gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

An experiment with Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy

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As a Philosophy major as an undergrad, I read a little bit of Simone de Beauvoir, so when I saw this article about someone recounting their journey in her footsteps, I was definitely inspired. I’m not sure I could hike in the Alps for seven days in espadrilles…but this just proves how much of a badass she was. The author explains Beauvoir’s philosophy of not letting “her ideas succumb to reality” and that we can create what we want for ourselves and actually make it happen. She doesn’t agree with Beauvoir entirely in this respect, but she does acknowledge that it’s an interesting way of life to try for a short time:

It is a delusion to think that life has no wills but your own, or that you can thrive without the care and concern of others. But sometimes you can engineer a temporary condition, and produce a sense of accomplishment and self-reliance that uplifts you.

The ever elusive search for authenticity

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As a graduate of the University of Chicago, I receive the University of Chicago magazine, and there was an interesting read about authenticity in the latest Fall 2016 issue. The quest for authenticity, or even just trying to decipher what authenticity is and means, has been a recurring struggle for me, as I think it is for most people. It’s really at the helm of why we are on this planet and I think it’s something that we are continually striving for. Perhaps we will never achieve this authentic status that we picture for ourselves, and maybe that’s ok. Maybe we just need to realize that the constant pursuit of authenticity is an authentic state in and of itself.

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According to David Grazian, “authenticity is a figment of our collective imagination.” So maybe this notion of authenticity that we so eagerly chase after isn’t even a real thing at all. The article spanned from his love for penguins and the manufacturing of authenticity in zoos, to his research on blues clubs in Chicago. In regards to blues clubs, he thinks: “The authentic blues club of his dreams was full of tourists who were chasing the authentic blues club of their dreams.” If we look at it this way the quest for authenticity is essentially a never-ending game of cat-and-mouse. So chase away!

“Picture, if you will, Spain”

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To be a traveler  in the 21st century is to sometimes feel a sense of loss even before one leaves the house: The planet has been mapped with such an oppressive exactitude that it can often seem as if we’re living at a time when everything is knowable.

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This quote from a piece in the November issue of The New York Times Style Magazine struck me for its accuracy, but also its sadness. Social media, especially the rise of Instagram, allows people to snap and post pictures like it’s their job (myself included, I must say). While this gives individuals a great amount of creative freedom and allows their viewers to share in their experiences and see things they might not otherwise be able to see, it also robs people of having unique experiences of their own because they’ve already seen these amazing things and shared in your experience before having their own.

“Swiss Army Man”

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I recently saw Swiss Army Man with Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, both of whom I really like (especially Daniel Radcliffe). It was a classic Indie film with bizarre and morbid humor. Much of the film is silent, from a dialogue perspective, but there are interesting sound effects to suggest what Radcliffe’s character is thinking or doing, and the music is happy and uplifting. There are scenes of utter playfulness, like when Dano rides Radcliffe as if he were a whale and when they play with puppets that represent their lives in the forest. There are also moments of utter embarrassment, like when Radcliffe learns about the nature of his male reproductive organ.

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There are also moments, particularly those related to Radcliffe’s consciousness, that are compilations of moments in life, tiny moments that we take for granted in and of themselves, but when strung together with other moments, they create some sort of meaning for us. For me, this served as a reminder that we can’t forget the little moments in life and sacrifice them for big exciting moments, because without the little things, the big moments wouldn’t even be possible. The cinematography and the way the movie is filmed make the little moments in between the big ones very evident in a way that is almost dreamlike, which only amplifies their endearment.

Musings from a recent New York Times Style Magazine

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Perusing through The New York Times Style Magazine is always treat for someone like me who loves all things related to aesthetics. These are some of the pieces and design ads that I most enjoyed in the September 25, 2016 issue!

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Marianna Kennedy

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Gan Rugs – design from Spain

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Cabins in the Woods

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Artists in Postwar France

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Bover lights from Barcelona

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Ikea Forever

 

Halloween & Autumn decorations

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Fall has traditionally been my favorite season, although, for some reason, this year I just haven’t been quite as excited about it. I really enjoyed this summer and soaking up all the sun I possibly could, so I guess I’m just not excited for what is to come after Fall…that which shall not be named will be here before we know it and we won’t see the sun until the Spring. In an effort to get into the Fall spirit, I decorated our house a bit for the season, including Halloween, which is slowly becoming one of my favorite holidays. It’s the only time when pretending to be someone else is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged. It’s especially fun when it falls on a weekend, or a Friday or a Monday, when Halloweekend becomes a thing, offering multiple opportunities for multiple costumes!

 

Clean lines and white walls

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Loving the crispness of this interior by Larson and Paul Architects LLP

EXPO Chicago

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Last weekend I went to The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art at Navy Pier in Chicago and saw an absolutely overwhelming amount of art. There were over 100 galleries represented from around the world, as well as some special exhibitions. What was probably the coolest thing for me, was seeing Pearl Lam Galleries, as I have a friend from graduate school who works at their Shanghai location. I didn’t know the gallery was going to be there, much less that the woman I spoke to actually knew my friend! So, of course, we took a selfie together and sent it to her. Another cool finding was to see some works by Maria Tomasula represented by one of the galleries there, who teaches Art at Notre Dame and who I’ve worked with at the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture on an oral history of her life and work.

These are some of the artists represented at the EXPO that I was most taken by.

Paolo Ventura

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Paul StrandWall Street  

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Andrew Moore – Cuba series

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Francesco Pergolesi

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Robert and Shana Parkeharrison

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Ysabel Lemay

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Robert Greene

Yayoi Kusama

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Sally Mann

Anthony CaroArena Pieces 

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Andrew Millner 

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Herman de Vries

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Boomon Naksan

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Elizabeth Patterson

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Hendrik Kerstens

Rene Romero Schuler

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Michael Eastman – Fidel’s Last Stairway

Liliana Wilson – Chilean artist based in Austin, TX

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I was recently introduced to this artist by my boss, who is an expert and possibly the most prolific collector of Latino art in the U.S. The artist’s name is Liliana Wilson, and originally from Chile, she now lives and works in Austin, Texas. I think her depiction of women and children is so sweet, and I’m already dreaming of decorating my future kids’ bedrooms with some of her works, especially these:

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(If I have two girls…)

I highly recommend checking out her website and shop. Her pieces are very affordable! Having seen a couple of her paintings in person, I can tell you that they look even better than the pictures – the colors are vibrant and the faces appear even sweeter and more delicate.

America’s favorite couple

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How can you not love these two??