HE DID IT!

After a nail biting contest which had watchers on the edge of their seats, Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas gave it everything he had to win the ATP Championship over Austrian Dominic Thiem.

 

The two, who apparently are good friends off court, were evenly matched and equally determined. They fought point by point to the bitter end. Stefanos finally prevailed, in my opinion by not allowing himself to become as frustrated at faults and set backs as his opponent and holding his nerve all the way. Be that as it may, it was very high quality tennis, and commentators were saying tennis is safe with such players following in the footsteps  of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal.

Tsitsipas is the first player from Greece to win the tournament and the youngest champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001. Not bad for a 21 year old!

 

Dreams can come true


Last night, Greek tennis whiz kid Stefanos Tsitsipas managed to beat his hero, Roger Federer, in the ATP semifinal, thus reaching the biggest final of his career.

 

On the tennis.com site last night a headline blared:

NEARLY UNBREAKABLE: TERRIFIC TSITSIPAS TAKES OUT FEDERER AT ATP FINALS

The Greek saved 11 of the 12 break points he faced to win the first semifinal at the season finale in London.

I posted about Stefanos Tsitsipas before here. Yesterday he overpowered his all-time hero Roger Federer, 6-3, 6-4, at the Nitto ATP Finals in London. The 17-year age gap between Tsitsipas (21) and Federer (38) was the largest in tournament history.

The day before, Tsitsipas had played a taxing match in a grueling three-set loss to Rafael Nadal. But he overcame his weariness and any nerves at realizing the whole stadium was rooting for Federer. At the end he was all smiles and disbelief that he could even find himself in such a position. In his own words: « I’m really proud that I managed to save so many break points today. I was trying not to give an easy time to Roger. Playing him is the biggest honor that I can have. Today’s victory is probably one of my best matches of this season. These are the moments I always wait for and want to prove the best out of my game.”

Some days before, he hadn’t even be sure he’d qualify for the event, and found out in public. See below:

 

Tonight he faces world no 5 Dominic Thiem in the final. Best of luck to him. 🍀🍀🍀🇬🇷

 

Photos: Getty Images

Greek cops can sing


Here’s a little news story that brought a smile to our faces today, amid all the depressing articles about the economy, the refugee situation, Brexit, the wars going on everywhere and the usual spate of crimes: A young policeman in uniform in the Monastiraki quarter of Athens joined a busker playing guitar in the street, taking the microphone and belting out ‘Stand by me,’ – in English – to the delight of passers by. The video of his performance has gone viral.

See below:

 

Disclaimer: I didn’t mean that ALL Greek cops can sing, nor was I suggesting they take music lessons in working hours!

 

More about Yayoi Kusama

Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. I’ve already done two posts about her (here and here) , because I find both her art and her personality fascinating. Despite now being ninety years old and living in a psychiatric facility, Yayoi Kusama is more prolific than ever. According to the New York Times, the show openings of the ‘Japanese mastermind of obsessively dotted paintings, hallucinatory pumpkins and sometimes blandly decorative installations, have become the art world’s equivalent of Star Wars premieres.’

 

Yayoi Kusama infinity room at Zwirner Gallery, New York
Yayoi Kusama infinity room. Photo: from David Zwirner Gallery

 

Her new exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York is entitled ‘Every day I pray for love,’ and features one of her famous infinity rooms, a mirrored chamber filled with reflective steel orbs. The exhibition is free, but the public will have to wait for hours in line, and can expect to stay in the infinity room for a minute at most.

You can read an article about it on Artnet News (here)

For the Paris art fair FIAC 2019 in October, Kusama also had one her spotty pumpkins set at the Place de Vendôme. This was a gigantic, 10m high inflatable structure covered in black dots.

 

Mark Bradford’s CERBERUS paintings

Last, but not least, of my London outings, was the stunning exhibition of Mark Bradford’s work at the Hauser and Wirth Gallery.

 

 

Los Angeles artist Bradford is known for his large, grid-like paintings which combine paint with collage.

 

Photo: Wikipedia

 

The paintings have to be seen up close to be fully appreciated. He uses a complicated process of layering: the fabric of each painting is formed from strata of pigmented paper which are scored, lacerated and stripped away, along with lengths of rope which are stretched or coiled, sometimes painted over and sometimes ripped out to leave ruts in the surface of the work. See detail below.

 

 

Bradford worked as a hairdresser (his mother owned a beauty salon) and only went to study at the California Institute of the Arts in 1991 at the age of 30.
Throughout his career, he has collected ‘merchant posters’ which are printed sheets posted in neighborhoods, advertising services such as cheap transitional housing, foreclosure prevention, food assistance, debt relief, wigs, jobs, DNA-derived paternity testing, gun shows and quick cash, as well as legal advice for immigrants, child custody and divorce.

 

 

Bradford transforms the materials he scavenges from the street into wall-size collages and installations; he is inspired by subjects as diverse as civil riots, migrant communities, abandoned public spaces and, in this instance, mythology.

 

 

The exhibition is entitled Cerberus, a reference to the many headed dog guarding the entryway to Hades. It is a metaphor representing the ‘in-between’, places difficult and fissured. As he says himself, Cerberus is an “ambivalent character. Is he keeping people out or is he keeping people in?”

 

 

I’ve been fascinated by Bradford’s work for a while – the only other artist I know who uses texture to such effect is Anselm Kiefer. But I’ve seen Kiefer’s work live before – this was the first time I’ve been close to a Bradford painting. I was blown away by their sheer size and presence.

 

SAL #4 ~ Portsea Cliff

I’m useless at sewing and embroidery , so I thought I’d give everyone a peep of Anne Lawson’s beautiful work. Just look at those colors!

Anne Lawson Art

I am a little late in getting this post out, but I have just picked up my computer.

I did a very silly thing. A friend supposedly sent me a message, via Messenger, about a video I was in. I am usually very wary about clicking links and I am far more likely to delete a message/email/link than click on it. The message didn’t seem my friend’s style, and I couldn’t image that she would have a video I would be in, but instead of the warning bells going off, I thought “Oh well, let’s see what it is”. Click!

Of course, her Facebook account had been hacked and the message sent to everyone. So, caution finally kicked in, and I took my laptop to the computer shop…just to be safe. Everything is okay. Phew! I am a couple of days older, much wiser and far more cautious, and a…

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My Inktober 2019

Being busy and, on some days, totally uninspired, my output for Inktober this year contained a lot of gap days and turned out to be a mishmash of different styles. I admire people who either followed all the prompts in a uniform way, thus creating a series, or didn’t but still kept to a personal theme (see my last post). However, nothing about this challenge is an obligation, and I still managed to have fun and experiment a little along the way. See below.

One interior, done in red ink:

 

 

A little urban sketching, looking out of a London hotel window:

 

 

Some kiddy stuff:

 

 

 

Autumn inspiration, my annual drawing of oak leaves. I added watercolor:

 

 

On the same theme, but trying out some new inks:

 

 

Playing about with ink on Yupo paper, which is shiny and and slippery, making things uncontrollable:

 

 

And, because I find being silly is good for the soul, I sprinkled in some limericks along the way:

 

 

There was a young woman from York

Who sat down to tea with a stork.

When he started to eat

With his very long beak

She said, Could you please use your fork!

 

Sometimes I did follow the prompts.

 

Day 28 prompt – RIDE:

A beautiful girl in an open car

Was sure she was going to be a star

A crusty old geezer

Who wanted to please her

Had told her he knew she was going far

 

Day 25 prompt – TASTY:

Let them eat cake!’ The Queen cries

‘It is tasty and wholesome besides.’

But the folk in the street

Have nothing to eat

So they riot for sausage and fries.

 

Day 12 prompt – DRAGON

 

Day 27 prompt – COAT:

 

 

Day 6 prompt – HUSKY:

 


Well, that’s all, folks! On to the next project.