Wait ! Your rubbish might be a masterpiece…

Tim Noble and Sue Webster are two English artists who recycled our rubbish, then have made a work of ​​art with those and nobody noticed anything. It will serve me as a lesson, those days when I’m too lazy to take out the trash…

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Both artists have confronted and explored the contrast between what we call “Beauty” and our tastes, what we usually consider like disgusting. Indeed, who would think of rummaging through his own trash to find something which could create a nice piece of work?

Yet, most of their best pieces are made this way, with rubbish. Indeed, they began to build piles of rubbish as well as animal’s corpses. Afterwards, with the use of a light’s projectors system have managed to create some beautiful, sometimes even romantic images with the shadow of these piles.

To get this final result, of an image on the shadow which is completely different from reality, they have been working for months on the perspective of each pile. Actually we can’t see the work of the two artists at first sight, it is only their shadow, projected on a white wall a certain angle that reveals it all.

At the end, each pile of pointless objects brings us face to a new daily life scene. Sometimes funny, sometimes tenderizing… and always eloquent.

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Diego Gravinese made my day. Maybe my life.

I CAN’T EVEN…

Really, this discovery… I think I just felt in love for my whole life.

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Everything is alright. Now, look carefully at the next ones…

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Welcome in the world of Diego Gravinese. An Argentinian and phenomenal artist using nothing else than oil and acrylic to realize these amazing hyperreal canvas, which looks furiously like photographs. His work has been shown in all the world over the past 15 years. Among its destinations : New York, Paris, Madrid, Turin, Buenos Aires, Chicago and Los Angeles.

However, there has been much debate on his work and changing of photographs into paintings because some people think his work is nothing but a proof of his technical skills and can’t be considered like Art. You can guess I don’t agree with those people.

His works are highly detailed, and I’m crazy about the way he inserts highlights as if the entire environment as well as the subjects he paints are lit up. His work is so realistic, but we can see that still, he has mad painting skills. This is the nuance, and it’s freaking brilliant. Also, he often brings subtle hints of bizarre in the usual scenes of the life of his characters.

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For example, this painting shows us a couple in the bed of their room, but where some different color crystals are growing up out of the floor and ceiling, also we can identify a red fish in one of the crystal. The subjects of his paintings are always very interesting, most of the time moving, living a moment we could spend hours thinking about, it seems Diego Gravinese offers us small pieces of life through his paintings, and just let our imagination traveling across them.

Sometimes words are not powerful enough to transmit feelings.

I would just advise you to take a look at his work : http://www.diegogravinese.com/

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Freya gives a new life to Ken.

Look how all the dolls of our childhood are combined ! Quite disturbing…

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I don’t know if our dear old Ken is going to appreciate Freya Jobbins‘ project. The Australian artist recycles all possible discarded dolls to use them as the material for her sculptures… The final work presents some dismembered dolls, a thousand little parts of their body which are re-assembled to create several bizarre adult three-dimensional portraits. I swear she’s not psychopath, just fond of plastic and miniature details.

Her inspiration from Guiseppe Archimboldo is flagrant as they both use one kind of element (dolls for Jobbins, veggies and fruits for Archimboldo) to create new human characters. But she also said being inspired by Ron Mueck‘s oversized humans and Gunther Von Hagen‘s plastination corpses.

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photo credit : Guiseppe Archimboldo – Vertumnus (Emperor Rudolph II)

“My work explores the relationship between consumerist fetishism and the emerging recycling culture within the visual arts.”, said the artist.

When the Freya Jobbins explains her project, it’s less freaky but fascinating in a new way. It’s so true that we are living in a world completely consumerist and I remember well that when I was little I was always asking a new doll each Christmas (to the greatest despair of my parents) but the thing is not only about dolls but about our consumer society in general. We accumulate purchases every day in our cupboard, the idea of a recycle of all those old objects which are not useful anymore for us can be an amazing new source of creation for some others.

Freya Jobbins proves it with her project which doesn’t lack of imagination !

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Hunger, when body becomes a weapon.

The English director Steve McQueen evokes in Hunger the true story of Bobby Sands, political prisoner and symbol of Irish republicans who died on May 5, 1981 after a hunger strike of sixty-six days… Raw and extremely realistic, Hunger is a must-watch.

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1981, Nothern Ireland. Maze Prison is the place where the political prisoners of the IRA are interned. They begin a protest to show their anger : no washing and wearing blankets rather than uniforms. They want to regain their status as political prisoners, instead of simple criminals. We follow the daily life of two of those prisoners : Davey Gillen and Gerry Campbel who are living together in the same dirty cell (they paint the walls with their own excrement). Constantly harassed and beaten by the members of the British police, .but it’s Gerry who soon is going to pass to the ultimate level of revolt, the physical one, by beginning an hunger strike…

I’ve seen a lot of movies about people giving their whole life for a cause (In the Name of the Father, Patch Adams, Freedom Writers…) but this one, in addition of being about a fascinating and striking true story, is a work of art in itself.

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The narrative is fragmented and the composition is full of smoothness. There are two points of view given by both main characters : prison officers and prisoners. We notice for example that the film starts at the same time as the day of a prison officer. The one we find again later in the movie, more precisely after the riot, smoking a cigarette in the snow with his left hand which is hurts. The director paid attention to all the details, this one symbolizes the violence and proves that the officer, in hurting prisoners, hurts himself.

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The most part of the film is silent, apart the speech of Bobby to the Priest. However, all the images in Hunger are so powerful and so powerful that we are not bored, not even one seconde. Each sequence is a concentrate of voltage. We keep the eyes on the screen throughout the course of history.

Hunger all makes sense during the priest’s scene. The dialogue rapidly turns into a philosophical speech. A lot of questions arise. Where are the limits of the rebellion ? After the no-wash and the blanket protests, it seems that the hunger strike is the only and last resource Bobby finds. This is the last fight, the fight of despair.When the body becomes a weapon (a weapon already used earlier in the movie to hide messages and objects during the meetings with close people). Bobby  chooses to use his body because it’s the last thing he can use, it’s the last way to make things change, even if it’s not going to work (that’s why sacrifice is also discussed).

After this lengthy scene, the movie is nothing but a relevant and strong description of Bobby Sands dying slowly. A period of time when Sands can still decide to stop this hunger strike, to choose life.. But he prefers to sacrifice himself, to undergo all of that than being passive and letting things go on.

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I must admit some scenes were sometimes hard to watch without looking down at my shoes because of its violence and the impressive realistic performances from the actors but it was worth it.

The movie won the Caméra d’Or in Cannes, the Discovery Award in Toronto and the Carl Foreman Award in BAFTA. I am happy Steve Mc Queen received good prices because the movie is an awesome work of art dealing with an intense topic. We are touched by the message of Hunger, most of important historical facts are too often forgotten, it’s good to remind us all of this.

Afterwards, we are obviously completely dazzled by the beauty of the film.


Brick Lane, a fashion cocktail

One week ago, I decided to take a little break for a few days in one of the most stimulating city of the world… London, obviously. I found out this singular place which is a little gem hidden.

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Among all its facets, Brick Lane is a neighborhood very focused on fashion. Indeed, Brick Lane is one of the top place for fashion in London. Today, the neighborhood is known for its vintage shops and small designers.

In the streets there are many thrift stores, such as Absolute Vintage, a large vintage frippery located at 15 Hanbury Street. Inside there is a bit of everything: colorful shirts, psychedelic pants, tailors, but especially a lot of shoes ( boots, pumps, high heels, sandals…), bags and purses, all more unique and original than the others.

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There is something for all tastes. It’s difficult to find elsewhere what we bought here. Objects are unique. The sellers are very nice, welcoming and known how to advise. In the same area other stores are veritable treasure cave: for example the Shop 72, which presents the creations of independent designers.

But the shops does’nt make everything, the best show is in the street. People of all ages, all nationalities are walking and have in common their styles, or rather madness and originality of their outfits. Sometimes we can wonder how it’s possible to find that kind of clothes really implausible.

Styles are very differents, it’s very inspiring. It’s like a live performance, a constant parade, a fashion show. It’s easy to get into this special atmosphere of madness and extravagance.

In London and especially in Birck Lane, it’s possible to wear anything and everything without being stared by passers. People are free to be who they want, young or old, from any country, and let freedom at their imagination and their appareance. Fashion is not only material in Brick Lane, it also has a share of tolerance and freedom.


When I open my eyes…

Are you part of those people who, every new day, when opening their eyes are face to a large immensity such as this one?

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Wout berger is one of those lucky people. This artist comes from a small town of Uitdam. He has been a photographer for 35 years, he always has been interested in landscapes but in 35 years, this is the first time the photographer stops on the one which is yet in its scope since he was born: IJssel lake; IJsselmeer het, a lake he has a view from his house.

Berger took a lot of pictures of this lake, always from exactly the same view point. To be honest, there are 60 pictures in the series. Sixty pictures of the exactly same landscape, from the exactly same view point. I already can hear you saying “What’s the artistic point about that? Sixty pictures of a lake ? Come on.” Well, all the interest of his project “When I open my eyes” lies in this quote from the artist :

“In the morning, when I open my eyes, the first thing I look at is the IJsselmeer and the light: always the same, always different.”, said the artist.

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First, it means Wout Berger lives in the subject of his project, the immersion is total and this, since 35 years. In a sense, he sees this lake looking always the same way because it’s nothing else than a lake. Infinity of water… but it also means that his vision of the landscape has changed over time. He explains in his book that he had at first this reflex of the artist looking for an interest in Beauty. He was first tried to find an “aesthetic” aspect to this landscape. Differences among the images are small so he was happy when, for example, had the view of lake with a boat which was passing by…

With a subject which was always the same… But soon, he realized that some sides of this landscape : waves, horizon, sun, patches of fog, clouds… were useful because the proof of a transition. The subject changed and is now, not more about aesthetic.

“I want to photograph wind, light—elements that we know only by their manifestations. You don’t see the wind; you see a wave. You don’t see light; you see the cloud that catches light.”, said the photographer.

This is it. The subject changed and the interest is not anymore in each picture, but in the differences among the photographs.

With this project, he wanted to reach what is physically impossible to achieve, but what we can perceive in the course of the 60 photos. You still with me? The lake remains the same but other factors such as the weather, for example, will modify the original landscape as it will be reflected in the water.

The idea of this project is so meaningful. I’m very sad because the exhibition ends in January and is in Tillburg so I can’t go… I will just staying there, watching the pictures, trying to imagine how it could be wonderful to watch it in a the large format.

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A book to the eternal beauty

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Dorian Gray is a young man with a perfect beauty. His friend (and painter), Basil Hallward is fascinated with him because his beauty became his inspiration for his art. He does a portrait of Dorian Gray which is the best work he has ever done. Dorian soon meets Lord Henry, a friend of Basil’s. Lord Henry tells him some theories about youth which make Dorian become jealous of his own picture because once finished, the painting will always stay the same, this perfect beauty, whereas Gray is going to lose his youthful beauty. Dorian wishes the painting would get old instead of him and this is what is going to happen…

When I arrived in Ireland I decided I will definitely read The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I always wanted to read this book and I’m glad I waited until now because when I’m in France I always buy the french version of the books. Thanks to Dorian Gray, he makes me realize it’s much better in English (and easy to read by the way). The style of Wilde is impressive, full of lyricism, aphorisms, and his cynicism… All is refined. When I was reading the book I felt that on each page there was a new a sentence so beautiful that it could make a quote of the best known ! This is what I call a masterpiece.

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photo credit : The Picture Of Dorian Gray – Ivan Albright (1944)

Oscar Wilde’s novel is divided, in my opinion, in three parts : the creation of the painting, the first vice of Gray, and finally his descent into hell. My favorite is the last one. The modification of Gray’s soul is fascinating. The “cute” and flat Dorian Gray we meet at the beginning disappears slowly and we soon discover a new side to him, which is so gloomy that his true personality stands out even more. Everything is sophisticated, even the contrast between the deceptive beauty of its appearance and the darkness of his soul.

Also, it’s crazy when we realize all the book is based on a painting, which is a visual support. Yet, it’s only with words that Wilde enabled us to create an idea of what the painting is in our minds.

The book makes you think about fascination, the art of moral, Good and Wrong, love, temptation, the attraction of people to Beauty, but also the traps of perfection. Those are important issues to deal with and the book almost reaches some philosophical points, my reading reminded me of my philosophy courses on Plato and his theory of Beauty.

In short, a really good and accessible classic that I recommend to all lovers of Literature.

For the anecdote… In 1890, when the book was published, it was considered like immoral, people from its time have reproached to Wilde his monstrous character. Also, the version read by many has also several censored passages which have only been published two years ago. I found that quite funny because the author himself says something in the book which is a very good response to all criticism received : “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.Well done, Wilde !