Friday, October 31, 2014

When October goes

Instead of the usual Halloween posts(s), this year I opted for an appropriate jazz ballad for the 31st of October. When October goes is a beautiful song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer (his last) and music by Barry Manilow. I like this version by Rosemary Clooney best.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Unusual concertos [79]: Rock group

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 70+ this time.

The seventy ninth concerto is the second to deal with a larger group of players rather than a single instrument - after the jazz band, we now have the rock group (image source). The concerto for Group and Orchestra was composed by Deep Purple's Jon Lord, and recorded in 1969 with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Malcolm Arnold. It is available on an EMI CD.

Go here

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China

Video games is not my cup of tea. I don't own one, I have never played one. However, this recent addition to the Assassin's Creed series comes with a fascinating cover. Unfortunately, I could not find information about the designer.

web site

Monday, October 27, 2014


When I spotted this butterfly on the street through our gallery window, I had to get out and take a picture. The poor thing tried to fly away afterwards, but to no avail. Don't know what happened to it, I assume nature took its course, with plenty of birds and cats around. My 71st photograph to make Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting shots of the day.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Sunday, October 26, 2014

10th anniversary of Nestle's Alimentarium Food Museum

No, this is not photoshopped: it is a real art installation by Jean-Pierre Zaugg to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Nestle's Alimentarium Food Museum in Vevey (Switzerland). As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Vogue October 1932

The awesome series of illustrated vintage Vogue covers stretched well into the thirties. In this one, I very much like the way the magazine title is embedded in the drawing. Unfortunately no information about the artist was given.


Friday, October 24, 2014

The stolen bride

A beautiful vintage movie poster for the 1927 Alexander Korda movie The stolen bride, starring Billie Dove. The movie itself apparently did not make much of an impression, but the poster is very much worthwhile.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Avo fish tank

Please read the full story in the link, which describes how this little self-cleaning fish tank (15 liter) is full of innovative technology, enabling fish, plants and bacteria work together to create a balanced micro-ecosystem. For me, the deciding factor is the beautiful modern shape. Amazing work by young British designer Suzy Shelley.

web site

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Six years since the re-start

Although the blog originally started over eight years ago, I made a complete re-start on 22 October 2008. Difficult to imagine that its second life is now already about three times as long as the original incarnation. Image created at the Photofunia page.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Candee shoes

In preparation for real autumn weather, a beautiful Art Deco poster for Candee shoes, suitable for rain and snow. I could not find further information on this (presumably German) brand, or on the designer of the poster.

Vintage Posters

Monday, October 20, 2014


Inspired by yesterday's post: here is the video of the very first hit of Blondie in the Netherlands, going all the way to the #1 position in 1978. Still a fun song to listen to after all these years. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Christopher Makos

American photographer Christopher Makos (born 1948) was an apprentice of Man Ray and collaborated with Andy Warhol. His major field of interest is pop culture (including rock), with famous shots of the likes of Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor, Salvador Dalí, John Lennon and Mick Jagger. The picture above shows his take on 70s rock icon Blondie (Debbie Harry). More about Makos in the Wikipedia entry linked to below.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cold as ice

One of my favourite abstract photographs of the year so far. It is a close-up of a church column in Kampen. The icy steel tones make the shot stand out.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 320
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Friday, October 17, 2014

Rihanna toy

More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced Photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member Lidian for the Celebrity toys 6 contest. Contemporary artists like Rihanna are already almost plasticized by the media with endless photoshopping, and here that process is taken one step further. As always, all rights retained by the creator.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wink Space by Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki

I still remember the little kaleidoscope I had as a kid. Well, Japanese artists/designers Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki have taken the kaleidoscope idea a notch further. Wink Space is a trippy tunnel constructed with mirrors inside a shipping container, creating a huge scale kaleidoscope that one can actualy walk through, stunned by the ever changing environment. As always, all rights retained by the artist.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Forming a castell

From a photography point of view, this is one of the best news pictures I have seen in a long time. It depicts participants forming a castell (a human tower) during a biannual competition in Tarragona, Spain. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Albert Gea/Reuters).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Abstracting reality part 5: zooming in

Of the recurring topics in my photography, abstract images tend to stand out. This has inspired me to write a series of blog posts on the subject, as seen through my lay-man's eyes (I never received any formal training on photography). In these posts, I will tackle the following six (not mutually exclusive) themes: distorted reflections, architectural abstracts, wear and tear, zooming in, abstracted art, and miscellaneous situations. A general introduction was posted here; the first contribution (on distorted reflections) was posted here, the second contribution (on architectural abstracts) was posted here, the third contribution (on wear and tear) was posted here.

Zooming in (the fourth of the themes) can turn every day scenes into unexpected abstracts. I am not talking so much about macro photography with special lenses, as well picking a detail of a larger subject to create the abstract photograph. In many ways, your imagination is your limit. There is no binding theme between the various abstract shots created this way, the usual abstract ingredients like line play and patterns will always come into play though. Please click here to see 12 selected examples from my Flickr photostream with some background information.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Asia August 1931

The magazine Asia, a popular American magazine in the 1920s and 1930s that featured reporting about Asia and its people, has featured twice before in this blog. Here we have a late Art Deco gem from the early thirties. The illustration is by Frank Mackintosh.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unusual concertos [78]: Rababa

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 70+ this time.

The seventy eighth concerto deals with the rababa or rebab (image source). It is a type of a bowed string instrument that dates back to the 8th century, and spread over much of North Africa, the Middle East, parts of Europe, and the Far East. Concertos for this instrument are predictably rare, but I came across one on YouTube, composed by Marcel Khalife. It is played by Hasan Mo'taz and the QPO conducted by Thomas Kalb.

Go here

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dodo with a feather hat

Another expressionist masterpiece by German painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), who painted this portrait in 1911. "Dodo" might refer to Doris Grosze, who was his favoured model at the time. More about Kirchner in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Friday, October 10, 2014


The music of the American rock band ZZ Top does not appeal to me at all, but this is a beautiful and iconic album cover. Eliminator was released in 1983, and includes some of their most popular songs in Europe. The art work for the album, presumably including the cover design, is credited to Tom Hunnicutt.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Dutch Pop and Rock Songs from the 70s

Oops, I did it again. With two of my blogs slowly reaching the end of their possibilities (Countdown to Ecstasy and Kampen Expressionism), I have started yet another one. A bit of nostalgia actually: a few months after I began my first blog (Art for Art's Sake) in 2006, I started a blog about Dutch pop and rock songs from the seventies. Most of these are rather unknown outside the Netherlands and there is some pretty good quality there. I deleted the blog after a few hundred posts for various reasons. I have decided to start again, linking to YouTube videos of the songs. As usual, the new posts (a few per week is my target) will be shown in the column to the right. The first two posts, to give you an ides, are songs from Golden Earring and Pussycat, but in both cases not their big international hits.

web site

Photographing the Infinity Mirrored Room

A variation on the "Photographing the photographer" theme: this photographer was captured while taking a shot in the art installation Infinity Mirrored Room - Filled With the Brilliance of Life by Yayoi Kusama. This installation can be visited at the Rufino Tamayo museum in Mexico City. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Thomas Bravo/Reuters).

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Vogue March 1931

Time for another vintage Vogue cover. Hard not to sing "Lady in red" when you see this one. Once more, the famous Georges Lepape is the illustrator - and I love the playful font.