Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The videographer

May 22, 2019

It came to me via Google Alert last week, another creative Zwicky: Denis Zwicky, videographer in Miami. At first, I guessed from his French first name and his fluent but non-native English that he was related to the Zwickys of Wallisellen, outside Zürich, of the Zwicky thread and yarn company and now the Zwicky Areal Facility, an exploration of urban development on the grounds of the thread factory:


(#1) Wallisellen: the old factory and a corner of the new development

Though they’re in German-speaking Switzerland, the younger generations of the family mostly have French names (I’ve written about Joelle); see my 6/27/18 posting “Three Züricher Peter Zwickys”, with a section about “Silk Peter” of the thread company and his four daughters.

But no, far otherwise. As I wrote in yesterday’s posting “Das Wappen”, Denis turned out to be one of the Slavic Zwickys (more in today’s posting “Tsviki from Belarus”). However, I’ll put this personal and family history aside for today, to report on Denis the videographer.

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Stravinsky’s 1970 Firebird and the Ghoulliard Quartet

May 20, 2019

Music, cartoons, and language play, plus Slavic folklore, Seiji Ozawa and his expressive hair, pony cars, symphony trumpeters, NPR, and Frankenstein’s monster. It starts with this wonderful cartoon by Jeffrey Curnow from the NPR site (hat tip to Virginia Transue):

(#1)

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Great twerks of the 19th century

May 19, 2019

In advertising for the Palo Alto Art Center’s exhibition Local Editions: A Celebration of Bay Area Printmaking 6/15/19 – 8/25/19, this arresting print by Judy Aoki:


(#1) (She) Twerkin’, 2014 stone lithograph with watercolor (on Aoki’s website under the title Dance Styles of the 1800’s, from her Museum of Historical Makeovers)

A note on the late 20th- / early 21st-century dance craze twerking, then more on Aoki and her work.

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Pooh’s honey pot

May 16, 2019

(Talk of men’s bodies and mansex, not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.)

From several posters on Facebook, a raunchy fabric composition involving TopPooh, TPooh for short, and BottomPooh, BPooh for short (both of them from Ernest Shepard illustrations for the original Winnie-the-Pooh books), doing a standing doggy:

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The dragons of Homoland

May 11, 2019

The centerpiece:


(#1) “Rainbow Dragons” (for LGBT Pride 2018) by Ross Sanger, on Deviant Art (hat tip to Kim Darnell)

Two effects here. One, in popular culture, dragons are  tamed, almost to the point of cuteness; otherwise, they’re creatures of great power and potential danger (in Western traditions, active malevolence) — but here are cicurated (tamed, rendered mild or harmless), or even cutesified. And then, dragons have become loosely attached to gay culture; they’ve been homoized in some contexts — Homoland is, at the very least, congenial to dragons as symbols, perhaps as symbols of gay power, so that dragons and rainbows have come to have some affinity for one another, in draconical rainbows and arcipluvial dragons (like Sanger’s).

Especially in places where dragons bear some specific symbolic weight, gays and their rainbows are likely to follow: the red dragon of the Welsh flag; the logo of Dungeons and Dragons; and the dragon of Chnese astrology. But gay dragons, often in rainbow, might pop up anywhere (as in #1).

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Wooden arches

May 5, 2019

Another posting about the objects of everyday life and how good design can provide us with small pleasures. In this case, the wooden arches that grace my condo complex, serving as entrance ways on the street, as trellises for vines, and as decorative elements for people on the street as well as for those of us inside the complex. The  current installation (recently repaired):


(#1) Dark-stained wood in the morning sun: four uprights; horizontally on top, two lintels (lintels going left to right) deep and ten rafters (rafters going front to back) wide; ivy climbing on the two front uprights

(That’s my place, 722, on the left, the stairs to 718 and 720 on the right.)

The repair job replaced the right back upright and all the stuff on top. Some details below

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The hand that cradles the tree

May 3, 2019

… and the monster that guides the elderly. Both pieces of outdoor art in Switzerland, the first in the town of Glarus (in my ancestral canton of Glarus), the second in the city of Zürich.


(#1) The Caring Hand in Glarus

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Revisiting 30: Fragonard at Neuschwanstein

May 2, 2019

My 4/22/19 posting “The Easter egg in the salt mine” took off from this archive photo used in an Economist article:

(#1)

The article tells us nothing about the provenance of the photo or about the scene represented in it, though in the context of the article, we’re invited to suppose that the photo shows us the retrieval of Raubkunst, art seized by the Nazis from Jewish families during World War II. From which we guess that the soldier is an American G.I., the time is 1945, and the locale is one of the Nazi storage places for stolen art, perhaps even one of the celebrated salt mines used for this purpose. (All of this is assumption and guesswork, not a single actual fact in the pack.)

The painting in the photograph is in the courtly style of the 18th century — I speculated on what the scene might be — but not one famous enough to be identified through various sorts of searches.

Then in a comment, John Baker came to the rescue, enabling me to make substantial advances: the painting is a Fragonard (apparently a minor one) — as it turned out, one recovered by Americans in a gigantic hoard of Raubkunst in Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria (the fantasy castle Ludwig II built for Richard Wagner).

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The May flower

May 1, 2019

Yesterday, the flowers of the season were still yellow — les jaunes d’Avril — but today they are white — les muguets pour le premier Mai — also (on the plus side) delicately pretty and highly scented but (on the minus side) both poisonous and rampant, while conveying beginnings, affectionate respect, and the power of unions marching in the streets. Hey, they’re just colors, and just plants — It’s Just Stuff, as I say every so often —  each capable of symbolizing pretty much anything, in some sociocultural context or another.

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A standout in his shorts

April 27, 2019

(Mesh Man in his underwear, leading us in many directions, but with plenty of sexual content — not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

From the 12th: Mesh Man returns to the Daily Jocks underverse, flogging their fabulous Varsity Mesh Shorts, flaunting his famous receptive organ — he’s all man and a foot deep — kneeling with feeling in #1 and flashing a finger gun to his fans in #2:


(#1) Party shorts! (see the ad below) — I go down on one knee to go down on my guy

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