Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Painter Worship - Gerhard Richter

When I was 21 and just out of undergrad I came to Chicago to interview for jobs. While here. I managed to make my way into the Art Institute one day to check out the Gerhard Richter retrospective. In short, my life was changed.

I bring this up quite often, because I think it was the first time I had a spiritual experience with visual art, something I had many times with music. I just felt it. I was moved by it. I was brought to tears and I couldn't explain why, but just being in the presence of these incredible works affected me significantly and changed me as both an observer and an artist.

I also realized my favorite Sonic Youth album had a Richter painting as its cover.

I was particularly interested in Richter's photo realist work, but I was also moved by his surprising body of abstract work.

How do you explain that kind of experience? Why this painter? I think I hadn't ever seen relatable craftsmanship and skill like that before, especially on a grand scale. Sure I had seen some classic painting, but I felt like I could get in these. They were present for me in my time and they really were surprising. Changing, even.

Friday, August 27, 2010

On Inspiration Friday

On Sunday Dinner Chicago

Last night, in celebration of Mr Scott's birthday we were able to participate in a what is called "Sunday Dinner." This is something of an underground supper club. An invite restaurant, taking place in peoples homes or other spaces. We were fortunate to be able to enjoy it under the roof of Floriole bakery with 40 other people.

Essentially, the concept is this. There is an ever growing list of people who are invited to dinner, which most often takes place in the chef's homes but sometimes other homes or other spaces. The food is all local, seasonal and sustainable. Usually pulled right from the Green City Market. I can vouch now, that it is also incredibly delicious. In addition, we were able to have wine pairings with each course and then an extremely delicious dessert.

This is a hot concept, and in this capacity, really well executed. We enjoyed friends, we enjoyed good food and learning about the food and just generally feeling connected to the whole experience.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Waterfalls and Pictured Rocks

One of the unexpected adventures of our Upper Peninsula trip was a night's stay in Munising, MI, which was both a cultural experience and a treat. What could be mistaking for a seaside town, Munising was an odd yet beautiful place. We knew we were in the UP when we had dinner at the Dog Patch and our waitress asked us "How you's" were doing. But, the people were nice, the food was ok and the land was incredibly beautiful. Thanks to some useful tourist brochures, we found out there were quite a few waterfalls to be visited as well as the somewhat famous pictured rocks.

I was particularly amused at the attention Scott's Mini Cooper received in the UP. No less than three times, we would exit a restaurant or a sight seeing opportunity to find some 50 something staring the car down. My favorite gentleman said "That will be a nice car, when it grows up." He of course was driving a truck.

The water at the Pictured Rocks was pretty spectacular. A light green like I had seen in Lake Michigan Before. A not so far away place that I would certainly revisit.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On Relaxing on a Lake

This summer I've had the opportunity and privilege to spend significant time on small lakes. I've always known this to be fun, being from Michigan and all, but I think I've recently developed a new appreciation for such activities. The peace and quiet is special. It provides a seemingly domestic calm that is unlike spending time by a large body of water. I personally, feel more ownership over the space. As though it can be conquered, especially in a quiet situation like we were just in. We owned this lake. When we were reading, everyone was reading and when we were boating, everyone was out of the waters. Or, so it felt.

I imagine there to be a lot of small lake summers in my future.