Visiting Jo in Cambridge

This photo is of Joanne and I wrapping up our last night together on campus at MIT.

Joanne is studying for Midterms

I was getting through the book I’m currently reading.

We do a late night of independent reading and get home close to 12 to sleep.


Joanne was under the weather during my visit, so we spent the time cooking, baking, and talking. We rarely touched our phones.

I spent my time here reading and filming Joanne, and tried to keep my head off of work.

Joanne occupied herself with studying, journaling, and trying to memorize Romans 8 and then have me test her on it (… too many times). I sauntered through the rooms of her Cambridge apartment to Romans… woke up to Romans… slept to Romans….

We also had a lovely afternoon of opera listening thanks to Alexa,  and chatting all things classical.

[Joanne wields a much more expansive knowledge of opera than I (I keep mixing up my Bellinis, my Puccinis, *sigh*), although I arguably have the stronger generalist knowledge in classical music as a genre.]

I didn’t know who Maria Callas was and I half expected her to jump up from the bed she was reclining in with her iPad (her study tool) and exclaim: “YOU HEATHEN!”.  I feel with you reading this and you not knowing her, you would think this an exaggerated assumption on my part. It’s really not. This is very much her.

Maybe she wouldn’t exclaim it.

She’d more probably

1. jump sitting up

2. look at me coldly, and

3. pronounce on me in a very matter-of-fact, but utterly damning way, “you heathen”

I laugh writing this on my Amtrak back to the city. This is she.

Joanne is incredibly bright and intense. and cute. and intimidating.. She is both the younger sister that needs my emotional and physical protection, but also admonishes me about my low standards of living (I won’t go into the details) and goes on entire speeches on the decline of good values and manners in today’s society. I chuckle just thinking of her crazy rainbow colored personality.

I paint an odd picture of her with just this anecdote, but if you came to know her, you would love her.

Alright, back to the myriad of product & research files am reviewing.

xSoo

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How To Fall In Love With Art

How long has it been?

Up until college, I had grown up with an appreciation for fine art thanks to my parents, but it was never really something I had sought out on my own.

I knew enough “art” to maintain my sense of weird, self-righteous adolescent pride in being cultured and artsy. My interest was driven by nothing else really of nobler substance.

At 18, I moved to New York for college, and I enrolled in an art crit class on a whim during freshman year: the Art of Now course at New York University.

Fast forward to 2013, when I studied abroad in Shanghai. I decided to take on a heavier workload of art classes and immersed myself in contemporary and Asian art. I don’t remember much of the art I saw in detail, but this period of time would leave an indelible mark on me, and it was a catalyst for my passion.

Hu Jieming, Casual Status, 1992

I returned, enrolled in some more art classes.. a studio class in drawing.

During my time as a student, I had more time in the afternoons and between classes to do other things (doing nothing, meeting friends at cafes or for lunch in the West Village, chilling near fountains – damn life from 18-22 was so sweet) and I began exploring gallery spaces and art exhibitions everywhere! pretty intensely.

A pic I snapped years ago on another trip to Pace Gallery.

I started taking random things at home: scissors, a tableweight, a pepper from the kitchen, a rose and draw.

 

So newly inspired I was by the intricate beauty in all things that held form, line, and shape.

I was falling in love with art then.

I began to accumulate a larger inventory of the things I liked and disliked, formulate stronger opinions backed by a latticework of thoughts and experiences built thanks to the plenitude of art I’ve seen in the years which have since passed post- college.

For example, I prefer minimalism and modernism. I like French impressionism, and abstract expressionism.

For some reason, Surrealism and Dada works get me.

Man Ray, Ingre’s Violin

Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele works are so luscious and rich. Contemporary movements like pop surrealism, otherwise knowns as “Lowbrow” art are so cool.

Mark Ryden, the father of Pop-Surrealism

I don’t find a lot of photography art to be impressive, but I’m okay with that. Installations with various forms of media are sometimes a hit or miss for me. I like contemporary art, but I’m not particularly fond of Jeff Koons (active from 1977 – ) or Damien Hirst (1988 – , or Jean-Michel Basquiat (1976 – ). But I do love me my Toyin Ojih Odutola (2008 – , Osamu Yokonami, and Chad Wys (2011 – ) :

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Toyin Ojih Odutola, Above all else make it look effortless, 2012. Pen ink, marker, and varnish on paper.
Chad Wys, Sculpture with a Spectrum 2, 2014. Collage on paper.

It’s 2018 and I love art more than ever.

I move and live every week, drinking in all the things I see, from the daily visuals of life to the more curated representations of art at institutions.

And the more I do that, the more I understand this:

Art is an instrument that instructs the way we see and live our lives. Our lives, in turn, are ripe, breeding grounds for art: new expressions and new manifestos… and who’s to say that the act of life and breathing aren’t art in themselves.

They are synonymous with one another– and I cannot see the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          (on my best days- taha.)