Seydou Keita, “Untitled (Olympia)”, 1956-57
William Kentridge, drawing from Stereoscope, 1998-99
This drawing was executed along with the animated filmStereoscope, the eighth in Kentridge’s decade-long series featuring Soho Eckstein, the archetypal white Johannesburg businessman of the post-apartheid era and an alter ego of the artist. The role of drawings in Kentridge’s oeuvre has developed over time. Initially created in service to his films, they gradually took on a more independent life, and in 1992 the artist began showing them separately.
Here Eckstein stands in a room, knee–deep in water. It seems to be pouring from his dark business suit, as if, underneath, his whole body is crying. A vertical blue line rends the upper part of the picture in two and falls on the back of his inclined head like a reminder from his conscience. Eckstein has to cope with the horrifying past of his country, Kentridge has written, and find a line “between choosing a more solitary life or being promiscuously social.” For the artist the drawing is a ghost image, a witness to “the extent to which politics does or does not find its way into the private realm.”
Frank Cadogan Cowper - Vanity (1907)
Half Dome-Thunder Cloud
Grand Exposition In Commemoration of the Imperial Coronation-Kyoto, 1928
Vintage Japanese Industrial Expo Posters (via Pink Tentacle)
Pieter Aertsen, A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms, 1551
Oil on panel, 115.5 x 169.0 cm
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC.In the 16th and 17th centuries it was quite common for theologians to see a slaughtered animal as symbolizing the death of a believer. Allusions to the ‘weak flesh’ (cf. Matthew 16:41) may well have been associated with Aertsen’s Butcher’s Stall where - like on his fruit and vegetable stalls - a seemingly infinite abundance of meat has been spread out.
Pieter Aertsen was one of the first artists to paint “inverted still lifes,” works in which the still-life elements are placed prominently in the foreground, while the narrative elements are relegated to the background. The Butcher’s Stall is Aertsen’s masterpiece in this genre. A feast for the mind as well as the eyes, this remarkably executed painting abounds with rich symbolism. The juxtaposition of the precisely rendered meats and other foods with the Holy Family in the background symbolically links food for the body with the spiritual “bread of life”- food for the soul, represented by the Christ child and the bread, offered by Mary to the poor family. In presenting a visual metaphor that encourages the viewer to consider his spiritual life, this work also anticipates the symbolic religious meanings present in seventeenth-century Dutch vanitas still lifes. Aertsen’s Meat Stall was clearly a famous work in its own day, judging from the number of contemporary versions that exist. In both style and subject matter, the Butcher’s Stall is the direct antecedent of the impressive Market Scene on a Quay by Frans Snyders.(Submitted by joel-rosenburg)