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We encourage writers to develop their voice while writing about visual arts events in the San Diego County. We intend to avoid art speak so the average reader can understand the text without a masters degree in art history. Past writers include Louisa Garcia, Sheena Ghanbari , and Katherine Sweetman reporting on the Picked RAW events. Our thanks to Ann White for her brilliant proofing and to Karla Duarte, Ana Laura Zúñiga and Felipe Zúñiga for occasional translations. Current writers include:
Patricia Frischer is a founder and the coordinator of the San Diego Visual Arts Network, Frischer has taken on the roles of gallerist, curator, writer, teacher, website coordinator and artist. Her many metamorphoses make her difficult to fit into any of the usual art world categories. She is author of The Artist and the Art of Marketing has lectured extensively on marketing for artists. Frischer is a trainer of artists’ agents, art dealers, consultant and collectors (see ArtPro.) Her own artwork has been shown internationally.
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Louisa Garcia: A Breath of Fresh Air Robert Wilson: Video Portrait at the Timken Museum
Louisa Garcia “I can’t believe she’s wearing that dress…” at Ladies First at Sophies Art Gallery
Take a stroll around Balboa Park and stop by the Timken Museum for the Robert Wilson: Video Portraits exhibit. Starts Feb. 25. Ends May 15. Opening times 10am-4:30pm. For more information contact Kristina Rosenberg . 619.239.5548
“It’s so creepy when he breathes.” This isn’t what one expects to hear when standing in the Timken Museum on a chilly Wednesday afternoon. After all, except for the patrons of the museum, art doesn’t usually breathe, not literally.
Yet a tidy man in a brown tweed suit was standing next to me making just such a comment. I took a step closer to the 65 inch high-definition plasma screen mounted on the wall. At first glance it was a portrait of Mikhail Baryshnikov standing against a white pillar, his only clothing a loin cloth that left nothing to the imagination. I admit, I had been staring at the small gash on his left side, at the arrows above his head that appeared to float in place, at everything except the slow rise and fall of his muscled chest. Mostly because, in my preconceived closed minded thoughts on portraits, the subjects in them don’t breathe – not once they are hanging on a wall.
Apparently no one told this to Robert Wilson. Famous for his work in the theatre, Wilson set out to create a series of video portraits of famous personalities inspired by great masterpieces of European art. Along with the Baryshnikov piece there are two others in the museum and a larger portrait of famous actress Winona Ryder projected on the south side of the Timken from sundown until 11:00 pm, every evening.
I was unable to see the Winona Ryder portrait as my visit was limited to daylight hours but the docent at the museum said it was quite a sight to see. He informed me that objects slowly arose from the mound of sand in which Ms. Ryder was buried.
My favorite of all the pieces was the portrait of Robert Downey Jr. Inspired by Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicholas Tulp (1963, The Hague, Mauritshuis). Mr. Downey lies on a slab of concrete, his left arm raised slightly, the skin removed exposing his nerves, tendons, blood vessels. A cloaked figure points at it with a surgical instrument but never moves. Mr. Downey does breathe occasionally but it is the slight movement of his eyes that is eerie and unnerving. I felt as if he was watching me, waiting for me to help him, save him – but from what, I had no clue.
Each portrait was accompanied by a soundtrack, often with dialogue. The portrait of Jeanne Moreau as Mary Queen of Scots occasionally said the line: “Mary said what she said.” The music that played alongside the stoic, blinking woman was none other than Beethoven.
As I left the museum and stepped out into the bright bustling flutter of life in Balboa Park I found myself wishing that all art was like Robert Wilson’s Video Portraits, a breath of fresh air.
Louisa Garcia is a Rehabilitation Specialist by day, Writer by night who lives in Carlsbad, CA with her loving husband David. In her spare time, she loves to read, do Bikram Yoga, hang out with her fabulous friends and relax on the beach. She is just about to expand her family by one.
“I can’t believe she’s wearing that dress…” by Louisa Garcia
Awards season is in full swing. Starting with the Golden Globes and continuing until the end of February with the biggest televised fashion show of them all – The Academy Awards. Personally, I have been watching celebrities walk the red carpet since I was a little girl. My mom, my two sisters and I would crowd on the bed and critique the beautiful movie stars as they glittered and floated towards the Kodak theatre. As I’ve gotten older not much has changed except my mom and sisters are far away and I am often forced to watch with my husband who, bless his soul, couldn’t care less what Meryl Streep is wearing this year.
This season I decided to start my fashion viewing off with a visit to Sophie’s Gallery in the NTC. I have written about Sophie’s Gallery before, a wonderful place where adults with developmental disabilities can create and have their work exhibited for sale on the gallery walls. This time I went to see the work of Mark Agnostini. His paintings all featured fashionable women and Hollywood stars – perfect for putting me in a glamorous mood.
He had paintings of the current nominee, Amy Adams, and Lucille Ball and the most powerful of all Hollywood starlets, Gloria Swanson, in a painting titled The Grand Lady of the Night. Mark’s work is strong and unique. He is a man who may not be famous, who may never walk the red carpet or meet any of the famous women he so wonderfully depicts, but he is like me and probably 99% of the population who watch award shows. We feel we actually know a thing or two about what so and so should wear and that connects us.
As a regular everyday gal it’s hard to feel glamorous and fashionable. There are moments when I close my eyes and dream about what I would wear when I get my nomination for Best Original Screenplay and all I can see is me, in my jeans and a sweater and of course a pair of Chuck Taylor tennis shoes.
It is for this reason that I tell all you ladies and gentlemen out there who need a little spark in their lives: you don’t have to look that far. Right here in our own backyard of San Diego, just a hop, skip and haute couture away is Art Meets Fashion – the brain child of fashion mavens Patricia Frischer and Felena Hanson. It is a wonderful project filled with fashion and fun and plenty of opportunity to show off on the public red carpet. To find out more check out the website at www.artmeetsfshion.org and if you are reading this on the blog, then try and make awards season a little fun. Let me know your best and worst dressed celebrity outfits of the Academy Awards on February 27th. Let’s all channel Joan Rivers and be ‘Fashionista Police’ for a day.
Louisa Garcia is a Rehabilitation Specialist by day, Writer by night who lives in Carlsbad, CA with her loving husband David. In her spare time, she loves to read, do Bikram Yoga, hang out with her fabulous friends and relax on the beach.
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