Presentation. Art. World. Beauty

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A look at tango. (Una mirada al tango). By Ernesto the Monkey Cabral, 1926. We’ve seen Cabral before. One of the great Mexican illustrators of the 20th century. A master of line and elegance… Think how daring – and codified – Tango was in 1926…

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Monet’s garden at Giverny during Emil Bührle’s visit in 1951. Photo by Walter Dräyer. Monet’s house and gardens were not yet open to the public I believe.

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Monet’s garden and bridge at Giverny. 2016.

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Japanese wood-block. Late 19th century, at Monet’s house. At the beginning of the Meiji era, when Japan was opened to the West by force, western artists discovered the art of Japanese woodblocks. A totally new style. Most impressionists, as well as Van Gogh and Gauguin were fascinated by this new technique. Monet’s house is full of those. They are probably originals while all the paintings are copies. The artist here is probably Utagawa Hiroshige.

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Helmut Newton, c.1967, for Vogue. An homage to Hollywood’s Films noirs. Paris 2019, at the expo “Fil Noir”. Helmut Newton was born in Berlin in 1920, died in Los Angeles in 2004. Referred to as an Australian photographer of German origin. 🙂 He did get around, didn’t he? He was one of the best photographers of the second half of the 20th century.

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Mexico de colores. Mexico in colous. By Erik Rivera, 2016. Contemporary Mexican artist. An interesting touch.

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“Tennis steps”. Pasos de Ténis, Ernesto Cabral. 1927. Now think back. 1927… Those young women, born around 1905, are out to play tennis. Showing their legs! Knees! Practicing a sport! Their mothers wore a corset, and fainted all the time according to literature.

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Buddha doing the gesture of teaching (Vitarkamudra) China, Qing dynasty. Mid-1700’s. Musée Guimet, Paris.

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Soldier children. A very disturbing expo at the musée Guimet last year. (And I am always careful with adjectives…) By Pharrell Williams and Japanese artist Mr. Just Mr. The graphic style is very “manga”. Disturbing nonetheless.

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No art post could be complete without Van Gogh. Atelier des lumières. Paris. 2019. (Or without Gauguin… need to locate my Orsay pictures)

L‘enfant couronné by Maillol (1861-1944). When Maillol paints this portrait in 1982, he is barely 31. He will later be remembered by his sculpture, but he was a great painter. Left is the “original” painting as it can be seen at the Musée Maillol. Right is the same shot after a Photoshop automatic balance of tones and colours. Were those the colours Maillol painted and later faded over a century?

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A typical Maillol sculpture. Musée Maillol, Paris.

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Fashion photography, by Dora Maar, mid 30’s. Compare to Maillol’s statue above.

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Nusch Eluard, c-1935, by Dora Maar. Nusch (little nut in Alsatian) was Paul Eluard’s wife.

Sur mes cahiers d’écolier                     On my schoolboy’s notebooks
Sur mon pupitre et les arbres              On my desk and the trees
Sur le sable de neige                              On the sand of snow
J’écris ton nom…                                      I write your name…

Et par le pouvoir d’un mot                    And by the power of a word
Je recommence ma vie                            I start my life anew
Je suis né pour te connaître                    I was born to know you
Pour te nommer                                        To name you
LIBERTE                                                      FREEDOM

Eluard wrote this poem in 1941, during WWII and the Occupation. Published and circulated clandestinely, it was Eluard’s contribution to the Résistance. Some say the poem was strongly influenced by his wife, Nusch. And that her name was the other name he would “write” on his schoolboy’s notebooks. Nusch Eluard died in 1946, just after the war. She was part of the most prominent group of artists and intellectuals of the “between two wars” Paris.

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Brussels, 1932, by Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004). One of Cartier-Bresson’s first European travels as a young and promising photographer. Below: Spain 1933.

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The 30’s in Europe, and elsewhere, were fraught with economic crisis and civil war. The Spanish Civil War lasted from 1936 to 1939. In 1933, this man slept in the streets of Madrid, using his suitcase as a pillow. Millions were on the street in Europe and the US. The Spanish Civil war was in many ways a “rehearsal” for WWII.

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Catrinas, Dolores Olmedo museum, Mexico city, 2019. The Catrinas (Catherine) are the symbol of death in Mexican culture. Always very elegant.

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The life of Buddha as King Nemi. Burma, 19th century. Musée Guimet. In one of his previous incarnations, Buddha was King Nemi. He traveled with Shakra, King of Heaven to observe Heaven and Hell, the punishments and rewards of each.

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Spain 1933. By Cartier-Bresson. That was Spain a century, a “minute” ago. The Civil war would soon rage, but already young fathers slept in the streets of Madrid, holding on to their children.

Thank you for visiting Equinoxio’s virtual Re-Art museum. I wish our Time-Space shuttle could move forward. And reassure us that we are not in the middle of the dress rehearsal of a major… “mishap”.

My very best wishes to all those in “coronavirus” lockdown in the world. An apology to China, whom the rest of the world has left pretty much alone to deal with their sh…, I mean, “problem”. Oh, now it’s reached our shores, eh? Damn!

A special commendation to the “leaders of the free world” who superbly ignored the signs, made no planning whatsoever, and are now left holding the ball… (Well, WE are left holding the ball)

And the Oscar of Stupidity goes to… Boris Judas Johnson, who recommended to carry on mingling, so as to “develop herd immunity”. Can’t very much shut down the pubs can we? In psychoanalytic terms, he has just revealed his hand. “Herd immunity”? To him (and others, assuredly), we’re just “cattle”.

Mexico is going into progressive lockdown this week. Stay home and stay safe.

 

123 thoughts on “Presentation. Art. World. Beauty

    • One of my daughters is a doctor. An infectologist. She insists on elementary precautions. Stay home as much as you can. Wash your hands frequently. Maintain distance. Avoid human contact for a few weeks. No handshake or kiss. The curves in China are beginning to ease. In the meantime, in Europe, follow instructions. That should limit the impact. Take care Peter.
      Tot ziens

  1. What a very marvellous gallery you have created for us, Brian, though doing the tango will definitely have to be postponed for a while. Stay well, you and yours. How wise of you to have an infectologist for a daughter 🙂

    • Jambo Memsahib Tish. Glad you liked the “gallery”. I figured it would be a diversion from current woes. You too stay well. I’m beginning to miss Theresa May, when I hear her successor…
      An unforeseen advantage of having an infectologist I guess? Whilst she was studying and wasn’t sure what specialisation she wanted, I tried to suggest “geriatrics” 😉 But she said no…
      Stay safe, you and yours too. This is far from over.
      Kwaheri sassa

  2. Thank you for this gorgeous diversion from too much reality. It reminds me also of a phase of listening to Russian tango music (for some reason). I must seek it out again – preferably recordings with the original scratches on the tecord, the sound of the needle…

    • Russian tango? Goodness gracious! That must be interesting. A rare combo. Yes, the original scratches are fine… I still have most of my old LP’s. Including Sargent Pepper. A Day in the life? 5,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire…
      Stay safe, you and yours, Libre. Schools and universities here are shutting down. Your current idiot in charge will probably soon lock the UK down. Sadly. Can you work form home?
      Take great care.

  3. Confiné strict en ce qui me concerne. Prêt pour 12 semaine, un cas pire. Cela m’est sans anxiété et même avec un zeste de curiosité. J’ai de quoi faire travailler mon âme (qigong et méditation), mon phystique (vélo elliptique et qigong), ma créativité (dessins et un livre à porter au niveau de la deuxième épreuve), mon besoin de communiquer (Internet). En bref, tout va bien !
    Alors, j’emprunte le tango et budha !
    Merci et douce continuation, Brieuc.

    • Tango et Budha me paraissent une excellente combinaison. Je n’y avais pas pensé, mais dans ton cas tu dois avoir les défense basses… Betters safe than sorry Gilles.
      Je ne me fais pas de souci, tu as sûrement plein de choses pour t’occuper…
      Bon courage. A +

  4. I have looked at the pictures several times. They are wonderful. The post is wonderful and informative. I love the first picture of the Tango. It’s absolutely wonderful. Tennis Steps is perfect but the photographs are so touching and immediate. Bravo.

    • Thank you Thom. You too. At “our age” 😉 we need to be even more careful. Schools and universities here are shutting down. My wife cancelled her classes at the U, and has gone today for the last time to gather material for her research. We’ll start keeping the grandchildren as of tomorrow for a few weeks I guess.
      Stay well too.
      Best regards.

    • It is one of the greatest French poems… Structure, words, mystery, courage, and… Liberty! 🙂
      Nusch Eluard was very pretty. And smart. She had a hard and tragic life. I plan on posting on her soon…
      Bon courage pendant ces qqs semaines difficiles… Biz et A +

    • Ma’amji dear! Lovely to see you around. 🙂 I’d been wondering about your “posting break”. I hope all is well, and only a matter of too many exciting activities? 🙂
      Yes, that is a very strong affair. None is really safe, all are exposed. We seem to be back a century ago. Though medicine has progressed. Greatly. The main challenge will be infrastrucuture. Will there be enough beds? Enough ventilators? The UK has already come out with the shere stupidity that they only have 5,000 ventilators for the entire country… Years of budget cuts on NHS I’m afraid…
      Will we get back to where we were? I don’t think so. But we should make serious changes. In the way our countries and the world is run… Forecast is a bit daunting. I hope precautions will work.
      You guys and your family and friends be safe…
      Fir milenge… 🙂
      I tried that phrase at a Pakistani restaurant recently. The owner was delighted… Looks like it’s the same in Urdu. Thanks for teaching me that.

      • You know how life gets ahead of you Brianji, and you are caught up in the midst of things. All well at my end. Just grappling with this strange situation — and now a move again in the middle of it. Interesting times.

        Johnson has outdone himself. Hasn’t he? The heart quakes at the way the world is suffering. Let’s hope for the best scenario which in any case is horrid and grim.

        Zaroor, phir milenge must have worked. Haha did I teach you that phrase? The Pakistani would have got it alright. Any time, Brianji. My pleasure. 🙂

      • Are you moving again? Just place I hope, not country?
        Yes, let’s hope for the best…
        And yes you taught me that phrase… Dhanyavad ma’amji.
        And stay safe, all of you.

      • I did not exactly state, so here we go. It is in the same place. Down the road. The only consolation in this entire pickled state that our life hangs in.

        I do hope things are not as grave in Mexico.

      • Down the road? OKay. I hope you like the new place…
        We’ll see how it goes here. News from the front today were not good. And that’s worldwide.
        A British blogger told me some were bragging on-line about how much stuff they’d bought to hoard… Tsss.

      • Brianji, apologies for the delayed reply. Setting up home is tough business. I think it was yesterday that we had some semblance of sanity. Loving our new home.

        As for panic buying, the less said the better. We were out for groceries on the weekend and found most places empty of supplies. So we hit the Indian store and found all our veg there. Then followed it up with Trader Joe’s where there was a queue but it was well stocked. Weird times.

      • No apologies needed maa’amji. Glad you are settled in your new home. Good to have an Indian store at hand. Our only option is a Pakistani Reastaurant whose owners I know, but they’re about an hour away. Bought some mango chutney last time we went there and had a chicken tikka masala… (Delicious!)
        Weird times indeed. Phir milenge

  5. Newton really was feted here, he did some commercial work for the airlines at one point. So many points of interest, Monet’s garden is always a draw for me. But I think I’m going fishing.

  6. Yeah, corona was no surprise to us who read international news, yet here everyone was ”surprised”. Things I read in The Atlantic online in February are now ”new discoveries”. The media full of how to beat the lockdown blues, as though that’s the largest of our worries. Oh là là. Anyway, nice to get a bit of a distraction so thanks for the time travel! 😊Take care!!!

    • My pleasure Jill. It’s what thought when I was going to post. I have several drafts in advance. This one looked perfect to change our minds…
      I hope you stay indoors as much as you can. The situation is difficult. Daughter #1 is an MD, and an infectologist. That’s her rec for us and people of our generation. Limit contact as much as we can…
      Take care

  7. Great post. That’s what we need– art and beauty to calm the nerves. I am attracted to the photographer Helmut Newton. That is, I know nothing about him; this calls for an exploration of his work. Maybe a future post, too.
    I loved visiting Monet’s bridge and gardens. So beautiful!

    • Glad you liked it Cindy. Objective attained.
      Helmut Newton is a “classic” photographer of the second half of the 20th century. He had a very personal style, that I liked very much…
      Cheers

  8. So enjoyable, as always! I am not sure why things have gotten to where they are today. We all saw this coming from a world away and yet leaders did little to nothing to prep for this. And now that it is here they are reactive. Proactive is so much better. And now the world’s economy is destroyed. Only time will tell for how long.

  9. What a fantastic mix of paintings, sculptures and photographs! I thoroughly enjoyed this virtual tour, accompanied by snippets of what I saw and of names I didn’t know. Another awesome post!

  10. Herd immunity? Give me a break! trump wants to end lockdowns by Easter. He cares more about the stock market than people. I say shut the markets down for a couple of months!

    On another hand, really a timely post. It holds a huge message, even if dark, all in all. Thank you!

  11. Wonderful, as always! Yes, time has become very dense….What you wrote reminds me of Soren Kierkegaard:
    “A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”…
    The accuracy of this quote is maximized due to the fact that too many clowns are starting to appear on this planet…Kierkegaard was always brilliant, sometimes dark, but brilliant!

    Man continues to look to the stars for certainty. But the only real certainty is that every day we’re alive, our destiny is getting closer and closer. We are all in motion, hurtling towards a destiny we did not choose and we cannot avoid.

    Bleib gesund! Schönes Wochenende! D.

    • Thank you for the quote. I have Kierkegaard on my to-read shelf. Might push him up the queue…
      Yes there is an epidemic of clowns on the planet, who may eventually do more harm than the virus…
      “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of noise and fury…”
      You too be safe…
      Bonne semaine.

      • Apologies for barging in but maybe you both have slightly misunderstood the quote. Please allow me to emphasize: “The clown came out to warn the public“. The emphasis shows that a good person tried to do a good deed. Failure was due to two factors:
        1. The person was wearing the wrong clothes
        2. People, as superficial as they always are, only looked at clothes and didn’t listen to the words

        Our doom as a race – the human race – is that the good people trying to do good deeds are always “wearing the wrong clothes” due to the many secret services “dressing” them the second they issue some warning. Then the real clowns come into picture dressed in style and start eating shit. Guess who the sheeple believe…

        Now if y’all have the time and will to watch a very interesting documentary, I’d like to recommend Ancient aliens, which has been broadcast on History and H2 sometime somewhere and can be found on torrents for whoever has the guts to use that P2P service. It may profoundly change the way you perceive the world – unless you believe that Erich von Däniken is a real clown.

      • LOL. My dear Dragos, I wouldn’t so bold as to venture that our dear Doina has misunderstood. Her understand is always top notch.
        Thank you nonetheless for your contribution. My personal take-away is about the clothes, and allow me to go further: the haircut. I can think of specific cases, Boris Trump and Donald Johnson, who must have the worst barber in the history of mankind. Not to mention the worst necktie supplier…
        Read Von Däniken a long while ago. Lemme see if I still have a copy.

      • Yeah, maybe not misunderstood. Won’t argue on that.
        Maybe the real problem is people can’t tell apart actors and real clowns anymore, and they just tend to believe everyone. Or maybe good people just stopped trying to save the world because it’s not worth saving, and all that’s left is real clowns barking their lies. Who knows…

        Actually clothes, haircuts and all that shouldn’t matter when it comes to judging people, or listening and understanding their message.

        Von Däniken apparently has written a lot of books since his ’67 (or was it ’68?) “Chariots of the gods?” which I read as a child – too young to really understand it. But there are many other people featured in this series and also there are interesting questions and assumptions.

        As for me, I’m struggling to survive with all “kids” in the house since late fall. They keep fighting, destroying things, making noises day and night – I can hardly sleep 2-3 hours a night, put together. At day I have to let 3 fresh mommies in and out of their cages whenever they need. 16 kittens to tend to, youngest 8 being almost 3 days old. I’m exhausted.

        Otherwise I don’t care about that virus hysteria but it did its job here as everywhere else, that is put us all in “house arrest”, take away our civil rights and destroy the little economy we had. A bunch of completely inept measures.

        I wonder if this guy here has a point (translated in English here). Same guy here explaining a few things. Maybe Daughter #2 could share her opinion on this.

        Actually it all seems like a well orchestrated plan whose goal can only be guessed, and it’s not for the good of mankind – hopefully I’m wrong although I usually am Cassandra reincarnated.

        Stay safe, stay sharp and don’t believe everything they say! 😉

      • There was a Shakespeare thing about “all the world’s a stage” and we are merely actors or something like that. looks like the actors have taken over… 🙂
        I see your feline overpopulation is still not under control. 🙂 You may have to do something about it some day. How are the fleas? Contained?
        I will look at your links in a minute…
        Au revoir.

      • The idea of actors taking over is not that new. Remember Reagan, Arnold ‘The terminator’ and whoever else may have been pushed to the top around the world (we had our share of actor-ministers too).

        It’s hard to take away basic rights to other beings when our own human rights being taken away – as can be seen these days – builds up tension and rage besides sorrow and despair. And the kittens are so cute…! 🙂

        Fleas are almost gone, rarely one or two pops up, but one is enough to wreak havoc again.

      • Yes. Reagan was a start of a decline…
        I know the kittens must be very cute. And that is great news about the fleas. One problem less…
        Stay well.

      • Read the guy’s article. He does raise interesting questions. I’ll pass it along. Though the doctors in the family are a bit busy right now… 🙂 Stay safe. 😷

      • Incidentally I watched a movie last night that seemed to be the blueprint for the current situation, minus the usual happy-ending: Inferno (2016). Originally based on a Dan Brown novel.
        However, I fear that what we go through right now is just a rehearsal for the real thing.
        Take care all of you, especially the girls.

      • Please check your Spam and Trash, there should be a comment of mine somewhere, it had too many links and has been flagged. And delete this one. Thank you.

      • Multumesc mon ami. I did have 30 messages in Spam. Don’t know why the WP people seem to have hidden the spam folder. Now I need to get bak to yours and others’ comments. Thanks for the warning… A bientôt

      • My dear, dear friend, I have been thinking about you. Have you been devoured by your cats? Have you abandoned all hope all ye who enter your house?
        Joke aside, I hope you are well, avoiding this nasty plague. Drop me a line if you wish, at our usual drop-off, the old mailbox, at the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Alexanderplatz. Oh, not in Berlin? That’s right. Ok. Below the bench at the corner of Calea 13 Septembrie and Bulevardul Libertatil… 😉

      • It does. Is Cassandra a myth? Or a symbol? I remember her very well, since my parents produced the play “La guerrre de Troie n’aura pas lieu” by Giraudoux. The Troy war won’t happen. I was 9-10 at the time and watched many rehearsals. Struck me then that the Trojans did not believe her predictions and that she was eventually killed to telling the truth…
        (That’s when I decided to lie my way out of any situation. Safer…)
        Be good.

  12. Thanks for the culture tour, Brian. In Britain, it’s now known as herd idiocy, the desire to vote for people wearing blue rosettes at election time. Most of those espousing the idea of herd immunity now seem to have coronavirus, I can’t say I’ll lose any sleep over it.
    Lover that Helmut Newton photo, it’s all very North by North West (a great film)
    Hope you’re self isolating well!
    Best, Paul

    • Herd idiocy? Now that’s a good one. I’ll write it down. The lemmings syndrome maybe?
      Blue rosettes are for Tories?
      I did have “meself” a good laugh when I heard that the PI (Prime Idiot), Health secretary, and chief health counsel were down with the thing.
      Or, here’s another one for you: they don’t, but it’s good for their image.
      Indeed the Newton photo was an homage to “La mort aux trousses” (French title). The only really good pic of an otherwise disappointing expo… 😉
      We’re fine, thank you. House is big, a bit of garden in the front. Weather is gorgeous though. Might take a walk tomorrow to clear head.
      I hope your flat in Berlin is large enough? Construction in Europe can be small.
      Best, B.

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