Monday, May 21, 2018

Shadow of the Hierophant

The solo career of guiatrist Steve Hackett after leaving Genesis in the late seventies has been a bit of a mixed blessing to my taste. There's one original song that stands out for me: Shadow Of The Hierophant. I came across this amazing live rendition with Steve being assisted by Steven Wilson on guitar and Amanda Lehmann as vocalist. A beautiful version. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).

Copyright statement: screenshot from the video - deemed fair use.

Sunday, May 20, 2018


I came across this culture blog yesterday and immediately bookmarked it for frequent returns. Well informed intelligent articles, highly recommended.

Copyright statement: image is a screenshot of the linked blog; pictures are thumbnail size, texts, if readable at all, are excerpts, both deemed fair use.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


My wife and I are currently working together to revamp her part of our web site. I came across this painting that I'm pretty sure has not featured yet in the blog - and it really should.

Copyright statement: image created by Lu Schaper. Copyright Lu Schaper.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The sensual world

The album of the same name has already featured under "Beautiful album covers" (blogged here), but the cover of the title track released as a single is if anything even more impressive. Absolutely stunning. More about Kate Bush on the linked Wikipedia site.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of single covers considered fair use.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The man who painted Aqualung

The cover of the Jethro Tull 1971 album Aqualung is one of the most iconic in the history of rock. The linked article gives an overview of its creation by Burton Silverman (now 89), who did not reap the expected rewards from his work, as he signed over the copyright and use of his paintings to Chrysalis Records for a flat fee of 1500 $. Recommended reading.

Copyright statement: image created via the Photofunia site, who explicitly state that their images have no copyright issues. The depiction of the album cover is thumbnail size and considered fair use.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

View from a bridge

Well, this seemed a logical follow-up post from yesterday's Munch. Kim Wilde was one of the faces of the eighties, and this for me is her best song. Art Rock score: 9/10 (very strong song, one of 1000 best songs of all time).

Copyright statement: screenshot from the video - deemed fair use.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Girls on a bridge (variation)

Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) has featured a couple of times in the blog already, among others with his famous painting Girls on a bridge (blogged here). I recently found out that he created a whole series of paintings from this viewpoint, and I quite like this version from 1901 (see also here). More about Munch in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


When I saw this impressive album cover recently for the first time in my life, somehow it screamed "Eighties!" at me. And indeed, this album by the Motels is from 1985. The design is probably by Tony Viramontes, who is credited for the album's illustrations and photography.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of album covers considered fair use.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Admission exams for Chinese Fine Art universities

The linked article gives a fascinating insight in the things aspiring fine art students in China already have to know before they can even enter university - if they're lucky. A short excerpt: “It’s an unforgettable experience and I don’t want to participate in it again,” said Li Yulong, a graduate student who studies creative product design at the China Academy of Art in Shanghai. “The standards are very professional, and it’s incredibly hard. When I applied, I had to do a charcoal drawing of a man’s face, a color still-life painting of flowers and fruits, and a sketch.” Full story in the link.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Robin Hood

The poster for the upcoming Bathurst movie Robin Hood, the umpteenth on that particular subject, looks like nothing special - until you see what's different.

Copyright statement: low resolution images of movie posters considered fair use.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Covers of sheet music from the twenties are often great pieces of art, but this stylish one from 1921 by Art Phillips may be the most beautiful I've seen so far. And if you wonder what the song sounds like, I found it on YouTube here.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018


The most important music news of last week was the announced reunion, complete with new songs, of Sweden's ABBA, one of the best bands of the seventies. All four are now around 70, so one does wonder how viable this project is... Anyway, here they are in their golden time, with one of their very best songs.  Art Rock score: 9/10 (very strong song, one of 1000 best songs of all time).

Copyright statement: screenshot from the video - deemed fair use.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Vogue November 1912

A vintage Vogue cover of over a century ago. Although it is meant to evoke autumn, I find it also works as a spring image. An early work by the famous Helen Dryden.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Monday, May 07, 2018

New York Restaurant

Last week we went to an exhibition "The American Dream" in the Drents Museum Assen. Dozens of art pieces by the likes of Warhol, Wyeth, Katz, and of course Edward Hopper. His 1922 painting New York Restaurant was one of the absolute highlights. More about Hopper in the linked Wikipedia entry.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Requiem for Pianos by Romain Thiery

Requiem for pianos is a fascinating series of themed photographs by French artist Romain Thiery. He has made optimal use of the photogenicity of places in ruin, in this case ones that contain (decayed) pianos as well. Do click the link to explore these at larger size.

Copyright statement: all images displayed are thumbnail size, considered fair use.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Bits of stellar matter

When Kraftwerk hit the charts in the seventies, other groups tried to follow suit, aiming for their own share of the electronic pop music pie. Most were not very successful, but Damals from Freiburg did manage to get some success with the single Metropolis and the debut double album Bits of stellar matter. The original LP records are a rarity nowadays, but this recent reissue on one CD makes for an interesting document. Even if it is a notch below the level of Kraftwerk.

The idea of this little game is to create an album cover for an imaginary artist/group, as well as an imaginary review, following these instructions: [1] The artist/group: go to the wiki random page generator. The first random Wikipedia article obtained this way is the name of the band or performer. In this case, I ended up with Damals. [2] The title: go to the random quotations site. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of the album (from 2014 onward: any part of a random quotation will do). The random quote that came up was by Sr Arthur Eddington: We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong. [3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Chaos, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Rebecca 55 White and Aliens 80 White, respectively.

Note: this is a variation on the "Debut album game" that has been making its rounds around bulletin boards and blogs for some time now - the original version called for a random Flickr Explore photograph to be used as the cover. I have been trying to find out who had the original idea, but so far no success.

Copyright statement: image created by myself based on one of my photographs. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Ripped in April

A selected overview of culture stars relevant to my own tastes who passed away this month. A very quiet month (I did see that actor R. Lee Ermey, director Milos Forman and DJ Avicii died, but their work has had little or no impact on me). Rest in peace.

Harry Anderson (65), American actor. Best remembered for his role of Judge Harry Stone on the 1984–92 sitcom Night Court.
Verne Troyer (49), American actor. One of the shortest men in the world, his performance as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies is unforgettable.
Huguette Tourangeau (77), French-Canadian operatic mezzo-soprano. We have several CD's of operas in which she sang, together with Joan Sutherland. 
Michael Anderson (98), British film director. Best remembered for great movies like Logan's run, Dam busters, and Around the World in 80 Days.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.