Monthly Archives: January 2016

Ai Weiwei….again

Here’s the blog post I had started last week, when I was waylaid by Anila Agha’s astonishing installation and wrote about it instead …..

I recently watched the documentary, Never Sorry , about the Chinese artist and social activist, Ai Weiwei.  If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.  It’s available at this link.  You can watch a trailer here.

The film was directed, and produced by Alison Klayman, and received many awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary.

Never Sorry reinforced my contention that Ai Weiwei is one of the most important contemporary artists in the world.  The story behind the installation Remembering, is very emotional.  (Yes, I cried.  Again.)

photo from the Daily Mail, UK

Does the best art move us to tears….or do I just need more sleep?!

For me, the layers of meaning imbedded in these works of art by Weiwei, and Agha, are what make them so interesting.  Not only are they visually pleasing, and sometimes downright beautiful, but these artists also convey important thoughts, ask great questions, and make connections to other ideas, times and places.  There’s so much there.

Renoir is quoted as saying, “For me a painting should be joyous and pretty–yes, pretty!  There are enough annoying things in life without our creating new ones.”

Now I’m not about to argue with Renoir, or his popularity.  Apparently, he was on to something.  I just think artists like Weiwei and Agha take the work even further by creating art that is both sensually and intellectually engaging.

That being said, I did cry at Monet’s garden in Giverny.




Inspiring, astonishing art

When was the last time a posted video about art brought you to tears?

I was completely taken by surprise this morning when I followed this link to a video of an art installation by Anila Quayyum Agha.  Have a look–you won’t be disappointed. (It may be five of the best minutes you spend today.)

Isn’t this a great art installation?  Wow! It’s beautiful, it’s interactive, and it’s easily accessible.  I can’t imagine  anyone who entered the Rice University Art Gallery  for this show not enjoying the experience.

Not only is it gorgeous and inclusive, but it is rife with meaning.  Anita Agha makes some very powerful statements about inclusion, unity, cooperation and beauty.  The tension between the surface beauty and the depth of meaning is extraordinary.  Here’s hoping the show will be installed in other galleries, so many more people can participate.

Thanks to ImageUpdate for leading me to Anila Agha’s art.





Today is……

Epiphany, the Christian festival marking the day the three kings/wise men/magi visited the infant Jesus.  Traditionally, it marks the end of the Christmas season.

Adoration of the Magi Durer

This woodcut is by Albrecht Durer, one of the prints in his Life of the Virgin edition, published in 1511.  This print is in the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.



Who was Vivian Maier?

Some of you know the answer to that question.  (Sort of…right?)

But if you don’t, you should watch the documentary Finding Vivian Maier.  It’s a fascinating story that is sure to engage most viewers (i.e. even non-readers of The Art Caravan.)  Click here for a brief trailer for the movie.

vivian maier

Who was Vivian Maier?  Well, she was an enigma, and an amazing, prolific photographer.



… thoughts for the new year, 2016

Maybe you’ve had enough resolutions for today.  But if you’re up to one more challenging idea, read on……

Something is wrong, I know it, if I don’t keep my attention on eternity. May I be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful.
Attention is the beginning of devotion.

Mary Oliver, Upstream in Blue Iris

Vigilant Owl by Kenojuak Ashevak 2007

Vigilant Owl by Kenojuak Ashevak 2007

We can count on poets to challenge us. Mary Oliver is no exception. The beauty in her work consistently surprises me, and leads me to think more …realistically. Her ‘big’ ideas are grounded in the world around us, particularly the natural world.

Wishing you, and our world, a  year of awareness, usefulness and peace.