Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Unobtainable Now and the Future

When I first started to create, I produced mostly black and white drawings, for I though colors might distract from the subject I tried to represent. As I learnt, discovered and observed, my mind progressively changed and today, I greatly admire those who succeed in finding a fragile harmony between colors, shapes, textures and subjects in a representative art piece. I feel that the more daring you are when playing with those parameters, the harder it gets to find balance, but it is a risk worth taking: as strange as it might appear, taking a step back from reality often helps enhancing its aspects that matter most to one.

Through his paintings, Simon Birch translates his interest in "the universal ideas of transition, the ambiguous moment between an initiation and a conclusion, the unobtainable now and the future, inevitably crashing toward us" *.  I just love how he represents ephemerality, for it seems that the moment he tried to capture was gone before it could be colorfully fixed on canvas. Nevertheless, I must admit that his sketches rekindles my old attraction for  monochromatic drawings...  

Simon Birch
Simon Birch, 2011
Simon Birch, The things that keep me alive keep me alone, oil on canvas, 150cm x 150cm, 2011
Simon Birch, Foxglove, oil on canvas, 150cm x 150cm, 2011

Simon Birch
Simon Birch
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
Simon Birch, Sketch, about 1,5 m sq, 2011
For an insight of his working methods, I invite you to visit his blogAs always, if you can complete the information on the paintings, I would gladly add it.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The End is Here

Here comes the time, once more, to be lost in the overwhelming rush that is the ending of the semester. As always, I dream of being able to do more than my body allows...

Continuing the series of artistic experimentation involving multi-armed women, here is a piece drawn by one of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo, Autorretrato dibujando, Pencil on paper, 29,7 x 21 cm, around 1937.


Mermaids swimming in patterns, surrounded by serpentine lines and fluttering flowers, Delphine Cossais' s women are lost in beautiful day dreams. I love the color's softness once in a while broken by bright red, the fabrics like oregami paper and the doll like faces...

For more of Delphine Cossais paintings, I invite you to visit her blog.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

I May Forget my Age, but not my Birthday

Considering my age to be a number unworthy of attention, I do have trouble remembering it, having to calculate it from my year of birth each time it is asked. Though this strange amnesia often attracts puzzled looks, it also has many positive aspects: among them, I do not feel I have to live by the standards imposed by society to certain age groups and it considerably lessen the feeling of getting older. But even without numbers, birthdays are still coming...

This is the cake I would have to my approaching birthday if I had money to spend on a pure frivolity: inspired by a Ray Caesar painting, it is the work of Dante Nuno (Fire and Icing). 

For comparison, here is the original artwork: 

Ray Caesar (I have not yet found any information about this piece, 
if you have some, feel free to contact me and it will be a pleasure to add it)

Thanks to Superpunch for this sweet discovery!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Long Live the Dandy!

Let us be in the mood for week-end...

It is of common knowledge that I do have a weakness for dandies. Furthermore, thanks to Mad Men, my admiration for the 50's aesthetics has been radically increasing for the past months. These two interests are being here united on the September 2008 cover of Monsieur, which states "The dandy is dead, long live the dandy!".

This French magazine, published since 1920, is self-described as "The elegant man's reference" and multiplies simple yet effective covers. Just has my admiration for dandies is in part based on their mysterious charm, I do not wish to read those magazines, fearful of seeing them loose their appeal...  

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Baroque Enchantement

Even when an idea seems to be complete in itself, it has a history and a future and is, therefore, intertwined in something much larger than it seems at first glance. 

Take, for instance, the movie Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon), written and directed by Georges Méliès. Presented only 6 years after the famous projection by the Lumière brothers, it is an important milestone in cinema's history for it seems to be the first movie where special effects have been used to transpose in images the whimsical vision of the creator. Back then, the style was called "baroque féérique" in French, which I might clumsily translate by "enchanted baroque", a jonction between our modern fantastic and science fiction.

Watching this video leaves me a little time confused: even though it does not present a realistic 1902's vision of the future, I still feel that a director from the past projects me forwards, but to a time that is still behind mine (are you now confused with me?). Even though the movie was interesting when it was first presented, I  think theses time gaps definitively enhance the astonishment inspired by this immersion in the imagination the creator.

As all art pieces, Méliès' movie was not born from nothingness: among other things, the scenario has been mainly inspired by H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon and Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. Of course, this did not keep it from being innovative and to subsequently inspire other artists.  

Then, 94 years after its debut, Le voyage dans la lune inspired a music video for The Smashing Pumpkins' Tonight Tonight, which won many awards and is still considered among the best music videos ever made. And the loop is not looped, as the inspiration game continues...

The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight par EMI_Music

(Near the end of the song, have you noticed the name of the boat rescuing the couple?)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Warming Up the Space

This is an ingenious manner to create a space that one can redefine depending on specific needs or mood. In one of my favorite cities, Firenze, this loft is situated in an ancient carpentry workshop and as been transformed into a living space by the architect Alessandro Capellaro. To separated the different areas, he used about 300 wooden crates found in a flee market, using these not only as partitions, but also as storing place. These half-walls allowed him to preserve brightness and the beauty of the vaulted ceilings, while adding warmth to a pure white and stone decor.  If I must admit that with its volumes and shapes, the space already had a lot of potential, the result proves that a great space is not always a matter of money, it can also be transformed by a simple and well developed idea.

Thanks to Marie-Claire Maison for this discovery!