Our vacation was magical, and as you might expect, we saw a tremendous amount of art. Seriously, I saw nearly every artwork that has graced all of my art history books from childhood to today. London and Paris have a lot of history, but they were also quite clever about stealing the best paintings and sculptures known to humanity. Huzzah to them, I guess. This (mainly pictorial) post is all about Paris; I’ll write a London wrap-up very soon.
This is the view from The Pompidou Center, which is a weird and wonderful place. Built ostensibly as a salute to French ingenuity, the most memorable feature of this building was a sound installation piece that echoed throughout the Habitrail-like escalator enclosures of Sacred Chants of the Gyuto Monks Tantric Choir. I highly recommend clicking on the link and listening to it. Mesmerizing, as well as an enjoyable walk down a Pompidou hallway.
This is The Luxembourg Gardens. I’ve included this photo because I took it with my iPhone. Can you believe phones? (Note: I took all these photos with my phone, but this one is particularly postcard-esque.)
The top of the tower was magical, but the best part of the day was lounging in the park afterwards. I drew the tower while Misia alternately napped and took photos of cute Parisian kids playing soccer. Oh, and we had hot dogs and beer.
We passed this little gem, and I couldn’t believe no one was around. here is essentially a holding pen for art that is usually stored in the basement. These sculptures were moved in anticipation of flooding (or renovations, I can’t remember) and they looked magnificent. So spooky, so pretty.
Is there anything more vulgar than this? I mean, seriously. This painting is more infamous than good. It’s behind bulletproof glass. You can’t get closer than 12 feet from it. And what on earth are people going to do with all those photos of this painting? And the kicker of this room (roughly the size of a high school gymnasium) is that some of the best paintings in the world line the walls. No one is paying any attention to them! Which is good for someone like me, but I mean really. You’re at The Louvre! Get your 15 euros worth! Look around! To wit: look at the paintings in the background. Do you see what’s happening?
That’s Titian on the left and Tintoretto on the right. Two of my biggest influences, hanging next to each other. And they hated each other! It’d be like if in 400 years, the Red Sox and the Yankees were hung next to each other on a wall somewhere. But there they are. Fucking amazing.
At The Musée d’Orsay, they had a Manet retrospective. Manet changed my life, so despite the crowds, I needed to spend a lot of time in this gallery. Afterwards, I couldn’t even look at anything else. I have a maximum memory capacity when it comes to museums, and once I’ve had my fill, I can’t spoil it with other stuff. I will argue, until the day I die, that Manet’s work will always look just as current and just as exciting as anything made right now. His stuff is magical.
And that’s my wrap up of Paris! I’m not going to bore you with our fun vacation-ey photos. But I do add this one, because it’s from the famed Café de Flore in the St. Germain district. If you want an eight Euro cappuccino in the same cafe that Sartre, Picasso, Camus, and Gertrude Stein held court, this is your place. But for real, what price to sit on the most beautiful corner in Paris, thinking your thoughts, existing in the world, would be too much to pay?