Another Art World Shenanigan (and another reason I love my job)

25 03 2012

How did you spend your Friday?

I spent 8 hours of mine making this installation happen for the black-tie opening gala forΒ Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the DAM.

This installation, called Black Pearls, draped down three floors of the El Pomar Atrium at the DAM. It consisted of 2000 balloons tied to a central line of parachute cord. No big deal right?

Along with 10 of my museum peeps, I started work at 7:30am. And because the Museum was open from 10am-3pm on Friday we staged the massive 400 foot length of balloon-y goodness in the auditorium.

We cranked up a little reggae through the Museum auditorium’s dolby sound system and had a grand time blowing up and bouncing balloons around. The process took until 3pm, at which time the Museum closed and we could begin to snake the 400 feet of balloons up the stairs from the lower level to the main level of the atrium.

Once we had the massive snake of balloons in place in the atrium we began the process of fluffing and filling in the line (we invariably had some popping occur during transport). By 5:30pm we were free to leave to get ready for the gala, and arrived back at the Museum at 6:45pm all dolled-up and ready for an amazing night of fashion, friends, and cocktails. (And a little added excitement of a balloon occasionally popping!)

YSLgala

Cheers!

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I love my job.

21 03 2012

Some days, my job is truly great:





Ephemeral Spring Blooms

19 03 2012

In honor of the last day of winter, and the coming spring, today’s post is about gardening.
I came across this post to the Denver Botanic Gardens blog recently, and it made me reflect upon the wonders of the ephemeral. The post, The Importance of the Ephemeral, discusses how bulbs like tulips work and how/why they developed as ephemeral. It’s a quick and interesting read, and it made me think about why I love these ephemeral spring blooms.

Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, I love them all – but would I love them as much if they bloomed throughout the year? Probably not. Of course the blooms themselves are lovely, but their ephemeral nature is why I love them; they bloom for a short time, and they have a distinct association with a certain time and place. Without that association, without reminding me that the seasons are once again changing, I don’t think these ephemeral blooms would hold the same sway over me.

I’ll enjoy all the tulips, and hyacinths, and daffodils for the brief period of spring when they bloom, and remember them fondly until the same time next year. I hope you will too.

Happy (almost) spring everyone!





March 11: A moment to remember

11 03 2012

In honor of the one year anniversary of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami, today’s post is inspired by the determination and incredible spirit of the Japanese people. There’s not much more to be added to the conversation, but I will say: when disaster strikes, may we all be as strong and spirited as the Japanese.

This article from The Atlantic captures the awe-inspiring recovery effort in Japan.

Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture





Good book alert: Chasing Aphrodite

5 03 2012

Who knew the antiquities market was so dirty? Or that art museums had such an appetite for stolen goods?

I recently finished Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museums by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino. This book expands upon a series of Pulitzer Prize nominated exposΓ©s Felch and Frammolino wrote for the Los Angeles Times in 2006. The Getty Museum and its Board, Director, and antiquities curators were the focus of the original articles, and the central focus of the book as well. However, the Met and many other museums are not spared scrutiny in this eye-opening book.

While this book is not comprehensive of looted antiquities worldwide, its focus on the struggles with Italian and Greek antiquities looting is in-depth and extraordinary. Appropriately, the authors pin the blame for the looted antiquities trade (that flourished into the 1990’s) among all parties involved: art museum curators that failed to properly research objects provenance, art museum boards that pretended they weren’t approving the purchase of stolen objects, antiquities dealers for brings the objects to market, collectors for knowingly buying stolen objects, the looters themselves, and the Italian and Greek governments for failed efforts to guard antiquities. The authors also chronicle the changes made by US museums and the Italian government that has all but shutdown the illegal antiquities market.

Despite being a non-fiction book, the authors make it read like a novel.By the end of it, you’ll have felt a myriad of emotions for the embattled antiquities curator at the center of the Getty’s woes; she had the world on a platter, and lost it all because of hubris and carelessness.

If you’re interested in current looting issues, be sure to read this February 28,2012 New York Times article. Sotheby’s Auction House pulled a 1000 year old Cambodian warrior from its spring 2011 auction after it became clear that the object had a fake provenance and was in fact, looted.








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