Category Archives: art

Tartu: How do you Honor a Semiotician?

Tartu is my home, and I do love it …  though we have some odd sculpture. Perhaps the most peculiar of them all is this one

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I know. It looks like a plumbing problem, but in fact, it is a monument to the great and fondly remembered Semiotics Professor, Juri Lotman.  That boxy building in the background is the university library, built during the Soviet times.  It needs a city farming project on that silly flat roof (silly because it leaks … or at least it used to when I trod down the hallways).  I walk by this sculpture rather frequently and it has grown on me, though slowly. I still think a better tribute would have been the great Lotman chasing after Athena, goddess of wisdom, up Professor’s walk!  Sadly — at least for me — that idea didn’t fly.

Paris: Have You Met Willi?

I have a soft spot for doggies. And I have a soft spot for folks who love doggies. I have an even bigger soft spot for people who love doggies and art and wine. Which brings me to Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris, a place that I frequent when I visit  Who was Willi? Yes, the owner’s doggie. BTW, they do an annual wine poster, and yes, I do own at least one! You should get one too! You can order from their web site (which is pretty cool). This is my fav.

Blake is a Problem

So wrote Bernard Levin for The Times in 1978. What is the big deal? The problem is that Blake’s work is an assault on our modern sensibilities. He challenges us to re-think whether divine energy rather than reason carries us forward.  Yes, he thought Newton and the enlightenment in general, were ridiculous. You cannot disassemble energy! We would like to think that he had a few loose screws. Or, we hope that he did. But did he? Levin was not so sure.

Musashi in the Bath

This sounds a bit suspicious. But contrary to what you might think, Musashi was a  feared warrior, invincible in combat. He was also a great artist who did amazingly delicate pen and ink drawings. He said “when you have attained the way of strategy there will be not one thing that you cannot understand.” Here he is in full warrior mode escaping from the bath house where his enemies had planned to boil him alive! Yikes! Don’t worry, he got out ok.