Louvre, Abu Dhabi: Art Beyond

 “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” – Chuck Klosterman

There is much joy in finding yourself lost among works of expression. I have always loved art and consider myself an artist at heart, and my greatest dream is to visit Europe to see the great works of the masters for myself.

Paris is still a too far destination to consider, and I can say that I am lucky enough that the United Arab Emirates aim to bring in everything grand from all over the world to this side of the Gulf. I was excited that they have created their own Louvre here in Abu Dhabi.

The structure is an architectural piece itself, designed by Pritzer Price-winning architect Jean Nouvel, as inspired by the concept of a medina, the quarter of the Arab cities during the ancient times. The silvery dome is comprised of 7,850 stars of complex geometric pattern, and is a wonder to behold as the light hits it in a million ways.

I visited the museum during the first week of October, and the weather was just enough not to sweat all over. This is the first thing you’d have to consider when you live in the UAE. The museum is all fully air-conditioned, but you will best enjoy the dome around sunset when the beautiful golden rays hit the roof and the waters that surround the building, as it is placed by the sea.

There was not that much of a crowd yet, and it does add some allure to the museum. I do feel like there was so much space that needed to be filled with ancient wonders, and some of the displays were even closed, much to my disappointment. I was rather looking forward to seeing the painting of Vincent Van Gogh, but sadly that exhibition was closed and the nice attendant who comforted me said that they were bringing in new pieces by the end of the year. I made sad faces and begged them to show me the best ones they have so far.

The museum is divided into different sections per category. There was a mummy display for Egyptian artifacts, statues from ancient Greece and Rome, and pots and ceramics from Mid-Asia.  The main highlight, though, was the paintings.

Ancient Greece art on marble
Mother Scolding her Daughter (pun intended)
The Sarcophagus of Egyptian Princess Hanuttawy

I am, though, sorry to say that they do not have Salvator Mundi on display. The most expensive auctioned painting in the world (a whopping $450 million) was purchased at Christie’s for the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The rumored buyer was Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, an ally of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, gifted to the royal family of Abu Dhabi for the Louvre. It was in official talk to be displayed, but they have postponed it and no further announcement has been made.

It is never the Louvre without a work from Da Vinci, though, and like its counterpart in Paris, the star is a painting of a woman, entitled “La Belle Ferroniere,” with its alluring smile like Mona Lisa. I often wonder if Da Vinci has modeled them after one woman. I do hope they bring more of his art in.

“La Belle Ferroniere,” Leonardo da Vinci

There were also some prominent works on display:

“Madonna and Child,” Giovanni Bellini
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“Portrait of William Welby and His Wife Penelope playing Chess,” Francis Cotes
“Napoleon Crossing the Alps,” Jacques-Louis David
“Number 26 A, Black and White,” Jackson Pollock
“Portrait of a Woman,” Pablo Ruiz Picasso

It is quite an amazing experience to see things from the past, like somehow the pieces are a reminder of the beauty they once held, and of how they just increase their value over time. Louvre Abu Dhabi also has exciting events they host to encounter people to engage in the museum’s activities, like drawing week and multicultural performances.

I believe that over time, it will develop a culture of its own with the art in it finally at home. I am willing to visit it again next time and hope that they open the other galleries by then.

Tickets are priced at 60 AED per head for adults, while visitors between the ages of 13 and 22 can enter for 30 AED. It is located on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, open from 10am to 8pm from Saturdays to Wednesdays, and from 10am to 10pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and closed on Mondays. You may visit their website at https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/ for more details.

A Judgment of Character

The amazing thing about people is that time doesn’t really measure how much you know them.

It’s confusing to see people you’ve known for years to become a stranger to you.

Or someone you are with to somebody you used to know.

It’s crazy to witness an unmasking of a fear you never really know was there, a pride that was always in its slumbers. A sadness that you have never noticed even through the mirrors of the soul.

Or a laughter that was always behind a poker face. A laughter behind all the anger. Beauty under the darkness.

We cannot blame people for changing, because in most times, they never did change. It’s only about how they have chosen to reveal themselves to you, and how you have managed to unveil them.

Sometimes, it’s about who you are to them and they to you.

// hrh

Book Review: Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon

Jane Fallon made me fall in love with her works when I first read Getting Rid of Matthew. She has a funny, witty, yet classy writing style. It’s a shame really how it took me weeks to finish this one.

Strictly Between Us routes on the usual retelling of adultery- just with a different scene. I honestly have yet to find a book of Fallon’s that diverts from this topic. This always seem to be the plot for literally all her books, so on the first chapter when it was described, I didn’t even want to continue with it.

All the characters are also pretty much the same. The protagonist is a woman, may be successful but lacking in the romantic department, or is a struggling middle aged woman who moans about her lack of adventure. The women in these books are starting to be depressing.

There is nothing much to be said about the main character, Tamsin. I found her to be very plain and quite boring. I also think that she is unfair to her best friend Michelle and should have just told her the truth. It’s all lies and we all know that never gets anywhere.

My dear Jane, this is the fifth book of yours I’ve read. Please give me some new material. It’s rather a pity- I really admire you as a writer, but the stories are redundant and there’s nothing fresh about them anymore. I’ve always thought you write rather well on Getting Rid of Matthew, even with the third person point of view. I loved Helen even though she was a cow in the story. Let us connect with your characters more.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for stars

Sunshine Blogger Award

I was nominated by Mr. James A. Best of JAMES A. BEST- AUTHOR for the Sunshine Blogger Award. You may check his website at https://myplace3187.wordpress.com for interesting insights about life in general. Thank you, Mr. James!

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  2. List the Rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  3. Answer the 11 Questions the Blogger has asked you.
  4. Nominate 11 New Blogs to receive the award and notify them by comment on any of their posts.
  5. Ask the Nominees 11 New Questions.

JAMES A. BEST- AUTHOR ‘s question for me:

  1. Who is your favorite writer and why ? For novels it would be Rick Riordan because his books changed my life. I am also a fan of Robert Frost and his poetry. I try to stay clear of a writer in general as I do not want to reflect their writing style on my works.
  2. What is your dream occupation ? I wanted to be an astronaut or scientist when I was young. I think if given the chance, I still want to pursue it today.
  3. Who inspires you the most ? Myself and my dreams.
  4. What does happiness mean to you ? Happiness would be finding contentment and being able to be an instrument to others’ happiness as well.
  5. What genre of movies do you watch the most and why ? I watch anything that is interesting, but I especially love Romantic Comedies, Fantasy, Action, and Animated movies.
  6. Do you keep up with climate change events ? I do. I was involved with a lot of environmental activities when I was still studying. 
  7. Do you know who Greta Thunberg is ? Of course, who wouldn’t? She’s all over the news these days.
  8. Who is your favorite blogger ? I do not have a favorite as of the moment, but I fully support everyone on this community. I think it is a great way to share our ideas to each other. 
  9. What is your favorite cartoon character and why ? I love anything animated, but growing up I have always loved Mickey Mouse. I think he is the face of our childhood and being the face of Disney, reminds us of our early carefree years. 
  10. What is your number one fun activity ? Definitely reading. I am always looking for new things to read.
  11. Who is your top choice for the best musical act ? I do not watch enough musicals, unfortunately, to answer this question. 

My Questions To My Nominees:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is your best experience in life so far?
  3. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
  4. What’s your comfort food and why?
  5. What is your greatest fear?
  6. What inspires you?
  7. Who is your role model?
  8. If you could choose an imaginary place to live, where would it be and why?
  9. What are you favorite books?
  10. If you could have dinner with someone who is dead, who would it be and why?
  11. How do you spend you past time?

I nominate the following people for the award:

YBP- It’s All About Love

Jo An- Midnight Harmony

Susi Bocks- I Write Her

Ailish Sinclair- Aislish Sinclair

I await your answers! This is a great way to connect with the community, so feel free to get on with the gig.

Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

There are a lot of questions in my head right now, and I can assume you ask yourself the same. Why is life so ironic? Why is everything complicated?

Like for instance: If you ask someone about the color of the sky, they will intend to explain it in a most scientific way possible, pairing it with facts, because that is how it really works. But have you ever wondered why the answer just can’t be as simple as the way you answer a 2-yr-old kid and say, “God painted the sky blue on the 2nd day.”

Alas, my friend, the truth is that even though we know a lot about the world, we are still blinded by reality. There are things beyond what we see, and this is the reason why we blame fate and God for the happenings in our lives, for we have no assurance of anything even if we try to do everything. We are in a gamble, an endless battle, where the gifts or curses of the risks we take are only revealed in the end.

Even the wisest man cannot explain every secret to you, because some things are better left unsaid. Know why?

We cannot answer without questions. We cannot love without hate. We cannot find something without seeking. We cannot win without fighting. We cannot live without dying. Things work in Irony, as there is North with South, and East with West, Day with Night, Beginning with End.

So you see, my friend, I cannot explain anymore, because the mystery of life can only be unveiled by the ones who walk through it. I have seen it, but nothing is clear for me yet; as life still breathes in me, and I am taking this opportunity to seek for more.

Travel with me. Time is telling me to keep dreaming and reaching.

Love,

// hrh

When Should I Trust? Who Should I Trust?

When should I trust? Who should I trust?

Dear Friend,

In a battle, a warrior must guide his own back. There is no one to fully trust, because sometimes, exposing your vulnerability will only mean danger for you.

My friend, in a war where in you are left alone to fight for yourself and the rest of the world, you cannot help but seek for company, for someone who will fight alongside with you. As no man is an island, we are social in nature. We do not just exist, for we coexist with one another.

But why am I saying this?

I think I have to remind you that no one else can fully read your mind but yourself. You alone can understand you, you alone know you, and you alone can change you. Yes, some may have a glimpse of how you act, they may even judge you, but do they know the reason behind why you are such? Do they even care to find out? And if they do, do they understand what it feels like to be you?

I’m afraid they cannot, my friend, because they can never be you the same way you can never be them. We are born with similarities, but we are molded with differences. It is as of how all apples are apples but we taste them in various ways.

So I must say, that even though we are tied in a commitment, you cannot expect anyone to fight your battle for you. They have their own war to win, my friend, expecting much from them will only hurt you.

Love,

// hrh

Icarus and the Sun

I’ve tried to understand how our story went
and now I know
that our love is that of Icarus and the Sun
too blinding, too risky, too deadly-
it was meant to end as fast as it started.

I am the blinding Sun you’ve yearned for years
but you’ve forgotten you’re made of wax
so on the day you finally flew near me
you find yourself melting away slowly

Your promises
Your secrets
Your sincerity
At the end, you walk away like they’re nothing

As I have loved you more, you suffocate
because you become less day by day
While I burn brighter than anything else

I am the Sun
You are Icarus
No matter how much I hold on
I’ll just kill you.

And you have killed me, too
by telling me that those short days
meant nothing to you
and by letting me pretend
that we haven’t shared
a few days of passion
a few days of ecstasy

But on the days after you’ve left
I find myself no longer wishing to be with someone else
And I envy how you seem to be okay
better, even, without me
while I’m getting dimmer
and dimmer
until I fade eventually.

— for the Sun is meant to be alone // hrh

art by: Gabriel Picolo

Fallen Angel

Why are stories of angels
being cast away
were always about them falling in love?
of how they have gazed
upon a face
and felt their souls ache
longing for greater than what is above
Yet, even as they are damned
they would do everything
to protect and save their beloved

They say that being in heaven
is being home
maybe that is why
angels would rather
have their wings stripped off
and fall.

– So please don’t ask me
why I love you more
than I should. // hrh

Wear Your Scars Like an Armor

You have always been questioned about your scars. You would sometimes give a laugh for an answer, for you know that even without your words they already have assumed answers on their head. And they look at you with curious eyes, not knowing that you can see through them. You can see their judgments, you can see their disgust, you can see their pity. Then, while you are gone, they talk as if they know you when they don’t, and they stab you silently with the stained glasses of your trust that they had broken.

What they don’t know is that you’re a fighter. With your own blood you cleanse their wrongs by ignoring them and living the best of what you can have.

Continue reading Wear Your Scars Like an Armor