Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oscar de la Renta’s Blue Velvet Gown - The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta - Museum of Fine Arts Houston - Essay

Oscar de la Renta, Custom Evening Ensemble,2001, silk taffeta
and silk satin,courtesy of Oscar de la Renta Archive (worn by Mica
Ertegun to an event celebrating her 40th wedding anniversary 
to Ahmet Ertegun, 2001). © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
"...Unseemly pantie lines visible through ill-fitting garments are all it takes for me to call up Diana Vreeland’s pronouncement that fashion must be intoxicating release from the world’s banality..."(Virginia Billeaud Anderson attended the media preview of The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and met André Leon Talley who guest-curated the exhibition along with co-curator Cindi Strauss. She asked Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta, a few questions.)

Friday, December 1, 2017

My Louisiana Brothers’ Cajun Food, T-Coons Restaurant, Billeauds Meat and Grocery, Billeaud's Too, Billeauds No. 3 - David Billeaud, Billy Billeaud

"...substantial media coverage through the years, but a high point was when Calvin Trillin mentioned Billy's Boudin Links in "The New Yorker" mag..."

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wayne Gilbert: Now a Film - Essay - A Closer Look

"It remains a fact that Wayne Gilbert is the only person I’ve ever met who has been written about in "People" magazine..."

Friday, October 27, 2017

Know Yourself: What I Learned about Becky Soria's Artistic Inspiration - Essay

Becky Soria, "The Body Electric," 2017, Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas, 60 x 20”

...that winding road that goes up to the Delphian Sanctuary of Apollo. Pausanias warned us the road was “precipitous.” (Virginia Billeaud Anderson - tells readers what she learned about Becky Soria's artistic inspiration when she visited Soria's studio.)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Closer Look at Beignets - Hot Beignets at T-Coon’s Restaurant

T-Coon's Restaurant New Orleans French Market style Beignets

"favorite theories about the origin of the New Orleans Beignet is that the Ursuline Nuns brought it from France..."

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bas Poulos: More Talk - A Talk with the Artist - Essay

Bas Poulos, "Klana," 1984, Acrylic on
Canvas, 78" x 56.5”

"...Unaware of the importance of Texas art, the Greeks staged a transportation strike..." (Virginia Billeaud Anderson writes about artist Bas Poulos, his life and his art career, with focus on two paintings exhibited in Focus on the 70s and 80s: Houston Foundations II at Deborah Colton Gallery.)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Earl Staley “Two Lovers Surprised By Death” - A Closer Look - Essay

Earl Staley, Two Lovers Surprised by Death, 1978,
Acrylic on canvas, 37 x 48 inches

"Being in my twenties and fond of Jack Daniels and weed might account for my not remembering much about 1978.  I do remember however that despite legal challenges..."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ten Gas Station Foods Worth the Detour - MSN.COM Food and Wine Rates Billeaud’s Meat and Grocery Top Ten

"Billeaud’s Meat and Grocery is often regarded as the home of the best boudin and crispy pork cracklings in Cajun country..." MSN.COM Food and Wine

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Edgar Degas "Etude pour La Fille de Jephte” - A Closer Look - Essay

Edgar Degas, Etude pour “La Fille de Jephte," c. 1859. Graphite, traces ink
wash on paper, 8 7/8 x 11 7/16 in. (19.3 x 25.2 cm). 
From the collection
 of Janie C. Lee. 
Image taken from the “Houston Press” website.

"...a lovely sketch by Degas. I decided it would be fun to provide a tiny bit of art historical background..." (Virginia Billeaud Anderson - provides fun art historical background to Edgar Degas' 1859 sketch of a nude male, Etude pour “La Fille de Jephte.")

Edgar Degas "Etude pour La Fille de Jephte” - A Closer Look

While viewing the Menil Collection’s drawing exhibition “The Beginning of Everything,” I nearly lost my composure when I saw a lovely sketch by Degas.  I decided it would be fun to provide a tiny bit of art historical background on that drawing.

Finely rendered in graphite on paper, "Etude pour La Fille de Jephte” (c. 1859) depicts a youthful nude male figure with legs widely spread, torso bent forward, and one hand to the ground.  Art historians believe Degas created it as a preliminary study for a large painting he had begun upon returning to Paris after living in Italy.  Except for a few unsure sketchy lines around the figure’s head and hand, Degas handling reveals the linear refinement he mastered from closely studying Ingres.  His engagement with volume on the other hand, the shadowed contouring of legs, arms, back and shoulder muscles, evidences his recent immersion in the world of classical statuary and Italian Renaissance painting.  Most importantly, the drawing reveals Degas’ preoccupation with body movement and awkward positions which would continue for the rest of his career.

Degas made this drawing at an interesting point in his development.  While remaining heavily influenced by the static linear style of Ingres, he was beginning to look closely at the agitated motion of Delacroix.  In fact he wrote himself reminders to model bodies more expressively in the manner of Delacroix.

The artist’s father found this worrisome.  His fortune was inadequate, Degas Sr. corresponded, which made it necessary for Degas to succeed in his painting career.  He believed his son was on the right track with history subjects, but misdirected in appropriating Delacroix’s decadent style.  It was Degas Sr.’s opinion that Delacroix foolishly valued passion over the sacred pillar of draftsmanship, and he urged Degas to follow Ingres’ path towards “perfection,” the implication being some unhinged style would cost him government support and state commissions.

Degas created other bent-over nudes, nearly identical to this one.  We actually had the opportunity to see two last year in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s exhibition “Degas: A New Vision.”  MFAH borrowed its two drawings from the Musée d’Art moderne André Malraux in Le Havre, while the Menil’s bent-over nude is from Janie C. Lee’s collection.

Why the duplications? This can be attributed to Degas’ over-heated focus on movement of the body. In their superb exhibition catalogue for “Degas: A New Vision,” MFA,H’s Gary Tinterow and the Louvre’s Henri Loyrette explained that Degas spent forty years repeating certain animated poses. They also put his hanky-pankying around with Delacroix in perspective.  Degas undoubtedly saw himself as an heir of both, but Ingres ruled.  Ingres, Loyrette wrote, “laid out a roadmap and Degas was never to diverge from it.”

See the Degas drawing in the Menil Collection's exhibition “The Beginning of Everything: Drawings from the Janie C. Lee, Louisa Stude Sarofim, and David Whitney Collections.” 

Image: Edgar Degas, Etude pour “La Fille de Jephte,” c. 1859.  Graphite, traces ink wash on paper, 8 7/8 x 11 7/16 in. (19.3 x 25.2 cm).  From the collection of Janie C. Lee.  Image taken from the “Houston Press” website.

(Selected Articles on BOUDINANDBOURBON.COM)

A Talk with Angie Dumas About Her Blog "Da'Stylish Foodie" - Interview

Eating Garlic Beef at Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant - Mai's Immigrant Story

Discovering S.P.Q.R. and Miraculous Oil at the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere
Visiting Azienda Agricola Casamonti in the Chianti Classico - Wine and Cinta Senese Pigs
My Visit to Houston Farmers Market

Visiting ShyKatz Cafe on Galveston Island, Historical Architecture

Eating Oysters at Topwater Grill in San Leon at Galveston Bay

A Tribute to Legendary Wildcatter Jim Bob Moffett

A Talk with Food Guru George Graham about - Graham’s New Cookbook “Fresh From Louisiana: The Soul of Cajun and Creole Home Cooking” - Interview

Ryan Baptiste - The Light Beyond The Blight - Redbud Gallery - Echoes of New Orleans

Bar Boheme - Houston Bars - Drag Brunch - Architectural Preservation

Billeaud's Too, Calvin Trillin, and Jacking with Cajun Boudin

Martha Stewart Visits Lucullus Antiques - Patrick Dunne - New Orleans

Avesta Persian Grill's Pomegranate Walnut Stew, Cyrus the Great, Tajikistan

Notes on van Gogh’s Irises, Walter Annenberg, Louisiana Politics - Essay

A Closer Look at Christy Karll’s Painting “Swerve” –  Interview

A Closer Look - Beef Empanadas with Olives - Seco’s Latin Cuisine - Essay

Giacomo Restaurant's Foradori, Rotaliano, Trentino 2015" - Red wine produced by Elisabetta Foradori in Trentino Italy - A Closer Look

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wing It: Roberta Harris - Essay

Roberta Harris, “Flight Time,” 2017, Oil, Acrylic and
Mixed Media on canvas, 72” x 60”

"When Roberta Harris exhibits her art, I often think about the younger artists who will view it, most of whom were unborn or tiny snots at the time she..."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tod Bailey Savage Color - The Orchard - Interview

Tod Bailey, “The Orchard,” 2017, Oil on Canvas, 38” x 42”

"..coloring has always been a primary component of Tod’s pictorial construction..."   (Virginia Billeaud Anderson - asks Tod Bailey about tonal balance in his abstract painting "The Orchard.")

Monday, May 15, 2017

My Preview of Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Raúl Martínez, “9 Repetitions of Fidel with
Microphones” 1968, Oil on canvas,
Wallace Campbell Collection, Jamaica

"...his guerrillas liberated them from that fire squad-happy despot Batista, who..." (Virginia Billeaud Anderson discusses a couple of artworks in the the exhibition 
Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, co-organized by the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros foundation.)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Some Thoughts about the Menil Collection's Dogon Sculptures - ReCollecting Dogon - Essay

Dogon peoples. Figure (Dege), 17th-early 20th century.
Mali, Bandiagara Circle. Wood, 21 7/8 ×5 × 6 1/4 in.
(55.6 x 12.7 x 15.9 cm). 3-D Object-Sculpture.
The Menil Collection, Houston. Photo: Paul Hester

"...I imagined I was in the presence of beautiful and timeless art.  All hell breaks loose..." (Discusses the Menil Collection's Dogon sculptures in the exhibition ReCollecting Dogon and why it’s inappropriate to judge the aesthetic qualities of the decontextualized objects.)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gus Kopriva “Spiritual Journeys” Exhibition Catalogue - Hilliard University Art Museum Lafayette Louisiana

Spiritual Journeys: Homemade Art from the Becky and Wyatt
Collins Collection exhibition catalogue

“Ah ate Crawfish Pie at the Bon Temps Grill,”  Kopriva told me, managing to pronounce the French words properly...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Matty Matheson’s “Dead Set on Life” Visits Billeaud’s Meat and Grocery - A Closer Look

"...expressions on the faces of the customers who entered the store while Matheson and his confrere ate Boudin and Cracklin near the entrance..."

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bourbon Milk Punch - A Short History

Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch from Bourbon
House New Orleans. Image by Alison Gootee

"...Benjamin Franklin’s 1763 mention of his milk punch recipe..." 
(Virginia Billeaud Anderson - gives a short history of the Bourbon Milk Punch, enjoyed by Benjamin Franklin and Queen Victoria. Made iconic by New Orleans bartenders. See the recipe.)

Monday, March 6, 2017

"Road Food" rated T-Coon’s Restaurant “Legendary” - Worth Driving from Anywhere - “Road Food” Warriors

T-Coon's Restaurant's Breakfast - Image by "Road Food"

What does “Legendary” mean?  According to “Road Food,” Legendary as opposed to “Memorable” or “Good,” means “WORTH DRIVING FROM ANYWHERE."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Peter Ricchiuti KRVS Public Media OUT TO LUNCH Interviewed David Billeaud T-Coon's Restaurant and Herbie Schilling

"..Ricchiuti's no baloney introduction was refreshing...David Billeaud and Herbie Schilling...Hear how they earned your money and what they did with it.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Who Said Cajun Food Isn't Elegant? Billeaud’s Meat and Grocery’s Boudin Balls

 Billeaud’s Pepper Jack Cheese Boudin

Who said Cajun food isn’t elegant?  Billeaud's Meat and Grocery makes “fancy” Boudin dishes