Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Last Piñata

Yesterday, Jennifer and I spent the afternoon and overnight in Atlanta with some of our Dillo friends.  We met up at the High Museum in the afternoon to see the Fast Forward exhibit, stroll through the Stent Wing of the Museum, and check-out the contemporary art display.

It is always cool to see great works of art in person, especially with friends where you can chat about an individual artist and other works seen in other places or simply swap stories of how this or that piece of art has impacted their life.  It was the same grouping as the Braves game trip in October plus Will.

Diane is a strong modern art lover and it is always fun to stroll through an exhibit and learn her sophisticated perspective.  I was surprised she didn't care for a de Kooning piece on display.  I thought it was pretty interesting.  Of course, all of us enjoyed seeing Umberto Boccioni's 1931 masterpiece bronze sculpture, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space - certainly one of the highlights of the visit.

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space
The Gerhard Richter room featured a different abstract this time.  I was a bit disappointed that Blau was not still on exhibit.  It has returned to whatever private collection it came from.  In its place was Abstract Painting (849-2) from 1997, a larger work but one that I did not find as appealing.  Nevertheless, I remembered to take my camera on this trip, so I took advantage of the fact to snap a couple of dozen shots of sections of this still interesting work.  One thing I appreciate most about Richter's large abstracts is that each is like viewing a dozen or more paintings in one large canvas.

Abstract Painting (849-2) and me.
Detail of Richter's abstract.  There are many paintings within a painting of his large abstracts.

After the museum Brian, who is busy renovating his house with his own hands, joined us over at Mark and Eileen's lazy dog ranch for a slightly delayed celebration of Jennifer's birthday.  As usual the booze, conversation, music, and food was plentiful and eclectic.  I introduced Clint and Mark to part of Neil's latest CD.  They got into it.  Brian makes fun of us.  To him Neil's only done two decent songs his whole life.

The theme for the evening was Mexican.  This included a piñata compliments of Ron, for Jennifer to bust open, which she managed after a bit more effort than she wanted to exert.  She appreciated the gift gesture which was filled with all sorts of candy and many tiny airport bottles of tequila.  After having to struggle just a bit to bust it, Jennifer suddenly ripped it to shreds with a rake handle.  She proclaimed that this would be "my last piñata" as Dillos scurried about in the darkness with flashlights to gather the goodies inside, now exploded everywhere.  Later, we all toasted "the last piñata," most of us doing shots of various liquors and smiling.

The aftermath of a moment of fury.
The late evening meal included all sorts of tortilla fixings including some wonderful pulled pork, beans made from scratch, and some sort of awesome stuffed peppers that were certainly a highlight around the dining  table.  Some terrific coffee with heavy cream accompanied by two really decadent cakes.  On the side was some incredibly light and dry yet sweet and flavorful cinnemon ice cream handmade yesterday morning by Brian.  Second helpings there.  We were all left in a state of satiation.  The meal certainly rivaled any First Feast we've ever held.  Thanks to all the chefs that contributed and special thanks to Brian for the smoothest tequila I have ever enjoyed.

Something's cooking in the kitchen.  Jennifer is on the right.  Pic by me. 
Amazing Mexican stuffed peppers.
Among the gifts for Jennifer was an ornate flying pig (yard art in the spirit of Pink Floyd) compliments of Diane and Brian, a terrific bottle of whiskey compliments of Will, and a great photo of Jennifer in her element taken by Clint at Cumberland Island from earlier this year.

One of the conversational highlights of the evening for me was a hearing of Ron's months of travel and living in all parts of Europe back in the late 1960's.  I did not realize that he spent nine months studying architecture at a school located literally on the grounds at Versailles.  I was able to talk with him about some aspects of this incredible space based on what I could remember of a lecture I had heard last year.  He filled me in on many fascinating details.  What an incredible experience, to be able to study what you love in such a majestic place, a true work of world architectural art.

All in all it was a great trip with great art, great friends, and great food.  What better way to spend any given weekend?

Clint and Mark examine an interesting piece of art that greets you when you enter the contemporary floor of the museum.

Self-portrait No. 3
Clint took this amazing shot of a stairwell off to the side of the museum building.  It is an awesome photograph.  The light, the texture, the Caligari-like angles.  I find it beautiful, mesmerizing, and spooky. 

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