Poetic, luminous still life paintings with tulips by Anton Rädersheidt, circa 1920.
Friday, April 29, 2011
For his project Man of the Twentieth Century, August Sander took photographs of the people he met in the city and countryside, hoping to create a social document that described contemporary mankind within a model society. His straightforward composition, use of natural light and plain settings are startling in their pared down simplicity. Whether there is only one figure or several subjects, his focus and attention are absolute. So much so, each photograph leaves a lasting impression of a compact and complete universe.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is leaner, sportier and more fuel efficient than ever. The pug nose is gone, as is the familiar roundness. Their ad campaign declares, "More power, less flower." A legion of girlie drivers are left to wonder, "What's cute about that?"
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
To encourage his colleague who was working on a documentary about pet cemeteries, director Werner Herzog famously promised Errol Morris that he would eat his own shoe if he completed the film. When Gates of Heaven had its premier, Herzog cooked and publicly ate his shoe, an event captured on video by Les Blank.
Herzog is a masterful storyteller. His films Nosferatu, Bad Lieutenant, Aguirre, Wrath of God, and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser stay with me years after having seen them; their rich visual language has the potency of a strange yet vivid dream. His documentary Grizzly Man, chronicles the life of bear fan Timothy Treadwell, lending dignity, and poignancy to someone that may have easily been written off as a mere kook.
Listen to a YouTube performance of (an imagined) Herzog reading Madeline; he departs from Bemelmans' classic rhyme, considering what lies beneath the surface of the pretty order of twelve little girls in two straight lines. Hilarious.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Leonardo da Vinci spent years working on the Mona Lisa (1503/1507), his most celebrated painting and arguably the most famous painting in the world. He carried the canvas with him as a sort of calling card, traveling all over Italy to show his technique to patrons, other painters and students. Measuring 77 x 53 cm/ 30 x 21 inches, the masterpiece is surprisingly compact.
Da Vinci brought the Mona Lisa with him to France, where he spent his final years. Thereafter, the painting resided at Chateau Fontainebleau with King Francis I, the Palace of Versailles with King Louis XIV and the Tuileries Palace with Napoleon Bonaparte before settling in at the Louvre Museum (and former palace) of Paris in 1804.
On an August morning in 1911, the French police were notified by the museum that the painting was missing. It took over two years to find the work, and only after an attempt was made to sell it to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
Vincenzo Peruggia, a former employee of the Louvre, claimed he stole the painting out of patriotism; that he was 'rescuing her from France.' After a sensational trial that took place in Italy, he received a prison sentence of one year but served only a few months. The Mona Lisa returned to Paris, after an extensive tour of exhibitions throughout Italy.
Twenty seven months outside the palace: away from tours and guards and fingers pointing. I imagine Peruggia puttering about his French flat, enjoying an aperitif, trimming his mustache, reading the paper, under the piercing and enigmatic gaze of the mysterious beauty.