Gehry’s Sphere (Esfera) Sculpture and Mapfre Tower Building at Port Olimpic, Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain)


Frank Gehry is one of the world’s most influential architects. He’ s edgy, astonishing, and the antithesis of ordinary. Take a look at some of his work ~ the  Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA.

Ephraim Goldberg’s ( aka Frank Gehry) grandmother was his earliest influence. Together they built imaginary cities with woodshavings scavenged from his grandfather’s hardware store.

The Goldberg’s had a carp that swam around in the bathtub on Friday nights. And they always had gefilte fish for Sabbath dinner. Seems like the humble architect never lost his taste for fish. Gehry used fish motifs in many of his designs. “I never intended to build fish,” Gehry says, “In my mind, I say ‘Enough with the fish.’ But it has a life of its own.”Frank Gehry


Gehry has a fondness for the aquatic. In the yacht harbor in Barcelona, I saw a Gehry-designed leviathan ~  a  bronze whale sculpture at the port’s entrance. It’s made out of stone, steel and glass and is a whimsical eye-catcher with its shiny metal plates that change color depending on the sun.


Frank Gehry designed Fossil Watch

    Gehry works on the smaller stuff, too ~

 Fossil watches….

                ……and SuperLight chairs made from    aluminum. Can you say 6 pounds?gehry chair.jpg..


Gehry’s latest project? Two words ~  Facebook Headquarters.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Gehry is Mark Zuckerberg’s go-to guy, the one who will create the largest open floor plan in the world.

FB is awash with trailblazers and pioneers.  The starchitect should feel right at home.

Toni 11/3/12



Venice is a powerhouse of a city. From our hotel window on the the Grand Canal, the view is walk-on-water incredible.  It’s an engineering marvel, built on posts deep in the mud… and sheer nerve.  I was here during the cutting-edge Biennale in illustrious company ~ bumping elbows in ancient palaces and narrow alleys with glitterati and gondoliers. The Biennale is a celebration of contemporary art and architecture, punk-rock-bravado style. Like this Eruption of Fabulous.

Toni  4/16/12


Through.   Frame a photo’s composition through something else to give the viewer more context into what your eye saw in that moment in time. 


A view of the Louvre through the clock on the Musee d’Orsay in Paris

toni 3/25/12


Did you know that the origin of the word ostracize comes from a pottery shard? The Greeks recycled their broken pottery, and the shards have a touch of political intrigue. Once a year, the Greeks gathered to vote and name citizens they considered to be a threat. They wrote the name of the offender on a potshard. The shards, ostraca, were collected, then separated into piles of individual names. The largest pile identified the citizen who was then banished for ten years.




After the counting, the actual ostraka were tossed in the street or any convenient hole. Ostraka are virtually indestructible. Excavations in Athens have produced over 11,000 examples. More than any literary text, ostraka bring to life a sense of Athenian politics. The shards preserve the names of well-known statesmen as well as unknown aspirants to political power.



Athenians even ostracized heroes if their popularity was potentially threatening, the concern being that a powerful leader may become a tyrant. It was a polite warning of sorts that folks were getting a little tired of their success and growing wary – hence, the suggestion to take an extended vacation.

Here’s one of the more poetic banishments  ~ Xanthippos, son of Arriphron, is cursed for his rascality; Too long he has abused our hospitality.



So, why the Greek history lesson?

I read the comics and inevitably learn stuff.



Like the height of Mount Everest (29,035 ft) and that the Nobel Peace Prize medal has three naked men with their hands on each other.



Last week, Stephan Pastis, the American cartoonist and the creator of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine, threw something new into the mix.



Well. Now. I. Am. Curious.  Why don’t I know this?

Muse. Think. Google.

Ostrakismos ~   It isn’t just a Greek thing. It’s pervasive in society. Who wants others to look askance at us, berate us or exclude us? Jane Goodall observed it in primate interactions. We see it everyday ~ the cold shoulder, the silent treatment, time-out, whistleblowing, ex-communication and shunning.

Ignore. Exclude. Reject.

The Sicilians ostracized anyone of dangerous influence or ambition, but only for five years.  The ancient Syracusans wrote the offender’s name on an olive leaf (petala). Hmmm, Petalism?

Look where comics can take you.  Thanks, Stephan Pastis.


Toni 9/12/11


What do William Carlos Williams and Ted Kooser have in common?  They write ekphrastic poetry. Poetry inspired by visual art. It’s like a conversation between two pieces of art, a place where literature and the visual arts intersect.


“ut pictura poesis”–“as is painting, so is poetry”

-Roman poet Horace. 13 BC



Poets and painters sometimes turn to one another for inspiration.




“The Great Figure” 

William Carlos Williams (1920)

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.




They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But in far fewer, Ted Kooser captures the essence of The Veteran in a New Field. The painting by Winslow Homer is of a lone veteran, his uniform shed and lying in a corner of the field, reaping the sheaves of wheat with a scythe.





A lone man scything wheat

His back is turned to us, his white shirt

the brightest thing in the painting.

Old trousers, leather army suspenders.

Before him the red wheat bends,

the sky is cloudless, smokeless, and blue.

Where he has passed, the hot stalks spread

in streaks, like a shell exploding, but that is

behind him.  With stiff, bony shoulders

he mows his way into the colors of summer.


In Wakefield, Rhode Island there’s a bright yellow and red building tucked behind the Wakefield Main Street shops, just past Phil’s diner. It’s the Hera Gallery. Their current exhibit is Ekphrasis: Art Into Poetry = Poetry Into ArtEkphrasis presents artworks that inspire poems, poems brought to life through drawings or collages, and songs that give expression to visual or literary arts. The work of forty national and local artists and poets is on display. So much to see, read, and hear. And overhear ~ it’s quite the conversation between poetry and art.





Hera Gallery: 327 Main Street, Wakefield, RI, 02879


Toni 4/11/11