Saturday, December 25, 2010

Keeping it real

Happiness Is not an idea of reason but of imagination”
-Immanuel Kant

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Bringers of Light

Every year, Dalvero Academy's founders and my art teachers Ronnie and Margaret gather friends at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to draw the magnificent Neapolitan Angel Tree. A beautiful tradition. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and love to all the bringers of light in our lives. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paris :: Part 7 : I Am Beautiful (Je suis belle)

Auguste Rodin made numerous studies of figures and re-used his models in various groupings. One chance combination in plaster of the crouching female and the reaching male figures (both of which were studies for the "The Gates of Hell") became the basis for famous bronze casts. One of the sculptures sits in a glass case by the window at the Rodin Museum in Paris. It's titled "I am beautiful", after Baudelaire's poem:
"I am beautiful, oh mortals, like a marble dream,  
And my breast on which each sacrifices himself in turn, 
Was made to inspire poets with a love  
As eternal and silent as matter.'
The meaning of this sculpture is unclear.  It's ambiguity and intensity is what made me fall in love with it. It is a union of two opposites: female and male, fetal and erect, closed and open, empathetic and violent, static and moving. It's as difficult and as beautiful as the tension between two beings, the culmination of emotional extremes in an interpersonal relationship. Instinctively, I know that I have lived through *that* when I look at the figures. I understand it. But...cannot put it into words. Such is the power of Rodin's sculptures: they are a mirror of all things human yet invisible. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Drawing Music :: Robert Fripp's Soundscapes

Arts>World Financial Center program at the Winter Garden hosts really awesome free events. This time I went to hear Soundscapes by Robert Fripp. He's the famous English guitarist/composer, the founder of King Crimson.

When I saw King Crimson live in NYC about 7 years ago, Fripp sat sideways to the crowd. The stories about his stage fright (even though the man has been performing for nearly 40 years by now) are well known. Way back when he'd even sit with his back to the audience.

Naturally, part of me was curious to see Robert Fripp's solo performance: does he still turn his back? Or hide behind an amplifier? But no..he was in the middle of the huge stage, almost smiling. At the end he took deep bows in all directions, looking pleased and charming. The acoustics of the Winter Garden are perfect for that kind of ambient music. Fripp's Soundscapes have been described as "lush sonic tapestries with electric guitar and digital effects". It was beautiful.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sketches of Spain: Barcelona in 2007

I uploaded a gallery of drawings to Flickr from my first solo reportage trip to Barcelona, Spain, in the spring of 2007. These drawings bring such amazing memories back...

"I was nervously happy my entire stay, imagining the big globe and myself as a tiny dot across the ocean from home, parents, friends…on my own, DRAWING."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Paris :: Part 6 : Le Musee D'Orsay

Here's a drawing of the great hall of Le Musee D'Orsay with it's magnificent gilded clock. This once-upon-a-time railroad station is now housing most incredible 19th-century art, including impressionism, realism, postimpressionism, and art nouveau. Turns out the museum is only 33 years old.  I LOVE this place like no other. There are giant Toulouse-Lautrecs (how DID he paint such huge canvases? "With a broom", jokes my teacher Ronnie, as she walks by.) There are Van Goghs, vibrating with so much energy that they practically emit sounds. There are Degas figurines-a whole wall of them! There is the famous Renoir's "Boating Party" painting  that Amelie's neighbor kept copying in the movie. There's the Monet's "The Picnic" that Picasso studied over and over again with his numerous iterations. There are Bonnards, Cezannes, Daumiers, Gaugins, Monets, Vuillards...all those great impressionistic paintings are so alive in person, so beautiful, that their impact just overwhelms. I get very emotional there. I miss you, D'Orsay. 

p.s. Happy Birthday, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On Happiness:

"The potter sleeps soundly, 
for no one would steal his clay." 
Indian Proverb

 (circa 2007) 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beautiful Wood-Pile

 Drawn on my iPhone over pastels on paper

Once at Mystic, I walk through the shipyard. It smells of wood. Wood is everywhere. Ship masts, tree trunks, chopped timber. A pile of cut wood is hypnotizing: planes run every which way under jumping sun rays. It's organized chaos, this beautiful wood-pile.

Masts and Restoration Shipyard Barn. 
Pastels on paper, iPhone

Monday, November 15, 2010

Drawing Music :: Grinderman @ The Nokia Theater

Nick Cave's punk rock band Grinderman shook the walls of the packed Nokia Theater on Times Square last night. Gladly for me, the mosh pit was subdued, but not without instigators.  It was deafening and awesome. And 53-year-old Cave jumped and kicked like a 20-year-old. That crazy Australian.

 Nick Cave.  Drawn on my iPhone

Grinderman at the Nokia Theater, NYC.   Drawn on my iPhone

Nick Cave.  Drawn on my iPhone

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Special

November 11 is not only my Dad's birthday, but also a day of tribute to veterans. Veterans Day memorial services are always accompanied by bagpipes in USA.  Coincidentally, I just stumbled upon  3-year-old drawings from the National Tartan Day that took place at the Grand Central station in New York in 2007.  Even though the drawings were made at a fun cultural event and are light-hearted, I still want to post them as my tribute.  A happy tribute made by someone who is lucky enough not to be touched by war.

Also, I realized that I have no idea why they play bagpipes during memorial services and googled it. One of the links offered the following:

If *you* happen to know the historical tie between US military and bagpipes, leave it in a comment, I'd like to know.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Drawing Music :: Bonobo @ Webster Hall, NYC

Drawn on my iPhone 
Simon Green (aka Bonobo) & Andreya Triana

If I knew 3 years ago I'll be seeing Bonobo live, I'd flip out.  I still love his music-don't get me wrong-but a few years back it was more like an obsession. Let the numbers do the talking: according to stats on my profile, since 2006 to date, I have played 59,750 tracks. Bonobo ranks as my top overall artist with 639 plays. And that's not counting my ipod/iphone "on the go " plays. I remember hanging out on his myspace page (way before FB!) and leaving him "come play in New York!" fan posts. So he finally did!

Bonobo, aka Simon Green, a 34-year-old bassist-producer-composer-musician-DJ from Great Britain, brought a whole crew of amazing musicians along. Everything was played live, and it was SUPER. All expectations exceeded x100. I waited to see Bajka, the singer featured on "Days To Come" album, but was pleasantly surprised by Andreya Triana instead. The venue was packed. The crowd was in a frenzy. Hey, that was Bonobo! Live in NY!!! Thanks for coming, Simon. You are clearly loved here.

Drawn on my iPhone 
Simon Green (aka Bonobo) He doesn't smile much.
Drawn on my iPhone 
Simon Green (aka Bonobo)

Drawn on my iPhone 
Simon Green (aka Bonobo) & Andreya Triana

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Keep Studying

 "Seemingly the most easy of crafts, drawing is the one which reveals most tellingly our incapacity to sustain true vision and our acquiescence to the ready-made." ~ Rico Lebrun

November Rain

Drawn on my iPhone

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New England In Autumn

I spent last weekend at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. It's that gorgeous time of year when trees go through their fleeting autumnal fireworks before succumbing to the inevitable. There's something very special about the light in this corner of New England. Big skies over little white houses buried inside luscious masses of leaves, and the rippled mirror of the Mystic river that reflects it all.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pulling a "Charner"

What happens when  you combine an ink-on-paper drawing with an iPhone drawing? My interesting and dear artist/friend Alex Charner did just that during our Paris trip in July-he photographed his drawing with an iPhone and continued inside the Brushes app. So I decided to pull a "Charner", too. What could be more fun than experimenting with art?! (thanks, Alex!)

Here's a group of volunteers at the Mystic Seaport's restoration shipyard chopping wood on a windy Saturday afternoon. 

Drawn on my iPhone

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My iPhone Drawings in MoMA Augmented Reality Exhibition

This Saturday was a gorgeous summer-like day in New York. I was at the MoMA, anticipating the launch of the DIY Augmented Reality Art Invasion at 4pm. All that was needed was to figure out how to use Layar app. It took about 10 minutes of utter confusion, until the first signs of "it works!" appeared on my iPhone, in the room with Monet's Water Lilies.

The next hour and a half were spent roaming the museum and the atrium outside, discovering layers of virtual art galleries. My drawings were "attached" to the 5th floor, but technically could be viewed from any place inside and near MoMA by selecting the floor level within the Layar app. 

I was among 35 other artists who participated. I only met 2 while there, and one of them was Sander Veenhof, the mastermind / pioneer / curator of this exhibition. 

It's a very exciting experiment (well-executed, too) that has amazing potential. This exhibition opened my eyes to the idea of phychogeography.
"Developments in the field of phychogeography advance rapidly and radically. In former times the discipline required mental capabilities such as concentration and imagination, nowadays mobile phones provide us with easy-to-use viewing tools to percieve a multitude of fictive realities, anywhere we are, instantly. The technique causing this 'progression' is called augmented reality. It has led to an armada of virtual creativity of various kinds into our public physical space. Actually, AR has rewritten the scope of 'public space'. Physically walled private spaces, such as musea, are now open areas for anyone's objects and actions. To reflect on this and to investigate the implications for art intitutes, Mark Skwarek and I propose to infiltrate the MoMA with an augmented reality exhibition, curated and transmitted from a distance using GPS-driven Layer AR technology. A helpdesk will assist Conflux participants to collaborate and contribute a work to this "virtual DIY museum". ~Sander Veenhof (quote taken from conflux

The 7 virtual MoMA floors will remain available/viewable permanently!

Instructions on how to see this virtual gallery: 

-Download (free) Layar Augmented Reality Browser app. 
-In your phone's general settings, make sure "location services" for Layar are "on". 
-Open the app, search for "art moma" and select "MoMA AR exhibition" 
 (Sander Veenhof / Mark Skwarek). 
-Open it, go to "settings": select "alternative positioning ON" / move "viewing range" to max / select floor
-My iPhone drawings are on the "5th-2D" level. 
-You can explore all the floors from any location within the museum.