Saturday, 28 November 2009

Sunday, 22 November 2009


Leo Santana is a brazilian sculptor, who works with marble, concrete, and, most famously, bronze castings. His most famous sculptures are life-sized statues and monuments, fifteen of them are displayed across 5 Brazilian cities (and one in Washington DC). They are of familiar figures, at ease and at street level, and all invite a certain interaction.

Making bronzes is highly skilled work, and a number of distinct casting processes may be employed, including lost-wax casting (and its modern-day spin-off investment casting), sand casting and centrifugal casting. It is one of man's earliest technologies dating back over 6000 years, and remains a 'low tech, high-skill' method.


Rogerio Reis is a distiguished brazilian photojournalist. He is the founder of Brazil's first national photo bank and was awarded the national prize for photodocumentary in 1999. He has exhibited worldwide and his two series, 'Carnival on Canvas' and 'Man/Machine - Train Surfers', were poweful critical successes. Carnival on Canvas is a particular favourite of mine; somewhat of a Dianne Arbus feel of freaks and facade, all medium format black and white shots of semi-composed characterizations.

Train Surfers


Carlos Drummond de Andrade was one of the most influential brazilian poets of all time. His poems, particularly later works, were modernist pieces, fluent, elegant and speech like, dealing often with themes of desolation and angst in the quotidian. He also had highly politicized poems and a metaphysical canon.

He was born in 1902 in Minas Gerais, but spent much of his life in Rio de Janeiro. He was known to be a somewhat shy and unimposing man, as well as slightly self-deprecating. Before his death in 1989, he wrote a self-portrait claiming

"Mr. Carlos Drummond de Andrade is a adequate writer who thinks himself a good poet, in which he is deluded. Having signed some short stories and articles as a writer he has revealed a knowledge of certain gracious forms of expression, certain humour and malice. As a poet, he lacks all these qualities and, furthermore, has the following defects: he is maimed, arbitrary, unsoundly, grotesque and foolish.'

It Didn’t Pass
Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Translation: Adam Charles

Did it pass?
Tiny eternities
swallowed through minimal watches
they resonate in the cavernous mind.

No, no one died, no one was unhappy.
The hand- your hand, our hands-
wrinkled, with an ancient heat
of when we were alive. Were we?

Today we are more alive than ever.
A lie, we are alone.
Nothing, that I feel, really passes.
It is all the illusion that it has passed.


Black and white images from a photodiary zine. Something nostalgic about them, like I've been there before. The only way to compose holiday shots.

Friday, 20 November 2009


What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for
I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache
self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went
into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families
shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the
avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what
were you doing down by the watermelons?

-Allen Ginsburg, 1955

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


At thirteen we all love Warhol, so bright! so colourful! so easy! We all hate Picasso 'cause we don't get it. At fifteen we love Dali, so absurd! So staggering! so difficult! Look at his moustache, guffaw. Then we're told that only teenagers and people who don't know about art like Dali. Betwixt fifteen and eighteen there's a convoluted photography phase (self, portraits, high contrast, people's feet, lomography) before we discover Egon Schiele and feel self-satisfied, sophisticated, brutal, tea stained. Variations apply, of course... as do parallels. Like taste in cinema, like taste in architecture.

Architecture students in Sao Paulo are a breed of young people unto themselves, hard working, semi-bourgeois bohemians, sipping gin and tonics mid-morning. Idiosyncratic interests in music and lovers, obsessed with their subject matter.

I'm thinking of this in the run-up to Barcelona. People often travel places only to confirm what they already know, so I've tried to keep my understanding of the place peripheral. But I can't help but think of matters of taste, matters of cinema, maturity and architecture.
I think because friends who have been are all architecture students, also because, to them, Barcelona and Gaudi were like the Dali phase, so absurd, so staggering, so difficult.
...they've totally moved on to brutal, sophisticated Berlin.

Minimalism or post-modernism probably comes next, something quiet and anonymous, something clean, clean cut, like typography. Something scandinavian perhaps. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 14 November 2009




Ward Kuypers has to be one of my favourite poster, zine and portrait artists. The hand rendered letterforms always work seamlessly with the images. Line and tone always merge effectively, and the characters are compelling and whimsical.


They Were all Corrupt and Stoned on Opium.

St. Paul, St. John and the Immaculate Virgin.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Snatches from the collection project.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception,
and our Lady of Sorrows

Another Lady of Immaculate Conception,
with a less than immaculate Lady from the Exquisite Bodies Collection

Kitchy Guadalupe, Sacred Heart & St. Martha candles,
and Lady of Immaculate Conception

St. John the Baptist and St. Sebastian...

The collection should really be called
'Our Lady and some other Saintly Friends'.


For the voyeurs and stalkers amongst the five of you who read this, some bits and bobs from my crib. Had I but world, money and time, my place would be a mellow yellow den of awesome. But alas. We do what we can.

Zine collection precariously and unadvisedly displayed by radiator.


I've been thinking loads about the purpose behind things I draw, how images can be self-contained, self-explanatory. I'd been thinking of mix-matching famous quotations with incongruous subjects, and the way Hendrix has juxtaposed the speech bubble with the image, whilst allowing for an aesthetic continuity between type and figure, got me thinking about different ways I could do the same in my work. Cheers.
He uses white spaces so well, this one.

This made me think of the map brief! An illustration very much made for commentary, it's both amusing in a 'hehe' sort of way, as well being reminiscent of old Washington post political cartoons, which I love. Particularly the act of labeling.

Posting this image simply for its composition, for the way the waves and the ship spill over the edge. This works for both the aesthetic and the narrative of the image, allowing for the sense that more happens beyond this point. Also a fab wee way to allow for text, say in a children's book, without it seeming Image/Text/Image/Text. Bit of a comic-book element, aussi.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009