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

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This simple feeling of comfort: the art of Frances Baruch

I cannot remember what I was searching for when I came across Frances Baruch‘s work. What I remember is this feeling of comfort I had looking at the pictures of her gentleness-inspiring ceramic work of people and animals. It was that feeling I sometimes have when I discover something that resonates with me and that feels…’true’.

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17th Century Dutch Humor and What Hid Behind an Apparently Inoffensive Bush

The truth always prevails my dears, that’s what I have to tell you! They tried to cover it up in this 1643 Isack van Ostade’s A Village Fair with a Church Behind painting, and they painted a bush on top of it. But 100 years later, curators spotted the fake, took it off, and revealed the true “artist’s intentions”: a pooper with a dog looking at him. In 1903 when the bush was painted on top of this shameless little fellow, it seemed more appropriate to go about doing such business in a bush I guess. But in the 16th and 17th century this kind of potty jokes in art were apparently quite popular. You don’t have to be a high-brow art lover to appreciate old Dutch paintings, you can also be a ‘Where is Wally?‘ fan and spot for the twist behind them.

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Medieval Emoticons: the Delights of Seeing Art from Long Ago in a (Funny) New Light

I’m a big fan of medieval art and representations. That’s especially when they are cherry picked around a subject. I previously loved these Ugly Reinaissance Babies, now I’m absorbed by these ‘Medieval emoticons‘, and in general by the website where I found them. Discarding Images is a real treat.

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You’d Never Guess: an Animation Lars von Trier Made When He Was 11

Here’s a question: after watching Dancer in the Dark, Melancholia and Nymphomaniac (or whatever other films of his you watched)… can you imagine Lars von Trier as a kid? I…can’t. It makes sense that he was a kid at a point, but watching this surprising stop motion animation he made when he was 11… something doesn’t click. He is one of those people who feels like he was born the way he is now. It would make sense if as a kid he made Little-Dancer in the Dark and another version of Melancholia based on kids. But no.

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The Romania I love: a photo series about the surprising and the charms I’ll miss

I’m leaving Romania today and going back to The Netherlands, and it’s also the last day of the year and the last 2014 post on Passepartout, and somehow it feels just right to show you these photos. Hajdu Tamas doesn’t only seem to be at the right place at the right time, he actually has an eye for everything I love in Romania – the bitter-sweet, the absurd, the sentimental and the everyday surprising with an Eastern flavor. I think the kind of things he photographs are everywhere here, if you pay attention. And for some reason that fails me, many people see this as a mark of inadequacy and not of something to embrace and enjoy.

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The Island of Doctor Moreau: the surprising-kitschy-collage version

Andrea Mastrovito makes a lot of stuff, and most of it is worth seeing so check her website and look carefully. What caught my eye is – predictable, right? – this amazing-kitschy-surprising-collage, a recreation of the animal kingdom, her own version of Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, now called The Island of Dr Mastrovito with version I and II. Well. Truth is her version is much more gentle than the original story, in which a mad doctor does all sorts of experiments hoping to transform animals into people. Mastrovito only cuts all these animals from nature books and puts them all together in this arresting installation.

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Sugar and spice: the enchanted art of Leszek Kostuj

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.

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Photos from within 1000 meters from my home: a photo project looking at ‘the familiar’ with new eyes

There are thousand of details in our close environment, thousands of things happening every time we walk out our house. But most of them we no longer notice, because they seem to common and everything is just too familiar. We take the familiar for granted and no longer pay attention. We look for the new and the exciting and in this way we often miss the stories and the beauty of the space we live in.

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There’s so much space: the surreal art of Quint Buccholz

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.

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Animals in the Womb

When I first saw these photos, I thought that’s a place where the camera shouldn’t be. These animals look so fragile that the photos make me want to hold my breath, not to interfere in any way.

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