Saturday, May 31, 2014

Vogue May 1913

Going back over a century to this early Vogue cover, a peaceful gem. Just over a year later, the world was on fire with the start of World War One.


Friday, May 30, 2014

The other side of Brazil

With the world championship football around the corner (time-wise), expect a few Brazil/soccer themed posts the coming weeks. This recent news photograph made quite an impression on me, as it quietly and effectively underlines the local complaints that the government should be spending more on life quality in the country, rather than organizing this tournament. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Pilar Olivares/Reuters).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Russian captain

Once more one of my attempts at digital art based on my own photographs, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my new laptop. One of the highlights of Sail Kampen 2014 was the visit by the Russian tall ship Shtandard, a faithful copy of an old Russian warship from the time of Czar Peter. Here we have its captain, dressed for the occasion. The link leads to the original photograph.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


This is probably the most beautiful birds photograph I have ever seen. The details are stunning, from capturing one in hover mode, to the tiny fish in the other's beak. Trust my Flickr friend aftab to come up with such a beauty. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Luigi Bormioli stemless wine glasses

Beautiful in its minimalist and original design: the stemless wine glasses by Italian designer company Luigi Bormioli (image credit). We bought a set of four last week - great for a good red wine.

web site

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Taking leaves

A good example of why photographers should be keeping their eyes open for the unexpected. I shot this while visiting a large art exhibition in Woudsend and in one of the rooms this scene in front of the stained glass window provided a perfect photo-opportunity - far better than any of the art exhibits. Many agreed: it became my 62nd  photograph to reach Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting pictures of the day.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, May 26, 2014

Paper sculptures by Peter Gentenaar

Unfortunately we missed the exhibition of this art in our home town of Kampen some time ago. The coloured paper sculptures by Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar are breathtaking in their combination of fluent shapes and inherent fragility, and especially when hung in suitable locations like churches or medieval city gates. As always, all rights retained by the artist.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

La Vie Parisienne May 1926

As the famous French Open tennis tournament of Roland Garros starts today, a suitable vintage magazine cover. La Vie Parisienne was a French weekly magazine that appeared from 1863 to 1970, and was popular in France at the start of the 20th century. Its covers often included some nudity or naughtiness - which is only implied here from the look of the guy in the back.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

The raven that refused to sing

The original by Steven Wilson is (of course) still superior, but I like this cover version that the Mexican band Rocksferry posted on YouTube very much. And it was endorsed by Steven Wilson himself, who linked to this video on his Facebook page. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Friday, May 23, 2014

Eilandbrug near Kampen

My Flickr friend Dries van Assen has not featured yet in this blog. Like me, he lives in Kampen, which makes looking at his (local) shots extra interesting for me. This photograph is a beautiful play with the shape of the Eilandbrug near Kampen, one of the larger bridges over the river de IJssel. As always, all rights retained by the original photographer.

Unusual concertos [70]: Jew's harp

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 60+ this time.

The seventieth concerto deals with the jew's harp (image source). The tongue/reed is placed in the performer's mouth and plucked with the finger to produce a note. Surely this is one of the unlikeliest concertante instruments, yet it is relatively well-known because of the four concertos for jew's harp, mandora and orchestra by Johann Albrechtsberger (one of the teachers of Beethoven). It should be said that the mandora (an older version of the lute) is used more in a basso continuo fashion in these compositions, making the jew's harp the real concertante instrument. I have selected the concerto in E major, in the version with Fritz Mayr and the Munchner Kammerorchester under Hans Stadlmair, available on an Orfeo CD.

Go here

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Potpourri: Metropolisson

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 10 November 2013.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


There is a special reason for selecting this cover: it is the first LP album we played on our new retro-look LP/CD/MP3 player, last weekend (picture here). The cover itself is excellent as well, featuring lead singer Annie Lennox as one of the world's most famous androgynous symbols of the time, back in 1983. The photography is by Peter Ashworth.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Albert Watson

Scottish photographer Albert Watson (1942) is widely regarded as one of the most influential fashion, celebrity and art photographers of all time. He has shot over 200 covers of Vogue and 40 covers of Rolling Stone magazine, was responsible for lots of famous movie posters, and had numerous high profile solo exhibitions. The photograph of David Bowie shown above illustrates the quirkier side of his art. More on Watson in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Monday, May 19, 2014

New City Flower Shenyang

The New City Flower is a 1000 ft tall skyscraper designed by Chinese architectural firm UA studio 7. It is scheduled to be constructed in the Shenyang/Fushun region of North West China, which we visited once about a dozen years ago. The tower features six "rosebud petals" that rise from the building's base and wrap around the cylindrical structure, subtly overlapping each other. More on this building in the article linked to below.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Nautical decorations

It may not have been a real success at Flickr, but it is one of my own favourites of the year so far. These are little paper decorations on board of one of the ships that took part in Sail Kampen 2014. I love the splash of colours and the dynamic composition which to me is reminiscent of waves.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.05 sec (1/20)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Kunst aan de Ee

Yesterday we visited the art exhibition Kunst aan de Ee in the Frisian village of Woudsend (NL). A great selection of works of 100 different Dutch artists, covering paintings, sculptures, photography and so on. Very much worthwhile if you live not too far away - the exhibition continues until 25 May. For more information on the exhibition and the artists, see the linked site.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Sebo Museum of the Books

Here we have a visually very attractive and creative ad campaign for the Brazilian Sebo Museum of the Books. The message is immediately clear: a big part of the story is lost when it becomes a movie (well, except for the Hobbit obviously, where the reverse holds). The advertising agency responsible for the campaign is Rockerheads from Brazil.

Creative Ads

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Grieder Zurich

A beautiful and imaginative vintage poster for the Swiss silk company Grieder - commemorating 40 years of existence back in 1929 visually with the change in style over those years. The artist responsible is Otto Baumberger.

Vintage Posters

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Oil and vinegar

After he had taken a prolonged break from Flickr, I was glad to see my long-time Flickr friend (Rodolfo Anzaldua) post his photographs again in recent weeks. I like this one very much for its dazzling colours, both on the table top and in the back ground. As always, all rights reserved by the original photographer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nuevo Mundo May 1925

There is surprisingly little information to be found on the internet on this Spanish magazine, even though their Art Deco covers that I see floating around on various blogs are beautiful. Even the month is just a guess from my side.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Yes (Tales from topographic oceans and Relayer)

Last week, I listened once more to Yes' double album Tales from topographic oceans - and had to conclude once more that it is far better than its reputation. Its awesome Roger Dean cover inspired me to post it in my blog, together with that other outstanding cover for Relayer (which I had posted before here, front only). Both are shown here in the classic full-spread albums, front and back.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Make-up art by Veronica Azaryan

This is a bit of everything: make-up art, photography, and even creative ads. Russian make-up artist Veronica Azaryan is responsible for these creations, both the make-up and the excellent photography. She carried out this work for various campaigns promoting Mousson Atelier’s high-end jewelry. As always, all rights retained by the artist.

Friday, May 09, 2014


Here we have a painter I had never heard of, until this particular painting inspired my wife to make her latest scarf. Hermen Anglada Caramasa (1871-1959) was a Spanish (Catalan) painter, influenced by the French Fauvists and the Austrian Secession movement spearheaded by Klimt. Both movements come together in this elegant portrait. The scarf turned out great as well. More on Caramasa in the linked Wikipedia article.