Thursday, October 10, 2019
Monday, September 30, 2019
Sunday, September 29, 2019
I've been to London on business several times (five?), and have rarely had time to just SOAK in it. So, as my third city to meet my third friend, pre-Brexit London seemed like a fantastic choice.
Ultimately, she didn't come, but I had a great time, in a mix of hot-to-rainy weather, mostly indoors.
The UK (or at least the British element of it) brings to mind images of tea and teacups, the Queen, British New Wave bands (I can finally visit without having ABC's Tower of London, the Clash's London Calling, or the Smith's Hairdresser on Fire on endless loop in my head), and various other icons from an earlier era.
Yet, London is an extremely modern, international city, and so I focused this trip on experiencing ultra-modern things: contemporary art by living artists (Studio Olafur Eliasson, whose work is always so fantastic, have a show at the Tate Modern!! YES, I did plan around this!) , design award shows focused on making the quality of life better for us, and on the constructs that AI systems create, and street art.
There are so many flavors of London to experience!
After a lovely time in The Hague, I took the train to Amsterdam.
I see Amsterdam all of the time in movies much as you likely see my hometown of San Francisco in movies: as a backdrop for international intrigue and the occasional car chase. :) I was sure that the same few parts of town were always in movies (true!), and wanted to branch out and escape the crowds.
Happily, I had a German friend with me (CM), and she had always stayed in the tourist core and was ready and eager to branch out and see the shiny NEW districts. So we had a pleasant set of adventures.
Yes, I left my travel-heavy global position at the end of last year, and have been posting LOCAL photos (mostly) since then. Also, I've used my time off to take care of others after their surgeries, or to have dental surgeries of my own. (INSERT NUMEROUS SAD FACE EMOJI HERE) I haven't taken a real vacation all year... until this month!
I wanted to use miles I earned during my business travels to enjoy myself, booked everything in April and May, coordinated my visits with three friends in three different countries... and then the airline I was relying on had a labor dispute, and cancelled my flights.
I managed to rebook and still take the trip, so I am lucky.
My first stop was The Hague, which has always been famous in my mind for the tribunals where global justice plays out. It is also a charming city. Here are some touristy photos from my first visit, during stormy weather.
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Sunday, August 18, 2019
The Mission District, my favorite neighborhood, in Lomography Rescale: photographs by A.E. Graves
I mentioned that I set up a WordPress blog for my fine art photography back in July, but I haven't told you that I have posted to it. And so, I'll share:
Thursday, August 15, 2019
I'm trying to show a little more life on my fine art photography portfolio site, where my frivolous photo diary posts here don't quite fit. Also, I want to share collections easily, without doing lots of coding to get a gallery set up properly. We'll see if I keep it up! :)
Sunday, August 11, 2019
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Friday, August 9, 2019
So yes: Snøhetta stairs; two scenes from Far Out: Suits, Habs, & Labs for Outer Space (another Apollo 11 tribute), one of various interpretations of spacesuits, the other (the one that looks like lungs) Neri Oxman's Qamar (Moon) Wearable; and lastly, the 7th floor women's restroom, because THOSE COLORS! (A similar photo kicked off my revival of this blog.) I find the highly saturated new restrooms irresistible. Especially the violet one.
Aside: I was there with KP, and he knows several people who have work in the exhibit. And he didn't know this. So, Public Service Announcement: If I ever have work of any kind in SFMoMA, I WILL TELL YOU. I WILL MAKE SUCH NEWS INESCAPABLE. I WILL ANSWER THE PHONE WITH, "HELLO, HAVE YOU SEEN MY WORK AT SFMOMA - IT IS ON DISPLAY NOW!!" I WOULD CALL BACK TELEMARKETERS TO YELL THIS TO THEM. I WOULD EVEN LOG BACK INTO HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, AWFUL FB TO TELL PEOPLE, THAT'S HOW MUCH I WOULD SHARE IT. And, you would come to see it, possibly more than once, of course.
Not shown here, but also much enjoyed: New Work by Erin Shirreff (sfmoma.org).
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
I've used a teleidoscope to generate a wide range of subtle geometric patterns... which was a great way to learn that my friends don't really like subtle geometric patterns. (Haha!) For my friends who like conventional postcard topics (sunsets, tropical flowers, famous landmarks), these images are a bit busy AND too abstract for them. So I'll just post them here.
This was produced opticially, rather than by software; it is a teleidoscopic image of light shining through a curtain, with the ball lens placed up against the weave of the fabric.
Kaleidoscopes are popular with children and artists, and contain colorful objects that create patterns inside the device; teleidoscopes are outward looking, and mirror a snippet of the real world within three mirrors. The teleidoscope was patented in the 1970s, and isn't as common as much older and more established kaleidoscopes, but interest me from a pattern-making point of view. Also, working with a ball lens is novel...
Friday, July 26, 2019
Sunday, July 21, 2019
The colors! The details! The highly selective application of gold! This is so charming. It is just off 24th Street in the Inner Mission, and little hearts came out of my eyes while staring at it.
Yes, it is narrow. Our lots in SF are long and narrow. But the houses make great use of the space inside!
The Mission is a visually rich neighborhood... No wonder I wanted to take up photography. How could I resist all of this?
I feel lucky to have grown up in the Mission District, where the cultural influences of Mexican Muralism (wikipedia.org) manifest in fantastic ways!
If you want to go on a mural tour or learn more about murals, Precita Eyes is the local center for fantastic knowledge about existing murals, and active community projects to create new ones.
Sure, I trained in architecture after modernism, but I don't generally think 'ornament is a crime' (though I'd like to press charges over the entire Baroque era).
And I really like the old buildings in the Mission district, with their visible seams, signs of age-related settling (a condition I surely am also suffering from), and both their bold and faded colors.
Monday, July 8, 2019
Sunday, July 7, 2019
Friday, July 5, 2019
The interiors of San Francisco's Asian Art Museum (asianart.org) as adapted by the brilliant architect Gae Aulenti, are delightful and soothing, and evoke a very different mood from when the building served as the City's Main Library (which is now in a newer building across the street). It's a brilliant adaptation, and while surrounded by ancient works from across the Pacific, feels a world apart from the City that surrounds it, while engaging with it in interesting ways (in the entrance; in the cafe and on its patio; and especially in the escalator corridor, where the balcony at the top protrudes beyond the building and over the harsh urban streets).
One of the interior elements that especially impresses me is the staging: the choices made for the backdrops of the art. Different regions have different colors, but those colors!! They are colors that make me want to mix new greens from all of my various watercolors (but especially the antique Japanese set). They don't distract, but I really do love them.
Sunday, June 30, 2019
I finally wrote up my 2018 sabbatical. It was... a lot of intense, creative living, packed densely into a few months.
It doesn't take as long to read about as it took to experience in real life, I swear! ;) Each image represents many days (or weeks) of activity.
It's a nice way to wrap up writing about my global project, which both inspired me and disrupted my usual artistic practices.
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Monday, June 24, 2019
I feel lucky to have access to such a wide range of art. Growing up in San Francisco and taking AMAZING field trips with my public school to our great local science and art museums, I always felt bad for kids who didn't get these kinds of experiences - not just at these great institutions, but to go with classmates who came from so many different places and felt like a sample of the world... I recall wanting to set up some kind of exchange program, so rural kids could visit us, and we could visit them as a group/class, too...
Oceanic art has been really appealing and impressive to me, in a much deeper way than it was in the past... I think making abstract drawings changed my appreciation for this approach to symbolic representation...
I feel so lucky to get to see it! And still fondly think of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, which has an outstanding collection, including many works made recently by living artists just for them.