Art Institute of Chicago: David Hockney

David Hockney moved to Normandy at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. He painted outdoors, on his iPad, from February till July, capturing the changing landscape and the arrival of spring.

The exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Arrival of Spring, shows big prints of his work and two videos with animations.

We visited with my daughter Inés that likes to draw with Procreate. She enjoyed it and noticed some details that escaped my eye.

My favorites were the animations at the entrance of the exhibit. One was a blossoming tree and another a landscape with rain. The rain one really captures Normandy in Spring and the purple color of the path seemed very “Hockney” to me.

I didn’t like that you couldn’t take pictures inside. I didn’t understand why. Maybe it is a way to make you buy the book of the exhibition. Anyways, if you want to check what the exhibition looks like, you can take a peek on this video.

On the way out we stopped to look at a beautiful buddha in meditation from the Chola period.

For more Chola beauty, The Art Institute of Chicago just published this talk where Vidya Dehejia discusses her book, The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855–1280.

Other Random Things I Liked

Halloween with good weather. Much better than taking the kids trick or treat under the snow.

A recipe made song

Stuart Semple back with his quest to free the colors. “Very Kapoorish squares”.

My new green Full Focus planner.

The 5th book in The Murderbot series: Network Effect.


The Met: Chroma

The exhibition shows reconstructions of ancient greek and roman sculptures in color.

My mind kept coming to the restoration of the Ecce Homo. Probably not a fair comparison, there is a lot of research behind the exhibition and maybe it was just the strangeness of it.

One of the reconstructions was a side of a sarcophagus, the colors make the details stand out but not necessarily in a good way. The colors look so rudimentary compared to the intricacy of the sculpture. It made me think of the story of the Golden Buddha.

Some statues were reconstructed with a different technique. They were realistic, and a bit disturbing.

There were some questionable fashion choices

And a portrait of Caligula that my kids confused with Mark Zuckerberg.

I enjoyed the exhibition. It was playful and made you question assumptions and look at things from a different perspective. The polychromatic research is also interesting.

The botch restoration of the Ecce Homo gave a new life to the village in Spain (or so they say). If the technicolor statues bring more people to the museum, that’s not a bad thing.

This is just my personal opinion, go see for yourself. Chroma is open till March 23rd, 2023.

Other Random Things I liked

The book Papyrus: the invention of books in the ancient world by Irene Vallejo. This is a great book, well written, well researched, and so refreshing to read non-fiction in Spanish. I highly recommend it.

A simple recipe for frozen broccoli.

High Speed Wit beer with cheese curds at Café Hollander

The Lake House movie with Keanu Reeves. Ok, this is very cheesy but it has Chicago, Keanu, and references to Jane Austen.

For the over-controller


Art Institute of Chicago: Cezanne

It was a full career retrospective with paintings from multiple museums and private collections. I can’t imaging the work needed to curate the exhibition (It was a four year project).

It was grouped by subjects instead of chronologically: portraits, still lifes, landscapes. You could see the evolution of the artist, common subjects, patterns.

There were paintings, watercolors, sketches, sketch books, watercolor palettes, reviews from other artists, insights about his process.

It was beautiful.

It has now moved from The Art Institute of Chicago to the Tate Modern in London, if you have the chance to go see it (until march 2023).

If you want to know more, from people that know what they are talking about, you can listen to this lecture from the museum co-curators.

Other Things I Liked

Pumpkin muffins with white chocolate chip cookies from The Joy of Cooking cookbook.

The movie The Greatest Beer Run Ever and the real story it is based on.

The music video from the latest song of the Arctic Monkeys, video directed by Brook Linder

A website from the Getty museum that takes you to ancient Persia (shared by @ritap)


July in Spain. Part 2: Saldaña

We spent time with my mom, brother and nephew. We visited La Olmeda Roman Villa, with one of the most important mosaics of the Roman world that is still really well preserved. We ate my mom’s delicious food, we ate “cecina” at El bodegón, had a lovely lunch at Cantina Sofia, went up the hill to the ruins of the medieval castle, did some shopping at the weekly market, visited the Roman market (that somehow had fairies?), and visited ‘La virgen del Valle‘ .

Other random things I liked

Overnight French toast for school days breakfast

The dad’s existential crisis in Moominpapa at the sea

Watching Kleo to practise German

The view from Lapham Peak Observation Tower


July in Spain. Part 1: Aguilas

I really enjoyed going to the coves around Aguilas in Murcia. They don’t have easy access and many were empty. We found some French cars around, maybe the area is featured in one of those Guides du Routard.

I also liked going for runs at 9pm, it was still hot. I love the long days of summer.

Other Random Things I Liked

The Full Focus Planer.

The Murderbot Diaries series and Moominvalley in November.

This fruit galette recipe.

A fountain pen I bought in Muji for $16.