Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The artist's studio

Ozenfant's studio came to my attention a while ago and almost by mistake while searching on the net.

It was a very pleasant finding and I dare say, it made my idea of an artist studio take concrete form.
The studio had these great big windows which curved right up to the ceiling which most likely allowed for natural light variations and the screening of the seasons.

This image had another quality. It took me back in time to late childhood, when I begged my parents to go and knock at a complete stranger's house. What motivated me?
There was an unconventional house in our neighbourhood. It had some triangular shapes and interesting windows and through them, you could see a series of paintings on the walls.
I assumed that the person who lived there was a painter and I wanted him or her (turned out it was a man) to teach me how to paint.

My parents agreed and the afternoon came when we were knocking at his door.
The painter actually refused to give me lessons but I wondered what was at that point and time more attractive to me, was it the space or the actual interest in painting.…
Perhaps it was both.

Years later I had another experience with the perception of Studio space while visiting Mexican painter Frida Khalo's house-museum in México, City. La Casa Azul de Frida Khalo y Diego Rivera (The Blue House) It is a modernist construction with windows that face to the patio and the garden below. I loved it.

More recently I discovered another beautiful house-studio: That of Sophie Taeuber and Jean Arp which  paralleled with my increasingly interest in Taeuber's work.

Two notes to conclude: Ozenfant's studio was built by architect Le Corbusier, and Sophie Taeuber is the only woman to have ever appeared on a Swiss bank note.. and I guess this is an off-track way to finish this entry because both were Swiss and both appear on Swiss bank notes. Wonder what they'd think..

Picture of Painter Ozenfant's Studio

…I long to have mine, 

Sophie Taeuber's & Jean Arp's studio

La casa Azul de Frida Khalo y Diego Rivera

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

To travel is by observation (thoughts on this blog's Photography section)

I took to photography when I started University but that in a sense was the sequel to observing things I tried to freeze in my memory such as unusual images that appeared along the road trips my family did; mostly along the U.S. and Canada.
While driving in long stretches of country side, it seemed quite fascinating that people should live in such vast plains in the middle of nowhere.

I used to fix my gaze as to absorb these frescoes of a Hopper painting while the car kept advancing, and often wondered if people felt lonely living there.

Years later I discovered film Director David Lynch during University as well. I mention him above many others, not just because he is one of the key figures of film history but because of his unconventional interpretation of these still frames put into a narrative.
Poignant images, impossible images!

David Lynch was a powerful revelation, as compelling as those memories of trips along the American landscape.

This gift to transform the ordinary, or to present the banal with such mastery as some of my favourite French directors do, is simply extraordinary.

I am still keen on photography, and film, for that matter. But to do magic with the image…that's another story!