Category archives for: Lectures

Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel, The Subversive Power of Laughter

Rabelais Statue Cour du Louvre

By Béa Aaronson   More than ever, we need to read Rabelais again, savor his wit, and appreciate his wisdom. He rehabilitates the human body, deflates arrogance, ridicules pedants, warmongers, greedy profiteers, lawyers. As we say in French, and excuse my language: “one should not fart higher than one’s butt!” Lecture “Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel, [...]

Revolutionary Fictions: Who wins?

Christine Wade

By Patricia Jean Browne   Revolutions are fought, constitutions are crafted, countries are founded, but who wins? Not ordinary folk, not women, not the indigenous, not the enslaved, not the poor. How can we know the stories of those who don’t win? Why are their stories important? Historical fiction can tell the forgotten truths of [...]

Anselm Kiefer: Atonement, Art and Redemption

Twilight of the west

By Béa Aaronson Art is difficult, art is not entertainment -Anselm Kiefer   Anselm Kiefer is a German artist, still working today at 70. His art is not for the meek! Kiefer is totally consumed by the past and history of Germany, above all the Nazi catastrophe. He creates in order to atone and redeem. [...]

Still Midnight in Mexico: Two Journalists Report

By Lee Bellavance Sometimes, those of us who live here in Mexico, expats or not, feel a bit left in the dark about Mexican news—especially what is happening in the intertwined worlds of crime, corruption, and drugs. And sometimes, the story is the process of how Mexican news endangers the reporters who expose the truth. On Tuesday, January [...]

Les Fêtes Galantes or The Bantering Art of Seduction in 18th Century French Rococo

Watteau 1717 L'Embarquement pour Cythere, The island of Love!

By Béa Aaronson Sensuous dreams, voluptuous colors, cheeky amorous games, idealized idyllic pastoral settings, an aristocratic escapism before the tsunami of the Revolution, Les Fêtes Galantes, better translated as Courtship Parties, style was invented by Antoine Watteau, The Mozart of art, the master of subtlety, delight and pleasure, yet always oozing a dimension of sadness [...]

Marc Chagall: The Poet Painter

Goauche and watercolor The Joy of the Village 1957

“Will God give me the powers to breathe My sigh into my canvases The sigh of prayer and sadness The prayer of salvation and rebirth” -Marc Chagall By Béa Aaronson I had to end 2014 with an artist whose message is one of love, hope, and kindness: Marc Chagall! This Jewish artist from the Shtetl, [...]

“Picasso in Italy: Art and Love”

LECT BEA La Famille de Saltimbanques, 1905

By Stephen Eaker Pablo Picasso has often been accused of indifference when it comes to Italian paintings, especially toward Raphael and Michelangelo, two artists he both appreciated and disavowed. On May 14, 1935, while in conversation with his dealer, Picasso said that he “would swap all Italian paintings for a Vermeer.” This statement greatly contradicts [...]

Fractals: Organic Sacred Geometry In Life, Nature, And Art

Lightning, tree, human blood vessel interconnectedness system

By Béa Aaronson Everything is linked…have you ever wondered what is at the core of it all? What links the universe, us, DNA, lightning, blood vessels, nervous systems, brains, corals, cabbages, elephant skin, mountain ranges, a leaf, a wave, a snowflake, a flower? Ever wondered about the similarities between tortoise shell patterns, spider webs, minerals, [...]

Dora Maar, Picasso’s Weeping Woman

Dora MAar 1936 photo by Man  Ray

By Stephen Eaker   Dora Maar was a beautiful and vibrant woman with an immense intelligence and a quick temper. She would paint her finger nails according to her moods, so when you see a Picasso painting of Dora with green finger nails, this is not just Picasso’s imagination at work. Her real name was [...]

Desire and Voluptuousness: The Representation of Women in the Victorian Era

Alma-Tadema heliogabolus 1888 detail

By Béa Aaronson I had the joy and privilege to be in Paris, my native city, while the Jacquemart André Museum on Boulevard Haussmann was offering a different kind of art exhibition. In a world harassed by noise, violence, angular visions, suicidal installations, and stress, here was a collection of Victorian paintings depicting amorously languishing [...]

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