We went to the Villa Medici just north of the top of the Spanish Steps for a morning of fresh air and sun. I am working on constructing scaffolding in my drawings to try and improve elements of scale and proportion, two things I still struggle with in the field.
I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve gotten nose deep into a good old fashioned plan drawing…This is for our upcoming review on Monday, looking at how to get water from the Tiber to the Mausoleum of Augustus – I’ll post the boards next week.
I went to “Il Girasole”, the Sunflower, by Luigi Moretti this weekend in Parioli as subject for a formal analysis paper due this Friday. This building is mentioned in critical works by Robert Venturi and Peter Eisenman as a work of proto-postmodernism, anticipating trends in the separation of facade from volume, traditional elements deployed non-traditionally, etc. The plan, which I’ve drawn above, is mesmerizing in its ambiguity. Deep open spaces receive sunlight, structure separates from skin and the building achieves an unsettling anonymity in context. I’ll post the final paper this weekend.
I haven’t been feeling well this week so I have been slowing down on the drawings. This one felt a little forced. Hopefully this weekend I can play catch up. This morning was our Borromini vs. Bernini walking tour, which carried us through an incredible sequence of chiese, palazzi and piazze. More on studio work and drawings to come.
Portico di Ottavia in the Ghetto is under restoration efforts, and probably will be for a few years/forever. I find the parasitic tracery of the scaffold beautifully complimentary to the forms of the decaying antique. I am excited about how the very solid and very ephemeral might come together in my own work.
The Ghetto was especially breathtaking today.
This sketch was inspired by our trip to Naples. It had a perpetual back-alley feel, that a lot of us found confusing but extremely provocative. I like the nuances of residual space, and this city was ripe with irrational nooks and a general messiness that only millions of people crammed together can create.
Off to the MAXXI.
I have a confession to make: I am addicted to a lecture series I downloaded called ‘Religious Archaeology’, and have been letting it influence me while I draw for class and for leisure. The series takes listeners through various archaeological discoveries of ancient ruins, rituals, and sacred landscapes of past civilizations. The topics often include things like megalithic stones, geomancers, druids and oracle bones. It’s wildly captivating and has me imbuing all of my sketches with a degree of formal mystery and notions of discovery.
This particular sketch is of an ancient rodent turned into a stone temple: his lower jaw a gate; his face a canopy that cantilevers forth from the rock; his horns antennae from which planetary bodies orbit. What the hell, right?
I have an exciting independent drawing project coming up that accounts for half our semester’s grade in drawing class. I have drafted a program and am waiting for approval – more news to come.