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9 April 8
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Alexander Korzer-Robinson and the notion of inner landscape

Under - Art, Illustration, Inspiration, Literature

Dorothy L. Sayers once said:

Books…are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with ’em, then we grow out of ’em and leave ’em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development.

What Gods May Come and The Frogs Of Our Labour - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

What Gods May Come and The Frogs Of Our Labour - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Alexander Korzer-Robinson’s art is sort of an extension to what appears to be a lobster shell to Dorothy L. Sayers. His work giving life to something that is usually left to rot.

Originally from Berlin now living in Bristol (UK), Alexander Korzer-Robinson’s art focuses on the notion of the “inner landscape”. Creating engaging and inviting fine art pieces from generally discarded antique books, his work provides insight into an unknown dimension within books.

As we remember the books from our own past, certain fragments remain with us while others fade away over time – phrases and passages, mental images we created, the way the stories made us feel and the thoughts they inspired. In our memory we create a new narrative out of those fragments, sometimes moving far away from the original content. This is, in fact, the same way we remember our life – an ever changing narrative formed out of fragments. This mostly subconscious process of value judgements and coincidence is what interests me as an artist and as a psychologist.

Meyers - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Meyers - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

How the books are converted into art pieces?

The cut book art has been made by working through the books, page by page, cutting around some of the illustrations while removing others. The images seen in the finished work, are left standing in the place where they would appear in the complete book. As a final step the book is sealed around the cut, and can no longer be opened.

Beastiary - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Beastiary - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Brockhaus 3 and Brockhaus 2 - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Brockhaus 3 and Brockhaus 2 - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Pleasant Peasants - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Pleasant Peasants - Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Alexander Korzer-Robinson

16 March 1
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Marriage of art and social activism

Under - Art, Illustration, Inspiration
Birds of Paradise - Ashley Cecil 2009

Birds of Paradise - Ashley Cecil 2009

Ashley Cecil’s been creating art ever since discovering that her mom’s favorite lipstick made a great oil pastel. Things fast forward and we see the artist evolving in to a ‘Painting Activist’. The secret of Ashley Cecil’s brilliant work is in addressing social issues through art.

Much like a photojournalist, I photograph events, scenes and people of interest, and then translate those images into illustrative paintings. My talent is as an artist, my passion is advocating for social change; this is how the two work together.

When asked how she would describe her approach towards her subjects, she said:

Specifically in regards to how I approach my work: I was formally educated in art at the University of Dayton (03), but didn’t really begin to grow into my own style until after graduation. This is when I began to shift my subject matter from landscapes and anything that was simply aesthetically pleasing to things that addressed social issues. I launched the Painting Activist in 2006 and have generally stuck with that theme ever since. Meshing this subject matter with my painting gave me a new and motivating reason to paint.

I just moved to London England with my fiancé and am loving the visual inspiration of this city. The website and my work may take a new turn, but I’m sure the fundamental elements of what has worked for the past 4 years will continue.

Kingsways and Great Queens St. Jan - Ashley Cecil 2010

Kingsways and Great Queens St. Jan - Ashley Cecil 2010

London - Ashley Cecil 2010

London - Ashley Cecil 2010

Oxfam commission - Ashley Cecil 2008

Oxfam commission - Ashley Cecil 2008

Home, Louisville - Ashley Cecil 2008

Home, Louisville - Ashley Cecil 2008

Soho - Ashley Cecil 2007

Soho - Ashley Cecil 2007

You can view more of her work here.

9 March 8
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Nissan’s joke with Juke

Under - Design, Industrial Design

Yahoo Cars today published an article on ‘Top five cars coming in 2010’ on display at the Geneva Motor Show which is up till 14th March.

At first sight I couldn’t believe that Nissan could do something like this! I’m talking about the thing called Juke. After the elegantly done Qashqai, that I truly admire and driven myself, how come Nissan could venture into something so controversial looking. Seriously, just look at it.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

Heavily inspired by their ‘Qazana’ concept car, about which autoblog.com says ‘Nissan Qazana is so bizarre it almost looks French’, Juke has a ‘heavy dose of sportiness’. Although designed and built in Sunderland (UK) like Qashqai, Juke is a very Japanese car design to me than anything else. Technology apart, automobile design is something where only few specialize in. If Nissan is trying to repeat the Qashqai phenomenon here then I don’t think things would be exactly the same with this model – Qashqai was bold and Juke is awkwardly bold.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Qazana Concept

Nissan Qazana Concept Car - compare this to the above Juke

I personally like the ‘bizarre’ Qazana design, the problems that I can pick are mostly around the consumer version where front part is very badly adopted. The multiple front lights, out of which two are protruding, and their overall composition making it impossible to focus on Juke’s ‘face’ hence the overall design losing its impact. Despite the exaggerated masculine body the overall look-n-feel is very subtle compare to Qazana’s sculpted body. Every time I look at Juke I think of this.

Qazana Juke Comparison

A concept lost in the making - Qazana/Juke Comparison

Qazana Juke Comparison

Qazana/Juke Comparison - another view

Qazana’s overall design has been downgraded into Juke making it a weirdly looking car from a distinctive one (ok, being weird is sort of distinctive). The above pictures show how the Qazana ‘concept’ is lost in the making. Those two protruding lights and their proportionate relation with the other two front lights is missing in Juke along with overall slick, smart yet masculine and sporty shape characteristics. I’m not going into every minute detail to illustrate how much is lost but Juke is like a novice repainting a master piece.

18 February Share your
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Sergey Prokudin Gorsky: At the stubble-field

Under - Inspiration, Photography
На жнитве / At the stubble-field by Sergey Prokudin Gorsky - 1909

На жнитве / At the stubble-field by Sergey Prokudin Gorsky - 1909

One of Gorsky’s incredible photographs titled ‘At the stubble-field’ (above) has been my all time favourite. Taken late in the evening more than 100 years ago (1909), this photograph has a mesmerising effect on me. Can’t stop staring at it, can’t stop thinking about it … I completely feel lost in time and space when looking at it hence featuring it again. It is a wonderful record of a golden moment in the evening at a Russian farm … a farmer family finishing off day’s work to go back to home, it’s going to be dark soon, shall I warm up or cook food, peace and quiet, can I lit a cigarette, let’s talk … may be some cattle sounds in the background. Smoke coming out of a chimney, a small peaceful dwelling – what would have been the conversation topic that night? Was there anyone to tell them that there’s a revolution on its way that is going to change their and their generation’s life in years to come!

This brilliant Russian photographer from early 20th century captured something which is more than a picture to me, may be a vivid statement of more than a thousand words?

Below is another picture at the same time, place and people.

At the stubble-field by Sergey Prokudin Gorsky - 1909

At the stubble-field by Sergey Prokudin Gorsky - 1909

Prokudin Gorsky (also Gorskii) left Russia on the brink of the revolution in 1918 and settled in France. Following is some of his other work around documenting Russian way of life back then.

At the river Kumsa - 1915 by Prokudin Gorsky

Этюд на речке Кумса / At the river Kumsa - 1915

Остречены / Ostrecheny - 1909 by Prokudin Gorsky (Серге́й Миха́йлович Проку́дин-Го́рский​)

Остречены / Ostrecheny - 1909

Peasant woman in Perm Province and By yarn. In the Izvedovo village - 1910 by Prokudin Gorsky

Peasant woman in Perm Province and By yarn. In the Izvedovo village - 1910

Peasant girls - 1909 by Prokudin Gorsky

Peasant girls - 1909

Столярный цех для выделки ножен / Joiner's shop for dressing sheath and Развесочное отделение (Чаква) / Weighing office (Chakva) by Prokudin Gorsky

Столярный цех для выделки ножен / Joiner's shop for dressing sheath and Развесочное отделение (Чаква) / Weighing office (Chakva)

Железнодорожный мост через реку Шую / The railroad bridge over the river Shuya - 1915 by Prokudin Gorsky

Железнодорожный мост через реку Шую / The railroad bridge over the river Shuya - 1915

View more of his work at Flickr and here.