Saturday, October 15, 2005

Chanel No. 5

Went to Metspa. Fauchon was nearby and got to try their Rocquefort crackers which were yummy. They do have macaroons! Yes! Strawberry mint, lemon, vanilla, pistachio (my favorite). Didn't get them because it was so hard to choose.
M4 was taking forever so I decided to hike up to the Whitney along Madison. Givenchy, YSL, Chanel, Armani. In the pouring rain, the vacancy of the night streets made me feel fresh, anew as if I owned that avenue. I was glad to take in everything.
Oscar Bluemner's exhibit was really well organized. Great artist and I really got to see the evolution of his artwork. The quote in the beginning really moved me. "Amidst the brilliancy and the vivacity of forms of colors lies a certain stillness." I could definitely relate to that. At first, he was an architect but later became an artist when he moved from Germany to New York. He started out painting expressionistically in Saddle Hills, NJ and later, influenced by the futuristic tendencies of the Italians, he made his subject matter more dynamic. I really loved this really small painting with buildings grouped together but in a way that the eye couldn't really piece out while the elongated clouds seemed to be moving also. Everything moved. He studied a lot of asian works because he believed that they captured the essence of subjects and were able to depict what was there and equally importantly, what was not. "Death" was really another great work. The stark wintry road alongside the writhing bare tree really got the meaning of the title. Bluemner's notebooks were encased, showing his beautiful vignettes of Samurai and Kabuki masks.
I enjoyed the moonlight room where he painted of the sun and moon like ying and yang perhaps as an ode to his wife, who passed away during that time. Later on, he became more self-reflective as the same subject matter became more anthromorphic. "Our paintings are really self-portraits." At the end of his life, he painted Ego (Man Building Red) NonEgo (Woman Tree Green) and UnEgo (Nature Sky Blue). Artists aim is to depict expression and not reality. Color was Bluemner's medium.
Bluemner fell ill and could not see and had to wear sunglasses due to the sensitivity to light. Robert Smithson also died tragically as at 35, he was on a plane that crashed as they were travelling to a potential site for his earthworks. Smithson is one crazy bastard. There exists a creepy creepy about him but within his madness lies a brilliance. Many people give kudos to his earthworks but I rather prefer his graduated pieces. Several of his puzzle pieces were amazing because as I walked around it, the artwork changed but at any angle, there was a harmony and coherence about it. The question that he poses about bringing the museum to the world or allowing the world to become a museum is interesting indeed but the entropy of life is hard to master. For example, his Spiral Getty has been under water for most of the time and just recently became visible again. But I feel as if he is trying to control things that have naturalistic tendencies which I guess is a metaphor to life.
Artists are an interesting bunch. A lot of them seem always to be at this brink and sometimes push themselves to madness. Van Gogh, Pollock, Smithson, I applaud you for your courage. But was it well worth it?
Calder had a very quaint exhibit with the circus and wiry faces. It inspires me to go home and do a portrait with pipe cleaners.
Ambling back home, I was emotionally and physically weary. But as I trudged to the bus stop, I saw a sign of heaven. PAYARD!!
Nothing like a blackcurrent and pistachio macaroon to lift my spirits.

Life is oh so delicious. *CHOMP*


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