Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

If you haven’t seen Office Killer, you should. Carol Kane plays a doormat secretary who accidentally starts enacting revenge on those who have treated her badly. The photography is extraordinary as you would expect from Cindy Sherman. I also love it when my favorite character actors get to play the lead — in this case it’s Carol Kane and she rules. I should warn you that the genre is extreme black comedy. The humor is dark and disturbing.

I’m not sure what this clip below is. It’s not from the film, but it kind of looks like the film. Some sort of art is going on.

Read Full Post »

I love the Russians

Such a passionate people. It’s like reading Dostoevsky.

The Louvre Museum says a Russian visitor hurled an empty terra cotta mug at the Mona Lisa.

A museum spokesman says the canvas of the Da Vinci masterpiece was undamaged in the attack last week, though the mug shattered.

He said Tuesday small cracks appeared in the glass protecting the museum’s most popular possession, but they will soon be fixed.

The painting’s security alarms went off immediately and police whisked the woman away, while viewing of the painting continued as usual. The spokesman is not authorized to be named according to museum policy.

Paris police said the woman was taken to a psychiatric ward after the incident, but wouldn’t say any more about who she is or why she targeted the painting.

Read Full Post »

What are these?

With nothing better to blog about, I give you this picture that I took in Venice Beach in February this year.

Read Full Post »

…showing the decreasing size of the Grande Armée as it marches to Moscow and back with the size of the army equal to the width of the line. Temperature is plotted on the lower graph for the return journey (Multiply Réaumur temperatures by 1¼ to get Celsius, e.g. −30°R = −37.5 °C)

I thought Jake might like this. Click on the link for the larger image. Information on the march at Wikipedia.

Read Full Post »

There is so much going on in this story; it’s hard to keep track. An art collector is suing Louis Vitton and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art for selling him what he thought was original art, but was actually leftover material from LV handbags. If he knew that the $6,000 he paid for the art was really a $1,000 handbag he would have prudently purchased the handbag and mounted it in a frame himself.

Can we really feel sorry for a man who buys a logo mounted in a frame and then is disappointed when he finds out it isn’t “art”? Can we really feel sorry for anyone who buys an LV handbag for thousands of dollars full stop? And perhaps more importantly why on earth is the LAMoCA selling handbags mounted on frames anyway? Read about the ridiculousness here.

Read Full Post »

The Huntington Library

I didn’t photograph any paintings or books, but here are some nice photos nonetheless. Info on the Huntington Library, here.

1. A taste of the European Art Gallery rooms.

More photos after the jump.


Read Full Post »

Wow! What a day.

1. From one of the many balconies.

2. Another wow moment.

3. Interesting cactus.

4. The garden.

5. This one feels so Escher to me.

6. I took this while lying on my back on some grass.

Read Full Post »

My favorite Christmas carol

This was one of my first blog posts ever while guest blogging for the Chawed Rosin. I recycle it here.

Georges de la Tour's The other day my boss asked me if I had heard of the carol “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabelle.” I had not heard that there was an English version but it was my favorite carol when I took French in high school. I asked her if she knew that it was a round and she didn’t. I then suggested we give it a go and we sang it in her office. She sang in English, I in French, and even as a round it was beautiful despite the fact that I’m not a good singer.

The English version can be found in the links below.


The web site that I found the above links is Alliance Music Publications.

You can find this Georges de la Tour at Artcyclopedia.

Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle
Un flambeau, courons au berceau!
C’est Jésus, bonnes gens du hameau,
Le Christ est né, Marie appelle,
Ah! Ah! Ah! Que la mère est belle,
Ah! Ah! Ah! Que l’enfant est beau!

C’est un tort quand l’Enfant sommeille,
C’est un tort de crier si fort.
Taisez-vous, l’un et l’autre, d’abord!
Au moindre bruit, Jésus s’éveille,
Chut! Chut! Chut! Il dort à merveille,
Chut! Chut! Chut! Voyez comme Il dort!

Doucement, dans l’étable close,
Doucement, venez un moment!
Approchez, que Jésus est charmant!
Comme Il est blanc, comme Il est rose!
Do! Do! Do! Que l’Enfant repose!
Do! Do! Do! Qu’IL rit en dormant!


Read Full Post »

Michelangelo’s David in trouble

Michelangelo’s famous statue of David could collapse because of its exposure to mass tourism, Italian experts say.

They say the massive statue of the naked boy-warrior is in danger because of its size, shape and the weakness of the marble from which it was carved.

But they warn that the greatest risk comes from the footfall of many visitors who troop past it each day at Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia.

The experts want to protect the statue by insulating it from the vibrations.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed visiting Michelangelo’s David in Florence. You always expect these icons of art to be disappointing in real life. Not so with David. It’s so incredibly imposing.

Photo via HowStuffWorks.

Read Full Post »

Vincent Moon

Being a fan of The Arcade Fire, I was interested to read about this new filmmaker who learned his trade from working with his favorite band. Here’s an example of his work. It’s a long video but worth it once it gets going.

Under the name Vincent Moon, he’s gone from a fan begging for tickets to an in-demand filmmaker who has revolutionized music video.

His films are stripped down, intimate videotaped performances — shot in one take, often of an act simply strolling down a street or playing in a parking lot. More than a hundred musicians — from Arcade Fire to R.E.M. — have flocked to work with him on the so-dubbed “Take-Away Shows,” part of the Web site La Blogotheque.

Following the demise of the televised music video, Saura’s videos show a new marriage of music and film that replaces the artifice of big budget music videos with the raw simplicity of performance.

You can watch all of Vincent Moon’s videos here — not on MTV.

Read Full Post »

Back in Seattle

I think it’s fairly appropriate that I return to 60 degree weather and rain. Seattle, I hardly missed you.

A lot of people who come to Seattle say that people here are not as friendly as other places. I’m from California and I’ve never really noticed this observation, but I must say that people in Chicago were incredibly friendly. For someone who was new to town and only stayed there a week, I had some exceptional kindness directed at me by strangers. I didn’t really feel like I was in the city alone.

I guess I’m back to the hum drum of daily news which by the way is starting to depress me. If the Republicans win this year then America is just as depraved as everyone believes.

Here’s one last photo from Chicago.

Read Full Post »

Judith – Jan Sanders van Hemessen – 1540

More after the jump.


Read Full Post »

Suicide Food

I’ve known about Suicide Food for some time. Suicide Food shows art of animals that desire to be eaten. This is a photo I took in Japan. Is the pig working out for your tasting pleasure?

Read Full Post »

The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World is an exhibition at the Burke Museum in Seattle of Steven Kazlowski‘s amazing photography.

The polar bear — a charismatic icon in the struggle against climate change — faces a precarious future along with other ice dependent species as its Arctic habitat rapidly continues to melt away. With camera in hand, wildlife photographer Steven Kazlowski has dedicated over eight years of work to bring to life the immediate reality of this most pressing environmental crisis — the devastation of the Arctic ecosystem through global warming.

Organized by the Burke Museum and Braided River/The Mountaineers Books, The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World will present approximately 40 large-format color photographs by Kazlowski and document the polar bear in its Arctic coastal habitat from Hershel Island in Canada to Point Hope, Alaska.

I can’t help think of the safety of the photographer looking at this photo. The exhibition runs until December 31, 2008.

Read Full Post »

I get sad when I think about all the great things of the past that are dying out. Like dancing. Can the formation dancing of Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake really ever compare with Fred Astaire?

Read Full Post »

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

*Note: Online it’s hard to see Icarus. Look to the lower right near the ship.

Read Full Post »

The Art of Coffee

Read Full Post »

Today I found this excerpt on a Nara National Museum information flyer from my trip to Japan. I thought you might enjoy it.

* The service for man and wife.

Every month 22nd is “The day of man and wife”. Admission is half price when you come to our museum together as man and wife

In addition, November 22nd is “The day of good man and wife”, admission is free for all married couples who come together.

What a charming tradition. I hope all the married couples reading this will remember it on the 22nd of each month.

Read Full Post »

Sometimes you feel like you just need to get away from it all. So to calm my mind, I’m showing more Kaii Higashiyama examples. Enjoy:

Evening Quiet

Evening Quiet, 1974

Summer Day

Summer Day,
from the “Journey into Tohoku and Shinshu” series

Pagoda in the Evening

Pagoda in the Evening,
from the “Spring and Autumn in Yamato” series

All the above can be found on http://www.pref.nagano.jp/seikan/seibun/english/art/art_2/higashi.htm

Breath. Relax. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Read Full Post »

These are some paintings by artist Kaii Higashiyama. We missed a special exhibit of his work in The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo by one day.

Vibrant Greens 1982

Forest With a White Horse 1972

Luminous Cherry Blossoms 1964-66

All pictures courtesy of http://www.pref.nagano.jp/seikan/seibun/english/art/art_2/higashi.htm

Read Full Post »

On this small market street near our Ryokan there are signs for businesses which remind me of American Folk Art. In America, these were popular because immigrants often could not read English so businesses used images to convey what their wares were. In Japan, these come in handy for tourists like me. Can you guess what these signs are for?

P.S. I figured out how to shrink my photos; arranging them in WordPress is another story.


folkart10.jpg folkart1.jpg



Read Full Post »