Tuesday, November 30

Gustav Klimt beyond The Kiss


















I remember when the first search engineer appeared and the few answers we had.
It is amazing that now we are able to find many paintings of an artist, of course still far to have all works of each one, but I believe that in the future we will be able to see all 200 works Gustav Klimt left and much more.
Klimt's most famous oeuvre is The Kiss* and comparing his work having as much as we can would be great.
"Whoever wants to know something about me -- as an artist, the only notable thing -- ought to look carefully at my pictures and try to see in them what I am and what I want to do."
Gustav Klimt
*The Artchive was the first initiative to create a database of paintings on the WWW and I remember when it's founder Mark Harden had to start putting advertisements to continue the project.

Wednesday, November 24

The girl and the woman going their way

I came across with Erik van Elven's blog and I loved the painting he did of this young lady, his daughter. I browsed around the blog and from there I went to visit Vicki Shuck's blog and did chose the "Purple boots" because is depicts a woman from the back going her way just like the girl.
(click at the images to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 23

The Little Prince and the Boa constrictor drawing

"Once when I was six years old I saw a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Nature, about the primeval forest. It was a picture of a boa constrictor in the act of swallowing an animal.
Here is a copy of the drawing:
In the book it said: "Boa constrictors swallow their prey whole, without chewing it. After that they are not able to move, and they sleep through the six months that they need for digestion."
I pondered deeply, then, over the adventures of the jungle. And after some work with a colored pencil I succeeded in making my first drawing. My Drawing Number One. It looked like this:
I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them.
But they answered: "Frighten? Why should any one be frightened by a hat?"
My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. But since the grown-ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of the boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly. They always need to have things explained. My Drawing Number Two looked like this:
The grown-ups' response, this time, was to advise me to
lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic and grammar. That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter. I had been disheartened by the failure of my Drawing Number One and my Drawing Number Two. Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
So then I chose another profession, and learned to pilot air-planes."
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupéry who also did the illustrations, was published in 1943 and was translated to many languages. I believe that many of us had this book on the hands for a while when we were a child. This is part, at the beginning is still on my mind.

Monday, November 22

Woman sleeping by Picasso and Rembrandt

Picasso's drawing was done in 1952 and Rembrandt in 1654. Three centuries apart and using different representational methods in the essence they suggest the same feeling.

Friday, November 19

Gabriel Metsu at the National Gallery of Ireland

Vermeer is the most known of the Dutch painters but there were many others competing against each other.
Gabriel Metsu is one of them and the National Gallery of Ireland is presenting an exhibition of his works since September 4 that will end in December 5.
"The subject of love-letters became popular in Dutch art in the 1650s thanks to Gerard ter Borch. Metsu painted many variations of Ter Borch’s works in which he made the subjects more engaging to the viewer. Whereas Ter Borch painted a woman concentrating on writing her missive, Metsu made her look outside the picture. She smiles seductively at us, presumably to invite us to think that she is writing a message to us."
"Metsu was a particularly gifted painter of dogs, which appear alongside many of his figures. While men are usually escorted by a Dutch partridge dog, women entertain themselves with a papillon, a small type of spaniel."
Go to this page and click to see more details of his works.

Wednesday, November 17

Puppets enchantment forever

Right: In Burma—or Myanmar, as named by the current regime—puppet plays have been performed since at least the 1400s. In the 1700s, the royal court began to formally sponsor and regulate the puppet theater, causing it to quickly grow in prestige. In the 1800s, puppet theater was considered the most highly developed of the entertainment arts, and was also the most popular. Though no longer as popular today, the tradition is still maintained by a small number of performing troupes.
picture by Erik Finch.
Left: I saved this picture last month from Picasa Album from Maloy84.
I saved it with the the original caption:
"A puppet striking a pose for me."
The World Puppet Day is celebrated on March, 21.

Tuesday, November 16

John Liebenberg's Lions Soccer Players

"The South African national John Liebenberg is one of the outstanding photographers of Southern Africa. While working as a press photographer for The Namibian and Reuters, he openly disregarded the censorship regulations in South Africa and showed the horrible face of the Apartheid regime of South Africa, as well as the face of the Apartheid regime’s wars in the neighbouring countries: Namibia and Angola. His photos appeared on the front pages of big western newspapers. However, portraits and landscape photography are among his preferred motifs and themes."
Text source: Nairobi Now.

Monday, November 15

Biggest Human Smiley Faces in Russia and US

Right: "In a carefully planed event, the citizens of Chelyabinsk calculated when Google’s satellite, “Quick Bird”, passes directly over the city and formed a yellow smiley face that could be noticed from out of space. The result of their organized effort will be seen the next time Google Earth updates, but whether they get the exposure they were looking for or not, the people behind the Smiley-Face of Chelyabinsk have our congratulations for the effort."
Left: "In October 1st, in celebration of the World Smile Day, a giant smiley face was spotted on the top parking deck of the new Amway Center arena. It was made up of hundreds of smiling people dressed in black and yellow, who stood shoulder to shoulder for a good ten minutes. The human smiley face was a result of Orlando’s World Smile Search Campaign, which looked for people who had smile stories to share with the world. In half a year, over 20,000 stories were received, and some of the people who shared their stories were invited to be apart of the smiley face.
The human smiley face of Orlando was acknowledged as the largest smiley."

Sunday, November 14

C215 Christian Guémy: "faces reflect personalities"

I came across with C215 street artist and I'm amazed by the way he has been depicting men and women in many cities of the world.
Christian Guémy, a French 38 years old man, has chosen walls for canvases and at his site and at Flickr he not only keeps his work alive by photographies but show how talented he is in expressing emotions, circumstances and lives of different people of the world.
Take a look at his site and I'm sure you will be carried away. It took me half an hour and I will go back. :)
"I paint in the streets people really belonging to the streets: tramps, but also beggars, street orphans from the poorest countries. This is a stencil tradition by the way," he says. "The streets are just my favorite gallery, I been in love with graffiti since i was a child. Sure I did draw, paint free hand, with brushes, with cans, but stencils are the best way to quick place something beautiful anywhere in the streets, without any fucking authorization."
Christian Guémy
Images: Copyright All rights reserved by C215

Saturday, November 13

Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy and Paul Verlaine

I think that it is almost impossible not to be moved when listening to this song and I will always listen to it from time to time. Debussy did it to express Verlaine's poem:
Clair de lune
Votre âme est un paysage choisi Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.
Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune, Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,
Au calme clair de lune triste et beau, Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau, Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.
From Fêtes galantes (1869)
Moonlight
Your soul is like a landscape fantasy, Where masks and Bergamasks, in charming wise, Strum lutes and dance, just a bit sad to be Hidden beneath their fanciful disguise.
Singing in minor mode of life's largesse And all-victorious love, they yet seem quite Reluctant to believe their happiness, And their song mingles with the pale moonlight,
The calm, pale moonlight, whose sad beauty, beaming, Sets the birds softly dreaming in the trees, And makes the marbled fountains, gushing, streaming-- Slender jet-fountains--sob their ecstasies.
When an artist can touch many people it's like s/he was capable of expressing one aspect of human condition.
(Click at the video for one second to "see" each note of the music.)

Friday, November 12

Anti Iraq war protesters - The March of the Dead

Try searching "anti war protests" and you will see that the results are not at the mainstream media, they are at anti war activists sites and some blogs.
This is a strategy to tell people that there is nothing to be done and nobody cares. Many people are not silent and many are deeply concerned and I have posted about February, 15 2003 anti-invasion protest.
In March, 18 2008 protesters blocked the traffic and government buildings in Washington to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war.
A group of protesters did "The March of the Dead" to symbolize the death of civilians and military people.
More pictures of the protest here.
"Far from the eyes of the people." Ironic: "weapons of mass destruction" are being used in Iraq.

Thursday, November 11

Kites uniting people over the world

Right: Octopus kites, photography by Brian Champie.
Left: Bintaro Jaya residents in Tangerang participated in a kite flying event, receiving a reward from the Indonesia Record Museum (MURI) for flying 2,000 kites.

Wednesday, November 10

Art and reality: Magritte and Ben Heine

Art and reality has been a theme for many studies, theories and discussions since the Greeks but artists show with their work what it takes ten chapters to be explained.
René Magritte, the famous surrealist painter, did many works about the illusion of art.
This excerpt explains "The Human Condition", 1933 at the right:
"At first, one automatically assumes that the painting on the easel depicts the portion of the landscape outside the window that it hides from view. After a moment's consideration, however, one realizes that this assumption is based upon a false premise: that is, that the imagery of Magritte's painting is real, while the painting on the easel is a representation of that reality. In fact, there is no difference between them. Both are part of the same painting, the same artistic fabrication. It is perhaps to this repeating cycle, in which the viewer, even against his will, sees the one as real and the other as representation, that Magritte's title makes reference." (emphasis mine)
Ben Heine, Belgium like Magritte, has a series Pencil vs Camera, I did this post about it, where he adds some elements to his photographies with drawings and than take a picture of his creation:
"I took this photo near Rochefort in Belgium. I also drew the rough
sketch on the crumpled paper. I wanted to make something very simple and minimalist. We always need a sun!"
Still, it's a photography. Art is about creating, not copying.
Text sources: Magritte.
(Click at the pictures to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 9

The amazing sketching life of Ken Foster

It's been a long time I want to publish about Ken Foster's sketches but I always found it very difficult to chose one or two of his amazing works.
I'm just publishing these two because I want to share it with you but I'm thinking about all the others that I didn't publish.
You have to visit Ken's blog and experience his work. The only problem is that you will feel sorry for not being able to draw and having to use a digital camera to register your life.

Sunday, November 7

Funny Fail: a cool failure

There are many funny fail picture at Epic Fail the site I took this one. Take a look, have fun but remember that the word failure is overrated. It's impossible to live without failing.

Saturday, November 6

Albert Einstein Memorials at Washington and at Ulm

Left: "The Albert Einstein Memorial in Washington's National Mall neighborhood is one of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in Washington DC. Measuring 12 feet / 3.5 meters, this large and imposing statue of Albert Einstein is actually seated on a bench, at the front of Washington's National Academy of Sciences." Sculpture by Robert Berks. Photo" By wallyg at Flickr.
Right: detail of "Jürgen Goertz bronze sculpture of Albert Einstein, Ulm’s internationally most famous son, in 1984. It is located on the grounds of historic Zeughaus. (Zeughaus is Ulm’s historic arsenal; today it is home to parts of Ulm’s municipal court.)
It consists of three elements:
The rocket symbolizes technology, the conquest of the universe and the atomic threat.
On this base you see a big snail shell which symbolises the opposite, namely nature, wisdom and skepticism about mankind’s dominance of technology."
The right photography is by by Kakapo2
"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
Albert Einstein
Update: June, 14 2011
I changed the right picture because the previous one belongs to a blogger that I couldn't find the name and just making a link is not enough. I like this one! I love watermarks. I think all images should have them because it makes it easier for everybody to attribute, something I'm very careful.

Friday, November 5

Fun: The Four Dogs

I created the label "The Four Dogs" and will be publishing pictures of four dogs in different situations. If you find any interesting picture with four dogs please tell me. This one was taken from this site. Hope they are having fun!

Thursday, November 4

In Search of the Divine by Christophe Dessaigne

I just found the work of the photographer Christophe Dessaigne. and felt like sharing this photography he has at his portfolio:
"Christophe's photomontages deal with the themes of melancholy, fantasy, and solitude. "When I was still a child, the closing scene of Planet of the Apes struck me. It left a permanent mark in my mind. The final vision of the Statue of Liberty coming out of the sea and sand before Charlton Heston and its post-apocalyptic staging when Man realizes how infinitely small and ephemeral he is, is definitely grandiose. Same with the 80s SF masterpieces like Mad Max, Blade Runner, or Brazil. This cinema is a great source of inspiration for me, it has influenced me strongly." He adds "The works of painters like Jean-Pierre Ugarte or Beksinski are also inspiring to me, just like the masters of surrealism are: Dali, Magritte... On the comics side, the works of Metal Hurlant-era masterminds Druillet, Moebius, Caza etc is pure genius to me. These people have left their mark on the comics imagery and fantasy. They have been and still are great storytellers." As to photography, Christophe finds interest in photographers like Chad Michael Ward, Shane Harrison Parkson, or master of long exposure Michael Kenna."
You can see more of Christophe's universe at Flickr. or wait because I will surely post some of his great works.

Wednesday, November 3

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe "portrayed" by Whistler

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea: But we loved with a love that was more than love - I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her high-born kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me - Yes! that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud one night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we - Of many far wiser than we - And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling -my darling -my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea - In her tomb by the sounding sea.
The picture is a pastel by Whistler done in 1890 for one of the most famous of Poe's poem Annabel Lee.

Tuesday, November 2

Whistler's Arrangements in Gray: Portrait of mother and Portrait of Carlyle

The "Arrangement in Grey and Black No. I", known as Whistler's Mother, is an American icon but he did "Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 2" that portrays the poet Thomas Carlyle that is not that popular.
Whistler did a painting for Edgar Allan Poe's poem Annabel Lee that I will publish tomorrow.

Poetry in a toilet paper roll: Anastassia Elias collages



















She says she is a grandma and this is her site where you can see how talented she is.
This is how she explains the collages on toilet paper:
"I cut the small paper shapes that I stick inside the toilet paper rolls. I use tweezers to manipulate the paper shapes. I selecte the paper of the same color as the roll. It gives the illusion that the paper figures make part of the roll."
I will surely publish more of her works.
Thank you Anastassia Elias for bringing more poetry to this world!
(click at the images to enlarge)

Monday, November 1

Botticelli: Madonna with Child and Madonna of the Book



















Right: Madonna of the Book: ca 1483

The Madonna del Libro is a design that is extremely gentle and beautiful; it is a small vertical format panel painting. Mary and the Child are sitting in a corner of the room in front of the window, and her hand is resting on an open book. Some words are visible, showing that this is a Book of Hours, the Home beatae Mariae. As a symbol of his future Passion, the Christ Child is holding the three nails of the Cross and the crown of thorns.
Botticelli created the additions to the scene with a great deal of loving detail, and the ensemble of boxes and a lavish fruit bowl is very much like a still-life. The parchment pages of the book, the materials and the transparent veils have an incredibly tangible quality to them. Another refinement of Botticelli's painting is the gold filigree with which he decorated the robes and objects. The use of expensive gold paint was a result of a contractual agreement made with the clients, which laid down the price of the painting.

Left: Madonna and Child, 1478

There is a strict symmetrical structure to the composition with its life- size figures, and the finely toned down colors are very charming.
Surrounded by eight wingless angels, Mary is breastfeeding her Child. There is direct eye contact with the observer, involving him in the intimate scene. The angels are holding lilies, the sign of Mary's purity, and are engaged in antiphonal singing: while some of them are calmly waiting to start, the others are singing and reverently looking at a hymn book.