Roof Garden Art, Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout

Hedge Two-way Mirror Walkabout.

Hedge Two-way Mirror Walkabout.

IMG_5001

IMG_5002

When I visit the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, I try to visit the roof garden. Not only are installations interactive, the view of Central Park is beautiful.

I hope to get to The Met’s current roof garden Installation, The Theater of Disappearance by Adrián Villar Rojas, which in on display until October 29, 2017.

Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout, exhibited in 2014, was created by American artist Dan Graham and Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt. “Comprising curves of steel and two-way mirrored glass between ivy hedgerows, Graham’s structure is part garden maze and part modernist skyscraper façade, set within a specially engineered terrain.” The glass was “both transparent and reflective, creating a changing and visually complex environment for visitors.”

“For decades, Dan Graham has created work that challenges viewers to think in new and thought-provoking ways about the streets and cities they traverse every day,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum.

For the artist, the mirrored cladding of a corporate headquarters symbolizes economic power and sleek efficiency; it also provides a certain camouflage, reflecting the world around it as it shields what happens inside from prying eyes.

With this signature material, Graham’s pavilions also transform observers of the work into performers within it, and, through the sight of their own reflections, make them acutely aware of their own viewership.

The evergreen plantings that edge the parapets also reminded Graham of the shrubbery that often demarcates private property lines in the New Jersey suburbs of his youth. Graham’s collaboration with Günther Vogt further illuminates the site’s multilayered references—historic gardens, public parks, contemporary corporate architecture, and the suburban lawn—as its pavilion engages the viewer in a historic and complex mirror-play.

Glass and steel "pavilion."

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” Emile Zola

Sources:

Click here to link to The Met’s page with a cool video on how the art was installed.

Click Interesting interview with Dan Graham to learn more about Graham’s work.

Astonishing Animation & Interview with Morgan Gruer

Me and Morgan in Bologna, Italy.

Me and Morgan in Bologna, Italy.

img_0641

Morgan studying and sketching the Borghese Gallery in Rome.

Over 91,000 views! 

That’s how many times Morgan’s animated video, Reflections, has been viewed (so far) since it was featured as a Vimeo Staff Pick. I’m so proud of Morgan, a Pratt Institute student and my talented, ambitious daughter.

The Creator’s Project on Vice.com featured Reflections. Nathaniel Ainley had this to say:

The ephemeral nature of love is captured on-screen in a stunning 2D animation built from a collection of 1,100 individual drawings. Reflections is the expressive, impressive abstract short, and it follows a fleeting relationship between a young couple.

As the the video begins to build the girl starts to question whether the man ever existed or if it was all in her head. Her deliberation is expressed through a series of arm swinging interpretive dance accompanied with explosive graphics and patterns.

Reflections was directed, animated, and edited by Morgan Gruer, a multidisciplinary graphic designer and illustrator who’s done work for heavy hitters like Celine Dion and Gatorade.

In this particular film, the Brooklyn-based artist is careful about her use of color, telling the bulk of the story through gray and black lines. Since color is used so sparingly, however, when it appears, it makes that much more of an impact.

Cheryl Eddy of io9 on the website Gizmodo.com titled her article about the video “Lush 2D Animated Film Reflections Examines the Many Stages of Heartbreak.”

Morgan shares thoughts about her work and insights into the process.

BE:  What was the initial inspiration for Reflections?

MG:  I saw the music video for Breakbot’s song “Baby, I’m Yours,” which is composed entirely of watercolors, and wanted to create something like it. Concept-wise, I was reflecting upon all of my past relationships.

BE:  What themes did you have in mind as you worked on your piece?

MG:  One of the main themes is independence; at the end of the animation the main character walks away alone but stronger.

BE:  Can you explain a little about your process? For example, do you plan it all ahead of time or does it develop as you go along?

MG:  I wrote out the story line and asked some friends to write the music for me loosely based on the concept. Even though the story came before the music, I left the musicians room to express my story line. The plot had an overall beginning, middle and end, but I worked out the in-between parts and loose threads while I was working.

BE:  How did you keep track of 1100 separate digital drawings?

MG:  I compiled each digital drawing in the Timeline Tab of Photo Shop, making it easy to label layers and keep track of everything. I established the frame rate ahead of time.

BE:  How long did the project take you from start to finish?

MG:  Reflections took four months from concept to creation, although I was working on it alongside other projects.

BE:  How do you feel about the finished video?

MG:  I am mostly happy with it, but still see things I would have fixed. At some point, you have to call it done because there are always things you could edit. An artist is always her own worst critic and sees things that need tweaking.

BE:  Are you surprised by the attention its gotten?

MG:  It’s great to get positive feedback and nice to receive validation on a project that hadn’t seen the light of day. It’s exciting that other people relate to my work and appreciate its aesthetic.

Hon, if you haven’t watched it yet, here’s another link to Reflections.

 

Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty

Frieze of Dancers, c.1895

Frieze of Dancers c.1895, Oil on canvas

Good Impressions

I’ve always loved Impressionism, so I felt compelled to visit the MOMA to see the exhibit on Edgar Degas before it closes July 24. Maybe it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when a quote by Degas spoke to my experience as a writer. I write, revise, begin again, write, revise, repeat. I just finished listening to the audio version of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. In the Afterword, Gaiman says he waited until he was a good enough writer to write this book. Maybe writing, revising, beginning again and repeating the process is practice until my writing is good enough to bring my stories to life.

Just maybe.

IMG_0236

Two Dancers, c.1898

Two Dancers c.1898, Pastel on eight sheets of pieced paper

The Road in the Forest, c. 1890

The Road in the Forest c.1890, Monotype in oil on paper

Pathway in a Field, c.1890

Pathway in a Field c.1890, Pastel over monotype in oil on paper

Three Dancers, 1900-1905, charcoal and pastel on tracing paper

Three Dancers 1900-1905, charcoal and pastel on tracing paper

 

 

 

Love In Art, Lovin’ Art

Spray paint cans.

Spray paint cans.

Spray It. Say It.

In a previous post, Steel Pop-Up Books by David Kracov, I visited the Eden Fine Art Gallery in Soho where colorful book sculptures drew me in. Walking further into the gallery, I discovered a room covered in work by Queens-born graffiti artist Hoacs. It was a blast of immersive, colorful collages, concepts and tags. Click here to read an interview with Hoacs where he dishes about No Days Off, his First Solo Exhibit.

Calling all writers! You know how “voice” is a magic word in Kidlit? Click here to hear Hoacs’ distinctive voice. On the website Neighborhood.com he says,” I started doing graffiti in the mid to late 90s. Back then NYC graffiti was on smash, from highways to track spots to street spots, all crushed.”  He’s got voice covered!

I’ve included pics of two more pieces displayed at the gallery. Love in Art.

How true.

Hoacs says he has no days off. Neither do writers.

Surprising work by graffiti artist Hoacs.

Surprising work by graffiti artist Hoacs.

Dorit Levenstein, hand painted aluminum.

Dorit Levenstein, hand painted aluminum.

IMG_9565 (1)

Steel Pop-Up Books by David Kracov

Book of Love

“Book of Love”

Concept + Steel + Paint = Amazing Books

One of the things I love about New York City is the abundance of art. There are world renowned museums to visit, outdoor art to experience, and galleries to explore. You never know what you’ll discover.

Hon, you know I love bright colors, so it’s no surprise that I was drawn into the Eden Fine Art Gallery in Soho where David Kracov’s steel sculptures are on display. Aren’t they super cool?

Eden Fine Art’s website sheds light on these one-of-a-kind book-lover’s books:

Kracov’s vibrant color palette shows up again in his unique steel wall sculptures. Each in a limited edition of only 55 works that begin with hundreds of small sketches that are then hand-cut from a single sheet of steel and then finished with detailed hand-painting in a high-grade, water-based, acrylic polymer paint. Each edition is finished individually so that no two are alike. The meticulous steel work along with his scrutinizing attention to detail allow these sculptures to take on a life of their own. These playful and creative works are each a testament to the genius of Kracov as well as his steady hand and wonderfully unique artistic ideas.

Book of Life

“Book of Life”

Notebook

“Notebook”

Eden Fine Art

Eden Fine Art’s window filled with angles and color.

Breathtaking Beauty (a Short Video)

Twirl!

Breathtaking Beauty

In my last post Movement and Music, I shared my daughter Morgan’s rotoscoped video. She showed me another rotoscoped video called Disco. It’s stunning!

On his web-site Colossal, Christopher Jobson featured some of the sketches and paintings that were created for the video.

detail-3

detail-4

This new music video for composer Ralf Hildenbeutel’s track Disco was created from over 1,200 individually hand-painted frames. Directed by Boris Seewald, the clip uses an animation technique called rotoscoping to turn the real-life movements of dancers Althea Corlett and Simone Schmidt into a series of drawings and paintings to make each scene. Despite the wild variety of mediums and techniques used in the hundreds of sketches, the frame to frame continuity almost serves to enhance and accentuate the motions of the dancers.

Rotoscoping is a form of animation where live video is translated into hand-drawn animation stills with the help of a projector or transparencies. Some more notable examples from pop culture include several scenes from both of Disney’s Snow White and Peter Pan, or the 1984 music video for Ah Ha’s Take On Me.

Disco was animated by Boris, Mina, and Mihwa Seewald, and filmed by Georg Simbeni. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

I’m dedicating this post to my mom. She’s terribly ill. The beauty of this video makes me think of her.

Click here or on the title “Disco” above to link to the video.

Happy viewing, Hon!

Sources:  Christopher Jobson on  his site Colossal, http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/03/rotoscoped-music-video-boris-seewald-disco/ and Vimeo.

Dale Chihuly in Denver, Pink and Purple Color Comparison

Dale Chihuly, Blown Glass Spheres

Dale Chihuly, Blown Glass Spheres, 2014.

Pinks and Purples 

I loved the glass in the garden at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Dale Chihuly created gorgeous glass sculptures that grew alongside “rooms” of blooms.  The resulting color comparisons were poetic.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
and before the street begins,
and there the grass grows soft and white,
and there the sun burns crimson bright,
and there the moon-bird rests from his flight
to cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
and the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
we shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow
and watch where the chalk-white arrows go
to the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
and we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
for the children, they mark, and the children, they know,
the place where the sidewalk ends.

Hon, I write.  I write picture books and chapter books.  In my stories, the little girl inside of me invites other children to mark the place where the sidewalk ends.

In that place and in that space,

we explore the world with open minds,

share our curiosity and wonder,

marvel at spiders and stars,

and believe in the magic of our imaginations.

Zinnia

Zinnia, Denver, CO.

Columbine

Columbine, Breckenridge, CO.

IMG_2262

IMG_2251

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Reeds, Chihuly.

Purple Reeds, Chihuly, 2014

Flat Sea Holly.

Flat Sea Holly, Denver, CO.

Blue and Purple Boat, Dale Chihuly, Blown Glass.

Blue and Purple Boat, Dale Chihuly, Blown Glass, 2014.

“Glass itself is so much like water.  If you let it go on its own, it almost ends up looking like something that came from the sea.”  (Quote by Chihuly.)

Related Posts:

Dale Chihuly in Denver, Glass in the Garden

Dale Chihuly in Denver, Fifty Shades of Grey

Dale Chihuly in Denver, Orange Color Comparison

 

Dale Chihuly in Denver, Orange Color Comparison

Dale Chihuly, Blown-glass spheres in a boat.

Dale Chihuly, Blown-glass spheres in a boat.

Orange 

If you ever wondered–and even if you didn’t–where I came up with Bmore Energy’s tag-line, “Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary,” I’ll tell you. One day Hubby and I were taking a walk, and I pointed out some pretty yellow flowers. He said he hadn’t even noticed them. I said, “I find the ordinary extraordinary” and “That’s it! That’s the essence of my blog.” He laughed. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in a wow-Naomi-has-an-eye-kind-of-way. My guess it was in a what-is-she-talking-about-kind-of-way. Two things are certain:  1) I’ll keep pointing out words, images, sounds, people, animals, nature and the infinite amount of things I find fascinating, and 2)Hubby will shake his head and laugh.

Last summer at the Denver Botanic Gardens, my bet is that everyone found color at the Dale Chihuly exhibit fascinating. The next series of posts will study color comparisons.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for viewing. I hope you like my photographs.

Enjoy!

Complementary Colors.

Complementary Colors.

Orange Mountain Poppy, Breckenridge, CO

Orange Mountain Poppy, Breckenridge, CO.

Glass Spires.

Glass Spires and Spheres.

IMG_5307

Goldfish.

Goldfish.

Koi.

Koi.

Flame-like translucence.

Flame-like translucence.

“Glassblowing is a very spontaneous, fast medium, and you have to respond very quickly.” (quote by Chihuly)

Related Posts:

Dale Chihuly in Denver, Glass in the Garden

Dale Chihuly in Denver, Fifty Shades of Grey

 

Religion in Rome, Michelangelo’s Pietà

Dome of St. Peter's

Dome of St. Peter’s

Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter's Square)

Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square)

Vatican Museum, Rome

Vatican Museum, Rome

The Vatican Museum was one of my favorite places to tour! I’ll definitely share some of my favorite sights in a later post, but in honor of Easter weekend I wanted to show you Michelangelo’s Pietà.

Michelangelo carved this beautiful Renaissance Carrara marble sculpture in less than two years, from 1498-1499. Our museum guide said that after Michelangelo heard people attribute the sculpture to another artist, believing Michelangelo too young to complete such a masterpiece, he decided to “sign” his name on the sculpture so no one would ever doubt that HE was the artist. He carved his name of the sash running across Mary’s chest. This is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

I was amazed by how fabric, muscles, veins and expression could be rendered lifelike in stone.

Have you seen this sculpture? What did you think?

Happy Holidays, hon!

Michelan

Michelangelo’s Pieta (professional photo source below*)–Mary and Jesus after the Crucifixion.

Michelangelo's Pieta

Michelangelo’s Pieta (There was a big crowd around this statue.)

 

*Sources: Photo attributed to Stanislav Traykov and Wikipedia

 

Mother’s Day Moment

Hon, please indulge me. It doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day for me to say how grateful I am to be a mom, how proud I am of my kids or how much I love them.  But, what I want to do today is spend time with all of them so this post is the prologue to the story of the last 18 1/2 year of my life.

(I can’t take credit for all of the photos. Some are mine and some aren’t.)

Baby A's tiny hand in mine.

Baby A’s tiny hand in mine. This was the first day I was allowed to hold her. She was 10 days.

Baby A was only 2 pounds 9 ounces at birth and stayed in the NICU for 6 1/2 weeks. Despite being tiny, she could breath on her own (the tube in her nose above is a Gavage feeding tube). The nurses said she screamed loudly and a lot, which demonstrated how developed her lungs were. One nurse took to carrying her around on her shoulder to calm her down. As I scrubbed up before entering the NICU to take my smallest triplet home, one of the nurses, referring to my baby, said, “When is that mother going to get here already?” The mother bear in me came out when I answered, “I’m here!”

Baby A at 3 1/2.

At 3 1/2.

Baby A is the teenager with red hair.

As a counselor at a sleep-away camp.  Here she is with some of her campers.

Proud mama (and papa) moving our firstborn into her dorm room for freshman year.

Baby A starting freshman year of college.

Starting freshman year of college.

 

Baby B swaddled and sleepy.

Baby B swaddled and sleeping. He was small but healthy.

Baby B was the largest triplet at 4 pounds, 12 ounces. In the NICU he was considered a “feeder and grower” and was able to come home after 10 days.  His colic lasted until he was 6 months. In an effort to deal with the colic, we switched to a non-dairy formula causing him to smell like a potato! He was such an affectionate baby, he’s meld into my body when I rocked him. As a toddler, he was the ringleader of the games “Let’s Smear Our Room In Vaseline,” “Let’s Step In the Diaper Rash Ointment,” and “Let’s Shred All Of The Audio Tapes Our Parents Made Of Our First Words!”

"Growl, I'm a tiger!"

“Growl, I’m a tiger!”  At his 4th birthday party.

Baby B on move in day,

On move in day of freshman year at a university.

Proud mama (and papa) attending an ROTC Army event at our son’s university and seeing him in his dress blues.

Dress blues.

Dress blues.

 

Baby C in her isolette.

Baby C in her Isolette.  The nurses said her beauty “glowed” from the inside out.

Baby C, 4 pounds 4 ounces at birth, was allowed to come home after 12 days.  She had no problem sharing a bassinet with her brother and the two of them would contentedly stare at each other. But when Baby A came home from the hospital and I laid her down next to her sister, Baby C howled with displeasure as if to say, “Who is this baby and what is doing here?  I had to either lay them head to toe or put my son in the middle.  Hon, I am here to tell you that birth order dynamics are thrown to the wind when it comes to multiples. Baby C established herself as the “oldest” (that’s a euphemism for bossiest) even if she was born third.  She had the world’s best belly laugh and, if I could have bottled it, I’d be writing my books on an island in the Caribbean right now!

Pony ride at 3 3/4.

Pony ride at 3 3/4.

Bed's made up and saying goodbye start of freshman year of college.

Bed’s made up and saying goodbye start of freshman year of college.

Proud Mama (and Papa) have known our daughter was artistic since she was 3 years old.  Her self portrait is stunning!

Self portrait, oil paints.

Self portrait our daughter painted of herself with with acrylic paints.

 

Our Plus One the day after she was born.

Our Plus One the day after she was born. She was happy and calm right from the start.

Hon, do you know what was strange about holding an 8 pounds 6 ounce newborn? She was the same size as our triplets were when they were able to sit up! Our Plus One was an easy, go-with-the-flow child who was happiest when she was surrounded by her family. Many people have asked if she was accident, to which I replied, “No, she was very planned!” More people have said, “Wow, that’s a lot of kids” to which I replied, “Four was always my lucky number.”  And countless people have said, “You had triplets and then another one?!” to which I replied, “She’s G-d’s gift to me!”

Our fourth as a toddler.

Our fourth as a toddler.

No fear on the trapeze.

No fear on the trapeze.

Leaping at ballet class.

Leaping at ballet class.

Proud Mama (and Papa) shed tears at our youngest’s “Moving Up” ceremony, but still celebrated the start of a new chapter in her life.

"Moving Up" from elementary to middle school.

“Moving Up” from elementary to middle school.