Are you thinking that Fafi is fluffy?

Fafi is an early adopter to street art and is currently living and working in Paris. Through her art, Fafi has been exploring her femininity through stereotypes, using them to her advantage. Fafi not only knocked her male colleagues and competitors out their socks, she also locked toy manufacturing deals with Sony and Medicom.

fafi-2Fafi has also contributed to countless press stories and illustrations for Commons & Sense, Vogue, Elle and The Face, as well as big market collaborations with Adidas, M.A.C, Hennessy, Swatch, Samsung and Le SportSac, not to mention many solo and prestigious group shows in the most respected galleries around the world.

Her presence during the Miami Art Basel at Wynwood walls “Women on the walls” curated by Jeffrey Deitch, brought her back to the art world with two art pieces showcasing her usual “Fafinettes” and a flower “SALOPE” installation opened to new mediums.

  • Becoming a mother, her next natural move was animating the ‘Fafinettes’ in music videos like Lily Allen and Mark Ronson’s ‘Oh My God’ or her co-directed ‘Do Do Do’ for Ed Banger act Carte Blanche. She also directed full-Kno videos for Mademoiselle Yulia and Azealia Banks, the latter becoming real-flesh characters.
  • Her last but not least director’s job was to shoot live M.I.A for the first Youtube Music Award in New-York in November 2013 along with Spike Jonze’s team.
  • Her first comic book ‘The Carmine Vault” released in April 2012 on eminent Rizzoli Books and Alternatives.
  • Now not only the Fafinettes are fly girls, they also run a whole universe of creatures, homes and vehicles. It’s a dreamy and peculiar place.

It just shows, there’s nothing fluffy about Fafi!

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Whoop Oop De Boop

Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer, with help from animators including Grim Natwick. According to Wikipedia, the caricature of a Jazz Age flapper, Betty Boop was described in a 1934 court case as:”combining in appearance the childish with the sophisticated — a large round baby face with big eyes and a nose like a button, framed in a somewhat careful coiffure, with a very small body of which perhaps the leading characteristic is the most self-confident little bust imaginable.

Despite having been toned down in the mid-1930s to appear more demure, she became one of the best-known and popular cartoon characters in the world.

  • Betty Boop made her first appearance on August 9, 1930, in the cartoon Dizzy Dishes the seventh instalment in Fleischer’s Talkartoon series.
  • Although Clara Bow is often given as being the model for Boop, she actually began as a caricature of singer Helen Kane.

Betty’s voice was first performed by Margie Hines, and was later performed by several different voice actresses, including Kate Wright, Bonnie Poe, Ann Rothschild (also known as Little Ann Little), and most notably, Mae Questel. She began voicing Betty Boop in “Bimbo’s Silly Scandals”(1931), and continued with the role until 1938, returning 50 years later in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. Today, Betty is voiced by Tress MacNeille, Sandy Fox and Cindy Robinson in commercials.

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Down For a Ride With the Girl On a Slide

Australian painter, sculptor and teacher John Stuart Dowie was born on 15 January 1915, in the Adelaide suburb of Prospect. He was one of South Australia’s most respected sculptors and his works appear all over Adelaide. One of these include:

  • Girl on a Slide,” a bronze sculpture created by Dowie which appears in Rundle Mall, Adelaide.

Dowie studied architecture at the University of Adelaide, as well as painting with Ivor Hele and Marie Tuck. During World War II, Dowie worked in the Military History Unit of the Australian Imperial Force, and as an assistant to Australia’s official war sculptor, Dowie was nominated for Senior Australian of the Year in 2005, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1981 in recognition for his service to the arts as a sculptor and painter.

  • Dowie died on 19 March 2008, aged 93 in an Adelaide nursing home, after having suffered a stroke the week before.

As for Dowie’s Rundle Mall sculpture – all I can say is  it’s: “Down For a Ride With the Girl On a Slide.”

Wee Hoo!

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Is a Room With a View Better Than a Room With Chairs?

Pictured above: “A Room With Chairs” (1972) charcoal on paper and canvas. 

William Delafield Cook (1936–2015) was an Australian artist born in Melbourne, who was known for his stark landscapes. He taught at the University of Melbourne. He had long divided his time between London and Melbourne. He died at the age of 79 after a brief illness in London on 29 March 2015, where he had been preparing for an exhibition.

  • In 1980 he won the Wynne Prize for A Waterfall (Strath Creek).
  • In 2013 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for “significant service to the visual arts as a realist painter of Australian landscapes”.

Interestingly, his grandfather, was also William Delafield Cook, who was also a painter and had links to the Heidelberg School of Australian painting.

The example above is least likely to have been part of his usual genre, but needless to say is intriguing in its overall composition.

So my quandary is, “Is a Room With a View Better Than a Room With Chairs?” – It might depend on where you sit, but for me it’s Sofa So Good!


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It’s Ben Hall of a Life for This Bush-Ranger

ben hall19th Century Australian bush-ranger Ben Hall was born on 9th May 1837. Operating mainly in New South Wales (NSW), he was known as part of Australian folklore as “Brave Ben Hall.

Ben carried out many brave raids, some of which were intended to taunt the police. Unlike many bush-rangers of the era, he was not responsible for any deaths, but was nevertheless shot dead by police on 5th May, 1865, who were acting under the Felons Apprehension Act (1865), which allowed known bush-rangers to be shot and killed rather than taken to trial.

The legality of his killing remains controversial. Ben Hall’s body was taken back to the town of Forbes, in NSW, where an official inquest was held followed by his burial at the local Forbes Cemetery on Sunday 7 May 1865.  A headstone was later  erected in the 1920s.

A number of folk songs recount Hall’s life and exploits. The most notable include:

  • Streets of Forbes, which has been recorded by numerous singers and groups; and
  • The Ballad of Ben Hall’s Gang, The Death of Ben Hall and The Ghost of Ben Hall.
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Lest We Forget Our Trench Art

ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day has been celebrated annually in Australia on 25 April. since 1916. ANZAC Day commemorates the combined participation of all soldiers and those associated with the military forces throughout all wars since 1914 including its casualties, trials and tribulations.

As a consequence, when soldiers were assigned  duty overseas, they sometimes had time on their hands to make souvenirs or decorative articles to send back home.

Examples above were created during World War One (WW1) and  lent the name for this activity into “Trench Art” where items were made from brass shell cases and other sources or raw material.

(The above items are on view at Anzac House, Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia).



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The honour of being William Cresswell – Father of the Australian Navy

Vice Admiral Sir William Rooke Creswell  was born on 20 July 1852 in Gibraltar. He was educated at Gibraltar and Eastman’s Royal Naval Academy, Southsea. He began his naval career at the age of 13 as a cadet on the Royal Navy’s training ship Britannia.

  • Having already served in the Channel Fleet, Creswell was transferred to the China Station.
  • His next seagoing appointment, was to the East India Station, followed by a period in Zanzibar.

Creswell retired from the Royal Navy in 1878 and, seeking to become a pastoralist, he emigrated to Australia in 1879. In 1885 he took up an appointment as First Lieutenant on South Australia’s only naval vessel, HMS Protector.

Creswell soon began agitating for the establishment of an Australian naval force to supplement the Royal Navy squadron based in Sydney. On 1 May 1900, he was appointed Commandant of the Queensland Maritime Defence Force, but was soon released to command Protector on its deployment to China to assist in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion.

After Federation, Creswell’s lobbying for an Australian navy gained momentum and in February 1904 he was appointed to the new position of Naval Officer Commanding the Commonwealth Naval Forces.

In 1909, Australia’s admiralty sought to dramatically increase its naval strength. The Naval Defence Act (1910) was passed, which created the Australian navy. In 1911, Creswell was promoted to Rear Admiral in the service of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). As part of his coronation honours, the King made him Knight Commander of the order of St Michael and St George.

  • Considered the father of the RAN, Creswell retired in 1919 and took up farming in Victoria. He was promoted to Vice Admiral in 1922.
  •  Creswell has been honoured with the naming of the naval base, HMAS Creswell, the site of the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay, NSW.
  • He died on 20 April 1933 and was survived by his wife Adelaide Elizabeth (née Stow) and two sons and a daughter.

This bust appears at the front entrance of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, St.Kilda, Victoria.

It was erected as a token of appreciation of his services to Australia by the Victorian Branch of the Navy League, assisted by the St.Kilda Shore Committee, the Royal St.Kilda Yacht Club and many other Australian admirers.

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Galatea – For She is the One with the Milk White Skin

Above: Gustave Moreau’s Galatea (ca.1880)

Galatea (Trans: “She who is milk-white“) is a name popularly applied to the statue carved of ivory by Pygmalion of Cyprus, which then came to life in Greek mythology. Galatea is also the name of Polyphemus’ object of desire in Theocritus’s Idylls VI and XI and is linked with Polyphemus again in the myth of Acis and Galatea in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau was born on 6 April 1826 in Paris, to a middle class family living at 6 Rue des Saints-Peres. Having encountered an early sheltered life, by the age of 15, he began his love for art.

By the age of 18, he began art studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under the guidance of François-Édouard Picot until 1850. He then moved to a new mentor Théodore Chassériau, whose work strongly influenced his own. Moreau showed his first works in 1852.

Above: The Unicorns (1885)

He was a major figure in the illustration of biblical and mythological figures. His first painting was a Pietà which is now located in the cathedral at Angoulême. He showed A Scene from the Song of Songs and The Death of Darius in the Salon of 1853. In 1853, he contributed Athenians with the Minotaur and Moses Putting Off his Sandals within Sight of the Promised Land to the Great Exhibition.

  • Moreau appealed to the imaginations of some Symbolist writers and artists. Oedipus and the Sphinx, one of his first symbolist paintings, was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1864.
  • He is recognized for his works that are influenced by the Italian Renaissance and exoticism.
  • Moreau became a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in October 1891. Among his many students were fauvist painters Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault. Jules Flandrin, Theodor Pallady and Léon Printemps also studied with Moreau.

Moreau had a 25-year personal (and possibly romantic) relationship, with Adelaide-Alexandrine Dureux; a woman whom he drew several times. On March 28, 1890, Dureux died. Her death affected Moreau greatly, and his work after this point contained a more melancholic edge.

  • During his lifetime, Moreau produced more than 8,000 paintings, watercolors and drawings, many of which are in the Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris.

Moreau died of stomach cancer on 18 April 1898 and was buried at the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris in his parent’s tomb. Dureux is also buried at the same cemetery.

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Behold the Art of Emil Nolde

Above: Emil NoldePuppan und Papagai (Dolls & Parrot) c. 1919 oil on canvas 46.5×59.5cm Bayerische Staatsgemaldesammiungen, Munich Straatsgalier Moderne Kunst

German-Danish painter and print-maker Emil Nolde was born Emil Hansen  on 7 August 1867 near the village of Nolde (in Southern Jutland, Denmark), in the Prussian Duchy of Schleswig. His parents, devout Protestants, were Frisian and Danish peasants.

He did not like farm life so from 1884-1891, he studied wood carving and illustration in Flensburg.  In 1889, he gained entrance into the School of Applied Arts in Karlsruhe. From 1892 to 1898 he was a drawing instructor at the School of the Museum of Industrial and Applied Arts (Industrie- und Gewerbemuseum) in St. Gallen, Switzerland.  When he was rejected by the Munich Academy of Fine Arts in 1898, he spent the next three years taking private painting classes, visiting Paris, and becoming familiar with the contemporary Impressionist scene that was popular at this time.

  • He married Danish actress Ada Vilstrup and from 1902 changed his name to Emil Nolde, after his birthplace.

Above: Frau in Blumgarten (1907) oil on canvas 63x785cm Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum, Hagen

He became a member of the Dresden revolutionary Expressionist group Die Brücke (The Bridge), in 1906. As one of the first Expressionists, his oil paintings and watercolours demonstrated his exploration with colour; using golden yellows and deep reds. This gave  his work a luminous quality to otherwise sombre tones. His watercolours highlight vivid, storm-scapes and brilliant florals. Die Brücke  lasted only until the end of the following year.

From 1908 to 1910 he was a member of the Berlin Secession, before being excluded in 1910 due to a disagreement with the leadership. In 1912 he exhibited with Kandinsky’s Munich-based group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).

  • Nolde was a supporter of the Nazi party from the early 1920s, having become a member of its Danish section. He expressed anti-Semitic, negative opinions about Jewish artists, and considered Expressionism to be a distinctively Germanic style. This view was shared by some other members of the Nazi party, notably Joseph Goebbels and Fritz Hippler.
  • However Hitler rejected all forms of modernism as “degenerate art“, and the Nazi regime officially condemned Nolde’s work. Until that time Nolde had been held in great prestige in Germany.
  • A total of 1,052 of his works were removed from museums, more than those of any other artist. He was not allowed to paint—even in private—after 1941. Nevertheless, during this period he created hundreds of watercolours, which he hid. He called them the “Unpainted Pictures“.

After WW2, Nolde was once again honoured, receiving the German Order of Merit, West Germany’s highest civilian decoration.

  • He died in Seebüll (now part of Neukirchen) on 13 April, 1956.
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Hail Fair Guinevere

Above: Guinevere by John Collier (1900) Bradford Museums and Galleries, Bradford, U.K.

Leading English artist John Maler Collier  was born on 27 January 1850.  He was a painter in the Pre-Raphaelite style; and was one of the most prominent portrait painters of his generation. In April 1875, at the age of 25, Collier enrolled at the Munich Academy where he studied painting.

  • Both his marriages were to daughters of Thomas Henry Huxley.
  • Collier married his first wife Marian (Mady) Huxley, in 1879. She was an artist who exhibited at the Royal Academy and elsewhere. After the birth of their only child, a daughter, Joyce; Mady suffered severe post-natal depression and was taken to Paris for treatment where, she contracted pneumonia and died in 1887.
  • In 1889 Collier married Mady’s younger sister Ethel Huxley in Norway.
  • By his second wife he had a daughter and a son, Sir Laurence Collier, who was the British Ambassador to Norway from 1941–1951.
  • Collier’s daughter Joyce, was a portrait miniaturist and became a member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters.

  John Collier died on 11 April, 1934.

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Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good

 Swiss-born artist and one of Australia’s Official War Artists for WW2,  Sali Herman, was born on 12 February 1898. He arrived in Melbourne in 1937 and enlisted in the Australian Army in 1941. In 1945, he was appointed an Official War Artist, painting at several places in the Pacific. such as Rabaul.

  • He submitted 26 paintings to the Australian War Memorial.

Above: Crashed Fighter Plane (oil on hardboard) painted in Bougainville, 1945 (Australian War Memorial, Canberra).

Sali Herman is mostly known for paintings of inner city streets and slums in Sydney. He was awarded the Sulman Prize in 1946 for Natives carrying wounded soldiers, and also in 1948 for The Drovers. He won the Wynne Prize four times; in 1944 for McElhone Stairs; in 1962 for The Devil’s Bridge, Rottnest; again in 1965 for The Red House; and in 1967 for Ravenswood I.

  • He died on 3rd April 1993.

The success of Herman’s art reaffirms it, that:
…”Something Tells Me I’m into Something Good“.

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There’s a Bear Out There… and What The Steiff Would I Know!

Above: Teddy Bear by Steiff (ca 1912) 48cm.

German designer  Richard Steiff  was born on February 7, 1877 in the German city of Giengen. In 1897 at the age of 20, Steiff joined his aunt Margarete’s toy making enterprise. While attending the School of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule) in Stuttgart, he would regularly visit the nearby Nill’scher Zoo and spend much of his time drawing the residents of the bear enclosure. His sketches of the bears were incorporated into the prototype of the toy bear he created in 1902 and code named Steiff Bär.

At its debut at the Leipzig Toy Fair in 1903, Steiff’s bear initially attracted little attention; but its fortunes were saved when an American buyer snapped up the entire lot of 100 bears and ordered another 3,000 just before the exhibition finished.

  • The heyday of the Steiff company thus began.

At the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, the Steiff’s sold 12,000 bears and received the Gold Medal, which was the highest honour at the event. The kind of toy bear they pioneered acquired the appellation “Teddy” from several legends about Theodore Roosevelt.

  • Steiff bears, are identifiable because of a small metal “Steiff” clip which is sewn into the ear. Steiff bears are now very collectable and valuable.

Above: Dual-plush Teddy (ca 1920 – 62cm high).

In 1923, Richard Steiff left his wife Else in Giengen Benz, Germany and boarded the SS President Arthur bound for New York City and arrived on March 20, 1923. He continued his manufacture of the Steiff bears until his death.

  • Steiff died on March 30, 1939 at the age 62 in Jackson, Michigan, United States.

By the way, How do you start a Teddy Bear race?
… Ready, Teddy, Go!

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Fantasy That – It’s Hansson’s Magician’s Hat

Jan Ternald’s cover art for Bo Hansson’s album “Magician’s Hat”.

Swedish musician Bo Hansson was born on 10 April 1943. He was best known for his four instrumental albums released in the 1970s. Hansson spent his early life in a remote village in the pine forests of northern Sweden, but a change in his parents’ fortunes forced them to move to Stockholm without him. He remained in the care of family friends until his teenage years when he was reunited with his parents in Stockholm. With a fascination with rock and roll music, Hansson taught himself to play the guitar, before joining the band Rock-Olga.

  • After the rock and roll craze gave way to jazz and blues in the late ’50s he joined ‘Slim’ Notini’s Blues Gang as a guitarist. Hansson then formed his own blues group The Merrymen, who supported The Rolling Stones on an early Scandinavian tour.
  • In 1966, he left The Merrymen to expand his musical horizons and bought a Hammond organ. He formed a new group who were signed by Polydor under the band name Hansson & Karlsson. The band became popular within Sweden and they released three albums between 1967 and 1969.
  • They even reached the ear of Jimi Hendrix, who took time out from his tour to jam with the duo, along with George Clemons on drums and Georg Wadenius on guitar, at the Klub Filips in Stockholm in late 1967.
  • Hendrix went on to record a Hansson song, “Tax Free”.

In 1969, Hansson became entranced by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and moved into a friend’s vacant apartment and started writing a musical score, based on the novel. Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings, was released in December, 1970.

  • Magician’s Hat was his second solo album. It was originally released in Sweden by Silence Records in 1972 and internationally through Charisma, the following year.

Hansson’s  recording of Magician’s Hat took place at Studio Decibel in Stockholm. Like its predecessor, the album was partly influenced by fairy tales and fantasy themes, with the song “Elidor” being inspired by Alan Garner’s 1965 fantasy novel Elidor. Although the album had a similar progressive rock sound to his previous album, it was not as commercially successful and failed to reach the charts in the U.K. and the U.S.

In 1976, Hansson began work on recordings that were inspired by another book – Richard Adams’ Watership Down. Another disappointing chart performance led to his withdrawal from music and he fell into obscurity. Bo Hansson died in Stockholm on 23 April 2010.

About the cover artist:

Born in Gothenburg Sweden, in 1952, Jan Ternald is active as a painter, illustrator and musician. He has been exhibiting in art galleries and museums since 1970 and also has been working as a book & record illustrator. Very recently, Ternald started working with computer art. This will hopefully result in 3-D and animation adventures taking him into new dimensions.

Contact Jan Ternald by email or visit his website.

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Compare the Pair #15: Compare the Chair

4anish-kapoor-hollowLeft: “Hollow“(2012) fibreglass & paint by Anish KapoorNational Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor was born on 12 March 1954, in Bombay. Kapoor lived and worked in London during the 1970s studying art at the Hornsey College of Art and then at the Chelsea School of Art and Design. Kapoor went on to teach at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1979; and in 1982 was Artist in Residence at the Walker Art Gallery, in Liverpool.

  • In 1990, Kapoor represented Britain in the XLIV Venice Biennale and was awarded the Premio Duemila Prize.
  • In 2013, he received a Knighthood for services to visual arts; and in 2014, Kapoor was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Oxford.  


The Ball Chair – or Globe Chair (right) as its alternative name, was designed by using one of the most simple geometric forms – the ball. It was designed by Eero Aarnio in 1963.

The Ball Chair is a “room within a room” with a cozy and calm atmosphere, protecting outside noises and giving a private space for relaxing or having a phone call. Turning around its own axis on the base; the view to the outer space is variable for the user and thus not completely excluded from world outside.

  • In 1966, the Ball Chair was presented at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne. It was the sensation of the fair, and the breakthrough for Eero Aarnio and the start for a whole line of fibreglass Aarnio designs.

So, to compare the pair: we need to look at each chair up there and to celebrate both with great fanfare!

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Poseidon’s Adventures are de Gheyn For

Poseidon and Amphitrite (1610) , Wallraf Museum, Cologne (Köln).  – Poseidon was the Greek god of the sea who married the nereid Amphitrite and fathered the merman Triton.

Jacob de Gheyn II (aka Jacques de Gheyn II) (c. 1565 – March 29, 1629) was a Dutch painter and engraver, whose work transitioned from the Northern Mannerism style to the Dutch Realism movement over the course of his career. De Gheyn was born in Antwerp and received his first artistic training from his father, Jacob de Gheyn I, a glass painter, engraver, and draftsman.

Around 1600, de Gheyn abandoned engraving, and focused on painting and etching. Moving to The Hague in 1605, he was employed by the Dutch royalty, designing a garden in the Buitenhof for Prince Maurice of Orange which featured the two first grottoes in the Netherlands.

  • De Gheyn is also renowned for painting some of the earliest female nudes and floral still lifes in Dutch art.
  • He is credited with creating over 1,500 drawings, including landscapes and natural history illustrations.

De Gheyn married Eva Stalpaert van der Wiele of Mechelen in 1595. His son, Jacob de Gheyn III, was born in 1596, and became an engraver in his own right, as well as the subject of a portrait by Rembrandt.

De Gheyn II died in The Hague on March 29, 1629.

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