Archives for posts with tag: Art

So ‘The Pok’ (my son) and I went to go see the new Star Wars flick – The Force Awakens this morning at 6am at the IMAX in Sydney. And in one word it is – AWESOME! There are no spoilers in this post.

TFA_stormtrooper

Our film adventure had been building for a couple of months now where we have watched the multiple trailers on YouTube about a million times. He received a new generation X-Wing and TIE Fighter to fit in action figures for his birthday. So when we the tickets were released, I went straight for the jugular and ordered them for the biggest screen in Sydney on the opening day. There was no way that I was going without my boy, who even managed to go to bed early so I could wake him up at 5am to trundle off down to the theatre.

He dressed up as a Stormtrooper (his shirt and jacket combo – and the his white sneakers are “stormtrooper” shoes), and I donned my Boba Fett t-shirt. We loaded up on portable breakfast, a couple muesli bars and some drinks. There would be no popcorn for this viewing.

TFA_tix

I am no movie critic, so my review is going to be punchy and concise. JJ Abrams nails it, in terms of cinematography, pace, and sense of fun. It looks like Star Wars, feels like Star Wars, and it looks real – not like a polished video game. There are some shocks to the plot, and a lot more to be revealed in episodes VIII and IX. The star of the film has to be Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, and he is bad@ss. I felt giddy like a kid again watching X-Wings blowing up TIE Fighters, and now want more. Some of the sections of the film were too scary for a 5 year old child, so he ended up sitting on my lap for the last two thirds of the film. My only criticism is that a lot has happened between Return of the Jedi and the Force Awakens, but it wasn’t fully explained. I guess I will have to read the books and comics to find out.

How do the Films Rank (my humble opinion)

  1. The Empire Strikes Back
  2. A New Hope
  3. The Force Awakens
  4. Return of the Jedi
  5. Revenge of the Sith
  6. Attack of the Clones
  7. … um E.T.
  8. The Phantom Menace

All in all, this closet geek was happy and can’t wait to watch it again and again.

So I have seen some pretty weird stuff on my rides. Most times I am on the handlebars pedalling away wishing I had a camera in my eye like the 6 Million Dollar Man (yes, I just showed my age but gee that was an awesome show). But sometimes I just have to stop and take a quick snap with my mobile phone in my back pocket. This morning I saw the biggest yellow rubber duck I have ever seen in my life. I think it is part of the Sydney Festival, and was here in Sydney last year.

Rubber Duck - Sydney Festival 2014

For the record my ride this morning was a struggle as I was pushing against a mild bout of office communicated man flu. Still, my mate JB and I pumped out a good 80km and I fought through it to get some of my fastest Strava segment times. We took a detour through Sydney Olympic Park on he return. Perfect Sydney Summer morning for a ride, no wind, few riders, perfect temperature, and low humidity.

80km_Parramatta_Ride

Off to the beach this arvo I think.

Jeffrey Smart was my favourite artist and he will be a fondly remembered Australian. He has left us with a beautiful legacy.

Stephen Kelly Creative

Cahill Expressway

Last week the art blogs and websites were lit up over the death of prominent Australian artist Jeffrey Smart, who passed away on June 20 at the age of 91 at his home in Italy. Though he lived more than half his life in Italy, Jeffrey Smart was regarded as one of Australia’s greatest artists, and along with Albert Tucker, Charles Blackman, Sidney Nolan and Brett Whiteley, he was also considered one of the leading Australian twentieth century modernists. Another expatriate Australian, Clive James, once wrote Smart was the “modern Australian painter whose paintings look least Australian”.

Surfer's BondiIndeed, rather than beautiful Australian landscapes, Smart choose to portray an urban life of factories, trucks, roadways and vacant lots. He was moved by man in man-made nature and not concerned with your typical landscape. His paintings take everyday symbols of modernity and transform them into remarkably still, harmoniously composed images (Smart once…

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I am not an art aficionado, but I do enjoy fine art for what it does. It inspires me to look at an interpretation of the world through someone else’s eyes and elicits a response from me as well. One of the best know Australian modern artists is Jeffrey Smart, who is still alive and spritely in his 90s. He would have to be one of my favourite artists. His style is described as “precisionist”, but I do not quite believe he can be categorised as such – particularly given that the main proponents of this style were mainly American and (Ralston Crawford aside) the colours were mainly subdued pastels. In my opinion, he views the world in a truly unique architectural perspective while still seeing the art of the form. The colour in his paintings is bold and in your face. My favourite painting is one of his titled simply “Reflected Arrows” (1974), as seen below.

Jeffrey Smart - Reflected Arrows

“Reflected Arrows” (1974)

His earlier pieces contained many portraits, including famous Australian authors of his generation – David Malouf, Germaine Greer, and one could say Clive James in “Cahill Expressway”. But there are two of Smart’s paintings which were burnt deep in my memory for their form and symmetry. The first being “Holiday” (1971) and the second being “Housing Project no. 84” (1970). Who would have thought that an artist born in the early 1920s would interpret the built world in the 1970s in such a way – and it would appear life imitates art in modern architecture today.

Jeffrey Smart - Holiday

“Holiday” (1971)

Jeffrey Smart - Housing Project no. 84

“Housing Project no. 84” (1970)

So my amateur photographer’s eye caught the patterns and shapes of a few buildings over the last two weeks that immediately brought me back to the memory of these paintings. While Smart works with canvas, I work with light and pixels (on a sensor). Obviously the tone of the mediums is different, but I hope I captured the essence of what Smart did in his paintings. BTW – as usual my photos images link through to the larger size photos on Flickr.

Windows - #01

Windows - #03

Windows - #02

On a side note – someone had a look at pretty much all my public photos on Flickr a couple of days ago. This was some 420 photos in total. Whoever you are, you made an amateur photographer feel happy that he could share his photos with you.

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