A shrine for Our Lady of Guadalupe inside a garaga in Coyoacán, Mexico City.
Fortunio Liceti (1577-1657) was an Italian philosopher, doctor and scientist. He studied medicine and philosophy at the University of Bologna before becoming a lecturer of logic at the University of Pisa and then a professor of philosophy at the University of Padua. Liceti was omnivorous in his interests writing books on mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, genetics and disease. He was friends with Galileo and the mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri, who once remarked that Liceti was such a prodigious scholar that he produced a book a week. It’s certainly true that Liceti did have a rather impressive output of scientific and philosophical texts during his life ranging on subjects as diverse as the immortality of the soul, gem stones and the causes of headaches (which he thought were the microcosmic equivalent of lightning).
His most famous work was De monstrorum causis, natura et differentiis (Of the causes of monsters, nature and differences) that documented the many “monstrosities” and deformities reported in nature. The book chimed with the public’s interest in “monsters” and “freaks” and Liceti documented all of the stories of man-beasts, mermaids, wolf children as well as the physical abnormalities he had witnessed (co-joined twins, multiple-limbed children, hermaphrodites and alike). Liceti did not consider these “monstri” as abnormal, but rather as attempts of nature to fashion life as best as possible, in the same way an artist would create art with whatever materials were available.
It is said that I see the convergence of both Nature and art, because one or the other not being able to make what they want, they at least make what they can.
He was also the first to posit the idea that fetal disease could lead to abnormalities in children.
De monstrorum causis, natura et differentiis was first published in 1616 without illustrations, a lavish illustrated second edition was published in Padua in 1634, with a further edition De monstris (or what you might call the mass market edition) was produced in Amsterdam in 1665. It is from the last edition that these incredible images are from.
Some sixty years ago, when she was a young artist involved in the downtown New York City scene, Jane Wilson stopped trying to be an Abstract Expressionist. Of course, Wilson was not alone in that mutiny. But what distinguishes Wilson is how effectively she negotiated a long career premised on a delicate balance between absolutely naturalistic subject matter and an abstractionist’s care for the purity of color and form.
The Pollution of the Water by Remedios Varo. Oil on canvas.
An interview with Calvin Tomkins on his relationship with Gerald and Sara Murphy, the real-life models for Dick and Nicole Diver in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night.
William Burroughs: Advice for Young People
Frans Masereel (Belgian, 1889 - 1972) - Threat (Menace), 1917-1918
Be An Artist
Earn a Big Name and a Fat Income