Friday, April 24, 2015

Mucha's Studio, Models and Staged Photography

Alphonse Mucha, was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist. You may be familiar with his poster Salon des Cent (below). It was ubiquitous during the 60s.

Between 1896 and the early 1900s Mucha took a series of photographs of models that served as preliminary studies for his final paintings.  From these photographs he selected appropriate images and synthesised them to create a complicated historical event on a single canvas. The studies are interesting in their own right. His studio photography grew into a part of his experimentation with his models to express his philosophical ideas through theatrical poses and gestures.

You can print and colour your own Mucha colouring sheet.

More:Mucha Foundation

Thanks Bruce!

Oldest Footage of London

This old footage of London taken between 1890 and 1920 is juxtaposed against modern shots of the same location and maps carefully researched to show where the camera was.

Much has changed but many of the locations remain remarkably unchanged.

Via Londontopia

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Satanic Drawings Found In An Abandoned Detroit House

Joseph Goeddeke found these drawings in an abandoned Detroit house that he was inspecting for asbestos while working for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The house was scheduled to be demolished later that day and Goeddeke saved the art. One of the pages is signed “Clifton Harvey” and dated“12/79."  Nothing more is known about the artist.

The Metro Times’ Lee DeVito has asked that anyone knowing who Clifton Harvey is or was contact the paper at

More: Detroit Metro Times

Thanks David!

The 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Canada

Culture Trip compiled a list of the10 Most Beautiful Towns in Canada. What town comes up first? My town, Niagara-on-the Lake.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario | © Alexander Synaptic/Flickr
The center of the province’s Niagara wine region, Niagara-on-the-Lake is surrounded by superb wineries, many of which welcome visitors. Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the most well-preserved 19th-century towns in the country. The town’s Victorian main street is lined with lush vegetation, old-fashioned houses, and boutique shops. Niagara-on-the-Lake is also known for its excellent hotels, sophisticated restaurants, and lovely ornamental gardens. The town is the home of the Shaw Festival, an outstanding Canadian theater event which highlights the works of George Bernard Shaw. 
See other beautiful Canadian towns here.

Dr. Woo's Fine Line Tattoos

Brian Woo's (aka Dr. Woo) intricate, fine-line, single-needle style pieces have made him one of the most in-demand tattoo artists in Los Angeles. He has inked such celebrities as Drake, Ellie Goulding, and Cara Delevingne and has an Instagram following that now stands at 454,000. I love the animal tatts.

More: My Modern Met

It's An Interactive Beer Pong Table, Dude!

Saskatoon's Jeff Nybo has developed an interactive beer pong table in his basement. You know you want it.


Lascivious Last Rites In China

 In 2006 China Central Television aired an expose on  memorial services in Donghai in eastern China’s Jiangsu province that featured strippers. Since then the government of China has been trying to fight this trend which is meant to attract large crowds to the deceased’s funeral to bring good fortune in the afterlife.

“It’s to give them face,” one villager explained. “Otherwise no one would come.
CCTV found about a dozen funeral performance troupes offering such services in every village in the county, putting on as many as 20 shows a month at a rate of 2,000 yuan ($322) a pop.
More: WSJ

Behind the NYT Walking New York Cover

All it took was an artist with a big vision, plenty of volunteers and a helicopter.
French artist JR is known for pasting giant photographs on urban surfaces all over the world. This large scale pasting for the NYT Walking New York cover was made in the heart of Manhattan, on Flatiron plaza, the triangle of pavement between Fifth Avenue, Broadway and East 23rd Street. Here's a time-lapse video that shows how it was done.

A picture of Elmar Aliyev, a 20-year-old waiter and recent immigrant to New York from Azerbaijan, was printed on 62 strips of paper. On April 11 the strips were affixed to the ground of the Flatiron plaza. The pasting took about three and a half hours and resulted in a 150-foot-tall image of Aliyev striding eastward. "The sun came up. Pedestrians began to wander over Aliyev. Just as JR had predicted, they often walked right over him without even noticing."


World's Largest Spiral Escalator

The first spiral escalator was made for Holloway Road tube station in London in 1906 but it never saw public use. Today there are only a few of them and Japanese firm Mitsubishi Electric makes them all. New World Daimaru Department Store in Shanghai has12 curved escalators that form two huge spiral staircases each of which is seven stories high.

Mitsubishi Electric first developed the spiral escalator in 1985, and has delivered 103 units to customers in Japan and across the world including a gorgeous one at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

More here

Thanks Bruce!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Film Series Imagines The Last Meals of Famous People

What was the last thing ingested by Julius Caesar, Jimi Hendrix or Napoleon?
Filmmaker Gus Filgate's Last Supper Project is a short film series that imagines the last meals of famous people.

Below is a clip of what might have been Napoleon's visceral last meal:

Georgie Besterman - Napoleon-Last Supper from Hers Agency on Vimeo.