Friday, July 20, 2012

Arty Flighty Spaced-out Friday

Mixed bag today, but there are fleeting links between items.

Last week I received a comment on a 2008 post about a piece of sculpture I'd bought back then in an Oklahoma junk store. The commenter told me that she/he has a similar piece. This commment is the third of a kind I've received during the past four years, from others who own similar sculptures. We'd all like to know more about it. There's an engraved name "Morfy" (or in one case "Morphy") on top of the base. It must be either the artist's name or perhaps the model's. On the back of the base is imprinted: "Austin Productions Inc. 1972 (c)". It's big, and very heavy. I promised to bump a photograph of the piece into 2012 to test whether some new information would surface.

Here she is, I originally spotted her on a very high shelf in a murky junk store. She was coated with grime. I bargained for my "Black Magic Woman".

Any information will be gratefully received!

Going off at a slight tangent - another piece of artwork I bought five years ago, whose origin and artist were unknown to me until just yesterday:

Pure Uranus this one, which is why it attracted me as it hung in a display tent at an Arts Festival in a nearby town. It now hangs by my desk with assorted other artwork. The limited edition print is around 18" square, marked 239/500 and, I now know it is by Brad W. Foster. Just yesterday I discovered more about it after finding the artist's own website. I obtained Mr. Foster's permission to show a small image of the print here -its title is The Stars at Night are Big and Bright (or Remember the Alamo?)
"Deep, deep, deep in space, the multi-species space cruiser Asimov and it's fleet of various support craft have come across a singularly unique artifact floating in orbit around a newly discovered ringed planet system. Many of the crew members with ancestors from the long lost planet of "Earth" insist that there is something very familiar about the design of this structure..............."
I took a quick look at the artist's natal chart from birth data given at Wikipedia.

Taurus Sun and Mercury (Taurus is ruled by Venus planet of the arts) reflect his obvious artistic talent, but it was seeing Jupiter conjunct Uranus (eccentric, futuristic, avant garde) that really "sealed the deal" astrologically. The artist is definitely Uranian in style - even the title of his website and publishing company "Jabberwocky Graphix" is Uranian. (Jabberwocky is a nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll who had Sun, Jupiter and Uranus in Aquarius, the sign ruled by Uranus!)

The artist also recommends:
"...that you look at it once it is up on your wall (at least six times a week is considered the minimum), or else it will get sad and lonely, and the tear-stains will make it look less attractive."
I've looked at the illustration many, many times and found new ingredients every single time! Love, love, love it!

Which segues rather well into:

Last Friday we were in Weatherford, 2 hours drive north west of our home, and coincidentally in the area where I bought "Black Magic Woman" (above). While nosing around town, with less than an hour to spare before closing time, we found the Stafford Air and Space Museum:

"Weatherford is the birthplace and childhood home of astronaut and flightpioneer General Thomas P. Stafford. The Stafford Air & Space Museum houses an amazing collection of air and space exhibits featuring flown-in-space artifacts and historically important aircraft. Founded in 1981 it is now thepremier museum of its type in the southwestern area of the United States."

Because it was so near to closing time we were allowed in without entry fee, to have a quick look around. The husband, a keen airplane fan, was thrilled to bits to see so many exhibits of planes from the earliest scary contraptions to more recent, terrifying, bombers. After our quick look-around I did my usual poseur inpression with a sculpture of General Stafford at the museum's entrance.

I preferred the space exhibits and wondered at the highly complex "guts" of space ships, sliced open and on display. The real thing reminded me of that print of mine (above). Those innards of a beast whose power can send humans all the way to the Moon and beyond. Somebody - many somebodies - understand how these are designed and manufactured with such precision, then put together, again with such precision! Not to mention the courageous individuals who actually choose to operate the things! Makes me feel such a darned ignoramus!

I picked out a small exhibit whach appealed to me as showing the essential normalness of those exceptional men and women who travel into space - especially the earliest pioneers. In a display case were some almost empty Scotch whiskey and vodka bottles covered with signatures and an explanation:

As it happens, today, 20 July, marks two space-related anniversaries:
1969: Apollo Program: Apollo 11 successfully makes the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon almost 7 hours later. (US Time).

1976: The American Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.


Wisewebwoman said...

I love that BM Woman piece and remember it from before.

Glad she's one of your treasures and up for a second airing.


James Higham said...

What on earth do you need a black magic woman for, Twilight?

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Yes, in the hope someone will tell me and the other BMW owners something of her history.

Twilight said...

James Higham - I need a reason?

anyjazz said...

You have an eye for these bits of art. You have turned up several in the past few years.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~~ I just hear 'em calling to me. ;-)

Marie said...

I also bought a sculpture of the black woman resting on one arm. What I would like to know is if this sculpture has any value? I remember buying it in downtown Houston at an art/gift shop in the tunnel system. It has been one of my treasures. The signature on mine is not clear, but looks like Morfy (the "r" was smudged and not recognizable). Does anyone have information on how many were made? There is no production number, which is a shame. Any information would be appreciated.

Twilight said...

Marie ~ Hi there! I'm happy to hear of yet another Black Magic Woman (as I've named her).

If you haven't looked at two other posts mentioning her, do take a look and do read the comments.

The original is a 2008 post, and there's one from October 2012.

In the first of the links (Oct 2012) there are comments between myself and commenter mike, trying to discover more about the piece.

As to value - I don't think it has great value, much beyond (guessing) maybe $40 or $50 at most for an undamaged one.
There are some variations of her around too - not as nice, possibly by other artists at Austin Productions Inc. before and after. Mine is dated 1972.

As you will see from mike and my comments we suspect we discovered "Morfy" but I received no response when I attempted to contact her.
I wonder if these were some kind of student productions - or pieces by people in training. As you'll see from comments in the 2008 post, several Black Magic Women have emerged - so she's not going to be too rare, though perhaps in the "limited edition" kind of range?

I wish we could find out more.