This dazzling virtuosa

Yuja Wang, in an unforgettable recital. It would be our last pre-Covid-19 one.

“I believe that every program is a living organism, so it should be in sync with how I’m feeling in that moment, so it is truly alive. I want the music to surprise me and to surprise the audience” – said Miss Wang as she entered the stage, and she proceeded to do just that, changing the sequence of the printed programme and keeping the audience hanging from every move of her flying fingers hitting those notes, for the next two hours.

Carnegie Hall, New York

February 28th, 2020

Tawny Chatmon @Fotografiska

Black Beauty in 24-karat gold leaf

Inheritance, by Tawny Chatmon (American, b. 1979), invites the viewer to look beyond the decorated and nuanced portraits to examine issues of race and the historical positioning of African American portraiture in the absence of subjugation of the “black body” in Western art. ​

Chatmon, a mother of three black children, draws from her life experiences and belief that children inherit our memories, beliefs, traditions, and the world that we leave behind. Through her photographs, she conveys a message to her children, and to all black children, that they are precious, valued, and loved.

While the camera is her primary tool of communication, Chatmon takes a multi-layered approach in producing her photographs—her process does not subscribe to conventional photography. The photographs are often manipulated and hand-embellished with acrylic paint and 24-karat gold leaf, inspired by Gustav Klimt’s (1862-1918) “Golden Phase.” The use of gold and ornamentation in Klimt’s work evokes feelings of grace, magnificence, and beauty within Chatmon and has remained in the artist’s consciousness. These are the emotions Chatmon seeks to convey to those viewing her photographs. Her portraits are staged vignettes with models, who at times are her own children wearing elegant garments. Chatmon experiments with various art practices and does not restrict herself to follow any set of rules, allowing her to create instinctually and fluidly. The result is a beautiful and powerful iconography that speaks to “the disparities that continue to affect black people around the world.” [source]

Fotografiska, New York

February 22nd, 2020

One of the most peculiar, unexpectedly Halloween-worthy Museums in the U.S., is in Doylestown

The Mercer Museum is a six-storey reinforced concrete castle designed by Henry Mercer (1856-1930), completed in 1916. Henry Mercer was a child of Doylestown who, having started his professional life as a lawyer, went on to become an archeologist, historian, avid collector, dog lover and a successful tile-designer.

By 1897, Mercer realised that handmade objects were being discarded in favour of new machine-made ones, and felt the need to collect and preserve them, and with them, parts of the daily life in America before the Industrial Revolution. He gathered almost 30,000 items ranging from hand tools to horse-drawn vehicles and, in 1913, began working on plans to build a museum to house his huge collection and share it with the world.

Among the oldest artifacts in the Mercer Museum are a 2,000 year old whale oil lamp and Native American implements dating to 6,000-8,000 BC.

Mercer Museum, Doylestown, PA

Tip: if you visit on a chilly day, leave your coat on! I think we were the only ones that used the cloakroom, not realising the building is so drafty, we might as well have been outdoors.

February 16th, 2020

Captivated at the Michener Art Museum

Outdoors

Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA

February 16th, 2020

Getting inspired at the Michener Art Museum

Indoors

Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA

February 16th, 2020

I Set Before You This Day || George R. Anthonisen

This work, part of the James Michener Museum collection, was created to honour Holocaust survivors and those who risked their lives to protect them from the Nazis during WWII. In all honesty, I didn’t mind the ephemeral intervention (by an unknown ‘artist’) – on the contrary, I thought it was harmless, and quite endearing.

James Michener Museum, Doylestown, PA

February 16th, 2020

Spirit World and Folk Tales || Princeton University Art Museum

It was in February but, somehow, felt like Halloween!

Princeton, NJ

February 15th, 2020