The weather and the Guggenheim Museum
Written on: Sun, 15 Nov 2009; 23:08
The two most interesting things that happened during the past two weeks are the weather, and the Guggenheim Museum, so I suppose those will be the things that this blog will be about! Both were completely against all expectations, were highly surprising and most of the time in a pretty good way too!

Rough sea Me in the storm To start with I think I should discuss the weather. It could not have been more changeable. Climate change, global warming, these terms have been used way too many times, but how else to explain this? In my previous blog I described the extremely warm weather, which really was not to be expected at the end of October. The week after that the temperature came down dramatically, it was raining cats and dogs (or as Clarita would explain it to Borjita: someones up there was crying very much!) and the wind was simply blowing us all away. Last week Sunday was the worst, and the government had even issued some sort of weather alarm for the whole of Northern Spain. In the morning it seemed as if it was impossible and plainly hideous to try and go outside to beat the storm, but towards the end of the afternoon the rain had stopped for a short while and I took my chances and went outside to look around. It was amazing to look out over the sea from the cliffs, although I did need to take care not to come to close to the edge as the wind would blow me off them. On the beach it was just as fantastic, with the wind in my face and those gigantic waves crashing onto the beach.

Good weather The rest of the week remained rainy, and I was very happy that my winter coat is wind- and waterproof. Finally I decided to buy gloves, as it seemed winter had truly arrived. Well, seems like I was wrong once again, as right now it feels like it's spring. Temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees during the day, often with the sun coming out, although it does rain once in a while. The wind has stayed, and it can be pretty spooky at night. During the night we often have thunderstorms as well, which is probably because of all these strange differences in temperature. Now I have to think way too hard every morning about whether I want to take my coat, or whether I'll just go outside in a shirt, or whether I'll take a sweater. It's kind of nice to have to think about it - especially after Singapore - but I had just put away all my summer clothes and my summer coat. Well, for what it's worth I can at least take the kids outside now in the afternoons and on Saturday. Running to the playground!

The Guggenheim Bilbao Puppy Now let's switch to the Guggenheim. There are several Guggenheim Museums in the world, of which the first and most famous is situated in New York. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao was set up - probably - because of a lack of money. The "Guggenheim Foundation" had a lot of art in its possession, but no spot to exhibit it. With an extra museum that would result in more money. The Basque government was prepared to pay for the costs of building the museum, which came up to US$100 million, so Bilbao was an attractive place for the Foundation. The building has been designed by Frank Gehry, and it very futuristic. The outside is a metallic colour, made of titanium and because of this it glimmers wonderfully in the sun. It should look like some sort of fish, or a school of fish, but I am not able to spot that. In front of the building you will find "Puppy", a giant dog made of flowers. Not entirely my taste, but very impressive!

TulipsAlexandra and I Richard Serra Alexandra and I went to the Guggenheim with mixed feelings. When you're in Bilbao, you have to go to the Guggenheim. You could see it as compulsory. Hence, it was on our list of "Things to do before we leave". However, abstract and modern art is not really my taste, and thus I wondered whether I would enjoy this visit. It turned out to be a real surprise! The first piece of art we encountered consisted of several tulips, 5 meters in length with the brightest colours. You could see yourself reflected in them, and we had the greatest amount of fun taking pictures. The Guggenheim is also well-known for its enormous gallery, which is 130 meters in length. It is filled with pieces of art made by one artist: Richard Serra. The art is massive, is made of some rusty metal and you can actually walk through it. There are several spirals where the metal sort of surrounds you and hangs over you, and when you walk through them you feel disoriented and even dizzy. Also there is a "snake" right in the middle, which exists of several twisting pieces of metal several times as high as a human being.

Vik Muniz There was an entire floor dedicated to Frank Lloyd Wright, an architect. He was the architect who designed the Guggenheim in New York, and many other buildings around the world. His work is very futuristic, and he works a lot with light. Architecture as art is not very abstract, and thus I found it strangely compelling. Buildings that were designed during the first half of the previous century, but that look like the buildings we see nowadays in futuristic movies. Apparently people at the time thought his designs a little too futuristic, as many of his designs were never actually built. A shame, because some of the buildings are truly beautiful! The top floor was filled with work from many different artists, of which two really attracted me: Vik Muniz and Glenn Ligon. The first makes some sort of a collage from a drawing that he has made on the basis of a photo of a child from the streets in Brazil, and from all sorts of rubbish that he collected just after Carnaval. Glenn Ligon's work is very difficult to explain without you having seen it, and so I will not try to. But if you ever get the chance I do think you should take a look at it. I thought it was very original and had a clear meaning.

GetxoSunset Back in Getxo I brought Alexandra home, after which I walked back home over the cliffs. The skies were beautiful once again! The wind was strong, but the temperature just right. There were many different kinds of clouds in the sky, and of course there was the sunset. Hereby a few photos. I am addicted to skies, so when it's possible I cannot stop myself from taking pictures of them.

For more pictures of my life, please look at my photo album.

Lots of love.


Prachtige foto's van de (wolken) luchten!
Written by Aart Houwink on Mon, 16 Nov 2009 at 08:52
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