Filed under: Arts, creativity, life, photography | Tags: american art, art, art in california, art loving, california, californian art, love art, moma, moma san fransisco, museum, san fransisco, visual art
Originally uploaded by mark gorman.
I saw this in the MOMA in San Fransisco last summer. Whilst it’s not really art it captured the essence of that remarkable art gallery.
I was looking forward to this, big style, on the basis of the crits I’d read.
I expected it to be dark, brooding and very engaging.
It is dark. It is brooding. But it is not engaging.
It is shot in a half light that is just plain dull and the performances, throughout, are at best subdued.
The plot is murky and very unclear. The dialogue is, at times, virtually impenetrable.
To be honest I can’t really be bothered reviewing this any more.
Filed under: music | Tags: art, Dignity of Labour, electronica, human league, instrumental, kraftwerk, norwegian, Norwegian music, Royskopp, the Orb
I’ve been intermittently interested in Royskopp’s stuff (Alpha Male is a stunning song) but nothing has the depth and subtly of this wholly instrumental and kind of danceable outing. It’s very retro and borrows strongly from Kraftwerk (more than any other band) but smacks too of early Simple Minds, Air, early Human League (Dignity of Labour is a little known masterpiece), Sigur Ros, Tangerine Dream, Orb etc.
It’s wonderful and is, I understand, a companion piece to its simultaneously recorded sibling, Junior, which came out last year.
Filed under: Arts | Tags: art, belford road gallery, BP, BP Portrait award, dean gallery, Edinburgh art, Edward Sutcliffe, Mark Jameson, Mary Jane Ansell, Michael Gaskell, Peter Monkman, portraits, Portraiture, scottish national gallery of modern art, The National Portrait gallery
I was utterly blown away by this today. I was on my own but kept talking out loud with gasps of admiration. And it’s free. If you do not attend you are making a very big mistake with your life.
Huge, HUGE thanks to BP for sponsoring this for 20 years unbroken.
This was the overall winner. Of course a crunched internet image can do no justice to the magical quality of the picture by Peter Monkman of his 12 year old daughter. You’ll need to go see it in the flesh.
This is the description the National gallery uses…
Monkman was shortlisted for the first time this year, having been included in the BP Portrait Award exhibition in 1999, 2001 and 2003. Currently Director of Art at Charterhouse School, Surrey, Monkman, 44, studied visual arts at the University of Lancaster, John Moores University Liverpool and the University of London. The shortlisted portrait is part of a series of portraits of his daughter exploring the concept of the changeling, a child substituted for another by stealth, often with an elf. ‘I challenge the fixed notion of an idealised image of childhood and substitute it for a more unsettling, complex, representation that exists in its own right as a painting.’ The initial ideas for this portrait came from photographic studies of Anna playing in woods in Brittany where the light had a magical quality.
Other winners included this stunning photo-realistic painting of his son , Tom, by Michael Gaskell.
And another in the same vein, called Benfica Blue, won best young artist for Mark Jameson. The detail on the girl’s face. In the flesh is quite remarkable.
I loved this by Mary Jane Ansell, called Georgie but it failed to win a prize;
But, for me, the best in show went to On Assi Ghat by Edward Sutcliffe. Yes. It is a painting.
Filed under: Arts, family, music, stories, theatre | Tags: Add new tag, art, christmas, ghost story, ghosts, theatre
I will be performing on Saturday night at 7.30 in the Forth Adults Theatre Christmas fundraising show which promises to be a right good Christmas heart warmer. It’s at Holy Cross Church Hall in Bangholm Loan, but if you want tickets best make contact before the night as it will sell out.
My fellow uber-talents will be singing a range of Christmas crackers, but singing solo scares me too much so, perhaps appropriately I’ve decided to scare the audience in a different way. So I shall be debuting a freaky ghost story that is a real chiller.
I’m shitting myself just thinking about it.
Filed under: Arts, photography, stories | Tags: art, bacon, bacon art, develish food, the devil
One of my Flickr pals posted a deeply disturbing photo this morning.
His bacon took on the resemblance of the devil.
Look closely. (Third rasher from the left.)
You can see the original here.
Filed under: Arts, life, movies, politics, stories | Tags: art, Belfast, Bobby Sands, British movies, Film 4, H block, Hunger, Hunger movie, IRA, Michael Fassbender, Steve McQueen, Thatcher, thatcherism, The Blanket Protest, The Dirty Protest, The HungER Strikes, The Maze, the trouble, tories
The H block in Belfast’s Maze Prison.
This film captures the development and escalation of protest by the ‘political’ prisoners held here as things moved through ‘The ‘Blanket protest’ onto ‘The Dirty Protest” and finally to ‘The Hunger Strikes’ that claimed Bobby Sands and eight of his compatriot’s lives.
As the end credits of the film show, the enemy, in the form of Margaret Thatcher was ‘not for turning’ and did not grant political status to these men that she considered no more than murderers. They did, however, lead to many concessions – bit by bit.
This astounding movie falls into three very clear sections; the gut wrenching blanket and dirty protest; a long and deeply personal conversation (in one 20 minute take) between Sands and his priest where Sands is asked to justify and then walk away from the impending hunger strike; and finally Sands’ ordeal itself.
Each section has a different pace and personality. Each is desperate in its own way.
This film pulls few punches. The stench of shit is almost palpable in the opening act and the way in which Michael Fassbender brings Sands’ death to the screen is almost unbearable.
But the real triumph of the film is that it takes no political sides and makes no judgements but does not sit on the fence. How? Because it invokes the viewer to do that themselves. Sands is neither a figure to pity or to vilify. It really is quite remarkable that the artist Steve McQueen can achieve this so consistently.
And this is art with a capital A. Every scene is stunningly rendered. The pace, at times snail-like, allows you to consider in real detail the situation these men found themselves in (or created however you want to look at it).
Fassbender’s performance is miraculous.
McQueen though, is the star of the show. One scene in particular when the men slop out by pouring their night’s urine under the doors of the corridor simultaneously is quite beautiful, as is the Hirst-like art that some of them create from their faeces (that’s what makes up the poster image).
Film of the year. No contest.
Incidentally we saw it in the DCA’s Cinema 2. What a cracking screen.
(As we scoffed coffee and fudge doughnuts. How’s that for irony?)
Filed under: Arts, life, photography, videos | Tags: am taylor wood, art, modern art, south bank show, video art
In a totally unilluminating South Bank Show I was nevertheless enthused by Sam Taylor Wood’s work.
It is on the money.
This is quite beautiful, and it’s only one of many balletic pieces. Nonetheless some twat on the South Bank Show pointed out that the shadow of her arm didn’t cover the chair.
I guess he thought it was a real insight, actually he came across like a real American… er… wank.
Her response was good.
“Yes, I know, it’s deliberate.”
You might think this is boring;
I saw it at The Tate Modern in London (I think) and, for me, this is modern day classicism.
It’s really, sorry I’ll say it again, beautiful.
Filed under: Arts, family, humour, jokes, life, photography, Rants, Scotland, stories | Tags: acid, art, drugs, duncan of Jordanstone, dundee, dundee art college, graffiti, painting, youth
On our recent visit to Duncan of Jordanstone art college these two pieces of pretty creative graffiti caught my eye.
This is nice.
But this is perhaps a little too subversive…
Filed under: Arts, family, humour, life, photography, Scotland, stories | Tags: art, Arts, blue, contemporary art, DCA, Dundee contemporary arts, gravity always wins, installation art, modern art, spencer finch
We saw this last week (click through on the picture for better quality image).
Jeana and Amy were more interested in “fooling about” than grasping the monumental aesthetics of blue film, clothes pegs and fluorescant light bulbs.
Well, it made for a good photo.
Filed under: Arts, humour, jokes, life, photography, stories | Tags: art, blasphemy, paintings, ymca
Filed under: Arts, life, photography | Tags: ansell adams, art, black and white photography, Edinburgh, Edinburgh art, exhibitions, mountains, the moon, yosemite
You know as well as I do that Ansell Adams is a great, really great, photographer. I suspect that the difference between you and I though is that, as of Saturday, I have seen his work in the flesh.
So what, you might say.
So everything I would retort.
Have you ever seen a real life Tission? A Boticelli? A Caravaggio? A Canaletto? Have you ever seen a reproduction of them? If you have you will understand how visceral the experience was of seeing the real thing is in the flesh. So imagine seeing not one but 150 Adams’ in the flesh.
Here, In Edinburgh, for only £4, with no more than 300 people in the gallery.
All of his most famous work is on display (until April). The first surprise is the size of the prints, few are larger than 10 x 8.
The second is the low lighting conditions. (Quite challenging, but these prints need to be protected.)
The third is how gobsmackingly brilliant the execution of these photos is. It’s one thing composing and capturing these brilliant shots, it’s another thing entirely developing and printing to this level of excellence. I actually cannot describe how breathtaking it is. The skies are often black, pitch black, against grey mountains and small pools of razor-sharp, piercing light.
One can concieve, just, how this can be achieved in Photoshop world, but in 1945? Honestly, the techical achievement is unreal. Almost literally.
As for the photos, what more can I possibly add to the huge body of slavvering adulation?
But, for the record, both Jeana and I had these shots as the highlights.
You simply would not comprehend how beautiful the effect of the moving water is in this image.
No, not ‘Half Dome’.
Your computer screen will not even remotely do this photo justice.
There is only one way. Get on a plane to Edinburgh.
PS. He is not perfect. A significant chunk of the exhibition features his experimental work on parchment coloured Kodak paper that, for me, killed his shots. The paper does not hold the contrast of his skies and they appear insipid compared to his silver Gelatin work.