February 27th, 2019

“Individual freedom is the product of civilizational advancement. The division of labor, essential to the free market, and the division of meaning, essential to human liberty, are the result of society becoming more “complicated.” Fascism, like socialism, was reactionary, precisely because it sought to restore the ancient human impulses of tribalism and authoritarianism. The cult of unity is simple, freedom is complex. Mussolini was just one of thousands of intellectuals who thought that economic planning, nationalism, socialism, and collectivism generally were more sophisticated and advanced ideas. He was wrong, and so are the people who make the exact same claims today.”

Jonah Goldberg 2/27/19

Two Degrees of Bauhaus Bacon

January 23rd, 2019

BAUHAUS, the famous German school that disbanded due to Nazi harassment, will mark its centennial year in 2019. As much as I’ve been tempted, there’s no way I can downplay the significance of how its teachings have been embedded in my life as a graphic artist. In keeping with the popular Six Degrees method, I get a kick out of plotting my “two degrees of separation” from the legendary institution.

As a callow youth, I studied under and was branded by the powerful pedagogy of Professor Gordon Salchow during its embryonic period. During his long tenure at the University of Cincinnati, Salchow would go on to perfect his curriculum and become one of the most seminal graphic design educators in America. He had been at Yale University with the renown Bauhaus theorist Josef Albers.

My first professional position after graduation was offered to me by Bruce Beck, the influential Chicago graphic designer, typographer, and printing craftsman. When Beck was at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology, he was a student of László Moholy-Nagy, another leading Bauhaus faculty member.

I’ve never made a secret of how I tended to resist what each of these mentors wanted me to learn. Nevertheless, close exposure to their mutual example of focus, dedication, and professional enthusiasm made a deep mark on me as a creative person. How much of that transfusion is rooted in the Bauhaus philosophy of design is not possible for me to unravel. I’ve come to accept it as part of the hidden logic of an artistic trajectory. As a result, my regard for these four individuals has sharpened over the years, and my “double dose of Bauhaus” is something I look back on with satisfaction and just a bit of pride.
 

My two degrees of Bauhaus separation is a dual path:
Albers to Salchow and Moholy-Nagy to Beck. So be it.

 

January 15th, 2019

“I realize that people do listen to me, and I appreciate that extremely much. But one of the ways I get that hearing is that I don’t sound off on every damn subject.”

Andrew Grove — WIRED magazine, 2001

another perfect visit to the Speed . . .

January 8th, 2019

No matter where one resides, there is almost always proximity to wonderful artwork. One of the great aspects of living in Kentucky is the opportunity to frequent the Speed Art Museum. My choice of the word “frequent” may take on the quality of wishful thinking, but, for Dana and me, this past Sunday was wishful doing!
 

   
 
   
 
   
 
   

Dana and I took advantage of art from the Eskenazi Collection
being at the Speed before it returns to Indiana University.

 

December 4th, 2018

“The deep state is no myth but a sodden, intertwined mass of bloated, self-replicating bureaucracy that constitutes the real power in Washington and that stubbornly outlasts every administration. As government programs have incrementally multiplied, so has their regulatory apparatus, with its intrusive byzantine minutiae. Recently tagged as a source of anti-Trump conspiracy among embedded Democrats, the deep state is probably equally populated by Republicans and apolitical functionaries of Bartleby the Scrivener blandness. Its spreading sclerotic mass is wasteful, redundant, and ultimately tyrannical.”

Camille Paglia 12/4/18

October 15th, 2018

“The modern doctrines of diversity and multiculturalism are a kind of homogenizing totalitarianism. Its acolytes want every institution to be filled with people who look different but think alike. What our society needs is not more ‘diversity’ of this sort but more variety.”

Jonah Goldberg 10/14/18

September 30th, 2018

 

Fowl Language
collage on structured panel by J A Dixon
11.5 x 11.25 inches
collection of Gio and Josey

June 24th, 2018

“It’s great and good that people are praising Charles. But it would be nice if more people on the right thought for a moment about why his insights and contributions were so valued. Charles came to play. He brought facts with him and he never went beyond them. He never caved on principle, either. In short, he didn’t pander to his audience. He told them what he thought they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear. Moreover, Charles was never mean or conspiratorial or demagogic. There was not an ounce of cruelty in Charles Krauthammer, yet we live in a moment when too many people think cruelty is a form of strength.”

Jonah Goldberg 6/22/15

June 21st, 2018

“I made a promise to myself on day one [after my injury]. I was not going to allow it to alter my life. All it means is whatever I do is a little bit harder and probably a little bit slower. And that’s basically it. Everybody has their cross to bear — everybody.
— Charles Krauthammer
 
“I would think about Charles any time I started to feel sorry about myself for any reason, and that would pretty much snap me out of it.”
— Brit Hume
 

Charles Krauthammer
1 9 5 0 – 2 0 1 8
a giant among
conservative thinkers
R
I
P

May 14th, 2018

Tom Wolfe
1 9 3 0 – 2 0 1 8
a peerless observer
and communicator
R
I
P

Birthday season has arrived!

April 8th, 2018

 

Although “birthday weather” has not yet arrived, Dana and I launched another season of natal celebration with a visit to the Speed Art Museum and its Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism. After replenishing our souls with art, we found an Ethiopian restaurant that hit the spot. Cheers, Mo!


 

 

 

March 16th, 2018

“A movie, no matter how perfect, is a compact, finite experience that begins and ends over the course of the same evening. Watch it again and again, and you may notice something new each time, but the story itself will not change, nor will the character arcs. Even the greatest of films is a one-night stand, where a TV series is a relationship—between the creators and the characters, and then between the characters and the audience—that can last years, with changes both subtle and inescapable along the way.”

Alan Sepinwall

No way? Way.

January 30th, 2018

You know, the body really is a perfect healing machine. Designed that way. We just have to keep out of its way. Too many people get in its way. Some trip all over themselves getting in its way, and it’s a crying shame. Others see to it that it stays that way. Makes you want to believe in damnation.

Merry Merry!

December 25th, 2017

 

My work surface cluttered with cards in process.

 

November 15th, 2017

It’s that time of year when I urge you to “take note” of the card sets featuring some of my collage artworks, (now including Cherry Balm). They’ll be available during Danville’s upcoming Holiday Market at the Arts Center, which opens tonight. It is shaping up to be a unique local kick-off for the gift-giving season — live music, cash bar, and an assortment of holiday treats for hungry shoppers. Begin your year-end activities in earnest!
 

Holiday Market at the Arts Center ~ Community Arts Center, Danville, Kentucky ~ November 17 to December 23, 2017
 

Note cards by J A Dixon featuring details of ‘Cherry Balm,’ collage on canvas

Cherry Balm (details)
assorted vertical-format note cards by J A Dixon
4 blank cards, 1 each of 4 cover images
5.125 x 7.75 inches, folded
available for purchase

October 23rd, 2017

“You think there will be fewer insecticides sprayed on farmlands around the globe in the years to come? Think again. It is the most uncomfortable of truths, but one which stares us in the face: that even the most successful organisms that have ever existed on earth are now being overwhelmed by the titanic scale of the human enterprise, as indeed, is the whole natural world.”

Michael McCarthy 10/21/17

October 11th, 2017

Junger still understands what it is to be a journalist. These honest professionals still exist, but there are fewer and fewer of them.

35 years!

September 11th, 2017

“As a husband, you have to remember the crucial importance of three little words — ‘I was wrong.’ That will take you a lot further than ‘I love you.’”
— Charlton Heston
 

After pondering what to do with my stash of birds for far too long, I decided to start a new series that I describe as “Crafted.” Here is an example — a 35th Anniversary present to my indispensable partner and dearest friend.
 
That Red Boot ~ J A Dixon

That Red Boot
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.375 x 7.25 inches
collection of Dana Dixon

August 26th, 2017

“Our congenital distrust of authority and suspicion of history were born in the Enlightenment and it informs us all, progressives and conservatives alike. It is what makes America great and exceptional, but in too big of a dose, it becomes lethal. Letting go of the past is the great American curative for all manner of European social and political pathologies. But letting go is not the same thing as forgetting, and forgetting is not the same thing as hating. The progressive push to erase the past has gone from being a remedy for social resentment to a cause of social resentment.”

Jonah Goldberg 8/25/17

August 15th, 2017

“Madam, do not train up your children in hostility to the government of the United States. Remember, we are all one country now… Bring them up to be Americans.”

Robert E Lee

August 13th, 2017

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

George Orwell, 1984

July 16th, 2017

Martin Landau, RIP

Martin Landau
1 9 2 8 – 2 0 1 7
an actor’s actor
R
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P