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
Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror 1999. I presume the punters paid for it.
The prosperity on show in Monte Carlo is compelling evidence that the house always wins in the end.
It was our first trip to Monaco, an easy way to add another country to the notches on our travelling sticks. Much of the surface area of the principality was covered with temporary seating, in preparation for some kind of automobile race.
We skirted round the scaffolding and sidled into the Monte Carlo Casino, wondering, ‘Are we even allowed in there if we’re not going to lose money?’
Mevrouw T and I have a major advantage over the average punter because we don’t know how to gamble. Blackjack and roulette are mysteries to us and we can’t even work poker machines. We see where the money goes in, but what do you do after that? Continue reading
Sky Mirror (2006) What you see depends on what it’s reflecting at the time.
The signs in the MCA foyer say ‘no photography’. It’s a lost cause. Everyone has at least a phone with a hole in the back now and we don’t often have Anish Kapoor sculptures in Sydney. The moment must be captured. Continue reading
Anish Kapoor’s masterpiece
I reflected short and hard, trying to think of artworks which have become icons of the city lucky or foresighted enough to have installed them.
Michelangelo’s David in Florence, Manneken Pis in Brussels, the Statue of Liberty…um…can anyone think of any others? The Christ of the Andes…that’s about it.
I really believe Chicago has cracked the elusive jackpot with Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate.
Since it was unveiled in 2006 ‘The Bean’ has become the city’s most recognisable landmark; something to be included in every tourist brochure and a ‘must be photographed standing next to in a witty pose’ for every visitor to the windy city.
It struck me as a good subject for this Weekly Photo Challenge. Continue reading
Two young performers are on stage in Chicago’s comedy mecca The Second City. She’s white. He’s African American.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater – high arts in the bearpit.
HE: I thought we were soul-mates, but now I find out you watch Fox News! (Laugh from audience)
SHE: There’s an election coming. We ought to be informed.
HE: I don’t have to be informed, I’m black. (Big laugh) I mean, I’m black, Obama’s black. The choice is obvious.
SHE: Oh? So why not vote Republican? Mitt Romney loves Jesus, black people love Jesus…
HE: That’s a totally different Jesus! (Huge laugh)
It’s edgy stuff, and to visitors like us it reveals the city’s zeitgeist. The performers are excellent, and we’re thinking, ‘I wonder if they’ll make it in film or TV some day?’ They may be thinking the same thing.
It can’t be easy being an artist in Chicago. No sooner do you get a start here than you’re tempted to move east or west. Continue reading
The first thing we noticed in Chicago was the architecture. The second thing was the aerial ballet performed by window washers.
I’ve been trawling through my photos of our recent US excursion, ditching dozens of feeble efforts and finding a few shots worth keeping.
There’s a theme emerging to some of the ones I like.
Art and architecture are relatively easy to shoot. Someone else has already done the real creative work and the subjects patiently stay in the one spot while I fumble with the camera settings, think about lighting and find the best angle.
I also enjoy putting human observers of the art into the shots as well. It is an important part of the experience. Art, especially in public places, usually has people sharing the space. I don’t like asking them to move. Continue reading
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, with Louse Bourgeois’s striking spider ‘Maman, 1999’ dominating the river bank.
We still have much more to report on the US of A but it will have to wait for future blog posts. Because last weekend we flew back to Amsterdam, then almost straight on to Spain, where we’re preparing to tackle a few days on the Camino de Santiago.
First port of call was Bilbao, and naturally first port of call in Bilbao was the remarkable building that now immediately identifies the city. Continue reading