Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Alfie Fripp

Alfred George Fripp (1914 –2013), known as "Alfie" or "Bill", was a British Royal Air Force squadron leader who was a flight sergeant during the Second World War.

He was shot down by the Luftwaffe in 1939 and held in twelve different prisoner of war camps, including Stalag Luft III, later the site of the "Great Escape". As the last of the "39ers" (those taken prisoner in the first year of the war), he was the oldest surviving and longest serving British POW.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Monday, January 29, 2024

The Black Beret

A book carrying an interesting title, but apart from that, no information on content or author could be found... Copies can be found on Ebay and in thrift shops.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Joe Corré

Joseph Ferdinand Corré (1967) is a British activist and businessman, who co-founded (lingerie brand) Agent Provocateur in 1994. Corré was born in Clapham, south London, the son of British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, former manager of Sex Pistols.

Corré's surname, which was not adopted but given at birth, derives from his father's maternal grandmother, a Sephardic Jew from Portugal. As a child, he wore his mother's designs and regards the Sex Pistols as his favourite band, despite a poor relationship with frontman/singer John Lydon.

In November 2016 in a staged protest to encourage use of renewable energy, Corré and Vivienne Westwood burned an estimated £6,000,000 worth of his punk rock memorabilia archive on a barge on the River Thames. 

When asked about the incident by The Sunday Telegraph, "Did this feel like burning a Picasso?", Corré replied "I don’t know what burning a Picasso feels like," adding, "but I thought that was great. Punk rock is not important. Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need".

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Victor Grossman

Victor Grossman, a New York red-diaper baby of the 1930s, joined the Communist Party as a Harvard student. Fleeing the US Army during the McCarthy Era, he swam the Danube River to the Soviet Zone of Austria and was sent to East Germany. There, he studied journalism, married, and became a freelance writer and popular speaker. He is the only person in the world to hold diplomas from both Harvard and the Karl Marx University.

At one point he directed the Paul Robeson Archive at East Berlin's Academy of Arts.

He was pardoned by the US Army in 1994 and, in 2003, published an autobiography, Crossing the River: A Memoir of the American Left, the Cold War, and Life in East Germany.

His 2019 book A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee tells in rare, personal detail how an activist, husband and father grew up in the U.S. free-market economy; spent thirty-eight years in the GDR’s nationalized economy, and continues to live in Berlin.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Paolo Gasparini

Paolo Gasparini was born in Italy, where he studied photography under Aldo Mazucco. In 1954 he settled in Venezuela, beginning to work out of his own studio, Arquifoto, and contributing to the magazine A, Hombre y Expresión. In 1958 the MoMA acquired some of his photographs and the following year he participated in the exhibition Photography at Mid-Century of the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House. 

In 1960 he exhibited at the gallery of the Donnell Library Center alongside US realist photographers and the following year he participated in the exhibition Rostros de Venezuela. From 1961 to 1965 he lived in Cuba, where he collaborated with Alejo Carpentier at the journal Revolución. There, along with the cause of the revolution, he adopted the 35mm camera format.

In 1967, following two years in Italy, he returned to Venezuela and began working on a cycle of photographs of architecture all over Latin America, commissioned by the UNESCO.

Paolo Gasparini’s work can be found in numerous institutional and private collections in Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, France, Spain, the United States, and elsewhere.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Lupiy Oles (Oleksandr) Vasylyovych

Lupiy Oles (Oleksandr) Vasylyovych (1938- 2022) was a Ukrainian poet, novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

He was born on March 28, 1938, in the village of Nowa Kamianka, Rava County, Lviv Voivodeship, Poland (now Lviv District, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine) in a peasant family that was exiled to Siberia for participating in the liberation struggle.

He studied at the Lutsk Medical School and graduated from the Philological Faculty of Kyiv University.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Mary Baxter

Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter is an award-winning Philadelphia based artist who creates socially conscious music, film, and visual art through an autobiographical lens.

Although it has been a decade since her release from a Pennsylvania prison, Mary’s time spent on the inside continues to shape the direction of her art and practice. Her entertaining but poignant works offer a critical perspective on the particular challenges women of color face when they become immersed in the criminal justice system.

Her work has been exhibited at venues including MoMA PS1, African American Museum of Philadelphia, Eastern State Penitentiary, Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury Vermont, Martos Gallery and HBO’s The OG Experience at Studio 525 in Chelsea among others.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

František Kupka

František Kupka (1871 –1957), also known as Frank Kupka or François Kupka, was a Czech painter and graphic artist.

He was a pioneer and co-founder of the early phases of the abstract art movement and Orphic Cubism (Orphism). Kupka's abstract works arose from a base of realism, but later evolved into pure abstract art.

By spring 1894, Kupka had settled in Paris; there he attended the Académie Julian briefly and then studied with Jean-Pierre Laurens at the École des Beaux-Arts. Kupka served as a volunteer in the First World War (on the French side) and is mentioned in La Main coupée by Blaise Cendrars. Cendrars describes him as a "proud soldier, calm, placid, strong", but really too old to be a soldier, being at least 25 years older than the rest.

Kupka had a strong interest in colour theory and freeing colours from descriptive associations. Kupka was a vegetarian and took interest in theosophy. He practiced as a spiritualist medium and was alleged to have experienced clairvoyant trances.

Monday, January 22, 2024

The Beret, by Euan Uglow

Rigorously and attentively worked Girl in a Green Dress (The Beret) is an early demonstration of the exacting nature of Euan Uglow's eye which would underpin much of his output for the next 50 years. Executed whilst Uglow was a student at the Slade School of Art, it retains elements from the teachings of his Camberwell instructors William Coldstream and Claude Rogers. 

The work was painted in the Slades's life drawing rooms and is recorded as the first portrait Uglow made after arriving there in October 1951. Uglow excelled at and relished these classes (when not being disrupted by fellow student Lucian Freud who, to Uglow's annoyance, had a habit of causing the models to blush altering the tone of their cheeks). As was tradition, easel positions were determined by drawing straws. Uglow and fellow student Myles Murphy devised a method of cheating to ensure they always picked a prime location. Following a break, the group would rely on Uglow to verify the position of the model. The measured and controlled environment of the room, inherent in works such as the present lot and Standing Nude 1951-52, remain apparent in much of Uglows work right up to his final painting 'S' Picture, 2000.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Albert Dagnaux

Albert Marie Adolphe Dagnaux (1861 –1933) was a French landscape, tableaux and figure painter.

His father was the owner of a small restaurant, "Le Dagnaux", in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. He began his studies in 1878 at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts. His first exhibit was in 1883, at the Salon, but he received no recognition.

In 1890, he left the Salon to join the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, founded by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier.[3] It was at that time that he began to receive positive critical attention. His first major success came with his tableau Avenue du Bois de Boulogne.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Richard Ellis Naish

Richard Ellis Naish was an artist and teacher, a devout and active Quaker, educated at Bootham School, York, where he studied at the local School of Art. He went to Royal College of Art in 1932, then Ruskin School of Drawing in 1934.

Richard Ellis Naish, Self Portrait

On a trip to America, where he painted intense oils of the Arizona Desert, he met his future wife, Martha Anson, a writer under the name Anne Vernon. After World War II they moved to Lewknor, Oxfordshire, the countryside which featured in his pictures. A classical painter, fond of working in contact with the direct visual experience, often in the open air.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Beauford Delaney

Beauford Delaney (1901 –1979) was an American modernist painter. He is remembered for his work with the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as his later works in abstract expressionism.

Delaney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1901. He studied art in Boston in his twenties and moved to New York in 1929, at the beginning of the Great Depression. In 1953, financial support from friends and patrons allowed him to visit Europe. Paris was meant to be the first stop on a longer itinerary, but he was so enchanted by the city that he remained there until his death, in 1979. 

For African American visual artists such as Herb Gentry, Bob Blackburn, Ed Clark, and Bob Thompson, and for the writers Baldwin, Chester Himes, Richard Wright, and others, France served as a refuge as they sought to ease the bite of domestic racism after the end of World War II. Indeed, while Delaney had not intended to settle permanently in Europe, he quickly realized he had found there a more hospitable climate in which to pursue his craft. Asked about his experience as an expatriate he replied,

“Expatriate? It appears to me that in order to be an expatriate one has to be, in some manner, driven from one’s fatherland, from one’s native land. When I left the United States during the 1950s no such condition was left behind. One must belong before one may then not belong. I belong here in Paris, I am able to realize myself here. I am no expatriate.”

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Antun Gojak

Antun Gojak was born in Makarska (Croatia) in 1907. He enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1927 and graduated in 1936 in Prof Marin Tartaglia’s class. 

He spent the period just before the WWII as a drawing teacher at high schools in Mostar and Slavonski Brod.

The restless and insecure years of WWII were crucial for his further life, and he returned permanently to his hometown by the end of the WWII and devoted exclusively to painting. He created in his own atelier and occasionally exhibited his works.

Antun Gojak mostly painted works of homeland themes with recognizable motifs of landscape and everyday life of people living in Makarska and the Littoral.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Fiat 521

Fiat introduced the 521 in 1928 as a replacement for the 520 model, even though the Italian carmaker kept its predecessor into production until 1929.

The vehicle followed the same ideas that made its predecessor a sales hit but with a larger engine and a longer chassis for the regular versions. Fiat also built a shorter version, named 521 C (corrto – short), as a sportier version.

The 521 was a large sedan with a closed cabin built on top of a ladder-chassis. Its front fenders were slim and featured special mounting points for the spare wheels. Its rear doors were suicidal type (rear-hinged) to offer a better ingress and egress from the car.

Inside, depending on the customer's wallet, the carmaker offered the car with leather seats and wood-trims from Tasmanian oaks.

Fiat made an important step forward, offering the inline-six 2.5-liter engine that was known for its smoothness. It was paired to a four-speed manual transmission and sent the power to the rear wheels via a driveshaft.

More than 33,000 Fiat 521s were produced in Italy and Germany.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Talking Watches

ACUSTICA is a speaking and vibrating wristwatch with a quartz movement.

It was developed in cooperation with the Swiss Central Association for the Blind SZB and the Swiss watch industry and won the RED DOT Design Award 2018.

It was built so that people who can no longer see well, or can no longer see anything at all, can regain some of their quality of life.

ACUSTICA works very simply. With three buttons it can announce the time or the date, set the alarm or switch from sound output to vibration. 

Monday, January 15, 2024

Time Machine

Time Machine is an unfinished Bollywood science-fiction film which was in production in 1992 and was directed by Shekhar Kapur.

After three-fourths of the film's shooting was completed, it was shelved due to financial constraints and Kapur's departure to the U.S. In 2008, Shekhar Kapur announced he would attempt to revive the film with a new cast but this never materialised. Actor Gulshan Grover shared an old photo with Aamir Khan from the sets of the unfinished film. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Jackie Shroff

Jaikishan Kakubhai Shroff (1957), popularly known as Jackie Shroff, is an Indian actor and former model. He has been in the Bollywood industry for over four decades, and as of 2020, has appeared in over 220 films in 13 languages namely Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Konkani, Odia, Gujarati and English.

He has won four Filmfare Awards among other accolades. He became an overnight star with Subhash Ghai's Hero (1983) film, and eventually established himself as one of the leading men of Indian cinema from 1980s to 1990s.

He has an organic farm, where he grows plants, trees and herbs. He is also the brand ambassador of Thalassemia India and over the years has supported many causes like HIV/AIDS awareness and abolishment of female foeticide. He has also funded the treatment and education of many underprivileged children. On 5 March 2021, Shroff donated an ambulance to a Lonavala-based animal shelter in the memory of his late pet dog Rocky.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Mithun Chakraborty

Mithun Chakraborty (1950) is an Indian actor, producer and politician who predominantly worked in Hindi and Bengali language films.

He is a former Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament. He is the recipient of three National Film Awards for best actor.

Chakraborty made his acting debut with the art house drama Mrigayaa (1976), for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Actor. Chakraborty played Jimmy in the 1982 film Disco Dancer, which was commercially successful in India and the Soviet Union, the first film in India to gross Rs.100 crore.

Chakraborty joined as a Member of Parliament after he was nominated for the Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament elections by the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee for her All India Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Friday, January 12, 2024

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan (1942) is an Indian actor, film producer, television host, occasional playback singer and former politician, who works in Hindi cinema.

In a career spanning over five decades, he has starred in more than 200 films. Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the most successful and influential actors in the history of Indian cinema.

He is referred to as the Shahenshah of Bollywood, Sadi Ke Mahanayak (Hindi for, "Greatest actor of the century"), Star of the Millennium, or Big B.

His dominance in the Indian movie scene during the 1970s–1980s made the French director François Truffaut call it a "one-man industry".