The first image above is by Picasso. The second is a mural in my neighborhood. They make a kind of pair, yes? When walking by this mural, I have often thought of Picasso’s iconic and controversial painting, Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon. Both depict sexualized women looking out at the viewer, and both elicit similar reactions — discomfort either at the objectification of the women or at the blatant, unadorned way in which they are on display. Could it be that one piece, held up as a work of art and housed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is thematically echoed by an object of the every day, painted on the wall of a mini-mart? I think so.
My recent travels into the internet/TV black hole have gotten me hooked on streaming episodes of HGTV’s Secrets from a Stylist. Most times the mention of interior design makes me cringe with thoughts decorators who talk endlessly about drapes, but this show is fresh and fun. It got me thinking about my own decorating style. While my style for now is mostly determined by the most inexpensive items I can find that fit my taste, breaking down my bedroom decor did reveal a certain style coming through, which we’re romantically calling “south of Spain.” Continue reading
In college, I took a trip to Italy with a friend. It was an amazing trip that included 5 cities, lots of museums, ‘interesting’ sleeping arrangements, and eating my weight in pizza, pasta, and gelato. It also proved one thing beyond a doubt — I am an art history nerd.
Seriously, though, when you can see artwork from the Renaissance masters up close and in person, you’re bound to get excited, right? On the trip we got to see works like Michelangelo’s David, and murals by Michelangelo and Raphael in the Vatican; but what brought on a full-on geek-out for me was seeing the Florence Duomo, or cathedral, with the famous dome by Brunelleschi.
A recent trip to Los Angeles reminded me that it has a vibe and style all its own. You may think it’s Rodeo Drive and plastic surgery-young blondes driving convertibles, but that’s not what I’m talking about. First of all, L.A. is so huge and sprawling that it really has many different styles, but there is an over-arching one that keeps calling out to me when I’m there. Continue reading
Eating breakfast in my kitchen in the early morning before most people are awake is one of my favorite weekend activities. During this quiet time with cereal and the New York Times, I’ve also taken notice of the beautiful morning light that adds a diffuse glow to everyday items like the dishes drying next to the sink. I finally took out my camera to try to capture the effect. (Yes, that’s cat hair on the straw…it’s inescapable.) Continue reading
When you’re continually impressed and inspired by someone on several different levels, I think that can qualify them as a personal hero. I first became aware of Tyler Hicks through his photography for the New York Times. Back when I could mooch off my dad’s subscription to the paper, I often found Hicks’ name below the front page photos that really caught my eye. He is an incredible photographer, finding beauty and awe in some of the world’s roughest areas, including Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan during times of war. He was received many honors, including a Pulitzer Prize. Continue reading
“I’m going to jet over there after work.”
“You gotta fly at ground level to get over there.”
This is part of a conversation I heard on a bus in Los Angeles recently between the driver and a college-guy passenger. I’m not sure if the passenger intended to extend the driver’s airplane metaphor when he responded, but the symmetry struck me as poetical. I liked the turn of phrase, too, never having heard “fly at ground level” to mean hurry or go fast. Might add that to my lexicon.
The picture is a bit of graffiti I came across in Venice, Italy. The backpacking stick-couple was cute, and appropriate for the tourist-lined streets of the famous city. It made me laugh to see these purposeful trekkers on the wall, because the streets of Venice are so winding and narrow that you really have no choice but to wander. My friend and I certainly didn’t jet around Venice, but we loved going nowhere in particular and admiring the city’s beauty and art, whether it was ornate architecture or a simple red stencil.
- © Lisa Andrews, 2007
Past entries in this blog have revealed my affinity for simple, graphics-based artwork. While I’m blown away by the old masters; by rich oils and chiaroscuro, there is much to be said for artwork that may appear unskilled by comparison. To me, work such as that of Saul Bass and Alphonse Mucha, while certainly influenced by the commercial world, is striking in its economical approach to communication. Lines and colors, when used well, can tell us just as much as more detailed realism. It’s undeniable that this is artwork that speaks, even if with a smaller vocabulary. Continue reading
I recently learned the identity of the man behind the visual style that I can unequivocally say that I LOVE. Everyone has seen his work – it’s everywhere; but I’m sure that many of us today don’t know who’s responsible for it. Well, now you will: it’s Saul Bass. Continue reading
“If I can’t help you, I won’t harm you”
This spider was holding on tight as its web swung in evening breeze blowing across my back porch. I’m not a big fan of spiders, but their webs are beautiful, as is this little one’s red tone.
The quote is one that’s stuck with me. A man on the street asked me for money, and I didn’t have any cash with me. I told him this, and as he walked away, he made this mercurial statement. It’s really what I could have said to him, as I had no need for his help, but the reassurance that he meant no harm was nice. This idea of peaceful co-existence is one I’ll extend to this spider, too.
- © Lisa Andrews, 2012