Sunday, July 28, 2013

Self-Driving Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

Flat Mr. Hunter and I spotted one of Google's self-driving cars the other day.  Every other time I've seen one, I haven't had a chance to see if there was someone in the driver's seat.  (I think I was hoping there wouldn't be!)  

But this time I saw the self-driving car close-up, and there was indeed a driver at the helm.  He was getting ready to parallel park, and I felt a little disappointed somehow when I saw this driver turning the steering wheel.  Oh well!  Flat Mr. Hunter and I were still glad to have a closer look at the, um, newfangled contraption.  

And Mr. Hunter was especially intrigued to hear about this sighting, considering that it's the kind of car that he could theoretically drive around in on his own.  

Each time I've seen these self-driving cars, I've noticed a spinning, bucket-shaped thing on top.  With the car parked, I got to study what this gray object (part of the car's laser radar system) looks like when it's still.  

A closer look at the laser range finder system. 

A peek inside the car.  What does the red button do?

The friendly yellow car in the logo reminds me the Richard Scarry character, Goldbug.
Which is appropriate, since Goldbug plays a pivotal role in Scarry's classic book
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.

Certainly the driverless car is the sort of vehicle that Mr. Hunter could actually, you know, drive.  He says, "Sign me up!" 

Mountain View, California
July 2013

Wikipedia page on the Google driverless car -

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Le Hunter et Le Boulevardier

You may have noticed that Mr. Hunter has an affinity for busts and other sculptures of heads.  And when he encountered this fellow at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mr. Hunter felt an even stronger kinship.  The pointed chins, the long noses... they could be cousins!

Mr. Hunter's new friend in the top hat is called Le Boulevardier, and he was created by the Polish-born American sculptor Elie Nadelman.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles, California
March 2013


Official LACMA page on Le Boulevardier -

Official LACMA site -

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Field of Painted Polka Dots

Back when Mr. Hunter's caretaker worked as a web surfer, she created this directory category for polka-dot specialist Yayoi Kusama.  So Mr. Hunter had to pose with this Kusama painting, which is called No. C.A.9.

A closer look at the texture of Yayoi Kusama's dots in the painting.

 Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles, California
March 2013


About the Whitney Museum's 2012 Yayoi Kusama retrospective -

LACMA page on Yayoi Kusama's No. C.A.9 -

Wikipedia article on Yayoi Kusama -

2012 interview with Yayoi Kusama -

Ceci n'est pas un chasseur*

Mr. Hunter (aka Monsieur Chasseur for the purposes of this post) got a kick out of posing with Magritte's famed painting, The Treachery of Images (This Is Not a Pipe).

Ceci est la signature de Magritte, avec le mot "pipe."

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles, California
March 2013


smarthistory video about The Treachery of Images -

Wikipedia entry for The Treachery of Images -

LACMA page on The Treachery of Images -

*chasseur = hunter

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Where In the World Is Mr. Hunter? - East Ninth Street Edition (The Answer)

Which museum was Mr. Hunter visiting when he stood before this lovely Abstract Expressionist painting?  Well, he wasn't on East Ninth Street, but the painting he was admiring is called East Ninth Street.  The piece is by Joan Mitchell, and you can see the entire work in all its glory if you go to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA).

Ten years ago, Mr. Hunter and family went to LACMA for the first time--to see a show about John Singer Sargent in Italy, actually--and it was in the permanent collections of LACMA that Mr. Hunter's caretaker discovered the seemingly endless pleasure of taking photographs of paintings and details of paintings.  There's a sort of conversation that takes place for me, a particular kind of deeper engagement as I zoom in on aspects of artworks that have spoken to me.

I have synesthesia, and one type of synesthesia that I experience makes it so that I hear what I see; the things I'm looking at create an experience of sound in some other dimension.  As I focus on different points in a painting, I've noticed that particularly pleasing compositions in my viewfinder will change the sounds of that painting for me, like an alignment or a kind of harmony.

In doing some research on Joan Mitchell and her painting, I've just learned that Mitchell also had synesthesia!  This WWD article by Lorna Koski recounts that "Mitchell was notably bright and shrewd and had the unusual quality of being a synesthete, someone for whom sounds, letters, numbers and personalities had colors, flavors and shapes."  I shall have to investigate further.  And this illustrates another of the pleasures of taking photographs of works of art: revisiting those photographs can lead you down new paths so that your experience of the paintings and sculptures broadens to include new stories.

I quite like this detail from East Ninth Street.

Stay tuned to see more photos from Mr. Hunter's LACMA explorations.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles, California
March 2013


LACMA's page on East Ninth Street -

The Joan Mitchell Foundation -

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Where In the World Is Mr. Hunter? - East Ninth Street Edition

Mr. Hunter likes to visit art museums now and again, and when he does, he often finds paintings that speak to him.  There's something about the contrast between Mr. Hunter's carved wooden angles and the varied and vivid colors and brushstrokes of paintings by artists from Eric Carle and Claude Monet to Jackson Pollock.

In March, Mr. Hunter and friends wandered the halls of the largest art museum in the western United States.  Where was Mr. H when he felt the need to pause and pose before this lovely Abstract Expressionist painting?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Teddy Bear Travel Totem Who Met Queen Elizabeth II

Mr. Hunter is impressed and a bit envious after reading this People Magazine account of how a 7-year-old girl named Jessica Fitch persuaded Queen Elizabeth II to pose for a photo that features the girl's teddy bear. 

Photos by Michael Fitch

Mr. Hunter can't imagine getting a chance like this, 
unless he was in the hands of a little kid.

Most impressive!