Bits and Pieces

This semester I've been teaching the Survey of Western Art I, which covers Prehistoric cave paintings through the Gothic period (and they pay me for this!?!). While I've always considered myself a modernist, it's decidedly fabulous to explore Egyptian rock-cut tombs or Minoan palaces or Byzantine monasteries with my students. This period of art history, with its archeological roots and mysterious qualities, definitely has the Indiana Jones factor.

While each area of study has proven fascinating, this semester's lectures have especially reinvigorated my love for mosaics. Mosaics of smooth natural stones in Roman houses or mosaics of prismatic glass on Byzantine church apses, these works of art would have required painstaking planning and a careful understanding of color.

My favorite mosaic programs come from San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. But, as you behold these 5th-7th Century creations, try to imagine them in their true context. Envision a simple, brick façade on a nondescript building. Then, as you walk through the church narthex, you would step into a sun-drenched nave. These mosaics with their irregular surfaces and highly polished glass would glisten, glow and glimmer in the light. Imagine being inside a jewel box:

9 by Design

Blogland has been chattering about this new Bravo show for a few weeks now. And, I must admit, the concept is fascinating. The show follows two self-taught NYC designers with 6 kids and 1 infant. If those kooky family dynamics aren't enough to keep you watching, the show also captures their bold creative process and features their funky, eclectic style.

Think Jon and Kate's huge fam (pre-paparazzi) + HGTV with a touch of Ashton and Demi's cool factor.

By the way, their kids' names are: Wolfie, Tallulah, Bellamy, Breaker, Five, Holleder and Major....that has to make for some interesting t.v.

Two Icons

Though I can't help but first think of him as the artist Aleksandr Petrovsky from my beloved SATC, he is the ballet dancer par excellence, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

I recently discovered these divine images by iconic photog Annie Leibovitz and I am enchanted by her characterization of him. Can you imagine the conversations between these two creative geniuses? To be a fly on the camera lens....

images borrowed from Vanity Fair
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