Golden Ratio, Divine Proportion and other pretty things


The golden ratio has fascinated the great mathematical minds for ages but it came to sit on millions of people’s bed table thanks to the Da Vinci Code. The book manages to remain cartoonish even when describing the “holy Phi” and the Fibonacci series but Dan Brown’s for another day, another post.


In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of those quantities and the larger one is the same as the ratio between the larger one and the smaller. The golden ratio is approximately 1.6180339887.


The romantics see the Phi in everything beautiful like the solar system, the plants, the human body, music, the DNA and architecture; I designed my first Golden Rectangle when I first learned graphic art years ago (above) – I made the one below last night; I believe that the nautilus seashells are the most exquisite examples of the divine proportion.

golden _proportion_section_divine_composition_butterflies_rose_red_shoes_phi

Just watched the movie Pi; pretty interesting.

Time, Poetry and Einstein

I am obsessed with Time; not only I have a weakness for wrist watches, I have several clocks around my house. Only when I am traveling (especially in france where Time is an elastic commodity) the passage of time becomes kind of blurred but I’ve never had any desire to go back nor forth in Time; the whole notion of a Time Machine has never appealed to me (not even to my trekkie side). Entropy rules supreme!


Aragon, one of my favorite french poets, has written his most beautiful piece about Time so have many other luminaries. “Newton, forgive me…” said Einstein who wrote his most beautiful piece about the same subject…


“Je vais te dire un grand secret Le temps c’est toi
Le temps est femme Il a
Besoin qu’on le courtise et qu’on s’asseye
A ses pieds le temps comme une robe à défaire
Le temps comme une chevelure sans fin
Un miroir que le souffle embue et désembue
Le temps c’est toi qui dors à l’aube où je m’éveille…
Louis Aragon

calvario’s time

I love this piece by Diana Calvario, my new friend at redbubble.

Red Tango, Blue Tango

I thought I’ve lost most of my buenos aires pictures; what a gorgeous city, what beautiful music, beautiful people…


“El Tango es un pensamiento triste que hasta se puede bailar” – The Tango is a sad thought that you can dance. (Enrique Santos Discépolo)


Be it the sound of the Gotan Project or the great Astor Piazzola, this dance and this music have enchanted millions of people all over the world especially my good friends Andr� (the maestro) and Mitra (the pupil) who share the same birthday on monday, september 3rd.


Red Lipp

Brasserie Lipp in Paris remains very popular in spite of overpriced mediocre food being served under its roof; the history that goes with it, makes it a favorite among the average tourists, the jet set crowd and the Parisians themselves.


“It is a very poor consolation to be told that the man who has given one a bad dinner, or poor wine, is irreproachable in private life. Even the cardinal virtues cannot atone for half-cold entr

Turner in Venice

i’ve been to Venice, Italy some years ago but i think that i would probably not go back to this beautiful but over-crowded city for a while – as usual i like it better when it’s empty of the unwashed masses. Venice has been home to the great Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto (cinquecento Venice) and Casanova…


i was moved by Venice and its 120 islands on the Adriatic sea but i loved it most at 5:30 in the morning. after years i still like these pictures i took one foggy morning when everybody was asleep.


“I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, a palace and prison on each hand” Lord Byron


i never particularly liked Turner – i didn’t know him much and i found it exasperating that 10 of his paintings were hung side by side in a museum in london (all yellow seas) – it all changed the day that i bought (in 2004) a book called Turner and Venice. i was humbled by the beauty of his paintings (all blue skies) and sketches. i’ve been watching Simon Schama‘s “Power of Art” on pbs and he talks about Turner in one of the eight episodes (among other giants like Picasso, Rembrandt, David and Rothko).




i would love to go back to Venice one day when it snows and everybody else is at Disneyland.

Vivaldi: one concerto and 500 variations of it…

they say: “While Beethoven wrote seven concertos, Brahms four and Bach, Haydn, Handel and Mozart at most a few dozen, Vivaldi wrote over 500 (and more are being uncovered each year)! When you’re that prolific, some recycling and lapsing into formula is inevitable.” the funnier version would be that Vivaldi didn’t write hundreds of concerti but only one concerto hundreds of times! i fell in love with Baroque violin virtuoso, Giuliano Carmignola, a few years back; it was astonishing to hear Vivaldi’s over-exposed, over-played (ad nauseam) “Four Seasons” in a different way: the presto of summer has never been this fast combined with some feverish allegro sections.



listen to some of his music, or even better watch the short video clip – he’s amazing; Carmignola has mostly played with the Venice Baroque Orchestra using their period-instruments which makes the performance sound the way that the old Venetian, Vivaldi, would have imagined, composed and conducted it…

unfortunately, the above images are not mine – i tried to catch his southern california concert a couple of years ago but he stood us up! got sick on the plane from Venice or got scared of our governor.

Et in Arcadia ego, Memento Mori, fragile cargo

Glass has always fascinated me – they call Antoine Leperlier, an unclassifiable artist, a glass sculptor.I  was transfixed by the unusual works of art by Leperlier in Musée nationale de ceramique.


He’s using old text and adages like “et in Arcadia ego” to emphasize his take on time and human history. interrupted movements in glass like pictures taken on high speed film. frozen poetry.


“chaos” has a special place in Leperlier’s work; “continual struggle between permanence and flux, cosmos and chaos, being and nothingness”…



the only other artist that i know in this caliber would be the great Dale Chihuly.