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Archive for the ‘Photo of the day’ Category

Baseball mural helps distract from the reality of prison

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

While we’re on the topic of baseball in the aftermath of last night’s Game 7 of the World Series, I thought I’d share this detail from a baseball mural that covers one of the outside walls of the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, which was at one time home to New Jersey’s “Death Row.” It’s all part of our exploration of Trenton via our sister site The Arts Adventurer, check out our coverage of the baseball mural here.

The Arts Adventurer finds a baseball mural at New Jersey's death row

Van Gogh pitches for the Royals?

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for winning the World Series last night. Even though I didn’t have any formal fan loyalty to either team, I enjoyed watching the Series … but I have to admit, every time I saw Kansas City Royals reliever Wade Davis take the mound, with all of the endless close-ups that the network cameras like to do, I thought I was seeing Van Gogh up there pitching against the Giants. I wonder if Davis likes to paint …?

Wade Davis, pitcher for the Royals, reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh

A Halloween prop reveals some historical references

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

I saw the Halloween prop gravestone, below left, and had a laugh at the idea of a “Last Stop Cemetery.” But the image of the skull perched above the wings struck a visual memory, and it had me walking home wondering if my hunch that this was a historically accurate reference was correct.

What triggered the recognition of this symbol was the accidental discovery two years ago of a Revolutionary War-era cemetery right in plain view of every day life in the middle of Orange, NJ. It was a walled-in church on the corner of Main Street that I was driving by almost every day to take my son to summer camp, and one day I pulled over to take a look, and found a graveyard filled with tombstones from the mid-to-late 1700’s, including many who were noted as fighting in the Revolutionary War. As you can see, however, this poor chap Stephen Cundia actually died before the Revolutionary War began, but it’s still quite an amazing artifact to see some 249 years later.

But back to my original point about the skull and wings – as you can see from this example from 1765, it was something used long before anyone started making Halloween props, and there were many more just like this one spread throughout this cemetery in Orange. So, I’ll tip my hat to the Halloween prop-maker for at least throwing in some historical accuracy in his “Last Stop” tombstone.

comparing a Halloween prop to a real gravestone from 1765

If Jackson Pollock had listened to Mother Nature

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

We know that Jackson Pollock favored a color palette with blacks, whites, and grays or silvers, but on occasion he did add some brighter or warmer colors, as we can see here below in Convergence, from 1952. But scroll down and check out the color palette given us by Mother Nature today … can you imagine a Pollock drip painting exploding with oranges and reds like this photograph?

Speaking of Pollock’s Convergence, have you seen our blog post where we found a man inside of Convergence? Check it out here.

Jackson Pollock Convergence next to fall foliage colors

The Fine Art of Hiding One’s Face

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

In the short course of reading some news online, I came across these two interesting photographs, both of which have the subjects hiding their faces with some art … it seemed like an unlikely coincidence to happen upon these images within just a few minutes of each other, but I like them both on their own as well as together.

On the left, we have a photograph of a young Honduran migrant who didn’t want to reveal his face, hiding behind a painting he found in a guard shack, while waiting with a group of migrants for a northbound train in Mexico. This photograph was taken by Rebecca Blackwell, who works for the Associated Press.

On the right, we have a photograph of the artist Hans Haacke, taken by Misha Friedman. Haacke is known to have often resisted allowing his face to be photographed, because he says that artists are too often fetishized as personalities. I find that a bit curious, because doesn’t the act of always hiding his face add a sense of mystery to his personality?

a Honduran migrant worker and the artist Hans Haacke

The Arts Adventurer in the Hanging Gardens of Montparnasse

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

While my journey to Paris via The Arts Adventurer took place nearly two years ago, I kind of ran out of steam in the effort to tell the full story and cover all of the adventures. But seeing as my wife will soon be leaving for Paris on a business trip next month, it rekindled my memories and my urge to complete the story … so I’ve just posted Chapter 6: The Hanging Gardens of Montparnasse. I’ll try my best to not let too much time go by again before moving on and adding the following chapters, since it was my exploration of Montmartre after Montparnasse where it really started to get pretty interesting. But for now, check out Jardin Atlantique, known as “The Hanging Gardens,” a preview of which below will not exactly explain why they’re “hanging gardens” (for that, you need to read the post!).

The Hanging Gardens of Montparnasse as explored by The Arts Adventurer

Students at the Jeff Koons Retrospective

Friday, October 17th, 2014

I was surprised to see several school groups on field trips to the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum today … there’s plenty of Koons’ pieces that would be interesting to see and hear how the kids react, but there’s also enough adult-related material that I would think a teacher and/or tour guide would have to be pretty careful as to how they lead the kids through the galleries.

At any rate, I saw this group of kids quietly seated in front of Koons’ stainless steel Rabbit from 1986, and they were all busy drawing their own rabbits, as you can see from my looking over the shoulder of this boy, below right. I saw another group of kids in front of one of the Hulk sculptures, and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves.

kids from a NYC public school visit the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney

Moroccan Folk Art

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

I love this “motorcycle gang” of folk art biker figures in a Moroccan street scene, which I saw last summer at Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One could spend all day at this museum, as they have a huge room with countless little tableaus of folk art figures from countries from around the world.

motorcycle bikers in a Moroccan folk art tableau in the Girard Wing at the International Folk Art Museum

Living the dreamy artistic life with Roche Bobois

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

I’m not sure how I got on Roche Bobois’s mailing list, but every time I receive their catalog in the mail, I am slightly amused by the incredible fantasy life that they portray. Don’t get me wrong, I think their furniture and general offerings are gorgeous, but the homes in which their artistic director sets the photo shoots are so far-fetched as to only feel familiar to the jet-set crowd. Let’s look at this example below from their 2014 Fall/Winter Collections: the bed itself doesn’t seem completely unattainable, but how many people live in a home with ancient Greek frescoes, modern sculpture, and a huge open wall that looks out on a yard that resembles the grounds of Versailles? And in the midst of this luxurious environment, the homeowner didn’t even bother to make his or her bed and knocked all the pillows to the floor …! I guess the crew that comes in to dust the modern sculpture will make the bed for them. Wouldn’t that be the life? Or maybe there’s a golf course in that back yard and there was such a rush to tee-off from the bedroom that there wasn’t time to make the bed. Aah, the fantasies can continue on and on from this picture! It’s actually kind of fun …

ancient Greek frescoes and the grounds of Versailles as seen from a bedroom

The Nose Knows

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

When I was a teenager, my Dad gave me a t-shirt with a simple cartoon face on it with the slogan “The Nose That Came Out in the Cold.” I wish I had a picture of that t-shirt to show you, because the whole concept was kind of strange – but of course that’s why I liked wearing the shirt, to confuse people with this unusual slogan. The back story of the t-shirt was that my Dad had an eccentric friend who had always had a mustache, and at one point decided to shave it off, at which point he made up these t-shirts and gave them out to his friends. Still confused about “coming out in the cold?” I grew up in Minnesota, so maybe that will explain why a mustache-free nose might get a little cold.

At any rate, seeing this sculpture by Li Hongbo reminded me of “the nose that came out in the cold.” It almost looks like someone took a very precise saw and cut out the nose from an ancient Greek or Roman marble sculpture … except Hongbo’s sculpture is made of paper. Stacks of paper that are bound and can be pulled apart like accordians … am I confusing you as much as that funny t-shirt did to others? Check out our coverage from last January of Li Hongbo’s amazing sculptures which were on display at the Klein Sun Gallery in NYC. Make sure to watch the video to see the accordian-style in action.

sculpture made of paper made to look like ancient Greek marble sculpture

Vincent Van Gogh at Artsology Artsology offers free online games about the arts, and delivers investigations into topics in the visual arts, music, and literature. Artsology is a good resource for fun learning about the arts for people of all ages and is enjoyed by students, homeschoolers, and adults. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page. Pablo Picasso paintings at Artsology

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