Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Disney Concert Hall

Since the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao Spain I have wanted to see something of the work of the most celebrated architect of our times; Frank  Gehry. During this past Christmas Season along with my daughter and grandchildren I was privileged to see one of his most important achievements “The Disney Concert Hall” in LA. It was a complete and perfect joy for all.
Like any truly wonderful work of art, architecture or craft it is always best to experience the thing in person. This magnificent building did not disappoint. It’s asymmetric design, playful use of geometry and nontraditional materials make it unique to the landscape. It is in many ways the companion and even a sort of extension of the Guggenheim Bilboa.  This is a stunning achievement, a spectacle of a building.

The concert hall is open to the public daily and there are guided tours or taped independent tours available. The interior is equally impressive as the massive exterior. Walls that often follow the contours of the outer surfaces, expansive abstract carpeting and wall art add a specialness to the inner space.

 Wood is used to great effect here both as decoration and support. There is a “Vietnam Memorial “ inspired wall displaying the names of the many contributors and founders of the Hall including Eli Broad, LA’s first citizen of the arts.

 “The Disney Concert Hall” is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and presided over by their illustrious and energetic conductor; the phenomenal Gustavo Dudamel. He has invigorated the idea of the symphony in very much the way that Leonard Bernstein did in the Nineteen Sixties. His approach and love of music is a perfect fit for the amazing structure that Gehry has built.


As we walked around and through a marvelous achievement; a hallmark of a kind we took pictures. All of the photos are from that visit last December to “The Disney Concert Hall”.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Batman: Ceiling of the City

There is never too much for me to say about Neal Adams. He has been at the top of my list of artists and influences for many years and the subject of a previous Blog. I put together “Neal Adams…He’s  Back” last September. You may have already read it. If not It comes highly recommended. I have done several animations featuring his art work and here is the latest “Batman: The Ceiling of the City”. I used images ranging from his early works to the present to create this piece.

I recently found out that Neal is producing and directing something very similar with his company “Continuity Comics” he calls motion comics. Interestingly he is using the work of other artists rather than his own. His first effort is from a series of graphic novels by Josh  Whedon  and John Cassady. “Gifted” a tale of “The Astonishing X-Men” is phenomenal in it’s own right and perfect for adaptation.

 Adams has done other more historical subjects such as Anne Frank and New York’s Mayor LaGuardia. The man continues to work and to grow creatively. Did I mention that Neal Adams is great!!!

                                    Take a look at “Batman: The Ceiling of the City”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mirror Mirror

  Among the most fascinating  of objects in our lives and world is the mirror.
We begin our day looking into one and we end looking usually into the same one. Throughout the day we see reflections in store windows, passing cars, silver and any suitable material. We use mirrors for reasons of vanity, necessity and for safety in and on our vehicles. Any polished object to be described to being as shiny as a mirror is the highest compliment.

 Mirrors are important in the arts from painting to literature to film. Contemporary artists depend heavily on reflective mediums. Amish Kapoor and Jeff Koon s are examples of sculptors that love highly polished almost glass like chrome and paint in their creations. Robert Rauschenberg produced silk screened mirrors among the vast array of materials in his body of works. Picasso’s “Girl with a Mirror” is one of the most important and beautiful examples of 20th century painting. The mirror in the rear of “Las Meninas” is central to the narrative of the 17th century master piece by Velasquez. “Through the Looking Glass” is a classic of children’s literature and where would the wicked stepmother in “Snow White’ be without her magic mirror and her famous line”Mirror, mirror…?” Writer Neil Gaiman loves the concept of the mirror world and has written on the theme in several stories. “Smoke and Mirrors” is the title of a collection of his short stories and where would any self respecting magician be without these critical props. 

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean co-created an intriguing little film “Mirror Mask” another reverse (mirror) universe themed piece. Michael Jackson’s “The Man in the Mirror” is one of the most poignant as well as popular songs in modern music. Why so much attention to mirrors?

Mirrors allow us to see the one person in the room that we never see; ourselves. They also save us from a certain amount of embarrassment; can be somewhat consoling and are an aid to us when injured. They are an instant portal to another mystic place; our visual imaginations. Every image for this entry is computer enhanced and a mirror image. 
                                             Mirrors certainly are worth looking into.