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Archive for July, 2011

by Leticia Marie Sanchez                                                                                                                                                                 Salvador Dalí mastered the art of creating his own image. Dalí shocked audiences everywhere with his flamboyant persona. A limousine or taxi was just too dull for the outrageous surrealist. So Mr. Dali drove a Rolls Royce stuffed to the brim with…. cauliflower.   The veggie-mobile was the automobile of choice for Mr. Dali as he drove to La Sorbonne University in Paris to give a lecture.  His speech was entitled, “Phenomenological Aspects of the Critical Paranoiac Method.”  

During the speech, Dali exclaimed to the two thousand listeners in the audience, “Everything departs from the rhinoceros horn! Everything departs from Jan Vermeer’s The Lacemaker! Everything ends up in the cauliflower!” Time Magazine, Dec. 26, 1955                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Move over Hybrids. That Cauliflower-Car was the first truly Green vehicle.

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by Leticia Marie Sanchez 

As a teenager, Michelangelo Buonarroti suffered a blow at the hands of a green-eyed bully.

Two different accounts of the story exist. In Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, Pietro Torrigiano, an artist studying with Michelangelo under the patronage of Lorenzo De ‘Medici, grew jealous of Michelangelo’s undeniable talent. Resentful of his former pal’s new status as teacher’s pet, Torrigiano delivered a blow that knocked the 15-year-old genius out cold.

In the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, Torrigiano defended himself by saying that Michelangelo was teasing the other artists working in the Church of the Carmine. He admitted the viciousness of his attack: “I felt bone and cartilage go down like biscuit beneath my knuckles; and this mark of mine he will carry with him to the grave.” 

Torrigiano should have taken Anger Managment 15th Century style: I’m sorry I Baroque a Friend’s Nose.

Instead, Torrigano continued on a temper tantrum-filled path that eventually led him to prison. Not just any prison.

A Spanish holding cell established by the black-robed goons of the Inquisition. Woops. Torrigiano had become so enraged at a miserly payment for his sculpture of the Virgin that he smashed his Madonna to smithereens. Let’s just say that the fanatical judges did not crack up at the crack up.

As for Michelangelo, he carried more with him to the grave than a broken nose. He has bequeathed the world everlasting art brimming with humanity, majesty, and passion.

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This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail includes a dash of Calypso, an apertif at the Old Mill, and an infusion of Rachmaninov- Enjoy!

Saturdays Off the 405- July 30 6 pm – 9 pm

Songwriter Lord Huron’s Afro-Caribbean percussion and Calypso-inspired music. Free Spotlight after Dark tours in the galleries at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Getty Center. 1200 Getty Center Drive. LA, CA. 90049. (310) 440-7300 

Cal Phil at the Mill.

July 30: 8:00 P.M.

An evening of chamber music under the stars in the Pomegranate Patio of San Marino’s historic Old Mill

1120 Old Mill Road, San Marino, CA, United States, 91108.  626.449.5458

http://www.old-mill.org/index.asp

Pianist Roger Wright

Sunday, July 31- 6 pm- LACMA- Free- No Reservations

Rachmaninoff: Prelude in D major, Opus 23 No. 4, Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit, Frederic Rzewski: Down by the Riverside, and Mily Balakirev: Islamey, an Oriental Fantasy. Bing Theater. LACMA• 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA,

http://www.lacma.org/

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Rooting for the villain: the seductive powers of Richard III at Theatricum Botanicum

By Leticia Marie Sanchez

Nestled in a wooded glen, underneath the evening stars and accompanied by the hypnotic hum of crickets, Topanaga Canyon’s Theatricum Botanicum adds a dose of magic to Shakespeare. The outdoor Globe-like theater simultaneously infuses the Bard with reality and wonder. The march of Richard III’s army down dark, forest-like hills conveys a dimension of realism and immediacy that cannot be matched by an enclosed venue. Similarly, the towering loft used during the Tower of London murder scene enhanced the mysterious mood. The vast verdant set suspended the audience’s disbelief, as did the cast of talented actors in the Theatricum’s production of Richard III.

On Saturday night’s performance, Melora Marshall starred as the protean protagonist, triumphantly suspending the audience’s disbelief that the Machiavellian king could be played by a woman. With a small frame and intense, red-rimmed eyes, Ms. Marshall illustrated that the true source of Richard III’s power emanated from his cunning speech and a knack for manipulation. Marshall elicited sympathy for the murderous monarch not only through her constant limp, but more importantly via the edgy humor that she brought to the role. Marshall’s appealing underdog Richard III is akin to the archetypal schoolyard outcast who through sheer force of determination (and sarcastic zingers) manages to court the most popular girl, topple the In Crowd, and get the audience to root for him. Marshall’s comedic delivery of the line in Act I “Was ever woman in this humor wooed?” (after Richard’s brazen courting of Lady Anne at her husband’s funeral) added lightness to Richard’s realization of his dark powers. The casting of the tall Christopher W. Jones as Buckingham was a brilliant choice; the diminutive Richard bossing around the hulking Buckingham underscored Richard’s rhetorical and manipulative prowess.

One scene that humorously embodied Richard’s capacity for mind games occurred during Act III, when Richard “reluctantly” accepts his subjects’ pleas to be their ruler. Through this scene Marshall conveyed Richard’s talent for reverse psychology, another tool in his arsenal of manipulation. With Catesby, Buckingham, and the cast kneeling below him on the balcony, Richard protests innocently, “Why would you heap these cares on me/I am unfit for state and dignity.” The comedy of the scene was further depicted as the murderous Richard posed piously between two clergymen, holding a book of prayer. The gesture was especially biting in today’s world, a salient commentary on the hypocrisy of politicians who don the cloak of religion as a mantle to seduce the masses.

The entire cast of Ellen Geer’s production, from the precocious children playing Richard’s young nephews to the booming oracle, Queen Margaret (played by Earnestine Phillips), to the guilt-ridden Second Executioner of Clarence (Dylan Booth Vigus) added to the narrative’s vivacity . At one point, the wrapped bloody head of Hastings is tossed around like a football. Political battles are often a sport. With Marshall’s interpretation of Richard III, we don’t focus on the fact that he was more morally reprehensible than anyone else. What we realize is that in the bloody match of Team Lancaster Versus Team York, the glib-tongued Richard III was just better at the game.

Photo by IAN FLANDERS: Melora Marshall as Richard III, Willow Geer as Lady Anne

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In honor of the birthday mobile sculptor inventor, Alexander Calder, play with a Calder-like mobile. The moving mobile will appear on Google search today Friday July 22. The left side of the interactive mobile reminds me of a hungry plant from the Little Shop of Horrors: “Feed Me!”

Before becoming an artist, Mr. Calder studied engineering. According to the Calder Foundation, one of the most profound experiences in Mr. Calder’s life occurred when he was working as a fireman on a Ship’s Boiler Room. When he awoke one day (on a ship heading from New York to San Francisco) he saw both a radiant sunrise and a resplendent full moon. At that moment the ship lay off the coast of Guatemala, and Calder could see each striking vista on opposite horizons. What an incredible sight that must have been…

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by Leticia Marie Sanchez

According to Kathleen Krull, in her book “Lives of the Artists,” Henri Matisse subsisted on a strict diet of rice-only when he first started out as a painter. Not Rice-A-Roni. Just plain boiled rice.

Matisse refused to even allow himself to indulge in the luscious fruit that he bought for his still life paintings.

Instead, he saved that fruit for his art.

And for us. 

Enjoy.

Henri Matisse, Still Life with Oranges. 1899 

 Editor’s Note: Matisse eventually became one of the highest-paid artists of his time, imbing champagne and moving to the French Riviera– a real Rice to Riches story!

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This week’s cultural cocktail includes: a dash of Romanticism, a twist of Mullholland Drive, and a morsel of Parisian luxury- oh la la!

Piano Performance: Angels and Demons: Liszt and the Arts

Fri. July 22- 7:00 p.m.

Tatiana Thibodeaux. Held in the 20th-century gallery. Norton Simon Museum of Art.411 W. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91105 626.449.6840 http://www.nortonsimon.org/

Mulholland Drive  Sat July 23- 7:30 P.M

Directed by David Lynch and starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Robert Forrester and Ann Miller.

Bing Theater. LACMA• 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA, 90036 To purchase tickets, call: 323 857-6010  Or Visit: http://www.lacma.org/


Paris: Life and Luxury

closing August 7th

Getty Center.

1200 Getty Center Dr. LA, CA 90049

(310) 440-7300 http://www.getty.edu


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