Oh dear irony

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - in Art

She has the face of a greek glass sculptured lady, but this Swede actually creates glass sculptures herself, and much more like a Woman. Capital W. Intuitive, round, feet on the ground, hands on your balls. I have fallen for Åsa Jungelius' work, glass sculpting, and yes, maybe her a little too.

"My first aim is to create glass that tells a story", (okay barf, but keep reading), "then I use aesthetics as a way of depicting the objective world in my own subjective manner." - Okay, so she lures her audience with glamorous forms and once near confronts them with her true intentions? A woman's play, brilliant.

But what does she question? And why did she just make me happily spend 90.- on a small, black bowl?

Åsa Jungnelius' art covers issues as aesthetic hierarchies, decadence, consumption as creator of identity, and to me most important: the construction of feminity. What makes a woman? This is why I find her choice for glass so very clear (no pun intented): fluid when warm, rocksolid when cold. Elegant yet hard. Shaped until reheated.

Her collections include vases that breathe decadence, phallus shaped candlesticks decorated with symbols of feminity, lips and lipsticks, silver vaginas. She combines glass with materials that carry erotic connotations (chains, leather and fur) and melts lipstick into heated glass. Porn.

Her elegant (more commercial) work can do with very little description. It questions serious issues but is pleasant to look at. Her more personal work is less elegant and questions much more in your face. Literally, like Monster Cunt - brilliant name - a glass installation hanging from a ceiling, that represents  a vagina 'taking what it wants'. Quite intimidating.

People who like Monster Cunt also like “A study of the relationship between the hole and the pole” and  “I remember all my lovers”.

The questions she tries to tackle in her work are the questions I have, as a woman. Her pieces represent them as a whole. I paid 90.- for a bowl because it represents a world I want to belong to. The bowl became an object of desire. Irony completes the circle, again.

NO TITLE NO.9

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - in Art

No title - no.8

Monday, June 10, 2013 - in By yours truly

portable river

Saturday, January 5, 2013 - in Places

From downtown Amsterdam straight to the citycenter of Caracas, where artistic duo Luzinterruptus was asked by the Spanish Embassy to work on In the Middle of the Street; a festival that celebrates public space as a place of peaceful coexistence. And so the two anonymous artists worked their magic again. Very brightfully.

Luzinterruptus, founded in 2008 in Madrid, carries out urban interventions 'using light as a raw material and the dark as their canvas' to draw attention to social problems that go unnoticed to authorities, and to highlight places they believe have extraordinary artistic value.

In Caracas they filled 2,000 transparent bags with water, fish, lights and greens to create a mile long river of tiny, colorful aquariums that lit up at night. Pretty neat indeed. Locals were asked to pile 'em up and later on rewarded for their stacking by letting them take the bags home. Community cuteness to the bone.

Luzinterruptus sure does rock my boat. For instance with this one. And this one. And of course click thumbnail to enjoy the downtown river in Caracas.

Les Amants

Sunday, November 4, 2012 - in Art

Thought I found a hidden gem on the internet. Turns out Saatchi found her first. Damnit. Anyhow, Noémie Goudal still caught my eye. And probably will catch yours now too.

The two photographs Cascade and Promenade - click thumbnail above - are part of the series Les Amants (The Lovers), in which Noémie transforms her fascination for nature invaded by the man-made, into pure sigh.

Of course Sir Saatchi wrote a super long description of their meaning, the why and how and whatever, but I'll keep it short: they're dynamite. Can't stop looking at them.

Click here to discover just a tiny bit more about Noémie.

Wild things

Friday, November 2, 2012 - in Art

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.”

Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

― Maurice Sendak (1928 – 2012)

Connection is why we're here

Wednesday, October 26, 2012 - in Meet

Please meet Brené Brown, who talks about the power of vulnerability. And please, only press play if you have 20:50 minutes to pay full attention. That's the only way to let the truth of her words sink in. Enjoy.

Completely bonkers

Saturday, August 11, 2012 - in Random

One WTF after the other. A carousel of absurdness. And just when you think you get it, the next scene shows you you don't.

Holy Motors (directed by Leos Carax, 2012) is a definate 'go see for yourself' kind of movie. Simply because there are no words to describe what it is about. Or how it should be interpreted. The movie has been despised and adored, cheered and boo'd, but one thing everybody seems to agree on: it's completely bonkers. I loved it. Go see.

(Click thumbnail to watch the trailer)

dOCUMENTA (13)

Saturday, August 4, 2012 - in Art

It lasts 100 days, features 300+ artists and thinkers, and exhibits countless connections between participants, subjects, era's and locations (the exhibition is paralelled in Kabul, Cairo and Banff). A blueprint of dOCUMENTA (13) will therefore be an incredibly difficult one to make. Impossible maybe, since the connections are not only made between what is there, but also what isn't there.

Huh?! I know. Keep going.

dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel Germany is not a very easy, lighthearted or visually stunning artfestival. Subjects as war, child abuse, suicide and non-existence are used to embody the main question for visitors: what does it mean to know things we didn't percieve through our own senses, but heard on the news, or were told by relatives? And to then travel to those places and experiences, but only in our minds?

An understanding of the world's political relations and human emotions are required to comprehend the things you see at dOCUMENTA (13). And to absorb what the curator and artists are trying to accomplish. Some take you back in time, to another place, while others bring the past into the present. Like Janet Cardiff. With her iPhone tour through the Hauptbahnhof she brings her past into your present, by sharing the things she saw and thought when she was where you're at taking the tour, 5 months prior in time. It's a paralel in time experience. Quite great.

Ryan Gander's Artificial Breeze in the Fridericianum; Khaled Hourani's Picasso Project, taking the anti-war piece Buste de Femme (1943) across the borders to Palestina; and Susan Philipsz's Study for Strings, a classical piece composed by a deported Jew and now heard at the end of the trainplatform where Jews once departed; dOCUMENTA (13) goes beyond art. Or is 'art' something infinite, without a 'beyond'?

The city's history and sites are used in surprising, poetic ways and the festival takes you places you would've never explored by yourself. Like the topfloor of the C&A warehouse. The show fills the city and the Guidebook to dOCUMENTA (13) is your bible in times of confusion.

I spent 3 days in Kassel and realize afterwards I'd better make that two weeks next time. And read everything about the festival in advance. Just to allow myself a deeper dip in dOCUMENTA and its meaning. So if you're planning a trip to Kassel (and please do): prepare. And be amazed.

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1000 bottles of beer

Monday, June 11, 2012 - in Random

Nothing beats drinking beer from a bottle. Except for a man who is able to open it for you, when you just spent fifteen minutes looking all over your kitchen and balcony and handbags and living room and bathroom even for the opener that always winds up to be in your kitchen drawer anyways you just didn't look well enough.

Click thumbnail to find out how to become That Man.

Perfect imperfection

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - in Art

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Ugly. Just very ugly posters. And that’s exactly why I enjoy them so much; there’s a lot of 'screw you' in these images. They represent design hitting puberty, the meant to happen burb at that fancy, stuck up dinner.

And in the overly designed world we now live in, where everything is supposed to be perfectly shaped, profiled and manicured, these fleshy brushed figures allow us to breathe again. Inhale!

The stupid thing that happens though, is that blogs immediately describe them as 'perfect imperfection'. And therefore label them as perfection again. Why? Why can’t imperfection just be 'not perfect'? Flawed. Why is it put in that awful corner of nowhere to go, again?

Maybe I’m rambling nonsense, maybe it’s my internal warrior talking. Probably. But maybe, just maybe, I am scratching a little truth over here. That we actually need errors to just be errors. To not make sense. To stay ugly.

But of course, while I am writing this, I keep editing, deleting and trying to create a perfect piece of writing. With a catchy phrase in the beginning, a smooth setup so you won't get stuck reading, and a solid conclusion.

But screw you (sorry mom), no conclusion this time. That's how perfect imperfect I let myself be today. Inhale!

Long live the queen. Burp

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - in Random

“Favorite daughter, there’s something going on with you and Queensday. You just don’t seem to work it out.” And unfortunately, dear readers wherever you are, my mom is true; I’ve never had a decent Queensday in Amsterdam in the seven years I’ve lived here.

Queensday? Yup, just as the Americans let loose on the 4th of July, les douces French on their Quatorze Juillet, we the Dutch go wild on Queensday; celebrating the birth of a queen that is no longer with us. We dress in orange, drink beer and make out, all in the name of the Monarchy. 

But while spring was finally kicking in and God gave us 21 solid degrees to get sunburt in, I spent the entire day in bed, sweating peentjes even more than those beerdrinking thugs out on the street. Sick as an oyster.

So thank God for TV, where I could - blurry eyed - watch everyone in my beloved country act like teenagers on springbreak. “Oh my gooooossshh I’m on national TV, we love you Queen Beatrix!! Burp.”

And today, the headached day after, Mother Nature showed her true forgiving spirit, washing away our sins with heavy rain, lightning and good ol’ thunder. Leaving the country like nothing ever happened. Luckily, we'll always have Facebook. And now, back to work people! The country is still in recession.

No Title - no. 5

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - in No Title's

simply stunning

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - in Advertising

Not a lot of times you come across a designstudio that leaves your typing fingers floating inches above your keyboard - simply because you can't find words to describe the awesomeness of their work. Hvass + Hannibal is one of those designstudios.

Their work leaves me stunned, amazed, silent (there's a first time for everyting) and in pure admiration. Wow. Click thumbnail to see my fav's or have a look at their complete work here.

Child's Play

Monday, April 16, 2012 - in Art

'A child doesn't hesitate. A line is a line.' - And dear readers, how simple and duh this may sound, by the end of this read you'll know it isn't.

The Cobra Museum in Amstelveen currently hosts the exposition Klee + Cobra, a Childs Play - about the fascination both Klee and the Cobra-painters had with drawings made by kids. Their fascination came from the fact that kids don't think about what they're about to draw or how it is supposed to look like. They just put their pencil on paper, and draw.

Although I found almost every piece in the museum quite hidious, it was interesting to see how Klee and Cobra let go of everything anyone had ever thought them about 'how art is supposed to look.' They created on impulse only, which was (still is) incredibly hard. And incredibly 'not done' in the art world. But by doing so, adventurous painters as Klee, Appel and Corneille inspired a whole generation of modern artists.

So, this time I won't advice you to jump in the car straight off to Amstelveen (god no), but I'd like for you to try something. Grab a piece of paper and a pen (or pencil, no sweat). Now, just draw. And try not to think about it too much. Just put lines on paper. I'll wait right here.

Pretty hard, isn't it? Click thumbnail to see how Klee, Appel and Corneille (among others) hit it off.

Fortune favors the weird

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - in Places

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"Congratulations! You’ve stumbled upon the online giftshop for the first museum dedicated to the work of the Unnaturalist Society – the imaginative discovery of wonders that were unknown ..until now."

What a great welcome, and what a great initiative to stumble upon: the Museum of Unnatural History, frontstore of non-profit organisation 826DC. This organisation, led by a group of talented authors, playwrights and poets, teaches kids to explore every corner of their own imagination. The creative writing program doesn't focuss on how to write flawlessly, but on the fun of creating something that didn't exist before. Like Unicorn Tears. Or Beetle Catchers. All for sale in the museum.

The sparks that lit in their heads and the recognition they get for the stories they create, help the kids grow confidence. Wow. I sincerely love this 826DC program. And of course the curios in their museum. Power to the surrealists! (and unicorns)

Silver & light

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - in Art

'If it where super easy, it wouldn’t be fun.' - Photographer / inventor Ian Ruhter about his Wet Plate project. Click thumbnail to see his wonder of Silver & Light.

Dreams of nature

Monday, March 19, 2012 - in Art

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I oughto type this in fontsize -10, but I've never been to the Van Gogh Museum till today. Shameful I know, but those neverending queues of overkilled tourists just scare the shit out of me. Today their heads were safely hidden behind I AMsterdam umbrellas because of the rain, and my Museumcard allowed me to skip the queue, so 1+1 = I went in.

Luckily the museum's current exposition, Dreams of Nature, was an impressive one. It featured 70+ paintings from the late 19th-century, when artists first began to express their deepests thoughts and dreams through their paintings. Using landscapes as methaphors, they created new realities reflecting their fears, dreams and longing for spirituality. In my belief, this is when painters became artists and things started to get interesting.

The movement is rooted in poetry and music; both ingredients the curators gratefully used to enrich the exposition. Anyone in need of a little poetry or easy lesson art history, make sure to visit Van Gogh before 17.06.2012. Tip: most tourist tend to leave for lunch around 13.

New kid on the block

Friday, February 24, 2012 - in Art

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No more statues of stoic looking warfarts medalled for their killings on the battlefield- no! The child has to be the real hero!

A statement we've heard a gazzilion times before, but was never sculpted like this: Scandinavian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s recently revealed their Powerless Structures Fig. 101; a 4,1 m tall boy riding his rocking horse on Trafalgar Square, London.

"The statue is a response to western society’s habit of commemorating military heroes – inescapable in the stern stone surroundings of Trafalgar Square – and questions the wisdom and propriety of this notion", the artists say.

OK. Noble, true. But to me this bronze boy is simply a fun, sparkling and impressive centerpiece of the famous fourth plinth. So, off to London soon!

built to resist

Monday, February 13, 2012 - in Advertising

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OK, so it's not new. It's not innovative. But it works: designers against Aids. New on the shelf - after Levis and H&M - are 200 Eastpaks, those oldskool bookstuffers you tipex'd and markered in highshool.

Over 130 of the world's quirkiest, funkiest, most creative personalities of the world (their words, not mine) were put together in a studio to oompf up the limited editions Eastpak Padded Pak'rs. Result: backpacks that probably won't protect your books, but maybe someone's life.

EASTPAK launched the collection at RAW Artfair Rotterdam, the online sale starts 19.3.2012

Trafficstopper

Friday, December 16, 2011 - in Advertising

Sometimes a truly stunning print ad comes by, and I recently bumped into one I'd like to share with you. It's an ad for 'Road Safety - 130 has its limits', published in TopGear Magazine NL.

It reads: "This long, very long, intentionally excessively long written line, is meant for you to keep you reading for a long, very long time, so that you at the end of this very long line you will know exactly how much time it will take you, at a speed of 130 km per hour, to come to an emergency stop."

Concept by Yona Hümmels and Stef Jongenelen, DDB Amsterdam, artwork by Raphaël Bartels.

(Click thumbnail to zoom in)

Phoebe and the worm

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - in Art

Ladies and gentlemen, please take a look at Phoebe and the Worm by clicking the thumbnail above.

Pieter van den Heuvel is a copywriter slash artdirector slash creative thinker slash inventor of things slash too much to summarize. He works at Sid Lee, was responsible for one of my favorite campaigns in the last few years (for Pink Ribbon) and recently wrote and illustrated his very own children's book. Enjoy!

viva la farme

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - in Art

Mine mine mine, it’s finally mine: the handmade letterpress poster by Anne Olde Kalter, owner of creative studio La Farme.

A year ago Anne decided to adieu the advertising industry and now runs the farm/studio, where she designs and handmakes everything herself.

As one of her biggest fans I feel honored to be working on a project together (which is of course highly secret very classified information that I will only share with you when intoxicated). More info in 2012!

Miss Terrorist

Friday, October 20, 2013 - in By yours truly

Ow ow America. You want to set an example for the entire western world so bad, but not everybody in your country acts no.1 worthy, do they?

Last Sundaynight an Indian American woman was crowned Miss America. Flowers, glitters, tears, the whole shabam went down. And then: a Twitter hurricane of stupidity took over the internet. "She's like not even American." (click thumbnail for some tweets)

Therefore I wrote President Obama a little note. Because his country is far behind on racial matters. Not that we Dutchies do everything right (we've still got this blonde clown in The Hague), but we don't claim to be No.1 in everything. The US does.

The reactions on Facebook and in my inbox prove I'm not the only who feels this way. Read the note by clicking here. Howdy, folks!

Please keep off the grass

Sunday, July 7, 2013 - in By yours truly

Here you go, mom! (My mom is not on Facebook, so when I told her about my first little urban intervention exposed on FB, she kindly asked me to put it on my "gunpocket", so here it is. Moms are great fans.)

Urban Interventionism is a name given to different kinds of activist art practices, art that typically responds to the social community, locational identity, the built environment, and public places. - Ok, nothing new.

Impossible not to love 'em: these urban interruptions (intervention sounds way too pretentious). Although I don't think they necessarily have to be activist as Wiki says - activism calls for hairy armpits - they should add a little personality to the streets. And more important; put a smile on your face.

When this little hole in the street caught my eye last Friday, I felt an immediate urge to protect this piece of green land in an tarmac environment. I ran late for my next meeting, but hey - saving grass takes time!

My second interruption will be in a park somewhere in Amsterdam. Bought everything I need already, so I am good to go. Stay tuned!

Smells like teenspirit. And chanel.

Friday, March 15, 2013 - in Art

O la la messieurs! Lernert and Sander strike again, with a elegant idea very well executed: a perfume consisting of all fragrances launched in 2012, named Everything.

Bet it took them quite a while to collect all 1,400 samples. And install them on the white pillar. Reminds me of something else.

Anywoo, the perfume formerly known as a whole lotta other perfumes, was showcased at Colette in Paris in the beginning of March. Click thumbnail, and if you haven't already, take a look at Lernert and Sanders other showshizzle too.

heartlighted

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - in Places

Disneyland and Eindhoven, eat your heart out. A'dam is the new capital of light. Since the 7th of December our already very charming city has been transformed into an even more fairylike place, because of the first Amsterdam Light Festival. Powered with led, of course.

Worldleading (light-)artists were asked to create sculptures and illuminate buildings, boats and bridges on the riverside of the Amstel to change the public area during the darkest time of year. It's kinda like the best of Christmas, but then without all the hassle and baulbs.

If you live in Amsterdam please take the time to stroll the Amstel at night to enjoy this heartlighted festival of prettyness. You'll be wowed for sure. The lights are on till the 20th of January 2013.

A rich man's world

Sunday, November 4, 2012 - in Art

Last week the Affordable Art Fair hit Amsterdam. Over 85 galleries cluttered in the Gashouder, trying to sell works from 200,- to 5000,- up. A great promise for those in search of something artsy on their wall, but unfortunately not a place artlovers liked to wander around gazing at truly interesting stuff. Cause there was not a lot of that to be found.

There. I said it.

The concept of AAF rubs some people the right and others the complete opposite way. It could therefore easily be considered a contemporary artpiece itself: it questions the defination of art and its given value. Although I doubt AAF was meant that way.

This whole valuation of art remains an interesting topic, and is sometimes even an inspiration to the artists themselves. A friend of mine recently bought one painting of a ten-piece artseries, where the completely different pricing of 10 almost identical pieces was actually core of the concept.

I am now starting to read Shock Art by Don Thompson, about the curious economics of contemporary art. This will probably unfog a lot of my thoughts, and maybe even change my perception. Critics say it will make readers laugh out loud for sure. And that’s always a good thing, especially in a field where people tend to take themselves and each other way too serious.

PS I did see some interesting stuff at AAF. But as expected, those were the more expensive ones. What's new.

Its getting cold out here.

Monday, September 8, 2012 - in Art

So put on all your clothes. OK, Nelly's version sounds quite different, but our beloved Miami badboy wouldn't even recognize winter if it hit him in the face. Léo Caillard would. Therefore he made sure the stonecold statues were ready for the season ahead of us. Bummer it's only photoshopped.

Click thumbnail to see his Street Stones. Click right here to visit his website (and while you're there, make sure to browse to Wild in Museum. Wow.)

manifesta 9, Deep of the modern

Monday, October 17, 2012 - in Art

It's already been a while, but a few weeks ago I paid a visit to Manifesta 9 in Genk, Belgium. Held at the former Waterschei coal mine (once the industral heartland of Limburg) the site and its history were very impressive, but unfortunately the biennial added little extra to it. At least, in my experience.

Curator Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico City) developed the concept for the biennial, adressing the social and societal impact of having shut down the Genk coal mine in '86. In order to create context Manifesta didn't only present international, industry-leading artists, but a broad collection of historic figures about the region as well. It felt like I was taking history lessons again. This isn't a bad thing - I didn't pay much attention in high school - but the artworks paying heed to it and linking it with greater, global issues, didn't transcend it much.

Almost everything exposed felt like an interesting way of archiving the past and present, more than a deep, wellthought journey into the subject d'art. Okay, maybe dOCUMENTA (13) spoiled me, but Manifesta didn't do anything to me. It didn't stretch the boundaries of my imagination or leave questions in my mind, dying to be answered. It didn't stuff my mental suitcase with thoughts I just hád to take home and discuss with friends. Manifesta 9 was at the Waterschei, and stayed at the Waterschei.

Surprisingly, the reviews online and in newspapers are positive. That almost leave me wondering: did I miss something?

Led love rule

Friday, August 10, 2012 - in Art

Thousands of LED lights illuminated by the contact of water. Magic. Click thumbnail and enjoy.

Allmighty Mother Theresa

Monday, July 30, 2012 - in Art

Rockstar cupcakes. That's what came to mind when I first saw the work of Chilean artist Fabian - 'Fab' - Ciraolo. His sweet and pastelcolored images portray Hollywood, art, fashion and royal figures like never seen before: covered in statement tattoos and chaperoned by Disney characters. Cool.

Marilyn Monroes chest got decorated with a bold 'What if Kennedy is alive?' tattoo and Mother Theresa was pictured with a Kaballah bracelet holding an iPhone in her hands. Why? Why not.

The edgy innocence in his work comes across almost pornographical and some images feel like an endless pool of discovery. Click the thumbnail to see his work and visit this website to discover more. Oh and Fab also drums in a band. Because that's what fab people do.

Truly contemporary

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - in Art

Holygodshizzlemoly, this guy can draw. And not just cute canvas portraits, no this Cuban American artist creates the most detailed yet kingsized murals I've ever seen. Murals by the way, are paintings made on giant citywalls.

Jorge Rodriguez-Guerada (pronunciation: drunk tongue) was asked to create a new piece by Al Riwaq Art Space for the Alwan 388 festival. At first Jorge was in doubt because of the complex situation in Bahrain, but a friend convinced him of the importance of art in the country. The muralist then got fascinated by all the contradictions in the area (heritage vs. modernity) and decided to create a charcoal piece that captured this transition of era's.

"Because my Identity Series murals fade away with wind and rain, I decided to create a mural of a traditional Bahraini fisherman, one of a few hundred that are left.”

With his chosen object d'art and signature charcoal technique, he illustrated that the country's heritage is slowly fading too. Beautiful.

(Click thumbnail to watch the incredible making of.)

No Title - no. 6

Monday, May 7, 2012 - in No Title's

Tree line project

Friday, April 27, 2012 - in Art

Some of you might have already seen these beauties by Zander Olsen, some of you might have not. Voilà to you then. And to all the others; it cannot hurt to see them again. They're fantastic.

(Okay this piece of writing is going nowhere. I need weekend. Just click thumbnail to see Olsen's poetic skylines. Enjoy!)

Hand on my heart

Sunday, April 22, 2012 - in Advertising

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Thank you again, Dove. That's wonderful.

Chansons de la ZAZ

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - in Music

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Alors, ma français ain't what it used to be, but these zazzy tunes hardly need translation. They're just the perfect sunny note to add to this rainy week. No understanding the lyrics required.

Accompanied by a contrabass and guitar, this 31-years old Isabelle Geffroy mixes French variety, jazz, soul and accoustic into a whole new ballgame. A ballgame that will probably wake up even the snooziest village, when on tour.

Unfortunately that tour isn't heading our way yet, but summer is coming up so we might as well just roadtrip to France, right?

RIBBON AROUND A BOMB

Friday, April 13, 2012 - in Art

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (mexico; 1907 - 1954) was called "a tequilla-slamming, dirty joke-telling bi-sexual that hobbled about her bohemian barrio in lavish indigenous dresses and threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda, Nelson Rockefeller, and her on-again, off-again husband, muralist Diego Rivera."

She is also said to be the greatest female painter that ever lived. Fridah died aged 47. Her last diary entry read: "I hope the exit is joyful - and I hope never to return - Frida."

Raw romance

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - in Art

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Love, love, love the paintings of American artist Michael Carson - who is by the way not yet represented in Europe, so go forth artsy fartsy gallery pioneers.

Michael Carson graduated from the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Design in 2006 and says he has been influenced by the paintings of Toulouise Loutrec, John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell. And it shows. Carsons's elegant but raw brushed figures have a frenchy feel and touch of humour to them, which - of course - I adore. Attractive work!

Close look

Saturday, March 31, 2012 - in Art

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This exposition was way too cool for me to admire in silence; I actually Holy F***'d out loud. In the Kunsthal. But believe me when I say I wasn't the only one. Chuck Close, a worldfamous artist that I never heard of, makes massive portraits that are so incredibly well crafted, it's hard to believe he doesn't own any superpowers.

My trip to the Kunsthal was actually incited by Sweet & Salt, about the element of water in Dutch art. This exposition was nice, put well together and showed some interesting pieces. Everything you'd expect. (If you feel a big but coming up, stay tuned)

After Sweet & Salt the route kindly guided me to Closer to You; a collection of 240 pieces Jasper Krabbé painted of his wife and muse Floor. At first it reminded me of all those CSI Miami psycho's that cover their basement walls with creepy collages of their next victim, but Krabbé's portraits showed so much love, it's hard to not want him to fall in love with you too. Subtle, feminine work. But.

OK, the but. Both expositions were charming, bút; when I stepped into the world of Mr. Close, that world just sucked me right in. I did not want to leave, therefor I spent 2 hours looking at his work, looking even closer, observing every detail and watching the artist at work in the documentary that was shown.

There is no way to explain how impressive and very different every single piece felt. The process, dedication and interesting use of materials left me staggered. I firmly advise you, dear readers, to take an afternoon off and visit the Kunsthal. It'll probably be your only chance to see this much of his work at once. No buts.
 

No Title - no. 4

Monday, March 5, 2012 - in No Title's

No Title - no. 3

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - in No Title's

Anthropomorphism (the; f)  attribution of human characteristics given to animals, phenomena, objects or abstract concepts. The term was coined in the mid 1700s and is often associated with religion, art and storytelling. Walt Disney kicked ass with it.

No Title - no. 1

Monday, February 13, 2012 - in By yours truly

TED Talk - Benjamin Zander

Sunday, December 4, 2011 - in Music

Surrender! To the contagious energy of Benjamin Zander, who talks about classical music and one buttock playing.

Benjamin Zander (Buckinghamshire, 1939) is an American conductor from Britain. He is the music director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a faculty member at the New England Conservatory.

(Click thumbnail to watch Benjamin's Ted talk)

we'll always have 2 for joy

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - in Places

Sometimes an autumn day asks for nothing more than a leather couch and hot coffee. Make sure to choose Two For Joy as your lazy spot then. Located in a quiet corner of the Frederiksplein and filled with nothing but niceness, this place feels like an unexpected but very welcome grouphug.

The coffee and service are simply great: you order at the bar and your fresh drip will be taken to your seat. To enjoy your couch coffee even more, delight yourself with some homemade granola, a slice of cake or my lunch fav’ Tarragon Chicken.

TFJ recently opened another hub at the Haarlemmerstraat, where the set up is a little different, but the feel exactly the same. Both spots are definitely places to fall in love with, so when you're in the neighbourhood (or not) make sure to drop by. Everything can be ordered to take away, but my advice: stay in. As long as your schedule allows you to.

Saga's Chocolate website

Thursday, November 24, 2011 - in Siteseeing

(Click thumbnail tot watch the baking of)

A website completely made out of chocolate. Sounds tasty, but more important: like an awesome idea.

Portugal’s no. 1 beer brand Sagres launched their new chocolate tasting beer with this amazing creation. The design itself doesn't blow me away (my eyes are spoiled by stunningly looking sites), but to know the chocolate you see is actually real chocolate, is simply great. Take a look at their website here.

Me happy now

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - in Art

Throw me some glitter, bedazzle me with lights and my eyes will glaze like I've been smoking joints all day while munching on happy pills. Picture that, and then imagine me sitting behind my laptop typing this post with that exact look on my face. All because Soo Sunny Parks latest installation is plain out wow. Me happy now..

Soo Sunny Park - awesome name by the way - transformed the Rice Gallery in Houston Texas into a place of brilliant light, shadow, shape and color with her installation 'Unwoven Light'. Since April thousands of visitors experienced something completely different because what you see depends upon the time of day, ratio of natural to artificial light, precise angle of viewing, and even the number of people in the gallery.

I wish we'd all could just visit Houston now, but guess the photos and video (click thumbnail) will have to do. Soo Sunny Park has been playing with lights in almost all her works. Please visit her website to explore what she has been working on the last few years.

Oh and double the magic by playing this.
 

Small escape

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - in Random

This, dear readers, is a lovely book. And what it preaches is absolutely true; the inside of your head is an awesome place to be. If yours isn't, drop by mine. Got plenty of room. But please let me know in advance, I'd like to clean up a little first.

Oh and Deepak Chopra promotes the book. And he knows. Things. Oh and click thumbnail to watch the booktrailer.

It's the world that makes you small

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - in Art

"Creative people take notion of the world around them differently. Everything they see and hear just comes together illogically, after entering their heads. Illogically to most people, that is. Emotions are added or taken out, contexts are changed and ingredients are shuffled until a new reality - 'thing' - is born."

Creative thinking is about making unusual connections. Creativity is giving shape to these thoughts.

Brock Davis is a guy that simplifies this proces. At least, that's how I interpret his work. He connects the dots just a little bit differently, creating a clever (yet simple) idea which he executes with unparalleled dedication that could evoke jealousy in a Tibetan monk. It's cute. I love it.

(Click thumbnail to enjoy)

No title - no.7

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - in No Title's

Creepy flowers

Saturday, November 3, 2012 - in Music

Hate the music. Love the video. Lala: thumbnail.

L'amour des Moules

Friday, September 5, 2012 - in Random

I like clams. Prepared the French, Belgian, Eastern, Dutch or whatever way, with beer, wine, cream, fennel, peppers, sausage or whatever fits your pan. Bút, I'm not sure that appetite will remain after seeing L'amour des Moules. But my oh my, what a beautiful filmposter they made for it.

Yesterday, the poster was awarded with the Cinema.nl Afficheprijs 2012. Very well deserved. The intense colors, subtle suggestivity and well, everything, just hit you in the face. Clam kabam. The award was once initiated to spice up the level of filmposters and looking at L'amour des Moules, it did exactly what it was supposed to. Lovely!

(Click thumbnail to see it upclose and browse through the runners up)

Darren Booth

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - in Art

Remember those gazillion trillion billion sublime AOL businesscards, by Wolff Olins two years ago? He designed a logocanvas for all designers, photographers and other amazing stuff makers around the globe, to go creative on. One of my fav's was by Darren Booth, an illustrator and letterer from the States. The rest of his stuff turns out to be just as great, if not greater. Click thumbnail to see more.

E for AWESOME

Sunday, August 5, 2012 - in Art

Simply wonderful, these shoppingbags by Maren Bruin, HKU '12 graduate. All 11 bags in the Natural Born Colors collection are dyed with natural ingredients we normally use to color our foods. Yes, the same E-numbers your mom keeps warning you about.

The yellow 'E100' bag for instance, is dyed with curcumine, made of the roots of the Curcuma long plant. The minty green 'E140' got its color from the extract of boiled grass, and the purple 'E120' - my favourite - from carmine or cochineal: lice that grow on cactus trees in South America. Maren stamped the lice, dried them to powder, and together with alum this red carmine turned in to a deep purple shade. Voila.

My 'E120' lice bag is in the making, Maren only produces on demand. Click thumbnail to see more of the collection, or visit Maren's website to explore her graphic work.

Told ya I'd be back

Friday, July 27, 2012 - in Art

People! It’s been a while. Not only since my last writing (something to do with the Cannes Lions Festival and a broken finger), but also since I paid a visit to what I’m about to write about. Reason for this last gap in time: my nephew’s site wasn’t live yet. And nów ladies and gentlemen, it still isn’t. But here we go anyways.

Willem Verweyen recently graduated from Dutch artschool HKU (U for Utrecht) where he studied Graphic Design. I paid a visit to his final exposition and got utterly surprised by the talent, smart thinking and personal work the Class of ’12 exposed.

For his project Von Fremden Orten Willem spent 12 weeks in cat-city Berlin, where he let locals tell him what places to visit. The German capital he then travelled through was a city of hidden benches, abandoned playing fields, personal stories and a completely different one than shown in tourist bibles. Wunderbar.

And as I was travelling through the rest of the HKU projects I came across abandoned playing fields in my head too. The students found new ways to look at old data and I noticed they all had unintentionally co-enhanced with one shared subject: that the world is becoming more about us instead of I. And money is no longer of value, unless it motors human connections.

And I’d like to use that last phrase to introduce a new beginning in my life: from august on I’ll be concepting and writing at advertising agency Lemz. This agency believes in advertising doing good; a philosophy I fully embrace and hope to contribute to. So I’m back. On this site and in business.

Worldpeace please

Saturday, May 19, 2012 - in Art

Oh so pretty - hey, that I write about ugly doesn't mean I don't like pretty - these Folding for Peace flowers by Swiss born Amsterdam based landscape artist Anouk Vogel.

Inspired by the ancient Japanese legend that folding one thousand origami cranes will bring a long life of good luck, Anouk (+140 Japanese fingers) folded 600 white paper cranes for the World Gardening Cup in Nagasaki, Japan, last year.

In Japan 100+ cranefolding events are organized every year, to bring good fortune to the participants and their loved ones.

Have a look at Anouks other impressive projects here (and of course, click thumbnail to enjoy more of this one.)

PS Anouks 'garden' was originally rejected from the competition, because she didn't use any actual plants. But the audience was so psyched about the 24m2 paper flowerfield, the jury initiated a special award for it.

L&S giving us the finger

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - in Advertising

(Click thumbnail to watch video)

That's one fine looking, sharp tailored finger, Lernart and Sander got starring in their latest film. They made the short film to promote the Handmade issue of Wallpaper* Magazine, world's leading design magazine.

The two Amsterdam based artists thought a hand would be the ultimate customer to demonstrate the craftmanskills of a brand as Brioni. So they hooked up with the Italian tailors themselves to execute their idea. Of a finger. In a suit. Again, wonderfully made, quite adorable and it surely doesn't get more handmade than this.

Lernert Engelberts and Sander Plug both started out as individual artdirectors when, in 2007, they decided it would be more fun to work on art projects together. Since then, they've build an impressive portfolio full of addictively attractive work. Even if you're short in time, please check out their installations for Amnesty International, prints for Pink Film Days, and my personal fav' CDEFGABC for MTV Networks.

Buttcrack poetry

Thursday, April 26, 2012 - in By yours truly

Piew piew piew

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - in Art

Forget paint, pencil or photoshop; Cai Guo-Qiang uses gunpowder to draw his 'paintings'. Yes. Gunpowder. How? Watch the video. Why? Cause he can. And as you can imagine - look at the url and back at me - he is Star of the Week on my site. Piew piew piew!

This '61 born artist grew up in communist China and now uses gunpowder - culturally charged material - to break free from the suppression he experienced in his teens. The powder that often causes so much pain in the world, is put into symbols and shapes, set on fire, creating a whole new energy that delivers beauty and joy. Not your everyday art.

His site-specific-installations, massive fireworks and extensive trails of blazing gunpowder are incredible. For instance; he lit a 10,000-meter-long fuse to extend the western end of the Chinese wall, creating a dragon-like burn across the dunes that indicated China's imperial and mythological heritage. BAM!

(Click thumbnail to ignite the spark. And please, do try this at home.)

PS Remarkable detail: as a teen, Cai Gua-Qiang acted in two kungfu films. But hey, if you call it Martial Arts, it's almost conceptual.

Things that never happened

Monday, April 16, 2012 - in By yours truly

The army of luck

Thursday, April 12, 2012 - in Art

Wish I hadn't watched this video right before I went to sleep. Click thumbnail to see why.

Made of 7,263 cigarettes

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - in Advertising

Campaign for Stivoro by IRIS Amsterdam. Clever idea. Hats off for the execution. Now, who has a lighter?

(Lalalaaa thumbnail)

he wears not slogans

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - in Advertising

(Click thumbnail and links in the text to see more)

The campaign 'This is the Man' and 'This is the Woman' reanimated French Connection two years ago and makes me fall in love with FCUK over and over and over.

It's just brand poetry all over: the subtlety in shots, humour in scripting and lovely lines - He knows not what sequins is - leave me clapping my hands like a child in the zoo. The Man and The Woman, followed by The Lucky Shirt and The Blouse, make sense and absolutely none. Simply great.

Although the mystery remains, on how the ad agency sold this concept* to the client, I treasure FCUK for reminding us of the differences between men and women. And doing so, in such a delightful way.

So thank you, FCUK. Thank you for this lighthearted, fun campaign. I promise to never fall out of love with you.

* Adman: "No seriously, we'll just show a guy being a guy. He'll be walking around, looking in the mirror, picking his nose - ok no nose - his teeth and that's it! Oh and he's gonna do a kungfu pigeon. A what?! A kungfu pigeon. YES!!! It's gonna be awesome."  Client: "Oh. Ok."

Chapeaublanc

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - in Art

(Click thumbnail to see more)

By far the best photographs I've seen in a long time. Raw yet polished, still yet powerful. French photographer Remi Chapeaublanc (a big up for his last name by the way) motorcycled Mongolia to shoot portraits of people and their animals. Quite stunning.

A quick peek at his earlier work shows that Chapeaublanc (give it up for his last name, again) has truly outdone himself with this project. Although his entire portfolio is very well made, none of it is nearly as 'wanna touch' as his latest. There's a kind of vulnerability to it, that makes this set stand out. One to watch, most def.

RAW Artfair 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012 - in Art

(Click thumbnail to see more of RAW 2012)

That was awesome: the first edition of RAW Artfair Rotterdam. Set up in a 5000m2 hangar in Rotterdam's former red light district, this supersized event felt nothing like any other artfair we've seen this year. Over 40 galleries presented their greatest pieces of work, which resulted in a fine, fun mix to suit everyone's taste. Great vibe, great music, great audience.

Initiator Bob Smit, recognizable by the R-A-W shaved on the rightside of his head, told us he had to leave his apartment since he'd been spending his last dimes on the fair instead of paying his rent. Talking about commitment. And it showed: from the opening on Wednesday till the turning off the lights on Sunday, people walked around with a curious yet satisfied glaze in their eyes. I blamed it on the art, it could have been the ‰ in their vains or quite active night programm as well, I'm not sure.

Long story short: big thumbs up for Mr. Smit and all the participants. On to the next one!
 

yes sir, it is, sir

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - in Typography

(Click thumbnail to have a closer look)

Pretty darn cool: good friend and creative Daniel Samama drew me a picture! You may have seen it when you entered this site, but here you can take an even closer look. And see the rest of his stuff.

She's dead serious

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - in Typography

(Click thumbnail to see more)

"For a long time I´ve been wanting to do something with one of my sisters, my great-aunt and typography. Not all together, but it just turned out that way."

Art director Chacho Puebla (Leo Burnett, Madrid) make an awesome series of advices 'his grandma should've given him, but unfortunately never did'. I love the idea, typography and most of all: the look on the old ladies face. She probably doesn't understand anything on the signs she's holding (advice she's giving), but that just adds up to the fun of it. Not sure how valuable the advices actually are, but nevertheless; a great project.

PS In case you wonder how he fit his sister in this project: she made the photos. Voila.
 

Thumbs up for TJ

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - in Meet

Meet TJ, TjerkJan Oord, my brandnew teamie / preferred artsupplier. This very talented creative recently decided to broaden his horizon after two years at Fitzroy, the creative boutique where we met (and worked on Ben & Jerry’s).

Tjerk and I share our love for beautifully crafted and well told stories, suprising insights and we often find ourselves inspired by each other's thinking. We both refuse to lick the lollipop of mediocrity, would rather be way off than safe and hope to make outstanding campaigns together. From January 2012 on we are ready to conquer the world.

Curious about our work and ambitions? Mail or give us a call at +31 (0) 6 478 22 304