February 29, 2012

Leg: Judith, Angelina

Giorgione, Judith (1504)

Angelina Jolie at the Oscars ceremony (2012)

Spoted today by Jonathan Jones (The Guardian)

February 28, 2012

Amos Oz on Fanaticism

"The essence of fanaticism lies in the desire to force other people to change—the common inclination to improve your neighbor, mend your spouse, engineer your child, or straighten up your brother, rather than let them be. The fanatic is a most unselfish creature. The fanatic is a great altruist.

In fact, often the fanatic is more interested in you than in himself. He wants to save your soul, he wants to redeem you, he wants to liberate you from sin, from error, from smoking, from your faith or from your faithlessness, he wants to improve your eating habits, or to cure you of your drinking or voting habits. The fanatic cares a great deal for you; he is always either falling on your neck because he truly loves you or else he is at your throat in case you prove to be unredeemable. And, in any case, topographically speaking, falling on your neck and being at your throat are almost the same gesture.

One way or another, the fanatic is more interested in you than in himself, for the simple reason that the fanatic has very little self or no self at all."

Amos Oz, How to Cure a Fanatic

(Via Luis Xavier López Farjeat, "Arrogancias dispares")

February 27, 2012

Pritzker 2012: Wang Who?

Wang Shu is getting this year the Pritzker Prize.

Wang Who?

This museum is cool. But, come on, the Pritzker? When prizes become politicised, it is a mess... A pitty!

February 24, 2012

On kitsch

For the last days I have been involved in a sort of discussion regarding "kitsch" after I suggested in a lecture that the kitsch could be somehow used in order to educate people in this violent country or, at least, to pacify them, due to its Konfliktlosigkeit, which T. Adorno adscribed to it. Somebody has denied that Mexican is a kitsch culture (it is terrrribly kitsch!), or that kitsch could be of any use. That's my hypothesis, still have to work on it.

But it was nice to read what Leon Wieseltier published today:

"In this sense one’s books are one’s biography. This subjective urgency bears no relation to the quality of the book: lives have been changed by kitsch, too."

 Baby Jesus dressed the Mexican way

February 23, 2012

Rein! Niki de Saint Phalle, František Drtikol

In German, "rein" means both "pure" as well as "enter".

 František Drtikol, Mother Earth (1931)

Niki de Saint Phalle, Hon (1968)

February 22, 2012

Prison and liberalism

"The moral failings of advanced liberal societies, not least this one, tend to be slow-motion sins. We don’t stone the adulterer or hang the sodomite or massacre the restive inner-city residents. We allow the atmosphere to be filled with greenhouse gases; we allow the hypertrophic growth of inequality; we let the prison population grow to the size of a megalopolis. And the key is that there’s no particular moment when they happened, no single event to expose and decry. It’s the slow-motion violence of mass incarceration that enables it to elude our moral immune system. Prisons stop time. We need to find ways, from the outside, to accelerate our awareness."

Excerpt of "Notes on The Caging of America", an interesting piece on American jails, by Adam Gopnik.
Foto: Lizzie Sadin

Andy Warhol 25

Andy Warhol passed away 25 years ago.

Watch a very funny interview (he even is about to start laughing).

February 21, 2012

New Yorker 87

New Yorker magazine just turns 87 today. Awesome!

I just start getting it weekly in my mailbox and read the "Story of a Suicide" Sunday morning.

The current cover is a funny reinterpretation of the very first one.

February 14, 2012

Atrio de los gentiles

Estoy corrigiendo mi paper para mañana...

Con ocasión de la próxima visita de Benedicto XVI a México, Letras Libres y el Instituto de Investigaciones de la UNAM invitan al "Atrio de los Gentiles".

El Atrio de los Gentiles reunirá a un grupo de jóvenes intelectuales –filósofos y editores– para que conversen desde su perspectiva atea, agnóstica o religiosa acerca de las condiciones que existen actualmente en México para desarrollar una nueva era en el diálogo entre creyentes y no creyentes.

La discusión tendrá lugar el próximo miércoles 15 de febrero de 18 a 20 horas en la Casa de las Humanidades de la UNAM: Presidente Carranza 162, Villa Coyoacán, C.P. 04000, Coyoacán.

February 13, 2012


Helmut Newton, A cure for a black eye (1974)

Abbas, A girl holds skulls over her eyes on Nov. 1, 1984 in Mexico City

Alex Veledzimovich

Esther Bubley, West Springfield (1944)

Richard Avedon, Penelope Tree (1966)

Richard Avedon, Maurizio Cattelan, artist, New York, July 8, 2004

George Melly, Brian Griffin (1990)

Lukas Dvorak, Eva Svobodovc (2007)

Daniel Gil Rodrigo, Sam (for Razormonkey 3) (2009)

Graciela Iturbide, Ojos para volar (1991)

Alexander Rodchenko, Portrait of mother (1924)

Le clown lyrique posted a similar collection of images some weeks ago, just after I had started working on this post. That blog is a must!

Adenda (October 2012):

Young Carl Lagerfeld

 Adenda (November 2012):

Rodney Smith

 Adenda (January 2013):

Jean Arp


February 10, 2012

Kiss: Klimt, Castañeda, Barter

Everybody knows Klimt's Kiss. It is truly impressive when you see it live in Vienna. I had to think about it when I saw Alfredo Castañeda's Nuestro amor. I sadly learned that he passed away... one year ago, and I wasn't informed about it till now. And coincidentally, Andy Barter images of kissing couples were published today by The Guardian.

February 9, 2012

Blood: Alejandro Magallanes, Belgian magazine Focus

No more blood
Design for an indie peace campaign by cool Alejandro Magallanes

The dark side of love
Belgian edition of Focus for February

February 8, 2012

Accumulations: Alan Grant, Gundrun

Every now and then, I have been thinking this week about Arman. Beyond the typical "chorus" of pop songs, he made us all conscious about the artistic power of patterns and repetitions.

Putting forward this idea in the world of staged photography is a great idea, beyond the classical patterns of nature, a construction and so on.

Here two cool examples.

Alan Grant, Jayne Mansfield (1957)

 Gundula Schulze Eldowy, Dresden (1986)

David Bowie's first

Here is David Bowie's first letter to his first fan in USA. He was 20 years old. A masterpiece!

Click to enlarge, if needed...

February 2, 2012

Beauty of...

You need to be an artist, preferably a phhotographer, to be able to discover beauty in a piece of steel, trash from the ocean or sun reflecting on a wall. Three shots which have cheered up my day.

Julia Zimmerman, Steel
(published on FAZ yesterday)

Mandy Barker, Soup (debris from the Pacific Ocean)

Marcus (Finding Berlin), Reflection