Sunday, August 1, 2010

Things that I Love

After three days of practically no sleep and obsessive reading, I finished Candace Bushnell's 'One Fifth Avenue' last night. What a great book! It was filled with everything that I love: gossip, drama, scandal, money, high society, retribution. She is really 'the Philosopher Queen of the Social Scene,' as a reviewer from The New York Book Review so eloquently put it. After reading the last page and putting the book down to contemplate what I'd just read, I started to clearly understand what, in both literary and visual art, really turns me on. I've decided to share that with the two readers who read this blog (I WISH there were more readers. I have to figure out how to advertise).

Anyway, here's a very concise list of visual artists that really inspire me:

1. Tamara de Lempicka
2. Alphons Mucha
3. Louis Comfort Tiffany
4. Rene Lalique
5. Gustav Klimt

And a list of authors I like:

1. F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. Edith Wharton
3. Candace Bushnell
4. Anita Diamant
5. Victor Hugo

Obviously, lists like these can change at a moment's notice, but that's a list of the artists I've loved for years (Anita Diamont's Red Tent has always stayed with me. I haven't read anything else she's done, but The Red Tent earns her a place on my little list). I would add Lori Earley and JK Rowling too, but I wanted to limit the list to five as well as emphasize a theme.

Anyway, I've noticed a pattern. I love Art Nouveau and Art Deco . . . even a little cubism a la de Lempicka, but not going Picasso crazy. I live for the period between 1890-1930 (minus a lot of the stuff produced during WWI, which were rather drab). The Jazz Age was a nice period for literature because it gave us F. Scott Fitzgerald's characters and de Lempicka's luxuriously classy characters. Anything that puts me in the high-society, gossipy environment full of drama, intrigue, luxury and fantasy fills me with an inspiration that is almost overwhelming at times. I had to add Victor Hugo because, even though Les Miserables is hardly high society, it is so dramatic and heart breaking that it has left a permanent impression.

I'm looking forward to reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I'm not too sure if I'll like it. Apparently there's a horrific rape in it, and I've never been one for violence. On the other hand, I've always been one for strong female characters and, according to reviews, Lisbeth Salander is exactly that, so we'll see.

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