Saturday, April 2, 2011

Very Versailles

Japanese Art Invades the Castle.

In paris, the girl I stayed with ( a friend of a friend) had to surprise her best friend with a birthday party. So as a distraction while the others could set up the party, she took us to Versailles.
Every year Versailles hosts a modern artist and his works in the castle.
This year's exhibition ( which I was fortunate enough to see for free) was featuring Japanese artist Takashi Muramaki.

He says himself: "{about Europe} “everything is transmitted to us {the japanese} as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom.”

Though at times the neon colored japanese statues of anime like characters seemed very out of place in the gorgeous castle that holds history and ancient relics of the French Royals, the over all effect was astounding. I cherish the opportunity that allowed me to see the Japanese art work and Versailles, melded together with commentary on history and consumerism ( a certain sculpture of a cola bottle was made intirely of colored diamonds).

Take a look for yourself and decide how you feel about the Japanese art in Versailles.

Vincent and Veronyka

Arguably the most astounding thing in Paris is the museums. Everyone has heard of the Louvre- even before it's infamous use as the setting for Dan Brown's DaVinci Code. It is home to thousands of pieces, which would take a startling 9 weeks to properly see everything.

A huge advantage of living in Italy is the student visa that allowed me ( and any EU students) to get into the museums for free.
However, not surprisingly The Louvre was not my favorite museum. The small museum a few streets down is filled with statues, Monet, Van Gogh, Gerome and it's startling collection persuaded me to revisit the museum 3 times while in Paris. ( It was free after all)

Here are a few of my favorite pieces. After seeing his paintings, Van Gogh instantly became my favorite artist. So now you know if I ever happen to quiz you.

I just adore the story behind this photo: The sculptor took a vow of celibacy yet he fell in love with the statue as he created her, knowing he had created something perfect. He prayed that he could have someone as perfect as his statue- this is the exact moment Cupid brought her to life in response. His intentions and love were so pure!
Jean Leone Gerome

Two fantastic works by Van Gogh- in the second you can see the sadness and the pain behind his eyes in his self portrait.

This painting is my favorite. I cannot look away from it and it just captured me for what seemed like hours. One that is not as well known as his other works, yet a gorgeous recreation of a Cafe in Monmottre by Vincent Van Gogh.

Coming soon: Very Versailles: Japanese art invades the castle.