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Masterpieces by Misha Lyuve

Oct 7, 2012

Have you wondered about this?: People who work in the museums – the guards, or maybe to be more precise the “watchers” – they pace from room to room, corner to corner looking from side to side, wall to wall so that naughty visitors don’t get too close to a work of art, touch it with their soiled hands, project invasive flashes of their cameras or trip over it.

Cleveland Museum of Art

Few weeks back when I visited Cleveland Museum of Art, I paid as much attention to its rich eclectic collection as to the guards in the museum rooms. They seemed especially focused on doing their job and at the end I couldn’t help but to chat with one of them. The lady said that some paintings talk to her more than others and once in a while she notices something she hadn’t seen before. She even took art history classes to get a better understanding of art.

Look, she is trying. Can you imagine spending day-in and day-out with masterpieces? How fast would you get bored in their silent company? In spite of all our efforts, human consciousness has a capacity to sink even Picassos and Van Goghs into a grey mass of dullness.

And who really cares about Picassos and Van Goghs? In the galleries of our lives we are “stuck” with priceless collections of different type of work: from our loved ones who we take for granted to places where we live – the beauty of which we often hardly even see. If we don’t notice things, they just pass by.

As for how paintings feel about hanging in the museums, I couldn’t say it better than Regina Spektor in “All the Rowboats.” I wonder whether any of the masterpieces in your life want to row away also.

Writing from C.S. Lewis by Misha Lyuve

Sep 13, 2012

In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.” - C.S. Lewis

I Love You by Misha Lyuve

Feb 12, 2012

Ricardo Bofill – a naked dialogue by Katja Vitskaja

Jul 2, 2011
Katja Vitskaja is an art historian that lives in Belarus. She is fond of art, travelling and is currently focused on the impact of music and sounds in creative projects.

“To be an architect means to understand space… and to decipher the spontaneous movements and behavior of people.” -Ricardo Bofill

I went to Barcelona knowing almost nothing about one of the greatest (as I understand it now) architects of the modern era – Ricardo Bofill.

Teatre Nacional de Catalunya perfectly illustrates his words: the space around the building and the building itself anticipate and respond to visitors’ feelings. I was really impressed by the clarity of the structure; it creates an impression that it doesn’t have anything to hide, like an actor that bears his soul in front of the audience.

Racardo Bofill, Teatre Nactional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Espana

Racardo Bofill, Teatre Nactional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Espana

What amazed me the most is that the Theatre grounds themselves create a complete work of art. I saw it divided into 3 parts as a play. The first one is a mysterious olive tree garden, like a prologue, that helps visitors to get into the mood (as spectators spend time in the garden before the play). The building itself is the second part where the action takes place, like the play itself.

And the third part, the space between the garden and the theater, is like an epilogue, reminding that feeling of exhaustion after a deep emotional experience that spectators usually have after a performance.

Racardo Bofill, Teatre Nactional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Espana

I personally had a feeling that ghosts of Ancient Greeks were walking through the Theatre and sitting in the shadows of olive trees with me. I am not so sure whether ghosts exist, but I have no doubt that Bofill’s creation brings out a recognizable atmosphere of peace, where different cultures and epochs are united in one space.

Maybe this building impressed me the most, because it felt like I had a dialogue with it, like love at first sight. Have you had a conversation with a building?

Ricardo Bofill, Teatre Nacional de Catalunya

Alexander McQueen: savage and beauty by Misha Lyuve

Jun 2, 2011
My Alexander McQueen suit took me on a journey (see When art gets personal)


Alexander McQueen

“There is no way back now. I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed before possible” -Alexander McQueen

Fashion had resonated to me more with commercialism, vanity and superficiality than with art – till I saw Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beuaty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gallerly? Theater? Catwalk? — all of it and none. Music, lighting, set up of the rooms, McQueen’s quoatations created an intense medium to experience his creativity, passion, drama, angels and demons, and allowed to immerse into his intensity. Faceless static manequens were such better carriers of art than flickering models; they gave time to experience, to process, to feel.

So here is McQueen: a son of a cab driver, described by othersbeer gut, shaved head, bad teeth and thick glottal cockney accent“, “foul-mouthed“, “hooligan“, “shy“; described by himself “I just want to be a wallflower. Nondescript. Just not anything. I don’t want to see me.” And that person created all this???

And suddenly I felt that maybe I am just getting a glimpse of how it was to be this man; when there is so much vision inside and such a huge gap with the outside — how intense that might feel? And the two ways out — death and madness — become reasonable and tangible. 

I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when I’m dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.“ 

I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when I’m dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.“ 

It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time.”

“It is the end of a cycle — everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.”

When art gets personal by Misha Lyuve

May 19, 2011

There is nothing as effective in taking a career of an already successful artist to the next level as a sudden death or a suicide. One’s label can get selected for design of a royal wedding dress or get an exhibition in Metropolitan Museum of Art or even draw enough attention of a fool like me to buy their suit.

Yes, I own an Alexander McQueen’s suit.

We know art as something behind protective screens, shielded from daylight and flashlights of cameras or thoroughly wrapped from the touch of dirty fingers of movers.

But just because something can be worn every day, has to be adjusted to fit my size, and carries stains of my morning coffee, does it have to lose qualification of art? In fact, one thing is to have an experience in a museum or even see a painting hanging on the wall at home, but another to put an object on, having it envelope your body and touch your skin.

Is it the reason that I inadvertently avoid wearing my very artfully crafted suit, so that I don’t feel the weight of the dead body over my shoulders?

Has art got that personal with you?

Wisdom, a Bhutan inpired poem by Misha Lyuve

Jan 8, 2011


Of many men of many days
Just two are subject of this song,
They live their lives in different way,
But let’s not judge who’s right, who’s wrong.
            The first one had most stubborn eyes,
           If there’s a mount he came across,
           He had to reach up to its highs
           Regardless rain or fog or frost. 
                      And if a sparkle of a fear
                      Hid in a corner of his heart
                      He fought for it to disappear
                      For he and fear lived apart.
 The second man had gentle hands,
He’d stare for hours at a rose
And sing her love and magic chants
That at a moonlight he’d compose.
           And at the ocean’s yellow sands
           When sun would open sleepy eyes
           He’d greet it with a morning dance
           And watch its beauty slowly rise. 
                      If chance brought these two to one place,
                      They wouldn’t catch each other’s sight;
                      One would stroll up with rapid pace,
                      While other’s dreaming in sunlight. 
This not-so-accidental miss
Is not a problem whatsoever.
This story has a subtle twist
These two are one man however. 
           When first one tests the strength of will
           The second’s heart is pierced by sword;
           When latter sits at river still
           The first one is so deadly bored.
                      What’s wisdom? It’s an art of knowing
                      Which rose to love, which mount to climb,
                      Each inner world, expressed and growing,
                      To have its peace, its place, its time.