Fine Dining

Yesterday was all about Georgia O’Keeffe, but that was not all I saw while at Brooklyn Museum. Continuing its feminist vibe, the museum also has on exhibit “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago.

At some point in our lives we ask or are asked “If you could have dinner with…?” type of question. In her work “The Dinner Party” artist Judy Chicago takes that question and answers it in a magnificent way. It is a tribute of women from mythical goddesses, government leaders, wordsmiths, artists, scholars, activists and more, from historical to 20th century contemporaries.

Before you get to the table itself you pass through an entry where you are welcomed via a series of banners which hang from the ceiling. The phrases, depicted in much of the color pallet used in the main exhibit, read:

“And She Gathered All before Her”
“And She made for them A Sign to See”
“And lo They saw a Vision”
“From this day forth Like to like in All things”
“And then all that divided them merged”
“And then Everywhere was Eden Once again”

I do not know Ms. Chicago’s intention, but reading this I felt as though a powerful feminine deity looked around to see the mess that had been made of things and took action setting things right.

And then you enter “The Dinner Party”

“The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago at Brooklyn Museun

“The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago at Brooklyn Museum

I had heard of the iconic, large scale project years ago. Still I was not prepared for the monumental scope of it. Chicago does not invite just one iconic woman, but what has to be nearly a thousand women in history to dinner. The lighting is intimate and inviting. You want to lean in and view each setting. About 40 who are represented by place settings at the triangular shaped table and rest via names inscribed on floor on which the table rests. Because of the flowing text and the lighting, I initially felt the table floated on tiles made to look like water. Especially in the center of the floor where the names of so many women, a representation of the ebb and flow, the fluidity of the female spirit throughout history. I thought it fitting.

Ceramics, intricately embroidered table linens sit beneath utensils and golden chalices surrounding unique porcelain plates created for each invitee, with radiating forms representing female external sexual organs. Akin to a Georgia O’Keefe flower painting in spirit, she of course is a guest at this astonishing table. I was amazed by the beauty and depth of detail of each setting.

I cannot fathom the amount of staff involved in the creation of such amazing craftwork, but I give immense praise to all who brought this to life.

<>==========<>==========<>

#SOL2017

#SOL2017

Let’s see how the others are slicing their Sunday,

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 26

Georgia On My Mind

And before you start humming any more of the classic Ray Charles song, I mean Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist and one of, if not, the inventor of the American modernism genre in Art. Brooklyn Museum currently hosts an inspiring exhibit.

wp-image-1878780826jpg.jpg

The exhibit, though featuring numerous pieces of her art, was more about the woman herself. Known as much for her free spirit as for her dramatic and often sensual of art, something she maintained was never intentional,  O’Keefe was a female role model in the male dominated world of abstract and fine art. Her unique style made her a standout in many ways.

It was in the 1920s, when nobody had time to reflect, that I saw a still-life painting with a flower that was perfectly exquisite, but so small you really could not appreciate it. I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.
–Georgia O’Keeffe

wp-image-339009781jpg.jpg

The queue to view the exhibit.

Like much of her art, when she wasn’t wearing black, she wore deep, rich hues. Preferring well-tailored, nearly mannish in her cut of clothes, instead of the more flowy, frilly styles that are a constant of women’s fashion, O’Keefe preferred a more androgynous look in her clothing style long before we started bandying the word about.

A style icon in her own right, the exhibit displays items of her clothing, and accessories -off the rack and custom made, over the years. She was also a sassy little minx as images captured her in various states of contemplation and dress – and undress- from various photographers such as Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams, and others, but especially her ex-lover Alfred Stieglitz. These photographs interspersed throughout the exhibit cover decades of her life and are as much art themselves in the stories they tell of their subject.

The exhibit also included video interviews of her at different times in her long career. Seeing and hearing her adds even more dimension when combined with all these personal pieces of her.Though I have known of her work all my life, I really knew nothing of the artist’s life until this exhibit.

It was a wonderful fusion of the art and the artist. I have a new and much deeper respect of both for it.

<>==========<>==========<>

#SOL2017

#SOL2017

Let’s see how the others sliced it up their Saturday,

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 25

You Want Me To Go Where?

Me, being me – with my mind and thus my mouth having finally resurfaced from the wasteland it wallowed in for most of yesterday, made up for its self-imposed exile with a vengeance – I eventually pissed someone off. Pissed her off to point I was instructed “Go to Hades!”

Those of you who know me, or at least have an inkling of me, are likely smiling already…

“Hades?” I asked incredulously, “Really? Go to Hades? You do realize being sent there is not exactly punishment?”

“Right, since you’re destined to rule by his side, it would not be fearsome to you.” She sneered. I gave pause, I was going to ignore it. Really I was.

I was.

Oh Fine! We know I wasn’t.

“That specific fact notwithstanding,” I rolled my eyes. “Hades ruled the underworld where the dead resided after their time on earth. Once you died you belonged to him and once you’ve crossed the Styx into his domain you were not allowed to leave. Those who tried to circumvent such were punished; otherwise he was mostly passive in his daily rule. So, you telling me to Go to Hades? Yeah, really not much bite in that. Hades, and his eponymous underworld, are a construct of mythology. Hell, the place you don’t have the maturity to call by its proper name, is a construct of religion.”

“Smartass. To Hell with you then!” Emphasis heavy on the noun this time.  I know my brow arched, I couldn’t help it and she, knowing me, groaned knowing something was about to drop and not in her favor.

Now class, what’s one thing that really galls us humans? Someone throwing our own words back at us.

With you? Oh, Certainement!” I just grinned. “Since, as you’ve stated, I’m destined to rule by his side, it would not be fearsome for me, that would make me your queen, and either as Persephone or Lilith, I would surely make it hell for you.”

Lesson of the Day: Don’t mess with an erstwhile church girl, who likes classic mythology.

20170324_113634

From my desk at work: Spy vs Spy, a killer notepad and a mini traffic cone that asks “Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?”

<>==========<>==========<>

#SOL2017

#SOL2017

Let’s see how the hell others are slicing it up this Friday:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 24

For The Love of Persephone

First day of spring–
I keep thinking about
The end of autumn.
Matsuo Basho – First day of spring

Lo, how she trembled that first day
Flowers grew where she tread
To quickly die as she walked away
An incongruous sight for the dead
Even Charon was saddened to bring
To the damned, such a beautiful thing
Nor did she bother pretending to resist
When her first earthly return, Demeter insists
For above the living do sing
First day of spring

Years pass and a rapport twixt us grew
I had a golden circlet woven for her as balm
A token of my love as our time to part was due
Adorned with flames and a pomegranate charm
She laughs and I thought I felt love sprout
Yet she left it on our bed with a pout
A hope had glimmered
But her eyes shimmered
It is in the doubt
I keep thinking about

The underworld was hell anew in her wake
Yet the surprise was mine upon her return
To learn her leaving it was not mistake
But to remind me that her love in turn does burn
Now laden with eternities under the sun
From first bud to last leaf it compares to none
For she now returns without regret
To lay claim to me, her love, and the bracelet
Aye, my love, my life always comes
The end of autumn

<>==========<>==========<>

real-toads-buton
Today at Real Toads, Susie prompts us with “bracelet” as inspiration. Basho’s classic haiku brings to mind Hades longing for Persephone.

napo2016button1
National Poetry Writing Month 2016 – Day 7

Today as I continue through the alphabet of poetry forms this month I reach the letter G, and my favorite poetry form, the Glosa.