Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bad Sculpture Restoration Florence Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

It is difficult enough as it is to create an artwork worthy in the eyes of others of restoration that one hates to criticize such restoration. Still . . . I wrote earlier on this blog that The Florentine newspaper reported that in early March, someone broke off a finger in Pio Pedi’s beloved composition of four figures in marble.

This happened one night in Florence, Italy’s, Loggia dei Lanzi, next to where the mime, gReY, performs. [I wrote about gReY yesterday.] The finger belonged to the slain brother in the marble carving titled “The Abduction of Polyxena” and I was anxious to see the damage done.

Make no mistake about it: the real criminal is the one who had no respect for this artwork. Even if one could justify this vandalism as an accident, an honorable person would have retrieved the stone finger from the ground and turned it in to some Italian authority or Loggia volunteer guard.

Still, my main point with these images is to show all artists, and anyone who works with detail, that one must STAND BACK from the work to see what is really happening. Up close, I do not doubt that the person(s) reattaching this marble finger thought that there was a good match in the alignment. (See the first image)

However, when one stands about two meters away, as I did, and looks at the entire hand, it is clear that the finger should have been reattached in a way that was more consistent with the shape and direction of the bones in the human hand. The index finger looks distinctively bent backwards in an unnatural way (even for a newly dead guy). One of the beauties of sculpture is that we have many more views to consider. It is also what makes creating sculpture so challenging.

I am sure that when I was visiting Florence, Italy, in 2004, I must have photographed this sculpture from a similar vantage point. Alas, those images are on my computer in Texas and cannot serve me now. Sigh . . .

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Teatro gReY Mime Florence Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Florence, Italy: At the end of the Uffizi Corridor where the famous Loggia dei Lanzi is, one can often find my friend gReY entertaining the crowds in the late afternoon. While the cliché might be that most people hate mimes, gReY really brings out the humanity of us all when he performs by interacting with the crowds large and small. People love gReY, Il Mimo.

I took these images on Italian Liberation Day (25 aprile). Before heading over to meet some visitors who wanted to see my solo exhibit at Sei Divino’s, I decided to make an evening of it by hanging out in centro for the free concert in Piazza delle Signoria. I was delighted to see gReY in action.

Often the romantic . . . such the very Italian Romeo!

One big crowd pleaser is when gReY kisses the bald heads and faces of passersby. I like to watch him put on his makeup. Relax, the white that he often leaves on the skin of his “co-performers” is actually Nivea skin crème -- entirely safe and might even protect your skin!

gReY, Il Mimo, is not only a performer in Italy. He travels on occasion. I think it was last year that he was in New York City for quite a while. (I have no concept of time.) “Teatro gReY” has been seen on National Italian TV and you can check him out online at http://it.youtube.com/grey2199.

In this shot, gReY the mime is protecting his pet pigeon on a leash.

gReY’s humor is interactive and he rarely does anything that should offend. Most people enjoy a lot when he follows people while they remain unaware, imitating and exaggerating their postures and anticipating their moves. It is amazing how often he can sneak up behind a distracted tourist and hold his or her hand without the person even considering that the hand does not belong to someone s/he is traveling with! His acting voice is very warm in this way.

And in these last three images, Il mimo actually stopped a young woman who thought she was only walking past and sat her down in the audience. He interacted with another person nearby and then went to the original gal and took her hand and the hand of the boy beside her (a stranger to her). He actually got them to act as though they were enamored of one another as gReY borrowed her camera to photograph the kiss he orchestrated. Then of course, gReY encouraged us all to give the two a round of applause.

When you come to Florence, Italy, please take some time out of your museum stops and gelato tasting and relax and laugh with gReY, Il Mimo.

His Web site states hours: Il mimo gReY torna con i suoi esilaranti spettacoli nella piazza degli Uffizi a Firenze. Potrete assistere agli spettacoli dal martedi al venerdi dalle 17 alle 18 e 30 ed il sabato e la domenica dalle 15 e 30 alle 18. Non Mancate!!!!! (Tuesday – Friday, 5 – 6:30 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, 3:30 – 6 p.m. – Do not miss!!!!!)

If you like what you read, enjoy the photos, and would like to help support this blog(ger) / artist, click here . . .

Happy Birthday, Rudy!