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„My Favorite Things“ is a song by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein. It was one of the first of John Coltranes hits, and is the title of one of his most beautful records.
This is a commercial ad for West cigarrettes, published both in a landscape and a portrait format in newspapers, bus stops, advertizing columns and big boards. I don’t think that those long hairs are very practical for working, but who cares?
This one is another ad, for leather wear. Taken from a catalogue with four more pictures with the same model, the company seemed, like me, to prefer this particular picture (the one with the most beautiful smile) and used it for larger ads.
I used the picture for a computer collage (variation Nr.1), removing all the text lines, and adding some more fetishistic underwear. Later, I made a handmade sketch (variation Nr.2) in a rather realistic (one-to-one) style, and some years later, I added another sketch in a more comic-like style (variation Nr.3).
Isn’t it beautiful: the smile, the bra, the pants, the pose... "super charge your self!"
The Goddess and Me
The authorship of these works is difficult to settle; the mathematics behind was discovered by Fatou and Julia, by Mandelbrot examined with a comupter for the first time; others developed computer programs for visualising those objects, and I have choosen the according parameters and color ranges, a non-trivial task (as the different images of the Mandelbrot set of very different quality prove). And finaly, there is a beauty and an asthetic, which has no one at all as its creator, in some way a work of the Goddess. Therefor, these pictures are coproduction of the Goddess and me (and many more people).
Mandelbrot Set “Seahorse-Seahorse-Valley” [363 KB]
At the border of the Mandelbrot set, there is a region known as seahorse valley. In this region, there are, as everywhere on the border of the Mandelbrot set, smaller copies of the Mandelbrot set. Those smaller copies of the Mandelbrot set than again contain seahorse valleys. And such a seahorse-valley-seahorse-valley is shown by the picture above. You can see the characteristic structure of a blobb at the border of the seahorse valey, but here also surrounded by white filigrans with the characteristic seahorse valley shape. Please note that this double structure is only visible due to the precise choice of coloration.
Mandelbrot Set “Desert” [82 KB]
This image was created with a more ambitious algorithm, creating a pseudo 3d structure, which reminded me somehow of dunes in a sandy desert (which is why I colored the image ocre). A typical case of that we want to recognize common patterns within everything we see.
Mandelbrot Set “Green Canyon” [48 KB]
A gorge between two hills with forests. It could be also some sexual allusion.
Mandelbrot Set “Green Canyon (Detail)” [15 KB]
A detail of the picture above (turned and recolored), with a bunch of forest flowers including their subterranean roots.
Francesca Woodman was born on 3rd April 1958 in Denver. In the age of 13 or 14, she began to take photographs, a habit she kept until the 19th Januar 1981, when she jumped out of the window of her room and leaving behind a work that is of course small, but nevertheless impressing.
“Space2” [Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978, 21 KB]
One of many unsharp pictures; Woodmans pictures are almost all very carefully planed, but usually shot in the shortest amount of time. Often they are very neat and sharp, often also, like here, the photographed person, in many cases Woodman herself, is that smooth that she cannot be recognized, a ghostly shadow, a sheme. Often also the photographed persons stand at the edge of the picture, are cut, are out of focus. The space, the void, the disappearing become visible. Let us avoid the vulgarity of associating these subjects with her early death.
Untitled [MacDowell Colony, Petersborogh, New Hampshire, Summer 1980, 84 KB]
A less smooth picture.
“On Being an Angel” [Providence, Rhode Island, Spring 1977, 55 KB]
Not only (miserable, bragging, clueless superlative) one of the best pictures of Woodman, but also one of the most beautiful pictures at all I came to know. This picture was the first that drew my attention to Woodman.
Alfons Mucha was born on 24th Juli 1860 in Ivanøcice, which was in Austria that time. At the age of 27, he went to Paris, his most interesting works came to existence between 1894 and 1909; later, Mucha began more and more to paint slawophilic kitsch. He died on 14th Juli 1939; four month ago, he had been arrested by the gestapo, which invaded the Tshechoslovacian Republic together with the german army, arrested for this very slavophilic kitsch by the advocates of arian kitsch.
The “Mucha-Style” became, at least in France, a synonym for the “Art Nouveau”, the “Modern Style”. The descendence of his ornamental orgies from commercial graphics and applied arts is hardly to be overseen, his place in my Parnas Mucha has earned nevertheless, wether his work may be great art or not.
Poster for “The Samaritain” [58,7 x 173 cm, 1897, 92 KB]
His great break-through, making him famous at once, Mucha reached with a poster for Sarah Berhardt in the piece “Gismonda”. This picture shows another poster by Mucha for Sarah Bernhardt in “The Samaritain”.
Decoration book with four Muses: “The Dance” [38 x 60 cm, 1898, 108 KB]
If he was not doing commercials for Nestlé, Job Cigarette Papers or the slawistic interests, Mucha prefered doing cycles like, say, different stars or crystals or plants or, as in this case, a four-part decoration book with four muses, here the muse of the dance.
Decoration book with the four seasons: “The Spring” [54 x 103 cm, 1896, 82 KB]
Another cycle featering the seasons...
“Sunrise/Sunset” [je 100 x 60 cm, 42 KB + 50 KB]
...respectively the times of day.
Amedeo Modigliani, born on 12th Juli 1884 in Livorno, had a wild-romantic life of that kind usually heart-taking hollywood motion pictures are made from. He lived a bohemian life close to starving, having no food for several days, he threw his sculptures in the river of Livorno in 1913, an exhibition of him was closed on the day of vernissage because of obvious violation of the laws of decency, he drunk, took drugs, suffered on tuberculoises and died on 24th Januar 1920 on tuberculosian meningitis.
“Portrait Jeanne Hebuterne” [70,5 x 34 cm, 1918, 33 KB]
March 1917, Modigliani met Jeanne Hébuterne, a student on the Academy Colarossi. On 29th November 1918, they had a daughter, Giovanna; on 22th January 1920, Jeanne was pregnant again, in her eighth (other versions of the legend say: ninth) month, as Amedeo was brought to the Hôpital de la Charité. Two days later, he died without regaining his conciousness. On the morning of the following sunday, on 25th January 1920, Jeanne Hébuterne leaped out of the window of her parents appartment.
“Portrait Madame Zborowska” [130,2 x 81,3 cm, 1917, 34 KB]
Modigliani painted nearly entirely portraits and nudes; among the portraits often appeared Leopold Zborowski, his vendor and protector, and Zborowskis wife.
“Nude with white cushion” [60 x 92 cm, 1917, 35 KB]
One of my most favorite “Favorite Images”; the original is located at the Public Galery Stuttgart, and it is kind of the most beautiful things to find in Stuttgart.
“Nude in shirt, siting” [92 x 67,5 cm, 1917, 35 KB]
A nude with little white strands and a useless shirt.
“Nude on the sofa, lieing” [81 x 116 cm, 1916, 24 KB]
On of the rare nudes of Modigliani with the feet at the left and the head at the right; usually, it is the other way round.
“Lieing nude with open hair” [100 x 65 cm, 1917, 27 KB]
A nude with a beautiful left and a beautiful right hand.
Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico was born in Volos in 1888 and died 1978 in Rome. He started to study art in Munich, where he was influenced by Caspar David Friedrich, Arnold Böcklin or Max Klingner and painted some not very originell pictures. But between 1911 and 1913, he developed a very own and uncanny style.
“The Uncertainty of the Poet” [106,4 x 94,6 cm, 1913, 73 KB]
Some typical ingredients of the pictures of this time are collected in this painting: an empty, void piazza, marked with some simple lines, in an evening light, a train at the horizon, a still life, an allusion to the human body by a statue (like here) or a puppet or a mask, a composition evoking a feeling of jamais vue, achieved with the simplest tools.
“The Song of Love” [73 x 59,1 cm, 1914, 52 KB]
This painting of de Chirico made René Magritte become a surrealistic painter; another picture of
“The Concerning Muses” [97 x 66 cm, 1916, 48 KB]
I certainly like de Chiricos manner of painting, his clear lines, his calm colors. Please note how the green of the sky (repeated as shadow on the figures) supports the redness of the red. Also note the strange perspective, that ambiguity of stage and piazza, and how the stage and the buildings have different perspective centers.
“Metaphysical Interieur” [1916, 84 KB]
One of de Chiricos many interieurs. It contains a picture within the picture, the subpicture showing an exterieur. Note how all the effects tend to enforce the contrast between interieur and subpicture: the interieur has an open window, showing dark night, is crowded and weird, while the scene within the subpicture is as clear and light as possible, with the viewpoint chosen from high above and far away, and clear blue sky capturing exactly half of the rectangle.
“Hector and Andromache” [90 x 60 cm, 1917, 59 KB]
One of my favourite pictures at all, when I first saw it, it hit my heart. For details how this picture influenced me, see My Picture Galery I, for details about the story of Hector and Andromache see my Einführung zu Homer.
“The Fight of the Gladiators” [160 x 240 cm, 1928, 73 KB]
Later, de Chirico decided to become an academic painter and to copy the great masters of the past, something Breton, the leader of the surrealistic movement, never forgave him. It is said that
I guess Eric Kroll cannot be compared with de Chirico or Modigliani. But since this page deals with my favorite things, why not include a picture taken by Eric Kroll? Eric Kroll was born in New York in 1946, and became famous for his fetish photography.
Untitled [published 1994 in the book “Fetish Girls”, 45 KB]
From a technical viewpoint, the chastity belt that appears on some of Krolls pictures lacks a lock and seems to be a little bit incomplete. But on the other hand, who cares, if the resulting picture is so impressing? I have seen some copies of this picture on the internet, usually with the left side of the picture abridged, which is a bit of a pity, since the empty left half of the picture is essential to create a mood of lonelyness (the warm, earthly colors also add to the lonelyness; a lesser artist would have chosen cold colors to express this feeling). Also, the combination of the old-fashioned glasses, the innocent young face and the bracelet is a very beautiful idea. I would have combined it with a book that has nothing to do with sex (like, say, a book about Calabi-Yau-Spaces), but that’s a minor point. Also a nice feature is Krolls habit to guide the attention of the viewer away from the most interesting part of the picture: in this case, the fact that the girl on the picture is wearing a chastity belt is partly hidden by her shirt, and it takes us a moment to realize that she is really wearing one.
Max Ernst was born on the second april of 1891 in Brühl, near Köln (Cologne). He had a very moved life: he moved first to france, later went to the USA (a close escape: he was nearly caught by the nazis), first to New York; later he built his own house together with his wife Dorothea Tanning in Arizona. In 1953, he returned to France. When he died, he was 85 years minus one day old.
He never kept one constant style, but always experimented with new ways of inventing pictures. He invented or used many random techniques, like the frottage, the grattage, the decalcomanie or the dripping. Besides paintings, drawings, collages and sculptures, he also wrote many charming poems (and worked occasionally as an actor).
Although the pictures of Max Ernst are the most beautiful pictures I know, unfortunatly they suffer very much from being reproduced: their delicate colors tend to undergo some uglyfication when being reproduced. Since the images here are reproductions of reproductions (scans of prints of photos), the situation is even worser. So, if you have any occasion to do so, try to get a look at the originals.
“Die schöne Gärtnerin” [1923, 42 KB]
This picture, “The Beautiful Gardener”, is reproduced in black and white, since the original has been lost. It was shown on the nazi exhibition “Degenerated Art” in 1937 in München (Munich) and is missing since then. The nazis added a comment to the picture: “deriding of the german woman” which is of course nonsense but explains why they hated the picture.
“Der große Wald” [1927, 41 KB]
One of Ernsts main themes was the forest. Also, we can see some birds, another constant theme of Ernst. The picture is based on a grattage, a random technique Ernst invented.
“Die Windsbraut” [1927, 41 KB]
Another recurring topos of Ernst are horses. Here two of them form a vortex, the picture being called “Bride of the Wind”.
“Marceline-Marie verläßt den kannibalischen Baum: »Alle meine Kolibris haben Alibis, und meinen Leib decken hundert gründliche Tugenden«” [from: “Rêve d’une petite fille qui voulut entrer au Carmel”, 1929/30,
Ernst did many collages, often using old engravings. He made whole novels consisting of collages. One of these collage-novels is the “Dream of a little child who wants to become a member of the Carmel”. The picture above one episode of this book.
“Die Lust am Leben” [1936, 52 KB]
Another forest, “The Joy of Life”, a rather uncanny place. In the same year, Ernst also painted pictures of cities consumed by forest.
“Die faszinierende Zypresse” [1940, 55 KB]
Ernst adapted the technique of decalcomanie in this picture. From now on, he often used this to get the basic structure of his paintings.
“Das Auge der Stille” [1943/44, 56 KB]
“The Eye of Silence”, a landscape similar to the landscape he painted for the “Temptation of
“Traum und Revolution” [1945/46, 31 KB]
“Dream and Revolution”, the two key concepts of the surrealistic movement. The artist as a billiard player, his painting as a kind of mirror.
“Der Schrei der Möwe” [1953, 43 KB]
Ernst did always many abstract paintings or paintings just one step away from abstraction. In many of his late works, he reduced the figurative hints to a minimum to gain a maximum of expression, like here.
“Die Welt der Naiven” [1965, 108 KB]
A painting covered with an alphabet invented by Ernst.
Masamune Shirow is the pseudonym of a japanese manga artist born 23th november 1961 in Kobe. His most famous works (so far) are “Black Magic”, “Appleseed”, “Dominion”, “Ghost in the Shell” and “Orion”. The scans on this page are taken from the german editions: they are mirror flips of the original japanese pictures (japanese mangas read from right to left).
Major Motoko Kusanagi and some Fuchikoma
Shirow likes to use additional structures to his color drawings. Note the metal surface in the background and the plasma structure forming the hairs and the boots in the cover drawing below:
This is often combined with elaborated reflexion effects:
Trees on the windsheet, light on the suit
One things I find most fascinating about his work is that Shirow switches beetwen different levels of abstract or detailed pictures, often within the same page: a rough sketch, a humoristic cartoon can stand next to a more realistic drawing:
A god gets angry and detailed
Kusanagi becomes less formal
I must be dreaming again
Astonishing graphical inventions form a major part of his work:
A princess dissolves
The stories are sometimes weird, with the usual pseudo-scientific or pseudo-mythical jabber you often find in comic books. The next four samples show variations of encounters with the divine:
Encounter with the divine I
Encounter with the divine II
Encounter with the divine III
Encounter with the divine IV
Besides the pseudo-scientific drivel, many funny things happen; below, you can see a new kind of magic alarm clock:
An allusion to “Dominion” within “Ghost in the Shell”:
Anna street selling
The Hausner Family
Since the Hausners often painted themselfes, I added photos of them.
From left to right: Rudolf Hausner, Anne Hausner and Xenia Hausner
Rudolf Hausner was born in 1914 in Vienna and died 1995. He studied art in Vienna from 1931 to 1936 and began to paint (as many young artists) in a rather epigonical style, but modern enough to be banned as “entarted” by the nazis in 1938. In 1941, he became a soldier of the german Wehrmacht, and in 1942, he was, together with three other soldiers, trapped by snow in a wood house in Tatra for four days. During those four days, he began to study the structures of the wood, to find the strangest landscapes in it. Later, he used a map to find phantastic pictures within it. Back in Vienna after the war, he found it boring, if not impossible, to finish his old works, until he found one unfinished image in his studio, standing upside-down, revealing his Tatra-view a new image. Later he discovered the works of Max Ernst and founded the “Vienna School of Phantastic Realism”, using his Tatra-trained imagination to reveal views of the unconcious. Usually, these images are painted with a combination of acryl colors and oil glazes on paper. His technic is sometimes described as old-fashioned, an opinion he always rejected, since his images use many technics unknown to the old masters, like spectral colors instead of local colors, often in a pointillistic manner.
“Endlich! Der lange Gang liegt hinter mir - ich stehe im Freien” [72 x 110 cm, 1992, 28 KB]
Many images of Rudolf Hausner show “Adam”, a kind of self portrait. This one uses a kind of whiteness very rare among his works.
“Gelber Narrenhut” [60 x 52 cm, 1955, 56 KB]
Besides the self portrait as Adam, Rudolf Hausner also painted himself in a more spiritual and slim way. Please note the different modes of painting and color structure within the picture.
“Erinnerung” [52,5 x 73 cm, 1987, 38 KB]
A late work, showing a young Adam and a non-distorted portrait of the aged Rudolf Hausner.
“Hommage à Leonardo” [220 x 182 cm, 1977/78 and 1982-85, 76 KB]
Besides Adam, another person very prominent in Rudolf Hausners pictures is a female figure called “Anima”.
“Adam, der ungeliebte Sohn” [255 x 295 cm, 1987 - 1991, 93 KB]
In a later version of the picture, Rudolf Hausner replaced the self-destructiv Anima with a friendly looking portrait of Anne Hausner. Please note that both pictures took years to finish.
“Anne” [72 x 110 cm, 1991, 53 KB]
Another portrait of Anne Hausner.
Anne Wolgast was born 1943 in Hamburg. There, she studied art from 1963 to 1968, where she met Rudolf Hausner in 1966. She began to paint again in 1976, after the birth of her daughters Tanja in 1970 and Jessica in 1972.
“Alte Schachtel” [60 x 80 cm, 1989, 139 KB]
As you can see, Anne Hausner even surpasses Rudolf Hausners obession of photorealistic details.
“Das Bett” [70 x 100 cm, 1991, 71 KB]
A main theme of her works are structures of any kind, like see waves, packed paper, or sheets of cloth.
“Liebe zur Geometrie” [100 x 100 cm, 1997, 37 KB]
A wonderful ironic title, I think. Note the imperfect square, formed by the shirt.
“Wiese I” [30 x 40 cm, 1988, 80 KB]
“Wiese II” [30 x 40 cm, 1988, 76 KB]
Although landscapes are by far not a new theme of european painting, I have never seen before anything like these fragmented views.
Xenia Hausner was born in 1951 in Vienna as the daughter of Rudolf Hausner and Hermine Jedlicka.
“Liebestod” [100 x 100 cm, 1996, 60 KB]
Although Xenia Hausner too tried not to copy Rudolf Hausners style, she shared his precise view at things and persons. The picture above show Rudolf and Xenia Hausner and was painted after Rudolf Hausners death in 1995.
“Nacht der Skorpione” [247 x 264 cm, 1995, 47 KB]
The main subject of Xenia Hausners paintings are portraits, like the group above.
Filippo Lippi was born around 1406 in Florence. Although he became a monk in 1421, he began to work as a painter. He even lived with a nun, Lucrezia Buti, and had two children with her: Filippino, born around 1457, who became himself a famous painter, and Alessandra, born in 1465. It seems as if he brought himself often in trouble: not because of his unchaste live, but because of financial affairs. It is possible that pope
“Adoration in the Forest” [127 x 116 cm, 76 KB]
A similiar picture of Filippo Lippi can be found in Florence. Note the rays, painted in gold, with waves and flames, going from the father and the spirit to the son.
“Madonna and Child and Stories of the life of St Anna” [diameter 135 cm, 88 KB]
Filippo Lippi was famous for his graceful Madonnas, a type that influenced and was perfected by his apprentices Filippino Lippi and Botticelli.
“Madonna with the Child and Two Angels” [95 x 62 cm, 107 KB]
Perhaps the most famous picture of Filippo Lippi. Note the Botticelli-like gracefulness of the Madonna, the Leonardo-like landscape in the background and the maniristic trompe-l’œil-effect of the painted frame.
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