Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween!

My choice of this year's Halloween pictures posted on the news sites. San Diego Zoo's oldest resident, Galapagos tortoise Grandma (age 130-140), munches on a pumpkin. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo).

The best Dutch #1 hits: 8. Oh well (Fleetwood Mac)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #8, we find Fleetwood Mac's Oh well (#1 in 1969). This is a unique song, composed of two completely contrasted parts - in fact the song was split along those lines in the single release. The song starts out as a conventional up-tempo bluesy rock song, with some nice lyrics twists ("I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin - But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to"). After three and a half minutes the song abruptly ends to give away to the awesome second part, a pensive guitar dominated instrumental, which clearly influenced bands like Pink Floyd and Dire Straits. It was to be their swan song in the sixties' line-up with major creative influence Peter Greene ending up in a mental institute. Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant song, one of the 200 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dawn of the dead

Not my type of movie, but the poster for the 2004 Zack Snyder zombie flick is excellent. And it is Halloween tomorrow, after all.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Photography of China

For obvious reasons, I have been taking a special interest in China the past 16 years, and I was delighted to come across the web site Photography of China: an astonishing collection of photographs, conveniently grouped in three main time periods: before, during and after Mao.

web site

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Vogue March 1928

Another beautiful vintage Vogue cover in Art Deco style. It comes as little surprise that it was designed by the famous Eduardo Benito.

link

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Subterranean London

Taken from a post at the Telegraph site about the wonders of subterranean London. I love this image of the river Effra, which has been forced underground.

web site

Monday, October 26, 2015

Calligraphic sculptures by Zheng Lu

The life-size sculptures by Chinese artist Zheng Lu are interesting by themselves, looking like yet another comment on global warming. What really makes them stand out is that they are made from words, forged along the lines of Chinese calligraphy (check out the link for the details). As usual, all rights retained by the artist.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The night cafe

It's always fun to come across a Van Gogh I have not seen before. This one, with its stunning colour scheme, was in the news recently because its owner (Yale University) was confirmed as the rightful owner in a process started by the great grandson of a Russian collector. Also, it is probably the only van Gogh painting with a clock - perfect for the winter time change we had in Europe a few hours ago. More about van Gogh in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 9. Under pressure (Queen and David Bowie)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #9, we find the unique cooperation between Queen and David Bowie, Under pressure (#1 in 1981). When Queen were in a Swiss studio recording songs for their Hot Space album, David Bowie one day strolled in, and the rest as they say is history. Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant song, one of the 200 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, October 23, 2015

Turandot

The coming months I plant to listen to more operas once more - kicking off with Puccini. For the occasion, a beautiful Art Deco poster for his last opera, Turandot, which he left unfinished at the time of his death in 1924, and which was first performed in a finished version (constructed by Alfano) two years later.

Vintage Posters

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Etheric imprints

American composer Steve Roach works on the interface of modern classical, new age, and ambient music - and in my opinion his work is always very much worthwhile. The covers of his albums are often great as well, as illustrated by this example, the 2015 release Etheric imprints. The cover art is credited to Tuyen Q. Nguyen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Where the Tides Ebb and Flow by Pedro Marzorati

Argentinian artist Pedro Marzorati created this set of sculptures in the centre of Montsouris Park in Paris, as a highly effective image warning against global warning. More photographs in the link. As usual, all rights retained by the artist.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Autumn wall

Another example of my digital art, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my laptop. This is based on a picture I took three years ago outside a car park in the nearby city of Zwolle, and it is quite fitting for this time of year. The link leads to the original photograph.

Monday, October 19, 2015

International Balloon Meeting in Ocseny

At first glance, this may appear to be a modern art installation. It is actually a photograph of two participants preparing their hot-air balloon before the start of the 26th International Balloon Meeting in Ocseny, Hungary, earlier this month. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Tamas Sokit/EPA).

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Potpourri: BEEloved honey

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 23 June 2013.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 10. Memories (Earth and Fire)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #10, we find Earth and Fire with Memories (#1 in 1972). Always in the shadow of bands like Golden Earring and Focus, this excellent Dutch progressive rock group around singer Jerney Kaagman never got the international recognition they deserved. Apart from their outstanding albums, they also scored a string of top five hits in Holland, and none of these was better than this one. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, October 16, 2015

Baby dragon

More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced Photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member Manosart for the Dragons 10 contest: creating scenes with these mythical creatures. The entries for this contest were better than any other in recent weeks, and this one was the deserved winner. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Worth1000

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Collier's September 1932

Another fun Collier's cover, this one created by Sade Zayas. The drawing of the dogs suggest that the big one is male, and the small one female, thus perfectly reflecting the way the man and woman behave.

link

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Art Deco illustrations by Robin Howlett

Art Deco has become very popular again, and contemporary illustrators often use this beautiful style. That said, perhaps the best I have seen so far in this genre are the creations by Robin Howlett. I picked a poster he made to promote Spanish Rioja wine for a Wine week in New York City, but I would advise you to go to the linked web site and sample more of his work. As usual, all rights retained by the artist.

Monday, October 12, 2015

William Klein

William Klein (1928) is an American-born French photographer. He worked as a fashion photographer for Vogue, and created photo essays on various cities such as New York, Tokyo and Rome. I have selected this portrait of Audrey Hepburn from 1966 for Vogue because, well, it's Audrey. More about Klein in the Wikipedia entry linked to below.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Legs

Another example of my digital art, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my laptop. This is an experimental mix of art genres: the original work is a sculpture by Hans van Bentem that is currently exhibited in the local museum, which I then photographed (making a selection of what to show and how to show it), and finally transformed into digital painting-like art. The link leads to the original photograph.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 11. Bohemian rhapsody (Queen)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #11, we find Queen with Bohemian rhapsody (#1 in 1976). What more needs to be said about this song, arguably the best-known rock song in the world? I was 18 when this song was released, and later generations probably cannot imagine just how daringly different this song was for those times. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, October 09, 2015

George Crumbs scores

America's George Crumb is one of my favourite contemporary classical composers. Aside from the music itself, he excels in writing out his sheet music in such a way that the scores themselves become a work of art. The beautiful example given above is Spiral Galaxy from Makrokosmos I - more examples in the link.

web site

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The dark knight

I first saw this movie a few weeks ago on TV, and I was blown away by it: Christopher Nolan's 2008 Batman flick is far better than anything I've seen in the genre. And Heather Ledger was superb as the Joker. There were several posters for the movie, but this one stands out for me, especially how the bat symbol doubles up as the Joker's make-up smeared mouth.