American Musings

Dear readers,

I am currently on a three week trip to the East Coast of the USA and I’ll be spending time in Boston, New York, and Washington DC. This means that a lot of new posts are coming up but as I’m trying to make the most of my trip, I won’t have time to update the blog a lot until I’m back home. This is just my second day and I already have a review of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston starting to be drafted plus some new ideas for exhibitions and some artwork to share. I just don’t want to post stuff before syncing my pictures and I would like to take the time to write good posts and not just rushed stuff because I feel like this would be unfair.

So stay on the lookout for lots of new updates very soon and thank you for your patience 🙂

Reflections

All photos courtesy of Sebastian Magnani

This photo set is a current project by Swiss photographer Sebastian Magnani. The pictures were shot in various locations and explore the effects rendered by a spherical mirror lain on the ground. I find the relationship between the ground and the sky, as reflected in the mirror, to be super intriguing. It’s not often that we get to look at the floor and at the sky at the same time and it’s interesting to see how they may or may not be related. The mirror is the connecting point between them here and sometimes, what’s reflected in it can explain what we see on the ground. In other cases though, it’s like they’re two different worlds. What I also like about these pictures is that the floor serves as a sort of frame for what’s reflected in the mirror and I think it’s a fitting one because it’s what naturally falls under this reflection.

Ok enough deep talking, you can check out the rest of the pictures here.

Mosaics from the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Photo courtesy of freshcreator on Flickr

Photo courtesy of freshcreator on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Jos van der Woude

Photo courtesy of Jos van der Woude

These mosaics can be found on the celing of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, in Ravenna, Italy. The building was constructed in 430 AD and was supposed to serve as the final resting place of Galla Placidia, daughter of Roman Emperor Theodosius. The mausoleum also has prominent mosaics featuring themes from Christianity, and the ones pictured are on less important parts of the walls and ceilings but they are the ones I chose to feature here because I am a fan of geometric designs, especially in terms of mosaics and I find these simply breathtaking.

As you may have guessed from the date and the mention of Christian imagery, these mosaics date back to the Byzantine Period. By then, mosaic is not really a new form of art, but the innovation during the Byzantine era comes with the introduction of glass thessera (mosaic cubes) as opposed to archaic stone ones. Another interesting point to note is that the gold parts of the mosaics are made of glass cube that were actually gilded, so this is not just the iridescent effect of the glass. You can find a lot of this trend illustrated in the auras of people represented on Byzantine mosaics, such as the mosaics of Emperor Justinian.

AIR: London 6K


All photos courtesy of Vincent Laforet

This incredible set of pictures was taken from a helicopter above London on the night of May 13 2015 by the photographer Vincent Laforet. The photos are part of a project entitled AIR and will be published in an upcoming book which you can already pre-order. London is actually the first European city to be featured on this project; up next are Paris and Berlin.

There’s two main things going on with this particular collection, urban planing and lightning. The artists was a bit concerned about London being an organic city as opposed to a planned city with perpendicular street. He describes is as “chaotic” and at first he was concerned that it may not render as aesthetically as some of the cities he had photographed in the US. However, it turns out that London is actually beautiful from above and that geometry and patterns can be found even in the seemingly disorganized planning.

Another comment Laforet makes concerns the vibrant colors transmitted from the lightning. I am not going to go into technical details but the colors you can see in these photos are partly due to the increased use of LED lights, and partly due to the great sensitivity of the camera. Basically yay for 2015!

Anyway I find these photos absolutely incredible, I think they show the city in a totally different and unexpected way (and make me miss it a lot!). I know I’ve been drifting to lightning a bit in the Metal Colors exhibition but I couldn’t resist. Also some of these pics definitely have a great metal to light color thing going on. You can and you should check out the rest of the set right here (and also read the story behind the shooting).

Quantum Field-X3

Above images courtesy of mymodernmet.com

Image Courtesy of Flick

This giant installation was set up outside the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao between August 2003 and April 2004. It is the work of Japanese artist Hiro Yamagata and consists of two gigantic rectangular structures composed of holographic panels onto which laser beams were projected.

The aim of this project was to push the limits of human perception and to try and show the naked eye what it cannot see, such as the light particles of the laser beams as they were projected on the panels. I think the scale of this project is what makes it really successful and I wish I could have seen it while it was on. I probably would have watched the changing colors for hours actually; so hopefully something similar will be coming up in the near future.

Paco Rabanne Spring-Summer 1991

Image courtesy of 90sfashion

We often hear nowadays that the nineties were an era of fashion missteps if not disasters. I beg to differ. Of course, Paco Rabanne has been creating metallic dresses since the 1960s, when he started his brand with the iconic collection “12 Unwearable Dresses”, but to me this is one of his most epic and glorious metallic creations. I honestly don’t know why it’s so underrated and little known. I wish I could give you more details about the collection and this particular piece but all I can do is post a picture of the front of the dress and let you admire the amazing metallic details.

Image courtesy of Corbis

Crown of Recesvinto

Image courtesy of Spainculture

This crown is part of the treasure of Gurazzar, a collection of votive crowns and crosses dating back to the Visigoth period in Gurazzar, near Toledo, Spain. This particular piece is now exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid and dates back to 663 A.D. It is made of gold,decorated with blue gemstones; and has letters spelling Recesvinto’s name hanging around the base of the crown. This is a testimony to the fact that he was the one who offered it to the church. The whole treasure shows the influence of Byzantine art on Spanish culture during the 7th century, and you can admire parts of it at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, the Royal Palace of Madrid, and the Cluny Museum in Paris.