Tag Art

A Saturday in Verona

Mary Lee called me at nine on Saturday morning with an idea. Why don’t I come for a visit in Verona for the night? She and Doug visit Italy every year and at Christmas time we had talked about meeting here in Florence, but when it came right down to it it made more sense for me to head north to visit them and stay at the apartment they rent there. I’m glad I did!

As we were walking up a narrow street from their apartment to the Castel San Pietro it stuck me that I was already familiar with the color and mood of the city, I remembered from seeing so many of Doug’s paintings. I saw scraps of them all over. Arches, scrolls, columns, vines, washes of rich color; nothing is hidden but it all exists behind a diffused veil of light that makes it impossible to grab hold of.

Pony H 54″ L 49″ W 27″

Watch out! A machine pretending to be a Human pretending to be an animal pulling a machine for carrying a human. Via BoingBoing.

Sunday in Pisa

In bed too late on Sunday morning I thought to myself, “get up now and get on the train otherwise you’ll never do it.” I threw off the covers and threw on my clothes and took myself on a day trip to the Picasso exhibit in Pisa.

After printing a train ticket to Pisa Centrale from one of the big green automatic ticket machines I took a few steps and validated it in the small yellow ticket stamper machine and stepped up into the second class train car. A group of four Gabriel García Márquez reading German girls dressed in Renaissance costumes rode across the aisle from me for the ninety minute journey.

Pisa is charming. I walked north in a straight line out of the train station doors to the river, stopping once to check a map taped-up in a cafe window to be sure I was heading in the right direction. When I turned around to set off again I was standing right in front of a huge and beautiful Keith Herring mural.  I don’t think I have ever seen a piece of his in person. The mural in Pisa is huge, vibrant and delightful, but be careful, it’ll sneak up on you.

There were no celebrity paintings among the prints and pots in the temporary exhibit. Maybe paintings don’t travel as well or they were afraid of being stolen à la Mona, but what they had on display was impressive. I was inspired by the levels of detail and gray-scale in the essential bull lithographs and the curatorial wallop of a long hallway of vivid book illustrations dead-ending with this goat’s head. There were a huge series of beautiful copperplate etchings of minotaurs, bull fighters, Bacchanalias, and loungey women that were overwhelming in their number and variety and gave me the sense his balance of skill and production. It was definitely worth the trip.

By the time I was out of the museum it was getting dark and chilly. I headed right to the train a little ashamed that I’d return without getting a picture kicking the the tipping tower. But I’d let go of that by the time I rolled into Florence, happy at least that I’d gotten my lazy bones up and out.

Is Land Is Lost

Artists Sarah Cockings and Laurence Symonds created this whimsical balloon they call Is Land. They presented it at a UK art and music festival and had intended to show it off at this year’s Burning Man, but some dudes had another idea for it.

Witnesses saw a small group of malicious festival goers, two in a dingy, cut all five tether ropes holding the helium structure at 3am on the Sunday morning of the Secret Garden festival allowing it to float away. The daring £9000, six month project by RCA graduates Sarah Cockings and Laurence Symonds simply floated off into the atmosphere, leaving them completely deflated.”

The good news is, a replacement balloon has been sponsored, but I can’t help but wish that that one gets let go as well. But maybe version two will have a GPS beacon?

On a related note we’re still running out of  helium.

Bray Christmas Opening

This year’s Christmas show at the Archie Bray had some of the best work I’ve seen in recent memory.

Standouts for me were the dreamy and intense sculptures of  Kelly Garrett Rathbone. (I’m saving up for one.) David Peters had some beautiful crucible like cups and floral “gold pans” that looked like solid iron. It was my first time seeing the work of Jeff Campana. His carapace-like pots are made up of delicately joined slabs with glassy smooth seams between them. And maybe I’m turtle-minded after returning from Saipan, but this small piece by Bethany Krull was another favorite of mine.