In less than a week your TV set will start displaying the Winter Olympics on most channels and what you will see of the host town (Sochi, Russia) will very likely be a sanitized version.
If you want to see another side of Sochi, you could visit the photo exhibit The Sochi Project by Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra whose photos are provided a with context by Arnold van Bruggen’s texts. The exhibit currently runs in Antwerp, Belgium; Chicago, USA; and Salzburg, Austria. There are also books, websites, posters and so on. In fact, if I can utter a small point of criticism about Hornstra’s and Van Bruggen’s Russian projects, it would be that it is never quite clear what you’ve seen already and what fits where.
Last week I went to the Golden Years photo expo in Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, by the same two artists in which you also get to see photos of The Sochi Project. What struck me the most were the photos of people who proudly posed in their medal-bedecked, Soviet-era uniforms. It wasn’t clear whether they did so out of longing for the old days or because the uniforms were their good clothes or because of reasons I did not fathom, but it seemed a statement regardless. (Shown here is Mikhail Yefremovich Zetunyan, age 88 who lives in a village where 75% of the population was driven out by what I presume were Abkhazian freedom fighters.)
Van Bruggen writes about the impoverished side of Russia: “Here, in the neighbourhoods abandoned by the police, is where the other half live. They are the dark side of the success stories that filled the newspapers after Putin came to power. Maserati dealers in the centre of Moscow do not prove a country’s wealth; look, rather, at its provincial suburbs.”
Tags: Abkhazia, Arnold van Bruggen, Georgia, Olympic Games, Rob Hornstra, Russia, Sochi
Arie van ‘t Riet is a medical physicist who became an artist by accident.
My Modern Met writes:
One day, his colleague asked him to take an X-ray of one of his art paintings. It was a thin object and van’t Riet had never done something like this before, but as he said, “it worked.” This got him thinking about what other kinds of thin objects he could X-ray and flowers came to mind. He started with a bouquet of tulips. The analog image, or the silver bromide X-ray film, resembled a black and white negative. It was digitized, inverted, and then selectively colorized in Photoshop. “And then some people told me that’s art,” he humorously states, “and I became an artist.”
Many more amazing colourized X-rays can be found at the My Modern Met article linked above and at Van ‘t Riet’s own website.
(Link: Boing Boing)
Tags: Arie van 't Riet, medical physics, radiology, still lifes, tulips, x-rays
Photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen has won many prizes for his work and is well known for his project Diamond Matters, about the diamond industry. This time, over the course of a year, Lohuizen investigated the roots of migration in the Americas, a time-old phenomenon that is increasingly portrayed as a new threat to the Western world.
Via PanAm engages the audience through a variety of platforms, using both traditional and new media. The stories made on the road are edited into weekly radio broadcasts, biweekly newspaper columns and regular magazine publications. The Via PanAm website and iApp not only provide contextual background info, but also directly connect readers and viewers with the journey’s progress. Day by day, the Americas and their people reveal themselves to the photographer and his followers as photo-stories, video and audio are uploaded on a regular basis.
Via Panam – Kadir Van Lohuizen from Paradox on Vimeo.
As I was leafing through last year’s talent issue of FOAM magazine, I must have been a little too literal minded because when I saw photos by Marleen Sleeuwits titled Interiors, I originally thought she had found interesting looking office spaces that she’d ‘merely’ photographed.
Then I looked a little closer at Interior #27 (shown here) and realised the brown lines were actually box-sealing tape. It turns out she builds these interiors herself and then photographs them.
Sleeuwits told FOAM Magazine about what initially attracted her to interiors as a photographic subject: “I began work [on a series about airports] after watching a documentary about a businessman who travelled the world for his job. [...] One day he woke up in his hotel and had totally forgotten where he was. Looking out of the window didn’t give him any clues. He had to check his diary to find out. [Airports and suburban spaces] almost seem designed to disorientate.”
And on her website: “They are spaces that lack a connection with the outside world, so it is unclear what their function is, where they are and what time of day they were photographed. [...] Here lies a paradox: the spaces that catch my attention are in some sense non-spaces. Lacking a clear function or any reference to the outside world, they are in the end nothing but spaces.”
Sleeuwits’ agent, the Liefhertje en de Grote Witte Reus gallery in The Hague, will be showing off her work at the Art Rotterdam art fair during the weekend of 6 – 9 February 2014.
Tags: interiors, Marleen Sleeuwits, spaces
Two artists from Eindhoven, photographer Nick Bookelaar and designer Yoni Lefévre, teamed up to create Grey Power, a photo series in which grandparents act out scenes thought up by their grandchildren.
The children made drawings of their grandparents going about their daily activities. Props and outfits from the drawings were then transplanted to real life and used for a photographic portrait of the grandparents. Lefévre explains that modern society considers old people to be sidelined, but “children do not regard their grandparents as grey and withered, but as active human beings who add colour to their lives”.
A Petapixel commenter pointed out that Korean photographer Yendoo Jung had a similar project called Wonderland five years ago, although Jung’s intention seems to be almost the opposite of that of the two Dutch artists. Instead of viewing reality from a different perspective his aim seems to be to recreate fantasy worlds.
Tags: children, elderly, grandchildren, grandparents, Nick Bookelaar, Yoni Lefévre
Erwin Olaf is a kick-ass photographer, but does that make him a good coin designer? The Netherlands do have to uphold a reputation in this respect.
When Willem-Alexander became king of the Netherlands the need arose to design new coins. The job was given to Mr Olaf this time around. He seems to have done a respectable job, except for the lettering. Fonts In Use says: “It’s highly questionable whether such a bold wide retro-futuristic letterstyle in mixed case is suited for the medium and the topic—and whether it had to be a font (as distinguished from custom lettering) in the first place.”
The alleged lettering.
Mr Olaf used a free font he found on the web called Days, which is according to a commenter over at Fonts In Use “a display typeface meant for use in large sizes.”
The choice for an off-the-shelf type is also remarkable when contrasted with the fact that the country “today has more type designers per capita than any other country in the world, a remarkable fact considering that there is now not one surviving Dutch type foundry”, typographer Gerard Unger is quoted as saying on Typotheque.
(Illustrations: Fonts In Use)
Tags: coins, Erwin Olaf, euro, King Willem Alexander, money, typography
Kapsones, the Dutch word for ‘putting on airs’, is a colourful line of custom lens hoods — a bit like covers for your smartphone — recently launched in design-friendly Eindhoven.
“There are four styles to choose from: Baroque (an old fashioned look), Knitted (self explanatory), Stealth (sharp and angled), and Street (looks like a cobblestone road). Each design comes in several colours that you can choose from when ordering.”
Since it is a start-up, the lineup of compatible lenses isn’t very extensive yet: Canon 28-80, 28-90, 18-55 mm IS, and 18-35 mm IS II. The price starts at 20 euro.
Check out their promotional video:
Kapsones from Van Alles Wat Ontwerp on Vimeo.
(Link and image: petapixel.com)
Tags: cameras, Eindhoven
Théophile de Bock was a 19th century Dutch landscape painter whose current claim to fame is that his makes such a good street or school name.
He was also a landscape photographer and interestingly it appears that he was the only Dutch landscape photographer at the time. Arjan de Nooy explains:
Customers were not interested and [landscape photography] was apparently not attractive to photographers. In comparison with international nineteenth-century landscape photographers (such as Timothy O’Sullivan, Carleton Watkins, Gustave Le Gray) De Bock’s photos are more intimate and small-scale. He was, literally, close to his favourite subject, the trees and in particular his tree trunk photos are unique in nineteenth-century photography.
De Bock was only a photographer for a short time and it seems that his photos were only recently rediscovered. De Nooy believes that the success of his paintings put a stop to De Bock’s photography.
De Nooy has curated an exhibit at Walden Affairs in The Hague until 22 November. (The exhibit is open during the weekends and on appointment.)
Tags: landscape painters, landscape paintings, landscape photography, landscapes, Théophile de Bock
The Toilet Diaries is a photo series by two photographers from Utrecht, Gerben Grotenhuis and Marc Marselje, in which they themselves and the toilets of the former bank building they used to live in are the heroes.
One Friday night they thought it would be funny to do the dishes in the toilets and apparently that is when the fun started. The duo recently gave an interview to SLR Lounge in which they explained the background of some of the photos and what their next project is going to be. In the meantime, the Toilet Diaries is being sold as a calendar and apparently there is also a coffee table book in the works.
Tags: Gerben Grotenhuis, Marc Marselje
Since last week the Amsterdam police are looking for a shoplifter who changed his mind while robbing a Kruidvat drugstore located in the De Pijp district.
Initially the man tried to steal a tablet computer that was stored in a display case, but later changed his mind. He left the fancy gear behind and took off with somebody’s printed photos. The man took off on a bicycle.
The video below shows the man entering the store and taking the tablet from the display case.
My theory is the man came in to collect his photos, saw an opportunity to acquire a tablet he had no money for, then realised the bulge in his jacket would look suspicious at the register. OK, so it’s not a very good theory. What do you think was in those pictures?
The video doubles as a free instructional film on Dutch bicycle etiquette. The shoplifter first secures the rear wheel using his wheel lock, then does the same using a chain lock.
(Photo/video: Politie.nl (YouTube))
Tags: dumb criminals, police, prints, shoplifters, shoplifting, tablet computers, tablets, thieves, YouTube