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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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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Arctic Magic: Evgenia Arbugaeva’s Idyllic Photos of a Place Called Tiksi

Wait, I know what you’re going to say: it’s spring already and you’re not so much in the mood for photos from the Arctic. But these are not just any photos, they are a magical portrayal a photographer made when she returned to the place where she grew up and which she missed.

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The comfort of taking a break from being you: Tom Broadbent’s portraits of Furries in their homes

What you do when you’re a Furry is that you dress up as a fluffy character and you meet up with other fluffy characters and you chat and have and hang around. You can also do other things, like you dress up as a fluffy character and then go fishing, or cut a leek or iron your stuff. What you don’t do is two things: reveal your identity and talk to journalists. I think there’s something liberating in being a cartoon and I am currently looking for something liberating, so I am considering becoming a Furry journalist, perhaps I’d be the first ever. And perhaps Tom Broadbent will add me to his collection of photos of people who like to dress up like this.

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Many in one image: the aerial photography of Alex MacLean

Unlike Edward Burtynsky’s Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark, which overwhelm and invite to reflection, Alex MacLean‘s aerial photos are only surprising eye-candies picturing human patterns from above. Why is it that ‘many’ of one thing captivate us and seem beautiful to us, well, I don’t know. But there are many planes, many trains, many people and many boats among other many things in these photos. And they do look beautiful and I cannot stop looking at them.

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When blessing is what you do for a living: Orthodox priests blessing stuff

This is not the kind of stuff you normally see on Passepartout, but I simply cannot help myself! I find it important for you to know that orthodox priests are in the habit of blessing everything, and once they start, they never stop. In the Orthodox tradition – in which I was born – people ask priests to bless, for example, a new house. But we don’t need to limit ourselves to that, obviously. Everything is ‘blessable‘. A tank, a horse, a spacecraft – all splashed with the holy water – in exchange for a more or less symbolic financial compensation. How much is this related to faith…I don’t know. But it also doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can just think and make a top 3 things you need to be blessed. Things will be arranged.

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So many stories: the magic of Alexander Jansson’s illustrated world

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.

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The stuffed employees: photos behind the scenes of the natural history museum in Vienna

Klaus Pichler is by far one of my favorite photographers. I love the unusual subjects he finds and the way he makes those subjects seem even more curious and interesting than they are in the first place. I previously wrote about him and his Just the Two of Us series of portraits of cosplayers and their homes (cosplayers are those people who dress up like all sorts of characters). And now here is Skeletons in the Closet, a look behind Vienna’s Museum of Natural History, in those rooms where stuffed animals pile up (and come alive at night?).

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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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150 meters above the ground: beautiful wildlife in Botswana

I can bet that if I give you a map of Africa right now, you won’t be able to show me where Botswana is. I can also bet that after seeing these eye-candy photos you’ll want to fill this gap in your knowledge. Marcel Proust’s famous quote – the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes – may apply. American photographer Zack Seckler got new eyes from 150 meters above the ground and discovered just this: a mix of patterns and out of this world beauty.

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The silent drive: Volkswagen Beetle joins The Silent evolution

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.

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The Diary of Tortov Roddle: the surreal and the dreamy anime story

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.

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It doesn’t get more bitter-sweet than this: Mark Nixon’s portraits of old teddy bears

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.

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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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Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat: the visual documentation of a friendship

Aw! How did I miss this one? I only recently discovered these photos of a grandma Misao and her friendship with this white odd eyed cat. The photos have been taken by Misao’s granddaughter. Miyoko Ihara has been photographing her grandma for 13 years. 8 years ago grandma found this white cat in a shed and named her Fukumaru (fuku means good fortune).

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‘Just the Two of Us’ – Klaus Pilcher’s portraits of cosplayers in their homes

I knew about people dressing up as manga characters. I knew about their gatherings. But for some reason, I didn’t know they were called cosplayers. Cosplaying is not only about manga, but in general about dressing up as a character of a movie, book or video game. Becoming someone else for a while is a way of breaking free from a stressful or unsatisfactory life. And some of the cosplayers spend months making their costumes.

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Seat Assignment – 15th century Flemish style portraits taken in plane lavatory

This project is delicious! Nina Katchadourian took these 15th century Flemish style self-portrays in the plane lavatory during flights. She got the idea spontaneously while on a domestic flight in 2010, she took the photos with her cell phone and there’s really nothing else than this lady playing with toilet paper and other things found in the lavatory.

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Florentijn Hofman's Floating Duck Sculpture Arrives In Hong Kong

Rubber Duckie travels the World

This Rubber Duck travels the World. Designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, Rubber Duck appeared in different places, from Sydney to Sao Paolo and from Hong Kong to Pittsburgh.

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The oldest (known) cat pawprints

Medievalist Emir O.Filipovic found these inky pawprints on a page of the 13th volume of ”Lettere e comissioni di Levante’, a collection of letters and instructions that the Dubrovnik government sent to its merchants and envoys throughout southeast Europe. In short, an official 15th century Federal Register.

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The art of making the common surprising

Gilbert Legrand transforms common usual objects into characters. After you see these surprising transformations, your tap can never be just a tap, your brush just a brush.

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