Today I thought I’d share some art by Zuhair Hassib, a Kurdish-Syrian artist who was born in 1960.
His art is multifaceted. Hassib explores human closeness, femininity and colour on the one hand and war, destruction and sadness on the other. I suppose you could call this a metaphor for the situation in Syria as a whole; in just the past few weeks the news has focussed on the siege in East Aleppo as well as the romantic, poetic graffiti it provoked.
Without analysing Syrian current affairs further, I hope you enjoy this small collection of paintings:
Today I wanted to share some fascinating Russian photography collections with you 📷
Irina Popova is a Russian photographer and I recently came across her photobooks If You Have a Secret and LTP on her website.
I am slightly late to the party, though. If You Have a Secret was published in 2014 and LTP in 2015 but Popova is currently crowdfunding a project to find and photograph the 8000 other Irina Popovas and compile a collection called the Incomplete Princess Book.
If You Have a Secret is a book of photographs of everyday Russia. The collection has been made into a video which showcases the powerful way that Popova puts jarring images next to snowy scenes next to photographs of couples with an inspiring true-to-life touch. It’s interesting and also key to keep in mind that this is the artist’s reaction to her ‘motherland’, described here:
The ‘mysterious Russian soul’ however, is by nature complicated, uncontrollable and absurd, making the task of finding one image impossible and therefore resulting in the series, If You Have a Secret. The images represent the ‘lost generation’, people steeped in poverty and hardship, yet somehow colourful and full of hope. […] The artist states, “you feel at the same time unbearable pain and highest joy” that is so typical of modern Russia.
The second, thought provoking collection I wanted to share with you is LTP. It is made up of photos that Popova took when she went to Belarus’s detention centre for alcoholics and substance abusers.
As this article explains, these “rehab prisons” were part of a Soviet-era justice system which attempted to cure dependencies through labour. There are 8 centres of this kind in Belarus, with just a 5% rate of efficacy.
Here is the photobook video. Popova’s use of light is pretty glorious on its own, but the uneasy “I-cannot-believe-this-is-real” feeling makes it a gripping watch.
As a new student of art and an old student of Spanish, I’ve become obsessed with the artist Coco Dávez.
I first came across Dávez on Instagram and I immediately fell in love because her art is so colourful, bold and fun. Dávez, from Madrid, frequently uses primary colours and bold shapes so it feels like it’s always summertime on her site 🍉🍉
As an artist, Dávez’s style lies somewhere between pop art and new realism but she dabbles in body art and makes small prints and postcards as well. Dávez’s art is so modern and accessible because, as pointed out in this article, it is displayed first and foremost in the public gallery of social media.
Here are a few of Dávez’s works, mainly from the Faceless collection, as well as some others from her Instagram. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
As you might have noticed from my blog header, I’m quite a fan of the neon artist Jung Lee and in the interests of not writing about Christmas again (for the third time this week 🎅🎄🎁) I’m going to share some neon art with you instead!
Neon art lies somewhere in the intersection between poetry, sculpture, landscape photography and street art. Neon artists can also use light and colour in a way that isn’t seen through any other medium. It’s worth reading this article in Complex to discover more amazing artists than I’ve included in this post.
Here are a few of my favourites and examples of their beautiful work! 😊
“La terre est bleue comme une orange” – Paul Éluard
Happy Tuesday 💙🍊
In a fascinating attempt at self sabotage, I’ve taken a module at University where we analyse French art and compare it with poetry… So basically, in the words of Éluard, the earth is blue like an orange to me rn. My most inspired thought from this week’s class is that, entertainingly, paintings connect with songs so much better… Here’s Magritte as an example: