Cereal Collectors? – Not as Corny as it Might Seem

Cereal boxes – from 2016 Open House “Cabinets of Wonder” ephemera collection at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. This collection is entitled ‘Breakfast is Good for You’. The collector is identified as ‘IS’ and their occupation: Cleaner.

IS claims: “I started collecting a lot of things that I found in the kitchen when I was a boy – matchbox covers, footy cards and toys’ and trade cards from breakfast cereals and cards from packets of tea. I have just kept collecting. I spend my weekends trading cards and have become an expert in the area.”

Another collector: ‘ASH’ has entitled his exhibit “When Cereal Companies Cared about Kids”. He is a curator. A popular culture website advises that there was a time when cereal manufacturers wanted to make breakfast fun not healthy. In this golden age almost every box of cereal contained a little plastic game, toy or gadget. The kitchen table became a playground. it was  a weekly variation on the annual coins in the Christmas pudding. Was there more time to linger over breakfast? Did cereal companies really care about kids or did they just want kids to pester for their toys and so their cereal?

The Crater Critters were made in Australia by Rosenhaim and Lippmann. They were distributed worldwide inside Kellogg’s cereal boxes in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There were 8 critters in the full set and were inspired-lunatic artistry.

  • Perhaps these are examples of Snap, Crackle & Pop Art
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A Bit of Hanky Panky

“Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases – So Trap Them in Your Handkerchief.”

A handkerchief also called a handkercher or hanky, is a form of a kerchief, typically a hemmed square and made from thin fabric that can be carried in the pocket or purse. It is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one’s hands or face, or blowing one’s nose. A handkerchief is also sometimes used as a purely decorative accessory in a suit pocket.

  • The material of a handkerchief can be symbolic of the socio-economic class of the user, not only because some materials are more expensive, but because some materials are more absorbent and practical for those who use a handkerchief for more than style.
  • Handkerchiefs can be made of cotton, cotton-synthetic blend, synthetic fabric, silk, or linen.

Handkerchiefs were also used, especially by children, as an impromptu way to carry around small items when a bag or basket was unavailable. They could also serve as a substitute for a bandage over a small injury.

In the United Kingdom, the habit of wearing a handkerchief with tied corners on one’s head at the beach has become a seaside postcard stereotype, referenced by the Gumby characters in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

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You Must Be An Angel | I Can See It In Your Eyes

Deborah Halpern (born in Melbourne in 1957) is a public art sculptor, mosaicist and ceramic artist. Halpern lectures and conducts workshops in ceramics in Melbourne. Her parents Sylvia and Arthur Halpern, were ceramists and artists and two of the founding members of Potters Cottage in Warrandyte.

Halpern began work in ceramics as an apprentice in 1975. She studied painting, print-making and sculpture at the Caulfield Institute of Technology (now Monash University) in 1979. In 1981 she had her first solo exhibition at the Blackwood Street Gallery and has subsequently shown at the Meat Market Craft Centre; Gryphon Gallery; apart from having her work showcased at numerous other group exhibitions. She has been represented by the Christine Abrahams Gallery in Melbourne and the Arthouse Gallery in Sydney. In 1987-89, Halpern graduated with a Diploma of Visual Art from the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education (now Monash University). The images depicted include:

Angel – One of Halpern’s most known sculptures which stood in the moat outside the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) until 2005, when it was relocated close to the Ian Potter Gallery on the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River, at Birrarung Marr. The 10 meter tall Picasso-influenced Angel resembles a three-legged llama with more than 4000 individually cut and hand-painted ceramic tiles fixed onto its concrete and steel armature.

Ophelia (1992) is  located on Southbank. Once known as the face of Melbourne, Ophelia was inspired by the character from Hamlet, full of both love and sadness. Halpern says Ophelia is the cousin of Angel,

Mali: Protector of all Animals.  Mali (2012) is a gift to the children of Melbourne from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. Mali marks the celebration of the Melbourne Zoo’s 150th Anniversary and its commitment to the conservation of endangered species.

Big Bunny (2013) ceramic and glass tiles on fiberglass, steel & aluminium 160cm x 78cm x 88cm

“O’ What may man within him hide, though angel on the outward side!” – Shakespeare ‘Measure For Measure (Act III, Scene II)

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Shunga | Spring Pictures

One of the most unabashedly erotic images to ever grace the pages of an art history book came from the woodblock of iconic Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. Widely known for his G-rated, Edo-era prints like The Great Wave at Kanagawa, the celebrated ukiyo-e painter and print-maker famously depicted a titillating love scene between a few octupi and a satisfied-looking human being. The masterpiece swiftly and simultaneously brought full frontal nudity, bestiality, and female orgasm to the forefront of fine art. The untitled illustrations are one of many sexualised paintings and tantalizing prints produced during the 17th C. Known as shunga, the genre was comprised of elaborate and highly erotic artworks that were banned from Japanese institutions for a significant portion of the 20th century.

  • Thankfully, an exhibit entitled ‘Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art‘ provided artists of the ukiyo-e genre their well-deserved spotlight. The collection of works by Japanese greats like Hokusai, Kitagawa Utamaro and Utagawa Kunisada celebrated the taboo-breaking side of art history with a survey of over 300 years of traditional Japanese erotica.
  • The allure of Shunga, which translates to “spring pictures,” rests in the images ability to appeal to men and women of various sexual preferences.
  • Often these artworks were light-hearted and comedic, focusing not only on romantic moments but also on the bizarre and awkward contortions that are more laughter-inducing than arousing.

Artworks by Hokusai and others sometimes used sexual talismans, passed from partner to partner, friend to friend, and parent to child to use as both an educational manual and a good luck charm. In this way, shunga acted as the traditional precedent to contemporary anime and manga.


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Art or Rubbish? – It’s all Garbage to me

[Above: Uniformity by Emmerson Daniels –  (2017).  Synthetic polymer paint on plywood. Top VCE Art 2017-2018. ] Daniels was a student at Mount Lillydale Mercy College, Lillydale. Uniformity explores the overall similarity and lack of variation evident in everyday life. Emerson muses that the consistent likeness of each bin is symbolic of the alarming deterioration of original thought and a subconscious adherence to social norms. ‘Every household puts their bin out on a given day every week and repeats this process 52 times a year’. A subtle protest against suppressed individuality. Emmerson is influenced by Geoffrey Smart’s aesthetics in urban landscapes.

All though this work is clearly art, some of the other pieces included here are dubious. Some are located at well known street art locations, some decorated by street artists, some just make you want to laugh or make you wonder why is this here?

More examples are available on my Rubbish Art section. Way too trashy for me!

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None so campy as these vampy scampi

[Image: David Bielander – Scampi 2007] (Collection of the artist)

David Bielander (born 1968) started his career as an apprentice goldsmith in Basel Switzerland working for the industrial designer and jewellery maker Georg Spreng before studying under Professor Otto Künzli at the Academy of Fine Arts, in Munich.

In 2006 Bielander became the Artistic Assistant to Professor Daniel Kruger at the Academy of Fine Arts Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, Germany and by 2011, he became an external consultant to the jewellery department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

  • In his art, Bielander takes the familiarity of everyday objects and combines them with a witty abstraction to create unusual pieces as wearable art. His work has seen him win numerous awards including the Herbert Hoffmann Prize in 2010 and the Francoise van den Bosch Award in 2012.

His work is held in many public collections including the Fond National des Arts Contemporain, France, the CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, the Neue Sammlung, Munich and the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

  • Bielander lives and works in Munich where he currently shares a studio with fellow artists including Yutaka Minegishi and Helen Britton.

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Emily Floyd | The Installer I Most Enjoyed

Born Melbourne in 1972, Emily Floyd is Senior Lecturer in the School of Fine Art at Monash Art Design & Architecture (MADA), Monash University. She is also a 2015 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow. Floyd has been working in sculpture, installation, print-making and public art, and is renowned for her text-based sculptures and pedagogically inspired works that combine formal concerns with an interest in the legacies of modernism. Intersecting public space with carefully considered design, she creates bold spaces for public engagement and interaction.

Examples of Floyd’s art are present in major public collections in Australia and internationally, including: Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), The British Council (United Kingdom), The British Museum (London), Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Monash University Collection (Melbourne), Heide Museum of Modern Art (Melbourne), National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), GOMA / Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane); and prominent private and corporate collections.

  • Featured above: The Outsider (2006) polyurethane on wood synthetic polymer paint and lacquer. This work takes Algerian author Albert Camus’s novel ‘The Outsider’ (1942) as its starting point. In Floyd’s interpretation of this existentialist text, sentences from the novel suggest the coastline and urban centre of Algiers (the setting of the book); through a mass of toy-like building blocks; Some instances and precise phrases from the novel are evident, while at other times words collapse into indecipherable piles. presenting language in a material form. Floyd invites active participation from the viewer in the construction of meaning.
  • A Human Scale (2014) comprises 15 opaque synthetic polymer resin and bonded aluminium bronze LEDs. With this commission, Floyd investigates the potential of public art to activate urban spaces. The work’s title is drawn from the community based campaigns that emerged in response to the development of housing commission buildings in Melbourne and Sydney in the 1960s.

I am glad I did not avoid
Floyd’s abstract humanoid
installations that were employed
which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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I’ll Put a Girdle Around the Earth

Australian muralist, mosaicist and painter in stained glass and other media, Mervyn Napier Waller was born in Penhurst, Victoria on 19 June 1893. He studied at the National Gallery school in Melbourne and exhibited his first paintings and drawings in 1915. The following year he married and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). During WWI he served in France and was badly wounded at Bullecourt, where he lost his right arm. He subsequently learned how to use his left hand after having been right-hand dominant.

By 1923, Napier Waller became the first to make and exhibit lino cuts in Australia. He then turned to mural design and won his first commission for the former Menzies Hotel in Melbourne, in 1927. (Although the building was demolished in 1969, the mural was sold privately). This was followed by a set of murals created for the Melbourne Town Hall in the same year. Later Napier Waller won the commission to provide panels for the Dining Hall at the Myer Emporium  in 1935.

Napier Waller became senior art teacher for the Applied Art School of the Working Men’s College, Melbourne (now the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University). Although his work was strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite and late-19th C British painters, his monumental works show a classical and formal style; using timeless and heroic figure compositions to express ideas and ideals often featuring Arcadian-themed Theosophical and Gnostic overtones.

  • Mervyn Napier Waller died on 30 March 1972, in Melbourne.

Some of his work pictured above includes:

  • I’ll Put a Girdle Around the Earth – Exterior mosaic mural, Newspaper House, Collins Street Melbourne (1933)
  • Wife Christian (nee Yandell) with their three dogs Baldur, Undine and Siren at Fairy Hills (1932)
  • Peace After Victory, The State Library of Victoria  (1934)
  • Mosaic and stained glass windows for the Hall of Memory, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1958.

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Tuby or not to be | That is the question

French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Tuby was born in Rome in 1635 and died in Paris in 1900.  Tuby served Louis XIV of France and was regarded as one of the premier court sculptors of his time.

His art is remarkable for its extraordinary precision of symmetry and three-dimensional volume; its explosively animated forms; and for a delicate sense of embellishment and  humour.

  • Tuby is most renowned for the magnificent bronze centerpiece of the Fountain of Apollo (see above) planned and built by André Le Nôtre for the West Gardens of the Palace of Versailles. He also created remarkably nuanced life-size bronzes for Versaille’s Parterre d’Eau, representing several great rivers of France (the Saon and the Rhone).
  • His white marble urn is arguably the finest decorative urn at Versailles, Le Vase de la Paix, a monumental 2.5 metre tall piece that adorns the South corner of the stairs immediately below the west façade of the palace containing the Hall of Mirrors.

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Feeling Pea’d Off? Don’t snubbo the art of Rubbo

[Image: Pea Gathering | Kurrajong Heights  (1918)]

Italian-born artist and art teacher Antonio Salvatore Dattilo Rubbo was born in Naples on 21 June 1870 and spent his early childhood in Frattamaggiore. He studied painting under Domenico Morelli and Filippo Palizzi before emigrating to Australia, arriving in Sydney in 1897.

According to Australian art critic Robert Hughes, Dattilo Rubbo was not considered a great artist and that – “muddy genre portraits of very wrinkled old Tuscan peasants were his strong suit,” but he was an inspiring art teacher, responsible for introducing a whole generation of Australian painters to modernism through his art school (opened in 1898) and his classes at the Royal Art Society of New South Wales.

  • In contrast to nearly all other art teachers in Australia at the time, he was not a reactionary, and encouraged his students to experiment with styles as radically different from his own as post-Impressionism and cubism.
  • Rubbo taught in Sydney schools including St. Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, Kambala, (private girls school), The Scots College and Newington College.

He was a flamboyant character who believed in championing his students to the hilt; indeed, in 1916 he challenged a committee member of the Royal Art Society to a duel because he had refused to hang a post-impressionist landscape by his pupil Roland Wakelin.

Other students included:

  • Norah Simpson, Frank Hinder, Grace Cossington Smith (whom Dattilo Rubbo referred to affectionately as ‘Mrs Van Gogh’),
  • Donald Friend (“Aha Donaldo, always the barocco; rub it out, boy, rub it out!“),
  • Roy De Maistre, war artist Roy Hodgkinson, Archibald Prize winner Arthur Murch, social realist Roy Dalgarno, Tom Bass, and many more.

In 1924 he helped to found the Manly Art Gallery and Historical Collection which holds over one hundred and thirty of his works. He died in Sydney on 1 June, 1955.

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The Finite Art of Finn Dac Art

Finn Dac (aka Finbarr Notte) is a street artist originally from Cork, Ireland and currently based in London. He concentrates on large scale murals and pieces. He started making street art in 2008 as Finn Dac.

  • Shinoya (blue-image, Melbourne) was three days in the making and featured one of his signature bad-ass tattooed ladies based on his muse, Erin Fitzgerald.
  • Shinka (yellow-image Adelaide) was commissioned over four days as part of the Little Rundle Street Project in Kent Town and featured one of his muses, Meghan Lall.

Finn Dac’s use of  beautiful women in his murals are a modern interpretation on the 19th C art movement known as ‘The Aesthetics’. In similarity, he believes that art should not be political or social, but replicate the embellishment of mundane life. Therefore, the purpose of art should bring beauty to the world.

  • Hence, he references Urban Aesthetics, which combines both urban stencil art and traditional portraiture to create his art works.

Finn Dac art = Fine art!

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Hey Guys, Please Ladders In

Australian artist David Frazer was born in 1966 in Foster, Victoria. He graduated from Phillip Institute of Technology with a BA Fine Arts (Painting) 1984-1986. This was followed by a Diploma of Education (Secondary Art/Craft) Latrobe University (1991);  Honours Degree in Fine Art (Print and Printmaking), Monash University (1996); and an MA Visual Arts by Research, Monash University (1998-2000).

Frazer presents strong narratives in his art. His intricately detailed wood engravings, etchings and lithographs show great command for a range of printmaking techniques. His work explores a sense of place and the emotions of longing. This is evident in the nostalgia and isolation that can accompany his art, such as the universal yearning to be ‘somewhere else’ a common thread for Frazer’s work which often combines a gentle sense of whimsy and humour.

  • David Frazer has held over 40 solo exhibitions in Australia, London and China. To find out more, visit David Frazer’s site.

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Synthetic Meat as Art? Don’t Have a Cow Man!

Image: Butcher Shop. (Synthetic polymer and enamel paint on composition board and wood, ceramic tiles, transparent synthetic polymer resin, mirror, steel, fluorescent light, plastic, polyvinyl chloride, metal, string Measurements (a-l) (241.0 × 303.0 × 128.7 cm).

One of seven children, Australian painter, performance artist and writer Ivan Durrant, was born in Melbourne in 1947. His father suffered from alcoholism and his mother was forced to place all of their children into State care. As a consequence Durrant was raised in an orphanage in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton from the age of 7-15.

Durrant discovered a fondness for birds and animals on annual summer vacations; and after leaving school; he worked in a prosthetic laboratory at the Royal Melbourne Hospital; creating lifelike body parts. With these skills, Durrant began to create convincingly accurate sculptures of ears, hands, pig heads and various cuts of meat.

  • Combined with his childlike, folksy, naive art style of drawing and art, he morphed into a self-developed style of super-realism or extreme photorealism which is sometimes referred to as supraphotolism (to work ‘above and beyond the photo’).

As a result, Durrant is known for creating art with “great shock value” including butchered meats and pigs’ heads such as his 26 May, 1975 “Slaughtered Cow Happening“where he  dumped the carcass of a “freshly slaughtered cow” on the forecourt of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Prior to this, Durrant informed the NGV staff that he was donating a sculpture, and ‘asked whether they would consider leaving it in place for a few days’. This lead to his artistic ‘meat series’ which included:

  • Butcher shop and Pigs Head Exhibition (1978)
  • Meat Paintings (1979) and
  • Photographic Exhibition of Meat (1981)

Durrant now resides in Blairgowrie and his work is held in many public collections.

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May Your Cup Runneth Over and Be Squashed

  • Left: Paper cup and straw by Jasper Jacobsen, Time’s Black Arrow (2014). Jasper Jacobsen is a Melbourne-based artist currently completing a Master of Contemporary Art degree at the Victorian College of the Arts.
  • Centre: This paper cup was found in Union Lane, Melbourne – a great place to view street art. Is this cup rubbish, or an art installation? – you be the judge.
  • Right: From the ‘Cabinets of Wonder’ ephemera exhibition at the Historical Society of Victoria (2016). This exhibit entitled ‘Love the Design, Hate the Waste’, a selection of paper cups collected by ‘MC’.

MC states: “I am repulsed by the amount of ephemeral consumerist ‘stuff’ we throw out in our daily lives. I am also attracted to the design work that often adorns this stuff. I wanted to see how many paper cups I could collect for free, off the streets, and out of rubbish bins without ever buying a cup myself, or going out of my way to look for them. I also restrict my collecting to not picking up cups with the same design twice; although I do allow colour and design variations within the same brand.”

The humble paper cup, often made from recycled paper and sometimes lined or coated with plastic or wax were developed in the 20th century and became more popular after the invention of the Dixie Cup in 1908. They soon replaced drinking glasses on railway journeys and were considered more hygienic than the former glass variety. They were then adopted by public hospitals. Originally paper cups were printed using rubber blocks mounted on cylinders with a different cylinder for each colour. Until flexography plates were which allowed for more complex designs. Shorter runs can be produced on offset printing machines and although formerly used solvent based inks they now use soya-based inks to reduce the danger o cups smelling. The latest development is Direct-printing which allows printing on very small quantities, offering small quantities in short lead times.

There are many opinions in relation to their continued use and environmental and sustainability issues from habitat-loss trees, recycling techniques, biodegradability and emission studies and the general paper vs. plastic debate.

  • Paper cups as litter are like the new Cigarette Butt –May Your Cup Runneth Over and be Squashed

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Eggleston’s Time Capsule Goes Back to the Future

  • Images featured are from the: Festival of Photography: William Eggleston Portraits. An exhibition of his photographs of family and friends, casual acquaintances and strangers in a series of eloquent, poetic and character studies.
  • Many of the images are from the artists personal archive and are exhibited for the first time. Exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery London with support from the artist and the Eggleston Artistic Trust and presented by the National Gallery of Victoria.

Few photographers of the 20th Century have had such a profound influence on contemporary photographic portraits as the American photographer William Eggleston who was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1939.  Although Eggleston is not usually regarded as a portraitist, pictures of people have long been central to his practice.

  • Photographed near this home in Memphis and in the Mississippi delta where he grew up, many of his images depict friends and family.
  • Still more are of strangers – taken unawares and performing everyday tasks such as dining, shopping or waiting for a bus.
  • These spontaneous and unconventional pictures pose deep questions about humanity, self, memory and experience.

The main catalyst for New American Photography, Eggleston is credited with legitimizing colour photography (using the dye transfer process) as a fine art form. Teaching himself from books of prints by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, he began photographing his environment in the 1950s but turned to colour, then used largely only commercially, in the late 1960s.

Initially Eggleston photographed in colour using readily available films which he sent to drugstore laboratories for processing and printing. In his search for what he called the ‘ultimate quality colour print’, in the early 1970s, Eggleston happened upon  the dye transfer process, a close cousin of Technicolor in cinema film. Marketed by Kodak since the 1930s, dye transfer had until that point been used mainly for high-end commercial work. Eggleston began to use it for artistic purposes and his 1976 exhibition ‘Photographs by William Eggleston‘, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Images That Tell a Story |  Real Life |  Memories | Captured Forever

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