Monday, April 22, 2019

The avant garde as seen in a rear view mirror

Five Way Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (click to enlarge)
"Cubism -- highly influential visual arts style of the 20th century that was created principally by the painters Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914. The Cubist style emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane, rejecting the traditional techniques of perspective, foreshortening, modeling, and chiaroscuro and refuting time-honoured theories of art as the imitation of nature. Cubist painters were not bound to copying form, texture, colour, and space; instead, they presented a new reality in paintings that depicted radically fragmented objects, whose several sides were seen simultaneously." [source]
"With his next major work, Nude Descending a Staircase (1912) he (Marcel Duchamp) began to break from Cubism.

There are some familiar traces of Cubism here. For instance, the painting has a limited color scheme of browns and muted yellow, and the subject (the nude figure) is splintered into abstract, geometric forms. But while most early Cubist works focused on static or even motionless subjects, like still lifes or portraits of seated people, Duchamp's Nude depicts its subject in motion.

The barely-recognizable nude is shown from numerous points of view all at once, frozen in time. It's as if Duchamp was trying to paint thirty paintings at once, one for each step down the stairs. The background of the painting is also more faded than the foreground, making it seem like the nude is walking forward to the viewer." [source]

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Commercialism, an Easter fast and Amazing Grace

The above video is the YouTube channel of som's fade. I believe he is Nigerian. His videos are obviously homemade and don't get a lot of views. Kind of like this blog come to think of it, except I'm not Nigerian. I wish him luck in his endeavors.

Anyway, in his video he tells an Easter tale while acts out the parts of Dina and Momma Dina. Dina asks his mom for money for Easter. His mother says no, but promises him she'll cook his favorite meal for Easter. He insults her cooking and ends up on an Easter fast as a result. Will he be able to grovel his way back into Momma Dina's good graces? You'll have to watch to find out.

Below is another video appropriate for Easter. Like the above video, it deals with matters other than crass commercialism. Happy Easter all.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

18th Century hand colored drawings of fish

Click any image to enlarge
These illustrations are from The Public Domain Review's article: Images from the First Colour Publication on Fish (1754). The 18th Century volume Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes was the first European book to show fish and crustaceans from the East Indian seas. Many of the colors, and even some of the creatures, are quite fanciful. There are more after the jump, and a few more at the link.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Olga buys some hair conditioner

A while back a nice Russian lady took us on a tour of a Russian convenience store. Today's video features a Russian fellow and his companion Olga visiting an American convenience store. Olga wants to buy some hair conditioner. You may need to turn on the captions and make sure they are in English to understand what they have to say about it all.

In the bonus video below the fellow ponders the American habit of saying "excuse me" and "sorry" when navigating around each other in store aisles. He thinks that Americans are getting scared and apologizing when they do that. He tries to act out the scenario with Olga, but she mainly just wants to blow dry her hair.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Inside a Matryoshka (Russian nesting doll) factory

View the process of making Matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls). The process is surprisingly labor intensive, with very little automation.