Born in Manhattan in 1968, he lived in the South Bronx and Queens before moving to Moenchengladbach in Germany. Marcus Jansen is an artist who manages to mix contemporary art and graffiti.
His works always address important themes, exploring and documenting the human condition in a critical, social and political way. Jansen’s canvases are undoubtedly influenced by the years on the battlefields he spent as a member of the US armed forces during conflicts such as Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
“I began by questioning our global socio-political and geopolitical landscape in a quest for personal clarity after our invasion of Iraq in 2003, when the Twin Towers in my hometown, New York City, collapsed,” he explains. “For me it was a way to deal with a second conflict, having been part of the first invasion myself ten years earlier. Being in strong opposition to it was a way to feel a sense of control over something I couldn’t change”.
Now his colorful and expressive brushstrokes will be on display from September 18 to January 3, 2021 at Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Orlando, Florida.
With this exhibition Marcus Jansen has set himself an essential goal, to question our world. The artist’s new exhibition focuses on works created over the past 15 years and includes both large-scale paintings and a selection of works on paper, including some exhibited for the first time. “Many of the paintings in this exhibition were painted more than ten years ago, but today they seem somehow more transparent to a wider audience.“
Here is a selection of his most moving works in his next exhibition.
It has not been long since the last time we talked about Brad Walls aka Bradscanvas. A few months ago, in fact, the Australian photographer who specializes in aerial photography has made talk about himself with the series “Pools from above“.
Today, Bradscanvas is back with a new project published just a few days before World Ballet Day, which falls today October 29.
The title of the project is “Ballerine de l’air” and this time all the attention is for Montana Rubin, a member of the Australian Ballet, who danced in her candid tutu in front, or rather under, the camera.
The idea for this photographic series came to Bradscanvas looking at the shot by the photographer Olive Cotton entitled “Teacup ballet“, which shows tea cups seen from above with their shadows stretched on the table, making them look like many small dancers.
Brad offers us a new vision of something that we all have always seen from one and the same point of view.
“Most people had seen Ballet photographed traditionally… and while those photos are undeniably beautiful, I wanted to rewrite the composition, purely focusing on the unique shapes and shadows of the art form.”
“Ballerine de l’air” was shot in two different and contrasting locations: a warehouse with concrete floors and an event hall with a decorated tiled floor.
The final result is a series of striking shots, in which the shapes and colors are perfectly balanced.
We are not alone and we are not all the same. We often use to forget that there are communities and places that have survived the disruptive force of globalization, which unifies and flattens every aspect of society. Gabriele Zago is an Italian photographer who has focused his work on research and documentation of ethnic groups, territories and populations that, although threatened by what we call progress, manage to preserve traditions, customs and values.
What Gabriele offers us is a journey into distant territories that, among glances that tell a thousand stories, has the objective of making us know what happens in the world and make us discover realities far from our own and therefore of immense value.
Gabriele Zago’s photography is both discovery and testimony, thanks to which we are transported among African tribes, or even to Papua New Guinea where he realized his latest project entitled “Colors still remain“.
Waiting for the beginning of the exhibition, Gabriele Zago tell us more about his work. Don’t miss the interview below!
How did you approach photography?
I have a traditional artistic education, I grew up through freehand drawing and therefore with a more academic language, but I have always been interested in visual arts in all its declinations. However, it was thanks to the travels that I found in photography the medium that most represents me. When I am lucky enough to explore new territories and get in touch with new situations, I feel compelled to immortalize those moments already knowing that that photography will not only describe an instant but will be the beginning of a process that will evolve into something new.
With your photographs, you take us to faraway places like Ethiopia, Madagascar, Benin. What stories are you looking for? Which stories do you want to tell?
My research focuses on photographically documenting ethnic groups, territories and populations threatened today by progress and globalization. The photographs that I use for my projects come mainly from travel experiences.
I choose destinations that can enrich my culture and put me to the test, not only physically, but also psychologically. I look for themes that are often little known in the West in order to make my work an instrument of diffusion and information. My shot, therefore, does not want to describe the subject but brings to light the reality that the subject is forced to face. I am particularly fascinated and stimulated by the African continent, but I had the opportunity to visit all 5 continents in search of creative ideas. From one of the most recent trips, the one to Papua New Guinea draws inspiration for the project “Colors still remain” that I will exhibit this year as part of Ph.ocus – About photography by Paratissima, presented for the first time by Galleria Ferrero Arte Contemporanea in Ivrea.
Which role does post-production play in your creative process?
My works are born as reportage shots, but post-production is a fundamental element of my artistic expression. The manipulation of my photographs through graphic devices shows, in an evident and emphasized way, those socio-political processes that are often not visible or do not reach our reality. These are not just photographs, but shots that clearly give back to everyone a process of modification, upheaval and alienation suffered by the subjects and the territory in which they live.
It is obvious to say that during your travels you have avery different type of equipment at your disposal than a photographer in the studio. What, in your opinion, is the necessary equipment for this type of photography?
During my reportage trips, I always travel extremely lightweight, most of the time with only one piece of hand luggage. This also determines the volume of the equipment I carry with me. I always travel with my inseparable reflex camera and a couple of lenses that I can use depending on the situations I find myself in. I would like to take a wider choice of lenses with me, but due to the extreme conditions in which I often find myself, they would only get in the way. Since they are not cutlery photos, it would be very difficult to change lenses depending on the situation, with the risk of losing the moment. In some cases, even the smartphone has helped me to capture some situations that required more discretion! The technical support for me has a secondary role as the focus of my research is not so much the technically perfect shot as the resulting graphic rendering.
Is there a shot that was particularly complicated to take? Tell us about it.
I must admit that every time I find myself in reportage situations the biggest difficulty to overcome is the tension of not being able to get the “right” shot. My travels bring me into contact with such rare and unique realities that it is almost always difficult to capture them objectively.
The reasons for these “difficulties” can be the most varied, from people’s distrust to cultural differences and religious taboos, without often neglecting the adversities of weather and geographical conditions. Often reaching the most remote tribes has forced me to undertake even arduous crossings of several days in a canoe under the scorching sun or dangerous storms. For example, in many African tribes photography is seen as a tool that steals the soul; in some remote areas of North Vietnam still strongly subjugated by the war, the zoom of the camera frightens like a weapon; in Benin, photography can become an instrument of blackmail in voodoo; in Papua New Guinea many tribes do not have the slightest perception of why their image should be trapped inside a black box.
In all these situations being able to photograph in a natural way the subject is very difficult and often I had to give up shooting in order to respect the culture with which I measured myself. In reconnecting to the project “Colors still remain”, great difficulty was also represented by the socio-political and geographical nature of Papua New Guinea, a very unstable and dangerous territory where the beauty of the tribes and their rituals mixes with the violence and guerrillas that must be faced and accepted daily in order to approach these incredible communities.
What would happen if the aesthetics, the Simpsons settings were curated by the famous director Wes Anderson?
The American companyHomeAdvisor has remodeled and furnished the famous 742 Evergreen Terrace apartment in Springfield and not only in full Wes Anderson style. The project is part of a campaign commissioned by HomeAdvisor, with the aim of inspiring homeowners by introducing new ways of thinking about their home spaces.
To give the most iconic Simpsons interiors a Wes Anderson touch, the first step was to identify six different spaces in the show that aligned with Anderson’s aesthetic. The interiors chosen are: the Simpsons’ living room, with the inevitable sofa, the kitchen, definitely Homer’s favorite place, Lisa’s bedroom, Boe’s tavern, Sector 7-G and the office of the terrible Mr. Burns.
The HomeAdvisor team watched hours and hours of Wes Anderson’s movies, to better understand his style, and finally made a list of elements and details, which are never missing in his movies.
Boe’s tavern was inspired by the faded imperial “glory” of the film’s interior: “the train to Darjeeling”, from which many details such as the decorated windows and the gold leaf paneled ceiling were taken. But not only that, the famous interior of the pub also refers to the short film “Hotel Chevalier”.
Sector 7-G, the famous workstation where Homer sleeps or eats donuts has a look similar to the boat “The Belafonte” in Steve Zissou’s Water Adventures. Although the bold colors and the moquet also resemble Jeff Goldbulm’s office in “Grand Budapest Hotel”.
Mr. Burns has the most Wes Anderson-like interior in all of Springfield: scale, symmetry, the stuffed polar bear are all characteristic elements of the American director’s films.
Lisa’s room, on the other hand, is as pink as it has ever been, covered with damask wallpaper reminiscent of the interiors of another family in the film the Tenenbaum.
We conclude with what are the most famous rooms of the weird American family, namely the kitchen and the living room. The kitchen was painted by “Fondant Fancy Pink”, the palette that conquered everyone in “Grand Budapest Hotel”. The living room has remained almost unchanged, on the wall, the painting with the boat has been replaced with a reproduction of the British painter Montague Dawson. In addition, paintings and paintings have been added, as well as a lamp and a magazine rack that seem to have just come out of a vintage store in full Anderson style.
The season of the comforter, hot teas and evenings spent in the company of a good TV series or a new movie has officially arrived. Let’s find out together which Netflix news will keep us company in November!
Dash & Lily: It seems like Christmas has already arrived on Netflix and, among the many movies and TV series dedicated to the holiday season, we would like to point out this 8-episode series from the bestselling book “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares” by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. A romantic comedy, in which the two protagonists Dash and Lily will get to know each other through the pages of a diary that will take us around New York. Dash & Lily will be available from Tuesday, November 10.
The Liberator: This 4 episode miniseries, taken from the book The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey by Alex Kershaw, takes us back to the middle of World War II. In particular, we will follow the events of one of the most heroic teams of the Allied invasion in Europe. The story will begin in Sicily, with their landing, until the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. Moreover, this miniseries was made with an innovative technique that blends animation with real interpretations. The Liberator will be available from Wednesday, November 11.
The Life Ahead: A survivor of the Holocaust who takes care of children in need welcomes a twelve-year-old boy in her home in Bari who has robbed her, this is the plot of this film adaptation of Roman Gary’s masterpiece of the same name. The film has already done a lot of talking about itself because it sees Sophia Loren as the protagonist Madame Rosa. The Life Ahead will be available from Friday, November 13.
The Crown: The fourth season of one of Netflix’s flagship series is also coming soon. We are at the end of the 70s, the Queen and her family is busy securing the line of succession to the throne by looking for the right wife for Prince Charles. Meanwhile, the nation is beginning to feel the impact of the controversial policies introduced by Margaret Thatcher. Between the love story between Charles and Diana and the Falkland War, the royal family seems increasingly fragile and broken. The fourth season of The Crown will be available from Sunday, November 15.
Hillbilly Elegy: This film, directed by Ron Howard and based on J.D. Vance’s New York Times bestseller, is an intense autobiography. “J.D. Vance, a former Marine from southern Ohio and current Yale Law student, is on the verge of landing his dream job when a family crisis forces him to return to the home he’s tried to forget. J.D. must navigate the complex dynamics of his Appalachian family, including his volatile relationship with his mother Bev, who’s struggling with addiction. Fueled by memories of his grandmother Mamaw, the resilient and whip-smart woman who raised him, J.D. comes to embrace his family’s indelible imprint on his own personal journey.“. With Gabriel Basso, Amy Adams and Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy will be available from Tuesday, November 24.