On almost every topic

The Do It Yourselfie Guide is a new artist edition by artist Willem Popelier. According to his website he ‘analyzed thousands of selfies, tips and research articles on selfies for The Do It Yourselfie Guide - the ultimate guide with 66 rules and 66 identity pictures to capture the best version of yourself’. His main focus as an artist in general seems to be on the subject of portraits and self representation (also of other people).

The subject is great and the content looks great. I think he has a great sense of humor. I am not sure about the execution though. It looks like it is designed like a book, but it is a stack of cards. To read a page you have to take out two cards in order to follow a guideline. One with the text and one illustrating the guideline. To me it demonstrates how great an invention books are, although I think it could also perfectly work as an App for your tablet or smartphone.

Maybe it should have been just a small pocket book like these self help pockets like It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden that you find in any airport bookstore. I think it should be next to all those other essential guides that help us to succeed in life. It should be a New York Times non-fiction best seller with over half a million copies sold like the book by Arden.

Book designer Irma Boom considers this as one of her best books. It was a leaving gift for Wim van Krimpen when he departed as director of The Hague’s city museums end of 2008. The cover design is a collaboration with artist Daan van Golden, an artist she admires. Van Golden has used this pattern in many of his paintings (see for example here). The source of the pattern is a piece of fabric he uses to create compositions from. They are all titled Heerenlux after the brand of paint he uses for the color red. For this book the pattern is screen printed on both the cover, the back and the three book edges. The execution is perfect. Unopened the book looks like a box rather than a book. In the book the period Van Krimpen was director is illustrated by four thousand images that are arranged by color. More information is available on this Best Dutch Book Designs page.

theobviousportrait:

The Do It Yourselfie Guide - the ultimate guide with 66 rules and 66 identity pictures to capture the best version of yourself. The artist edition, in collaboration with New Window, exists of 148 identity pictures - 66 with rules in text, 66 with a visual example to accompany the rule. It comes in a smal box, made by hand and signed by the artist. The guide will be introduced at New Window at Unseen Photography Festival Amsterdam, 18 - 21 september 2014. (Supported by the Mondriaan Fund)

theobviousportrait:

The Do It Yourselfie Guide - the ultimate guide with 66 rules and 66 identity pictures to capture the best version of yourself.
The artist edition, in collaboration with New Window, exists of 148 identity pictures - 66 with rules in text, 66 with a visual example to accompany the rule. It comes in a smal box, made by hand and signed by the artist.
The guide will be introduced at New Window at Unseen Photography Festival Amsterdam, 18 - 21 september 2014.
(Supported by the Mondriaan Fund)

Kraftwerk will play eight nights in a row in Paradiso in Amsterdam January 16-23. Every night they will play a different album starting with Autobahn (1974). It is difficult to make a decision, but my personal favorites are Radio-Activiti (1975) and Computer World (1981), so I bought tickets for these two shows. Do I mind that Ralf Hütter is the only founding member who is still a member of the band? No, I don’t. The only concern I have is that it is 3-D because I am stereoblind. But who knows, according to Wikipedia there is one known case where stereoblindness was reportedly cured by watching a 3D film. May be if I go all eight nights I will be able to perceive stereoscopic vision.

Kraftwerk will play eight nights in a row in Paradiso in Amsterdam January 16-23. Every night they will play a different album starting with Autobahn (1974). It is difficult to make a decision, but my personal favorites are Radio-Activiti (1975) and Computer World (1981), so I bought tickets for these two shows. Do I mind that Ralf Hütter is the only founding member who is still a member of the band? No, I don’t. The only concern I have is that it is 3-D because I am stereoblind. But who knows, according to Wikipedia there is one known case where stereoblindness was reportedly cured by watching a 3D film. May be if I go all eight nights I will be able to perceive stereoscopic vision.

These two photographs by Marijke van Warmerdam are inserted in the book Het komt voor (2008), a collaboration with poet Rozalie Hirs. It is a typical Dutch landscape that you would find in the rural area around Amsterdam. I believe the pictures are made near the artist studio in Abcoude. In one photograph you can see a bird house mounted in a tree and in the other the view of the bird house is obscured by a splash of water.

I am not sure why, but this book is not included in Close by in the Distance - A Catalogue Raisonné. There is a similar work from 2008 called Sloot (Ditch) made from the same point of view that is listed in the book. It is a reversible photo work on a shelf. In this case the splash of water obscures the view of a sheep. The bird house is also visible. There is another work that uses pictures from the same location called Underwater I and II that was first exhibited in 2005. 

Underwater I and II, 2005. Courtesy of Galerie van Gelder

A New American Picture (2010, 2012) by Doug Rickard is a disturbing book and a great example of how Google Street View can be applied by artists. His new book N.A. that will be available soon in a trade ediiton published by Verlag Kettler and D.A.P. is even more disturbing. Especially if you consider that the pictures are completely sourced from YouTube video’s. Again Rickard uses publicly available material from the internet to expose scene’s he otherwise would have never been able to capture. Both books were initially published as limited edition books by the small publisher White-Press.

Photo Events in The Netherlands

You could say there are too many photo events coming up in the Netherlands.

  • There is Useen in Amsterdam September 18-21, a photo fair similar to Paris Photo but of course more limited in scope and presence.
  • There is the Noordericht in Leeuwarden, a big photo festival between August 31 and October 26 with many exhibitions in museums and galleries.
  • There is Breda Photo, another photo festival from September 11 until October 26 with lots of big names like Todd Hido, Gregory Halpern, Alec Soth, Ed Templeton, Andrew Bush and Simon Roberts.

So if you plan to visit Unseen, stay two more days and travel by train in two hours to Leeuwarden for the Noorderlicht festival and in one and a half hour to Breda for Breda Photo. Both have plenty of interesting exhibitions with great names. Look up the websites for details. And if you like festivals and like culture, stay a bit longer to visit the Incubate festival, a kind of South by Southwest festival, in Tilburg one and a half hour by train from Amsterdam.

Nowadays it does not make much sense to upload pictures of book pages as even for self published books you can find flip through video’s online. But I wanted to share this video made by Tipi Bookshop in Brussels of the excellent book Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty by the Belgian photographer Max Pinckers.

This is a really great book exploring love and marriage in India. Of course there are influences of the images and symbolism of Bollywood cinema, but to me it looks like a very human loving book. The pictures and the narrative are great and the rendering and overall book design and production is excellent. An exceptional publication. I really look forward to new work by this photographer.

Georg Herold Buegelnder Neger, 1980

Georg Herold Buegelnder Neger, 1980

When I was a student I sometimes made things to decorate my room. This is one of the objects that survived. I think I made it in 1995. It is supposed to be a homage to Gordon Matta Clark. At a book market in Leiden, the city where I lived and went to University, I found a copy of the IVAM catalog. The book with the die cut cover.

When I was a student I sometimes made things to decorate my room. This is one of the objects that survived. I think I made it in 1995. It is supposed to be a homage to Gordon Matta Clark. At a book market in Leiden, the city where I lived and went to University, I found a copy of the IVAM catalog. The book with the die cut cover.