blog > 2011 > October

Who Are You Transitioning Into? by Misha Lyuve

Oct 31, 2011

Our lives are in transition. Always. If nothing else, we are transitioning into getting a day older. We also transition constantly within relationships with our people, responsibilities of our jobs, our points of views, our tastes and wants. Our “I”, that for some perplexing reason, seems so impermeably set – is just a transitional state. For that reason, more interesting than your “I” in the moment, is always where you are heading and who you are transitioning into.

This Saturday in the Catskills started as a regular end-of-October fall day – with crisp in the air, more browns then greens and reds then previous weeks in the forests and grays in the skies. Suddenly, hard droplets of snow started jumping off the window shield as I moved on the road and in the next few hours I ended up fully immersed in a winter landscape: the road, trees and houses were covered in white, what it seemed like forever.

Some transitions are just like that. It was fall before noon and winter after. One moment your head is blank, next it’s blooming with an idea. One moment your heart void empty, next it sings in love. One moment your mind is running 100 miles an hour, next one it is still. Or the other way around.

One moment you’re healthy, next you’re sick. One moment you’re a son, next you’re an orphan. One moment you’re alive, next you’re dead. Or the other way around.

And there I was, still not letting go of the summer on a chilly fall day that abruptly took me into the winter. There might be no bigger joke than how human minds work.

Who are you transitioning into? What transition are you resisting?

New York Still Life by Misha Lyuve

Oct 30, 2011

To every thing there is a season and a time by Misha Lyuve

Oct 21, 2011

To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; a time to rend and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.

from Ecclesiastes, Bible

Graceful Transitions: Steve Jobs and Autumn in Catskills by Misha Lyuve

Oct 17, 2011

A wise man knows when to play hard and when to step down. I say – good for you, Steve Jobs, even in death you kept to a high design standard.

For a tree this wisdom is innate. You can witness it in every transition of seasons, but most profoundly in the fall, because it much resembles preparation for dying. Trees don’t get sad, on the contrary, they enter one of their most productive and festive periods. This is the season when apples are in abundance. This is the time when every leaf has an opportunity to dress up into the autumn glam before her last journey. This is also the time when the foliage gives itself fully to essential processes that will allow the next generation to arrive in the spring.

I don’t own an iPhone, iPad nor Mac. But I watched Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stamford. I do not have as much vision and talent as this man; you might or likely might not – but this is not a competition. In his speech he spoke of not living someone else’s life and having the courage to follow one’s heart and intuition. That is available to each and everyone.

Every year in October I venture to Catskill mountains for a breath of the astounding aroma of the fall. Before each my hike there is always a thought to just stay in, not take a gamble with the weather and autumn mud. This time around it was no different. But guess what waited for me on the top of the mountain? – a rainbow, as big as I’ve ever seen. One thing was clear: if I skipped the hike I would’ve missed the rainbow and wouldn’t have even known that I missed it. Most of life consists of such small choices and actions.

And as for Steve Job – don’t grieve the end of life you admire, better get busy doing something about your life if it doesn’t inspire you


Also read:
- What If There Were No Spring

Nakedness: Lucian Freud @ Metropolitan Museum of Art by Misha Lyuve

Oct 8, 2011

If you want to hang out in a room full of naked people, the Lucian Freud’s exhibition at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is a very special opportunity to do that (it runs through December 31, 2011). In fact, I suggest that this time around you skip Roman sculptures and Asian decorative art as well as other rooms in the Modern Art section – go straight to Kimmelman gallery and allow yourself to fully immerse into the rich world of Freud’s paintings.     

Lucian Freud's Exhibition @ Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Lucian Freud's Exhibition @ Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

We live in the world where body image is a cause of emotional distress and psychological disorder, and an image of a body as a symbol of sex has become the strongest marketing weapon. The concern for how we look is now on a critical path of our pursuit of happiness. It is engraved into youngsters with clearly defined standards of pretty and ugly, acceptable and not. It has a flavor of despair, shame and guilt.     

And all that is a great reason to come and visit with Lucian Freud – he will challenge your points of view and have you questioning. What bodies do you consider beautiful? What do you think about your own body? Does nudity have to be sexual? Is it shameful? His paintings will confront stereotypes that have been passed on to you and the ones you developed throughout your life. What do you find repulsive? What are your thoughts when you see a body of an old person? What are your judgments of fat bodies?     

There is a good chance that after seeing this exhibition you will come out a better person.     

Naked Man Back View, by Lucian Freud at Met Museum, New York

Image credits: Lucian Freud (British, 1922-2011). Naked Man, Back View, 1991-92. Oil on canvas 72-1/4 x 54-1/8 inches (183.5 x 137.5 cm.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1993 (1993.71) © The Estate of Lucian Freud

Also read:
- Two Deaths in London
- Aging Fools

The Man Behind Rubin Museum of Art by Misha Lyuve

Oct 4, 2011

Dedicated to the 7th birthday of Rubin Museum of Art    

Rubin Museum of Art, New York

Rubin Museum of Art, New York


This story is about a man who took Barney’s NY, a swanky department store in central Manhattan (on W17th st and 7th Ave), and converted it into an art sanctuary, the Rubin Museum.
Donald Rubin was no lover of art and no rich man when he and his wife Shelley saw a painting of White Tara (female Buddha) in an art gallery on Madison Avenue. In fact, at that time Donald could hardly point to Himalayas on a map and knew almost nothing about Buddhism. But as I learned in my interview with Donald, in order to appreciate art, the less you know the better – as it is not a function of intellect, but of heart, like falling in love. That first purchase became the beginning of a life-long love affair and a very passionate one, I would say.       

White Tara

White Tara, Donald and Shelley Rubin, private collection


Three decades later, now a successful entrepreneur, Donald and his wife Shelley accumulated a substantial collection of Himalayan art. Probably most of us can somehow relate to the idea of starting a business – but a museum? In Donald’s words, it’s no different: it requires the same vision, taking a chance, confidence, money and – I would add – a burning desire to share, in other words, generosity. After all not many buildings got as lucky as the old Barney’s store; most of them followed a predictable fate of being converted to condominiums.       

As I was sitting in front of Donald, I saw a gentle humble storyteller. And as we discussed his endeavors – whether it is his passion for Cuban art or sponsoring  the creation of a guide on how to build an earthquake resistant house or his effort on improving the living conditions of Indian road-builders in Bhutan – I was moved and grateful that people like this exist.       

Two things I learned from Donald Rubin:       

About art: Art is the soul of mankind. A soul doesn’t require a resume. There is nothing to know about art, but only to feel and experience it.       

About life: Don’t be afraid of falling. Fell down? – wash your hands and feet, punch your cheeks and keep going.      

Donald and Shelley Rubin in Tibet, 2002

Donald and Shelley Rubin in Tibet, 2002