Archive for February, 2009
Mainly inspired by my final day in Paris, seeing La Musee de L’Orangerie, another impressionism and post-impressionism museum. Also some contemporary photography and other work in some small galleries nearby.
I am so glad I checked this place out. I was wondering why there weren’t more famous Rodins in Musee D’Orsay and other museums, and where the really famous ones were. Well, they’re all in this one place, the Rodin Museum. Here’s a sculpture I remember from my childhood, when I seem to recall we had a miniature bronze of this guy. But I can’t remember where, and as I think about it it’s been ages since I’ve seen it. Whatever happened to that anyway?
As it so happened, I arrived at an amazing moment in the history of this sculpture. Before my eyes…
So that was Paris. I like being able to stay somewhere long enough to really get a feel of the city. In many ways, Paris is a lot like New York. Except the subway is bizarre and confusing, the locals are quite rude, and nobody speaks English. Wait, actually it’s exactly like New York 🙂
Nah, Paris is unique and beautiful and I love it. Already miss it.
Back in London again, just for the weekend, to catch the Kinetica art show, a contemporary exhibition of moving and interactive art.
I guess if Paris is like New York, London is more like Boston. It’s smaller than Paris, more stonework less gilt and ironwork, less crazies and beggars. Fewer museums and less to see. But still a good time.
Took the train back this morning, in daylight this time. Still didn’t get any sort of sense of the Chunnel, from the train it basically seems like just a really really long tunnel. Not sure what I was expecting, I just wish there was some way to better appreciate and experience that feat of engineering, which in many ways dwarfs the more visible stuff like the Eiffel Tower.
Okay, time to post some of the stuff I didn’t get a chance to before.
I’ve got some more pictures to go up here soon, but that’s enough time in front of a computer.
Nah, it was fun though. The inside stuff was cool at least. I wasn’t too happy about the hundreds and hundreds of trees and bushes that were pruned into geometric shapes. Made me yearn for some deep wilderness, scraggly, tall trees up in the mountains, spruce, pine, maple, aspens, where nature is far more beautiful and doesn’t want or require an army of gardeners.
In order to improve the digital replication of my sketches, I tried a new technique this time: turning the flash on in my camera. The pics looked great in the camera’s preview window but obviously the quality isn’t as good as just plain old sunlight. Back to that next time. Nonetheless I guess you can see all the sketches well enough.
This was my Wednesday morning – I went to Beaubourg, also known as Le Centre Georges Pompidou, home of La Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris’ most famous modern art museum. Here it is now that I have time to post it.
I didn’t bother to take pictures of the exhibits this time, focusing more on just other creative photography.
The idea of the building, if you’re not familiar, is to wear its internal structure on the outside. Thus all the ductwork and the giant bugle-like vents, also the escalators and walkways hang suspended from the side of the building.
A scene in the courtyard as seen from the escalator on the way up:
Graffiti on nearby buildings:
On the way back from there I encountered this vending machine, which some vandal had smashed.
So I visited my grave today. Or rather, the grave of the other Jim Morrison, in the Pere Lachaise cemetery. I was planning to videotape myself doing something funny, walking over his grave or dancing on it or something, but then when I got there, two things became apparent. 1) The grave was sealed off by metal gates and 2)There was a perpetual crowd of devotees around it. And while I may not share the respect these people have for someone who, while he did a few pretty decent songs and was an okay poet, honestly was a pretty lousy singer, and the guy on the organ playing the same damn blues chord over and over in every song. Anyway, even though I might not share these people’s admiration for this man, I didn’t feel like sullying their experience by imposing my own. While I was standing there I listened to a man explain in French to a couple of tourists about the singer’s life and death. Their solemn nods. I may not like the guy, but these people do. And he was a person. I don’t know.
Anyway hopefully it’ll be sunnier tomorrow and I’ll finally go see the monuments.
What a day I had at this place. It is freakin’ HUGE. I don’t have time to post all the images and video I took so here are some highlights:
First, a panorama I took of the entrance to the Louvre.
(warning: this links to a very large version of this – over a MB. It will take a little while to download)
See if you can spot the Tour Eiffel, and the glass pyramid that guards the entrance. And Waldo, he’s in there somewhere I think. That is not the Arch de Triomphe, by the way. That is somewhere else.
Well, I took the Eurostar to Paris late Saturday night, and have been having a lot of fun here since then. I had a large amount of trouble finding decent internet service on Sunday and Monday, but I think I’ve got it sorted now. I’m paying through the nose for it, but hey, I’m in Paris.
On Sunday I visited the Louvre which was utterly wonderful and fun and inspiring. I tried to see all of it in one day – I think I saw maybe 80%, and I was only able to do that because I strolled past all the halls full of wooden-looking medieval art, and the halls of Egyptian art – never really cared for that stuff much, there’s no life to it. The Greek, Renaissance, Post-Renaissance and Paleolithic stuff was much more interesting. I got as close as I could to the Mona Lisa (about 15 feet away) and was rather unimpressed. But then from that far away, you might as well just look at a print. The one that really got me was the sculpture “Psyche Awakened by the Kiss of Love”. I spent hours sketching that one.
Anyway, I have a whole bunch of photos and sketches from the Louvre to post, but I forgot my camera. I’ll put them all up in my next post.