More Fun!

Taking inspiration from this:

“. . . the bright colors, the message, the unexpectedness . . . “

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

Examples of FUN:

Self has quite the button collection. She pins them on her blazers and sweaters. Here’s one of her favorites:

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Button from the Whitney Museum Gift Shop: A Keith Haring? Not Sure.

Self read with her writers group at Lit Crawl 2015. The reading was held in Chrome, a bicycle store. It was packed:

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Memento: San Francisco Lit Crawl 2015

FINALLY:

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Too Funny: An Ed Ruscha

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Edward Hopper, Jo Hopper, and the Whitney Museum

This passage is too sad. Jo Hopper, Edward Hopper’s wife, was a painter. But she painted very little after she married (She was 41, Edward was almost 42).

. . .  it is almost impossible to form a judgement of Jo Hopper’s work, since so little of it has survived. Edward left everything to his wife, asking that she bequeath his art to the Whitney, the institution with which he’d had the closest ties. After his death, she donated both his and the majority of her own artistic estates to the museum, even though she’d felt from the moment of her marriage that she’d been a victim of a boycott by the curators there. Her disquiet was not unwarranted. After her death, the Whitney discarded all her paintings, perhaps because of their calibre and perhaps because of the systematic undervaluing of women’s art against which she’d railed so bitterly in her own life.

— “Walls of Glass,” Essay # 2 in Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

 

 

THE LONELY CITY: Edward Hopper

The Lonely City, by Olivia Laing, is a work of nonfiction.

It’s a collection of essays about lonely people.

Self’s on Essay # 2, “Walls of Glass,” which delves into the work of painter Edward Hopper and one painting in particular, Nighthawks, which can be seen at the Whitney (one of self’s favorite New York museums).

The painting is something the author returns to, again and again, during a lonely fall. She followed a lover to New York and it didn’t work out. Something about Hopper’s painting resonates with her.

Self decided to throw in a photograph of her own. It documents her enduring fascination with windows, her fascination with glimpses of other lives. Photo after the excerpt:

All photographs are silent, but some are more silent than others, and these portraits attest to what was by all accounts Hopper’s most striking feature, his gigantic resistance to speech. It’s a different thing from quietness, silence; more powerful, more aggressive. In his interviews, it functions as a barrier, preventing the interviewer from opening him up or putting words into his mouth. When he does speak, it’s often simply to deflect the question. “I don’t remember,” he says frequently, or “I don’t know why I did that.” He regularly uses the word unconscious, as a way of evading or disclaiming whatever meaning the interviewer believes to be seeping from his pictures.

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Windows are portals. When self looks through a window — any window — her imagination takes flight.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Feeling On Top of the World!

This week, share an image of what’s on top from your own life.

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

More of what’s on top:

  • Ferris wheel, Calgary Stampede:
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Self missed this ride at the 2016 Calgary Stampede!

  • Look up, and what do you see?
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Big, Clear, Prairie Sky! Calgary, July 2016

  • Finally, the view from self’s room in London, off Russell Square. She asked whose backyard that was, and was told: “It belongs to the Duke of Bedford and his heirs.” At least, he has nice art. Definitely, the cherry on top! (Self can’t quite get over the fact that something like this is sitting in someone’s private backyard. Something like this belongs in a museum! Wouldn’t you agree, dear blog readers? It reminds her of one of those thin Giacomettis.)
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In a Private Garden in Bloomsbury, June 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Look Up 5: Nando’s Flame-Grilled Chicken, Calgary

Really love The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week: LOOK UP.

It’s all about “taking a moment to check out what’s above you.”

Last night, self’s cousins took her to a restaurant called Nando’s, in NE Calgary. It’s famous for its chicken inasal (barbecue). And she has to say: this is the best chicken inasal she’s ever tasted outside of Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, Dear Departed Dad’s hometown.

The owner is, interestingly enough, not Filipino. She thinks her cousins said the owner is from Australia.

One wall is entirely covered with little squares, each one telling a kind of story. She wouldn’t have bothered focusing on the squares if she hadn’t been thinking of LOOK UP:

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Nando’s, in Northeast Calgary: Barbecue Chicken Almost as Good as Bacolod’s Inasal.

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Those tiles do tell a fascinating story. Wouldn’t you agree, dear blog readers?

Stay tuned.

Look Up: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 8 July 2016

For this week’s challenge, take a moment to look up. Whether it’s the fan above your head at work, your bedroom ceiling, or the night sky, what do you see?

— Nancy Thanki, The Daily Post

First Photo: The British Museum’s Antiquities Gallery, April 2016

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Self held the camera high over her head for the shot. The Rosetta Stone is in the glass case just to the left (where all the people are looking)

Second Photo: The figure below is on the roof of the building that formerly housed the Oxford University Press, in Oxford, UK.

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Oxford, UK: May 2016

Third Photo: The Garden of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London

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Outdoor Art Installation, Victoria & Albert Museum, London: June 2016 (Cool canopy, that, don’t you agree?)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

OPPOSITES: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 1 July 2016

There are so many ways to infuse photos with drama, from choosing an unusual angle to focusing on a strong, vibrant palette. One idea I often explore is contrast. No, not so much in the technical sense of shadows and highlights (important as they certainly are), but more fundamentally: I love the power of a single frame to bring together conflicting elements.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

**********

Self has been pondering this challenge for a few days. It turns out she likes taking   high-contrast shots, mostly silhouettes, but on re-reading the prompt, she decided to try something different.

Here’s a picture from an illustrated version of Noah’s Ark. The etchings, by Arthur Geisert, are very fine. Self picked this particular drawing because of the way the straight lines of the support beams and the wooden floors are set off against the ark’s round bottom:

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An Illustration by Arthur Geist for THE ARK (Houghton Mifflin, 1988)

Here’s a sign showing opposite directions:

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Self-explanatory, really: near the Mendocino Headlands

Finally, two sharply contrasting book covers: Another Kind of Paradise is an anthology of short stories from the “new Asia-Pacific” edited by Trevor Carolan. After is an anthology of nineteen stories of “apocalypse and dystopia” edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Wandling. Both books are highly recommended (Self has a story in one of them).

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Two Anthologies: Wildly Different

Hope you like these interpretations of the theme “Opposites”!

Stay tuned.

Pure 2: New York and London

  • “I love finding beauty in the mundane, and purity in the midst of our chaotic, over-connected world.”

— Jen H., Daily Post Photo Challenge (Theme: PURE)

Examples: a city-scape; a museum

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New York skyline, June 2016: The “purity” of early morning, the day not yet begun

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Classical Elegance: The British Museum, early June 2016

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Classical Elegance, The British Museum, June 2016

New York looks peaceful in the early morning light.

The venerable British Museum opened up its interior with classically simple lines.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sylvain Landry – Week 47: BLUE

The Sylvain Landry Week 47 theme is BLUE.

He always comes up with the most interesting prompts.

Self knows the picture is not entirely blue. But the blue that’s there is pretty obvious.

This is the Chihuly that’s in the lobby of the Victoria & Albert Museum. It’s a huge sculpture, jaw-dropping.

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In the lobby of the Victoria & Albert Museum, last week (May 2016)

Isn’t it gorgeous? Stunning?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Elena Ferrante, pp. 112 – 113

Self went to the Victoria & Albert this morning.

About the V & A: apart from the gorgeous Chihuly in the lobby, she is not enthused over their special exhibits. Last year, she went to one on shoes, and the shoes were the kind she has seen in Manhattan, in shop windows. So why would she pay extra just to see those very same shoes in a museum?

This morning, she went to a special exhibit on Re-imagining Botticelli. Alas, the exhibit seemed rather gimmick-y. Honestly, why waste time seeing how other people interpret Botticelli when one should so clearly be looking at Botticellis themselves! She did, however, learn that after the Renaissance, Botticelli fell into obscurity and was only “rediscovered” sometime in the late 19th century, by art dealers. Also, his first name was Sandro. It got to the point where self began wondering who this Sandro Botticelli was. And only figured out later that Sandro was Botticelli. Because all these years, self has only ever heard Botticelli referred to as Botticelli. Not as Sandro Botticelli. Naturally, it had to be a British museum that referred to him by first and last name!

Anyhoo, enough of this useless prattle!

She’s back in her room reading My Brilliant Friend.

Because of the stately cadence of Ferrante’s prose, self finds herself, while reading, being lulled into a hazy, dream-like state. She thinks she is reading Remembrance of Things Past, the Italian version. Only to be confronted with the brutality of — society!  Especially, of men! For instance:

SPOILERS! HEY HO, SPOILERS!

Don Achille was murdered.

Another instance: Shortly after she enters adolescence, the narrator finds herself beset by male attention. At one point some boys in a car follow her along a street, and the boys keep inviting her to get in the car with them. Self read this scene in an absolute stupor, she didn’t realize it was dangerous, until she read this:

  • I said no because if my father found out that I had gone in that car, even though he was a good and loving man, even though he loved me very much, he would have beat me to death, while at the same time my little brothers, Peppe and Gianni, young as they were, would feel obliged, now and in the future, to try and kill the Solara brothers.

What? What? What?

From the sedate to the overwrought. There are just no rules, with regards to Ferrante’s writing.

Stay tuned.

 

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