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Masahisa Fukase – “The solitude of ravens”

Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase made his obscure masterpiece ‘Ravens’ (‘Karasu’) between 1975 and 1982 as a way of overcoming a personal emotional trauma following a divorce with his second wife Yōko Wanibe. Though the photographs at first sight are a personal lament reflecting the darkened vision of the photographer himself, they are regarded by many as the most important body of work to come out of postwar Japan, and still its imagery continues to inspire artists and writers today.

Masahisa Fukase, series Ravens, photography

Masahisa Fukase – Ravens

The project originated as an eight-part series for the magazine Camera Mainichi  and these photo essays reveal that Fukase experimented with multiple exposure printing and narrative text as part of the development of the Karasu concept. The first book was published in 1986, subsequent editions were published in 1991 and and 2008, and in May, 2017 a new one is coming.

“Ravens is one of the defining bodies of work in the history of photography and a high point in the photo book genre. This accumulation of accolades, and the passing of time, have obscured much of the fascinating detail which explains the artist’s pre-occupation with this motif throughout his work. It was not simply a reflection of the existential angst and anhedonia he suffered throughout his life but manifested in artistic self-identification with the raven and ultimately spiralled into a solitary existence and artistic practice on the edge of madness…” Tomo Kosuga from his essay Cries of Solitude [2017]

The video below was created by Esther ‘t Hart and Wiek Roggeveen as a tribute to the photographer.

Hans Op de Beeck – Staging Silence (2)

Hans Op de Beeck - Staging Silence

Hans Op de Beeck is a multi-disciplinary artist from Belgium. His film ‘Staging Silence (2)’ is an amazing journey through many public places the artist has experienced. As he explains In his site  it is “based around abstract, archetypal settings that lingered in (his) memory  … memory images are disproportionate mixtures of concrete information and fantasies, and in this film they materialize before the spectator’s eyes through anonymous tinkering and improvising hands. Arms and hands appear and disappear at random, manipulating banal objects, scale representations and artificial lighting into alienating yet recognizable locations. These places are no more or less than animated decors for possible stories, evocative visual propositions to the spectator”.

The film is beautifully accompanied by a music composed especially for it by Scanner (UK), who was inspired by the images in its creation.

Ferrolic – the 21st century art

Ferrolic by Zelf Koelman

Ferrolic by Zelf Koelman

What actually is this? I have a strange connection with science and most of the time we do not speak the same language. It is difficult to explain in details how this new gadget functions, but as far as I understood, it is based on the feature of a liquid called “ferrofluid”  to respond immediately to the presence of a magnetic field.  It was invented as a rocket fuel in 1963 by a NASA scientist, Steve Papell, and nowadays it is used in many other industries. So, here in the basin there is a ferrofluid and behind the scenes  electromagnets that influence the fluid’s shape and movement.

This project is a work of the artist, designer and engineer  Zelf Koelman. Watch the video and if you are grabbed by it, you could get your very own Ferrolic display for about 7-8.000 euro, connect it to the internet and enjoy the animations. And when you are bored with one animation via a web browser the software could be edited and thus you will have a new one.

If you interested to learn more, go to the official site of Ferrolic.

Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” – the unexpected math behind the painting

Vincent van Gogh - Starry Night

Vincent van Gogh – Starry Night

I don’t think there is a person in the world who would question Van Gogh’s genius.  No doubt his works are masterpieces. However, did you know that besides their art value, they have also been praised by the scientists?

Watch this short TED lesson, created by art and math educator Natalya St. Clair and animator Avi Ofer to learn how behind one of them he had succeeded to capture the mystery of the turbulence with accuracy that rivals the way physicists and mathematicians have been explained it.

I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail

‘I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail’ is an anonymous 17th century English folk ‘trick verse’ poem. This means that at first read it seems nonsensical, but when the sentences are broken up in the middle of each line, it begins to make perfect sense. The collaboration between the Indian Gond artist  Ram Singh Urveti and the Brazilian designer Jonathan Yamakami (at that time working for Tara Books) lasted 2 years, but what an amazing book they created. One of the best books published in 2011. Astonishing work!

I saw a peacock / with a fiery tail,
I saw a blazing comet / drop down hail,
I saw a cloud / with ivy circled around,
I saw a sturdy oak / creep on the ground,
I saw a ant / swallow up a whale,
I saw a raging Sea / brim full of Ale,
I saw a Venice Glass / sixteen foot deep,
I saw a well / full of men’s tears that weep,
I saw their eyes / all in a flame of fire,
I saw a house / as big as the Moon and higher,
I saw the Sun / even in the midst of night,
I saw the man / that saw this wondrous sight.
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If interested in buying it visit Tara Books e-shop, amazon or check in your local bookstores.

EBRU art

The amazing Ebru Art is a Turkish art with a long tradition. Its origins still are unknown but there is no doubt that it flourished during the Ottoman Empire. For centuries, it was used as decorative art for bookbinding and calligraphy. The name “ebru” in Turkish means marbling and derives from the Persian “ebri” which translates as ‘looking like cloudy’. And really it looks cloudy during the application and the final result resembles painting on marble.

The ebru technique presents sprinkling color pigments with brushes made of rose wood and horse hair on a tray of dense oily water, figuring different patterns, and then transforming the colourful image to a paper.  Watching the video it looks so easy and playful but for the creation of more sophisticated works, a steady hand, experience and deeper knowledge are necessary.