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Posts from the ‘Rome’ Category

Staring in Venice

November 9th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

So we just got back from Italy on Tuesday. These are some pictures of Cannaregio– the neighborhood we stayed in Venice–shots of vistas and treatments that you just want to keep staring at so you take a picture and move on. It’s beautiful in it’s rhythm and order; and I would describe it as surreal, but I’m not entirely sure what I mean by that. It is floating and melting and then flooded with colors and details that I thought if I were a decorative painter I would die to get right.

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Sorry Dear Reader Subscribers

December 29th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

if you received multiple postings. Read the last one and delete the others. Ciao..CiaoCiao!

Revised Notes on Design, Chinese Drywall & Photos of an Embroidered & Appliqued Textile

December 29th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

Midwest USA Circa 1920. Textile of various fabrics; cottons & wools embroidered and appliqued depicting a pastoral setting. 45 x 25. Exceptional condition. $7500 @ Just Folk, Summerland, CA.

In Rome I stayed with a group of friends in an apartment in the oldest part of the city. The terrace off my bedroom had a view of the Roman Forum. The setting that Plutarch reported Caesar saying, “Casca, you villain, what are you doing?”

In Rome on Gay Street (everyone has a gay street these days) near the Colosseum we met a nice Roman who had for a year worked in Orlando. His job was being, The Italian. We compared notes. I told him that once when I worked for Disney somebody at a design meeting said, “Why go to Europe when it’s easier to go to Florida?” We laughed and he reported that a well meaning Mid-Western lady once asked him, “do you have March in Italy?” We laughed and I thought, “I’m so embarrassed for the US right now.”

In Los Angeles we all seem to want to live in Disneyland. This, I thought, while at The Grove last Saturday evening slightly horrified by the synchronized timing of the fountains to a sentimental song. Memories of Las Vegas.

My Rome trip reinforced an idea of a need for a movement of localized design. (The sparse “indigenous style” architecture of L.A. not always having it’s there there). Mnemonics have always been of interest to Angelenos. Abbot Kinney wanted Venice in California, but most people do not relate it to the original because later it develops into something else.

As Americans we are more interested in an outward viewing. We use, “I got it at IKEA!” as a superlative. We buy things Made in China to fill up our spaces and give us the illusion of having wealth. We want things to look good because at this point almost no one is going to look at the mark on the bottom of the plate. Made in China fills a demand and then we blame–Google Chinese Drywall. Made in China is not the problem. We are the problem. If we wanted different things; different things would be made.


December 12th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

Our flight to Rome was canceled and we were rerouted through Madrid. It turned out to be the perfect stop over. My associations of airports is of the expansive monotony of O’Hara in the early 90’s– or later of the orange arrows pointing a circuitous path from the terminals at Midway to the El train. Memories that are slapdash and confined.

The terminal at the Madrid Barajas took me by surprise. It was all so simple and precise. Designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers, it was completed in 2004 out of steel, bamboo glass. The bright yellow steel structure creates a expansive repetition of waves: visual movement that leaves the mind orderly. Skylights along with reflective up lights are controlled and pleasant.

There are many shops to wander in and out of while waiting for your connecting flight. However the Spanish do to not like you to take photos of their merchandise. Twice I was told no photos with disparaging looks from attractive shop keeps who should have been in Almod√≥var movies. See the green Pumas. The shoes would have made my feet more comfortable in Rome but buying clothing out of type on vacation leads to disappointment. We think, “I am going to be a completely new person!” and then you arrive back home and mostly are not.