M. Monroe and schmaltzy Howie

An obsessed star-struck fan — that be Howie — to promote his
film production company and to bare worship, designed this poster
Within the art is Howie’s schmaltz eulogy to Marilyn Monroe.

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M.Monroe and schmaltzy Howie

                    (1) The Beginning

I met you for the first time when I was a young,
open to suggestion, walking down the aisle, dropping
popcorn, looking for center seat.

I learned early in life that center-aisle center-seat was best.

Jumbo-soft, jumbo-lovely, jumbo-lumbo sexy female
blending into a mumbo-jumbo imago, into mom and the girl
next door, into black and white flutters, sounds, shades and
shapes entering my eyes and ears and mouth never to leave again.

I fell in love with you there, me sitting in center-aisle center-seat,
loving your long-shot, loving even more your medium-shot and forever
stricken, frozen permanently into motion and search the very moment
I saw your well-attended to close up.

It was then I began my daily vigil, pledging myself to a
constant alert, my life-long search, seeking you, the perfect being,
my celluloid queen and later, when always finding instead a heartbeat, and
a cough, and a blemish, I fled to my cinematic cineramic trough, rerunning
you through my head at one-hundred-and-sixty frames per second until
I eliminated the terror of discovering the unfamiliar touch of a real person.

I am a mad-sad child called mad-sad man, majestically standing on
my prefab cloud playing God, transforming every living flower in view
into Kodachrome-II, resurrecting you my celluloid queen out of every breast
I happen to fall beneath, out of every ass my hand drifts across,
out of every warm glance donated too my emptiness.

If the lady doesn’t fit the resurrection, if she isn’t the ultimate in form
and style, if she isn’t the perfect celluloid you my celluloid queen, I will kill her returning her to her life.

And she continues to encourage me.

And I continue to encourage her to encourage me.

And what we eventually encourage is separate parts,
her and I, both anxious not ever to hold hands again,
free once more to continue on to our next disappointment.

(2) The middle or somewhere thereabout.

The moneymakers waiting for their cue, they too resurrected you.
Onto their newsprint and paper stock, and you became additional speculation moving farther from your core.

I became jealous of them, for it was I, I sitting in center-aisle center-seat, popping popcorn that saw you first.

I then became smug, for it was I, one of the original disciples who resurrected you while you were still alive.

Finally I became wise, learning of the technology that led me led me on my eternal schlepping and muscle flexing.

Never again will I stand on my tiptoes trying to reach behind
your silver screen.

Never again.

                         Marilyn

                                     Marilyn

                                                  Marilyn

If you would have hung-on hung-in a little longer, you and I might have
met, could have hugged — possibly somewhere on a hillside
adjoining the ocean where whales spit and cormorants drip-dry, where
choruses of people begin to cry and laugh again in a well-scented
place called Esalen.

If you would have hung-on hung-in a little longer, enduring yourself you would have had at your disposal, instead of couch and Nembutal, an intensive Gestalt weekend encounter emphasizing Alexander and his techniques.

Emphasizing dance, movement, art, guided and unguided fantasy.

Emphasizing electric bio-energetic deep-knee bends and primal screams.

Also, on page 46, emphasized but not included in the price, additional payment required, is rolfing, psychosynthesis, spiritual practice with an evening of acupuncture, mythological mediations, meditations and jogging.

Yes my celluloid queen, you might have lived to have had your first face-lift.

(3) The end or near end or dead end.

Hello. Someone.

You. Who.

Yes. You.

You, who I met in the air, speeding towards that big city New York City.

Marilyn Monroe meet Susan R.

Once again I am standing on my tippy-toes trying to reach behind your blue spectacles doing a peak, a word, a song, dance, a clump and a clop, copping a feel off your soul I wept. Or at least I thought I did.

Three-miler cosmetic speed queen jogging away at the YMHA.

Jewish doctors love you.

Listen Susan, you’re just another cosmetic speed queen and I’m just another nervous mustache, thumbing through your eight-by-ten glossies.

What can I do for you?

What can you do for me?

I could give you thirteen weeks of residuals, if not, maybe the silver screen

I’ll do your fantasy if you’ll do mine.

(4 or 1) The meta-end, the beginning beginning again.

I believe.

I have to believe because I’m tired.

I have a hunch-wish that you are an amazing soul of earthly grace and I am some similar description and if we spent a weekend together it wouldn’t be a weekend.

                                                     Howie

In your watercolor, Nely Sílvinová your heart on fire on the grey cover of a sketchbook is a dying sun or a flower youngest of the summer

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Sixteen more of her paintings are in the collection, most dating between April and June 1944. At Terezin she lived in the house number 14 and belonged to Group V. She was a student of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. You’ll find this painting in the book “I never saw another butterfly”, a collection of children’s drawings and poems from the Terezin concentration camp, 1942 – 1944.

Robert Mezey (born 1935) an American poet, upon seeing Nely Sílvinová painting wrote the poem “Terezin.”

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and much else that is not
visible it says also
a burning wound at the horizon
it says Poland and winter
SILVIN VI 25 VI 1944
and somehow
above the body on its bed of coals
it says spring
from the crest of the street it says
you can see fields
brown and green
and beyond them the dark blue line of woods
and beyond that smoke
is that the smoke of Prague
and it says blood
every kind of blood

blood of Jews
German blood
blood of Bohemia and Moravia
running in the gutters
blood of children
it says free at last
the mouth of the womb it says
SILVIN VI 25 VI 1944
the penis of the commandant
the enraged color
the whip stock the gun butt
it says it says it says

Petrified god
god that gave up the ghost at Terezín
what does it say but itself
thirteen years of life
and your heart on fire
Nely Sílvinová

For more on children’s art of Terezin see:
• I will always come back to life.
• 100 out of 15,000 children saved. 14,900 obliterated. The earth’s  sun runs out of gas in 7 billion years, kaput.
• Resurrect a 9 year old girl from the ashes.

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Last Portrait: Art from the maw of hell and the soul of a Jew.

Works of art from the exhibition “Last Portrait” from the Yad Vashem Art Collection in Israel. The exhibit consist of nearly 200 portraits, all of them created by 21 artists

2artistssignaturesA compelling collection of portraiture from the Holocaust — but much more. They are a meditation by each artist, on the physiognomy of a human face and soul, a meditation of love for line, texture, shade, color, a meditation of a profound interpretation and esthetic, a meditation of artist and subject bound together for the moment to still the clamor of madmen, to postpone crazed citizens wielding hate and death bullets, to put on hold the creeping gallows of lethal gas.
That is their moment, each pleased with the other, subject and artist live, and will live-on, a union held there for us by what is expressed on paper in spite of and because of a random call to death in wait. There are survivors among both the artists and their subjects; there are those from each who did not. Included in this post are two of the 21 artists, both their art and their history. Meet and get to know Max Plaček and Arnold Daghani. If you appreciate art, if you’re moved by life’s commonplace heroes, their courage, their epic lives, except the invitation.

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Born in Kyjov, Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1902.
Murdered in Sachsenhausen in 1944.

While he was still a boy, Plaček loved to draw and paint, as well as playing the violin. He studied law for a number of semesters, but left his studies to start working as an insurance agent, first in Banská Bystrica and later in Prague, where he married Trude Pollak. Following the German occupation in 1939, he was drafted for clerical work at the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Bohemia and Moravia. In 1942, after a short period working as a forced laborer on the farm of the widow of Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Gestapo, he was, in September 1942, deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. On December 18, 1943, he was transported to the “family camp” in Auschwitz. In July 1944, he was transported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was murdered.

During his internment in Theresienstadt, Plaček drew almost uninterrupted. He drew hundreds of caricatures portraits in profile in a humorous style – figures of literary and cultural background from Czechoslovakia and other central European countries. Plaček added attributes to the portraits, such as books they had written and music they had composed. He made sure to note the date on each portrait, and had the sitter sign it. Some of the individuals portrayed also added a comment or a dedication to the artist. The large body of portraits reflects the human and cultural wealth of the inmate population in Theresienstadt; scientists, artists, musicians, actors, and intellectuals from a variety of fields.

The Yad Vashem collection holds more than 500 portraits by Plaček, drawn during the eight month period between May to December, 1943. The last portrait he drew was finished about a week before he was transported to Auschwitz.

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Born in Suceava, Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1909.
Died in Hove, England, in 1985.

 In the late 1920s, he went to Munich and Paris, apparently to continue his art studies. He moved to Bucharest at the beginning of the 1930s and, due to his mastery of several languages, he worked as a clerk in an export firm. It was there that he changed his name from Korn to Daghani. In June 1940, he married Anişoara Rabinovici. A few months later, their home was damaged in an earthquake and they moved to Czernowitz. Following the German occupation in July 1941, Daghani was forced to work as a street cleaner. In October the couple were deported to the Czernowitz Ghetto, and in June 1942, they were conscripted for forced labor in Ladizhin. In August the couple were sent to the Mikhailowka Labor Camp in Transnistria, where the prisoners were compelled to repair the main road from Gaisin to Uman.

 In June 1943, Daghani was ordered to create a mosaic in the shape of the German eagle, for the headquarters of the August Dohrmann Company in the nearby town of Gaisin. About a month later Daghani and his wife escaped, and managed to reach the Bershad Ghetto. With the intervention of the Red Cross, they were released on December 31, 1943 and went to Tiraspol. In March 1944, they made their way to Bucharest, where they remained until the end of the war. In 1958, they immigrated to Israel. The Daghanis returned to Europe in 1961, eventually settling in England.

 When Daghani was deported to the Czernowitz Ghetto, a policeman ordered him to take his sketchbook and paints with him, suggesting that they might help him to survive. At Mikhailowka, Daghani used these art supplies to portray life in the camp and to paint portraits of the camp’s prisoners, officers and guards. He continued in the Bershad Ghetto, painting portraits of the internees, as well as scenes from the ghetto. After his liberation, Daghani dedicated his life to art and to writing his memoirs. Daghani’s portraits, their seemingly esthetic quality notwithstanding, constitute rare color testimony to the cruel and harsh reality of the prisoners’ lives.

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For the entire online Yad Vashem exhibit with
examples of the 21 artists click here.

For an exhibition catalogue, with nearly 200 portraits from the Yad Vashem Art collection, created by 21 artists click here.  

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