Endurance On The Venice Beach

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He strummed tune after tune on the Venice beach boardwalk in Los Angeles.

His shabby attire belied the soulful melodies of his performance. He endured, plucking the strings, reaching the broken hearts with “Careless Whispers” and the confused minds with “Make me Pure.”

I saw a liplocked couple standing by a restroom, never wanting to unlock; and a marijuana addict who smoked another joint with teary eyes.

The performer was a homeless marijuana addict himself and he, after hours of non-stop plucking, hollered, “I haven’t eaten for days,” and went back to strumming.

 

Street Life Inequality

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about street is crowd, and how people in the crowd are either active or inactive. Other things that become part of street may lie in the periphery, adding layers and colors.

People in these pictures are impersonators from two different locations: one, from posh-yet-punishing Los Angeles in the US, and the other, buzzing-yet-backward Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic.

Los Angeles punishes strugglers. Legend has it that Brad Pitt was once an impersonator before he became what he became. Here in the picture, an impersonator has become Robert Pattinson, who looked fit and might not be a hungry man. People were paying him for a picture.313056_10150380572860625_4919311_n

Santo Domingo has a lot of hungry people. The impersonator in the picture, who looked stoned, stood in that position for a long time; the street was empty. But he performed ‘Dangerous’ moves later in the evening as people swarmed the El Conde Street. Michael Jackson later told me that he’d moonwalk all day to eat one meal at night. When I offered him Presidente beer he drank it with his meal, following which he asked me if I wanted to smoke weed.1071355_10151822514175625_2008872921_o

 

 

The Lure Of The J.Paul Getty Museum

When we were in Los Angeles, we didn’t miss the opportunity to visit The Getty Center. The J.Paul Getty Museum turned out to be one of the best museums we ever visited. Everything from sculptures to decorative arts, drawings to pre-20th century European paintings grabbed our attention.

The museum entranceLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 094

The cable-pulled tram took us from the parking garage at the bottom of the hill to the museum at the top of the hill.  The museum has a 7-story deep underground parking garage.

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One of the outdoor sculpturesLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 121

The inner courtyardLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 142

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Los Angeles seen from the top of the Getty Center. 405 San Diego Freeway lines the middle.LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 163

Bust of an African woman (in marble) by Henry WeekesLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 175

Bust of Christ (in bronze) by Constantin MeunierLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 212

Head of Saint John the Baptist (in bronze) by Jean-Baptiste ChatignyLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 214

Self-Portrait as Midas (in patinated plaster) by Jean-Joseph Carries. Midas, the mythological king of Phrygia, was known for his foolishness. Apollo, punishing Midas for having favored the satyr Marsyas over himself in a musical contest, gave the king the ears of an ass.LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 216

Mischief and Repose (oil on canvas) by John GodwardLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 172

The Ransom (oil on canvas) by John Millais. Millais’ praise of medieval chivalry is at the same time a lament for its absence in contemporary life.LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 184

A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros (oil on canvas) by William Bouguereau. A young girl playfully struggles with Eros (Cupid) to avoid love’s arrow.LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 193

The Fright of Astyanax (by pen and brown ink) by Benjamin West. As the Trojan hero Hector bids farewell to his family, his son Astyanax is frightened by his father’s helmet and runs to the nurse.LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 202

The Holy Family (oil on canvas) by Joseph Paelinck. Here the Virgin Mary and her mother, Anne, hold the Christ child, while Mary’s husband, Joseph, and her father Joachim, quietly observe.LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 229

Herm of a Vestal Virgin (in marble) by Antonio CanovaLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 226

Apollo Crowning Himself (in marble) by Antonio Canova. Apollo’s idealized body and balanced pose recall ancient representations of nude male figures.LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 242

Juno (in marble) by Joseph NollekensLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 239

Venus (in marble) by Joseph NollekensLA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 238

The Elements Paying Tribute to Friendship (in marble) by Louis-Simon Boizot. The four elements (Earth, Water, Fire and Air) in the guise of ancient gods pay homage to Friendship who’s standing on the pedestal. (I love this one)LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 234

Dancer (in bronze) by Paolo Troubetzkoy. Countess Tamara performed throughout Europe and the United States.LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 218

More sculptures:LA 25 Aug 2011 UCLA Getty Center 243

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