Wednesday, October 31, 2012

No word from Tom

The whole month you may have seen the banner to the right: October is world-wide breast cancer awareness month. For the conclusion of this subject, here we have a third clip of a survivor of the disease, the lovely soprano Dawn Upshaw, whom I saw perform live in Chicago in 1991. She is my favourite singer in that genre, whether she tackles art songs, symphonies (Gorecki's 3d) or arias like No word from Tom from Stravinsky's The Rakes Progress.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No comment

Scammers have been persistently trying to get their tripe through in this blog's comments in recent months. Of course, this is useless as I moderate them all before publishing. That does not stop some morons to try and try again though. I am getting fed up with this, and as genuine comments are scarce anyway, I have decided to eliminate the comments function altogether. Image above is based on one of my own photographs.

Film Fun May 1924

A magazine that has not featured yet in my blog. Film Fun ran from July 1915 to September 1942, providing a lighter look at the contemporary movie scene. The covers were often drawn by Enoch Bolles, and looked more like pin-ups than serious actresses - in line with the magazine's contents. They do make for a nice piece of nostalgia.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Deltron 3030

Once more an album where I have never heard the music - but I love the cover. The self-titled only album of rappers Deltron 3030, issued in 2000, recalls the science fiction novel covers of the seventies to great effect. Unfortunately I could find no information on the designer.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Choose (one or the other)

A suitable reminder for the Europeans to put the clock back if you have not done so already... winter time is here. The shot is by my Flickr friend Frogzone 1, who has been absent from Flickr for a while, and thus from this blog as well. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Unusual concertos [38]: Double bass

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 thirty-eighth concerto deals with the double bass (image source). This is of course a regular classical orchestra instrument, but not the most logical one to write a concerto for. Still, it was surprisingly popular in the classicist period, with concertos by Haydn (lost), Wagenseil, Vanhal, Kozeluch and others. The 20th century saw a slight revival, with concertos by for instance Tubin, Aho and Skalkottas. Possibly the most famous composer of a double bass concerto in the past century is Hans Werner Henze, whose death yesterday is the reason to post this one today (RIP meastro). His 1966 composition is a substantial 30 minutes work in three movements, a perfect example of an unusual concerto sounding like the most logical choice in the world. My version is by Gary Karr and the English Chamber Orchestra under the composer, taken from an DG CD.

Go here

Saturday, October 27, 2012


One of my own favourite photographs of recent weeks. This is the view, just one minute walking from our home, across the river IJssel to the little village of IJsselmuiden. The autumn fog on the river and the stunning sky make a beautiful combination.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Friday, October 26, 2012


Another post inspired by the Richter exhibition we saw at the Pompidou Museum recently. This painting from 1966 is an excellent example of his fuzzy style in monochrome, which I think is his most important period together with his shimmering colourful abstracts, of which I have posted a few examples before in this blog (here, here, and here). More on Richter in the linked wikipedia article.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vogue October 1926

A vintage Vogue cover that is not seen that often - but that is among my favourites. The design was by the famous Eduardo Garcia Benito.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The best is yet to come

The whole month you will see the banner to the right: October is world-wide breast cancer awareness month. For the occasion, here we have another clip of a survivor of the disease, the gorgeous Stacey Kent. She is one of my favourite contemporary jazz singers, especially in evergreens like The best is yet to come.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Links [26]

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 myself.

Frank Lloyd Wright House Escapes Demolition for Now.
Ten Extravagant Follies.
Complete Collection of James Bond Posters.
Bizarre Statues From All Over the World.
Missing Lichtenstein Found After 42 Years.
Car Hood Ornaments.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Potpourri: Axis of awesome

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 19 July 2010 (re-posted 23 December 2012 after the restart of Potpourri).

Four years

It is amazing how time flies. Today marks the fourth anniversary of the re-start of this blog - a great decision at the time to revive my interest in blogging. Image sourced from here.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hubble's dream

A beautiful abstract shot by fellow Flickrite zanimo, which I came across in the 50+ faves group at Flickr. Gorgeous colours and shapes, most likely formed by lighting on ice, but suggesting images from outer space - the title is spot on. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Abandoned Old Masters by Bence Hajdu

At first glance, this might be more suited for Potpourri, but there is something profound about this series of works by Hungarian new media artist Bence Hajdu. he has taken paintings by the likes of da Vinci and Botticelli and given them a digital treatment, skillfully removing all persons in the painting. What is left is an empty scenery to ponder. The linked Hyperallergic post combines his work with the original paintings in animated gifs for a direct comparison. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Unusual concertos series: changes

Last weekend, for inexplicable reasons, about a dozen of the excerpts I made for the unusual concertos series simply disappeared from the cloud service I am using. I spent quite some time finding or even recreating and re-uploading the original files, and today another one was gone. I am not going through with this. I will change the format of these posts, no longer will there be excerpts, instead there will be a link to Amazon or YouTube. This also saves me the time to make these excerpts for the upcoming concertos. Image sourced from here.

Unusual concertos [37]: Sitar

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 thirty-seventh concerto deals with the sitar (image source). This exotic instrument is foremost used in Indian classical music, and has gained acceptance world-wide since its introduction in pop and rock music by the Beatles and others in the sixties. I only know of one concerto for the sitar, by Indian composer Ravi Shankar, dating back to 1976. It is a substantial work, lasting 30-40 minutes, depending on interpretation. For this post, I have selected a version played by Ravi Shankar himself and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Previn, taken from an EMI CD.

Go here

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sydney's sculpture by the sea 2012

Every year this open air art event at the beaches of Sydney makes for great photojournalist shots. In this one, it looks like the passer-by is towing the sculpture by Australian artist Greer Taylor titled "Transition" - whereas he is actually just walking his dog. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Tim Wimborne/Reuters).

Happy birthday dad!

Today my father celebrates his 85th birthday. Van harte, papa! Image sourced from here, adjusted in Picasa.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Emmanuelle (RIP Sylvia Kristel)

Today, Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel lost her battle with cancer at the age of 60. She will always be remembered from the erotic Emmanuelle movies series of the seventies. I have selected the beautiful and intimate theme song from Emmanuelle by French singer Pierre Bachelet. RIP Sylvia. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I would put it on my MP3 player).


Origami superimposed by Marc Fichou

As much as I love skillful origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into sculptures, there is a reason why I made it a recurring theme in Potpourri, rather than here: for me it is more about crafts than fine art. However, I make an exception for the work of Marc Fichou, who creates great origami animals, and then photographs them with the paper similar to the one they were folded from as background. The combined effect is stunning and makes it suitable for my art blog. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October water reflections

My first three shots to hit Flickr Explore (the 500 most interesting shots of the day) this year all were rather surprising to me. This is my fourth, and this is one I had high hopes for right from the start. One of my own favourite shots of the year, and a subject that usually appeals to many viewers. It is once more a colourful reflection taken in the beautiful canal of Kampen near our home.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/5.9
Focal Length: 20 mm
ISO Speed: 150
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Illustracao Portugueza September 1922

A beautiful and stylish cover of a Portuguese magazine that has not featured before in my blog - it appeared between 1880 and 1978. The illustration on this cover is by Rocha Vieira.


Monday, October 15, 2012

As tears go by

The whole month you will see the banner to the right: October is world-wide breast cancer awareness month. For the occasion, here we have a clip of a survivor of the disease, Marianne Faithful. Her version of As tears go by is for me as good as the one by the Stones. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I would put it on my MP3 player).


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The portals of discovery

This is one of the rarest of Krautrock albums, with original LP's easily fetching 500 euro on the second hand market. Entschenkopf only made this one album in 1974 before their break-up, and no more than 1000 pieces were pressed. It did not stop the rumours going throughout the seventies that this was an absolute gem of a record, one of the best in the genre. Well, last year the long lost master tapes were discovered in the archives of the record company, and with this CD release, we can finally judge for ourselves. You know what? It is a masterpiece. The original A-side has three excellent songs, each lasting around 6 minutes, with a more psychedelic sound than most of their Krautrock contemporaries. The B-side contained the 20 minutes title track, an incredible space jam interspersed with beautiful melodic vocal lines. An essential addition to any rock collection.

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 Entschenkopf.
[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. The random quote that came up was by James Joyce: Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Aries, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Gargoyles Normal Black 65 and Corleone Due Gold metallic 75, 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.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Les musiciens

Franco-Russian artist Nicolas de Stael (1914-1955) may be one of my wife's favourites, his art never fully connected with me. That is, until we saw this beauty in the Pompidou a few weeks ago. This Fauvist inspired depiction of musicians is from 1952, and is even more impressive when viewed live. More on de Stael in the linked wikipedia article.