Monday, November 30

Destino - Walt Disney and Salvador Dali working together

Destino DALI & Walt disney from cesar laurent on Vimeo.

Walt Disney was inspired by many artists and used some of the artistic tendencies of the twenty century like German expressionism and surrealism.

The Walt Disney Company released in 2003 "Destino" a project Disney started in collaboration with the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali in 1945. After nine months they had to stop because the economy during war times were terrible.

Walt Disney's brother, Roy Disney worked on the project and used fifteen Dali's paintings, the music singed by the Spanish Dora Luz and drafts of the story.


Sunday, November 29

Choking first aid - I needed it today - The importance of 1st-aid should be taken seriously

Today I thought I was going to die because a piece of meat I swallowed got stuck and I could not breath. I thought: "is this the way I'm going to die?" I could not speak either and a man started doing the subdiaphragmatic abdominal thrusts but it didn't help. I got very nervous but someone said: "Don't get nervous. Easy!" so I sat and relaxed with my head down and could expelled. I realized how dangerous it can be because it's not very divulged. I remembered the movie Mrs Doubtfire when she helps Pierce Brosnan's character in the restaurant. I realized that there are not people trained to help people in restaurants and maybe waiting for rescue can be fatal. So I am putting the site below that explain how to is the 1st-Aid for choking. It was a little traumatic for me. I hope it never happens to you or in case it happens someone knows how to deal with it. I needed someone to put his finger in my throat to take the meat away. Fortunately I always bend my body and put my head down when I am not feeling fine.
Adults: -Cut food into small pieces.
-Chew food slowly and thoroughly, especially if wearing dentures.
-Avoid laughing and talking during chewing and swallowing. -Avoid excessive intake of alcohol before and during meals. Infants and Children: -Keep marbles, beads, thumbtacks, and other small objects out of their reach and prevent them from walking, running, or playing with food or toys in their mouths.

If you observe an "conscious" ADULT choking: -Ask, "Are you choking?" -If the victim can speak, cough, or breathe, DO NOT INTERFERE. -If the victim CANNOT speak, cough, or breathe, give subdiaphragmatic abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich maneuver) until the foreign body is expelled or the victim becomes unconscious. (Or in case of extreme obesity or late pregnancy, give chest thrusts.) IIf the Victim Becomes Unconscious: Visit the site for all the informations. We only think about 1st-aid when we need help. If you have any 1st-aid site that you believe is good leave a comment and I will publish it. I can only think about choking for the moment. Have a good and healthy week!

Saturday, November 28

Andy Warhol's shoes

Yes, Andy Warhol also used shoes as a theme like we saw two post below Van Gogh's shoes and boots. This is the series "A la recherche du shoe perdu", title inspired by Marcel Proust's oeuvre "In Search of Lost Time - A la Recherche du temps perdu", Andy Warhol did in 1955 with captions by Ralph Pomeroy. Prior to this he had already used shoes as theme passing around his friends to promote himself and at this series he depicts shoes in a very glamorous and magical way. In 1980-1 he publishes the series "Diamond Dust Shoes" using diamond dusts in his printings. Today is Saturday. Put on your red shoes and dance! Dancing is very Warhol since he said that he did nothing but going to parties. “I am a deeply superficial person.” "An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have." "During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don't think they've ever remembered."

Friday, November 27

The mysterious colored wall in Huston

Huston we have a problem! I found the two photos above at Flickr from @Hella's collection. She takes amazing pictures at Huston and other places. I searched and found... the wall... I have no idea how these photos were taken. If anybody lives in Huston and know about this wall please leave a comment. Thank you! Have a colorful and happy weekend!

Thursday, November 26

My first Thanksgiving

I had a glimpse of what thanksgiving means for Americans at Cypris Village. I published this video with some pictures of the lesson.
I learned the history and also what are the feelings of these Americans tutors that live in Japan, Korea and US.
It made me more close to what Thanksgiving really is. No sound this time because I thought about saying something but I am a little shy to publish my voice. Maybe it will be possible one day or maybe I will add a music. Thank you all at Cypris that made it possible.

Van Gogh's boots and shoes

Shoes and boots were often painted by Van Gogh and generated many studies by philosophers and other scholars. Martin Heidegger was the first to present his thoughts when he saw the "Boots with laces" at a museum. Mayer Schapiro has answered him and there has been other authors trying to explain the phenomenon. I like looking and feeling. I just wish they were all at the same museum and I could go there... now!

Tuesday, November 24

Having fun with Judith Leyster's "Self-portrait"

I took this from this site and you can do this appreciation there where it is complete. There are "exercises" from other painters like Van Gogh, Gauguin, Vermeer at NGA Classroom: Online Resources for Teachers and Students and it is really good and funny to what they are doing. Have fun!

How do you see Judith Leyster from looking carefully at her self-portrait?

Read her bio, examine every bit of the painting, and then, using your mouse, select the adjectives that best describe her.

Shy Poor Inexperienced
Skilled Rich Self-confident
Educated Artistic Tattered
Musical Modern Successful
Happy Clever Well-dressed
Untrained Proud Outspoken

Monday, November 23

Escher - "Relativity"

This is "Relativity" a 1953 lithography by Escher and one of his most famous works. It is amazing that his work is so well known and inspired not only artists but also propaganda, graphic designs and other areas, even mathematics. We are not in a somewhat imaginary world like at the Piranesi stairs three posts below. It is gravity the main issue here. It also deals with perspective and the explicitness representation of three-dimensional space in the two-dimensional medias one of the recurrent themes of Escher's work. The right image is from the site Escher for Real that I have already showed at this other post about Escher. If you want to know more about Escher The Official M. C. Escher Website has many informations.
" I am always wandering around in enigmas. There are young people who constantly come to tell me: you, too, are making Op Art. I haven't the slightest idea what that is, Op Art. I've been doing this work for thirty years now." " The things I want to express are so beautiful and pure." " So let us then try to climb the mountain, not by stepping on what is below us, but to pull us up at what is above us, for my part at the stars; amen." " I play a tiresome game." " I don't grow up. In me is the small child of my early days."
M. C. Escher I remember the first time I saw Escher works. It is always an amazing experience. I wanted to put other pictures but it would be too much. Update: Lots of stairs! Escher, Piranesi and Duchamp. In a way I think of them as counter-parents.

Keith Haring's universe - joy and movements

I was thinking that the post to end the "Piranesi's effect" would be Escher and Mark has left a comment with a good link. But I remembered it is Monday and thought that people are going back to work, others worried about not having a job, some people have to solve some problems... Monday seems to be a inaugural day for not happy times for some people. I wanted something that could put a smile on our faces and saw this Keith Hearing's collection Herrad's published. You don't know who Herrad is?... okay: She is fighting multiple sclerosis and post everyday about her struggle. She has amazing photos of Amsterdam and I am always inspired by her pictures and the way she inspire others by telling how she spend her day coping with symptoms. So this is to light up your day as it did to me. Have a great week! Thank you Herrad! Update: I have a button of the image below that
was given by Keith while he was at the Paris's Biennial. I have it close to my screen with other tiny objects I use to make me happy. The other button is about Africa. I will try to find the image.
Random House Keith Haring Angle1

Sunday, November 22

Francisco Goya - 'The dream/sleep of reason produces monsters"

 This is "The Dream of the reason produces monsters", 1797, one of the eighty etchings entitled "Los Caprichos", published in 1799. It is always so hard to know which was the original intention of some artist's work and numerous theories are used to explain not only the intention but also the meaning and many other aspects. As you heard at the 1.28 minutes video* "sueño" means "dreams" and "sleep" in Spanish but I'm sure he meant "dream". This is one of his quotes:
Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.”
Artists think so much about their works that sometimes it is hard to think of them as being part of the society and I am telling this because I know painters and writers. I am not denying that they do and some of them do political statements intentionally.

There are many ways to approach an artist. Some takes the biography as the measurement; others the historical period; others the economical aspect of their own thinking; the philosophical approach; the aesthetic and it goes and goes... Even a medical approach is done in Goya's case because he had a disease when he was forty-five years-old that left him deaf. Like Van Gogh he also became a kind of medical puzzle because the symptoms he suffered can be related to a huge array of diseases.

Anyway.... I like to read the most important works by scholars or art lovers and just keep in mind a vague memory of them. Reading different authors approaching a work helps me keeping the excitement I had when I first saw the work and I can also appreciate the other phases of the artist the has nothing to do with only one approach. Goya also painted amazing women and delightful scenes. I like both equally. I love being a dilettante. Dilettante, synonymous amateur, is a word of Latin origin "dilectare"... delight. “Fools are not Foolish.” Francisco Goya "Painting is such a joy for me." Vincent Van Gogh *You can find one video explaining the whole series and some other prints here. Update: This post I promised yesterday when I talked about Piranesi.

Saturday, November 21

Funny signs about water... Second Life. For those who don't know you cannot drown or slipper in Second Life. The water is dry. You even don't die. Have a great weekend! (click to enlarge)

Giovanni Battista Piranesi - Impossible and imaginary structures being studied by architects

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1720-1778, was an Italian whose engravings and etchings of Rome and imaginary structures are being studied now by universities. However in an exhibition of his work in the Carnegy Museum of Art, the public was invited to use a magnifying glasses to see the details. It sounds contradictory but still at the same exhibition photographies of Pittsburgh were displayed:
" These dramatic photographs of the Allegheny County Court House bare a striking resemblance to some of Piranesi’s imagined architecture. The photographs, by Clyde Hare, show just how relevant these ancient etchings are." “Despite being an old master, Piranesi’s fantasy environments will likely resonate with today’s audience,” says Amanda Zehnder, assistant curator of fine arts and organizer of Giovanni Battista Piranesi. “Contemporary imaginary virtual reality, aesthetics of electronically or digitally constructed experiential and social environments, and even the aesthetics of horror, recall Piranesi’s work."
The creator of imaginary never-ending staircases and chains still influences artists, architects, psychologists and other fields of knowledge. I believe you can understand now what is the meaning of "piranesian" at the post below. Images: Two of the fifteen Carceri's (Prisons) series Piranesi published. You can see them all here. It is very interesting to see Piranesi this way because he was considered to influence Surrealism. I never thought it was very fair. Not everything that deals with imagination is so detached from reality and has to be related to surrealism. "The dreams of the reason produces monsters." Goya wrote once which will be the next post.

Friday, November 20

MIT's Courses on the Internet and the still polemic Stata Center

"The Stata Center's main pieces are about twelve 120-foot towers and an assortment of adjoining small elements””about six or seven by my count””that accommodate lecture rooms, class rooms, and social spaces on the lower floors. The cluster packs around a public space on the fourth floor that spills out onto a raised outdoor plaza facing south. The whole center””one cannot call it a single building””houses the newly formed Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Linguistics Departments (yes, that is Noam Chomsky's department) and the Philosophy Department, as well as other offices and social spaces, like a café. It contains over 700,000 square feet. The Stata is already receiving critical accolades, a routine that is now customary for all the Gehry blockbusters that have opened recently. It does deserve its share of critical acclaim. The subtraction of solid surfaces on the inside create piranesian effects of complex visual penetration from one space into another into another with walkways that stream all over the place. It reminds me a bit of Portman's Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. Sunlight pours through all kinds of crevasses bouncing off shiny surfaces outside and colorful walls inside. The communal spaces for the research teams connect from one floor to another. The offices seem very comfortable. There are tons of operable windows." More details here. If you want information about the courses that MIT is doing using Internet you must visit their sites. It is great to have an opportunity to have classes from MIT. Hmmm... I am still trying to decide which one I will do first. Many interesting topics. I still didn't find Chomsky name at the list. Maybe he is lost on the piranesian walkways of the Stata center. Oh! You do not who Piranesi is or any of his work? You will know at the next post.

Thursday, November 19

Feed the fishes

Click at the water and the food will be given. I am putting some fun posts this week because a little bit amusement is fine. Hope you enjoy it for 40 seconds.

Magritte "Empire of Lights"

The Empire of Lights, 1954 by René Magritte
“Life obliges me to do something, so I paint.” “Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” “We must not fear daylight just because it almost always illuminates a miserable world” “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing... they evoke mystery and indeed when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question 'What does that mean'? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.” René Magritte

Wednesday, November 18

Focus as optical illusion

If you stare at the word "focus" the image will start moving. When you browse your eyes you can read some words and pieces of phrases.