Friday, May 22, 2015

Ye Olde Portraits at the Hammer Museum

The Hammer Museum is a small but excellent (and, bonus, always free!) museum in LA. Most of their galleries are devoted to modern and contemporary art (about which more anon) but there are two large galleries dedicated to the original art collection of industrialist Armand Hammer, who founded the joint back in the days when industrialists and robber barons did things like found art museums to show what cultured guys they really were. One room is all big lovely Impressionist nature canvases and the other is full of portraits. I really liked those portraits. They had faces and features and expressions and eyes that looked so familiarly human. I mean, there they are, blobs of paint meant to represent people who lived in different eras and who would not get us at all, nor would we get them. And yet they look so recognizably like people. That sounds obvious and inevitable, but not all portraits are like that. But many of these ones were. So, here you go.

The above is anonymous gentleman is attributed to Theodore Gericault

Sarah Bernhardt by Alfred Stevens

Rembrandt doing his divine self-portrait thing

Peter Paul Rubens doing his divine Rubenesque thing

Monsieur Jacquet by Edgar Degas

Alice Legouve by Edourad Manet

Portrait of a Man in Armour by Titian

Thursday, May 21, 2015

We Arrive at a Momentous Moment in the Ongoing Poem Series About the Summer of 2006

June 15, 2006
Today I bought tiny cakes

to celebrate the simply wonderful and amazing fact that
today is Bill’s last day of school
I’m so proud of him I don’t know what to do with myself
and so relieved we made it to the end of this first year

The cakes came in a little white box with a handle
and it felt great to carry them down the street

I started this journal with the blueberry muffins on his first day of school
as a way to try and work around the certain quantity of upset feelings
I found myself feeling in the process of learning to live with
support and help him a tiny bit in this astonishingly challenging endeavor

that first poem, about the blueberry muffins, lives here

image source is here

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today's Read

This is a fascinating article. I'm not familiar with the source, so am taking it with a grain of salt, but it was drawn to my attention by the imminently reputable Publisher's Lunch. And if even a fraction of the things it alleges are true, it's a scandal of vast proportions. If you care even a little bit about the publishing industry it's well worth a read.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Overnight Getaway

Over the weekend Bill and I went on a little one-night sleepover to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. Though I must admit that, at first, when he came up with the idea of staying at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square in Oakland, I was somewhat dismissive of the idea--I mean, ok a) Oakland? and b) isn't Jack London Square basically a mall? But he won me over and, in fact, it turned out to be quite fabulous. We took the ferry there, checked into the adorably nautical themed hotel, went to the movies, ate fancy old fashioned seafood overlooking the boats and the water, lounged around drinking coffee the next morning, and then took the ferry back. Even though we were less than half an hour away, and certainly not in an exotic location at all, it was quite different from our normal stomping grounds, and I often think it's that difference, really, that does the magic thing that travel does--simultaneously waking you up to your surroundings and soothing you into a relaxed state. I'm proud to say that I was having such a pleasant time actually experiencing this little jaunt that I did not take a ton of pictures of it, but here is a glimpse.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Welcome Home Mamma!

When you've been away from your darling kiddo for several days and then are reunited, often, I find, you just want to take a picture of her nice face.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tomoo Gokita and Mineo Mizuno

Besides Paris Photo LA one of the best art-looking-at things I did when I was in Los Angles a couple of weeks ago was a gallery walk with an artist pal in Culver City. We saw loads and loads of good things (more of which will no doubt be forthcoming in this space sooner or later) but my favorite two things I saw were a series of beautifully spooky black-and-white paintings by Tomoo Gokita at Honor Fraser Gallery, and a collection of exquisitely fine all-white ceramics by Mineo Mizuno at Samuel Freeman Gallery. It's unusual for me to like best things with such a constrained and neutral color palette. But there you go--you never can guess what art may move you when it comes right down to it. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Next Installment in the Ongoing Poem Series About the Summer of 2006

June 14, 2006
Oh my god

yesterday from the csa
we got beautiful eggs
seriously some of
the most perfect things
I have ever seen
They moved me deeply
in their cardboard carton
with a tiny little date
handwritten in pencil
on the top
of each

Three white eggs
Five brown eggs
one oddly elongated
one with speckles
Two eggs a color somewhere between white and brown
would we call it taupe? ecru? eggshell? ha ha
one very small
and them
almost miraculously
Two pale blue eggs
smallish and really truly blue
not just something you call blue because that’s a nice idea

image source is here