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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

“Declarations of Love in Music and Image”- The J. Paul Getty Museum and LA Opera

On May 3rd The J. Paul Getty Museum in conjunction with LA Opera, hosted a conference on the “Declarations of Love in Music and Image.” Speakers included: Michael Walsh, music critic for TIME magazine, Mitchell Morris, UCLA Musicology Professor, and Scott Allan, assistant curator in the Department of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The conference concluded with a dynamic and moving performance by LA Opera. Soprano Tammy Jenkins, Tenor Robert MacNeil, and pianist Daniel Faltus performed selections from Puccini’s Tosca, Suor Angelica, and La Rondine. Scott Allan illuminated the Getty exhibit on Fragonard’s “Allegories of Love”, a departure from the artist’s earlier, frothier Rococo style. Love becomes elevated from frivolous entanglements to a new state of spiritual ecstasy. The exhibit compared Fragonard’s Sacrifice of the Rose with Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa.  Allen also noted that in the Allegories, Fragonard’s

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Making the Fig and Other Artistic Insults

An Eye for an Eye, a Fig for a Fig Even noble literary figures need to blow off steam. Shakespeare’s Capulets and Montagues deliver the shocking, duel-provoking insult of thumb-biting.  Only a duel could avenge such a slur on one’s honor.           Sampson: I will bite my thumb at them, which is disgrace to them if they bear it. Abram: Do you bite your thumb at us, Sir?’   Romeo and Juliet. Act I. Scene I.   Melee ensues.  Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy contains another impish affront,“Making the Fig.”  This slur involves thrusting out the thumb between the first and second fingers to express anger or disdain.  In Dante’s Inferno, Vanni Fucci, a thief convicted of stealing from the Church of San Zeno, “raises his hands, points in mockery, and cries, ‘Take them, God.’” (Canto XXV)

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Get Lost! (Lost in Battery Park, that is)

monuments_sphere

                                                      Fritz Koenig’sThe Sphere           It is the stillness after the storm, a place for reflection on the violence that occurred nearby in lower Manhattan. It is what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a symbol of the “power of art to heal.”             The Sphere, a globe sculpted by the German artist Fritz Koenig, is the only structure to survive and remain standing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The 45,000-pound steel and brass work, its face dented, chipped, fragmented, scuffed and scratched, now rests in a quiet place in Battery Park, a short distance from Ground Zero.             More than survivor,

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