japonisme: poppies

12 October 2006


the humble poppy -- from formal, occasional

inclusions in paintings of full vases, to becoming fairly emblematic of the entire art nouveau movement.

the exuberant prints by utamaro and others arriving from japan were so inspirational that this simple flower became the adornment of the age, on posters, in women's hair (see mucha), as wallpaper, bookjackets, and more.

the more i read about this era, the more i realize that because what the westerners were seeing of the japanese,

in the arts and crafts that were arriving from the east, they thought them simple -- not as in mentally incapable but as in "gentle folk," spiritually elevated, naturally "natural," graceful, and erotic.

lack of contact with the west for numerous generations gave this new influx of japanese goods and information no context, no genuine way to understand, but rather images only; a grand mystification of context was laid upon them. perhaps the joyful way this flower looked when portrayed from a stance of nature's presence rather than nature's dominance was seized upon and set up to be something that the japanese artists
had never imagined.

still, because i love the look of these prints i work with many of my photos to make them look something like woodblock prints. the patch of red poppies in the grasses i took in front of the house next door to the health food store in my neighborhood.

i call these photos "woodblock photos."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pleasure to have met you dear! :)

What a lovely blog you have :)

Thanks for taking the time to comment at my blog. Your nick says it all indeed! Japonisme or Delicacy! Of course you'd appreciate Klimt! You have the eye & the heart for it ;)

Have a great day everyday,

12 October, 2006 23:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way Lotusgreen :)

We consider DragonFly a good omen in Kuwait. It's associated with happy news! I love it.. I took it over Mother's ;) & since I saw it at your blog; I consider you a good amen too hehe :) Hope to hear a happy news soon!

13 October, 2006 00:21  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thanks for your comments, joan of arc. it is so interesting to learn about dragonflies! i hopr we all will have good news soon!

13 October, 2006 05:28  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Lotusgreen, I think that your own photos compare very favorably to some of the other art reproduced on your blog.

When you commingle your views expressed in words with your views expressed in photos, your blog becomes more personal. Very nice.

14 October, 2006 23:24  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

and thank you david--i find myself fearing that it seems self-indulgent, so it's really nice to get reassurance.

15 October, 2006 13:54  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Whether "self-indulgence" is a good thing or a bad thing depends very much on the self being indulged. Keep going.

16 October, 2006 03:22  
Blogger lotusgreen said...


16 October, 2006 17:45  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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