Thursday, 30 July 2015

COFFEE MONEY


By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
Le Corbusier (1887-1965), the professional name of the Swiss-French architect, who was born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, is arguably Switzerland's most famous architect, and, along with Alberto Giacometti, the Swiss-Italian sculptor, one of that country's marque-brand artists.
 
Interestingly, Le Corbusier's profile is not as high in the United States, as in other parts of the world. His only building in North America is the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, built in 1963 at Harvard. It's not very inspiring -- just a layered mass of rough-hewn, poured concrete that's equal parts Brutalism and boring.
 
There might be another reason for the architect's lacklustre popularity on this side of the Atlantic, namely Le Corbusier's little-known penchant as an admirer of the Soviet social order (one of his grandest commissions was in Russia during the 1930s) and fascist states (Mussolini's Italy and Marshal Pétain's Vichy). Also there's simply the work -- a non-humanist approach in aesthetics and scale. Like I said, mostly Brutalism and boring.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art


Mary Cassat
PORTRAIT OF A SHREWD DEALER
By Ken Johnson
The New York Times
24 July 2015
Casual observers might suppose that mega-galleries like Larry Gagosian’s and David Zwirner’s are a distinctively 21st-century phenomenon. But the gallery of Paul Durand-Ruel, the Paris dealer who put Impressionism on the international map, preceded them by more than a century and a half. His fascinating and instructive story is the subject of “Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting,” a gorgeous exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
 
This show presents more than 90 paintings, including many Impressionist works that haven’t been seen in the United States in decades or ever, all of which passed through Durand-Ruel’s hands at some point. The paintings alone make the show a popular draw. But it’s the tale of Durand-Ruel’s career, richly detailed in essays by scholars in the exhibition catalog, that makes this more than just another crowd-pleaser.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Gallery: ALL ABOARD


Zurich HB Rail Station
21 July 2015
Richard Carreño/WC News Service

The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXV. All Rights Reserved

Watana Kreetong

'On the Road' with Thai Artist
By Janine Yasovant
[WC News Service]
Recently I had a chance to meet he Thai artist Watana Kreetong in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He was born in Chumporn Province in the south of Thailand. When he was a student at Silpakorn University, he was a student leader and participated in the Friendship Program for 21st Century in Japan. He also received awards and stipulation money for young artists, as well as exhibiting his artworks in National Art Exhibitions in Thailand several times. After he graduated he worked in the advertising business for more than fifteen years. Many times he had ideas to use his remaining time so he quitted his job in 2010 to pursue his goal to create works of art.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Watch Out Heidi!


Next Week Departure
THE PJ TO VISIT SWITZERLAND

The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXV. All Rights Reserved

Monday, 15 June 2015

Fly on the Wall

 
Sicilian Wine Makes a Come-back
AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE
By Don Merlot
[WC News Service]
NEW ORLEANS -- This column starts the completion of the three stages of wine learning for me. My first stage is where have I been; the second stage is where am I and the final stage is where am I going. This article is going to open the future of wine and food and what I perceive is developing or opening up. I have chosen Sicily as the theme to kick off the journey to the future.
During my first trip to Italy (1972) I had an opportunity to speak at a sales conference about my products. During the social exchange after the presentation one of the prominent Hotel/catering officials was telling stories (In Italian as I found most Milan business men spoke some French but not a lot of English at that time. The English was “British English” and not American English.  He mentioned that Sicily was given the Nobel Peace prize in 1967 for being the only Arab country that had not declared War on Israel. The group of Italians customers thought that his was hilarious.

SOS 2015

SAVE OUR SITES HOSTS ANNUAL SPRING EVENT 27 JUNE
 
Please see the attached announcement of Save Our Sites’ annual spring tour, which this year will be held on Saturday, June 27 at 4 pm.  We will be taking a private tour of the Henry George Birthplace house museum, located at 413 South 10th Street in Center City, Philadelphia.   Attendees are then welcome to join us as we explore the historic Washington Square West neighborhood and to stay for an optional dinner at one of the many fine local restaurants.
 
If you have any question, please reply to this email or call 215-915-6627 or (workdays) 215-232-2344.  You are welcome to RSVP via email—or just come on the day of the event!
          
The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXV. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

NOLA Without the Beads

On the Cheap, That Is


The Cotton Market
Estelle Musson




SEARCHING FOR EDGAR DEGAS
By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
NEW ORLEANS -- What's Edgar Degas, the well-known 19th century French Impressionist, doing in this city, a place otherwise more notably recognized worldwide for its jazz, Mardi Gras, and out-of-towners publicly puking and urinating in the renowned French Quarter? For the casual admirer of Degas (1834-1917) and his iconic ouevre of ballet dancers en déshabillées, female bathers, and louche racetrack railbirds, more natural habitats would surely be the tony bits of Paris, say at the Opéra Garnier, Longchamps, and the intimate boudoirs of the gratin. For ardent and seasoned picture punters, the Musée d'Orsay would do nicely, as well.
Degas Self Portrait

Though better known by its monikers the Big Easy and Crescent City, New Orleans is also a big chunk of 'Degas country,' thanks to a five-month family visit the artist made here in 1872. Since then, local commercial interests have milked and churned the brief sojourn into tourist fodder for more family-oriented visitors, at least those whose primary interests don't include getting drunk and getting laid.

Voilà! The house where Degas lived with relatives (and where he painted a bit as well), at 2306 Esplanade Avenue, in the leafy Mid-City precinct near the Vieux Carré, has been converted into an upscale bed-and-breakfast. And visitor site. Not far away, at 3127 Esplanade, is the Café Degas, an out-door bistro where 'nobody makes egg dishes better than [its] French chef.'

Monday, 8 June 2015

Chayanan Arvato

BATHING BEAUTIES
By Janine Yasovant 
[WC News Service]
The Artist
     A native of the island Koh Yoh in the South of Thailand, Chayanan Arvato studied art at Chang Sin College and later got Bachelor’s and Master's degrees from Silpakorn University. His current job is a university lecturer. Chayanan is a role model of an artist who incorporates drawing in the western style. He has observed art works in Europe more than eight times and he found that his knowledge of art is still lacking as each kind of work requires different ways of training. People admired him and called him the best figurative artist in Thailand. I completely agree.

Friday, 5 June 2015

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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Guernica

Guernica
ART AS POLITICS
By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
MADRID -- Guernica, Pablo Picasso's masterpiece at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía here, often ranks as the artist's most famous,  if not greatest, work. The picture, depicting the anilation by aerial bombing of the small Basque peasant village of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, is also frequently cited as the most famous anti-war painting in the pantheon of Western Art. With such superlatives, Guernica has become one of those iconic paintings that everyone seems to know. And everyone wants to see. It has its own immense showcase gallery. Guards are stationed at attention on either side of the canvas. No photography permitted. Something like the Mona Lisa, without, at least when I visited recently, the Louvre-like crowds.

But is Guernica really just an anti-war statement, as it is most often portrayed? Or even, for that matter, the most powerful iteration of that admirable sentiment ever rendered in 20th-century modern art? Maybe, not so much
 
Simply put, Guernica doesn't escape being, as is the case with much war-related art, politically motivated. As such, it ranks too as arguably the most famous poster child for advocacy art. In a word, propaganda. Righteous propaganda. But propaganda nonetheless.
Gassed
The Third of May, 1808, in Madrid

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Carreño de Miranda


 
COURTING CONTROVERSY
By Richard Carreño
[WC News Service]
MADRID -- I have two great painters in the family.

One was my grandfather, Toribio Carreño, an early 20th-century immigrant from Cuba, who was house painter in New York.
 
The other is Juan Carreño de Miranda, a 17th-century Spanish court painter.
 
They both worked in oils.
 
That's pretty much where their artistic similarities begin and end. Toribio went on to have his ephemeral masterpieces take pride of place on several residential blocks in Brooklyn. Juan's works have proven to be more timeless, taking pride of place in the Museo Nacional del Prado here. 
 
Family legends are often dodgy, more fun to playfully indulge in than rigorously inspect, and thus it's often best not to scratch too deeply into genealogical details.
 
Still, it's more than just amusing to associate one's own DNA with a historical figure, especially a personage who can link a family's roots to a glamorous, regal past. True, Carreño de Miranda (1614-1685) wasn't as skilled, prominent, nor as well-connected as his contemporary Diego Valázquez (1599-1660). Valázquez painted kings. Carreño, for the most part, painted dukes and lesser royalty. (Though, as a royal painter, he still did get a few cracks at depicting Mad King Charles II in a few unflattering portraits). 
 
 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Franco's Monument

El Caudillo
NO PASARÁN
By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
MADRID
Part I
There are few memorials to tyrants. Consider the dictators of the World War II era.
 
Imagine the unthinkable -- a monument to Hitler; another, to Mussolini.

On the other hand, Stalin, the Soviet Union's villainous Communist dictator, still gets venerated in a Red Square, Moscow, crypt.

And, remarkably, memorialized in this country is the lesser-known, fourth butcher of that war period -- Francisco Franco, who in the wake of Spain's Civil War claimed the nation as his own as the victorious Caudillo, or Leader.

Unlike Stalin's resting place, Franco's grave site is off the tourist grid, in the Guadarrama mountain range, high above, and to the northwest, of Madrid. It's big, creepy, and chilling.
 
Franco's tomb is inside

Saturday, 9 May 2015

An Arab Spring?

 
Fly on the Wall
Sicilian wine: A Renaissance with Arab Roots
 
Notes & thoughts on food and wine from RON ALONZO aka DON MERLOT
 
This column starts the completion of the three stages of my wine education. The first stage is where have I been; the second stage, where am I; and the final stage, where I'm going. This article is going to open the future of wine and food. I have chosen Sicily as the theme to kick off the journey to the future.
 
During my first trip to Italy (1972) I had an opportunity to speak at a sales conference about my products. During the social exchange after the presentation, one of the prominent hotel/catering officials was telling stories (in Italian as I found most Milan business men spoke some French, but not a lot of English at that time. Their English was “British English” and not American English). He mentioned that Sicily was given the Nobel Peace prize in 1967 for being the only Arab country that had not declared war on Israel. The group of Italians customers thought that his was hilarious.
 
I accept and understand the concept “that the truest things are said in jest,” but here I am seeing that Italians had their own profile of fellow Italians. Although I had studied European history and had an idea of where Italy fit into the Western World, I did not know that the Italians differentiated themselves by their own DNA. I guess I was quite naïve. I thought about it and thought how little I knew about Sicily versus the concept of homogenous Italians. (To me Americans are very quick to judge cultures in a homogenous formula. Yes, I had talked to my Italian-American roommates in college (really, other than some conversations with other Italian-Americans was about the Mafia, and I did not want to throw that in that ring because Mafia means different things to various groups).  

Friday, 1 May 2015

Pols Yuck it Up

A Good Time Was Had by All
AND MEDIA TAKES A SHINE TO LUMINARIES 
By Richard Meyer
WASHINGTON [WC News Service] -- Politicians in this country are entitled to a bit of levity. But the spectacle of the Red Carpeted, forced smiles commingling of public servants (so to speak) and "celebrities" at fancy dinner, in a time when middle class families struggle to stay afloat and the income inequality gap is at record levels is a poor spectacle to present to the country at large. 
 
By the way, I do not mean this in any way as a partisan comment, as these spectacles go on during the Administrations of both parties.

The blurring of the lines between entertainment and politics, as reflected daily in the so-called "News" programs, especially in the morning hours, is a pestilence in our times of serious domestic and foreign issues alike.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Fly on the Wall

Done and Done
Photo: WC News Service/Don Merlot 
Continuing notes & thoughts on food and wine from the WC News Service's Ron Alonzo aka Don Merlot       

RENAISSANCE OF CLASSIC WINE

 This year has been busy one visiting the past, finding out what we know about wine and what do with wine and or what we have learned about wine, and guess about what the future of wine will be with what we have learned. It reminds me of the old saying my parents discussed with me to see if I was on the right road to a successful life.

       Tell me where you have been?   

       Tell me where you are?

       Tell me where you are going?
      
    In March, I saw some friends in Florida who started the journey of wine with me back in 1969 when we lived Michigan. My original bias was red wine from Burgundy and white wine from the Loire. The French Bordeaux was the most respected and prestigious wine in the USA and globally recognized as well.     
      
    Our intentions were to visit our favorite food tastes and wines that we have enjoyed.  We set our expectation on having two home prepared meals and we sipped six bottles of wine that were matched to the food. We only had two nights to enjoy this.    

      In a sense it reminded me of where I had been in my wanderings these past 46 years. The wines came from different regions and countries and were presented to accompany special favorite dishes we had enjoyed. It is something we have done since 1969. Before dispatching the empty bottles to oblivion, I took a photo with my I-Pod to remind me of our souvenir.  

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Picasso Museum, Paris

CROWD CONTROL
By RICHARD CARREÑO
Waiting
Photo: WC News Service
 
PARIS [WC News Service] -- The newly-reopened Musée National Picasso-Paris, closed for expansion and remodelling after an incredible (count em!) five years, is unarguably the world's most comprehensive and numerically superlative collection anywhere of works by Pablo Picasso, the prolific, long-time Parisian. There are, of course, many iconic pieces of the Picasso's canon elsewhere, with pride of place in museums from Madrid to New York. But for sheer number (more than four hundred objects) -- including great examples of the Spanish modern's oeuvre over a lifetime of artistic mastery --  the 'new' Picasso Museum is the place to show up. If you can get in. 

No, the Picasso is not a timed-ticket establishment. But I'm wondering whether it really should be. Actually, putting up with the longish entrance queue is the easy part. (Full disclosure: As a reporter, I got to skip the line in a visit earlier this month). What's harder for everyone, even those credentialed as press, is seeing the works with any ease. Forget contemplation. Communion? Not in this lifetime. Even just trying to get up close and personal with any of the art is a spirited, athletic art form in itself. In weaving and bobbing among other museum-goers (many seem to be garden clubers on private tours), being built like a line-backer will definitely help. So will a periscope to see over the heads of fellow galleristas.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fondation Louis Vuitton

'Anchors Away!'
Photo: WC News Service/Richard Carreño
ALL HAT, NO CATTLE
By RICHARD CARREÑO
PARIS [WC News Service] -- The super rich and powerful get all sorts things named for them; their fabulous wealth underwriting  ego-centric municipal projects from hospitals and sports stadiums to theatres and, increasingly for those billionaire one-per-centers who also fancy themselves as art connoisseurs, eponymous museums that showcase their putative, ahem, 'connoisseurship.'
 
Step forward, please, France's richest man, one Bernard Arnault, chairman of the luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, who has also created what may be one of the the world's worst contemporary art museums, the newly-minted Fondation Louis Vuitton, a Frank Gehry-designed behemoth that rises up in Paris' principal park, the Bois de Boulogne.

The mega-million-euro museum, resembling an ocean-going ark with a very large prow, opened in late 2014. I got around to it earlier this month.

True, the museum doesn't bear Arnault's name. Never mind. Arnault is Vuitton, and, in the tony precincts of the 16th, Mayfair, and the Upper East Side, everyone knows it. That, seemingly, is enough for the vainglorious Arnault.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Janet Flanner

THE NEW YORKER'S FLÂNEUSE
By RICHARD CARREÑO
Flanner
Hotel Intercontinental
PARIS [WC News Service] -- For more than thirty years, The New Yorker, arguably America's most respected middle-brow general circulation magazine, surveyed this city and French life from a 12 feet by 15 feet perch overlooking the Palais Garnier, the wonderful Beaux Arts structure that houses the Paris Opera.
 
That is, until 1978, when 86-year-old Janet Flanner, the magazine's Paris correspondent known by her sobriquet 'Genêt,' who had occupied the pocket-sized room, suffered a fatal heart attack during one of her periodic visits to New York. It was, as they say, an end of an era.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

Din Din
Photo: WC News Service
Get Stuffed
Paris (WC News Service) -- The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, or the Museum of Hunting and Nature, in Le Marais, is something like the Museum of Natural History in New York, even the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. That is, without the dinosaurs and dioramas. And size.

It's the sensibility. The Marais museum, at 62, rue des Archives, is smallish on three-floors, boutique like, and its exhibits are, for the most part, stuffed specimens of small animals hunted by rifle-bearing shooters. Its largest pieces are brown and polar bears and, on the top floor, two gorillas -- who seemingly are about to share the pleasures au table.

Actually, I had hoped for more about stag hunting, the French version of English and American foxhunting. Except for a few statuettes and oil pictures, not much.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Down Memory Lane, Dreaming of Empire

The Greater Reich, including Austria, shown in map at Vienna's war museum.
Photo: WC News Service
In many European countries, Jews are facing growing anti-Semitism, particularly as Islamic terrorism spreads widely over the continent. In Vienna, Richard Carreño, finds that Jews and their war-time persecution are just pretty much ignored.
 
VIENNA'S WORLD WAR II MEMORY LAPSE
VIENNA — The parade of jack-booted troops was greeted by thousands. Packed into Vienna's Heldenplatz, they listened in awe as he ranted about the wonders of Lebensraum. Not far away, he and his mistress, Eva Braun, shared separate apartments at the Imperial Hotel. He, in the presidential suite, with an out-door balcony overlooking Vienna's Ringstrasse, its centre-city inner loop. There, he ranted some more.

In early 1938, Adolph Hitler was at the top of his game. And the Anschluss, or the annexation of Austria, was a key piece in expanding the 'living space' (Lebensraum) of Nazi Germany. Berlin was the capital of National Socialism. Munich, its spiritual seat. Vienna, thanks to Hitler's Austrian birth, schooling, and work there, its incubator. Vienna, Hitler was fond in saying, was 'the jewel in the crown.'

Today, in a city known more for its opera and waltzes, Secessionist artists (Gustav Klimt amongst them) cappuccino mit schlag (strudel on the side), Spanish riding horses, and the Blue Danube (now, more a murky, industrial grey), there's little physical evidence that this was Adolph Hitler's 'hometown. Or, of the triumphal return of the once-disgraced, failed local art student and draft-dodger as this city's prodigal son -- homeboy, according to Viennese at the time, made 'good.'

Vienna's memory stream runs thin. Its memory lapse, deep.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

EXCLUSIVE PJ PHOTOS!

*** This year is the 450th anniversary of the Spanish Riding School, to be celebrated by a gala scheduled for 7 pm at the nearby Heldenplatz on 26 June and subsequently at the 6th Fete Imperiale. In attendance will be the Royal Andalusian Riding School from Jerez, Spain. ***
THE PJ VISITS THE SPANISH RIDING SCHOOL

Me
Photos: WC News Service
VIENNA -- By the time we arrived at Michaelerplatz, during our visit last week, it was already late in the day. We suspected that our visit would be rescheduled for another day.
'No, you're just in time for the last English-language tour,' we were told.
'Where shall we meet?'
'Right here. You're it.'
Not surprisingly that we were only English-speakers really. During our week-long stay in Vienna, we encountered few, if any, other Americans. Few, if any, native English-speaking tourists. Time of the year?
But what especially was a happy result was that we were permitted to take photos, normally banned on public tours. -- Richard Carreño
 
Thanks to Wikipedia for the following:
         

The Spanish Riding School (German: Spanische Hofreitschule) of Vienna, Austria, is a traditional riding school for Lipizzan horses, which perform in the Winter Riding School (Winterreitschule) in the Hofburg. Not only is it a centre for classical dressage, the headquarters is a tourist attraction in Vienna that offers public performances as well as permitting public viewing of some training sessions. The presentation builds on four centuries of experience and tradition in classical dressage. The leading horses and riders of the school also periodically tour and perform worldwide.
More Photos Follow

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Art and Happiness By Janine Yasovant

THE ART OF PAKITSILP VARAMISSARA 

For some time, I have followed the Thai artist Prakitsilp Varamissara. He has had several interesting exhibitions which can be seen as blending artistic knowledge from Silpakorn University and local wisdom from the area where he has currently been residing. That is the combination of art in Lanna Thai culture and artistic knowledge from western nations.
 
For example, in 2013 there was an art exhibition to celebrate 30th Anniversary of his every art exhibitions that was held at the National Art Gallery in Bangkok. Audiences impressed with the varieties of his art works which were so stunning and different. It could be said as if it was not his solo exhibition.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Liliane Clever


IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE CHARLIE HEBDO MASSACRE, EVEN HE SHOULD WORRY -- A LOT
 
JANUARY 7 WAS a very sad day for France. On that morning, the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo, a small, funny, silly, satirical magazine, left everyone of tears.

Reading Charlie Hebdo has been a rite of passage, since the 1960s, for many young people in France. In a way, it's like Mad -- but with bite and the feel and look of illicit, deep Underground publication. Both magazines share a similar demographic, young readers.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Janine Yasovant

Reporting from Chiang Mai, Thailand 
PICHAI NIRUND
Photo: Janine Yasovant/WCNews Service
|PICHAI NIRUND:
HIS OTHER ART: THE VIOLIN|
[WCNews Service]Recently, I had a chance to visit the house of Pichai Nirund, a Thai national artist in visual arts (Buddhism). He told me that he moved from Bangkok to Chiang Mai around ten years ago due to heavy flood in Bangkok. His house is located around foothill of Doi Suthep Mountain. Pichai was born on 7 March 1936 in Bangkok Thailand and he received a title of Thai national artist in 2004. In the Silpakorn University, he was one of the art students who was taught by an Italian professor Silpa Bhirasri (Corrado Feroci 1892-1962)
See Art Images Below

Thursday, 18 December 2014

LGA: US' Oldest Airport

LGA's Marine Terminal/A
Oldest Operating Air Terminal
Photos: WritersClearhouse News Service
Richard Carreno
SHIPS IN THE SKY
New York [WC News Service] | I visited another era in air travel yesterday. When planes where known as 'flying boats' and as 'airships,' and, as the old legacy American Airlines used to call them, 'flagships.' Welcome to LaGuardia Airport, America's oldest operating air/water field.
 
You mean that hodge-podge of buildings known as Terminals B and C? No, those are LGA's newcomers. Thanks to Delta, the real LGA, known as Marine Terminal (Terminal A) is still functioning. More, or less.
 
That's what I learned yesterday on my mission to discover more about the Marine Terminal, opened in 1939 by then-New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. The extent of Delta's in-coming and out-going seemed dodgy, at best. Yes, there's a counter. Even TSA agents. As for passengers, not so much.
 
BE SURE TO SEE THE PHOTO GALLERY THAT FOLLOWS BELOW!

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