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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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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Monet’s Water Lillies at L’Orangerie- Paris

  At Monet’s opening at L’Orangerie Art critic Louis Gillet declared,  “An Astonishing painting, without pattern, without borders… there is no sky no horizon hardly any perspective or stable points of reference enabling the viewer to orient himself, just completely arbitrary boundaries between actual space and pictorial space.”   MUSÉE DE L’ORANGERIE Jardin des Tuileries Place de la Concorde 75001 PARIS

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Azulant Akora: Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Fall Winter 2018 Highlight!

 by Leticia Marie Sanchez Greetings from Paris! At Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week  Fall Winter 2018, the uplifting strains of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Lark Ascending” played during the presentation of the ethereal designs by Azulant Akora.     The stirring music was befitting of a collection that proved inspirational, ethereal, and exquisite. Akron’s presentation was filled with showstoppers including a intricate floral-imbued gown and a royal green dress that was regal and perfectly showcased in the golden, classically gilded room at La Maison Champs Elysées. What was even more impressive about Akora’s collection was that her creations managed to be both dreamy and functional at the same time. One can envision one of Akora’s stunning creations at a gala, red carpet, wedding, or other special occasion. The level of detail on each gown elevated it to its own stratosphere. The fabrics, colors,

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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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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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