Tipp No. 87: “Europe According To” – Funny Maps of Europe by Yanko Tsvetkov (Bulgaria)

arts, humor, Insights, Kunst, Oddities, Psychologie, psychology, Reisen, Travel

Now that the question of European “unity” is debatable, the red line between reality and satire becomes even thinner. Exactly this “core of truth” is the reason why Yanko`s maps are so funny.

In my view, it would make sense to add China`s perspective. I already thought about the idea to do this job on my own. A dialogue with my Chinese colleagues to exchamge prejudices in a friendly atmosphere might be fun… And what`s about India` s view on Europe?

Europe according to England / UK
Europe according to France
Europe according to Germany
Europe according to Switzerland
Italy
Greece
Spain
Poland
Turkey (Note: If Turkey belongs to Europe at all is controversial)
Russia
USA

YANKOV TSVETKOV

The official stereotype lab of Yanko Tsvetkov, a bestselling author, prolific cartographer, and leading international bigotry professional with a taste for salacious political incorrectness and unconventional historical studies. Opinions are not his own, he’s merely a curator …..According to himself.

Please, have a look at international bestseller “The “Atlas of Prejudice” by Yankov too if you are interested in more stereotypes: https://atlasofprejudice.com/

Tipp No. 28: “TEXTILE INSTALLATIONS” (meeting today`s “Fast Fashion” Trend) by the Finish Artist Kaarina Kaikkonen

arts, Kunst, Tipps
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ABOUT KAARINA KAIKKONEN

Born in Iisalmi, Finland 1952 | Lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.

Kaarina Kaikkonen, one of our most internationally recognized sculptors and artists, is known for shaping urban landscapes and emphasizing community through her installations. In her works, one can find references to current themes of humanity’s place in their own time, and of basic needs that always exist regardless of environment or culture. Old clothes contain the former user’s presence, which wraps around Kaikkonen’s story and places the viewer before something new and unknown, but at the same time exceedingly familiar and intimate.

The impressive installations made out of mens’ jackets and shirts are well known both in Finland and globally such as in the US, Cuba, Canada, Japan and Great Britain. Her first installation was on display in Helsinki in 1988. In Finland, one of her most famous works is the ‘Way’ -installation, which she built on the steps of Helsinki Cathedral in 2000. Her pieces can be found in several collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki City Art Museum, and Espoo Museum of Modern Art of EMMA.

Kaikkonen studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts School and was awarded the National Visual Arts Prize in 1989, the Finland Prize of Art in 2001, and in 2013 the Order of the Lion of Finland awarded her Knight, First Class. Kaikkonen has also received international awards such as Public Prize in Den Haag Sculptuur in the Netherlands in 2004 and Honorable Mention at the Cairo 11th Biennale in Egypt in 2009.

Galerie Forsblom has been representing Kaarina Kaikkonen since 2008.

web: http://www.galerieforsblom.com/

Insight No. 72: Subversive Iranian Graffiti – Transforming Walls for Change

arts, Insights, Kunst, Reisen, Travel


Political art and propaganda has been central to the Islamic Republic’s management of public spaces since the earliest days of the Revolution. Take a 30-minute drive through any area of Tehran and you will doubtless bear witness to half a dozen murals commemorating fallen martyrs of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) or depicting the leaders of the Islamic Revolution. Two famous examples include the ‘Soldiers of the Islamic Revolution’ modernist fresco in Felestin (Palestine) Square, and the massive ‘Down with USA’ mural near Haft-e Tir, which portrays the American flag as a harbinger of war.

A strikingly prominent feature of Iranian public spaces is the prevalence of street art – both officially sanctioned murals and subversive graffiti of artists like Bambam, Oham, Black Hand and others. Whilst the latter can be ingeniously subtle, its social commentary usually ensures its speedy removal. Revolutionary murals often commemorate martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war, or celebrate the political values of the Islamic Republic. Here we feature some of the most fascinating street art in Tehran, Masal and Banda Abbas.

The youth unemployment rate in Iran is about 29%. Young people make up 40-50% of the total number of job seekers of 3,3 mio
Alcohol is prohibited in Iran
but it is sold under the counter and even produced privately. For alcohol drinking you will be punished with 40 – 80 lashings. In case of repeated consumption, you will end up in jail.
Protest graffiti in response to the fact that women were not allowed to attend the sinternational occer championship in Iran. The Iranian woman holds a bottle of cleaner like a soccer trophy.
Down With USA
US Embassy in Tehran
Weed consumption is quite common because the penalty for weed consumption is less severe than the one for alcohol drinking.
Iran is actually the 7th biggest market for make-up/cosmetics worldwide. Beauty & fashion (hidden below the Abaya) is a big issue in Iran.
Propaganda Graffiti

Postcard No. 29: “Ulm – The Tallest Church of the World” (Germany)

arts, Insights, Oddities, Reisen, Tipps

The Ulm Minster is a Lutheran church located in Ulm, State of Baden-Württemberg (Germany). It is the tallest church in the world, and the 5th tallest structure built before the 20th century, with a steeple measuring 161,5 m (530 ft)… For further measurements, please scroll down at the end of the post.

The groundbreaking is dated in 1377. The city-owned Ulmer Münster in the city centre replaced the old Church “Ennet Feldes”(built 600 n. Christi) in front of the gates of Ulm city because during the numerous wars (like the 30 yrs War) the citizens often couldn´t attend church. The Münster was built on the location of another smaller, old church called “Our Beloved Woman” (dated 1220). The construction of the Ulmer Münster was completed in 1890, after 513 years of tough work. This period includes a couple of long-term interruptions due to wars, economic stagnation periods and power play waves.

The “Free City of Ulm” transformed into a fine arts cluster that built up an international trade, training, partnership & job network for artists and craftsmen

Ulm became famous for its highly skilled architects, artists and excellent craftsmen who were working on the church. The pool of talents and innovative senior professionals (entire families with several generations) with signature techniques was called “the Ulmer School” (late gothic). These experts often worked as expats in Europe and contributed to the construction of famous cathedrals & churches in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Spain etc. 55 painters (walls, glass, facades, arts), 25 sculptors and woodcarvers are still known by their names today. In many cases, the artists cooperated with each other. The beautiful high altar in Blaubeuren is an example for the cooperation of 3 artists belonging to the Ulmer Schule.

Blaubeurener High Altar, 1494 (carved by
Michael Erhart, painted by Bernhard Strigel and Hans Holbein the Eldest).

Originally, the church was catholic. But in a referendum in 1530/31, the citizens of Ulm converted to Protestantism during the Reformation. Ulm Minster became a Lutheran church.

When I visited the famous, very beautiful traditional Christmas market in Ulm in front of the Ulmer Münster I was very much impressed. In fact, the top of steeple was partially covered by clouds. The illuminated church in the dark looked like a huge space rocket or spaceship ready for departure! Imagine the impression the church left in medieval times, when people didn´t know skyscrapers etc. The Münster must have been a mind-blowing demonstration of power and closeness to heaven.

Although sometimes referred to as Ulm Cathedral because of its great size, the church is not a cathedral as it has never been the seat of a bishop. Though the towers and all decorative elements are of stone masonry, attracting the attention of visitors, most of the walls, including the façades of the nave and choir, actually consist of visible brick. Therefore, the building is sometimes referred to as a brick church.

Ulm Minster was begun in the Gothic era but not completed until the late 19th century. Nevertheless, all of the church except the towers and some outer decorations was complete, unlike e.g. Cologne Cathedral, where less than half of the work had been done, when it ceased.

The Ulmer Iconoclasm in 1531 and the intentionally self-sabotage of the municipal authorities

In the course of the painful and also violent reformation process, Ulm experienced an iconoclasm. Many religious art pieces, such as 60 altars, sculptures and other artifacts were destroyed by the municipal council reps. But astonishingly, the municipal council acted responsibly and warned the owners and sponsors of the art pieces in advance. Therefore, a lot of artifacts could be rescued and stored in a warehouse that was well-known to the authorities. Thanks to this self-sabotage, you can find antique art works in the Ulmer Münster but also in little churches located in the surroundings of Ulm city.

In WWII, a devastating air raid hit Ulm on 17 December 1944, which destroyed virtually the entire town west of the church to the railway station and north of the church to the outskirts. The church itself was barely damaged. However, almost all the other buildings of the town square (Münsterplatz) were severely hit and some 80% of the medieval centre of Ulm was destroyed.

Today, visitors can climb the 768 steps that lead to the top of the minster’s spire. At 143 m (469 ft) it gives a panoramic view of Ulm in Baden-Württemberg and Neu-Ulm in Bavaria and, in clear weather, a vista of the Alps from Säntis to the Zugspitze. The final stairwell to the top (known as the third Gallery) is a tall, spiraling staircase that has barely enough room for one person.

For some details about the arts in the church and its sponsor (like Einstein), please scroll down.

The Ulmer Münster
The Genesis above the main portal
One of many dragon gargoyles.
High Altar (called Hutz Altar) by Martin Schaffner, 1521

Measurements

  • The height of the steeple is 161.53 metres (530.0 ft). Ulm Münster is the world’s tallest church
  • The church has a length of 123.56 metres (405.4 ft) and a width of 48.8 metres (160 ft).
  • The building area is approximately 8,260 square metres (88,900 sq ft).
  • The height of the central nave is 41.6 metres (136 ft), whilst the lateral naves are 20.55 metres (67.4 ft) high.
  • The volume of the edifice is some 190,000 cubic metres (6,700,000 cu ft).
  • The weight of the main steeple is estimated at 51,500 tonnes (50,700 long tons; 56,800 short tons).
  • The church seats a congregation of 2,000.
  • In the Middle Ages, before pews were introduced, it could accommodate 20,000 people, when the population of the town was about 5,000.

Works of Art

  • Late medieval sculptures include the tympanum of the main Western entrance depicts scenes from the Genesis. The central column bears a sculpture, the Man of Sorrows, by the local master Hans Multscher.
  • The 15th century choir stalls by Jörg Syrlin the Elder, made from oak and adorned with hundreds of carved busts are among the most famous pews of the Gothic period.
  • The pulpit canopy is by Jörg Syrlin the Younger.
  • The original high altar was destroyed by the iconoclasts of the Reformation. The current altarpiece from the early 16th century is a triptych, showing figures of the Holy Family and the Last Supper in the predella.
  • The five stained glass windows of the apse, which is in the form of half a decagon, show Biblical scenes and date to the 14th and 15th century.
  • The main organ of the church was destroyed by iconoclasts and replaced in the late 16th century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is known to have played it in 1763. For some decades it was the largest organ in existence. In the late 1960s it was reconstructed to solve acoustic problems of reverberation.
  • In 1877, the Jewish congregation of the synagogue of Ulm—including Hermann Einstein, the father of Albert Einstein—donated money for a statue of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah. The figure was placed below the main organ.
  • Later renovations in the modern era added gargoyles and a sculpture, The Beggar, by the expressionist Ernst Barlach.

Tipp No. 23: “Narrative Photography of Emotions” – by Laura Zalenga

arts, Kunst, Nature, Psychologie, psychology, Tipps
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THE ARTIST

“Laura is a 1990 Born portrait-artist from Southern Germany.

Besides photographing projects, she teaches workshops, gives inspirational talks and travels to all over the world – always searching for magical places and special light. It’s her clear visual language, the power of telling stories and showing raw, honest emotions in her photographs that makes her work stand out.

She is convinced that photography is a type of therapy that gives you the ability to heal yourself and others.”

For more details including a huge gallery and an overview of her current exciting projects, please visit her website: http://www.laurazalenga.com

Tipp No. 91: “Mystic Landscapes on Iceland” – Fine Arts Photography by Mike Reyfman (Ukraine, now: USA)

arts, Kunst, Reisen, Travel

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…

Mike Reyfman

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.

Mike is the founder of WORLDPHOTOTRAVELS.COM which runs photography workshops around the globe.

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:

http://www.mikereyfman.com/

Tipp No. 139 (new photo): “Touching Wildlife Photography with a Dash of Humor” by Carla Rhodes (USA)

arts, Creatures, humor, Kunst, Reisen, Travel

“I’m a lifelong nature girl who is an active seeker and observer. “
(Carla Rhodes)

A few weeks ago, I came across Carla Rhodes`touching wildlife photography and was fascinated at first sight. Now, while writing these lines, I wonder what kind of magic Carla`s art work represent…

ABOUT BEASTLY PERSONAS

Well, of course I love animals. In fact, I appreciate it in particular if animals are perceived not only as a representative of their species but as an unique personality.

OBSERVING WILDLIFE WITH A TONGUE-IN-CHEEK

On the one hand, Carlas` wildlife photography shows a good sense of humor and makes the viewer chuckle. The award winning photo with the 2 buddy saurians on the Galapagos islands is simply adorable.

WILDLIFE – RESILIENCE & ADAPTABILITY

On the other hand, a number of her photos are reminders and definitely provide food for thoughts. I share one example: “The crane on the waste dump in India”, which is a part of a series of photos.
Another example shows a cow – the Hindu holy animal in India – on the same dump. “Honi soit qui mal y pense”…also thinking of the Christian “golden calf”… I immediately had the association of “worshiping consumption”… But at the same time, it is comforting to observe the adaptability and resilience of our wildlife. 

BEAUTY & DIGNITY DESPITE OF STRUGGLING

To watch the majestic crane – known as a symbol for loyalty, longevity and good luck – looking for food on a dirty and possibly toxic dumb is sad and gives way to other associations… nevertheless in my view, the crane doesn`t lose his beauty and dignity despite of his struggles to survive in this polluted habitat.

THINK PINK!

Carla`s work also contains photos includes heart-warming images of poetic moments of beauty like the bird with the flower. Yes, sometimes we should take time to think pink!

Okay, now I know why I was touched by Carla Rhodes`photography.
It is great if an artist is able to cover a wide range of perspectives without losing her personal signature / style.
I look forward to receive updates of her ongoing and future projects.

Winner of The Reader`s Choice Award of the 16th Annual Smithonian`s Photo Contest 2019
(For more details about this photo, please scroll down at the end of this blog)
Marine Iguana, Galapagos Islands

BIOGRAPHY

Carla Rhodes is a Wildlife Photographer with a conservation-based mindset. Her ultimate goal is to document wildlife with empathy and understanding in the hopes of raising awareness and educating the public through the photographic artform.

As a result of spending a lifetime in the entertainment industry as a comedian and ventriloquist, Carla brings a unique set of skills and point of view to her work. Used to being in front of the camera, her new passion is behind the lens photographing wildlife and telling their stories. A combined set of strong communication skills, fearlessness and unique sense of humor helps her stand out from the herd.

In 2018 alone, her wildlife shots were featured on National Geographic (online) as a ‘Top Shot’ (including social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook), the cover of New York City’s Urban Audubon magazine, Judge’s Favorite in the 2018 Nature Conservancy Photo Contest and winner of The Galapagos Conservancy’s 2019 Calendar contest.

2019 has brought more accolades including Readers’ Choice winner of The Smithsonian’s 16th Annual Photo Contest (chosen out of 48,000 entries and had over 25,000 votes!), Finalist (portrait category) in Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 and Expert Commended entries in Bird Photographer Of The Year 2019.

Additionally, Carla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Middle State Tennessee University. She proudly carries a Class I New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation License and one of her favorite causes is volunteering for the Wild Bird Fund in New York City.

Current projects include ongoing photographic documentation of the Catskill Mountain region’s wildlife (New York) and a monthly wildlife-centric, educational podcast entitled “Gettin’ Wild” on the Woodstock Podcast Network.

Bildergebnis für carla rhodes

GETTIN`WILD PODCAST


Join wildlife photographer Carla Rhodes as she examines the critters who share the world with us. She talks to conservationists, rehabbers and recounts her own tales from the field.

Carla`s website incl. photo galleries and a link to the podcast: https://carlarhodes.photography

“Marine Iguana” PHOTO DETAILS

Date Taken:Jan 7, 2018
Date Uploaded:Jan 29, 2018
Location:Puerto Villamil, Galapagos, Ecuador
Camera:Canon EOS 70D
Focal Length:531 mm
Shutter Speed:1/1000 sec
Aperture:f/8
ISO:200
Copyright:© Carla Rhodes (Thank you, Carla!)

Tipp No. 104: “Below The Surface” – Spectacular Underwater Photography by Tobias Friedrich (Germany)

arts, Creatures, Film, Insights, Nature, Reisen, Sports, Technology, Tipps, Travel

When I was a child, I dreamt of becoming a crew member of spaceship “Enter-prise” in order to discover new worlds, unknown life forms and different cultures. Actually, I`ve lived this dream by chosing jobs that allowed myself to travel a lot, to visit exotic places and which is even more important to meet interesting people of in many aspects different cultures.

Scuba diving has been on my bucket list since childhood because I was aware of the fact that the oceans are still “terra icognita” although about 71% of the earth`s surface (2/3) is covered with water of which 97,4% is salt-water.
From the very beginning, I had the idea that scuba diving could be the unique opportunity to experience a kind of “space traveling” without the need to meet NASA qualification requirements.

Of course, I was also inspired by the reports about Jaques-Yves Cousteau and his adventureous expeditions when I finally took action and passed my scuba diving PADI open water exam in the Red Sea / Egypt many years ago.
It turned out that my phantasy of “space traveling” underwater was not completely absurd. As a scuba diver rookie, who is dependent on his equipment and the goodwill of the sea dweller, I felt actually very vulnerable. There was no doubt, it was me who was the intruder… the alien in this outlandish – almost surreal – water world!

The spectacular underwater photography of Tobias Friedrichs brought precious memories back…
Back on board after a beautiful dive, I was completely overwhelmed by all the impressions and my emotions…Secretly and unnoticed a few tears dropped into the Red Sea.
I didn`t recognize myself anymore because I was convinced to be quite top-heavy and introverted. 
All this fragile beauty underwater was simply breaking my heart.
I learnt that beauty can be painful. In particular, if it is endangered by pollution, mass tourism (I was a part of too) and climate change.   
Maybe, it was also a dash of desperation why I experienced this sudden “crisis of joy”. 

Tobias Friedrich`s touching underwater photography allows us to sneak a peak  cit.: “Below The Surface”. This motto might be ambiguous in
my case.

However, I` d like to share my fascination with you and invite you to descent into The 50 Shades of Deep Blue….Enjoy the weightlessness, the flow, hushed sound level and not to forget the encounters with still quite unknown creatures who are often as curious as the human visitor!

Friendly encounter with a brown fur seal (South Africa)
Humpback Whale (Oman)
2 purple eye dwarf gobies, sitting on top of a hard coral near Marsa Alam (Egypt, Red Sea).
Face to face with a shark

ABOUT THE ARTIST

“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders.
He is bolted to earth.
But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.”
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910 – 1997)

In his childhood Tobias Friedrich loved to watch the adventures of the Calypso with Jacques-Yves Cousteau as its captain and the beauty of the world that is below the ocean’s surface. It’s still an overwhelming feeling for him when he has the chance to dive. He loves the elegancy and calmness of the world under water standing in contrast to the hectic atmosphere above.

Tobias Friedrich lives in Germany and started taking pictures with a DSLR underwater in the year 2007. Since then his images have been published in prestigious scuba diving magazines and newspapers around the world.

Several underwater photographic competitions, have honoured his work, resulting in over 50 awards with nearly 30 1st places.

Lately, he has been named “Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018” in the prestigious UPY London competition.


The UPY 2018 awarded photo: A panoramic view of the cargo deck inside the SS Thistlegorm with the motorcycles in the middle and light to lighten the trucks on the side of the cargo deck, near Sharm el Sheikh, Northern Red Sea, Egypt.

All waters, from zero to 30° Celsius, are attractive for him, at least there is something to photograph.

Tobias`fine arts photography is not staged. His photography is rather a result of stamina, patience and opportunity. He is not working with photomontages. The panorama view – combining a view above and under the ocean surface – is achieved by utilizing a dome camera.
He is SEACAM equipment for his Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and 5D Mark II DSLR.

He is leading expeditions and workshops around the world, where everybody can join.

Please, feel free to visit his website that shows further amazing underwater photo galleries, panorama views, beautiful aerial views (highly recommended!) and a few offerings like:

  • Underwater photography BOOKS in German and English language,
  • His calendar “BELOW SURFACE 2019″
  • A collection of high-quality POSTCARDS with unique motifs
  • His schedule of awesome PHOTOWORKSHOPS 2019 (Destinations: Egypt, Bali, Philippines, Brother Islands) – simply click on “JOIN”.

web: http://www.below-surface.com

The Calendar 2019 by Tobias Friedrichs