The Darkmoon Collection – Exploring Tucson with Her

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Behind the Album Artwork: “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”-The Smashing Pumpkins

Hello world,

I have to start this post out by just saying of course what a huge fan of the Smashing Pumpkins.  I have been forever – seeing as I grew up in the 90’s 🙂

They were definitely, by far, one of my favorite bands to listen to when I was in my “teen angst” mood.  As life developed into a series of serious events, serious losses, difficult choices to make and problems beyond the scope of an angry and hormonal 15 year old – the power to some of the lyrics grew for me, the songs didn’t fade irrelevantly into time, instead they made more sense and felt more important to my life than ever.

Time is never time at all
You can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth
And our lives are forever changed
We will never be the same
The more you change the less you feel
Believe, believe in me, believe
That life can change, that you’re not stuck in vain
We’re not the same, we’re different tonight
Tonight, so bright…

Mellon Collie‘s figurehead is a girl who never really existed: a daydreaming star nymph with a split personality.

Her creator is John Craig, an illustrator from Pittsburgh who is known for his work with collages and his talents at the time developing them.  Please keep in mind some of this stuff was before digital manipulation was really simple to do, none of this work was simple as it would be to pop into Adobe Photoshop CC.

Craig had spent the majority of his professional career as an artist doing editorial commissions for magazines.

For the star nymph he worked based off of Billy Corgan’s (lead singer of the band) handwritten scribbled notes and hand drawn conceptual incomplete sketches, most of which arrived through the horrible print of older fax machines.

She is assembled, like all of his images, from scraps of paper ephemera, but she but doesn’t look like a collage at all.

I think it is really important to look at music artwork if you really enjoy the band or artist.  My reasoning for this is because even though the work (whether collages, strange paintings, photography, digital illustration) is not necessarily created by the artist you like but it is DEFINITELY a reflection of them.  It’s like how some music, if you told somebody to listen to the words……your soul will be exposed to them almost.

In my opinion, if the musicians truly have a passion for their music than their album art strongly tells you exactly the image they want to reflect upon themselves into the public eye.  Personally, that matters to me…

I like this artwork because of the vintage and surreal qualities they posses. The color palette is very muted and low key yet comes together in a strangely uncomfortable yet soothing way.  I say uncomfortable because the images themselves are weird.

The characters like the floating three headed relationship, all the flying angels in their surreal quality, the bird-human flying over a city, etc.  None of these images look like they would be real obviously.  But it doesn’t have a cartoon feel either.

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is to this day still one of my favorite albums of all time, not just by The Smashing Pumpkins. ❤

“Left Alone to my Own Devices” – A Fine Art Project done by Yours Truly – B.B. Rebel

Good day to everyone!

This post will have some of my more personal work in it…I hate to ruin it with my giant stamp but you just can’t be too careful these days.

I categorize these images as fine art, not because I think they’re so fine but because I simply don’t know what other category best suits them except “weird photos” which is not a real category…

As you look at these images, please keep in mind that in one way or another, each of these images expresses something about myself, my thoughts, and my deepest darkest secrets.  The best of me and the worst of me are represented in these photographs.

These are some of my favorites from different projects….I will briefly talk about each one, but please decide for yourself what you feel about them.  Whether they bother you or irritate you, stir something in you, or you hate them; it is alright.  Just feel anything. 🙂

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“Drip, Boil and Bubble” 

This image to me is about confusion, chaos and all the beautiful things that make no sense but come together in an inexplicable warmth.

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“Shiver”

I will leave it to you to try to figure out what the hell this is a picture of…I felt so cold when I should have been warmest.

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“Reflection”

Reflect on this: Fuck you.  Take it however you want.

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“Shimmering Vortex”

All that glitters is gold.  Actually, it rarely ever is gold….just a shiny distraction from reality.

When I take photographs like these, I usually feel at most relaxed, my most comfortable.  I am never worried about the opinion of others, their judgement, or whether they can see my vision.  That, to me is what truly makes this my “fine art” –  because it really is so unrefined in its own way, which makes it truly mine.  This is me at my happiest, Nikon in hand and only the physical world requiring my attention.

There are no models to move or position, no makeup to do, no images that are interesting because some beautiful human is in them.

These images made me think about deep things – from the time I clicked the shutter through selecting them and editing them until I finally watermarked them.  I thought of art, abstract beauty, how deceiving something can look if you need it to, and how simply beautiful the most ordinary objects can be when the right eyes fall upon them.

The Legendary Aldo Rossi – Architect or Artist? BOTH

Hello everyone!

Today let’s commemorate the innovative Italian architect Aldo Rossi and what made him so inspirational and different from other architects…not with just the structures he designed but the actual sketches and designs he created. For those of you who don’t know him or have never heard of him, it is my pleasure to introduce you to his work.

I just want to say that I truly admire the way his mind worked and the way his sketches translated into his architecture.  You can see something truly magnificent if you look at these as more than just architectural drawings but as abstract artwork.

Drawings and Sketches by Italian Architect Aldo Rossi: apuntes-martes-5-de-mayo.jpeg

Aldo Rossi was born on May 3, 1931 in Milan, Italy and died on September 4, 1997 and although I do not want you to stop reading THIS IS NOT A HISTORY LESSON…there are 2 main pieces of knowledge I would prefer if you take away about him.

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1.  He accomplished the unusual feat of achieving international recognition in four distinct areas:

theory

drawing

architecture

product design

Drawings and Sketches by Italian Architect Aldo Rossi: aldo-rossi-town-hall-square-and-monument-to-the.jpeg

2.  He was also a writer, painter,and published theoretician who used the most basic forms of geometry and simplified shapes in his building types and designs

This postmodern technique is known as NEORATIONALISM.

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With time, his architectural sketches and drawings have become recognized as works of art in themselves and have been exhibited in major museums throughout the world.

His use of color to emphasize certain moods and concepts really draws me into these some sketches.

Some of them look more like abstract art rather than site plans or building drafts, and it takes the viewer a second to actually recognize some of the meaning in the drawing.

In fact I honestly believe that if nobody knew him and had displayed this artwork up without talking about any of its context or revealing the artist, 90% of people would have no clue that it they are actually architectural plans.

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This above hand sketch is one of my favorites even though it lacks color – it gives you something so detailed and I have honestly looked at this image for hours and still see new things.

A large quantity of drawings document the stages of a project’s stages and refinement and most of these drawings are done freehand.  He hand sketched and colored these himself, these are literally hand renderings which would have taken him hours.

Many of his sketches also have his notes and annotations on them as well as he got ideas while working.

I get this impression that his brain probably never stopped working and calculating things.

Quartier Schützenstrasse – Berlin, Germany

The picture above is one of his actual drawings come to life and although he has so many buildings that are impressive and it was NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE for me to choose, to me this is one of the best examples of the things I talked about in this article.

The Quartier Schützenstrasse is a collage of icons and archetypes with several obvious references to other Rossi buildings as well as historical references

Obviously the thing that strikes me first is the color of the building and the incredibly clean symmetrical aspect even though it is placed on a street corner.

Two of the buildings are residential apartments the rest are a mixture of residential and commercial use. The plan, inspired by the building blocks of 19th century Berlin, is organized around two large and two small interior courtyards that fill the block with beautiful light.

His work and life truly inspired me as a photographer and an artist because he was a visionary, a rare talent, and a man who believed that the most basic forms could accomplish the most beautiful things – and he was CORRECT. 🙂

References

  1. Zukowsky, J. (2013, May 20). Aldo Rossi (Italian architect). Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  2. Boegl, T. (n.d.). QUARTIER SCHÜTZENSTRASSE. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  3. Juxtapoz Magazine – Drawings and Sketches by Italian Architect Aldo Rossi. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  4. Aldo Rossi Archive collection. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2014.

The Painting before “Starry Night”

You might be asking yourself why I am writing about Vincent van Gogh in a blog mostly about photography, but the truth is this blog is also about the things and people that have and continue to inspire me as an artist.

Yes, good photographers are artists.

Van Gogh is my favorite painter of all time – so I wanted to share this with you.

There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.

– Vincent van Gogh

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Starry Night over the Rhone (above)


In 1889, Vincent Van Gogh painted perhaps what can be considered his most noted and discussed piece of artwork, his masterpiece – “Starry Night”.

The thing many people do not realize is that the year before in September of 1888, he painted a lesser –known but equally astonishing work titled “Starry Night over the Rhone”.

One of the key differences in these paintings is that “Starry Night over Rhone” was painted by Van Gogh at night, working with the light of a gas lamp, and the scene is pulled directly from nature the view from his apartment in Place Lamartine overlooking the Rhone River. 

In contrast, “Starry Night” was painted during the day completely from his memory, not from a scene he was looking at. (Meaning & Analysis)

Another important factor when studying these paintings is to consider Van Gogh’s state of mind and mental condition during the creation of these pieces.   “Starry night over Rhone” was originally sketched out as romantic and depicted two lovers in the night and also depicts the “Great Bear” constellation in the stars.

The following quotation is from a letter he wrote describing “Starry Night over the Rhone” to a friend.  “The starry sky painted by night, actually under a gas jet.  The sky is aquamarine, the water is royal blue, the ground is mauve.  The town is blue and purple.  The gas is yellow and the reflections are russet gold descending down to the green-bronze.  On the aquamarine field of the sky the Great Bear is a sparkling green and pink, whose discreet paleness contrasts with the brutal gold of the gas.  Two colorful figurines of lovers in the foreground.” – Vincent Van Gogh letter 1888.

I can’t even attempt to describe the painting the way that he does and it also gives you some insight into how his mind functioned, fast and furious.

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Starry Night (above)

“Starry Night” was painted from his memory of his view from the mental asylum at Saint-Remy where he was plagued by debilitating anxiety attacks.  This is why this painting is so much more like a dream or possibly even a nightmare rather than an actual reality.

While Vincent Van Gogh’s mind was often trapped in his own head and could not escape the misery that dwelled within, his artwork is truly inspirational, masterful and emotional.  The most incredible thing about him is that he only painted for a decade.

It never ceases to astonish me how someone who was plagued with madness, depression and severe anxiety for so much of his time on earth was able to tap into such beautiful imagery in his own mind and show the rest of the world through a medium that touches the very core of my soul.

  • B.B. Rebel

Works Cited

  • “Vincent Van Gogh.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2013): 1. Academic Search
    Complete. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
    • Arnold, Wilfred Niels. “The Illness of Vincent Van Gogh.” Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 13.1 (2004): 22-43. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
    • “Meaning & Analysis: Starry Night Over the Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh.” Meaning & Analysis: Starry Night Over the Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. .