January 19, 2011

The passion and power of Jan Swaren

Our dear friend Jan Swaren will be showing at the Mill Street Gallery in Sydenham, just north of Kingston.

The show is called "PASSION/POWER: Stations of Metaphor" and will run from February 12 to March 26. The  opening party scheduled for Sunday, February 13 1 to 6pm. Musician, Jon McLurg will be performing.

Jan is an incredible painter. She most recently was represented at our friend Patrick's gallery, the Wellington Street Art Gallery--which he just relocated to Toronto. We look forward to his official opening in his new downtown Toronto space.

Our best wishes to Jan for a successful show!

January 14, 2011

Geez, all this time I thought it was about good vs. evil

According to Lex Rex, writing on the film site Metaphilm, Star Wars: Episode IV is really about our deep-rooted fear of impotence and premature ejaculation. Huh?

In this quasi-feminist, Freudian analysis, Rex explains the hidden message of the original poster, the truth about Luke, the symbolism of the lightsaber, and the crude reality about the Death Star trench. Rex concludes, "Star Wars is both a macroscopic psychological retelling of the ancient tale with a microscopic biological precis as to its physical achievement".  

Not sure if Rex means to be so funny but the paragraph in which is revealed "Star Wars dirtiest little secret"  had me laughing and shaking my head in disbelief.

If you hold Star Wars dear you might want to skip this penetrating analysis.

January 9, 2011

Cracking the Mona Lisa code

Queen’s University Classics professor emeritus Ross Kilpatrick believes the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, incorporates images inspired by the Roman poet Horace and Florentine poet Petrarch.

The technique of taking a passage from literature and incorporating it into a work of art is known as ‘invention’ and was used by many Renaissance artists.

“The composition of the Mona Lisa is striking. Why does Leonardo have an attractive woman sitting on a balcony, while in the background there is an entirely different world that is vast and barren?” says Dr. Kilpatrick. “What is the artist trying to say?”

Dr. Kilpatrick believes Leonardo is alluding to Horace’s Ode 1. 22 (Integer vitae) and two sonnets by Petrarch (Canzoniere CXLV, CLIX). Like the Mona Lisa, those three poems celebrate a devotion to a smiling young woman, with vows to love and follow the woman anywhere in the world, from damp mountains to arid deserts. The regions mentioned by Horace and Petrarch are similar to the background of the Mona Lisa.

Both poets were read when Leonardo painted the picture in the early 1500s. Leonardo was familiar with the works of Petrarch and Horace, and the bridge seen in the background of the Mona Lisa has been identified as the same one from Petrarch's hometown of Arezzo.

“The Mona Lisa was made at a time when great literature was well known. It was quoted, referenced and celebrated,” says Dr. Kilpatrick.

Dr. Kilpatrick has been looking at literary references in art for the past 20 years. He has recently found references to the mythical wedding of Greek gods Ariadne and Dionysus in Gustav Klimt’s famous painting The Kiss.

Dr. Kilpatrick’s Mona Lisa findings have now been published in the Italian journal MEDICEA.

January 6, 2011

Ask not for whom the siren calls

In celebration of its 40th anniversary Starbucks has revealed an updated version of its iconic green logo. Some devoted customers are not amused, likening the change to the logo blunder at Gap last year.

On its website the senior creative manager states, "After hundreds of explorations, we found the answer in simplicity. Removing the words from the mark, bringing in the green, and taking the Siren out of her ring. For forty years she’s represented coffee, and now she is the star".

Time will tell, of course, whether or not it's actually the siren or the green circle that is the true brand association for Starbucks customers. 

January 4, 2011

New Year's Musings

The first posting of 2011 is frought with so much pressure. The sharp folks at Queen's School of Business predicted in their recent 29th annual business forecast "a modest recovery, with strengthening job markets and moderate increases in interest rates and the inflation rate. The Canadian dollar exchange rate should remain near current levels. The exchange rate along with commodity and energy prices will be key drivers for economic growth".

Suffice it to say that you have my sincere blessings for a prosperous and rewarding new year. Let me leave you with futurist Richard Worzel's 10 Things You Need to Know About the Next Ten Years.