Tag Archives: Phoenix Art Museum

The Artist Date, Sort Of (Teotihuacan exhibit)

Are you familiar with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way? I really like the idea of Artist Dates, where the writer or artist goes on a weekly expedition to explore something inspiring or enchanting. I like to try to do that as often as I can. (It’s been pointed out to me that Artist Dates should be SOLO, but when I have an opportunity like this, I take it as-is).

While my uncle was visiting, the gardener and I took him to the Teotihuacan exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. Between 100 BCE and 650 CE, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the Americas. In some ways it was like many pre-Columbian exhibits and in other ways it seemed brand new to me. I can’t quite explain it. I also thought it was fascinating that there were so many “feline” shapes in the art. (Love my cats!) Let me mention that my uncle won two scholarships to the Art Institute in Chicago when he was a kid. He was able to attend the first time, but the second time he had a serious illness and had to stay home for a full year. He had to go to work very young and was never able to pursue a career as an artist, although he certainly had the talent.

It was really fascinating to see how much art was designed to replicate teeth!

The earrings or “ear plugs” the statues wear are the same as those worn by the Aztecs, so that style was around for many centuries (it still is, I guess).

The plaques on the walls described the city in some detail. I found the pyramids to once again remind me so much of Egyptian pyramids. Maybe I’ve heard too many episodes of the ancient alien shows that the gardener likes to watch . . . .

On the way in and out of the gallery, we were met with two beauties. One was the Carlos Amorales piece “Black Cloud,” a swarm of black moths and butterflies.

The other was this dandelion sculpture created by (I think) Josiah McElheny:

I’m a huge fan of big contemporary installations like these as they really set the tone and show me that humankind is still creating amazing art.

A few days after we visited the museum, we took Uncle Frank to California for a few days. I’ll write about that part of the trip later. Mebbe next week, I hope.

BUT a few days after my uncle left for Arkansas, I had the real pleasure of meeting Theresa Barker. She blogs at Theresa Barker Lab Notes. We had a fun time comparing notes on our families and exchanging a few of our favorite poems and discussing them. What a blast! She is as nice and smart in person as in blogland.

I’ve been feeling very depleted and tired lately, so much so that creating new work seems impossible. However, I pulled out a lot of unfinished poems. By unfinished, I mean that they were too complete, too mediocre, and had been filed away. I am going through and revising these poems. Maybe I will find something good in some of them!

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The Museum Exhibits Michelangelo Drawings, But The White Shirts Drew Me In

We took Mom to the Phoenix Art Gallery. We’ve been before, but they always have some good exhibits. The one I really wanted to see was Gianfranco Ferré’s “The White Shirt According to Me.” The Italian designer took the classic image of the white shirt and embellished and distorted and improved it.

 That spot of humble plaid in the middle is hubby.

Here is the detail on the bottom of this gown shirt.

They also had an exhibition of stunning cameos. The details on the curly hair was so remarkable it took my breath away. But they were under glass and, besides, I don’t think I was supposed to take pix.

The Asian art really appeals to me and to hubby both.

The above piece represents a marriage of east and west: the Chinese vase is held by a French-designed stand.

I was also amazed by a tall red-painted and gilt-decorated cabinet with Chinese designs that was made in Mexico. So interesting how the Chinese designs were popular there in colonial days.

Contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei cast some bronze Zodiac heads using the old method.

Chinese Zodiac is what some people think of as being born “in the year of the . . . . ” Hubby and I were both born in the sign of the sheep or ram. According to the information at the exhibit, the personality of these people is supposed to be artistic and elegant and peace-loving. They like history and are sensitive. I like that description, but suspect that they left out the negatives so people wouldn’t leave the museum miffed ;).  Mom has the sign of a dog, and she says that Dad was Dragon. That fits pretty well. However, the sheep description fits me better than it does hubby, and the dragon description fit my dad better than it does his twin. So you can only take this stuff just so far . . . .

What will hubby and Mom and I be up to next?

 

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