Wednesday, February 29, 2012


A gorgeous nude study by the latest addition to my short list of Flickr friends: jmw turner. A highly accomplished photographer specializing in artistic nude images. Both this photograph and his stream in general are definitely not safe for work, but if you like high class art based on the nude female body you really should click this. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Unusual concertos [22]: Marimba

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - aiming for 50+ this time.

The twenty-second concerto deals with the marimba, another one of the tuneful members of the percussion group (the vibraphone was blogged earlier, see here).The marimba has become a relatively popular concertante instrument in recent decades, with concertos having been composed inter alia by Milhaud, Creaston, Musgrave, Koppel and Rosauro. I have selected the short but beautiful marimba concerto by Akira Miyoshi, played by Evelyn Glennie and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Paul Daniel, taken from an RCA CD.

Go here

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A hard day's night: mystery solved

The opening guitar chord of the Beatles song A hard day's night is one of the most recognizable in the history of pop/rock - and generations of guitar players have struggled in vain to reproduce it. In the end, it took a mathematician to solve the mystery. Read all about it in the link.

web site

Monday, February 27, 2012

Liquid flames

An especially beautiful variation on the theme of water reflections, this autumnal shot by my Flickr friend Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ. As she posted later, this image has been selected for the cover of the latest Joseph Conrad's e-book Heart of Darkness (see here) - a well deserved distinction! As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Vogue February 1923

Well, it is the Year of the Dragon, after all... a beautiful and highly original vintage Vogue cover, designed in early Art Deco style by George Plank.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

The story behind the World Press Photo

This photograph has featured in countless blogs, including mine (here) for a reason - the winner of the World press Photo 2011 competition has the potential to become one of the iconic images of our time. The link gives the background story including an interview with the Yemen mother who is depicted in the shot with her injured son. Highly recommended.

web site

Do you know what you eat?

A beautiful example of the brilliant advertising campaign by Greenpeace, aiming to make people think about the dangers of genetically modified food. The small text of the ad reads, "The DNA of genetically modified plants may contain the genes of insects, animals or even viruses. These products may potentially cause harm to your health. Look for GMD free sign on the package."

Creative Ads

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Guiding Light by Kevin Ledo

I simply love this art project by Kevin Ledo. The Portuguese/Canadian artist uses gold leaf techniques that go back to the iconic depictions of the Byzantine era, for modern portraits. The philosophical undertones of these creations are amplified by the titles he gives them, such as Saint Calvin Klein of New York, suggesting that fashion icons have taken the place of religious ones in our modern society. Highly recommended to check out his linked web site. All rights retained by the creator.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Potpourri: Cross section of Leica lens

From time to time I will be highlighting some of my own favourite posts in my parallel blog, Art's Potpourri. These can be recent or from years ago. This one was posted 20 May 2011 (re-posted 23 November 2012 after the re-start of Potpourri).

Central Concert Hall Astana

The Central Concert Hall in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, was designed by Manfredi Nicoletti, and opened in 2009. Its shape was inspired by the petals of a flower, providing a metaphor of the dynamism of music. With a capacity of 3500 seats, the main Concert hall is one of the biggest of its kind. More on this building can be found in the wikipedia link below.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Have a seat

I have had a bit less inspiration than usual in recent weeks, so I started digging through unused shots at my hard disk. This is one of the best that came up. It is a seating arrangement in a church in the Dutch city of Naarden, where the special light created a beautiful repetitive pattern. Lots of positive reactions on Flickr, even though it did not reach Explore. I liked one of the comments: "Total classic Art Rock shot."

Camera: Canon PowerShot Pro1 8 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/25)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 50.8 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


The young companion - a university project

An unusual variation on the theme of my wife's art in this blog. She was approached by a London-based fashion student who had to design a magazine based on a certain theme for her studies. The theme she selected was Shanghai, and in addition to articles on movies and fashion, she wanted to feature my wife's art, including an imagined interview. After she received the go ahead, we were sent the link of the result, and I must say it looks quite professional. The complete magazine can be viewed on the link.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I always love it when one of the news photography sites I follow features an art item, as that is an obvious choice to include in my blog. In this case we have South Korean artist Seo Young Deok posing with one of his creations, Nirvana. He has sculpted a human head in stunning detail - using more than a mile of old bicycle chains as his prime material. All rights retained by the photographer/agency (Mogigusant/Solent News and Photo Agency).

Links [17]

Once more an overview of interesting links on topics related to the blog, that I encountered recently, but that will probably not make the blog as separate entries. The picture above is by Jenny Downing, making a guest appearance.

The Kinetica Art Fair 2012.
Debbie Harry Polaroids by Andy Warhol.
Working with Lucian Freud (video, NSFW).
Guggenheim to Close Berlin Outpost.
What’s So Funny About Modern Art?
Vincent's Starry Night Comes to Life.
Does Fear Help Us Appreciate Abstract Art?


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CPE Bach, it's in the genes

Many of Johann Sebastian Bach's sons became good composers themselves, if not on their father's immense level. The three best known are Johann Christian, Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel - and the latter is the best of the bunch to my taste. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) was one of the main composers in the transition period between his father's Baroque and Mozart's Classical period. I like his concertos best in his output, especially those for cello, organ and flute. As an introductory disc I have selected the Naxos double CD with his collected flute concertos, and a solo flute sonata thrown in for good measure. They are well played by Patrick Gallois with the Toronto Chamber Orchestra under Kevin Mallon. This is refined elegant music, well crafted and a pleasure to listen to.

Monday, February 20, 2012

On a cloudy day

This is one of the specialties of Belgian photographer and digital artist Koen Demuynck: photoshopped creations of stacked animals, resulting in images that are fun and disturbingly realistic. I found this in a post at the Beautiful Decay blog, but refer to the artist's site. All rights reserved by the creator.


Sunday, February 19, 2012


Even in the diverse and excellent photo-stream of my Flickr friend aftab, this one stands out as a unique piece of art. It looks like some kind of double or even triple exposure, resulting in a fascinating shot, that is at the same time haunting and sensual. One of the very best photographs I have seen in recent months. I improvised a title - obviously inspired by the similarity with the famous poster of the movie The Graduate. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Unusual concertos [21]: Baritone saxophone

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - aiming for 50+ this time.

The twenty-first concerto deals with the baritone saxophone, the lowest-pitched saxophone in common use (for the alto saxophone concerto posted earlier, see here). Although it has been used in orchestral compositions by the likes of Bartok, Gershwin and Strauss, I am not aware of any baritone saxophone concerto by a famous composer. I do have one on my hard drive though, by Brazilian composer Joelio Santos, subtitled The weeping tree.  It is played by Marcos Cafe and an unnamed orchestra.

Go here

Saturday, February 18, 2012


This romantic painting of the city of Kampen by Dutch master Cornelis Springer (1817-1891) dating back to 1861 is not really my style, so why post it? Because this is the almost unchanged view we have the moment we step out of our new house/shop in Kampen into the main shopping street! The main thing that has changed is that the trees are no longer there. We will move into our new home in May - we are looking forward to it! More on Springer in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Repost: Similarities

A re-post from the artchives (original posting date 19 Apr 2010) - with the blog in its current form over three years old, I intend to dig up some of the older posts once in a while.

A fascinating overview of similarities, intentional or unintentional, in designs of posters and the like. To quote the collector (B. Caruthers): Albert Einstein once said, “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” The pairs of images in this "Similarities" set are similar visually in one way or another. They are presented without judgement as to the motives of their creators. The viewers of the pieces can form their own opinion(s) about what they see. Some are "accidents": The creator of the similar piece had no knowledge of the original. Some are "re-contextualized": Obscure imagery from long forgotten sources was used from vintage printed ephemera. Some are "inspired": They are either obviously or vaguely similar to one another. Some are "homages": In order to pay homage to an existing piece, the original design should be widely known. Some are "appropriated": They contain—as the primary image on their piece—the original (and usually, but not always, uncredited) visual source. Not sure under which heading this combination of a Sundsbo photograph and Ladytron concert poster would fall, but it is a fascinating collection to browse through.


Tierazon 124

We have encountered Jane Thomas last weekend with her soap macro photography. Here she is once more, now with one of her excellent fractals. Lovely psychedelic effect in both shapes and colours. More of her fractals will be featured in the course of the year. Of course, all rights retained by the creator.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cinelandia July 1933

Cinelandia was an Argentinean movie magazine, which had plenty of great actress-based covers in the twenties and thirties. This gem shows the Mexican Spitfire, Lupe Velez. More samples of this magazine in the months to come.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Potpourri: Chromatic typewriter

From time to time I will be highlighting some of my own favourite posts in my parallel blog, Art's Potpourri. These can be recent or from years ago. This one was posted last month, 11 January 2012 (re-posted 4 December 2012 after the re-start of Potpourri).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Sometimes you come across really great images on the web, but without information attached to them. I decided to start a subject for these, titled A is for anonymous. I will include the link where I found the shot, and anybody who can provide more information on these pictures, please leave a comment or mail me. I came across this Valentine inspired shot in the Acid Cow site. Lovely idea, well executed.


My Valentine

A wonderful Art Nouveau style Valentine's card for my darling wife, in a year that will bring big and undoubtedly positive changes for both of us. This beautiful image was designed by a very talented 18 year old student named Ronna. Image sourced from here.