David on April 11th, 2009
Today The Washington Post announced the winners of its third annual “Peeps Diorama Contest, which drew a stunning 1,110 entries. Contestants submitted photos of their diorama creations, featuring Easter marshmallows, and were judged by a panel assembled by The Washington Post. The dioramas of the finalists were judged in person. According to an article, the entries covered a vast range of subjects, such as Charles Darwin’s voyage to the Galapagos (the biologist’s 200th birthday was in February), the Apollo 11 moon landing (the 40th anniversary is in July) and the introduction of the Suleman octuplets (who continue to crawl through the news three months after their birth). Other popular subjects included the economy (jackknifing stock charts slice through the custard-colored fat of chicks, as pink bunnies float through dioramas on golden parachutes) and Aretha Franklin’s monstrous hat worn at the presidential inauguration, where her hat stole the spotlight.
The winner of this year’s contest was “Night Peeps,” by Arlington, VA resident Melissa Harvey, with a diorama that is both an homage to and twist on Edward Hopper’s famous 1942 oil painting “Nighthawks.” According to the panel of judges, “Its meticulous craftsmanship, with two working fluorescent lights that add the clinical Hopper glow, is elevated to a higher level by the subtle integration of the Peeps, which provide a breath of warmth to the otherwise dolorous scene. ”
“Harvey, a graphic designer for WETA, had flipped through a book of 20th-century art for inspiration. She was looking for something iconic. She saw “Nighthawks” and knew it provided the perfect setting for situational irony. Plus, there’s the wordplay between Hopper’s name and the bunny stand-ins, which sold Harvey on the idea,” according to The Washington Post.
Among the finalists, two of my favorites are shown below:
Above: One of the finalists, called “Oh My Peep! There’s an ‘H’ in There!” by Gwen Jones, Richmond, is a diorama depicting the Suleman octuplets, which are labeled with the letters “A” through “G”, when suddently “H” appears.
Above: Another finalist, called “Double Peep Strike” by Brady Gordon, LeElaine Comer and Justin Donnelly, of Washington, DC which memorializes the “Miracle on the Hudson ” water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in January.
To read the full article from The Washington Post, click here. And to view a slide show of the winner and finalists, click here.
Photos credits: The Washington Post
David on October 5th, 2008
The Metropolitan Museum boasts one of the most dramatic spaces for sculpture in New York City– the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, which offers a spectactular view of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. The warm, sunny Autumn weather provided an excellent opportunity earlier this week to enjoy the stunning roof garden and an installation of some whimsical and delightful sculpture works by celebrated contemporary artist Jeff Koons (b. 1955).
This installation featured three of the artist’s works from his Celebration Series, started in 1993, that have never before been on public display. The three works are described by the Met Museum, as follows:
* Balloon Dog (Yellow), is based on balloons twisted into the shape of a toy dog. Standing more than ten feet tall, its highly reflective and brightly colored surface gives the appearance of an actual balloon in a form that would delight a child but would also fascinate any student of Freud.
* Coloring Book was inspired from a page in a Winnie the Pooh coloring book featuring Pooh’s companion, Piglet. Koons took a magic marker to the page and colored in various zones; in the fabrication of the sculpture, he removed Piglet from the composition, which resulted in this abstraction rendered in cheerful pastel colors.
* Sacred Heart (Red/Gold), with its sumptuous surfaces of wrapping and ribbon, may suggest childhood—as well as adult—dreams and fantasies about candy and luxury goods, intermixed with the potent Roman Catholic image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
To learn more about the exhibit, click here. The exhibition closes on 10/26/08.
Photos taken: 10/1/08.
David on September 25th, 2008
While in London, we visited the Tate Modern Museum, which serves as Britain’s national museum of international modern and contemporary art. The museum is housed in the former Bankside Power Station in North Southwark, along the Thames River.
Since the museum’s opening on May 12, 2000, Tate Modern has become a major destination for Londoners and tourists. The collections in the Tate Modern include works of Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Naum Gabo, Giacometti, Pop art, and contemporary art.
One of the museum’s most distinctive features is the Turbine Hall, which originally housed the electricity generators of the old power station. The Hall is five-stories tall with 36,000 square feet of space, and is used to display specially-commissioned work by contemporary artists.
The Tate Modern also features a large gift shop on the first level and a restaurant and bar on the top level. The restaurant provides a sweeping view of the Thames River and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Admission to the Tate Modern is free, although a voluntary contribution of 3 pounds is requested.
Above: A view of the Tate Modern from the Millennium Bridge. Below: A view of the facade of the Tate Modern.
Above: A view of the cavernous Turbine Hall. Below: The feet are resting inside the galleries, with a view of the Turbine Hall in the background.
Above: The Dining Room at the Tate Modern. Below: A delicious pasta with pesto dish, together with an heirloom tomato salad, from the Dining Room at the Tate Modern.
Photos Taken: 9/19/08.
David on August 21st, 2008
Where are the feet today?
The feet are pausing to admire the fountain and view of the Legion of Honor, one of the Fine Arts Museums in San Francisco, CA, on a rather foggy and damp day earlier this week. The Legion of Honor is exhibiting the Women Impressionists show, through 9/21/08, featuring 140 works by Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès and Marie Bracquemond.
Here’s some information on the four featured artists, as described on the Legion of Honor website:
- Berthe Morisot (1841–1895): Women Impressionists presents over 60 examples of Morisot’s works, including oil paintings, drawings, and pastels. Morisot was the only woman to exhibit in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, and she became one of the most prolific members of the Impressionist circle.
- Mary Cassatt (1844–1926): Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cassatt was the only American member of the Impressionist circle. Women Impressionists features over 35 works by Cassatt, including examples of her oil paintings, pastels, and prints.
- Eva Gonzales(1849–1883): The only formal pupil of Edouard Manet, Gonzalès became known for her characteristic style of portraiture and her use of subtle emotion and richness of detail in her works. This exhibition presents approximately 15 works by Gonzalès, including the finest examples of her oil paintings and pastels.
- Marie Bracquemond (1840–1916): Women Impressionists marks the most comprehensive exhibition of Marie Bracquemond’s work since a 1919 retrospective organized by her son Pierre at a Paris gallery. The exhibition features approximately 20 works by Bracquemond, including watercolors, drawings, and oil paintings.
Tickets for this very popular (and crowded) show are available online for timed entrance to the museum. Avoid the largest crowds by visiting the museum at opening or late in the day.