Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I wish you all a Happy 2015

As 2014 is coming to an end soon, I wish you all a great, happy and healthy new year, as does the Dutch flapper girl on this postcard from the twenties.

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Golden Sable Champagne

It is fitting to post a champagne poster at the last day of the year of course. This beauty for the brand Golden Sable dates back to the early thirties. Cheers!

Vintage Posters

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Guinness World Record for the largest LED image

This is a view I would love to have seen myself, but thanks to photojournalism, here's the next best thing. Canberra recently obtained the Guinness World Record for the largest LED image, in this display in its business district. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Stefan Postles/Getty Images).

The most viewed posts of 2014

With the year coming to an end, I thought it might be fun to look once more at the statistics of this blog and see which are the most viewed posts per category over the past 12 months (provided that they had more than five posts in the year). I realize that most viewed does not equal most popular, as other factors (such as showing up in Google searches) definitely play a role here. Still, here they are (image sourced from here).

Anything goes: Kunst aan de Ee.
Architecture: New City Flower Shenyang.
Art-icles: 'Japanese Beethoven' Mamoru Samuragochi exposed as a fraud.
Art-iculations: Abstracting reality part 1: general musings.
Beautiful album covers: Quella Vecchia Locanda.
Beautiful single covers: The way life's meant to be (ELO).
Creative ads: Sebo Museum of the Books.
Desert island discs: Avantine (Agnes Obel).
En Vogue: November 1934.
Flickr favourites: Exploding fireworks (peggyhr).
Miscellaneous art: Paper sculptures by Peter Gentenaar.
Movie posters: Man with a movie camera.
My digital art: The Russian captain.
My photography: Taking leaves.
Paintings: Grenadine (Caramasa).
Photo art: Babylon - Made in Italy (Dina Bova).
Photographers: Yau Leung.
Photojournalism: 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
The art of Lu Schaper: Selfie.
The best of Potpourri: The Garden of Unearthly Delights.
Under cover: La Vie Parisienne May 1926.
Unusual concertos: Pedal piano.
Vintage posters: Grieder Zurich.
Web sites: Innerviews.
Worth1000: Cyborg Ziyi Zhang.
YouTube: The raven that refused to sing (Rocksferry).

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Keeper Dozen 2014

Picking my 12 favourite photographs of the year has become a yearly custom. It was triggered by a group at Flickr (Keeper Dozen), which was inspired by an Ansel Adams quote: "Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." This year I am happier with the results than in 2013, undoubtedly because life has gone back to normal. My increased emphasis on abstract photography is clearly reflected in my choices, although it must be said that the one portrait I originally selected (link) is ineligible because the photograph was taken in 2013. As usual, not all pictures I selected have appeared in Flickr Explore, and not all pictures that have appeared in Flickr Explore ended up in the final 12. Here is the 2014 countdown from 12 to 1.

12. Stained glass abstraction
A garden seen through frosted glass, while we were visiting an exhibition. My favourite in a series of comparable shots. Explored, 300 views, 7 faves.

11. Take a seat
One of a series of close-ups of the seats of chairs of an Apeldoorn restaurant. Not explored, 200 views, 3 faves.

10. Abstraction in rust
This is  a close-up of a machine on a Dutch navy vessel, shot during Sail Kampen 2014. Explored, 6300 views, 73 faves.

9. Emotions
One of a series of abstracts of a green plastic cover, shot through the window. Not explored, 150 views, 3 faves.

8. Let there be light
This is an evening close-up, through the shop window glass, of a modern style lamp displayed on one of the neighbouring shops. Not explored, 300 views, 5 faves.

7. Cold as ice
A close-up of a church column in Kampen. The icy steel tones make the shot stand out. Not explored, 160 views, 1 fave.

6. Kampen rooftops
This is a picture I took near our home, a typical collection of Kampen roof tops. Explored, 2000 views, 47 faves.

5. And all that rust
A rusty abstract, not quite sure what it actually was. Explored, 3400 views, 51 faves.

4. Excelsior Kampen
A shot of the Kampen bridge near our home, shooting straight up under one of the pillars. Explored, 14300 views, 97 faves.

3. Nautical decorations
These are little paper decorations on board of one of the ships that took part in Sail Kampen 2014. Not explored, 220 views, 3 faves.

2. Another green world
Taken at the same location as #9. Not explored, 3700 views, 13 faves.

1. Elemental
The public and I agree on the #1 position. This is the flipped image of a church in Muenster (Germany), reflected in a wet outside restaurant table. Explored, 16800 views, 219 faves.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tears become...streams become... by Douglas Gordon

This a conceptual art piece (by Douglas Gordon) that I truly appreciate. In the past week, it could be experienced in the Park Avenue Armory. It involved French pianist Hélène Grimaud playing ten performances of water-themed works on a Steinway in the center of the hall. At first, when the audience arrived, the area was dry. Then the room began to flood, becoming a reflective pool to a stunning effect.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The red tree

Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) is best remembered for his series of geometrical abstracts consisting of a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines with three primary colours on a white background. This is a relatively early work from 1908, which shows some influence of van Gogh. More about Mondrian in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas greetings

To all the readers of this blog (and my other blogs): I wish you a Merry Christmas! This appropriate image is from a 1928 postcard.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

In the bleak midwinter

A recent painting by my wife, inspired by old Dutch cities in general. I named it after my favourite Christmas carol, because it seems fitting. It is also the painting we used for our Christmas cards this year.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Harper's Bazaar December 1931

One of the most striking vintage magazine covers with a Christmas theme that I have come across. Awesome late Art Deco at its best.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Potpourri: Absolut stirring

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 21 December 2012, and is doubly suitable because of the Christmas theme and the creative advertisement.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Jethro Tull Christmas Album

Christmas albums usually do not stand out well in terms of cover art, but here we have an exception to the rule. The 2003 seasonal offering by prog rock band Jethro Tull comes with a beautiful stylish cover, resembling old Dutch paintings, and depicting lead singer/flautist Ian Anderson in the bottom left corner. Excellent choice of font as well. I could not retrieve information on the design, word has it that it was an "inside job".

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas lights

Here is an original Christmas pop/rock song that you have probably never heard. I know of the band My Favourite Tragedy because I have known one of its members for over 12 years on he internet. This is a really lovely song, which deserves to be better known. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vogue December 1927

A Christmas-themed vintage Vogue cover created by one of the best cover artists of the era: Eduardo Garcia Benito. Sublime Art Deco.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Abstracting reality part 7: miscellaneous situations

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, the fourth contribution (on zooming in) was posted here, the fifth contribution (on abstracted art) was posted here.

Miscellaneous situations refers to pictures that do not fall under the first five themes themes (or at least less clearly). What they have in common is that you can encounter these opportunities all around you if you keep an open eye. Please click here to see 12 selected examples from my Flickr photostream with some background information.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Copacabana requiem

One of the strong points of photojournalism is that it can bring us news items that did not make the headlines world wide in a compelling way. A case in point is this shot of crosses planted by the NGO Rio de Paz (Peace Rio) on Copacabana beach in memory of police officers killed in Rio de Janeiro in the last two years. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Sergio Moraes/Reuters).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Elmer Fryer

One of many talented Hollywood photographers of yesteryear: Elmer Fryer (1898-1944). He worked for Warner Brothers, portraying their stars such as Kay Francis (shown above), Dolores Del Rio, Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, James Cagney, and Errol Flynn. More about Fryer in the linked site.