We are Americans, we are – power. We are the Conservatives – a group of leading individuals. “We” combine the enthusiasm of our conservative base with our leadership. We have a taste for our guns and shooting and we like the authority of our irresistible commanders. “We are the people and the leaders of people”, “we are commanders and followers of commands”. “We have the same hate for our enemies”. Of course, no one can completely agree with their leaders, with all their tastes, style and ideas. But the sides should negotiate democratically, even, when this word “democratically” is under attack by today’s conservatives. The sides should learn how to negotiate.

Max Beckmann, “The Great Whore of Babylon”

Overwhelming joy, lucky touches/caresses, too much sensations, too deep of a pleasure, too much happiness…

Max Beckmann, 1924 – Lido, Venice

Competitive togetherness…

Max Beckmann, “Lovers”

Triumphant lovers (on the sofa) and triumphant voyeurs all around – a rare unity of mutual success. Real witnessing is witnessing of happiness, but simultaneously envy also provides not too little – envious togetherness is pleasurable enough. Besides, look at the “metallic man” to the right – the awkward jar with almost human eyes, which is that of a head without brains while the real human eyes to the left rewards the real human flesh with the eyes which are… human enough to see the intercourse.

Max Beckmann, “Patriotic song”, 1918

Absolute togetherness – it is… the sweet pain of being lost together, the kisses of tears, the pain of sweet grief together. How nice being friends, no, not only together, but cuddling-ly, embracing-ly, hotly, tear-ly, weeping-ly, when togetherness is common, shared forever, when one is everyone.

Max Beckmann, “Bath”

Sweet self-isolating from the noisy communion. Two athletic bodies close to one another. They don’t need collectivity. They don’t need noise. Instead of crowd they have gentle thick water. Instead of air they need closeness to one another. They are in comfortable solitude. They are rich as too leaches. They share themselves with one another.

Max Beckmann, “Woman and the dog”, A triumph of the Giant Woman, a Sheets of the mighty ice and a tiny sad dog

When people live in the same city or country area do they feel they’re close “together” or are just nearby one another? Do they feel their separateness or do they seek out close friendships or rather want to be cool acquaintance? Do people exchange often or rarely? When human beings in the company of another human beings are under the influence of mass-culture they brag, hate, laugh at another people and live to be entertained by entertainers to the very-very sweetest degree. But in “Woman and the dog” something interesting opens up, something which is more than individualism.

Americans today love dogs, but they love them almost as much they can love people, no, not “almost”, but, how to say it – impossibly? Absurdly? …too much? …too strangely? Too closely? Too connected? Too inseparably? I don’t mean – bodily inseparable. But rather inseparability of the human soul… somehow it’s very difficult to name it, to formulate it. For some people dog is like a second body, but better call it a second soul or even first soul or even “my soul”. And still woman’s dog in Beckmann is certainly – abandoned. Let’s look at Beckman’s painting again.

This little dog in Beckmann’s painting is so touchingly small and touchingly sad and abandoned. It’s because her… owner is so… self-tremendous, even self-abandoned! She is strong, while her tiny dog seems to be… solitude itself. The woman is large and … mighty. Look at her body, at her legs. Look at her passion. This passion alone is like the universe she is able to move, as if, the size of the universe itself. And her neck and her eyes, as if, are meeting the might of the universe. Her tryingly tiny dog is as a leaf moved by a lazy wind. But look at her right leg, as if, pulling itself above the ceiling and the cloud! And beneath her the white sheet of a mighty glacier. She has momentarily abandoned the dog, because she met… herself. She met herself inside and outside, she met herself completely. She met herself and world. She became the world!

You, probably, thinking what am I saying? That she has abandoned her tiny touching dog? No, it is her dog found the world!

Look, how she is looking at her female-master’s neck, lips and eyes, she is still a bit sad, but she will find herself.