Archive for June, 2010

Close encounters of the fake kind

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, exhibitions with tags , , , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by echostains

Virgin and Child was bought in 1893

Now here’s an exhibition I wouldn’t mind seeing – it’s called Close examination, Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries’ and it is on at the National Gallery from tomorrow to 12th September.  The paintings were bought in good faith (for massive amounts of money) and have since been found to be fakes.

Venus and Mars by Botticelli - the real one

The exhibition is dedicated to the scientists whose tests  have proved that the works are not what they seem.  Using expensive equipment, x ray, infra red photography and other methods, they have been able to go beyond the surface of ‘masterpieces’ by   Botticelli,  Velásquez,  Rembrandt, Dürer, Holbein, and Poussin.

Reincarnation?

It’s not all bad news though, Madonna of the Pinks by Raphael, thought to be a copy has now been authenticated as the real thing.  Plus, mysteries abound as scientists try to discover the genuine from the fake and are left with a genuine – but who really painted it?  I would really like to investigate this exhibition and see just how much money has been wasted and see how the scientists arrived at their diagnosis!  particularly intriguing is a painting of a Victorian beauty who when x rayed turned out to have started life as a naked 16th century courtesan:)

Good article about the exhibition here

National Gallery here

double image from here and Botticelli image here

This Summers day

Posted in POETRY with tags , , on June 29, 2010 by echostains

Willliam Shakespeare

Glorious weather! and I’m off out in it! (because summers lease has all too short a date…) Beautiful poem by the master, Shakespeare just about sums today up;-

Shall I compare thee to a summers day

Sonnet 18

William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Shall I compare thee to a summers day

Sonnet 18

William Shakespear

Update: All planned and went ahead, lovely time out and a lovely meal – and then the rains came down! Yet again! It’s beginning to look suspicious now… Every time we both have time off….. like NOW (not yesterday which was the hottest day of the year) it rains! It can be cracking the flagstones but whenever we are both off it rains. I wish there was a way that we could place BETS on this because by now we would be very rich indeed!

Poem is from here and image from here

Weird and Wacky Design – Strange Vessels

Posted in ART, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , , on June 28, 2010 by echostains

  

lei xue

 

As anyone who reads this blog knows by now, I like unusually designed objects – preferably made from unusual media.   So I was intrigued to discover these beer cans made from china!  These exquisite Chinese porcelain vessels – have even been crushed to resemble aluminium beer cans.  But who in their right mind would want to throw these away (though you could recycle the porcelain).  Made by  artist Lei Xue, these cans are actually teacups!  

celtic-skull-vessel

 

This Celtic skull vessel is rather unusual.  Adorned with Celtic knot work, the top of the skull comes off and there is an inner compartment which you can fill ….with whatever.  I wonder where this idea came from?  Did the Celts drink from real skulls?  From  here 

Ed Kirsner Corning Store Four

There’s a gallery of breathtaking glass vessels here.   A wonderful glass collection from Kentucky artists.  this one is by artist Ken quite transfixed me.  It looks like a strange exotic conjuring trick, full of esoteric magic.  I would never get tired of gazing upon it. 

Beer can pic from here 

Etch a sketch – new art medium?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 27, 2010 by echostains

Who doesn’t remember etch a sketch – the portable little art screen  which you could draw on.  I always found it incredibly hard to create anything recognisable so I am full of admiration for this artist who makes it look all so easy!  It makes me want to rush out and buy one of these and have another go!

Video etchedintime

Health Fanatic (in spirit)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 26, 2010 by echostains

I’m toying with the idea of getting healthier.  Notice, I say ‘toying’ with the ‘idea.  Too much time sat at the computer I think.   Well I am going to have a bit of a shake up soon (1st July to be exact).  On that day I shall have kept to my resolution to blog every day and I will have completed one full years worth!   In the future, I won’t feel guilty if I take a day off from blogging, but I won’t be leaving my blog for days upon end.  Sometimes I will concentrate on Bookstains (which has been rather neglected recently) But I promise I will continue to put more art on here.  I have plans for ‘echostains’ future…….:)

In the meanwhile, here’s my favorite ‘punk’ poet –  John Cooper Clarke to remind me what I am missing out on:)  But for those who prefer to read the poetry or who have difficullty understanding the accent …..

Health Fanatic by John Cooper Clarke

Around the block – against the clock
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock
Running out of breath – running out of socks
Rubber on the road… flippety flop
Non-skid agility… chop chop
No time to hang about
Work out health fanatic… work out!

The crack of dawn he’s lifting weights
His tell-tale heart reverberates
He’s high in polyunsaturates…
Low in polysaturates…
The Duke of Edinburgh’s award awaits
It’s a man’s life
He’s a health fanatic… so was his wife

A one-man war against decay
Enjoys himself the hard way
Allows himself a mars a day
How old am I – what do I weigh
Punch me there… does it hurt… no way
Running on the spot don’t get too hot
He’s a health fanatic, that’s why not

Running through the traffic jam – taking in the lead
Hyperactivity keeps him out of bed
Deep down he’d like to kick it in the head
They’ll regret it when they’re dead
There’s more to life than fun
He’s a health fanatic – he’s got to run

Beans greens and tangerines
And low cholestrol margarines
His limbs are loose, his teeth are clean
He’s a high-octane fresh-air fiend
You’ve got to admit he’s keen
What can you do but be impressed
He’s a health fanatic… give it a rest

Shadow boxing – punch the wall
One-a-side football… what’s the score… one-all
Could have been a copper… too small
Could have been a jockey… too tall
Knees up, knees up… head the ball
Nervous energy makes him tick
He’s a health fanatic… he makes you sick

  

Around the block – against the clock
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock
Running out of breath – running out of socks
Rubber on the road… flippety flop
Non-skid agility… chop chop
No time to hang about
Work out health fanatic… work out!

The crack of dawn he’s lifting weights
His tell-tale heart reverberates
He’s high in polyunsaturates…
Low in polysaturates…
The Duke of Edinburgh’s award awaits
It’s a man’s life
He’s a health fanatic… so was his wife

A one-man war against decay
Enjoys himself the hard way
Allows himself a mars a day
How old am I – what do I weigh
Punch me there… does it hurt… no way
Running on the spot don’t get too hot
He’s a health fanatic, that’s why not

Running through the traffic jam – taking in the lead
Hyperactivity keeps him out of bed
Deep down he’d like to kick it in the head
They’ll regret it when they’re dead
There’s more to life than fun
He’s a health fanatic – he’s got to run

Beans greens and tangerines
And low cholestrol margarines
His limbs are loose, his teeth are clean
He’s a high-octane fresh-air fiend
You’ve got to admit he’s keen
What can you do but be impressed
He’s a health fanatic… give it a rest

Shadow boxing – punch the wall
One-a-side football… what’s the score… one-all
Could have been a copper… too small
Could have been a jockey… too tall
Knees up, knees up… head the ball
Nervous energy makes him tick
He’s a health fanatic… he makes you sick

 

 

video by jbearden

John Cooper Clarke’s website Here  (Health Fanatic poem and many more)

Valley of the Broken Dolls

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES, SCULPTURE with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by echostains

GEM (truly outrageous) still beloved by my daughter

Inspired by artistatthexit0′ s latest post about the dolls he has found in the river, made me think about artist’s who use the doll in their work.  Of course Hans Bellmer and Cindy Sherman were the first artists I thought of.  Surrealist photographer Hans Bellmer (b.Germany 1902 – 1950)  used broken doll parts in a fetish like fashion to invoke disturbing ideas.

Bellmer doll

He  first sent these to the  Nazi party as a protest against their obsession with the perfect body.   He posed the dolls in mutilated, unaturalistic ways.  There’s a great article about this artist here.  The film below Le Jeux de la Poupee featuring Bellmer’s work is not for the faint hearted.  This film was made in 1940s, but I don’t know who the music is by.

Cindy Sherman (b.1954 New York USA) uses self photography to address issues about the roles of women in the world, and as artists.  This short film sees Sherman as a cutout doll with cut out clothes.  I think it ‘s such a clever film, making Sherman completely 2D – surreal as she gets to choose the outfits she will wear instead of them being chosen for her!

Here’s an artist who works with dolls and altered book.  Karen Hatzigeorgiou puts her dolls into her books literally!  All her dolls are found objects and she sells the finished work.

assemblage found arm

Bellmer doll from here Cindy Sherman video from “artpopulus and Bellmer video from artpopulus

assemblage with found object

Under Art’s Umbrella

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , on June 24, 2010 by echostains

Portrait-Of-Lise-With-Umbrella Renoir

It’s getting a little cooler here, but no rain as yet.  The umbrellas can stay dry for the moment.  The umbrella invented thousands of years ago, but became popular in the Western world in the 16th century.It  has been used in art quite a lot, more than I originally thought.

renoir-the-umbrellas 1883

 Renoir’s Lise with umbrella was painted in 1867.   Renoir features the umbrella in his Parisian street scene ‘Umbrellas’ ,  1883.  the painting is also interesting because of the way the artist is unafraid of cutting pieces of the people from the picture – like a snapshot.

In John Singer Sargent’s  (1856 -1925) painting ‘Early Morning Walk’ the model is the artist’s sister Violet, I love the way the light plays upon this painting. 

John Singer Sargent Morning Walk

 I was amazed when researching these umbrellas, just how many times Singer Sargent used these in his paintings!  Of course they’re not all umbrellas, sometimes they are parasols (to save the ladies fine complexions from the sun).  I suppose they were the first ‘sunscreen’.

Parasols as well as providing protection, were also a colourful and feminine accessory for the woman.  Even Monet painted the Lady with the parasol – and with good effect!

monet The Walk Lady with a Parasol 1875

 

Seurat Sunday afternoon

Parasols abound in the famous Sunday Afternoon in the Park painted by Neo impressionist Georges Seurat.  He used Pointillism –  tiny dots of colour to create this masterpiece which took him two years to complete!

But I can’t leave out Rene Magritte surrealistic ‘La Grande Guerre’ (The Big War) 1964.  This work is often compared to his self-portrait ‘The Son of Man’  this is what the artist said about ‘The Son of Man’;- 

At least it hides the face partly. Well, so you have the apparent face, the apple, hiding the visible but hidden, the face of the person. It’s something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.      quote from here

Magritte, The Son of Man

If we compare the Grande Guerre with ‘The Son of Man’ we can see a more optimistic and tranquil picture smelling of sweet flowers and hope.

Renoir umbrellas here
John Singer Sargeant Morning Walk here  
Group with parasols by Singer Sargent here
More umbrellas from Sargent here, Monet Lady with Parasol here Seurat image here and Magritte Son of man image from here