Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Foreign Places

Clockwise: Islamic paintings from the Ottoman and Safavid Dynasty (top), vintage graphic posters (middle left), a tattered cover of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (middle right), Rain, Steam and Speed by English painter John Turner.

Since I've accumulated a number of random pictures, I thought I'd do a new type of post in which I juxtapose different images with a common thread. The connection may be in the subject matter, mood, or it may be merely visual. I may even place completely unrelated or clashing images together, depending on my whims. I will then write a little about the images I've posted.

For this post, 'Foreign Places' is the theme as I try to evoke the feeling of being in a new place- the exhilaration, exoticism, and nervous tension. I find Islamic art, with its intricate geometric and organic patterns, exquisitely beautiful and exotic. Its fine lines contrast with the bolder style and saturated colours of the vintage posters shown.

I like the look of well-worn books like this copy of The Great Gatsby. I've never read it before, but the cover gives me a slight feeling of nervousness because of the blinding lights and looming face. It reminds me a little of Salvador Dali's Surrealist works, with the disembodied limbs dangling high in the air.

The blurriness of Turner's work really conveys the impression of high-speed motion and the excitement of racing to a certain destination. Forms and colours blend wonderfully together. The painting is so stunning in person as its impasto gives it richness in depth and texture. I saw it at the National Gallery in London.

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