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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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.

Hunger, filmed October 2007

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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.


What if our world was empty ?

Silent World is the remarkable project of two photographers based on Paris : Lucie and Simon.

How would be the biggest cities in the world if emptied of everything ? The two artists attempts to answer this strange and quite chaotic idea with erasing all forms of urban life (almost) in the cities we know as lively and crowded places. I repeat, almost. Indeed, there is on each picture few silhouettes in the vastness of the empty cities.

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All the amazingness of this project is based on the presence of a few characters on the pictures because they remind us that these places are not fantastic, that they are not coming from a fiction movie, yeah, that would be too easy.

This makes us more think about places abandoned, where time is suspended. These pictures could have been taken 50 years ago, or 30 years later because each picture represents a symbolic place, most of the time with monuments which have been there for a long time. Thus, we do not really know what to think of these characters …

It’s oppressive, almost scary because we don’t even know what reality is. There is a strong confrontation between the real and unreal in this project. Are they the survivors of a post-apocalyptic event in which life would have be erased but cities but would have remained intact? Or maybe they are the ones who are responsible of this situation? Indeed, on the other hand it’s true that they look quite calm, they seem to know where they are going.

In any case, they represent all humanity. A topic that makes sense in a world’s situation where we wonder a lot about our world and about the future of humanity. The current ones are, as everyone knows, 2012 and its the possibly apocalyptic events to come which might lead to the end of our world.

At the end, Lucie and Simon created a disconcerting and thought provoking project but also a beautiful journey through the world.

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Joe Fenton spent 10 months on a single drawing

Why try to use computer technology when we know amazingly illustrate with a pencil ? 

Joe Fenton is an illustrator/writer/sculptor/designer from Brooklyn. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture from the Wimbledon Art School. Impressive, isn’t it ? But today, it’s on his drawings I want to focus because they are completely crazy (even if he has been drawing for two years only!)

With a 0.5 mechanical pen, the artist creates works on which you can spend a lot of time to see all the details.

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In addition to his talent for drawing, it seems that his imagination can’t fit in a basic paper size. Last year, Fenton has engaged himself in a huge project. Joe Fenton worked ten hours a day, seven days a week for ten months for a single drawing, A drawing which extends on a five metre tall and 2.5 metre piece of paper. And all this with the only use of his pen. You said insane ? I would rather say ambitious and talented. However, it’s true that it’s hard to imagine how this artist has been so patient…

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To arrive to this final art work, Fenton has first worked on each element of the drawing on a small scale, afterwards he pieced all images together like a puzzle by tracking his line drawings into the final piece of paper. Then, he completed the drawing with acrylic and ink.

The artist said that his surrealist inspirations come from the 15th century (with Hieronymus Bosch) but personally, the fantastic and dark side of his work made me directly think to the style of Todd Schorr.

The main theme of his project is his constant fear of death and all the unknown things which are all around us. That’s why that even if he doesn’t believe to any religion, Joe Fenton wanted to include a lot of religious symbols for experimenting what it could offers to his project. Thus, you can find in the drawing some symbols as a ganesh-like character, a grinning buddha or a crucifix… Concerning the rest of his work he has been mostly inspired by asian mythology, northern renaissance art and contemporary pop culture. However, there are also a lot of details for which I still don’t understand the meaning, maybe you will !

Anyway, “SOLITUDE” is the name of the project and it’s seriously the most amazing drawing I’ve ever seen.

(as you can see below)

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Being bald and wet

The amazing sculptures of water created by Heinz Maier seems to have inspired Tadder Tim. This american photograph usually works with marketing campaigns but he turns to be very creative during his spare time. His last personal and freaky project ? Well, he decided to stage a few bald models to make them wear liquids wigs… Yes, liquids ! How is it possible ? A good camera, balloons filled with water, some fluorescent lights effects, and of course models who are not afraid of water !

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As you are going to see, this collection of photos is not perfect, I think the expressions of the models are sometimes too predictable but I find it interesting in the sense that Tadder Tim brings us into a world which we can’t see with the naked eye. It must have been a mad’s preparation to manage to capture the explosion of the water at the good moment. In the halo shots, for example, the assistant reached up behind the model’s head, which hid the stick, and popped the balloon. Moreover, the studio was immersed in complete darkness for all the time of the photoshoot for the water to be perfectly caught by the camera (just with the light of the camera’s flash), so it must have been a bit awkward and dangerous for both (model and assistant).

The result is funny, I almost want to be bald for trying one of these ephemeral hair wigs ! (I said almost).

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Banksy’ successor is on his way !

Banksy, you should be careful, your successor is on his way !

Indeed, I just discovered one of the best street artist I’ve ever seen. Remember this name : Smug One. Australian-born, he moved to Glasgow a few years ago, a city where all the walls he touches become amazing.

 

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Smug has his own style which is very realistic and particular, sometimes at the limit of optical illusion. This type of work, called anamorphic art is a technique that uses mathematical continuation of perspective to give the illusion of depth and of three-dimensionality to the surface worked on. His color gradients and surreal hints are awesome. Also he spends a lot of time on every details, leaves nothing to chance to reach a kind of perction. This artist seems to have reached a new gear of awesomness in Street Art.

He works on very large areas (sometimes 10m x 10m) and creates impressive work on a large choice of subjects. Human body (Especially women), babies, famous characters, and humorous scenes are his favorite themes. It goes without saying that his mastery of painting (all entirely realized with spray) is amazing, the walls actually look like paintings. Thus, he gives a life to his characters.

The result is crazy. Here are some of his art work, just for the pleasure of your eyes…

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