“She vanished around the corner of a street whose corner is eternal.”

Fernando Pessoa, With a Smile and Without Haste.

Featured Image: Salvador Dalì. Figure at a Window. 1925.


Regulars in Paintings

As I promised in my last post about routines, comfort zones and regulars customers, here my list of regulars in paintings.


Edgar Degas. The Absinthe Drinker. 1872-76.


John French Sloan. McSorley’s Bar. 1912.


Antonio Donghi. Donna al caffè. 1931.


Paul Gauguin. The Night Cafes, Arles. 1888.


Edward Hopper. Nighthawks. 1942.


Vincent Van Gogh. The Night Cafe. 1888.


Edward Burra. The Snack Bar. 1930.


Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. At the Moulin Rouge. 1892-95.


Pablo Picasso. Two Women Sitting at a Bar. 1902.


Edward Hopper. Sunlight in a Cafeteria. 1958.


Kandinsky and Me – A Motley Life

Do you know the story of Proust’s petite Madeleine? I haven’t done research, but I’m sure I would not be too far from the truth if I say that this is the most quoted story in papers’ introductions. Let’s be honest, the idea of Proust remembering his childhood with cookies (i.e. Madeleine) dunked in tea, one bite at the time, is just too beautiful. After all, who did not find memories hidden in random places? In songs, for instance. I cannot count the times music brought my mind back to the warm summers in Italy, to my first love or to my solo travels. But also paintings. And particularly with paintings, I am fascinated by the way some of them seem to recreate my moods and feelings of the past.

A Motley Life (1907) of the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, for example, reminds me of my years at university when I was first introduced to Modern Art. I got literally hypnotised by this painting, which is, however, by no means the reason why Kandinsky is considered a pivotal artist. For that very exam, indeed, I’ve learned that Kandinsky is above all the father of Abstract Art, and that, within The Blue Rider group (1911-1914), his theories more than his paintings revolutionised art at its very core, freeing it from the limitation of figurative shapes and giving new meanings to colours.

Why of all paintings did this one get my attention and become the door to my university memories? Continue reading

When Cherries Taste Like Sky

How do cherries taste to you? Many would say sweet. Some will detect a pinch of sourness. Cesare Pavese, a famous Italian writer, would have said that cherries taste like sky (‘le ciliegie dal sapore di cielo’). Or at least this is what Natalie Ginzburg, a friend of Pavese and a writer herself, remembered of him while writing her delightful autobiographic work, Lessico Familiare.

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Porto Cupecoy Déjà-Vu, Giorgio De Chirico and the Art We Like

A few days ago I decided to drive to Porto Cupecoy. As some may know, it is a huge tourist complex heavily inspired by mediterranean – Renaissance – little villages. If you compare it to the Maho mass tourist facilities, Porto Cupecoy might even be considered a pretty place to hang out. Why would I go there? Simple curiosity or the mere realisation that on a 120 km2 island you don’t get to be picky. It was about 5 pm and there was absolutely no one. Just me and my shadow. Not one shop open, no personal touch on the balconies, not even a trace of animal life. It was surreal and immediately the works of Giorgio De Chirico came to mind, a painter of the early 20th century who became famous for drawing shadows and mannequins in sunny and deserted Italian squares.

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