Hey art nerds, it’s Museum Week! If you are on Twitter, the hashtag #MuseumWeek will bring you a selection of interesting items from museums from around the world. Each day has a theme… today, it’s secrets. Check out the twitter blog to learn more – https://blog.twitter.com/…/museumweek-2015-kicks-off-around… – over 2,000 museums from around the world are participating. Lots of very cool tweets so far!
Via Google Cultural Institute:
MadC, folks. This woman’s work is amazing.
Claudia Walde, known as MadC, is a graffiti artist from Germany who is known for her large scale outdoor artistic works.
MadC started her artistic trajectory as a teenaged graffiti writer, and has since then developed her creative endeavors into various fields such as graphic design, writing and fine art. She has studied at both Burg Giebichenstein – University of Art and Design, Halle and Central Saint Martins College, London, and carries a master degree in graphic design. MadC is also author and designer of two books on street and graffiti art Sticker City – Paper Graffiti Art (2007) and Street Fonts – Graffiti Alphabets From Around The World (2011) (both published under her birth name).
Her major international breakthrough came however in 2010 with the production of the work that has become known as the “700-Wall” – a 700 square-meter work along the train line between Berlin and Halle. This painting is most likely the largest graffiti mural created by a single person, and it was finished in four months.
Her style is so fresh, so clean. Watching her work is truly an inspiration.
This video is via Google Cultural Institute, and well worth watching if you have even a passing interest in thae art of the can:
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Of the many images of good old Saint Paddy I am fondest of this one. Painted in 1877 by Briton Riviere, it is in the collection of the Liverpool National Museum. Legend has it that in 433 A.D. Saint Patrick was en route to see the king, but he knew that Loeguire, the High King of Tara was planning to ambush him. Saint Patrick and his group chanted a hymn of his own composition, the first written in Gaelic – “the Deer’s Cry” (aka Saint Patrick’s Prayer, Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, or the Lorica), and all Loeguire and his men saw when Saint Paddy’s crew passed by was a red doe followed by 20 fawns.
RIP Yoshihiro Tatsumi. 1935-2015.
This is sad news for manga fans, Tatsumi’s work is magnificent, groundbreaking, and incredibly influential.
“The news came through to me in a short email yesterday, March 7th 2015: “Sensei passed away today.” Yoshihiro Tatsumi is the ‘sensei’ or grand master of ‘gekiga’, a term he coined for the darker, more dramatic form of manga in Japan. His innovations were vitally important for Japanese comics and his lifetime’s work stands as some of the most psychologically powerful and humane narratives, not only in manga but in global comics culture.”
The (excellent) publisher Drawn and Quarterly re-issued some of Tatsumi’s work – These are very attractive editions, I own several of them myself, and can’t recommend them enough. All descriptions here are from Amazon’s listings:
Thirty years before the advent of the literary graphic novel movement in the United States, Yoshihiro Tatsumi created a library of comics that draw parallels to modern prose fiction and today’s alternative comics. The stories collected in The Push Man are simultaneously haunting, disturbing, and darkly humorous. A lone man travels the country, projecting pornographic films for private individuals while attempting to maintain a normal home life. The lives of two men become intertwined when one hires the other to observe his sexual escapades through a telescope. An auto mechanic’s obsession with a female TV personality turns fatal after a chance meeting between the two.
Drawn in 1971 and 1972, these stories expand Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s prolific artist’s vocabulary for characters contextualized by themes of depravity and disorientation in twentieth-century Japan.
Some of the tales focus on the devastation the country felt as a result of World War II: in one story a man devotes twenty years to preserving the memory of those killed at Hiroshima, only to discover a horrible misconception at the heart of his tribute. Yet, while American influence does play a role in the disturbing and bizarre stories contained within this volume, as always it is Tatsumi’s characters that bear his hallmark, muddling through isolated despair and fleeting pleasure to live out their darkly nuanced lives.
The epic autobiography of a manga master
Acclaimed for his visionary short-story collections The Push Man and Other Stories, Abandon the Old in Tokyo, and Good-Bye–originally created nearly forty years ago, but just as resonant now as ever–the legendary Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi has come to be recognized in North America as a precursor of today’s graphic novel movement. A Drifting Life is his monumental memoir eleven years in the making, beginning with his experiences as a child in Osaka, growing up as part of a country burdened by the shadows of World War II.
Spanning fifteen years from August 1945 to June 1960, Tatsumi’s stand-in protagonist, Hiroshi, faces his father’s financial burdens and his parents’ failing marriage, his jealous brother’s deteriorating health, and the innumerable pitfalls that await him in the competitive manga market of mid-twentieth-century Japan. He dreams of following in the considerable footsteps of his idol, the manga artist Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy, Apollo’s Song, Ode to Kirihito, Buddha)–with whom Tatsumi eventually became a peer and, at times, a stylistic rival. As with his short-story collection, A Drifting Life is designed by Adrian Tomine.
In Fallen Words, Yoshihiro Tatsumi takes up the oral tradition of rakugo and breathes new life into it by shifting the format from spoken word to manga. Each of the eight stories in the collection is lifted from the Edo-era Japanese storytelling form. As Tatsumi notes in the afterword, the world of rakugo, filled with mystery, emotion, revenge, hope, and, of course, love, overlaps perfectly with the world of Gekigathat he has spent the better part of his life developing.
These slice-of-life stories resonate with modern readers thanks to their comedic elements and familiarity with human idiosyncrasies. In one, a father finds his son too bookish and arranges for two workers to take the young man to a brothel on the pretext of visiting a new shrine. In another particularly beloved rakugo tale, a married man falls in love with a prostitute. When his wife finds out, she is enraged and sets a curse on the other woman. The prostitute responds by cursing the wife, and the two escalate in a spiral of voodoo doll cursing. Soon both are dead, but even death can’t extinguish their jealousy.
Tatsumi’s love of wordplay shines through in the telling of these whimsical stories, and yet he still offers timeless insight into human nature.
Abandon the Old in Tokyo continues to delve into the urban underbelly of 1960s Tokyo, exposing not only the seedy dealings of the Japanese everyman but Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s maturation as a storyteller. Many of the stories deal with the economic hardships of the time and the strained relationships between men and women, but do so by means of dark allegorical twists and turns. A young sewer cleaner’s girlfriend has a miscarriage and leaves him when he proves incapable of finding higher-paying work. When a factory worker loses his hand on the job, the parallels between him and his pet monkey prove startling and significant.
Here’s a rather fascinating article on the importance of the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel to the Impressionist movement – long story short, he basically created the market for Impressionism and risked everything in doing so, and was sole supporter of many of the artists that are now hailed as masters of Impressionism. The article is in support of an exhibition opening in London at the National Gallery next week – Inventing Impressionism: The Man Who Sold a Thousand Monets opens at the National Gallery, London WC2N, on 4 March. (nationalgallery.org.uk). Sadly I’ll be unable to attend but for fans of Impressionism who do happen to be in the UK, this is an excellent opportunity to see what sounds like a pretty awesome collection.