Thursday, 30 July 2015

The latest book I have read ...

I didn't think I'd love this book as much as I did the moment I started reading it but the truth is there were even several ocasions where I did  get obsessed with some of Leonardo's sketches, the many that were interspersed in the 291 pages of the book.

Stefan Klein's  book "Leonardo's legacy - how Da Vinci reinvented the world" takes us through the many facets of Leonardo's visionary world, the world of the great genius, the inventor, the scientist, the artist and above all the undeniable pioneer of a new world, but the way he does it is particularly intelligent because at no time does the reader get bored. 

"Leonardo's legacy tracks the many creations of Da Vinci, and parallels them with key events in Leonardo's life, weaving a tapestry of inventive motivation for the ultimate Renaissance Man, all while posing thought-provoking questions ... the book has some exceptional moments ... it will provide an enjoyable look at the mind of an icon." - San Francisco Book review.

Views of a fetus in the womb - c. 1510-12 (left). Study of brain physiology - c. 1508 (right).

Coition of a hemisected Man and Woman - c. 1492 (right).

Studies of shoulder and neck - c. 1509-10 (left). Design for a flying machine - c. 1488 (right).

Studies of water passing obstacles (left). Old man with water studies - c. 1513 (right).


Five characters in a comic scene - c. 1490 (left.) Study for the head of Leda - c.1505-07 (right).


António Olé's documentary film and the nostalgic memories it awakened ...

I have recently bought a documentary film on the artistic life path of an outstanding Angolan painter, whose Art I had been acquainted with some years ago when I purchased a small painting of his, solely based on my feeling for the colour blending technique he used then, not knowing much of who he was or the extent of his artistic skills.

As I got to know a little bit more about him and gradually became aware of the way he approached life and Art in general I started feeling rather unsettled because in a way many of his opinions did resonate with mine and when the scenario setting where he was being interviewed, partly in Lobito (I have not been to, though some images reminded me of Sumbe) and particularly in Luanda "invaded" my inner thoughts as he took the viewers along the streets and areas that bore some importance in his life I broke down and barely managed to hear what he was saying ... images of a "recent" past, I realised were so "over modernised" despite retaining some of the characteristics I had fell for in Angola surfaced ... personal memories blended in and I was no longer in control ... nostalgy was awakened ...

I had to calm down and watch the documentary some hours later so as to thoroughly appreciate António Olé's artistic production and it was then that I realised that because of it I came to realise that Angola was where my teaching creativity brewed and I felt like doing and trying out new things ... from scratch ... a little bit like the artist who  in the documentary observed and collected material for the next discovering  "adventure" ...



Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Modern Art temporary exhibition (cont.) at Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa - The 26th of July 2015


I walked about the gallery exhibiting the paintings of a Portuguese painter I had never heard of - António Charrua (1925-2008),  and despite not being too drawn by geometric compositions I was nevertheless attracted by the colour blending.

Horizontal black X - 1988 oil on canvas (left).  Labyrinth - 1988 oil on canvas (right).

Dilema -1981 oil on canvas (left). Angelus - 1988-89 oil on canvas and object (right).

Hiroshima girl (left and right) - 1994/95 oil on canvas

As I made my way to the Museum gardens I came across an installation which had certainly been placed there recently as it wasn't there last time I had been around. A small text standing close by provided the explanation - it is an archive-type of house, whose walls partly covered by either the Near Future Programme published newspapers or  related to seven years of debates, productions and creations therewith associated in what may be seen as a way of paying one's respect to all of those who colaborated in that programme.

Authors - António Pinto Ribeiro and Jorge Martins Lopes with paintings by Celestino Mondlane and advertisement placards from former temporary exhibitions and published newspapers from the Near Future programe.


The latest film I've seen ...

Jafar Panahi is not totally unknown to me and the fact that I had already watched "Off-side" and been impressed by his story-telling perspective of what goes on in Iran in regards to women going (or rather not being allowed to go) to stadiums hadn't prepared me for the subtle power of his last film "Taxi Teheran", a  Berlin golden bear awarded film which was clandestinely shot and smuggled out of the country.
Being a filmmaker and not being legally allowed to direct films anymore meant that Jafar Pahani put himself in the shoes of a Teheran taxi driver by pretending to be one and made this incredible eye-opening film despite the circumstances, riding through the streets of Teheran and taking the viewers along the discovery of its passengers and the subtleties of their conversations.
This documentary-style portrait of the soul of the Iranian society in the words of random passengers of different walks of life, with various perspectives towards life  and even concerns, is definitely worth seeing.

"Nothing can prevent me from making films since when being pushed to the ultimate corners I connect with my inner-self and, in such private spaces, despite all limitations, the necessity to create becomes even more of an urge" - Jafar Panahi


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Modern Art temporary exhibitions at Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa - The 26th of July 2015

I have never been too keen on Modern Art but I do keep on trying to get into the artists' frame of mind and whenever I have time  I make an effort to read either the catalogues of the exhibitions I attend or even books on the subject. I would lie if I said I dislike all the artistic pieces I have seen so far because the truth is that from time to time there are some that do catch my attention and which I can "relate" to, though not very often.

As I had been to a temporary exhibition in one of Gulbenkian Museum's galleries and there were two other temporary ones in the Modern Art part of the Museum I decided not to let the opportunity pass me by.
Once we walked into the first gallery there was a huge artistic installation with seven altars dedicated to the main Orisha Deities (the divinities of the Yoruba religion, which having originated in Africa are still worshipped in countries connected with the slave trade) covering one entire wall.

In front of each of the altars praising the Yoruba Divinities (Elegba - red and black; Ogun - green; Yemoja - blue; Obatala - white; Shango - red; Osun - yellow and Babalu Aiye - pink) several Yoruba keep stones, iconic and religious images, as well as other utensils used in holy rituals and ceremonies.

Holy food - a 1984-89 construction using several materials by Miralda (1942-)

As we made our way along the same floor we came across several artistic productions by a number of various artists I had personally never heard of. The explanations beside them provided an insightful perspective.


Luisa II - a 1993 iron and paint construction by Pepe Espaliú (1955-1993)

Love me and leave me and let me be lonely - a 1989 wood, wire, Gober wall paper, papier maché and mirror construction by Martin Kippenberger /1953-1997).

Mirar, ver, percibir (to watch, to see, to perceive or understand) - a 2009 lamp and cut viny graphics ' construction by Antoni Muntadas (1942-)

A 1994 hunting scene by Jeff Wall (1946-) using a cibachrome transparency alluminium frame and a fluorescent light.

False Movement (economic stability and up growth) - 1999-2003 rotating barrels by Damian Ortega (1967-)

(To be continued)