Happy Saturday! I hope you are having a nice weekend. I am resting my shoulder today from too much mousing yesterday. But I did spend a bit of time on the ol’ computer anyway. Even if I’m not doing that much work on the computer, when I have some leisure time, I like to read. Blogs and articles, mostly. Here is an interesting article about art and artists. It is a review about an Ethan Hawke documentary:
What I love about the article is the part that talks about continuing to “do” art privately. And that how one’s art is going is how one feels as a person.
I’m excited about something new I learned. A friend talked to me about viewing book covers as blocks, top, middle, and bottom, and to see what is going on with each block. What is there to look at in the block. The middle block should tell the reader what genre the book is. Based on this feedback, John Holland and I are changing the cover for Left of the Rising Sun from this:
I needed to do a poster board to display at a table where I’ll be selling these books and I had the idea to summarize the book in very few words and some images. This is the result.
I also made this poster, but I found it much more difficult to boil the books down to just a few words.
That’s what I’ve been up to. I hope you have a nice remainder of the weekend!
Here are the rest of the sculptures from the Bondi Beach sculpture exhibit in October, 2013. This way you can get a feel for the exhibit’s size and for the environment. Then I’ll do another post with my favorites. Please feel free to vote! (To see the first post, go here Bondi Beach Australia sculpture walk, 1.) I didn’t capture many of the names of the pieces or artist’s names, because this was for fun and enjoyment, not work! But where I did, I included that information.
Since this one is in both the first and second post, you can already guess it’s one of my favorites!
We were in Sydney on the first day of this amazing outdoor exhibit. Combine a stunning location with these brilliant, mind boggling sculptures and you have a lot of photo ops and a very enjoyable, thought provoking experience.
I love this weight of the world one. The artist built it just for this cliff.
From this perspective it looks like a bunch of boards.
And here it is a life sculpture. I like the sense of movement.
This is granite! How did the artist do it? I have no idea.
This marble sculpture of a figure depicts the goddess, Nike, on the prow of a ship. It stands on a staircase landing in the Louvre, beneath a skylight. The flowing drapery exemplifies one of the key distinguishing features of Hellenistic Art (early second century B.C. (190 – 200 B.C.)).
For email followers who don’t see the feature image in their email, here it is:
This photo of Lilies is out of focus, but this masterpiece is the first thing you see when you enter the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The close ups came out better and show the brush strokes. The explanation is handy. The Van Gogh Museum does an outstanding job explaining every aspect of Van Gogh, including the science of studying and verifying his paintings. His influences are interesting as well. This museum makes a lot of knowledge accessible.
Take the Highlights of the Museum tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s free (with admission, which is free also, sometimes).
Begin with the Greco Roman area, the basis of Western culture, early Greek sculpture. Observe symmetry and, with one foot forward, the beginnings of motion in sculpture. Note the hands held stiffly by the side.
100 years later, this Greek statue in the heroic pose was created. Note musculature and movement.
See this contemporary artist from Ghana who composes sculptures from found items, in this case bottle caps and labels from liquor bottles. The artist believes art, like life, is always changing, so he does not provide instruction on how the piece should be hung, leaving it to the curators to arrange the display.
See a reconstruction of Marie Antoinette’s room where she lived during her confinement. Artists made things for her during this period and, according to her requirements, imprinted the letters “MA” on any furniture they created for her. The desk shows the beginning of multi-purpose furniture, a new idea at the time.
The bust of Diderot, a contemporary, one of the philosopher-creators of the Enlightenment era and the creator of the first encyclopedia, stands on a side table in the room.
Next a corner of Impressionists containing four works of Claude Monet, who said, “Light changes even stone.”
Monet worked on the same subject, painting it repeatedly in different lights to explore this idea of light and mood. In these paintings, he also used complimentary colors, blue and gold, to help create a soothing effect. He spent three years on this motif, renting an apartment in a drapery store located across the street from Parliament, so he could render the subject in varying light. He used impasto, a style of layering on paint.
During this period, sculpture employed studied composition, as shown in this piece, which displays a highly orchestrated, triangular arrangement, with smaller figures below and the main figure being the largest in the middle.
Then Rodin shocked the Paris scene with this sculpture called the Burghers of Calais. Rodin revolutionized sculpture on many levels, depicting ordinary people performing heroic acts, with figures formed in equal and realistic sizes, walking rather than posing,
When Calais was under siege, these burghers offered themselves to the king as hostages to save their town.
Rodin believed that the hands and feet reveal our emotions so he made them larger. The feet are big and heavy, rooted to the ground by the burden they carried.
There is a happy ending to the Burghers-of-Calais story. The queen, upon hearing the story, persuaded the king to set the men free.
In the baroque period you see allegorical painting, with the different elements of the composition representing different concepts; for example the bird represents natural music and the lute represents man-made music.
A year, later, Velasquez launched a new direction with this piece, in which he painted an ordinary man and his emotions, breaking with tradition and launching a new period. This painting depicts his slave, whom he freed shortly after doing this portrait. The slave liked working with Velasquez though, so he stayed with him as a salaried employee. The former slave was also a painter.
Next, visit the music gallery where you’ll see a lute, invented at the time of the above allegorical painting.
This room shows the baroque period’s leisurely pace and the abundance of the period in which the invention of new instruments blossomed. This harpsichord is decorated in real gold. The frieze and figures depict a story.
Can a room be art? Visit this room created by a Japanese artist. The water flows evenly over all sides of this stone, which is carved to be different on each side. The giant stone from the artist’s home area sits on a bed of rocks from a sacred river.
End the tour with this painting of an American woman living in Paris by an American artist. The woman was obsessed with having pale skin, taking arsenic and using lavender powder to make it more pale. (This painting is distorted by the angle from which it was shot.)
The painting created a huge scandal in Paris and nearly destroyed the artist’s career so he went back to painting people in their proper clothes.
At the end of his life, the artist donated the scandalous painting to the Metropolitan and said it was the best work he achieved in his career, and it was one of his first. Artists, pay attention, be careful about creating only things that conform to society’s mores.
Return to the impressionist galleries to linger over a visual feast.