Tag Archives: Art

crunch

(Technically, as it is 12:55am right now) 2 more days until my last final!

I am trying to cover as much ground as possible, but when a course surveys 22 different thinkers on the topic of aesthetics, it’s really difficult to keep their theories all neat and organized.

Anyway, I’ve also been slacking off a little; keeping up with the filming of Sherlock Season 3 (THOUGH SOMEHOW I HAVE NOT BEEN SPOILED YET, PLEASE DO NOT RUIN THIS FOR ME) and my affection for BC only increases… That man is really taking over hollywood! I’m so happy for his success.

I’ve been watching Glenn Gould videos (we studied him in class). I really do think I have a thing for old dead guys. He’s so charismatic here! And very intense too, which i no surprise. I don’t really go for the easy going type, it seems.

OH! BrainPickings has been really brilliant lately! I’ve go so many entires bookmarked for later.

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FRANKENSTEIN [Part 2]

ohmygoodness, this is so overdue–apologies all around~~

CONTINUING FROM LAST TIME:

Following’s the Monster’s miraculous ascend, a man stumbles upon him. This is Victor Frankenstein, the creator. Frankenstein is stunned at the moving creature and throws a large red cape over the Monster. Frightened and confused, the Monster leaves Victor stunned at the perfection of his own creation.

There is a strange sequence involving a rowdy group of men and women. Thumping, rhythmic music plays (I like Underworld, but not in the context. To be honest, this musical-sque section of the play was my least favourite.) as they flirt and drink. Later on, the Monster learns about fire (by accidentally burning himself on a stolen cooking pot) and is ridiculed by humans. This doesn’t bode well.

We switch to a homely small house – its occupants are one blind elderly man, and a sickeningly sick couple. The couple leaves for the fields and the Monster creeps up to the house. Having no sight, the old man (De Lacey) welcomes the strangely silent stranger. This is the Monster’s first taste of human warmth and he quickly befriends De Lacey, who, upon discovering that the Monster does not speak (De Lacey assumed it’s due to some sort of PTSD), teaches him the English language. I love love love this entire sequence. The Monster is like a child, fascinated and by the world and so happy that there is someone to introduce all its beauty to him. As the Monster begins to grasp basic language skills, his queries become more sophisticated. He begins to question his existence, he wonders why he is in pain, in emotional pain be cause his creator abandoned him.

For instance (from here):

De Lacey:  There are two school of thought. One says that we are all made imperfect, and require the assistance of a higher authority—a deity—to overcome the sin of being born. The other school of thought—to which I subscribe—insists that when we leave the womb we are pure, that a babe in arms is untainted by sin, that evil is the product of social forces, and that God has nothing to do with how a man turns out, be it good or be it bad.

Creature:  Me not do bad things.

De Lacey:  I know you do not do bad things. You have a good heart. I know that.

Creature:  Why my hungry?

De Lacey:  Eh?

Creature:  Why my hungry? Why no food for me?

De Lacey:  I give you half of my food.

Creature:  Still hungry.

De Lacey:  It is the condition of men to be hungry.

Creature (jabbing a finger at his books):  Not kings! Not emperors!

De Lacey (laughs):  You’re learning fast.

Creature:  Why my not a king?

De Lacey:  I don’t know. Perhaps you are.

Creature:  Yes! A king! Is my name?

De Lacey:  I don’t know.

Creature:  King what?

De Lacey:  You have never told me your name.

Creature:  Gnaaagh! Never heard. Not know.

De Lacey:  You are a poor lost thing.

——————-

  • De Lacey: It is night in the Garden of Eden. Do you see the moon?
  • Creature: There. There it is.
  • De Lacey: Describe it to me.
  • Creature: Solitary.
  • De Lacey: That’s a good word. Good.
  • Creature: And sad, like me.
  • De Lacey: Why is it sad?
  • Creature: Because it is solitary.
  • De Lacey: Why are you sad?
  • Creature: Because with all that I read, all that I learn, I discover how much I do not know. Ideas batter me like hailstones. Questions but no answers. Who am I? Where am I from? Do I have a family?

He knows that there is something about his appearance that is disturbing and terrifying to other people. After many a time of De Lacey assuring him that his daughter and son-in-law are lovely, non-judgemental folks, the Monster allows himself to be seen.

Of course, it’s catastrophic. The Monster, feeling utterly betrayed and hurt, flees.

And it is here that he begins his moral descent.

LINGERING THOUGHTS:

  1. I loved the Monster’s relationship with the old man, even though it had to end. There was so much humour, truth and goodness between the two.

Creature:  White! What? White! What?
De Lacey:  Where?
Creature:  In the air!
De Lacey:  That’s snow. It’s not very interesting—a natural phenomenon, no more. Now please stop leaping about, we need to concentrate.
Creature:  Snow! Snow!
De Lacey:  Sit! We’ve work to do.

The Creature sits at a pile of books, rather grumpily.

2. I found the couple really irritating. They were over the top with cheeriness. And of course, the reason for the Monster’s ill-natured transformation.


Spread

 

 

I feel completely overwhelmed by the quality of arts that is available to me. On the Asian end, Answer Me, 1997 and Gaksital are totally rocking’ my socks off. The former drama is reminiscing an era slightly half a decade ahead of mine, but I can still relate to its stories and characters. Gosh, episode 12 came out and heck, my heart just feeeeeels.

It is so silly and nostalgic to think of my teenage years,  when I used to go insane over certain celebrities, when everything seems like the end of the world, when I talked like a James Dean wannabe and pinned after older guys when I was already attached myself. And all those one sided, hopeless crushes, they killed me.

Gaksital is killing it for me in a different way. The taut plotting and rich complexities between and within the two male leads are making it the best period kdrama I have ever seen.

TIFF will be in full swing in a week’s time, so even more goodies to come. All these films I am dying to see-it’s just a matter of time and money. I’m frugal, and the money saved from buying used textbooks goes away in a flash on things like this.

If only I could live a life of leisure and be guiltless of responsibilities. But hell, what would be the point then?


the Kiss

continuing on with my rabid obsession with Rodin.

I found an excellent article here and I have quoted my favorite part below

[The intertwined figures ensure that this piece is aesthetically pleasing from all angles. Rodin noted that he chose to keep the figures nude so that nothing could interfere with the raw emotion that he wanted the viewer to feel immediately.

As with many of Rodin’s sculptures The Kiss is designed to be viewed from every angle and Rodin wanted the piece to be believable and real. The artist certainly creates this and by making a sculpture which is visually stimulating from 360 degrees, his dedication and skill is obvious. The contrast between the smooth skin of the lovers and the rough marble of the rock they are sitting on adds further sensual elements to this piece.

The passion and romance of The Kiss is undeniable; the figures are so involved in one another that their faces are barely visible. The embrace with which they hold each other makes the tragedy of their love even greater and Rodin draws on themes which all audiences can appreciate in a way which is both romantic and sensual. Although both figures are nude, Rodin’s skill as an artist ensured that the way the figures were rendered was not overtly sexual.]

The text I bolded explain precisely why this sculpture is effecting. I saw it for the first time on some sort of TVO documentary and it struck me as the most realistically rendered “romantic” sculpture I’d ever seen. I was only in freshman in high school and had no idea it was based on Dante‘s Inferno. In a way, I’m almost sad it depicts a scene that ends so bloodily. I wanted to preserve the innocence, at least in my head.

For your viewing pleasure (ha! sorry, I am defenceless against puns), here are several different perspectives of The Kiss:

Glorious, isn’t it?


seeing Picassos [PART 1/3]

I had been anticipating my visit to the AGO to see the Picasso exhibit (150 +paintings and sculptures from his private collection) ever since I saw its adverts all over the city. Throughout middle school and high school, I basically thought his art was weird and incomprehensible. Now, I don’t think this is a controversial statement to make – most people consider non-realistic art “modern”, which translates into odd in casual speech (IMO). I had studied him in an art history course and still, he remains an enigmatic, almost larger than life character. Picasso himself loved the mysterious nature of his work. He encouraged the notion that his pieces did not obviously express or imply a particular message.

Suffice to say, I was a little apprehensive – but more importantly, I was excited. I’d seen a few of his originals in various museums in Boston and NYC (the MET) – but never had the chance to actually study the paintings (the downside of being in a tour). This could be the day I gain a firmer grasp of his art, his style, his culture.

I had secured a pair of tickets for Wednesday night (half price) and happily synced the audio commentary freely available on the museum’s site. SO after an eight hour day at work, I wolfed down half a cheeseburger leftover from lunch and got myself downtown to join a chum who also hadn’t experienced much live Picasso and was equally interested in the initiation. We met on the steps and skipped the giant queue (having paid before hand) of people who were there for the same show.

I was giddy, practically bouncing on the balls on my feet. After declining a pair of headphones (for the low low charge of $6), we entered the exhibit through a red corridor lined with photos of Picasso and his family. And then we were there:

Beginning with Exhibit Room 1 – it contained some of his early works. Celestina (trans: The Woman With One Eye) caught my eye (pun intended) from the get-go. It’s evidently from his blue period and is a somber, if not slightly terrifying portrait of a lady Picasso knew.

Her working eye is steadily watchful, and unnerving to say the least.
Image Credit: http://www2.richmond.com/mgmedia/image/0/354/129679/picassos-personal-collection-at-the-vmfa/

Scholars in the audio accompaniment quote Picasso as being unconcerned with how his art was interpreted. For instance:

Many scholars thought this sculpture was one of Picasso’s happier pieces because they believe the sheep is representative of the harvest season (and thus, good times). BUT Picasso apparently retorted (paraphrased) “it could’ve been any animal, there was no statement at all!”

Personally, I’m a little baffled at Picasso’s reaction. While I appreciate his desire to leave things “free to interpretation” – to devoid this piece of any meaning seems a little… thoughtless? Why did he chose to render a sheep? What was it about the sheep that made it more attractive as a subject? I suppose I like to base my readings on evidence, not on whim.

Anyway –  Portrait of Dora Marr must be one of my favorite paintings by Picasso. It’s painted in that curious in-between state. The chair and the body have mostly been broken down into 2-D shapes – but the picture is positively alive. Dora is luminous and her glaze – spell-binding. The way her face is presented seems to suggest that this picture is both candid and posed. Dora’s got one eye trained on the viewer, and the other, seems utterly non-nonchalant.

More to come later this week~