The Artaud and Joyce Line

I want my muse, Rena Easton, to choregraph my Artaud Joyce Fashion Show that must premiere in Bozeman Montana in order to fulfill prophecy. I insist she wear a mask. I want to remember her beauty as it was, so long ago!

I want Niesha Calkins to play the Gamelan, and the actor, Paul Drake to read ‘The Man Suicided by Society, as Lara Roozemond, leads off ‘The Lunatic Line’ in a freeze-framed dance down the runway..

My fashion show will be dedicated to all cowboys and wanna-be rednecks, who chose death over wearing a mask and getting a shot. Rena Easton will close the show with her Dance Macabre of Lunacy, she coming to the end of the runway, and declaring;

“I salute you, those who are about to die, making the greatest fashion statement, of all time! To honor you, I rip off my mask – and die with you – in the greatest artistic statement – ever!


John Rosamond Presco

Antonin Artaud – Wikipedia

Van Gogh, the Suicide Provoked by Society (

” One can speak of the good mental health of Van Gogh who, in his whole adult life, cooked only one of his hands and did nothing else except once to cut off his left ear,
in a world in which every day one eats vagina cooked in green sauce or penis of newborn child whipped and beaten to a pulp,
just as it is when plucked from the sex of its mother. “

(37) Lucia Joyce: FULL CAPACITY Trailer – YouTube

(37) Gamelan in New World (Royalty Free Background Music) – YouTube

Artaud’s Homage to Van Gough

Posted on January 15, 2014 by Royal Rosamond Press


Rena Victoria’s return in a more fleshy form (ink and paper) is equivalent to Eve returning to Adam in Paradise. A New Genesis is under way, as I own four pages of divine suggestions worthy of the Sistine chapel, such as this one;

“I see you are quite left-leaning. Please do not, in your urban world, be too hard on cattle producers and red-neck women. We are human too!”

Perhaps this is not a commandment from the omnipotent pedagogy, but, it is a wished for course correction that points the prow of my ship towards a more feminine, thus peaceful star. If I don’t want the source of my inspiration flow, to be cut-off, I will do my best to write the most profound apology in the history of the English language. James Joyce, move over.

For a warm up I am going to author a short story about two French lunatics who escape from the booby hatch and hop a steamer to America in 1872. Going West, they buy a cattle ranch in Montana, and are pleased that they fit right in. Here, scary psychotic folks carrying a big gun are held in high esteem. In no time Vince and Art have acquired a reputation.

“Don’t get in these guys way, because they are bad-ass hombres – even though they’re from France.”

Just put a cowboy hat on Gough and Artaud, and we got one hell of a psychological western thriller that tells the world Artists and Mad Men – are human beings too!

Do you think there is a Cultural Shootout coming, between me and my Muse, at the ‘I’m O.K. You’re O.K. Coral’? I think this is exciting as all hell!

Jon Presco

A few days before the opening of a van Gogh exhibition in Paris in 1947, gallery owner Pierre Loeb suggested that Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) write about the painter. Challenging the thesis of alienation, Artaud was determined to show how van Gogh’s exceptional lucidity made lesser minds uncomfortable.

Wishing to prevent him from uttering certain “intolerable truths”, those who were disturbed by his painting drove him to suicide.

In 1947, one year after having spent nine years in psychiatric hospitals, Antonin Artaud published a beautiful book as an apologia of Vincent Van Gogh, “suicided by society” like every other visionaries that has been categorized as mad. Artaud, fifteen years before Michel Foucault, affirms that madness has been created by psychiatric medicine and not the other way around. He accuses doctors and Van Gogh’s brother Theo, to have, not only ignored, but actively suppress the expression of the painter’s art.
The invention of the adjective suicided illustrates exactly the process of psychiatry. By having elaborated this medicine method, society did not want simply to kill those that it could not assimilate (like it would do for prisoners for example), but it wanted them to recognize themselves their vision as a pathology and therefore to make them commit a social suicide.

Just like Heliogabalus or the Crowned Anarchist (we’ll see it in another article sometimes), Antonin Artaud’s literary style is magnificent and untranslatable. One of the most illustrative example of that is Artaud’s obsession for Van Gogh’s “coup de pinceau”, which literally means paint brush’s strike and therefore express the painter’s power but the same expression is the correct expression to talk more simply of any painter’s action on the canvas…
Nevertheless, I attempted to translate by myself several excerpts and I already apologize for providing such badly transcripts in English (the original version in French is below):

Antonin Artaud
One can speak of the good mental health of Van Gogh who, in his whole adult life, cooked only one of his hands and did nothing else except once to cut off his left ear,
in a world in which every day one eats vagina cooked in green sauce or penis of newborn child whipped and beaten to a pulp,
just as it is when plucked from the sex of its mother.
And this is not an image, but a fact abundantly and daily repeated and cultivated throughout the world.
And this, however delirious this statement may seem, is how modern life maintains its old atmosphere of debauchery, anarchy, disorder, delirium, derangement, chronic insanity, bourgeois inertia, psychic anomaly (for it is not man but the world which has become abnormal), deliberate dishonesty and notorious hypocrisy, stingy contempt for everything that shows breeding.
insistence on an entire order based on the fulfillment of a primitive injustice, in short, of organized crime.
Things are going badly because sick consciousness has a vested interest right now in not recovering from its sickness. This is why a tainted society has invented psychiatry to defend itself against the investigations of certain superior intellects whose faculties of divination would be troublesome.
…In comparison with the lucidity of Van Gogh, which is a dynamic force, psychiatry is no better than a den of apes who are themselves obsessed and persecuted and who possess nothing to mitigate the most appalling states of anguish and human suffocation but a ridiculous terminology,
worthy product of their damaged brains.

Where disorientating shapes bring out the emotion in Artaud’s drawings, Van Gogh’s portraits focus on a revolutionary use of multitudinous colour and barely concealed motion. From afar, his paintings look harmonious, learning from the pointillists that shades blend at a distance. Up close, they reveal themselves to be rough seas of flowing colour. In Self-Portrait with Easel (1888), the humanity of his stare, with his eyes as deep wells, contrasts with the agitated brush strokes that form the shape, texture and contours of his coat and continue on to his skin. By the time of his self-portrait of the following year, the forms have changed dramatically. The blues swim and swirl. There is little to distinguish his clothes from his environment. His face and stare are bold and defined suggesting a much sturdier physiognomy, yet the world around him is in unstoppable flux. Though it suggests our faces change radically as our moods do, there is also more than a stark suggestion that the artist is suffering from malnutrition. Even the Portrait of Père Tanguy (1887), often taken at face value as a tranquil pseudo-Buddhist pose, seems skewed and on edge. The fact that Van Gogh was aiming so desperately at serenity suggests something was manifestly not right. In Artaud, the unease is explicit; in Van Gogh it is implicit.Artaud was right to identify this tendency in his would-be mentor. “For a long time, pure linear painting drove me mad until I met Van Gogh, who painted neither lines nor shapes, but inert things in nature as if they were having convulsions,” he wrote. This would be expected in a place of hedonistic abandon such as The Dance Hall in Arles (1888), much less in the placid wallpapered surrounds of his Augustine Roulin portrait, but it is there still. Even painting landscapes, especially painting landscapes, these “convulsions” are evident. As attempts at tranquillity, they are failures just as much as they are monumental triumphs of art. The whirling, churning effect of the wind on the clouds, trees and wheat fields (best shown in Country Road in Provence By Night, 1890) is wonderful until we consider that those days may have been entirely free from any breeze. After all, Van Gogh’s Church at Auvers (1890) is similarly sublimely warped. What hope did mere humans have when the mind could do this to cathedrals of solid stone?

Van Gogh/Artaud: The Man Suicided by Society (

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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