Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Octave Tassaert

I have no particular reason to post this painting other than I came across it online in some secondary manner and I found it compelling for reasons that I cant quite ascertain.

Studio Interior, Octave Tassaert, France 1845

It is certainly beautifully rendered on myriad levels – light, composition, pallet, theme and more. Perhaps it’s the visual back story that intrigues me about the work.

At first glance, I thought this was a painting of a young man peeling potatoes by the hearth, but on closer inspection, I saw that this was either an artist himself, or an artist’s assistant perhaps taking a break while the master attends to something else in the studio. Or perhaps, the artist has yet to begin his work as it is clearly visible that the pallet is free from paint. For that matter, there appears to be no paint in the box whatsoever. Perhaps the project ahs yet to begin making this the calm before the storm so to speak.

It’s actually quite serene and peaceful and I’m sure there were worse places to be in 1845 in France - where and when this work was created. It now hangs in the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Perhaps I came across it there several years ago and its memory has drifted through my subconscious mind until this misty
reacquaintance this early morning.

The artist was
Octave Tassaert. At the age of 74, after Tassaert became an alcoholic and his health and eyesight deteriorated greatly, he took his own life. He never quite found the success of peer approval that he was seeking – it’s a rather tragic tale actually and you can read about it briefly here -

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Memoriam…


It was with sadness that I read of the passing of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. There will be much written and spoken about her now that she has died and I won’t attempt to compete here. I can say only that I found her to be a true master of her art and a great and cherished humanitarian.

To this day, I find myself riveted by some of her film performances. In particular of these is her well deserved Best Actress Oscar winning performance as Martha in “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf”. I have seen that film so many times that I have literally lost count. It is a timeless piece of movie mastery that will live in the halls of honor of film making.

I think I will honor her life this weekend when I am back at the shore with some good scotch and another screening of that astounding film…

Another brilliantly performed scene…

In Memoriam
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor
February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

De Niro helps to end Art Fraud.

Courtesy AFP/Getty Images

The actor Robert De Niro, who
last year created a new art prize in honor of his late painter father's legacy, appeared in a packed courtroom on Friday to testify in the trial of Leigh Morse, a dealer who worked for Larry Salanderduring the notorious swindler's multimillion-dollar spree of art fraud. Appearing in the Manhattan court in a green corduroy blazer and white shirt, the actor — recently labeled a "post-empire" icon by Bret Easton Ellis— related how he had a deal to evenly split the sale of commissioned works with the gallery, but then failed to see any proceeds while noticing that Salander was flying around the world in a private jet. "It didn't seem to add up," the actor testified. MORE HERE - [Bloomberg].

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The nude men clock - Huh?!

Who would want to see scores of tiny animated nude men in your browser telling you what time it is? The real question is – who wouldn’t?!

This cute and clever flash app was sent to me by my dear friend Denise. It does actually tell you the correct time, at least as shown on your computer. Click to switch back and forth between an analog clock and a digital read out. Check it out here:


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Oh those crazy 60’s….

I’m going to file this one under the WTF category. While it must have been fun while it lasted, this just seems like a game with, ultimately, disastrous results - or at least - an unpleasant throbbing headache hued sunrise search for a taxi the next morning. . .


Friday, March 04, 2011

The Associated Press: Pompeii exhibit in NYC shines light on buried city

NEW YORK (AP) - A new exhibition from Italy that opens Friday at New York's Discovery Times Square captures the last gasp of the ancient city of Pompeii before it was buried under volcanic ash, mud and rock when Mount Vesuvius erupted 2,000 years ago.

Copies of body casts that researchers made from the skeletal remains of residents buried alive are an eerie part of the exhibit - a crouching man covers his mouth, a chained dog appears contorted, a family of four huddle together.

A short film recreates what Pompeians might have felt as they tried to escape. The museum's floor vibrates as the volcano's furor grows; a movie screen rises and a double door opens to reveal a funereal scene of 20 "bodies" hardened in poses from their final moments.

Pompeii existed for 700 years before it was snuffed out in just 24 hours.

"Pompeii The Exhibit: Life and Death in the Shadow of Vesuvius" also chronicles life in the vibrant mercantile city before and after Vesuvius erupted. Colorful room and garden frescoes, mosaic floors, pottery and gold jewelry are among the artifacts featured.

Located on Italy's western coast, Pompeii's rich volcanic soil produced wine grapes, wheat and other crops. Both a river and sea port, the city exported goods throughout the Roman Empire and imported such items as lamps, pottery and olive oil from northern Italy, France and Spain.

Its 25,000 inhabitants were well-to-do farmers, bankers, ship captains and traders whose thriving city boasted 200 wine bars, inns and restaurants, 33 bakeries, and Thermoplia, the fast food shops that ladled hot foods from big terra cotta pots.

"The exhibition provides a complete picture of life in an ancient city. No archaeological excavation gives the totality of life like Pompeii," said Judith Harris, ... Exhibition/id-c49b4de85f334b1a8b114e86d79470f7
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