Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Favorite Sculpture at Punta della Dogana

When I visited Venice for the second time, I spent some time at the slightly flooded Punta della Dogana to admire some sculptures on the plaza.

One of my favorite, “Boy With Frog,” by Charles Ray, has since been unfortunately removed, due to locals' demand of the return to the spot of a "romantic" lamppost.

DSCN2728 _ Statue at the tip of Fondamenta Salute, Venezia, 15 October - modified

Without that amazing and controversial work, which would be my most favorite, I move on to cite other two sculptures as my favorites. The first one was a 2010 metaphoric one titled Vater Staat (Father State) by Thomas Schütte. It presented a wizened and stiffly upright man in a humble monkish habit and a boxy brimless hat, a figure was simultaneously self-effacing, dignified, and somewhat pompous and ridiculous, ever so slightly.  It was a perfect personification of such strange concept.

DSCN2734 _ Vater Staat by Thomas Schütte, 2010, in front of Basilica Salute, Venezia
Vater Staat by Thomas Schütte, 2010, in front of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

The second favorite of mine was a group sculpture of Atlas, symbolizing the might of the fabled Republic of Venice. The golden ball was held up by two giants, or two slaves as some claimed, and upon which stood a 17th-century Fortune, which turned in the sea wind - a perfect documentary of the fantastical seafaring power.

DSCN2449 _ Dogana, Venezia, 14 October
Two giants supporting Atlans, upon with stands Fortune

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 102: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 100: My Favorite Artworks at Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- Basilica di San Petronio and San Domenico in Bologna
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Favorite Artworks at Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venezia, though so-called a minor cathedral, due to its strategic location near the tip of Punta della Dogana, visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the Grand Canal, was a natural stop for many visitors to the city. Its interior was relatively sparse, understated and unassuming, but that it didn't prevent Salute from accumulating some muted splendors.

Amongst several interesting and moving works, I cite these two as my favorites (below).

The one left me the strongest impression was an altar to Virgin Mary - centering on a brilliantly-painted ikon, a Byzantine Madonna and Child of the 12th or 13th century, known as Panagia Mesopantitissa in Greek ("Madonna the mediator" or "Madonna the negotiator"), framed by flowing baroque sculpture of the Queen of Heaven Expelling the Plague (1670), which was a theatrical Baroque masterpiece created by the Flemish sculptor Josse de Corte.  The colored painting and the bleached sculpture, the stiffness of the icon and the soft sensual line of the stone figures contrasted strongly and a sense of unexpected and fascinating surprise.

DSCN2781 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October

DSCN2781 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October

My second favorite was a painting by Titian, titled The Descent of the Holy Ghost. For modern eyes, his tableau might not be so ground-breaking; but at the time of its creation and aided with more vivid colors, the large altar piece must be breathtakingly impressive - the classical triangle composition, the seamless transition from the built columns to the painted arch, and finally the blindingly dizzying holy spirit crashing down from heaven, must be truly awe inspiring.

DSCN2771 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 101: My Favorite Sculpture at Punta della Dogana
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 99: My Favorite Artwork at Piazza di San Marco

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- My Favorite Paintings at Église Saint-Sulpice, Paris
- My Favorite Sculptures at Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral), Vienna
- My Favorite Sculptures in Basilique Saint-Denis (Paris)
- Basilica di San Petronio and San Domenico in Bologna
- My Favorite Art Works at Santa Maria Novella, Firenze

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Downtown Art Walk in Los Angeles

The Downtown Art Walk is a significant culture event in Los Angeles. The official website states that:
The free, self-guided, public art phenomenon known as The Downtown Art Walk  brings together art lovers and community friends to the ever evolving Downtown Los Angeles. With exciting and unique offerings around every corner, Downtown celebrates the arts each and every month on the 2nd Thursday. Please refer to your calendar for specific dates. Hours vary by gallery, but can typically range from Noon – 10PM.
Here are some snapshots from the Art Walk took place in May 2015:

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DSCN3923 _ LA Art Walk, 14.5.2015

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DSCN3936 _ LA Art Walk, 
14.5.2015

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Everything seen was grand and self-confident. The crowd that flooded the streets, and the protective policemen lining up the thoroughfares were impressive.

Los Angeles is a huge metropolis indeed and easily dwarfs San Francisco Bay Area.


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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Featured Oil Painting "White Dress"

My still life oil painting, "White Dress", was inspired by a vision of a tiny white dress floating in a vast open sky. While working on the painting, I managed to make the delicate-looking dress full of free-spirit and bravura, as it floated against an intense red backdrop, whose hues shifted and varied mercurially, like raging flames. Small, and delicate, yet the small white dress flew on, nonchalantly, unconcerned with its own vulnerability, however threatened by the menacing environ.



The success of this painting gave me an impetus to continue the probe of the psyche of a personified white dress, and embarked on a journey of making a series of white dresses, objects I judged perfect to reflect or stand in as the bodies they are to clothe, as documented in this article: "White Dress" Series Continues - A New Drawing and a New Painting. This painting was also part of my Apocalypse Series. It was selected for juried exhibitions at 4th National Juried Exhibition, Prince Street Gallery, Chelsea, Manhattan, New York, 12 - 30 July 2011, and ViewPoint 2007, 39th Annual National Juried Art Competition, Cincinnati Art Club, Ohio, November 2007.

Originally published on my website: “White Dress" - Beginning of an Ongoing Series

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Friday, May 22, 2015

My Favorite Artwork at Piazza di San Marco

Piazza di San Marco in Venice is a marvelous museum itself, featuring valuable historical artifacts and artistic treasures, too numerous to list.

One of my two favorites is the iconic sculpture of "I Tetrarchi (The Tetrarchs)" at the foot of Basilica di San Marco, depicting four ebony colored Tetrarchs huddling together, either in fear, or treacherous congregation. Very intriguing and engaging:

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DSCN1223 _ I Tetrarchi, Basilica di San 
Marco, Venezia, 13 October

The second favorite sculpture of mine is actually a capital, which has some very peculiar looking heads sticking out of the column, some with the spirits of figureheads on a prow, others look more despondent or stunned.  Those exotic looking heads are full of personalities and though hard to notice in the vast Piazza, are hard to forgot once seen.

DSCN1214 _ view of Campanile from loggia of Palazzo Ducale, Piazza di San Marco, 13 October

DSCN1210 _ Column Details of Palazzo Ducale, Piazza di San Marco, 13 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 100: My Favorite Artworks at Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 98:  My Favorite Artworks in Palazzo Ducale, Venezia (Doge Palace, Venice)

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Fancy Animal Carnival" by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

An acclaimed Taiwanese artist, Hung Yi (洪易), is exhibiting his fanciful large-scaled sculptures in San Francisco Civic Center Plaza from April 19 to May 2, 2015.  The exhibit includs 19 shining animals, painted with vivid colors and elaborate symbols, transformed the Plaza into a huge menagerie and the exhibition is aptly named as "Fancy Animal Carnival".

DSCN3188 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3177 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3187 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center DSCN3175 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3184 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3182 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3179 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3162 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3161 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3160 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3178 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3163 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3186 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center DSCN3181 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center
DSCN3174 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center DSCN3172 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3171 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3168 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center DSCN3167 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3165 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3170 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

DSCN3164 - Fancy Animal Carnival by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi (洪易) at SF Civic Center

I saw it two weeks ago and had great time view these strange creatures.  The exhibition was not very profound, perhaps, but engaging enough to warrant a visit to savor the whims of the artist.


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