Monday, 26 July 2010

arcipello @ deviantART

I have been absent from deviantART for a long time now, apart from checking my messages and some rare random browsing but once in a while I still feel my jaw drop to what I find there. As I was going through the works of some of the artists I follow I ended up on arcipello's gallery and remembered how I first felt when I discovered the digital painter a few years ago. He certainly is one of those few really amazing artists you can find at deviantART and his work still leaves me astounded and considering if I should order some of his prints. His gallery there is definitely worth a few (more likely a lot) of any art lover's minutes. Besides having mastered the use of colour 
and lighting, he has his own personal style making his paintings recognizable sometimes just by looking at a thumbnail.
According to his website - Art of Conway - he is 27 year-old, lives in the UK and is currently freelancing, though he has worked with some major companies as Capcom, Square Enix, Disney London and many more.
As a small sample of his art I brought here (in order of appearance) Scarlet Wind, part of a series which first made me explore his gallery, Softly sleeping, one of the best digital paintings I've ever seen, and also Paint splash
detail of yet another awe-inspiring work, Colours in the Dark, at the moment displayed at his website's starting page.
If you are an art lover, specially if you like digital painting, and you don't know arcipello aka Daniel Conway, follow any of the links here and treat yourself. If you don't know deviantART at all, you have no idea what you've been missing, it is certainly one of the best places to find art on web, from traditional or digital drawing or painting to photography, photo-manipulation and even prose and poetry, and not always as deviant as the name seems to imply. As a warning, I'd tell you to be prepared to sail through tides of lousy works, scraps and true tsunamis of fan-art while looking for the pieces that will eventually get you addicted to it, at least for a while.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Fifty People One Question

I found out about this initiative today and felt like sharing with whoever comes by, just watch the video or follow the link below. Made me feel an odd mix of emotions, as excitement, delight and something like homesickness. I've only seen this one but there are other videos more or less similar which I'll check later.


"What might happen when we venture far from home now? Will we find that London light around the corner? Will the rain hide all the dreamers out of sight? They might not want to play our little game this time - or we could look away and miss our chance. Or maybe just a bit of something out there will remind us why we take the time to ask.
It’s a simple question and the answers can lead us anywhere. So go ahead, ask yourself…"

Friday, 23 July 2010

Whatever Works (Woody Allen, 2009)

After having been recommended to me months ago, I finally got to see Whatever Works. Having been directed by Woody Allen, and after I was told the main character shared some personality traits and opinions with myself, I expected to like the film. It surpassed my expectations. Whatever Works develops around some months of Boris Yellnikov's life, a man who describes himself as the one person who sees "the big picture", a genius, a physicist who was considered for a Nobel Prize and the only character to know he is inside a film hopefully being watched by a whole lot of real people in the cinema. To illustrate this and to introduce some comic-relief into his hard, misanthropist, sceptic speech, he ends the first scene talking directly to the public. In his first apparently out of character behaviour, he takes in a runaway naive girl from Mississippi who he ends up marrying. Their relationship keeps the film running, shows how their personalities influence each other (not always as would be expected) and brings into scene her parents, who are themselves quite interesting characters, or, to be more accurate, become very interesting characters as they undergo "complete makeovers".
Even though Boris keeps talking about everyone around him imbecile inchworms, the story ends in the New Year celebration with a lot of people in his house seemingly quite happy to be in his and each other's company.
With Whatever Works, Allen illustrates hypocrite contemporary civilization, where geniuses can go unrecognised and eventually seen as neurotic fools, or can be restrained by the demands of society only to be found by sheer luck, where people can learn how relative human life is and still feel like running off after an adventurous romance or get tired of a typical everyday life and decide to photograph artistic nudes. All that seems to matter is that each one must do "whatever works" best in order to be as happy as possible, hence the title. The film excels in showing all this and more with just a handful of great characters and a very well designed plot.
Of course one doesn't have to agree with all this, most people have their own ideas on what is good or bad, what should or has to be asked of each human being or even what can be disregarded and what must be forbidden. But, all things considered, isn't that imposing on others your own "whatever works", even if you believe you are doing it for the greater good? This is one piece of art that will probably end up leaving you with some interesting questions and ideas to consider. These were some of mine.

I'd rate Whatever Works 9 out of 10 for achieving all you can ask of this kind of film and more, though I don't feel like I'll be watching it over and over again as I do with my absolute favourite ones.