This is really interesting. Kind of old, though.

This artist, Helga Steppan, separated her belongings by color and photographed them. It makes me wonder if she filtered the results a little: there seems to be a sameness of shade between them, as if a specific reddish cast was applied to the "red" stuff, and so on. It also seems like the whole concept was tied together by the backdrops, which are all painted the appropriate color. Most people won't have that at home.

I'm surprised she had so many yellow things; most people who wear those shades of pink, red, and blue can't wear much yellow. (It looks horrible on me and I tend to try to avoid it, even in products. Except for products with giraffes on them. Then it's OK... proving the maxim, "Everything is better with giraffes.")

By the way, I'm snowed in today... quite literally. We have to open the door every hour just to keep the drifting snow from trapping us in the house. Pics later maybe, for friends.

The pop-up scrolling thumbnail menu has lots of other excerpts, which should give you a pretty good idea of why this movie is widely regarded as both creepy and awesome. Also, watch this for extra credit.
verbminx: (librarygirl)
A few hours of reading last week got me through:

The new Scott Pilgrim book (...and the Infinite Sadness) was entertaining, but it's closely tied to the previous book, and if you don't remember exactly what happened in that book, you might be a little bit lost. There's a chart of characters and relationships, but it's in the back of the book, not the front. The only criticism I have, aside from that, is that there are a lot of characters and some of the secondary characters are starting to look too much alike. If you're reading this one, you know what you're getting, so I don't need to get into criticism of the story. I howled over the bit about Todd going to "Vegan Academy."

How to Make A Journal of Your Life by D. Price - zinelike, and not bad, but not great. A very quick read. This book has been obviated by a few other books I've read on the same topic, with the exception of the advice on photography, which is slight but interesting. I liked both The Decorated Journal by Gwen Diehn (whose book The Decorated Page is also really good) and The Creative License by Danny Gregory; I'd recommend those over this.

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley - I avoided this comic for years and years because of its apparent preciousness and the occasional anthropomorphic character. But I kept hearing good things about it, so when I had the chance to get Fantagraphics' recent hardcover collection out of the library last week, I went for it. I was pleasantly surprised.

For the most part, I liked it. I don't think it actually is a feminist response to Cerebus, but it does portray feminist themes in a similar setting with some similar characters. The anthropomorphics aren't intrusive (there are no "sexy cat girls," for example). The book itself is lovely, designed as a fancy storybook. There's an Ex Libris page and a ribbon marker, as well as patterned endpapers on both the book and various chapters, and a lovely deckled edge on the pages.

The art is mostly quite good, but there were times, particularly early on, when there was simply too much whitespace and line art, and not enough shading or b/w balance.

I have a problem with the story structure, and I'm not sure whether it's fair or not. If the volume I read was the entirety of the story, it has serious structural problems. The nested story within the story, where Sister Peace talks about her life as a bearded girl and how she became a Solicitine nun, takes over the second half of the volume; themes that come up in the first half are never resolved, which means that the book is basically Peace's life story and is nonlinear in a clunky way, because it didn't find its focus until Medley had been doing the book for many years. If the book as it stands is only the first portion of the story, it's probably fine. Nothing ever comes of Jain's intriguing first-half flashbacks in this volume... you never find out who she married, who fathered her child, or why she left. The trouble is that the book never says "Volume 1" anywhere on it, so I really don't know if more is coming.

What is there is interesting, but it won't appeal to everyone (a good litmus test is probably "whether or not you like Bone" - the tone is somewhat similar, and Cartoon Books, Jeff Smith's company, published some Castle Waiting material in the past). If it sounds interesting from what I've said, do consider checking it out. It only took me about two hours to read, and it was worth the time.

(ETA - yes, it IS just volume 1. New issues commence this summer, picking up where this volume left off. Linda Medley's Site.)
I am really tired.

Today Tom and I went to the Columbus Museum of Art to see the show Selections from the Carnegie Museum of Art. We weren't really impressed with it. The pieces I liked most were by John Currin and Kara Walker, and I'd like their pieces in any show, so.... (The Currin piece was not Pink Tree, but it was very similar, the same models in a different pose without the tree. The Walker piece was silkscreened, a more portable variation on a larger show she did a few years ago, Emancipation Approximation. "Scene 26" was one of the three panels we saw today.)

The CMA has also made some maddening decisions about its long-term collection, emphasizing a lot of frankly mediocre early-20th-century American work. Every painting they have that was done prior to 1900 is currently being displayed salon-style in a smallish dark-green room. That means that some very small medieval paintings that were meant to be viewed at close quarters (they're mostly private devotional works) are hung at a height of 7 or 8 feet, and many paintings are hung in such a way that it's very difficult to view them without a glare. So you have a large Gentileschi on one wall, a large Rubens on another wall, and a large Van Dyck on another wall, and you can't really get a good view of any of them, let alone the smaller paintings surrounding them, as many as three to a column. They also own a very famous Interior of the Oude Kirk, Delft which is displayed almost as an afterthought. This is the worst-curated area I've ever seen in a remotely-major museum. Your museum is not TGI Friday's or Buca di Beppo.

Apparently the museum owns a few Rembrandts, but I didn't see them, which horrifies me. Please don't have sold them to buy something like the huge, awful Frank Stella piece that dominates the staircase, or the Butterfield horse sculpture (not one of her better ones), or the giant Chihuly monstrosity in the sculpture court. (Chihuly has taken over Columbus in the last few years; he has a permanent exhibition down the road a bit from the CMA.) They're known for selling off their better stuff to try to buy newer stuff that will make them a "more important" museum in a few decades. The room I was discussing in the last paragraph refers to "the re-evaluation of the collection" - I am hoping that they don't try to sell off any more of what they call the "Old World Collection." Almost anything in the museum that surprises or delights is in that room, with a few exceptions. I think they are leaving alone the remainder of what they have, though, because they do have a fun children's exploratory exhibit based on 17th Century Dutch painting. (Honestly, fun enough for adults.) They also have some nice stuff by Picasso, Klee, Gris, Renoir, and a few others.

I need to go to the Cleveland Museum of Art - which has a great 20th century collection, but not at the expense of anything else. However, I can't. It's closing for the next few years for renovation. I could cry. They say they're leaving the armor court alone, but the thing is, they already screwed that up a few years ago by sticking everything in glass cases and filling the room with a warren of them. I HOPE they leave the fountain court and the rotunda alone too. (Given that IIRC they're right by the armor court, it's a good bet they'll be fine. And some of the things being redone, like the Asian collection, really needed a new home. They have a great Asian collection but it's basically been in a basement for years.)

If you're ever in Columbus and go to the CMA, hit the museum gift shop, the Old World Room, the rooms near it that feature a lot of Klee (8 pieces?), the Hall of Picasso, Matisse, and Gris that is on the opposite side of the same floor as the others (noting the Ringold quilt and the Nevelson sculpture on the way), and the kids' exploratory area on the downstairs level. Skip the rest. Such a disappointment. (Which CJ warned me about before I moved here, actually.) Go to Cleveland when it reopens.

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