The Caravaggio Project

1024px-Caravaggio_Judith_Beheading_Holofernes
Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1598

Before I started my undergrad, I never understood art. I never understood the appeal, the intricacies, why certain strokes of paint across the canvas were better than others, or why any of those things were important.

My discovery of Caravaggio changed all of this. So much so that I changed my singular major to a dual one with intent of heading to graduate school to get my MA in art history.

Which would have happened if I did not have an irrational fear of learning a new language, as you do.

When I went to Rome in 2005, I made it my mission to see all the Caravaggios available in the city, since the damned place is lousy with them. This sparked a bigger idea of tracking down and seeing, in person, all the Caravaggios available in the world. This is how The Caravaggio Project was born, and to date, I’ve seen Caravaggios in five or six countries and two continents, with many future trips planned around this theme.

I decided to keep track of the project online so that I can better figure out what I have and have not seen, plus I need to feel that certain sense of accomplishment. The chronology of Caravaggio’s work is from Wikipedia, but I plan to keep verify the entries once I get the data all established. It also helps that there has been a resurgence of interest in his work, such as the recent travelling exhibition, Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome and books such as The Lost Painting.

The listing for The Caravaggio Project isn’t complete yet, but should be soon.

If you’re wondering why Caravaggio, actually it’s pretty easy: He was a conflicted man that worshipped his own pleasures under the umbrella of the Catholic church. He was a hedonist, lecherous, bisexual, and narcissistic (many of his paintings feature his own likeness in steed of a model). He was the Byronic hero several centuries before Byron. His life was that of passion and torment, and the fact that he had an artistic ability that was almost supernatural is actually secondary to the man himself. He lead a tragic life and died quite young. If one could be a Caravaggio groupie, that would be me.

Judith Beheading Holefrenes is probably my most favorite of his paintings, though I’m fond of his Bacchus series as well. I picked up a nice print at the Borghese Gallery of Judith Beheading Holefrenes that used to hang in my bedroom before it was nearly destroyed due to mold and damage from improper storage while I was in-between places.

I thought it sent a nice message to current and future suitors.

Watch out for the falling divs

[Update: 19:21] Seems like I caught and found most of the errant pixels driving me batty, but everything is not perfect. If you or someone you know is a web developer, comfortable with WordPress & CSS, contact me ASAP. I’ve hacked the fuck out the CSS for this theme but my fixing the themes mistakes keeps breaking it! I know it’ll take 2-3 hours to fix the CSS (at max). The framework could also be tweaked as well to clean it up.

Currently tweaking the blog’s theme, which is causing it to morph in and out of various themes for the last hour or so, and will continue on and off for the rest of the day. If you find something isn’t where it was a moment ago, that is why!

-lisa

It’s all about the hair.

I never thought I’d write a post about my beauty process1, however, a large number of my Twitter girlfriends and I haven taken to having unplanned and very random discussions lately on everything from being anxious to our periods to whatever else our vaginas demand we talk about on the twitters. As the conversations are often spontaneous2, and it typically starts out with one writing a blog post, another commenting on said blog, then more entering the fray with their thoughts and the threads go on for ages. Thus, when Carolyn recently wrote about that she doesn’t use shampoo, I commented that at some point I should write about the fact that I wash my hair once a week. Several of them said I needed to do such a post because it would be very important, natch, to note that not all of us are created equal, hair wise.3 Since I’m a writer with consistant writer’s block, if writing about my girly acts gets me back to writing on a more regular basis, who am I to argue?

When I say “I wash my hair once a week,” I mean specifically that: I wet and lather my hair once a week. I do not wet or wash it during the course of the week, with the odd exceptions here or there, but usually I have to set aside time for THE WASHING not so much that I have so much hair but that it can be a fairly long process. When I first met my friend Jessica, this past January we were attending the same workshops together in California, and one night we were planning on doing something or another and I mentioned that I had to get back to our hotel early to wash my hair. She looked at me like I was crazy, as it does sound so damned ’50s. Though, to be fair, I have been toying with the idea of setting my hair in juice cans for curls that won’t quit but that is neither here nor there.
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