Obecni Dum, Prague’s Unheralded Treasure

Prague has a real treasure “hidden” from most tourist groups herded into the city for a day or three. The current entry on Prague in Wikipedia doesn’t mention it. And, though it’s listed as a top attraction, Lonely Planet does not showcase it as a highlight to a Prague visit. Regrettable, I’d say. Especially if…

Bohemian Paris: Myth or Fact?

How do you imagine Paris? For the artist in many of us, it is a Bohemian Paris we conjure up and even yearn for. But is Bohemian Paris merely an illusion? What is a Bohemian, anyway? In the popular view, she is someone unconventional, carefree, and usually involved in the arts. A free spirit who…

The Language of Undulating Forms: Iconic Buildings

Undulating forms are beautiful, sensuous, and seductive. You often find them in nature—in the curve of a woman’s body, the outline of a camel’s neck and hump, the motif on a sidewalk mosaic, etc. They appeal to an aesthetic sense in all of us. Artists have been aware of this appeal for a long time.…

Art Against War: Echoes From Guernica

Today is the anniversary of the massacre of civilians in the small town of Guernica. On this day, April 26, 1937, Spanish cubist Pablo Picasso, who was living in Paris, worked on a painting with a familiar theme, the autobiographic subject of a painter and his model. The painting was commissioned by Spain’s Republican government…

What is Art ? Part 3. Art is: A Tube of Paint. No More, No Less

Art is: A Tube of Paint. On first blush, this makes sense, at least when it comes to painting: Most paintings start with a canvas and a tube (or tubes) of paint. But, before Marcel Duchamp and, perhaps, Russian avant-garde painter Wassily Kandinsky—credited with producing the first abstract paintings—a painting also needed an idea and/or…

What Is Art, Really? Part 1

This is a reblog from my old “lost” site. But, I believe it deals with a question we revisit all the time. What is art? Is it what YOU call art? What an art critic calls art? An art historian, perhaps? Or, is it what WE all collectively call art? Is it art because an…