Parts of a Whole

Photography: Luigi Ghirri | Napoli, 1980

Photography: Luigi Ghirri | Napoli, 1980

I have always been drawn to parts of a whole, in both sculptural art and photography. I like it because of its selective beauty, despite the fact that often times it may have been a direct result of loss or ruin.

Someone once told me that I needed to take a good look at myself as a result of this appreciation I held for these sculptural delights. That perhaps I was drawn to these pieces because I was lacking something within myself. I began to wonder whether this went beyond the aesthetic harmony of structure and form and that perhaps intrinsically I was drawn to these pieces because that is how I viewed myself in relation to the world. Deep. I know.

After some thought I realized that he had missed the mark on this one, at least in relation to me. I revel in the beauty of what remains, in the strength and power that these pieces still exude. Sometimes focusing on the part can bring greater understanding to the whole, and truth to its form. Nothing is perfect, and beauty itself is a variable. I admire how these parts that were once complete but now apart, stand as a whole on their own. There is great metaphor there in relation to life, don't you think?

Mystery aside, admiring parts of a whole may not be reflective of ones personal life, but instead could be a contemplative appreciation of history, life, movement, beauty, and strength. In my opinion it is not about lacking of the self but about the unity and understanding of humanity.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Do you also find this type of art intriguing? Tell me. -tM

Now and Then

Photography: Unknown

Some day's I really miss smoking.

I miss the beauty of the unpredictable patterns the smoke creates, the crackle and burn of the tobacco.  Its scent has become a living reminder of moments celebrated, moments lost, and the growing pains of my youth.

I miss the first inhale and exhale, the weight of the cigarette between my fingers and the caress of the filter against my lips. It was a secret romance, nothing short of a wild passionate love affair, until it wasn't.

In private, and on occasion I wish I could go back. -tM

The Next Level

Photography: Unknown | A simple, beautiful, and utilitarian way to display such treasures.

I have always found that simplicity in architecture, design, make-up, fashion, food, and in thought is hard to do well, especially when you want it to be beautiful and functional.

Leonardo da Vinci once said that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." This is easier said then done in our North American culture where more is more, and consumption is king. There is no room for less in our society.  We need to fill our lives up with stuff so that the stuff in our lives can take the place of our lives.

As I grow older, simplicities of all kinds, especially thought, has become remarkably important to me. Eliminating the unnecessary in order to give the necessary room to speak. These days I really appreciate Steve Job's point of view on the whole process of simplification: "Simple can be harder then complex:  You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it is worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."

My conscious internal shift is also reflected in the design of my home, the clothes I choose to wear, as well as in the rest of my aesthetics. The external is reflective of the internal and vice versa. It helps to keep me in balance and on the path I believe to be right for me.

How about you? Is less is more your personal philosophy or do you abide by the there can never be enough of this good stuff kind of rule? -tM

 

 

 

Intimacy

Photography: tM

Getting up close and personal opens up the possibility for an intimate look at the intricacies that make up the whole.

The process can be both magnificently beautiful and fantastically ugly. The duality of life is as such, and you will find it in every living and glorious thing.

It takes courage to stare life in the face, taking steps toward it, rather then away from it.

Lately I have been getting intimately acquainted with myself.  In my opinion there is no better place to start. -tM

Narrative Depth

Photography: Helmut Newton | Nice, 1984

I can relate to this photograph on many levels. Helmut Newton's photography is less polished, he is always leaving room for imperfection. The gap between the camera and the subject takes on a sense of reality even if it is an alternate reality, as he has removed the glossy barrier of the voyeuristic experience. As an observer we can place ourselves in the very idea of that moment.

I love the notion of freedom and nostalgia that this photograph conveys to me. There is a letting go that perhaps doesn't happen on a daily basis, the detail and contrasts of her neck, adorned in layers of pearls juxtaposed with her semi-nude figure, accentuate that concept even more so.

There is something great and understated about this piece. I think we could all learn a thing or two about letting go of the idealized perfections of life in order to allow the lessons and the joys of the imperfections the opportunity to prosper. It is within that space that life is allowed to truly grow and progress.

And yes, I got all of this from a photograph. -tM

Walking on Sunshine

Photography: Olivia Malone

I chase the sun. Even as a child I would take all my clothes off and frolic in the kid sized pool on our balcony. My three best summer friends were the water, popsicles, and my sun chair in which I would lay completely bare, with the exception of my green sunglasses, and let the sun touch every part of my little body.

Something's never change, except now I take care to SPF my face, hands, and chest, and that is it, so as not to wrinkle and age prematurely. The rest of the body needs to be able to soak in  the vitamin D (Did you know SPF prevents that from happening?). So these days I am happy to be walking in the sunshine.

What is your approach to the sun? Do you avoid it entirely, run after its rays, or do you meet its light in the ampleness of the shade? -tM

New Heights

Photography: Condé Nast Traveller

Sometimes even though you are physically sitting in the same place, perspectives and points of views change, you don't need to be sitting a top of an elephant to experience a new outlook.

Then there are other times where you could be sitting a top of a mountain having hiked it all on your own and nothing at all has changed. I thank G_d that I have had the where with all and intelligence to learn from most of my obstacles, mistakes,  and experiences given to me in this life. They have continually cleared paths for me, universally, spiritually, and mindfully.

And despite the rough terrain from time to time, there have been many people that I have met and will continue to meet on my journey that have made this life and its lessons that much more beautiful. -tM

p.s. most of my life changing moments and shifts in perspective have happened right here, in my living room.

Urban Fonts

Photography: tM

I have always appreciated fonts, whether it be of signage, graffiti, packaging, electronic typeface, I am drawn to all. Truthfully, there have been times where I have avoided a store entirely based on font and signage, restaurants as well, and then there are other times that I have been charmed into entering a location due to a thoughtful choice of signage font.

Fonts aid in our visual connection to words, and sometimes in the idea of a person, especially through font choice on a resume. There is an entire documentary on just that and the power of the Helvetica font.

Old signage used to take more care in such choices. I miss that care. Much like our fashion market everything is starting to look the same, as these mass chains, stores, and restaurant's saturate our urban landscape. That is why I pay extra attention when travelling, especially while in Europe, their signage and many shops still belong to small business owners and prove to be beautifully unique.

So when I saw this wall standing before me I was reminded of all the possibilities a writing style has of changing the way one feels about so many things, actually. It is emotive, and it can essentially turn us on or off. Sometimes it really is just as simple and as complicated as that. -tM

 

Crossing Jungle Paths

Artist: Christie Lau | Replicator I

Social networks and plant species trying to conquer the literal jungle and mental zoo of our social constructs. That is what this piece is looking to bridge.

I bought this piece several years ago with some money left for me for my wedding day by my adoptive grandmother who had passed over 20 years ago. It reminded me of her jungle garden I used to play in as a chubby legged child.  Every time I pause to admire it, I am reminded of how her strength, grace, and survival, as an immigrant in this strange and foreign landscape of ours. This piece reinforces her beautifully wild existence, and how her love made me stronger. Even though the artist's statement about this piece reads as is below, and is important to note, the beauty of this piece lays in the sentiment of the gift left behind and for her fiercely inspiring life. -tM

Artist's Statement:

This series deals with the parallels between ideas travelling through social networks and plant-species conquering the jungle. Just as plants compete for soil and sun, ideas compete for mental energy. Humans allow fads to bloom, exhaust their mental energy and then wither. Some revolutionary ideas can survive in the most inhospitable conditions. These families creep, sew, poison and strangle their more docile rivals seeking to expand their territory. Profound in purpose and elegant in rendering, Lau’s “Replicator” works unite humanity with their humblest biological roots.

 

Motivating Force

Photography: Sri Lanka | Tom Parker

"We are all equal before a wave." Laird Hamilton

None of us are born into social equality with equal or ample opportunities, being born a human is respectfully all that we have in common really, even that very understood fact is questionable depending on what you were born into. The world is full of hierarchical inequalities. Those are our social constructs. But no matter how hard the system tries to separate us from one another in spirit, mind, and in physicality, mother nature is still collectively and jointly binding us together.

Perhaps we can take solace in the very significant fact that we are all equal before a wave, a blizzard, or the heat of a desert; nature takes no prisoners. None at all. -tM

 

Inner Engineering

It is all about inner engineering, working on ourselves from within. Working through the difficult, understanding how our mind and body work, respecting there limitations and there strengths. Once you begin the work, truly begin the work, there is no turning back. For how could you? Once you know what is waiting for you and the amazing possibilities that are within your grasp and reach, your perception of life has changed.

Life is full of possibilities, anyone who tells you otherwise has not been doing any or their own work. -tM

Kicking It

Photography: Homer Sykes | Britain in the 1970's-80's

TGIF. That is all I can say. This week has been a tough one for me. I will be carving out my little piece of heaven this weekend in a similar fashion. These two have the right idea. Any place is a good place to let go as long as you are of the right mindset.

Happy Friday folks! -tM

It's about Growth

It is important to step outside your point of view once in a while in order to grow, open yourself up to new possibilities, and to understand where others are coming from.

Challenge yourself today and see how often you are open, truly open to hearing another's point of view without the voices in your head shutting it down.

Let me know how it goes. -tM