Anti-establishment principles allow street artists to put their work anywhere they like. They know it doesn't hurt anyone, and if their talent is good then it doesn't damage the culture either. Permission aside, all kinds of works turn up everywhere around the world. Perhaps the quick and easy scrawls we are used to are there simply because the artist hasn't the courage to stand in a place and paint it proficiently when there are police officers and do-gooder citizens all too eager to report them. True, if you choose to exhibit a mural on private property without permission then you're breaking all kinds of useful laws but what about public property? Maybe local authorities should be more willing to hand over permission slips to those who demonstrate a worthy hand. It seems this is the case in Argentina, as this South American nation boasts some of the best street artists on the planet.
Here are some amazing examples of Argentina's street art talent:
Jaz – Since starting out in the 90s, Jaz has quickly become one of the countries most well-known urban artists.
Martin Ron - Known for realistic and larger than life murals in Buenos Aires, he also attends competitions and festivals around the globe,
Ever - A secretive urban artist known for large murals on high visibility walls
Elian Chali - Famous for simplicity and striking primary colours in geometric shapes and patterns
Pastel - This architecture graduate is known for telling lost stories through symbolism and design
Milu Correch - An urban mural artist and national provocateur, she is known for aesthetically pleasing and divisive murals
Animalitoland - This professional graphic designer has created an alternative universe for herself and the citizens of Buenos Aires.
From Lahore To Paris – Imran Qureshi Brings The Seemingly Endless Path Of Memory To The Gallerie Thaddaeus Ropac | Alternative Fruit
Pakistani based artist Imran Qureshi features in Paris this season with his solo exhibition titled “The Seemingly Endless Path Of Memory”. His work is founded on principles found in 16th Century Mughal miniature art. This exhibit carries with it prints and installations, each one exploring something relevant to the theme. Famous Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed has been the inspiration, indeed it was this wordsmith who penned the title of the exhibition. Since his death in 1984, his works have provided countless inspiration to many Pakistani newcomers and old hands. As the poet alludes to social and cultural issues with the underlying tension of violence, so Imran Qureshi draws on these things with his showcasing.
Exploring the infinite of the universe and spirituality through material means involves invoking symbolism and imagery that pokes holes in the fabric of perception to reveal the eternal there-after. In his prints and paintings, the use of vivid colour allows for a subtle contrast in tonality that grows and evolves across the page. Numbers, too, play an important role in the psyche of the works on display. The mystical power of pure quanta being set free to resonate through the pieces brings a new dimension of surreal and occulted thought.
With a centrepiece of a series of miniature paintings, a story is told through this ancient form of art. The Story Of Two is told through paintings of finely described trees which amazingly show unity and individualism among their branches while being embedded on self-portraits of the artist. The theme of the presence of heaven is prominent in the exhibit. Where the world is often violent and abrasive to the spirit, behind the facade of natural reality is a whole new universe of light and comfort. By appealing to the eyes and the spirit, this complete set of works by Imran Qureshi will fly a flag for Pakistan in one of the world's most sought after locations.
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It's not often us British people go for story telling art, comics and graphic novels are a niche market in this country. The Japanese though have a much larger affiliation to picture stories in their national identity. Maybe with the writing having a basis in representational images has helped join the dots for them. We'd have to ask an expert on the history of Japanese culture. Never-the-less, what has now become a world-wide phenomenon, synonymous with cutesy teenagers and down to earth over-reactional adults with wide eyed enthusiasm and bewilderment, is the Manga iconography. No longer just about the comic books, most of us are more familiar with the films and TV series' that keep us entertained often late at night.
Because the Manga culture is so important, not just to the Japanese but to all of us, the British Museum are making it a key feature this May to August. The Citi Exhibition Manga is made of six individual rooms each with its own Manga inspired theme. By looking at a spectrum of perspectives, visitors can really get to know this subject to rich standards. With over 70 Manga releases created by over 50 artists, the whole breadth of the culture is demonstrated and explained. This is the first time ever that the British Museum has honoured an element of Japanese culture in its world-famous Sainsbury Exhibition Galleries. There is a first time for everything, after-all.
The event coincides with the Rugby World Cup, which is in Japan this year as fans around the world will know. The Paralympics are also due, with their Japanese event taking place next year. To top off the occasion, this event is the first in a whole run of Japan-UK cultural bridge building exercises over what's been named the UK-Japan Year Of Culture. Extraordinary things await us all, no doubt! The two distant countries, unified by their Island nation status and our love of Manga of course, can enjoy a whole host of themed celebrations of each other.
In order to leave visitors with a true education in the entire Manga system, the six rooms aim to showcase just one part of the bigger whole. First is The Art Of Manga. This room explains the theory of Manga art, and what the key features are which artists must adhere to. We all know when something looks like Manga. Perhaps it's a subconscious thing, do we know why it looks like Manga? This will help us to find out for ourselves.
The second room in the exhibition is Drawing On The Past. Now it's time for a quick lesson in the history of the culture and brand. Visual storytelling as a mode of communication has a rich history in Japan, it's not so much of a niche thing like it is in the UK. Because of this, the medium in deeply ingrained in the long and vibrant history of Japanese life. In this room we see how all of this resulted in one firm with a catchy logo who conquered the world.
A Manga For Everyone is next, and it highlights the accessibility of the media. With genre after genre listed for visitors to browse, everyone can find an animation that suits their taste. You'll be amazed at what is out there, and when we consider how long it takes to produce just a few minutes of film, we can see how in depth and dedicated the teams at Manga must be. In the forth room is The Power Of Manga, and it examines the cultural influence the brand has had over the years. Ideas and imagery from the Manga worktop have found themselves in all manner of situations. Here we'll learn about a few.
The Power Of Line comes after, this room shows us some abstract timelines of how the art has matured and evolved since its beginnings. There's even a nineteenth century scroll, or theatre curtain which spans over 17 meters in length! It depicts demons and ghosts and is quite a shocking piece of classical art. It has to be seen in person to get a true scope of its size and power. In the final room we find Manga No Limits. This last section shows how the Manga theme has grown beyond the original publishing house into something much more vague and abstract. Building on the Power Of Manga section from earlier, from a more artistic point of view, it explains how the culture has defined an entire global art-form which can be adapted and utilised for all manner of creative activities.
Want Manga now? Here's a cool film and book shop. Purchases support Alternative Fruit.
Some time in the 7th decade of the first century, a group of artists were commissioned to paint a fresco on an incredibly important wall. Only the best will do when the art is intended for the Emperor, and when they have a reputation such as Nero's then mistakes in form or personal behaviour could be fatal. Who would be prepared for such work? I am sure all the top artists of the day were clambering over each other to be chosen. Luckily for us moderns, Emperors are much less likely to enter murderous rages.
The magnificent Domus Aurea or Golden Palace was one of Emperor Nero's residences. Some of the building was discovered by artists searching ruins for good views to sketch. Situated next to the world famous Colosseum of Rome, the ancient royal residence was buried beneath a hill by Emperor Trajan. Could this be a case of imperial jealousy? Now the majority of the palace is buried under the bustling city of Rome, however not all was covered in concrete.
Famous Renaissance artists including Raphael were able to hoist themselves into an accessible part of the building on ropes. They used the innate depictions to inspire their own pieces. More recently, a team of archaeologists were exploring the nearby vicinity. They had a hunch there was more to be found, and within little time, they had uncovered the secret chamber. The paintings on the wall had been remarkably preserved and contained much of their original vibrancy. A true feel of the first century still hung in the air.
The entire site was once a grand palace, with an artificial lake as the centrepiece. There would have been many rooms, each designed and furnished with the most exquisite materials from all over the empire. Work is ongoing to excavate the rest of the new chamber, now with just the vault currently open. Dubbed “The Room of The Sphinx”, it no doubt holds many more cultural and historical treasures to relish once finished.
It's still difficult today to procure live specimens of aquatic life for students to learn about them. Pictures in books often don't do justice to the complex beauty of some of the ocean's more complicated and illustrious life-forms. Creatures with bodies so far away from the mammalian that it takes a good look at one to fully understand it are found in the sea, where the rules of what works are totally different.
In the 1860s, a father and son team of glass-blowers decided to adapt their skill to create life-like glass models of some of these creatures. So life-like in fact that trained marine biologists mistake them for the real thing when flicking through pictures, it takes a keen eye and maybe a bit of time to read the title to realise it's a model.
The Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka models can be found all over the world, at the time they were sent in their hundreds and thousands to various museums, universities, and schools. Designed to be accurate teaching models, the work that went into each piece was phenomenal. To truly replicate something in glass requires a lot of persistent effort and trial and error. Once the technique is perfected however, the family business could churn out as many as people wanted. The Blaschka's created all manner of glass specimens, from flora to fauna.
The individual glass parts were sealed together with resin glue and wire to complete the three dimensional sculpture. Extremely delicate, yet beautiful and enchanting, the scientifically designed representations of squids and such, are now extremely prized collectors items. If you have one, consider yourself extremely lucky! This is in part due to the fact that even modern glass-blower artisans struggle to replicate the unique and replicable designs crafted by the Blaschka's all those years ago.
French photography artist Guido Mocafico has spent years photographing the pieces. Travelling all over the world to their resting places in museums and other institutions of learning, each piece required special permission and assurances for the professional artist to get even close. But, once there, Mocafico was able to put them in the frame so we can all enjoy their brilliance. You can visit Guido Mocafico's website or just get a book about the Blaschka Glass creatures.
Looking to the future, we can possibly make models from other materials. Although glass is beautiful and artistic, it's also highly fragile and as many have shown, replicating the beautiful designs of the past is a tall order. We could use wood, plastic, fabric, or maybe even pixels. A true to life computer model could be programmed to behave like the real thing, maybe we could build a virtual ocean full of life for future marine biologists to learn from?
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Pingle in Sichuan, China, is famous for its long musical history. This ancient settlement traditionally has been a hub for Chinese musical talent and inspiration. Architect firm MUDA have unveiled plans to build a hotel in the magnificent town based on this special cultural heritage. The planning went as far to checking out the local styles and interpretations of design to ensure their building matched the architectural 'genetics' of the location.
The hotel is built around several curving lines that dictate harmonious flow, just like that found in great music. Rhythmic sections mean that the building adapts and wanders in units like the bars on a stave. These subdivisions are held as one by an exterior aluminium skin that adds vibrancy and illumination to the structure. Also, paying attention to the cultural history of the area, Sichuan bamboo texture has been replicated on this outer wall, meaning that although progressive and fit for the future, the frontage fits in with all that has come before it.
The M50 Art Hotel was especially inspired by a famous Chinese love story.Like the Romeo and Juliet of the east, Zhuo Wenjun and Sima Xiangru are based on true life circumstances and have inspired many stories and cultural expressions.. A song about the couple, written for the guqin, called Feng Qiu Huang stood as the initial basis for the hotel's design.
“We learned that the love story between Zhuo Wenjun and Sima Xiangru happened in Qionglai. Taking the song "Feng Qiu Huang" as the starting point, guqin was found, and the strings were extracted. The project abstracts the action of "touching the strings" into architectural form. When the strings solidify at the climax, the final form of the building is obtained, which also responds to the theme “Architecture is frozen music”.
-MUDA-Architects (Arch Daily)
The abstract oblong design stretches about 80 meters in one direction and around 20 in the other. This means that four floors can host several hundred visitors at once. With a spiral staircase penetrating right up through the rhythmic system of levels, the entire project allows residents to truly explore the functional design. A grand entrance clad in transparent glass will allow visitors to walk into a well-lit and spacious foyer before checking in and finding their apartment. Expected to be ready in 2020, this iconic building will undoubtedly attract multiple scores of visitors.
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