A New Year…once again


I’m easily distracted by new ideas and the desire to make something new. But I spread myself too much like butter on hot bread…I’m everywhere but without structure.

So this year’s resolution, like last year’s, is to declutter my list of Things I Want To Do and focus on just two main projects.


With the above, I just wanted to bookmark an idea without elaboration. But sometimes articulating ideas on paper helps to keep one focused. My two main projects for 2019:

  1. Muy Marcottage.  When I started this blog more than 15 tears ago, the focus was on the environment and the motto was Make Art, Not Trash. These years of bricolage led to making new clothes with the clothes I had already. My version of sustainable fashion is called Muy Marcottage and documented HERE.
  2. The Age of Reconfiguration. This year I turned 65 and entered The Last Chance Years. That huge ocean of time that stood in front of me years ago has gradually evaporated. Time for procrastination has finished but with the realization that the me of today is not that of 20 or even 10 years ago. For example, once I was able to do five things in one day whereas now I often need five days to do one thing. To affront this new reality, I’ve started a DIY Reconfiguration Manuel with text and drawings.

Cool Breeze, the age of reconfiguration

page from Reconfiguration Manual




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November 24

Alchemical Door.

Alcehmical Door, Roome

On the Esquiline hill near Piazza Vittoria are the remains of the villa built by the marquis Palombara. Of interest is the Alchemical Door, a magic portal. One night the the alchemist Giustiniano Bono, disguised as a pilgrim, spent the night in the villa. While everyone was sleeping, he searched the garden looking for a herb with the Midas’ Touch. He was last seen going through the Alchemical Door. Near the door flakes of gold were found as well as a paper full of mysterious writings and symbols. The marquis had these symbols engraved on all the villa’s gates hoping someone could translate them.

Flanking the door are two grotesque creatures probably representing the Egyptian divinity Bes.

There have been claims that Athanasius Kircher and Bernini helped design the door. Apparently in 1656, after visiting Christina of Sweden’s alchemical laboratory in Riario Palace (now Palazzo Corsini),  the marquis Palombara became interested in alchemical transmutation.


“It is indeed absolutely plain that all things seen by us are in truth other than what they seem.”  Athanasius Kircher, The Great Art of Light and Shadow (1646)

Related: Roman College + PIAZZA DEL COLLEGIO ROMANO + Scientific Spectacle in Baroque Rome: Athanasius Kircher and the Roman College Museum + Athanasius Kircher’s Museum in Rome + Inquiry as Collection: The Athanasius Kircher Museum in Rome + Athanaseus Kircher, S.J. 1602-1680 + Kircher and The first published illustration of a magic lantern.

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November 22

Doves in a Freize

Doves in a Freize, via Tagliamento, Rome



Related: Museo Boncompagni Ludovisi per le Arti Decorative, il Costume e la Moda dei secoli XIX e XX + Villino Vitale with Duilio Cambellotti freize



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November 20

Casina delle Civette ceiling

Casina delle Civette ceiling with stained glass and stucchi

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November 19

Women and Windows

Woman at the Window

Woman at the Window, Street Art, San Lorenzo, Rome

Why are there so many paintings by male artists depicting women at a window?

The window defines an ambiguous space….that existing in between here and there.

Some voyeurs look inside, others look out…the art of watching.


Related: Pablo Picasso’s Woman at the Window, 1952 + Woman at a Window, Caspar David Friedrich, 1822 + Girl at Window by Rembrandt  1645 + Girl at Window, Salvador Dali 1925 + Waiting at the window, Matisse + Young Woman Before the Window, Pierre Bonnard, 1898 + Finding Refuge in Wyeth’s Windows + The Window, Edouard Vuillard + woman at a window, Eleven A.M., 1926 by Edward Hopper + Degas’s Woman at the Window (1871) + Camille Monet at the Window Argentuile, Claude Monet, 1873 + The Art of Watching. The literary Motif of the Window and its Potential for Metafiction in contemporary Literature by Gianna Zocco +

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