Friday, July 1, 2011

A Double Grid

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During my vacation in California, I got the chance to visit the Getty Museum in LA not once, but twice. And honestly, two days was barely enough. The Getty is filled with amazing artwork, but the museum itself is quite an experience. It's built far up on the side of a hill overlooking downtown LA. It has a tram that takes you from the parking garage up the side of the mountain. I feel like the isolation of the museum from the rest of the city and the sort of journey it takes to get up to it makes the museum a unique experience.

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The architecture of the museum is absolutely stunning. The juxtaposition of the stable 90 degree grid lines with the strategically placed swooping curves strikes the viewer. Its all about this sense of flowing unison from one structure to the next. Nothing misses a beat. Every visual aspect is meticulously placed. There is no disjunction. 

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Inside the museum were some pretty iconic artworks. These apples by Cezanne theoretically started the entire Cubism movement. While I still think the plate of apples was painted at a higher point of view by chance, the piece still introduced the idea of painting from multiple perspectives.

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They also had quite a collection of Van Gogh and Monet paintings there. This painting above by Monet has always been one of my favorites. I once saw something similar to it made entirely of melted wax crayons.

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This is the bed that inspired Carol Hannah on Project Runway. I loved her dress on the show and I could definitely see the connection between her dress and the ornate bed in person. 

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I'm in love with the way the sheer fabric is painted in this work. The dresses look so light and airy. You can almost feel the cloth between your fingers even though its just rendered with paint on canvas.

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This painting by Sargent was my absolute favorite piece in the museum. Its a large and eye catching piece that dominates the room its displayed in with the subject's bold stance and the striking white dress she wears. Supposedly, artists back in this time painted with white to show off their skills or virtuoso. No color like white is as hard to show all of the slightest colors in the shadows and surfaces reflecting off of it.

Sargent is more well known for his Madame X painting of a woman in a black dress, but I find this painting much more interesting. Madame X might have her scandalous dress strap off the shoulder, but this painting has a sense of immaculate grace I can't get over. 

If I were to be taking on the Project Runway challenge of creating a look inspired by a piece in the Getty, this work hands down would be my source of inspiration. I think I'll sketch out a few looks based on this painting just for the fun of it. I'm actually about to take on the challenge of learning to sew once I get some cheap fabric to run trials with. We will see how it goes!

Rach:]

5 comments:

  1. Hi! Found you from my Closet Fashionista friend's blog! Do sketch out a few pieces with that dress as inspiration. Can't wait to see them!

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  2. Now I really want to see your dress inspiration :)

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  3. I would love to go to the museum! The artwork is so rich and fascinating! Great photography!

    xx

    Erin @ http://www.trufflesnruffles.com/

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  4. Museums are my heart. I'm trying to visit each and every one here in DC this summer. Never heard of the Getty Museum but it look all kinds of awesome. And the paintings you highlighted are amazing.

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  5. Brilliant photography! Stunning artistic work!Great post!

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-Rach