The Grand Fountain.
It’s always nice when Fairfax media publishes my work in the ‘Traveller’ section of the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age. It means I can then release the full story on this blog…
The artists came to Saint-Paul-de-Vence because it was beautiful, quiet and cheap. The dealers moved in to hang out with the artists and buy their work. Their galleries attracted the tourists and smart restaurants replaced the artists’ smoky cafes and bars. The artists passed away or drifted away to find somewhere quieter and cheaper. Continue reading
The beautiful Padmapani, holder of the lotus and protector of the Buddha, herself preserved by being hidden in a cave for 1500 years. India’s Mona Lisa?
John Smith of the 28th cavalry was out looking for tigers in 1819, when he found a cave, full of bats and rubble and used by local people for religious ceremonies.
He’d stumbled upon one of the world’s ancient wonders, man-made Buddhist caves dating back to at least the fifth century AD, and probably seven hundred years before that. John was so excited he scratched his name on the wall, as explorers were wont to do.
Since word got out about the discovery, millions of people have followed him into the Ajanta Caves, and although we take off our shoes or pull soft covers over them, we’re all doing our little bit to damage them.
Why is everyone ignoring me?
To celebrate the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the surrounding gardens are hosting a fabulous exhibition of Henry Moore’s sculpture.
We don’t expect to see a better collection of the work of the great British artist, not anywhere, not ever. And certainly not for free. Continue reading
‘Forever’ by Ai Wei Wei
Ai Wei Wei may be China’s best known artist. I say that only because I know his work, from the Tate Modern in London and the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.
I was very pleased to see him included in what’s become for us an unmissable biennial Amsterdam event, Art Zuid. Continue reading
Imperia, holding the emperor in one hand, the pope in the other.
Of course not everybody likes it. It’s disgusting, pornographic, offensive and historically inaccurate.
Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore the public art of sculptor Peter Lenk, when it’s given pride of place by the harbours of Konstanz, Meersburg and Uberlingen. Continue reading
Norman Foster’s Ombriere. You’re almost under it before you notice it.
After nine months of construction, re-routing of traffic and a rumoured EUR45 million bill, visitors to Marseilles’ Vieux Port can now photograph themselves upside down.
Norman Foster’s Ombriere, a huge flat mirror supported on poles above the terrace in front of the Vieux Port, reflects the colourful fishing boats, the buses, the beggars and hawkers, the school excursions, the petit trains and the visitors who cluster in this hub of Marseillaise tourist life.
I hope this mirror thing doesn’t become a cliche, like the giant ferris wheels sprouting on groovy, go-ahead, ‘wow, look at us!’ city skylines. Continue reading