28 May 2011

last night in Paris

the sky was gorgeous.

this city does me good,
and I can't wait to come back.

Raymond Depardon

 and why I'm excited to come back to New York.

"I think that we photographers are behind in relation to other forms of expression. We're still questioning ourselves, wondering, 'Are we useful, or are we a little frivolous?' But these drawbacks are also advantages: Obviously, we're not very serious, we're not very important, but that's the strength of the photo, precisely that it's ephemeral. It's somehow both ephemeral and superimportant. It can go back and forth, like a conveyor belt, I'd say, between the two things."

[taken from an interview conducted in 2001, via ASX]

27 May 2011

Things to come...

In the beginning of my stay in France, I created a knitting pattern (pictured above in a light lavender alpaca variety). I combined a bunch of techniques I'd learned over the past few months into one super sweet ribbed diagonal scarf. I'm going to experiment more this summer with it too, change the gauges, etc. I've been knitting a lot and buying yarn stock. I'm hoping to revive my shop in mid-summer and present a fall collection of sorts at the end of August. Check back often here, or you can submit your email to be notified when I return to the Etsy world.

21 May 2011

Auguste and Camille

 I went to the Musée Rodin yesterday. It was part of my 'last things to do in Paris before I leave' tour of the city. It's a pretty tiny museum but the works that they have are just incredible. I've been reading up a little on the nuts story of Auguste and Camille too. I can see her folie in her works, her crazed nature. How she was driven towards that. I can't even imagine how it really was.
This one Rodin piece, Je suis belle, really caught my eye. It's a man clutching onto a woman who's folded up in his arms. These pictures are from different angles so you can see the whole thing (photographing sculpture is so tricky like that). I think the one below it, Femme accroupie, was a study for this one. Just amazing. 
Claudel did a bunch of sculptures in what looked like jade or this lovely green marble. Just all kinds of awesome stone, really. I love how in La Vague, the wave looks like a bunch of men crashing on the women. I don't know much about her at all, but I feel that she probably represents a large population of late 19th century women who shared these sentiments towards men at the time. I read somewhere that after Rodin stopped seeing her he continued to support her financially, but she was constantly trying to be free from him. That says a lot.
In L'Age Mûr, she's pulling Rodin away from death and old age. I think it's one of the most beautiful and tragic things ever made, this one. When I get to heaven, I'm going to give her a really big hug.

Rodin, Je suis belle
Rodin, Je suis belle
Rodin, Je suis belle
Rodin, Femme accroupie (Crouching Woman)
Camille Claudel, La Vague (The Wave)
Camille Claudel, Gossipers
Camille Claudel, L'Age Mûr (The Age of Maturity)

19 May 2011

e.e. cummings

Now i lay(with everywhere around)
me(the great dim deep sound
of rain;and of always and of nowhere)and
what a gently welcoming darkestness--

now i lay me down(in a most steep
more than music)feeling that sunlight is
(life and day are)only loaned:whereas
night is given(night and death and the rain

are given;and given is how beautifully snow)

now i lay me down to dream of(nothing
i or any somebody or you
can begin to begin to imagine)

something which nobody may keep.
now i lay me down to dream of Spring

17 May 2011

Plenty Is Never Enough

original by Tenement Halls:

cover by The Shins:

This second video has some of the most ridiculous pictures in it, ha! It's one of the only ones available on youtube though, so here you have it. I can't decided which I like better; they're both good in their own right.

16 May 2011

the ensemble and the details


dace spring 2011. 
The belt is made from recycled leather and is part of a collaboration with Vancouver based designer Ashley Watson
The necklace is part of a collaboration with Vancouver jewelers, husband and wife Rexford Lavado and Lindsay Rankin. 
They call themselves Broken English.
All of it is gorgeous.

14 May 2011

M. Ward takes the cake

Every single time I see him live, he confirms for me even further how truly talented he is as an artist, and how much I've grown up beside his music. His albums brought me through adolescence. I swear I can attribute to him at least a smidge of my slightly lacking quality of gracefulness, my ability to recognize poetry in music, and many, many white nights, bus rides, plane rides, and awful situations turned tranquil. Seeing him now, at this point in my youth, feels so good. After years of being a fan and watching his hair turn salt-and-peppery in the same way that I am aging (perhaps not as visibly but inevitably am) makes me feel like we've arrived at something. Or maybe I've just arrived at something, I don't know what. Je sais pas quoi.
At one point in the concert, someone requested "Rollercoaster". He said, I'd love to play that but I need someone to come up and play the piano with me (as he was completely solo on stage), maybe in D major... any takers? (At this point I was kicking myself for quitting piano at age 12 and immediately thereafter forgetting every bit of it.) So a random dude from Iceland hopped up on stage and played the piano with him! While M. Ward was showing him what to do, the guy did something and M. Ward said, "Yeah yeah that's perfect." We were right in the front at this tiny venue, and it was basically silent in there (so parisian), so my immediate reaction to this resonated rather loudly: "Dude, M. Ward just called you perfect." My group and I burst into laughter at how ridiculous I am... and it was all just a really good time.
He also played this song and dedicated it to all the artists living in Paris. I had a happiness brain explosion. *sigh*.

This is another really great fan video. I'm impressed at how many of them exist out there.

10 May 2011

Most Lovely Track 2011

Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"
These guys could not be more in my head.

note: this is not the official music video but rather a distinctly awesome fan video.


Patrick Modiano said it best:

En ce temps-là, Paris était une ville qui correspondait à mes battements de cœur. Ma vie ne pouvait s'inscrire autre part que dans ses rues. Il suffisait de me promener tout seul, au hasard, dans Paris, et j'étais heureux.

At the time, Paris was a city which corresponded to the beating of my heart. My life couldn't register itself anywhere but in its streets. It sufficed to take myself for walks all alone, randomly, in Paris, and I was happy.

07 May 2011

Come and find me

So I keep you in a flower vase
   with your fatalism, your crooked face
with the daisies and the violet brocades
and I keep me in a vacant lot
in the ivies and forget-me-nots
hoping you'll come and untangle me one of these days

I will never hear this song and not think of riding buses all around Spain.
Weaving tales in my head and daydreaming for hours on end.
Passing by wind energy turbines and huge silhouette cutouts of bulls
perched on the tops of hills.
Rest stops. Fields and mountains.

Lately on my mind

Living in France has made me acutely aware of many details of daily life that I normally most likely overlook. For instance: clothing dryers are not necessary and toilet seats don't need to be that big. For some reason, though, I feel that my petite stature is highlighted more here. Maybe it's just my own insecurity speaking, or maybe the not-so-feminist French views of women are getting to me. Women here wear high heels like it's their job. It's not the worst thing, but I wonder sometimes if their motives are personal or serve more of a socioillogical 'I-must-appear-perfect-at-all-times' purpose. (Yeah, I just made up the word socioillogical.) The above linked article is super interesting, and, from the viewpoint of another person who's lived here for months, extremely truthful. I've seen all of those ads in the metro and at bus stations, and they get worse than that when it comes to the representation of women in relation to men. I miss New York for that: women are short and tan and perky, like me.
Besides all of that though, I enjoy looking at all the lovely heels women sport over here. I wish I was as brave as them. I prefer wedges, and it's a good thing they're pretty 'in' now!
Coclico, "Morphos"

Coclico, "Monarch"

Esska, "Nip"

05 May 2011

Aged gouda and fromage blanc

Lately with dinner we've been eating a delicious aged gouda cheese that I almost can't get enough of. And, because it's strawberry season, fraises et fromage blanc. Now, how to describe fromage blanc... let's say that sour cream and crème fraîche got together, had a baby, and let plain yogurt have a part in the whole thing too. That's what it tastes like. Add a little sugar and drizzle over strawberry halves. OY.
This is not what's pictured above, though. Above is my host mom's wonderful raspberry charlotte. She made it when my mom visited, and again this past weekend to celebrate her own mother's birthday. It's a mom thing, I s'pose. It's awfully photogenic, too.

Gustave Moreau

Yesterday I visited the Musée Gustave Moreau with my art history class. The building is literally Moreau's house that he gave to the state to be made into a museum, on the promise that nothing would be touched or moved. Apparently he even arranged each painting and truc in every room just as it looks today, one hung above the other like tiles of wallpaper. The building is a three-story time warp into the awesome 1800s.
Moreau is typically associated with the Symbolist movement, so most (if not all) of his works have to do with Greek mythology. He trained at the École des Beaux-Arts, failed at winning the Prix de Rome twice, and was buddies with Chassériau and Degas. He never married and lived with his mother until she died. He worked constantly in his atelier, which he renovated into a large gallery before donating his home to the state. There are fold-out cabinets installed along the walls that display his drawings and studies like posters in a gift shop. So. Prolific.

03 May 2011

Youngins in the field

Today I visited one of the coolest shops I've found in Paris, 0fr. It's a gallery/ bookstore that also sells artsy knick-knacks. It's based around photography and art books and keeps current with all the new, cool stuff happening in the field. I totally love it. I pass it every Tuesday on my way to and from my painting atelier. I usually glance through the windows and tell myself that I can't spend money on more photography books (so true) and continue walking, but today I went in. I was looking for a gift for a friend; it was easily found, and I found a gift for myself too. Both purchases are really neat, but as I probably shouldn't disclose my friend's gift lest s/he read my blog, I will tell you about my birthday gift to myself.

It's a book of photographs so neat I dare not attempt to explain it. Some are double exposures, all in color, and all the same size: those are the facts. They are taken by young photographers from all around the world, curated by one photographer, Laurence Von Thomas. As I was flipping through I came across this photo and thought, huh, I recognize that. It's a cool feeling. I think I'm 'arriving', as they say. I take projects like this very seriously to heart. They make me excited and inspired to make my own book, which is happening before the year's end. 

I don't want to repost any of the featured photographers' work without proper permissions and all that. You should go to the website and look at it all, nevertheless. And since I haven't scanned anything new in ages (did I mention I have 15+ rolls of color film to get developed?!), here are some shots by Francesca Woodman, an amazing artist who left us too young. 

02 May 2011

All week long

You know how you can listen to a song rather frequently for, I don't know, SEVEN YEARS, and finally one day, completely out of the blue, realize how truly terrific it is? Yeah.