Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mirabell Gardens Salzburg

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Wow. My 300th blog entry! When I started this blog in September 2007, I was not sure if I would have enough things that I wanted to write about or share with others. Hmmm. I guess I really did learn how to speak (thanks Toastmasters International, and Mom, who made me go . . . )

This is my last post this year about Salzburg, Austria. Pictured here are the Mirabell Gardens. They are a good example of symmetrical landscaping. I was fortunate enough to walk through these gardens on two different days.

The Lady of the Roses was the first sculpture I saw in Mirabell and perhaps the only bronze. I liked her gesture and the brilliant red roses surrounding her. Her style, especially in the face, as well as her long torso gave her a more modern look. Unfortunately, I did not get to spend enough time in the gardens to learn more about the art or the artists.

I probably should not say this, but hmmmm… I was never good at tap dancing and I am still trying to figure out how to discern quality in art. Ok, so here goes: most of the public statuary that I saw in Salzburg area was not exceptional. As a sculptor, I am fully aware of how complicated creating 3-dimensional art is, and almost hate to pick apart someone’s heartfelt efforts.

I do like these next two sculptures that I photographed – the male figure to the left of the vehicle and the woman surrounded by greenery who looks as though she was surprised in the woods. For me, however, the male figures behind the vehicle in the first image seem less than elegant in their gestures.

Critics love to point out how Michelangelo’s figures are out of proportion, yet somehow, his art works. My friend and mentor Vasily Fedorouk sometimes creates, absolutely on purpose, figures with unrealistically small and sometimes strangely shaped skulls. However, it works. But I saw a lot of sculptures in Austria whose proportions looked “wrong” not because of an artistic vision or choice, but as if from a lack of skill. Not all the time and not all sculptures, but I saw enough art to have thought that the sculpture, in general, was not from the best artists of the time.

However, to contradict myself a wee bit, regardless of the quality of each individual sculpture, the overall EFFECT was always lovely. And I must admit feeling sad that in America, we do not live with so much art in our public or perhaps even private lives.

In this aerial shot I took from a gallery window, you may see a sculptural composition of multiple figures shown in the middle of this next image. She was instantly recognizable to me, having lived in Florence, Italy, off and on over the last three years. Again, I do not have any information on the Salzburg stone sculpture, but I doubt that it is the predecessor to Giambologna’s “Il Ratto della Sabines” (The Abduction of the Sabine Women”) in Florence, Italy’s famous Loggia dei Lanzi.

I think if you click on the image of the two sculptures sidebyside, you may see a slightly larger image. Besides the small heads in Salzburg, Giambologna’s sculpture features the more elegant composition and line. For example, see how the top figure’s legs are positioned differently in Salzburg than the Italian version. Which do you think has more flow?

Ok, I am done now.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shapes of Salzburg

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Enjoy these shapes and textures from Salzburg, Austria. The stone texture is a small section of road in front of one of the horse fountains in the town. I took these photos in July.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Salzburg Austria

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I will soon be wrapping up my writings about Salzburg, but since I am not a landscape artist, I just want to share some of these images in one way or another.

There are so many things to do in this area and I confess I did not cross much off of the list. However, I did enjoy some really good chocolate from several of the many confectioneries.

In closing, remember that salz means ‘salt’ and I took this image of a store that sold all kinds of salt products, including these salts for the bath. And no, just because this graffiti shown in the last image says “Texas,” I am not responsible. Sylvia asked me to explain the other line sprayed onto this wall. She liked this idea: “Neither of us can go to heaven unless the other gets in . . .”

Happy Birthday, my friend Vasily Fedorouk!