Van Gogh Alive (Barely) / Van Gogh Viva (Apenas)

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

WE WENT TO Málaga Friday afternoon to catch Van Gogh Alive before it left town. A traveling show in a temporary building, it was only here until Sunday before heading to Valencia.

As an art student, I studied Van Gogh. I read Van Gogh. Sometimes I wanted to BE Van Gogh with all his talent and his even greater tragedies. San Geraldo and I had seen videos and images of the brilliant, engaging exhibit from Amsterdam and Paris and didn’t want to miss it.

The traveling exposition was nothing like what we had seen online. In my opinion at least, “Van Gogh Constrained and Sedentary” would be a better name. We expected to be surrounded by and walking among giant projected imagery accompanied by powerful classical music. What we got instead were bean bag chairs and some backless benches for sitting and viewing shimmying screens (air currents made them shake and one projector was off-kilter) and constrained floor panels. We left extremely disappointed.

We took the train into Málaga’s main station (Maria Zambrano) and taxied from there. On the way home, however, there were no taxis by the lighthouse at the end of the port where the exhibit was housed. We started walking. It’s a bit of a hike from the lighthouse to the main road. No taxis. So we continued walking to the nearest train station (Centro Alameda). More than a half hour. It’s not easy to get San Geraldo to do one of these treks. It was hot and sunny. The wind was blowing and the pollen was visible and blasting our faces and eyes. I told him he didn’t need to bring a hat because we wouldn’t be outside for long. San Geraldo didn’t OPENLY complain but, I feel like I wasted a chit!

Still, if we didn’t find the exhibit itself engaging, I thought the way some of the audience, although stationary, were absorbed into the images was quite arty.

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FUIMOS A MÁLAGA el viernes para ver “Van Gogh Alive” (Van Gogh Viva) antes de que saliera de la ciudad. Un espectáculo itinerante en un edificio temporal, solo estuvo aquí hasta el domingo antes de dirigirse a Valencia.

Como estudiante de arte, estudié Van Gogh. Leí Van Gogh. A veces quise SER Van Gogh con todo su talento y sus tragedias aún mayores. San Geraldo y yo habíamos visto videos e imágenes de una brillante y atractiva exhibición de Ámsterdam y Paris, y no queríamos perdérnosla.

La exposición itinerante no se parecía en nada a lo que habíamos visto en línea. En mi opinión al menos, “Van Gogh Constreñido y Sedentario” sería un nombre mejor. Esperábamos estar rodeados y caminando entre imágenes gigantescas proyectadas acompañadas de poderosa música clásica. Lo que obtuvimos en cambio fueron las sillas puf y algunas bancas sin respaldo para sentarnos y ver pantallas temblorosas (las corrientes de aire las hicieron temblar y uno de los proyectores estaba descentrado) y paneles de piso restringidos. Nos fuimos muy decepcionados.

Tomamos el tren hasta la estación principal de Málaga (María Zambrano) y nos dirigimos desde allí. En el camino a casa, sin embargo, no había taxis en el faro al final del puerto donde se encontraba la exposición. Empezamos a caminar. Es una caminata desde el faro hasta la carretera principal. No hay taxis. Así que seguimos caminando hasta la estación de tren más cercana (Centro Alameda). Más de media hora. No es fácil lograr que San Geraldo realice una de estas caminatas. Estaba soleado y caluroso. El viento soplaba y el polen era visible y arruinaba nuestras caras y los ojos. Le dije que no necesitaba traer un sombrero porque no estaríamos afuera por mucho tiempo. San Geraldo no se quejó abiertamente pero, me siento como si hubiera desperdiciado una ficha!

Aún así, si no encontramos que la exposición en sí sea atractiva, pensé que la forma en que la audiencia, aunque estacionario, estaba absorta en las imágenes era bastante artística.

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Below is a short video of what we had expected to experience.
A continuación se muestra un breve video de lo que esperábamos experimentar.

What’s for Supper, Jerry? / ¿Que Hay Para Cenar, Jerry?

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

San Geraldo walked into my office the other night and said, “I have chicken breasts in the refrigerator. I can make…”

“Pizza?!?”

“No…”

“Popcorn?!? Can you put the chicken in the microwave and press the popcorn button? I hav…”

“Mitchell…”

“I haven’t had popcorn in ages!”

“Here are the options. They all involve chicken.”

I think I sometimes exhaust San Geraldo. (We went out for pizza.)

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LA OTRA NOCHE, San Geraldo entró en mi oficina y dijo: “Tengo pechugas de pollo en el refrigerador. Yo puedo hacer…”

“Pizza?!?”

“No…”

“¿¡¿Palomitas de maiz?!? ¿Puedes poner el pollo en el microondas y presionar el botón de palomitas de maíz? No he ten… ”

“Mitchell.”

“¡No he tenido palomitas de maíz en años!”

“Mitchell, aquí están las opciones. Todos incluyen pollo.”

Creo que a veces agoto a San Geraldo. (Salimos a comer pizza.)

“He finally settled on a finger. I’m pretty sure it was the wrong one.”

“Finalmente se estableció en un dedo. Estoy bastante seguro de que era el equivocado.”


A Sacred Cow / Una Vaca Sagrada

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

Lately, our local sand sculptures haven’t really excited me, and I was just Wednesday morning thinking about how much I’ve missed Paul Blane. He lives nearby and, during our first few years in Fuengirola, I could find him on the beach most days creating exceptional works of art (click here). He’s got the perfect combination of skill, talent, creativity, intelligence, and wit.

Paul has been busy with other things these couple of years and I had thought of writing him this week. So, what a great surprise to be out for a walk and come upon Paul creating something for Christmas. He may only be available temporarily but he brightened up my week. He’s still applying the finishing touches. So I’ll be back.

Ultimamente, nuestras esculturas de arena locales realmente no me han emocionado, y el miércoles por la mañana estaba pensando en lo mucho que extrañaba a Paul Blane. Él vive cerca y, durante nuestros primeros años en Fuengirola, lo pude encontrar en la playa casi todos los días creando maravillosas obras de arte. (haz clic aquí). Él tiene la combinación perfecta de habilidad, talento, creatividad, inteligencia, e ingenio.

Paul ha estado ocupado con otras cosas estos dos años y había pensado escribirle esta semana. Entonces, qué gran sorpresa salir de paseo y encontrar a Paul creando algo para la Navidad. Puede que solo esté disponible temporalmente pero alegró mi semana. Él todavía está aplicando los toques finales. Así que volveré.

Wednesday. / El Miércoles
Paul replenishing supplies. / Paul, reponiendo suministros.
Thursday / El Jueves
Friday / El Viernes
Mary looks like she just got away with something. What could it be? / María parece a alguien que se salió con la suya. ¿Que podría ser?

Art, Art I Want You

We shipped a few pieces of furniture, some artwork, and two boxes of miscellaneous goods from my mother’s (The Dowager Duchess) New York apartment in late August. It went from there to Amsterdam to Madrid and finally arrived here in Fuengirola today.

New York and Madrid were great — well, except for the guy who incompetently packed the two boxes of miscellaneous goods. So, OK, Madrid was great.

The representative in Amsterdam sat on the shipment for nearly three months. As he explained to San Geraldo, when he finally responded, “It’s a long way from Amsterdam to Spain.”

But, it’s here. And it’s a joy to see my mother’s things in our house — especially my mother’s paintings, sculptures, and needlework.

Today’s photo is an embroidery The Dowager Duchess did more than 25 years ago. It’s 18 x 22 inches (46 x 56cm) and the work is so expert that, at first glance (and sometimes even after careful study), most people think it’s an oil painting.

As we unpack and start to get organized, we’re reminded of — and in awe of — my mother’s exceptional talent. (Click the image to be wowed.)

“So I pondered the point of art in this life…”

From Toledo to Corpus Christi

In the past few weeks we’ve gone from Toledo to Corpus Christi. And we haven’t left Spain.

Corpus Christi is a “feast” celebrating the belief in the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist (bread and wine). That’s all the religion you’ll get from me today.

I attended the festivities because Paula (Tynan and Elena’s adored 13-year-old daughter who is a gifted oboe player) was marching at noon in Benalmádena Pueblo. Benalmádena is the town just east of us. Benalmádena Pueblo is the old town and a white village similar to Mijas Pueblo (click here).

A tradition at Corpus Christ is to adorn procession routes with intricate flower mosaics. The art on Calle Real was lovingly created in the morning and happily trod upon a few hours later. Other streets were strewn with carnations and greenery, terraces were adorned with elegant shawls and tapestries, walls were lined with flowers and plants.

It was promoted as the festival of Corpus Christi only because they couldn’t publicly admit that all the festivities were in honor of our upcoming 5-year renewal (see yesterday’s post).

(Click the images to see how big Benalmádena Pueblo went in our honor.)

MY FIRST VIEW FROM THE TOP OF CALLE REAL.

WORKING MY WAY DOWN CALLE REAL.
CONTINUING ALONG THE WAY.
REACHING THE END
(AND ALL BEFORE THE MAJOR CROWSD ARRIVED).
CALLE ALAMOS DECORATED AND STREWN WITH CARNATIONS AND GREENERY.
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA.
CALLE ALAMOS FROM THE OTHER DIRECTION.
LOCAL PRIVATE DISPLAYS OUTSIDE HOMES.
(ABOVE, AND THE TWO THAT FOLLOW.)
A LOCAL BROTHERHOOD’S TRIBUTE
ON PLAZA ANDALUCÍA.
AFTER THE PARADE PASSES BY.
OUR FAVORITE PAULA!
MY FEET AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW…

Sorry for the poor sound quality.
This band is really good!

A final note (and smile) from Paula…