Monday, August 26, 2013

Empowerment baby…

On a day when a large portion of the American population seems to be woefully and misguidedly obsessed with the off-key yet auto-tuned warblings and twerking of a soon to be forgotten pop star on the talent/trash heap of fleeting fame, it should be pointed out that today marks the 93rd Anniversary of women finally receiving the right to vote after a long, hard-fought battle.


That makes today Women’s Equality Day – now that’s a good reason to dance.

Equality and Empowerment baby – that’s what it’s all about…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

For your Inner Bugs Bunny...

Did bugs Bunny love carrots? Absolutely.

Are carrots truly good for your vision? Truth be told, no. But they did help Allies defeat the Nazis.

True story.

You can read more at the link below, but rest assured that your Inner Bugs Bunny will be happy about anything related to carrots.

You've Been Lied to About Carrots Your Whole Life Because of Nazis

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Love Italy? Here’s 10 Good Reasons Why…

About 5 years ago, I was fortunate enough to have spent close to a month in Italy. I fell in love with enchanting country the minute I got in the cab and began the wild, hair-raising drive through the streets of Rome to my hotel.

Like a thrilling roller-coaster ride through a cloud of beauty and history, I was enthralled and mesmerized by each turn.

“Venice Canal” ©2007 Michael Sprouse

A close friend of mine sent me this video called “10 Things We Love About Italy”. I have to agree that each of the 10 featured items are indeed easy to fall in love with.

Enjoy, but just don’t watch this if you’re currently dieting because your head may explode…

10 Things We Love About Italy from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo.

Visual Artist Michael Sprouse at the Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy circa 2007

Sensation-wise, an artist in Italy is the equivalent of a kid in a candy store. At least, that was my experience. There I am in a photo take moments after tossing coins in the Trevi Fountain. And you know what that means.

So, Yes. I do intend to go back.

The coins were just insurance…

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

What NOT to do in an Italian Museum…

It seems that an American tourist in Italy has generated shock and outrage by snapping the finger off a 600-year-old statue at a museum in Florence. If there is a Shock and Outrage list floating about, I am happy to sign.

The damage of a statue of the Virgin by Florentine sculptor Giovanni d'Ambrogio, is under investigation by researchers after it was accidentally struck by a US tourist. The tourist reportedly apologized for damaging a finger of the statue but may still face charges.

This is the kind of imbecilic behavior that only strengthens the international mindset that most American tourists are selfish, bumbling, demanding and obnoxious halfwits. I have seen these kinds of Americans each time I have traveled internationally. Frankly – and sadly - they’re not hard to miss.

As someone who has been to the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence and who has stood in front of this very work of art, it blows my mind that anyone would think it appropriate to touch the 600 year old statue or - most shocking if true – “high-five” the statute’s delicate and raised hand. What a shame that some kind of exalted artistic justice magic didn’t cause Giovanni d'Ambrogio’s Virgin Mary to come to life just long enough to smack the (pardon the pun) holy hell out of the mouth-breathing blockhead.

Florence was at the epicenter of the Renaissance. The Fiorentini are justifiably very protective and proud of their artistic treasures. They are taught from birth to respect art. For a person to somehow feel that they have the right to walk up and touch an ancient treasure is wildly disrespectful!

In my opinion – as an Arts Professional – this only underscores the importance of arts education in our country where generations of young people now think that the only definition of being an artist is warbling out some auto-tuned pop song in front of a panel of narcissists or being a member of a fantasy Glee club composed of 25 to 30 year old High School seniors with hidden addiction issues.

When I was a small child, my mother – and artist in her own right - would tell me about the time that she saw Michelangelo’s Pietà at the 1964 World’s Fair. She was so moved by the experience, that I remember her crying in 1972 when the glorious work was attacked with a hammer by the mentally disturbed geologist named Laszlo Toth.

Pietà by Michelangelo

She’s been gone for close to 25 years now. If she were alive today, I can’t help but wonder what she would think about our country’s current dwindling culture and respect for art.

Perhaps the next time she’s having a cup of tea with Michelangelo, they can discuss the issue.