Day at the Museum: Rijksmuseum

I really attempted to make the most of my short days here and I ambitiously set out to the Rijksmuseum to see as much art as I could. I believe I really did get through almost all the art excluding the Middle East room, as exhausting and unbelievable as that sounds!

I was laser focused.

Below are the pieces that really struck me one way or another for various reasons:

 

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Portrait of Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland, Anne Louis Girodet Trioson, 1805-1809, oil on canvas

Hortense caught my eye for her beauty, but also because of her relation to Napolean. I read up on her husband recently (step son of Napolean, son of Napolean’s first wife, hence my familiarity with Beauharnais his name), and the house of Beauharnais caught my attention as I read the placard to see who this painting’s beautiful subject was. Apparently she did not like the environment of the Netherlands, so even as a ruler there, she spent most of her time in court in Paris. huh.

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Sibylla Erythrea, Maarten van Heemskerck, 1564, oil on pastel
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Sibylla Erythrea, Maarten van Heemskerck, 1564, oil on pastel

Sibylla caught my eye for her beauty, and for her having been recorded in classic antiquity as having given prophesy about Jesus coming. This is news to me. I am excited to read more on it.

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Woman Reading a Letter, Johannes Vermeer, 1663, oil on canvas
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Children Eating a Pie, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1675-1680, pastel

This looks so mischievous, and it made me smile. And so it’s here. Being nostalgic for the things we used to do as kids is good. to a degree. hopefully we can all continue growing up with it kept instead of looking back to mourn what’s good that’s been lost.

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A Rembrandt x Diego Valesquez special exhibition was up, and exhausted as I was by the end of my main museum roundabout, I could not miss this. It ended up being a little questionable. Not the works themselves, but the way they were curated, described, and the way the curators developed the narrative [dare I say it!] was poor, misleading, and unclear– like me during my high school days trying to write essays just to meet deadlines and pass with absolutely Zero intention of actually desiring to convey a point. That is really what it felt like.

The lamb (symbolizing Christ) was great though.

Other Rembrandt pieces were technically lovely, and I felt honored that I was able to see more of his pieces in person, but I’m not adding them here because they didn’t move me. Otherwise that would be an act of compulsion influenced by prestige, which is no bueno.

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This a scene depicting Bethsheba and David (in the castle peeking out of the squared piece) desiring after her. It’s a Bible scene (basically for anyone who does not read the Bible or does not remember, David fell in love with B, but she was already married to a guy that was under his rule (as king) so he sent the dude off in “war” (to be killed really) (and there goes another Bible story of how humans as great as kings make terrible, terrible mistakes)

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I loved this painting for its raw sensuality. It just jumped out at me and called me. Venus and her son is asking Adonis not to go. I love the way Adonis holds onto her lips tenderly like that, and that lovers’ gaze is real.

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Venus et Adonis, Ferdinand Bol, 1658, oil on canvas
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Satyr and Nymph, Gerard von Honthorst, 1623, oil on canvas

While this is definitely the more hedonistic counterpart to the former, I still find the scene very beautiful. Love, or love as it moves reveals itself in different forms and ways and meets different ends. While satyrs were mainly negatively characterized in tales of old, there is the wildness and freeness of them that I look to with positivity in part. I just love the play I saw. Even if it probably foreboded some very bad news bears between satyr and nymph (like when Pan chased after a nymph to the point she had to turn into reeds!).

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Lot and his Daughters, Hendrick Goltzius, 1616, oil on canvas

While this painting was technically rendered incredibly beautiful, the substance of it disturbed me very much. It recalls a Bible story of a time people were punished for their mistakes and so all the men were kaputed, except Lot. These are his daughters, who feared not being able to bear children, and so they got their father drunk and seduced him to bear. It conjures in me many thoughts too (like how sometimes, we’re so for getting to the end, we forget about the means that were taken to get to the end).

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William II, Prince of Orange, and his Bride, Mary Stuart, Anthony van Dyck, 1641, oil on canvas

“The 14 year old boy is married with the 9 year old girl, and a kingdom is elevated.”

My thought ^ : basically opened a can of thoughts. So many ramifications to be unpacked

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Boy with a Drawing Book, Nicolas Bernard Lépicié, 1772, oil on canvas

This just makes me happy 🙂 And it reminds me of me, inside.

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Portrait of Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck and his Family, Pierre Prud’hon, 1802-1802, oil on canvas

This reminds me of a family I would have liked to have had. Nuclear.

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Storage mirrors of the Netherlands

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Model by Johann Ernst Gotzowsky, 1750-1755, hard paste porcelain
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Ivory

 

 

Fashion Brands/Looks I’m Really Liking at the Moment

Shoes and socks and very anti-Comme des Garcons let’s vomit unicorns and rainbows cute flower coin wallets: Golf le Fleur

 

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Socks and crazy beautiful visual narrative with brand site, I’ve been obsessed for months: Dueple

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Glorious silhouette and fit for a women’s coat, except I wish there wasn’t that double button back closure decorative thing– kills the rare win in the “simple magnificence”: Ulla Johnson

 

 

Morning Meditations

3 years ago I started something out of passion and pure intellectual curiosity

in tandem with having some very serious questions:

“Do I go back to school to study art, something I love so much?”

“Should I spend a year in France doing part time jobs and fulfill my life long dream to figure out if I want to spend a significant portion of my life there?”

and visiting campuses to potentially apply to for an MBA track.

Everything is wildly different from what I’d expected a year ago, 3 years ago, 10 years ago.

I’ve come so far.

This journey in my current vocation has culminated in a breakthrough of sorts: In knowing myself, becoming myself, and enlightening myself to what I want, what I need, what is important, what is not, and the overwhelming abundance in knowledge that God’s been faithful to me through it all.

This photo is a tangible display of a whole lot of naivety, 16-18 hour work days, lots of grace and love when I needed it from family and friends, the generosity of acquaintances that in my view, took a chance on me and lifted me up – like angels, and God by my side.

Here stands a mere fraction of the formulations, the prototypes we made and threw away.

Coffee stains, compulsory.

There are days when I am scared. On those days I confront and fight a fear which is more often than not comprised of lies… fighting against uncertainty and anxiety that comes with not knowing what comes next.

(I am also very tired all the time 🙂 There are times I am so weary, I want it all to just go away. There are also times when I am very tired, but like a farmer that’s exhausted and reaped and sowed and is tired-content-satisfied-affirmed in the fact that he/she is doing good work 🙂 , but this [tiredness] is a whole topic for another day, taha).

But, these feelings that arise are juxtaposed with the truth I now live and believe to my very core, that things will be alright, however uncontrolled or lacking in detailing, so long as I lean on my identity and lay my questions to God.

Everything will be okay, whatever form the “okay” might take.

Destinations are uncertain, but my path is sure.

You’ll see me through my seasons.

 

 

 

… I thank God.

Morning Meditations

August 5, 2019_Monday

On an average work day or Saturday, I am carrying around 15 pounds worth of papers and books– add in a couple extra pounds considering I carry my gym clothes and sneakers around with me too.

I haven’t worn a high heel in over a year.

For the longest time I slung Goyards, Longchamps, clutches-purses-decorative backpacks that did not hold [anything] everything, and whatnots for the sake of preference and style.

At 26, those things no longer serve me.

Rather, the pain & inconvenience to pleasure ratio makes it so that I’ve begun to serve them.

So bye I said to wearing my 3 – 4 inch heels a whiles ago.

While I am not exiling my bags yet, what I did do Sunday was stop by Patagonia [for the first time in my life] and buy a backpack (The Refugio 28L) with awesome shoulder and back padding.

For me now and in reference to extremes, I’d rather have a comfortable body than a beautifully ornamented one– this coming from someone who deeply loves fashion.

I’d personally rather wear and apply things that preserve my posture, my youth, and support my activities in a way I see fit.

What about you?

 

 

My Preferred Flat Shoes of The Moment – Women’s Edition

I’ve been following this Australian brand with great interest for the past year; the overall silhouette looks a little rough, but as an accessory that completes a “look”, it looks absolutely fantastic. A total success in comfort-luxe, and that’s the place I love to be in, style-wise:

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Bertie Slippers

I’ve been over Common Projects for a while, but wow, I must appreciate this fresh take on its now omnipresent sneaker style:

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COMMON PROECTS – Achilles Retro Leather Sneakers 
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LOEWE Crocodile Stamped Leather Penny Loafers
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TOD’s Crocodile Stamped Leather Loafers

 

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GUCCI Bit-Detail Velvet Loafers

And of course, not to ever be neglected are Manolo Blahnik flats; I am always appreciative of them– particularly the crystal buckled styles:

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David Zwirner Gallery: Endless Enigma: 8 Centuries of Fantastic Art

Chris and I go on a lengthy art gallery hop through Chelsea, and I’d have to say this was our favorite pit-stop: David Zwirner Gallery, a stellar power house.
We had to gulp down our cappuccinos.
So happy to see works I’ve never seen before in person from artist like Max Ernst and Rene Magritte. I have a particular attachment to the Dada and Surrealist movements.
René Magritte

A rather tempered work of Hieronymus Bosch:

Hieronymus Bosch

Siren-like beauties– very much like the Valentino SS 2015 Campaign. I’d say almost identical in interpretation. I’m not sure about the strength of Leonor Fini’s other works, but my goodness, to have this in my home:

Leonor Fini

Things that make my childlike soul go hop!:

Amazing mastery of painting, and the chemistry between the movement of the waves vs. the wood like whorls of the levitating mass:

Max Ernst

The power of women:

The detailing and lifework on this was superior:

Richard Humphry

Birds and wood:

Herri met de Bles

Running until October 27 @ David Zwirner Gallery

The Dreamers, a story of denial, withdrawal, and sexuality– how French.

(written, but unpublished from August 23, 2017, age 24)

 

The Dreamers is not for the sexually faint of heart, but it is truly a story to behold.

The lines that stayed with me:

“One of us, one of us!”

 

The scenes that stayed with me:

When Isabelle’s hair catches on fire, and Matthew is instinctively aflutter with trying to take it out and the scene fuzzes out and in–and everything seems to just slow down with that gaze..

Obviously, one of the most sensual and irreverent sex scenes I’ve ever seen. Isabelle and Matthew having sex for the first time in the kitchen whilst Theo makes some eggs for himself in the background, copping a cig, with a literal revolution (student demonstrations) and chaos unfolding on the streets.

Theo and Isabelle playfully slams the door on Matthew in the rain. And he’s locked out. A true third wheel in the most unnatural sense of the word. Matthew is left standing for moments that seem like a life-time, exasperated, dejected, rejected, third-wheeldified. So much passive aggression in this scene. SWEET RICHNESS.

All the gazes!

The best scenes and moments are left untouched so you’ll have to watch the film on your own if you’re curious to and want to understand what the hell I mean from the above.

But here’s a couple of photos to brief you 🙂

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