October 7, 2018

triple small

In the Flatiron Plaza, by Jorge Palacios.  Bigger image here.

The Noguchi Museum in Queens is featuring Palacios’ work right now.  The “Red Cube,” one of Noguchi’s most famous public sculptures is not, of course, a cube.

Jorge Palacios

September 8, 2018


We take a break now from our finger gazing to talk about Jorge Palacios, a sculptor in wood who is now being shown at the Noguchi Museum, a favorite spot of mine.  I read about his big piece, Link, in the Flatiron Plaza, and went to see it.


When I got there on a beautiful day like the one in the images above, there was a man scrubbing the piece clean.

I talked to him a bit in halting English and my halting Spanish.  He remarked that the piece gets lots of scuff marks from people’s shoes!  I asked him if it is hollow, it is, and if I could bang on it, I did.  When I got home, I did some reading about the artist and the exhibit at the Noguchi and it seemed to me that the guy looked a little like the  artist, didn’t he?  He was a lot more friendly than his picture makes him seem!


Yesterday, I went to the Noguchi to see the exhibit of his work, including this one:


Wandering about the exhibit, examining the installations and putting in more lights, was the same “workman” I’d seen cleaning the piece in Manhattan.  It dawned on me that this unassuming man was the artist, and I had a pleasant chat with him – I reminded him of our previous encounter.  An amusing bit of serendipity, and I had him sign a copy of a monograph that I bought in the museum shop.  🙂

When I was leaving the museum, I chatted with the admissions person about my encounters, and he chuckled:  “Yes, he’s a very hands-on type of guy.”

Touching, so touching…

December 21, 2011

When I visited Paris in the late 1970s, I made a point of seeing the grave of Oscar Wilde in Père Lachaise.  The huge stone monument by the then-young Lipschitz shows an Assyrian ‘angel’ on a base that simply says “Oscar Wilde.”  At that time, the large genitals of the figure, so disquieting to the city fathers of the early 20th century, were still missing, hacked off by a vandal in the 1960s.  I was happy to read in the newspapers recently that they have been restored, at the cost of nearly 50,000 euros – that’s a set of balls!

These days, the tomb is in the news because the authorities are going to erect a glass barrier around it to prevent pilgrims from planting big greasy kisses on it.  Apparently, this became a popular custom in the 1980s, and the lower portions of the stone are covered with red lipstick marks.  Some say it’s ugly, others claim it’s causing damage to the stone as well, and thus the protective sheath around the plot.

I find it hard to believe that lipstick could do much damage to the stone, other than discoloring it, and isn’t that the sort of thing that happens to monuments over time?  St. Peter’s toe in the Vatican is almost worn away from the millions of kisses it gets.  It’s not as though it’s a delicate and fragile work such as Michelangelo’s pieta…but Wilde’s grandson is for protecting it, so I cannot protest too much.  The family wants to preserve the look of the original…

Still…from The Picture of Dorian Gray:

And now tell me,–reach me the matches, like a good boy: thanks,–tell me, what are your relations with Sibyl Vane?”

Dorian Gray leaped to his feet, with flushed cheeks and burning eyes. “Harry, Sibyl Vane is sacred!”

“It is only the sacred things that are worth touching, Dorian,” said Lord Henry, with a strange touch of pathos in his voice.

Along the waterfront

September 12, 2010

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A walk down the Hudson River shoreline of Manhattan, from 125th Street to about 65th Street.  The driftwood sculptures just appear there – I don’t know who makes them.  Riverside Church does battle with the Dog of Satan.  Signs of Drainage are present, as always.

Cloisters of NYC

February 20, 2010

In keeping with my plan to visit the Metropolitan Museum once a month, I spent an hour at The Cloisters today.  This is the uptown branch of the Met that houses a large collection of medieval objects in a building resembling a monastery, and with multiple courtyards and interiors of European abbeys that were transported here and reconstructed.  It sits in the midst of a park on highlands overlooking the Hudson River Palisades and northeast Manhattan, and it is the only museum in Manhattan where I can drive up and park at the front door anytime I want.  The trip from my home takes about fifteen minutes.

I like to visit museums for short periods, or exhaustion sets in.  Since I can go often, I can look at a few things each time and leave the rest for later.  Some of favorites that I viewed today:

Silent brothers

May 3, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, I dipped into the Met for a quick visit, and came upon this figure of Aaron, from the Cathedral of Noyon.  I was struck by its monumental aspect, its mesmerizing representation of the fabric wrapped tightly around the figure, and the serene expression on Aaron’s face.  His brother, originally disposed opposite him on the cathedral facade, hasn’t fared so well with time.