Here's were I rant about the arts. Take it with a grain of salt, I'm a scientist.

Friday, February 28, 2014

I love this poster

Who wants to buy me a present?!  I want it!  It's by the illustrator Exem (Emanuel Excoffier) whose posters were found all around Geneva, Switzerland.  The Swiss are in the top five for countries that produce the most famous or valuable posters.  Italy, France and Germany are obviously in that group too.  Perhaps, the US is in there too?  IDK.  This poster urges voters to not let a historic building get destroyed.  Man, it pops.  I know, I say that a lot, but that's what I like about poster art, the pop.  I like that this one mixes reality with fantasy.  It's not old either, done in 1990, but it is expensive (so far as I found in my searches).  This and the Africa poster I blogged about previously are the two leading candidates in my most wanted list.  There's lots on my want list and I'll eventually share them as well.

I keep track of all the posters I like or want in an excel file.  Is that nerdy?  I keep info about sizes, artists, best prices, dates, vendors etc.  Yeah, I guess that is nerdy.  It's like I formalized the Christmas wishlist that we would write to Santa as kids.  I have lots of websites I explore for new posters as well as all of its details. I also explore eBay too, which is tricky because you never really know what you're buying on there.  You gotta love it enough to not care if it's original or not to take a risk on an auction site.  Although, some of the biggest poster dealers have eBay accounts, which you can trust, but their prices are silly high.

Anyways, if any of you hit the lottery, let me know, I can help you invest (waste) your money.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


In case you haven't figured it out, me and B like big animals: elephants, giraffes, tigers, lions, zebras etc.  So a lot of our interior decorating involves these big animals.  It's like we want live in a zoo! 

Here's a vintage poster we picked up on eBay for that obvious reason, but for some other reasons too.  One thing that B always asks when I look at potentially obtaining art is, "where will you put it?"  Well, with this one and Babar-like elephant, that's also obvious, not that we're planning ahead or anything.  It's got great color and it pops.  Plus, I like Vespas.  I don't own one, but maybe one day I'll be that oddball teacher that shows up to work on an old Vespa and my sports coat with the elbow patches. 

The poster was produced by the Piaggio & C scooter company in 1959 and designed by Ditta Giuseppe Lang, S.P.A, which is a graphic arts studio in Genova, Italy.  I wish I could tell you more about it, but I can't read any of the Italian on any of the sites I googled.  If you can help, let me know!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Frozen: a quick review

Disney has proven that they need no longer need Pixar to produce a solid computer animated film with their delivery of "Frozen."  It is just another Disney take on an old folk tale (Hans Christian's Anderson's "The Snow Queen"), so what makes it so good?  The answer in three parts: 1) Great comical musical lyrics from the Avenue Q's Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez 2) Its modernism in that it abandons the concept the princesses needed to be rescued by a man 3) Most importantly, the vocal talents of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel.  My wife and I enjoyed the flic and have been recommending to everyone.

I do have two minor complaints about it though.  First, from the first scene through the first half or so, there are plenty of musical numbers, but there are no musical numbers at the end or associated with the climax of the story.  Where's the consistency?  I'm sure they'll fix this when they take the movie to Broadway, which they will. 

The second is that well, isn't anyone else bothered by how strikingly similar Frozen is to the Broadway show, "Wicked"?  Both have the same major elements.  Both have two strong lead female characters, one is loved by everyone, the other an outcast because she's different.  In both, the outcasts are rejected by society, but the outcasts respond by embracing who they are.  This is shown in both, when the outcast sings what is the defining song of the story, "Defying Gravity" in Wicked and "Let It Go" in Frozen.  I don't think it's a coincidence that in both Wicked and Frozen that marquee piece is originally sung by the same gifted actress, Miss Menzel.  Few have the talent to deliver such an exclamation point like she can.  In both, the male characters are secondary to the main story. 

So what do you think?