Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, 1647–52.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, 1651.
One of Rome’s most distinguishing characteristics to me is its sculptures. More than any other city Rome is covered with sculptures: on buildings, in buildings, in piazzas, covering ceilings, along the street, ancient or contemporary Rome has them—everywhere. And if Rome is primo in sculpture, than Gian Lorenzo Bernini is the crème de la crème. The 17th century sculptor, painter, and playwright is credited with starting the Baroque style of sculpture—giving works emotion, movement, and defying physics. My personal favorite is The Ecstasy of St Theresa in the Santa Maria della Vittoria church; the sculpture depicts Teresa of Avila in a state of physical ecstasy as she is pierced by the angel of god. The sculpture protrudes from the wall giving it the appearance of floating, light catching on flowing folded marble, giving the piece an otherworldly appearance befitting of its subject. This is just one of the many sculptures by Bernini in Rome, and I find myself driven to take Bernini pilgrimages—if you get the chance, you should too.
Lost in conversation, Jane continues walking down the sidewalk even after I’ve stopped and half shout out that we’ve arrived at the door. She smiles and coquettishly laughs off her lack of attention with a simple “oh” and turns around. I smile back, half lost in her presence opening the door as she approaches; we almost catch each other in this movement, me opening the door as she awkwardly tries to get in. And in that instant we brush against each other, giggling nervously as I try to let her know I opened the door for her. Our eyes lock, so close together I almost loose it, and am stabbed by a desire for her, a desire to take her into my arms and kiss her, hug her, loose myself with her… and then we walk up the stairs, to the office. And eat lunch.
Sigmar Polke, Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters, 1991.
Sigmar Polke, Untitled (Quetta, Pakistan), 1974-78.
Sigmar Polke, Untitled (Dr. Bonn), 1978.
Sigmar Polke, Spread from Bulletproof Holidays, 1995.
Walking into a Sigmar Polke exhibition is like going to a garage sale, it’s sporadic, diverse, very personal, and there are gems scattered everywhere. Of course this garage sale is Sigmar Polke’s, and nothing is in your price range, but it offers the chance to get a glimpse into his intriguing life and work. Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010 at the MoMA (garage) presents a massive collection of Polke’s work throughout his life, spanning video, sculpture, painting, photography, and stained glass. He liked to use a variety of materials in his work, often the stranger the better (from dirt to uranium) to visualize his sociopolitical views. Polke is unclassifiable, but that’s possibly a classification in itself; one thing is for sure: Polke never settled into a “style,” always experimented, and thrust himself fully into whatever medium or material interested him. To me, this makes me more interested, and I find myself enjoying each new discovery much more than say, the banality of 20 similarly styled paintings. This garage sale is definitely worth a look, now through August 3 at the MoMA, learn more here.
Standing on the street corner, waiting to cross, as the pitter patter drip drop of rain falls from above. Feet slightly damp, jacket wet, umbrella slippery in my hand. I take a deep breath of cool, fresh, moist air and exhale slowly as I step into the street, eye-balling the traffic to ward off any oncoming traffic. I cross briskly and take a leap over a puddle onto the sidewalk, under the scaffolding briefly, and to the door. I fumble with my umbrella with the door half open, not wanting to get a single drop more of water on me than I have to. As I step into the entry I slide slightly on the slick hard-wood floors and then step up the stairs. An eerie quite falls over the office as the weather seems to have affected the speed of sound. Everyone is subdued and talks softer than normal, I think the rain has an effect on the mind, calming for sure, therapeutic. I remove my jacket and power on my computer, sitting at my desk I remember I have a package that should have arrived. I excitedly charge toward the door to the stairs, push open the door and start down the stairs. Thud thud, thud thud, down the stairs, thud thud, thud thud. Flailing on the third to last step, I feel myself loosing my balance and gravity getting the best of me. My body becomes a projectile without an ounce of coordination. As my slip propels me forward I glance from the rainy scene out the window to the floor below. Thwack! …my chin hits the floor full force, planking to the ground. Nighttime, good night… off to bed… never to get up again.
Quite possibly the most accurate, real, account of love ever portrayed on the screen (really), Blue Is the Warmest Color (France: La Vie d’Adèle) is a coming of age love story that is an unfiltered view of love’s most messy and beautiful moments—in the utmost graphical and emotional way possible. This film will get in your head, their love will become your love, their emotion is your emotion… and it becomes hard to imagine another love in existence, it just feels natural. The story follows Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a high school student trying to figure out her sexuality, or what’s missing with her current relationships. On a chance encounter, she brushes past a girl with blue hair and has a love at first sight moment. When their paths cross again a romance quickly follows, as blue haired Emma (Léa Seydoux) guides Adèle in her new experience. But where there is love, there is pain, and when the honeymoon phase is over Adèle and Emma find themselves in a very different place then where they started—I won’t say more. Learn more about the film here, and watch this movie.