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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A book to the eternal beauty

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photo credit (Oscar Wilde)

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 ! 


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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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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The Basquiat’s supreme featuring

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Everytime I see this picture it makes me dream, look how it perfectly represents the person who seemed to be Jean-Michel Basquiat. He was a street artist that started in New York in the late 1970’s and evolved between neo-expressionism and primitivism. He managed to mix poetry, drawing and painting. Indeed, there is a fusion between text and image in his works that is really particular.

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When Basquiat was alive, he was friend with some of the most notables artists as Andy Warhol, but his own art was not that famous. Yet, like a lot of artists we can notice a renewed-interest for his work since his death and this, in all areas ! Actually, we can find books about him, movies, documentaries and for the most coquettish ones… Fake nails with reproductions of his paintings ! Yay, Jean-Michel Basquiat is everywhere, even in the strangest collaborations and I’ve always been really happy with it because he completely deserves it. However, my gladness left as quickly as it came when I saw that :

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In 2010, it was the turn of Rebook. The famous brand of sneakers decided to make a tribute to Basquiat for a Winter limited collection and oh god, the reebok stuff was so distasteful. Really, to make some ugly sneakers for running, write Basquiat on it and saying it’s a tribute ? Please. I can’t see any tribute to any form of art in that. When I saw this featuring I thought Basquiat should never be next to Rebook or any other brand ever.

Of course, brands have been continuing to want Basquiat next to them. Fortunately the last one is a brand I appreciate a lot.

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Supreme is also a streetwear brand but surely more corresponding to the idea of the art of Basquiat, which is a good news because they confirmed they have now the rights to use the imagery of the artist for a new line… T-shirts, sweatshirts, button-downs and hats will be released in Spring/Summer 2013.

Stay tuned, we just have to wait few months and in 2013, we’ll (hopefully) hang out in style !


How I’ve visited Francis Bacon’s thoughts.

Okay, if there is something you have to know it’s that I am a huge fan of Francis Bacon. If I should describe his work I would say it’s a pretty swirl of twisted characters, abstract scenes involving his homosexuality and representations of his obvious passion for opened mouths. My favorite paintings are Bacon’s depiction of love. It’s violent, raw, and sweet and beautiful at the same time.

His art’s style was highly controversial but he’s now recognized as one of the most influent artist of the 20th century.

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Francis Bacon – Three Studies of the Male Back, 1970

Francis Bacon - Head I, 1949

Francis Bacon – Head I, 1949

Study for Portrait II (after the Life Mask of William Blake) 1955 by Francis Bacon 1909-1992

 Francis Bacon – Study for Portrait II (after the Life Mask of William Blake), 1955

You can imagine my happiness when I found out that his London studio was transplanted in Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. It took three years to transfer everything from London, where the original studio was located. They also created a few windows in the walls to permit the visitor to see the studio from different points of views.

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A meticulous work perfectly realized. Indeed, nothing has been forgotten from the walls, floorboards, celling, to all the paint cans and tubes which are scattered all over the floor, which is completely covered with newspapers, books and images.

“This is exactly the mess that he left behind,” Project manager Dr Margarita Cappock said of the re-constructed studio.

And what a mess ! There is in this studio the result of the 30 years he spent working there, until his death in 1992. The atmosphere of this place is an organized chaos and that’s why it’s impressive.

“This mess here around us is rather like my mind; it may be a good image of what goes on inside me, that’s what it’s like, my life is like that”, said Bacon.

Indeed, when I arrived in front I’ve stared into the room for at least five minutes without interruption and I felt like if I just had introduced myself in his little world full of creativity, like if this mess was nothing else than Bacon’s mind itself materialized on the floor and on the walls.. And that I was there, with the privilege to enter it. It’s a strange but enjoyable feeling.

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This room should be visited by all art lovers, not only the amateurs of Francis Bacon’s work. It is a rare gift to be able to enter a place so private. You know, to be in the deepest thoughts of the artist, where took place the birth of each of the artist’s masterpieces. A gift that must be received with arms wide open.


Inspiration is everything.

Each artist has inspirations.

Actually, everyone has but some are more aware about them than others.

What I like about the Tumblr platform is that it is an infinite inspiration. Everyone exposes his own so it suddenly becomes inspirations of inspirations of inspirations of… etc. I like to see this development.

That’s why I decided that today, I’m not going to talk about inspirations of others, but just going to show you a bit what are my own inspirations of the moment. Let’s say it’s quite like a little presentation of myself.

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