Oy Vey, Goya Day

Courtyard With LunaticsThe Italian composer Tommaso Traetta was born on this day way back in 1727. Vincent van Gogh was born in 1853. I’m fond enough of him, but I really don’t understand his stature among art collectors. Could it be as simple as, “Pretty colors!”? There are remarkable aspects of his painting. I especially like how he deals with light and shadow. But I find him wanting in terms of design. However, it is always a pleasure to see his actual paintings, as I did recently at the Getty Center.

Warren Beatty is 76 today. Fine but overrated guitarist Eric Clapton is 68. Robbie Coltrane is 63. And that is enough of a reason to present his brilliant performance of “The Stone Golem”:

Alaska Senator Mark Begich is 51. Normally, I don’t mention politicians, but Begich has a great idea for Social Security reform—real reform, not benefit cuts. MC Hammer is also 51. The thing about Mr. Hammer is that I really don’t know who he is. I’ve listened to a few of his songs and they were well done, but I’d never heard them before. Oh well. Tracy Chapman is 49. Most of my friends have an attitude towards her, but I rather like her work. Piers Morgan doesn’t even deserve mention. And beautiful Israeli actress Mili Avital is 41.

With all my mixed feelings about van Gogh, you may still be wondering, “Who beats him as birthday champ today?” The answer is every Kafka fan’s favorite painter: Francisco Goya. He was born on this date back in 1746. Now there’s an artist who understood design! But the reason I’m so fond of his work is that he painted interesting subjects like Courtyard with Lunatics above.

Happy birthday old man! Here’s Tommaso Traetta’s Overture in D-Major to celebrate:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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