Category Archives: Art

Through the Looking Glass — Kevin Parry Dazzles, Again

Best watched fullscreen

I posted an earlier mind-bending video by the amazingly creative Kevin Parry last year.

Parry, who accurately identifies himself as a “Stop-Motion Animator + Video Wizard”, recently returned to his native Toronto after working on Laika Entertainment’s Kubo and the Two Strings and The Boxtrolls in Portland, Oregon.

He went the long way, traveling 5000 miles in three weeks. You can follow along with this video of the “Portland to Portland (Teleporting Across America)” tour, as he tries to get that one perfect tourist picture.

Doesn’t he seem like someone who would be fun to hang out with?

One final video:


The Art of Duane Hanson

Haven’t done one of these “the Art of…” in quite awhile.

After lunch at 701, I walked a few blocks to the American Art Museum. The museum shares a building with the National Portrait Gallery, and has a beautiful enclosed courtyard, which is the perfect place to read, or write, or just hang out after a meal.

There’s one objet in the museum’s collection that always surprises me, no matter how many times I stumble across it: Duane Hanson’s “Woman Eating”.

Hanson’s life-sized, fiberglass figures are so realistic you wonder why a museum guard doesn’t tell them to “move on, because you can’t do that here.” The American Art Museum adds to the fun by periodically moving “Woman Eating” from place to place, so you never know where she’ll turn up next.

Woman Eating

Woman Eating

From Other Collections

Here are a few more images of Hanson’s works, gathered from around the Web. Only two of the figures in these images are real live people. They’re easy to spot.

David Bowie is Almost Over

After a phenomenally successful five-year, five-continent, 11-city  tour, the Victoria & Albert Museum’s David Bowie is exhibition is coming to an end. The show, now at the Brooklyn Museum, closes on Sunday, 15 July 2018. There are still tickets available, but the remaining weekends are heavily booked.

Unless you already have a ticket, you won’t be able to get in tomorrow, 20 June 2018, because it’s a very special day.

Here’s a little background to explain why:

According to Billboard, “…when the exhibit first premiered at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in March 2013, expectations were low. ‘No other museum had booked it for the tour,’ co-creator Victoria Broackes confessed, ‘and we’d published 10,000 copies of the catalog. There wasn’t a lot of optimism that it was going to be a rip-roaring success.'”

“Rip-roaring success” is an understatement, as David Bowie Is became the V&A’s fastest selling show. More than a year ago, it became the most visited exhibition in the V&A’s 166-year history.

And tomorrow, it will welcome its two-millionth visitor.

To celebrate, someone will be designated as Visitor #2,000,000 and will receive a signed lithograph of a Bowie self-portrait, a limited edition of the David Bowie Is book, a pair of Sennheiser headphones, and a premium subscription to Spotify.

With more than 180,000 visitors,  David Bowie is is the best-selling exhibition in the Brooklyn Museum’s history,

Look. This is a flat-out amazing exhibition. If you have a chance to see it, GO. You won’t regret it. If you skip it, on the other hand, you’ll never forgive yourself. Those 2,000,000 people are going to be talking about this show for the rest of their lives, and when they find out you didn’t see it, they’ll be relentless in their ridicule and scorn.

This is one party you shouldn’t miss.

If you’re unfamiliar with New York, it might be helpful to know that the Brooklyn Museum is a 45-minute subway ride from Times Square. It’s a straight shot, no transfers trip on the 2 and 3 lines, and the Brooklyn exit is at the Museum’s entrance.

Here’s a “Know Before You Go” video from the Museum.

All photographs in this posting came from the New York Times online.

Palette 22 — Pre-Theatre Meal on 5 June 2018

The Village at Shirlington. Image by Wells + Associates for the Federal Realty Investment Trust

The Village at Shirlington. Image by Wells + Associates for the Federal Realty Investment Trust

The Village at Shirlington is an “urban village” in Arlington County, Virginia. It’s a planned, upscale housing and retail development that blends the safety and walkability of a small-town with the urban pleasures of good restaurants and easily accessible culture. Shirlington is a perfect environment for the people David Brooks identified as “Bourgeois Bohemians”.*

I don’t go there often—It takes about an hour to get from my place at Dupont Circle to Shirlington, via Metro to the Pentagon, and then a seven-minute express bus to Shirlington Station—but, among other things, Shirlington is the home of the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre, one of the best regional theaters in the US, and I wanted to see Signature’s production of Girlfriend. (More on that in a later posting, probably. And, did you think that last sentence was ever going to end? I was about to find the nearest mirror and write “Stop Me Before I Type Again” on it in red lipstick.)

Before the show, I had dinner at Palette 22, a restaurant/art gallery. Interesting place. Everything on the crowded walls was for sale.

Sesame Steak Skewers

Sesame Steak Skewers

I ordered two dishes: The Sesame Steak Skewers and the Grilled Octopus. The servings were larger than tapas and smaller than full size, but not by much. Both selections were hot and spicy, which suited me just fine.

The octopus was served on a bed of purple potato hash and the skewers came with those thick udon noodles. Both dishes were very well prepared.

The weather on that late spring evening was perfect for dining outside, at one of the restaurant’s sidewalk tables. It’s at times like this that I take it all in, lean back, and say to myself, “I could live like this.” And then I remind myself that I already do.

Good meal. Palette 22 earns another visit.

Grilled Octopus

Grilled Octopus

*Brooks coined the term in his 2000 book, Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. He numbers himself among the BoBos. I, too, am a member of the tribe.

“Cherry Blossom Dream” at ARTECHOUSE

I was away from Washington during this year’s cherry blossom peak bloom, which is one of those times when the city is at its most beautiful. By the time I returned, not a petal remained.

But I got back in time to make it to the Sakura Yume’s immersive “Cherry Blossom Dream” at ARTECHOUSE.

The display reacts to body movements and gestures, so you can throw splotches of colour on the walls simply by waving your hand.

This was my fourth or fifth visit to ARTECHOUSE, and some of my initial fascination with the concept has diminished as my familiarity with it has increased, but it’s still a wonderful place to spend an hour or so.

50 Years Later, There’s a New Print of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And It’s Drop-Dead Gorgeous.

This MUST be watched in full screen!

Thanks to Christopher Nolan, there’s a new 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nolan saw the film as a child in London, and, like many people, never got over the experience. in a good way.

After the success of Dunkirk last year, he spent months overseeing the project to create the new print. He emphasizes that it’s not a restoration:

“For the first time since the original release, this 70mm print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative. This is a true photochemical film recreation. There are no digital tricks, remastered effects, or revisionist edits. This is the unrestored film – that recreates the cinematic event that audiences experienced fifty years ago.”

2001: A Space Odyssey opens on 18 May 2018, for limited runs in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, with more cities to follow. You can find ticket and engagement information at the 2001: A Space Odyssey website.

(Speaking of engagements, there’s no word yet on whether the 18 May release date will lead to a postponement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, which is scheduled for the next day in Windsor. What a dilemma for those poor guests!)

The recreated edition will be released on DVD and Blu-ray this fall, but you really want to see this on a big screen with big sound.

Here’s the original trailer for the 1968 release of 2001: A Space Odyssey:

“Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”

In Bruges

Confession time. The main reason I came to Belgium was not the Breugels nor the chocolates, not the Rubens nor the mussels.

It was because 10 years ago, I saw Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, and I knew I had to go there someday to see the city for myself. In Bruges is easily one of my five favourite movies of the 21st century, and there are only 82 more years to go, so that might be a lock.

Belgium is a small country. It’s less than an hour’s train ride from Brussels to some of the prettiest towns in Europe. On a rainy Wednesday morning, I was off the Bruges.

After the stateliness of Brussels’ Grand Place, the historic central square of Bruges seemed disappointingly commercialized, with a group of carnival-type rides and amusements. The city center is a World Heritage Site, and the tackiness detracted from its beauty.

Bruges, which survived the two World Wars with little damage, is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. It’s a canal city, like Amsterdam and Venice, and boating along the canals gave me an unforgettable view of some of Bruges’ marvelous architecture.

These are the grounds of the Groeningemuseum, which has a small but brilliant collection. Among the stunners is this triptych called “The Last Judgment”, attributed to Hieronymus Bosch and his workshop.

"The Last Judgment". Image found on the Net

“The Last Judgment”. Image found on the Net.

In Bruges

This is a heavily edited trailer for In Bruges. The dialogue in Martin McDonagh’s movies is rude, crude, and profane enough to make Al Swearengen blush. You’ll have to watch the film to hear it, though, because it’s been purged—not by me—from this video.