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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Franke James, Banned in Canada

In Art, Polytricks on May 25, 2013 at 8:33 am

The arrogance and authoritarianism of the HOG (Harper Occupation Government) seems to know no bounds.

Franke James got banned for her art.  Here is her video about how mixing environmentalism and art got her banned.

Her crime?  Calling the Alberta Tar Sands for what it is .. dirty oil.

Here is her video about why the HOG want to shut her up.

I really admire her gutsy fight-back against the worst government Canada has ever seen.

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Born on the beach

In Art on March 31, 2013 at 9:01 am

Amazing video of a fawn born on the beach amongst the barnacles and seaweed on Vancouver Island.

Way to go little guy!

3Doodler

In Art, Nerds only on February 21, 2013 at 8:08 am

I’m looking forward to the day that 3 D printers are available like photocopiers are but in the meantime there is the 3Doodler, a $75 pen that draws in three dimensions.

Depardieu attacks Pussy Riot

In Art, Polytricks on January 31, 2013 at 9:55 am

Change.org has a petition to give jailed members of the band Pussy Riot, honorary citizenship of Paris.  This is in protest of Russia giving citizenship to Gerard Depardieu, (who went on to say some pretty gratuitously defamatory things about Pussy Riot).

Russian president Vladimir Putin personally granted him Russian citizenship and in return Depardieu whitewashed Putin’s crimes against Russia and Russians.

Depardieu didn’t have to create a scene about his unwillingness to pay taxes.  I can understand that he is a shallow jack-ass.  But to attack the courageous resistance to Putin’s Pig State was unforgivable.

I’m a big fan of Voina and Pussy Riot and have blogged about their strange history in Russia.  I’m sure that Depardieu is a great actor but to be so afraid of the tax-man that you run into the arms of Putin?  That shows that Pussy Riot have more courage in their little fingers than he has in his whole over-inflated ego.

Hipgnosis

In Art on January 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

Its been a while since I have done an art post. Storm Thorgerson was a founding member of the graphic design group Hipgnosis. It is famous for doing the graphic design for album covers of many classic rock groups.  Storm Thorgerson went to school with Roger Waters and Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd.  His style is very surrealistic.  Here is the album cover from Pink Floyd’s Wish you were Here.

 Although Hipgnosis most famous album cover is Dark Side of the Moon although I find that one graphically a bit of a yawner. Here is their album cover for Led Zeplin’s Houses of the Holy.

Here is a collection of Pink Floyd album covers from Atom Heart Mother to The Wall.

Group of Seven

In Art on November 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I have always enjoyed the Group of Seven, Canadian landscape artists.  Recently I noticed something that I had missed before.  While many artists shrink with horror from painting trees into their foreground most of the Group of Seven celebrate the tree, put it front and centre in a way that is very usual in landscape painting.  Here is Tom Thomson’s Jack Pine as an example.

Tom Thomson, Jack Pine, 1917

I have battled painting trees let alone putting them into the foreground like this.  I notice that many artists slide trees into the background of landscapes like unwanted guests.  My feeling is that it take real talent and a love and appreciation of trees in themselves to paint them like this.  Here is another example of Tom Tomson his putting fir trees right into the foreground of the painting.

Tom Tomson, Pine Island

Of course my favourite is Emily Carr when it comes to painting trees.  No scrub jack pine for her!  Only the great western cedar and douglas fir.  I have often looked up into the trees and felt them roar with life like this.. ;o)

Emily Carr, Odds and Ends, 1939

Of course Emily Carr isn’t considered quite ‘one of the boys’ of the group of seven but rather perhaps an honorary member.  Anyway a doff of my hat to any painter anywhere who celebrates and paints trees.. ;o)

Die Antwoord pillories Lady Gaga

In Art, Humour on October 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Die Antwoord has pilloried Lady Gaga in their latest music video called ‘Fatty Boom Boom’.  Die Antwoord is a South African rap band which has promoted and embraced Zef culture.  Alternately called kitsch, tasteless, crass, materialistic and superficial, Zef style seems to have hit a nerve in dystopian, post-apartheid South Africa.  I think that Die Antwoord are very creative and refreshing.  Die Antwoord turned their sights on Queen of Pop after she had the temerity to suggest they open for her.

 

 

I can’t think of two more different musical acts.  Antwoord are gratuitously homophobic while Gaga is LGBT-friendly.  But they come from two very different places literally and musically.  Godda admit I enjoyed the dust-up.

 

Voina, Pussy Riot and the War on Art in Russia

In Art, Polytricks on October 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

I’m guessing most have heard of Pussy Riot by now, and the savage over-reaction of the Russian Government and Russian Orthodox Church to their 50 second punk rock concert in the biggest cathedral in Moscow.  I was intrigued by the story and of course ended up going down an internet rabbit hole researching this one.  In the dark days of Soviet oppression artist were sent to ‘mental hospitals’ and ‘treated’ for their ‘anti-social’ artwork.  So it is of course chilling to find that two Pussy Riot members are now doing 2 years in separate labour camps in central Russia.

How did it come to this?  Well here is the strange tale.  Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia has descended into a bizarre and cruel dystopia.  The introduction of capitalism, neo-liberalism and privatisation of the commons has resulted in disaster for Russia.  A few gangsters and elite bureaucrats have become fabulously wealthy while the lot of the average Russian has deteriorated so baldy that Russia now has a negative birth rate

Russia’s first post-Soviet president was a US puppet.  His privatization program destroyed Russia financially and socially.  The US, Europe, IMF and World Bank promised billions of dollars to help Russia transition to a ‘market economy’.  A tiny fraction of the promised loans and aid arrived and the West rubbed its hands in glee as the former Soviet Republics disintegrated into civil war, chaos, financial meltdown and into a grotesque gangster state.

I kinda expected that the black-marketeers of Soviet Russia would turn into the ‘new’ capitalist government.  But what I didn’t see coming was the rise in political power of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Russia now has the bizarre reality of a KGB president and a KGB Church Patriarch.  There is no doubt that the ‘new’ Russia is a strange and dangerous place.

Against this dystopian backdrop was formed the anarchist art collective Voina.  It was formed by some Moscow university post graduates who were sick of the corruption and poverty of the new Russian regime.  Voina had been living as an anarchist community, meaning they gave up money, and became homeless and took what they needed from the supermarket, they rode outside the trains to get across town, sounds to me that their university degrees didn’t open any doors to a better life.

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Banksy

In Art, Polytricks on October 20, 2012 at 10:26 am

I’m a big fan of Banksy.  For those who haven’t heard of him, he is the worlds most famous, anonymous street artist.  I really enjoy his sense of humour and rebellion.  It would of course be absurd to write down quotations from an anonymous man, so I’m going to try and show his politics and humour through his (alleged) artwork.

Fitzrovia, London. quelle drole m’seur Banksy.. ;o)

West Bank Segregation Wall, gutsy move Banksy!

New Orleans, post hurricane Katrina.

London

Have a Nice Day Reaper

Shop ’till you Drop.. quelle drole… ;o)

Xmas Shopping

Says it all…

Banksy also decided to protest Paris Hilton attempt at a music career by buying up 500 of her first CD’s and replacing the artwork on the covers.. like this..

And this..

Banksy is also famous for producing a documentary on street art called “Exit through the Gift Shop“.  Some have questioned whether the whole movie is an elaborate hoax, but Banksy is (alleged) to say that “I’m not clever enough to have invented Mr. Brainwash”.   Who knows?.  I like to think its another of his great pranks.

Banksy also directed a hilarious opening sequence for the Simpsons where he savaged Fox TV and Chinese sweatshops. Its a great moment in Television..or is that an oxymoron?..ha..ha…

Banksy also bailed out Voina artists last year which was another ballsy move on his part considering the controversy surrounding artistic repression in Russia these days.. but that will have to wait for a future blog post.. ;o)

Durer

In Art on August 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

Albrecht Durer is another of my favourite artists. Even after half a millennia, his work and talent shine. I particularly like his Hare.. done is watercolour and bodycolour. Yah.. I had to look bodycolour up.. ;o)

Durer, Hare

Albrecht Durer, Hare, 1502

Who else was drawing rhinos back then? This is a classic. I have been fascinated by this since I was a kid.

Albrecht Durer, Rhinoceros, 1515

Durer was very precocious.  He drew this self portrait at age 13.

Albrecht Durer, Self Portrait at age 13!

You can tell this is still the middle ages.  I like this bagpiper.  Reminds me of my old buddy Ernie.

Albrecht Durer, Bagpiper, 1514

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