Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Halloween still lifes

October 30, 2020

A pair of still lifes — digital compositions — by Stephanie Shih for Halloween, with the customary flowers in vases, prominently supplemented by Halloween candy: a large lollipop on the left, a candy stick on the right:


(#1) Stephanie: “ode to childhood memories of Halloween candy”

(You might want to enlarge the images to examine the details.)

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Shifting gears

October 23, 2020

The cover of the latest (10/26/20) New Yorker, which I post here only because it’s sweet and coronavirus-relevant:

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Unsettling still lifes

October 21, 2020

Caught on a Facebook site that posts reproductions of artworks, Chaïm Soutine’s Still Life with Rayfish (ca. 1924):

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The accompanying note:

In this unsettling adaptation of Jean-Siméon Chardin’s The Rayfish (ca. 1725–26), Soutine paired the fish’s bloody entrails with a smiling, almost humanlike mouth. He reanimated the dead ray by concentrating on its vibrant underbelly and used thick, fluid brushstrokes to suggest slick flesh.

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Paul Newman rises from the sea

October 18, 2020

On the Hollywood Reporter site in “When Paul Newman Dazzled Venice” by Gregg Kilday on 8/21/12:

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Promoting 1963’s “Hud” at the Venice Film Festival, the actor exhibited an effortless masculinity that had Italians swooning.

American stars go to the Venice Film Festival to test their wattage, and in 1963 no star burned brighter than Paul Newman. At age 38, he visited the Lido to show off Hud, Martin Ritt’s drama in which he played a Texas bad boy. Remembers Barbara Steele, then a rising young actress who’d just completed a role in Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, “I don’t know how, but I ended up hanging out with Paul Newman, who was at the peak of his beauty. He was a Greek god, absolutely stunning. He was every Italian’s dream of classical beauty.”

Thing is, Newman rising from the sea here was pretty much the perfect package, from face to crotch, everything in balance, nothing obtrusive. Two themes here: the beautiful character rising from the sea; and the full package of male beauty.

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A tribute to Edward Hopper

October 17, 2020

On Facebook on 10/4, from the George Rullier Groupe Surréaliste!, British artist Phil Lockwood paying tribute to Edward Hopper with a compilation of Hopper’s work in a single painting, The Office at Night:

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It’s characteristic of Hopper that in his paintings we seem to be catching views of his subjects from the outside, spying on them, often through a window. So it’s natural to assemble these views in office buildings (with his Nighthawks in a diner on the street, in the center of the composition).

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Another Shih still life

October 17, 2020

On Facebook on the 12th, another of Stephanie Shih’s still lifes:

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Artichoke flowers at the top, lots of oval imagery at the bottom.

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One more Magritte homage

October 16, 2020

From Vadim Temkin on Facebook on the 14th:

One more homage to Magritte: Lovers II [now with naked men]. I think for now I have enough Magritte for a while

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Homage to Magritte

October 14, 2020

On Facebook today, a Vadim Temkin gay male homage to the Belgian artist René Magritte and his 1937 painting La Reproduction Interdite (Not to be Reproduced):

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Deconstructed hamburgers, exploding in layers

September 28, 2020

Another spinoff from my recent postings on still lifes, leading to photographs of food, in particular an earlier posting today, “Breakfast with Francesco Tonelli” (the food photographer). And that led me to a genre of food photography I hadn’t known about: the exploded view, deconstructed, flying, or food-layer hamburger. (Any sort of sandwich or layered food could be treated this way, but hamburgers tend to have more parts than most, and they’ve spread as everyday food through much of the world, so they’re especially well suited to this photographic treatment.)

An introductory example: a photo by David Fedulov (Дэвид Федулов) in Moscow:


(#1) Managing to get the dressing separated like that is the real trick here

Here I guess I should remind you that the stuff in lots of wonderful food photography isn’t food at all, but some simulacrum that will stand up under hot lights and long exposure times. Tricks of the trade. Making actual food gorgeous in still shots (as Tonelli does) is quite an accomplishment.

Five more examples, from all over the world.(We’ve already got Russia.)

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Breakfast with Francesco Tonelli

September 28, 2020

Having posted recently several times on still lifes involving foodstuffs, I’ve been getting lots of suggestions from Pinterest of food photography in general (and when I post this, I’ll get even more). Striking among these suggestions: Francesco Tonelli’s album of breakfast photos (on his website, here).

These turn out to have an informal snapshot quality, as if we’re just catching these foods in the act, combined with an extraordinarily sensuous presentation. For example, breakfast PJ&B (peanut butter and jelly — or in this case, jam, which is much more intense than mere jelly):


(#1) Peanut butter and jam, aroused and about to hook up

Now, more from his breakfast album (and then the About page from his website, about who  Tonelli is and what he does).

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