Let’s do this!

Ok, we’re two weeks into the new year and I’m still debating whether new year’s resolutions are hopeless. But I believe you should take every moment you can get to reflect and to stick to something you want to try to achieve. So here’s my go to a happier me:

Enjoy
I want to enjoy life more, enjoy the good people around me, my new apartment, my job. Too often I find myself caught up in stress, negativity, ‘too busy to enjoy anything’ mode that I need to remind myself that I’m actually doing quite good.

Fall in love
It’s been too long and I miss it. Enough said.

Learn a language
I love learning new languages and besides English I haven’t been practising mine enough. So it’s time to enhance my German and to really learn another language: probably Danish or Swedish. Why? Just because I think it’s fun.

Read
I love to read, to dive into a new world and forget about my own. After reading a good book I can even get sad because the story is over. I want to read more books like that. And maybe, one day, I can have a beautiful bookshelf like the one here below :)

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Solving a mystery – part I

I like flea/vintage markets, and mostly the treasure hunting part of it. There’s loads of crap, but if you look good enough you might just find an awesome piece. A few weeks ago I went to one in Belgium and I found something completely useless, but nonetheless something I had to get my hands on.

Antique Private Ledger

In between old cans, bottles and other random stuff I noticed a big, leather book that seemed quite old. Despite the lock on it, curious me of course had to open it. It turned out to be a book used for keeping track of expenses, also called a ledger (which was on the back on the book as I later found out). When trying to decode the very old, but beautiful handwriting I found out the book was from 1869! Only a few of hundreds of pages were written on, but while reading I discovered a name (Henry Bailey) and items paid for like drawing tools and pictures. Doesn’t that sound like a painter? I’m going to find out…

Henry Bailey - painter

Contra - Private Ledger

A little tip for the people living in Amsterdam: tomorrow there will be a huge flea market at the IJ-hallen. If you have time, go check it out.

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Louis Reith is one to watch

“Who?” you might think. Louis is a Dutch illustrator and designer who creates simple yet beautiful artwork. He creates geometrical ink designs, mostly black but sometimes with some subtle use of colour too. One fact about his work is that he works on old book covers. This is something that makes me, as a bibliophile (yes, that is a word), even more enthusiastic! You can check his work at his website, or his better updated Flickr account.  

Spaceball by (c) Louis Reith

Spaceball by (c) Louis Reith

Last week, Louis won an art competition organised by Nike. Five artists were asked to design a piece to support the Dutch National Soccer Team during the World Cup, below you’ll find Louis’entry. People were asked to vote via this website and Louis’ work won deservingly. His piece of art is printed on a huge canvas and will be shown on the center spot during the first friendly match of  The Netherlands (vs. Ghana) on the 1st of June. 

(c) Louis Reith for the Nike Art Challenge 'Bloed Oranje'

(c) Louis Reith for the Nike Art Challenge 'Bloed Oranje'

The beauty of decay

United Artists Theather (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

United Artists Theather (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Most people think ruins are ugly, but somehow I have always been intrigued and attracted to the beauty of decay. As a child I always looked up the empty places, the old abandoned school across the street, a little cabin in the woods next to our house etc. More recently I went to Doel, a little almost abandoned village next to Antwerpen. Yesterday I came across some awesome pictures showing ruins in Detroit. The photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre explain how they see their photograph series:

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the city of Detroit developed rapidly thanks to the automobile industry. Until the 50’s, its population rose to almost 2 million people.
Detroit was the 4th most important city in the United States. It was the dazzling symbol of the American Dream City with its monumental skyscrapers and fancy neighborhoods.
Increasing segregation and deindustrialization caused violent riots in 1967. The white middle-class exodus from the city accelerated and the suburbs grew.Firms and factories began to close or move to lower-wage states. Slowly, but inexorably downtown high-rise buildings emptied. Since the 50’s, “Motor City” lost more than half of its population. Nowadays, its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great civilization.

Bank Vault (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Bank Vault (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Ballroom, Fort Wayne Hotel (c) Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

These and more amazing pictures will be published in the book  The Ruins of Detroit, get your copy here.

Recession art

Recession / Recessione, a nonexcisting exhibition

Recession / Recessione - A Nonexistent Exhibition

Although probably no artist likes to admit this, one needs money to be able to create art. Recession is therefore bad news for art. A design studio in Italy came up with a creative way of showcasing art when money is low with “Recession / Recessione – A Nonexistent Exhibition“.
According to the creators, this book (or actually more a catalogue) is a great example of an exhibition that will never take place due to budget limitations. It’s a nonexistent exhibition, you can create one yourself in your own space with the art provided.

Recession / Recessione - A Nonexistent Exhibition

Recession / Recessione - A Nonexistent Exhibition

Between September and November 2009, 35 artists worldwide were asked to interpret the R word through texts, images, artwork or music. Their work is combined in a 1 kg book and an audio CD, which you can amazingly buy for free (you only pay shipping costs). Best idea ever! I ordered mine last week and thanks the lovely people at the studio I received it within days. The ones I liked best were Maxime Buechi and Slavs & Tartars’ “The Hustle”, Camille Vivier’s “Candle II”, Mark Borthwick’s romantic picture “If were pioneer’s”, the design of Paul Bouden’s “Bring it on” and the imaginary mixtape full of miserable songs (“The light at the end of a tunnel…is a train”) by Dirty Sound System. Go order one yourself here, there are only 800 copies available and I have the feeling they are going fast!