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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Black & Silver

Black and Silver” (ca 1910) oil on canvas RA Diploma work accepted 1909. Shannon painted many society portraits from the highest ranks of society but this picture depicts his daughter.

Anglo-American artist Sir James Jebusa Shannon (1862–1923), was born in Auburn, New York, and at the age of eight was taken by his parents to Canada. When he was sixteen, he went to England, where he studied at South Kensington, and after three years won the gold medal for figure painting. His portrait of the Hon. Horatia Stopford, (One of the Queen’s Maids of Honour), attracted attention at the Royal Academy in 1881, and in 1887 his portrait of Henry Vigne in hunting costume was one of the successes of the exhibition, subsequently securing medals for the artist at Paris, Berlin, and Vienna.

  • Shannon soon became one of the leading portrait painters in London. He was one of the first members of the New English Art Club, a founder member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and in 1897 was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and RA in 1909.
  • His picture, “The Flower Girl“, was bought in 1901 for the National Gallery of British Art.
  • Shannon has paintings in the collection of several British institutions including Sheffield, Derby Art Gallery, Glasgow Museum and Bradford Museum.

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Hard to surpass the class of this glass

French glass artist Émile Gallé was born in Nancy, 8 May 1846 and is considered to be one of the major forces in the French Art Nouveau movement. Gallé was the son of a faience and furniture manufacturer and studied philosophy, botany, and drawing in his youth. He later learned glassmaking at Meisenthal and came to work at his father’s factory Maison Gallé-Reinemer in Nancy, following the Franco-Prussian War.

His early work was executed using clear glass decorated with enamel, but he soon turned to an original style featuring heavy, opaque glass carved or etched with plant motifs, often in two or more colours as cameo glass.

  • In 1877, he assumed his father’s role as director of the Maison Gallé-Reinemer, and became Secretary-General for the Société Centrale d’Horticulture de Nancy. His career took off after his work received praise at the Paris Exhibition of 1878.
  • Within a decade of another successful showing at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, Gallé had reached international fame and his style, with its emphasis on naturalism and floral motifs, was at the forefront of the emerging Art Nouveau movement.

He continued to incorporate experimental techniques into his work, such as metallic foils and air bubbles, and also revitalized the glass industry by establishing a workshop to mass-produce his and other artists’, designs.

  • Together with other notable glass artists including Antonin Daum and Louis Majorelle, they founded the Art Nouveau movement known as École de Nancy (The Nancy School).
  • Gallé died in Nancy, on 23 September, 1904. After his death, the factory continued to prosper employing 300 workers and artisans at its height, including the notable glassmaker Eugène Rosseau, and remained in operation until 1936.

Today, many of Gallé’s works are kept at the Musée de l’École de Nancy.

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Bromley’s comely chums

[Three examples of David Bromley’s ‘Female Nude’ series]

Australian artist David Bromley  was born in Sheffield, England in 1960. As a young boy, he migrated to Australia with his family in 1964. Bromley began his career in Adelaide as a potter, but eventually turned to painting. He currently resides in Byron Bay, New South Wales. David Bromley’s artworks have two clear focal points – the ‘Boys Own’ adventure project and the ‘Female Nude’ series.

Bromley takes inspiration from childhood books, popular culture and artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Glen Baxter. His nudes portray the female form in contemporary fashion. Bromley makes use of layering and texturing techniques while employing mediums such as metallic paint and leaf combined with black outlines on bold colours. Since the mid-1980s, Bromley has had more than 30 solo exhibitions in Australia, as well exhibiting regularly throughout Europe, the UK, South Africa, Asia and the United States.

  • Bromley was an Archibald Prize finalist for four consecutive years and he has been listed by the Australian Art Collector magazine as one of Australia’s 50 most collectible artists (in 2001, 2002 and 2009).

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The Art of Bishai is a Bit Shy and the Great Sphinx of Giza Holds Secrets as Well

Postcard of the Sphinx by A. Bishai (ca 1958). So far any information regarding the artist for this postcard remains a mystery, unless someone can provide any further information. In which case I would love to hear and then share with all. It would appear that he is Egyptian water colour artist Ayoub Bishai, and he is mostly known for his series of mid-20th Century illustrations for picture post cards. These were published by the Eastern Publishing Company in Cairo.

The subject of this post card is the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt which is located about 350 metres from the Cheop’s Pyramid. The colossal limestone Sphinx, represents a lion with a human head which some believe to be a likeness of Chephren standing guard over his tomb. It stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile at Giza. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 metres long, 19.3 metres wide, and 20.22 m high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and the basic facts about it, and its builders are still debated. Pliny The Elder mentioned the Great Sphinx in his book, Natural History, commenting that the Egyptians looked upon the statue as a “divinity” that has been passed over in silence and “that King Harmais was buried in it. Despite conflicting evidence and viewpoints over the years, the view held by modern Egyptologists at large remains that the Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500 BC by the pharaoh Khafra’ the builder of the Second Pyramid at Giza.

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I Just Don’t Understand

A while ago I spotted this daubing on the side of a bridge spanning the A79 highway.  Clearly the original version has been ‘worked upon’ to remove the person’s name, but what I don’t understand is…

  • Why did you stop there. Why not paint over the rest of it as well?
  • Unless ‘they’ ran out of paint.

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We Will Remember Them | ANZAC Day Street Art Commemeration

(Above: ANZAC Memorial mural at Hosier Lane, Melbourne)

ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day) is a national Day of Remembrance in Australia and New Zealand observed on the 25th of April each year, that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peace-keeping operations. Commemorative services and marches are held at dawn, the time of the original landing; mainly at war memorials in cities and towns across both nations and the sites of some of Australia and New Zealand’s more-recognised battles and greatest losses, such as Villers-Bretonneux in France and Gallipoli in Turkey against the Ottoman Empire during WWI.

One of the traditions of ANZAC Day is the “gunfire breakfast” (coffee with rum added) which occurs shortly after many dawn ceremonies and recalls the “breakfast” taken by many soldiers before facing battle. Later in the day, both ex-servicemen and ex-service women march through the major cities and many smaller centres.

  • ANZAC Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga, and previously was a national holiday in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

May We Never Forget | We Will Remember Them

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Swede dreams are made of these

Swedish visual artist Lennart Jirlow was born in Stockholm on April 24, 1936. In 1952, Jirlow went to Konstfack and was awarded the youngest student of the year. After Konstfack, Jirlow went abroad on a trip, and visited Holland, France and Italy, among other European countries. He settled in Florence for a couple of years, where he was admitted to the Accademia di Belle Arti.

After the first exhibition in Stockholm in 1958, Jirlow has mostly been active in France. Today, Jirlow lives in Provence, where he has a home and studio. He is mainly known for his colourful and naïve works, with motifs from restaurant environments, often Parisian in style, and flowering gardens. He has also painted several portraits of famous Swedes including Jan Malmsjö, Jarl Kulle, Evert Taube, Povel Ramel and Karl Gerhard.

  • Jirlow has acted as a scenographer and made scenography for the Spanish fly at Vasateatern (1982), Markurells in Wadköping at the Drama (1986) and Falstaff at the Royal Opera in 2008.

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Dare To Wear Ogilvie’s Jumpsuit With Flair

FLAIR – From Salon to Boutique, Australian Fashion Labels Through the ’60s
(The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria Australia, 2013)

This exhibition rekindled some of the magic of the psychedelic ’60s era. Named after the fashion magazine Flair, the exhibition featured international designers including Mary Quant and Andre Courreges along with local Australian designers such as Prue Acton, Zara Holt and Norma Tullo all of whom were household names of the era.

  • Amongst these items were designer Eva Ogilvie’s “Evening jumpsuit and tabard”, from 1967 and manufactured by Lucas, of Melbourne. The heavily adorned sleeves and collar contain fluorescent plastic and glass beads. The polyester and lurex-knit outfit was reported at the time as being “a touch of Hollywood glamour that could be dunked in the same tub as your stockings”.

Lucas manufacturers (1934-1968) was both a Melbourne and Ballarat-based manufacturer that produced its own cloth, dyes and garments. Its representatives regularly travelled abroad to research development in textiles to advance their own techniques.

  • This wide-leg jumpsuit is reminiscent of the Palazzo Pajama worn by the glamorous international jet-set for their leisurely beach and  poolside lifestyles. The tunic is a showcase for the bold lurex and its stylized medieval motifs and hides the trousers below.
  • During he 1960s countless fashion-conscious women were discouraged from wearing trousers at nightclubs and restaurants which preferred more conservative fashion etiquette.

Therefore, one must ‘dress to impress’!

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Campi – You’ve left me s-peach-less!

[Above: The Fruit Seller]

Vincenzo Campi (c. 1536–1591) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance era from Cremona. His style merges Lombard with Mannerist styles, however, unlike his siblings, he is known for a series of canvases, mostly painted after the 1570s, displaying genre scenes and local produce.

Many of them are set at a food store front of some sort, such as The Fruit Seller, pictured above. At the time, this type of painting was uncommon in Italy, and more common in the Netherlands, as exemplified by the canvases of Dutch painter Joachim Beuckelaer.

In Cremona, his extended family was the main artistic studio of his time. This included his two half-brothers Giulio and Antonio Campi  and distant relative Bernardino Campi. They were all active and prominent local painters.

  • In 1586-1589, he and his brother Antonio completed paintings for the church of  San Paolo Converso, in Milan.
  • Judging by this painting Campi is certainly not two grapes short of a fruit salad!

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The amazing 3D chalk art of Eduardo Relero

Argentinean 3D street artist, chalk artist (“chalkie”) Eduardo Relero has created worlds of wonder on pavements all over the globe.

  • He is based in Madrid and his work requires a specific viewing point to achieve the magic of a third dimension.
  • He has traveled around the world astounding passers by with his optical illusions and wonders in chalk.

Relero began his painting career on the streets of Rome in 1990 and has since gone on to create breathtaking murals in Germany, France, Spain and America.

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