When I was about 15 or 16, my father announced he was thinking of moving the family to our country house permanently. My mother, my sister and I were aghast. As far as we were concerned, we were city dwellers, and moving to a house a mere 30 minutes out of town was akin to moving to Siberia.
Los Angeles is currently enveloped in Mapplethorpe mania. Two companion exhibitions are on view at the Getty Center and at LACMA, and a new documentary titled “Look at the Pictures” just opened on HBO. Twenty seven years after his death, it seems it was time to rediscover the work of an ambitious and provocative photographer who started taking pictures by accident.
I live so much in my head that visual details escape me. So bogged down by the images I concoct, I am unable to see what is in front of me. I would make the worst witness, picking someone out of a line-up – translated into more prosaic terms, this means I make a very poor photographer. And an even worse selfie taker – it also doesn’t help I freeze in front of the camera, whether held by me or someone else, pulling all kinds of obnoxious faces.
I have never understood the venom hurled at Gwyneth Paltrow, by the press and bloggers alike. Since she started her lifestyle site, Goop, not a month has gone by without some critic feeling compelled to ridicule her or just be plain mean. Gwyneth happens to be beautiful, talented ad comes across as a decent human being. And no, she doesn’t quite live the life the rest of us do, but so what if most of the vacation suggestions to be found on Goop require a platinum card and most of the fashion on sale is beyond my reach? The woman has style and I sometimes draw some inspiration the same way I do from Vogue – I won’t buy St. Laurent but it can give me ideas. And, this week, I found a couple of interesting things on Goop I felt worthy of a share.
Jasper Johns, that great, great American artist, once wrote a note to himself in his sketchbook – which said: “Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.” The excellent thing about that piece of advice is that it can be applied to anything creative: food, art, film, music, words. I have nary an arty bone in my body – I would love nothing more than to sit down and create something beautiful. I have tried. And have failed miserably.
It has taken me a long time to become comfortable with being feted on Mother’s Day, an occasion I usually mark with a quick phone call to my mother, same as every other day. It’s not that I think this Hallmarks’ holiday is silly and redundant (well, I guess I do) but it has everything to do with how I came about motherhood. I personally chose not to have children but I raised two step-children who lost their birth mother when they were rather young. For all intents and purposes, I am the mother they most remember and with whom they have spent most of their lives.
Friends and readers alike are a constant source of inspiration and suggestions, for which sofagirl and I are immensely grateful. Even what doesn’t make the final cut on the blog often generates other ideas or, during the research progress, a crumb trail to other possibilities.
When Silvia sent me a link to some photographs by Arno Rafael Minkkinen I was intrigued for two reasons: the black and whites were beautiful intertwined nudes that aimed to merge two bodies into one and I love photography as an art form, especially now when every Tom, Dick and Harry are fashioning themselves into photographers and Instagram the results. I especially love photography untouched by Photoshop and/or filters.