Sunday, June 30, 2013

Perrier Small Bubbles

This is such a great new advertisement campaign for a new variety of Perrier. There is of course a slight art angle with hints of Lichtenstein in the set-up, and the way the product's main property (smaller bubbles) is translated into the campaign theme is brilliant. Excellent work by Ogilvy in Paris.

Creative Ads

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Easy boy

June 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of me being interested in the Dutch Top40 as broadcast weekly at that time by Veronica. To celebrate this piece of my youth, I intend to make Saturday Top40 1973 day in this blog for the rest of the year - providing a link to the list of that day 40 years ago and selecting my favourite song of the new entries of that week. Today we feature the list of 30 June 1973, and my pick of the newcomers of that week is a fun song by the Dutch duo Greenfield and Cook: Easy Boy (and we all prayed together). Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I would put it on my MP3 player).


Friday, June 28, 2013

Jugend November 1929

This is a German magazine I had never heard of (its title means Youth), with a stunning jazz age cover by an artist who uses the identification DVGO. Excellent the way the atmosphere of Berlin (one presumes) in the late twenties comes to life in this illustration.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

The war of the worlds

For the 100th post under this heading, I have selected a landmark record from the seventies, in many ways. Jeff Wayne's 1978 musical version of HG Wells' classic SF novel has stood the test of time, not least because of his choice of artists for his project, from Richard Burton to Justin Hayward. The cover is brilliant as well (actually the complete book that came with the album is a fantastic piece of work, full of excellent illustrations). Mike Trim, who had started his career working for shows such as Stingray and Thunderbirds, provided the cover illustration, a stunning depiction of a Martian tripod defeating the battle ship Thunderchild. For an excellent article on this album's background, see here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


My wife has been turning out new paintings at a steady pace, but until she is satisfied with them and approves photographs of them, I go back through the archives. This is one from 2006 that I had not posted yet, a lovely visual play on the resemblance of curly hair and flowers.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hani rice paddies

A beautiful silhouetted shot of rice fields, where the inclusion of the walking man to give perspective is an excellent element. A topical shot, because the depicted rice fields of Hani in southwest China were granted World Heritage status by UNESCO yesterday. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (undisclosed/AFP-Getty Images).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vogue January 1928

Here we have another marvelous Art Deco cover for Vogue magazine. Unfortunately I could not retrieve any information on the artist.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Brian Duffy

Brian Duffy (1933 - 2010) was an English photographer, best remembered for his fashion photography of the sixties and seventies. It was extremely tempting to select his iconic Aladdin Sane cover photograph of David Bowie, but in the end I opted for a portrait of another sixties' icon, model and actress Jean Shrimpton. More on Duffy in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The free electric band

June 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of me being interested in the Dutch Top40 as broadcast weekly at that time by Veronica. To celebrate this piece of my youth, I intend to make Saturday Top40 1973 day in this blog for the rest of the year - providing a link to the list of that day 40 years ago and selecting my favourite song of the new entries of that week. We kick off with the list of 23 June 1973, and my pick of the newcomers of that week is that great song by Gibraltar-born Albert Hammond: The free electric band. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I would put it on my MP3 player).


Friday, June 21, 2013


From an ad campaign that ran a few years ago: beautiful concept and great execution to illustrate how fast FedEx can deliver parcels from the USA to Brazil (as an example). Similar versions were made with UK/Spain and China/Australia.

Creative Ads

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hats, Paris style

A beautiful stylish advertisement from 1930 (Chicago Mail Order Catalog), displaying the contemporary hats fashion in "Paris style". Gorgeous Art Deco designs, and the ad itself would make a great poster on the wall!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A different kind of truth

The Art Deco style has made quite a comeback in recent years, and that is reflected in album covers as well. Here is a beautiful recent example by long-running American hard rockers Van Halen for their 2012 album A Different Kind of Truth. The sleeve design is credited to George Hernandez.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Unusual concertos [51]: Soprano 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 - realizing 50+ this time.

The fifty-first concerto deals with the Soprano saxophone (image source). We have encountered concertos for two other members of the saxophone family before (alto and baritone), now it is the turn for the highest-pitched instrument of the group. Its most famous use in classical music is probably Ravel's Bolero. There are a few concertos for it, though hardly any by a composer who is at least a bit known. I have selected my favourite of them, composed by Takashi Yoshimatsu. It is played by Nobuya Sugawa and the BBC Philharmonic under Yutaka Sado, available on a Chandos CD.

Go here

Monday, June 17, 2013

Theatre July 1924

I have tried to find more information about this magazine, but its generic name does not help in searches. The illustration itself is by someone named Baskerville - which also does not help thanks to Sherlock Holmes. Whatever the background, I think it is a beautiful piece of early Art Deco.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Monuments to order - from North Korea

This is such a strange piece of information. The linked Hyperallergic article describes one of the most profitable North Korean enterprises: making art on demand for customers in Europe and Africa. This goes from realistic paintings to monumental sculptures, such as the 50m high one depicted above, ordered by the Senegalese government (image credit). As a German official who ordered a traditional fountain stated: "The top tier artists in Germany simply don’t make realist work anymore. North Koreans on the other hand haven’t experienced the long evolution of modern art; they are kind of stuck in the early 1900s". Weird stuff.

web site

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fighting cows

This is one of the less known masterpieces by my favourite painter, German expressionist Franz Marc (1880-1916). It dates back to 1911, and is owned privately - which probably explains its relative lack of exposure. More on Marc in the linked Wikipedia article.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Famous Logos

The linked web site gives an overview of scores of famous logos, from Abarth to Zara, including for each a bit of history, as well as the various design elements. Fun to browse, some facts are well-known, some quite surprising.

web site

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Qui veut un baiser

Taken from a time when illustrations for sheet music were quite artistic. The French title translates to Who wants a kiss? - the illustration is by Peter de Greef, who specialized in Art Deco jazz subjects.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Great idea

Photojournalism with an art angle always has a better chance to end up in my blog, and certainly if it is a fun shot like this one. A Sotheby's employee holds a painting by Rene Magritte entitled The Idea, covering his own face. The painting will be auctioned off later this month and is expected to raise about 2 million pounds. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Piero Cruciatti/Barcroft Media).

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spinnaker Tower Portsmouth

The 170 m high Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth (UK) was constructed between 2001 and 2005. It was designed by local firm HGP Architects to reflect the city's maritime history - it bears some resemblance in that sense to Dubai's famous Burj Al Arab, at a somewhat smaller scale. More on this building can be found in the wikipedia link below.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Andreas Feininger

American photographer Andreas Feininger (1906-1999), son of the famous painter Lyonel Feininger, is widely recognized as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century. Especially the shots in his series on the dynamism of Manhattan in black and white, such as the one shown above, stand out as clear masterpieces. More on Feininger in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The London Underground

Just over 25 years old, so it's stretching the "vintage" qualification a bit, but this 1987 poster by Nick Hardcastle for the London Underground is simply brilliant, and still has a retro feeling to it as well. One of the best for a subject that has inspired many fantastic posters over the years.

Vintage Posters

Friday, June 07, 2013

Potpourri: Leaf carvings

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 some time ago. This one was originally posted 28 January 2013.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Rite of Spring Premiere: Fact and fiction

Last week was the centenary of the legendary scandalous first performance of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps), which arguably started the era of what is now called 20th century classical music. The linked BBC article tries to separate fact from fiction around that evening, and although quite some questions remain, it is a fascinating read.

web site