Friday, October 12, 2012

Revisiting Romanticism, A Diamond World

Any romantic notions about our solar system that I have constantly fictionalized about throughout my whole existence have been trampled over by a discovery that is even wilder than anything my imagination could have fabricated. It has just come to my attention that there exists a diamond of a planet. It is twice the size of earth and rotates around its host star in 18 hours (unlike Earth’s 365 days). Upon hearing this wonderful news, I was swept away by the idea of such a marvelous entity whose strong gravitational pull must have quite an impact on me, no? Or maybe just the idea of it does…

I can’t help but think about how this new discovery of a diamond planet will make way to a bloom of imagination for all sorts of artists-- writers, poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, photographers, film makers, landscape architects, designers.

Such a romantic scientific discovery sparks my curiosity and makes me feel brilliant.

No, I cannot describe why. It is a mystery.

Ok, I will try. I will try to describe how I feel the best way that I can. Through art. Bellow is a painting, The Monk by the Sea, painted around 1808 by German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich depicting a monk contemplating the sublimity of nature. I feel a bit like the monk.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Promiscuity at La Grenouillere

At the moment, I am overwhelmed with studying for all of my exams… so naturally I procrastinate.
I am currently studying for my 19th Century European Art class. I came across this pretty little work by Renoir called La Grenouillere (1869).
A funny thought: Although it is far from realistic, I cannot help but imagining that this is what was going on across the water on that delightful Sunday afternoon at La Grenouillere

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Elegant Composition of Kiefer's Haunting Forms = Pure Elevation

I apologize for my absence the past few weeks! I went on wonderful trip to Connecticut and New York City to stay with some friends and since I’ve been back, all the work I left behind is finally catching up with me.

I had such a marvelously memorable experience in the static city of New York. I was able to engage all of my senses through the restaurants, strolling through the city, shopping, dancing, meeting new friends, conversing with old friends, and best of all, gallery hopping through the alluring streets of Chelsea. However blissful my trip to the city was, what I brought back to Los Angeles with me was instead a quite disturbed frame of mind.  

I was haunted by the last exhibitions that I visited before leaving the city; this was Anslem Kiefer’s exhibition “Next Year in Jerusalem” at the Gagosian Gallery.

According to the gallery, there are several themes in these compositions, ranging from complex events of history, ancestral stories of life, death, the sacred and spiritual, and the ongoing destruction of the world that all emphasize the importance of acts of imagination as a tool against forgetting our culture and history.

Anyone who walks into this exhibition space can sense the intensity whether they understand it or not, and they cannot help but walk away from it sensing the presence of their past and future lingering over them.

The theme that attracted me most was that of cultural myths and metaphors of Roman History that was evident to me in the massive images that are only partially visible through open doors in the insides of the containers. According to Kiefer, this imposing structure is a monumental archive of human memory and serves to remind the viewer of what has happened and what can still happen in the world.

I suppose what made this exhibition so poignant is his arrangement and fusion of literature, painting, and sculpture. These various works of epic scale engulf the viewer, transporting the viewer in a way that heightens one’s sense of spirit. This exhibition is proof of the power that a gallery space has as a tool for elevation.
pictures from

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Drawing Dreams

Due to his astonishing eye for detail and impeccable taste, Dante Ferretti’s is one of the few production designers to receive credit his essential, pivotal, role in films.  He has the ability to create a compellingly detailed visual landscape that successfully transports viewers into another time, place, world. Dante is such an inspirational figure as his renowned success in the world of cinema would not have been accomplished if it was not for his passion and love for creating. It is obvious that he finds great pleasure in creating these splendidly vivid pictures as they turn out to be magnificently poignant. It is no wonder that Fellini worked with him for sixteen years.

In my opinion, the famous Dante Ferretti, as Italian production designer, art director, and costume director for film, is the best in contemporary cinema. Besides Pasolini, Federico Fellini, Tim Burton, and Martin Scorsese, to whose work he is closely connected, Dante Ferretti has also worked with outstanding directors such as Terry Gilliam, Brian De Palma, Anthony Minghella, Franco Zeffirelli , Claude Chabrol and Neil Jordan. He won two Academy Awards for "The Aviator" by Martin Scorsese and "Sweeny Todd" by Tim Burton. Gianfranco Giagni has recently written a documentary that details Dante’s life from the origin of his career in Macerata, to his arrival in Cinecittà and finally his incredible success in the USA. I have a feeling that this film about Dante is going to be incredible and cannot wait to see it!!

One of the many things that Dante has said that sticks with me through my journey is his view of perfection and reality. I am on his same page on the subject and think it is incredibly important to remind ourselves, especially in our world where people strive for perfection, that it never has, and never will exist. Don’t we love those petite flaws , or quirks, that we find in our best friends, family members, lovers? We have all heard it numerous times but it is very true that we must not only embrace our flaws, but love them!

Dante so simply said,

"I always like to be close to reality - to my reality. For 'Gangs of New York' for example, taking place in the 19th Century, I did a lot of research, because I try not to invent. I load myself up with information and then start to bring all this together like a mosaic. My way to work is a bit like method acting. I try to put myself in the position of someone who lived in this period, an architect or a designer. I want to move inside this period and try to think like somebody who lived there. But at the same time it’s very important to make some mistakes, and to put something wrong. For me mistakes are the most important things. Because if you see a movie with perfect reconstructions this is boring. If you look around: Nothing is perfect in reality. As soon as you attach some mistakes, it looks real."

These are some of his drawings... 

The Aviator
Gangs of New York
Gangs of New York

The sea of Dante Ferretti for Fellini (E la nave va)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Florence and the Machine

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity of seeing Florence and the Machine at the Wiltern, LA. Let me just say that the vocalist, Florence Welch, or Flo, is phenomenal. She has the most powerful voice I have ever heard live. Her performance was raw, passionate, one that is hard to come by these days. I admire her ability to completely let go in front of an audience. Her passion freely streams through her wholesome voice and fills the hearts of everyone in the room. A truly magnificent experience that shows you how music is a tool for spiritual healing. I would post a video from the concert but that would not give it justice.

Her spontaneously decadent ways of expressing herself through body language on stage remind me of the twisted, strange, and picturesque poses that my great grandmother, Lyda Borelli,  Italian diva and silent film star, was known for. Unfortunately, I do not have good pictures of Florence's poses on stage last night but they do have a similar air to those of Lyda's bellow.

Milano, Italia 1912
Lyda Borelli, Diva Dolorosa

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. I leave you with the diamond skull of the Damien Hirst...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"To take a photograph means putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis."

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004) is one of the unique, accomplished, influential, and dearly loved figures in the history of photography. His ingenious and innovative work of the 1930s helped frame and launch the creative potential of modern photography. He will always be infamous in the art world as one of the first candid photographers as his uncanny ability to capture life on-the-run made his work synonymous with “the decisive moment”— the concept he described as the time when you take a great photograph, capturing the essence of something. 
“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” 

Take a look at some of my favorite photos that he took throughout his magnificent influential career...

Queen Charlotte’s Ball London, 1959
Martine's Legs,1968
Au Bord de la Marn, 1938 (Henri Matisse is in this one !)
Jardin des Plantes, Paris (Couples Embracing; One with Child), 1959
Italy, 1933
Rue Mouffetard
Rue Mouffetard, 1954