A Weekend in Berlin


As I mentioned on Sunday, I was in Berlin over the weekend for an all-too-brief visit. I flew in early Saturday morning and left midday Monday and felt like I saw only a tiny fraction of what I wanted to see. That being said, I did cover a lot of ground for what was basically 48 hours and wanted to share the highlights with you.

Obviously above we have the Brandenburger Tor, which is actually the closest I ever got to West Berlin (other than riding the bus through it en route to/from Tegel Airport). When you spend a lot of time in Paris, I think you fall victim to something I’ll call the Triomphe Effect; the afflicted lose all sense of scale when it comes to arches and gates because the Arc de Triomphe is so huge. To me, the Washington Square Park arch in New York now seems laughably tiny and when I visited the Tor in Berlin, I was also surprised by its size. In my head it was much larger — and less cluttered with inebriated Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München fans who nobly took it upon themselves to prepare for the 20h Germany Cup final from the early morning hours (I’m happy to report that BM won, as my childhood Germany stints took place in Bayern). Despite the Triomphe Effect and the football horde, the historical symbolism of the Tor is still palpable. (more…)


Musée Rodin


Yesterday I ended up at the Musée Rodin by accident. I took the Metro to Champs-Élysées Clemenceau and climbed out without a plan in mind; it was quite warm yesterday so I thought I might sit by the Seine and read or write. By the time I surfaced it was quite overcast and none of the river perches caught my fancy so I kept walking. Two white-haired German men paused in front of me by the Passerelle de Solférino to consult their travel guide and, seized with this sudden inspiration to render myself a tourist, I crossed the river to go visit Le Penseur.

I should add that I know basically nothing about either Rodin or sculpture, but I did remember the scenes from the museum in Midnight in Paris and it seemed like a pretty place to pass a Wednesday afternoon (is this an embarrassing cultural reference?). I was not wrong. The Paris museum consists of a small indoor collection in the Hôtel Biron, an early 18th century townhouse in which Rodin lived for many years, and a gorgeous garden full of sculpture, including Rodin’s most famous thinking man.  (more…)

Drawing the News with Eli Neugeboren

Pro-European protestors gather during clashes with riot police in Kiev. Pencil on vellum Bristol, 9×12.

A year and a half ago, I met New York City-based artist/illustrator/designer Eli Neugeboren on a project for my old job, where he did some lovely graphic design work for us. Since then, I’ve kept up with him on social media and have become a particularly avid fan of his “Drawing the News” series, which is exactly what it sounds like: every few days he draws a major story from the news. I love the drawings, so I set up a quick interview to learn more about the series. Hope you enjoy it!

He has a solo show opening in at the Ouchi Gallery in Dumbo, Brooklyn  on March 4, so if you’re in New York, go check it out (details below or here)!

When and how did you start Drawing the News?

I started Drawing the News a little after Hurricane Sandy hit NYC, back in November 2012. I had been meaning to start going to figure drawing sessions for years, but always seemed too busy and never did, and felt like my drawing skills had been atrophying. I didn’t want it to be any kind of Sysiphean act of suffering, just something to get myself better informed about current events, and to improve those drawing skills.

I’ve tried not to set too many rules on myself other than making sure what I’m drawing is from the previous day or so, and using the same materials and dimensions. Specifically I wanted to improve my ability to draw likenesses, and to get comfortable enough that I could make these drawings seem both realistic and somewhat true-to-life, but also that I would be loose enough with them that they would develop their own style. (more…)

Storm King Art Center


Warning: This is a very photo-heavy post!

Last weekend I got on a train to Salisbury Mills to visit the Storm King Art Center (and missed the transfer station this first time around; I spent a lovely hour in downtown Newark that I hope never to repeat). Storm King is a 500-acre sculpture park on the west side of the Hudson River, founded in 1960. The piece of land itself is gorgeous and makes a perfect backdrop for the works of artists such as David Smith, Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt, Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, and more. I was especially excited to go at this time of year to see all the fall foliage (I went with a friend who grew up in California and who was extremely skeptical of the fall-foliage-mania that possesses many East Coasters at this time of year; I’m confident he was a convert by the end of the day). (more…)