Saturday, 5 April 2014

Dream On...

So it's time for a little mid-term evaluation of my forth exposition in Switzerland "Russische Träume" (Russian dreams) in tandem with Vladimir Mishin's drawings and sculptures.

First of all, thank you to all the friends who came to the vernissage, we had a pretty exiting evening. Here is a few impressions of the event:
We are open till the 13th of April, here is more detailed information if you decide do pass by :-)


Love,
AB

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Russian Dreams


"These are my dreams, dreams of the human soul, often forgotten and unclaimed in the chaos of our untimeliness"

                                          Vladimir Mishin


No, I will not write about Ukraine, or Sochi... I want to write about artists' dreams... and beautiful women :-) Actually, I want to write about so many things that I don't know where to start. It has been almost two months since my last post. So, the most important: I am having an exposition in two weeks. Yey! It takes place in Baden, In Teatro Palino (28.03 - 13.04, Vernissage is on the 28th starting at 17H, please come by) and I am feeling very lucky to expose my works next to pieces of Vladimir Mishin, a Russian master and a monumentalist. 

The name of the exposition is "Russische Träume" (Russian dreams) and it includes drawings and sculptures of Vladimir Mishin and my paintings. Speaking of which, here is one that I finished today. 

Dans la peau de Pierrot
60x60 sm, acrylic on canvas
2014

Another thrilling event of these days: night carnival of Basel (Basler Fasnacht). It is the biggest carnival in Switzerland that takes place between February and March before lent. At 4 am all city lights go off, and a magnificent river of lanterns floats through the streets of old Basel. 

Around 6 am you get cold feet and start to feel hungry so you jump into a café (which is open throughout the carnival night) to offer yourself a glass of hot wine and cheese or onion pies...mmmm....delicious. Even more delicious if you spent this carnival night in a company of ten beautiful russian women as did .  I must explain: my night trip to Basel was actually a work: I had to photograph a group of ladies who came to Switzerland to celebrate the timeless wisdom of women's' circle. .
And I cannot resist posting a photo of Svetlana (the name means Radiant in Russian), which I took between their classes and rituals. 

Are you still following? :-) Most chaotic post ever! 

Sweet dreams!

Love,
AB

Monday, 13 January 2014

1001 Nights...

Well, well... What do you do during grey rainy winter mondays?...
I dream through rainy winter mondays... And look through thousands of pictures which I promised to select and send to my friends and clients. 

I found this photo today: a dearest friend and a great client (she has a talent of creating the right mood and image + natural beauty does make it easier for a photographer...:-) is looking playful and noble at the same time... Olga always (even if we are sitting in her kitchen drinking tea) makes me think about Scheherazade... 

Don't you agree?

Warm monday evening, everybody.

Love,
AB

Saturday, 11 January 2014

About Time

After my two-week travel marathon I had finally a calm evening yesterday, and was invited to a comfy sofa to watch a movie. As it happens the movie was too about travel, time travel to be precise. Frankly, I was prepared to watch a light and maybe slightly cheesy film (time travel bit made me suspicious...) , although "About Time" took me completely by surprise.

The feeling of flawlessness comes from the first minutes of Richard Curtis's movie, making even the time travel thing look completely natural. Great cast on the first place: Charming Rachel McAdams,  unassuming and elegant Domhnall Gleeson (he was also a discovery of this evening) , and of course my all time  favorite brilliant Bill Nighy, made this story very human and realistic.

The soundtrack is perfect.

The message is simple yet it makes you think: "I've tried to live every day as it it was the final day of the extraordinary ordinary life". Highly recommended :-)

Speaking of time, it's been a while since I posted something of my work... Here is the last painting of 2013:


Composition with pendulum 
69x57 cm, acrylic on board, 2013

Have a nice weekend.

Love,
AB


Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy 2014! (or 2014 thought my mobile phone camera)

God knows how much I wanted to wish you a happy new year in advance and how much is to be told: books, paintings, dramas, movies... but I had absolutely no time in the past two weeks. I must also admit to sleep through the New Years' Eve. 

Pictures will explain: almost all of them are taken very early in the morning, but considering the world economic crises having a job is a good thing, right? Especially if the job consists of visiting beautiful cities...

Zürich, in front of the train station


Bern in the morning


Lausanne

Visiting a tomb of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel in Bois-de-Vaux cemetery in Lausanne, I passed a modest tombstone with an inscription: 

"Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love".


So that's all I want to wish you for  the 2014. 

Love,

AB

Monday, 16 December 2013

No papers: no artist


"Art alone survives the earthquake shocks of revolution, and Russian art has been doubly secure because of it's deep-rooted imagination and it's passionate sincerity".

Oliver M. Sayler (writing from Moscow as it starved during the Summer of 1919).

I have to confess: I know very little about Russian contemporary artists (art-giants aside, of course...). But fortunately we have internet, where I found images of works by a Russian painter Vladimir Titov. One thing led to the other and I discovered this fragment of a documentary "Still life with wife" produced by Estonian filmmaker Kersti Uibo.


At some point Titov's wife tells how difficult it is to sell if you have no academic art education. "No papers: no artist", she says. This subject torments me from time to time: being autodidact myself, I do dare to call myself an artist and I do dare to exhibit and sell my paintings (gladly I am not living in a Soviet-era Russia..), but once in a while a seed of doubt sprouts with its' poisonous stems and I feel inferior in front of my diplomated Art fellows.

Anyways, I planned to speak about Titov's art here... His paintings are not just professional, they are beautiful, and strong, and luminous. They made me think of another artist I deeply admire: Dia Al Azzawi, one of the biggest contemporary artists in Iraq. Interesting that Titov mentions Iraq commenting on one of his paintings.

Here is a "Red Composition"(2012),  one of his recent paintings and one of my favorites:


That's all for tonight. 

Have a lovely Sunday evening.

Love,
AB 
  

Thursday, 21 November 2013

I forgot my phone

Hello, I am an exhibitionist.

Aren't we all these days?? Just look at your Facebook page (if you don't have one pass on, this post is for the rest of the world): here I am jumping into the pool; here is my dinner!, look it's my cocktail at the cocktail party I missed yesterday because I took pictures of my cocktails to post here! And so on and on and on. Certainly, there are many great debates for a "good cause" going on there and it's a powerful way to be heard. What I am fretting about is our "need" to stay connected. Till his last days my father refused to have a mobile (those days they were un-smart) phone,  he felt imprisoned with it. I totally understand, but it is hard to imagine how to live without one these days. 


Smartphones are vicious. And very helpful: I wouldn't make it without it in a daily frenzy of train schedules and my music makes it easier to travel too. Sometimes I am too tired to read so I am sneaking in Facebook or checking my Whatsapp, sending a photo of my take-away sushi plate to my boyfriend. Once in a while I love to "check in" from atop of a mountain or some other amazing place (this Facebook feature is awesome anyway).  But than again, I am alone. 

But what's with friends in a bar sending messages (to better friends?) instead of talking to each other about their day... What's wrong with us?? A sad and poignant short film about modern life and smart-phone alienation "I forgot my phone" has been making waves since a while now.  I actually cried when I first saw it (yes, ok, you don't need much to get me to me cry, but still). 



It's like we cannot be one place at a time, we need to be everywhere. The  fear of missing out... I am a relatively tolerant person , but PLEASE no phone on the dinner table next to a lit candle: I want to be alone with you, darling... No phone in the bedroom please, for the exactly same reason... 

Maybe I am not that exhibitionist after all.

Nice intimate evening to you.

Love,

AB

Friday, 1 November 2013

Autumn in Colour and Black&White

Ahh, the colors of autumn, tempting and teasing and calling to go outside and make colorful pictures... or black and white :-)
Here is a little photo session with Helena, hair & make up artist from Baden.
I can never decide which mode I like more, colorful on not. What are your preferences?

Have a good weather and a nice weekend.

Love,
AB


Monday, 21 October 2013

Present Continuous

So I spent 10 days without my laptop and came to a curious  obvious conclusion: I suddenly had more time. To read, to think, to meet friends, to contemplate golden leaves under my feet, to visit galleries...

Last Friday a lovely vernissage "Present Continuous"of Natalya Zaloznaya, a Belorussian painter who lives and creates in Brussels since a decade,  took place in Gallery NEVA, Aarau, Switzerland.

Beautiful nostalgic, dreamy images of floating dresses, laughing children, and endless waves created a perfect mood for mid October evening... 

Check Natalya's beautiful website:   www.natalyazaloznaya.com 

Unbelievable that it is already mid October, isn't it? Soon comes winter - the book time. Well, I am lucky all year round spending hours in trains every week, I can read as much as I want. :-) Here is my last choices of reads: "Le Dérèglement du monde" by Amin Maalouf, essays about, well - the hint is in the title -  the current world crisis. Second one is a whimsical novel by Sophie Kinsella "Twenties girl" (yes, I am still obsessed with the Gatsby era), and a new novel of a Macedonian author Goce Smilevski "Freud's Sister". The later won a European Prize for Literature this year.    

Well, well, I think I recited all my news by now. Ah, autumn, autumn; strange and fascinating  season... I feel like something is brewing inside, not sure what it is, but its better be good :-)

Good sunny week everyone,

Love,
AB

Friday, 20 September 2013

Mona Lisa Can Wait

Last week I made a short trip to Paris again, and again I did not manage to visit Louvre. There were so many other whimsical places to see that Mona Lisa had to wait. 

First of, I met a dear friend with whom I share a kaleidoscope of colorful memories from our adventures in Haiti.

Here she is, posing in a beautiful straw hat from the AUGUSTINE shop at Rue de Chappe 15. It's a small atelier with a magical atmosphere and hand made pieces inspired by Gatsby era.  I am a proud owner of a beautiful silk scarf created by a Parisian artist Muriel Geoffroy.  
And of course there was Montmartre, whispering its' stories around coffee tables and painters' stands. 

Café Pouchkine (64, boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris) was graciously waiting for us to come in (actually, it's not true: WE were waiting to get in because in spite of its' grand exterior Café Pouchkine is pretty small and cosy and - therefore - busy).  

The Parisian Pouchkine is a french version of the Moscow's mythical restaurant, created by Andrey Dellos, founder of Dellos House, in 1999. There are creations of pastry chef Emmanuel Ryon in a 18th century-inspired decor that evokes the Russian Tsars. A little cliché perhaps, but so well executed that one forgets for a second that it is only a fairytale. And what else matters?


Have a good weekend.

Love,
AB



Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Old Things, New Things

Every year visiting my mom, I incite her to pull out boxes with old photos as if these yellowed images promise me something unexpected and new… She rolls her eyes but obeys knowing my weakness for retro. 

Here is a photo of my mother (on the right), for example, in her student years.  It looks so modern - It could be easily a backstage shot from some recent collection of Giambattista Valli or Fendi… Simple yet presice cuts, slightly untidy chignons - I love his photo.  

Anyway, people are divided into those who love old stuff and those who don't. I certainly belong the the first camp. Doesn't mean I don't like to give a new twist to an old object: remember some time ago I posted my dilemma about an old French oak cabinet? I did risk to paint it red and I do not regret for a second...


And also my love for dusty old furniture doesn't obstruct me from appreciation of modernity, au contraire!  The last modern and funky object that caught my sight was QLOCKTWO by BIEGERT&FUNK. So far I saw them in Zurich and Bern. 
http://www.qlocktwo.com

It comes in three forms (wall, free standing object and hand watch), seven colors and twelve languages.  There are no digits or hands, time is announced every five minutes in a little statement. I would love to have those on my wall. 

And what's going on in your world?

Have a wonderful evening.

Love,
AB

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Stories from far away

"Sept histoires qui reviennent de loin" (Seven tales that come from far away) by Jean-Christophe Rufin is my holiday travel read this year. I am back to Alexandria Eschate and I want to share my own little story that comes from far... 

Every time I cross that border I swear to myself to lay it down on paper, but than when I make it through I am so glad its over I am happy to forget about the whole ordeal.

On that check point I usually make indifferent look and on a question "Where are you coming from?" I try to say as nonchalant as I can: "Switzerland". The reactions may vary from little speeches about Sweden to admirative nods towards Swiss neutrality. I take compliments with calm dignity as if the responsibility of Switzerland's political decisions lies entirely on my shoulders. (Usually my response also eliminates the next obvious question: "Whats up with the melting chocolate in your suitcase?")

Then follow minutes of paper filling and exchanging glances with a female, heavy set border police officer holding a fly swatter. The officer asks irrelevant sarcastic questions to a poor little old fellow who wants to cross the border to visit some relatives nearby, I think. The poor fellow wears a miserable look and wipes his forehead with an old discolored cotton scarf. It is 45 degrees Celsius outside. About 40 inside. That explains the fly swatter.

My turn. The fly swatter officer asks me to open my suitcase and the handbag. She slowly goes through my personal belongings with a look suggesting that it is my turn to offer one of those pretty little bottles

They liven up seeing my laptop.

- MacAir? with a mixture of dispise and admiration says another officer.

- What is the password?

- WHAT??? The neutrality look evaporates against my will.

- The password. We must check it for presence of religious and pornographic materials.

Right. I am not worried about pornography. I am a little worried nonetheless.

I must explain. See, I discovered The Mentalist lately… Or I discovered Simon Baker , to be precise. As I don't manage to sleep on a plane I downloaded a few episodes for the flight. Some pirate copies, I am afraid…

I reluctantly announce the password. They chuckle, but take a serious look right away: bold capital letters stare at them from the screen of my computer: DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A MENTALIST? (publicity for some book, i suppose). It is my turn to chuckle: how am I going to prove that I am not a member of some psychotic sect, that I simply have a crush on Simon Baker?… The following silent scene makes me think of Gogol plays. I am slowly becoming hysterical.

Meanwhile the heavy set lady fishes my little airplane read out of my handbag. Her narrow eyes become suspicious and at the same time she lookes kind of triumphant.

- Translations?…

- Errr, a book? I offer a little sarcastically.

- Why are you reading in French? she asks, almost accusingly.

- Everyone has his vices, I offer.

She misses the sarcasm. Again.

They let me go. I stand in the other little line that consists of the little man visiting his relatives. We are waiting for our passports to be stamped. It is still 40 degreed Celsius inside. I absently follow the gestures of the little man, he hands his passport to the guy behind the glass screen. Suddenly I see a little bundle of money folded inside the passport. Suddenly I see the eyes of the guy behind the glass shield: he sees that I see the money. We stare at each other for a second. He declines the passport and I hope the little man is not in trouble because of me.

My turn to get a stamp. I am out. It is around noon and I feel the temperature crawling steadily up the Celsius scale , but I feel free and light. One kilometer of desert before me for another check point - this time its a Tajik border and I know that everything is going to be fine. I am almost home.

Hope you have an adventurous week.

Love,

AB

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Illustrated Sunday Part II

Three weeks ago I posted about trying to illustrate for OLYA NOVA project.

Well, guess what, the clothes did have materialised miraculously shortly after! Have a look! I am pretty thrilled...

And this one is for today's Sunday. This dress was imagined by a lovely woman who was inspired by the KENZO flower.
How can one NOT be inspired by poppies anyway?.. 
Have a good week!
AB

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Silver Lining

"I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night, 
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove."
John Milton, 1634

I am not sure about clouds, but my old  chair has now definitely a silver lining. 

Here is a little fun project of yesterday: having a day off I decided to give this old runner, bought at a garage sale a while ago, a little uplift. 
I gave it a new solid seat, a good polish, a layer of silver paint et Voila! 
There is something comforting in furniture renovation for me, the idea of giving objects (and maybe people) a second chance...

Have a productive end of the week and a magnificent weekend!

Speaking of weekends, one of major art events of the world - Art Basel - is buzzing this weekend in Switzerland, see you there perhaps?

Love,
AB


Sunday, 2 June 2013

Illustrated Sunday


A nice quiet Sunday spent trying to illustrate for the friend's project OLYA NOVA. The coolest part is that clothes can actually be made for me from these little drawings! 

Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Love,
AB

Monday, 27 May 2013

Being John Pavlicek

If you had a choice to be someone who would you choose? (bizarre question, I know, but still...) I'd choose to be John Pavlicek for a day (or two). Looking through old archives of Architectural Digest I came across a wonderful triptych by this American painter. Pavlicek's works remind me of music, they make me dream, they carry me away, they make me sing...well, you get the picture...

 Artist Name: John Pavlicek
Title: Garcia's Bend, 2011 (JP 3284)
Medium: Mixed Media
Width: 44 inches
Height: 66 inches

Artist Name: John Pavlicek
Title: Milly's Garden, 2012 (JP 3301)
Medium: Mixed Media
Width: 42 inches
Height: 60 inches

By the way, speaking of Architectural Digest,    I was looking for articles on renovation, on furniture renovation to be precise. The thing is I found a magnificent old French oak cabinet. Not sure about its age, but considering the layer of dust and mold resting on it I am giving it not less than a hundred. 







In spite of  terrible conditions it has been stored in my new treasure revealed itself in an almost perfect shape. My hands are itching to give it a layer of red lacquer , but I am afraid to lose tiny details in the carvings. I am certain that John Pavlicek would have know what to do... What do you think?...

Lovely evening to everyone.

AB

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Art of Transformation

A little update on my work. Here is a painting I did last week. The initial idea came from Easter - it was white and cold, but in the process of thinking and painting (and slow defrosting of outside world) some green eggplant shapes appeared. So here it is:

White Easter
80x60 sm
acrylic and silver leaf on canvas. 
Speaking of transformations, here is how I look at the end of the week:

Ok, that is how aliens look at the end of the week. At least that's how they look on a Friday afternoon in Gruyères, a lovely little Swiss village, world-famous for it's cheese and which I visited this afternoon. 

photo: www.myswitzerland.com 

What I didn't know about Gruyères is that it houses the MUSEUM HR GIGER opened in 1998 in the medieval Château St. Germain (which Giger - the most celebrated Swiss surrealist artist - has acquired the same year).  As the permanent home to many of Giger's key works, the museum presents the largest and most impressive collection of the artist's paintings and sculptures, furniture and film designs, dating from the early 1960's till the present day.  
Hans Rudolf "Ruedi" Giger, 2012 

Meticulously detailed, Giger’s paintings are done in airbrush technique, ink, markers and pastels. It was Giger’s art book ‘Necronomicon’, that caught the eye of director Ridley Scott as he was searching for the right look for a creature in his upcoming film. That creature turned out to be the Alien that brought the Swiss artist an Oscar for Best Achievement for Visual Effects in 1980.



Voila the tip for today! Visiting the village of Gruyères with it's beautiful landscapes and aliens will transform your day into an unforgettable surreal adventure... 

Beautiful weekend to all.

Love,
AB


Monday, 15 April 2013

Dressing up the World. Part II.

As I promised some time ago, I am keeping a watchful eye on the project OLYA NOVA - on Olga and her beautiful creations.

She needed more pictures. I needn't to be asked. 

It was the first sunny day in months, so obviously we went out for the photo shoot. A warm Sunday spent among Scottish highlander cows and pink piggies... an unforgettable experience! Here is a couple of images to get an idea. 



Good night and Good week!

Love,

AB

Friday, 1 March 2013

Art of Remembering

Today is the 1st of March 2013. Is it special for you? Is it tragic? Is it unremarkable?

The same day in 1968 Johnny Cash (who is, by the way, born the same day as me) got married to June Carter.

1st of March 1969 Xavier Bardem is born.

1st of March 1995 returning from the broadcasting of his wildly popular show "Rush hour"  Russian journalist Vlad Listiev got shot on his way home.

Some celebrate their birthdays, others die. Countries invade neighboring countries. Hurricanes pass. Meteorites fall... How does it mark us? How do you remember things?

How about a poem a day to remind you of what happened?

In a week, the 8th of march, in Baden opens a new cultural venue. I don't believe there is a name yet, but there is an address: Kronengasse 4 (next to the Claque-Keller), Baden, Switzerland.

It takes off with a Lyrical 2013 show. First period from Tom Steinemann. (2013 Lyrische Jahrschau. Erste Periode von Tom Steinemann).

He is the soul of the Kronengasse 4 and he indeed writes a poem a day. To remember.

Here is one of his memories from January 2013.

funky claude blues

smoke on the water
fire in the sky
the party is over
the blues will never die

rumble in the jungle
love in paradise
die or live forever
money is the price

the aim is the claim
heels are the skills
the bank will change its cover
but SMI is high

just in a groovy cottage
above montreux lake
hug and wine and maybe tears
truly were not fake

walk on water
pie in the sky
the party is over
funky claude has died
Claude Nobs, the soul of Montreux Jazz Festival, 1936 - 2013   
Wed 6. to Sun 24 of March
Tue/Wed/Thr 19:30-22h, Sat/Sun 15-17:30
Vernissage: Friday, 08.03.2013, 20H
Kronengasse 4 (next to the Claque-Keller), Baden, Switzerland

There will be poems, there will be wine, there will be memories.

Good weekend and

Love,

AB

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Dressing up the world

Guess What? I got my first commissioned photographer job! Yoo-hoo! I had to photograph this bubbly beautiful woman who wants to dress up the world. Literally.  I have met Olga accidentally in a small cafe in a little town in Switzerland. After five minutes of thoughtful glances we realized we had many things in common.

Being both Russian to begin with. Being involved in various creative projects - check. And we both have a weakness for dresses. The love of dresses alone is more than a sufficient pretext to start a life long friendship, don't you agree?  ;-)

Although I must admit, Olga's affection for dresses goes a tad deeper that mine, I mean, she has a whole philosophical theory about femininity and feminism, where dress is a focal point. I don't know where you live, but in our geographical coordinates comfort and rationalism took over elegance and femininity some while ago. Dress has become an obsolescent item. Am I right or am I right?

Ok, perhaps I am exaggerating, but only a little. Sooo, Olga has this theory that each woman has to have at least one perfect dress...for each occasion. :-) A dress which is made to measure! Luxury, you'll say. Although according to Olga it is possible. 

I forgot to tell you that she is extremely vivacious, and with that energy I am sure, she'll dress up the world, at least my measures has been taken and I can't wait to see my perfect dress. 

I will sure be keeping an eye on her project which is still in a development stage now, so I'll keep you posted.

Good weekend and

Love,

AB