Archive for December 28th, 2003

Are you flower eater?

December 28, 2003

Are you a flower eater or not? If you have no clue about what I am talking about or even if you do, you should read Fracisco Toro’s excellent post on the subject in his now revived (just pressuring him!) blog.

Oil, Oil, Oil

December 28, 2003

 


Even at quiet times (I will ignore Chavez asking to spend the international reserves again today) oil is always in the news in Venezuela, the latest:


 


-PDVSA signed a letter of intent with Russian conglomerate Alfa Group to sell the 50% it owns in the Ruhr refinery with Veba oil. The procedure is certainly unorthodox. Alfa will carry out a due diligence process, after which a price will be discussed. Now, this seems to be unusual and no explanation has been given as to why the process will lack so much transparency. The traditional way: you open a data room, everyone that wants can see the financial and technical information, this is followed by a bidding process with a minimum price and the highest bid wins would seem more appropriate. Of course, some may say I am just against the Government.


 


-El Nacional (by subscription) today points out the widening disparity between the numbers that PDVSA claims and those that the Central Bank publishes. According to PDVSA the corporation has sold US$ 17 billion in oil, but the Central bank reports only 12.6 billion. According to a source quoted in the article from within PDVSA, the US$ 17 billion is an “estimate” as the company no longer has the systems and controls to even verify its sales. Thus the difference between the two numbers PDVSA claims it will hand over the remaining US$ 4 billion during December.


 


-Alberto Quiroz Corradi in today’s El Nacional says that production is at 2.6 million barrels per day, the oil fields in the North part of Monagas state have severe damage that might force PDVSA to shut them down, western production is severely down and  all oil tankers owned by PDVSA require overhaul.


 


Of the above, the first two are facts; the third is an opinion from an expert. All three are cause for concern. Of course, given the title of this blog, maybe some may think it is a positive that we are managing to destroy the devil’s excrement too.

A look at a wonderful Venezuelan artist: GEGO

December 28, 2003

 


Given the piece and quiet I will take advantage of it and talk about Venezuelan things that people may know little about. I will start with GEGO a famous Venezuelan artist. A good friend gave me as a Christmas present a new book about the life and works of Venezuelan artist GEGO. The book is absolutely spectacular and beautiful (my friend is one of the authors) more so given the fact that I love GEGO’s work.


 


Most Venezuelans hardly even know who GEGO is. Her real name was Gertrud Goldschmidt. Born in Hamburg, GEGO had to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews. In 1938, she graduated as an architect-engineer in Stuttgart and left for London where she got a job offer for Venezuela. She got married soon after arriving here and had a shop in the 40’s where she made furniture and lamps, much needed, given the lack of imports due to the war. She divorces her first husband and her artistic career begins when she meets another immigrant from Lithuania named Gerd Leufert in 1952. She moves to a tiny town in the Coast near Caracas and begins her career in earnest. She is best known for her three dimensional sculptures. Geometric and non geometric structures which I have always found extremely appealing. I am no expert on GEGO, but her geometric sculptures can be divided into two stages. The first one corresponds to highly symmetrical sculptures. The second to more irregular geometrical figures. In 1969, she designs Reticularea a full room sculpture made from wires and through which one can wander through. While most Venezuelans don’t even know her, her work can be seen in many buildings around Caracas, like in the  Cediaz shopping center, Paseo Las Mercedes, Parque Central, IVIC, Banco Industrial de Venezuela and INCE. Slowly, GEGO is becoming more and more famous worldwide, with some of her sculptures now topping US$ 100,000. Her work is now present in most major Modern Art Museums. Her family still owns most of her works which I think adds to the current mystique surrounding her work. Below are some examples of her work I found in the net, including the famous Reticularea. You can see some more of her work in the Web, like Dibujos sin Papel , read more about her here or here or here. While not born in Venezuela, GEGO developed her artistic career here and benefited from the boom in art and architecture in Venezuela during the fifties and sixties.


 



Two Views of the room size Reticularea



Sphere #4                                                 Square Reticularea #6



Chorros                                       Drawing without Paper


 

A look at a wonderful Venezuelan artist: GEGO

December 28, 2003

 


Given the piece and quiet I will take advantage of it and talk about Venezuelan things that people may know little about. I will start with GEGO a famous Venezuelan artist. A good friend gave me as a Christmas present a new book about the life and works of Venezuelan artist GEGO. The book is absolutely spectacular and beautiful (my friend is one of the authors) more so given the fact that I love GEGO’s work.


 


Most Venezuelans hardly even know who GEGO is. Her real name was Gertrud Goldschmidt. Born in Hamburg, GEGO had to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews. In 1938, she graduated as an architect-engineer in Stuttgart and left for London where she got a job offer for Venezuela. She got married soon after arriving here and had a shop in the 40’s where she made furniture and lamps, much needed, given the lack of imports due to the war. She divorces her first husband and her artistic career begins when she meets another immigrant from Lithuania named Gerd Leufert in 1952. She moves to a tiny town in the Coast near Caracas and begins her career in earnest. She is best known for her three dimensional sculptures. Geometric and non geometric structures which I have always found extremely appealing. I am no expert on GEGO, but her geometric sculptures can be divided into two stages. The first one corresponds to highly symmetrical sculptures. The second to more irregular geometrical figures. In 1969, she designs Reticularea a full room sculpture made from wires and through which one can wander through. While most Venezuelans don’t even know her, her work can be seen in many buildings around Caracas, like in the  Cediaz shopping center, Paseo Las Mercedes, Parque Central, IVIC, Banco Industrial de Venezuela and INCE. Slowly, GEGO is becoming more and more famous worldwide, with some of her sculptures now topping US$ 100,000. Her work is now present in most major Modern Art Museums. Her family still owns most of her works which I think adds to the current mystique surrounding her work. Below are some examples of her work I found in the net, including the famous Reticularea. You can see some more of her work in the Web, like Dibujos sin Papel , read more about her here or here or here. While not born in Venezuela, GEGO developed her artistic career here and benefited from the boom in art and architecture in Venezuela during the fifties and sixties.


 



Two Views of the room size Reticularea



Sphere #4                                                 Square Reticularea #6



Chorros                                       Drawing without Paper


 

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