Monday, April 26, 2010

on music.

my new obsession: pandora (yes, i finally capitulated and got myself an account)

2 stations very much to my liking: amy macdonald/lenka; carla bruni

top three new favorite artists:
madeleine peyroux
melody gardot
dolores o'riordan / the cranberries

the cranberries - a predictable preference.

but madeleine peyroux and melody gardot - who would have guessed that i be partial to jazz singers?

now admittedly a good chunk of my fascination with madeleine peyroux (besides her amazing voice) is her darn good album cover photo for half the perfect world.

it reminds me of a famous painting.  I can't place which one right now, though.  it's really bothering me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

let's do this!

augustus of prima porta

as i rewrite my roman history paper on augustus (tacitus v. suetonius v. augustus himself) i will think of the authoritative stance of rome's first unofficial emperor.

augustus was a smart cookie by pretending to be a republican ruler (he wisely learned from the mistakes of his great-uncle, julius caesar) and this statue is exactly the kind of image of himself that he would have wanted to project.  his stance and expression underscore his authority, but his clothes are plain - with the title "princeps" rather than "emperor," he is "first among equals."  sure, he's got a fancy breastplate on, but that's just there for more propaganda; it depicts a scene emphasizing augustus' diplomacy.

there's also the clever insertion of cupid riding a dolphin at the bottom.  it asserts his family's claim as descendants of venus...and also serves to support the statue!  the romans had to put supports in the statues, or else they would be unbalanced and collapse (i am supposing this is because the stances they often assumed? the greek kouros statues didn't need supports, but then again, they were just boys standing with one foot forward, completely in balance).

anyway, point being, i need to take charge of my studies as augustus took charge of rome.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

inspiration of the day.

washington, d.c, howeler and yoon architecture

Friday, April 16, 2010


gustavo dudamel is here at mit, conducting!  i get to go see him tonight; i'm so excited.

from the l.a. times magazine last summer, illustrations by amazing spanish artist gabriel moreno.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

reflections on a writing space.

the project: to design a writer's studio set in a park (connected to adjacent townhouse), a place for writing plus a contrasting place for "something else," with the resulting townhouse, park, and studio giving the writer a faithful experience of "life as south enders live it."

as of now, my design is looking rather like a realistic version of an mc escher drawing.  uh oh.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

life goal number two.

a more realistic but rather stranger life goal: to have a telephone booth somewhere in the middle of my house.  yes, that's right.  a bright red, british telephone booth. in my house.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

my new life goal.

i think my chances of ever living in a converted firehouse, princess diaries style, are pretty slim.  so my new life goal is to live in a church. like a converted one. no, seriously, i'm sure life in a church is generally happier than the hunchback's in notre dame...

hm, unfortunately i think that both options are quite unlikely. well, one can always dream.

a space in a north london victorian church:

in kensal green, london:

in lincolnshire:

in suffolk:

in Bazel:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

lovely distractions.

what i did today, besides walk around boston for three and half hours in 90-degree weather (yes, my lovely architecture professor had the bright idea of taking another "field trip" tour from haymarket all the way to the ica to see parks and talk about, guess what, architecture...i was too busy melting to actually take any pictures of that):

why, make myself a ring, of course!

it's like friendship bracelet style, alternating knotted and a braid thing too...all made out of tea bag strings!  (yes, i do actually have things like that lying around my room). it's kind of ugly, actually, but a nice five-minute distraction from work.

it just looks like a ratty piece of string from a distance (wait, it IS a ratty piece of string....)
actually, it kind of reminds me of mercedes' ring from the movie version of the count of monte cristo. unfortunately mine has no sentimental reason to it whatsoever.

"i told you that night on the rocks, remember, that it would never leave my finger? and it never has."

AWWW. too bad there wasn't such a happy ending in the book...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

eugenio recuenco

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

supper at emmaus

happy easter!

speaking of which, that reminds me of my 12th grade humanities project/paper:

supper at emmaus (caravaggio), 1601- national gallery, london

funny, because caravaggio is actually the name of a small town in italy - the artist was born michelangelo merisi da caravaggio in 1571 (?) - as in michelangelo, from the merisi family of caravaggio.  he only became known as caravaggio when he moved to milan to paint.

anyway, many of his paintings are quite dark but caravaggio's work is genius!

this one, especially, not only because his use of foreshortening, chiaroscuro, and, well detailing in general (as well as the colour scheme, and symbolism in the fruits...) but because of his main subject - jesus.  anything weird about that? well, there's no beard, for one.  because when the bible said that the 2 disciples did not recognise jesus, there is not much of an explanation as to why.  caravaggio has created quite a revolutionary one - he came to them in a different form - here, as a younger, beardless person.

and as the bread is broken, the disciples recognise him - the one on the left (st james, the same one who is honored at compostella?), with his arms spread out in the shape of a cross, and the one in the foreground (cleopas), his tattered elbow sticking out of the page as he prepares to get out of his seat in surprise.  the guy on the left, next to jesus is the innkeeper - still wearing his cap, because he is ignorant and not part of this special revelation.

so, there it is.  i could go on and on about how much i love caravaggio, and his mastery of details and his use of light and his clever and almost mischievously heretical (for the times in which he worked) themes and his compositions in general, but i really need to do some school-related work.  namely, write a paper for my roman history class.  ugh.