Fire

It has been an exciting two weeks for me. I felt like I was a bit stuck this summer as far as my professional life was concerned. Sometimes it feels like nothing is working the way you want it to and then suddenly everything good happens at once. I finally started my first ever gallery job this week, and am busy assisting set up for their annual show called ‘Young London’. I am excited to be part of such an amazing project and company. Check it out here and if you are in London on Saturday night please do come by and have a few drinks on the preview night.

http://www.v22collection.com/events/exhibitions/young-london-2013/

My second job is in a restaurant, and to be honest with you I was not very excited to be working yet another hospitality job. But that has radically changed because this place is unlike anywhere else I have worked. The reason for this is because they do things differently, better, and with real passion. Even working there for a week now I have learned a lot. They have a mantra they follow called FIRE. I think this can be applied to anyone and anything and it’s a great positive way to think about things, so I wanted to share.

Feel good. Whatever you do, do it with a smile and feel good about it. Work for someone that makes you feel good and make others feel good.

Inspire. Look for people around you who inspire you. Step outside of your comfort zone and start inspiring others, set a good example and standard for others to follow.

Respect. Respect what you do, and respect what others do.

Evolve. Never get stuck, always look for ways to improve and work on yourself. Evolve because you challenge yourself and want to better yourself.

If you are looking for some very good food, amazing wines plus the best list of bourbons and whiskeys I have ever seen, come visit me sometime. The views and design of the restaurant are a killer as well.

http://www.barbecoa.com/

Last but not least, Salvador Dali- Metamorphosis of Narcissus.

“I am surrealism.”

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Dream big, why not!

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A sunny summer in London

It has been a whirlwind. We are rapidly approaching mid August and I can say 2013 has been great to me so far. London has had a month of incredible sunshine, fun happy people and sweaty tube rides. Although I spent much of my time working this month I did manage to go and see some wonderful art shows and exhibitions and enjoy some of the sunshine around town (my legs are still WAY too pasty white but that is another thing entirely).

Some of the great things I discovered include a shoe designer Mr. Hare (check him out, so pimp), many art degree shows, RA Richard Rogers exhibit, the japanese gardens (thanks Laura) a hidden cricket pitch in North London, Victoria Miro (my new muse and heroine) etc, murals in Dalston etc. etc. etc. really.

Some snap shots from out and about town over this summer.

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Herman Hesse – Steps

As every blossom fades
and all youth sinks into old age,
so every life’s design, each flower of wisdom,
attains its prime and cannot last forever.
The heart must submit itself courageously
to life’s call without a hint of grief,
A magic dwells in each beginning,
protecting us, telling us how to live.

High purposed we shall traverse realm on realm,
cleaving to none as to a home,
the world of spirit wishes not to fetter us
but raise us higher, step by step.
Scarce in some safe accustomed sphere of life
have we establish a house, then we grow lax;
only he who is ready to journey forth
can throw old habits off.

Maybe death’s hour too will send us out new-born
towards undreamed-lands,
maybe life’s call to us will never find an end
Courage my heart, take leave and fare thee well.

An amazing Saturday

Yesterday London blew my mind with its awesomeness again. My roommates and I decided to go to the Royal Academy to check out the Print fair that they have on. My school, City and Guilds is represented there, and my favorite part was going there and seeing the beautiful work of some of my colleges displayed. I spend so much time in the print room that I feel really connected to those people and the work. After this we went to ‘The Other Art Fair” which showcases and sells works from young artist from all over.

I saw so much great art from so many artist that I simply had to collect them all and share some of the artists with you. Who knows, you may discover an artist you never heard of, but end up really loving.

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Hugie O’donoghue, Night Swim

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/artists-laboratory/artists-laboratory-05-hughie-odonoghue,435,RAL.html

I really liked Barry Flanagan’s prints, and was surprised to find that he is actually mostly a sculptor.

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The next artist is Alasdair Gray, a Scottish writer and artist. His most acclaimed work is his first novel Lanark, published in 1981 and written over a period of almost 30 years. I love his illustrative style. http://www.alasdairgray.co.uk/

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Joe Webb makes fantastic print collages. As a lover of all things vintage and old, I love his dreamy and exquisite work.

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The next set of prints is almost too brilliant for words. Francis Bacon is an obvious master of  painting, but I had no idea he had created such powerful prints, and this set of three really touched a nerve in me and made me feel something deep.

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/bacon-second-version-of-triptych-1944-t05858

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Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944

Ana Maria Pacheco is a Brazilian artist who works in the United Kingdom. Her work is partly inspired by the troubled period of Brazil’s history, culminating in the takeover by the military junta in 1964, to which she was an eyewitness. http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/find/hayward-gallery-and-visual-arts/hayward-touring/current/ana-maria-pacheco-

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Marcus Rees Roberts had fantastic prints on display. I don’t really have words for them. http://www.prattcontemporaryart.co.uk/marcus-rees-roberts-prints-2/

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Alison Lambert takes portraiture to a whole new level. Her prints are powerful and convey so much emotional depth.  <ahref=”http://www.jillgeorgegallery.co.uk/artists/lambert/lambert.htm”>http://www.jillgeorgegallery.co.uk/artists/lambert/lambert.htm

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Dameon Priestly lives and works in London. The preoccupation and inspiration for Dameon Priestly’s paintings is the story behind the picture – what is not seen. He has got lots of great work on his webpage, do check it out. http://www.dameon.co.uk/

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“Dianne Kaufman believes in paint. What it can do, physically, washed across or thickly impasted on to canvas, and what it can mean, pushing us beyond the physical into metaphysics and metaphor…” http://www.diannekaufman.co.uk/about.html

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Kirsty Whiten, this woman is so talented!!  http://www.kirstywhiten.com/

 

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Alastair Eales was probably the sweetest artist I met yesterday, and I simply love his happy, floating, simple approach to painting. He uses oil on canvas as well as printing ink and collage. http://www.alastair-eales.webspace.virginmedia.com/

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Here is a bit of a crazy one, Soozy Lipsey. Her work is peculiar, macabre and somehow still pretty.  http://www.soozylipsey.co.uk/soozylipsey.co.uk/Home.html

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One of my personal favs, Clinton de Menezes makes work out of clusters of figures that he puts together in different ways, often representing the shape of countries from around the world. He is an interesting character and his work really resonated with me. http://clintondemenezes.com/home.html

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Heloise Delegue says about her work: Autobiography, both real and imagined forms the basis of most of my work. I create a world of colours and use storytelling to fuse aspects of my identity. http://heloisedelegue.com/

 

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Alberto Fusco’s work didn’t really speak to me but I thought it was interesting still, so here are some images of his work. http://www.albertofusco.com/

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Rebecca Fontaine Wolf is one of those artists who you can’t help but respect, I feel like you can see how much work she puts into her craft (not in a negative way), I feel her passion shines through. http://www.rebeccafontaine-wolf.com/

 

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David Stockley was such a sweet man with such great paintings. Please check out his website as well. http://www.davidstockley.com/

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Last, but not at all least Rosh Keegan, her sculptures are funny, touching and real. She was the only artist at the fair who said to me: “I’m glad you like my work, so buy it!!” I love her witt and am super enthusiastic about her figures. http://www.roshkeegan.com/

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This has got to be the longest post in the history of blogging!! But this little blogger feels happy she got all her images together.

Thoughts on the Internet

I tend to be a bit of an extremist. I’m either in something, or I’m out. I think it might have something to do with an addictive personality, although I obviously hate admitting this to myself. Anyway, last week I decided I needed to take a Facebook break because I wanted to be able to focus on things and frankly, Facebook is the most distracting thing on the planet for me, especially when I need to get work done on my computer.

So I thought I would share some thoughts on how this worked out for me. First of all I have to say that it was pretty refreshing and felt freeing. It’s like one less thing you have to tick off your to-do list and you don’t find yourself randomly sucked into a void one evening having spent an hour doing abso-fuckin-lutely nothing.

Secondly, I realized that Facebook is REALLY useful. It might be slightly painful to admit this too, but really, it is. It is such an easy way to communicate with people. I saw this song on youtube and I could suddenly not quickly message it to my friend, I had to EMAIL it, and of course its just not the same and not half as easy. I took some cute pictures of my friends baby, now could not post them on her wall. I wanted to create a party invitation, had to wait a week to do that. The list goes on.

Facebook can be used for artistic purposes as well. I have numerous sites that I follow and regularly get inspired by. You can use it to share your blog, which by the way would probably not have half the viewers it does if I didn’t post it to my lovely friends.

Lesson learnt, its all about balance and how you decide to utilize something for yourself. I’m glad I took a break and took some time out, but I’m also glad to live in the time we do with the possibilities and options we have.

What do you think about living in the digital age?

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And to all my friends enjoying the sun, don’t forget the sunscreen:

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All the things she said

I feel a rush of excitement, a certain kind of kinetic and wonderful energy fills me as I look back at some pictures over the past few weeks. There has been a lot of moving about, running around and exploring this vast city of London.  I think once again, life is beautiful, life is what you make of it. Life is all those little snap shots, added together to make your memories.

Photo0274exploring Brixton

Photo0273I spend most of my days here

Photo0355most recent work

Photo0170cute couple and a mean angry man

Photo0276abandoned but simply stunning

Photo0232being where I love to be again

Photo0249Photographers Gallery high above the streets

Photo0323double trouble with Moni and Steffi

Photo0324this is London

Photo0293Vintners Hall

Photo0297fancy tables

Photo0325taking a train

Photo0346Drum and Bass with belly dancing, a thing of beauty

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London Philharmonic Orchestra

Photo0354A seat with a view

Photo0357Liudni Slibinai

Photo0359A dancing blur

Photo0365lights, camera, action

 

Mark Rothko and the abstract expressionists

So it actually happened, last Friday I went from being a Rothko skeptic to being a Mark Rothko fan. This is why I love my art history class so much. Our tutor, this tiny, soft spoken lady, manages to talk and convey modern art in a fascinating context of the historical background as well as bringing a completely new insight into the artists minds and methods. Most of the time I go in thinking “this is probably going to be boring” and at the end of the day I am completely fascinated and enthralled by it all. Could also be the fact that I’m a bit of an art fanatic but you know…

Abstract expressionist painting developed in the 1950’s and to most of us, the names of the time quite familiar. Pollock, Newman, Rothko, Richter etc. When I think expressionist paintings, I think of big canvases with paint splattered all over that cost huge unimaginable sums of money and convey nothing to me. To some this may sounds small minded, but I am sure others can relate.

However, when I took the time to really give the art a chance, my views radically changed, in particular my views on Rothko. I remember last year, one of the Rothko paintings at the Tate modern got vandalized by a guy claiming that he was ‘adding to the value of the painting’ (haha) and I thought, “well what an idiot” but at the same time, “maybe the man has a point, all this silly art that is over hyped and has no meaning”. I am admitting a whole lot of shameful thoughts in this post, I guess, but alas I have changed my ways a bit.

Rothko and the other expressionists felt that the physical process of painting is more important than the actual outcome of the end product. As well as doing this, they wanted to paint without having to reference any particular objects or things. By removing all of the traditional elements within a painting, they wanted to make them universal and let them speak for themselves.

To Rothko, the scale of the painting, the colors of the painting and the setting in which they are shown and exhibited were particularly important. With his work he wanted to create a sort of spiritual experience, to let the viewer be immersed in feelings and emotions. On the one hand the emotions that he was trying to convey but on the other hand also let the viewer have his own experience. For Rothko, color was “merely an instrument”. He said: “basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom…The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”

Weeping?? Really? When I heard this, I thought that this really must be an exaggeration, people don’t weep in front of paintings, do they? Whatever the case, these values were so important to him that he turned down his first ever commission, which was by the four seasons, even though he had already spent years on completing the works, because he felt they would not fit into the commercial setting of a restaurant, which is where they would have been placed.

Instead he donated most of them to The Tate Britain, for the public to see and experience. So after my lecture we headed over to see the Seagram Murals and see what it was all about. The room as well as the paintings are dimly lit and all the paintings are large scale.

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I sat in front of the painting below. It was quite busy and many people were talking and discussing so I decided to put on my headphones and listen to some Pink Floyd. It worked like magic and I was quickly away in my own world of thoughts.

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And I totally got it. The mood, the feeling, I was completely immersed in the piece and I floated away into my own deepest darkest emotions. I felt somehow connected to the artist and his work, myself, in a strange way, I think I felt connected to the universe. Although this sounds very cheesy and maybe a bit out there, it was my experience and I can only recommend for others to give it a chance.

Sometimes the most beautiful and significant things are also those which are taken for granted. We dismiss masterpieces because we have seen them  a million times before. In books or on the internet, or because we feel they are over hyped. In truth they may just be  misrepresented and misunderstood. Another thing to remember is that a piece of art can only truly be understood when it is seen in its original state, in a setting for which it was intended. Or maybe you disagree with me?

If you want to see Mark Rothkos work, the Seagram Murals are part of the perminant exhibition at the Tate Modern in London

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/mark-rothko-1875