Welcome to the dark world of Helen Sobiralski. Just last year, the Berlin, Germany-based photographer won several awards for her original series about opulence and abundance titled Cockaignesque. Inspired by Baroque still-life paintings, she constructed highly dramatic scenes like the one above, which shows a perfectly coiffed woman with candle wax dripping down her bare shoulders. Baroque art is characterized by richness, drama, deep color, and an intense play of light and dark shadows. As you can tell, light played a particularly important role in Sobiralski’s series as she aspired to bridge the gap between painting and photography.
The name Cockaignesque is linked to the word cockaigne which means a mythical land of plenty. It’s an imaginary place where physical comforts and pleasures are always at hand and where the harshness of medieval peasant life does not exist.
Dragon Bridge is the most fairytale of bridges in the fairytale city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Combining old-world charm with medieval mystery, this bridge celebrates its gothic construction and the mythical side of the area’s history. Decorated with ornamental dragon statues among the other ornate embellishments, visitors love to see the playful side of the city through this monument.
While medieval in style, this attraction came into being in the early 20th century as part of a urban renovation. An 1895 earthquake had damaged the previous wooden bridge, and the powers that be decided to try out a new, innovative technology called reinforced concrete, and throw some dragons in for good measure.
In the early 1980s, the bridge was renovated with a lightweight concrete. The beautiful fantasy-themed bridge holds the titles to a couple of firsts: first Slovenian bridge paved, first reinforced concrete bridge in Ljubljana, and came is a strong third for largest arch in Europe at the time of construction.
All technical marvel aside, obviously the main attraction is the fine example of Vienna Succession style, and the four dragons guarding the bridge on either side, with sixteen smaller ones decorating its span.
The entire country is beautiful and has a wide spectrum of activities and sights.
This necklace was made to represent the memory of my grandparent’s long staircase in their house. I want the viewer to see my history as the necklace wraps around, and to feel the sensation of climbing up and down the stairs as the images of my family line the walls. More importantly, I wanted my skin to show through as my family’s skin, so that my stories, my life and who I am as an individual is shown as the sum of all of the people that came before me.
I casted dollhouse frames from sterling silver and bronze, and printed my family directly onto the glass. I created a box clasp mechanism to support the weight of my loved ones.
Benjamin was born in Paris in 1982. In 2001, he attended the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs of Paris where he pursued his artistic education. In addition to his studies, he worked as an advertising and animated movie artist before completing his first comic series at the age of 19, along with a few other illustrated books…
His final project “Cherry and Olive”, which he has both written and illustrated, became his first children’s book and was published by Les editions du Seuil in March 2006. The following year, it was released by Walker Books (USA) and nominated one of the top 10 children’s books for the year 2007 in the United States by the Time magazine.
Since then, Benjamin has written and illustrated numerous books. Benjamin exhibits his work on a regular basis. Among others, it has been displayed in the following art galleries: Ad Hoc Art (New York),L’art de rien (Paris), Dorothy Circus (Rome), Maruzen (Tokyo), etc…
Benjamin lives and works in Paris with his dog Virgile, often found hiding among the pages of his books.
Picasso once said that all children are artists, and in that vein, New York artist Judith Braun keeps the youthful spirit alive, albeit with an adult’s sophisticated edge. In her large-scale finger drawings she creates wall-sized abstractions and nature scenes by dipping her fingers in charcoal powder and drawing directly on walls. Her latest mural, “Diamond Dust”, at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, is a 50-foot pastoral scene that took a week to create in front of a live audience.
"Diamond Dust" marks the largest site-specific project of Braun's career, which began in the 1980s with realistic figure paintings and Xerox art that explored sexism, racism and feminism. The controversial pieces attracted criticism, especially her piece depicting a dead, naked angel hanging upside-down from an altar. After a hiatus she spent isolated in her studio, Braun returned to the art world with finger art.
More recently, "Fingerings" continue her use of carbon dust to draw directly on walls using both hands, allowing the inherent symmetry of the body to manifest.
An apartment left untouched for over 70 years was discovered in Paris a few summers ago. Time to unlock the vault …
The owner of this apartment, Mrs. De Florian, left Paris just before the outbreak of World War II. She closed up and shuttered her home and left for the South of France, never to return. Seventy years later she died at the age of 91. It was only when her heirs hired professionals to make an inventory of the Parisian apartment she left behind, that this time capsule was finally opened.
Inside the apartment was found a painting of a beautiful woman in a pink gown. One of the inventory team members suspected this might be a very important piece. Along with the painting, they also found stacks of old love letters tied with colored ribbon.
With some expert historical opinion, the love letters were recognized as the calling card of none other than Giovanni Boldini, one of Paris’ most important painters of the Belle Époque. The painting was his. The beautiful woman pictured in the painting was Mrs. de Florian’s grand-mother, Marthe de Florian, a beautiful French actress and socialite of the Belle Époque. She was Boldini’s muse. And, despite him being a married man, she was also his lover.
What kept her away even after the war? For all those years, her rent on the apartment in a flourishing city had been paid, but it was left frozen in time. It all sounds like the perfect mystery.