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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: Oscar Rejlander and Reenactment in Contemporary Photography at the Getty Center

Oscar Rejlander: Artist Photographer Encore: Reenactment in Contemporary Photography On View March 12-June 9, 2019 By Leticia Marie Sanchez With the advent of I-phones, Instagram, and social media, photography is the artistic medium most often at people’s fingertips. Aided by the use of filters, users attempt to curate frothy artistic images out of everyday items like cups of Espresso or Pumpkin Chai. But photography was not always viewed as an artistic medium on par with Fine Arts like painting and sculpture. The Getty Center’s new exhibit Oscar Rejlander: Artist Photographer sheds light on an artist who became known as “the father of art photography.” The exhibition, curated by Lori Pauli, curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Canada, and Karen Hellman, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, is comprised of 150 photographs and includes images

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CCH Interviews the Getty’s “Miraculous Encounters” curator Davide Gasparotto, about a Pontormo art mystery!!

Cultural Cocktail Hour is a registered trademark    Giorgio Vasari is pretty much the world’s first famous art historian. He was in the circle of Michelangelo, Pontormo,  Andrea del Sarto, and other world-class artists. Vasari book Lives of the Artists, first published in 1550, lays the foundation for art historical writing. Yet despite writing extensively about Pontormo, Vasari never once mentioned Pontormo’s resplendent painting, The Visitation. Why not? Once having viewed this mesmerizing painting, it would be impossible to forget it. Yet Vasari ignored it completely. Some have speculated that since Pontormo painted it during a historic siege, there may have been political reasons for the mysterious omission. At the time Vasari’s patron, the Medici Duke was an adversary of Bartolommeo Pinadori, the patron for Pontormo’s “Visitation.” Cultural Cocktail Hour’s Editor-In-Chief Leticia Marie Sanchez asks Davide Gasparatto, Senior Curator at the

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“Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters”- A MUST SEE exhibit at the Getty Center

“Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters” A MUST SEE Exhibit at the Getty Center By Leticia Marie Sanchez Organized by the Getty Museum in conjunction with the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence and the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, “Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters” is curated by Getty Museum Senior Curator of Paintings, Davide Gasparotto and Bruce Edelstein, coordinator of graduate programs and advanced research at NYU Florence. The paintings and drawings presented in the exhibition were created by Jacopo Pontormo between 1528 and 1530, during an intense historical period. Battles between Florentine Republican forces and the Medici family in 1527 resulted in a siege. Incredibly, all three Pontormo paintings in the exhibit were painted during this tumultuous time, when Mannerist painter Jacopo Pontormo bravely remained in Florence to guard his home. The opportunity to see the Visitation is somewhat of a miracle, not only because it’s

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Review: Family Day at the Norton Simon “Artful Weaving”

Review: Family Day at the Norton Simon “Artful Weaving” by Leticia Marie Sanchez Family Days at the Norton Simon are always a treat for parents and children, due to a wonderfully engaging formula that packs a two-fold punch: 1) A kid-friendly tour of the latest exhibition 2) A children’s craft project  inspired by the latest exhibition Educator Gorman Bentley is a natural with children, with an ebullient personality and insights about art history. He patiently explained the concept of a loom and taught my four year-old to complete his own tapestry. With his friendly spirit, Mr. Bentley welcomed all the children sitting at the tables, making each of them feel included and welcome.   Following the craft project, Educator Fabrizio Flores took us on a child-friendly the visually arresting new exhibit, “Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and

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Review: In the Raw: A fresh take on the Renaissance at the Getty Center- A Must See Exhibit

In the Raw: A Fresh take on the Renaissance at the Getty Center by Leticia Marie Sanchez The Renaissance Nude Oct 30, 2018- Jan 27, 2019 The exhibit on the Renaissance nude at the Getty does not pull any punches- it is authentic, raw, and illuminating. What makes it stand out is that idealization is not the name of the game. Instead, the exhibit gets to the heart of the matter. There are books on anatomy, studies from morgues, saints being tortured, bodies that are emaciated and infirm contrasting with ripe, seductive, athletic, forms. The lushness of a painting like Titian’s Venus Rising From the Sea is viewed within the context of the nude form in all its facets. Unlike other Renaissance exhibits which focus on iconography alone, the Getty exhibit explores what proves more fascinating, the intriguing world behind

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Making the Fig and Other Artistic Insults

An Eye for an Eye, a Fig for a Fig by Leticia Marie Sanchez 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) The next time

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Theater Review: Under Bacchae’s spell- a MUST SEE production at the Getty Villa

Under Bacchae’s Spell By Leticia Marie Sanchez The first few moments of Euripides’ Bacchae at the Getty Villa set the tone for the entire evening. Screaming Jay Hawkins’ raw, electrifying 1956 blues hit “I Put a Spell on You” plays in the outdoor theater, jolting the audience as the spartanly dressed Bacchanalian chorus emerges from classical columns. Their fearless leader Dionysus, the god of theater, wine, and divine ecstasy, is played with hypnotic magnetism by Ellen Lauren, who struts onto the stage in red leather pants like Mick Jagger on fire. Through the direction of Anne Bogart from the New York-based SITI Company, one cannot help but be gripped. Euripides’ Bacchae is heavy material, but Bogart skillfully unearths comedic gems, Bacchanalian beats, and horrific depths so that within 90 minutes, the audience is at turns highly entertained and terrified. Bogart’s

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Verdi: A bold request

Verdi: A bold request by Leticia Marie Sanchez The following correspondence in the form of abridged letters between Giuseppe Verdi and one very unusual opera-goer, Prospero Bertani: Much Honoured Signor Verdi,       Reggio, May 7, 1872 On the second of this month, attracted by the sensation which your opera Aida was making, I went to Parma. Half an hour before the performance began I was already in my seat, No.120. I admired the scenery, listened with great pleasure to the excellent singers, and took pains to let nothing escape me. After the performance was over, I asked myself whether I was satisfied.  The answer was “No.” I returned to Reggio, and on the way back in the railroad carriage, I listened to the verdicts of my fellow travelers. Nearly all of them agreed that Aida was a work

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A FOR ART- Icons of Style- A Century of Fashion Photography- A MUST SEE at the Getty Center

A for Art ICONS OF STYLE: A CENTURY OF FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY- A MUST SEE AT THE GETTY CENTER By Leticia Marie Sanchez June 26–October 21, 2018 Icons of Style at the Getty is NOT-TO-BE MISSED for a myriad of reasons. Firstly, the presentation itself is visually compelling. Iconographic fashion photography surround dynamic costumes ranging from Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Madeleine Vionnet, Madame Grès, Issey Miyake, and Alexander McQueen. Secondly, and more importantly, this exhibit is the first of its kind. Photo Left: Sarah Moon, 1941, Sveta for Hussein Chalayan, 2000; Carbon print; 2011.52; 57.2 × 43.4 cm (22 1/2 × 17 1/16 in.) Copyright:© Sarah Moon Historically, museums have not actively collected fashion photography because the medium has been viewed as undeserving of the capital letter A for Art bestowed upon portraiture, landscape, and abstraction. Even within the genre of photography itself, fashion photography has often

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Review: Gustav Klimt at l’Atelier des Lumières- PARIS- a MUST SEE

Gustav Klimt at L’ Atelier des Lumières - A MUST SEE in Paris a dazzling immersion of lights in the City of Lights By Leticia Marie Sanchez All Photography and text © 2018 Leticia Marie Sanchez This month’s Cultural Cocktail recipe includes 2 Oz of Gustav Klimt, A Dash of Beethoven, A Sprinkle of Wagner, and a Splash of Visual Splendor- Enjoy! The perfect Cultural Cocktail involves a blend of music and visual arts and the Gustav Klimt exhibit at Atelier des Lumières is a mesmerizing, intoxicating blend of artistic immersion, NOT to be missed. Atelier des Lumières means “Studio Of Lights.” The site itself is unorthodox and compelling. The once dark, drab, former iron factory transforms into a feast for the senses, producing an artistic high. 140 laser video projectors illuminate the 16,000 square foot exhibit hall of the former iron factory with golden, gilded images as classical music soars through the

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