Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Today the Netherlands will have a new king, Willem-Alexander, after 123 years of being reigned by a succession of three queens. Although I am a republican at heart, the subject is so overwhelmingly present in the Dutch news that I had to make a theme post. KING is the appropriately named classical Dutch peppermint brand, which has existed since 1922. This poster probably dates back to some time in the thirties or forties.

Vintage Posters

Monday, April 29, 2013

Finally spring

Not my usual type of picture, but when I passed this display on the main shopping street of Kampen (the same one where we have our gallery) I could not resist. And it became an unexpected hit on Flickr, raking up ten times as many views as usual and becoming my 57th photograph to reach Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting shots of the day.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Links [32]

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 my Flickr friend jenny downing.

China Forbids Kraftwerk Gig.
UK Top Ten Funeral Songs.
Pablo Picasso: 20 Surprising Facts.
Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light.
First Photography Museum Joins Google Art Project.
Turner Prize 2013: Nominees in Pictures.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Augustus Bridge - Dresden

This is only the second time that Austrian expressionist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) features in my blog. As he is one of the leading artists from one of my favourite movements (expressionism), it was about time. This painting dates back to 1923, and shows the bridge that still stands today in spite of the excessive damage done to Dresden in the second world war. More about Kokoschka in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Vogue March 1927

Another beautiful vintage Vogue cover, from a seemingly endless source of great designs. This is an excellent Art Deco rendition by Georges Lepape of model Lee Miller (as usual for the time with a great hat) set against the New Yoirk City background.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Build a world

The Pineapple Thief is a UK-based progressive rock band who have been around since 1999. Their album covers are in general very good, but this cover for their latest single Build a world really stands out. As so often with singles covers, I could not find more information about the designer/photographer. More about Pineapple Thief on the linked wikipedia page.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dills digestive mints

A very creative idea to sell these Belgian digestive mints: various "heavy" foods (like salmon in the example above) shaped into forms suggesting speed, like a Concorde. The campaign ran in 2007.

Creative Ads

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

R.I.P. Storm Thorgerson

A few days ago, album artwork designer Storm Thorgerson lost his battle with cancer, aged 69. His work for acts like Pink Floyd, APP, Cranberries, and Muse will stand the test of time: real iconic works, many of which have featured in the Beautiful Album Covers topic of this blog (and many more will). The link is to a BBC page with examples and tributes (picture credit). Rest in peace.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Why do people hate Rothko?

When a few months ago, an idiot damaged a Rothko painting in the Tate Modern, I was surprised to read the comments: even on art sites, there was a plethora of undiluted hatred for Rothko to the extent that lots of posters were apparently glad that this happened. The linked three-part article by Antony Gormley explores this phenomenon (throwing Kazimir Malevich into the mix as well), and it does make interesting reading. Image taken from here.

web site

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The journey

A perfect moment, perfectly captured. The location is the Inferno Cone in the Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho. The photographer who created this beauty is my Flickr friend cormend. The  path leading up to the top and the flash of colour of the subject make this stand out. And the philosophical overtones, indicated by the title. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Another beautiful cover that I ran across without a clue what the music sounds like. Ghosts is the 2003 major label debut of the alternative rock band Sleeping at Last. The art direction and design is credited to Paul McMenamin, the interesting painting itself used for the cover is by an artist who calls himself (herself?) Saggy Bottom.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday on my mind

Thanks God it's Friday - after a tiring week. For the occasion, David Bowie's version of this classic, taken from his Pinups album. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I would put it on my MP3 player).


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Riedel Sommeliers Black Tie wine decanter

Elegant and refined, but unfortunately not cheap. The Riedel hand-made and mouth-blown crystal wine decanter that goes by the name of Sommeliers Black Tie sports beautiful curves, enhanced by the thin black edging. Yours for just under 450 USD.

web site

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Repost: Tranquility

A re-post from the artchives (original posting date 24 February 2011) - with the blog in its current form over four years old, I intend to dig up some of the older posts once in a while.

There is something very subtle and effective about the photo art of German photographer Dominic Kamp, who takes beautiful shots of landscapes and digitally enhances them to look absolutely stunning, with dramatic bright, bold colours. All rights retained by the artist, as usual.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rijksmuseum opens to the public

An impressive fireworks display was part of the official opening of the completely renovated Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam last Saturday after a decade-long renovation. It is amazing how long it took, but judging from TV coverage, the result is excellent. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Peter Dejong/AP).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Photoplay January 1930

Once more a great Photoplay cover, the magazine founded in Chicago in 1911, that reached its top in the 1920s and 1930s. This one depicts actress Billie Dove, in a beautiful art deco outfit.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lincoln advertisement

A beautiful vintage advertisement from a 1930 Portuguese magazine. Excellent combination of the classic contours of the main subject, enhanced by the horizontal and vertical lines and with a contemporary sketched beauty thrown in for good measure.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nina Leen

Nina Leen (around 1910-1995) was a Russian-born American photographer, and regular contributor to Life magazine. She is remembered primarily for her many animal photographs, many of which have appeared in various dedicated books. The kitten shot shown above is a good example of her style - and a very funny picture to boot. More on Leen in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Unusual concertos [47]: Barrel organ

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 forty-seventh concerto deals with the barrel organ (image source). This is as unlikely a concertante instrument as any you will find in the series, and I know of only one concerto for it, by Romanian-born French composer Marius Constant, best known for the iconic Twilight Zone theme song. It is played by Pierre Charial and the Nancy Symphony Orchestra under Kaltenbach, available on an Erato CD.

Go here

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Frozen patterns

With winter slowly and finally giving way to spring, here we have a final winter shot for some time. I spotted these beautiful patterns on the frozen canal near our home mid March. Not a personal favourite of mine, but surprisingly popular on Flickr.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/11.0
Focal Length: 10.9 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Abstract 1969 (RIP Zao Wou Ki)

Yesterday, one of the two greatest contemporary artists passed away: Zao Wou Ki, born in China and living in France since 1948. He was 92 years old. I had the huge privilege to meet him during an exhibition in Paris. In his memories, one of his fabulous abstracts. RIP. More about him in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Susanne Meyer Abstract Photography

California-based photographer Susanne Meyer has featured a number of times in my blog as my Flickr friend Sannesu. She has now made a dedicated web page for her shimmering abstracts that are simply outstanding and unlike any other photographs I have ever seen. Very warmly recommended!

web site

Monday, April 08, 2013

Delbeck champagne

At the occasion of my birthday, a 1920 champagne poster for Delbeck Reims (creator unknown). A rooster is an unlikely main ingredient for a champagne poster, but funny enough it is very fitting, as it is my Chinese zodiac sign. Cheers!

Vintage Posters

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Bund (Friends of the Earth)

I have seen a lot of great advertisements on the theme of "save the animals", but this is one of the very best. The German organization Bund (Friends of the Earth) published this one, striking in its immediate message and with an excellent execution.

Creative Ads

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Feeding the swans

I encountered this gem in the Visboo site, without any information about the photographer. A beautiful natural diptych of extraordinary quality. If I find out who took this, I will edit it in later.