Late November’s opening of the temporary exhibition ‘Sense of Smell’ of the Avans Hogeschool in Breda, a research project entitled ‘Famous Deaths’ featured a metal morgue-like box with the smells depicting the last five minutes of four famous people: Whitney Houston, Princess Diana, Muammar Gaddafi and John F. Kennedy.
“Those wanting to experience Houston’s final moments are transported to a bathtub at the upmarket Beverly Hills hotel where the diva died in February 2012. To the sounds of splashing water and Houston’s voice, a visitor first gets a whiff of generic cleaner, used in hotels around the world, followed by the olive oil the singer used in her tub. Then a strong chemical odour, similar to that of cocaine fills the box, grabbing its occupant by the throat, followed by the sound of rushing water and then silence.”
The metal boxes were completely dark inside and rigged with pipes leading to bottles containing pressurised smells. A soundtrack is played and on queue different scents are released into the box to recreate a specific final moment.
Avans mentioned that other institutions showed interest in the installation, so who knows what dead person we may have the chance to smell in 2015.
(Links: www.bndestem.nl, www.businessinsider.com)
Tags: Breda, celebrities, death, smell
In its third year, the Amsterdam Light Festival runs until 18 January 2015 and makes any winter night on the town that much more fun. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, a boat ride will give you a great view of some of the installations. I went on a running and walking tour where installations could be found in gardens (bike wheel dome shown here) and streets.
At 0:37 in the video, you’ll see coloured tulips coming out of a canal, the Herengracht, which have to be pumped up by passers-by using bicycle pumps. Other installations had their colours controlled by sound, motion and even Wi-Fi, making it interactive.
Amsterdam light festival 2014/15 from Jack Fisher on Vimeo.
Tags: Amsterdam, Amsterdam Light Festival, canals, installations, winter
Dutch illustrator Ramon Bruin creates 3D drawings that really look as if they were computer-rendered but then on paper. His 3D drawings are made with a technique called ‘anamorphosis’ that adds a 3D element when Bruin inserts a finger or hand into the drawing to bring it to life.” Bruin says that this depth can only been seen from a certain angle. He also experiments with light, and with the correct light it looks like the drawing comes off the paper.”
Check out a short video of his works:
(Link: www.techeblog.com, Photo: Ramon Bruin)
Tags: 3D, drawings, Ramon Bruin
Willem van Genk was an artist from The Hague who focussed on the ‘dynamic chaos of the city’, as Michiel Morel calls it: “crowded cities with impressive architecture and train stations filled with advertisements; threatening platforms with trains as monsters; meandering streets and squares with monumental cathedrals”. (Shown here is Leningrad, 1955)
Van Genk, who lived from 1927 to 2005, suffered from schizophrenia and paranoia. His inability to keep to deadlines quickly sidelined him in a society centred around the pulse of the steady job. In art, too, he was considered an outsider who followed no tradition except his own.
Check out Morel’s article. It’s in Dutch, but it has many examples of Van Genk’s work. If you’re in New York, the American Folk Art Museum is exhibiting Van Genk’s paintings, drawings and so on until 1 December.
Tags: outsider art, Willem van Genk
Dutch designer Michiel van der Kley created Project EGG, which features 4,760 3D-printed stones, each one different and printed by someone else abroad, and mailed back to van der Kley for final assembly. Project EGG uses biodegradable polylactide (PLA) plastic stones that have been designed with parametric software. The project came about after Van der Kley’s recent experiments with desktop 3D printers, which prompted him to find other ways of creating larger works, without being constrained by the relatively small size of current desktop models.
(Link: www.treehugger.com, Photo: projectegg.org)
Tags: 3D printing
I went to check out a small art fair today that I was told had photos by Danielle van Zadelhoff (not the exhibition I wrote about last week, but also in Amsterdam).
Zadelhoff’s photos weren’t there, but instead I saw photographs by Ellen Schippers, Bas Bogaerts, Gabriele Vierte and Janet de Graaf. I may show you works by the latter three later, but today I recommend you check out the works of Ellen Schippers (some may be NSFW).
Schippers makes photographic portraits that have a painting-like quality because everything is blurry without being out of focus. I don’t know how she creates this look, but if I had to guess I would say she positions her subjects behind fogged up screens. The work shown here is called Snow White. I am not sure if this a photo or a still of one of her videos, but does it matter?
Ellen Schippers is a multi-disciplinary artist from Amsterdam who started out as a performer in art galleries and theatres.
Tags: art galleries, Ellen Schippers, performance, theatre, video
Bristol, UK now has their very own ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ revisited by Banksy and called ‘Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’, which has already been defaced. The earring is an alarm box.
(Link: www.independent.co.uk, Photo of Banksy’s Cleaner by Dan Brady, some rights reserved)
Tags: Banksy, Bristol, graffiti, Vermeer
Daniel Kok makes artwork with custard, in Dutch known as ‘vla’, which comes in cartons like milk cartons. He’s going strong on instagram, showcasing Dutch and international portraits. He calls it ‘Vlaart’ (‘vla’ and ‘art’). Kok says his daughter asked him to make her something in 2011 and has been honing his custard art skills every since.
(Link and image: www.froot.nl)
Tags: custard, desserts, Vermeer, vla
Hengelo-based artist Dimitri Spijk made this skull out of toy soldiers.
Spijk doesn’t appear to have a website, but I found this photo on his Facebook account. The price of the work is 1,000 euro, although it’s unclear if it’s still for sale.
Check Spijk’s Timeline for other works, I already saw a painting (“for the aspiring Spijk collector” as the artist writes) for 50 euro and a birdseed helmet with the text “voer vogels, niet oorlog” (‘feed birds, don’t make war’—in Dutch it is a pun) for 75 euro.
Tags: Dimitri Spijk, skulls, soldiers, toys
Yesterday at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam Ernst van de Wetering, head of the Rembrandt Research Group, gave a sixth and final presentation of a sizable catalogue of Rembrandt’s works in which 70 ‘new’ paintings have been added.
Determining whether or not an artwork is the real deal is a science that either devalues or upgrades paintings, changing history in the process. Before saying it’s a Rembrandt or an artwork of one of his pupils or contemporaries, the paintings had to undergo the scrutiny of X-rays, infrared, checking the layers of paint, varnish, canvas, and anything else that would prove that it was authentic.
Rembrandt’s oeuvre now consists of 340 paintings, much to the delight of museums such as the Louvre in Paris and even the Rijksmuseum that now has more real Rembrandts on display. The painting in this posting, ‘Old Man with Beard’, was added to Rembrandt van Rijn’s portfolio in 2011.
Ernst van de Wetering’s catalogue is entitled ‘A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings’, the definite guide for now until technology might make restorers and others reopen the case.
(Link: www.telegraaf.nl, Image: Old Man with Beard, from 1630)
Tags: Rembrandt, Rijksmuseum