The Art Market Thrives

November 14, 2019

We are currently going through the late fall sales of Modern and Impressionists, and the market seems to be as brisk as ever.  Last night’s Christie’s sale of Post-war paintings, for example, raised more than $325 million.


The star of the show was this piece — Hurting The Word Radio #2 — by an artist that would be obscure to most people on the street, I suspect.  Ed Ruscha‘s 1964 work sold for a remarkable $52.5 million, almost double the best price a work by this artist has seen before.

Photographic Portrait Prize 2019

November 11, 2019

The image awards keep coming. This time it is the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for 2019 as reported in the Guardian.

The overall winner was:

Gail and Beaux, Pat Martin


I liked a whole lot of the images shown, finally picking this as my favourite:

Eha, Sirli Raitma

LA Neon

November 5, 2019

The Guardian recently ran an interesting gallery of images by Los Angeles photographer Franck Bohbot who specializes in the night-time neon scene.  My own favourite was this:

Beverly Vapes, Franck Bohbot

Paris 2024: A Logo

November 4, 2019

This week, the IOC Organizing Committee for the 2024 Paris Olympics introduced their logo. The same logo will be used for the Paralympics, too:

An excellent piece of graphic design, the logo manages to capture the gold medal, the Olympic flame, and Marianne, symbol of the French Republic in a single image.

Wildlife 2019

November 2, 2019

The Society of German Nature Photographers has handed out its awards for 2019.  The overall winner:

The Ghost, Eduardo Blanco Mendizabal

My own favourites were:

Gelada After The Storm, Marco Giaotti

In The Canopy, Carlos Perez Naval

Winning Weather Images

October 30, 2019

The photographic awards season is still with us.  This time we feature the Royal Meteorological Society competition.  The winner was:

“Above My Expectations”, Gareth Mon-Jones


My particular favourite was this:

“Tempest”, Dan Portch


October 28, 2019

Some of the best times of my life took place in Morocco.

I was there for 6 months as a hippy at the end of the 1960s, and then as a contracted worker for another six months in the mid 1980s. On both occasions I was fortunate enough to visit and stay for a while in many different places right across the country: And the experiences were vividly memorable. It is still a place of wonder for me.

So I was interested to come across an article about Hassan Hajjaj, a Moroccan visual artist, and his new show in Paris.

Carte Blanch a Hassan Hajjaj is truly immersive. Bags of couscous cover benches at the entrance like cushions, street signs are used as tables, and cans are used as light fixtures. However, the focus is on Hajjaj as a photographer,  In the 1990s, Hajjaj was an assistant to stylist … for a photo shoot set in Marrakesh. He expressed his frustration at seeing Morocco being treated … as merely a backdrop for the shoot. He decided to plan an imaginary fashion shoot to celebrate Morocco and its people. Veiled women are dressed in djellabias, caftans, animal prints, and counterfeit brand logo styled to resemble traditional motifs. These audacious women are in poses typical of those in fashion magazines, offering a whimsical reflection on the image of Muslim women in Anglo-European societies, as well as Eurocentric codes of beauty.”

Here are a couple of my favourites:


Neither of these images are recognizable as artifacts of the time I spent there, but they are evocative of something (in colour and form) and I like them very much.