The Eyes of St. Peter on the Metro de Madrid

The Tears of St. Peter (El Greco 1587-1596)

I’ve lost count now, of the amount of times I’ve been captivated by a moment and the undying regret at not capturing and preserving it on camera.

And so it happened again – this time the location was the Metro de Madrid – and yet again I felt the full brunt of the anguish at not having the ‘right’ (whatever, that means) camera to record this unusual moment that I would never experience again.

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Abbas Kiarostami: The Cineaste, The Philosopher

“If you look at the four seasons, each season brings fruit. In summer, there’s fruit, in autumn, too. Winter brings different fruit and spring, too. No mother can fill her fridge with such a variety of fruit for her children. No mother can do as much for her children as God does for His creatures.

You want to refuse all that?
You want to give it all up?

You want to give up the taste of cherries?”

(Mr Bagheri in Taste of Cherry)

Anything I can possibly write praising the late, great poet of cinema Abbas Kiarostami will be an epic disappointment. One, because I lack the finesse to write well, and secondly because the art that this grand filmmaker and artistic polymath has left us behind is beyond the limitations of words, it’s beauty is simply inexpressible.

Although, I had only seen ‘Taste of Cherry’ (quite a few years ago) and ‘Close-up’ (last February), prior to his untimely passing, I was so moved by just these two films that I felt compelled to say something – but I just didn’t know how or what. Continue reading

Art, only after a lifetime of experiences.

Picasso

Maybe this happened, maybe it didn’t. Do the facts even matter, when the truth is so illuminating?

Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a brave woman approached him.

“Oh my — It’s Picasso, the great artist! Oh, would you be kind enough to sketch my portrait for me?”

Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a few pencil strokes to create her portrait in a few minutes. He handed the woman his work of art.

“It’s perfect!” she gushed.  “You managed to capture my essence with a few strokes, in such little time. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”

“That will be ten thousand dollars” Picasso replied.

The woman was floored.

“Ten thousand dollars! How can you want so much money for it? Why, it only took you a few minutes to draw this sketch!”

To which, Picasso replied, “No, madam. It took me thirty years of my life to be able to draw like that.”