Archive for August, 2009

Un Día at Dia

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2009 by Cristina

museum day

On a friend’s recommendation, I decided to make the 3 hour round trip up to Beacon, NY to check out the massive contemporary art museum, Dia:Beacon. I have few precious days left in New York and this day trip along the Hudson river seemed like a great way to spend only $30 on a sunny day. After seeing some of the new stuff up at MoMa, I was excited to have a few hours to explore the art in this converted Nabisco factory. But alas, I went and was a bit disappointed… there were too many pieces that to me seemed like “all thought, little effort.” I’d guess that I really liked 40% of what I saw, with the rest falling in the blah category for me… example below of Robert Ryman’s white canvases:

meh

For me, these were about as exciting as brown rice [read: not very exciting] and as I was making my way back to the train station, I saw something on the ground that looked just as intriguing as most of the million-dollar pretentiousnesses in the museum:

parking lot art

Overall, the experience was worth it: good or bad art, I still like checking it out and the views from the train were gorgeous.

SquirreLove

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30, 2009 by Cristina

I love watching squirrels, there’s something so cute and playful about them but I do admit that one of the only things differentiating them from rats is the poofier tail. The ones that live in NYC are so tame and people-curious that they almost seem domesticated. On a recent visit to squirrel mecca, Central Park, I snapped this most adorable picture of two kids who share my passion for the wee rodents:

oooh

A couple of days later, I was hanging out in my community garden with a friend and was startled by a black-vs-red squirrel showdown that was totally fascinating to watch:

versus

I feel very lucky to live in a place that’s teeming with these little guys doing entertaining things and will keep my fingers crossed that the next squirrel scene I witness goes something like this:

wheee

Train wrecks

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2009 by Cristina

perhaps

This is the intentional or unintentional motto of people who I refer to as train wrecks. These binge-drinking, drug-funneling, tightrope-walking humans intrigue me very much. I certainly don’t aspire to be like them and often feel sad when I see them suffering, but I can’t help but be mystified by their actions. While I try to live my life by the carpe diem rule, I also really want to live to see the next diem. I have a few friends who I thought were train wrecks until I heard about a guy named Dash Snow; he puts them all in the amateur train wreck category. Apparently this guy got his kicks by occasionally making a Hamster’s Nest, recipe as follows (from NY Magazine): “shred up 30 to 50 phone books, yank around all the blankets and drapes, turn on the taps, take off clothes, and do drugs—mushrooms, coke, ecstasy—until you feel like hamsters.” My, oh, my. Not too surprisingly, my old coworkers at Deitch Projects commissioned one of these Hamster’s Nests, bringing the raw debauchery of a train-wreck-kid to the art-privileged masses:

sober fun?
I don’t quite know what to think of this guy’s antics being labeled as art, but I do know that it’s a tragedy he recently died at 27. Dash enjoyed a steep learning/experience curve but that came at the steepest price of a quick death. It turns out that this age of train wrecks dying at 27 is a trend among artists like Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison and has even been chronicled in a book called The 27s. This redheaded whippersnapper named Dash isn’t on par with the 27s in that book, but I’m still sad he didn’t get to see his daughter start school. He may have learned & forgotten more than I will ever know, but there’s a lot to be said for the slow, steady, and lucid learning curve.

Venny Funny!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 by Cristina

heart venn
Few geeky things I love more than a fantastic Venn diagram. I saw this image framed in the studio of an artist friend’s house and smiled at its awesomeness… unicorns, narwhals, yey! There was a time long, long ago (before I fell in love with pandas) that these long-toothed whales were my favorite animal and the subject of many a school science report. Although I’ve grown up a bit and my tastes have changed, I still enjoy Venn diagrams and my summer adventures have inspired me to make my own:

heart Venns

No, seriously, the trifecta of being unemployed in NYC while traveling has resulted in as perfect of a summer as any girl could hope for. The diagram is oversimplified because it was invented by math nerds. Someday, I’d love to make a photo-explosive collage version of it, but that day is not today… I must go to sleep so I can fully enjoy my visit to the MoMa and a night of drinking in Brooklyn tomorrow. 

 

Road tripping

Posted in Uncategorized on August 8, 2009 by Cristina

America is much more beautiful, bigger and wild than I knew it before I drove across it over a week-long road trip. So as to not alarm you, I’ll start with the beautiful part seen in this unassuming little rockhill-train-barn combo:
beautiful 
The big quality became clearer as I drove that 15ft moving truck more and more days… and became crystal clear with the seemingly never-ending Wyoming landscape that finally ended in vast Oregonian fields of sage:
 big
I stumbled upon the wild in the form of a half-decomposed desert critter:
wild 
I know, I know, I promised to not put up any more rodent pictures and really meant it at the time. But this is too amazing to not share! I’m so glad that we stopped to pick some sage on the side of the road and my eagle eyes noticed this little guy who’s singlehandedly keeping the Wild West wild.

Very still life

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6, 2009 by Cristina

I find the most surprisingly beautiful still life images in the most surprising places. In chronological order, here are my three favorites starting with semi-rotting peaches on the ledge of my uncle’s porch on his farm in Romania…just before a full solar eclipse:
peaches 
Up next, a rusty bucket next to empty liquor bottles in the backyard of a run-down North Carolina home…a few hours before sunset:
dang

The third is of a lucky bear, community fork, capitalist coffee, tea, hand-picked sage, lichen-covered rock, all items accumulated during a cross-country road trip, somewhere in Wyoming…a few hours after high noon:
life 

All of these images were totally organic, that is, the items were just there with no purposeful repositioning by me. That’s part of the beauty of still life: spontaneity. That is not to say that I’m not completely awed by a new form of still life art, the synthetic computer generated kind. One of my favorite traits of human beings is our ability and willingness to keep pushing the limits of creation, in this case, imagining then digitally composing something that looks entirely real.

Fake wine glasses, fake ashtray, fake die in a fake kitchen the day after a fake party in California…as the fake morning sun rises:
not real

Melons o’ water

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6, 2009 by Cristina

This image captures the things I love most about summer (watermelon) and America (choices):
great 
I recently found myself face-to-face with this wall of greatness in a midwestern grocery store and couldn’t help laughing out loud. When I was younger, my grandfather and I frequently went to the market in my hometown and as is customary in Romania, we’d taste little wedges of watermelons that the vendors would cut out for us on the spot to prove that they were satisfactorily-sweet. They always were. Now, I live in a world where the watermelon-consumer is such that a store feels compelled to offer her the halved, quartered, sliced, cubed and even peeled 1/2-sphere variety. Starkly different approach than the roadside farmers I photographed four years ago on a trip home (note the vendor is sleeping in the shade of his uncut/uncellophane-wrapped fruit pile):
so much water! 
I remember these guys tasting much better when I was little, but I suppose the lack of flavor here a small price to pay for enjoying my favorite fruit seedless, swarming-fly-less and in air conditioning, sigh.