TRANSIENT 2: AT SFMOMA

Went for the Edvard Munch exhibit. Stayed to view the permanent collection. Forgot about Gay Pride and got stuck in the hugest traffic jam. At least, got to see the mayhem starting.

While taking a coffee break at SFMOMA, she shared her little table with a young woman from Japan named Yoshie Yam. It turned out we both love traveling. Love, love, love traveling. So, self chooses to begin her second post on The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge, TRANSIENT, with this, our little table at the SFMOMA Coffeeshop:

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Coffee break at SFMOMA, after seeing the Edvard Munch exhibit

On the second floor of the SFMOMA is this huge black-and-white photo. Not quite sure about the decade. 1960s? Which reminds self, it is the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s Summer of Love! There’s an exhibit commemorating the anniversary at the de Young. Self wanted to go today, but was put off by the traffic that always surrounds Gay Pride Day:

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Finally, the Munch exhibit, the one that self drove all the way to San Francisco to see. The paintings are striking, powerful, disorienting. The one below is one of the largest. It’s called “The Dance of Life.” The men are already turning into ghouls:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Hockney and Cavafy in the British Museum

It is Friday. The British Museum is open late. Right now, it’s full of schoolchildren. They slouch all over the galleries in their jeans and backpacks. Some are French. One French schoolgirl calls an elevator by pressing one sneakered foot against the down button. Remind self never to touch a button in the British Museum. Ever. Another sits on the floor of a gallery, just staring in a kind of daze. Two of her friends come sit next to her. They don’t ask her if anything’s wrong.

The Hockney sketches are in a room right next to the British Watercolors, 1850-1950. Self walked all through the watercolor exhibit yesterday. It was so amazing.

She went back today for the Hockneys.

She loves Cavafy. So does Hockney.

Hockney’s sketches of men are simple pencil, or pen and ink. They are so evocative. Two men lie naked in bed together. There’s one simply entitled “Peter, 1966.”

How beautifully he captures the form of these men in repose! Some of the schoolboys in the gallery were giggly, though not to the point of disrespectfulness.

There’s also a sketch of a shopkeeper standing at the door to his business. Beneath that sketch is a Cavafy poem, “In the Dull Village”:

In the dull village where he works —
as a clerk in a shop;
very young — and where he waits
for two or three months to go by
another two or three months till business slows down,
to go then to the town and throw himself immediately
into its life and entertainment,
In the dull village where he waits —
he went to bed love-sick tonight,
his whole youth afire with fleshly passion,
beautiful youth beautiful in intensity.
And pleasure came to him in sleep; he sees
and has the body he desires in his sleep.

— C. P. Cavafy

Further background on the exhibit is here.

It runs through this Sunday, May 14.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

ATOP: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 15 March 2017

For this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, ATOP, self goes back to the pictures she took of a London church she visited in 2015. She’s not sure if she’s interpreting the theme correctly (“a view from the top”) but she’ll post this anyway.

Two years ago, self was on a Shadowhunters reading binge. She took The Infernal Devices trilogy with her to the UK, and decided to plan her days around places cited in the books.

In her website, author Cassandra Clare says she used St. Bride’s near Fleet Street as the titular setting for the Shadowhunters Academy. And self did get to see this church. And it was one of the most beautiful churches she had ever seen.

You can see an exhibit on the history of St. Bride’s in the crypt. The spire was designed by Christopher Wren. Building began in 1671 and was completed in 1703:

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Rendering of the Steeple of St. Bride’s (aka “The Church of Journalists”) Just Off Fleet Street

The steeple was destroyed during the Blitz (see newspaper headline below).

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World War II London Newspaper

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A Modern Rendering of the Christopher Wren Steeple

The steeple has been rebuilt; you can see it from the top floor of the National Portrait Gallery. It’s a long, slim needle that feels surprisingly at home with the modernistic buildings surrounding it.

Self returned to St. Bride’s last year, with poet Joan McGavin. The main space was closed for refurbishing, but the crypt was still open to the public. While Joan went down to look at the exhibit, self chatted with a clergyman, who asked what brought her to St. Bride’s. And she said, Shadowhunters. He was highly amused.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Wish: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 8 March 2017

  • There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality. — Jonas Salk, quoted in The Daily Post

March is a very significant month in the calendar year. It represents the beginning of spring, hope, everything. Self is in Ireland, so she’s full of hope right now!

Here are three signs, all food-related, which she saw when she visited the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, last month. The current exhibit (through mid-September 2017) is Yummm! The History, Fantasy, and Future of Food.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Solitude 2 at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

  • “Solitude is the place of purification” — Martin Buber, quoted in The Daily Post
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Anonymous, C. 1960: figure carved from a single apple tree trunk. The artist was a British mental patient who had a distinctive, concaved chest.

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Isadore Waber: CanCan 1990 (Made out of coffee cans and a bicycle), seen at the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore

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Sailing Away In a Beautiful Balloon, at the Jim Rouse Visionary Center in Baltimore: the space is cavernous and crammed with all kinds of grown-up whirligigs.

Outsider Art, Baltimore

ART AND THE ART OF LIVING

Statement, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland

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Stan Wright’s “First Dance” (made out of telephone wire), a gift by the artist to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

The ancients — the Greeks, Egyptians, Hopis and New Guinea tribesmen — were among earth’s most prolific art-making people. Yet none had any word for “art” in their respective languages. Rather, they each had a word that meant “well-made” or “beautifully performed.” Our American Visionary Art Museum believes that this view of what art really means is as perfect an understanding of art as ever was. It speaks to an art incumbent on all its citizens, pervasive throughout all the acts of our daily life. Its emphasis is on process and consciousness, not mere artifact.

Martin Luther King, Jr.:

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Anticipation 2: SFMOMA, Hometown Creamery, London’s Millenium Bridge

This week, share a photo that says ANTICIPATION. — Michelle W., The Daily Post

Art excites self, it always has. Here, people milling about in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, level 2:

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When you are in Hometown Creamery on Irving Street: Mango sorbet and fig tart excite.

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Hometown Creamery, Irving St., San Francisco: November 2016

And nothing speaks of anticipation more than crossing London’s Millenium Bridge (aka the Harry Potter Bridge) towards St. Paul’s.

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London’s Millenium Bridge: No better approach to Saint Paul’s

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Anticipation: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 16 December 2016

What are you waiting for?

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

Now that is a very, very interesting question.

Here are some things that help her to answer that:

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Reminders on the fridge, December 2016

Self would love to have dimsum at her favorite place in Chinatown. It’s been too long!

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Chinatown Dimsum Love, October 2016

So looking forward to seeing the Frank Stella exhibit at the de Young!

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Sculpture Garden, de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Magic 5: Thanksgiving Edition

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Green Apple Books, 9th Avenue (by Golden Gate Park), San Francisco: This is an antique wall phone. I do really really want to call Ishmael!

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Charles Parsons’ Model Chinese Pole Junk (circa 500 B.C.) at the San Mateo County Historical Museum, Courthouse Square, Redwood City

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Model of a British Ship-of-the-Line, circa 1765 (in the Charles Parsons Exhibit at the San Mateo County Historical Museum

Entrance fee to the San Mateo County Historical Museum: $6.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Chaos 2: Victoria & Albert; AWP Book Fair, Los Angeles; Manhattan, Night

Embrace the creative potential of disorderly randomness.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

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A Chihuly: Lobby of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London

Below: the controlled chaos of the Annual AWP Book Fair. This year’s was in Los Angeles. Seated: Keith Tuma of Miami University Press.

There have been AWP conferences where self is so buzzed by being surrounded by so many authors and literary panels that she has gone as long as 48 hours with absolutely no sleep.

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AWP Book Fair, Los Angeles, April 2016

Finally: self did a lot of lonely walking in Manhattan last December. The city never ceases to amaze. New York is a grrrreat city for insomniacs!

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New York City: Night, Midtown, December 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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