Today we’re remembering German artist Käthe Kollwitz, born on this day in 1867.
Born into a comfortable middle-class family, Käthe Kollwitz focused her art on the desperate condition of the peasants and proletariat with whom she came into contact, first through literary sources and then directly through her husband’s medical practice. She explained in an interview that these subjects interested her more for aesthetic than social reasons, but she is remembered as a socially engaged artist who protested vehemently against World War I. Here again she felt some ambivalence, as she supported her son’s decision to volunteer to join the German army against her husband’s wishes. His death in Flanders shortly after enlisting became the fulcrum upon which her later art balanced. 
This powerful woodcut comes from her most famous series. About it she wrote in her diary, “Yet again I am not finished with the War series. Done the sheet ‘Parents’ over again. Suddenly it looks entirely bad to me. Far too bright and hard and distinct. Pain is totally dark.” Although she was dissatisfied with the outcome, the woodcut medium, its heavy black planes slashed here with stark white highlights, aptly conveys the sense of nearly uncontrollable parental grief at the loss of a child.
Käthe Kollwitz, Die Eltern [The Parents], plate III from Sieben Holzschnitte Zum Krieg [Seven Woodcuts on War], 1922-23, woodcut, Transfer from the General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin, 1996.

More on Kollwitz here. 

"Tell me everything"- May/6/2014

We must have one love, one great love in our life, since it gives us an alibi for all the moments when we are filled with despair.”
—  Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942
Frida Kahlo, Mexican, born July 6,1907What I Saw in the Water, 1938Oil on canvas, 91×70.5 cm
This painting is sometimes referred to as “What the Water Gave Me”. Frida rarely talked about her paintings but in a conversation with Julien Levy she described this painting as: “It is an image of passing time about time and childhood games in the bathtub and the sadness of what had happened to her in the course of her life”. Unlike most of Frida’s paintings, this one has no dominant central focus. It is a symbolic work illustrating various events from the artist’s life and incorporates numerous elements from her other works as well as some that appeared in her later works. The style of this painting is “surrealistic” although Frida never considered herself a “Surrealist” and didn’t even know about surrealism at the time it was painted. What the water gave her were images of past and present, life and death, comfort and lost. In the midst of this vision is Frida, drowned in her imaginings and bleeding from the corner of her mouth. She is kept afloat by a lasso that serves as a tightrope for insects and a miniature dancer. 
Although the painting is signed and dated “1939”, it was actually painted the year before. The unsigned and undated painting was exhibited in Paris by Andre Breton in January of 1939. When it was returned to Mexico Kahlo signed it and dated it “1939”. Frida gave the painting to her photographer lover Nickolas Muray in payment for a $400 debt she owed him.

"Changed indeed, mysterious, wonderful."  From The Mahatma and the Hare: A Dream Story by H. Rider Haggard, 1911.

The Pompeii Worm (Alvinella pompejana)

brancusi “wisdom” 1944

Just opened an online print shop

Teresa Tyszkiewicz, Ziarno, 1980