Saturday, December 27, 2014

neon, and the smell of fried dough

To contrast with all that fine art and fine food, I now give you a dizzy rainbow of neon lights, the smell of fryery, the crunch of sweet popcorn, and a cacophony of tinny music blended with the bellowing calls of carnies.

I can't remember the last time I went to a carnival, but they are all quite the same aren't they? Grease in different disguises in different countries perhaps, but one can always rely on finding a form of fried dough, whether it's a churro or funnelcake. I find that oddly comforting.

the human hand

There are beautiful hands to be found in the permanent collection of the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian.

Bugiardini, Giuliano. Portrait of a young woman. 1516–25. Oil on canvas.
Moroni, Giovanni-Battista. Portrait of Marco Antonio Savelli. 1543–47. Oil on canvas.
Rubens, Peter Paul. Portrait of Helena Fourment. 1630–32. Oil on wood.
Vincent, François-André. Portrait of Mademoiselle Duplant. 1793. Oil on canvas.
Renoir, Pierre-Auguste. Portrait of Madame Claude Monet. 1872-74. Oil on canvas.
Cassatt, Mary. The Stocking. 1981. Pastel.
Copy after engraving by Gauthier-Dagoty, Jean-Baptiste André. Portrait of Madame Du Barry and the Page Zamore. Late 18th Century. Oil on canvas.
Degas, Edgar. Self-Portrait, or Degas Saluant. c.1863. Oil on canvas.
Dyck, Anton van. Portrait of a man. 1620–21. Oil on canvas.

Friday, December 26, 2014


This summer, to initiate their series of exhibitions called Meeting Point, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian brought together selections of work by Rembrandt and Portuguese artist Paula Rego. Meeting point is a "dialogue (or confrontation) between the collections of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and the Modern Art Centre", a way of bringing together the contemporary and the past.

"United by their approach to time, the works on display allow us to reflect on the way in which, in every era, artists have worked in different ways on the same timeless themes, in an endless questioning of the perplexities that arise in the face of life and death." Museu Calouste Gulbenkian

I love the idea of a dialogue between artists— imagine all the wonderful possibilities!

Rego, Paula. Time, Past and Present. 1990. Acrylic paint on marouflé paper and canvas. Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão. Lisbon, Portugal.
van Rijn, Rembrandt. Portrait of an Old Man. 1645. Oil on canvas. Museu Calouste Gulbenkian. Lisbon, Portugal.
van Rijn, Rembrandt. A Seated Old Man and Woman (Jacob and Rachel). 1640–1645. Pen and ink on paper. British Museum. London, England.
Rego, Paula. Study for the painting Time, Past and Present. 1990. Pencil and ink on paper. J.S. Mills Collection. London, England.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

feliz natal!

May you all be happy among your loved ones, and your bellies full of goodness! I have thoroughly enjoyed my first Portuguese Christmas, and will go to bed feeling very grateful and lucky.

From the first fluffy sonhos to the bacalhau bathed in olive oil, from the octopus to the mousse, dinner on Christmas Eve was fabulous. Then came the equally fabulous lunch on Christmas Day:

Yes, I feel lucky. Lucky to have such wonderful, loving people in my life.
Harika holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


i really do more than just eat

I realise that it looks like all I do in Portugal is eat, but I also look at art, visit historical sites, bird watch, contribute to collaborative doodles on paper tablecloths... But yes, it's mostly a lot of eating exquisite meals with family and friends.

I had no idea that Jello was so popular here!
I bet you're getting tired of food posts by now, no?

Monday, December 22, 2014

adding and subtracting

Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, a.k.a Vhils, creates some of the most moving and beautiful examples of street art today. His work is typically a relationship between the portrait and a sense of decay, as he hammers and chisels the faces of ordinary people into the crumbling façades of forgotten buildings. This summer I was lucky to catch his fantastic solo exhibition at the Museum of Electricity in Belém, that not only depicted his inspiring street pieces, but other work, also created with a process of removal.

These portraits above, layers of holes drilled into metal sheets, changed colour and mood with the various film clips played on screens behind them.

Adding and subtracting, creating through destroying.