilean miners trapped so deep underground. I even got nightmares. On October,13 I was up till 4.30 in the morning to watch the first miner come out of the capsule. These events were so impressive, caused such an impact on the consciousness of billions of people, because they can be seen as symbols.
First, the whole rescue effort, the money spent and all the engineering skills involved to save 33 workers, were a display of good old western humanist values, in part inherited from the best in Christianity. Man as the measure of all things. Watching CNN, It was revealing to read the comments that Chinese citizens put on the Internet condemning their government for the poor record of mine disasters in China. One noticed a small but revealing detail: in China, contrary to what he was watching from Chile, when the rescued miners arrived at the surface, they first had to thank the authorities in front of the cameras, before being allowed to meet their family. One summoned it by saying that the images of each one of the 33 miners arriving at the surface was a slap in the face of the Chinese authorities. Humans first... Of course, mining safety regulations in Chile are not perfect, but that fact does not diminish the impact of this extraordinary rescue.
The televised images of the rescue were also a slap in the face of the Islamic radicals that spend huge amount of money to plot the murder of "infidels", humans they do not consider worth living, for some crazy religious reasons. The Chile authorities spent more than 20 million dollars to save 33 ordinary humans, regardless of their religious or political opinions, their virtues or sins. Jacques Brel sang: "Toi, tu n`est pas le bon Dieux, Toi t`est beaucoup plus mieux, Tu es an homme." (You are not the good God, you are much better, you are a man)
The rescue as a rich symbol of rebirth. Downwards, the capsule as a phallic object that penetrates mother Earth. The shelter, 700 meters below, as a womb teaming with life desperate to come out (to be born). Upwards, the capsule as an egg that, in the surface, bursts open to reveal yet another life. The fear of troubles in the delivery always there, a miscarriage, a stillborn... The engineers and workers as the medical team.
Us, hundreds of millions of spectators watching this powerful, emotional metaphor of death and rebirth unfold life in the screen.

segunda-feira, 11 de outubro de 2010

domingo, 10 de outubro de 2010

quarta-feira, 6 de outubro de 2010

Old POP ART chairs

A clear memory from childhood, I must have been five or six, was visiting the house of an uncle and aunt of mine (my grandfather´s brother) and seeing these chairs, which were unlike any chairs I had ever seen. Forty something years later, the owners long death, the house belongs to another old aunt of mine and she decided put it up for sale. Closed for four decades, the house has holes in the roof that let the rain in some rooms, and it was dangerous to walk over some floors. I entered it to check its condition, and was very glad to see again those chairs I that caused such a vivid impression in my childhood. There were only three left intact. I asked my aunt permission to keep them and she agreed.
I wonder who made them (I shall contact the Design museum in Lisbon), and how they ended up in a very small village in Portugal, in the 1940s or 50s... I painted one the obvious way:

sexta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2010


Warnning: don´t try this at home, unless you have tasty wheat bread and tomatos direct from the garden!

It´s just no use making it with those tastless tomatos from greenhouses, or with that white defrosted kind of bread.

This is probabily my favorite summer dish, simple, tasty, good to eat with cheese, deep fried or griled fish, or ham...
It is very easy to do. Pill the tomatos and clean the pips. Don´t immerse them in hot water to pill them, as the surface would get a bit boiled, and that´s not ok. Crush the garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar until you get a smooth pulp. Then add a bit of olive oil and some bread, and keep pounding and crushing. Then add some bits of tomato, crush, some more bread and tomato and olive oil, crush until you get a red pulp (I´t doesn´t matter if you still have whole bits of bread and tomato)
This takes a lot of olive oil. In a bowl put the sliced tomato and bread, pour the pulp, stir, taste for salt and let it rest for a couple of minutes before eating (or you can keep it for a couple of hours before serving)
Hey Nigela Lawson, if you are out there in cyberspace, give me a call.

The ingredients just for one. I ended up using only one and a half of those slices of bread. You use more tomato than bread (3:1).