Monthly Archives: June 2014

hova and the golden ratio

I’m about to connect some weird dots, but GO WITH ME on this. It’s like Chopped: In this post, you must use The Golden Ratio, the Mona Lisa, and Jay Z.

  • Golden Ratio: First, a quick math (!!!) lesson: The golden ratio is a special number found by diving a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is aso equal to the whole length divided by the longer part…For all those that need a good variable set, that’s a/b = (a +b) / a = 1.618You know who liked this Golden Ratio? Leonardo da Vinci.

   golden ratio
Illustration of golden ratio, obviously.

  • Leonardo da Vinci: No surprise that da Vinci loved math and was familiar with the Golden Ratio. There’s a lot of scholarship that looks at the Mona Lisa as a distinguished, mathematically-accurate artwork. If I show you, do I have to talk about it?mona lisa spiral
  • Jay Z: Maybe my most favorite secret ingredient! So, Jay Z has a song called “Picasso Baby” on Holy Grail (ugh, I KNOW, I barely knew it too). He creates a pretty creative…but mainly expensive…laundry list of artworks in the song. But, just as Yonce has Parisians screaming at her in a car, Hova appropriates his own French conversation:

WOMAN: I have given and shown you everything, with nothing to hide. There you are, Ivy, like the nombre d’or… Jay, how do you say nombre d’or?

JAY: “The golden number.”

Boom, Hov, LOVE IT. Your daughter is sooo perfect, she imitates immaculate proportions! Take that, Iron Chef Guarnaschelli — I am your new Chopped Champion! I’ll be around to collect my 10K this week.

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women ignoring men

Let my Mallory Ortberg obsession continue…

Read the full article, “Art History: 500 Years of Women Ignoring Men,” here.

mallory 4

“Oh, my God, Tess, don’t encourage him. You’re terrrrrible.”

“No, I’m serious! That was so good! Can you play another one? You’re, like, really good at this.”

mallory 5

“I would love to go out tonight but I’m…I’m dying.” [coughs weakly into handkerchief]

“Oh, my God.”

“Yeah. It’s consumption, so.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“No, it’s fine.”

“I will stay and nurse you.”

“No, you won’t.”

mallory 6

“Hi, sorry, this is a women-only balcony.”

“Women’s balcony, sorry.”

“Male balcony’s over there, this balcony is all-women, sorry!”




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diego rivera, frida kahlo


Mexico plays today against the Netherlands, so I figured, “What the heck? Let’s post an attractive picture of Diego and Frida!”

Turns out that is much (much!!) easier said than done. Like, IMPOSSIBLE. Frida was also 20 (two zeroooo) years younger than Diego!! DANG! Have we developed a term for a male cougar?

I’m looking into it.

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les miserables

gauguin miserables

Get a load of this nonsense: Paul Gauguin paints himself as Jean Valjean. Yeah, we’re talking WOLVERINE’S Jean Valjean.

From the Vincent van Gogh Museum (who, sadly, owns the work):

Gauguin compared this fictional hero, a man rejected by society despite his inner power and love, with the misunderstood artists of his own time, including himself.

This painting was also dedicated to Vincent van Gogh. Emile Bernard’s in the background.

I’m starting to realize why it’s called the miserable.

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lincoln memorial

lincoln memorial

With a week until the Fourth of July, I decided to focus on a major American achievement — the return of overalls the Lincoln Memorial.

Sculptor: David Chester French
Also known for: DuPont Memorial Fountain, John Harvard statue (full oeuvre here).

Memorial, by the numbers:

  • 35 – outer columns (one for each state in the Union at the time of the Civil War)
  • 28 – blocks of marble carved by the Piccirilli Brothers that create Lincoln
  • 9 – replicas of smaller “working Lincolns” French cast from the original
  • 48 – wreathes festoons (one for each state in 1922 — fancy!)
  • 7 – ranking on “America’s Favorite Architecture” list (2007)
  • 0 – at the time of publication of this post, the number of times “Wedding Crashers” was named in the Lincoln Memorial Wiki’s section “In Popular Culture” (like, HELLO!?)

I overheard a tour guide say, “the story gets happier” when he described Robert Lincoln being able to attend the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. My footnote for that in my notes? “Haha.”


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Sometimes art is a red swimsuit. Gone too soon, Farrah.

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normal moments

Remember that time yesterday when I discovered Mallory Ortberg? Well, I’m about to develop a love for her that is similar to Suri’s Burn Book for Kiernan Shipka. And her posts continue to bring sparkle and hilarity to this domain, so I say, let it shine.

mallory 1

what dead girl 

i don’t even know what you mean 

this girl was here when we got here

she wanted us to stand on her

yeah that was like all she could talk about 

“please stand on me”

so don’t worry it’s very normal what we’re doing here

mallory 2

hey guys hey come on in just come right on in i’m so glad you’re here by yourselves just the two of you 

we’re going to have such a good normal time in this cave together 

mallory 3

yeah so just drink out of this cup and then something will happen after that i guess


Actually, though, Mallory — you are magic. Guest post ASAP, plz…I’ll send cookies.

Read the rest of her wondrous article, “Normal Moments in Art History with no Murder,” here.

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michael jackson and bubbles


Jeff Koons gives us Michael Jackson and Bubbles. Gods among men…and yes, I sure bundle Bubbles in that mix.

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Sometimes art is a celebratory fountain with cymbals.

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