Hyperrealistic Picasso

Eugenio Merino, a Spanish sculptor from Picasso's birthplace of Malaga, has created the life-like statue of the artist for a new exhibition highlighting the problems of tourism for locals. Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, in 1881 he died in France in 1973 having helped create one of the 20th century's most important artistic movements in CubismEugenio Merino, a Spanish sculptor from Picasso’s birthplace of Malaga, has created the life-like statue of Pablo Picasso for a new exhibition highlighting the problems of tourism for locals. Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, in 1881 he died in France in 1973 having helped create one of the 20th century’s most important artistic movements in Cubism.The work is displayed inside a gift shop and viewers are allowed to take selfies with it, which Merino says will demonstrate how a complex artist and his work has been reduced to souvenir status. Picasso initially started out painting relatively life- like portraits influenced by impressionism, but soon incorporated surreal elements and motifs from African art, creating CubismThe work is displayed inside a gift shop and viewers are allowed to take selfies with it, which Merino says will demonstrate how a complex artist and his work has been reduced to souvenir status. Picasso initially started out painting relatively life- like portraits influenced by impressionism, but soon incorporated surreal elements and motifs from African art, creating Cubism.Merino is allowing tourists to take pictures with the statue, including with selfie sticks which have been banned from most museums, in a move which he hopes will help to prove his point. During his early years in Paris, Picasso was so poor that much of his early work was burned into order to heat his apartment. Today he holds the record for most expensive artwork ever sold, at $117millionThe work is constructed from fiberglass, resin and plastic and has been coated with silicone and embedded with real human hair. Merino matched the model to the artist’s real height, 5’3″ and based it on photographs of him. The artist was well-known in his later years for wearing a striped top, cloth trousers and rope-soled shoes, which he is dressed in for the show.

Merino is allowing tourists to take pictures with the statue, including with selfie sticks which have been banned from most museums, in a move which he hopes will help to prove his point. During his early years in Paris, Picasso was so poor that much of his early work was burned into order to heat his apartment. Today he holds the record for most expensive artwork ever sold, at $117million.Merino said tourism is often harmful to local communities, pushing people out of their homes as prices rise and drawing in huge crowds of people who put a strain on resources. While Picasso often takes all of the credit for having developed Cubism, in fact he created the artistic movement alongside collaborator Georges BraqueMerino said tourism is often harmful to local communities, pushing people out of their homes as prices rise and drawing in huge crowds of people who put a strain on resources. While Picasso often takes all of the credit for having developed Cubism, in fact he created the artistic movement alongside collaborator Georges Braque.Merino (pictured rear) is known for creating sculptures of dead people from history. He has previously made a mode of dictator Franco inside a Coca-Cola fridge, and of Osama bin Laden at a rave. Picasso set the mold for modern artists, and is often cited as the first painter to have achieved real fame while still aliveMerino (pictured rear) is known for creating sculptures of dead people from history. He has previously made a mode of dictator Franco inside a Coca-Cola fridge, and of Osama bin Laden at a rave. Picasso set the mold for modern artists, and is often cited as the first painter to have achieved real fame while still alive.

The “real” Pablo Picasso:Picasso was born in Malaga but left for France as a young boy and never returned. He died in France in 1973. As a nod to this, Merino has written the plaque for his sculpture in French, which reads: 'Here lies our beloved Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, we miss you.' Picasso did return to Spain several times in his life and drew on it for inspiration with his painting

The related Daily Mail article is here: That’s a good impression(ism): Hyperrealistic sculpture of Picasso complete with HUMAN HAIR goes on display in his birthplace of Malaga.

Giorgio de Chirico

https://www.tretyakovgallery.ru/dataphotos/0/0d/0d2841637df730ad609a3c58e5ada4a0.jpg

The founder of the Metaphysical art movement, Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was an Italian (Born in Volos,Greece)surrealist painter, whose work implied a metaphysical questioning of reality. He studied in Athens and Florence, then moved to Germany to continue his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. There he was influenced by the writings of Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer.https://i2.wp.com/os.colta.ru/m/photo/2009/02/11/giorgio_de_chirico-500.jpgOn his way to Paris, De Chirico traveled back to Florence and later to Turin, where he was moved by the metaphysical beauty of the surroundings. Why suddenly de Chirico?

https://i0.wp.com/smallbay.ru/images/chirico1.jpgPaintings of all major periods of de Chirico’s creative life will be exhibited: both metaphysical and post-metaphysical painting, as well as early canvases. Russian art lovers, Muscovites particularly, suddenly became newly excited about de Chirico, and art bloggers reacted accordingly.

https://i1.wp.com/os.colta.ru/m/photo/2008/11/19/1arrr_big_1.jpgIn the opinion of one blogger, the artist anticipated the further development of historical events in his paintings, as often the case with true visionaries. Her favorites are de Chirico’s landscapes, and her views, however controversial, seemed to me interesting enough to share, loosely translated from Russian.

His [De Chirico’s] landscape is the Imperial Rome with its greatness, power, brutality and… boredom — an ideal depiction of totalitarianism.
After all, she notes, up to the middle of the 20th century, Italy dreamt about the revival of Roman imperial greatness. Nazi dictator Mussolini was the product of this dream. However, nothing of consequence happened:  Italians got a few hefty slaps in the face and, for a time being, forgot their ambitious plans of revival of the Roman Empire.
https://i2.wp.com/tannarh.narod.ru/pics/kir/kir_24.jpgToday’s typical Italian is an elderly person who enjoys comfort, preserves his health and tranquillity. He isn’t in a hurry to exchange his convenience and the opportunity to live   past 80 on such illusory benefit as greatness of his country.

Giorgio de Chirico

Giorgio de Chirico. Self-portrait.

Today’s Russian abandoned his dreams of Cosmos and communism. He wants to become what the Italian has become already.  His prevalent idea of spending the rest  of his life is simple and unburdened by existential questions. It all boils down to growing old,  slowly — oh, so slowly — enjoying his own garden somewhere in the warm climes.  Not everybody can afford such luxury these days, however.  Who will provide such luxury for him? This is yet another existential question, to which there is no answer in de Chirico’s ladscapes.

Water!

Humans continually violate the harmony of nature and, as a result, suffer from lack of natural resources. This constant and resonant plot is embodied in numerous works of art. Mustafah Abdulaziz, American photographer based in Berlin, is undertaking a 15 year long project (2011 to 2026) appropriately named Water. He traveled the world looking for water, researching how different cultures perceive water, its exploitation, and the challenges to preserve our planet’s most vital resource. Today, his body of work covers eight countries on four continents, and is supported by Water Aid, Earth Watch, WWF, VSCO, and the UN.

The image below capture a group of fishermen waiting for their turn to sea. The locale is Sindh Province, Pakistan, 2013.Abdulaziz’s striking images look at the fragility of life but, more importantly, they hold up a mirror to how our individual behavior affects the collective’s quality of life.

The 2 images below is from Sierra Leone. The availability of drinking water in this country is limited. Studies of recent years show that the need for drinking water in urban population of Sierra Leone is satisfied only by some 84%, and rural by only 32%.

India. The population of India is 3.5 times greater than that of US, creating a huge burden on agriculture and natural resources. About 21% of infectious diseases in the country is due to the quality of drinking water, which is significantly lower than any allowable level.Pakistan. Scientists from the UN University believe that the first nuclear conflict on Earth might break out not between Russia and the United States but between Pakistan and India due to lack of drinking water.

Nigeria. The most densely populated country of the African continent risks to enter the top three most populous countries of the world by 2050. Today, more than 60 million Nigerians live without access to drinking water, and more than 100 million lack access to purified water.

Interview with the photographer and more images in Photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz Traveled the World Looking for Waterre.

 

The Art Of Passover

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, April 10–18, 2017 (Hebrew year 5777).
Happy Passover to those who celebrate. !חג פסח שמח
For Jews around the world, the Pesach Seder is an excellent occasion to gather at a large table, eat, drink and recall the exodus from Egypt.

For the great painters of the Renaissance, the ritual served as an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

Here is how Leonardo da Vinci painted the Seder of 13 Nisan 3793 on the wall of the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The painting dates from 1495-1498:
Below is the engraving of Albrecht Dürer, created in 1523, from collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum. St John is easily recognized here not only by the absence of a beard, but also by his place at the festive table. It is unclear, though, where the Jesus’s favorite pupil hid his legs. Judas is conspicuously absent, perhaps not to spoil the festive mood.Still below, is the amusing painting of Paolo Veronese “The Feast in the House of Levi”. Originally it was also called “The Last Supper”, but it had to be renamed after the intervention of the Inquisition, accusing the artist of an unfaithful depiction of the event. Veronese’s Last Supper is different from the canonical description by the evangelists. The Seder begins after the stars come out, however Veronese’s Seder feast takes place in the light of the day. The main objection, though, was the “composition” of the participants  — too many people that shouldn’t have been in the presence of Jesus at His Last Supper. The problem went away when the feast has been moved to the “house of Levi”. The canvas of epic proportions (one and a half times larger than Leonardo’s fresco) occupies the entire wall of the Venetian Academy:
The famous canvas of Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), created in Venice almost 100 years after the masterpiece of Leonardo. The painting is exhibited in the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore on the island of the same name. In the best baroque traditions, it depicts Jesus and his disciples at the festive table in the 16th century Venetian trattoria. Curiously, the mighty Inquisition had no problem with Tintoretto who placed a number of extraneous persons onto the canvas. Perhaps, it was because the supper takes place with the stars out?
“The Last Supper” by the Russian artist Nikolai Ge below was presented to the public in the fall of 1863 in the Academy of Arts of St. Petersburg. Church censorship tried to ban it and demanded its removal from the exhibition. The day was saved by Tsar Alexander II intervention. The royal mecenat bought the painting from the artist. Grudgingly, the clerics had to forget about their claims for a while (although the synodal ban on the publication of reproductions in Russia persisted until the February Revolution of 1917).It should be noted that of the five masterpieces above, only Nikolai Ge’s correctly reflected the ritual of the Last Supper: Passover, the exodus of Jews from Egyptian bondage should be celebrated reclining (מסובין) rather than sitting on the chairs around the table. Accordingly, Jesus’s beloved disciple shouldn’t be depicted sitting on the Teacher’s lap as portrayed by Durer, but rather reclined beside Him.

Many other great masters painted the Last Supper, among them Daniele Crespi, Hans Holbein (Hans the Younger), Juan de Juanes, Ugolino da Siena, Duccio di Buoninsegna

The Feather Book of Dionisio Minaggio

The Feather Book of Dionisio Minaggio, also referred to in Italian as Il bestiario barocco (The Baroque Bestiary), is a collection of 156 pictures made almost entirely from bird feathers augmented with pieces of bird skin, feet, and beaks. They were created between 1616 and 1618 by Dionisio Minaggio, the chief gardener of the Duchy of Milan and were originally bound into a book. The majority of pictures in the book are of birds indigenous to the Lombardy region of Italy at the time, but it also contained sets of other images depicting hunters, tradesmen, musicians, and commedia dell’arte characters. (Wikipedia)There are amusing scenes of everyday life: a patient suffering in the hands of a dentist, a man playing a melody on a pipe, and waiting for his dog to “do her things” — musicians, artisans and actors, birds and plants.
At that time, Milan was ruled by Spain, and the Spaniards were familiar with the art of the pen widely practiced in Central and South America. Although the style and methods were very different, it is possible that knowledge about this art form served as inspiration. Still, this is only an educated guess.To this day, we do not have the faintest idea why Dionisio Minaggio created such an unusual for the time book, and who, if anyone, commissioned it.

Meet The Artist: Pedro Roldán Molina

molina 1.jpg
molina 98molina 2An unusual technique, sunny colors, a fantastic country…

Molina_hudozhnikPedro Roldán Molina is an internationally recognized and well-known Spanish artist. He was born in the province of Cordoba in Rute, Spain, in 1954. He studied art in Barcelona. His work can be seen in major museums around the world.

Currently, Pedro Roldán Molina lives and works in Granada, Spain.

molina 7 molina 4An aura of a perfect dream…molina 8What you see and hear, to some extent, depends on what you are. I believe that each canvas, still life, landscape, in essence, is a self-portrait of the soul. (From a blog featuring  works of Pedro Roldán Molina.)molina 95molina 6molina 91molina 93molina 94

Lost And Found In Translation

Google announced a large-scale update of the Google Translate service: the basis of the translator will be driven by neural networks. For some languages, neural translation began to be used from November 2016 while others, including Russian, will switch to new technology in the near future. The developers argue that neural networks significantly improve the quality of translation, because machines can analyze not merely individual words and phrases but complete sentences and context.

How the new technology differs from the previous one? How to measure the quality of translation, and whether the machines can translate from one language to another as well as people?

Konstantin Benyumov, the journalist of Russian online publication Medusa, spoke with Barak Turovsky, Product Lead of Google Translate.Barak Turowski has been with Google since 2012, for the last three years managing Google Translate, including user interaction algorithms and design. Barak Turowsky was born in the USSR, lived and worked in Israel before moving to the United States.  At his request, the conversation was conducted in English, but during the interview Mr. Turowsky frequently switched to Russian.

Since I read the interview in Russian, the translation of an excerpt of the interview below is mine, not Google Translate. Although Turowsky’s words are given in quotes, these might not be the exact verbiage he used when he spoke in English. The likelihood that Mr. Turovsky will check my translation for accuracy is rather small. Should it happen, however, I can always put a blame on… Google Translate. So there.

– What is the weight of Google Translate in the company?

“The Translator is a very important product for us, and Google allocated significant resources to its development. The main reason for this is that almost 50% of the Internet content is in English. However, only about 20% of the people proficient in English. This is a very serious obstacle for effective use of the Internet. In fact, there are two obstacles. First, there is an infrastructure barrier: a huge number of people, for example in China and India, do not have access to the Internet at all. But this situation is gradually changing, thanks to the development of mobile Internet and smartphones. Thus nowadays people in these countries often go directly to the mobile Internet. However, they immediately encounter a language barrier, and this effectively limits their usage of the Internet.

Therefore, Google Translate is a priority product for us. The Translator is an immensely popular product — nearly a half billion people per month use it, we translate about 140 billion words per day.”

– Is Google Translate main goal mostly ideological — to unite the world, or mostly commercial — to attract more users?

“For our users, the Translator is free.  My main task as the Product Lead is to provide services to as many people as possible. Another important goal is to simplify access to the Internet, remove barriers that hinder its effective use. Personally, I’m not concerned about monetization whatsoever.

– Let’s talk about the design for which you are also responsible. Design in Google Translate clearly does not play a leading role. At least, it looks rather simple and over the years the project has undergone a minimum of changes. Is is so?

“You are absolutely right. Google Translator is a tool, its task is to be useful and convenient, and the design should therefore be minimalistic in order not to interfere with its effective use. But we constantly introduce new mechanisms and ways of interaction with the Translator, for example, using a mobile phone or camera. There is the Word Lens — a function that allows to use the technology of augmented reality to aim the camera at the text and translate it.”

– Has the translator learned to work with pairs of languages directly, bypassing English?

“Not quite yet. The popularity of English on the Internet means that the vast majority of training data is a translation from English into other languages and back. And if a user needs to translate from Russian into Japanese, in most cases we have to translate first from Russian into English and then into Japanese. Of course, direct translation would be better, but we support translation from 103 languages, that is, the number of their combinations is 103 square, it is more than ten thousand language pairs. For training it is very difficult.

But neural translation allows machines to learn to work with multiple languages at the same time. For example, languages can be combined into related groups, which greatly simplifies our work. In addition, within the related groups, we can create working models that do not need English language as an intermediary.”

Further in the interview, Turovsky answers questions about putting a Neural Machine Translation into action. Instead of me competing with Google Translator, I suggest you to read Barak Turovsky’s related blog articles  Google’s new translation software is powered by brainlike artificial intelligence and Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate.

 

Trash As Art

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Portuguese street artist Artur Bordalo creates monumental three-dimensional sculptures of animals using, well, garbage that people routinely throw out, depositing their refuse not necessarily in or around designated garbage disposal places. Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама  The artist wants to draw public attention to environmental pollution.Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Arthur creates three-dimensional animals from garbage and old rubbish, which people throw out.Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Artur’s work can be found not only in Portugal, but also in other countries, in particular in the United States and Estonia. Presumably, he doesn’t transport his native Portuguese garbage but uses local materials easily found no matter wherever he goes.  Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

It Hurts!

The Milgram Experiment  of 1961 showed ordinary people were willing to inflict terrible pain on a stranger when ‘following orders’. Stanley Milgram, an American social psychologist, attempted to test social compliance. His inspiration was the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann’s defense for arranging the mass killing of Jews was that he was only ‘following orders’.

Derren Brown recreated the experiment in his 2006 documentary The Heist. His findings differed not the whole lot from the Milgram original most subjects would, indeed, harm others, following orders given by persons of authority.

Human nature, surely, must’ve changed in fifty years! We’ve become more independent, less subservient, more defiant, freer thinkers, less willing to obey the authority without questioning its motives. More humane! That’s it. Haven’t we become all of the above?  We must have! Well? What?

Yes. Human nature have changed.  If anything, it has got worse. 

This time, 80 participants were recruited, including women as well as men, and 90 per cent were willing to inflict the highest shock level of 450 volts to a complicit “learner” screaming in agony.

Social psychologist Dr Tomasz Grzyb, from the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Poland, said: “Upon learning about Milgram’s experiments, a vast majority of people claim that ‘I would never behave in such a manner’.

“Our study has, yet again, illustrated the tremendous power of the situation the subjects are confronted with and how easily they can agree to things which they find unpleasant.”

The participants, aged 18 to 69, were shown an electric generator which was demonstrated by administering a mild shock of 45 volts.

Volunteers were given a series of 10 levers to press, each appearing to send a successively higher shock to the learner – out of sight in a neighbouring room – via electrodes attached to the wrist.

In reality, no electric shocks were delivered, and, as in the original experiment, the learner was playing a role.

After pressing lever number two, “successive impulses of electricity ” resulted in screams of increasing pain from the learner,” the scientists wrote in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“These screams were recorded and played back at appropriate moments.”

The “teachers” were told they were taking part in research on memory and learning.

Just as in Milgram’s experiment, they were spurred on by prompts from the supervising scientist such as “the experiment requires that you continue”, “it is absolutely essential that you continue”, and “you have no other choice, you must go on”.

Mercy was more apparent when the learner was a woman. In this case, the number of participants refusing to carry out the orders of the experimenter was three times higher than when the person receiving the “shocks” was a man.

Dr Grzyb concluded: “Half a century after Milgram’s original research into obedience to authority, a striking majority of subjects are still willing to electrocute a helpless individual.” 

The above is a quote from the article in The Telegraph with a telling title, Nine in 10 people would electrocute others if ordered, rerun of infamous Milgram Experiment shows.

The article also mentions a recent study conducted at St Andrew’s University. The study suggests that people were happy to inflict pain on others if they believed it was for the greater good. The researchers looked back through records of the original experiment and found that those who took part were not unhappy with their choice.

So much for the humanity, human morals and its spirit, healthy and free. Makes you want to scream, “It hurts!”

Genres Of Idiot

Image result“I’m An Idiot” — news release.
“He Is An Idiot” — review.
“We Are Idiots” — news analysis.
“You Are Idiots” — column.
“They Are Idiots” — investigative journalism.
“Now You Know, They’re Idiots!”Ambush journalism,  special report.
“No, YOU Are An Idiot” — commentary.
“Tell Me The Truth, Are You An Idiot?” — interview.
“Perhaps, He Is An Idiot” — opinion column.
“Among Idiots” — report.
“Life Of An Idiot” — biography.
“Being An Idiot” — an autobiography.
“Long Live The Idiot!” — a pamphlet.
“Naked Idiot!” — yellow journalism.
“This Idiot Is A Moron!” — Solutions journalism
“Everyone Is An Idiot” — essay.
“Sex With An Idiot” — celebrity journalism.
“An Idiot And I”— Social news.
“The Stupidest Of Idiots” — rating,  Sensationalism.
“Kim Jong-un Is An Idiot” — political article.
“The Idiot” — a novel.