Blow Me Away

  Kids all live in California.  For now anyway.  Closest pattern in years by far so we decided to visit.  Spent two days with each, drove up coast for two, and rode train home for two.  It was fun.

  Beautiful thing above is the work of youngest daughter.  It’s a bit of found art in a way.  She’s an assistant winemaker in Sonoma and that image is – believe it or not – the result of a test (chromatograph) assessing the degree to which a certain type (malolactic) of fermentation has progressed in this year’s chardonnay. 

  The winemaker drops a few drops onto the paper and then holds it upright to allow for capillary action.  The resulting patterns and distribution of color convey the necessary information.  At the appropriate point a sample is taken to  their lab and analyzed for enzymatic malic acid.  It is this aspect of the chardonnay’s chemistry that can create a ‘buttery’ sensation.    Daughter is responsible for this and the rest of Petroni oenological midwifery while boss is in New Zealand for a month.

  The above is a digital representation of the design for the 2K Sports Corporate Offices in San Francisco courtesy of son/Section V Media.  He and partner/friend from grad school set up shop in Hollywood and dang if they aren’t making a go of it in these incredibly difficult economic conditions.   Speaking as an SOB (son of the boss),  I’m impressed.

  Firm offers a range of design services and has left tracks from coast to coast.  Spaces from Madison Square Garden to UCLA stadium have been graced with the fruits of their labors.  Nike, Simon Malls, Williams Sonoma, Diet Pepsi, and more have had their missions furthered therewith.  You see him above atop Runyon Canyon, the trail for which begins paces from their office.

  Photo above is of the grave of Cesar Chavez  on the grounds of the Foundation commemorating his life and work.  Chavez launched the United Farm Workers for which oldest daughter is a lawyer.  (She can’t call herself a lawyer there because she’s not yet taken the California bar.  But she’s admitted in Maine and Massachusetts and I’m her dad and can call her anything I want).

   She speaks fluent Spanish and enjoys the opportunity to use it in that demanding environment in which accuracy is crucial and picking up on inflection can make a difference. The skill is but one of a considerable set held together by an incredible sense of compassion.  She and her neat (space industry start-up) husband live on a farm off the grid.  Long way from Middlesex St in London or Manhattan’s lower east side.  Below you see her working on their windmill.

  As I’ve said before*, trains are a great way to travel.  The intimacy thus engendered is of a sort all its own and as you can see below, I thus again found myself the subject of my artist wife.  Paraphrasing Giacometti’s last surviving model’s description of the sitting experience: “I think her gaze travelled elsewhere, beyond the person in front of her.  So much so that when she was working on a sketch of me, I had the impression that she was in fact searching for my skeleton”.**  Or even deeper…

  Giacometti’s wife also sat for him and was his most ardent supporter.  “They had a highly poetic outlook on life.  I can’t explain it, [their marriage] was something that broke all the conventional rules.  Sculpture was a mediator between husband and wife, it both united them and highlighted their differences.”

  Yup.  Blow me away.

*cf post 1/31/09

**The Art Newspaper April 2011 p48

3 Responses to “Blow Me Away”

  1. wife Says:

    You are a force to reckon with ??? Our children are carrying out your love for adventure, life, intellectural stimulation and hope for the future. You are a great traveling companion. When are we going again?

  2. andrew Says:

    yeah when are you coming again!?!

  3. Abigail Gierke Says:

    yeah!!! this post was awesome! Can’t wait to visit Andrew (and hopefully Ti and Nathan) soon!

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