Images in water: Portraits by Marian Bolognesi

image from Marian-b.com

 I was searching through my usual suspects, doing some research(not my actual work…ooopsie) I stumbled upon Marian Bolognesi’s  art work.  It’s so easy to just keep clicking away when your scanning websites to find what’s next, especially for the blog. Every once in awhile you stumble across something that just makes you pause.   Her strong sense of colour and the movement in her portraits permit spectators to feel the emotion portrayed on canvas. She strikes a chord with Chidi Okoye and African artist, who is also brave enough to use bold colours and is not afraid to paint outside of the lines. Her bio states “she hopes to capture beauty and emotion in her subjects without hindering the natural fluidity of her medium” and she has.

image from Marian-b.com

 

Her medium is watercolours and while reading her blog, she admits that she should be trying out other means of visual communications, oil, pencil…whatever floats her boat, but just can’t seems to move past the medium that’s been the kindest to her. Talk about love at first stroke(mind out of the gutter lady and gents).

image from marian-b.com

I always find portraits arresting. They can completely render someone emotion and vulnerability with each method used to capture their subjects. They tell a truth that can sometimes be lost within images of a scene, and or groups. Something about being able to capture nuances and garner a certain sense of intensity. It is what it is, good, bad and ugly, there is no hiding when someone creates in HD

image from marian-b.com

 Currently Bolognesi  resides in Brooklyn New York and some of her pieces are for purchase on her web site www.marion-b.com .

Now that I got that off my chest check her out, see if you likey!

MR

Posted in Art | 1 Comment

Above the grit and grime, NYC rooftops

image from trendsetter

New York, equal s small spaces, roommates, and nightlife; but let’s concentrate on the first of the many foes and follies of living in New York… small space.  In a city where legroom is at a minimal and people don’t just live one, to a house or apartment, but two or more, it seems ignorant to expect a refuge to live amongst them.  Of course it makes perfect sense, that above all the grit, grime, hustle and bustle of the city their lives an oasis, duh… its New York many things are possible.

image from trendsetter

   Small spaces are not the norm for everyone because in New York there also lives… “CITY ROOF TOPS” (said in my best James earl Jones voice). Some Newyorkers are privy to have an abundance of space where none usually exists.  Some of the privileged few have given their room to produce some magical \retreats only privy to some, or those with a great camera! On that note, next time you’re in New York, being pleasantly suffocated with the sounds smells, and of course shopping you may want to look up. You may be in the presence of a “CITY ROOF TOP”, a bejewelled atrium, merging architectural sculpture and botanical madness. 

image from trendsetter

image from trendsetter

I’ve just given you a glimpse, of what resides in NYC; from here you’re ordered to dream of your very own haven that lives way above the chimney tops.

MR.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Random | Leave a comment

All roads don’t lead to OZ Book in Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

image from wyou

I can’t say that I have ever really immersed myself in poetry. I have dabbled here or there with a limerick or two, even written a haiku in my earlier days for a school project, but never have or will I consider myself a lover of poetry. This book is not poetry, but it’s not a clear and concise narrative either.  It falls somewhere in the gray zone and lingers for most of its journey.

Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” is an unsettling post-apocalyptic novel centered on a man and his son and their struggle to survive. McCarthy’s depictions are horrific yet he seems to bring out the beauty amongst the grotesque.

image from tennesseejournalist

Through his use of language there was no need to be directly told what the subject was on every one of his pages. His work is deliberate, familiar yet uncommon due to his choice of words, and where they are placed. He uses them to tell readers of the texture, tone and colour of his work. Words like “envaccuming,” and phrases like “isoclines of death” were absolutely brilliant. I was allowed to look at the minimal conversations that occurred between father and son, and see clearly the cant of a head nod, the look in the eyes and the ever so faintest curl of a smile.

Unlike anything I have read for some time now, “The Road” is not for the faint of heart. McCarthy pushes his characters through repetitive straddles, similar scenes and perpetual ash thereby pushing us, the readers into taking on the burdens of his characters. The lack of chapter breaks in the novel again another way to not allow readers to escape and take a break. Why should we, when his characters are not allowed one?

“The Road” is not about the end of the world and its not about mans destructions of the planet. It is about a father’s unfaltering love for his child for that matter a parents love for their child.  It shows the primal level of survival one will go through to have their needs met sometimes despite your own happiness.  I mean, we all can’t be MacGyver, but to a child, we are. It shows us the joys and agony of being a parent.

This dark, ominous book is not a cherry, happy, cotton candy read. It’s cold, scathing, unbending and painful. But there are glimmers of sunshine.   Be thankful that this is just a novel, and tonight when you sleep you will be coveted with a bed, shelter, food and water.

If a measure of the likeability of this book is if it has staying power, make no mistake this book will haunt and linger far beyond you placing it down on your coffee table or your night stand. It offers nothing by means of escape or comfort. If asked whether I liked the book, I really don’t have an answer. Do I like feeling the desperation and hopelessness and despair of a father and son? Nope, not really.  But do I like the fact that I felt for them? Yes.

In the end, it’s a must read.

Posted in Art, Literature | 1 Comment

Within a forest there lives a home

 
 

image from yatzer

 

Amidst the forest, interesting design has found a home. Now this is not your typical home nor is it made with typical materials but it is definitely a place that could not have been conjured up with the faintest of imaginations. Welcome the “Shell” a residence built by Japanese Architect (I know totally predictable b/c its creative) Kotaro Ide of Artehnic, located in Nagano Japan.

image from yatzer

image from yatzer

 

Completed in 2008 this large two- storey structure is the one of the things that is reminiscent of “Where Waldo” it stands out but still manages to create harmony by blending in with the surrounding landscape. A distinction of the spaces within the residence only seems to upgrade its quality; the house will be sheltered from the abuse of nature and in turn uses the environment to its advantage.

image from yatzer

image from yatzer

The vast increase and decrease in temperature makes it a harsh climate. As a result many of the homes in the area are experience gut rot (decay that occurs from underneath a home). Artehnic kept this in mind and built this concrete structure witch float above ground.

image from yatzer

The exterior of the “Shell” (sounds so official) is enclosed in concrete finished with a white sealant that is in direct contrast with its green landscape. Deck wood is used to create the patio, with a full grown tree in its centre.  Double glazed openings allow for unobstructed views of the great outdoors from within.

image from yatzer

image from yatzer

 

The inside of this home is an interior designers dream. Everything is custom made to fit the specifications of the structure. No wall straight and narrow as all curves as it follows the organic nature of the exterior.  Cherry and oak are just some of the woods used throughout the home. The communal spaces have been stationed on the ground floor while the bedrooms are located on the upper level.

image from yatzer

image from yatzer

This is not a new endeavour for Kotaro Ide, nor will it be the last time we hear from someone with his talent. This magical urban lair is worth the walk amongst the trees.  Say hi to a squirll or two maybe a bunny who knows what waits out there, but what I do know is you will find the “Shell”.

This one gets the seal of approval.

MR.

Posted in Architecture, Art | Leave a comment

Album Review: Authenticity

image from ilovehiphop

Why are some songs so awesome?  That is a question that sometimes can’t be answered, but when things, yes, things magically fall into place its kismet, and this is where we segue to, The Foreign Exchange.   At the helm of FE, Phonte and Nicolay take R&B from the bottom shelf and place it in plain view, with their third album release Authenticity.  It’s a mood shift rather than a change in genre, leaving your heart vulnerable to the effects of love.

Authenticity, guides you through the ups, downs and the moments in between when dealing with love.  FE concentrates on how rare love is, and shows that when you do find love everything else does not matter.  A quick study of the album showcases  people hungrier for the illusion of the perfect “mmmmmm”(make the sound people) factor, rather than  what is actually in front of them, and dealing with just that. I know it sounding a little soft, maybe to tender for your liking, not to worry, Nicolay throws in some beef, and manages to keep things up tempo.  

Contemplative and darkly honest the duo captures the quality and signature feel from their last album Leave it all behind.  Phonte is no longer a stroke on the page of his album; he is the album, as he serenades us thoroughly allowing the virtue of his writing to shine through. Honest and authentic are perfect descriptive words to lend to FE’s body of work. No airs and leaving all the B.S at the door, Phonte insert himself into the psyche of love. He sits in its nuances, motivations, psychology and in essence the work of a relationship with such stealth, sophistication and more intelligence than  any of the R&B drivel played on most mainstream radio today.

Authenticity just adds to The Foreign Exchange legacy…. I say keep- em- coming!!

Ladies and Gents…. The Foreign Exchange:


M.R

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Moods of Vietnam: David Terrazas

image from flickr

Every once in a while happenstance happens and its completely undeniable. In walks David Terrazas. He is a photographer that resides in Madrid, Spain. Unlike my other posts I don’t really have too much information on Terrazas, but what I do know is his photos are magical. 

image from flickr

image from flickr

image from flickr

Finding the drama within his subject, Terrazas ‘Vietnam” portfolio takes an HD approach to portraits….. everything is up close and personal so you’re able to delve in, get smothered with the details of his work. Mainly in black in white, his images are gritty using his master lighting skills his photographs speaks volumes about a culture. 

image from flickr

image from flickr

image from flickr

 Keep a look out for more of David’s work. 

MR.

Posted in Art, Photography | Leave a comment

The XX factor

image from lastfm

Is there such a thing as subdued rock? Well the XX are surely making that their calling card. Their debut album is super subdued and touches on angst an amazing achievement for the band. Guitars and synthesized drum beats serve as the background to singers Romy Madley Croft, and Oliver Sim.  They double up on the vocals and play off of each other enhancing the melodrama understated melodies, with passion just below the surface. 

The Mash-up between the band is shown in segments, slowly whetting the appetite of it listeners for what’s to follow. The sound clash between the two vocalists makes for the albums most compelling singles, including ‘Basic Space’. Crofts voice is light, and has a hint of soul and in contrast to Sim’s dead pan delivery is simplistic but creates just the right mood. 

Keep a look out, the xx are definitely creating a buzz.
 

MR.

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