Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Compendium Suspendium

A word on the title:

As this post is a compendium of information, I wanted to include the word compendium in its title. As for suspendium, I just thought it sounded good. So I Googled it to find out whether or not it's an actual word.

Apparently, it is. And a really nerdy one, at that.

Suspendium. It sounds great, doesn't it?


I promised you a compendium, so here it is:

Some Websites I Like and Will Share with You in Lieu of Actual Content

1. Various Cities in First Person View (on wimp.com)

Pretty self-explanatory. And totally neat. I want to know who is doing the filming. If it were me, I would almost definitely trip and fall at some point. Which would be hilarious. But also painful.

2. MapCrunch

Click "Go!" for random Google Street Views around the world. Awesome! You might find yourself wishing more countries/locations were represented, but beggars can't be choosers, right?

3. A Guide to Sleeping in Airports

Surprise: North American airports are the worst for sleeping. The best? Singapore's Changi Airport, winner of the site's 2010 "Golden Pillow." Why? Well, I'll copy and paste the list of the airport's amenities and you can judge for yourself:

Airport Services/Facilities:
WiFi, Internet Kiosks, Food-24 hours ($), Baggage Storage($), pay-in Lounges ($), Shower ($), Gym & Spa ($), Massage ($), Swimming Pool & Jacuzzi ($), Convenience Stores/Supermarkets ($), Prayer rooms, Business Centres ($), Singapore City Tour, Nature Trail (including a Butterfly Garden, Cactus Garden, Fern Garden, Koi Pond, Orchid Garden, Sunflower Garden, Fragrant Garden, Night Light Garden), airside Rest Areas with snooze chairs, Aviation Gallery, Children's Play Area, Entertainment Deck (including a Jam Studio, Lan Gaming, Music Area, MTV Booth, Movie Theatre, XBox and PlayStation consoles), The Slide @ T3 - 4 storey slide ($), Grand Prix Race Stimulators ($).

4. World's Largest Roadside Attractions

A horribly clunky website, but I can't help myself. I adore this kind of thing. (Some of you might remember my brief obsession with Indiana's own World's Largest Ball of Paint.)

5. Atlas Obscura

For my money, the best website on The Internet. Bold claim? You betcha! I love it. I love it, love it, love it. Click on "Take me to a random place" and lose a couple hours of your day.

So there you have it. Compendium. Suspendium.

Next week I'm going to indulge another of my obsessions: converted spaces.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Armchairs in Art: 'Tis the Cézanne!

Welcome to the third and final installment of Armchairs in Art.

Let's take a look at Monsieur Paul Cézanne, Armchair Artist extraordinaire. Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839. Ever been to Aix-en-Provence? I have. All I can really tell you is that it's small and has a tapestry museum. I mainly associate it with Coolio's magnum opus Pterodactyl. Which my friend and I watched in our hotel room. In its entirety. Dubbed in French. Ridiculous, but actually one of my favorite travel memories.

It's been said (by people on the Internet) that Cézanne paved the way for modern art. His exploration of geometric shapes and "fracturing of form" were concepts essential to the development of the Cubist movement. He also painted scary little men.

Achille Empéraire, 1868
Oil on canvas
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

Strong start, right? Monsieur Empéraire was an interesting character. Think John Leguizamo in Moulin Rouge. Is it me, or does it look like he's wearing Chuck Taylor's? I'm going to be honest, this painting creeps me out. He looks like something out of Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre (see minute 2:44). Or better yet, this. Now I can't stop laughing. THIS BLOG IS A FREE-FOR-ALL.

Anyway. Here are some more of Cézanne's gems of armchair artistry. I'll let you pick your favorite. I'm partial to Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory. And not just because it sounds like something from Clue.

Portrait of Victor Choquet, 1877
Oil on canvas
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH

Madame Cézanne in a Red Armchair, 1877
Oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Portrait of Madame Cézanne, 1890
Oil on canvas
Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris, France

Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory, 1891
Oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Portrait of a Woman (in a Striped Dress), 1892-6
Oil on canvas
Barnes Foundation
Lincoln University, Philadelphia, PA

Portrait of a Woman in Green Hat (Mme Cézanne), 1894-95
Oil on canvas
Barnes Foundation
Lincoln University, Philadelphia, PA

Young Man with a Skull, 1896-98
Oil on canvas
Barnes Foundation
Lincoln University, Philadelphia, PA

And now, let's go crazy. Since we're wrapping up our whole "art" thing, I thought I'd better get in some shout-outs to my other favorite artists.

Lady in Yellow, 1888
Thomas Wilmer Dewing, American, (1851-1938)
Oil on wood
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA

This is beautiful. I want to be her. Also, she lives in one of my most favorite places, the Gardner Museum in Boston. If you have a weird fascination with art theft, like I do, it should definitely be on your radar.

And because I'm obsessed with anything that happened in Austria-Hungary around the turn of the century, we'll close with these guys:

Alfons Mucha, Czech, (1860-1939)

Fritza Riedler, 1906
Gustav Klimt, Austrian, (1862-1918)
Oil on canvas
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Austria

Edith Schiele, die Frau des Künstlers, sitzend, 1918
Egon Schiele, Austrian, (1890-1918)
Oil on canvas
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Austria

So there it is. Armchairs in Art, The Complete Series. Hope you enjoyed it.

For more:

Egon Schiele
Gustav Klimt
Paul Cézanne
Alfons Mucha
Leopold Museum (Largest Schiele Collection)
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere (Austrian Gallery at the Belvedere Palace)