Neruda on Modotti

Detail from British Vogue, December 1982.

Detail from British Vogue, December 1982. Photograph from the Norton Museum of Art exhibition.

There are dozens of beautiful faces in the Norton Museum of Art’s current exhibition Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast. Yet, there was something about the couple in the Bruce Weber photograph featured above that stopped in my tracks. And as I leaned over the vitrine I realized the poetic excerpt floating next to the haunting woman was by Pablo Neruda on the occasion of Tina Modotti’s passing. Suddenly I wasn’t in an art museum but a wonderful netherworld that had collapsed time and space to bring together great personages of the twentieth century. Continue reading

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Riding Metro Santiago into the Future Past

Leonardo Portus, Estación Violeta Parra, model, 2013-2014. MAVI Santiago. November 2014.

Leonardo Portus, Estación Violeta Parra, model, 2013-2014. MAVI Santiago. November 2014.

Leonardo Portus’s current exhibition at the Museo de Artes Visuales (MAVI) has been receiving much-deserved praise and attentionEstación Utopía (Utopia Station) has a compelling blend of gorgeous visuals, nostalgia, and history. Naturally, I add myself to that list. Any exhibition that includes dollhouse-like models always wins my heart. Moreover, Portus has accomplished a tremendous feat: transforming Metro de Santiago into an object of admiration. As it is the metro is still struggling to be seen as a comfortable experience since rush hour has the attendants stuffing passengers into the cars like sardines. Perceiving the metro as something beautiful is indeed a utopian fantasy.  Continue reading