Too much noise for an espresso

They say that alcohol lubricates the conversation; i would say that coffee or tea do that job way better (you start sober and stay that way). I am coming from a tea (called chai and almost never mixed with milk) drinking country where even babies are given sweet tea beside their mother’s milk, but i can’t be ambivalent towards coffee in all its glorious variations, taken preferably in a Viennese coffeehouse or a French café.


Today’s blogs/internet forums are becoming like the coffeehouses of previous centuries where people got together and exchanged ideas, read, wrote and generally got inspired; to be alone yet surrounded by like minded people. My beloved Stephen Zweig or Gustave Klimt have been ardent patrons of coffeehouses. The slow “coffeehouse death” of 1950’s has been reversed rapidly, of all entities, by Seattle’s Starbucks & other American coffee companies who went on a rampage with their idiotic “grande/venti/tall” shouts! I take mine “chez Peet” (the guru of everyone in gourmet coffee revolution). Too much noise for a small coffee… What’s missing is the true conversation; how can you have one when you are busy slurping your pumpkin spice frappuccino (770 calories)? Ok, so I am not proud of my decaf soy latte neither (they say decaf is the devil’s blend!)


I am very happy that this poster of mine got published. It should hit the sites like,, etc…by the end of September.

Lady in Green

I’ve always loved these ladies! I have fun playing with their images. They’ve been called torchères (torchieres), lampposts and some pretty banal names but I think that they deserve to be called by a “grander” name like “the green Lucinas” (Lucina: she who brings children into the light). I’ve photographed them several times (they are the best models, they never move). Their color changes from bronze green to dark jade passing by some moss and celadon.


The Paris opera house is not hosting any operas; it is now mainly used for ballet performances. Carrier-Belleuse, an old friend of Charles Garnier, the architect of this great theater, contributed the elaborate torcheres that hold the candelabra illuminating the grand staircase and the lampposts outside the opera house.


“Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings. Robert Burns


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

Musical DNA, experiments in musical intelligence

I am in love with my iPod. One fabulous podcast i listened to last week brought tears to my eyes and inspired me to make this image.

musical, intelligence, DNA, binary, computer, bassist
musical, DNA, intelligence, binary, radiolab, bassist

the radio program was the one about the “Musical DNA” from WNYC’s Radiolab. David Cope , a composer and professor at UCSC, talks about how a computer program he wrote, can imitate the musical DNA of great artists; “His program, named EMI (Experiments in Musical Intelligence – pronounced Emmy), deconstructs the works of great composers, finding patterns within their compositions, and then creates brand new compositions.” Imagine some undiscovered pieces from Mahler or the Almighty Bach…Life can be amazing. We have worshiped dead musicians for ever, can we admire their ghosts’ music now?


I love this picture of Gary Oldman playing a near deaf Beethoven in Immortal Beloved. I often wonder how different his music would have been were he not deaf…

I just discovered this great image from Paul Louis Villani, a photographer and digital artist, i met on redbubble.

music, sheet, score, notes classical, hand

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.

Life is a Bowl of Cherries

plumb cherries preferably in a martini glass, by the pool, summer breeze, a good book, beautiful music, the sun that sets, the small happiness of waiting for some good friends to share your dinner with, exhilarating conversations, good memories recalled, watching life unwind in front of your eyes.



i believe that happiness comes in small packets (quanta); the background noise of our every day routine is broken by these modest moments of simple pleasures.


“I will plant my hands in the garden
I will grow I know I know I know
and swallows will lay eggs
in the hollow of my ink-stained hands.

I shall wear
a pair of twin cherries as earrings
and I shall put dahlia petals on my finger-nails”

another birth” by Forough Farrokhzad

Je planterai mes mains dans le jardin
Je pousserai, je le sais, je le sais, je le sais…
Et les hirondelles pondront
Dans le creux violac