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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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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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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Do you want to take the subway ?

Michael Wolf is a German photographer who grew up in USA and spent ten years of his life in China. Famous for his series on the architecture of Hong Kong and Chicago, the artist is also one of the first to use Google Street View for a photographic project between Paris and New York.

But his series, for me, which is the weirdest and most fascinating is undoubtedly Tokyo Compression, perfectly showing the flip side of Japan, the country which had a rapid economic success those last years but also the one which has the largest world population.

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I’ve been astonished when I saw this series of pictures with hundreds of Tokyoites who were photographed at peak hours when they were literally half crushed and compressed behind the windows of the subway, just before the train departs. Impressive photos of Japanese who are exhausted, and who finally are the ghosts of an huge anthill…

The height of the work done by Michael Wolf is seen through the physical expression of the people photographed, he managed to catch each face in its deepest intensity. They seem totally absorbed in their thoughts, what is indicative of this inferno which is daily and to which they “get used”.

However, I don’t see this work as a description of Tokyo, of course it is but not only. These images can be interpreted as the Japan cliché, but it depicts a real issue, the issue of all the big cities of the world, the example here is the subway but it could have been something else. When watching these pictures I just feel like we are all rotting away to small fire, because of the human’s folly of urbanization becoming more and more oppressive. Nobody realizes how much absurd it is to live in such a jungle.

At the end of the day, a very good work from Michael Wolf which raises the issue of the place of the human in megacities.


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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Nostalgic Detroit

Today, we are going to take a look at a great project that expresses perfectly this nostalgic feeling we all ever had.

Detroit was one of economic and industrial centers of the U.S. in the 70s but the city now seems totally ruined with a number of unhabitants which decreased dangerously. A lot of infrastructures are abandoned and some even haven’t dared venture anymore in the city during a few years.

This is what the groupe and site “Detroit Turbex” wanted to show through a series of photos taken at Cass Hi Tech School. With this technic superposition of several pictures, the project discusses the contrast between the powerful Detroit of the 70s and photographs taken at the exactly same places but now, presenting empty and melancholic places.

However, the city is fortunately regaining some power those last years (called the Berlin of U.S.), a city which becomes more and more trendy and alive so maybe this high school is going to resurrect sooner or later.

Second floor hallway. The yearbook room has suffered especially badly. Dance hall in the new wing. detroit 5 One of several biology labs.

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Let Lucy rock your dressing

“To create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where customers can have fun, find wonderful and affordable clothes to love and lovely people to chat to.”
This is the description of Lucy’s lounge by the owners of the place. And what a perfect description !
Lucy’s lounge is second hand and vintage clothes shop located in the heart of Temple Bar. Earlier this month, I came across this little gem by chance. I was with a friend from France who came to visit me.
We are two great lovers of vintage and kitsch stuff so when we saw those building walls painted pink and purple this directly have caught our eyes. Getting closer, we found a stroller not very common…
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The most kitsch stroller ever seen and a panel indicating “vintage” at the door, it was enough to decide to enter the shop. The ground floor belongs to Se Si brand, separated by a floor from Lucy’s lounge but it’s in the same spirit as Lucy’s Lounge apart the fact that they seem more interested in jewelry.

Besides, I had a crush with a part of the store where we can find mixed rings that represent scrabble’s keys and even some representing keystrokes. No kidding, it must be my geek side who comes out… Even though the only game I know of is World of Warcraft and it is only because my classmate was always talking about that (and as I was bored in math I was listening to him).

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However, this is only when I went downstairs that I started building castles in the air, with the idea of moving to this place and live there for the rest of my life as the shop is awesome. You’re not even in the basement that the stairs already make you feel in the garage-sale atmosphere.

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Everyone can find his little paradise in this place. It goes from some wedding dress, roller skates and old comic strips to eccentric and rare dresses from the sixties, until the thick sweaters that your grandma has stopped to knit (to your greatest misfortune). Oh I was forgetting that for the most nostalgic of you know there is also a bowl full of yo-yos!

Moreover, in most of thrift stores of Dublin we have to deal with exorbitant prices (I’ve already seen some basic sweaters at 40 euros) but at Lucy’s Lounge everything is affordable and in very good conditions, it’s the good place to make great buisness. In addition, the owner of the shop is so lovely. We can see she truly loves vintage and wants to help you to find the piece which will suit you the best.

For those who are not fond of vintage, do not leave this page so fast! Indeed, there is also a part of the store dedicated to the new emerging designers.

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If you are still not convinced, I think you should go at least for the place in itself. All objects you can see are wonderful knick knacks which seem to have been all freshly hunted around the best flea market ever.

Sometimes I don’t know what is to sell and what is only adornment and this, it’s well worth a visit.

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All pictures are mine.

Lucy’s Lounge11 fownes street templebarDublinIE.