Category Visual Arts

What Is “The Shape of Water?”

What is the shape of water, anyway? Liquid, right? No, wait, “liquid” isn’t a shape, it’s a quality, like “flighty” or “rambunctious” or “wildly imaginative,” isn’t it?

Or is liquid a sound, like that of rushing waters or the slurping of jello or the gurgly slip-slap of lovers deep in the rhythms of coitus mellifluous?

The beautiful sound and sight and feel of liquid’s most essential and satisfying form is everywhere in Guillermo del Toro’s current, compulsively watchable movie, “The Shape of Water.” del Toro both wrote and directed it in the kind of creative project control that gets all artists giddy with anticipation and all critics sharpening their knives to pierce the artist’s overreach.

What emerges from his fertile imagination sometimes feels as liquid and ungraspable as the water that seems to slosh everywhere but onto the theater seat one is sitting in, while it he...

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Fifth Annual Holiday Photo Gallery

I launched this blog just after Christmas five years ago with the intention of seeing where it went over the course of the next year. When that year was up, I felt moved not only to keep on going, but to compile a Holiday Photo Gallery that would highlight the work of photographers in the Flickr world who had done so much to enliven these pages and assist in exploring the themes and questions I had been posing to myself and to the readers who had joined me in this venture.

That initial Photo Gallery, meant as a one-and-done at the time, begat a second, to which I appended the word “Annual” in order to commit myself to taking a bit of time at this time-squeezed juncture of the year to pause, to marvel, to exclaim, always involuntarily, “Wow, look at that! Amazing!”

And “amazing” is what these photographs are again, in my estimation, all in their own way, just as the four previous iterations in this collec...

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Thanksgiving Eve, Sonoma Coast

 

Easy breezy bird play

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Sandpiper Happy Hour

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Crabbin’

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Going, going, almost gone…

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Check out this blog’s public page on Facebook for 1-minute snippets of wisdom and other musings from the world’s great thinkers and artists, accompanied by lovely photography.
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Twitter: @AndrewHidas

Thanks to the photographers! Unless otherwise stated, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing.

Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banner at the top of this page. See more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhaslam/

Library books photo by Larry Rose, all rights reserved, contact: larry@rosefoto.com

Beach photos by Andrew Hidas, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewhidas/ 

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Artist of Repose: Sculptor Tinka Jordy’s Profound Humanist Vision

Sculpture, like all other art forms, has always ridden along on historical waves of style and sensibility. It both joins in with and helps to direct the prevailing currents unique to any given era.

Not much cottoning to the hottest new trends in painting, sculpture, literature, music or film? Just give it 20 minutes and, as in springtime, the clouds will probably shift again and the light may manifest in ways more to your liking.

But as we look through the long-running project of humanity trying, with a considerable assist from its artists, to define itself within and against the world, we can recognize certain enduring, classical currents that manage to keep percolating, however sparely, through every era. Probably foremost among those is depiction of the human body in a way that at least dignifies—if not exalts—the remarkable, uniquely self-conscious life form that it is.

This humanistic sensibility...

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Hungary and Syria: A Tale of Two Diasporas

We are born into a particular place to particular people, absorbing the world we find and then habituating to its rhythms and requirements. The routine of being cared for intimately in a state of comfort and stability is our natural desire and need; children cannot thrive without it.

That said, human beings grow to become curious, adventurous and mobile creatures, often, though not in every case, ranging far from our original habitats in voluntary pursuit of economic betterment and new experience.

There is an involuntary shadow side to our mobility, however. Sometimes, life confronts us with forced relocation when famine, political upheaval or war (those three are often related) give us little choice but to leave our nests and strike out, in desperate circumstances, for the great unknown.

When this involves great swaths of a population, it merits the biblical term “diaspora.” (Deuteronomy 28:25, from ...

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