November 30, 2012

On towers

 Devil's Tower

Today I had an intuition: we could write (a) History according to the kind of towers we build, since it seems an universal feature.

Why do we build towers at all?

For protection. To reach Heaven and God. For a challenge. To get a better technological signal. Church towers, soldier towers, TV towers, even chess towers.

Here a visual essay.

Pisa (religious)

 San Gimignano (show off)

Leonardo da Vinci (defense)

Alcatraz (defense)

Babylon (defense)

Water towers by the Becher (storage)

 Berlin Wall (defense)

Chinese wall (defense)

Comanche tower (defense)

 Tower at Gaza (defense)

Louis Vuitton (show off, tech)

Ivory Tower (religion)

London (defense, housing)

 Paricutín (religion)

 Babel (challenge)

Gasometer in Viena (storage, housing)

Eladio Dieste's church tower (religion)

Cuba (monument)

Petronas (housing)

Burma (religion)

 South Africa (storage)

Maya tower (defense)

 Minaret (religion)

Lighthouse (orientation)

Taj Mahal (monument)

Medieval (defense)

Larkin chair, Wall·e

 Frank Lloyd Wright, Larkin chair (1904)

November 29, 2012

Naked: Jenny Saville, Spencer Tunnick

According to some catholic sect popular in developing countries anything close to a bikini is pornography. But statues such as Louvre's Venus is plain art, and even a masterpiece.

Without noticing it, this people have drawn the difference between naked and nude.

Frances Borzello has published a book about this. I want it badly! By Christmas, the latest... Even though Jonathan Jones does not like it.

Jenny Saville, Shift (1996-1997)

Spencer Tunnick, Sydney Opera House (2010)

V&A Furniture

This week, the London V&A museum announced a new gallery dedicated to furniture. A blast! I am looking forward sooo much to visit it asap.

Hegel's desk at the Humboldt Uni, Berlin

Not that I am an specialist, but when I came the first time to my Kolloquium in Berlin, I was impressed by Hegel's desk, right behind me.

Then, I visited the Kraemers in Paris, and that was the most impressive experience I have had regarding furniture: plenty of Boulles (a magnificent Heraclitus table worth 7 million euro, gawd!) and other exquisite examples. Right after me, Lenny Kravitz was the next appointment, since he also has a cool design collection.

Heraclitus desk by Boulle

Anyways... The new gallery at the V&A has a desk which might have been property of Jonathan Swift, works by Frank Lloyd Wright (such as this chair for the Ward Willits house, back to 1902!), and a super interesting etcetera.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Ward Willits chair

Vignau: Montparnasse, Monterrey

A mess: 100 Top... "Thinkers"?

This Foreign Policy list looks like the worst joke of the year. I would hardly pick no more than ten names from here. What a mess! They should define "thinker" first.

November 28, 2012

On the rocks: Mesa Verde, Setenil de las Bodegas

If I never see you again...

I was very touched this morning by a poem I read. It is attributed to Charles Bukowski, but I have my doubts...

If I never see you again
I will always carry you

on my fingertips
and at brain edges

and in centers

of what I am of

what remains.

René Burri

Bad art

"Artists are good or bad, not fashionable or unfashionable. The tragedy of art today is that it is caught up in an empty fashion game that goes against the very nature of creativity, as artists are judged to be in or out, not for their merits, but their supposed buzzy immediacy."

Jonathan Jones wrote this in order to criticize Gormley. The piece is good, as almost always, but the comments are a blast!

Andrea Schmidt, Mana Lisa, at the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA)

November 26, 2012

Paz y la arquitectura oficial

Octavio Paz escribió en 1985:
"Hay ya mucha pesadez y desmesura en nuestros edificios públicos y demasiados adefecios escultóricos en las plazas y parques de México. El arte oficial no es menos deletéreo que las fugas de gas: envenena la sensibilidad y la imaginación."
Cuánta razón.

Consuelo Sáizar "pretendió encumbrarse" con edificios como la Cineteca Nacional y el Centro Cultural Elena Garro. Buscó a arquitectos renombrados como Rojkind y Gómez Pimienta. Aunque las obras impresionan, es evidente que faltó el sentido común: la fachada de la Cineteca es un estacionamiento y los estantes de libros son inalcanzables y están mancos de escaleras.

Viva el gasto a lo güey, al cabo que es el erario.

Faceless: Cartier-Bresson, Meyerowitz

There is a Cartier-Bresson-Magritte sosias I posted once.

Henri Cartier Bresson, Livorno, Italia (1933)

Joel Meyerowitz, Times Square (1963)

Architectural boobs: Berlin, Kilmington

Gustav Peichl, Betriebskindertagesstätte (1999)
Kindergarten for the children of German Bundestag personnel in Berlin

Bruce Munro, Beacon on the Hill (work in progress)
Hill in Kilmington (UK) converted in a boob to draw attention to breast cancer

Disgregated: Aztecs, Géricault, Goya, Goitia, Sherman, Chapman, narcos

Aztec codex, Human sacrifice to honor the sun (16th century)

Théodore Géricault, Heads severed (1818)

Théodore Géricault, Anatomical pieces (1819)

Francisco Goitia, Cabeza de ahorcado (1958-1960)

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #342 (1999)

Francisco Goya, Grande hazaña! Con muertos! (Los desastres de la guerra #39) (1810-1820)

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Great Deeds Against the Dead (1994)

Unfortunately, in Mexico it's not longer about art, but about real people tortured by drug dealers, like the Aztecs did for religious reasons. Love this country!