Sunday, June 19, 2011


One of the best websites ever, a tip from my friend Fernanda Pavao.

"Based on luxury storytelling...", projects, films, photographs on art, culture, entertainment, and so on.

Basically, it's what I wish my blog would be! Totally worth checking it out... But prepare yourself a good 2 hours (at least), to surf the website. 

I found a story on Nan Goldin, that of course made me very happy! Apparently she photographed for an Australian fashion brand that I didn't know about, followed by a section with an interview with the model (with questions about Nan).

Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


"Some people say I live in my own world, that's OK, they know me there."

- Alix Smith (American Emerging Photographer)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Frida Kahlo, our colorful Mexican

Frida!!! How can I start writing about this amazing woman? 

She was born July 6th, of 1907 (Sign: Cancer), in Coyoacan, Mexico, under the name: Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon

When she was 6, she developed Polio, which made her right leg seem much thinner than the other one. Because of this, Frida would use long skirts and dresses, to disguise. She suffered from various health problems because of the accident that she suffered when she was 18/19 years old. An iron handrail pierced her abdomen and uterus, which left her childless, but full of dolls and pets. She was in bed for a long time, but her parents found a way so that she could PAINT, she had just abandoned the idea of becoming a doctor

Frida always witnessed a lot of violence. During the Mexican Revolution (1910) she was hearing gunfires on her street, in her teenage years she boxed and had dated violent men. She went through more then 35 operations after her accident. So, her work always showed a lot of pain

"I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."

This sentence describes a lot about her. Out of 143 paintings, 55 were her self-portraits

Her symbol was a monkey - in Mexico, a symbol for LUST. 
Frida was an admirer of Diego Rivera, her soon to-be husband in 1929, and met him to ask him an advice in pursuing an art career, and so they married. It was a troubled marriage, they were both temperamental and has affairs with other people. She was bisexual, (one of the most interesting things I read), which Diego tolerated, but he just couldn't deal with her affairs with other men (i.e. Trotsky). She once had an affair with Josephine Baker, a dancer, actress, and singer. On the other hand, Diego was having an affair with her younger sister, Cristina

"I never painted dreams, I painted my own reality.

Influenced by the Indigenous Mexican Culture she always used bright colors and dramatic symbolism. She became more well-known with the artistic style: NEOMEXICANISMO, before she was just know as "Diego Rivera's Wife".

Before Frida died, she wrote in her journal:

"I hope the exit is joyful - and I hope never to return."

She was born and died in the same place, The Blue House, on July 13th, 1954, when she was 47 years old. Diego said is was the most tragic day of his life, and that he realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her (realized too late). 

This is one of my favorite pictures of Frida. This was in front of her house, with her pet, smoking her cigarette. She was always using drugs, whether they were painkillers, cigaretts, alcohol, or whatever. Between her friends/family she was known to have a great sense of humor, which you can see in this picture - Can you?

After her use of alcohol with her painkillers, her painting began to change - they were looser, hurried, with a lack of detail. 

Self Portrait with a portrait of Diego on the Breast and Maria Between the Eyebrows

Self Potrait with Stalin

I found something interesting, an explanation of the colors she uses in her art, in her diary.

GREEN: good warm light
MAGENTA: Aztec. Old TLAPALI blood of prickly pear, the brightest and oldest
BROWN: color of mole, leaves becoming earth
YELLOW: madness, sickness, fear (part of the sun and of joy)
COBALT BLUE: electricity and purity love
BLACK: nothing is black - really nothing
LEAF GREEN: leaves, sadness, science; the whole of Germany is this color
GREENISH YELLOW: more madness and mystery, all the ghosts wear clothes of this color, or at least their underwear
DARK GREEN: color of bad advertisements and a good business
NAVY BLUE: distance... also tenderness can be this blue
RED: blood? Well, who knows?

:: Researching this woman was so inspiring. Understanding the story behind all those colors and her unibrow was catalyst. ::

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"

"I love your more than my own skin."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

George Santayana Says

"An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world."

- George Santayana 
(Spanish Philosopher born in Madrid in 1863).

Serie: "In Dumbo with a Leica"

The Italian Man Who Went To Malta

In a city like New York - this is very FAMILIAR! 
It made me laugh too much! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Richard Serra, the Steel man

Richard Serra was born on November 2nd, 1939 (will be 72 soon), in San Francisco. He is a minimalist sculptor and video artist. His work is large and normally made of steel metal (metal formed into thin and flat pieces).

Serra studied English Literature in the University of California, in Berkley, and helped support himself by working on steel mills, which became a strong influence for his work. He then studied Painting at Yale University and continued his training abroad..  He lived in Paris, Florence, Rome - and since then has been living between Tribeca, New York City and Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.


Serra's first sculptures were made out of non traditional materials such as fiber, glass and rubber - very abstract. (Circa 1966).

In 1981, "Tilted Arc", 3.5 meter high arc of rusting mild steel in the Federal Plaza in NY. In 1985, a public hearing voted that the work should be removed and Serra replied with "To remove the work is to destroy it", but there was no turning back.

Serra made a lot of films concerning his favorite material, the steel.

Hand Catching Lead (1968)

:: Serra's first film, a single shot of a hand in an attempt to repeatedly catch chunks of lead dropped from the top of the frame. 

Boomerang (1974)

:: Serra taped Nancy Holt as she talks and hears her words played back to her after they have been delayed electronically.

Serra also drawed and painted, using various techniques. I believe some of his drawings are currently being displayed at the MoMA and at the Dia Art Foundation, and I'm looking forward in checking it out tomorrow!

The Art Market:

The record auction price for a Serra sculpture was paid at Sotheby's in NY in 2008, a work consisting of 3 steel plates, sold for $1.65 million!

"When I first started, what was very very important to me was dealing with the nature of process."

* Serra has been acclaimed for his challenging and innovative work, which highlights the process of its fabrication, the qualities of its materials, and the engagement with the audience. Viewers were encouraged to move around, through, under, so they could meet different perspectives of its physicality and to create awareness of its size.

"Steel becomes something other than Steel."

"Work out on your work, don't work out on anybody else's work."

A friend of mine saw Serra yesterday at Strand Book Store. Maybe I should shop there more often! Can't wait to see his work, live.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Philip Glass at the Metropolitan Museum

"Self-esteem comes from your parents. Somebody tells you that you can do whatever you want, and you believe them."

This Saturday, June 11th, I had the pleasure to be just a few meters away from the genius of minimalism, Philip Glass! He was present at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for a quick Q&A, followed by an orchestra playing his compositions... 

I confess I did not know much about him, before I went... I knew I knew his name, and I knew he composed soundtrack for films, but that was about it...

So, I researched:

Philip Glass was born January 31st, 1937 (74 years old), in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a composer who brought "art music" (serious music/erudite music) to the public and one of the most influential of the 20th century. 

Glass describes himself as "classicist", and his biggest influences were Beethoven and Schubert (his favorite composer). He is a minimalist [music with repetitive structures], and went to the Juilliard School of Music where the keyboard became his main instrument. 

He went to live in Paris, where he worked with Godard and Truffaut, and later Samuel Beckett. In 1967, he came back to NYC (where he currently lives),  and became Richard Serra's regular studio assistant, and lived in the art/gallery world. Glass also worked as a plumber and a cab driver!

His influences: rock, ambient music, electronic music and world music. 

Glass is a vegetarian, and a supporter of the Tibetan cause!

My point of view of Saturday: 

I was extremely excited to go see Philip Glass play the piano... I arrived there... Naturally you get inspired with all the art and just the simple idea of being at that amazing place... Seats were comfortable, our seats were pretty good, at the mezzanine, with the piano placed in the middle of the stage, and where it was faced our direction. It started 10 minutes late, interviewer Richard Guerin and Philip Glass finally enter stage and sit down. Philip seemed distracted touching the microphone to see if it was working, even though interview had began. (Was funny!). Interviewer asked a couple of questions, but I couldn't really understand the answers. In 20 minutes, the music began. I had understood wrong, I thought Glass would be playing, but 4 different people was playing his music. 

It was okay, until the last 30 minutes where an incredible violonist, Tim Fain, began to play. Absolutely unbelievable and inspiring young man who apparently did the soundtrack for "Black Swan"! 

I have to say, it was worth it. 

"Motivation will make up for a lot of failings."

"You practice and you get better. It's very simple."

 "I work every morning without fail."

"I always knew what I wanted to do and I did it."