Stefanella's Drive Thru

Israel, U.S., conflict, war, peace, humor, travel, romance, fashion, fun

Art’s Passion August 8, 2009

For a long time I thought my overwhelming “museum feelings” were linked to certain sites or specific pieces of art.

The type of feelings that envelop with totality and without warning when viewing works of art.   

Like the time tears welled threateningly while glimpsing the Venus de Milo at the Louvre.

Or when my heart swelled wildly while touring Tutankhamun‘s tomb treasures in Cairo.

Perhaps the love affair with art began when I was in high school;  I chose French Renaissance Art as my subject for a term paper which meant spending weekends – quite willingly – in Cincinnati’s Art Museum Library conducting research.  My instinct, however, sez it started years before.

Nonetheless, I find that whenever I frequent museums or art happenings – Burning Man included – there’s usually a painting, sculpture, fixture or installation that renders me “struck”.  I get a lump in my throat and my vision goes blurry.

Yesterday’s SFMOMA visit was no exception; I was struck several times by vastly different exhibits.

Initially touring the permanent exhibits, I was quite surprised by Paul Klee early works described as “monstrous figures.”  I love Klee’s sweeping grandness and color but I was taken aback by this dark, detailed material.

Then I felt a swell of gratitude taking in originals by Dali, Diego Rivera, Magritte and Warhol.

The day, however, belonged to cutting edge fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon, whose career spanned 50+ years.

Avedon’s 1950’s-1960’s photos of Twiggy, Brigitte Bardot and Katharine Hepburn oozed natural beauty and starlet material.   But his image of Marilyn Monroe seemed to capture the icon’s mix of blazing sex symbol & confused nymph that would be her legacy.  THAT image presented an emotional moment for me.

Equally moving were Avedon’s images of Louis Armstrong, Igor Stravinsky, Nureyev’ “En Pointe” and Merce Cunningham who died two weeks ago.  His politicians spanned decades and worlds removed from Kissinger to Carter to Obama as Senator.  

Equally moving was the series of photographs documenting his father’s losing battle to cancer and the commissioned body of “In The American West” works portraying faces of middle America.  What a career span and what an incredible talent.

The MOMA also featured works by Georgia O’Keefe and Ansel Adams which presented yet another revelation.  Georgia didn’t do it for me.  She used to but not anymore. That’s just the way it goes, I guess.  But the Ansel Adams works spurred  awe and yet another throat lump over his Sand Dunes gelatin silver print.

After touring, I sat on the museum rooftop in the sun beside the large installations basking in the afterglow of appreciation.

Museums are magical places; I am oh-so-lucky to have the mobility, eyesight and wherewithal to visit them.


Obama…Fly January 30, 2009

My mother e-mailed me this image.  Thought I’d share…



Obama in the HOUSSSSSSEEEE!!! November 5, 2008

It’s funny to wake up in Tel Aviv and suddenly rush to turn on the presidential victory speech and realize that the fact that it’s happening has dawned because you’re hearing the speech in stereo throughout the neighborhood.  In Israel.

Yup, we watched the elections closely on this end.  Of course we would.  High stakes, vested interests, etc..

And this morning, as I penned an election related piece for a U.S. based website, I traipsed through the blogosphere to find out what my neighbors in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq are saying about Obama.

The consensus is a collective sigh of relief.  Duh.  George W. isn’t liked in most of these parts  – except for in pockets of the part I live in and in the wealthier oil industry associated countries.

One Iraqi blogger, aptly titled neurotic Iraqi wife wrote of Obama as a savior.  She colorfully described anticipation of new chances & renewed hope while thanking Allah for the Bush exit saying he essentially trashed her country.

A Palestinian blogger despaired.  Who cares anyway? he wrote.  All regimes are the same.

Many mentioned the historic significance of Obama being elected to the White House.  A man of color.

My personal fave?

From Saudi Jeans:

Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States. Congrats to Abu Hussein


I’m Voting Republican June 19, 2008

Thanks to my pal Liz in San Francisco for this one. . .