Africa exasperates me

It seems like I’ve been back to Los Angeles for ages but it’s been only a mere week. Paris faded fast in my memory thanks to a nasty stomach flu I caught after a great dinner of oysters and choucroute at Maison d’ Alsace with my friends; there is a gastro epidemic in Europe and for the second year in a row, I fell victim to it.

kenya ben curtis time magazine

There’s been so much to think/talk about – from the chaos in Kenya to the phenomenon of the Kenyan’s son and his new Kennedy friends but I’ve been sick and tired. To look at the African problems in a fresh way I suggest looking for Caroline Elkins’ view about the possible source of these African tribes’ sudden violent behavior towards each other. In general, a lack of vision and rampant corruption is the hallmark of African leadership. Needless to say that after the Super Bowl it’s the Super Tuesday that occupies the mind of America and not Kenya…


Giacometti – a post from Montparnasse

Ok people, brace yourselves – this is going to be an image heavy post! I will take you through a couple of days in Paris – the way I like it: hitting the streets early in the morning to catch the blue hour of this great city; Montparnasse is a very busy neighborhood at 8:30 am.

montparnasse early morning 1

This was my first time witnessing the changing of the ads:

montparnasse advertising

I walked to a favorite café that reminds me of my twenties, La Rotonde.

la rotonde

I don’t like them anymore (remember the whipped cream out of a can?) but nostalgia and Balzac take me to them every year.

balzac rodin rotonde

the cafés are changing in Paris – here is the old generation Select and the trendy Lotus.

select montparnasse

cafe lotus montparnasse

Of course anything that remotely reminds me of Los Angeles while I am in Europe is not welcome so this kind of restaurant/café just makes me wince but the worst offender is Starbucks and its paper cups.

starbucks in paris

I bought a pariscope from this news stand,

news stand montparnasse

and had a coffee while looking for the hottest exhibition in Paris.

pariscope montparnasse

I decided to see Giacometti in Centre Pompidou .It was never my intention to paint only with gray. But in the course of my work I have eliminated one color after another, and what has remained is gray, gray, gray!

giacometti man

What a great show it was – complete with the artist being filmed while painting and sculpting.

giacometti hands

His drawings (included some fabulous small notebooks), paintings and sculptures made a large window into the soul of this great creature…

giacometti square man

giacometti woman

Even though I am not a big fan of the Centre Pompidou, I have to admit that the view is breathtaking…

paris roof eiffel

I visited the Maillol museum a couple of days before this and liked its architecture as much as the collections:

maillol stairs

Maillol is very different in his style from Rodin – they were good friends.

maillol bronze

The picture bellow shows the plaster versions of the bronze sculptures above.

maillol plaster

On a more colorful note, living in Los Angeles, I am deprived of pretty store windows – abundant in New York, Paris and London.

fornasertti paris

I am ending this post with two images of my loyal laptop that’s getting very old but gets the job done.

mac cafe paris

tulips mac shokoufeh

Café crème or Petite Arvine, a good post I hope.

I met Arcimboldo and some Germans in Paris

I am sitting in this cute café which happens to have wifi! The world is changing and Paris with it.

cafe du metro michele roohani paris

I’ve been very busy since I am here; three interesting exhibitions in 2 days: Arcimboldo has never been so complete as in this exhibition in the Luxembourg museum.

michele roohani arcimboldo luxembourg

A way more somber show was Germany, the black years at the Maillol museum. Otto Dix, Beckmann and Grosz were the most impressing but i have to admit that the German propaganda posters with Hitler’s name on them were the most striking/chilling to me.

michele roohani german war poster 11

This one can give you nightmares:

michele roohani war poster german

this next one takes me back to all of my dear Professor Ungvari’s battlefields (Somme, etc…)

michele roohani somme

of course Paris can erase these nightmares with a winter sunshine after the rain.

michele roohani pont des arts