Pin-Up Girl Art

I know that there are those that are mildly obsessed with pin-up girl art. I am not one of those people. I think they are really cool but not on my short list of favorites. Nontheless, I realized that I did not known any pin-up girl artist by name and thought I should remedy that.

Gil Elgren (March 15, 1914 – February 29, 1980) was an American painter and illustrator. He was also probably the most influencial pin-up glamor artist of his time. He studied at the American Academy of Art and was a master of portraying the feminine form. Some of his large comercial contracts were with Coca-Cola, General Electrip and Sealy Mattress. He was also featured often in The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping.

Joyce Ballantyne (April 4, 1918 – May 15, 2006) is a female pin-up girl artisit who also studied at the American Academy of Art. She is best known for her illustration of the Coppertone girl, dog pulling swimsuit picture. Ms. Ballantyne worked with Gil Elgren and was recommended by him to work for Brown and Bigelow, which launched her career. She eventually moved into the realm of portraits and fine art, painting the portraits of entertainment and sports personalities as well as from the business, social, and academic worlds.

There are some really cool contemporary pin-up girl artists which I will promote once I get permission to feature their work.


Somers Town

Shane Meadows is a UK based director who gained recognition for his film This is England is about skin-heads. A most unlikely project to make a short film for the EuroStar Company (the train between England and France) resulted in Somer Town, directed by Mr. Meadows and written by a childhood friend of his, Paul Fraser.

Somers Town is an area in central London between Camden, Kings Cross and St. Pancras. Known as being a very distinct entity since the 17th century it became a culturally diverse home to refugees and immigrants at the start of the 19th century with the insurgence of the railway industry.
The film is about two young lads who live in the town of the title. Marek, is a Polish immigrant who lives with his father, a EuroStar employee. Tomo is an English runaway from the midlands. The unlikely friends bond over petty theft, getting drunk and their crush on the French waitress at the café they frequent.

About a third of the film is in Polish, which I speak and understand fluently. I did not read the subtitles save to see how they translated colloquial phrases- which they did fairly well. Dr. J only understood the Polish swear words (I taught him well or perhaps he retains very selectively). The rest of the film was in thick British working class accents, which both of us found hard to understand at times.

In the DVD interview Mr. Meadows reflects on his revelation that despite language barriers the two Polish actors (Marek and his father Piort) stood out in the casting call and were easy to direct despite the need for a translator. Mr. Meadows credits this with their flawless acting.

Perry Benson, who plays an uncle figure to the boys in the film all but steals the show with his highly hilarious character. He plays the sort of man that seems dodgy but really is not. Mr. Benson described the cast as working together ‘musically like Jazz’ and said that the ten day shoot had long days that were made bearable by Mr. Meadows visions to achieve perfection.

The film is shot almost entirely in black and white; some suggested, to achieve a dark and artsy vibe or to signify the films grit. Mr. Meadows talks about how the ten day shoot and the desire for uniformity, which in a highly precipitous region where the film is shot, would have been impossible if not done in black and white.

Both Dr. J and I enjoyed this film; a sweet story about coming of age, independence, love and loneliness, in its 70 minute entirety, it captures these sentiments radiantly. It has won awards at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Edinburgh Film Festival and was selected as one of the monthly films chosen by the: Film Movement- a really cool film club I wish I was a member of,-to learn more go to: http://www.filmmovement.com

Great Review in the Village Voice, including synopsis:


as well as the New York Times:



Toronto- Go Blue Jays

Sometimes I miss home, I guess that at the end of January I should really NOT be missing Toronto so here are some photos I took this summer at a Blue Jays Game.
How cool is it that it was rainning when we arrived, and then it stopped, and the roof retracted.  Needless to say, this added entertainment value to the game.

                       So did the slushies

The art work on the side of the Skydome (Rogers Center)  is by Michael Snow titled The Audience
Mr Snow is a Canadian artist working in painting, sculpture, video, films, photography, holography, drawing, books and music. He was born in Toronto and attended Upper Canada College as well as the Ontario College of Arts.  He is also well know for his sculptures depicting Canadian Geese, titled Flightstop, at the Eaton Center.


Singapore Chilli Prawns

The cuisine of Singapore is influenced by Chinese, Indonesian and Indian culinary cultures. A popular seafood dish is the singapore chilli prawn dish which can be found on many asian food restaurant menus.

I make a variation of this dish using Sriracha Sauce (I buy this at my local Asian food market) instead of using fresh chilies because I HATE cutting up chilies (always manage to rub it in my eye) and making it with dried chilies is not an option for me.

This is such and easy dish to make and with the help of a secret ingredient, an adaptable North American version of the Singapore Prawn dish. I like to add vegetables just before serving which I cook separately either sautéing them or broiling them before tossing them into the final dish. The cilantro and lime (or lemon juice) added at the end give the dish a complete finish, I will not make the dish if we don’t have fresh cilantro at home.


To Make the Sauce:

• 1 cup water

• 5 tablespoons tomato catsup (this is the secret ingredient)

• 1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste

• 1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour

• 1/4 teaspoons salt


• 1 pound large, whole prawns

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

• garlic to taste roughly chopped

• ½ teaspoon Sriracha Sauce

• 1 egg

• 2 scallions

• 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

• fresh cilantro to taste


To make the Sauce: stir together all the ingredients and set aside.

Make the Prawns: Remove the black intestinal vein. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the Sriracha sauce and stir-fry for another minute. Add the prawns and stir-fry until the shell turn slightly red, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and stir-fry until the shells turn red.

Break the egg into the wok and, using a fork, zig zag the egg through the sauce (this is an important step, as the egg has to be in beautiful gold and white streaks). Simmer the sauce for a few seconds and remove from the heat.

Add any vegetables that you cook up separately, I like to use red or yellow peppers

Stir in the scallions and lime juice. Voila!

Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation by Ranchor Prime

I stumbled upon Ranchor Prime's work unsuspectingly while perusing the religious section of my local library. I was drawn to his book by the beautiful photographs and only then did I register ‘oh this is the Bhagavad Gita’ the spiritual text of Hinduism. I have always wanted to read it but to date intentions, had not gotten me far. I borrowed the book determined to read it from the first page onwards and no skimming.

This book is amazing and most importantly so easy to understand. Mr. Prime provides a translation of the original Sanskrit along with commentary. I read it nightly and each section I read was relevant to my day and life in general. I used it as a guide to seek understanding of my daily obstacles. In relation to issues with my children, hurtful words that have been spoken or as an answer to ‘should I or should I not’. Each part that I read gave me clarity. This morning after an unpleasant encounter with one of my monkeys’ teachers, I found myself focusing on the real issue (what can I do to help my monkey) and not letting things eat away at me (how could she say that about my monkey) essentially staying mindful and letting go. The lessons in the Bhagavad Gita are universal; they are about love, knowledge, wisdom, mindfulness and they are told lyrically in this beautiful translation of ancient text.

Here is one (of many) quotes that I have written down from Mr. Prime’s translation:

Anger produces illusion, and from illusion comes forgetfulness. Forgetfulness brings loss of intelligence, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the whirlpool of material existence.

Here is a link to Mr. Prime’s website:


Tim Burton

Tim Burton is a multitalented artist whose works cover the wide spectrum of art, writing and filmmaking. As a director and concept artist for animated films Mr. Burton has created such films as The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Corpse Bride (2005). Jonny Depp acts as muse for Mr. Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990) Ed Wood (1994) Sleepy Hollow (1999) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Sweeney Todd (2007). Coming out on March 5, 2010 is Alice in Wonderland with Mr. Depp, the trailer for this film is amazing and I think it will be another must see in 3D like Avatar.  My favorite Tim Burton film has always been Beetlejuice (1988) and I am so pleased that my monkeys love it too (and of course the Roald Dahl book and Burton film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

The current exhibition at the MOMA features over seven hundred examples of rarely or never-before-seen sketches and illustrations by Mr. Burton from early childhood through 2009. Works on display include sketchbooks, drawings, paintings, concept art , photographs , moving image works, puppets, maquettes, costumes, sculptures and films. A film retrospective that includes both films by Mr. Burton and those that served as his inspiration are featured.  A cinematic ephemera from such films as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Mars Attacks!, and Beetlejuice feature Mr. Burton's talents as a writer, photographer and illustrator.
Showing until April 26, 2010 in New York, the show will move to Melbourn and then Toronto.


Scott Rohlfs

Scott Rohlfs 'Big Eyed Beauties' are looking at you. They are either looking at you or looking through you, which is probably worse. The women that Mr. Rohlfs paints are usually tattooed and always sassy. They vacillate on the brink of anger and despair, truly unpredictable. In fantasy and on canvas one is inclined to have them stick around.

By creating feminine muses with startling eyes to the soul, their overt sexuality becomes almost an undertone. On an unconscious level these painting reflect an asexual diversity. Fitting the role of both fantasy and representation they are both objects of the imagination as well as commanders.
Much of Mr. Rohlfs work captures contemporary urban culture motifs. His 'Big Eyed Beauties' are doused in a subculture that seems to propel them towards their steady uncertainty. 

Mr. Rohlfs is primarily a self taught artist whose talents have driven him to immerse himself in his work and continue to develop his skills. Born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised in Northern California he now lives with his wife and children in Portland, Oregon.

His work is currently showing at Distinction Gallery in Escondido, CA and Ivanffy-Uhler Gallery in Carlsbad, CA. Next month he will be displaying his work at the Erotic Art Museum in Amsterdam.




Feng Shui Colors

Feng Shui can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Feng Shui is really about mindful living and there is no action too small or insignificant. In the most basic form Feng Shui is about creating good and positive energy in you and your surroundings. This is also known as Ch'i or Life Force. To create positive energy one must create balance. This is known as the Yin and the Yang in Ancient Chinese wisdom.

(a decorative tile)

In art and in life, color plays an important role in setting the tone. Yin which means “the shady place” is often  represented by slow, soft, cold, wet and tranquil things and colors. Yang, “the sunny place” is characterized as fast, hard, hot, dry and aggressive. Certain colors are more vibrant and lively thus creating Yang energy. On the flip side colors that are light and calm are represented by the Yin.
To attain and maintain balance in your home you can use the Bagua Chart to figure out which colors to use in each area of your home or room.

This chart is a basic model to use color to enhance certain aspects of your life. Align the main entry to your house or a single room with the bottom of the chart.

Some examples that I like to use are placing amethyst in the ‘purple’ zone, red candles in the ‘red’ zone and a black metal Buddha in the ‘black’ zone. When placing art work or painting rooms in your house Feng Shui can help guide your decisions. Ultimately feeling ‘good’ and ‘right’ in your home is the most important thing so always use Feng Shui as a guide, not as a rule. Remember every little bit helps and as long as you are mindfully conceiving how to better your surrounding, positive energy will surround you.

Check out some of the books at Amazon or your local library to learn more about Feng Shui.


The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Last spring Dr. J and I took a wonderful trip to Spain. We flew into Madrid and soon thereafter got on a bus to drive five hours to Bilbao. Originally we were planning on booking a train (couchette anyone?) but upon further research I found that the bus was actually faster! (It has to do with the number of stops as well as the mountainous region which has the train tracks going in zigzags).

Bilbao is the largest city on the north coast of Spain. It is about 62 miles (100km) from France. It is located in the Basque country (there is also a French Basque region), and is known for its shipbuilding, steelmaking and in my opinion pixchos. It is also known for its terrorism as there are people called Basque Separatist who feel that the area should be independent of Spain.

In the late 1980’s a strategic plan for the revitalization of the Bilbao Metoropolitan region was established and in 1991 the Basque authority reached out to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Thomas Krens, the director of the Guggenheim Museum asked Toronto native and Los Angeles based architect Frank Gehry to come to Bilbao. Mr. Gehry suggested that the new museum be built next to the Nervion River between the Pente de la Salbe and Puenta de Deusto. While at his hotel in Bilbao, Mr. Gehry made his first sketches of the museum. These were on exhibition at the Museum and were featured on many of the gift shops designs.

The museum is made up of nineteen galleries on three floors. The largest gallery is bigger than a football field. The museum also holds an auditorium, a restaurant, a library and a gift shop, as well as offices and a tower. All the smaller galleries branch out from the large, three story, central atrium. To enter the museum one must first pass the Jeff Koons sculpture Puppy and then follow a wide staircase going down. The atrium is crisscrossed by ramps, suspension bridge walkways and has large glass elevators that give visitors a view of the museum inside as well as the architecture and art on the outside.

The outside of the museum is predominantly covered with titanium which is guaranteed to last a hundred years. Titanium is thinner than stainless steel. It does not lie flat and strong winds make it flutter. The effect is such that the building actually moves, giving the impression of being alive. As the building reflects sunlight during different times of the day the titanium seems to change color as well. The two days we spent in Bilbao were cloudy and the building along with the mist and fog seemed suspended around the surrounding bridges.

Visiting the Guggenheim in Bilbao was one of the highlights of my life. The most thrilling aspect was that I wanted to be outside as much as I wanted to be inside the building. There was just so much to absorb! On the outside, along with the Puppy is Tulips (also Jeff Koons) which looks like oversized Christmas ornaments. Louise Bourgeois’ Maman is a 30 foot high metal sculpture of a spider. Part of the museums permenant collection located in the Arcelor Gallery is Richard Serra The Matter of Time which are metal installations created in a maze-like yet natural form.

I will spend more time writing about my favorite exhitbits in the museum as well as more about the Basque region (THE FOOD) and Spain in general.
Here is the link to the main site:


Allen Frame

Hilary and Josh, Punta del Este, Uruguay, 2008

In the latest issue of Art In America there is an article about Allen Frame and his show at the Gitterman Gallery in NYC. As a photographer and film maker Mr. Frame has contibuted many solo exhibitions around the world as well as gained recognition for his work in AIDS awareness. His newest exhibit features photographs taken between 2006 and 2008 during his ‘down time’ while working. Each photo is featured on a 22 by 27.5 inch frame. The photos in this show are taken in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. His previous photography exhibitions featured NYC, Russia, The South, Europe and Sweden, Europe I and Mexico/Brazil.

His latest film in 2008 titled:

Going Home is Allen Frame's poignant, and sometimes funny, encounter with his family during his father's death at home in Mississippi. His mother and brother are central characters, larger than life in their day-to day experience of an unfolding drama.”

Part of art is exposing oneself and to make a film like this is to faithfully live this mantra. Futhermore, this latest exhibit is raw spontaneous photos taken of lovers and friends as well as aquaintences.
Born in the Mississippi Delta and a New Yorker for the past 25 years Mr. Frame teaches photography at the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, and the International Center of Photography.

Here is the link to his site:

Gitterman Gallery is located at 170 East 75th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues and this show runs until Oct 31t 2010

Yvonne and Lia, Tijuana, 2008


Graffiti Art

Graffiti Art- Graffiti is the Italian word for scribble. I found these on one on my I Phone applications and although I cannot find any information about the artist or the photographer I could not resist posting.

Graffiti is known as a modern urban art form often with a political or social message. I love the childish nature of these works which upon first glance suggests a splash in a puddle and then the mind darkens and you think about landmines.

I think this is about landmines. What do you think it is about?


Las Vegas Top Eleven (Lady Ren’s Affordable Edition)

I get this question a lot. There is always someone, a friend of a friend, your classmate from elementary school, your grandma- that is visiting Las Vegas and they want to know what I think they should ‘not miss’.

This list is the list I would recommend for anyone who is in Las Vegas for three to five days. This list happens to be couple and family friendly. I might one day make a high roller list. Or a restaurant list. Or an Arts and Culture List. For now if anyone asks- they will be directed to this list! If anyone has any suggestions let me know-

1. M & M World. This place is fun, with kids, without kids. It’s right in the center of the Strip by the big Coke Bottle where you can get ½ price same day show tickets. You can get really cool souvenirs or just buy some candy. Great photo opt too.

2. Red Rock- Besides the cost of getting to the Canyon, it is only five dollars to get in. (If you happen to have a US State Park Pass you can use this to get in FREE.) If you are serious about wanting to do this then I would recommend renting a car for the day which will cost you about $30, this includes shuttle from any Strip hotel. Once at Red Rock you will receive a map- It is a 13 mile loop and the map will give you tips on what level (ie: easy, moderate, strenuous) the hike is. I find that they are never as hard or long as they say they are.

3. Neon Museum- at $15 a person this can end up being a high roller visit if you have kids- It is about a ten minute drive from the Strip and 45 minute tours meet at the Reed Whipple Center.
YOU MUST BOOK YOUR SPOT IN ADVANCE and the tours are at set times with no wondering.

4. Shopping on The Strip- Fashion Show Mall is right on the strip and has great high and mid range shopping. Also affordable chain restaurants.

5. Shopping off The Strip (about a five minute drive away from the Stratosphere) Las Vegas Premium Outlets- Look up their website and you might be able to print coupons before you go.  I stongly recommend this stop because right across the street is the NEW Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health designed by Frank Gehry and it is AMAZING.

6. Casinos worth walk around (that’s FREE) Venetian- what’s not to love about an indoor gondola ‘ride’ and periodic indoor thunderstorms, as well as Italian style street performers.

7. Bellagio- Free Botanical Gardens Atrium (great photo opt) Amazing Dale Chihuly glass ceiling in the front lobby.

8. MGM- See the Lion Habitat, also cool aquarium in front of the Rain Forest Café. See FREE magic demonstrations at the Houdini shop downstairs.  Across from there is the bar where you get those huge funny shaped frozen drinks that you see all the tourists running around with.

9. Finally our newest addition the first LEED certified Casino Hotel in Las Vegas- City Center- Huge- Lots of really cool art work to see, architecturally stunning.

10. Because it’s Vegas I think it is worth while to see a magic show. A totally affordable show, especially if you catch a matinee is at the Tropicana’s Xtreme Magic starring Dirk Arthur. It’s got illusions, fire, Bengal tigers, white tigers, leopards, dancing and a real size chopper- It is fast paced and entertaining.

Tropicana Box Office number is 800-829-934

11. Again, because it’s Las Vegas ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFEET- These range in price and getting a mid day meal, mid week is your cheapest bet- That way you can tell ALL your friends you did it.

Audrey Niffenegger

I read Audrey Niffenegger’s first book The Time Travelers Wife on the recommendation of several friends. Great novel, mostly because it took my mind on a twisty trip which I appreciate as a reader. I saw the movie- ONLY because it was showing on a flight I was on. I think I took a little nap in between. So I read Her Fearful Symmetry after reading a review in the New York Times (see link).

The research that went into this novel is exciting. Niffenegger obviously knows her stuff when it comes to the historical aspects of Highgate Cemetery. She actually worked there as a docent while writing this book. She was afforded this luxury not only, I am sure, as a result of the success of her first novel but because of the five million dollar advance she received for this novel. I feel as do many other critics that that is a lot of pressure to write under, especially for a second novel.

I think the story and characters are wonderful. What bothers me is that the characters that I came to love so much ultimately acted in ways that were contrary to their character. And not in the mind trip 'this is fun' sort of way. More in the ‘that doesn’t seem like Jack’ or ‘that’s a pretty adverse reaction for Valentina’. The story still has those 'didn’t see it coming' twists but I was prepared for them and saw them coming.

Ultimately I felt like it was worth the read i.e.: I didn’t stop which I would do if I was not so compelled to find out what happened. I do think that Audrey Niffenegger is an amazing writer and researcher and I will read her next book too.


Carlos De Las Heras

Starting tomorrow (07/01/10) and touring across the Las Vegas Valley until April is a exhibition by Las Vegas local Carlos De Las Heras.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of “The Planet Earth Awards, Beyond Superstition” and was sincerely impressed.

The exhibition examines religions and mythologies from around the world. Uniting the eleven icons is the presence of an award and often an additional identifying symbol or common likeness.

Among the figures represented is Jesus Christ holding a ‘leadership award’ and wearing a suit and tie. Moses, a representation of Judaism, holds a staff along with his ‘earth award’. Mother Goddess is the most teeming portrait and my personal favorite. Depicted as a modern woman in Ganesha deity style, she has six arms. In one of her arms lays an infant cradled as if in a womb. Muhammad is represented faceless as per the Islamic tradition of not embodying his likeness. Dionysus looks as if he hails from Las Vegas resembling a high roller holding a glass of red. The Shaman has feline features and holds an Oscar. When I asked Mr. De Las Heras why an Oscar he told me that the Shaman is the only icon to live among the people. Love it!

This exhibition is thought provoking and well researched. I strongly recommend seeing the show and checking out Mr. De Las Heras' website.

ARTIST STATEMENT: Painting, sculpture, photography and graphics; my work varies depending on the medium I work in. Religion and mythology is an interest which I directly reference in some of my work. I enjoy reading, working and playing in the studio. These moments of solitude allow me to sort through ideas and experiment with materials. Working in many mediums allows me to think in different dimensions. I like having this option and love what I do

1401 E. Flamingo Road

Las Vegas, NV 89119

M - Th, 9a.m. - 9 p.m.

F - Sun, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Casey Lott

I first saw Casey Lott on the runway at the Contemporary Arts Center, Hot Hot Haute show at the World Market. She was auctioning off one of her paintings. Her painting was really good and did not have any problems raising money towards a great cause. After the show I spoke with her and got her contact information.

Casey Lott is a makeup artist and body artist living in Las Vegas. Originally from Dallas she moved to the West Coast to pursue her talents as an artist.

Her makeup artistry has been featured in several magazines and she has appeared in film and television.

Above is a link to her site.


Kukuxumusu 'Fleas Kiss'

While in Spain taking in the many galleries and museums with Dr. J, I was always on the look out for cool souverniers for the monkeys. Our host in Bilbao suggested a Basque shop called Kukuxumusu. Translated as 'Flea’s Kiss' from Basque, the company sells such things as tee-shirts, sweatshirts, key chains, notebooks, postcards and pencils. When I found a shop, I agonized forever trying to figure out which tee-shirts had enough little boy humor (read: potty humor) to make my mokeys laugh out loud.

The company was originally started by three friends who wanted to make some extra beer money at the 1989 Pamploma’s San Fermin festival which featured traditional bull running and bull fighting events.

Kukuxumusu's designs are distinctive for their style and humor. Incorporating environmental, social and cultural issues there is often a slight sexual undertone. One of their notable tee-shirt designs is a peace sign covered VW van ‘humping’ a tank. Humans and animals often reverse roles to create ironic storylines ie: the bulls will be chasing the humans. Their desings incorperate many Basque symbols staying true to their roots. Kukuxumusu also creates custom designs for companies, sports teams and groups.


Educating Rita

Educating Rita is a play written by Willy Russell originally intended to be preformed by two actors in one setting. The film version is directed by Lewis Gilbert in 1983, starting Michael Caine and Julie Walters.

Susan, who goes by the name of Rita, is a young working class woman from Liverpool seeking to educate herself and is assigned Dr. Frank Bryant, a university professor as her tutor. The film follows their relationship over the course on one year.

Dr. Bryant is an alcoholic past tenure who takes his teaching responsibilities lightly. Impressed and revived by Rita’s zeal for learning Frank begins to look at life differently. Rita finds that with Frank’s confidence and guidance she is introduced to a new lifestyle and new opportunities.

The story focuses on social and class differences. It is a story about self development as well as personal relationships.

A goal of mine for this year is to see as many ‘older’ films as possible. When Dr. J and I first started dating we went on a kick renting classics. If you have any suggestions of films that are oldies but goodies please email me!


Contemporary Art 2009

So it is the end of a decade, the end of 2009.

We had a lovely New Years Eve. I hope you did too.

Something that stood out for me in the last week of 2009 was how many people seemed ready to get it over with. Many times I heard a ‘good riddance’, ‘it can only go up from here’ type of attitude. Was it really that bad?

Does this photograph taken at the 53rd Venice Biennale this past fall “Death of a Collector” sums up the attitude of many in the art community?
When I first saw this on the September 2009 cover of Art in America, I thought it was brilliant.

Shown by the creative duo Elmgreen and Dragset, this installation, which includes the works of over 25 artists, is based in the home of art collector Mr. B (the subject of the pool incident). The mysterious Mr. B, is an archetype that embodies the stereotype of the idealistically wealthy art collector.  His home and collection are enviable.
Are Mr. B and his kind mostly face down after 2009?

Where are they selling off his collection?

Happy New Year and all the best in 2010!


I have to preface this review by stating that I do not generally watch block buster films. Furthermore, I do not like watching 3D movies as I have convinced myself that they hurt my eyes.
I went to see Avatar because Dr. J said the monkeys would like it. When I found out it is 163 minutes long and rated PG-13 I was resigned to several restroom visits and questions during it’s run.
The film (in 3D) was simply the most amazing movie I have ever seen. I cannot imagine not seeing it in 3D as this film, above all others, was made to be seen and appreciated in this style.
Now the story line was amazing although not original. The most obvious comparisons are Dune, Dances with Wolves and The Last Samurai or according to my friend R. Man Called Horse and Little Man (which I have not seen). In short it is the classic tale of switching loyalties and falling in love with the ‘other’.
This story is inundated with Jungian theory. There are the classic Jungian Archetypes, the identification of the ego, personal unconscious and collective unconscious. The Jungian mythology based in the analysis of dreams, especially lucid dreams is essentially what the protagonist Jake Sully experiences when his two worlds commingle.

The indigenous people of the moon of Pandora are referred to as the Na’Vi and are a peaceful loving group. They are intrinsically naturally harmonious and spiritual beings. Capable of joining and feeling other beings they are prone to express “I see you” to encompass what we understand as love and connection.

In context to our world this movie has a strong anti war message. Set in the year 2154 the conflict involves U.S. Armed Forces aggressively seeking to destroy all that is essential to the spiritual well being of the Na’Vi.  This is done to satiate their desire to harvest the source of minerals inherent to Pandora which people on planet Earth value highly.

Avatar was a movie ten years in the making with a 300 million dollar budget. I didn’t realize that I was waiting for it but it was certainly worth the wait. I am optimistic that the themes in the film are well received and understood in the context that I believe James Cameron intended them. I am happy to say that we did not take a single restroom break. Finally, I look forward to seeing James Cameron win another Oscar.

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