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New Installations at the Getty Villa- *A Must See!*

by Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour had the pleasure of visiting the new installations at the Getty Villa. Prior to seeing it firsthand, I honestly wondered how this oasis in Malibu, remodeled after the home of Julius Caesar’s father-in-law, could in any way be improved. After seeing the results of this massive undertaking, I am a believer. What now comes to the forefront is art history, the progression of stylistic history that becomes clear on a visceral level. The stylish progression from the very formalized, stiff and archaic works to the explosion of naturalism and expressionism becomes apparent as one walks through the galleries at the Getty Villa.  There’s a logic to the stylistic evolution, and one need not be a connoisseur of art to appreciate the stylistic changes that unfold. In fact, one striking takeaway is that an artistic neophyte could learn more from

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Roman Emperor Caligula loved horsing around…

Salvador Dali- Caligula

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? by Leticia Marie Sanchez Salvador Dalí s painting, “Le Cheval de Caligula” depicts Incitatus, pampered pony of blood-thirsty Roman emperor Caligula. The often-violent Caligula became so enraptured with his stallion that he giddily showered him with 18 servants, a marble stable, an ivory manger, rich red robes, and a bejeweled collar. Caligula even made sure that his horse had a lil’ wifey and presented him with the alluring mare Penelope as a bride. The neurotic emperor demanded that everyone bow down to his horse as a god. No Mueslix or chewy carrots for this horsey. According to Roman historian Suetonius, Caligula’s horse snacked on oats mixed with flex of gold, naturally, and sipped the finest wine from golden goblets. Dignitaries must have clenched their teeth politely when Caligula required that they all sit at the dinner table

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Cultural Cocktail Hour’s Interview with Timothy Potts, Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum

  Photo Credit- Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Cultural Cocktail Hour interviewed Timothy Potts, Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, in advance of two openings at the Getty Villa on April 18th: The Reinstallation of the Antiquities Collection at the Getty Villa Plato in LA: Contemporary Artists’ Visions   INTERVIEW Cultural Cocktail Hour: Plato in LA explores the influence of the classical world on the Contemporary World. What do you think are the most profound influences of antiquity on contemporary art and society today? Timothy Potts, Director of the J Paul Getty Museum: “It depends on what you mean by contemporary art and what is contemporary to us today. You only have to go back to the late 18th and 19th century when the height of fashion all over Europe was classical styles in sculpture and architecture and

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Plato in LA- A Must See Exhibit- at the Getty Villa

 Plato in L.A. Contemporary Artists’ Visions  April 18–September 3, 2018 By Leticia Marie Sanchez Plato would have had a field day with Los Angeles at this point in time. Even the term Virtual Reality has Platonic connotations. After all, Platonic Realism espouses the notion that the material world is only a poor copy of the real one. In his allegory of the caves, Plato described shadows which people assume are real, but are, in fact, mere imitations of the real world. What would Plato have thought of social media, with all its filters used to create a hyper-perfect reality? What is real, and what is a façade? Even the entertainment world in Los Angeles, and the dark underbelly that was exposed this year. Beyond the glossy images on the silver screen, the hair and makeup, the movie sets, sexual assaults

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More photos from the Peggy and David Rockefeller preview reception at Christie’s

                                Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)Near Abiquiu, New Mexico Image: Courtesy of Christie’s                 Claude Monet (1840-1926)Extérieur de la gare Saint-Lazare, effet de soleil Image: Courtesy of Christie’s  

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Artistic highlight of the year- The Peggy and David Rockefeller Collection on view at Christie’s

 By Leticia Marie Sanchez On View at Christie’s Los Angeles Until April 12th 336 N Camden Drive Beverly Hills Art-loving Angelenos: If there is only ONE artistic experience in which you engage this week, run, don’t walk (Uber- whatever you need to do to GET there!) to Christie’s Beverly Hills. To say the viewing is a high-octane experience is an understatement. The first clue that you are in the room with works from the highest stratosphere is when you see the plethora of Men In Black with secret-service earpieces guarding the masterpieces. All of these works hail from the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller and will be heading to New York to the Rockefeller Center (naturally!) for what may be the greatest art auction of all time- the work is valued at 500 million. What is even more extraordinary

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Beyond the Pacific….

Last week, visiting the Getty Center for the “Beyond the Nile,” right before entering the exhibit I caught a rare glimpse of a beautiful site that I usually see at the Getty Villa: the Pacific Ocean Beyond the Nile  Beyond the Pacific….

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Beyond the Nile- *A MUST SEE* EXHIBIT in LA

  “Beyond the Nile” at the Getty Center- A MUST-SEE Exhibit by Leticia Marie Sanchez Fasten your artistic seat belts. The Getty Center’s “Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World” is truly a blockbuster show, spanning more than 2000 years and covering geography ranging from Minoan Crete, Hadrian’s Rome, and Ancient Egypt. What is inspiring about the exhibit is that the civilizations of Egypt, Rome, and Greece are not viewed as separate entities. In fact, the exhibit’s main theme explores the influence that these cultures had one another. Egypt’s impact went beyond the Nile, and its presence can be seen in the Classical world’s frescoes, coins, sculpture, and pottery in an enriching exploration of artistic cross-pollination during antiquity.  And there is nothing that Cultural Cocktail Hour enjoys more than a magnificent fusion. It underscores the fact that as human beings,

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Bach and the Nanny-Goat Bassoonist

Some celebrate BACH’s BIRTHDAY  on March 21st, some on March 31st (due to the differences in the Gregorian and the Julian calendar). We here at Cultural Cocktail Hour celebrate BACH’s BIRTHDAY  all month long! In honor of his birthday, here is an anecdote about the musical legend: Bach…the Brawler? Did J.S Bach, the eminent composer of such celestial works as the Goldberg Variations, the Well-Tempered Clavier, the Brandenberg concertos, and the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor have an alter ego? It appears that the clever Kapellmeister, director of heavenly choirs, and the composer of music divine, may have had a mischievous streak. As choir director in Arnsadt, the 20-year old Bach got into fisticuffs with a student named Johann Geyersbach. The brawl originated thusly: walking softly and carrying a big stick, Geyersbach approached Bach as he crossed the marketplace

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Is an opera singer allowed to smile?

  This article originally appeared on Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2011 by Leticia Marie Sanchez In 2011 critics blasted Anna Nebtreko, star of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena for daring to smile on opening night at the Metropolitan Opera. The audience wildly cheered Ms. Netrebko after a particularly grueling and moving rendition of the aria Al dolce guidami. Netrebko, who had been gazing upward, briefly smiled, causing the audience to erupt in more cheers. The critics lambasted her for this gesture, which they claim caused her to break character. Their negative reaction begs the question: for whom are singers performing: naysaying critics or their beloved audience? What about the bond between a singer and the audience? Opera celebrates the wide gamut of human emotions. Why should should natural feelings and spontaneous impulses be constrained? When a singer is not allowed to acknowledge the connection

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