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“Duchamp to Pop”- A Must-See Exhibit

  by

Leticia Marie Sanchez

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark

This week’s Cultural Cocktail Hour involves a Pinch of Parody, a Dose of Double Entendre, and a Highball of Warhol- Bottom’s Up!

“Duchamp to Pop” is a must-see exhibit in Southern California due to the wit of Marcel Duchamp and his influence on the Pop Art Movement.

CCH loves any exhibit where you can unleash your inner art detective; “Duchamp to Pop” lends itself to peeling back layers of culture and indulging in wordplay and irony.

Cheeky puns are the name of the game. For instance, when one usually thinks of the Mona Lisa, one imagines crowds of tourists lining up to see a dignified work encased behind glass, vigilantly guarded by museum security.

Quite to the contrary, Marcel Duchamp’s mischievous Mona Lisa, La Joconde, bears an absurd mustache, and the letters L.H.O.O.Q. When read aloud, they form the French Phrase, “Elle a chaud au cul,” a risqué commentary on this fine lady’s posterior.

image

 

Don’t laugh at my mustache.

I dare you.

 A second word game in the exhibit involves Duchamp’s signature: Rrose Sélavy, a pun which evokes the French phrase: “Eros, c’est la vie,” or “Eros, that’s life.”

What does it mean when we gaze upon a mustachioed Mona Lisa? Simply, that we need not take Art, nor ourselves for that matter, so seriously. Art should not signify untouchable pieces on museum walls, but rather, the creativity that we can engender in our daily lives.

The humor and parody continue chronologically in the exhibit with Pop Artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol’s Brillo Pads, and Pop Art in general, exposed the mass marketing that dominated the post-war era.

An Andy Warhol Soup Can sold originally sold for a measly $100.  Now these cans can be found in the purview of princes and oligarchs. (Warhol’s “Silver Car Crash” sold in 2013 for $105 million).

A bit ironic, that a movement that exposed American dependence on brands, had at its helm, an artist, Andy Warhol, who, himself became a brand. The reason that Warhol’s paintings can command stratospheric sums (and other artists cannot), is because of the name recognition. Like a Rolls Royce or a Patek Phillipe, a work by Warhol has clearly recognizable brand, and thereby, status significance.

The works of the Pop Artists embody parody and satire. Through this movement, we can chuckle at wordplay and irony. And Andy Warhol could laugh all the way to the bank.

d__images_P1969094L.H.O.O.Q. or La Joconde, 1964 (replica of 1919 original)

Colored reproduction, heightened with pencil and white gouache, Edition of 35, No. 6 (Arturo Schwartz edition)

comp: 10-1/4 x 7 in. (26.0 x 17.8 cm); sheet: 11-3/4 x 7-7/8 in. (29.8 x 20.0 cm)

Norton Simon Museum P.1969.094. Image Courtesy of Norton Simon.

 

d__images_P196906208Campbell’s Soup I: Black Bean

1928-1987 Silkscreen on paper 35-1/2 x 23-1/8 in. (90.2 x 58.7 cm)

Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase, 1969 P.1969.062.08. Image Courtesy of Norton Simon.

 

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Wise Man: Marcel Proust

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

 

 Marcel Proust 

 

Marc Chagall


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Happy Birthday, leap year baby Gioachino Rossini


GiorcesRossini1Give me a laundry list

and I’ll set it to music”-

Gioachino Rossini

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Picasso and Monets– burnt to a crisp?

 Picasso and Monets—Burnt To a Crisp?

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark

Left:  Matisse, Reading Girl in White and Yellow(1919)

Will she ever see the light of day?

Carmelized Monet. No, this is not a trendy Crème Brule whipped up by a chef obsessed with molecular gastronomy, but quite possibly one of the most heinous art crimes covered by Cultural Cocktail Hour.

Olga Dogaru, mother of art thief Radu Dogaru, confessed to using her oven to set ablaze seven masterpieces valued at between 100 and 200 million Euros including works by Picasso, Matisse, Gaugin (and two by Monet) as if they were no more than slices of pizza.

Dogaru’s son Radu was the ringleader of a group of six Romanian art thieves who broke into Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum last October with a set of pliers. After her son’s arrest, Mama Dogaru hid the pilfered artworks in a graveyard in the village of Caracliu (Talk about unresponsive audiences).Then, Ms. Dogaru essentially transformed this case from art kidnapping to outright art murder.

What museums desire most is to retrieve their works. Ergo, most art thieves with an IQ higher than a gnat realize that keeping the works intact can be a future bargaining chip in order to reduce their sentences.

In the dim attic of Ms. Dogaru’s mind, however, the light bulb went off a bit too late.

According to an interview with People magazine, Ms. Dogaru revealed her recent epiphany,

“I sense I made a big mistake.”

Alas, sense and sensibility does not seem to be her strong suit.  Moreover, with the classic Parenting 101 mistakes exhibited by Mrs. Dogaru (enabling, aiding, abetting, barbecuing Cubist works), it was inevitable that her mama’s boy would not wind up an Eagle Scout.

Of course, now the case has its inevitable twist.

According to Reuters, forensic experts linked Mama Dogaru’s humble oven to the traces of a specific Prussian Blue paint in addition to other materials corresponding with the missing paintings.

And yet, despite all evidence to the contrary, her son now claims that his mother’s initial confession was all a lie. That if he is somehow transported away from the blasted Bucharest courtroom and allowed to be tried in the Netherlands, he will reveal the paintings’ location.

Recently, however, the trial was delayed due to offending footwear.

The art thief’s defense attorney donned blue suede shoes, which sent the judge into a tizzy. The judge fined the attorney more than 1400 dollars for his bold fashion sense.

Unfortunately for Radu, having an attorney who dresses like Elvis is the least of his problems.


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Happy Cultural Valentine!

HAPPY’S VALENTINE’S DAY to my readers!

Wishing you a day filled with love, art, and music!

All Photography© 2016 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Cultural escapade at the Getty Center

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered TrademarkV-day 4

V-DayV-Day 2

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Sculptures taking Selfies?

When even the sculptures take selfies, you know that we are in trouble!

What would Michelangelo say?

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Kudos to these artists for providing a snapshot into today’s culture. Lines of tourists crowd Florence’s esteemed Uffizi Gallery, not necessarily to take the time to observe the art, but rather to take a quick selfie with Botticelli’s Birth of Venus before rushing onto the next Instagrammable moment. Today many individuals walk by masterpieces because they are too busy staring at their cellphones or getting ready for a closeup.

Based on Bertel Thorvaldsen’s “Eve Holding an Apple,” “The Immortalization of  Self” by Jana Cruder and Matthew La Penta captures today’s self-obsessed culture with cheeky precision.

CCH selects this work as the most timely at LA Art Show this week.

Narcissistic statue seen at LA Art Show 2016

selfie sculpture 1Selfie Sculpture 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Immortalization of Self” by Jana Cruder and Matthew La Penta, based on Bertal Thorvaldsen’s “Eve Holding an Apple”

Axiom Gallery

tumblr_m2gtnczn9G1rt1kt8o1_r1_400Bertel Thorvaldsen, Venus, 1813-16 (Copenhagen, Denmark, Thorvaldsens Museum)

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Pictures at an Exhibition- LA Art Show 2016

La Art Show7LorgnetteLa Art show 10La Art show 15La Art show 14LA Art show 11

by 

Leticia Marie Sanchez

Seeing Chagall’sMagic Flute was like running into an old friend.

Chagall and Klimt galore, plus a quite a few undiscovered surprises made LA Art Show a visual treat!

LA Art show 13LA Art show 1 LA Art show 5LA Art show 2La Art show 10

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CCH End-of-January Highlights

Cultural Cocktail Hour End-of-January Highlights

The end-of-January’s LA Cultural recipe includes: an Explosion of art, an Infusion of Impressionism, and a Shot of VerdiEnjoy!

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark

LA CCHLA Art Show

January 27 – 31

http://www.laartshow.com

 

hale_crimson_600The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement

Jan 23 – May 09

Huntington Library. 1151 Oxford Road. San Marino, CA  91108. http://www.huntington.org

Philip Leslie Hale (1865-1931), The Crimson Rambler, ca. 1908, oil on canvas, 25 1/4 x 30 3/16 in. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Joseph E. Temple Fund.

lamcchVerdi Requiem: Los Angeles Master Chorale

Sat. Jan. 30th, 2 pm; Sun. Jan. 31,  7 pm

Grant Gershon, conductor; Amber Wagner, soprano Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano;  Issachah Savage, tenor Morris Robinson, bass;   Walt Disney Concert Hall.. 111 S. Grand Avenue  LA, CA 90012. www.lamc.org

Photo credit: Jamie Pham

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Wise Man: Goethe

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.

 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Annunciation, Tate Gallery, London

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Review: “Made in L.A” by the Los Angeles Master Chorale

Passport to the Human Soul:

LA Master Chorale’s Made in LA

By

Leticia Marie Sanchez

LA Master ChoraleLA Master Chorale’s Made in LA provided audiences with a passport to the human soul. The diverse program not only allowed concertgoers to experience distinct cultures, but also transported them on a journey to understand the human condition in all its complexity: solitude, pain, love and redemption. Prior to the concert, LA Master Chorale’s Artistic Director, Grant Gershon announced that in light of the recent tragic current events, the concert was a “response to nihilism;” the evening’s program was dedicated to “victims of hate around the world.”

Made in LA opened with Morten Lauridsen’s Ave Maria, an uplifting antidote to violence, a work of art that brings us closer to celestial realm. The piece invokes the Virgin Mary, a figure who symbolizes one who has transcended human suffering. The singers of LA’s Master Chorale seamlessly expressed the rich resplendent harmonies; on stage, singers of a multitude of ages and races came together in unity, making it the perfect piece to open the concert.

Continuing the musical journey was the work of Dale Trumbore’s The Whole Sea In Motion, a composition that explored what it means to feel solitude in nature. Pianist Lisa Edwards evoked the waves that flowed in the lyrical prose of Anne Bronte, on which Trumbore’s composition was based. Water proved one of several themes running through Made in LA. For instance, Moira Smiley’s charming In The Desert With You, filled with onomatopoeia, provided a vivid and witty reflection on LA’s drought crisis.

In addition to water, the connection between poetry and music proved another consistent theme of the evening. In Matthew Brown’s Another Lullaby for Insomniacs, the hauntingly beautiful lyrics were reminiscent of Romantic poetry, centering on unrequited love with sleep personified as the elusive mistress. The tragic poetry of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis was powerfully amplified in Jeff Beal’s The Salvage Men, a complex work that explores the human condition. The Master Chorale delved into the nuances of the poetry of both Wilde and poet Kay Ryan in a way that was profoundly moving and healing.

A third theme of Made in LA was the Ave Maria, which also provided inspiration for two of the composers in the latter half of the program, Shawn Kirchner and Paul Chihara. Chihara’s Ave Maria/Scarborough Fair juxtaposed sacred text with folk song. The female oboist represented the earthly emissary, as she subtly heralded the music of Simon and Garfunkle. This overlay of modern and classic also occurred during the Renaissance, when composers would insert popular music into sacred texts, so Chihara is in good company.

The program concluded with the world premiere of Nilo Alcala’s Manga Pakalagian  an exuberant and at times hypnotic choral suite. The piece, which marked the first time that the LA Master Chorale sang in Tagalog, contained traditional music from the Southern Philippines, Kulintag, which dates back over a thousand years.

Made in LA’s ambitious program ultimately provided its audience with respite and relief, a sacred space to reflect on humanity and emerge with a sense of healing and hope.

Photo Credit: © Steve Cohn

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