Do I have the right to expose a dad who was too busy interacting with friends on his mobile and seemed to be ignoring completely his kid over a sunday lunch. What if it was a one off? Quickly I took a picture , went to the father ,told him am an artist and asked for his permission to use it. He smiled and told me please go ahead take more if you need.I went back to my table and took a few more but the first picture was the best.
If he knew the photo would be submitted to familydom I am sure he would not have given me the permission! I had in mind to expose the impact of social media and indirectly photography on the family. Photo sharing is a double edged sword that can drive people closer or further apart depending on how you use it.
Back home I looked at the picture and felt a bit mean , why do I need to cast a light on this particular family ?Arent’ we all somehow guilty of that same crime,?Don’t we all fall sometimes into the trap of giving more attention to our virtual than real family ? myself included! I needed to expose that problem and not this dad in particular. And so I decided I had to manipulate the photo in such a way as to make it unrecognisable for anyone to guess who is in it or where it was taken.
This is the first of a new serie that will be based on this one picture I took that sunday afternoon.
A competition I have launched to promote a kid’s book I have illustrated, and my online store kotinga, selling tee shirts, mugs,ipad cover,bags etc showing the characters of the book. Unfortunatly the project fell through and I had to forget about both, my illustrations and the online shop ! I don’t regret it , I learned a lot, it was great fun but it was a huge disappointment.
Page five of a children’s book I have illustrated.
Homage aux victimes de Charlie Hebdo.Ceci n’est pas une contradiction.Vive la France , vive la liberté et vive le respect pour toutes les religions.
I am totally for freedom , of speech, believes etc I just couldn’t help asking myself that day”Would a Blasphemy law make the world safer ?”
Trisha Donnelly’s exhibition showing at the serpentine gallery, is very vague, mysterious and immediately takes the viewer to a different dimension. It also keeps changing throughout the day. Abstract Black and white stills that look like forensic evidence x-rays, videos projected on the walls, flowers, water ripples, forests, and a river that has a beautiful bronze statue of a young boy. Next door, a couple of stone blocks carved with parallel lines. An opening in one column reveals the original brick structure of the walls (walls that belonged to what used to be the tea room for Kensington Gardens before morphing into a gallery) and walls that seem to invite you to rip them off , an invitation perhaps to look deeper beyond the material world, or maybe go back to the origins, to look for what’s hidden. Plenty of white light and silence contribute to immediately grab the viewer’s attention and leave the person wondering what exactly is going on and why the usual explanation on the walls, which gives a glimpse of the artist’s thought process, was missing. The most interesting feature of the exhibition was the open door. The back door which normally is close , was wide open, letting in plenty of light and air and all of a sudden, it seemed to me this whole exhibition is much less hermetic than it seemed at first sight. Now there were 2 entrances to the gallery, was the artist trying to attract a new kind of public by making the gallery more accessible and welcoming to park visitors who usually never enter the gallery? or maybe trying to alter the way one experiences this space?
Suddenly music started playing resonating and filling the space with a sense of extreme lightness. So it occurred to me that maybe the artist needed the help of the music and a door that lets in plenty of light and air, to attract the viewers like a magnet and keep them mesmerized by the magic in the air , forcing them to stay longer in the space, in the hope that they might finally get the mysterious message.
Having given up on trying to derive my own interpretation i asked around the gallery staff and the answer was unanimous. The artist doesn’t like to talk about her work ( I immediately smiled and thought i was similar to her in that respect). It seems she intentionally didn’t want any text on the walls. So it immediately hit me , evasion is what this whole exhibition is all about and now the open door and he gripping music make more sense.
As i am leaving the gallery, i took a copy of the exhibition’s leaflet, read it and immediately had the confirmation that my guess was right. Evasion is one of the themes, but to my surprise transmission too. Transmission? This needs another visit and so i decided to revisit the serpentine’s gallery again the following day. Organ music was playing this time and my eyes fell immediately on the parallel lines of the block in front of me. All of a sudden the block became a musical instrument , and it felt like the music was coming out of it!! How was transmission related to that?
Ideas and feelings are transmitted through music, is that all there is to it? I am sure there is more. So again I asked the same question I asked the day before :any idea what the show is about? And to my surprise a young lady explained something that was not mentioned in the brochure. It seems the artist did lots of research about all religions and wanted to create a space that was kind of a waiting room between two worlds! What about transmission? And suddenly a creepy track starts playing sounding like a radio or TV interference .
Immediately I became immersed in a sci fi movie where aliens were trying to communicate with humans. It occurred to me that maybe there is an app similar to shazam , where one presses a button and suddenly those interferences are translated into a text that reveals a dark secret. I wanted so much to go again a third time at least because obviously an exhibition which is about evasion let alone transmission cannot be grasped in one single session. Whether it is art flirting with intelligence or higher intelligence the show leaves you in suspension mode .
I love challenges and a couple of weeks ago i took the challenge to remix the track of a horror movie (you can check it here) , something i never thought I would do as I absolutely dislike this genre of movies. Exorcist was the last horror movie I had seen and I promised myself never to watch a horror movie again. Why did I take the challenge then? Simply because I had recently dealt with a very big institution, was very disappointed by the level of competence of some of the people in charge and realized this must be one of the reasons why the world is in such a big mess! So I needed to vent out my anger and frustration and this was the perfect way to do that. Life taught me to learn from bad experiences move on and forget; So I will not go into details. Adopting the evasive approach à la Donnelly (more on that in my previous post) could be very healthy. Million thanks to Universal Studios and Talenthouse for the opportunity. It was great fun participating and a wonderful opportunity to discover great tracks! As with every project, I start with something, in this case, the desire to vent my frustration and end up in a completely different place. Half way through the project it occurred to me that IS is the Dracula of the present time, spreading terror and violence and sucking the blood of innocents. And so, I dedicate this track to all the innocent victims of this terrible group.
As I am a self taught composer I did some Online research about how to compose for horror movies and Will Forbis’s article is the one that helped me the most. Check here.
Also special thanks to Eric Whitacre’s article about Advice for the Emerging Composer , as when I read it, I decided to participate in this and many other competitions. Check here.
Also special thanks also to Christopher Young , his interview was quite inspiring. Check here.
Hiroshima was inspired by one of WWII’s best kept secrets :during world war II the Japanese were conducting weather experiments by sending huge hydrogen paper balloons carrying measuring instruments to study currents ,winds…as they were doing so they discovered a strong air current that traveled across the Pacific at about 30,000 feet ,and so they trusted the winds and the weather and replaced the measuring instruments with bombs and thousands of balloon bombs floated soundlessly across the Pacific Ocean and reached America. The only successful attempt was the unfortunate death of five kids who were having a picnic with their teacher. The story is quite touching as I could easily identify with both sides of the conflict, and it immediately struck a chord in my heart as it reminded me of the thousands of people who died from land mines in Lebanon.
More on this story by National Geographic:
Japan’s Secret WWII Balloon Weapon
I know someone out there is surprised why he did his last bid ,yet is not the owner of the painting. Sincere apologies it wasn’t clear to anyone that my work had a reserve price , it wasn’t my fault and there was nothing I could do about it!