Upon Reflection

Upon Reflection is a beautiful, very feminine (although only one of the artists is a girl) new mural – a collaboration of Fin DAC and Angelina Christina which is featuring each artist’s distinctive style.

The piece can be found at the corner of Winston and Los Angeles in Downtown Los Angeles, USA.

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Cool before it was even cool

Remember a song by Fun Lovin’ Criminals “Scooby Snacks”?  The song is basically a lot about what’s cool and I thought now that the expresion which is shouted at some point:

“- Sonny, I need you cool, are you cool?
- I am cool.”
is a perfect summary of the couple of photos I have found here and there.

They are all of Salvador Dali, a prominent Catalan (not Spanish, mind you!) painter, architect known for his surrealistic art. In fact, he was such a personality and such a great artist that he was “cool” before anyone even knew the word and before it was “cool” to be “cool”. Or, in other words: eccentric.

For instance, you may know this famous photo, entitled “Dali Atomicus“, a photo by Philippe Halsman who pictured Salvador Dalí suspended in mid-air. While today this image could easily be replicated in Photoshop, it wasn’t possible in 1948. It actually took 28 takes and a help of 5 assistants to get this image!

Dali Atomicus (1)

A website “Shooting film” describes the process:

The photographer counts: One… His wife Yvonne holds the chair up. Two… The assistants get ready with the water and the cats. Three… The assistants throw the cats from the right and the bucket of water from the left. Four… Salvador Dali jumps… and miliseconds later—Philippe Halsman takes the photo.

After the photo is taken: the photographer goes to the darkroom to develop it; the assistants mop the floor, catch and calm down the cats; Yvonne and Dali rest and wait for yet another shoot. As Halsman wrote in his book Halsman on the Creation of Photographic Ideas, “Six hours and twenty-eight throws later, the result satisfied my striving for perfection. (…) My assistants and I were wet, dirty, and near complete exhaustion—only the cats still looked like new“.

You can actually watch the mis-takes on the photos here.

Below you can see Dali hosting a Surrealist party as a fund raiser for displaced European artists.

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Other form of entertainment would be a little sport. Like jumping rope.

salvador dali jumping rope

Here’s the artist’s doing a Buddha impression.

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Dali also enjoyed pets company. Quite unusual pets, though.
Here’s him with his little kitty, an ocelot….

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…and Salvador Dali walking his anteater. Of course.

Salvador dali and his Anteater

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Crocheted Alligator

First, please allow a side note, quite personal one. I am lately involved quite much into bringing to live a urban knitting project where I live. I don’t want to be over enthusiastic, but please keep fingers crossed it goes well. At the time I am writing this I am waiting anxiously to see what will happen…

Since I am much into thinking into the field of “yarnbombing-crocheting-urban knitting” I though that maybe a post related to this would be welcome.

Olek is a Poland-born (I can’t say I’m not proud of that), Brooklyn-based artist famous for her large scale crocheted objects. In 2012 she travelled to Brasil for the 2012 SESC Arts Show, a non-profit arts show across several venues that runs in São Paulo. With the help of a team of “crocheteiros,” (surely she couldn’t have done such a massive piece on her own) over a period of several weeks Olek completely covered the massive alligator in colorful North Carolinian acrylic yarn and Brazilian ribbons.

Kids can climb in, through and on top of the brightly-colored alligator, which loses some of its intimidation with that blanket of pink yarn.

I must say I absolutely love the array of colours and the idea of the entire work. I can’t possibly imagine to match the scale of the project, but I can say out loud I do admire the reptile.

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The Painted Village of Zalipie

This time something from this little corner of the world. I hope – equally as interesting and charming as other wonders of the wide world.

Zalipie is a village in southeastern Poland, 68 km east of the regional capital Kraków (Cracow), known for its wonderfully, rustically painted houses.

The tradition of decorating both the exterior and the interior of houses originated at the end of the 19th century when old-fashioned furnaces were replaced with new furnaces with chimneys. Early furnaces had little more than a hole in the ceiling for smoke to escape, which being inadequate led to blackening of the walls by soot. In order to cover the unsightly walls the women of the houses began painting over the spots of soot with whitewash. Later, these whitewashed walls became backdrops for more immaculate designs. Using flower compositions, the women put special emphasis on decorating the wide stoves. They also painted flower garlands under pictures and around windows and doors. Soon they began to paint the exterior of their homes and pretty much anything unmovable – chicken coups, bridges, bins, wells and dog kernels.

nitially, the ornamentation was predominantly geometric with dots, curves, circles, zig-zags, and wavy lines etc. and the materials used were simply those that were most available like brown clay, soot, and lime. As an adhesive they used milk, sugar and egg whites or dumpling stock. Brushes were composed of horse hair, leather, or human hair; some of these types of brushes were still used up until a several years ago.

Like most small villages, Zalipie would have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for a clerk from Krakow, who became so intrigued by the Zalipian cottages that he published an article about them in a local ethnographic periodical in the year 1905.

The tradition is upheld each year in the first week after the Feast of Corpus Christi, when a competition is held for the most beautifully decorated cottage. The house-painting competition started in 1948 and occurred every few years until 1965 when it became an annual event. In addition to Zalipie, these special cottages can be found in a number of surrounding villages such as Kuzie, Niwka and Kłyż.

Zalipie’s best known painter was Felicja Curyłowa (1904–74), and since her death her three-room farmhouse has been turned into a museum.

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Lit Up Pieces of Paper Caught in a Breeze

London designer Paul Cocksedge created a gorgeous installation resembling pieces of paper caught in a breeze for the  in Lyon, France in 2011. Installed in the courtyard of Lyon’s Hotel de Ville (City Hall), the 25-metre-long sculpture, called Bourrasque, was comprised of 200 A3-sized sheets made from an electrically conductive material that lights up when a current passes through it. Each of these double-sided sheets was individually moulded by hand in London, and then assembled on site.

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The Last…Stop

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Public furniture by guerrilla activists

A group of guerrilla activists hit the streets Paris as darkness descends on the city, but no to riot, protest or graffiti but to build and install community infrastructure from the discarded roadside scraps found in the French capital.

Chapitre Zero is a upcycling project led by Duccio Maria Gambi and Mattia Paco Rizzi, furniture designers with a higher purpose in mind for the urban refuse they find, but with no license from the city to install their de facto illegal creations. The evolving  team of nocturnal participants uses leftover palettes, old doors and other pieces of wood to shape seats and tables which they deploy into carefully-chosen spaces, leaving local residents to wake up surrounded by useful surprises. Their process has evolved over time, from prefabricating their pieces to working onsite with portable power tools to build with whatever waste is at hand, bending, fastening, screwing and nailing as they go. This trash-taking approach naturally requires a degree of planning and preparedness but also a sense of the impromptu – much like other forms of ad hoc guerrilla street art. The community has responded warmly to this activity, throwing impromptu picnics, meetings and birthday parties in these unexpected new spaces.

 

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