Category Archives: art

Classroom rule number one: Never smile before Christmas

Two excellent short films. The first is clever and imaginative. The second may induce feelings of vertigo or unsettled stomach – IT”S THAT EXCITING!

So – first – The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway’s book and John Sturges’s film starring Spencer Tracy – now an animation drawn by Marcel Schindler.

I saw this film on the excellent Brain Pickings website. My only quibble with the animation is that the role of the boy is omitted – though, to be fair, he doesn’t board the small boat on the trip depicted.

Next – short film number two. Some of the camera shots may make you queasy. Here’s the film called People Are Awesome.

It’s the going over the edge skiiing shot that has me holding on to the table for balance. Though I suspect it’s the sort of thing Lesley “Get” Carter does every morning before breakfast. I presume they used the same crew as this Carling Black Label advert (based on cameraman Graham Henry’s exploits with Anneka Rice in Treasure Hunt).

The nearest Continue reading

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Street Art 2: Famous faces

Amy Winehouse – She’s saying: “Oh no, I couldn’t eat another thing. Well… Maybe one more chocolate eclair. Just to be polite.

Ever walked down the street and felt that you were being watched?

I’m not talking about that time you forgot your trousers or had your skirt tucked into your knickers. You were being watched that time. Gawped at in fact.

But I’m talking about something more surreptitious.

Something you sense but can’t quite be sure of.

As if people aren’t moving turning their heads – just twitching their eyes. Like a ghostly portrait in haunted mansion.

So back to the street and the feeling of being watched.

Do you try to carry on as if you hadn’t noticed. Whistling maybe. Swaying in an attempt to look casual. Fighting the urge to speed up.

Samuel Beckett: “You looking at me? Huh! Beware or I’ll zap you with my laser eyes.”

Whilst beneath cloth your buttocks are clenched. Your back is straighter. Your own eyes are swivelling while you force yourself not to look back over your shoulder.

Then imagine that the eyes following you are not just anybody’s eyes. That round each corner a new famous face confronts you.

Do you feel intimidated? Scrutinised? Weighed and measured?

Or Continue reading

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The Devil made me do it

How often do you encounter – or read – something completely fresh?

Rarely, I’d say.

This is fresh. Or to be more accurate – it’s sulphurously original. Continue reading

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Robert Hughes: What democracy is for…

Robert Hughes died recently. I liked reading his work.

This is what he said about democracy and art – from an editorial in the Guardian newspaper:

The late Robert Hughes wrote his own epitaph in his 1993 polemic Culture of Complaint, where he inveighed against the banal politicisation of art and championed instead the importance of quality.

“Some things do strike us as better than others – more articulate, more radiant with consciousness,” Hughes insisted. “We may have difficulty saying why, but the experience remains.”

Democracy’s task, in the field of art, he believed, was to make the world safe for elitism, not to outlaw it. He believed passionately – in Hughes’s case the adverb is redundant – in an elitism that was not based on class, wealth or race, but on skill, imagination, high ability and intense vision Continue reading

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Cool Dog 100k

Cool Dog – Alfie – Deptford, London

COOL DOG is here to mark a small Blackwatertown landmark. You – dear readers – have visited this blog 100,000 times and brought the comment total above 5,000.

Thank you.

You’re as cool (if not even cooler) than Cool Dog.

Meanwhile, thank you also to anyone who has downloaded a copy of my ebook The Obituarist. I don’t know who you all are – but I’d love to hear so that I can thank you personally – so let me know if you do – email me at paulwaters99 AT hotmail.com

But I can thank Michael J Lawrence (author of The Aphrodite Conspiracy) for this review:

Got absolutely no work done that afternoon as I opened the first page and the story just kept me engaged until I finished it. Tally ho chaps, bandits at twelve o’clock. A ripping yarn! Continue reading

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Street Art 1: Happy people v worried dog

This guy was loitering down the road.

Looking cheery.

But he was a man of straw.

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Unlike this happy couple Continue reading

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Austerity Measure

I’m always excited about visiting the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.

One past year had a huge gorilla constructed from coat hangers. Another year I offered to take a reader of this blog on a free tour of the exhibition. Padmini took me up on it. I’ve been a fan. A defender.

But this year… It’s just…

Great to see old favourites – Norman Ackroyd, Anselm Kiefer, Barbara Rae and others. But overall it just didn’t get me going.

It was the Austerity Measure from the Henningham Family Press that most caught my eye.

Like Continue reading

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