28 June 2024

Curvy is cool

Elliptical bliss! This screenshot came from the NYT months ago and with my apologies to the photographer, whom I don't credit here. It's from an Art Book Fair in Paris if I remember correctly.

But let's be honest, doesn't it look so French!  I cannot add to it, it's just really cool, and so far outside of linear thinking.

The image of the curved table below was also clipped off from somewhere,,,, but alas, I don't remember from where. I'm a huge fan of screenshots and use them all over the place, but because I am so poorly-organised they jitterbug higgledy-piggledy at their own leisure across my laptop and are hard to find when I need them them. What can one do? I do remember though, that it was from an article about Dining Solutions, and I think it was about Mexico. 

Basically, I'm finally at a pretty satisfied place in my life. Today I live in a glorified industrial shed, outfitted like a home but a shed no less. It's funky and crowded with too many paintings but it's home, my own. One thing that makes it really warm is the old wooden floor I built into it, and so it has a graceful feeling to it too. And because I built every bit of it with help from different 'tradies' as they are affectionally called here in Australia. I know every square millimetre of the house.

But I'm here, and today I'm happy because my preference is to "want what I have" in my life instead of always "having what I want". At my age I'm no longer a collector of anything. And yet when I saw this curvy table, I kind of melted and thought to myself; "How very cool". So, despite the fact that I have few dinner parties here in Australia I know that one day I'll have a table like this, made for me.

But honestly, the secret truth is that a successful and intimate dinner has only to do with the host and the guests, not the table nor even the food. Many will no doubt disagree with me, but a great dinner can be made on a cheap metal table, a few cans of sardines, a salad, some wine and sparkling water with some good bread (and cheese). But what is absolutely essential is to be surrounded by pretty cool people who have good values, a great sense of humour, and a deep cultural curiosity about everything in life. What a table to be nestled into with such a crowd! 

And really, who doesn't love the curve? Isn't it just Nature's way of making us all smile?

And anyway, curves are everywhere, from Diego Velázquez to Zaha Hadid's magnificent London Aquatic Center designed for the 2012 Olympics.

But in truth, I was never a curvy or a cool kind of guy. I have always revered the crisp honesty of the square and rectangle, a manmade abstraction ripe for making paintings. But to be honest, I've always been a vertical square! OK, a rectangle maybe because I'm on the tall side. And I'll admit that for most of my life, I've been a really uptight guy who needed control, something to hang onto, anything to kill that insecurity that's lived deep in the depths of me like a jelly fish. But if there is one thing that cannot be controlled it's the cool curve, and like Life, it goes where it wants to. 

But I've always been suspicious of the curve for another reason; Too many ugly and sentimental things have been fashioned from it since the beginning of time.

I've hated the copy-cat mentality of trying to imitate Nature's squirrelly designs out in the architectural and commercial worlds. Tree trunk lamps, (!) for instance, make me quite nauseous. But it's also the Steiner-inspired homes that have galvanised hippies the world over to recreate these awful, awkward shaped dwellings that I find equally dreadful. Honestly, if I wanted to live like a hobbit I would just go to New Zealand. Face it, I'm just a square.


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