January 7, 2009
So I'm feeling pretty inspired after a wonderful trip to Paris.. where I got to witness the most jaw-dropping display of beautiful architecture and artwork. Anyone who's been there knows what I'm talking about, but it was my first time and I'm still a bit awe-struck by it. I mean, I knew Paris would be beautiful, just from seeing all of the photos and movies over the years.. but I didn't think it would hit me the way that it did. Why don't we make things like that anymore (and by "that", I mean pretty much every single structure in Paris)? It seems like the art of masonry has been lost to utilitarian modernism. Don't get me wrong.. I love the general influence of modernism on architecture. But it also seems to have given license for every uninspired, drab, concrete, character-void structure out there (see: strip malls, apartment complexes). It seems the post-modernists were lamenting this as well, but I think they overstepped their rebellion a bit. OK, I don't know where I'm going with this, but just want to basically say that the architecture and sculpture of Paris is... Bad Ass!! And that I'm going to miss it.
If you go to Paris, you must go to the Musee d'Orsay to see the impressionists. I seemed to have forgotten how varied the work was from these guys, and was left with a new found respect. There was a special exhibition of Pastels that was mind-blowing in it's examples of mastery. These guys must have had just huge amounts of time on their hands. Oh, and if you go, it helps to bring along a crafty Parisian who can get you past the 1 hour+ line out front.
By the way, the illustration above is one I did a couple months ago for a group Friend & Johnson promo mailer, which was all about Paris!