art + design, Inspirations

Art Crush : : Sveta Dorosheva


Ukraine-born and Israel-based artist Sveta Dorosheva is one of just two or three artists I follow on Béhance. Over the years her work has been consistently rich, ornate, delightful, meticulously drawn, and tells such wonderful stories! She’s like Ivan Bilibin, Harry Clarke, Katsushika Hokusai and Hieronymus Bosch rolled into one.

In her latest post she shares 6 or 7 huge collages of her sketchbook and diary pages. It is such a treat to see so much creativity in one place, it’s kinda overwhelming! But don’t stop there…please look at all her projects—she draws some of the most beautiful women, and the costumes are to die for. There is so much to look at and love…medieval ladies, Persian miniatures, the Tarot, steampunk, calligraphy, flapper girls and the Art Deco, lovers through the ages, fairytales…her creativity and her imagination are top-notch. Most of her illustrations are drawn by hand

Clicking on either image will also take you to her Béhance projects…

And I just discovered, tonight, that she has a Society6 shop! The chance to own something with her work on it makes me feel a little giddy! I just don’t know which one to choose!

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I love abstract painting…probably because it is so much harder to do well, because there is nothing familiar, recognisable to comfort the viewer or fool her into thinking that she understands anything about the work or the artist behind the work.

It is paint dancing on its own, when paint is not being coerced into parading as something else…like a tree, or Magritte’s treacherous image of a pipe that is not a pipe (because, hello, it is paint). I’m still amazed when I meet people who will discuss a painting of something as though it is that thing, and not a skin of paint dried on canvas. Reminds me of the simple folks in the Philippines who would throw drink cans and rubbish at a movie screen when the bad guy appeared…

“I’m very interested in when something coalesces, so when something that could feel random and chaotic stops feeling like that and feels balanced, and at ease with itself, when it stops being cacophony and starts being rhythm and music…”

I’m very interested in that, too. Counting the days till the Mermaid I work for comes back…

I’m working five days a week for the next month and a half, while my manager takes her much-deserved annual leave. That means precious little time to do anything like play or dream…especially as I’ve also had a stall at a craft market every single weekend in a row this May. That means the most I can do to satisfy my creative hunger is to read a few blogs, gaze longingly at the beautiful things others are doing, and pine for the days when I can stay home half the week, again, and explore my own ideas, turn things nimbly over as I work them with my hands, or stroke paints onto a surface and build a world where there never was one.

Dinara Mirtalipova’s website is such a beautiful place to wander…she’s an illustrator,

a pattern designer,

and all-around maker of beautiful things…

whose style carries some of the folk art qualities of her native Uzbekistan, and yet definitely feature both a quirky and sophisticated take on those traditional patterns.

Just the kind of wonderful inspiration I needed this evening, as I enter the long dark tunnel of full-time work…and yet also triggering a deep yearning in me to be free of these everyday responsibilities and back in my own dreaming and playing space.

I discovered Mirdinara via the uppercase magazine blog…always a good place to go for excellent design, beautiful photos, fabulous artists and tons of inspiration.

art + design, Inspirations

Yinka Shonibare’s ‘The British Library’

In Yinka Shonibare MBE’s new installation, The British Library, he explores the impact of immigration on British culture by covering hundreds of books—written by those “both celebrated and unfamiliar” who, as immigrants, made unique contributions to what is now accepted as ‘British’ culture—with his trademark Dutch wax (batik) fabrics. Gold tooling on the spines declare the names of all these individuals who, at some point, came to Britain as immigrants, and made their mark.

The British Library asks us to evaluate our attitudes to immigration and immigrants.”

I am always impressed by Shonibare MBE’s work…but especially love this installation, for the sheer joy of seeing whole book shelves crammed with books that have been covered in bold, parti-coloured Dutch wax fabrics. Fabulous! Although not actually bound in these fabrics (I don’t think Brighton Library would let anyone change the covers of their books…the fabrics are merely wrapped around like dust jackets) it certainly sets my own bookbinder’s imagination daydreaming about actually binding my own library in similar, flamboyant fashion.

I did say it was a daydream. :) As though I didn’t already have enough to do for 5 lifetimes…

www.yinkashonibarembe.com

House Festival 2014.

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I experience a visceral delight whenever I see anything made by mad genius Jesse Reno. A real “Artist’s Artist”, and one of my absolute favorites, he is often grouped with the Outsider Art (a.k.a. Art Brut) movement, an artistic environment I find compelling, irresistible, alive and of-the-moment. Abstract narratives. Contemporary primitivism. A large and strong dictionary of symbols and icons that come together to form maps of Reno’s wisdom and experiences. Unapologetically personal and confrontational and courageous.

In addition to being a brilliant painter, Jesse composed, recorded, and produced all the music.

This video is over 20 minutes long, though I always find myself wishing it would go on forever. I could spend the rest of my life just watching Jesse paint. Every one of his books is a must-have.

art + design, books + poetry, Inspirations

The Sandwich Book by Pawel Piotrowski

Such a great idea for a book…besides being a humorous take on the book form, I love that it brings to the fore qualities of the book that are often overlooked.

When we read an ordinary book, we take its construction for granted and forget that each page is, in itself, a plane…that is, a level, stratum, a stage, an environment, a microcosm of the world, a surface upon which unique things happen.

That these surfaces are bound together at one end of a book introduces sequence…this before that, and then this…usually a continuation from the previous page, though the possibilities of using the turning of the page—to rattle or to slow the viewer/reader by dropping her in some completely unexpected environment or by keeping her in suspense—have been explored by artists and writers, alike.

Ultimately, a book is a working model of Time. The time it takes to read a book. The time it takes to introduce a world and follow an unfolding story. The time it takes to make a sandwich…or deconstruct it…or eat it…

The Sandwich Book by Pawel Piotrowski via strictlypaper.

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art + design, Inspirations, music + film

dowsing for inspiration

Wandering the internet in a dreamy half-trance state is a little bit like dowsing for water. One little link will catch my eye, such as “Gotye-Giving Me A Chance-official video” and, although I don’t much care for music videos, I click on the link thinking “I haven’t heard that song,” and find myself watching an animated world of painted and drawn art creatures—really quirky, bizarre, wonderful characters and scenes.

And I’m hooked…I follow the video to the online portfolio of the artist responsible: Gina Thorstensen

And my evening blossoms like a scrunched-up paper flower set into a dish of cool, clear water…my spirit unfolds like infinite origami.

She is amazing. I can’t get enough of her illustrations,

wall paintings,

sculptures,

…and you’ve already seen the wonderful animations she does, like this one in collaboration with Nacho Rodriguez for Gotye. How about this one for the Mexican band Jumbo:

I don’t know much about her other than that she’s a Norwegian based in Denmark. But I am about to find out all I can about her. I think you should get to know her, too. Here’s her portfolio, and here’s her blog.

I’ll race you there.

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art + design, Inspirations, life, my friends

NIAGARA IN MANILA | Malate

My friend Elmer is an intrepid photographer whose blog (named after the squalid and lusty heart of the city of Manila, Malate) is always packed with great shots of the Philippines. In this post he presents glimpses of the city-wide flooding that started last week and, as far as I know, continues there still.

These are distressing to me, as friends and family have all reported chest-high flooding in their areas, and I can only hope that their homes and lives have managed to escape serious damage.

For all that, Elmer’s photos are beautiful and, in a sobering way, calming. Life goes on. Filipinos are a forbearing and resilient people. No point complaining…who would listen, anyway?

For some wonderful pics of people getting on with the business of living as though they had gills, do head over to Malate to check out the rest of Elmer’s post.

NIAGARA IN MANILA | Malate.

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