Mechanized Horror

It’s Why I Love Art

I, like everyone, am drawn to certain kinds of art. I generally am drawn to, photography, abstract expressionism, impressionism, expressionism generally. I tend to dislike realistic depictions and prefer abstract, often obtuse allegory. When I go to museums, I tend to spend most of my time in these areas, but I try to spend time leisurely perusing though other galleries seeing what strikes my fancy. I especially tend to appreciate the depth afforded to special exhibits, but I always to the same thing. I see something I don’t care about and start to discard this event as boring. Almost always I push though this and am nearly universally rewarded with the unexpected. So was the case when I visited the Stedelijk and saw this massive collection of animated sculptures and automated art machines by Jean Tinguely! Not only was this show incredibly put together with a HUGE space dedicated to so many of his Machines, it was also interesting to see the decay of these monsters.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 February, 2017
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 6400
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
  • Title: Mechanized Horror

Image of a Tree in the Sun

Skeletal Tree

I almost missed the Washington D.C. Mall sculpture garden of the National Gallery of Art. I happened along it after visiting the National Archives and was headed at near the end of the day to the Metro station that pops out in the Mall. As I walked by I was immediately drawn in wondering how on Earth I had always missed this fantastic stroll! This tree sculpture is called “Graft” and it is by the artist Roxy Paine. It’s always interesting to see artists other works when they are this iconic. I noticed on my first visit, another of Paine’s sculptures adorns the entry to Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas. This D.C. trip I found the skeletal tree at just the right time of evening for a fun shot, playing off the sunset.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 28 May, 2012
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/1250s
  • Title: Image of a Tree in the Sun

Broken Chair

Survivors

The sculpture sits in front of the Place des Nations (United Nations) in Geneva, Switzerland. It was one of my favorite pieces of art I saw on this trip. It is a dozen meters tall (39 feet) and is quite a sobering welcome to the U.N. It serves as a reminder to all the diplomats and politicians who visit United Nations headquarters of the atrocities of landmines and cluster bombs, not only to soldiers but to the common people, who will stay around far after the conflict is won, lost or abandoned.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 January, 2013
  • Focal length: 23mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/13s
  • Title: Broken Chair

Opulence Within Galleria degli Uffizi

Over the Top Wealth

Most of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence is understated…as far as former mansions of UBER-wealthy Renaissance loving Italians go. I have a feeling this is to highlight the collocation of masterpieces housed in this former Palace/Administrative complex. This room, however, was another story…the wealth and opulence displayed is a bit more in the character of what I would expect the original display might have felt like.

Photo Technical Info

Buddhist Wall in China

Haunting Sculptures

There are so many great artistic works created in the name of religion. I don’t know the significance of this sculpture, but it is almost as maddening a work as La Sagrada Familia‘s Nativity Facade. There are so many carvings within carvings and around carvings it’s hard to know what is happening.

I took a HUGE bit of creative license as the room was dimly lit in places. There colors are all mine, but the madness is all Buddhist artists!

Photo Technical Info

Henderson Waves Walkway Singapore

Cool Walks

This is one of the neater urban walks I have ever been on. Singapore is such an interesting place (in SO many ways). I was specifically taken by the Southern Ridge Walks which for me concluded at the Henderson Waves. Many of the trails are elevated over flora is Singapore, many are see through so you have the feeling of walking through the canopy like the monkeys that frequent the trails, which sadly I never saw. The Henderson Waves are different, an artistic creation of impressive form and function. The day I was there people were repelling off the side to paint the underside of this massive walkway.

Photo Technical Info

Joan Miro Exhibit

Empty Halls

A quick post today, complete with no tourists! I was both ecstatic and sad to see the National Gallery in Washington D.C. so empty. It was deathly quiet…I almost literally had the place to myself. The Miro exhibit was fantastic as was the permanent collection. One might expect this from the National Gallery. Though I might lament too few people seeing master works that day, I totally appreciated the unobstructed view!

Photo Technical Info

Washington D.C Pyramid

Older Works

I don’t constrain myself with only processing photos from my latest trip. I like to process what catches me at the time when I sit down on a Sunday afternoon to prepare photos for the blog. This photo was from my first solo trip. It grabbed me for some reason and I think it reminds me of another photo that I processed years ago of the Glass Pyramid gracing the front of the Louvre. It is a bit unfair to compare them, but both were designed by I.M. Pei. I personally think the photo at the Louvre is better. Perhaps that is an equally unfair comparison, but both were taken by me.

Photo Technical Info

A Place to Sit at Jardin Marjorelle

Majorelle Blue

The color is hypnotic, so vibrant it forces you to look at it, even though you should be enjoying the plants. Jardin Majorelle is a strange place, with its terracotta pointed concrete sidewalks and phallic ode to Yves Saint Laurent. It is a decent collection of plants from all over and there is something serene and wonderful though all the tourist laden wash. Perhaps its the history of the place. It was home to two artists Jacques Majorelle, for which the garden is named and fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent who rescued the site from ruin. It is that history that held up this site…that and the impossible blue.

Photo Technical Info

High Key Ramp

White Ramp

How much of your vacations do you end up leaving to chance?

I found MACBA Museu D’Art Contemporani De Barcelona within walking distance of my hotel in Barcelona. I just wandered to it the first day I was visiting. It was there and I just went in. The space is all gleaming white, I can’t imagine a better blank canvas to display art, but what caught me was the space itself.

When you travel have a plan, but don’t be afraid to abandon it on a whim. Your plan will be there when you return back from your mystical journey in the clouds.

There is a joy in discovery. There is surprise and wonder just waiting for you out there. It’s worth leaving flexibility in your travels. Serendipity is a wonderful muse!

Photo Technical Info