Author: David Roddis

Introducing: Downloads

I’m now offering free downloads on davidroddis.com (Florian).   These are designed to add some beauty to your desktop and to ensure that I’m never far from your thoughts…!

squareIcon“White Flowers” is a screensaver which I compiled from a selection of, you guessed it, white flowers from several of my collections.  If that wasn’t beautiful enough, I’ve accompanied them with two movements from Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony – which you can mute or even replace with a preferred playlist of your own (these options are given during set-up).  The screensaver, once installed (a very simple process), will activate after a certain period of computer inactivity – this depends of course on how you’ve configured this; and your computer awakens from its flowery, Beethoven-y dream with a mere touch of the mouse, or with the ESC key.  It also accommodates nicely to a two-monitor set up.

If you’re not the multimedia type, you can also download images to use as wallpaper for your desktop.

Two points

The screensaver is a program (executable) file, so on a Windows computer your download may prompt a scary warning from the system or any antivirus program you have.  I assure you that the presentation doesn’t contain any malicious code – it’s just a slideshow with music.  You can safely disregard these warnings.

If you decide that you’d like to express your appreciation, you can return to the screensaver page and donate $2 or $5 using the links provided. These donations are completely optional and are not required for any download.  Any funds you donate will go towards my costs of materials, inks, paper, entry fees for art shows, and other expenses such as online hosting and domains.

Here’s the link for the downloads page:

http://www.davidroddis.com/#!downloads/cv7

A whale of a time

David Roddis,
David Roddis, “Icarus (for L.M.)”, 2014. ©2014 David Roddis. All rights reserved.

I just want this summer to be over. Didn’t want it. Didn’t like it.

Do you have summer in a 32? Maybe in linen, with a cloth belt, slim fit? Without the ketchup stains and the rabid guard dogs and the dirty dishes?

Last summer, on the other hand… was a joyful playful discovery time alive with light/dark fire/water love/hate rich/poor… dichotomy without the lobotomy. Last summer was a pool to dive into, a wrestling ring filled with jello, a big pile of mashed potatoes to sculpt with. Please, sir, may I have s’more..?

This sunflower image is named after Icarus, who flew too close to the sun. Another “who do you think you are” smack-down by the invented gods-that-be. But never you mind, he had a WHALE of a time

as his wings melted the floor of the sky gave way and his stomach knotted up into a fist that held for safekeeping all the terror and joy and regret of his tender life which as he plunged into the boiling salt-froth of the sea was revealed as nothing more or less than one single infinite moment encompassing the birth of the galaxies the planets god motherfatherhimself a moment that had always been and always was happening NOW

And you know something? We’ll all have a whale of a time, too.

New (untitled) work, Summer 2015.

untitled (catastrophe), 2015.
untitled (catastrophe), 2015. ©2015, David Roddis.

I’ve always wondered about this “untitled” business.

I mean, isn’t “untitled” really a title?  And then to make things more confusing, the artist always puts an ACTUAL title, in brackets, after “untitled”. Like this:  “Untitled (catastrophe)”.  Incredibly, sometimes with a DATE.  “Untitled (catastrophe), 2015.”

So not only does the “untitled” piece HAVE a title, it has two; and additionally, at the very least it seems to say that the artist is either too lazy (let’s just put down the first random word in our mind) or pretentious (I wonder if “catastrophe” evokes the heavy foreboding or whatever of these petunias… maybe I should call it “syzygy” instead…?) or self-effacing and indecisive (let’s look profound but with tongue-in-cheek because after all, “catastrophe” is a pretty big word and before anyone takes us seriously we better give them a big old elbow in the ribs and say, “just kidding!!”), or some combination of the aforementioned character flaws, to be man enough – by which I obviously mean person enough – to break the stalemate:

 “So I says to Mabel, I says, ‘You know, I’m just goldarned gonna sit here in my photography nook and think up a nice, appropriate title for this here photo.  I reckon I owe it to my public.  And no strawberry shortcake till I do!’, I says.”

(At least, that’s how I imagine Edward Weston would have handled it.  Golly gee!)

So now, with the date, we’ve arrived at this, the absolute nadir of self-effacing pretension:  “Hey everyone, I just thought I’d document for posterity the YEAR when I was (lazy, indecisive, self-effacing: choose one). Since y’all asked!.”

All this discussion proves is that it’s really, really hard to be me sometimes.

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Palimpsest

David Roddis,
David Roddis, “Palimpsest with Snapdragons”, 2015. Digital photograph, duo-toned and selectively hand-colored. ©2015, David Roddis. All rights reserved.

Today I went to the St Lawrence Market to buy flowers – an every-Saturday ritual these past four summers.

But not this summer. This summer was a heavy burden, and I was hopeless, broke, beaten down by human forces I had underestimated and against which I had to harden my heart and spirit.

This week I took steps to remedy the situation, enough said.  And suddenly: Money flowed. Sleep returned …

In my newly tidied living room the piles of books on the coffee table are a palimpsest of my life: Mozart (for my music); Lapham’s Quarterly (for my ridiculous, easy heart); 18th-century Italian Prints (from Savoy Books, Broadway, my NYC); and Henry Moore (which was my mother’s book; and though I don’t know if she ever actually cracked its covers, I know it meant to her refinement, aspiration, a way to a better life, a dream never realized).

…  And I went to St Lawrence Market to buy flowers …

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palimpsest, n.
ˈpalɪm(p)sɛst/
- a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing.
- something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.
In a figurative way, palimpsest refers to an object or place that reflects its own history.

Foraged Blooms for the Dispossessed

This summer, I became interested in what I’m calling “foraged blooms” – scrappy, insistent weeds and flowers that grow in neglected urban lots and push through the cracks of the pavement.  This is my way of paying attention to that which is ignored and discounted, to the dispossessed and the forgotten.

I find beauty in them.  The French writer Colette expressed a sentiment that is related to this.  To a beginning writer, she said,

“Look for a long time at what pleases you, and longer still at what pains you.”

Here are five images I felt moved to share.