(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘color

“An ordinary life isn’t ordinary when you put a frame around a moment”*…

 

meyerowitz

 

Joel Meyerowitz is a pioneer of street photography. He started in the early 1960s in New York City, using color film when most other photographers were shooting in black-and-white. He’s had exhibitions of his work all over the world, and has published more than 30 books. A retrospective of his work is scheduled to be shown in Berlin later this year, and he’s working on a new project of self-portraits. At age 82, he’s continuing to explore the medium of photography every day…

camelcoats 001

An interview with Meyerowitz, including his thoughts on street photography in the time of coronavirus (with memories of 9/11): “Ready for Surprise.”

* Joel Meyerowitz

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As we capture the moment, we might spare a thought for another extraordinary street photographer, Vivian Dorothy Maier; she died on this date in 2009.  A nanny, mostly in Chicago’s North Shore, she took more than 150,000 photographs during her lifetime, primarily of the people and architecture of Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles– photographs that weren’t recognized until after her death.

A Chicago collector, John Maloof, acquired some of Maier’s photos in 2007, while two other Chicago-based collectors, Ron Slattery and Randy Prow, also found some of Maier’s prints and negatives in her boxes and suitcases around the same time.  Maier’s photographs were first published by Slattery on the Internet in July 2008; but the work received little response.  In October 2009, Maloof linked his blog to a selection of Maier’s photographs on Flickr [now collected on this site], and the results went viral, with thousands of people expressing interest.  Maier’s work subsequently attracted critical acclaim, and since then, has been exhibited around the world. Her life and work have been the subject of books and documentary films, including the Academy Award-nominated Finding Vivian Maier.

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Vivian_Maier

Self-portrait

 

Written by LW

April 21, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone”*…

 

Ugly

 

in 2016, Pantone 448 C (“Drab Dark Brown”) was selected as the color for plain tobacco and cigarette packaging in Australia, after market research determined that it was the least attractive of all colors.  (The Australian Department of Health initially referred to the color as “olive green,” but the name was changed after concerns were expressed by the Australian Olive Association.)

Since 2016, the same color has also been used for plain cigarette packaging in France, the United Kingdom, Israel, Norway, New Zealand, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The ugliest color in the world.

* Dorothy Parker

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As we throw shade, we might recall that it was on this date in 2013 that “The Shard” was officially opened.  Designed by Renzo Piano, it is the tallest building the the U.K. (and until yesterday, was the tallest building in the E.U.).

240px-The_Shard_from_the_Sky_Garden_2015 source

 

Written by LW

February 1, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Friends share things”*…

 

Black header

Readers may recall that (R)D has contemplated black before [and here], more particularly, the emergence of the (then) “blackest black,” Vantablack.  Here, via the always-amazing Imperica, an update:

I’ve featured Stuart Semple and his work in here quite a lot over the past few years; this is the latest in his gloriously petty (but also actually sort of serious) one-man project to annoy Anish Kapoor by creating a paint as-black as Kapoor’s famously VERY black Vantablack (if you want the background to the story you can read all about it [at the link below], but basically Semple thinks that Kapoor is a pompous, self-important arsehole and, by all accounts, Semple is absolutely 100% right). Anyway, if you want the chance to own some of the blackest paint EVER MADE, here’s your chance – the Kickstarter for it is 3x funded with over a month left to go, so this is definitely happening, and it’s worth backing it purely to have the chance to draw ACME-style Wil E Coyote-esque fake tunnels on walls all over London…

Semple says, “we’ve created a paint that absorbs 98-99% of visible light, we want to share this black hole in a bottle with all artists and creators.” Learn more– and but some of your own– at “The blackest black paint in the world! Black 3.0.”

* Pythagoras

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As we get dark, we might spare a thought for a man who did his best to dispel a different kind of darkness:  René Descartes, the French philosopher and mathematician who thought and therefore was; he died on this date in 1650.

Many contemporaries (perhaps most notably, Pascal) rejected his famous conclusion, the dualist separation of mind and body; more (Voltaire, et al.), since.  But Descartes’ emphasis on method and analysis, his disciplined integration of philosophy and physical science, his insistence on the importance of consciousness in epistemology, and perhaps most fundamentally, his the questioning of tradition and authority had a transformative– and lasting– effect on Western thought, and has earned him the “title” of Father of Modern Philosophy.

“In order to improve the mind, we ought less to learn than to contemplate.”
– Rene Descartes

Frans Hals’ portrait of Descartes, c. 1649

source

 

Written by LW

February 11, 2019 at 1:01 am

“I see black light”*…

 

Caravaggio

Michelangelo Merisi
da Caravaggio used ivory black to convey asceticism, piety, and inspiration in his 1605-6 painting, St Jerome Writing.

Suddenly, black was everywhere. It caked the flesh of miners and ironworkers; it streaked the walls and windows of industrial towns; it thickened the smoky air above. Proprietors donned black clothing to indicate their status and respectability. New black dyes and pigments created in factories and chemical laboratories entered painters’ studios, enabling a new expression for the new themes of the industrial age: factory work and revolt, technology and warfare, urbanity and pollution, and a rejection of the old status quo. A new class of citizen, later to be dubbed the “proletariat,” began to appear in illustrations under darkened smokestacks. The industrial revolution had found its color…

Black is technically an absence: the visual experience of a lack of light. A perfect black dye absorbs all of the light that impinges on it, leaving nothing behind. This ideal is remarkably difficult to manufacture. The industrialization of the 18th and 19th centuries made it easier, providing chemists and paint-makers with a growing palette of black—and altering the subjects that the color would come to represent. “These things are intimately connected,” says science writer Philip Ball, author of Bright Earth: The Invention of Color. The reinvention of black, in other words, went far beyond the color.

In the 20th century, a flood of new black paints would inspire a new set of artistic styles that took on modern subjects and themes. “Black was increasingly connected with industry, technology, and the urban environment,” says Erma Hermens, who leads the Technical Art History Group at the University of Glasgow. “Black becomes a statement.” Black also helped artists to delineate a new period in the history of art. “It was saying that the time of classical painting was past,” says Ball, “that we’re using modern materials in a modern way.”…

Black through the ages– as the means of creating the color black have changed, so have the subjects it represents: “The Reinvention of Black.”

(And looking forward, consider the implications of the newest technological revolution in creating black: vantablack.)

* Victor Hugo’s last words

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As we paint it black, we might send a finely-limned birthday card to Jacques-Louis David; he was born on this date in 1748.  A master of cerebral “history painting, he is considered the preeminent artist of the French Neoclassical period.   David had a great many pupils and followers, making him the strongest influence in French art of the early 19th century, especially on academic Salon painting.

 

Written by LW

August 30, 2018 at 1:01 am

“The color of fire and sunset, the color of flamboyant flowers”*…

 

Clio, Pierre Mignard

Red is “the first color,” the most primordial and symbolic, for thousands of years in the West “the only color worthy of that name.” It is the basic color of all ancient peoples (and still the color preferred by children the world over). It appears in the earliest artistic representations, the cave paintings of hunter-gatherers 30,000-plus years ago. Blood and fire were always and everywhere represented by the color red. Both were felt to be sources of magical power, and both played a role in human communication with gods through bloody sacrifices. Humans also painted their bodies red, and shells and bones painted red are found in abundance in burials from 15,000 years ago…

The history and the meaning(s) of that most fundamental of colors: “Crimson Tidings.”

* Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea

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As we take Bill Blass’ advice, “when in doubt, wear red,” we might recall that today is the Catholic Church’s Feast of the Precious Blood, a commemoration of the blood of Jesus.  (This is a feast that does not exist in the new Roman Calendar of Pope Paul VI. It is still, however, in the traditional Roman calendar of the 1962 usage.)

 source

 

Written by LW

July 1, 2017 at 1:01 am

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood”*…

 

Back in 2011, on his blog devoted to all things Mister Rogers, neighborhoodarchive.com, Tim Lybarger recorded the color of every sweater Rogers wore in each episode between 1979 and 2001. “When I realized such a resource didn’t exist… I just felt like somebody needed to do it…might as well be me.”…

Dive more deeply into the sartorial habits of a true American hero at “Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001.”

* Fred Rogers (the first line of the lyrics of his theme song for his series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood)

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As we agree to be his neighbor, we might recall that it was on this date in 1990 that Americans were invited into a very different kind of neighborhood: NBC premiered Seinfeld.  (In fact, the pilot– with a different title [The Seinfeld Chronicles] and a different female lead [“Claire the waitress” instead of Elaine]– was broadcast in July of 1989; but NBC didn’t pick up the series until the following year.)

 source

 

Written by LW

May 31, 2017 at 1:01 am

“All photographs are memento mori”*…

 

Tropical Street: tourists walking past shops and restaurants in a tropical setting, Hawaii, USA

Many, many more glances at yesteryear at “Vintage Stock Photos“– all free.

* Susan Sontag

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As we check those photos in our wallets, we might spare a thought for Eliot Porter; he died on this date in 1990.  An American photographer, he is best known for his color photographs of nature. With encouragement from Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams, Porter turned an adolescent hobby into his profession.

Porter was the first established artist-photographer to commit to exploring the beauty and diversity of the natural world in color photographs.  Over much of his career, black-and-white photography set the artistic standard, and he had to fight his colleagues’ prejudices against the medium. But in 1962 the Sierra Club published “In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World.”  That immensely popular book, combining his evocative color photographs of New England woods with excerpts from the writings of Henry David Thoreau, revolutionized photographic book publishing, and legitimized color.  Its success set Porter on a lifelong path of creating similar photographic portraits of a wide variety of ecologically significant locations the world over.

 source

 

Written by LW

November 2, 2016 at 1:01 am

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