In Amsterdam, I had the pleasure of visiting the Rjiksmuseam, which has a huge collection of dutch art, ranging from the middle ages up to the contemporary art of today. This first photo is of The Threatened Swan, which was painted by Jan Asselijn during the Golden Age. It initially caught my eye because it looks very similar to the art on the cover of an album by the music artist Sufjan Stevens. Here is a photo of his album:
While it is not the same at all, they still seem to be painted in a similar manner; the swans are the same color, with wings spread out. However, in the painting in the gallery, the swan is clearly angry and defending something, which comes through in the way that it's head comes out at the viewer. It seems to be daring the viewer to come closer. Further reading about the painting informed me that the swan is in fact protecting its nest from attackers. The emotion of the swan really comes through in the painting, and it commands the space around it.
This next photo was not taken in the museum, but in a vintage shop called Zipper that Michaela and I visited on Sunday. We were shopping around, trying on sweaters and sunglasses, when we looked up at the ceiling and saw a giant fresco painted there, Sistine -chapel style. However, the subject matters were anything but religious. Instead, the ceiling shows contemporary people, and their activities/manners seem a bit tongue-in-cheek. However, the contemporary subjects are mixed with classical elements, such as the column on the left. It was a great example of how past art movements are always relevant, serving as inspiration for contemporary art movements today!
Here we have another photo, this time on the right side of the column. Again, the classical elements are juxtaposed with the modern ones, with a classically styled statue of a woman pouring water out of a jar in front of an American flag. In the back, it looks like the man is looking at her butt. This is both humorous and making a bit of a joke out of the painting. There is also a plane flying overhead, which is another example of mixing modern industrialism with classicism. I loved this fresco. I wish that I could have captured the entire thing with one photo, but it was too big and too detailed. Believe me when I say that the rest of the ceiling was just as intricate and just as funny as these two snapshots reveal.
This last little gem comes in as a close second to my favorite find in Amsterdam (after the ceiling of the thrift store). Michaela, Anna and I were walking down the street along the canal on Saturday night when this caught my eye. It was inside the door of an art gallery that was closed for the evening. This is an example of a ready-made AND it involves the Mona Lisa, which reminded me of the one that you showed that first day in class. I think it was Marcel Duchamp? Here, the Mona Lisa has both devil horns and a mustache, and the entire painting is stamped with a bright pink "SALE", so I'm assuming the sign is put up to advertise a sale in the gallery. I believe that the emblem in the corner is the symbol for the gallery. I thought that this was a very creative and art-appropriate advertisement for a gallery to use! It also is great at catching attention, as the Mona Lisa is so famous and the defacing of her is usually pretty funny.