Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Gothic Artwork in Spotlight: Sinister Jewelery

Today, I saw some extraordinary jewelry. The artist is called Eero Lintusaari, and almost all of his work can be used as ornaments of a human, but today I saw some installations too. Lintusaari's work is witty, ironic and perspective. I really love a necklace called Fragility of Life II, with a bee. Though I did not see it in real life, but saw it in the artists webpage.

I did see some jewelry in a glass box, a brooch called Greed (seen left in the pic, yet not that well) and a necklace which name I can't remember, but it features three fishes, the biggest one eating the second biggest whom is about to eat the smallest. The meaning of the name was something like, "well this is how it goes", referring to the cold modern life and how bigger and more ruthless wins, no matter what morals might be. Or maybe that is just my cynical interpretation. :)

I also saw an installation of Lintusaari, in English it was called something like "waiter, there is a fly in my soup!"

A close-up. Gold (?) and insects casted in plastic.
I am not that big a fan of insects, but I sure would love to wear this! Though I also love the brooch made of a spoon and a fly, which can be found from the artists webpage. :)

Friday, 7 June 2013

Red & Black Week: Van Gogh for gothic taste

It is the grand finale of Red & Black Week, so without further ado the last artist to complite my set of five is Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890). Now he too is having an anniversary exhibition, because it is 160 years of his birth!

My absolute favourite is Skull with Burning Cigarette (1885/86). I used to have a poster of this painting, but alas no more. Must visit Van Gogh Museum to acquire a new copy! :)

 To bring something red to accompany that lovely skeleton, the other one I'd like to introduce to you is Stuffed Kalog (1886). This painting certanly is something a goth would hang on his or her wall.

Thank you for reading and tomorrow our lovely hostess is going to make a recap of her Red & Black Week, so remember to check her blog and other participants too by clicking the Red & Black icon in the beginning!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Red & Black Week: Eero Järnefelt's portrait of his son

Red & Black Week is almost over, so it would be a shame if I was to break my own theme, eventhough it was not intended. So here is yet another artist and a painting from the end of 19th century.

Eero Järnefelt (1863-1937) is a member of a famous Finnish family, where are a lot of artists and other significant persons. Eero Järnefelt himself was an artist and a professor. He happens to be born at the same year as Edvard Munch, whom I was talking in the previous post, so there is an anniverasy exhibition of him too, in the Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki.

The painting I would like to introduce to you is the Portrait of artist's son (1897). The son's name is Heikki and his shirt is black and we can see some red flowers behind him. I guess you all noticed how the son's face is painted with care, and as contrast the flowers in background are made with more vibrant brushstrokes, just like Monet's Camille and her dog in the previous post.

During the 19th century national romanticism was a big hit, especially in Finland. I must confess I like that era really much, especially since during the last decade of that century all other countries and most of all in French art could be seen more and more shades decadence. This makes an interesting contrast, because in Finland people admired France most of all, but at the same time wanted to construct an idealistic picture of Finnish people as a nation, most of all to those everyday Finnish citizens. So, Finnish artists were encouraged to go to Paris and absorb influance, but none of that decadence was to be seen! This made the decadent aspect of Finnish art downplayed in the publicity, but it doesn't mean it is not there. Perhaps that is something that would need it's own post. :) Thank you for reading and do check the other participants of Red & Black Week too!

Red & Black Week: Munch's Madonna and Vampire

It is already the 4th day of Red & Black Week, so now I am going to show you two paintings of Edvard Munch (1863-1944). As you can notice from his year of birth, it is the 150th anniversary of Munch this year, so the Munch Museum in Oslo is having an anniversary exhibition. It is open till October 13, so if you happen to hae some time and money, I strongly recommend to visit the museum, Oslo too is worth the visit!

I visited Oslo last spring and unfortunately most of Munch's good paintings were out of sight, because they were constructing the anniversary exhibition, so one could not see the Scream or The Madonna. Personally I am not that big a fan of Scream, but I sure would have wanted to see Madonna. :( Well, at least I saw Munch's Vampire, but that painting was in desperate need of a little clean up. It was way too dark, one could hardly see the shape of the short-haired person in the painting. Interestingly, Much did not title it as 'Vampire'. The original name was 'Love and Pain'.


I have always liked Munch's Madonna (1893-94), the colors are amazing and her face is at the same time proud, but it also looks a bit like she knows her own death is near. Of course there is also the obvious thrill of the name 'Madonna', since she is nothing like the traditional paintings of the Holy Mary. Munch made five versions of Madonna and unfortunately I have no idea which one of them is in this picture.

Thank you for reading, and remember to click the Red & Black Week icon to go and read what other participants have posted!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Red & Black Week: Two paintings by Monet

Today is the second day of Sophistique Noir's Red & Black Week and I shall make a post about two paintings of Claude Oscar Monet (1840-1926). He was an impressionist and I do like several of his paintings, but these two fit the theme of the week best.

A funny little fact is, that Arvid Liljelund, whom I introduced to you in my previous post, is from the same era. France and especially Paris were of huge importance to the Finnish art at that time. Liljelund, like many other Finnish artists, spent time in Paris, in order to absorb influence of French art. I guess I'm a sucker when it comes to the latter half of 19th century paintings, but now I shall continue to the paintings!

First I would like to introduce to you Camille au Petit Chien (1866). If my knowledge is correct, it belongs to a private collection at the moment, but lucky for us, there are still photos of it. Camilla with a Little Dog is a potrait of a female against dark background. I think the contras between the darkness and her pale face is striking. Her outfit makes another contras of color, that rich red and black and white stripes are a combination which certanly makes my gothic heart pound! There is also yet another interesting contrast, between the face of Camille and the dog she is holding. The quick brushstrokes of the god make it either shaggy or very lively, as if it would be hard to keep it still in Camilla's arms. I must say, that by first glance, the little dog could also be a pile of feathers, but maybe that is a bit mean to say. ;) Anyway, I do think this painting is extremely good and it has a place in my heart.

Another painting of Monet, which I consider strikingly beautiful, is La Japonaise, or The Japanese Woman (1875). Yet again the colors are magnificent and I just love that slightly malicious yet flirty expression of the young lady in the painting! The human figure in the robe she is wearing is almost as three demensional as the lady herself. The armed man of the robe has also an interesting expression on his face. Maybe the lady is smiling, because she has eyes in her back too, and she can detect everything, especially the admiring glances that she gets, when she walks past?

This picture I got of the painting is slightly more bright red than it actually should be. Camille, who was the artists love and who is posing in the other painting too, had more blonde than ginger hair in this painting. Also, her robe was more like imperial red, not this bright.

Thank you for reading, and remember to click the icon of Red & Black Week and check the other participants too!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Red & Black Week: painting from the 19th century

Today is the first day of Sophistique Noir's annual Red & Black - week! There shall be many people making many posts, here you can find other participants of the first day, go and check them out!

As the first post of mine, I shall introduce a work of art, which I held dear and which is suitable for the theme. It is Lähtö Pariisista (Departing Paris) by Arvid Liljelund. Liljelund is a Finnish artist, and the painting I am concentrating on was painted 1884. Liljelund was a well-known artist, even the Russian Academy of Arts gave him distinction.


But the artist is not the star of this post. The beautiful painting Departing Paris can be seen in Eastern Finland, in Kuopio art Museum, which is also the regional art museum of Northern Savo Provence. I myself visited the museum last September, but the painting I am talking about is part of the collection, so it can usually be seen.

This painting features a woman, wearing a red dress, with black belt and a black hat. I do not know that much about historical clothing, but for me her dress looks like a travel dress. I think her dress is something a gothic lady could well wear these days, I know i would! Also, I myself find the end of the 19th century with the rise of decadence rather gothic.

She is looking out of the window, so we can not see her expression. Outside can be seen in distance the silhouette of Paris. The outside looks very light and happy, but the inside of the building she is in is of much darker colors. I would love to have my walls as decorative as the wall in the painting. Wouldn't say no to that chair either, which is partly seen. :) I like this painting, because depending how I feel, I interprent it differently. Sometimes I think the lady of the painting is excited, she is off to an adventure, when she is leaving Paris. Sometimes I think she look a bit stressed out, or even resentful and bitter. Maybe her trip to Paris was not that wonderful as she had hoped?