ABOUT ZAHA HADID – Architect + Artist + Designer + Extraordinary Woman
Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid DBE RA (31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016) was an Iraqi-British architect.
She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. She received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011.
In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first and only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
She was described by The Guardian of London as the “Queen of the curve”, who “liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity”. Her major works include the aquatic centre for the London 2012 Olympics, Michigan State University’s Broad Art Museum in the US, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. Some of her designs have been presented posthumously, including the statuette for the 2017 Brit Awards, and several of her buildings were still under construction at the time of her death, including the Al Wakrah Stadium in Qatar, a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The architectural style of Hadid is not easily categorised, and she did not describe herself as a follower of any one style or school. Nonetheless, before she had built a single major building, she was categorised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a major figure in architectural deconstructivism. Her work was also described as an example of parametricism. An article profiling Hadid in the New Yorker magazine was titled “The Abstractionist”.
When she was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2004, the jury chairman, Lord Rothschild, commented: “At the same time as her theoretical and academic work, as a practicing architect, Zaha Hadid has been unserving in her commitment to modernism. Always inventive, she’s moved away from existing typology, from high tech, and has shifted the geometry of buildings.”
The Design Museum described her work in 2016 as having “the highly expressive, sweeping fluid forms of multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry that evoke the chaos and flux of modern life”.
Hadid herself, who often used dense architectural jargon, could also describe the essence of her style very simply: “The idea is not to have any 90-degree angles. In the beginning, there was the diagonal. The diagonal comes from the idea of the explosion which ‘re-forms’ the space. This was an important discovery.”
London-based Gonkar Gyatso (b. 1961, Lhasa) creates humorous works informed by both politics and his personal life. “Just as the identity of my homeland cannot be separated from religion and politics, so my own sensibility has been shaped by the undeniable bond between the two.” Gyatso’s practice revolves around the reproduction of Buddhist iconography, calling the Buddha his ‘muse.’ Skillfully incorporating Western and Tibetan cultural themes into his work, Gyatso transforms traditional images of the Buddha into Pop Art-inspired multimedia works that satirize world politics and the mundanity of life. His iconic work titled Pokemon Buddha (2003) marks the first example of what has now become the central theme of his practice; much of his work references the shifts in identity that characterize the life of a migrant.
It was a tough decision to select examples of EDWARD BURTYNSKY`s brilliant series of landscape and industrial photography.
Well, I would like to introduce the ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT that includes a collection of remarkable photographic insights to you…
“[We] come from nature.…There is an importance to [having] a certain reverence for what nature is because we are connected to it… If we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.” – Edward Burtynsky
THE AESTHETIC OF DESTRUCTION
To talk about “Terraforming” of the Earth by mining, urbanization, indus-trialization, industrialized agriculture, deforestation, etc. that is resulting in a reduction of biodiversity, climate changes, equalized biogeographies etc. is a minimization in my view. Let`s face the truth…it is bare destruction.
EDWARD BURTYNSKY is able to capture moments of heart-breaking beauty even within all this destruction. Sometimes it takes a second till you realize the entire scenario. I think, this smart twist contributes to the feeling of disturbance, his work is leaving.
FINE ARTS TO MAKE THE UNSEEN VISIBLE AND TO RISE AWARENESS
Watching his outstanding landscape photography involuntary leaves you with the impression that our planet is eaten alive — by us.
Deadly injured, covered with open wounds and scars, the Earth still provides us with all resopurces we need to further expand, dominate the creation and grow our population without any rhyme or reason.
Desparation, feeling helpless, and guilty… Let`s begin with changing ourself. I am sure that each one of us knows best where and how he is able to reduce his personal ecological footprint….Right?
BY THE WAY, WHAT IS THE “ANTHROPOCENE”?
Admittedly, I had to look it up….
The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change. Various different start dates for the Anthropocene have been proposed, ranging from the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution 12,000–15,000 years ago, to as recent as the Trinity test in 1945. The most recent period of the Anthropocene has been referred to by several authors as the Great Acceleration during which the socioeconomic and earth system trends are increasing dramatically, especially after the Second World War. (wikipedia)
ABOUT THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT
Another collaboration from Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky, and Jennifer Baichwal, The Anthropocene Project is a multimedia exploration of the complex and indelible human signature on the Earth.
Originally conceived as a photographic essay and the third in a trilogy of films including Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013), the project quickly evolved to include film installations, large-scale Burtynsky High-Resolution Murals enhanced by film extensions, 360° VR short films, and augmented reality installations.
Embracing and developing innovative techniques, the trio embarked on an epic journey around the world (to every continent save Antarctica) to capture the most spectacular evidence of human influence, while taking time to reflect on the deeper meaning of what these profound transformations signify. The result is a collection of experiences that will immerse viewers in the new world of the Anthropocene epoch, delivering a sense of scale, gravity, and impact that both encompasses and moves beyond the scope of conventional screens and prints.
The project includes:
a major travelling museum exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada before it will travel to Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia (MAST) in Bologna in Spring 2019;
a new release of Edward Burtynsky photographs;
a feature documentary film;
immersive interactive experiences in augmented and virtual reality;
IN THE NEWS (09th Jan. 2019): ANTHROPOCENE won $100K Rogers Best Canadian Film Award – Congratulations!
ABOUT EDWARD BURTYNSKY
Edward Burtynsky (born February 22, 1955) is Canadian photographer and artist known for his large format photographs of industrial landscapes. His work is housed in more than 60 museums including the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Tate Modern in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris and others.
Burtynsky received his BAA in Photography/ Media Studies from Ryerson University in 1982, and in 1985 founded Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto’s art community.
Early exposure to the sites and images of the General Motors plant (the workplace of his father) in his hometown helped to formulate the development of his photographic work. His imagery explores the collective impact we as a species are having on the surface of the planet; an inspection of the human systems we’ve imposed onto natural landscapes.
Edward Burtynsky won several well-known prices & awards (e.g. Officer of The Order of Canada in 2006) and received several honorary doctorates.
Furthermore, he is an active lecturer on photographic art, who is welcome in various notable galleries, universities and libraries.
His images appear in numerous periodicals each year including Canadian Art, Art in America, The Smithsonian Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Flash Art, Blind Spot, Art Forum, Saturday Night, National Geographic and the New York Times.
For further details, please feel free to visit his website that contains more galleries of awesome photos, an overview of his publications and EDWARD BURTYNSKY`s event calendar:
IRIS VAN HERPEN – Definetely one of my absolute favorite fashion designers, inventors & artists….unfortunately beyond my budget.
Her COUTURE respectively the brilliant pictures of her breath-taking art pieces – taken by MORGAN O`DONOVAN – is pure eye-candy in my view…
ABOUT IRIS VAN HERPEN
IRIS VAN HERPEN is a Dutch fashion designer who is widely recognized as one of fashion’s most talented and forward-thinking creators who continuously pushes the boundaries of fashion design.
Since her first show in 2007 van Herpen has been preoccupied with inventing new forms and methods of sartorial expression by combining the most traditional and the most radical materials and garment construction methods into her unique aesthetic vision.
Van Herpen is often hailed as a pioneer in utilizing 3D printingas a garment construction technique, and as an innovator who is comfortable with using technology as one of the guiding principles in her work because of its sculptural nature and unfamiliar form.
The designer’s intent is to blend the past and the future into a distinct version of the present by fusing technology and traditional Couture craftsmanship.
Her singular vision combined with the complexity of her creations has made van Herpen a fixture on the Paris Haute Couture calendar, where she has shown since January 2011. Additionally, van Herpen’s work has been featured in various notable museum exhibitions.
Because of van Herpen’s interest in multidisciplinary approach to creation that goes beyond fashion, she has often collaborated with various artists such as Jolan van der Wiel and Neri Oxman and architects such as Philip Beesley and Benthem and Crouwel Architects. The designer’s interest in science and technology has led to ongoing conversations with CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Facing the ever-growing self-optimization delusion that fuels our inner critic non-stop, it is quite comforting to fall back on the Japanese idea respectively Zen-inspired concept of “Wabi-Sabi”.
Wabi-Sabi describes the art of Imperfect Beauty – accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay (as well as cycle of life & death), in which everything has beauty.
It is simple, slow and uncluttered, and it reverse authenticity above all. Finally, it is the imperfection that make up uniqueness and individuality. Just perfection can be copied, if perfection exists at all.
Wabi-Sabi celebrates cracks (e.g. see the pic of bowl with gold-filled cracks), crevices and all the other marks that time, weather and loving use leave behind.
It reminds us that we are all just transient beings on this planet and that we will return to dust at the end like the entire material world.
Wabi-sabi is not just a Concept, but also an aesthetic and a worldview.
Simply, an intuitive way of Living reflecting the Japanese “mindfulness culture” and in particular “yugon”.
The latter stands for an awareness of the universe that triggers deep emotional responses impossible to express verbally.
Translated literally wabi means lonely, miserable and feeling lost. Just in combination with the term: sabi the meaning is uncovered – being old, mature and showing patina.
Not the obvious beauty is the ideal but hidden (covered up) beauty. Harsh simplicity that reveals appeal / charm to understanding/knowing people (like Connaisseur in French) and nobless hidden in the envelop of unimpressiveness is regarded as true beauty.
In den Wäldern drüben, tief unter der Last des Schnees, ist letzte Nacht ein Pflaumenzweig erblüht.
In the woods over there, deep under the weight of the snow, a branch of plum blossomed last night.
Hanami (short-living cherry blossom on trees that don´t grow cherry fruits) but also plum blossom arms are symbols for transience and therefore, also for a young, honorable dead – traditionally among Samurai but also in general related to seppuko (suicide to save one`s Honor and the one of the family, which is still practiced today).
Well, I don´t want to let you go with dark thoughts…in the contrary!
Please, keep in mind you are perfectly imperfect. Outside beauty is by far less valuable than the inner one. Stay pur and authentic, just be you.
And if someone is really interested in you, he/she will be empathic and will take her/his time to get to know you and recognize you – uncovering your beauty. You´ve deserved such kind of special person – who cannot be fooled by polished, shiny surfaces – because you are truely beautiful.
Born in 1969, Hildur Bjarnadottir is an Icelandic artist, she graduated from the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts and from the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn specializing in textiles.
She exercises the career of professor at the Iceland Academy of Art and at the Reykjavik School of Visual Art, where she is the director of the textiles department.
She continued doing researches on the subject “The role of textiles in the field of painting” for this project she worked in collaboration with the Bergen Academy of Art.
The artist addresses mostly two main subjects; the nature of textiles and of painting. Her main purpose is to highlight the materials used to create the composotion, their color and their texture. Hildur Bjarnadottir uses embroidery to create her pieces and installations. In order to achieve the desired result, an important previous work is necessary, that is where the artist shows her talents as a draftswoman, painter and watercolorist.
Her work is recognized internationally nowadays and her pieces are displayed in numerous private and public collections, including at the Bomuldsfabriken in Norway, at the Reykjanes Art Museum, at the Nordic House of Iceland, the Scandinavia House of New York and at the Vestyllands Kunstmuseums in Denmark.
Beyond the cliché of the archaic “Land of Fire & Ice”, Iceland seems to offer space…Space just to be….to be your Self, in my view.
Iceland is definetely a destination to yearn for (Sehnsuchtsort). The well-known landscape photographer Mike Reyfman shares some breath-taking impressions with us.
Only people with a free spirit, a rich soul, an open mind and inner beauty are able to discover and catch these qualities in the outside world by taking pictures.
As an appetizer, let` s have a look at Mike Reyfmans perspective on Icelands landscapes…
ABOUT MIKE REYFMAN
Mike Reyfman is renowned landscape and nature photographer.
He was born in Ukraine and moved to United States in January 2000. Mike has been awarded for his photography in the prestigious international photography competitions. His photographs have been used extensively worldwide in calendars, books, magazines and advertising industry. He has written numerous articles on travel and landscape photography and has been teaching photography for many years.
His works were exhibited at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, the open air exhibition on the prime outdoor places in Moscow and St. Petersburg, travel photography exhibitions at Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo International Airports etc.
In addition, Mike has an experience as photography competition judge and worked as a Jury member at WorldPhoto 2008, Global Arctic Awards 2012 and Patagonia Photo Awards 2017.
“When the great place, right moment, favorable light and sharp eye find each other — the photo is born.” cit.: Mike Reyfman
For more details, additional galleries and print-outs for sale, please feel free to visit Mike`s website:
Flora is a young fine art photographer from Hungary. She uses exquisite photo manipulation to create surreal images that are thematically focused on identity, relationships, emotions and dreams. Her immaculate technique and subtle conceptual ideas create beautiful evocations of universal emotions, from lust and desire to despair and loss.Flora at once captures the complex strength and fragility of the human psyche. She expertly visualises dark fantasies and atmospheric dreams, utilising the uncanny and clever metaphor, while unlocking what it means to think, feel, dream and express in the urban world.Her work often features the female body and she plays with hiding and revealing the eyes or face to leave only the feminine form, exploring questions of female representation and the relationship between body and self.
Flora has exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions in Europe and the USA, and has most notably taken part in the “Continental Shift” group exhibition at Saatchi Gallery. She has also exhibited at the Louvre, France. Her ethereal aesthetic has won multiple art prizes and garnered critical acclaim from press including The Guardian’s Observer and BBC Culture. Her artwork was the face of Adobe Photoshop in 2014.
Yes, there seems to be a vandalism problem in BUdapest. Actually, you can find ugly tags everywhere. But Budapest gives home to a vibrant street art community as well. From old-school graffiti, 3D tags to impressive monumental wall painting, you can find all kinds of styles in Budapest. The city tried to respond to the growing popularity of urban arts by offering 4 – 6 public walls for street arts.
In the meantime, a couple of artist gained international reputation. For instance Saatchi Art is offering Hungarian graffiti master pieces (paintings) from time to time.
As you might have already noticed, I have published various graffiti posts about specific countries and German cities (e.g. from Poland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Argentina, Hamburg, Berlin etc.) . Each time I tried to identify location-specific characteristic of the urban art.
But to be honest, I never came to any clear conclusion…except of the choice of motifs. The graffiti in Argentina and Greece are extraordinary strong because many of them had uptodate politcal messages. In general, I got the impression that street arts is very individualistc. It is about developing a personal signature style….and graffiti is less influenced by local culture and traditions.
Well, I am no insider. So, if you like to share your opinion, please feel free to comment.