Category: Images

Holidays in the Bay Area

The holiday season starts with Thanksgiving (end of November) and lasts throughout December. It includes Hannukah,  the Winter solstice, Kwanzaa, Christmas, as well as a few other memorable events, like our tribute to consumerism, Black Friday. This year was extreme: The worst wildfire season in California’s history killed many people and filled the Bay Area with fire smoke for days. It ended a few days before Thanksgiving with the start of the rainy season. The holiday season here is rich with events like open art studios, neighborhood walks, concerts, markets, and Christmas lights. We are experiencing an explosion in development: new construction,...

Sunset over the Bay Area

“To leave out beautiful sunsets is the secret of good taste.” (Dejan Stojanovic.) Well, occasionally we fail. A spontaneous walk in the evening, without much expectation, and suddenly, there it was, this sunset over the Bay Area, viewed from Tilden Park. In California we are fortunate enough to have the Ocean in the West, which means that the sun sinks into the ocean, if you are living near the coast.  We can watch beautiful sunsets every day,  and therefore we don’t value them enough. If I missed one today, I can watch another one tomorrow. They are guaranteed for the rest of my life. I took the following photos from...

Pacific Gardens

This is part two of my travel report through the Pacific Northwest. One of my goals for this trip was to visit several gardens. The climate along the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington is mediterranean: warm, sunny, with mild winters, and plenty of moist air from the ocean – in other words, the region is ideal for gardening! In this post I will share some pictures, and will briefly describe some of the gardens I visited. About Gardens Gardens are among the most interesting places in the world. They mediate our relationship with nature, and they are expressions of culture and human...

Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest

It’s about a thousand miles to drive on Highway 1 from San Francisco to Port Angeles, the northern-most town that connects the US and Canada. The drive along the ocean is beautiful, through vast coastal landscapes and ancient forests. One can find some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world along this remote coastline, small fishing towns, Indian reservations, and several world-famous National Parks. I travelled the whole distance during this summer, and I want to share some of the pictures below. Links to more extensive photo pages are at the bottom.  About the Region The Pacific North West includes Northern California, Oregon, Washington State, and the...

Eastern Europe

I spent some time during the summer of 2015 traveling through Eastern Europe. It has changed dramatically since 1991, the year in which the Sowjet Union dissolved and the Warsaw Pact ended. Former Czechoslovakia became two countries, and former Yugoslavia fragmented in 1991/1992 into six states (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, and Slovenia). This led to several wars in the territory of former Yugoslavia, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 140,000 people. Today, the region is again in the spotlight, because it is a transit hub for many refuges from the Syrian war and the unrest in the Middle East. Where is Eastern Europe today,...

The Roots of Religion

Thanks to modern science, we now know more about religious history than ever: Scientific archaeology began in the 18th century, and since then excavators have been discovering and interpreting evidence, ranging from tiny goddess figurines carved from mammoth ivory to entire sacred landscapes, such as at the Giza plateau in Egypt. The archeological evidence enhances and corrects our knowledge derived from books and other preserved objects. Ancient graves, statues, temples, stones, sacrificial offerings, or places of initiation – they all express the universal human search for spiritual power and understanding. Archaeology provides evidence that is very different from historical writings like the Bible or...

The Rivers of Europe

The rivers of Europe are the veins that run through European culture and geography. They are the main lines of transportation and commerce, they irrigate and feed the surrounding landscapes, but they also serve as natural borders. European rivers are celebrated in songs and poems; they play a major role in the economy as well as in politics. Hundreds of rivers and their tributaries crisscross the European continent, thus connecting many cities and landscapes. Nowadays, tourism booms along these rivers: River cruises offer an easy way for foreigners to travel through Europe and experience many cities and historic places close-up. The following list includes...

Josef Koudelka: Photos from the Underside of Europe

Josef Koudelka, a Czech photographer, was born in Moravia, Czechoslovakia, in 1938. He began to take photographs as a student in the 1950s. He started a career as an aeronautical engineer in 1961; during that time he began photographing Gypsies. He also worked part-time taking photos of theater performances in Prague. In 1967, he became a full-time photographer. In 1968, Koudelka documented the Soviet invasion of Prague, publishing his photographs under the initials P. P. (Prague Photographer) for fear of reprisal to him and his family. In 1969, he was anonymously awarded the Overseas Press Club’s Robert Capa, Gold Medal,...

The Getty Museum in LA

The Getty Center has a very impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and photos, but what makes it truly unique is the architecture. It sits like a castle on top of a hill, overlooking LA, and is build with Travertine stone, glass, and steel. The garden is truly extraordinary – it is itself a piece of art, surrounded by the museum buildings. It was opened in 1997, and it cost 1.3 billion dollars to build. Designed by architect Richard Meier, the Center also houses the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Getti Foundation has...

Visit at the De Young Museum, Jan 2015

I really like the De Young Museum in San Francisco; it is worth a visit every year. The museum’s architecture is just as interesting as the collections themselves. It is located right in the middle of the Golden Gate Park,  across from the Japanese Tea Garden and the Academy of Sciences. It was completed in 2005, and it  is very earth-quake resistant. It adapts to the park environment due to a natural reddish-brown color created by oxidizing copper, and has a characteristic twisted tower that gives a magnificent view of the Golden Gate Park and San Francisco. The museum houses rich...

Visit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco

Last Sunday ended an exhibition in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. I visited just in time and saw some beautiful and large paintings which depict in great detail the life in a royal Korean Court, during the Joseon Dynasty, (1392-1910.) The photos are below, and there is also a video about Korea at the bottom. I  include some photos from other art objects at the museum as well, from Chinese, Japanese, and Indian traditions. The museum is definitely worth a visit. Video of the Exhibition: Celebrating  Korea.

Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich was born in 1774 in Greifswald, Germany, and died in 1840 Dresden, Germany. Introduction He was a painter of German Romanticism, and created landscape paintings with enormous intensity.He said: “God is everywhere, in the smallest grain of sand.” The sculptor Pierre-Jean David d’Angers wrote about him: “Caspar David Friedrich was the sole landscape painter who…had the power to move every part of my soul, the one who created a new genre: the tragedy of landscape.” Friedrich aimed to produce a Christian art based in nature, divested of standard biblical imagery. Initially, he painted in sepia. In 1807...

Banksy

The New Activist is a truth seeker: someone who has left the introvert schisms of the old world behind. The new activist is like a sniffer dog detecting power strategies and corruption, without hesitation. Banksy is the prototype.

People Gallery

I have created  a gallery with most of the people on this website. It’s interesting to look at many faces at once. It’s even more interesting to see a face change over a lifetime, but that’s another project.

Paul Klee

Paul Klee has an exquisite sense of color and form. During  trip to Tunisia in 1914 he was so overwhelmed by the colors and the light, that he later wrote “Color has taken possession of me….color and I are one. I am a painter“ The following biography of Klee is quoted  from the Webmuseum website. Biography “A Swiss-born painter and graphic artist whose personal, often gently humorous works are replete with allusions to dreams, music, and poetry, Paul Klee, b. Dec. 18, 1879, d. June 29, 1940, is difficult to classify. Primitive art, surrealism, cubism, and children’s art all seem...

Hans Bellmer

Hans Bellmer, 1902-1975. The following description of his life and work is quoted from: Peter Webb, Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, 2009. Life and Work “German photographer, sculptor, printmaker, painter and writer. As a child he developed fear and hatred for his tyrannical father, who totally dominated his gentle and affectionate mother. He and his younger brother Fritz found refuge from this oppressive family atmosphere in a secret garden decorated with toys and souvenirs and visited by young girls who joined in sexual games. In 1923 Bellmer was sent by his father to study engineering at the Technische Hochschule...

Animals

Most animals are multicellular, they breathe, and they can move spontaneously and independently.  We humans emerged from the animal world, but there is no balance in the relationship between humans and animals. They are food for us, they are pets, they work for us, and they are the face of nature. They represent wilderness, and they seem to have emotions.  Darwin wrote a whole book about this subject: in 1872 he published “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals“. The pictures below are either from the public domain, or taken by me. Some of these photos were taken...

Plants

Plants are living organisms that obtain most of their energy from sunlight, via photosynthesis. The chloroplasts necessary for this give them their green color. Seaweed (which is a form of algae) , fungi, and bacteria are not plants.  In traditional forms of classification, however, all living things fall into one of two categories: plants or animals.  There are about 300.000-315.000 species of plants.

Landscapes

The idea of landscape reaches to the core of human experience – we always require a space in order to imagine ourselves. Nature is our natural space. “My aim is to borrow from the (visible) world nothing but forces—not forms, but the means of making forms. Not history. Not décor. But the feeling of matter itself, rock, air, water, vegetable matter—and their elementary properties. And acts and phases—not persons and their memory.”  (Paul Valéry) “The idea of landscape, that free falling splendor of sensation that artists unearth in the cosmos or in the ripples of a river lies at the...

Galleries

The galleries on this website come from various sources, and I grouped them thematically: nature, people, places, art. The picture to the right is Titian’s Venus with a mirror, which is an example for the so-called Venus effect.  This refers to a phenomenon in the psychology of perception, named after various paintings of Venus gazing into a mirror, such as Diego Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Tizian’s Venus with a Mirror, and Veronese’s Venus with a mirror. Viewers of such paintings assume that Venus is admiring her own reflection in the mirror; however, since the viewer sees her face in the mirror,...