Monthly Archives: August 2010

Instincts, fear, beasts

I have been unable to post here due to health problems in the family. Luckily, things have improved and I can write a bit.

As everybody knows, animals fascinate me. Although I don’t necessarily feel comfortable when artists use them in their work, I must say that it does widen my eyes and almost always gets me thinking – something I’m constantly looking for in the arts (well, elsewhere too).

No wonder the work from Norwegian artist Simen Johan instantly spoke to me:

Not only are animals often the subject of his photography but also he uses Nordic beasts and scenery to translate his dark, dream-like/nightmarish visions into pictures.

What is it about animals that strikes us so deeply? Is it possibly that we are so afraid of living according to our instincts in search of a so-called civilized, sanitary world?

Just as dreams help us see beyond our normal lives, animals can serve as a subtle recollection of our worldly predispositions and that thought in itself is frightening.

Or mesmerizing.

Until it lasts or Cease to change

I love the work of Dutch artist Anouk Kruithof.

Through installations, photographs, video work and other types of artistic intervention, her pieces never cease to raise questions about time, transition and collapse.

From her Black Hole series:

Artists who help us challenge our own notions of time are always welcome.

Things change faster now than ever before.


I’ve expressed my admiration for Fefe Talavera‘s work before. The care with which she draws her beautifully imaginative monsters is a wonder in its own.

I recently went to one of her exhibitions and was taken aback by her wall, graffiti-like artwork.

She’s recently turned to brighter colors and slightly simpler strokes, somewhat different from the picture above (check her page for a closer look). Both approaches are equally pleasing.

Now I don’t know if I travel Rio or if I buy one of her paintings.

Artistic or sensory pleasure?

Black beauty from B

Finally, the time has come to show you a breathtakingly beautiful male model from Brazil who happens to be black:

William Prazeres is represented by 40 Graus Models.

(via MadeinBrazil)

Manifoldness for moving

Even though I honestly believe Brazil is the land of opportunity, creation and creativity, my personal growth requirements might lead me once more to go abroad. But mind you, I will not be choosing just anywhere to live.

Here are the Top 5 Things that most matter to me in a country:

  1. Cultural openness. Even more important than awareness of other cultures, it is truly important to me that the people in the country I choose to live would be open to different cultures no matter how far they might seem from theirs. Culturally self-centered nations are as xenophobic as they are boring.
  2. Ethnic diversity. From my experience, I reckon that the more ethnically diverse a land is, the more exciting it becomes in culture as well as in sociological ways.
  3. City-life vibration. Although I cherish and value the lifestyles of the countryside, I consider a rich and enticing city life to be an absolute necessity. I need to have choice in order to be satisfied; entertainment, shopping and transportation options are a key aspect for my happiness.
  4. Laid-backness. I know I probably invented this word, but I just love it when people are so laid-back they don’t waste time worrying too much about minor things. Life can be simpler if our heritage helps us keeping from being uptight.
  5. Gender equality. Sexism and homophobia walk hand in hand and thus push me farther and farther away from the place where they thrive.

Quite obviously, as I person who’s avid for so many forms of cultural expression, these five points are undeniably connected to culture. I am not the kind of human being who can be locked away in a library/gallery because everyone outside is aggressive or unwelcoming.

To contribute that sense of multiplicity and openness, here’s Jónsi‘s new video:

Although I’m almost positive Iceland does not score so well in my requirement list due to its lack of diversity, people like Jónsi definitely help not only his countrymen but other people everywhere become a bit more open to multiplicity of ideas and lifestyles.

To daze or to be confused

Some days we get so confused we don’t know where our minds are. That happens to me at least once a week.

Isn’t it a relief to find out more people feel just like we do?

At moments like this, music that isn’t easily digested helps a lot. Here’s some Dimlite (how appropriate):

And this is an illustration by Brazilian virtuoso Kako:

Sometimes, but not very often, it is good to realize things aren’t exactly what we thought or expected them to be.

Guilt sucks

It is not fun to be controlled by feelings of guilt.

They blind you, they weaken you and – most horridly – they lead you to misjudge things.

In an attempt to exorcise it, I did a little research based on a friend’s art project (have I mentioned it?), which consists of simply looking up images based on a feeling one has on a specific day. Here’s what I found:

* A video by Beck (really like him, always surprising):

* Five images I found on Google.






I haven’t checked their source since it’s not part of the project but what I can say is that they truly depict what I’m feeling now.

And I seriously hope it changes.



I’m hung over today.

See this and tell me what you think:

I haven’t decided what to think of it yet.

Likely to be alike

I am not like those; I’ve got my own ideas and I’m not afraid to show it. I refuse to look like I belong to this pedestrian society.

And then you choose a certain type of look with which you identify ourself and which, in your mind, reflect your thoughts and sets you apart from those whom you criticize. But you are not the only one.

About a year ago, I was browsing publications in a bookstore and I came across a photography book that immediately caught my eye. Its pictures and they way they were organized had an impact much larger than 20 PhD theses on urban anthropology: Exactitudes was its name.

For 14 years, Dutch duo Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek have worked investigating dress codes of different social groups found in the streets of the Netherlands.

As the curator of the Hague’s Museum of Photography once put it:

The apparent contradiction between individuality and uniformity is, however, taken to such extremes in their arresting objective-looking photographic viewpoint and stylistic analysis that the artistic aspect clearly dominates the purely documentary element.

People like me and so many others strive so much for personal identity we forget we are always parts of groups, no matter how small and exclusive they are.

Instead of putting so much effort into being unlike others, it is perhaps best to accommodate to the idea that although it doesn’t take more than one person to make a statement, it reaches many others when said in a group.

It can be enjoyable to be different but it is much more fun to be alike.

Other interesting people, of course.

Musik för måndag

Maybe it is no wonder I’m so into mind-distracting music these days – I’m truly pressed for time. Since I am gracefully trying not to lose it worrying about deadlines, I choose electronica instead.

The combination of Swedish music grandeur with easy listening, vacation-reminiscent tunes is what the boys in Air France do best:

These two guys from Gothenburg are incredibly good remixers, recreating tunes by giving them that lovely twist of freshness and creativity only insightful artists can do.

Perfect for Monday.


M.I.A. never disappoints me:

When incredible music meets Middle-Eastern kitsch PLUS Bollywood aesthetics, your know all of your preconceptions of visuals will tumble down before your eyes.

No one but Maya would have the artistic courage to mix such elements together with infomedia material in such an amazing way.

I simply adore her.


Reality Crash

When reality becomes so overwhelming it starts getting dull, resorting to imagination, music or any kind of art is certain source of mind relief.

When I’m soaring these evading winds, I actually find myself thinking even more, but in more focused and aware way. Concentrating on esthetics helps us cleanse the mind in a very Oscar-Wildian manner.

Quite surprisingly, every now and again I get away from reality by looking at hyperreal paintings or illustrations such as the ones created by Jonathan Viner:

As I’ve mentioned before, depictions of inner worlds always have an impact on me. The more they help us see our distorted reality a bit more poetically, the more impressive they are.

Simplicity now.

(Via Vectro Ave)


Either I’m very open to electronica and thus have become easy to please or there are really many new wonderful acts around.

Take Cosmetics, for example:

Doesn’t the music by these Canadian guys inspire you to the point you feel you ought to produce something cool and cutting-edge?

Right this moment, for instance?

Climate changes

At certain times, certain countries seem to become cradles of most enjoyable electronic music. France had its heyday, Germany has nurtured it and now it seems Australia is becoming more and more prone to fostering talent.

The first ones to get my attention were the guys from Cut Copy. Then, just by surfing their MySpace page I was able to find out about so many incredibly good artists.

They’ve got a new single out now:

And this was the very first song I listened to and loved immediately:

Something that has always struck me about Australian musicians and their tunes is the fact that they constantly produce upbeat music, even if the subject is not so cheerful. I couldn’t help but think of the influence of the constant nice weather, just as it happens with Brazilian art.

As the years go by, I’m more and more convinced of the weight of weather in our lives and our art. No matter how we might manipulate nature, it still has its impact on every human being.

No good trying to deny it.


A good friend of mine once characterized jealousy as something utterly irrational. There is a lot of truth in that statement, especially if one thinks it goes against our better judgment.

We know we shouldn’t be feeling that way, and yet we catch ourselves in a position where the other takes too much space, usually blocking our view.

Jealousy (1895), by Edvard Munch

Even before I knew what art was, the paintings by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch always had an unforgettable impact on me. Although The Scream is truly a masterpiece, most of his work shows a sentimental strength unparalleled even today.

When I think about it, this isn’t such a surprise, since emotions and human reactions to reality always fascinate me.

The Symbolists were the first to draw attention to the importance of the inner world, and the beauty that can be extracted from it and put forward in stunning colors and techniques such as the ones Munch used.

I just hope my jealousy can be turned into something that beautiful.

PS: If you’re ever in Norway and you have the chance, take some time to visit Munch’s house in the lovely summer village called Åsgårdstrand. This is where many of his paintings were created.