There is a community of medievalists on Twitter who re-tweet their latest finds in their studies of illustrated manuscripts. I follow some of them, and this popped up in my Twitter stream today. It is a stupendous 112 page 13th century Sicilian manuscript from the Vatican Library, dealing with birds and falconry (De Artes Venandi Cum Avibus…
Perusing the latest stuff from the journal Nature, I found this lovely video of a new exhibit at the British Museum featuring some of the oldest artwork known—including pieces made 40,000 years ago. That's not too long after the "out of Africa" event that spread modern Homo sapiens through the world! Take a look at the "lion man" in the first clip…
There's something beautiful about seeing our primitive ancestors demonstrate creativity. We popularly imagine ancient man to have been a crude savage concerned strictly with the primal needs of survival. Yet no matter how difficult and simple their existence, it seems almost every human group developed some sort of art form.
Linden Gledhill's Flickr page contains 32 sets of photographs, half of them devoted to biology or physical phenomena in nature. You could spend hours looking at them, for they include insects, plants, insect eggs, insect parts, fungi, as well as paint splashes, astronomy shots, and travel photographs. Linden has given me permission to put up a few of his insect pictures, but be aware that they're "copyright Linden Gledhill" and can't be further reproduced without his permission.
As I've said before, nature is as beautiful as any work of art. These pictures are amazing. It's hard to believe the insects I encounter without a passing thought (other than perhaps annoyance or revulsion) harbor this much beauty deep down.
Few people are malicious or evil for no good reason . Being evil for the sake of evil is a myth that applies only to the villains of childhood fairy tales or mainstream entertainment media. Humans are complicated creatures who seek to rationalize everything they do. What one person thinks is evil, another may find to be acceptable, if not good. Continue reading →
It’s amazing what a change in perspective can do, either to the sense or towards are perception of reality. There’s beauty all around us, depending on where, how, and – more importantly - if we look. It’s easy to take for granted the strange and amazing worlds that exist out of sight and out of mind.
Thankfully, talented photographers like Suren Manvelyan of Armenia are uncovering amazing realms of aesthetic splendor, thanks to the wonder of human curiosity. It seems like a rather simple approach too: extreme close-ups of various human eyes, which I would never have though could create the sort of alien worlds like the following:
To think that our own eyes, which we’re rarely conscious of, harbor so much beauty.
There’s much more to see if you click here. Also check out the artist’s website here.
I stumbled upon some of these eerie photographs while carousing through Tumblr. They are pictures of the Democratic Republic of the Congo taken in infrared, which produces a surreal and almost alien feel to them. The artist is an Irishman named Richard Mosse, who has an impressive CV in cultural studies, fine art, and photography, and has been involved in a lot of showcases and projects.
Below is a small sample of work:
Vintage Violence, North Kivu, Eastern Congo, 2011.
Men Of Good Fortune, North Kivu, Eastern Congo, 2011.
Growing Up In Public, North Kivu, Eastern Congo, 2011
You can check out the rest of his work, which includes photos from the Iraq War, here.
For all the ills of their totalitarian brand of communism, the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites engaged in some remarkable experimentation in architecture, producing some of the most fascinating and controversial buildings around. Depending on your perspective, they’re either something out of a science-fiction story, or an Orwellian, dystopian nightmare (perhaps a bit of both?). You decide.
In case it’s unclear, that’s the former headquarters of the Soviet Georgian Ministry of Highways. Charming.
While you’re at it, check out a selection of similarly strange buildings done in the aptly named “Brutalist” style. I find their ugliness to be rather charming for some reason, although I can’t imagine what a whole city built in such a manner would look like. Apparently, the only thing saving this bizarre displays of creative boldness (or madness, depending on your perspective) are practical concerns about money and urban planning.