Saturday, 11 December 2021

obturador

The twelfth century Visigoth cathedral of Palencia, dedicated to San Antolรญn of Pamiers sustained damage from the catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the Iberian peninsula with

reconstruction efforts to the roof and cornices delayed until 1908, under the leadership of local architect Jerรณnimo Arroyo, who replaced one of the lost gargoyles anachronistically with the figure of a cassocked man lugging around a camera of the times. This was in homage to a documentarian called Luis Rodrรญquez Alonso, who were among the first to chronicle the region using the new medium. The rather austere gothic exterior betrays the rich interior treasures, including over twenty chapels, ornate retablos and a painting by El Greco of the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, contains another easter egg, this time dating to a 1995 renovation to the achivolt above Puerta de los Reyes: at the apex, the two bas-relief creatures facing one another are not demons or dragons but rather xenomorphs from the then contemporary instalment of the Alien franchise.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

6x6

recursive: Ghislaine Maxwell sketches the courtroom artist sketching her 

temporal distortion: an xkcd comic that references every ambiguous birthday scenario 

check out those gams: a pair of pageants with a narrower focus on beauty—via Nag on the Lake 

menty-b: Macquarie Dictionary’s short-list for Word of the Year  

qed: an overview of maths in film and television 

hungry eyes: the canon of Western art as viewed through the lens of food

Sunday, 5 December 2021

the cat will eat you

Referred via our peripatetic friend Everlasting Blรถrt, we quite enjoyed the introductiong to the extensive portfolio of Matt Semke whose collections of sketches and animations (framing exhibitions entirely in the GIF medium, at the risk of posting too many successive ones myself, as a way to limn the format’s possibilities and limitations) evoke this element of the Kafkaesque with sort of a contemplatively resigned yet disarming nature to them and a style possibly referencing that of La Planรจte sauvage. Much more to explore at the links above.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

nifty

As the Guardian reports, Collins Dictionary has selected the abbreviation of Non-Fungible Token as its word of the year (see previously here and here), tracking the stratospheric rise of the blockchain of registry of digital assets that lexically rose above the general din of the COVID crisis, pingdemic and hybrid-working as pandemic-related forerunners, and—regardless of what one thinks of the evaluation--defines a new market and speaks to a broad craze and means for artists to profit online. Other contenders included cheugy and regencycore—referring to cosplay in 1810s style garb.

 

 

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

il bronzino

Passing away on this day in Florence, where he had spent his entire life, in 1572 (*1503), Agnolo di Cosimo, better known by his sobriquet for his dark complexion and red hair, was from his late thirties on engaged as a court painter for the grand ducal family of Tuscany, the Medicis—specifically for Cosimo I and Eleonora, which the Mannerist-trained painter portrayed here as Orpheus, musical virtuoso, around 1538.
The style curried disfavour from the general art world (see previously) from the late-Romantic to early Modern eras, but the disciplined poses and idealised renderings have seen somewhat of a resurgence recently.
Such impressions of poise and unchanging elegance made a lasting influence on aristocratic portraiture though not many others employed heroic nudity for public figures, patrons or otherwise. Many of his commissions were also allegories of classical mythology and biblical passages, including his 1533 depiction of the popular subject of Saint Sebastian—see previously.

Monday, 8 November 2021

9x9

poppy watch: juxtaposed recruitment campaign for lorry drivers looks like a cheesy Whovian villain (previously)—via Super Punch 

if past is precedent: a comic illustrating vaccine requirements in public schools—via Nag on the Lake  

voleur de grand chemin: literary correspondence for Jack Kerouac’s On the Road 

wurzelkindern: a delightfully illustrated 1909 children’s book about when the root children wake up—via Everlasting Blรถrt

greatest movie never made: storyboard, note for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune, to star Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson and Salvador Dalรญ, up for auction  

nitt witt ridge: an eccentric castle on a hill—via Messy Messy Chic (lots more to see here)  

could’ve been an email: a concise plan for shorted, more productive meetings from John Cleese in 1976  

high-fidelity: a patent for a playback stylus that moved the needle rather than the record in the form of a VW Bulli 

mop and smiff: the Saw-See annual, a nostalgic diversion from BBC1 uncovered

Thursday, 4 November 2021

museo pio-clementino

Through the lens of Michelangelo failing in a competition to restore the iconic sculptural ensemble Laocoรถn and His Sons (previously) affords us another chance to examine the subject matter, a priest of either Poseidon or Apollo, who respectively was either guilty of the transgression or potential crossing the line in exposing the Trojan Horse for what it was or for breaking his vow of celibacy. Pope Julius II commissioned a contest to determine the best design proposal to restore a conspicuously absent arm for the central figure. Both Michelangelo and Raphael—related to the judge, the Vatican’s chief architect—lost to an artist called Jacopo Sansovino’s outstretched arm. During an excavation in 1906, the arm was recovered and positioned in accordance with Michelangelo’s original suggestion.

Saturday, 30 October 2021

nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita

A prolific and popular salon painter in his own time—though figural portraits of classical subjects fell out of fashion until a revival in the 1980s, William-Adolphe Bourguereau of La Rochelle born this day in 1825 (†1905) counts as his most famous work in his 1879 La Naissance de VรฉnusThis painting does not actually depict the birth of the goddess by her transported to Cyprus as a fully mature figure in a sea shell—first gained attention and notoriety after winning the 1850 grand prize in the Prix de Rome, submitting two entries for that year’s competition, triumphant with a rather pedestrian depiction of the rescue of Zenobia, half-drowned, by a group of shepherds. The more evocative alternate submission was the pictured Dante and his guide Virgil (where have you brought me?) in an encounter from Canto XXX of the Divine Comedy in the Circle of the Imposters (Falsifiers—perjurers, counterfeiters, etc.) with an alchemist called Capocchio forever condemned to be gnashed by a Florentine knight named Gianni Schicchi de’ Cavalcanti who forged the will of a wealthy merchant to leave a horse for him, whose punishment seems a little extreme. Aside from being immortalised in the epic and this painting, Giacomo Puccini produced an eponymous light-hearted opera in 1918.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

7x7

anamorphosis: a sixteenth century optical illusion in a work by Hans Holbein the Younger 

๐Ÿ’ง: the first episode on the Weirdness of Water, presented by the Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry  

uncharted: the region in Greece that was historically so inaccessible it was named Agrafa, literally off the maps—via Messy Messy Chic  

a people’s archive of sinking and melting: artefacts documenting the climate crisis  

odonym: a suite of applications to explore the toponymical decisions behind street names—see also 

fiat geld: origins of the trillion dollar coin  

spice like us: the geopolitics of nutmeg informed by its reputed efficacy against the plague

Saturday, 9 October 2021

7x7

the boy on the bike: a trip down Golden Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset with a beloved bread advert directed by Ridley Scott with music by Dvoล™รกk  

dedication—devotion, turning all the night time into the day: more on the hypothesis (see previously) that the Dire Straits song can improve any movie ending 

the hauntening: various AIs try their hand at spookifying, exorcising Victorian mansions—previously

outbreak: a timelapse of COVID-19 cases in the United States over the past eighteen months 

just the punctation: what text without words reveals to authors about their style—via Waxy  

abecedarium: a 1968 Alphabet (previously) of the Dada movement hosted by Hans Richter (caution, some rapid, flashing images) 

raลกรญnovo embankment: revitalised Prague riverfront features vaulted arches for cafes and gallery spaces

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

8x8

heir apparent: after over a century, Russia hosts a royal wedding for a member of the Romanoff family

9m²:a luxury apartment in Tokyo that makes very efficient use of space—at more than twice the size, my work-week flat feels rather sprawling and and ilunder-utilised 

pandora’s box: a trove of leaked records, following on from the Panama papers shows how the wealthy and connected hide their riches 

faux mcdoo: a fake McDonald’s in Los Angeles for filming purposes, via Messy Nessy Chic 

tx-33: new lows attained in gerrymandering and voter-marginalisation 

full circle: a retrospective exhibit of Judy Chicago  

deuce court: a demonstration of medieval tennis  

ะฒั‹ะทะพะฒ: cast joins crew aboard ISS to film scenes of the first movie shot in microgravity

Friday, 1 October 2021

7x7

cultured: beautiful Petri dish art (see also) from Dasha Plesen  

tax centinels: protesting college students conspired to create “penny famines” across the US in the late 1930s 

rediffusion: the Thames Television archives—via Things magazine  

fat bear bracket: follow the celebration of survival and success with Katmai’s nature preserve ursine residents—via Hyperalleric’s Required Reading 

the thing on the fourble board: a 1948 episode of the radio programme Quiet, Please! is considered to be one of the scariest broadcasts ever 

bisection: the spiralling figural sculpture of Isabel Miramontes  

frustule: the rich diversity of diatoms illustrated in an 1890 volume

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

7x7

pyroclastic flow: paintings of the 1776 eruption of Mount Vesuvius (previously)—via Everlasting Blรถrt  

don jumpedo in the character of harlequin jumping down his own throat: an apology for the man in the bottle

twist and bend: superlative balloon art recreating iconic classics 

eisenbahnbetriebsfeld: a model railway in Darmstadt used to train train traffic-controllers  

store-brand: Kmarto table wine  

licorice pizza: a trailer for a 1970s coming-of-age film set in California’s San Fernando Valley—via Waxy

social justice: artist Kerry James Marshall designs new stained glass windows for Washington’s National Cathedral to replace Confederate ones

Saturday, 18 September 2021

citation needed

Though many go beyond pettiness and pedantry and grow rather partisan in championing one authoritative version over another competing editor, we enjoyed a selection from Web Curios of what’s been deemed the most trivial debates when it comes to framing, contextualising and disambiguating topics in the Wikipedia community of devoted feuding (see previously) and upholding free knowledge. Topics of no consequence include matters on canonicity or fandom, the nobility of micronations and appropriateness of redirect. Not a style-guide, this Wikipedia page (see a sortable version here) of protracted disputes is meant to be humorous and a look at the tenacity of academic convictions, no matter the height of the hill one decides to die on.

gastaloops

Via Swiss Miss, we quite enjoyed being introduced to the extensive, animated portfolio of graphic designer and motion artist Gasta whose GIFs cover a variety of themes, including a healthy dose of 80s and 90s arcade and adventure nostalgia as well as different projects, commissions and data visualisations. It was of course impossible to pick just one representative piece but we liked this mesmerising volley of Super Breakout! clone Arkanoid.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

wiki commons

The media repository for public-domain and free-use images (see also), text, audio and video that illustrate and inform all projects across the enterprise was launched on this day in 2004, championed by journalist and software developer Erik Mรถller. Though originally primarily developed as a way to reduce file redundancy across the platform, it has become a reference source and common good for contributors and users alike, garnering many enthuasiasts and even a photo of the year competition. The version of the logo to the side is composed of a mosaic of images to mark the milestone in November of 2006 when the site acquired its one-millionth media file. Currently there are over seventy million.

Friday, 3 September 2021

gumbasia

Released on this day in 1955 and with jazz accompaniment by Mel Powell, this short—named in homage to Disney’s Fantasia, was Art Clokey’s first stop-motion animation in the medium (Claymation is something else and proprietary and believe it only applies narrowly to the studio that made the California Raisins), produced while attending the University of Southern California under cinematic studies professor Slavko Vorkapiฤ‡ (see previously). The surreal short with abstract figures pulsing to the rhythm was filmed on a ping-pong table and informs the later franchises of Davey and Goliath and Gumby and Friends.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

a smattering of spots

Our thanks to Fancy Notions for referring us to this reel of cartoon commercials from the animators at Storyboard, Incorporated, the studio of John Hubley (*1914 - †1977, creator of Mister Magoo and under the employ of Disney painted backgrounds for Snow White, Fantasia and Bambi as well as director for the animated adaptation of Watership Down) with a cavalcade of 1950s advertising—no product endorsement intended or implied.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

outside the lines

We very appreciated the introduction to surrealist photographer Arthur Tress whose portfolio was informed by the pivotal year of 1964 in politics, segregation and civil rights via his series of antique colouring-book collages paired with complementary or juxtaposing found photography, likely sourced from the same flea markets. Tress’ sense for mismatch went on to aid him in delivering his commission for the US Environmental Protection Agency to document and publicise the social pressures and injustice underpinning lax ecological stewardship. More at Collectors’ Weekly at the link up top and at the artist’s website.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

cheeseboard

Via fellow internet caretaker and turophile, Nag on the Lake, we are directed towards this thorough, wholesome and circumspect guide of how to serve and store almost any sort of cheese from an expert cheesemonger.  The pictured painting is called Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels (Stilleven met kazen, amandelen en krakelingen), created by Dutch artist Clara Peeters circa 1615.