Tag Archives: Arts & Literature

Tributes: LIFE Magazine Photographer Bill Ray Dies At 84 (1936 – 2020)

From a The Guardian online release:

Bill Ray, primarily known for his work for Life magazine, has died aged 84. Born in Nebraska in 1936, he graduated from local newspapers to a staff job on Life, and photographed 46 covers for Newsweek. He was famed for his images of celebrities, and also covered the Hells Angels motorcycle club and the aftermath of the Watts riots.

Photographer Bill Ray Elvis

Photographer Bill Ray Art Goes Pop!

Bill Ray Website

 

 

Fine Art: Magic Realism In The Work Of Dutch Painter Carel Willink

Sotheby's LogoCarel Willink was a pioneer of Magic Realism, an avant-garde movement of Dutch modernism closely associated with Surrealism. In this episode of Anatomy of an Artwork, discover how a visit to Italy’s Bomarzo Gardens following the death of his wife inspired a series of paintings featuring monsters, see how Willink drew further inspiration from dream-like images and illusions, and learn how his near-photographic style exudes a sense of mystery and enchantment.

Website

Cycling: “Mark Gunter Photographer Of The Year Awards 2019” Winners

Mark Gunter 2019 Photographer of the Year 1st Prize Alex Broadway UK Tour De Yorkshire

Mark Gunter 2019 Photographer of the Year 6th Place Tomas Montes Pan Celtic Race

We’ve once again been privileged to experience so many amazing images in the 2019 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards, there were so many epic images entered – in all three categories. The final week was a last minute rush with hundred of images flooding in; you can see some of these images in Showcase Five.

Our judges this year – Simon WilkinsonChris Auld, and Pauline Ballet and our honorary Judge Graham Watson – definitely had a tough task on their hands to decide the winners amongst a field of high quality work. Thank you to our Judges for your expertise and you time – it’s been a pleasure.

The Judges poured through 1,200 images.  They first had to select the images – without knowing the who the photographer was – then narrowed down a shortlist for each category. Then collectively they chose the winning images. Read about their experiences in their Shortlists.

We are proud to showcase the winners here, their images, and the story behind their image and for everyone who made the top 10 in each category.

Website

Art History: “The Rivalry Of Rembrandt And Jan Lievens” (Sotheby’s)

In this episode of Expert Voices, Otto Naumann explores their friendship and budding rivalry through Lievens’ masterwork Woman Embraced by a Man, Modelled by the Young Rembrandt. From the outset of his career, Lievens was at times bolder than Rembrandt, and the two constantly learned from one another during this critical period in their development.

The Rivalry of Rembrandt and Jan Lievens Sotheby's video January 17 2020

In early 17th century Holland, a young Rembrandt spent his days studying and working with fellow artist Jan Lievens. After apprenticing together in Amsterdam, the two likely shared a studio in their hometown of Leiden and even depicted each other in their compositions.

This signature audacity is on full display in in Woman Embraced by a Man, which will be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Master Painting Evening Sale. (29 January | New York)

Fine Art: The History Behind “The Dream” By Henri Rousseau (1910)

Artist Henri Rousseau painted The Dream in 1910, and it’s imagery of a woman lounging on a sofa in the middle of a jungle was as surreal then as it is today. What is it about this artwork that captivated audiences then and now?

The Sleeping Gypsy 1897 Henri Rousseau
The Sleeping Gypsy 1897 Henri Rousseau

Thanks to our Grandmasters of the Arts Tyler Calvert-Thompson, Divide by Zero Collection, David Golden, and Ernest Wolfe, and all of our patrons, especially Rich Clarey, Iain Eudaily, Frame Monster Design Laboratory, Patrick Hanna, Nichole Hicks, Andrew Huynh, Eve Leonard, David Moore, Gabriel Civita Ramirez, Constance Urist, Nicholas Xu, and Roberta Zaphiriou.

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New Literary Books: “Parisian Lives – Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir And Me” (Bair)

Deirdre Bair Parisian Lives Samuel Beckett Simone de Beauvoir and Me A Memoir BookDe Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other – and lived essentially on the same street. While quite literally dodging one subject or the other, and sometimes hiding out in the backrooms of the great cafés of Paris, Bair learned that what works in terms of process for one biography rarely applies to the next. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile.

Drawing on Bair’s extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives is full of personality and warmth and gives us an entirely new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.

In 1971 Deirdre Bair was a journalist and recently minted PhD who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett. He agreed that she could write his biography despite never having written – or even read – a biography herself. The next seven years of intimate conversations, intercontinental research, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography, which went on to win the National Book Award and propel Deirdre to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch?

To review or purchase

Literature: “Prometheus Unbound” By Percy Bysshe Shelley First Published 200 Years Ago In 1820

Prometheus Unbound Percy Bysshe Shelley 1820Prometheus Unbound is a four-act lyrical drama by Percy Bysshe Shelley, first published in 1820. It is concerned with the torments of the Greek mythological figure Prometheus, who defies the gods and gives fire to humanity, for which he is subjected to eternal punishment and suffering at the hands of Zeus. It is inspired by the classical Prometheia, a trilogy of plays attributed to Aeschylus. Shelley’s play concerns Prometheus’ release from captivity, but unlike Aeschylus’ version, there is no reconciliation between Prometheus and Jupiter (Zeus). Instead, Jupiter is abandoned by his supportive elements and falls from power, which allows Prometheus to be released.

Excerpt:

As you speak, your words
Fill, pause by pause, my own forgotten sleep
With shapes. Methought among these lawns together
We wandered, underneath the young gray dawn,
And multitudes of dense white fleecy clouds
Were wandering in thick flocks along the mountains
Shepherded by the slow, unwilling wind;

prometheus-unbound-percy-bysshe-shelley.jpg

Political – Prometheus, then, is also Shelley’s answer to the mistakes of the French Revolution and its cycle of replacing one tyrant with another. Shelley wished to show how a revolution could be conceived which would avoid doing just that, and in the end of this play, there is no power in charge at all; it is an anarchist’s paradise.

Shelley finishes his “Preface” to the play with an evocation of his intentions as a poet:

My purpose has hitherto been simply to familiarize the highly refined imagination of the more select classes of poetical readers with beautiful idealisms of moral excellence; aware that, until the mind can love, and admire, and trust, and hope, and endure, reasoned principles of moral conduct are seeds cast upon the highway of life which the unconscious passenger tramples into dust, although they would bear the harvest of his happiness.

From Wikipedia