Sharing My Instagram Pics: The “Newspaper Reader”

It's easy to mistake him for someone real. Princeton, NJ
It’s easy to mistake him for someone real.
Princeton, NJ

A friend of mine invited me to Princeton back in March and I was amazed at how quaint the area around the university is. I was expecting a bustling town but instead I found a sleepy one. Well, according to my standards. It was pretty quiet there. While touring the campus, we happened upon this gentleman taking a break from his day to read the daily news. He was quiet stiff. Upon closer look, I realized that he had forgotten his glasses at home and was straining his eyes to read.

So went my thoughts when I saw this 1975 sculpture by J. Seward Johnson Jr. called the “Newspaper Reader.” The man is reading The New York Times. I admire the details in this sculpture—the stitching in his shoes, the lines of his pants, the wrinkles around his eyes. It’s great. I thought it was a real guy before realizing that the newspapers’ pages weren’t moving.

According to Wikipedia, J. Seward Johnson Jr. “is an American artist known for his trompe l’oeil painted bronze statues. He is a grandson of Robert Wood Johnson I (co-founder of Johnson & Johnson) and Colonel Thomas Melville Dill of Bermuda.”

The following links provide more information on the sculpture.

Amazing Posts I Found Online: Make-up, Statue, Cup

I found these amazing posts while perusing the web, reading blogs, or skimming through the many newsletters I’ve subscribed to.

A make-up artist paints album covers on her face:

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Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear; make-up by Natalie Sharp

I found this one on Flavorwire. It’s pretty cool. I’m unfamiliar with the albums featured but I am amazed by the artist’s skills. Her name is Natalie Sharp and she’s very talented. Visit her website to see more of her work.

Continue reading “Amazing Posts I Found Online: Make-up, Statue, Cup”

Amazing Posts I Found on the Web: Book, Art, Fashion, Cake

A writing pad:

Available on Amazon.
Available on Amazon

I found this on Buzzfeed—Affordable and Clever Gifts for Your Writer and Bibliophile Friends. I’m considering to buy it since I tend to get great ideas at the most inopportune moments like in the shower, especially in the shower! The pad is waterproof and costs just $7.95.

Continue reading “Amazing Posts I Found on the Web: Book, Art, Fashion, Cake”

‘Taking the Ordinary and Making it Extraordinary’ — Edward Weston

by Edward Weston

“I have been photographing our toilet, that glossy enameled receptacle of extraordinary beauty. Here was every sensuous curve of the ‘human figure divine’ but minus the imperfections. Never did the Greeks reach a more significant consummation to their culture, and it somehow reminded me, in the glory of its chaste convulsions and in its swelling, sweeping, forward movement of finely progressing contours, of the Victory of Samothrace.” — Edward Weston

I bumped into Edward Weston, an American photographer (1886-1958), while re-reading my art history text book, Living with Art by Mark Getlein. Why am I re-reading a textbook? Well, I really love art and I enjoy learning about it. Since my memory of art history is a bit foggy, I’ve decided to revisit the subject and re-learn what I studied. It’s a lot of fun! Not only am I refreshing my memory of art history, I am also deepening my appreciation for the subject.

In a section titled “Art and Beauty,” Weston’s photograph of a cabbage leaf was featured as an example. I paused when I saw it. If I wasn’t told that the photo is of a cabbage leaf, I wouldn’t have guessed it. At first glimpse, I thought the picture to be the skirt of an elaborate gown with the bodice not shown (I think many others thought the same). As you can see [above], the photo is taken against a dark background and is casted in black and white. Taking away the characteristics of the cabbage (its color) and focusing solely on a piece of it makes me consider the cabbage in a new way and focus on parts of it that I’ve never considered: for example, the lines caused by its rumpled leaf. I love lines and the lines in this piece kicked my imagination into overdrive. They flow freely and form curves and sometimes arch against each other. To me, they look like the ruffles in a dress and other times I think of them as veins or the wrinkled skin of a weird sea creature or even an alien.

Another item that Weston photographed is the toilet. Now, why would anyone want to take a photo of something so ordinary? I enjoyed gazing at Weston’s toilet. His photo transforms it. The perspective that Weston shoots from causes the bowl to loom above us, taking on the persona of the “porcelain goddess,” as some refer to it. He makes the toilet look majestic. Also, I couldn’t help thinking of it as a sculpture.

Weston is a gifted photographer who’s quite adept at making the ordinary extraordinary, and at giving objects a new personality. I find that his use of black and white photos emphasize things that are blind to us in color. With the absence of color, we focus more on content and contrast. I now have a new appreciation for black and white photos. I suggest that you check out some of Weston’s photos too. You will be blown away.

Also, check out Martha Schwendener’s article in The New York Times to read more about Edward Weston and his art. And visit this slide show, also on The New York Time’s website, to see more of Weston’s work.

Sharing My Instagram Pics: Transportation and Travel

pirate ship, train, horse...
pirate ship, train, horse…

I saw these wrought iron sculptures while travelling yesterday. I’ve never paid them much attention before, thinking they were just some iron bars that were supporting the beams at the bus stop. But since I had some time, my eyes drifted around and stared at them until I realized that they were sculptures. They portray different modes of transportation and travel.

See them individually on my Instagram.