Monday, November 23, 2009


The last time I was in Paris, I ran out of reading material. Although I love a challenge, for some reason I wasn't in the mood to read a book in French (perhaps because I was having a hard enough time just speaking the language). Thank goodness for Galignani, a wonderful English bookshop on the right bank (at 224 rue de rivoli). I am an absolute sucker for a good book store or library, so this shop had me the moment I walked through the front door. Galignani was overflowing with wonderful choices, and I left with this:

"Paris to the Moon," Adam Gopnik's charming account of his family's five years in Paris. The book is a collection of essays Gopnik wrote for the New Yorker while he lived in the City of Light with his wife and young son. The cover features the Jardin de Luxembourg, where I loved settling into a green chaise with Mr. Gopnik's ruminations on life in Paris. The only problem with trying to read in the Luxembourg Gardens is the delightful distractions:

The little birds who would like just a small piece of baguette, S.V.P

The children sailing boats on the pond

The games taking place throughout the gardens

The flowers which change with the seasons

And the beautiful statues and art installations

Despite the distractions, I managed to finish. I really enjoyed "Paris to the Moon"... so much, in fact, that I had to pick up this:

"Through the Children's Gate," another great read, this one about the Gopniks' life in New York after they returned from Paris. Since I have finished both "Paris to the Moon" and "Through the Children's Gate," I am now hoping Gopnik and his family move again! (And also wondering what Charlie Ravioli is up to these days...)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Au Revoir Les Lalanne

Today is the last day of Les Lalanne on Park Avenue. An apple a day keeps boring art away... Ewe will be missed!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blue Skies

Smiling at me...

A short film by Maddycaddy, set to Groove Armada's Inside My Mind (Blue Skies)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seydou Keita

I first saw the photography of Seydou Keita at the Tate Modern. Its beauty took my breath away. Keita (1921 - 2001) was a self-taught photographer from Mali (formerly French Sudan). He took up the art after an uncle gave him a camera.

Keita worked hard to hone his craft and came to have his own portrait studio, where he shot black and white photographs with lush compositions.

His work was of such renown that people traveled great distances to sit for him. I can certainly see why...his portraits are stunning.

A short interview with Mr. Keita can be found here, and his work lives on in some wonderful books here, here and here.

All images by Seydou Keita.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Name That Tune...

I love this version of the song, as presented by issue no. 55 of Visionaire.

So Pretty ...

...Vicente Gracia for Couturelab: El Broche Del Jardin

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Peggy Guggenheim: a Character Study

Image courtesy The Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Peggy Guggenheim, if you don't already know, was quite a gal. She acquired art (and men) with great aplomb. Her autobiography is a fun read and regales her adventures in collecting.

Image via

Photo by Slim Aarons. Image via

Image by Life Magazine.

Guggenheim circumnavigated the globe, but Venice was her final stop.

Photo by David Seymour.

Peggy in her very own gondola. Image source unknown.

Image by Life Magazine.

After her death in 1979, Peggy's gorgeous Venetian Palazzo, located directly on the Grand Canal, became a museum to share all of the incredible and important art she acquired over the years: the collection includes pieces by Picasso, Calder, Kandinsky and Miro, to name a few (the list is really a who's who).

Alexander Calder mobile.

Pable Picasso, On the Beach, 1937.

Alexander Calder, Silver Beadhead, 1945-46. This was Peggy's headboard!

Max Ernst, The Kiss, 1927. Max and Peggy were married for a time.

Paul Klee, Upward, October 1929.

Peggy Guggenheim was an amazing champion of early 20th Century art and artists, and visitors to The Peggy Guggenheim Collection are able to benefit from her passion. I had a chance to see the collection last year, and this visit was a highlight of my time in Venice (although, honestly, all of Venice was a highlight of my time in Venice!).

Sixty Years of Peggy, 1948 - 2008. Photo by me.

These gates were made by Clare Falkenstein in 1961. Photo courtesy of Jovike.

Close up of Falkenstein's gates. Photo by me.

Stone sculptures overlooking the Grand Canal. Photo by me.

Peggy's chair and a sculpture in the garden. Photo by me.

Close up of Marino Marina's The Angel of the City,1948. Photo by me.

A sculpture in the garden. Photo by me.

Overlooking the Grand Canal. Photo by me.

Marino Marini, Pomona, 1945. Photo by me.

Alexander Calder, Sabot (1963). Photo by me.

Details of a gate at the Palazzo. Photo by me.

A stop at the museum is a must if you go to Venice, or you can enjoy the collection in this wonderful book and take an incredible virtual tour here.

Artwork images (Picasso, Calder, Ernst, and Klee) are courtesy of The Peggy Guggenheim Collection. If anything has been misattributed, please let me know!