Alfredo Hlito

Today I saw this painting by Alfredo Hlito, an Argentinian painter who was one of the pioneers of abstract art in his country. I don’t know what was his inspiration, but perhaps it had something to do with hair? It reminds me of the accidental drawings I see on the walls of my shower.

alfredo hlito

He also does circles, spirals, and shading:

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Searching for Sugarman

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Great news: Searching for Sugarman won the Oscar for best documentary! A well-deserved victory for a fascinating film (with great music).

If you haven’t seen it –see it!

Here’s a song in his honour…


Seduced by Art

Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present is an interesting exhibition which presents paintings of the great masters alongside photography from the 19th Century to the present. The exhibition allows and encourages the viewer to see how painting has influenced photography, and also serves as an introduction to the history of photography.

As well as paintings and photographs the exhibition also includes videos. “Still Life” by Sam Taylor-Wood, and “Big Bang” by Ori Gersht were, for me, the most memorable pieces in the exhibition.

Still Life

The concept for this video is very simple yet very beautiful. The artist, Sam Taylor-Wood, has recorded a bowl of fruit slowly rotting. We observe the whole process of decomposition, from the first glimpse of fuzzy mould growing on the apples, peaches, pears, and grapes, to the end where all that remains are some small grey lumps. A fascinating video!

Bing Bang 

Israeli artist Ori Gersht froze a bouquet of flowers with liquid nitrogen and then recorded as it exploded and shattered into a thousand pieces. It’s shocking, beautiful, and mesmerising all at once. Gersht says, “I’m interested in those oppositions of attraction and repulsion, and how the moment of destruction in the exploding flowers becomes for me the moment of creation.” (Here you can see a slightly better version of “Big Bang”)

I’m also including another video I found by Ori Gersht, “Pomegranate”.

Seduced by Art is now showing in CaixaForum Barcelona and will be showing in CaixaForum Madrid from the 18th of June.


Andes

Ted Carrasco

Ted Carrasco, Andes, 1988. granite. Olympic Park, Seoul, North Korea

Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.

Extract from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde

Ted Carrasco/Oscar Wilde

Ted Carrasco is a Bolivian sculptor inspired by nature and especially by his native Andes. For him the powerful Andean landscape is a symbol of life and his work explores man’s relationship with it. In his sculpture Andes (1988) he depicts the Earth goddess Pachamama, the sensuous embodiment of nature itself. From this photograph it’s hard to make it out, but it is supposed to represent Pachamama as “a reclining woman-mountain with an altar on her belly, her genitals serving as a doorway to the secrets of life.” I would love to see it in the flesh and stare for a good while. It’s a bit far, but a great excuse to go to North Korea!

De Profundis is a letter written by Oscar Wilde in 1897 while he was in prison, the title refers to a latin prayer, a cry of appeal expressing one’s deepest feelings of sorrow or anguish. In the letter he describes his spiritual growth during his imprisonment and writes about his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas and the extravagant lifestyle which led to his imprisonment for gross indecency.

Just like Ted Carrasco’s sculpture, this extract from Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis is also inspired by the relationship between man and nature, written at a time of immense physical and emotional hardship when he turned to nature and spirituality for relief. Two beautiful and evocative works of art.


Your Latest Trick

A song before bed…


Why I am not a Buddhist

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I love desire, the state of want and thought
of how to get; building a kingdom in a soul
requires desire. I love the things I’ve sought-
you in your beltless bathrobe, tongues of cash that loll
from my billfold- and love what I want: clothes,
houses, redemption. Can a new mauve suit
equal God? Oh no, desire is ranked. To lose
a loved pen is not like losing faith. Acute
desire for nut gateau is driven out by death,
but the cake on its plate has meaning,
even when love is endangered and nothing matters.
For my mother, health; for my sister, bereft,
wholeness. But why is desire suffering?
Because want leaves a world in tatters?
How else but in tatters should a world be?
A columned porch set high above a lake.
Here, take my money. A loved face in agony,
the spirit gone. Here, use my rags of love.

By Molly Peacock


Caricatures and Calçots

Having guests this weekend lent the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the best Tarragona has to offer at this time of year. Unfortunately with less than 48 hours we could only scratch the surface, but we had a lot of fun!

Here are the highlights:

Nit de la Caricatura

Café Metropol organizes lots of cool events and gigs, but even on a regular night it’s a great place to hang out and have a drink. This particular Saturday they hosted the Nit de la Caricatura (Caricature Night) where four caricature artists (including Tziqui and El Chico Triste) drew caricatures of whoever chose to sit for them for a price of only €2. It was great watching the artists at work and seeing their remarkable illustrations unfold, they managed to capture their subject perfectly each time –warts and all! We were so engrossed in drinks, caricatures, and conversations, before we knew it it was 4 am!

Calçotada

The Calçotada is a Catalan tradition which originated in the town of Valls. The calçot is a vegetable particular to Cataluña, something in between an onion and a leek, which is cooked on a fire until the outside is burnt. To eat them you must take off the outer leaves so that you’re left with the nice and moist interior which you dip in a special sauce called salsa romesco (made of tomatoes, garlic, hazelnuts, almonds, and roasted red peppers), a delicious combination! In a calçotada you have calçots and their sauce, plus grilled meats and vegetables, and plenty of red wine, all in the company of good friends. The calçot season is in February/March, so if you’re in the area during these months, make sure to put this in your agenda.