Friday, March 6, 2009

Ping, Pong

It is hard to imagine that during the 17th Century the Classical inspiration of the gardens-facing facade of the Chateau de Versailles sparked as much buzz about its inventiveness as the most advanced architectural creations of our time. What is modern at any point in time isn't so for very long. Modern means: of the latest most advanced kind. It relates to using ideas and techniques that have only recently been developed and may still be considered experimental. Two random architectural examples of that fleeting definition are portrayed here. On the left are pictures of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and on the right of the Chateau de Versailles. They were planned and constructed roughly 4 centuries apart. Both buildings represent a new, daring aesthetic at their time and were considered very modern. Both received a lot of attention, were praised and critisized as groundbreaking designs that strayed from traditional styles. Though the Walt Disney Concert Hall can still hold on to the definition of being modern, the Palais de Versailles has long lost it's new, innovative and trendsetting aura. It won't be long before the Walt Disney Concert Hall follows the same fate. Versailles became the undisputed leading example of a new worldwide movement in style. Only history will tell if the Walt Disney Hall and its variations will create the same effect. The big difference between these two examples is that one was a modern adaptation of solid Classical architecture, while the other - in sharp contrast -is entirely abstract in concept.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The King's Painter

Charles Le Brun (1619 -1690) was an important artist in his time. He was co-founder of the Academie des Peintres et Sculpteurs in 1648 and later became Louis XIV's favorite painter. The king ennobled Le Brun and gave him the title Premier Peintre du Roi. He was placed in charge of the royal collections and became director of the gobelin studios. He is responsible for the paintings and interior design of the Gallerie des Glaces and the Salons de la Guerre et de la Paix at Versailles. Le Brun's work is highly appreciated. Not only a respected painter, as architect he was also closely involved with the building projects of Louis XIV. Nevertheless he left little influence. This is because he subjected his style entirely to the glorification of absolutism. His effectively composed scenes are seen more as admirable documents of historic events than as the individual style of an artist.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up" - Pablo Picasso

Nude Standing by the Sea 1929 oil on canvas Pablo Picasso Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cars Can Be Artfully Too

The financial difficulties that the American automakers are experiencing today is by their own choice. For years they have been fooling the public into believing that there was no interest in hybrid or electric cars, while they continued promoting the giant gas guzzling monster cars that they put on the market. Nobody wants them. People bought them simply because there was no choice. Proof that it can be different are these models by Toyota, on display at their showroom on the Champs Elysees in Paris. The design of these cars is appealing. So much so that people were lining up for a chance to admire them up close.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


This small painting is minimalist in subject and color range, yet complex in texture and glazing. It is one of my current favorites.

Seaworld   oil on panel   8" X 10"   Chris De Dier
available from the artist. US$225.00 + $20.00 s/h