Prelude to An " Artists Life"Amidst the hustle and bustle of the functional business dogmatic, there is a place for art. Whether we 'live in the now', or post junction at personal statements, living in course our lives, as they may be in a simple and profitable way.
"Certainly there is more to profit than dollars and cents..there is that creative wonder of the world which is unexpained." said one apt minister.
The artist sees many things, and many will criticize. It is living through this criticism that the artist makes his voice known, or 'even' as in some respects the artists voice is --Time Itself.
An artist lives, quantify and extract each poignent momentand enriches through his/her talents a world that is suspect of all good things, and pleasure which can be, or seem like, a complete distortion, but be an absolute measure of truth in 'ones journey' through the many parts of existence that make up that singularity which is the point at which we can substantiate our lives as a whole.
Extract from a journal March 2011 of Richard Ozanne:
"I see an army of Segways in unison coming up the street and stopping at the corner in front of the place where I live...the tourists are directed by their guide about both right, and left as though this were a metaphor of some minute aspect of life itself being played out..I as onlooker of the many who pass in front of me..."
The artist is a traveler from his studio to the world. By being both the creator, facilitator, director and producer as well as the prophet, the life of the artist is often analogous to that of clergy in the cloister.
God is seen from another viewpoint, where vanishing point meets the horizon, and plane becomes analogous with the context of perspective. Rather unfortunately the world sees creative people in other perspectives too.
There are often many obstacles in the artists life that provide for insight into the truth of a natural "reality" and "things that are beautiful", however this artist is well aware of the certain dangers one sometime beholds in their craft. I use the word 'art and artist' cautiously since it tends to be an abstract infinitive of generalities-
There is no specific definition of art, nor an absolute is given for who is an 'artist' or what 'art' actually is-
But I hold this word in an older more defined meaning, the context of what art 'was' alluding to contextural content and history regarding art.
All who wish to become artists: Be warned of the beauty that one may perceive, and the pleasure of ones craft, and enlightenment one can attain, but also the dangers that may come to pass as a matter of taking on the creative perspective! (An old artists warning as a youth...in becoming an artist)
As an artist, painter I have gleened the beauty, practiced the patience, enamoured the skill, and kept the persistance of the road in my heart. There is promise and hope for a future through the venue of my lifes road as well as greetings for others on their paths of creativity.
"Money-giving is a very goodcriterion of a person's mentalhealth.....Karl Menninger
Some irony I shared a studio with Karl Menninger in Chautauqua, and would watch him paint, and found a profound significance in his work that would allude to play, and being allowed to play through my art in a world set on the didactics. Where freedom exists, so should art...of all varieties, prospects, inclinations and viewpoints.
Unfortunately we know the story of Socrates, as well as those of Ann Frank and the many,many who existed to tell us...those examples and many many others who challenged us to listen in desperation...
It is to ones own best interest...to not know, but know, as possession of knowledge can be its very epitaph in exploitation. Any biography would not be complete without the word exploitation written into the text which brings me into to realm of comparison and contrast among some beautiful examples of texts of genius. "An Experiment in Biography" by H.G Wells as well as the unfortunate, "Letter to Father" of a young Franz Kafka. "The Good Soldier Sweck" or Voltaire "Candide" a funny but remarkable setting which identifiably have the fabric of which biography is made. We can laugh with irony as sarcasm is a great leverage on occasion... of truth.
No biography is without triumph and sorrow, wit and contrast. It may further be noted that ones life, if one lives it to full potential..might often ignored, a crisis of the human condition subjects each condition to a microscope, analysis, quasi-atomic level vetting ( all for something to do) and may I say...utter disbelief. If one has to classify it...fun intended: "Neurotic means he is not assensible as I am, and psychoticmeans he's even worsethan my brother-in-law."Karl MenningerSo many things happen as well as events, that in order of time, could not put the sequences together in a cohesive manner. Therefore I lay this document on line for your perusal. (Everyone’s life is interesting. Though I lay this forward, raw and in progress, I have had little assistance with any of this. (Spell check) has gone awry, and help from persons that have drifted my way have bowed out on many occasions to make it an even more exciting proposal...a continual dry run. Of course I am aware, as with any artistic work, that the metaphoric knife... is always perceptually aimed. This is a factual account as best as it can be described. Apologies for technical difficulties. Oh the many technical difficulties...
Although I wanted to nuance, I feel that it would somehow detract from the whole, yet I must mention names. Perhaps for the best facility in doing this, the names were changed and identities skewed to a near representation, but not missing the general idea. (I do this in the Road Across)
Maybe many of these are names you have never heard of when I mention missions of other artists. There are many. I only wish to give these as a reference point, a point that I feel is of importance for the issue of general discovery.
If someone wants to read more about me: My biography is printed in several books internationally. Biographical sketches of my career can be found in the Library of Congress and other libraries. Perhaps the one book that expresses the artists circumstance contains 2 pages of bio and an artist statement referencing a "Dedication"-Other books, periodicals can simply state a less arduous display, where my artwork is included-(Please inquire for yourself into the First Edition of Millennium Hall of Fame 1997 c.1999 at the Library of Congress-Special Collection-Washington DC
LC Control No.:
Type of Material:
Serial (Book, Periodical, Newspaper, etc.)
Millennium Hall of Fame.
v. : ports. ; 27 cm.
Vol. with c1999 called "Premier World Edition."
as well as other books in print not discussed here) However I am leaving out many things (on purpose) unless this biography would span more than 200 pages of padding that I feel would without purpose except to inform and perhaps entertain...maybe...enlighten (but this is a very misunderstood concept in current culture) This is an experiment, a reference point where, I as an artist have come to the visualization of the need to write a biography, a full story in black and white for those, especially artists or those involved in the arts to read and think about.
"Interpretation is your game..." as the old story goes. Facts as they occur "are" so to speak. The story is true as the spirit of acceptance and to the word from the hands of the writer as well as interpretation for time and its isolation to resound in some spiritual essence..as even the most current events find them self history at some point. "As I sit here writing it becomes quite obvious that I am of no special significance, a cog on a written podium writing what I know for the singular purpose of "doing something" in fact anything beyond shuffle papers...and this is perhaps just that...the winds of time, shuffling themselves...here. For only God knows the essence of each of us, and thus it is.."Richard Ozanne (09)
"What is big news now will someday become relatively inconsequential. The sequence of events which lead to the present will always be kept a profound and harnessed inertia. Cause and effect can, in many sequences of events, sometimes be laid as a cornerstone to something laid as a perceptual form of influence and reaction. This effect levied upon the future as well as history to unravel and unfold in a greater sense of consciousness of ...what is"Richard Ozanne 08'The "Tradition", History of the Family
I was born into a family of musicians and artists, but not just "artists" as the general public knows the stigma to attach itself. There was no such word of "artists" as we generally know them today. Of course it was generally the convention since the 19th century and the term "starving artists" was initiated out of a drama (a play) set in Paris that our stigma became a general catch phrase among the populace. Traditionally, basically ever since the arts emerged out of the Renaissance, the arts as they were generally known had positively nothing of the free hand expression given today in a somewhat derogatory manner. There has been and continued as a tradition, and a well respected tradition, as per the arts for many centuries. Unfortunately this has not been played out among popular media and culture of today. In some respects this tradition that has lasted well over a thousand years.. laying a pathway of many influences. In the visual arts there have been the painters of Europe who provided centuries of influence. Rembrandt and the Dutch masters each had their ateliers which produced many students who gave influences to different changes and referenced an evolution from what we can view in any book on art history. Even the modern artists of today have been influenced if studied, on the basis of history, in their arts or crafts. The painters of the Bauhaus didn't instantaneously become "artists". There was no respect historically for an artist that didn't study as well perform their craft. Many names of the artists have gone by the wayside but their influences can be clearly seen. What we have is the culture of art today, that is unaffected by the past because it is reflective of every action and reaction, neuron impulse and perception of beauty that is relevant to media but not necessarily 'art' in the higher sense as this realm has become an adage of sorts, for the ceiling has been removed and replaced by a new order and new diagrams of art as it may be considered, the art of the masses and the influence of decoration that proposes art of value.In music we have the influences of the Germans, Italians, French, Austrians or English as well as many others. The schools of Bach, Mozart or Hayden are well known. From these schools the next generation of musicians were formed. The names are many and their influences still to this day among the perceptive youth which study the marks of "genius" that were represented. Somehow I feel we have broken the arrow in our perception of what is considered good or bad. Art from 100 years ago cannot be in anyway compared even in a general way to that produced today. The essence of art meshed with philosophy seems lost in our culture. Skill in our current age has seemingly no bearing because it is outsmarted by the latest computer driven program, on an incremental level, but skill (true skill) can never be matched only augmented. Our world, filled with the remarkable achievements of mechanics and technology can never undermine the basic skill of recording thoughts on paper whether in the arts or in engineering. It is the development of this imaginative complex that drives achieved skill forward to new dimensions of progress. It is hoped that the person can remain an individual with his choices of artistic exploration. Classical music and classical art may have all turned to the basis of 'mass approval' in order for a concert or exhibition to be deemed progressive. It is clear that the arts of today are slowly diminishing in importance among the populace if it is not "popular art" or "art for the masses". For the civilizations of tomorrow we may ask: who are the artists who represent our time and age. Surely will these will be the popular icons of our media?Family "Ozanne"(Based in part on original documents from England (College of Arms, Normandy and France from the 13 century and 19th century as well as written and oral notes)The name surname "Ozanne" comes from my fathers side of the family, and the name, almost common on the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, is many centuries old from the records that were kept. The surname has quite a number of different relationships. It is primarily a Norman (Normandy France) name but also English, French sides of this family. Some of the Ozanne, Ozan can be found as far away as Poland and central Europe. Ironically I personally met a Slovakian and Pole that had the first name as Ozan. This name is a name of a river in Turkey. It means Troubadour in Turkish, and for some twist of the language sounds similar to Azen in Arabic which means "Time". Ozanne, some have said comes from the name of the "Hosannas" which were a call to herald. The Hosannas were the ones that according to some legend carried the Palm Branches and sang praise during the life of Jesus. Similar in a sense to "Azen" declaring a time for worship. With some irony this word translates into Hebrew meaning "Ear". Thoughts of Troubadours and singing praise can be applied with the imagination.
The Legend of the French Family "Ozanne"-
A Cote of Arms is a licence to the history of a family given to distinction in one form or another-in a copper plate (as an etching) was passed from generation to generation as well as papers on sheepskin -parchment of the history of the family "Ozanne" that drifted in legend to the French family.
This is an interesting legacy which fulfills itself to the 'direct descendants' of William the Conqueror (sister Matilda and before-referencing Norman Lineage to the fellas with the big horns on their helmets, known as Vikings) as well as many other nobles-Kings, and Dukes in England and France-until the late 18th century when the Ozanne seemed to move out of the great spheres of influence into less obvious distinction as ministers and clergy...and yes artists. The family Ozanne had a renowned legacy in the arts throughout the 19th century, being one of the most considered families of France through one Pierre Ozanne and others known as "Les Ozanne", in books-
Hear-say legend passed through the family basically is 'what was known' by descendants in history as well as on paper. A ring was passed from generation to generation...diamonds set deeply in sapphire occurring in a star design were said to be the ring passed on to his sister upon Williams death as proof. In any case it was said that this was the testament of his death...the delivery of the ring, some nostalgia.. (In a bank vault under safe keeping, I ponder over the history of this, being worth some wonderful millions (but not even for that would I part with it)...fact or fiction who knows (although dated, and carbonized, chemically tested and given a dating of 10th to 13 century, but could be before, as even this process is not specificly accurate except to a jeweler who could'nt do that kind of workmanship with those stones unless for a King...only a relic of the families past but quite intact and beautiful)
There is some written record of the Ozanne existing in Poland, as well, as the first democratically elected King of Poland "Stanislas Augustus" under the Pontitowski Dynasty. This I was mentioned in my family charts of a Richard Ozanne born in Krakow c.____ having an ambassador present at the great church with the King Stanislas Augustus as godfather. (little is known about the Polish roots or lineage from there...) There was a "Richard Ozanne", born in Poland via a family Zukowska hence the added interest. *Later upon a visit to Krakow Poland(1996) I had an interesting time. I was doing some research on the history etc in the old archives (the ones left after the war that still had some history preserved) and came across an old man and his wife with many interesting commentaries about the history of Poland, Pontitowski and apparently the name Zukowska. He gave me a small token of interest (later researched over the internet) Some interesting commentary about this article (a cross of sorts) of art and designed enameled with the words "Poland Restored" as a token memento from the organization he had been part of, after dinner at his home the night before my trip down to Zakopane where I spent a week in the Tatras...something to do with Polish history as well as my own visits to Zakopane in the past. Not much comment, just some interest.
Of course this information was passed along via old papers and documents from generation to generation (some I have-pristine- and some from the 17th century as well as long before) and when in London I visited the College of Arms, as it is known, that confirmed some records as to my descendants and perhaps confirm the right to posess the arms of Ozanne, since I was one of the last decendants of this legacy on the matriarchal line. With this I could receive a parchment and confirmation of that which I knew. Some of the other things I was astounded at, not to be self afacing again but rather not to have written up the legacy or 'title', which I know and do not need to confirm nor wish to pronounce, as this of all things is something of a 'blood-line' and whatever it is sure to cause some commotion.
Genealogy is a novelty, a curiosity. At one point long ago it was considered something of science. The question is Who knows exactly, except to have somewhat pointed reference to ones history in documents, some which have held the prism of time only to dwindle with age and neglect. At this point I hold both the copper plate etching of the cote of arms and a Ducal ring which once belonged to William the Conqueror, its stones set deep in sapphire blackened by time, but being original/original- I did research-
This research lead to the nostalgic, a lesson in history from where I came. The Marsh family was very close in kin (name on my great grandmothers side) as well business dealing with the Ozanne family at one point during the early part of the 20th century through the Great Depression. One of my uncles, "Ozanne" a deeply spiritual and sentimental man founded the Rhine foundation towards psychic research.
The Marshes were from a prominent family in upstate New York , who once owned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and a city block on Wall Street (circa 1900), who have been in the United States since before 1776.
There is referance to a John Marsh of American History, a Metaphysician and teacher of John Quicy Adams. It is known that our family did come from the Northeast and most-likely those legends were correct-
My uncle James Marsh was present on the cover of the New York Herald Tribune during the Stock Market Crash of 1929 owning a seat on the New York Stock Exchange at one time. Of English origin they came from the vicinity of Kent.
Other families too have consolidated themselves in to my own. Marlowe was my great grandmothers name, of English-Austo-Hungarian origin. Tchereginska of Russian origin. (My grandmothers name) who was a noted Russian actress on stage and in early movies, went by the last name of "Edwards" (her uncles name) to clear the censors of 1920 (there were door to door raids for undocumented immigrants during the three-four years 1920-24 in California, she held an English passport since Russia was under siege by the Bolsevicks-and my grandfather covered for her.
Not too much was known about her, except a worn piece of a show poster in which she played the lead role and that she did play in the early movies- She disappeared in the late 20’s (?) and was never seen of nor heard of again. I suppose I might have some 'other family' out there amidst the tribes of convictions in our steady and noble human race. If anyone does know of a ET Edwards, or has a resonance on my grandmother born in (England-but was extremely mercurial..as my grandfather described her, traveling to Europe in 1920's and trying to gain here wherabouts-yet known, and living then ) born in 1900-I have photos-Beautiful B&W's-somewhat haunting- I wold want to know.
Austro-Hungarian, Czech Ancestry from Prague (c.1910) the name of Bernhardt. My great aunt lived in Prague and belonged to an aristocratic family there, leaving before the second world war and resettling in America. I met with her numerous times the last was in 1971, when she handed me a book and told me about Prague, the beauty there and one day perhaps that we could go there together- She was English marrying into the family Bernhardt-My Great grandmothers second sister born about 1875, and living to a grand old age. Hec my own great grandmother lived to be 105!! And born in 1866!! -(perhaps Sara Bernhardt was a relative) I know the family name of Marlow-My grandmothers maiden name, had a specific connection with a writer named Christopher Marlow- and other such oddities with names of Andrews, Andros, Cartier, Sutherland and others, making a mixing pool quite generous to their attributions-and in ways too, their connection to Central Europe.
My Mothers Heritage:
My mothers family came from Germany. Not the Germany as we know today, but a deeply divided Germany under 19th century rule during the wars between separatists states under Otto Von Bismark. There name was Benkman, or Benkmann, a once noble family that had the title of "Von" or "Count." , bankers of the empire. Who knows what happened! My great grandfather was a violinist, a master musician who was looking for safety in the new America and for the liberty that called this his home. He settled in California, the approximate date 1887, a date of a refugee, because of his beliefs, on a passenger manifest,by the same name, on a vessel headed towards New York.
Existing in northern Germany near the Lithuanian border in German Held territory they migrated south to the area of Bayren near Munich. One part of the family stayed in Germany, my great grandfather came to America on strong convictions. My grandfather on my mothers side was a concert flutist (Herbert Benkman) who worked for the San Francisco Symphony from the 1930’s -60’s. His Brother Siegfried Benkman was a skilled composer of classical and liturgical music for the Catholic Church. He was most noted for his Yosemite Suite.
Our family pursued excellence in their craft of art and music, which is beyond definition by most standards of today. Our new art is reflective of rapid moving popularity, a culture based on mass consumption...and the of fleeting moment.
Photograph Circa 1938/9
Ozan (Ozanne) Marsh:
Biography in International Who's Who of Music, Available Online or at the Library of Congress Washington DC-His many recordings, perhaps over 100 in number of various composers are not available through commercial venues except for a very select few...he purposely wanted it this way. To this day I have the original masters from many concerts on tape-paper and acetate-reel to reel, wax disc, and commercially done digital "Beta" as well as many videos.
He was a brilliant pianist, a student of Horowitz, Rachmaninoff, Egon Petri and Emile Von Sauer. His bio had been listed so many times, and boxes of material (newspaper, books, article and letters)exist to this day which I have gone through and discovered, making him a personal hero of mine.
Ozan Marsh (June 25, 1920 in Pasadena, California - March 15, 1992) was a pianist active in concert performances throughout the world as well as across the United States.
A disciple of Rachmaninoff, Horowitz, Petri, Casadesus and Von Sauer, the late Ozan Marsh has received the plaudits of audiences and critics around the world, particularly for his performances of Liszt and Chopin. For more than five decades Ozan Marsh has won critical acclaim in recital appearances and as soloist with the world’s most distinguished orchestras. Among these are the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestras, to name a few.
Before the second world war he studied in Europe at Fountainbleau with Robert and Gaby Casadesus, Isidore Phillipp and other noted figures of this musical period. He traveled to Vienna and worked with Emile Von Sauer (one of the last surviving pupils of Franz Liszt) and continued study with Econ Petri during summer sessions in Zakopane Poland. Marsh gave his Paris and Warsaw debut (Warsaw Conservatory) in 1938 only months before the outbreak of the war. His first Town Hall New York debut was in 1939 and received fine praise from the New York Times. During WWII he served in the Navy’s "Lighter than Air" dirigible squadron as well as a final post as chaplains assistant because of a disability caused by the war.
During his career he played over 200 concert appearances with the Boston Pops Orchestra (in Boston and on nationwide concert tours), Appeared a number of times with the New York Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as well as gave literally hundreds of solo concerts throughout the United States under Columbia Artists Management, on their Community Concerts Series. During his life he had the opportunity to tour Russia (former Soviet Union 1980)at the invitation of the Soviet Government and at the invitation of one of that nations foremost senior composers Dmitri Kabalevsky. He toured South Korea three time and China PRC twice playing solo concerts as well as appearing with orchestra with the Beijing (China) Opera Orchestra.
Ozan Marsh coupled an outstanding performing career with an equally distinguished academic one. "As a teacher he was tireless- the activity was as much a passionate necessity for him as practicing or performing. With Ozan Marsh teaching was a vast workshop of ideas.
Ozan Marsh was characteristic of the finest of his kind. An artist of restless energy, attracted to the piano as though by a magnet. He was a tireless craftsman , constantly mixing, blending, and researching the qualities of sound with and acute inner ear. Marsh possessed a huge repertory augmented by research. He stemmed from the grand manner of the keyboard, when the pianist was the heroic personage. Ozan Marsh played in a monumental style graced by elegant virtuosity with refinement and subtle coloring that was uniquely his own.
He served on the faculties of such major institutions as Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music, Butler University, St. Lawrence University, University of Arizona and the Chautauqua Institution. He participated in judging various international piano competitions including the Van Cliburn, the Franz Liszt, the National Federation of Music Clubs and many others. Some of his students include Donna Amato, Edgar Coleman, and David Syme among others. He was also the President of the Pianist’s Foundation of America, (formerly the Southwest Pianists Foundation) an organization devoted to furthering of the careers of promising young pianists. He gave a great deal of his time to the much needed project of furthering the goals of those pianists, many whom have gone on to wonderful careers themselves.
Ozan Marsh has recorded for RCA (His Masters Voice), CBS (Columbia), PFA and VLR Records, the Voice of America and the Boston Symphony Transcription Library.
Although these may just be names today, they in fact represented some of the greatest pianistic giants of the 2oth Century.
My Mother Patricia Benkman (Pianist and Professor)
Patricia Benkman was a pianist of remarkable character (Patricia Benkman).
She was born into a pianistic and musical family and began studies at an early age. Her father was chair flute of the San Francisco Symphony from the 1930’s through his retirement in the early 1960’s. My mother was seemingly destined to be a star of the pianistic stage. She gave one of the first premiers of Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue at a young age in San Francisco as a child prodigy and went on to perform across the country, with the New York Symphony (before it was the NY Philharmonic), the Indianapolis Symphony and many other concert dates across the United States and in Europe. She was a pupil of Isabella Vengerova as well as Egon Petri in New York, Europe and Poland. As a young pianist she was dynamic and took the concert stage by storm being encouraged by conductors and composers such as Walter Damerosch and Pierre Monreaux as well as many musicians and audiences across the US.
She made numerous recordings in her life although she had reserves about 'recording' a performance in general. Her style was technical brilliance of a caliber that is even rare today, with an edge of grace that was sturdy yet passionate and extremely educated in music.
My parents met during a summer in Zakopane Poland in the late 1930’s slightly before world war II. My father had been studying with Egon Petri during his summer courses in Zakopane and was concertizing in Warsaw as well as attending the Music conservatory at Fontainebleau under Robert Casadesus. Isadore Phillip, (Under lecturers) Igor Stravinsky, Leopold Godowsky (the names abound to this history as I remember he used to talk endlessly of his studies in Europe before the World War)
During my parents first meeting I remember my father’s comments on my mothers playing. " As though a roman candle were sitting at the piano burning with brilliance,security, musical talent and tone...and certainly I was intimidated, jealous and set back by this beautiful young lady who I had to know", and quite obviously she was impressed by my father who was able to establish incredible technique, raw emotion and thunderous speed on the keyboard
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Story of My Life by Eravita® 2013