Hi there!

I’m Andy Gallagher, a nice and friendly guy from Austin looking for expand his circle of contacts 🙂 I don’t really like meeting people in social networks – they aren’t designed to actually learn each other. How can you get to know a person by a couple of short posts on their Facebook page? Blogs, on the other hand, suggest a more complete picture. You can see the evolution of a person’s thoughts, feelings and memories, you can piece together their personality as opposed to following a sketchy log of events and impressions somewhere in Instagram. I remember good old days when everyone had a blog… Hope that tradition hasn’t died yet 🙂 By the way, I didn’t tell you that I’ve been long cherishing a dream about a writer’s career. Meanwhile, I’m just a humble bank accountant 🙂 Maybe this blog will become my trampoline into the big fiction 🙂

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Some more speculative babble

How badly do we really need art?

Sometimes I stop and ask myself: where would our world be without art? Really, have you ever given it a thought? Aside from the fact that it’s beautiful, versatile and inspiring, art is our way of figuratively processing and expressing our innermost feelings creating new, sometimes totally unexpected senses that can give us a clue about our own state of mind. It’s a kind of self-therapy during which you can give vent to thoughts and emotions that bother you and even start understanding yourself a little better. That’s why it’s so important to have a creative hobby, even if you aren’t a professional at this. And even if you have no god-given talents, you can ‘participate’ in art by listening to music, visiting museums and galleries, collecting paintings or furnishing your home with all kinds of fancy decor.

Autumn without artifice (but with a soul)

As for me, I’m an avid painting collector. Most people underestimate the importance of wall decor, but I know how drastically one single canvas can change the look of the entire room. The warm, lively colors of fresh paints, the delicate texture of brush strokes, the emotion implied by the artist… It all affects the atmosphere of the room tremendously. But I don’t just choose paintings based on my aesthetic priorities. For me, art is more than just a pretty picture. Here is what I’m looking at when I’m out fishing for another piece of art for my collection:

  1. The work should mean something. It doesn’t necessarily have to contain some clear philosophical implication, just be meaningful in its compositional and emotional aspect. I’m really looking for expression in painting.
  2. I prefer something that’s not so banal and obvious. Perhaps a little twist of the style or an unexpected treatment of familiar theme.
  3. Lastly, I want the artwork to make me think and feel. I want to be fully involved in it mentally and emotionally. If it leaves me cold, I leave it in the gallery.

All these three criteria are present in pictures by Leonid Afremov! This artist paints simple landscapes, portraits and still lifes. They don’t contain any distorted imagery, wild experiments or sophisticated undertone. They simply depict the surrounding world, but in a way that makes you look at it anew. I was totally charmed when I first saw this park view here – that’s what I call expression painting! Without including anything too complex or whimsical into the scene, he managed to convey the incredible aura of autumn with its fiery colors and icy depth, romance and solitude, quite joy and light-hearted melancholy. Now this incredible scenery hangs in my bedroom inspiring me every morning when I wake up. And I feel like it’s not the last of Leonid Afremov’s

ALLEY BY THE RIVER

 

 

 

 

 

Books vs. movies: The 21st century battle

These days, people stopped reading books. I cat get it. The amount of free time keeps shrinking. We have less and less of it to spend on our daily stuff and have a bit of rest, say nothing of self-education. When you come home from work, all tired and stressed, with your brain resembling a squeezed out sponge, you don’t want to strain it any more, you just want to relax and spread on the couch staring into some entertaining video. It’s easier to spend two hours watching a movie than kill over a week reading the same work as a book. But you see, the result isn’t quite the same. Movies do all the job for us. There is little space for imagination. We just consume a ready picture and our brain only has to process it. When we are reading a book, though, we have to build this picture on our own. We are constantly visualizing descriptions and senses implied by the author – which is a very useful exercise for our intelligence, by the way. We are practically shooting our own movie by that book. The setting, the characters, the staging of events – it’s all up to you. That’s why they say that every reader is also the book’s coauthor. Here is an interesting theory – and a nice piece of reading 🙂 – on that matter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reader-response_criticism.

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