Saturday, April 30, 2011

►Vladimir Clavijo-Telepnev - Aesthetical neo-romanticism

►Vladimir Clavijo-Telepnev, born 1962, Moscow.
1986 graduated from the Moscow Academy of Graphic Arts as a graphic artist.

From 1986: a press photographer for Italian, French and Spanish editions and, at the same time, a proactive participant at painting and graphic exhibitions sponsored by Moscow artists.

His art is a denial of commonness and understanding that only the artistic flair and style allow to transform a single moment of a real life into a piece of art. One can confidently say that Vladimir Clavijo is the patriarch of the Russian advertising photography. 

Professional skills of transformation of a negative image into a positive one probably are subconsciously present in the philosophy of the artist's creativity. Everything he chooses as a photo-target of his creative vision, becomes elegant, stylish, even pretentious, but always beautiful and as a result - positive.

Aesthetical neo-romanticism of photo-artist Vladimir Clavijo-Telepnev leaves the spectator with romantic impression of complicity with aesthetics of the Silver Age.


Vladimir Clavijo-Telepnev - 

►Nikola Tesla - Man out of time

►Man Out of Time...
Excerpts from 'Tesla: Master of Lightning', by Margaret Cheney and Robert Uth

Tesla with one of his famous "wireless" lamps. Published on the cover of the Electrical Experimenter in 1919.
As one of the Fathers of Electricity, Tesla did groundbreaking work on alternating current (AC) power system, electromagnetism, hydroelectric power, radio, and radar to name a few. Many of his inventions (Tesla obtained some 300 patents in his lifetime) became the stuff we take for granted today: when we flip a switch to turn on the light, we owe a lot of that electrical magic to Tesla.
As fate would have it, Tesla, one of the world's greatest inventors, died penniless and in obscurity. Even today, many people mistakenly attribute many of his inventions to others (Edison, for example, is in the name of many power companies in the United States – ironically, they use the AC system devised by Tesla rather than the more inefficient direct current or DC system espoused by Thomas Edison; Tesla also invented the fundamentals of radio transmissions before Gugliegmo Marconi).
Today, there's quite a bit of resurgence in Tesla's popularity, which is helped in part by his mystique as a "mad scientist." Amongst his more outlandish ideas, Tesla worked on death rays to knock out enemy airplanes out of the skies, pocket-sized resonance machine that could topple buildings, ways to send electricity through the upper atmosphere, force-fields to protect cities, and so on.

Tesla Company letterhead. Note the words "World Wireless Telephone Transmitter."
In a book, Tesla: Master of Lightning, authors Margaret Cheney and Robert Uth tell the story of the enigmatic genius from his birth in a little village in Yugoslavia, to his lonely death in a New York hotel room. The book, years in the making, combines archival documents and hundreds of photographs, compiled from the Tesla Museum in Belgrade (previously inaccessible to Western writers during much of the Cold War era), excerpts from Tesla's writings, as well as interviews with people who knew the man personally, to paint detailed snapshots of Tesla's life and to provide clear explanations of his (often very technical) work.

An Old World Childhood
As a youth, Tesla exhibited a peculiar trait that he considered the basis of all his invention. He had an abnormal ability, usually involuntary, to visualize scenes, people, and things so vividly that he was sometimes unsure of what was real and what imaginary. Strong flashes of light often accompanied these images. Tormented, he would move his hand in front of his eyes to determine whether the objects were simply in his mind or outside. He considered the strange ability an affliction at first, but for an inventor it could be a gift.
Tesla wrote of these phenomena and of his efforts to find an explanation for them, since no psychologist or physiologist was ever able to help him. "The theory I have formulated," he wrote much later, is that the images were the result of a reflex action from the brain on the retina under great excitation. They certainly were not hallucinations, for in other respects I was normal and composed. To give an idea of my distress, suppose that I had witnessed a funeral or some such nerve-wracking spectacle. Then, inevitably, in the stillness of the night, a vivid picture of the scene would thrust itself before my eyes and persist despite all my efforts to banish it. Sometimes it would even remain fixed in space though I pushed my hand through it. (Tesla, My inventions: My early life. Electrical Experimenter; February 1919)

Tesla in his Houston Street laboratory. Caption for this photo in Electrical Review, March 29, 1899 reads: "The operator's body, in this experiment, is charged to a high potential by means of a coil responsive to the waves transmitted to it from a distant oscillator."
Geniuses Collide
On the summer day in 1884 when Tesla, carefully dressed in his bowler hat, striped trousers, and cut-away coat (the whole of his wardrobe), dropped in to see the famous Mr. Edison, there had been an emergency at the Vanderbilt mansion on Fifth Avenue. Two wires had shorted behind a metallic-threaded wall hanging and started a fire. Mrs. Vanderbilt herself had smothered the flames, only to learn that the problem emanated from a steam engine and boiler in her basement. Now the angry socialite was demanding that Edison remove the whole apparatus. No sooner had he rushed back to Pearl Street than the manager of a shipping firm called to remind him that the SS Oregon had been tied up for days awaiting electrical repairs and was losing money by the hour. Unfortunately Edison had no more engineers to assign to the job.
At this juncture he became aware of the tall foreign gentleman hovering politely in the doorway, bowler hat in gloved hand, a letter in his pocket from Charles Batchelor, the English engineer who managed the Continental Edison Company in Europe. Few American colleges then trained electrical engineers, so prospects were good for the rare immigrant who was qualified. But Mr. Edison was not in a congenial mood.
Tesla spoke up, knowing the famous man had a had a hearing problem, and introduced himself. He produced the brief message from Batchelor. Edison glanced at the few lines and snorted. "I know two great men and you are one of them," Batchelor had written. "The other is this young man!"
Thomas Edison, rumpled, weary, and deeply skeptical, asked Tesla what he could do. While the American inventor was only eight years older than his visitor, and lacked his formal education, he was already world-renowned for his inventions. Tesla recalled their meeting:
When I saw this wonderful man, who had had no training at all, no advantages, and who did it all himself, and saw the great results by virtue of his industry and application - you see, I had studied a dozen languages ... and had spent the best years of my life ruminating through libraries. I thought to myself what a terrible thing it was to have wasted my life on those useless things, and if I had only come to America right then and there and devoted all of my brain power and inventiveness to my work, what could I not have done? (Tesla, My inventions: My early life. Electrical Experimenter; February 1919)
In awe of Edison, Tesla proceeded to describe the engineering work he had done in France and Germany, and spoke of his plans for induction motors made to run smoothly and powerfully on alternating current. That invention, he reckoned, was worth many fortunes.
Edison knew little of alternating current, chose to believe it the work of the devil, and did not care to learn more about it. Did this dandified "Parisian" realize that was he was suggesting could make a whole industry obsolete? In the past Edison had waged a propaganda war against the gas companies on the grounds that the possibility of explosions made gas too dangerous for human use as a power source. He was therefore experienced in recognizing and heading off any threat of industrial competition.
Tesla, unprepared for the force of Edison's passion, thanked him and turned to leave. As he did so a breathless boy rushed into the plant to report that a junction box at Pearl and Nassau streets was leaking electricity and had injured a carter and his horse. Edison bellowed at his foreman. Then he turned to Tesla and said, "Hold up a minute, Mister. Can you fix a ship's lighting plant?"
So began this historic collision of geniuses. Eventually it would spark the bitter and long-running "War of the Currents," the taste of which still lingers today in corporate memories.

Laboratory where Tesla and Westinghouse engineers developed apparatus for AC systems. Tesla's exhibit with his "Egg of Columbus," which stood on end when the table it rested on was magnetically excited by AC.Another smaller table with ball can be seen to the left; to the right, an early high-frequency machine.

The Executioner's Current
It is strange but true that the introduction of the electric chair in America came purely out of a commercial battle over light bulb sales. Or, more accurately, over what kind of power supply would energize the nation's early lighting. Orders to Edison's lighting companies had fallen behind those for Westinghouse's newer AC systems. With progress marching right past him, Edison and his Wall Street investors opened a delaying campaign to block AC systems in any way possible, the DC interests took up the idea that AC would fail if it was perceived as deadly. One shadowy figure associated with Edison, Harold P. Brown, became a very public advocate of "humane" death - to be inflicted on animals or humans - by AC electricity. Brown electrocuted dogs and horses under questionable experimental conditions. After Edison provided him with research facilities at his West Orange, New Jersey, laboratory, neighbors began to complain of disappearing household pets.
Brown's efforts inspired New York State prison officials to try the idea on a human being. A law was passed in New York (1887) to abandon hanging in favor of electrocution as of January 1, 1889.
Brown, predictably, had a hand in providing apparatus to the state - a 2,000-volt Westinghouse alternator purchased secondhand - since Westinghouse refused to sell when approached. First to die by the newly prescribed capital punishment was William Kemmler, convicted of killing his wife. He was executed at the Auburn Prison, August 6, 1890. Several jolts were delivered, one for seventeen seconds and another for three and a half minutes. Witnesses reported that the victim's spinal cord burst into flames. The method hasn't worked very predictably, even up to today.
A number of terms were suggested for this new method of execution, including "thanelectrize," "electrophon," "electroctasy," "electrotony," and "fulmenvoltacuss." And why "electrocute," also on the list, should have come to be preferred over the straightforward "electrocize" is anyone's guess. The vested interest in DC current, however, made a point of saying victims of electric shocks had been "Westinghoused."

Tesla in a thoughtful pose in front of his "web" coil, May 1896.
 Lionized and Ionized

(L) Mark Twain and Joseph ("Jo") Jefferson in Tesla's South Fifth Avenue laboratory, 1894, with blurred image of TEsla between. (R) Mark Twain in Tesla's laboratory at 35 South Fifth Avenue, early 1895

Perhaps Tesla's most famous friend was the writer Mark Twain, with whom the Serb's literary connections went back to childhood. In his autobiography, Tesla described how Twain helped him recover from a dangerous illness when he was brought the early novels from his local public library and found them "so captivating as to make me utterly forget my hopeless state." He attributed the miraculous recovery that followed to the humorist. Tesla claims that twenty-five years later, when he met Twain in New York, he told him the touching story "and was amazed to see that great man of laughter burst into tears" (Tesla, My inventions: My later endeavors. Electrical Experimenter; 1919)
In 'Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals', the author mentions reading about the sale to Westinghouse of Tesla's electrical patents, "which will revolutionize the whole electric business of the world." Twain had made a bad investment - one of many - in the development of a new DC motor, and was drawn to Tesla for answers. The answer was that this motor had been rendered obsolete by Tesla's polyphase AC. Because this appears to have been the occasion for their first meeting, Twain's tears may have had a more pecuniary cause.
On that basis, the two men became lifelong friends and, incidentally, fellow members of the posh Players Club. Twain later was instrumental in encouraging Tesla to pursue his futuristic weapons for shifting war's destructiveness from men to machines, it then being innocently thought that wars would cease when weapons became too horrible to contemplate.
Mark Twain was one of the friends most often invited to Tesla's laboratory for the improvisational shows of fright and delight. On one particular evening Twain himself inadvertently furnished the entertainment when he insisted upon experiencing the gyrations of a platform mounted on an electrical oscillator. Tesla pretended to dissuade him, which of course made Twain all the more desirous of prolonging the test. Once on the machine he kept saying, "More, Tesla, more!" But soon he was crying for help, since an undesired effect of the oscillations on the human body was to create a turmoil in the bowels.
When he was next invited to the laboratory, a wiser Twain wrote: "Friday, Midnight. Dear Mr. Tesla: I am desperately sorry, but a matter of unavoidable business has intruded itself and bars me from coming down ... I am very, very sorry. Do forgive me." (Twain n.d.).

Colorado Springs

This publicity photo taken at Colorado Springs was a double exposure. Tesla poses with his "magnifying transmitter" capable of producing millions of volts of electricity. The discharge here is twenty-two feet in length
In a patent filed the previous year, "System of Transmission of Electrical Energy" (number 645,576), [Tesla] claimed "it has become possible to transmit through even moderately rarefied strata of atmosphere electrical energy to practically any amount and to any distance." [...] A friend and patent lawyer, Leonard E. Curtis, on being advised of Tesla's scheme, offered to find land and provide power for his research from the El Paso Power Company of Colorado Springs [...]
The laboratory that began to rise from the prairie floor was both wired and weird, a contraption with a roof that rolled back to prevent it from catching fire, and a wooden tower that soared up to eighty feet. Above it was a 142-foot metal mast supporting a large copper ball. Inside the strange wooden structure, technicians began to assemble an enormous Tesla coil. The frame on which the heavy primary and 17-turn secondary coils were wound had a diameter of fifty-one feet. The third coil within it was eight feet in diameter, with a hundred turns of wire. This enormous air-core transformer could deliver a current of 1,100 amperes. The mysterious "extra coil" in the center magnified the electrical effects through a process called "resonant rise." The function of this coil was not understood until the 1970s.
Builders erected a high fence around the site, and signs appeared on every post - KEEP OUT. GREAT DANGER - in hopes of keeping the curious at a distance. Fritz Löwenstein could not resist posting at the door another sign, quoting Dante's Inferno: "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here." [...]

Caption in Century Magazine, June 1900, reads: "The photograph shows three ordinary incandescent lamps lighted to full candle-power by currents induced in a local loop consisting of a single wire forming a square of fifty feet each side, which includes the lamps, and which is at a distance of one hundred feet from the primary circuit energized by the oscillator."
To test his theory, Tesla had to become the first man to make electrical effects on the scale of lightning. The giant transmitter was arranged accordingly. On the evening of the experiment, he dressed for the occasion in a Prince Albert coat, white gloves, and a derby hat. To avoid electrocution, he took the precaution of wearing shoes with four-inch cork soles. One of his assistants described him as looking like a "gaunt Mephistopheles."
Each item of equipment, every wire and connection, had been carefully checked. Tesla instructed his mechanic, Czito, to open the switch for only one second. The secondary coil began to sparkle and crack and an eerie blue corona formed in the air around it. Satisfied with the result, he ordered Czito to close the switch until told to cease. Huge arcs of blue electricity snaked up and down the center coil. Exploding discharges could be heard outside (Cheney, Margaret. 1981. Tesla: Man Out of Time. New York: Prentice-Hall. Reprint, 1991. New York: Barnes & Noble Books)
Bolts of man-made lightning more than a hundred feet in length shot out from the mast atop the station. The commotion could be heard in the mining town of Cripple Creek, fifteen miles away. Tesla thrilled to the sight of great rods of flame. Then suddenly the lightning stopped. The experimental station went black. He shouted to Czito to turn the power on again, but nothing happened. His experiment had burned out the dynamo at the El Paso Electric Company. Not only Tesla, but the entire city had lost power. The power station manager was livid and the local population began to have second thoughts about the famous inventor. But a week after the blackout, both Tesla and the power station were back in business. However, Tesla received no more free power.

A Weapon to End War

(L) Postcard illustration of the Hotel New Yorker, New York City. (Collection of The New-York Historical Society)...(R) Tesla announced his new beam weapon in numerous newspaper interviews on his seventy-eighth birthday.This article is from The New York Times, July 11, 1934.
In 1934 Tesla moved to his final residence, room 3327 (still divisible by three) of the recently completed Hotel New Yorker. There he lived alone with his ideas and his pigeons for the next decade. He posted a typewritten note on the door: "Please Do Not Disturb The Occupant Of This Room." In Tesla's mind, it was time to reveal his greatest invention: a perfect and impossible idea, a weapon to prevent World War II.
On July 11, 1934, the headline on the front page of the New York Times screamed, "TESLA AT 78 BARES NEW DEATH-BEAM." The invention, the article reported,
...will send concentrated beams of particles through the free air, of such tremendous energy that they will bring down a fleet of 10,000 enemy airplanes at a distance of 250 miles from a defending nation's border and will cause armies of millions to drop dead in their tracks.
When put in operation, Dr. Tesla said, this latest invention of his would make war impossible. This death-beam, he asserted would surround each country like an invisible Chinese wall, only a million times more impenetrable. It would make every nation impregnable against attack by airplanes or by large invading armies. [...]
Joseph Butler, a U.S. Air Force expert on beam weapons, has said of Tesla's idea, "Definitely, he had the concept of a charged particle beam weapon back in the 1930s. The concept was right on the mark ... particles projected out long distances to do damage to some enemy airplanes, in his particular case." But Butler added, "I haven't a clue how he meant to actually do it" (interview with the authors, 1998).

Tesla's system of transmission of power to aircraft by radio. Illustrated by Frank Paul for Radio News, December 1925

Enigmatic to the End
Tesla's friend Kenneth Swezey also visited and was equally alarmed by his condition, particularly when he saw that Tesla was subsisting on warm milk and Nabisco crackers. He noted that the empty enameled cracker cans were stacked on shelves and used to hold various things. Word began to spread that the great inventor was near death.
Late in December of 1942, with the war at its height, two young men identifying themselves as U.S. government agents suddenly entered Tesla's life. One was a member of the OSS (predecessor to the CIA) named Ralph Bergstresser. The other, Bloyce Fitzgerald, was an expert on ballistics technology working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to Bergstresser, Tesla agreed to share his most sensitive documents with them and allowed them to carry stacks of material away for microfilming. Based on their review, the two men were able to arrange a meeting at the White House on January 8, 1943, with Roosevelt's science advisor and other high-ranking officials. Tesla was too ill to attend (interview with the authors, 1993).
Meanwhile a prominent Yugoslav writer, Louis Adamic (The Immigrant's Return), wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt on December 29 describing the inventor's circumstances:
Today he is ... worse than penniless. He is extremely frail, weighing less than 90 pounds. His health is poor; he has grown somewhat bitter against his country, the United States ... He suffers, too, to the point of bitterness, because he feels that everyone in America, including beneficiaries of fortunes created by his inventions, has forgotten him. ... The fact now is that he is up against it ... This letter is not an appeal to help him financially. ... This is merely to suggest that the President write him a letter which will indicate that America has not forgotten [him]. Perhaps this coming New Year is a good occasion for such a letter (Adamic 1942).
New Year's Eve came and went, and there was no letter. Tesla's loyal associate, George Scherff, visited him on January 4 to help him prepare for an experiment. The final project, its nature unknown, was terminated when Tesla complained of sharp pains in his chest. He refused medical aid. Scherff left the hotel, bidding him goodbye for the last time.

On the night of January 7, 1943, the eve of the Orthodox Christmas, snow fell on New York City. In a darkened room on the thirty-third floor of the Hotel New Yorker, Tesla lay listening to the clamor of traffic below. His great legacy, the technological world he had helped create, would continue without him. There would be no more riveting announcements, or shrieks of "Eureka," or terrifying bolts of lightning leaping in his laboratory. The pigeons on the window ledge stirred their feet and ruffled their feathers. Hard times lay ahead for the pigeons; he had nothing to leave them. Nikola Tesla, aged eighty-six, died in his sleep. The coroner's report read: "No suspicious circumstances."
 The Cosmic Signature

Nikola Tesla monument installed at Goat Island, Niagara Falls, a gift to the United States on the occasion of its bicentennial and Tesla's 120th anniversary, July 23, 1976. The monument is a second casting of the sculpture by Fran Krsinic. The first casting is installed in front of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering Building, University of Belgrade.
The world would be a very different place without the ideas and inventions of Nikola Tesla. With the flick of a switch the power of the waterfall and the coal furnace is transported to our fingertips. Worldwide communication reach nearly every person on the planet. A remote-controlled device has explored the surface of Mars. And at this moment, receivers are pointed at the heavens waiting for a message from afar. One can picture the inventor nodding, then shrugging, and perhaps wondering what took us so long. In the end, Tesla was one of our greatest dreamers, and great dreams have a way of becoming reality. The inventor consoled himself by saying, "The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of a planter - for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. (Tesla, My inventions: My early life. Electrical Experimenter; February 1919)

MARGARET CHENEY is the author of three previous books, including the classic biography Tesla: Man Out of Time for which she received the first International Tesla Award. A former Associated Press editor, she is currently a member of the executive board of the Tesla Memorial Society. She resides in California.

ROBERT UTH is a documentary film producer and writer. With his wife, Simonida, he has spent years researching the life of Nikola Tesla. This research is also reflected in his documentary Tesla: Master of Lightning.

►Krzysztof Wladyka - Visions full of symbols, signs and elements

►Krzysztof Wladyka was born in 1980 in Olawa, Poland where he currently lives and works.
He believes photography is a gate, the place where energy, colors, forms, matter and space are connected. Thanks to photography, a specific medium, he can gives a shape to his visions. Visions full of symbols, signs and elements – abstract planes, mystery characters, the fragments of living nature, strange props – which are mixed in square frames.

Krzysztof Wladyka - 

►Tony Orrico - Visual artist and performer

►Tony Orrico, 1979, Hinsdale, IL. MFA, University of Iowa, Iowa City. Orrico is a visual artist and performer currently working within in a series titled Penwald Drawings. His work has recently been collected by the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. and commissioned by Flux/S at Strijp-S in Eindhoven, Netherlands and Dance Theater Workshop in New York City. Orrico is a former member of Shen Wei Dance Arts and Trisha Brown Dance Company, and recently performed in Marina Abramovic’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Mesmerizing performance drawings by artist and dancer Tony Orrico. He is a human spirograph,an artist, dancer, performing works for up to 4 hours continuously!

He creates remarkable large-scale mock-mathematical drawings with a savant’s focus and a marathoner’s endurance, sometimes drawing for up to four hours continuously, hitting our soft spot for the intersection of art and mathematics with delicious precision.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

►Salvador Dali - What's My Line?

►A trip back in time to the 1950′s, the decade of sock hops, hula hoops, Elvis and 'What's My Line?' - the weekly game show that originally aired in the United States (1950-1967). Its premise was basically a guessing game: contestants were to guess the "line" (line of work) and name of a guest, by asking only questions that could be answered with a 'yes' or a 'no'. The game tasked celebrity panelists with questioning contestants in order to determine their occupations.

On January 27, 1957, Salvador Dali appeared as a contestant on 'What's My Line?', making it one of the more entertaining and popular episodes. Although the artist doesn’t speak much more than to answer "yes" or "no", the segment is quite humorous and definitely worth watching in full.
Witness the verbal gymnastics the poor host John Daly must go through in order to be both fair to the contestants, and simultaneously not offend Dali's sensibilities... "I think it would be too misleading to suggest that our guest had a basic affiliation with sports - this is not to say that it's not within the compass of his enjoyment to indulge in this particular endeavour." Dali's answers, and the questions asked of him, become slightly surreal (pardon the pun) as the segment goes on. :)

His performance is here in its entirety,... Enjoy!

►Sylvain Chomet - French comic writer, animator and film director

►... Once upon a time in the mind of a poet, there was a small, dimly lit cottage. In this cottage lived a brain, two narrow eyes, a grinning mouth, and two crooked hands. The brain, the two narrow eyes, the grinning mouth, and the two crooked hands were sitting around the table for tea. While the tea was being prepared, there came a knock at the door. The crooked hands opened the door. At the opening stood a figure draped in a silk, black cloak and wearing silk, black gloves. Without saying a word, the cloaked figure walked into the room and made itself comfortable at the small wooden table. The brain began to shudder; the two narrow eyes became even narrower; the grinning mouth grimaced. The crooked hands, however, rested on the table, fingers interlaced, and waited. The cloaked figure pushed forward a small gilded chest, encrusted with ruby rose petals. On the top of the chest was inscribed the words: "Offer me your most prized possession and I shall give you a special treasure."...

Sylvain Chomet has created some of the most tragic, elegant, twisted stories in film history. Though his career has tumultuous, it would be irresponsible for any animator worth his salt to deny the sheer potency of the man’s genius. The above story seems to me a fable of talents. Is it the mind, the eyes, the mouth, or the hands that makes a man truly a master of his craft?
As far as artists go, Sylvain Chomet wasn’t any different than most students who want to make their mark on the world. He started in ordinary fashion – raised in Maisons-Laffitte, Yvelines, near Paris, he attended a high school for the arts and published his first comic in 1986, four years after his graduation from high school. As many up-and-coming artists with an eye for the extraordinary (despite their surroundings), he moved to London to fulfill his destiny as an animator at the Richard Purdum studio.
Sylvain Chomet has been a prolific film and commercials maker for over 25 years.
His first film (1996) was : "The Old lady and the Pigeons", a animated short set in Paris which won, amongst many other awards, a BAFTA and the Annecy Grand Prize and also gave him his first Oscar nomination.
His next film, the feature length "Triplets of Belleville" (2003) continued his style of minimal or no dialogue alongside his unique animation look and take on the world. Again, many world awards followed and two Oscar nominations.
In the same year he started directing several commercials including work for United Airlines.
In 2005 he completed his live action debut directing a segment of the critically acclaimed "Paris Je T’aime", produced by Claudie Ossard  (Amelie) and including segments from Joel and Ethan Coen , Wes Craven and Gurinder Chadha amongst others.
His latest feature, "The Illusionist" based on a unfilmed script by Jacques Tati has already won the New York Critics Prize and was nominated for best animated feature at the 2011 Academy Awards.


The Triplets of Belleville (French: Les Triplettes de Belleville) is a 2003 animated adventure film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet. 

It was released as Belleville Rendez-vous in the United Kingdom. The film is Chomet's first feature film and was an international co-production between companies in France, the United Kingdom, United States, Belgium and Canada.

The film features the voices of Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, and Monica Viegas; there is little dialogue, the majority of the film story being told through song and pantomime, it is the almost completely unspoken story.The movie is also accompanied by an animated short that is supposedly collaboration by Salvador Dali. Great animated surreal adventure film, emotional and humorous; feature of appalling originality and scary charm. The film was highly praised for its unique, exceptional and somewhat retro style of animation.

Adopted by his grandmother, Madame Souza, Champion is a lonely little boy. Noticing that the lad is never happier than on a bicycle, Madame Souza puts him through a rigorous training process. Years go by and Champion becomes worthy of his name. 

Now he is ready to enter the world-famous cycling race the Tour de France. However during this cycling contest, two mysterious men in black kidnap Champion. Madame Souza and her faithful dog Bruno set out to rescue him. 

Their quest takes them across the ocean to a giant megalopolis called Belleville where they encounter the renowned Triplets of Belleville, three eccentric female music-hall stars from the '30s who decide to take Madame Souza and Bruno under their wing. 

Thanks to Bruno's brilliant sense of smell, the brave duo are soon on to Champion's trail. But will they succeed in beating the devilish plans of the evil French mafia?


The Illusionist (French: L'Illusionniste) is a 2010 animated comedic drama film directed by Sylvain Chomet. 
The film is based on an unproduced script written by French mime, director and actor Jacques Tati in 1956. Controversy surrounds Tati's motivation for the script, which was written as a personal letter to his estranged eldest daughter, Helga Marie-Jeanne Schiel in collaboration with his long-term writing partner Henri Marquet, between writing for the films Mon Oncle and Playtime.

The main character is a version of Tati animated by Laurent Kircher. The plot revolves around a struggling illusionist who visits an isolated community and meets a young lady who is convinced that he is a real magician.
The Illusionist is an animated wonder from filmmaker Sylvain Chomet, whose Triplets of Belleville earned him two Oscar nominations.

The film was created from a script written by Jacques Tati, and the story traces a type of father/ daughter relationship between a middle-aged magician and the adolescent girl who places herself in his life.
The story begins in Paris. His flawless illusions notwithstanding, our skilled magician has an ill-fitting suit and a single poster, items that suggest his glory days are behind him. It's the late '50s, and we watch him sharing the bill with rock bands in halls that are deserted once the mop-top pop princes finish their set. He takes it all in sober stride, rarely changing his serious expression.
A cheerfully drunk Scotsman engages Monsieur Tatischeff - Jacques Tati's real surname - and gets him to travel to a pub in Scotland to put on a show.

The pub is in a remote fishing village, and there Tatischeff encounters the girl, who is employed as a cleaner. She happily washes and irons all the illusionist's shirts. He notices her terrible, tattered shoes and replaces them with a pair of beautiful red Mary Janes. Fixated on her new hero and believing him capable of real magic, the girl secretly follows him to Edinburgh.

There, Monsieur Tatischeff is surprised but apparently not dismayed to find he has been followed. He and the girl set up housekeeping together; he works at his magic, and she keeps house. She also shows him, in shop windows, exactly the sort of beautiful shoes and grown-up clothes she fancies. He works and budgets to buy what she wants, and we watch her slowly blossom into a sophisticated young woman.

The rooming house where the illusionist and the girl stay is filled with elderly and castoff personnel from the circus and the carnival; they are wonderfully brought to life by Chomet, although mostly heart-breaking in their isolation and poverty. The characters in the story are completely three-dimensional, quite a feat considering there's almost no dialogue.

And they exist in an extraordinary landscape. Chomet presents Edinburgh as a place so magical that you'll be inspired to hop on a plane and see it for yourself. Meanwhile, little girls must eventually grow up, which means that The Illusionist ends on a bittersweet note. Of course, art comes first.

For fans of Tati and students of animation, The Illusionist probably represents some kind of nirvana. For everybody else, it's a chance to enter a magical, dreamlike world created by the genius of these two artists.

Friday, April 22, 2011

►Wataru Yoshida - Blend of photography and illustration

►An interesting blend of photography and illustration by Wataru Yoshida. The artwork comprises of human/animal anatomy sketches that are superimposed on photographs, looking into complexities and intricate structure of mammal's body. 

Wataru Yoshida born in Tokyo, Japan in 1987 and has recently graduated from Tama Art University. Anatomy of Mammals is Wataru's graduation project and semi-finalist in Adobe Design Achievement Awards 2011 under photography. He was a finalist in 2010 in the same award for illustration.

Artist's Statement…
"A series of photographs which aim is to show a pure fascination for the mysterious and delicate qualities of the Mammals Anatomy. The motive for the series of Photographs, "Composition of Mammals", is to show the complex and interesting structure of the Mammals body. I came up with an idea of mock exhibition, "The Composition of Mammals", which studies the anatomy of mammals with displays of taxidermy and skulls. These photographs were used by this exhibition poster. I tried to visually explain the contests of the show, by incorporating mu diagram-like illustrations of bone structures and photographs that I took and edited myself. This project was my graduation work at Tama Art University."
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