When Does a Doodle Become an Art Piece?

Of all the dozen or so museums Will and I saw in Europe last month, the exhibit that keeps coming up is one that neither of us liked.  At all.

At the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin we saw the exhibit Secret Universe, the works of Horst Ademeit.

Each day of Ademeit’s life, he would take a Polaroid of something that bothered him about the world and record his thoughts and complaints all over the edges.  He would number them, so he could keep track.

Horst Ademeit "5805" Archiv-Nr.: Ad 621 Mischtechnik / Polaroid 11 x 9 cm © Courtesy Galerie Susanne Zander, Köln

Only after Ademeit’s death, as the exhibit related, was his “body of work was discovered.” This body of work — these thousands of Polaroids lined were up, one by one, in numerical order forming a grid stretching through three rooms.

The ramblings of a disturbed man set out in the meticulous fashion in which he formed them for all to see.  This obsessive tracking of each day is something we have come to associate with psychosis or other mental illness.

Though we didn’t like the exhibit especially, we are still talking about.  It strikes me now as a wonderful glimpse into the pain of what it is to be human.  At least this man had an outlet for all the complaints that many of us swallow in the effort to be gracious human beings!

But at the same time, I don’t know if it’s art.  I wonder if perhaps it would be better characterized as anthropology.

But when a doodle become an art piece?  When you have thousands of them lined up side by side? Continue Reading

Germany 2011: A Journey in Photographs

Will and I embarked on a three-country European vacation last month. The first country we visited was Germany where we were hosted by our friends Spencer and Ann Marie. Thank goodness for friends!

The sheer number of amazing museums and other wonderful things to do in and around Berlin was fairly overwhelming, but did not preclude an awesome stay.

Continue Reading

Villa Nova I La Getru, Spain

When I went away to college, I showed an interest in photography by signing up for a Photography course.

My father lent me his old Nikon camera– those were the days before digital cameras.  He gave me instructions, many of which where to help with navigating the manual camera.  The one that has stuck with me, and, I believe, has had the most lasting impact on my photography, was to hold the camera vertical in relation to the earth, to look for straight lines in the subject and to mirror them in my photo.

I thank my father on this Father’s Day for these instructions and for that indispensable advice.  Coming from a long line of artists on both sides, I know that I have many to thank for my ability to find a subject anywhere, and to look for the best possible manifestation of that subject.  But I know that realistically without my father’s guidance, I would have been thrown into the deep end — kicking and screaming with no way out, and that instead, I was gifted an incorrigible eye for photos, for art, and for life.

With this in mind on this Father’s Day, Will and I embarked on an adventure on our first day in Villa Nova I La Getru, Spain. With a richly colored country side, and character-filled landscape, there was hardly a lack of inspiration.  These are a few of the unedited photos I took. Continue Reading

Awesome Product Alert: Katzenzungen

I was welcomed to Berlin by my good friends Ann Marie and Spencer, and this awesome welcome gift of Katzenzungen.

These milk chocolates are named after cat tongues, and somewhat resemble the actual body part. They don’t however, have the awesome sand-papery texture of actual cat tongues. I do wonder why they chose to leave that out.

They melt in your mouth and are delicious. At only 1,79 Euro, they’re a steal and I’m taking orders. Each box comes with 18 cat tongues to enjoy with or without your cat.

I am always impressed with how my fellow humans find inspiration in the oddest places! Continue Reading

Of Airports, Showers and the Elite

Airports have been on my mind lately, possibly because I had this trip planned.

We were supposed to have a one hour lay over in Frankfurt, which wound up being taken over by our late flight, passport stamping, and running to the gate.

While pondering our itenerary, it occurred to me what every airport needs: a place to pay $20 and take a shower.  Am I right or am I right?

I mentioned this to friends and they pointed out that many of the Elite programs airlines offer include showers.  Now I don’t know how they know this because I don’t think they’ve ever been inside one of those lounges, but it sounded right so I believed it.

I do think that there’s a market for economy showers at international airports and if you have a spare couple million, we should talk.

I noticed while we were checking in this morning that a few of the check in stations boasted beautiful flower arrangements.  For their elite, of course.

Post security, I noticed the entryway to these Elite Lounges.  I would just love to see what goes on in there!

The sign reads "United Airlines Red Carpet Club", "Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge", and "EVA Airways Evergreen Lounge".

Red Carpet Club?  Silver Kris Lounge?  Evergreen Lounge?  I bet those travelers lucky enough to frequent these oases don’t notice anything but the name of the airline and the luxurious entry way, no matter how many dollars went into the branding. Continue Reading

to do to do to do to do

I’ve just arrived in Berlin on my first vacation in three years.  Now don’t get me wrong; I’ve taken a few long weekends to camp or visit family, and I long ago instituted a rule where I  don’t work on Sundays.  But other than that, running Artsy Geek pretty much rules my  life.

When Will and I made plans for this European vacation at the beginning o fthe year, I had an anxious feeling in my stomach.  It’s not that I didn’t want to go; I wanted to go more than anything.  But I was terrified about how I would afford it and whether I would find myself working frantically on the train as the vistas passed me by unappreciated. Continue Reading