Wednesday, 30 September 2009


These Ray-Ban adverts by Antonin Kratochvil remind me alot of the Levi adverts that i posted by Joseph Rodriguez. The concept seems similar, they really stand out.

Bill Charles' website shows the amazing portfolio's of really great photographers. For example the work of Gilles Peress, below.

Le Grand Meaulness

Alain-Fournier writes about the mysterious world between childhood and adulthood. Interestingly the heroine of the book Yvonne was based on the real life love of the young author. Sadly this was his only book as he was killed in the first world war. 
This is, in my opinion, such a beautifully written book and although was written in 1912 still has relevance to today's society.

Levi's campaign

Joseph Rodriguez's Levis campaign.

William Tempest

In relation to my last post about Hampton Court's tudor exhibition, William Tempest launched his new collection in a show at Somerset House. He took inspiration from the courts of Tudor England, taking historical costume details such as exaggerated collars, shoulders and hips, and making them utterly modern with razor-sharp tailoring and the use of hyper-real digital photographic prints of photos taken at Hampton Court Palace presented on georgette silks, Duchess satins and silk moires.

I came across this painting when at the Henry the 8th exhibition at Hampton Court. The portrait depicts Henry the  8th, his son Edward and his third wife, Jane Seymour. What is so intriguing about the image is that in reality these individuals could never had been seen together. Jane Seymour died in child birth with Edward and yet we see them sitting side by side Henry in the picture. This is evident of Henry's desire to create this image of a happy family, that in real life he never had. 

Tom Craig

Tom Craig has been nominated three consecutive years for the British magazine photographer of the year.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is an upcoming fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown. The film follows the leader of a travelling theatre troupe who, having made a deal with the Devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations.

Heath Ledger stars in the film, though Ledger's death one-third of the way through filming caused production to be temporarily suspended. Ledger's role was recast with Jonny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell portraying transformations of Ledger's character Tony as he travels through a dream world.

Inchmahome Priory

Inchmahome Priory is situated on Inchahome ("Inch" meaning an island), the largest of three 
islands in the centre of Lake of Menteith, close to Aberfoyle, Scotland. The priory has a long history of receiving many notable guests. In 1547 the priory served as a refuge for Mary Queen of Scots, aged four, hidden here for a few weeks following the disastrous defeat of the Scots army at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh during the Rough Wooing.

Approaching from the north shore of Lake Mentieth, it is only seconds before you land on the island that you catch a glimpse of the priory, its ruined walls nestled behind the leaves of a screen of unkempt trees. The lake was completely still only dotted with the occasional geriatric fishing party in rowing boats. Although most of the buildings are now ruins, much of the original 13th century structure remains. I was amazed at how pristine the ruins have remained which is due to the care of the Historic Scotland, who maintain and preserve it as an important historic site.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

For London Fashion Week this year designer Alice Temperley decided to present her new collection in the form of a digital installation as opposed to the normal runway show. The theme behind both her designs and her pieces was circus.
The presentation stood out from other designers not only for the fact that it was not on a catwalk but her work was shown in a large room with mannequins displaying some of her key looks around the edge.

In the centre was a massive Zoetrope- An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved. The images on the 12 foot cylinder showed circus performers and models in 15 Temperley outfits performing 10 different circus acts. It was a clever and interesting way of displaying the collection. The film combined with the music that ran alongside it had a nostalgic feel about it, as although i'm sure the mechanics behind the zoetrope were complicated, it looked like an old fashioned and quite childlike model. It made you feel like you were looking at a fun and carefree past. This combined with Temperleys fun but also quite mature designs had a very striking effect.

Monday, 28 September 2009

BP portrait prize 2009

This years BP portrait prize at the national portrait gallery was really good. There were a few particular paintings i loved. First, Maggie by Sue Rubira, above, is a portrait of her mother, the light is what really drew me to the portrait. Of her work Rubira says ‘I chose to position her purposefully under a sky light which presented her in the natural, unembellished state most familiar to me.'

Black Mirror by David Nipo was another piece that immediately struck me. The portrait is of Nipo’s colleague and former teacher Aram Garshuni, with whom he runs Hatahana school of drawing and painting in Tel Aviv. The title for the painting comes from a traditional story about a painting competition in which one artist used a dark mirrored surface to reflect his opponent’s work and so claim it as his own.
Nipo's work is really intriguing as from far away you almost see just a silhouette of a man but as you move closer you are able to make out more of the mans face and upper body. This effect and the very dark colours used in the painting make it an eerie image, it is almost asthough the man is not wanting to show his complete identity.

Emmanouil Bitsakis was the winner of last years travel prize which was on display again this year. Alongside his winning portrait was his sketch book entitled Faces of the Uigur through song and dance. The book was filled with illustrations of the people he came across in Uigur in Xinjiang, north-west China. The Uigur are a national minority in China who predominate in this region. Originating from Turkic peoples the Uigur remain culturally distinct from the Han Chinese and their exceptional music and dance idiom, Muqam, is a core pillar of their identity and culture. I thought it was interesting how the viewer could see a completely different culture through these quick sketches, through what people are wearing and their actions.

I saw Beckett's Waiting for Godot at the Royal Haymarket Theatre. Although i thought the acting was brilliant, in my opinion the set let the over all production down as it fails to replicate the themes explored in the book, leaving the audience a little confused.
When reading the play we are made to understand that the two main characters have found themselves in a deserted landscape, their position only recognizable by a single tree. However the set at the Haymarket theatre is an elaborate and detailed construction of what looks like a ruined building, which in my opinion doesn't support what we have been given to understand from the couple, that they are lost and unsure whether this is the right place to be, when in reality it seems very recognizable.
So in the opening scene of the second act, when one of the characters is waiting for the other we as an audience can't understand why he would be uncertain if this is the place they had been yesterday. It is only clear if you have read the play.

Nick Knight

Nick Knight is a very well known and influential fashion photographer created an interactive exhibition that ran during London Fashion Week. The quirky exhibition consisted of a live model behind glass that you could phone to interact with him/her. There was also a video where Knight has used Brad Pitt reading a poem as the background to interesting slightly strange moving images of Pitt. There were also many of Knight's photos from behind the scenes of fashion.

The encouraged interaction of the public throughout was an effective idea and almost became a part of the actual exhibition.

A short clip can be found at-

After seeing Knight's exhibition i became interested in his work his website is filled with a huge variation of photography. His work entitled Skinhead taken in 1982 shows a more real life scene the image does not appear to be set up in any way.

These photos are very different to most of his work that follows later. His work 1986 for Yohji Yamamoto in which he uses model Naomi Campell, seems very computerized in comparison and much of his other work that follows continues this theme.

His work differs even more with his Flora and Rose photos, which are a series of very beautifully taken shots of single flowers against a white background. They all look slightly distorted and a bit futuristic.

This futuristic theme is something that also appears to run through out a lot of his work particular his ad campaigns for designers such as Dior.

Photographer Alexi Lubomirski started out as the assistant to Mario Testino. He became an immediate success after his test shots were spotted and placed by Katie Grand in magazine The Face. He now shoots regularly for many big fashion and art magazines as well ad campaigns for leading designers.

German Vogue- May 2009

I was immediately drawn to his photos in German Vogue for a shoot titled Magic Black, aboveHe had 7 pages and the cover all shot in black white, with the exception of the cover in colour. This particular shoot by Lubomirski was filled with strong and very contrasting silhouettes that caught the eye immediately. I saw that this was a common theme he used throughout many of his campaigns. For example, below is an image from Time Magazine which could almost be mistaken as being a part of the German Vogue shoot.
I find his photography extemely powerful and very unique.

Time Magazine - 2008

While watching Woody Allen's Match Point the other day i struggled to understand what was so disorientating about it.  The technique it which it is filmed is very different to that of most films, each scene is shot from a wide span view without any of the normal close up shots of the character who is speaking.
Obviously this was a purposeful decision by the director, maybe trying to create a fly on the wall effect. In my opinion many of the scenes appeared flattened by the camera angle and much of the impact was lost.