I received my daily update from the Boston Magazine blog with tremendous excitement today, because there were a few posts which touched directly on issues I have been thinking about a lot lately. The first was entitled “How Boston Shapes City Resident: A new study proves that we’re still bound by our Puritanical history”. The post directs the reader toward Emily Badger’s piece for The Atlantic Cities in which she discusses a study entitled “The Cultural Construction of Self and Well-Being: A Tale of Two Cities“. Those two cities are Boston and San Francisco. The idea behind the study is that these cities have a tremendous amount in common, offering a perfect opportunity to examine what factors, then, might be responsible for the cities’ profound cultural differences.
It feels like a collaboration from another century — modern art greats coming together to create a production that pushes the limits in every way. Great designer meets great architect meets great score meets great conductor. The LA Philharmonic’s production of Don Giovanni on May 26 features costumes by Rodarte and stage sets by Frank Gehry. The Mulleavy sisters brought their hair and make-up stylists from the runway to complete the look of the show. Given how hauntingly beautiful their costumes for Black Swan were, the bar has been set pretty high for Kate and Laura Mulleavy when it comes to costume design. From the looks of it, they will not disappoint this time either. You go girls! The sets and costumes are chilling and beautiful on their own. Imagine Mozart playing, and this is one show that shouldn’t be missed. Admittedly, for completely unknown reasons I’ve been feeling rather weepy of late, so that might have something to do with it, but the stills alone are giving me shivers. Since I’m not likely to make it to Los Angeles this weekend, here’s hoping they reconsider the decision not to film this one time production. Let’s start a movement now … maybe we can win them over by Saturday.
It has been announced that on May 22 Lalla Essaydi will be awarded the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s Medal Award. (A retrospective of her work, “Lalla Essaydi: Revisions,” is currently on view at the National Museum of African Art Smithsonian in Washington.) I feel like it’s some sort of personal triumph. No, I do not know Lalla Essaydi and have obviously played no part in her phenomenal contributions to the art world. However, she is the focus of a disagreement in our household which I like to hold over my husband’s head, so she has become a bit of an obsession. I’m pretty sure I have told this story before, but to revisit, my husband and I saw a photograph by Lalla Essaydi at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s sale a number of years ago. I loved the photograph. There is some disagreement about what the actual price was at the time, but it was under $1,000. We did not buy it, much to my chagrin, because it was too expensive and too large. A few years later we saw the same photograph selling for $18,000. Oops. So there is really nothing more satisfying than proving to my husband what a horrendous mistake it was not to buy the photograph.
Essaydi was born in Marrakech, grew up initially in Morocco, and then spent a number of years living in Saudi Arabia. She creates breathtaking large scale portraits of Muslim women. The story they tell is both beautiful and chilling. To look at them is to be overcome by an incredible stillness.
Gotta love it when all of your favorite things come together in one place. At the Proof of Purchase show on Saturday I was carefully examining every postcard to find one by Rachel Perry Welty, an unbelievable contemporary artist with whom I am absolutely obsessed, and scoring that for $50 would have been a major coup. Sadly, we learned that her postcard had already sold, and that Rachel herself had in fact purchased one of the most coveted items in the show, a postcard by artist John Baldessari, and from there the conversation drifted to Perry Welty’s spread in the December issue of Vogue magazine. I had seen the spread at the time but somehow had forgotten about it (which doesn’t make much sense to me given how much I love Perry Welty’s work, but there you have it, yet more evidence of my early onset Alzheimer’s, and led to the mind-boggling realization that I had just thrown that magazine into the recycling the week before). Now I cannot stop thinking about that spread (and what an a*hole move it was that I managed to throw it away).
Rachel Perry Welty Vogue spread – December 2011