Dome of the Bisected Hemisphere
On this, the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 that I’m sure every news report will tell us not to forget, and remind us that we haven’t forgotten… I wanted to share this picture of Abdulnasser Gharem’s sculpture, titled “Hemisphere”, which was featured in LACMA earlier this year. It represents the duality of Islam, (or frankly, all religions), between the peaceful and spiritual, (as depicted by the right half, based on the green dome of the Mosque of the Prophet in Media), and the political and violent tendencies, (as depicted by the left half, based on a Persian military helmet). The midpiece that is front and center is models on a noseguard from the helmet, which protects the face while also separating it.
And while we can list this duality in all religions, given the beauty of this work, and the darker responses to the terrorist attack 16 years ago, I wanted to post this – today – to show that beauty can come from all places, and that almost everything has two sides.
(Also, I’m really happy with how the picture came out.)
Photograph of a statue of an Egyptian Mau, (i.e., cat), from Ancient Egypt. This exhibit at LACMA shows the Mau, which was designed as a tribute to the goddess Bastet. Given how much I like cats in general (and Mizu in particular), I’m surprised it took me this long to feature this statue.
(As this post, I should be photographing the Great American Eclipse 2017- maybe that will be featured in next week’s blog…)
Ribbons in Red
Shot of the westerly side of the Petersen Automotive Museum after its recent renovation; the building is certainly unique, but this view demonstrates an even more memorable scene…
A skyward view from within Jesús Rafael Soto’s sculpture, Penetrable, on permanent exhibition at LACMA. While it can be fun to play in the spaghetti, it also gives many opportunities to look at the work in and through a different perspective…
Vroom Vroom, Vive la France!
In the days following the atrocity in Paris this year, the newly renovated Petersen Automotive Museum, located on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, lit up their stylized exterior in the French tricolor of Blue, White and Red.
Coin of Thrace
Photograph of an ancient coin held in the Getty Center in Los Angeles. It is a Greek coin, made of silver, bearing the face of Alexander the Great, minted at roughly 300 BC.
Red Diamonds are an Irish Girl’s Best Friend
The Kazanjian Red Diamond, shown above, is one of the three known red diamonds weighing more than 5 carats. A 5.05-carat Emerald-cut red diamond, formerly known simply as “The Red Diamond”. This is the third largest known Red diamond. It was cut from a 35-carat (7.0 g) piece of boart discovered near Lichtenburg, South Africa. A diamond broker paid a modest eight pounds per carat for it. It was later sent to Amsterdam to be cut and polished by the Goudiv brothers. They called in the firm’s master cutter, who studied the diamond for seven months. After cautious cleaving and polishing, the gem emerged a 5.05-carat emerald cut. In candlelight, the Kazanjian Red Diamond appears as vivid as a drop of blood splashed on a white diamond.
While the gem had been sent twice to Tiffany & Company in New York, by 1944, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, it was discovered in Arnhem and swiftly sent to Germany, where it was hidden among other confiscated gems. After the war, the diamond merchant Louis Asscher was assigned a cache of gemstones found hidden in a salt mine near Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s retreat in Bavaria. The listing found with the stones stated diamonds “and one ruby.” Asscher immediately recognized it as The Red Diamond. It was eventually sold to Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and then to the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, which sold it to a private collector in 1970. After that, its whereabouts were unknown until 2007, when it landed on the table of Douglas Kazanjian, who with much research and study, was able to link together its historical peregrinations.
Red is the rarest color in diamonds — less than 20 are known to exist in the world today.
This photograph was taken while it was on display at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, California.