An added bonus of travelling for work is that it gives me an opportunity to find inspiration in a new environment. This is why I’ve made a healthy habit of scouting art galleries and museums that aren’t usually on a traveller’s itinerary. Here are a few pieces that caught my eye:
1. The Diners – Pablo Picasso
“Art is the lie that enables us to realise the truth.”
― Pablo Picasso
His depiction of Parisian nightlife, titled ‘The Diner’, embodies his words pretty well. It’s one of the paintings the truly intrigued me at the Rhode Island School of Design. Their collection is an eclectic mix of historic works like this one and remarkable installations by their MFA students great honour to be featured next to the masters.
2. Marble staircase at the Getty Villa
It’s amazing what catches your eye when you’re a designer. The sculptures at the Getty Villa are marvellous works, but I was struck by the marble staircase. The attention to detail is beautiful when you realise that a significant part of the railing is painstakingly carved out of stone.
3. An Iranian Passport Turned Into Art – Arghavan Khosravi
What I truly appreciate about galleries associated with design and art schools is that they showcase rare gems where students experiment – cutting across mediums and disciplines. For instance, when one of RISD’s Iranian students, Arghavan Khosravi found out her passport was rendered useless by the US ban on Muslim countries, she turned it into a work of art.
4. Composition – Piet Mondrian
“Every true artist has been inspired more by the beauty of lines and color and the relationships between them than by the concrete subject of the picture.”
– Piet Mondrian
Inspired by Picasso’s Cubism in the early 20th century, artist Piet Mondrian was part of the new wave of adding depth to the two-dimensional nature of canvas. He took that a notch further by attempting to break down our three-dimensional world into this mesh of vertical and horizontal strokes fading into the edges.There is a method to the madness when you understand that Mondrian’s focus is on the emotion behind the form, not the form itself.
5. Hand of God – Rodin
Our creations are the ultimate expressions of our unique abilities. Every piece of art in history is a culmination of the unique set of circumstances and skills that the artist embodies. Sculptor Rodin’s unique ability was the gift to shape roughly hewn marble into life. In this sculpture titled ‘The Hand of God’, he channels the ultimate creator Himself.