NEW: The 2018 miniature painting series — a work-in-progress.

The year 2018 begins with several miniature paintings that make up a series entitled: 18 études abstraites en miniature — Feindre l’indifférence dans un monde fou et brutal. (18 abstract studies, in miniature — Feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.). These works take a glance at “the elephant in the room”, i.e. big social awareness and other questions and issues that many of us give little space to (that we prefer to keep in miniature format). Many of these works are shamelessly within the genre «UGLY ART»

I have posted fourteen of them so far, and there will be a total of eighteen miniature paintings in this series, so please return to this page frequently to keep up with the new additions.

I wish this online exhibition to be more entertaining than merely looking at my paintings, without any other contextual material. Therefore I have included some illustrative materials that have either inspired me or which create additional commentary. These are in the forms of photos, poems, essays, and videos — both built in and linked. Enjoy!

— Adam Donaldson Powell, 2018

18 abstract studies, in miniature — Feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

“Endless Winter/Climate change”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Spleen – love dissolving”, 20×20 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Roses and a teardrop for Las Ramblas”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This miniature abstract painting was inspired by the terror attack upon the people at Las Ramblas in Barcelona. It depicts a rose-floral wallpaper-like background with a line/queue that is broken — interrupted by a single teardrop. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Trou de la gloire/Gaufres bleues; Oui, l’amour est bleu … et la véritable gloire est un trou dans un mur qui s’effrité, («Gloryhole/Blue waffles; Yes, love is blue … and real glory is a hole in a crumbling wall»)”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. I accidentally stumbled over photos of “blue waffles” on the Internet. They were so disgusting and glorious that I had to challenge myself to interpret the magnificent phenomenon. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Ghosts no. 1 — Climate change sucks the life out of Spring”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Ghosts no. 2 — Climate change sucks the life out of Spring”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Love between vampires: Yeah, Baby — let’s tear off a piece! (L’amour entre les vampires: Viens m’enculer!)”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. Whether our needs for giving and receiving love bring out the vampire or the angel in us, it is all an expression of our evolving humanity. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

Read my poem about love between vampires HERE!

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“Niqab — of love and fetish in an age of terror”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. Keywords: niqab, AK47, roses, blood, hidden passion, discomforting eyes, risks, fetish, love, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Pissing on our parade”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Pissing on our parade”, is a commentary on gay violence — i.e. violence, murder and terror committed both by and against gays. LGBTQ-persons are “people”, and prone to the same problems and personality issues as all others in society. However, whenever an LGBTQ-person commits an act of terror (Orlando), sexual violence and harassment (by the way, these harassments are seldom investigated as #metoo, or even hate crimes), murder plus cannibalism, or other acts that feel like a violation of what many consider to be basic humane and civilised values, it feels as embarrassing to me as a gay person as muslims must feel when yet another act of hate-inspired terrorism is committed in the name of Islam. It is also embarrassing to me as a human and as a soul in active incarnation. These individuals — regardless of whether they are disturbed, or just hateful — are pissing on our parade. Keywords: pissing, parade, #stopthebleeding, wounded hearts, rainbow, #stopthehate. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Silence.”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Silence.” is about the news and important information that we do not receive, or that is kept hidden from us by politicians, corporations, scientists and the mainstream media. It is also about what most of us are thinking but do not talk about due to social controls on thoughts, speech and actions. Silence should be a beautiful thing — a reprieve from the noise of everyday life and stress … but sometimes the silence is something to be feared. When we fear it, silence is the new noise. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“White Noise.”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “White Noise” is about the constant chatter of mainstream media — spitting out and vomiting the same news stories ad nauseum; in all newspapers, radio and television stations, on the internet … all over the world, 24 hours a day. The noise keeps us company when we are alone and trying to escape the silence of loneliness … and we eventually neither listen to nor hear the warnings, worries and hatred broadcasted and echoed from high and low. The noise is our new silence. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Broken Hallelujah in the landscape of Life – Sinkhole”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Broken Hallelujah in the Landscape of Life – Sinkhole” interprets the crevices, rips, tears and shattering we all experience, expected or not; i.e. those moments and periods where our hopes and dreams, infatuations, marriages, friendships, ways of perceiving the world and other people etc. fall apart, unravel and demand re-adjustment — with new vision. Although often quite painful, these adjustments provide us with opportunities to re-invent and re-define ourselves. The choice is ours: to suffer for an indeterminate period of time … or to climb down from the cross and explore “the new”, seeking balance — with a positive sense of moderation.“Ariston metron!” (“Moderation is best!). This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Broken Hallelujah in the Landscape of Life – Sinkhole”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Broken Hallelujah in the Landscape of Life – Sinkhole” interprets the crevices, rips, tears and shattering we all experience, expected or not; i.e. those moments and periods where our hopes and dreams, infatuations, marriages, friendships, ways of perceiving the world and other people etc. fall apart, unravel and demand re-adjustment — with new vision. Although often quite painful, these adjustments provide us with opportunities to re-invent and re-define ourselves. The choice is ours: to suffer for an indeterminate period of time … or to climb down from the cross and explore “the new”, seeking balance — with a positive sense of moderation.“Ariston metron!” (“Moderation is best!). This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“#metoo: Men’s room — the writing on the players’ wailing wall”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This graffiti painting reveals the angry and dissatisfied murmurings of some men on social media and (as here) on a men’s room wall. It is generally considered to be politically incorrect for men to voice concern over matriarchal feminism and the #metoo movement, and the fear of loss of basic rights for men. When these voices are restricted to hidden enclaves and not allowed to be measured and discussed openly then the ensuing negative consequences can be devastating. The frustrated graffiti text includes: matriarchy; man-haters; Fuck #metoo; Fuck no sex; men prefer 1) whores, 2) men, 3) sex dolls; custody rights; lonely; feminazi; dutch treat etc. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

Toalett på kampen nr. 2

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COMING SOON:
“Weather forecast — Warning, High Probability of Nuclear Storm”, 15 x 15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018.

My latest paintings (abstract, colourfield, geometric, abstract expressionist, minimalist etc.): 2016-2020

“From 2016 to 2020, I am making a series of paintings as documentation of how I experience this particular time period. Some works merely have titles and others carry texts which give more insight into my thoughts and feelings associated with the themes and the paintings themselves. Many of these works describe the search for security and understanding in a particularly tumultuous era where suspicion, fear, hate, lies and pain abounds together with joy, disillusionment, and just not wanting to give a fuck about real problems that we feel that we cannot do anything about anyway (climate change, terrorism, pollution of air, water, land, fishes, food etc.). The temptation to drown ourselves in materialism, reality show life, and other banalities is great. This is also an era where many “old truths” are being exposed as having been fallacious, and where social concepts are challenged and flipped in the twinkling of an eye (or a media/social media scandal). Some of my works address specific persons in history, such as Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau, Jacques Brel, and others who I now see quite differently than in previous decades. I too have different “eyes” than before. And thus, many of the themes that I paint about in this series are (as usual with my work) issues, questions and ideas that can be experienced as uncomfortable to many. I give no answers, and make no statements or demands. I only ask questions — through images, geometry, color and textures on canvas.

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“Love illusion” is a smoky colourfield oil painting on canvas, 65 x 90 cm., 2016-2020. The aim was to use colourfield painting to address emotion. In this case the illusion of love is effected by a smoky grey region threatening to totally encompass the colour of classical love: pink. The eye is naturally drawn towards and into the central grey area, which has the appearance and effect of a snowy old-fashioned television screen — pulling us into a state of uncertainty and the unknown.

It cries out for sugar therapy:

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The devil comes at night time,, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020.

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“Eclipse”, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020.

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“Tears flowing while walking through the city”, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020.

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“Tears flowing while walking through the forest”, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020.

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Next, here is a musical hint about my painting entitled «Le jour du couronnement / L’obsession des Jacobites» (The Coronation Day / Jacobite Obsession»):

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The painting:

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«Le jour du couronnement / L’obsession des Jacobites» (The Coronation Day / Jacobite Obsession»), 2016-2020:
This 90 x 65 cm. abstract-geometric landscape oil painting on canvas features textiles reminiscent of royalty and festivities: a plush luscious green velvet hill and a shimmering blue heavy silk fabric sky, separated by a gold and silver brocade sash which represents the horizon at dusk. Swaying in the precocious Scottish wind in the Sky of Dreams is a somewhat unstable and slightly-tarnished large golden fleur de lis, and in the bottom section is a cocksure prancing silver unicorn — the fleur de lis (the royal tressure) and the unicorn (the Scottish national animal) both being closely related to Scottish history and tradition. Together, all of these elements comprise the Jacobite obsession/dream of one day crowning a new Jacobite King or Queen of Scotland. Finally, the traditional St. Andrew’s saltire or crux decussata gives way to the glittering sword / scepter of glorious resurrection — of both St. Andrew and the Jacobite dream … never again to be subordinate, tortured, enslaved, murdered or otherwise “crucified”.

Alba gu bràth!

Details from the painting:

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“Sunrise in early Spring”, 90 x 65 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

“Sunrise in early Spring” is a self-explanatory geometric/abstract oil painting on canvas inspired by the hints of Spring sunshine appearing already at the end of February — a doorway of Light predicting a new seasonal awakening.

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“The lone moose at Sunset”, 90 x 65 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

The lone moose at sunset is a classic Norwegian motive that was popular in inexpensive kitsch paintings until the end of the 1970s. These paintings allude to typical Norwegian nature-romanticism, including the moose, afternoon/evening sun, pine forest, small forest ponds, and the quiet drama of the sunset that is bigger than Life. They are no longer found in each and every home and vacation cabin. Here I have re-introduced this iconic image in a modern color field context — emphasizing the dramatic elements of the all pervading sunset; and here suggesting the mystical qualities of the Northern Lights, a raging forest inferno and at once the quiet comfort and warmth of a fireplace. The lone moose disappears in the shadowy magnificent glow.

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quittepas

“Ne me quitte pas”, oil on canvas, 65 x 90 cm., 2016-2020 is an abstract geometric painting inspired by Jacques Brel’s famous love song, and its imagined personal history. Here his plea — Ne me quitte pas (Don’t leave me) — is scrawled on a blackboard in the mathematics classroom (an arena where the follies of hopeful youthfulness/adolescence meet up with the scientific rigours of deciding if a problem has zero, multiple or perhaps one solution only).

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“Talking heads / Social media”, 90 x 65 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020, is all about “the buzz” (slander, lies, cheating, hate and trolling, #hatersgonnahate, #americafirst, #metoo etc.) in black and white.

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“Faceless animus”, 65 x 90 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020, asks us how much we really know another person, and how much we really want to know about who they really are — the stereotypical/racial countenance … or the faceless animus that lies behind it?

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“Le jeune homme et La Mort”, 65×90 cm., installation de peinture: huile sur toile et filet de camouflage, Adam Donaldson Powell, 2016-2020.

This discovery of mine regarding Cocteau and his “Le jeune homme et la mort” made me quite enraged with the man, and with how he used his art to get revenge. I went through a long process, at the end of which I decided to reinterpret his theme and create a modern version of “Le jeune homme et la mort”. Just to illustrate my thinking throughout this process, I have included quite a bit of diary notes — in my own halting French and in English. In a way, they are an important part of this art installation piece.

L’histoire :
https://adam-donaldson-powell.blog/2017/11/06/le-jeune-homme-et-la-mort/

LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORT.

“Redéfinir l’interprétation de Cocteau de «Le jeune homme et la mort»:
Aujourd’hui, j’ai enfin pu mettre la dernière couche de textures sur ma peinture en cours: «Le jeune homme et la mort» – il représente un ordre violent et hasardeux; chaos mental blanchi à la chaux avec la conviction de purification et avec des marques d’automutilation … la dépression tourbillonnant avec des atonalites rythmiques tellement écrasante que l’électricité bleue des impulsions et des courants est étouffée par un énorme oreiller blanc qui donne une impression générale de calme et contrôle – tant que l’on suit religieusement chaque respiration. C’est une atmosphère de beauté violente; l’environnement intérieur qui lave et consume toutes les perceptions du monde extérieur, nous pousse à l’ultime acte de correction et de gloire: le suicide. La blancheur de la dépression est la lumière au bout du tunnel de la mort – promesse de renaissance, nouvelle virginité et ultime séduction. Les dalles épaisses de peinture représentent les murs de boue que nous érigeons pour nous garder en sécurité dans nos cocons – notre forteresse. La dépression ne concerne pas la tristesse, mais plutôt la construction de notre château dans les cieux, où notre indifférence au succès et à l’échec peut enfin s’épanouir. Nirvana. Ici, la mort n’est pas une femme, mais la propre psyché du jeune homme. La vision misogyne de Cocteau sera blanchie au néant, et exposée comme un vide qui se déguiserait en auto-victimisation masculine. Une fois que les nombreuses couches de peinture à l’huile sont complètement sèches, je vais couvrir la peinture minimaliste avec filet de camouflage ; qui forceront le spectateur à vouloir regarder les désagréments dans les images. Regarder sous le voile et ensuite s’identifier suffisamment dans le Mental pour pouvoir chercher le voile de Vide qui est sous le voile. Bien sûr, personne ne veut vraiment connaître la dépression d’une autre personne – surtout s’il est suicidaire. Nous combattons tous la même dépression et le néant. C’est seulement une pensée loin. Le résultat sera une peinture de sculpture en deux dimensions. Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau était très talentueux, très courageux, très “gay”, très célèbre … et très misogyne. Seuls les malheureux ou les idiots seraient heureux de le mettre en colère.” (Adam Donaldson Powell, Décembre 2017)

Le jeune homme et la mort

“Dans un atelier, un jeune homme seul attend. Entre la jeune fille qui était cause de sa détresse. Il s’élance vers elle, elle le repousse, il la supplie, elle l’insulte, le bafoue et s’enfouit. Il se pend. La chambre s’envole. Ne reste que le corps du pendu. Par les toits, la mort arrive en robe de bal. Elle ôte son masque : c’est la jeune fille. Alors elle pose son masque sur le visage de sa victime. Ensemble, ils s’en vont par les toits.”

— Jean Cocteau»

Plus de soixante-dix ans se sont écoulés depuis que ce travail a eu sa première mondiale. Et l’idée me hante toujours. L’histoire est trop mince … un cliché inverse conçu pour choquer. La femme qui triche a la froideur d’un homme, et l’homme désespéré (le cocu) se pendent comme la femme demande. L’ironie est qu’un certain nombre d’hommes aujourd’hui se suicident après l’infidélité ou le divorce de leur femme. Mais quoi d’autre est derrière ce suicide? Il y a sûrement des problèmes de dépression et de relation au sein de l’homme avant ce développement? La femme était-elle vraiment responsable de sa mort? L’infidélité d’une autre personne est-elle vraiment la cause du suicide – ou est-ce simplement un symptôme, le résultat d’une illusion de longue date qui ne peut plus être nié? N’est-ce pas une autre expression de la misogynie à l’époque du romantisme? Et comment puis-je recréer cette histoire / peinture – pénétrant davantage dans la psyché du jeune homme – bien au-delà de cette femme représentant la mort, qui peut si facilement être blâmée?

C’est la même chose pour les deux ou tous les sexes (il y en a plus de deux maintenant). Parce que la dépression et le suicide sont des sujets tabous, je veux forcer le public à s’engager à regarder et à marcher à l’intérieur du tableau. Ces problèmes doivent être normalisés – comme le cancer et d’autres syndromes et maladies de style de vie.

“Il est important de comprendre et d’accepter simplement que toutes nos expériences passées, qu’elles soient joyeuses ou tristes, continuent à nous accompagner tout au long de notre vie et affectent considérablement la façon dont nous nous sentons aujourd’hui. Les problèmes ne peuvent que déclencher des sentiments d’insécurité, de honte, d’envie ou de vengeance si nous nions qu’ils font partie de nous. Être submergé par de tels sentiments dans les situations les plus difficiles nous oblige à les reconnaître et à les intégrer consciemment en tant que parties naturelles de notre psyché. Ce n’est qu’alors que nous serons en mesure de développer une acceptation aimante de nous-mêmes avec tous nos défauts et insuffisances.”(astro.com)

Comme je le dis toujours, beaucoup de fiction est plus factuelle que ce que les lecteurs réalisent. Cocteau était très misogyne et sa fascination pour vouloir un fils, sa colère quand la femme de son choix (la princesse Natalie Paley) l’a rejeté: il a dit que les femmes étaient «les tueuses des enfants de poètes», les suicides dans sa vie, et ainsi de suite – indiquent ses problèmes psychologiques au travail dans cette histoire.

THE YOUNG MAN AND DEATH.

“Redefining Cocteau’s interpretation of “The young man and death”:
Today, I was finally able to put the last layer of textures on my current painting: “The young man and death” – it represents a violent and hazardous order; whitewashed mental chaos with the conviction of purification and with cutting knife marks of self-harm … and swirling depression with so many overwhelming rhythmic atonalites that the blue electricity of pulses and currents are stifled by a huge blanketing whiteness that gives a general impression of calm and control – as long as we follow each breath religiously. It is an atmosphere of violent beauty; the inner environment that cleanses and consumes all the perceptions of the outside world which drives us to the ultimate act of correction and glory: suicide. The whiteness of depression is the light at the end of the tunnel of death – promise of rebirth, new virginity and ultimate seduction. The thick slabs of paint represent the mud walls we erect to keep ourselves safe in our cocoons – in our fortress. Depression does not concern sadness, but rather the construction of our castle in heaven, where our indifference to success and failure can finally flourish. Nirvana. Here, death is not a woman, but the young man’s own psyche. The misogynistic vision of Cocteau will be whitewashed and exposed as a void that disguises itself as male self-victimization. Once the many layers of oil paint are completely dry, I will cover the minimalist painting with camouflage netting, this in order to force the viewer to want to look at the discomfort in the pictures. To look under the veil and then to identify oneself sufficiently in the Mind to be able to look for the veil of Emptiness that is under the veil. Of course, no one really wants to know about another person’s depression – especially if they are suicidal. We are all fighting the same depression and nothingness. It’s only a thought away. The result will be a two-dimensional sculpture painting. Jean Maurice Eugene Clement Cocteau was very talented, very brave, very “gay”, very famous … and very misogynistic. Only the unfortunate or idiots would be stupid enough to try to make him angry.” (Adam Donaldson Powell, December 2017)

“The young man and death In a workshop, a young man alone is waiting. In comes the girl who was the cause of his distress. He rushes towards her, she pushes him away, he begs her, she insults him, scoffs at him and tells him to go hang himself. He hangs himself. Only the body of the hanged man remains. Through the roofs, death then returns in a prom dress. She takes off her mask: it’s the girl. So she puts her mask on the face of her victim. Together, they go through the roofs.”
— Jean Cocteau

More than seventy years have passed since this work had its world premiere. And the idea still haunts me. The story is too thin … a cheap shot designed to shock. The cheating woman has the coldness of a man, and the desperate man (the cuckold) hang himself as the woman demands. The irony is that a number of men today commit suicide after their wife’s infidelity or divorce. But what else is behind this suicide? Surely there are problems of depression and relationship within man before this development? Was the woman really responsible for his death? Is the infidelity of another person really the cause of suicide – or is it just a symptom, the result of a long-standing illusion that can no longer be denied? Is not this another expression of misogyny in the age of Romanticism? And how can I recreate this story / painting – penetrating more into the young man’s psyche – far beyond this woman representing death, who can so easily be blamed?

It’s the same for both or all genders (there are more than two now). Because depression and suicide are taboo subjects, I want to force the public to commit to watching and walking inside the painting. These problems need to be normalized – like cancer and other syndromes and lifestyle diseases.

“It is important to understand and simply accept that all our past experiences, whether joyful or sad, continue to accompany us throughout our lives and greatly affect the way we feel today. Problems can only trigger feelings of insecurity, shame, envy or revenge if we deny that they are part of us. To be overwhelmed by such feelings in the most difficult situations requires us to recognize them and consciously integrate them as natural parts of our psyche. Only then will we be able to develop a loving acceptance of ourselves with all our flaws and shortcomings.” — from www. astro.com

As I always say, a lot of fiction is more factual than readers realize. Cocteau was very misogynistic and obsessed with wanting a son, and had great anger when the woman of his choice (Princess Natalie Paley) rejected him: he said that women were “the killers of poets’ children”, there had been many suicides in his life, and so on – all of which indicate his psychological problems at work in this story.

With Nureyev in the title role:

And with Barishnikov (from “White Nights”): HERE!

Read about Gustave Moreau’s painting “The Young Man and Death” HERE!

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Vertigo, 40×40 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

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Video game shooting gallery.

Video game shooting gallery, 50×50 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020. Description: In an age when oil paintings have little chance of competing with the internet, television and video games, I decided to paint an abstract depiction of a video game shooting gallery against a concrete background — no penetration.

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Emotional aftermath.

Les soirées de Nazelles, 50×50 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

My piano instructor John Ranck plays “Les soirées de Nazelles”, by Poulenc:

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Spring becoming Summer, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Nightfall – with Winter giving way to Spring, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Equilibrium, oil on canvas, 50x50 cm., 2016-2020.

Equilibrium, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Reflection, oil on canvas, 50x50 cm., 2016.

Reflection, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Geometric gossip, 40x40 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

Geometric gossip, 40×40 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

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Democracy by gun, oil on canvas, 100x80 cm., 2016-2020.

Democracy by gun – We the People, oil on canvas, 100×80 cm., 2016-2020.

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Tale of three colour fields (front view), oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm., 2016-2020.

Tale of three colour fields (front view), oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm., 2016-2020.

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Emptiness giving birth to Nothingness, oil on canvas, 100x80 cm.

Emptiness giving birth to Nothingness, oil on canvas, 100×81 cm., 2016-2020.

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Deconstructed pond, oil on canvas, 40x40 cm., 2016-2020.

Deconstructed pond, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Playa del Postiguet (Alicante), oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020.

Playa del Postiguet (Alicante), 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020, Oil on canvas — in private collection; unavailable.

Check out this great YouTube video by Jacek Zarzycki of a walk on the Postiguet beach:

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Here is a side view of

“Flurry”, note the superimposed painted canvas cut-outs hanging over the flat surface, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020. Oil on canvas — in private collection; unavailable.

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Horizon, oil on canvas, 40x40 cm., 2016-2020

Horizon, oil on canvas, 40×40 cm., 2016-2020

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Twilight, oil on canvas, 40x40 cm.

Twilight, oil on canvas, 40×40 cm., 2016-2020.

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Hands.

“Hands”, 30×30 cm., oil and charcoal on cardboard, 2016-2020.

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Sunset_colourfield

Sunset reflecting through Venetian blinds, onto wooden floor, 2016-2020.

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Floating_shards

Floating shards, 56 x 46 cm., oil on canvas with foil, 2016-2020.

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Aged stone (Oil on styrofoam), 2016-2020.

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“A Wrist Cutter’s Glow”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020

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Portal to Eternity, No. 1 (Oil on canvas — in private collection; unavailable), 2016-2020.

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Portal to Eternity, No. 2 (Oil on canvas), 2016-2020.

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Portal_No.3

Portal to Eternity, No. 3 (Oil on canvas — in private collection; unavailable), 2016-2020.

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Meteors in the night, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020

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White night no. 1

“White night no. 1”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020

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avalanche

“Avalanche”, oil on canvas, 80 x 80 cm., 2016-2020

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raw

“RAW”, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020

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Ascension2

Ascension, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020

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GonePrimal

Gone primal, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020

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Bokstavelig talt (literally speaking), oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020

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E is greater than mc2, oil on canvas, 40×40 cm., 2016-2020

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Goth, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020

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Vortex (Oil on canvas), 2016-2020.

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Not seeing the forest for the trees.

Not seeing the forest for the trees, oil on canvas/mixed media, 60×50 cm., 2016-2020

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“Tribute to Mars: The Great Source and Center”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020

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“Being = Nothingness”, 40×40 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020. NB. “Being = Nothingness” is my interpretation of Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness” in the style of Malevich (Russian Suprematism). Layer upon layer of white paint with shadows and reflections, eventually consolidating the monotony into two extremes of existence masquerading as seemingly identical apparitions in a flash of Light. This is just the latest in several paintings over the years where I have re-interpreted Malevich’s “White on White” masterpiece (from 1918).

NB. I personally consider Kazimir Malevich’s “White on white” painting to be a masterly work of art-philosophical genius. Read more about this iconic painting HERE!

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See several of Adam’s paintings on

SAATCHI ART

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NEW — WORKS-IN-PROGRESS: MINIATURE PAINTINGS: 

The year 2018 begins with several miniature paintings that make up a series entitled: 18 études abstraites en miniature — Feindre l’indifférence dans un monde fou et brutal. (18 abstract studies, in miniature — Feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.). These works take a glance at “the elephant in the room”, i.e. big social awareness and other questions and issues that many of us give little space to (that we prefer to keep in miniature format). Many of these works are shamelessly within the genre «UGLY ART»

I have posted fourteen of them so far, and there will be a total of eighteen miniature paintings in this series, so please return to this page frequently to keep up with the new additions.

I wish this online exhibition to be more entertaining than merely looking at my paintings, without any other contextual material. Therefore I have included some illustrative materials that have either inspired me or which create additional commentary. These are in the forms of photos, poems, essays, and videos — both built in and linked. Enjoy!

— Adam Donaldson Powell, 2018

18 abstract studies, in miniature — Feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

“Endless Winter/Climate change”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Spleen – love dissolving”, 20×20 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Roses and a teardrop for Las Ramblas”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This miniature abstract painting was inspired by the terror attack upon the people at Las Ramblas in Barcelona. It depicts a rose-floral wallpaper-like background with a line/queue that is broken — interrupted by a single teardrop. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Trou de la gloire/Gaufres bleues; Oui, l’amour est bleu … et la véritable gloire est un trou dans un mur qui s’effrité, («Gloryhole/Blue waffles; Yes, love is blue … and real glory is a hole in a crumbling wall»)”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. I accidentally stumbled over photos of “blue waffles” on the Internet. They were so disgusting and glorious that I had to challenge myself to interpret the magnificent phenomenon. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Ghosts no. 1 — Climate change sucks the life out of Spring”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Ghosts no. 2 — Climate change sucks the life out of Spring”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Love between vampires: Yeah, Baby — let’s tear off a piece! (L’amour entre les vampires: Viens m’enculer!)”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. Whether our needs for giving and receiving love bring out the vampire or the angel in us, it is all an expression of our evolving humanity. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

Read my poem about love between vampires HERE!

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“Niqab — of love and fetish in an age of terror”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. Keywords: niqab, AK47, roses, blood, hidden passion, discomforting eyes, risks, fetish, love, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Pissing on our parade”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Pissing on our parade”, is a commentary on gay violence — i.e. violence, murder and terror committed both by and against gays. LGBTQ-persons are “people”, and prone to the same problems and personality issues as all others in society. However, whenever an LGBTQ-person commits an act of terror (Orlando), sexual violence and harassment (by the way, these harassments are seldom investigated as #metoo, or even hate crimes), murder plus cannibalism, or other acts that feel like a violation of what many consider to be basic humane and civilised values, it feels as embarrassing to me as a gay person as muslims must feel when yet another act of hate-inspired terrorism is committed in the name of Islam. It is also embarrassing to me as a human and as a soul in active incarnation. These individuals — regardless of whether they are disturbed, or just hateful — are pissing on our parade. Keywords: pissing, parade, #stopthebleeding, wounded hearts, rainbow, #stopthehate. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Silence.”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Silence.” is about the news and important information that we do not receive, or that is kept hidden from us by politicians, corporations, scientists and the mainstream media. It is also about what most of us are thinking but do not talk about due to social controls on thoughts, speech and actions. Silence should be a beautiful thing — a reprieve from the noise of everyday life and stress … but sometimes the silence is something to be feared. When we fear it, silence is the new noise. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“White Noise.”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “White Noise” is about the constant chatter of mainstream media — spitting out and vomiting the same news stories ad nauseum; in all newspapers, radio and television stations, on the internet … all over the world, 24 hours a day. The noise keeps us company when we are alone and trying to escape the silence of loneliness … and we eventually neither listen to nor hear the warnings, worries and hatred broadcasted and echoed from high and low. The noise is our new silence. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Broken Hallelujah in the landscape of Life.”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Broken Hallelujah in the Landscape of Life” interprets the crevices, rips, tears and shattering we all experience, expected or not; i.e. those moments and periods where our hopes and dreams, infatuations, marriages, friendships, ways of perceiving the world and other people etc. fall apart, unravel and demand re-adjustment — with new vision. Although often quite painful, these adjustments provide us with opportunities to re-invent and re-define ourselves. The choice is ours: to suffer for an indeterminate period of time … or to climb down from the cross and explore “the new”, seeking balance — with a positive sense of moderation.“Ariston metron!” (“Moderation is best!). This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“Broken Hallelujah in the Landscape of Life.”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Broken Hallelujah in the Landscape of Life” interprets the crevices, rips, tears and shattering we all experience, expected or not; i.e. those moments and periods where our hopes and dreams, infatuations, marriages, friendships, ways of perceiving the world and other people etc. fall apart, unravel and demand re-adjustment — with new vision. Although often quite painful, these adjustments provide us with opportunities to re-invent and re-define ourselves. The choice is ours: to suffer for an indeterminate period of time … or to climb down from the cross and explore “the new”, seeking balance — with a positive sense of moderation.“Ariston metron!” (“Moderation is best!). This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“#metoo: Men’s room — the writing on the players’ wailing wall”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This graffiti painting reveals the angry and dissatisfied murmurings of some men on social media and (as here) on a men’s room wall. It is generally considered to be politically incorrect for men to voice concern over matriarchal feminism and the #metoo movement, and the fear of loss of basic rights for men. When these voices are restricted to hidden enclaves and not allowed to be measured and discussed openly then the ensuing negative consequences can be devastating. The frustrated graffiti text includes: matriarchy; man-haters; Fuck #metoo; Fuck no sex; men prefer 1) whores, 2) men, 3) sex dolls; custody rights; lonely; feminazi; dutch treat etc. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

Toalett på kampen nr. 2

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COMING SOON:
“Weather forecast — Warning, High Probability of Nuclear Storm”, 15 x 15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018.

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And here is a quick recap/overview of my recent paintings and of my published books. For more information, please see the next pages of this blog.

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Welcome to Adam Angel’s World!

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My two latest published books:

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SHORT AUTHOR BIO:

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL (Norway) is a multilingual author, literary critic, and art photography critic; and a professional visual artist. He has published several literary books (including collections of poetry, short stories, and novellas, two science fiction novels, a biography, and a collection of essays) in the USA, Norway and India; as well as numerous works in international literary publications on several continents. He writes in English, Spanish, French and Norwegian. He has previously authored theatrical works performed onstage, and he has read his poetry at venues in New York City (USA), Oslo (Norway), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Kathmandu (Nepal). His book “Gaytude” (co-authored with Albert Russo) won the 2009 National Indie Excellence Award in the category gay/lesbian non-fiction. Powell was also the winner of the Azsacra International Poetry Award in 2008, and the recipient of a Norwegian Foreign Ministry travel stipend for authors in 2005. Powell also took initiative to planning and organizing the “Words – one path to peace and understanding” international literary festival in Oslo, Norway in 2008. He has been an author under the Cyberwit label since 2005, and he has published 13 literary books since 1987.

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL – WIKIPEDIA NORGE

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo: an alternative biography, l’Aleph — Sweden, ISBN 978-91-7637-401-6, © Wisehouse 2017, Sweden.

Entre Nous et Eux: contes de fées pour adultes, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-93-85945-77-9, © 2017, India.

Jisei: death poems and daily reflections by a person with AIDS”, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-403-2, © 2013, India.

The tunnel at the end of time” (co-written with Rick Davis and Azsacra Zarathustra), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-160-4, © 2010, India.

Malerier og fotokunst, a short 38-page retrospective overview of some of Adam Donaldson Powell’s best known oil paintings and photographic art works”. Published by Cyberwit.net as a special limited and numbered full-color, soft cover edition (55 copies only), ISBN 978- 81-8253-154-3, India, © 2009.

GAYTUDE: a poetic journey around the world, co-authored together with Albert Russo 1[1], bilingual (French and English), gay poetry, 334 pages, Xlibris, ISBN 978-1-4363-6395-2, 2009, USA 6 [2].

2014: the life and adventures of an incarnated angel, 135 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-118-5, 2008, India.

Critical Essays, literary and photobook criticism by Adam Donaldson Powell and Dr. Santosh Kumar 2[3], 108 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-110-9, 2008, India.

Le Paradis (Paradise), 80 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-103-1, 2008, India. Inkluderer bilag med symboler fra Universelle Lysspråket, som opplevd av Laila Holand.

Rapture: endings of space and time (86 pages), Cyberwit,net, ISBN 978-81-8253-083-6, 2007, India.

Three-legged Waltz, (80 pages), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 81-8253-058-X, 2006, India.

Collected Poems and Stories, (175 pages), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 81-8253-028-8, 2005, India.

Arcana and other archetypes, (special limited edition – hardback collection of poetry), AIM Chapbooks ANS, 2001, Norway (now out-of-print).

Notes of a Madman, (hardback collection of poetry), Winston-Derek Publishers, Inc., 1987, ISBN 1-55523-054-7, USA (now out-of-print).


CHECK IT OUT:

And here is a quick recap/overview of my recent paintings and of my published books. For more information, please see the next pages of this blog.

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MY AMAZON.COM AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

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MY CYBERWIT.NET AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

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SEE MY MOST RECENT PAINTINGS HERE!
NB. KEEP RETURNING TO THIS PAGE FOR NEW ADDITIONS —
COMING SOON: 18 études abstraites en miniature
(18 abstract studies, in miniature)

Be certain to visit my SaatchiArt blog as well:

🔘 Adam Donaldson Powell’s paintings on Saatchi Art

 

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T. Wignesan interviews Adam Donaldson Powell.

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T. Wignesan (Parisian author) has interviewed me on behalf of my publisher Cyberwit.net:

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS —
T. WIGNESAN – ADAM DONALDSON POWELL.

T. WIGNESAN: I – WHY WRITE?

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL: In all honesty, I did not choose to write; the writing chose me. It is both a passion and a necessity for my survival and expression; in addition to my personal contribution to the development and advancement of art, society and humanity. I do not worry about becoming famous. Being famous with the goal of ego gratification is a “useless occupation”.

I am but one small cog in a very big wheel — the Wheel of Existence; on the same level of significance as any other entity in our Universes … forever expanding and contracting in consciousness, expressing a myriad of ideas, emotions and behaviour patterns, and forever breathing the Eternal (the Breath and Essence of God). Surely, I have my own take on Existentialist and Nihilistic philosophies but my only “Truths” are my thoughts, words and actions — in each moment. And for me, each moment is the sum of the Whole of Existence, in any one instance in space and time, and from my individual perspective — which is co-created (together) with my environment. Thus to me, writing is breathing Creation. And the Spirit and act of creation are the seeds of renewal/renaissance, and the dissolution of concepts of past, present and future as well as the idea that anything is separate from anything/anyone else. By being creative I assert my role in the ever self-defining Divine project called Existence.

As regards celebrity, I actually know a bit about that having had many years where I was recognised from TV, newspapers etc. as an activist and artist/author. Sometimes it was pleasant, and there have also been incidents where I felt threatened when recognised as “that person”. Public personalities are clothing/roles that are taken on, but they are not the individual’s personality. Therefore, for me, fame is not a goal — but it can be a condition and lifestyle to which one must adjust and which bears great responsibility.

T. WIGNESAN: II – “Why write” does touch on both the personal motivations for indulging in words and having them bound in book form metaphorically by one’s own hand, just as much as they apply to the broader objective perspective in the light of the great masters and teachers (who never wrote – some likely were analphabète like Akbar – down their most influential teachings) who have for – better or worse – given us our ever evolving world: Zarathustra, the Hindu Rishis, Moses, Buddha, Mahavira, Christ, Lao Tse, Confucious, Bodhidharma, Mahomet (I’m not sure about the Hebrew prophets). The Tao Te Ching and the Confucian Analects cannot be legitimately attributed to the authors’ own hands.

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL: My writing is “published” in many formats: in books, in my paintings, on the internet, performed onstage etc. Books once represented a form of “permanence” for authors but now many libraries are digitalising their collections, bookstores have limited space and are selective with regards to which authors, titles and subject matters they give space to as well as impose limitations on how long a book can take up shelf space. In the fast-paced technological life of today authors must also adapt to both changing markets and publication arenas, as well as how to meet a public that is “on the run” and multi-tasking. I do not personally own many books anymore, as I have given away hundreds to libraries, organisations and private persons. Knowledge and joy should be spread around — not hoarded, and left to gather dust.

T. WIGNESAN:
Does one need to have something to say in order to want to write?

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL: No, not all writing is meant to be read by others, and by the same token not all writing has to have a serious message. I have written poems and made paintings that are essentially about nothing important, and also minimalistic works about “Nothingness”. However, longer works such as short stories, essays, novellas and novels would generally require a purpose that is larger than that of eg. a “haiku moment” — in order to hold the attention of a reading public.

That being said, I love to test out variations on minimalism in my novels; deciding myself how much descriptive verbiage I offer the reader, when and where. This in order to seduce the reader into an active role as co-creator of “the story”; and, yes, on “my terms”. In that way I can interact with the Reader who accepts what is written and how it is presented, and then suddenly meets upon a provocation that was embedded within the presentation all the while. That is Art imitating Life, n’est-ce pas?

This minimalistic style is closely related to my own philosophy of extreme art and literature. “Extreme literature” can be philosophical, political, religious, sexually-oriented, profane, or just downright “dangerous” because it rocks others’ boat(s) personally. Not all literature is “pretty”, and even humour can be considered provocative. Many authors have works they (and others) consider to be “extreme”. All throughout the history of art and literature, artists and writers have pressed against and played with society’s tolerances – in both “liberal” epochs, “conservative” epochs and (as now) in states of “moral confusion”, where Western concepts of freedom of speech sometimes butt against national and local cultural mores and social politics; and where danger lurks and thrives on non-specific and situational social codes and fears.

The concept of “EXTREME ART AND LITERATURE” changes all the time. What is actually “extreme” today – in a mixture of globalised, regionalised, nationalised and localised perspectives? My own opinion is that “extreme art and literature” today takes its starting point in the accepted banalities of everyday life, experiences and consciousness on the respective and combined levels (social, philosophical, political, economical, sexual and spiritual). Contemporary “extreme art / literature” no longer attempts to shock in an obvious way, but rather entices the public to feel that he / she is a “member” of the experiential understanding and consciousness, only to interject a “triggering” aspect that creates a sense of uncomfortableness caused by the realisation that one has been busted by a banality. These “trigger mechanisms” are (in fact) integral parts of the art itself – often passing by in fleeting moments, sometimes blended in with an obsessive and “flat” (journalistic or photojournalistic) expression or a long tirade of banalities that do not even pretend to be surrealistic. These small “electrical shock” triggers will hopefully ignite an inner experience within the public so that the viewer / reader begins to investigate his / her own personal reality, his / her actual contributions to a collective reality and hopefully to re-evaluate his / her own concept of what one prefers to create as an individual and collective reality. The illusion of spiritual and emotional separation (the illusion that we are all separate, individual and self-sustaining entities that can determine our roles on Terra or in the Interlife totally without contact or influence with / from others) is a vital element here, and that common illusion is therefore “fertile ground” for artists. Here we artists and authors can play, provoke, prevaricate, entice, seduce and fool the audience to believe in us as a part of “themselves”, and then trigger the reader / viewer to consider the possibility that there might be (in fact) a miscommunication or misconception running loose … a sense of everyday reality that is inconsistent or which has consequences that one was never aware of.

Perhaps the most meaningful and interactive way to help another person to “wake up” from their perceptual drowsiness is to enter into their everyday dreams and illusions (their banalities) and suddenly say “BOO!!!” Artists and authors who attempt to shock through their art with the blatantly obvious, often thus fail to explore and exploit the deeper, symbolic depths of the subconscious and the more mystical elements that make up our everyday and banal thoughts, activities, attitudes etc., and therefore are denied “personal access” by some viewers / readers who may consider the art to be too intellectual, too elitist, too directly confrontational, or too foreign.

Sex and religion are often used today in art and literature as “shock elements”. It is not necessarily sex or religion which are provocative or interesting in themselves, but rather the unspoken and quietly accepted perceptions that we chain ourselves to unquestionably, and which can totally be set in chaos just by the artist and author changing or adding one simple element or context that we do not feel belongs in our reality-defining “picture”.

“Extreme art and literature” is thus not blatantly provocative in itself; it rather shows the audience the possible ramifications of acceptance, non-involvement, personal meanings and behaviour by confronting us with triggered or mixed in “extreme” moments, and then lets the audience choose to begin its own personal creative life process of evaluation and re-creation (if desired) … without commentary or guidance.

When I presented myself to Marina Abramovic as a “retired activist” she responded by asking me if an activist can ever be finished with activism. Of course, she is right. The process of rebellion is nothing more than one intermittent set of activities and actions in a constant redefining and assertion of the Self, both individually and collectively. Art is the ultimate expression of the process of rebellion. If an artist loses that quality, he/she “dies” in a certain way. My art and literature are not just extensions of me … they are my created persona: a sweet mixture of heaven and hell, with a pinch of banalities for flavouring.

T. WIGNESAN: (b) Does the old dictum: “Poetry is made with words, not ideas” still apply?

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL: What is a poem? It is definitely not a daydream. A poem is a carefully constructed literary bonsai, cultivated with loving discipline and good planning. The air of spontaneity and dreaminess is only an illusion, and it is the result of great craftsmanship. Yes, poetry is comprised of several tools; and words are perhaps the most important device. But words, silences, punctuation, structure, rhythm, colour, sounds, visual associations etc. all play together in order to make a successful piece of writing. Poems are essentially just one facet of the diamond; of a story; of a possible reality. Do poems represent ideas, and are they made with words? Yes, of course. But a successful poem is an instance of Déjà vu— often recognisable beyond the words alone.

T. WIGNESAN: III – You have now given us your “cosmovision”, as Carlos Bousoño would describe it, a philosophical standpoint that is rich with implications for art and literature – “extreme art and literature” as you put it – which impinges on the average individual’s (average reader or viewer’s) reality with its consequential attributes of jolting consciousness through the shock of subversive “trigger mechanisms” (to be read also as “rebellion” against the norm or status quo?) — all of which makes of you a veritable activist. Now, how do you transcribe this engagé attitude to the specifics of writing, on the one hand, your own considerable output and, on the other, appreciating the works of others?
In my view, judging by your critique of my books, you have willy-nilly chosen the psychological approach to aesthetics and hence the overwhelming impressionistic taint in your pronouncements. Not that they are not valid – far from it – but it would serve to clarify your ultimate critical stance(s) if you could elaborate on your acceptance or rejection of the critical concepts of “affective fallacy” as opposed to “intentional fallacy”.

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL: Hmm … Wimsatt and Beardsley on intentional and affective fallacy. First let me respond to your premise that I have “willy-nilly” chosen a psychological approach to aesthetics in my criticism of your novels. Since you have taken my criticism of your novels as an example, I will answer you in the same fashion.

In my opinion many of your novels (that I have read) have an exciting underpinning of the existential and psychological, if you will — a degree of playing with the minds of the reader(s) … perhaps sometimes seeking to test or out-smart him/her. There is nothing wrong with that; it is fairly common in literature. I would classify that as an “intention”, supported by various situations, emotions and feelings illustrated in certain ways and with certain styles of writing. Obviously, when I become aware that the twists and turns that you often create in your stories are finely tailored then I instinctively begin to evaluate both the literary mechanisms that you are using and their degree of success for me as Reader. To me, art is not entirely (or even primarily) accidental — but rather is based upon ideas, intentions and plans for execution. In addition, I personally believe that all art created is in part biographical — i.e. possess some thoughts, experiences, personality traits, memories etc. known, imagined or dreamed about by the artist/author. Art is by nature both subjective and objective. That means that art is not just public, but also personal — to the author, and to his/her audience who must process the effects of the information, visuals etc. in relation to one’s own personal framework of ideas, attitudes and experiences. For me, assessing the success of a work of art is by nature based upon whether or not the perceived intention of the representation “works for me”. Why? Because I am both subjective and objective in my attempts to find meaning and personal relevance in a work of art that I am inviting into my consciousness. But it is not enough to merely say that “I do not like it because it does not work for me.” I should hopefully be able to relate what does not appeal to me/function for me — and why. I do not particularly like much modern rhyming poetry, and I can explain why in both subjective and objective (technical) terms. So yes, I do offer authors and publishers bits of objective and textual criticism … i.e. criticism based upon the relative success of technical aspects of the writing, style, form, etc. However, my job as a literary critic is not to serve as a professor of creative writing and to go into great detail about what exactly does not work (for me) technically. That is not popular with the writers, nor with the publishers — who want a positive review that will help to sell books, rather than a critical one (which potential book buyers may want). Often I write those comments in a separate note to the publisher and author. Usually authors are thankful — both for my insights, and that it is done in that way.

I list quite specifically what I look for objectively in my answer to the final question.

T. WIGNESAN: IV – Correct me if I’m wrong, I would have thought what gives your critical responses to any creative work depth and infinite modulations is your own trained ear for music. You are an accomplished pianist, and in your own words have avowed having earned – by more than half – your income in New York by playing at restaurants, bars, weddings, etc. Do you agree?

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL: While I studied piano under some well-known concert pianists for several years in New York City, and before that played the violoncello in a youth orchestra, I would be the first to take issue with being called “an accomplished pianist” or an accomplished anything else. Back then — in New York City — everyone I met was an artist, a writer, an actor, a musician etc., and thus the “litmus test” was earning at least part of one’s income in that profession. Being a musician, artist, actor, writer etc. is a job — in fact a 24-hour job which includes many hours of practicing, rehearsing, thinking, and planning before a final work or performance is executed. It is a work that is never finished, because the possibilities are endless and the Mind of an artist never seems to stop chattering. In my own mind, each poem, story, novel, painting is part of one larger ongoing work of art — that of me reacting to Life and my environment(s).

For me, the transition from classical music to poetry and then to painting was fairly natural and logical. In all of those art forms ideas are converted to pictures and sounds which evoke a myriad of reactions and recognitions in the viewer/audience. Each artistic discipline requires a balanced combination of technical skills, some understanding of the history of artistic traditions throughout modern history, and the ability to translate abstractions into suggestions of something seemingly “tangible” to our senses, recollections and feelings. So, in that sense, yes I can agree that much of my sensibility as regards visual art and literature (especially my poetry) has its nascence in music — sounds, rhythms, colour, speed, action, movement … all interpreted within (and sometimes beyond) an ever-evolving framework of techniques and styles pressing toward new forms of expression. To me, art (performance or visual) is not about being or becoming “accomplished”. One never fully arrives as an artist, as there is always some new peak to climb — stumbling, crawling, and running towards an infinity that can never be reached, by definition.

T. WIGNESAN: V – What may your thoughts be on these heroic couplets? (This is not a required “test”. You are welcome to ignore it.)

One science only will one genius fit;
So vast is art, so narrow human wit:
Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
But oft in those confined to single parts.

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL: Ahhh — excellent! — an excerpt from Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Criticism”. Well, T. Wignesan, as you well know these lines must certainly be judged in the larger context of the poetic work — namely the importance of self-knowledge (rather than mere literary theory) to criticism, as well as understanding that individual tastes and preferences of both Critic and Artist have both their limitations and their “genius”. However, in my opinion, because all art forms have history (of style and technical development, culture and politics), being an artist can also be considered to be an expression of a “studied and skilled science” that is heightened by intuitive and philosophical genius.

I personally believe — and have stated many times as a literary critic — that it is important to periodically specify what I personally look for in literary works that I am asked to comment on. I believe that it is important for the Reader both in relation to understanding the nature and framework of my criticism, and also as a possible “guide” for aspiring writers who wish to look beyond so-called “standard rules of writing” in their understanding and assessment of possibilities in their own artistic development.

I have written the following (several times) regarding what I aspire towards in my own writing, and what I also look for in the work of other writers whose work I have been asked to comment on: “I look for many qualities, including evenness in quality, diversity in content and form, artistic intent, planning, execution and polish (the degree of polish being both intentional and commensurate with the desired expression), and an overall concept of the book as a complete work of art – beyond an arbitrary “stew” of individual poems. In addition, I pay attention to the author’s sense of originality, political and social awareness, mastery of storytelling, and visual, musical and philosophical expressions indicative of the author’s experiential personal history. I further look for: balance of intellectual rationalism and emotional presence, a solid command of the full palette of language(s) used, descriptive colour, clarity, intentional usage of abstractions, entertainment and theatrical/performance value, humour and occasional irony, and an overall sense of when to use poetic economy versus poetic rapture. And finally I am concerned that the author has an understanding of how to arouse within the reader a sense of personal identification, emotion and engagement – enabling the reader’s ‘inner artist’ to enter into a creative cognitive dialogue with the author, and hopefully even to inspire the reader to embark upon his/her own creative process. I believe that art is both an intentional and an intuitive process, with many pitfalls: eg. overwriting, non-attention to levels of language used ($5 words can sometimes be more appropriate than $5000 words), stylistic and punctuation liberties that sometimes work and sometimes not, mimicking famous (and usually deceased) writers without sufficiently developing one’s own signature style, and getting all too caught up in – or ignoring – traditions of literature without having thought through why one has consciously chosen this or that style, or a divergence … just to name a few. At the same time, I believe that artists must always keep experimenting in order to grow and to develop further. That means taking risks … and sometimes even falling flat on one’s face. That is okay. We eventually learn from both our own … and others’ mistakes.”

As to whether literary criticism is, in fact, a “science” or a literary art form in itself, well, I think it can (and perhaps should) be both.

T. Wignesan (for Cyberwit.net) – https://www.cyberwit.net/authors/twignesan
August 31, 2017 – Paris, France

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2018 Redwood Writers’ Crime Story Competition.

The winners of the Redwood Writers’ 2018 Crime Fiction competition are:

1st place — “The Thieving Squirrel” by Lars Sigurdssen

2nd place — “The Man in the Photograph” by Steven Lubliner

3rd place — “Mahalo” by Jean Wong

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all who participated!

judges

Reviews of “Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo: an alternative biography.”

“Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo” modernizes the concept of the biography away from Boswellian “every ladder rung is vital” structure, and straight to “the good and meaningful stuff — that defines who a person is … and why.”

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

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With laser-like precision, Adam Donaldson Powell bores into Albert Russo’s psyche, while in parallel he analyzes the work of a lifetime. But more often than not, there is a process of cross-fertilization, whether it is clearly identified or on the sidelines. He interviews his subject, not always in a linear fashion, scanning the latter’s important stages of life: there is first Central, Eastern – the former Belgian Congo (now, DRCongo), Ruanda-Urundi (now, the two countries of Rwanda and Burundi) and Southern Africa – Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa, where the author was raised, completing high school at the Interracial Athénée of Usumbura (now Bujumbura), studying with European, Congolese, Hutu, Tutsi, Asian and American classmates, both in French and in English (he also went to an all-boys’ school in Salisbury, now called Harare). We then find him in the Big Apple at the age of seventeen, attending New York University, after which, he pursues his studies in German at the Collegium Platinum in Heidelberg. The subject is asked very intimate questions about his private life, with which he is faced for the first time. And he reveals facts he never thought could one day be thrust into the open. But still, he complies, candidly. Mr. Powell illustrates with excerpts of the author’s novels, poems and short stories, which are all either clearly or subconsciously related to Albert Russo’s life, as well as photos, letters and book reviews from Albert Russo’s personal archives. Mentioned are his AFRICAN QUATUOR, the collected poems in the CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, volume two, his collected stories and essays in the CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, volume one, and finally, his GOSH ZAPINETTE! series, of which David Alexander writes: “… Be warned, Zapinette’s gems of insouciant wit tend to become infectious. This wise-child’s deceptively worldly innocence takes the entire gamut of human endeavor in its compass. Hardly anyone or anything escapes unscathed. Michael Jackson,Vittorio de Sica, Freddy Mercury, Mao Zedong, Bill and Hill, the Pope, Fidel Castro, and even Jesus of Nazareth all come under Zapinette’s delightfully zany fire as she “zaps” from topic to topic in an irrepressible flux. As the century of the double zeros is with us, we have seen the future and the future is sham. As a healthy dose of counter-sham, Zapinette should be on every brain-functional person’s reading list.” After America, the subject moves to Northern Italy where he will reside nine years, then to Brussels. He spends half of his life in Paris, France, before finally settling in Tel Aviv Israel. When asked what his roots are, he replies that he is a humanist born in Africa, with his virtual roots being the languages which he speaks: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, vernacular Swahili, as well as those he can only read: Portuguese and Dutch. He will soon add Hebrew. Those cherished languages are much more than forms of speech, they are his planet, from which he extracts much of the sap of his writing. So, don’t be shy. Get Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo. See the publisher’s page HERE!

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DO WATCH ‪”The Age of the Pearl”, extracted from my new biography “Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo”

READER COMMENTS … regarding UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS of ALBERT RUSSO:

UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS of ALBERT RUSSO ‘can perhaps be likened to skipping a small rock across a pond – creating ripples and reverberations which both reflect the greater omnipotence of the water and temporarily alter its periphery and identity.’ Such is Adam Donaldson Powell the master weaver behind the literary tapestry that is the life & times with a view into poems, novels and picture gallery of one brilliant international award-winning multilingual poet, novelist, essayist, historian and photographer – Albert Russo – a man with a claim to no country yet a citizen of many soils – in his sensitively scripted yet profoundly penetrating work unveiled as ‘an alternative biography’.

— Jeanette Skirvin

This biography crowns five decades of my father’s very prolific writing. Both my brother Alex and myself are immensely proud of our father’s literary achievement. From his very deep insights on the history of Africa, to the birth and struggles of the Israeli state, his poems and immensely entertaining short stories, humorous novels for teenagers, short stories covering the complexities of human nature, there isn’t one topic that my father hasn’t masterfully addressed in his writings.

— Tatiana Russo

We have the pleasure to see all the beauties of literature, poetry and photography of Albert Russo in Adam Donaldson Powell’s brilliant and memorable book “Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo”. Russo’s profound and well-ordered imagination helps him to create great works of literature. Russo never writes his great poems and novels according to any mechanic rule. He has perfected his writings due to “the existential qualm for which my heritage is responsible: Africa, Judaism and Italy. They exist and coexist in cycles, in a fashion so inchoate that I am never quite sure which will take the upper hand.” Powell, the immortal poet famous for his classic “Three-legged Waltz”, points out that Russo “began life as an outsider; the offspring of refugees to Africa from Nazi and fascist persecution then became an outcast via his self-proclaimed ‘gaytude’.” No doubt, this fact has provided the perfection of tone in all his creative endeavors, and this will certainly entice all readers. The true essence of Russo’s writings and photography is revealed by Powell in this unique book. Adam Donaldson Powell’s latest powerful book “Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo” is a tour de force in biography and literary criticism.

— Dr. Santosh Kumar, Editor, Cyberwit.net

​To avoid any doubts or confusion, this book by Adam Donaldson Powell is NOT just a biography of the life of Albert Russo, nor is it a synoptic overview of his massive and prolific collection of works of prose, poetry, and photography. This book is something far more than either of these literary vehicles could ever be. Through literally decades of conversations, correspondence, and collaboration between these two very talented authors/artists, Adam Powell gives us a glimpse into not only the very diverse heritage and globe-trotting life and experiences of Albert Russo, but also a glimpse into his very psyche and incredible intellect. In other words, this book lays bare for the world to see what makes Albert Russo one of the few true renaissance men of our times. Russo’s collection of works bridges gulfs of heritage, culture, philosophy, and more – often with more than a hint of his sometimes quirky and off-beat sense of humor. For anyone who has ever read and enjoyed ANY of Russo’s works, this book is a must-read to fully understand the man behind the true art of his words, ideas, and imagery.

​– J. Richard Davis, B.A., J.D.

Powell’s study is important, for almost all of Russo’s work has been printed by small presses and/or university distributors and is not easily gathered. In addition, Powell’s particular focus is highly valuable, for it brings into compact view the issues and journeys of Russo’s fables and fiction and his social, personal, and literary commentaries.

— Martin Tucker, Editor Emeritus at Confrontation Magazine

The book is included in the collection of the
Mukanda Central Africa documentation resource center.

Mukanda has some very illustrious academics in its network. See HERE!

Adam Donaldson Powell, author

 

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‪J’ACCUSE, J’ACCUSE ET J’ACCUSE … by Albert Russo.‬

‪This is the « rant and rage » essay by ex-Parisian Albert Russo that convinced me to interview him critically, and to write my latest book: « Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo » :‬

THE ESSAY

(Photo courtesy Blikk Magazine)

(Photo courtesy Per Eidspjeld)

Buy my books online at:

Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, Amazon France, Amazon Germany, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Japan, and Amazon Australia.

Most of my books can also be ordered directly from my publisher in India, at https://www.cyberwit.net/authors/adam-d-powell

“Gaytude”, the National Indie Excellence Award Winner for best book in the category gay/lesbian nonfiction, can also be ordered directly from Xlibris at http://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-0035827003

My latest book “Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo” can be ordered directly through the publisher, as well as many other places on the internet and by ordering it at your local bookstore. Visit the publisher’s webpage here: http://l-aleph.com/project/under-the-shirttails-of-albert-russo-an-alternative-biography-by-adam-donaldson-powell/

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MY AMAZON.COM AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

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MY CYBERWIT.NET AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

“Entre Nous et Eux” — my latest book featuring contemporary LGBTQ world literature.

ORDER MY NEW PAPERBACK “ENTRE NOUS ET EUX” HERE!

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This arousing and provocative book of poetry and novellas in English and French is the author’s latest approach to what he terms as “Extreme literature”. According to Powell: “‘Extreme literature’ can be philosophical, political, religious, sexually-oriented, profane, or just downright ‘dangerous’ because it rocks others’ boat(s) personally. Not all literature is ‘pretty’, and even humour can be considered provocative. Art is the ultimate expression of the process of rebellion. If an artist loses that quality, he/she ‘dies’ in a certain way. In this latest book ‘Entre Nous et Eux’ extreme literature is explored through the lens of LGBT-sexuality and personal identity, and in a multilingual and multicultural context.” Powell’s “Gaytude” – co-authored with award-winning author Albert Russo – won the 2009 National Indie Excellence Award for the category gay/lesbian nonfiction. Isagani R. Cruz called Powell’s sci-fi novel “The Tunnel at the End of Time” a new way of writing, and wrote: “The Tunnel at the End of Time is a masterful symphony of languages, religions, cultures, and literary techniques, all journeying to one inevitable destination: the individual wrestling with self.” Dr. Santosh Kumar has written: “There is no doubt that Powell, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz are the most talented American poets of the modern age.” — Dr. Santosh Kumar, Allahabad University, 2010, from his book entitled: “Adam Donaldson Powell: the making of a poet.” And Albert Russo has written in his foreword to “Entre Nous et Eux”: “… I urge you to read these humble lines, for you will never regret having tasted the equal of our century’s Verlaine, Rimbaud or Baudelaire. Adam Donaldson Powell’s own FLEURS DU MAL are flowers to be treasured a lifetime.”

Purchase the e-book version online now ⤵️
ebookcover

BOOK FOREWORD BY ALBERT RUSSO

If there is one poet who will mark this 21st century, I ask you, dear reader and lover of literature, to discover, or rediscover an artist named Adam Donaldson Powell. I use both words purposely: literature and art, because this “Esprit Universel” is a multi-talented man who excels in whatever discipline he tackles: poetry, fiction, essays, photography, painting, and goodness knows what else. He probably has other hidden secrets that will enchant the aesthete, once he pulls them out of his magic hat. By the way, he also writes in several languages. And proficiently, what’s more! 

It is much too restrictive to call Adam Donaldson Powell a gay poet, or gay whatever. And yet, he describes love, gay or not, with the most sensual, elegant, compassionate, but also at times crude, vengeful and downright poisonous words. He wears ‘no gloves’ as the French say, when it comes to telling a story – yes, his poems have themes too, which makes them reachable to the adult public, even to those who don’t care much for poetry – of abused children, scorned transvestites, sons and daughters of mixed blood, or prostitutes who are prey to the most despicable whoremongers, roaming the streets of every capital and city, large and small, of our planet. But, oh lovers of beauty and eroticism of the finest quality, delve into some of his romantic poems and you will dream that you are the hero or the heroine of these verses! It has often been my case. 

There are millions of scribblers on the Net who think they are poets. Some excellent poets do exist, but here I urge you to read these humble lines, for you will never regret having tasted the equal of our century’s Verlaine, Rimbaud or Baudelaire. Adam Donaldson Powell’s own FLEURS DU MAL are flowers to be treasured a lifetime. 

  • Albert Russo 2017

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➡️ ADAM DONALDSON POWELL’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE ⬅️

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PERSONAL STATEMENT ABOUT EXTREME ART AND LITERATURE:

“Extreme literature” can be philosophical, political, religious, sexually-oriented, profane, or just downright ‘dangerous’ because it rocks others’ boat(s) personally. Not all literature is “pretty”, and even humour can be considered provocative. Many authors have works they (and others) consider to be “extreme”. All throughout the history of art and literature, artists and writers have pressed against and played with society’s tolerances – in both “liberal” epochs, “conservative” epochs and (as now) in states of “moral confusion”, where Western concepts of freedom of speech sometimes butt against national and local cultural mores and social politics; and where danger lurks and thrives on non-specific and situational social codes and fears.

The concept of ‘EXTREME ART AND LITERATURE’ changes all the time. What is actually ‘extreme’ today – in a mixture of globalised, regionalised, nationalised and localised perspectives? My own opinion is that ‘extreme art and literature’ today takes its starting point in the accepted banalities of everyday life, experiences and consciousness on the respective and combined levels (social, philosophical, political, economical, sexual and spiritual). Contemporary ‘extreme art / literature’ no longer attempts to shock in an obvious way, but rather entices the public to feel that he / she is a ‘member’ of the experiential understanding and consciousness, only to interject a “triggering” aspect that creates a sense of uncomfortableness caused by the realization that one has been busted by a banality. These “trigger mechanisms” are (in fact) integral parts of the art itself – often passing by in fleeting moments, sometimes blended in with an obsessive and “flat” (journalistic or photojournalistic) expression or a long tirade of banalities that do not even pretend to be surrealistic. These small “electrical shock” triggers will hopefully ignite an inner experience within the public so that the viewer / reader begins to investigate his / her own personal reality, his / her actual contributions to a collective reality and hopefully to re-evaluate his / her own concept of what one prefers to create as an individual and collective reality. The illusion of spiritual and emotion separation (the illusion that we are all separate, individual and self-sustaining entities that can determine our roles on Terra or in the Interlife totally without contact or influence with / from others) is a vital element here, and that common illusion is therefore “fertile ground” for artists. Here we artists and authors can play, provoke, prevaricate, entice, seduce and fool the audience to believe in us as a part of “themselves”, and then trigger the reader / viewer to consider the possibility that there might be (in fact) a miscommunication or misconception running loose … a sense of everyday reality that is inconsistent or which has consequences that one was never aware of.

Perhaps the most meaningful and interactive way to help another person to ‘wake up’ from their perceptual drowsiness is to enter into their everyday dreams and illusions (their banalities) and suddenly say “BOO !!!” Artists and authors who attempt to shock through their art with the blatantly obvious, often thus fail to explore and exploit the deeper, symbolic depths of the subconscious and the more mystical elements that make up our everyday and banal thoughts, activities, attitudes etc., and therefore are denied “personal access” by some viewers / readers who may consider the art to be too intellectual, too elitist, too directly confrontational, or too foreign. Sex and religion are often used today in art and literature as “shock elements”. It is not necessarily sex or religion which are provocative or interesting in themselves, but rather the unspoken and quietly accepted perceptions that we chain ourselves to unquestionably, and which can totally be set in chaos just by the artist and author changing or adding one simple element or context that we do not feel belongs in our reality-defining “picture”.

‘Extreme art and literature’ is thus not blatantly provocative in itself; it rather shows the audience the possible ramifications of acceptance, non-involvement, personal meanings and behaviour by confronting us with triggered or mixed in ‘extreme’ moments, and then lets the audience choose to begin its own personal creative life process of evalution and re-creation (if desired) … without commentary or guidance.
When I recently presented myself to Marina Abramovic as a “retired activist” she responded by asking me if an activist can ever be finished with activism. Of course, she is right. The process of rebellion is nothing more than one intermittent set of activities and actions in a constant redefining and assertion of the Self, both individually and collectively. Art is the ultimate expression of the process of rebellion. If an artist loses that quality, he/she “dies” in a certain way. My art and literature are not just extensions of me … they are my created persona: a sweet mixture of heaven and hell, with a pinch of mediocrity for flavoring.

In this latest book “Entre Nous et Eux” extreme literature is explored through the lens of LGBT-sexuality and personal identity, and in a multilingual and multicultural context.

Adam Donaldson Powell, Norway

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REVIEWS OF ADAM’S LAST NOVEL: “THE TUNNEL AT THE END OF TIME”:

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🔳 “LOOK INTO YOURSELF”
By Irene Brodsky on June 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
“The Tunnel At The End of Time” written in English/Russian by Adam Donaldson Powell and Rick Davis, with foreword by Adam Donaldson Powell and Azsacra Zarathustra.

It is an honor to review this most eye-opening, very well written and beautifully expressed book of poetry & drama that was written in two languages; and also includes a 14 Act Play! The book appears to be a serious look into one’s self, soul, being, spirit, surroundings, thoughts, reactions, and can be seen as philosophical, religious, mystical, spiritual, anger, reaching out for an answer, telling it like it is, no holds barred. I recommend this outstanding book for adults, age 18 & over because there is some strong language to express one’s deep feelings.

This book would be an excellent addition to the libraries and I am giving my own personal copy of this book to the landmark Brooklyn Public Library Grand Army Plaza Central Branch. It is my recommendation that the library catalog this book, and place it on their shelf where it can be shared by many readers. In this way, Mr. Powell’s magnificent book will be automatically added to The World Catalog of Books which is the greatest honor a writer can ever have.

It was my pleasure to review Mr. Powell’s book and recommend it very highly.

Sincerely
Irene Brodsky, Faculty Member Brooklyn College City University of New York
Teacher of Philosophy – adult education program
author of Poetry Unplugged
and The Adventures of Silly Kitty, Princess Jasmine and First Puppy

🔳 A New Way of Writing
By Isagani R. Cruz on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback

The Tunnel at the End of Time is a masterful symphony of languages, religions, cultures, and literary techniques, all journeying to one inevitable destination: the individual wrestling with self. Covering our most human to our most divine urges and activities, the poetic, science fictional, experimental, even cinematic book leads us through words to what is beyond or behind words: the inscrutable mystery of our own being or, more precisely since the book revels in Emptiness, our non-being. In the process of stripping away the several skins that we use to protect our inner selves and to keep us from exercising our freedom to live a full life, the book also comments on writing itself, turning itself inside out, so to speak, so that we are forced as readers to become the writers themselves, merging our selves with theirs without meaning to and without remembering the meaning that we wanted to find, finding ourselves apparently in the future but actually in the present, or even more precisely, in the past, as time stops for us. In the end, the future humans, aliens, and angels turn out to be really us today, as we find ourselves aliens within ourselves, alienated not from the world as lesser writers would have put it, but from ourselves, as only the truly alive realize, perhaps as only angels really know. For those less inclined towards philosophy, the book offers gripping suspense, continuous action, and provocative scenes; the narrative scaffolding, however, is there only to lead readers to deeper levels of reading. I recommend this book to everyone honest enough to admit that we do not know ourselves or that we are not just nothing, but perhaps even Nothingness itself. Have fun, but be warned!

🔳 Powell’s great interest in spiritual alchemy and extra-sensory world inspired him to write THE TUNNEL AT THE END OF TIME
By Dr. Karunesh Kumar Agrawal on September 8, 2012
Format: Paperback

Powell’s great interest in spiritual alchemy and extra-sensory world inspired him to write THE TUNNEL AT THE END OF TIME (Feb 2010) in collaboration with Rick Davis, the follow-up novella to 2014 with a poetic introduction by both Powell and Azsacra Zarathustra a poetic dialogue with the Russian artist/author Azsacra Zarathustra, entitled: “Transforma und Vrebatima,” an English-Russian poetic follow-up to “2014: the life and adventures of an incarnated angel” TRANSFORMA UND VREBATIMA is an epic poem, written by Azsacra Zarathustra (Russia) and Adam Donaldson Powell (Norway), primarily in English and Russian.

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SHORT AUTHOR BIO:

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL (Norway) is a multilingual author, literary critic, and art photography critic; and a professional visual artist. He has published several literary books (including collections of poetry, short stories, and novellas, two science fiction novels, and essays) in the USA, Norway and India; as well as numerous works in international literary publications on several continents. He writes in English, Spanish, French and Norwegian. He has previously authored theatrical works performed onstage, and he has read his poetry at venues in New York City (USA), Oslo (Norway), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Kathmandu (Nepal). His book “Gaytude” (co-authored with Albert Russo) won the 2009 National Indie Excellence Award in the category gay/lesbian non-fiction. Powell was also the winner of the Azsacra International Poetry Award in 2008, and the recipient of a Norwegian Foreign Ministry travel stipend for authors in 2005. Powell also took initiative to planning and organizing the “Words – one path to peace and understanding” international literary festival in Oslo, Norway in 2008. He has been an author under the Cyberwit label since 2005, and he has published 12 literary books since 1987.

CHECK OUT:

MY AMAZON.COM AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

MY CYBERWIT.NET AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

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Review of Adam Donaldson Powell’s book “Entre Nous et Eux”, by C. Richard Mathews, USA.

Adam Donaldson Powell’s new collection of works, Entre Nous et Eux, displays his multiple talents and concerns in a series of brilliant and engaging pieces. Powell is an activist, essayist, fiction writer, visual artist, poet, who writes in four languages, though English is the predominant one in this volume and an inability to read French, Norwegian or Spanish will not detract from a reader’s understanding and appreciation of any of the pieces.

The book is divided into four sections: poetry, a novella titled “Entre Nous”, a short story titled “Death Poem” and another, longer novella called “The Stalker”. While the works deal with many themes, the overriding one for this reader was the issue of how societal and political forces affect — often adversely — an individual’s development, sometimes to the point that she or he does not or cannot understand or accept who she/he is. A major factor in this, it is suggested, is the inability of others in her/his family and in greater society to respect and accept a person’s differences (the “other”).

The book begins with Powell’s great strength: his poetry. Interestingly, in the three works of fiction poems appear as well. In both the stand-alone poetry and the fiction, poems allow Powell to focus the reader’s attention immediately on his themes and concerns. The first group of poems involves children in a presumably Western European (Parisian?) context and their shock at how the world interacts with their innocence: a child playing hopscotch confronting a pedophile, a young girl taunted because she has “two mothers”, a young hijab-wearing Muslim girl also subject to jibes, problems for a child of “color”, a presumably Muslim boy’s trauma at the hands of police after talking of ISIS, the treatment of gypsies and their plight and ostracism, the shock of exploding bombs in an unnamed war zone.

Although much of the poetry deals with “social issues” in one sense or the other, there are purely lyrical moments as well, such as the poem “Jeux d’Eau”.

At a number of points the issue of suicide is introduced: the inability of the characters to accept themselves or others’ perceptions of them. Thus, in the first novella, “Entre Nous.”, a friend of one of the main characters dies of an overdose (deliberate?) days after they’ve had sex with each other. And the beautiful short story “Death Poem”, concerning two young Japanese men, involves the presumed suicide of a father over his son’s homosexuality, and the son’s own subsequent suicide himself. As noted above, the use of poetry, and references to poetry, permeate Powell’s fiction writing and in this moving story he introduces us to a specific Japanese form of poetry relevant to the taking of one’s life.

Both novellas involve casts of characters that are followed through some years of their lives. “Entre Nous.” is presented partially in an epistolary form. The story involves the interaction of several gay friends and various sexual escapades in a number of Western cities — Paris, London, New York — that the author is obviously familiar with. As in some of the poetry, especially the collection of interlocking erotic poems “tu sais je vais….t’enculer (love letters)”, the writing about sex is explicitly detailed, a means for the author to “épater la bourgeoisie” in the mode of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Genet and other French writers. Their cumulative effect is, ultimately, powerful and meaningful. These passages are part of his subtle analysis throughout of various types of love and physical and emotional attraction.

The second, longer novella, “The Stalker”, concerns a young woman and her lover, a transgender man who, at one point discovers that he may be “a lesbian in a man’s body” (294). The overriding theme is one of identity — despite society’s pressures, finding it or creating it and then having the flexibility to change it or allow it to modulate as circumstances and feelings may urge or dictate.

The reader should not miss the great amount of humor and wit, and pure literary pleasure, in Powell’s writing which, as in Proust, may be overlooked if one focuses merely on “the story line” or themes. Be ready for a wonderful turn-of-phrase, or the startling juxtaposition of images. For example, in “Une Lettre d’Une Prostitue…” the letter writer states, “J’aimerais parfois me mettre dans le peau de quelqun d’autre…” Or, “mots doux et traitres a la fois…” (37). Or: “lips part revealing your lizard tongue” (63). Or: “blood-red sugary tension of domestic rape” (55). Or: “the relentless fantasy is more than the sum of reality’s individual parts”. (78)

Especially delightful are the “echoes” one finds between different parts of the works through the use of literary devices similar to Wagner’s leitmotifs. Thus, there is a reference early in “Entre Nous.” to Donald O’Connor and Marilyn Monroe singing “a man chases a girl (until she catches him)” and then much later the reader comes upon a scene of Karol/Mariusz showing his poetry to a closeted priest in which he has written “I delight in chasing straight boys until they catch me” (172).

It should be noted that in both his poetry and fiction Powell’s writing style is clear and precise without being pedestrian or boring. It is a style that is able to draw in and engage the reader quietly and without showiness, leaving one with a sense of pleasure, even when the subjects at hand are very serious ones.

Powell’s book is highly recommended for its many pure literary pleasures but also for its profound insights into aspects of modern life that are often obfuscated or ignored by other writers and media in our contemporary world oversaturated with often meaningless written and visual distractions.

C. Richard Mathews
New York-based art historian, writer and attorney

Recension du recueil ‘Entre Nous et Eux’ de Adam Donaldson Powell,

Le nouveau recueil de Adam Donaldson Powell intitulé Entre Nous et Eux reflète les talents multiples de l’auteur et comprend une série de textes aussi brillants que jubilatoires. Powell, l’activiste, est à la fois écrivain, poète, essayiste, peintre et photographe.  En outre, il écrit en anglais, sa langue maternelle, mais également en français, en norvégien et en espagnol.  Le lecteur découvrira dans ce volume des textes dans ces quatre langues, ce qui, dans notre monde hyper-connecté est encore une rareté, mais en même temps une grande richesse.

Ce volume est divisé en quatre parties: Poésie, une nouvelle intitulée “Death Poem”, et deux courts romans portant les titres suivants: “Entre Nous” et “The Stalker”.

Alors que ces textes évoquent de nombreux thèmes, le fil conducteur est celui des effets de la société et de la politique sur le développement de l’individu, au point où celui-ci ne comprend plus ou n’accepte tout simplement pas qui il est ou ce qu’il risque de devenir.  L’auteur suggère que les autres, c’est-à-dire, sa famille ou la société dans laquelle il évolue, est inapte à respecter, voire à accepter sa différence.

Le livre a pour prémices la poésie de Powell, poésie dans laquelle il excelle. Ses textes de fiction sont eux aussi parsemés de poèmes, plus ou moins longs. Les premiers poèmes traitent de l’enfance ayant pour cadre une capitale européenne, qui pourrait être Paris.  Et des conséquences, insidieuses ou cruelles, que le monde alentour peut avoir sur eux. Voyez cette gosse jouant à la marelle et qui s’éloigne précautionneusement d’un pédophile, cette autre que l’on moque parce qu’elle a ‘deux mères’, ou cette jeune musulmane malmenée à cause du hijab qu’elle porte. Que dire aussi de ce garçon basané que la police menotte dès qu’il prononce le mot Daesch, du traitement odieux que subissent les gitans, de leur ostracisme. L’auteur évoque également le choc que produisent les bombes explosant dans des zones de guerre.

Tandis que nombreux sont les poèmes traitant de problèmes de société, ils possèdent tous cette touche lyrique si propre à Powell. ‘Jeux d’Eau’ en est un parfait exemple.

La problématique du suicide apparaît ci et là: certains personnages ont du mal à s’accepter, d’autant plus lorsque leur entourage les rejette.

Ainsi, dans le premier roman, ‘Entre Nous’, l’ami de l’un des protagonistes meurt à la suite d’une overdose (peut-être délibérément), quelques jours après que les deux ont fait l’amour ensemble.

Dans la magnifique nouvelle ‘Death Poem’, qui met en scène deux jeunes hommes japonais, le père de l’un d’eux se suicide, apparemment à cause de l’homosexualité de son fils, lequel à son tour met fin à ses jours. Que ce soit dans ses textes de fiction ou dans sa poésie, Powell évoque le suicide en utilisant des éléments particuliers de la poésie japonaise. Y percevrait-on l’ombre de Mishima ?

Les deux romans mettent en scène des protagonistes sur des tranches de vie. ‘Entre Nous’ est raconté en partie sous forme épistolaire. On y parle d’amis gays, de leur interaction, de leurs expériences sexuelles vécues dans certaines grandes villes occidentales, telles que Paris, Londres ou New York, villes que l’auteur connaît bien. Powell, n’ayant pas froid aux yeux, n’hésite pas à écrire des ‘lettres d’amour’ contenant des mots crus, comme par exemple: “tu sais je vais….t’enculer”. Et cela pour ‘épater la galerie’, à l’instar de Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine – qui, à l’époque écrivaient sous des pseudonymes -, Genet, ainsi que d’autres écrivains français. Mais là, il ne s’agit pas uniquement de subterfuges, ces vers érotiques, voire pornographiques, participent de l’analyse subtile de ce qui constitue l’amour pluriel, qu’il s’agisse de la simple attraction physique et/ou des émotions qui peuvent en découler.

Le second roman, ‘The Stalker’, qui est plus long que l’autre, est l’histoire d’une jeune femme et de son amant, un homme trans-genre, qui se demande s’il peut être “une lesbienne dans le corps d’un homme”. Le thème principal ici est celui de l’identité qui, envers et contre tout, tente de s’affirmer et de trouver un équilibre.

Malgré la gravité des sujets abordés, le lecteur pourra apprécier, tout au long du volume, la veine humoristique et spirituelle de l’auteur, à l’instar d’un Proust qui se ‘moque’ gentiment de certains de ses personnages. Powell joue avec les mots et s’amuse à juxtaposer des images, comme dans ‘La lettre d’une prostituée’, où l’auteur écrit: “J’aimerais parfois me mettre dans la peau de quelqu’un d’autre…”, ou encore, “mots doux et traitres à la fois…”. D’autres  exemples me viennent à l’esprit, tels que “lips part revealing your lizard tongue” , ”blood-red sugary tension of domestic rape”, ou encore, ”the relentless fantasy is more than the sum of reality’s individual parts”.

L’on trouve des passages particulièrement jouissifs tout au long de cette oeuvre si singulière, rappelant les leitmotifs de Wagner. L’un des personnages écoute un ancien vinyle de Donald O’Connor et de Marilyn Monroe chantant “a man chases a girl (until she catches him)”. Plus loin, il y a une scène dans laquelle Karol/Mariusz montre l’un de ses poèmes à un prêtre, où il écrit: “I delight in chasing straight boys until they catch me”.

Dans ce livre, qu’il s’agisse de poésie ou de prose, le style est clair, précis, et à la fois engageant, sans jamais être pompeux, même lorsque l’auteur traite de sujets graves.

Cette oeuvre mérite d’être lue pour diverses raisons. D’abord pour la belle phrase, un plaisir purement littéraire, ensuite parce que Powell aborde ici des thèmes de notre société contemporaine qui souvent sont, soit ignorés par d’autres écrivains et les média, soit négligés en raison de la quantité phénoménale de distractions vaines, aussi bien pseudo-littéraires que visuelles, que l’on nous bombarde quotidiennement.

C. Richard Mathews, historien de l’art, écrivain et avocat new yorkais

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