Archive for the ‘Locomotive’ Category

The Dedicated Engine

October 11, 2017
Drawing of an Engine originally called

The Dedicated Engine (The Jane G. Goldberg)
Pencil, couloured pencil, gold leaf, 36.5x48cm

Thrusting, trusting, elongated, phallic, dedicated, this engine seems to go somewhere. Yet the composition is static. The engine was copied from one originally painted on glass, perhaps for a magic lantern, which originally bore the name “Little England” on its golden nameplate. The artist decided rather whimsically, truly quite in earnest (though jesting, maybe as a means for self-protection), to change the dedication to “Jane G. Goldberg”, after watching all available sessions of her televised group therapy show on a well known, cheap, as in free (or ad-financed), resource for online videos. Jane G. Goldberg, apart from being a real analyst of the Freudian school, also has a holistic day spa called La Casa Spa and Wellness Center, where amongst other things, one can get one’s colon cleansed, have other things done, and emerge hopefully rather cancer-free, fit for the future allotted to one. Dedications are something questionable, especially unsolicited ones. The author would profess shyness and insecurity about own worthiness as reasons for not seeking such authorisation. The background to the proud engine: a hydrogenation plant for coal liquefaction, either Bergius or Fischer-Tropsch style, ironically rendering coal, which makes the dedicated engine run, into petroleum, to make cars go. Thus the path into the future is opened. A future which now belongs to the past, even though the way to go, electric propulsion, is of course mostly a sham, a magic trick to evade the problem of nuclear fusion or some such groundbreaking thing. The whole further background is a landscape in the Chinese style, with two buildings of unknown purpose, fog, rock, and firs. The entire work forms a kind of stump or rump for a whole holistic world view, such as art should strive for. Stress release (and build up),  homogenisation, liquefaction, bowel maintenance, mental control, control functioning, anger management, again liquefaction, energy management, etc. are all the core techniques which ideally should join to form a true society for all, a universe for worthwhile existence, not only in life, but also in death or near-inertness (or extremely slowed down or procrastinated reactiveness), as is the life of a tree, and then, at the furthest end, a rock.
Future © of this atmospheric rendering by Torsten Slama and the Group Therapy Board

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The Liverpool

August 11, 2017

The Liverpool (after Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis)
Pencil, Coloured Pencil, 40×29.7cm

This drawing’s slogan:  “The good old times weren’t good, just old”.  Someone said that and it is not at all clear what they meant. It seems to be something you say when you want to be philosophical, maybe nearing the end of your own time. The steam locomotive stands for old values, which are not good, just old. In truth most friends of steam believe yes, the values are good, not old. The steam engine also is something which enthusiasts describe as an object evoking ecstatic feelings of awe when first beheld. It hisses, has pressure, is a promise of good and functional sexuality. The image of the steam engine says more in the realm of culture, symbolism, and pictorialism then in terms of the actual object depicted. It says something about the owner or the creator of the image. Or rather, it used to say something. Today all is possible, or nothing. Please note the unpainted or stripped totem pole which does look slightly cock-eyed, a phallic symbol introducing the element of anachronism and dislocation. The flying object is perceived by some as a pill of  the capsule type, it is rather an oblong paraphrase of something spherical, a type of artistic quote. UFO enthusiasts know the artist referenced. Mostly everybody else also. An anagram: GREATER MIENT.  The creator of the totem in the foreground is an anonymous North American Indian. Or rather, this totem is actually a faux totem, as it has different parts from different totems, rearranged, and an atypical base construction. It is possibly hollow and made from acrylics. The creator (engineer) of the Engine is unknown to the author of this drawing, but surely known to the creator of the original painting this drawing pays homage to. That painter is Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis, who usually knew a lot about the engines he painted, as he was seeing his paintings really as substitutes for colour photographs in his learned books specializing on Edwardian railway lore.
Rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Steam Traction Board “The good old times were not good, just old”