Thursday, February 25

"Smoking is like being tobacco’s slave" - fanaticism has no limits

This is a French anti smoking prevention campaign by the "Rights of Non Smokers" (Les Droits des Non-Fumeurs). The photographies are by Thomas Geffrier and the text "Fumer c’est etre l’esclave du tabac" translated in English means “Smoking is like being tobacco’s slave”. I wonder where the rights of adolescents and even women's rights campaigners are. It is quite shocking that such images are being used to indoctrinate people about the harms of smoking. I also would like to have the scientific evidences of all the diseases they claim that smoking and passive smoking are responsible.

Monday, February 22

50.000 visitors!

I want to thank all of those who came to this site and I cannot even believe that this number was achieved.

Saturday, February 20

Bambi in real life - Tanja Askani

I received an e-mail from Herrad with these pictures. She sends amazing pictures by e-mail and I thought this collection deservesAskani to be seen. These are photographies by Tanja Askani who takes pictures depicting tenderness among animals. You can see more photographs by her here. Thank you Herrad! Have a great and tender weekend!

Friday, February 19

Gustave Courbet - The Beautiful Irish Woman

The Beautiful Irish Woman, 1866, Courbet
This was the painting I was looking for when I came across with the work of the post below. I have a tiny copy at my desk among other tiny copies that are part of my... private collection!

Courbet, lesbianism, voyeurism, friendship, Barbies and Christian censorship

Sleepers by Gustave Courbet is one of the themes that artists depicted that is stitl causing scandal nowadays.
I was searching for another of his paintings and came across with Kristine Milde's "Sleepers after Courbet" at this site dedicated to Barbie in many way. I also found at this site Courbet's painting with Christ's tags covering breasts and pubic parts.
I am a little bit astonished that someone can do such a thing with a painting especially using as tag using a medieval painting of the Christ.
It is quite ironic.
The "Two Friends" was part of the 19 century's iconography as you can see in the Klimt's and Lautrec's painting.
I think that it has to do with the eyes of the beholder.
I think it is very interesting recreating Courbet's work with Barbies.

Tuesday, February 16

Matisse - Painting, rules, time... "Notes of a painter", 1908

Henri Matisse and his model 1939
You can download the .pdf file of Matisse's "Notes of a Painter", 1908 here. I think that at this paragraph, the last one, he approaches some important issues that are still being discussed nowadays:
"Rules have no existence outside of individuals: otherwise a good professor would be as great a genius as Racine. Any one of us is capable of repeating fine maxims, but few can also penetrate their meaning. I am ready to admit that from a study of the works of Raphael or Titian a more complete set of rules can be drawn than from the works of Manet or Renoir, but the rules followed by Manet and Renoir were those which suited their temperaments and I prefer the most minor of the their paintings to all the work of those who are content to imitate the Venus of Urbino or the Madonna of the Goldfinch. These latter are of no value to anyone, for whether we want to or not, we belong to our time and we share in its opinions, its feelings, even its delusions. All artists bear the imprint of their time, but the great artists are those in whom this is most profoundly marked. Our epoch for instance is better represented by Courbet than by Flandrin, by Rodin better than by Frémiet. Whether we like it or not, however insistently we call ourselves exiles, between our period and ourselves an indissoluble bond is established, and M. Péladan himself cannot escape it. The aestheticians of the future may perhaps use his books as evidence if they get it in their heads to prove that no one of our time understood anything about the art of Leonardo da Vinci."

Saturday, February 13

Attenti al Lupo - Lucio Dalla "Living together"

Unfortunately I can't find a translation for this Italian song that is simple and beautiful. It is a popular song and a little old and maybe not very interesting for Italians but it's very cute for those who know little of the Italian language. I will dedicate this post to an Italian blogger that I like Tommaso Evagelista at Emgrammi.
His blog has numerous amazing post about art. Hope he likes this song.

C'e' una casetta piccola cosi'
con tante finestrelle colorate
E una donnina piccola cosi'
Con due occhi grandi per guardare

E c'e' un omino piccolo cosi'
che torna sempre tardi da lavorare
E ha un cappello piccolo cosi'
con dentro un sogno da realizzare
E piu' ci pensa, piu' non sa aspettare

Amore mio non devi stare in pena
questa vita e' una catena
qualche volta fa un po' male
Guarda come son tranquilla io
anche se attraverso il bosco
con l'aiuto del buon Dio
stando sempre attenta al lupo,
attenti al lupo attenti al lupo...

living together living together...

Laggiu' c'e' un prato piccolo cosi'
con un gran rumore di cicale
e un profumo dolce e piccolo cosi'
Amore mio e' arrivata l'estate Amore mio e' arrivata l'estate
E noi due qui distesi a far l'amore
in mezzo a questo mare di cicale
questo amore piccolo cosi' ma tanto grande che mi sembra di volare
E piu' ci penso piu' non so aspettare

Amore mio non devi stare in pena
questa vita e' una catena
qualche volta fa un po' male
Guarda come son tranquilla io
anche se attraverso il bosco
con l'aiuto del buon Dio
stando sempre attenta al lupo
Attenti al lupo attenti al lupo

Living together... Living together...
A very nice person left a comment with a translation into English. Thank you very much!
Here it is:

There is a small little house with,
many small, colored windows,
And there is a little woman with,
two big eyes made for watching,

and there is a little man,
that always come back late from his work,
and he has a small hat,
and in it he has a dream to accomplish,
and more he thinks on it, less he wants to wait

My sweet love, don't worry,
life is a chain
sometimes it hurts a bit
Look how calm I am
Even when I cross the woods
Sure good is behind me
But I am always watch out the wolf
Watch out! the wolf!

Living together. Living together

Downstairs there is small lawn field,
where the cicadas make a lot of sounds,
And a sweet and delicate smell surround us,
My love, the Summer arrived
And we lay down and we make love
On the middle of this cicada sea
This delicate little love,
It is so big that I can fly
More I think, less I can wait

My sweet love, don't worry,
life is a chain
sometimes it hurts a bit
Look how calm I am
Even when I cross through the woods,
with the help of the good Lord,
I will always beware of the wolf
Watch out! the wolf!

Living together. Living together.

Thursday, February 11

The Luncheon on the Grass by Manet and Picasso's version

The Luncheon on the Grass (left) is one of the most Manet's painting. When first exhibited it was a scandal just like Olympia. Although it has references to old masters:

"The Lunch on the Grass is a painting with several overlaid themes:

- the reference to the old masters, Manet having taken his inspiration from Titian's Concert champêtre in the Musée du Louvre, and from The Judgement of Paris, an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi, after Raphael.

- the issue of the nude, "It seems I'll have to paint a nude. Very well then, I'll paint a nude for them", Manet had declared to Antonin Proust.

- the question of the subject, the reason for all the uproar surrounding it. "We cannot regard as chaste a work in which a woman, seated in the woods, surrounded by students in berets and coats, is clothed only in the shadows of the leaves" (Ernest Chesneau, quoted by Françoise Cachin in Manet, RMN, 1983).

- finally, the issue of the outdoor setting: the real open air, according to Emile Zola,

"In this painting, what one must see […] is the entire landscape, full of atmosphere, this corner of nature rendered with a simplicity so accurate…". "In this painting, what one must see […] is the entire landscape, full of atmosphere, this corner of nature rendered with a simplicity so accurate...""

The sight of these contemporary people, especially a naked woman, being exhibited next to nudes that was mythological thus very far from touch was outrageous.

Picasso repeated the scandal with his versions of Manet's painting. I truly believe that one of thousands art's functions is to change the way we see things and it is funny to see that these paintings today are considered part of cultural heritage and we can even think that Manet's nude woman is a little bit overweighted.

Saturday, February 6

V-J day in Times Squares Alfred Eisenstaedt photography and J. Seward Johnson sculpture

V–J day in Times Square, a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was published in Life in 1945 with the caption, In New York's Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers.
Unconditional Surrender by J. Seward Johnson often compared to the photograph V–J day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 5

An American in Paris - some scenes to remember

I have already published the love scene of the ballet of The American in Paris movie. These are some scenes for those who also like the movie or for those who have not seen it. Have a great February!!!

Tuesday, February 2

Music, painting and photography - music power

I am learning to play guitar from the first lesson. The tip of the left fingers aches and you have to exercise to create callus and it is strange to start losing sensibility and the muscles of the left hand have to adjust itself to make the chords. It is a little bit boring at the beginning since you have to learn to change from one chord to another quickly and do it as faster as possible. But if you keep thinking in the future when this phase is over and you will finally be able to have the music in your mind and the positions of your hands at the guitar together you keep going. I was thinking about putting some paintings of guitar players showing different kinds of feeling portrayed by the artist that makes me think about the different emotions music can trigger but came across with this photograph by James O'Donnell and though that it was a great combination of three arts. I remembered of what Picasso used to say about the geniality and inspiration myth:
"Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working." "There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun."
And the famous Thomas Edison quotation:
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
I will go back to practice. Maybe next year I will be able to play something easy of one of many musicians I like. An amazing fact about people who play an instrument is that it is the last memory a person who suffers Alzheimer lose. They forget their parents but for a long period can play. This is something special about the musical language. Music unites people. This is a great achievement.