Saturday, January 3, 2009

Paris 6: We'll Always Have Paris

Today was our last day in Paris.

The morning started with us hand washing our clothes. See, technology has never been my friend. (Says the girl who has the urgency to blog about her trip, almost every day). But somehow half of the apartment's power outlets went out.

Since the Picasso Museum was just two minutes away from the apartment we were renting, we left it for our last day. It is definitely one of the best museums they have here. After today, and having visited Musee d'Orsay yesterday, I feel that Louvre is a bit overrated. Yes, Palais du Louvre's architecture is magnificent. But, the crowds, and the constant pushing and shoving really spoiled the experience. Moreover, sometimes with art you need to take your time, and let it all sink in. But, then again, you can't come to Paris, and not go to Louvre.

If I am ever in Paris again I don't think I would re-visit the Louvre. Unless the guy I am with absolutely insists. On the other hand, I guess, it would be romantic to see Cupid and Psyche's sculptures with the guy.

Yes, I clearly think Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Once you learn to look beyond the urinated-littered-dog-poop-laden streets. I guess, what makes Paris romantic is its immortality. The city has not only survived the French Revolution, but also the two world wars. If I remember my history correctly, during the WW2 the plan was to bomb Paris, including its historical bridges and palaces; and the French were sending off troops to the Belgian border in their taxi cabs.

I think, another city that is right up there in the romantic-city scale is St. Petersburg. Since, the city is on a high altitude, in July, the night sky remains mystically white. So if taking a night stroll along the Baltic Sea, on the historic bridges is not romantic then I don't know what is. Speaking of which, people should definitely take a trip together before they get married. Seriously, nothing tells you how compatible the two of you are, like being stuck together in a new city. There ought to be a way where one can take a PG-13 (Halal) trip.

Look Paris has evaded me of my steel-rockiness.

I also blame Picasso's "The Kiss" (1925). It is a very romantic painting. They have a really impressive collection of Picasso's work in the Musee National Picasso. I find Picasso one of the most thought-provoking artists. I look at his work and wonder what was going through his mind, when he made these paintings. After visiting the museum I realized how truly diverse his work is. In most of his paintings, he hasn't given much attention to the women's form, or faces. So it makes me wonder what is that he saw in them. And, in some cases the only physical attribute he gives any attention to is their eyes.

In his painting, "Women at Their Toilette" (1938) he made use of multiple mediums. He copy-pasted wallpapers, and also used oil paints. In this painting he has shown several women using a hotel powder room, taking care of their business. He copy-pasted maps of the continents to show our connectedness and universality. This painting reminded me of what is going on in Gaza. The Israeli government has evacuated the foreigners from the enclaved Gaza strip. But most of these foreigners are married to to Palestinian locals. I really commend France, for being the only country that came out and explicitly condemned the killings of innocent people. I mean, it doesn't matter who is doing the killing, or who is being killed. The fight is not about religion. The important and most disturbing fact is that innocent people are dying there. Last year, when Russia attacked Georgia, the world and political leaders sternly condemned the raid. Where are these government voices right now?

I really liked the museum. It was not crowded, and Picasso's work was organized chronologically. They also have Picasso's sculptures, and a couple of Henri Matisse's paintings, from Picasso's personal collection.

I also saw a family of three young daughters. Their parents had brought them to the museum to draw. And, they were drawing Picasso's paintings. I thought it was very impressive that the parents were trying to encourage their kids to draw, and nourish their artistic skills. I remember when I was in grade school, during the summer holidays every year, my sister and I would go to our local art supplies store and buy water paints and pastels, and draw trees and other random objects. I hid behind abstract, since my technique was not as good as say my sister. Her paintings are as good, if not better than, the ones I saw at Tate Modern.


Maria Sondule said...

goodbye, Paris.. I wish I could experience you for real instead of through this blog...

Zany said...

Ah, Paris is amazing. I know, I shouldn't say this but I miss it.