Monthly Archives: September 2015

Is the grass really greener on the other side?

Edouard Manet (1832-1883) Lunch on the Grass 1863 Oil on canvas H. 208; W. 264.5 cm © RMN -Grand Palais(Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Edouard Manet (1832-1883)
Lunch on the Grass
Oil on canvas
H. 208; W. 264.5 cm
© RMN -Grand Palais(Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side. It’s green where you water it.
As Long As You Love Me: Justin Beiber featuring Big Sean

Now is the time of summer when grass grows green and fresh. Made lush and full by dirt, water and sun. All of the forests that rested quiet in winter under frozen clouds, now thrive with color and life and that fresh grass smell. Not all of the sprouts are grown, some patches fall unattended, found dull and scarce. All that these empty paths need is a little bit of love, and they will bloom too, just like the lively filled life of their neighbor.

And so, is the grass really greener on the other side?

We are all familiar with the phrase the grass is greener on the other side. The words are said in common moments when ideas are expressed of wanting what he hear about in the distance, someone has something better, where one feels that they will be happier if they have what they don’t already have.

In the song As Long As You Love Me by Justin Bieber featuring Big Sean; Big Sean dares to contradict this classic statement by telling us that the grass is greener on the other side isn’t true! he sings, the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it. In reality, Mr. Big Sean in fact does indeed have a point. And I have this painting by Manet presented to you to prove it.

The grass indeed is NOT greener on the other side. It is green where you want it to be green. Some contours of this painting are defined and some of the space is left at ease. Some of you might say the grass is greener in the foreground, with details drafted into focus, or perhaps you are drawn to look into the distance, where this painting is a light wash and consider the sight further away to be a greener value.

Do you prefer the space in focus or out of focus? Manet led the way into impressionism with this picture. He was observed to be a headstrong individual, resistant to his teachers, he listened and learn from them, but when it came down to it, he painted what he wanted, disregarding the trend. This painting Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe (Lunch Time on the Grass) was totally out of the norm for its time in 1863. Closer to us in the space is where you can see he spent most of his energy, what you are looking at is a nude lady sitting casually, playing it cool and engaging us into the occasion with her direct confrontational stare. Another female is depicted on the lighter side enjoying the brook. The party is accompanied with two well groomed gentleman all enjoying some type of picnic. Some might say this painting is uncouth, indecent. The style doesn’t make sense and what classy lady sits nude with two gentleman? Others.. this captured lunch party is a great idea!

In the song; as Justin sings about love, Big Sean continues to run on with his solo:

Used to tell me sky’s the limit, now the sky’s is our point of view
Man now we stepping out like Whoa!
Camera’s point and shoot,
Ask me what’s my best side, I stand back and point at you
The one that I argue with, I feel like I need a new girl to be bother with,
But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side,
It’s green where you water it
So I know, we got issues baby true
But I’d rather work on this with you
Than go ahead and start with someone new
As long as you love me

Looking at Lunchtime on the Grass mimics a photograph before they had photographs; as if it were taken with an SLR mega pixel camera. Zooming into the picnic and capturing the depth of field, focusing on the side nearer to us and leaving the space towards the back slightly out of focus.

So Big Sean, he says that times aren’t always perfect but he’d rather nurture what he loves, than start over and dedicate his time to someone new.

Over the course of centuries our friends have had their own form of beauty, so of course we have ours. That is the order of things. All forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, contain an element of the eternal and an element of the transitory.

Without intention, this painting became a message of leadership and initiated a revolt against classical & formal art. Opening the doors to impressionism and allowing waves to flow into a future of free thinking imagination and masterpeices.

Design comes to life when you work it with passion. Manet opened the doors to allow freedom and imagination into the artistic world with this painting by going against the norm and taking initiative to feature odd characters and leave the background a little out of focus in a classical world. But what makes it so good is that opposing views bring love passion and intuition to the surface.

Energy is added to the visual language with triadic colors of yellow, green and blue. Order is created with a visual triangle

The best part of the picture is up to you. Is it greener in the foreground or the background? Which do you prefer? Do you prefer what is closest to you or in the distance?

Personally, I think it is nice to look at it as though the grass is greener in the space that is closer to us. Just like in life…. It is nicer to think that the grass is not greener on the other side but truly is greener in our closest circle, where nurture and give the most love.

But. Love is blind. It does not go green with envy. So I suppose when you are in love, the grass is green on both sides. 😁

Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art Through The Age, A Global History, Thirteenth Edition, Volume II. Boston, MA. Thomason Higher Education. 2009. Print.

Cahan, Claudia Lyn. Manet. New York. Avenues Books, . 1980. Book.

Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. New York. Barnes & Noble. 1994 Edition. Print.

Adler, Kathleen. Manet. Massachusetts. Salem House. 1986.  Print.

Ching, Frances D.K. Fourth Edition Architectural Graphics. New York. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2003. Print.

Justin Bieber Feat Big Sean. As Long As You Love Me. Darkchild, Andre Lindal, 2012. CD.


You might be curious how the song As Long As You Love Me and these timeless lyrics sound: For your viewing pleasure I invite you to watch Justin Bieber pop n’ lock his shoulders in this cinematic theatrical embedded music video:


Time Goes By

“In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!

– Poet. Rainier Maria Rilke

Tree’s start out small from a tiny seed and grow into these great strong ever powerful organic forces of life. They don’t rush for anyone, they grow slow and steady, knowing that they will make it to where they are meant to be in their own time. From afar, they are symmetrical, but the closer you get you can see with all of the intricate detail that one by one each branch and leaf is unique and beautiful. A tree is quiet and it is strong, it provides shade, oxygen, beauty in summer spring and fall and it also brings inner peace. Its presence of just being still reminds us that it is okay to take time to breathe and just be. And, it even dances in the wind.

The poster above is an advertisement designed in 1967. Mr. Louis Sudano, the owner and designer of the DYNAMITE DISCOTHEQUE in Brooklyn. The place was advertised as the world’s largest discotheque at the time. Illustrated by George Jay Rogers, the illustration grows, like something from nature, starting from the center and outward, like a root. It looks symmetrical from afar, but when you look closer you will see that there are small intricate organic shapes throughout. The message from the illustration narrates the groovy trip you’ll be stepping foot into when you enter this Dynamite Discotheque.

There was even a radio announcement, ‘Dynamite is Dy-na-mite! Located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn on 1830 Coney Island Avenue, near Avenue O Brooklyn.

During the late 60’s, ideas from eastern culture were growing infused with modern society. The club and the ad for Dynamite Discotheque evolved with this movement. Beatles member George Harrison’s interest in the Eastern culture had an enormous influence into the west, Harrison was “leading his band mates on a spiritual quest towards Eastern philosophy and finding inner peace, which greatly influenced their work during the later 1960s” (1).. Planting the influence of the Sitar from Ravi Shankar and Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi into their music, spreading Eastern Culture into modern and pop culture, rapidly carried over with the wind (aka. radio waves).

The poster is 16 ½” by 12 ½” in size. You can see the right and left side of the design are symmetrical figures with a little bit of freedom. Giving it a closer look, the border of the poster is filled with small organic shapes that fit together resembling henna design, an eastern tradition of temporary tatooing (4). The picture is lively, emotional and busy. With just enough flat space to keep you from getting dizzy

Using only black and white lets it be simple amongst all the crazy intricate details. Large bold black eye catching capital letters with serifs are hand drawn standing right above a flat portrait of a mysterious woman’s face. She has “…Eastern mystical (features) in stylized, flat graphic form” (3). The flat artistic features of her face resemble artwork similar to full frontal clarity style of the ancient Egyptian artwork. The illustrated facial features consist of almond shaped eyes, full lips and a distinct nose. Her necklace looks like jewelry inspired by eastern society. Her long, wild, tangled hair gives hints to Medusa, a character from Greek mythology. And in fact patrons of this nightclub state that in the entrance of this space they are welcomed with a giant rendering of the same ladies head, designed to portray Medusa, which indeed was Medusa. Painted in day glow colors glowing in the night, her hair spread throughout each exotic room of the club. It’s a wonder no one turned to stone. The night owls that came to visit this club were welcomed to enjoy the onion dome arches, yoga mats, a rubber room to bounce around, a juice bar cafe, and a room to dance in, carried by a tune from a musical band. Not to mention, the Brooklyn based band Alive and Kickin‘(5) took root in this club. This for sure sounds like a place where you can relax and just be.

The same artist that illustrated this poster also finished the walls of Dynamite Discotheque. The theme of the poster is consistent carried throughout the partitions of the night club. “The whole area is indescribably enhanced by luminous murals designed by by George J. Roger, tasteful renderings of Egyptian and Indian themes” (2). Following through the poster design, the woman’s portrait, surrounded on her left and right side with a bold black vertical organic stripe design that will lead you through to the lower letters whose purpose is to explain the reason of this poster, which is to invite party goeers in to the Dynamite Discotheque night club.

And with this eastern cultural movement we are left with awesome music, yoga, and a better understanding to be like a tree and let things be. To transfuse with nature and let nature take over sometimes.

And so, despite the stormy weather, the wind, and the snow, the branches and time goes by and leaves still flourish when they are supposed to. The tree makes it to where it is to be at the right time. You’ll see that we can be like that to if we just let things be.

I can go on and write the lyrics of the song ‘Let it Be’.  I think that we all need to pay a visit to Dynamite Discotheque, have a seat on a yoga mat with our juice from the juice bar and listen to the Beatles “Let it Be”, as time goes by and our rushes are carried away through the strands of Medusa’s hair blowing in the wind.

(This post is not complete yet. There are still works to be cited and visuals to be added. Please stay tuned.)





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1 Kozinn, Allan. “George Harrison, ‘quiet Beatle’ and lead guitarist, dies at 58.” New York Times (Late New York Edition) December 1, 2001: A1, A24

2 Gross, Aelx. “DYNAMITE DISCOTHEQUE.” THE east village OTHER

Aynsley, Jeremy, “A century of graphic design.” Great Britain: Octopus Publishing Group, 2001

4 Mirza, Zaynab. Mehndi Body Painting. London: Carlton Books Limited, 1998. Print.

5 Alive and Kickin’.  Tighter, Tighter. Roulette Records. Alive and Kicken. 1970. Record

6 The BEATLES. Let It Be.  Apple Records. Let It Be. 1970. Record