Monthly Archives: April 2009

Financial bug

I know I should be worried about the financial crisis and all that, but I just can’t.

I haven’t been working a lot simply because we have almost no clients (who prophylactically ran away due to high costs). Top end, slightly unnecessary service providers are always the first to be discarded. What a bummer.

But let us be optimistic: we have been given the gift of time!

So what have I been doing with all this free time? What I should say is that I’ve been studying for my Master’s degree but the true answer really is: listening to music and working on my ground-breaking media product (still to come, further info later on).

Music to my ears:

The new Phoenix album (Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix) and its singles:

I loved the tribute they paid to Liszt, one of my all-time favorite classic composers.

I feel it’s very in to be classic at the moment. Since the present isn’t doing so well, why not look back into the past for the best of things?

Geometrical architectural

Right this moment, there is a combination in Paris which can mesmerize even the most demanding beauty lover: the Fondation Cartier‘s exhibition on Beatriz Milhazes, the geometrical color-loving painter from Brazil.

Ice Grape, by Beatriz MilhazesThe eye-catching expression of joy translated in bright circles and intersections of geometrical figures suits the Jean Nouvel museum just perfectly. The simplicity of the museum’s glass exterior and its gentle take on reflection function like an aquarium for Milhazes’ works: the art is contained yet beautifully shown in a very large scale.

Beatriz is one of the only Brazilian artists working these days who seem to be able to express Brazilianness through a medium that is not music. She has said that she wishes to combine all influence she’s taken in all through her life, be it art from her own country, from Latin America or even Portuguese barroque, and make it her own visual translation of painting. Appropriating multiple influences and transforming them into something new is a very Brazilian characteristic.

Convergingly, Jean Nouvel’s remarkable creations that make us rethink architecture integration are a fresh breeze into the building era’s air. Two of my favorite buildings in Paris (namely the Fondation Cartier building and the Institut du Monde Arabe) integrate so well with their surroundings and yet have a clear identity connected to their purpose that it is just impossible not to appreciate them.

For those who want to delight in color, shape & architecture, this exhibition is the place to be in Paris. It’s on until June 21, so there’s quite some time for you to shun the clichés of Paris and still have a great aesthetic time.

Fan philosophy

I just love artists who put enormous amounts of effort to produce their art. Better still is when they feel so committed to what they are doing that they do not care about time, commercial or any other types of constraints.

I was just reading an interview with one of my all-time favorite music artists, PJ Harvey, in which she describes the making of her records and how she goes about that. To her, every record is about expressing a certain point of view, a Inspiration: PJ Harveyspecific state of mind which must be presented no matter what. When criticized for wearing a mermaid costume during the tour of her 2005 album To Bring You My Love, she just laughed and said: “It all felt right at the time“. I loved it – absolutely no regrets when it comes to art. How encouraging.

Nowadays I feel it’s just impossible not to combine images and a visual identity with music. PJ Harvey has always known this and she’s always represented her feelings and moods through her looks. I love that too. From the mermaid, water sorceress to the dark bride in White Chalk, she has always been able to translate emotions into costume. Though describing what we perceive of the images may sound foolish, they are quite admirable in themselves.

An artist’s ability fully to embrace her or his art is always a keen factor for me in drawing the line between being a fan or becoming a lifelong admirer. By writing her lyrics and music, playing several instruments, creating a whole visual identity for every record she has done, Polly Jean is someone I will always look up to.

She’s got a new record out (A Man A Woman Walked By) and I am going out for lunch. Integrity.

Gays and Jews: a rhyme

Today is the first day of Pessach and to celebrate this lovely Jewish holiday I will bring Jews together with another joyous people: homosexuals!

Ever since I was a child I’ve had contact with Jewish people. They have been in my classes, work, love life and very often part of my circle of friends. Hearing what they say about the difficulties of being a Jew sparks numerous comparisons in my mind about the two minorities referred in the title. I shall highlight here some of the similarities, but know that there are more.

Gays & Jews:

  • will always be a minority;
  • have been persecuted for centuries (and still are being);
  • are constantly worried about acceptance;
  • are more than often unable to forget the fact that they gay or/and Jewish;
  • always know or want to know or pretend to know who’s gay and who’s not a Jew;
  • meet in special places, reserved just for them;
  • usually have a higher cultural level;
  • only (or mostly) date their own people;
  • like parties and celebrations &
  • just are what they are.
Jews, gays, gays, Jews

Jews, gays, gays, Jews

One last comparison that really makes me happy is the fact that a great number of Jewish and gay people, so tired of persecutions and prejudice, fight against all of prejudices’ ugly faces and types of manifestation. I’ve always believed that minorities should stick together and raise their voices against stupidity and narrow-mindedness.

This combination is definitely kosher.

Fight the good fight

If I had to choose a methaphysical enemy to fight against this week, it would have to be routine. I dislike it even more than I loathe boredom or stupidity and even prejudice. If I were to preach against something Moses style, routine would be my threat du jour.

The reason is quite simple. I see routine like an enormous sticky yet moving spiderweb. Once you find yourself caught in it, that’s it – bid farewell to excitement. And although a spiderweb moves with what it is stuck to (thinking about it in the web’s natural setting, obviously), the movement is nothing but a dreadfully similar, daily and repetitive one.

When you are deprived from your ability to move and thus see from a distance the point whence you came, you are frequently just unable to move forwards, meaning making the necessary changes you have to make in order to have some fun or even progress in life.

That is the second fight I pick for the year of 2009. So help me God.

PS: I’m feeling awfully literary today.