Something to Get Excited About!

If you live in the Bay Area, you are sooooo lucky: on Sept 21 the Anderson Collection opens at Stanford University, in its own new building.  Over 50 years the Anderson family--dad Hunk, mom Moo, daughter Putter--have built one of the most amazing art collections IN THE WORLD.
Plan to go see it at Stanford, soon.

My dear friend Lea Feinstein has written an inspiring story of the family's journey collecting art:
click here for Lea's Art Ltd. Magazine article

Here's my FAVORITE part:
Hunk says "We didn't know it couldn't be done so we just went ahead and did it."
"People helped us, and we learned. We educated our eyes," says Moo.

The Andersons went from knowing literally zippo, from buying stuff they later ditched, to amassing one of the greatest collections of all time.  Along the way they became close friends with artists, professors, dealers. They kept LEARNING. They kept honing their eyeballs. They kept having fun--their passion and pleasure are evident all over this collection.
So what's holding you back?!
Dive in, learn as much as you can. Buy stuff. If you decide later it doesn't suit you, move on & try some more!

In college I had the huge pleasure of visiting the Anderson's home. They were pals with my professors and always generous about sharing their art to educate other people. (They've been giving back on this score from the beginning.) As a designer, I especially want you to see images of their art at home, wonderfully shot by Adrian Gaut.  The house is a low slung rancher, not an obvious choice to contain a vast collection of modern art. But the house came first, and over time the Andersons made it work, beautifully.
Their home illustrates that it doesn't matter where you live, what your walls, light, space are like.
If you keep at what you really love, it can work.  Beautifully.
Wowza. So much amazing work in this shot of Entry Hall. Note how many SCULPTURES they've fit so nicely.  Yet you can see around them even close to a wall! Sculptures l to r by Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Saul Baizerman.
I love the traditional Chippendale-style chairs with the very large painting by Clyfford Still. The MIX of traditional & modern gives each so much more life, a mix that many Europeans do soooo well. 
I remember well this skinny hallway packed with large scale masters, like Ellsworth Kelly on near left.
The painting by Robert Motherwell has NOTHING to do with the fabrics--and isn't that fabulous!
I could sure look at this Jackson Pollock every night over dinner. I bet they let guests sit on the side facing his painting. Again note that wonderful mix of traditional furniture and modern art, so yin-yang.

Fannie's Picks from Burning Man

(There are a lotta pictures in this post, be patient for the load, you'll enjoy them...)

Here's why Burning Man is a truly fabulous art festival: the art runs the gamut from great to just plain silly; and because one of the 10 principles of BM is to provide a safe place for "radical self-expression," judgment is left at home.

So what happens is this: you really & truly experience the art: you interact with it, you play with it, you climb it, you strike its pose, you sit in its shade, you are awed by its beauty, size, sadness, humor. You meditate inside it. You are inspired to propose marriage in front of it. You put your deceased father's shoes in it & release your angst as the piece burns up. You sift through ashes the next day and contemplate the meaning of time and living in the moment.
This is the joy of art at its absolute best.

Burning Man is whatever experience you want to have (with a fair amount of dust on top). Yes there is drinking, partying, techno music, and of course nudity (after all, it is really hot in the desert). There is also a classical symphony. This year a gorgeous Olympic skater performed a tribute to a friend at a roller rink. An opera singer broke out in an aria for a group of burners sheltering inside a piece of art while a dust storm raged outside.

You simply can't categorize 65,000 people having their own adventure in the desert.
Same goes for the art: all shapes, sizes, and experiences.
I just loved it.
The art, the art cars ("mutant vehicles"), the camps--all a feast for the eyes and senses.

Qualifier: Although I was at Burning Man for many glorious days, I missed so many pieces of art.  The SCALE of the place is mindblowingly VAST, both the art space and the "city" itself. I'm offering up a FEW images of pieces I was able to seek out or to stumble upon (literally--the dust can blow pretty hard).

"Embrace" by Matt Schultz & the Pier Group. Definitely a highlight for me & for many others. An amazing work of engineering as well as art: there were stairs up into both heads, a series of decorated rooms, and a huge heart sculpture in each. I was sorry it was one of the many artworks that was burned.

My favorite time to be out was just before & after sunrise, enjoying beautiful light, a calm on the desert. And watching the last of the party crowd straggle home to their tents.
Why does the Man need a prostate exam if he's going to be burned anyway??
Another of my favorites: Peter Hudson & team's "Eternal Return." The entire sculpture spins when several viewers row on the erg machines attached at the base. At night, a strobe light gives the effect of a single gymnast executing a glorious flip over a bar, as the strobe shines on the spinning gold figures. Quite breathtaking. 
Mark Lottar's Pear Cloud was very fun at night.
This was a wonderful cardboard construction & provided a nice shade spot (even sleeping bench, see feet).
Even these bike racks were beautifully designed.

Yep, a fair amount of that out on the Playa.
Evening view onto the Playa through the eye of "Embrace."

Artwork on walls inside "Embrace."

The 2 Beating Hearts inside "Embrace." These were removed just before the burn and  preserved.

Early morning burn of "Embrace."

"Embrace" site day after its burn.
Most Burners get around on bikes...
...not everyone though.
The Temple of Grace was extraordinary -- an intricate, lace, ephemeral structure that held thousands of remembrances by the end of the week just before its burn.

Visitors left messages, images, all sorts of momentos to mark a loss, passing, or release.

This lady made (appropriate) comments depending on where you touched her as you received your Free Hug.

"Add a stick, make art." Not impressive art, but good random participation.

On my way to the Lingere Party with Burner pals.
A bit of gender bending does go on.

Some of the Art Cars, or Mutant Vehicles, are fantastic works of art themselves. There are a few hundred cruising the Playa day and night.

"El Pulpo Mecanico" --another of my favorites. Especially at night when fire jets out of the tips of his arms.

Note the comfy seats this dragon holds in his claws.
Even Porta Potties get artful attention.

We entered the "city" just at sunrise, pretty glorious timing (after driving all night and 4.5hr wait in line).
The bacchanal for the Man's burn gets under way.

I can't wait to go back.