And Then You Have The Frig-All Temerity…

Berry, Halle 14/8/1966

Michael: No, this is not the fragment who was previously Dorothy Dandridge.  This fragment is a second-level mature artisan – second life thereat.  Halle is in the observation mode with a goal of growth.  An idealist, she is in the moving part of emotional centre. 

Body type is Solar/Venus. 

Halle’s primary chief feature is skewed impatience and the secondary is stubbornness. 

The fragment Halle is fifth-cast in second cadence; she is a member of greater cadence three.  Halle’s entity is six, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – an entity mate of both Merlin’s and Arvin’s. 

Halle’s essence twin is an artisan and her task companion is a slave. 

Halle’s primary needs are: exchange, adventure and freedom. 

There are 16 past-life associations with Arvin and 12 with Merlin.  ________________________________________________

As I am a sceptic, I looked on at Halle’s historic best actress win speech and though I trembled and cried, I was also detached and shrewdly aware why she had won. Indeed, she was the vessel, at long last, because months earlier the twin towers were felled and who knew what strange new nightmare we had entered. Just to be safe, what do you know, none-too-liberal, the archly discriminating gatekeepers in Hollywood decided that it fiinally was time to “let’s make like nice, whatta say, let’s give her the award.” Oh Please!

In a truly great American cinema, Dorothy Dandridge was just as deserving to have won best actress Oscar for “Carmen Jones” as was Elizabeth Taylor damn well deserving to have won best actress Oscar for her riveting performance in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Naturally, to cancel the threat of the very brilliantly talented Diana Ross, singer/actor, winning the best actress Oscar in 1973 for “Lady Sings the Blues,” she was pitted against my father’s paternal first cousin, the actor Cicely Tyson in “Sounder.” A Briton, Maggie Smith was a spoiler vote, so that the sizeable British voting members of the Academy, could cast her a vote rather than vote for either Black nominee. Then there was another foreigner, Liv Ullmann, when the Academy awards are an American awards rather than film festival – the difference is plainly obvious. All this left one other candidate for best actress Oscar, Liza Minnelli, who was just as vapid and untalented as she has remained. And thus, neither Cicely Tyson nor Diana Ross won a best actress Oscar that night in 1973 and, of course, neither would go on to do so.

Just look at the 02:13 mark of the featured video of Halle Berry’s best actress Oscar acceptance speech for her turn in “Monster’s Ball” in 2002, there was sat Helen Mirren, onlooking as though she were looking at this imposter freak, someone being allowed to take a damn award that rightfully ought to have gone to, Judy Dench. There sat Helen Mirren who did not stand up as Halle, an American actor, winning an American award, said, “tonight this door has been opened.” Helen sat there livid at Halle high-jacking the awards with all this affirmative action claptrap. Never mind the Briton small-minded bigot, at least Sidney Poitier (old soul sage) was present to witness the historic moment. Well, you can bet Prada-heeled Britons in Hollywood, went all out to quickly slam shut that door because why should ‘they’ have received such a prestigious award? They are not even RADA graduates. Americans fought a war to rid themselves of the tyranny of these people and their colonising conceit and arrogance. Let’s face it, a BAFTA award hasn’t the cachet of an Oscar; it should be of negligible worth if an American actor is either nominated or wins a BAFTA award. It is not an Oscar.

Why in the hell is American cinema being steamrolled and bullied into submission by these holier-than-thou poseurs? No Briton with the exception of Elizabeth Taylor, who was riveting and compelling in every role she ever played, been deserving of being awarded an Oscar. What right have Kate Winslet, Olivia Colman, Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson, to name far to many, to be in the same league as Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Grace Kelly, Mia Farrow, Meryl Streep to mention a mere few?

Ever since the fairy dust of Chuck & Di’s 1981 pantomime, arriviste Hollywood have been bowing and scraping as though these were pre-1776 times. Since that best actress Oscar acceptance speech by Halle Berry in 2002, there has been a plethora of decidedly non-American actors, walking off with an Oscar in a parade of spiteful arrogance. Why Kate Winslet has won a best actress Oscar is beyond me, her every performance is just plain, insipid… uninspired. Winslet and her foreign colleagues are void magnetism and merely use the snobbish hauteur of their British accent as their cachet for being perfectly entitled to an Oscar. Who are these people to be in the same league as Faye Donaway, Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep.

Let me tell you something, that award right there is the most bold-face looting in recent memory. Just like Angela Bassett was robbed of the 1994 best actress Oscar for “What’s Love Got To Do With It” so, too, was Viola Davis robbed of the 2017 best actress Oscar. Viola won best supporting actress Oscar for a role in August Wilson’s “Fences,” which won best actress Tony on Broadway; it is not a supporting role. They even tried to see if they could snatch it from Viola’s rightful clutch, as they did with Cicely and Diana in 1973, in 2017, by also putting Naomie Harris and Octavia Spencer in the mix. Not only was it insult enough to have been misplaced in the nominations category but there was a strong likelihood that Viola could have lost out, just so that she could be put in her place for being so damn good. Bar none, she is the best actress under 60 in English-speaking cinema. Period.

Seriously, though, what can one expect of Hollywood when they had the temerity to tear their arses in the world’s face by having you and me believe that the statistically impossible truly had occurred, affording a tie in 1968 to Katherine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand for best actress Oscar. An Oscar has been of negligible worth since. And as such, it has become a members only club, to keep Black actors at bay; indeed, they go looking elsewhere for actors to whom they award Oscars, chiefly to Britons. To hell with Mr. Darcy. American cinema, to say nothing of actors, are being robbed. Where are the films, telling the story of Cuban-Americans in Miami, Lakota families and their rich history in the north. There are a thousand stories to be had in each of the 50 states of Black, Latino, Jewish, Irish, Mexican, Cuban… all Americans and it is not being told. Yet, you have these arrogant Britons, dragging on a fag and copping hauteur, though no doubt more jizzed than a Grand Central Station urinal during evening rush-hour, grabbing an Oscar time and again and toffing up their accent to bedazzle the none-the-wiser, silly little Yanks.

The one thing that the past five years has taught us, is that Britons are alarmingly racist and not only are they more racist than Americans but unlike Americans, they refuse to admit to being racists. Whether you are black or white, you are American and Americans are second to no one. Period. Why is the acting heritage of American greats like Hepburn, Davis, Stanwyck et al being eclipsed by non-Americans, chiefly Britons, marching in grabbing an Oscar; obviously if an Oscar had comparably less cachet than a BAFTA, no British actor would time-waste, courting an Oscar. Indeed, the age of neo-colonialism is upon us. Helen Mirren is leaden and starchy and does Helen Mirren, time and again. Same with Maggie Smith, Judy Dench (the dame means nothing to Americans) Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Olivia Colman the whole lot of them, it is all third-tier smoke and mirrors by way of copping Toff hauteur and using voice (à la Dune) by way of that accent on the oh-so-unsophisticated Yanks. Hell, in 2016 Helen Mirren even argued that there was nothing possibly wrong with only one Black American female having won a best actress Oscar to that point, in the 78-year history of the Oscars.

There are two types of looting with which we are all familiar. One, Black people looting at the drop of the hat; it is expected and an excuse to be reviled by the rest of society. Secondly, though not readily admitted, planetary looting of which we as a species are wholly guilty, which will cause our civilisation’s ruin in due course.

Ah yes, then here we have the most invidious looting. Britons looting an American award because clearly the BAFTA award hasn’t the same cachet. The Academy awards are an American award; they are not part of a film festival, which by its very nature is open to all nationalities, they are a uniquely American award. Then, there is the most egregiously invidious looting: Whites looting Black culture because… well, one can. To fuck with you, Jazz is too good for you; to hell with you, you could not possibly have invented this… This is American music; if indeed it were American music, god only knows you would never have deigned to have afforded us access – like your Oscars – to the art form, which boasts an unrivalled pantheon of musical geniuses. But hey, stay over there in your parallel universe, making your trifling music, as if anyone Black, on returning home after racism’s bile being spat their way 1 to 1000 times for heading out the door could care less. Please go ahead, piss yourselves silly, thinking that somehow any Black has time to waste when at home, to listen to music of the people who hate us, who murder us because… well, one can. Stay there in your parallel universe, lying to yourselves about how great you are – greater wealth and market share does not make for superior art; it is merely damn good business as much as so as are drugs. Don’t, however, for nanosecond get carried away with your deluded, revisionist sacrilege, talking knee-on-our-neck odious crap, “Jazz has its roots in klezmer!” “Jazz is American music! Nope, not having it!

Red Azaleas Singing and Dancing Rock and Roll Music

Acrylic on Canvas

73 34 × 158 12 × 2 12 in.

Alma Thomas

1976

Provenance: Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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How could you possibly expect us to suffer you anywhere near Jazz? Your perception of us; indeed, your notion of what we are and how we should be perceived and celebrated, are as dumb-no-fuck, bug-eyed blasted coons at whom you get to laugh. An Oscar is nothing more than these TV singing competitions where the winner is determined by the votes of well-groomed Joe & Karen Bigot where the outcome will almost always be predictably White. Imagine that, the year that Jennifer Hudson appeared on American Idol, she did not win the competition. The Academy has deemed that Black women are not deserving of a best actress Oscar, anymore than they can damn-well sing. Imagine, Bette Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan to name but a handful’s legitimacy, determined by the purely predictable, racialised bias of the Academy and its none-too-liberal members. There really ought to be litigation all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court to determine once and for all, if foreign-born actors are eligible to win an American award, the Oscar, when the awards are an American rather than a film festival’s prize. The very heritage of American cinema demands nothing less.

Jazz is Black culture. Jazz is Black high art. Jazz is Black spirituality. Jazz is the assertion of our humanity in the face of your savagery. Jazz music is the language of Black culture’s high-priests, its poets, its genius visionaries. Jazz… it’s about us.

As ever, life is like a flying dream; if you look down, you’re fucked. Enjoy the ride and fear no one!

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

Sing it George!

Benson, George 22/3/1943 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Michael: This fragment is a fifth level mature artisan – second life thereat.  George is in the power mode with a goal of growth.  An idealist, he is in the moving part of intellectual centre.

Body type is Venus/Mars.

George’s primary chief feature is subdued arrogance and the secondary impatience.

The fragment George is fifth-cast in third cadence; he is a member of greater cadence four.  George’s entity is five, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – this is a cadre mate of Arvin’s and Merlin’s.

George’s essence twin is also an artisan and he has a sage task companion.

George’s primary needs are: expression, communion and power.

There are 10 past-life associations with Arvin and 14 with Merlin.

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Music is a language and Jazz is the language of a people; it speaks to no one else like it does us.  No other music readily restores one’s humanity and sense of self like Jazz does.  Interestingly, when a student at ballet school, I lived the most famous quote uttered by Diana, Princess of Wales in that Panorama interview that she gave to Martin Bashir: “There is no better way to dismantle a personality than to isolate it.” 

That is why during my two hellish years in Winnipeg, the music of Jazz is what saved me.  Interestingly enough, three musicians I looked to during that time more than any others; years later, I would discover that they are all cadre mates: Natalie Cole, John Coltrane and George Benson.  

With the passing of cadre mates Natalie Cole and Roy Hargrove, it is high time to celebrate and pay homage to George Benson while he remains focussed here and now.  

Keep on flying right whether in the most blissful of dreams or the waking state’s unforgiving grittiness… then again, it is also maddeningly beautiful!  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

Roy Hargrove 16/10/1969/\/\2/11/2018

Image result for roy hargrove autumn leaves

Hargrove, Roy 16/10/1969<O>2/11/2018

Michael: This fragment was a fifth-level mature scholar – 2nd life thereat.  Roy was in the perseveration mode with a goal of growth.  Roy was a realist who was in the intellectual part of moving centre.

Roy’s primary chief feature was arrogance and his secondary was impatience.

Roy’s body type was Mercury/Lunar.

The fragment Roy is second-cast in the fifth cadence; the fragment is in the first greater cadence.  Roy is a member of entity six, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – here we have another entity mate of both Arvin’s and Merlin’s.

Roy’s essence twin is a scholar and the task companion is a sage.

Roy’s three primary needs were: expression, adventure and security.

There are 9 past-life associations between Roy and Arvin and 14 between him and Merlin.

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I have always exquisitely found centre for listening to this recording.  Time seems to drift away and ideas flow with greater ease… indeed, how sweet it is to be richly inspired by an entity mate.  

“I’m in service.  I am here to touch people and make them feel better through music.” – Roy Hargrove.  

Well if that is not validation of being a member of an entity six of a cadre one, I don’t know what it.  

I always good for long days after a concert of his.  A beautiful human being.  

Sweet and blissful dreams be yours dear ennobled entity mate.  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

An Awakened Dream Like No Other!

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On the final full day of this trip to London, it was also the 29th anniversary of Merlin’s passing.  I had planned on visiting Spencer House, the Monday evening prior; however, the event which was a ticketed lecture had been cancelled –  this was my only chance at getting to Spencer House.  

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Climbing from the Underground at Green Park, the park was relatively empty and there was a crisp bite to the early morning air as I walked along the periphery of the park’s western edge.  I opted to take that route and be close to the park’s trees than use the suggested route – St. James Street and St. James Place.  The only persons in the park were intermittent joggers, looking fit; strange in November it was to see persons running in shorts.  

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Walking along, I passed a narrow break in the shrubbery; the narrow path that ran beneath on the houses stated that it was a private road and to keep out.  A few more steps revealed the signage; yes, indeed, this was the place that I was looking for.  Turning back, I made for the private narrow pathway and awaited as a tanned, moneyed man approached with a wonderful, happy dog before him.  The fat little thing tried its best to act on his vibes and grumbled; staying my ground, I waited for him to get closer, said hello and asked if this was the way to Spencer House.  

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“Is this the way to Spencer House?” 

“It is a private path…” he replied from behind thicker, darker and more-expensive-than-mine sunglasses, to which I brushed past his American accent by elegantly rebutting, “Thanks, I’ll find my way…”  

Entrance to Spencer House: looking west to Green Park & East.  

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On entering Spencer House, I noticed that the splayed and slightly bloated feeling that began on approaching the stately home continued.  Inside were two men; both were rather pleasant.  We began speaking; for the next half an hour, we warmly visited.  Seemingly, there was a group tour booked and they thought that I had simply arrived especially early.  

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As members for the guided tour arrived, I slipped into the ante room and enjoyed the still-life.  Remarkably, there was a real ease for being in his place, which seemed more than passingly familiar.  Finally, when enough of us were arrived for the tour, a silver-haired lady with clear, focussed eyes entered the foyer, walked up to me and smiling, we warmly greeted.  A group of no more than twenty-five persons, the informal gathering was cosy and engaging.  

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As the tour began in earnest, it dawned on me that this house was remarkably familiar.  There were no doubts in my mind that I had never previously visited it; however, even the tour guide approached me and asked when I had last been to the house.  She was convinced that I had been there before and scoffed at my response that I had never before visited the stately home.  She had done so because I seemed with uncanny accuracy to know which door to next use to progress on the tour.  That aside, the energy between us flowed with the greatest ease.  

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As she spoke, the guide mentioned that Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch, who lived in the same street as Spencer House had actually had their wedding reception in the Georgian masterpiece.  As she spoke of the ladder, I suddenly experienced a vision and it was of seeing the room as it looked during Georgian times; however, as in dreams everything was back-to-front from the current life experience.  Indeed, I had definitely been in this room in the past; moreover, I had a rather memorable dream, which was set in this house.  Then as I intently looked to one corner of the room, the rather knowledgeable tour guide announced that in that very corner, Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson loved sitting in that spot as he was a frequent and favoured guest to the house as the 2nd Earl Spencer had been First Lord of the Admiralty.  

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In this marvellous salon is a painting of the Death of General Wolfe… it is even more grand and emotive than the painting of General Wolfe’s death on the Plains of Abraham at the Royal Ontario Museum.  

During that time, as a countertenor with Merlin (then female) my accompanist on harpsichord that I would have encountered Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson.  I have dreamt of this man many times and some were set in the very house where, though it had not been planned, on the 29th anniversary of Merlin’s passing, I was taking a tour.  

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Just before we left the library, the tour guide then announced as she drew our attention outside the window from the library, there on the grounds of Green Park were cattle and other livestock kept.  Indeed, in one such past-life dream, which was set at Spencer House, there was the intense smell of livestock.  For this reason, I had assumed on awaking that this stately home on the edge of vast acreage was situated in the English countryside rather than in London.  

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Definitely, this room – the great room – was familiar; however, somehow, it did not seem as large as it ought to have been.  

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The view from the great room out to the beauty of Green Park.  Suddenly, it dawned on me as I looked out the window that is why on Armistice Day after I left the splendid exhibition: Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs at Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and cut through Green Park en route to Green Park Station, I felt so joyous. 

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That is why too, for moving past Spencer House earlier on November 11, 2018 and in essence, becoming harmonised with the locale of a past life that I would have such lucid flying dream activity on returning to the hotel that late afternoon and napping.  

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Without doubt one specific dream was centred in this room and there, a play was being staged in the past life dream.  In between acts, one retired to this room from the great room and visited whilst the performers took almost forever at costume changes.  

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This was the setting of great music and laughter; indeed, I may well have performed for the Georgian glitterati on this balcony/stage-like staircase.  

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Lady Spencer’s room.  lovely.  

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The Music Room where 2.5 centuries earlier, Merlin and I were in creative full bloom.  I had a really powerful response when in this room.  I was left teary eyed and on looking in the mirror, I actually saw the outline of my aura; it was silvery as it picked up the stunning sunlight streaming through the windows on either side.  Somewhere in spirit, Merlin was with me and there was further validation that this place, this day… indeed, nothing is coincidental.  

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This room was pure sensory overload.  I felt gay and as though on the cusp of flying.  This visit was more adventure than even I could have imagined.  When the tour was concluded, I warmly parted with the staff and assured them that I would be back.  Then out into all this balmy, glorious sunshine, I headed into St. James Street and made my way to Piccadilly Street. 

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Feeling way too glorious, I decided against using the Underground and instead, headed east along Piccadilly and slipped into the Burlington Arcade’s splendour, browsed then went coffee table book-shopping at the Royal Academy.  Though I hardly had room to pack the six books.  Well in excess of 300£, the handle-barred and zoot suit-wearing poseur – eccentricity is never affected, asked way too condescendingly what did I mean by VAT “dear” and why would I get money back.  You blasted, silly little twit; as I do not gladly suffer fools, I shot back, “Look do us both a favour and go restock these… and try finding a brain while you are at it…” the latter stated whilst walking away from the counter; you’ll get no commission from me.  Who are these people, forever trying so damn hard? 

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With that, it was across the street into Fortnum & Mason to buy more teas and rose petal marmalade and jelly.  From there, further easterly I bopped and grooved in the glorious sunlight and circumambulated Piccadilly Circus and bailed into Coventry Street and into the crowded intensity of Leicester Square. 

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From there, I snuck from the rear of the National Gallery and inside.  

The delightful guide at Spencer House had insisted that I return to the National Gallery before leaving London and catch the Mantegna and Bellini exhibition.  She could not have spoken more highly of it.  I did tell her that I had reservations about seeing Italian art as it was much too ecclesiastic for my liking.  However, since she had been such a gracious host, I decided to just this once to go with an open mind and just explore. 

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You cannot believe how fast, I got out of there.  As I said to the West African museum worker, who asked why I had left the show so quickly, “You cannot imagine how deeply disturbing I find a culture that goes to such great length to never address in their art their savagely ‘civilising’ influence in the world.  It is as though it never happened or they played positively no role whatsoever in the brutal murder, enslavement, extinction of peoples and cultures.  His response was, to the victor go the spoils and the shaping of history in his image; he added that he was very very proud that I am aware, unlike so many of us.  With that, we bumped fists and it was back out into the bright sunlight of this glorious day.  

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Apart from the usual suspects, Yodas seemingly levitating – now there’s a gig! – I made it past a rather engaging African artist who had the soul of a sage if ever anyone ever did.  Being drawn to its beauty, I drew closer to get a really good shot of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and it was then I made the most glorious of discoveries.  

Well, there could be no better way to restore the spirit after the disquiet that I experienced for moving through the Mantegna & Bellini show.  Great art should reflect life, not neatly reinvent and compartmentalise away all that which one would rather not address – likely, though, Bellini had no knowledge of Columbian expeditions to the New World. 

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Presentation at the Temple – Giovanni Bellini c 1460

Certainly, the prominent artists of the 16th century: Tintoretto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian were supported by the Church of Rome, which by its patronage of these artists was intent on depicting itself in a glowing ecclesiastical light rather than the brutal realism which afforded it the prominence and wealth it then enjoyed… which endures even now. 

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So with that, richly inspired by both the guitarist and Spencer House and all that it represented, I slipped into the National Portrait Gallery, to drink once more Wim Heldens masterful Oil on Canvas of the collectors Harry and Carol Ann Djanogly – she passed earlier this year.  Satiated of spirit, it was off to grab a bite and then a nap of glorious dream-filled sleep – one of which was a flying dream.  God it felt goodly glorious to have returned in spirit to Spencer House.  

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After having overslept by a hair, it was a mad dash by Underground and taxi make it by mere minutes to Royal Albert Hall.  One of my favourite concert halls, any show would do.  

Ah nothing beats a good old nostalgic adventure.

Interior of Royal Albert Hall.  

Intermission from the stalls at Royal Albert Hall.  

You cannot beat a room full of love and wonderment.  Truly spectacular.  Of course, it goes without saying that Merlin was wild about Jim Henson, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.  This was a glorious way to have capped off a great trip and to remember the life of an extraordinarily phenomenal human being, Merlin.  

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And like that, the following day, I was returned to Toronto, my art-filled home and this most glorious photograph of the most magical fellow who made life truly a happening, for seven glorious, love-filled and magical years.  

As ever, sweet dreams and thanks for your ongoing support.  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

President & First Lady Obama.

President Obama

Oil on Canvas

©2018 Kehinde Wiley

Provenance: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.  

first-lady-michelle-obama-portrait2

Oil on Linen

©2018 Amy Sherald

Provenance:  National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.  

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Beautifully exquisite!  Happy Black history month.   Love the fact that Mr. Wiley captures the essential warmth of President Obama as reflected by the glowing light of the President’s left eye.  Both artists, Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley masterfully used the medium in which they chose to work, linen and canvas respectively.  First Lady Michelle Obama is wearing a design by fashion designer, Michelle Smith @MILLY on Instagram.  I cannot wait to see both in person.  Thanks again for your ongoing support and as ever, sweet dreams.  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved. 

Barkley L. Hendricks 1945_2017

Photo Bloke 2016

Photo Bloke

Oil and Acrylic on Linen

72 x 48 inches

©2016 Barkley L. Hendricks

Love it!

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Sir Charles 1972

Sir Charles aka Willie Harris

Oil and Acrylic on Linen

84.1 x 72 inches

©1972 Barkley L. Hendricks

Sweet and blissful dreams dear Sir.

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Soar Higher Still!

al-jarreau

Al Jarreau

12/3/40<O>12/2/17

Sweet and blissful dreams, you ravishingly beautiful soul!  

I love you more…

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Hot Rhythm.

hot-rhythm-1961

Hot Rhythm

Oil on Canvas

40 x 48 inc

©1961 Archibald J. Motley

Provenance: Chicago History Museum.

Love this rousing masterpiece!  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.