In good and bad.

I don't know why I have a thing for statues but I guess it is because of the emotions they represent. Not that paintings, songs or other art pieces can not move me but when I saw this statue in Italy (I believe it was in Vicenza), I fell in love with it and it has quickly become one of my favourite statues.

For me this couple is the example of everlasting love that means no matter what, you stay together, stand by each other, give each other tenderness and hold your loved one's hands make them stand up again, even in tantalizing pain.

But from an other view, it means something else to me as well - that love is never easy, sometimes it's agonizing and yes, it also reminds me of true passion, that irresistible something that words can not describe (at least my words can not) - but this statue, well, it can.



Everyone who is deeply interested in arts, especially painting knows there are many myths and never-to-be-learnt things surrounding Velázquez's famous Las Meninas - maybe this is the reason why artists and art teacher love to talk and think about it so much. The other reason, well, that is my great passion called Picasso.

This is the original painting that can be seen in Madrid's Prado. I am not going to tell you about the mirror problem, the aspect problem, the representation problem etc. I think this masterpiece is beautiful enough to be admired without knowing all that and I find it a bit uncanny as well - the couple in the mirror, the man standing on the stairs and the other figures but Infanta Margarita (the blonde little girl) is the most capturing of all. Experts, of course, care more about the aforementioned problems and the question "what is the painter painting?" than about the pure brilliance of the painting itself. Good for them.

This one is Pablo Picasso's version, from 1957 (in this year only he painted 58 Las Meninas pieces) and it is the property of Museu Picasso, Barcelona. I would say the man in the background is scarier than in the original but this Picasso is one of my favourites because of the colours and the figures and the style.

But when it comes to my most beloved version of Las Meninas(1973), I am in love with Richard Hamilton's Picasso's Las Meninas that is the mixture of the original and Picasso's interpretation. I was lucky enough to see it with my own eyes and if you happen to visit Tate Gallery in London, make sure you see this one, too. This etching on paper is one of the creations for Hommage á Picasso and what I like the most is that Hamilton made it more Picasso-ish: he changed Velázquez and put Picasso in front of the not-to-be-seen painting, the figures are more Picasso than Velázquez, too, not to mention the two Picassos hanging on the wall in the background (one of them is The three musicians, the other one I just can't recognize). Brilliant.

I was hesitating with this one but I decided to post it as well. Honestly, this photoraph by Joel Peter Witkin (1987) is a bit too much for me but the more I look at it the more I like it. Frankly speaking, it's the ultra modern Las Meninas and I prefer the previous versions but I do respect Mr. Witkin because of his creativity and fantasy.

Which one do you like the most?


Broken love.

I think if someone decided to find out what is the theme that attracts the most artists that person would end up saying it's all about love. And when it comes to love in art, it is usually impossible, hopeless, platonic love. And there are many beautiful songs that express such emotions in a beautiful way, no matter what gender we are talking about. Today I am going to show you my favourite "broken love-song". It is in Spanish but I will translate you the first few lines that are the most beautiful but I do recommend you to listen to this song since it is extraordinary and heartbreaking - the voice of Chavela says it all and it is absolutely possible to understand what is behind the lines without actually understanding them. But basically, the story goes like this: the man left and the woman is left in despair and tantalizing love.

First, here is my translation and below you can find the lyrics in Spanish.

"I am already tired of crying and not waking up
I don't know now whether to curse you or pray for you
I am afraid of looking for you and finding you
Where my friends assure me you go
There are moments when I would like to rip myself
And tear out the nails of my suffering
But my eyes die without watching your eyes."


Ya me canso de llorar y no amanecer
Ya no sé si maldecirte o por ti rezar
Tengo miedo de buscarte y de encontrarte
Donde me aseguran mis amigos que te vas
Hay momentos en que quisiera mejor rajarme
Y arrancarme ya los clavos de mi penar
Pero mis ojos se mueren sin mirar tus ojos
Y mi cariño con la aurora te vuelve a esperar
Y agarraste por tu cuenta la parranda
Paloma negra paloma negra dónde, dónde andarás?
Ya no jueges con mi honra parrandera
Si tus caricias han de ser mías, de nadie más
Y aunque te amo con locura ya no vuelves
Paloma negra eres la reja de un penar
Quiero ser libre vivir mi vida con quien yo quiera
Dios dame fuerza que me estoy muriendo por irla a buscar
Y agarraste por tu cuenta las parrandas.

(The song is written by Tomás Méndez and is performed by the gorgeous Chavela Vargas and is from the movie Frida)


The Splendour of the Medici.

Sorry for not posting for a while but exam season is about to arrive really soon and I had absolutely no time to do anything I wanted. Well, except for one trip to the capital, Budapest to visit The Splendour of the Medici, a wonderful exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts. Thankfully, named museum has many exciting and high-profile programs and this one was no exception. Just a few names whose works are exhibited: Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Donatello, Raffaello, Michelangelo... and I could go on and on (besides, I also visited the Lines of Beauty exhibition with drawings from the Louvre by artists like Poussin and my dear Fragonard).
The most famous exhibited piece was Botticelli's Pallas and the Centaur that originally hangs in the Uffizi, Florence. The painting is simply brilliant and huge, unfortunately it is the one that attracts the crowd and I fel like I was staring at Mona Lisa in Louvre as I tried to admire it in its complete beauty, trying to find the best position between all the heads and necks of other visitors. But I am someone who stays in front of an artwork for as long as it is necessary so I didn't miss the full view either.

The leading role of the exhibition went to angels: they were present in many paintings and statues, I especially loved Donatello's Kneeling Angels (unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of it).
But my favourite piece was a da Vinci - his La Scapigliata is simply gorgeous, dreamy, angelic, the kind of masterpiece you stare at for maybe hours without even noticing it. One can completely lose oneself in it.

I believe the next exhibition I will visit (not counting the Picasso I am about to see next week) will be around October when Gustav Klimt and others will show us la Nuda Veritas (the naked turth). Can't wait to see!


Let's talk about sex...

There are many books written about sexual relationships (and now I'm talking about novels) and sometimes they are called romantic novels but here are my 3 favourite "sexual" books - novels I adore to death, novels that show us there really is some difference between porn and eroticism since the latter involves love and true passion.
1. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Seriously, a list like this has to involve this novel. For your information, the book is about a married woman who starts a liaison with their gardener (how typical...) that happens to become something very serious. At its time, Lady Chatterley's Lover was rather a scandalous novel, something that everyone wanted to (or did) read but no-one was "brave" enough to confess it (remember that scene from Oscar when Stallone's daughter hides the book under her pillow so that her father wouldn't discover it) but somehow, just like many of its companions, it has become a must-read.
2. I Shall Spit on your Graves by Boris Vian

This one is so rare I couldn't even find the English cover, all I could come up with is the Hungarian edition. It was a year-long fight for me to get this book that is about an African-American man who looks like a "white man" and decides to take advantage of this while taking revenge on them for his brother's untimely death. And, what could be more mean than seducing rich white girl and then kill them brutally? Vian's novel is astonishing and brilliant.
3. The Dying Animal by Philip Roth

An elderly gentleman tells the story of his romance with a girl almost 40 years his junior - this time it is the man who suffers, who becomes dependant and despite all my adoration for the opposite sex, it's just great to see that men can live in pain for love as well. What I like about this novel is that it's the great example of the fact that no matter how old you are, love comes without respecting age gaps: it can arrive in the face of someone your age or someone much older/younger - all that matters is what you feel. It might seem romantic, but it's true. And this novel is simply perfect. Sometimes vulgar, other times describingly erotic but it's always, always about a man who - to use Bryan Adams's words - really loves a woman.


Two actors.

There are the superstars and there are actors not everyone knows by name but everyone remembers by face and works. When you watch a movie, you see them in it and love what they do. And accidentally, you happen to watch an other one starring them. And with time, you start to like them so much, you intentionally watch something they are in because you know it will be good - if not for the film itself, then for their characters.

1. John Leguizamo

The first time I noted his name was in ER when he brought to life his doctor-going-mad role so authentically that I would have felt guilty not to call it outstanding and one of my favourite cameos in series ever (if you call a 12 episodes long work a cameo). Of course the Colombian actor was not a new face around to me - his Tybalt in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo+Juliet was simply brilliant (5 years later Luhrmann hired him again to play Toulouse-Latrec in Moulin Rouge), not to mention Carlito's Way (with Al Pacino), Summer of Sam or Love in the Time of Cholera. With time, Leguizamo has become someone I am happy to see in the cast of a movie I am about to watch - his great performances make sure even a not-so-good movie is worth watching.

2. Alfred Molina

Though he has been around for a very long time, my earliest memory of him is Chocolat where he shared the screen with Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp but Molina's Comte Paul de Reynaud was the most memorable of all. 2 years later he had the opportunity to play legendary painter Diego Rivera in Frida and since then I am eager to see anything he agreed to be in. Of course, I discovered later that Chocolat was not the first Molina film I saw but I was very young when I first watched Dead Man (also with Depp) and Boogie Nights, I can not be blamed for not remembering him clearly, right? But it's the past - since Comte Paul de Reynaud, whenever he appears on screen I smile because I know what I will get: a flawless performance by an actor who happens to be a genious. And that's something I rarely say about an actor.


Movies everyone is fool for - but me.

A while ago I had a post about movies most people dislike but me and now it's time for those that are adored by millions but I just can't get why.

1. Juno
No wonder, Juno is a sweet movie but never in my life did I think it was going to be as big as it is. True, the story is extraordinary but the Oscar winning script seems enforced sometimes and an average 15-16 year-old girl is not like Juno who is way too mature in the movie (and the writer of the screenplay obviously wanted to 'soften' her matureness with witty-like lines that sound a bit unnatural). But her father's character is great, I do not know why he reminds me of the brilliant Little Miss Sunshine's grandpa...

So yes, nice film but nothing special except for the pregnant teenager thing. Could have been better, could have been more entertaining.

2. The Devil Wears Prada
This movie is called "my favourite" by many fashionistas but frankly speaking, I expected more. I watched it back when it came out and never again. I was unimpressed by everything, it was full of clichés. I haven't read the book (yes, shame on me) so I don't know whether that's better or not but except for Meryl Streep and some great outfits, I couldn't find anything I loved about The Devil Wears Prada (but believe me, I tried to). It is the kind of film that has a well predictable ending, it's enough to read the plot or watch the first few minutes. And even if I want to say it shows what a despot a certain editor-in-chief can be, I can't. In fact, the real-life legends sound more authentic to me than this film (even if it is based on the experiences of the book's author).

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