Thursday, April 05, 2007

santa semana

Only managed to go to the Reine Sophia museum that houses Picasso´s Guernica and other modern work. They had a wonderful exhibit of Chuck Close´s work. Amazing control of contrast and color. His large format paintings of portraits that looked like photographs were exquisite. A brain aneurisym in 1986 made him a paraplegic and he relearned to paint. He continued with his portraits first the form of dots and later recreating his large portraits but from a series of concentric painted circles that gave the pieces this kind of abstract realism. His ability to note color and shading had not changed, only the mechanisms in which a master painter conveyed his work.

The new modern wing of the museum contained temporary exhibits, while the standard collection held Picasso´s cubist work as well as Dali. Dali´s Madonna is just haunting the way the face slowly emerges from the grey cloud. The Guernica is a lovely exhibit as it first starts with photographs of Picasso´s spain 1938 after the bombings during World War I. These would be the images that would possess Picasso to build Guernica. They also show his various sketches, photographs of Guernica´s evolution, and trial sketches as he mapped out the piece. Not only do you get to see a pivotal work from a great master, you get to get a glimpse of his possible thought processes.

While I enjoyed seeing the Venus de Milo and could appreciate the uniqueness of her styling, I have not quite figured out the facination of the Mona Lisa. But perhaps it´s because there are so many crowds you just don´t have time to sit and appreciate the work. One piece from the Art Paris exposition which I enjoyed was a large portrait of Marilyn Monroe, but without the blown out effects that always give her the perfect porcelin skin. This was a 5" photo of Marilyn with the small facial lines, the blood vessels criss crossing her cheeks, the crow lines that came from her eyes. This picture showed the face of a woman whose life was an up and down fame and fortune roller coaster. I hadn´t realized she was 36 when she died because all the iconic pictures of her showed her with the perfect complexion.

Another exhibit at the Reine Sophia covered motion and all the pieces either moved or created a sense of movement. There was a wonderful interactive piece which was a forrest of thin clear tubing hung like those room separators hung in doorways, but 20ft by 20ft. So much so, you could get lost in it. It was delightful! There was one parent that lost their 2 year old daughter in it a few times, she just kept running back in. hehe

Outside was another exhibit understanding contrasts in light color which people could run through and watch people run through. We took a few pictures of ourselves in this one.

As it was cold and a bit gloomy (5 degree C) we decided to opt out of going to the Prado. Goya will have to wait for another trip. We decided to come back to the hotel to rest before dinner at 10p. We picked up some treats from the Pasteleria, yummy, and some orange juice and drinks from the local Chino, what they call all of those local mini grocery stores regardless of who runs them, though the one we went to was indeed run by a Chinese guy.

Tonight it´s paella night. Yummy! Tomorrow procession for Good Friday in Toledo. Saturday a trip to Segovia to see the Roman Aqueduct. Sunday Madrid´s flea market. Monday home.

The trip is coming to and end yet it feels like there is so much time before then.

Oh yeah, and I´m completely hooked on Curling from watching it on the Eurosport channel.

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