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Archive for December, 2010

The Fortress of Lost Time. Graphite on paper and magazine cutouts. December 28, 2010. Miti and Gianni Aiello.

Genova. Graphite on paper and magazine cutouts. December 27, 2010. Miti and Gianni Aiello.

 

These collages start with a drawing my father sketches out on thin notebook paper; I then proceed to create possible scenarios.

And this is the conversation at the end of the day with my mother, a retired judge — which i have entitled:

Talking about art with my (practical, realist) mother

[Me , retiring for the night, putting my art paraphernalia away] I’m happy about the collage. It was a good day.

Oh, did you have fun?

Mom, I don’t do art to have fun (recalling an earlier conversation about not turning your passion into an hobby).

But, didn’t you entertain yourself while you did it? Didn’t you stop worrying about other things while you were making it?

No mom, that’s not the point. I am creative. I have to create/work on  something everyday.

But what’s the use? Something is useful only if someone appreciates it.

Mom, I appreciate it, then it’s enough. I do it to satisfy myself. The people who read my blog appreciate it. Art doesn’t have to be useful in the pragmatic sense.

Then it’s psychotherapy.

No, mom don’t diminish me, if you think it’s psychotherapy then that means there’s something wrong with me.

But if it benefits you it’s like psychotherapy. Ok, like fitness. Mental fitness…..It’s like writing books.

Mom, art is not about fitness.

But I don’t understand art.

Ok, how about this: I do it for something you don’t understand : for pleasure.

No, I don’t understand it.

It’s okay mom. The world is beautiful because of its variety. (Italian saying: ‘il mondo e’ bello perche’ e’ vario). [Exiting the room].

I love my practical mom! She keeps me and my father out of trouble 😉

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Milano, where window shopping is elevated to an art form. Here is a Louis Vuitton window inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, with paper lanterns shaped as luggage. The inspiration comes from the Indian Festival of Lights.


El Prestin Del Cantun: a paradise of focaccine and pizzette...dreams do come true.

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Christmas Day finds me in Amsterdam this year, on my way to Milano. Internet access may be intermittent the next few weeks, and while I plan to do art and sketch (well, as much sketching as subzero temperatures will allow), I won’t have my scanner so the quality of the drawings, collages and whatever else I may do will not be pristine, so bear with me. After all, this is the beauty of traveling: not having your usual environs, trappings and equipment leads to creative problem solving and a bit of experimenting (even though, judging from my luggage, it sure does look like I am carrying all my trappings :P). I plan to use a very nifty feature I discovered in WordPress: post by SMS (text). I am not sure my Italian sim card will allow me to use my Android phone as modem or that I will have internet on it, but I sure will be able to text so I am looking forward to post some impressions of Milano in winter, maybe even some life ephipanies (ha!).
For now I want to leave with some quotes I took down from the movie Eat, Pray , Love (don’t judge, it was playing on the plane and I happen to dig the author, as I mentioned before):
 
 
Italy:

Americans know entertainment, but they don’t know pleasure.

In Italy we have the expression ‘dolce far niente’ ; the sweetness of doing nothing.

Maybe you are a woman in search of a word.

Ruin is a gift. Ruin leads to transformation and evolution.

Bali:

Learn to see with your heart, not with your eyes, or with your head.

Meditate while smiling. Smile not just with your face, smile with your head. Smile even with your liver.

India:
You don’t have to be married or have children to have a family.

You have to learn to select your thoughts everyday, just as you select the clothes you are going to wear everyday.

God dwells within me. As me.

To live is to trust.

What if you had the capacity one day to love the whole world?

…..
A Merry, Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year
Let’s hope is a good one
Without any fear.
(And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?)

 

Here is to new beginnings without old nonsenses.

Here is to lots of art and growth (and lots of good things to share)

 
 

 

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Photograph, December 19, 2010

This is my piazza, do you want to join me? We can walk inside the Battistero and talk about Islamic influences in the architecture of the Rinascimento in Firenze…or maybe just stroll about like tourists. Let’s take that via,the one on the left, do you want to come with me?

Every time I consider  imaginary spaces, my mind wanders to The Forgetting Room, that magnificent book.

Should we build a forgetting room for this year (to let bitter memories flow onto Oblivion)? Or a remembering one (to extract poetry and melancholy …even, ah, wisdom…out of hardship? – the feeling of seeing a familiar river in winter). God knows I built enough altars, and burned enough. I haven’t yet learned if sadness is better than anger.
2010, what a stubborn, bittersweet, impenetrable year you were….I release you, since I could never reach you, no matter how hard I tried, or how much I mentally applied myself to understand you.
Perhaps you were never meant to be comprehended. Perhaps you were not worthy.

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Marker on paper, digitally modified. December 2010

Think better, and multiply- The Vedic way. Thank you for existing, Open Culture.

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Photograph- Digitally retouched. December 18, 2010

Photograph- Digitally retouched. December 18, 2010

This is a continuation of my experimenting with words from the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco.

Lastly, an irregular haiku:

How quickly

the lizard

loses its tail!

San Diego, December 16, 2010

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Photograph. September 2010, Balboa Park, San Diego.

 

Hope     

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

 

Emily Dickinson, 1861

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