I cannot believe I found these only now! Where have they been hiding? It seems that every time I’m having a greyish Dutch day, I find something magical to get me out of the gloominess. Last time it was Leszek Kostuj and his surreal paintings. Now it is Alexander Jansson, this wizard from Sweden who does all sorts of mixed media illustration, 2D/3D stuff and other tricks. His work managed to completely change my day. Have a look. You really have to. It’s all magic.
All posts in All Ears and Eyes
What? You don’t like this? No, no, this cannot be. It’s 7 in the morning, autumn is coming, days are shorter… Can you tell me without blinking that you can take a look at this tomcat below and not get a warm and fuzzy feeling? I certainly do get that feeling and with this discovery, my love for kitsch art got an upgrade. These remarkable paintings are made by Russian painter Svetlana Novikova, and on her website she says her goal is to create one of a kind, exclusive original pieces of art that have a personal emotional impact. It seems to me she succeeds pretty well in doing that.
Literature helped me survive most of the long and boring days of my (first 12 years of) formal education. I secretly read in class, keeping the book on my knees, under the desk. I love stories and what they taught me, and up to this day I believe that ‘skipping class’ and diving deep into my books is one of the best choices I ever made. It was during that period that I read most of the stories from which designer and writer Dinah Fried took the inspiration for this project. She cooks, designs and photographs some of the most famous meals from some of the most famous novels. And seeing each of these photos, feels like the first time you watch a film made after a book you really loved.
It seems to me that Photoshop can create the most surprising and disturbing kitsch images. And I have already confessed my love for kitsch in this post about Zarathustra the obese cat, appearing in some very famous paintings. Now Chinese artist Chunlong Sun blew my mind this morning with this very convincing images of dictators and their toys. They’re terrible and at the same time I simply can’t take my eyes off them. How does someone come up with this?
On a slow Sunday evening, you just have to see this emotional and nostalgic short animation about the bond between a father and his daughter. Father and Daughter is a Dutch animation made in 2000 by Michaël Dudok de Wit, and the same year it won the Oscar for Animated Short Film. The drawings are minimal and seem made in charcoal and watercolor. The story is beautiful and sad. And the soundtrack is probably one of the most well known Romanian tunes, a waltz called Waves of the Danube, composed by Ion Ivanovici in 1880.
Some time ago, I wrote about the magical underwater world created by Jason deCaires Taylor in Cancun’s National Marine Park, in Mexico. 400 sculptures create an artificial home for fishes and crustaceans and everyone else needing a home after having been displaced by the humans messing up with their natural habitat. The Silent Evolution is an unusual conservation project, and the result does not only benefit nature but also creates a magical underwater world. And now, a real size 8 ton Volkswagen Beetle has been added.
I really really think kitsch is underestimated. And Svetlana Petrova’s huge red cat stays proof of that! There’s something so hilariously-disturbing in seeing these collages, that they really blow my mind. And someone who comes up with the idea of adding an obese cat called Zarathustra to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, well, that’s someone I’d like to meet.
Big concepts don’t necessary need many words. Even though they represent abstract and often complex ideas they can be skilfully summed up in a shape. This is what Genis Carreras did. He is a designer based in London and he created these intuitive shapes for some of the most important concepts we know. He called them philographics. And most of them seem to sum things up just right.
I discovered these surrealist paintings this morning. I woke up to one of those greyish Dutch days, when the pavement and the sky seem to blend. The contrast with this enchanted world felt quite amazing. Looking outside and then looking at this bunch of surprising and unusual characters, I wished I could spend the day in one of these paintings. Not sure which one in particular, since each one tells a different story.
This 1984 animation was made after a Russian folk tale. I really love the drawings and the voices the animals have, a bit too dramatic and theatrical, and too human to belong to animals. These deep grave voices and a certain bitter-sweetness are a characteristic of most old-school Soviet animations. These animations are largely unexplored in film theory and history, especially outside Russia. And many of them are great and tell stories about friendship and values. Take a look at Hedgehog in the Fog as well, it is probably one of the best Soviet animations ever.
This surreal animation is my newest discovery. A friend sent it to me tonight and so I plunged in Tortov Roddle’s world, a curious place with surprising encounters. Tortov Roddle travels on his long-legged pig, there’s peaceful music in the background and no voice over to disrupt this dreamy adventure.
Have you ever noticed how many stories an object from your past can tell? How those stories become alive once you rediscover an item long lost? We live our lives surrounded by objects and they’re not just things, but significant things. They absorb our lives. And they keep it there for later remembrance. And this photo project is the best illustration of this.
I recently discovered these airy and surreal images made by German painter and illustrator Quint Buccholz. I found them surprising, sometimes funny and sometimes truly touching.
They say that seeing the Earth from outer space puts problems and human life into perspective. It seems to me that seeing cities from above puts human evolution, urban development and culture into perspective. And not only. Besides a certain aesthetic and feel these photos have, they also tell complete stories of the past and the present. And while some city views make you dream, some remind of Burtynsky’s Manufactured Landscapes.
Winnie the Pooh is one of my favorite childhood characters. When I was about six, my father gave me a small book he had since he was a child himself – ‘The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’ – with the original drawings.
The book was written by A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin, the boy in the book, was actually his son, named Christopher Robin Milne. Winnie was a bear the boy had and apparently many other of his toys borrowed their names for most characters in the story.