Passepartout is all about documentaries and visual stuff I find worth seeing.

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The kitsch update: Elena Eremina’s still life with hamsters

It’s official: all the good kitsch comes from Russia. Or at least a good part of it. I hope you’ve seen Svetlana Petrova’s cat, Zarathustra, making classical paintings ‘better’. Or Svetlana Novikova’s crazy coloured animal paintings. Well, Elena Eremina photographs her hamsters, in the kitchen, after her husband and child go to sleep. The result is this photo series with a Flemish still life painting air in contrast with these too-cute-to-sweet sentimental scenes. I find this contrast surprising, terrible and lovely at the same time.

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The invasion, new project and an exhibition to see (in The Netherlands)

I live in the most uneventful place in the world, plain, populated mainly by old people and people with weird habits. On top of that, sometimes, unexpected kitschy things happen, things that gather many people in one place in a wave of excitement. Last weekend, my usually dull and empty writing corner has been taken over by dogs of all sizes, colours and shapes – dog statues that is – and by an army of kids taking photos with two furry characters (sorry for the slightly blurred second photo, it’s just the vibration of the moment captured there. Not). It’s been chaos, I wrote almost nothing, but had a good coffee.

Anyway, I decided that my new mission is to actually try to find interesting things in this place and capture it’s dry but sometimes bitter-sweet, sometimes sad and occasionally trashy feel. I will take more photos in these next months. If the results will be in any way worth seeing, you will know.

On a different note, here’s an art exhibition worth seeing, with a rather prosaic name – 9 Artists from Iran. It’s in Amsterdam until the 21st of February. I haven’t seen it yet, perhaps this weekend.

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The kitsch accident: when old paintings, onions and eggs collide

Here is your dose of kitsch. When art meets onions and broken eggs, this is the result. It doesn’t happen often, and when it happens it’s not really an accident. In this case, Zeren Badar caused these particular accidents. He says he is hugely influenced by dadaism and neo-dadaism. He creates three dimensional collages with found objects, food and cheaply printed old paintings. Bottom line, the recipe is to take on per-existing work of art, put some onion, put some egg, some objects you find or just paint on them somehow, and take photos of the resulted collage. Yes, try at home.

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The magic, the kitsch and the love: Svetlana Novikova’s surprising animal art

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.

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The creepy-kitsch update: dictators and their fluffy toys

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?

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