Monthly Archives: February 2011

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

Drawing the Line: Conserving Master Drawings with a Light Touch

Working on Study of Three Skulls. At top left, the disfiguring oil stain; at top right, the same area of the sheet after the pastel application.
Working on Study of Three Skulls. At top left, the disfiguring oil stain; at top right, the same area of the sheet after the pastel application.

The intriguing exhibition The Secret Life of Drawings—closing this Sunday at the Getty Center—unveils hidden clues to unfinished works on paper, undiscovered sketches, and details of the artist’s craft. It also reveals that making damaged art look presentable can be… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Finding the Grace in Trees

Juniper Tree, Arches National Monument, Utah, August 27, 1958. Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © 1990 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of the artist
Eliot Porter American, 1901–1990 Juniper Tree, Arches National Monument, Utah, August 27, 1958 Dye transfer print Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © 1990 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of the artist

The relationship between the individual tree and the scene or the event depicted is what is interesting to see and to understand. Each photo tells a unique story. Trees are sometimes so old, they have seen so much. Trees don’t wait for the photographer to be beautiful or expressive, they just are. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Photographs, Film, and Video

Brush and Shutter: When Chinese Painters Became Photographers

Portrait of Li Hongzhang in Tianjin, 1878, Liang Shitai (also known as See Tay) (Chinese, active in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tianjin, 1870s–1880s), albumen silver print. The Getty Research Institute, 2006.R.1.4
Portrait of Li Hongzhang in Tianjin / Liang Shitai (also known as See Tay)

The new exhibition Brush & Shutter: Early Photography in China uses photographs, along with a few paintings and other artistic media, to tell a largely unknown story about China. In the second half of the 19th century, when China was… More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Reframing Robert Mapplethorpe

Sam Wagstaff, Robert Mapplethorpe, c. 1973. Polaroid. Promised gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Getty just announced our joint acquisition of the art and archival material of Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989), one of the great photographers of the second half of the 20th century. Though… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Did Parchment Smell? Your Manuscript Questions, Answered

Jean de Mandeville
Jean de Mandeville

“To make egg tempera paint, egg is mixed with water and pigment, which somewhat neutralizes the decomposition process of eggs, but it is also spread so thinly and dries so quickly that it never really has the chance to rot. Therefore it doesn’t smell.”
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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa

Poor Dog Group Unleashes the Power of Satyrs for Villa Theater Lab

poor_dog

L.A. theater ensemble Poor Dog Group is unleashing Satyr Atlas, a re-imagining of ancient Greek satyr plays, at the Getty Villa this weekend. What are satyr plays, you ask? Neither tragedy nor comedy, but a dramatic universe of their own… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Education, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Drawing from Antiquity: A Chance to Slow Down Time

Artist and drawing enthusiast Jaime Ursic gives a lesson in the Education Studio at the Getty Villa.

Jaime Ursic believes everyone should study drawing. Not just because she’s an artist, but because it gives you two near-magical gifts: looking closely, and slowing down time. She’ll show you how to do both at Drawing from Antiquity, a free… More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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