Tag Archives: art

How Dare You



THE SITUATION – In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule. About 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk. At 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. At 10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly. At 45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32. After 1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music. This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. This experiment raised several questions: *In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? *If so, do we stop to appreciate it? *Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context? One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made … How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?


Louise Bourgeois

“My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama.”
-Louise Bourgeois

A maker for over six decades, Louise Bourgeois passed away May 31, 2010. My first experiences with Bourgeois’ work were mediated through interviews and essays, required readings for a sophomore art course. In 2007 the Tate Modern held a survey of her work, and I experienced a few rooms full of her drawings, prints, paintings, sculpture in varied materials; plaster, latex, bronze, marble. Her work was both dark and eerie, sometimes seemingly violent, and also full of beautiful, simple, quiet, minimal forms. Considered a pioneering feminist artist, Louise Beorgeois’ work has seemed to me, to be a bit less partial to any particular opinions, embracing an aesthetic that disregards agenda and utilizes autobiography, the mystery of making, and the object as a relic of memory. We’re grateful for her work, may she rest in peace.

Speaking of artists working outside their mediums

I’ve just now seen the most recent issue of Aperture Magazine, which supposedly for the first time ever features, not a photograph, but a drawing on the cover. The issue showcases drawings by the photographer William Eggleston. I remember a year or two ago seeing the movie William Eggleson In the Real World which is a documentary that consists primarily of a camera following Eggleston around as he makes photographs, plays music, talks with friends and family, and in one scene he scribbles on some paper while talking with a woman who I believe was a former mistress of his. Eggleston’s friend holds the drawing up to the camera. The narrator has nothing to say about the drawing, but I’ve been curious about Eggleston’s drawings ever since. I’m curious if anyone else has seen these drawings and what your thoughts might be.

link to aperture

link to William Eggleston in the Real World

Baptiste Debombourg

These installations done by France native Baptiste Debombourg blow my mind, so good. The image of the mural installation (“Air Force One”) of Icarus is made up of 35000 staples.

via http://www.loudreams.com/2010/02/08/baptiste-debombourg-art/