All posts by carolynartmedia

Int’l Women’s Day + Gilded is Hot

Like many of my formative experiences, my first International Women’s Day took place in Italy through the celebration day of the Festa della Donna.

I was in the thick of my Fellowship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, doing a shift in the gift shop that day, when fellow intern (later to become hub as he’s known to readers of this blog) surprised me with a nosegay of mimosa blossoms, as I was busily transacting de Chirico and Magritte poster sales. Awww…

Many moons later metaphorically speaking, as it’s in keeping with the universal yin energy of today, we named our daughter Acacia. WHO knew the derived-from-Latin species name for mimosa blossoms is Acacia Dealbata?!

Mimosa

We had taken our time in naming her and considered many names while consulting different naming oracles (as new parents of a first-born often do) but I never came across this reference until researching for this entry. Awww…

In light of this day, and Women’s History Month, I recently had the pleasure of hearing author Karin Tanabe speak on her book The Gilded Years soon to be a major motion picture starring and produced by Zendaya in collaboration with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. Anything Neo-Victorian and gilded is HOT at the moment. So if this film is as engaging as The Greatest Showman (for which Zendaya–who’s career is on fire right now–received a lot of buzz as a stunningly beautiful, racially blended trapeze artist) and I have a feeling it may very well be, albeit in a different way, it has the potential to be a winner. The film’s working title alone is a winner:  A White Lie. Quite a compelling concept in our current cultural climate, n’est-ce pas?

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photo of Carolyn and Karin Tanabe by Acacia V. McDonough

I won’t give away the story, Karin’s a great storyteller and historical fiction genre writer, so please read the book:

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I’m also blogging today’s Int’l Women’s Day post as a new member of the National Organization of Italian American Women and I appear on the #NewMemberMonday March 2018 Edition. Mille Grazie NOIAW!

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(you GOTTA love NOIAW’s yellow blossoms new members Welcome + Lady Liberty logo!)

AND finally I will be dining with one of the most empowered women I know, Rev. Dr. Tami Coyne whose recent 1-Woman Show Singing For My Life: One Woman’s Journey, with hilarious opening act by her stand-up sister, Teri Coyne, was fantastic! Here’s a clip:

 

To all the women of the world today, be the WONDER WOMAN you already are, turn something upside down, don’t forget to brush your teeth and…

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…support #METOO today/every day!

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photo credits: Acacia V. McDonough, C. McDonough

 

Viva Sistina?

TheCreationOf Adam

In a mall in New Jersey, the Benjamin-ian aura of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel has been nuked.

But there is hope.

Let’s deal with the nuking first.

Anyone who has visited the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome has undoubtedly endured a long line to enter, countless tourists, a sore neck, dizziness and maybe even Stendhal’s syndrome, hyperkulturemia, or Florencesyndrome, which is a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to an experience of great personal significance, particularly viewing art.

I don’t think the exhibition entitled “UP CLOSE Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel” mounted by Westfield in a large tent near the Garden State Plaza Mall will cause Stendahl’s, though Hub and I made it a priority to see it upon learning of it.

The staff couldn’t have been nicer and they serve various Italian wines, mineral water and Peroni beer in the exhibition space (sweet!) But the organizers, focusing on what they describe as the “stories”, mounted everything vertically, and while the thrust of the exhibition is to get “UP CLOSE” while learning the biblical origins of the ceiling’s “stories” the lack of use of the ceiling and heavy pixelation were disappointing and somewhat distracting. It is a CEILING after all. There were also no notes on technique, brush stroke, pigment or the mind-bending foreshortening Michelangelo employed so that the Sibyls and God jut out of the ceiling plane and come at the viewer below in a 3D way–just descriptions that read more like a “Who’s Who in the Sistine”.

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So the Sistine’s aura has taken a hit but is likely in tact in Rome where Michelangelo painted on scaffolding on his back while fighting with the Pope (see the film of Irving Stone’s “The Agony and the Ecstasy” with Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison) and the frescoes abandoned to years of wax/smoke residue until they were restored recently.

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GodSeparates WaterFromThe Heavens

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While the intentions are good, and the exhibition is a nod to a place people may not have a chance to see in person, the exhibition guide further complicates the trouble in aura land such endeavors create when it states: “UP CLOSE is organized so guests can fully comprehend the complex stories of Michelangelo’s work with maximum context.” Hmmm…well at least you can have a glass of wine and buy some coasters if you cannot travel to Rome! For us, on an autumn eve out with our teen, it was a diversionary substitute of sorts which will be coming to a mall near you.

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photos: The Creation of Adam (detail), The Libyan Sibyl, God Separates Water from the Heavens by C. McDonough and the UP CLOSE exhibition space by B. McDonough

 

 

September with Nicki

 

Well I never expected to spend my September with Nicki Minaj, but between attending The Meadows Festival with my teen and a mall in NJ, I guess I did!

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Both the crowd (and my hub) were a little more enthused to see her surprise cameo than I was, as my text gives away, but hey, I’ll still take a picture! And who can ever resist a life-size cut out advertising a new MAC line? Not me!

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I did have a good time at The Meadows with some old school LLCOOLJ and DMC…

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…”don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge…!” (you know the rest)

photos by A. McDonough and C. McDonough

Mona Lisa & an Iguana on 5th

 

MonaLisa Winking

While LVMH has Masters in their windows, someone at Gucci must be reading this blog.

How ELSE would an iguana wind up in the Gucci window on 5th Avenue this summer? (please see Day of the Iguana).

OR, Gucci Inc. has been following me since the late 80’s when I worked as a Christmas seasonal hire blissfully selling merchandise at the flagship 5th Avenue store, spending my days/eves chatting in Italian and English with Signora Rossellini (yes, Isabella’s grandmother and Elettra’s great grandmother) who was the concierge there in those years and who would randomly award me with those in her client book when they happened in on the store. Ah, what fun and nice commissions, too.

In any event, back to the iguana. Here it is: GucciIguana Window

GucciIguana CloseUp

…and a chameleon, too!

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There are also kitten head children one store front north of the iguana and chameleon.

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All this was quite the build-up as one walks up the avenue, to fashion conglomerate LVMH’s display/appropriation/misappropriation of the Mona Lisa and four other master works of art for luxury handbags designed by artist Jeff Koons for LVMH.

VanGogh LVMH Window

Frangonard LVMH Window

Where do I start with the wrongness of this? And yet I am drawn to the Titian tote despite its $2,800.00 price tag. Watch this and you’ll see why…

…and this…

At least the window displays are a more subdued treatment than the monumental projections of Mona Lisa & Co. when the collection launched. Drat! No photos and I was there for it, but too dazzled by the spectacle and too mournful of the Benjamin-ian auras decaying by the nanosecond. (please see The Digital Aura).

It is summer after all and even I could not resist a contemplative selfie (or two) with a winking Mona Lisa and a Titian AND hilarious passers-by in the background:SelfieWith Winking MonaLisa

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photos, selfies and video by Carolyn

 

Mr. Cunningham

I had the rare social pleasure of being photographed by the great Bill Cunningham, Mr. Cunningham, that is.

Such moments are the thrill of a lifetime and also the kind of fun anecdotal encounter which define CultureArtMedia.com. You cannot plan or arrange such experiences, they just happen. To think that the captured image is contained in Mr. Cunningham’s revered and treasured file cabinets is heady stuff.

I wrote this post a few years ago after embarking upon a quest to obtain a copy of the photo. I had a delightful conversation with his editor, who was extremely kind and much to his credit, did research and send me an image. I had to sincerely laugh when I opened the image–a very lovely couple but not my hub and I. Psych! I replied and we shared the laugh. I was giddy just wrapping my head around being in such hallowed file cabinets. Running with the society set is heady stuff indeed.

Originally titled, “I’m in Bill Cunningham’s File Cabinets” this title feels irreverent now.

I do still hold out hope that the image will appear in my inbox someday, while saddened that a force such as Mr. Cunningham who celebrated the “happening” has passed.

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National Selfie Day

It has come to my attention that today is National Selfie Day.

I thought every day was National Selfie Day from our global device-as-appendage behavior.

Hmmm…

The last selfies I took were on May 7 and on April 11 before the Friendgrass photo (please see Selfie-Ready Always for the reasons why I’m not in the habit of documenting every moment–but I’m trying!!)

My research in to this new national celebration yielded a wealth of sub-selfie days. My fave is Museum Selfie Day. Now we’re cookin’ with gas! That’s right in my multidisciplinary wheelhouse!

So take some bursts today BUT mark your calendars and reminder apps for January 18, 2017 and say “cheese!”16SelfieReady AlwaysCAM