Museo del Prado

A phenomenal painting after 1610 by Guido Reni stood out to me during my visit to Spain.

At the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the painting Saint Sebastian expressed male beauty in an emotional art form.

Saint Sebastian (1617-1619). Guido Reni. Museo del Prado (Madrid, Spain). Oil on canvas, 170x 133 cm.

Religiously themed, there’s a representation of martydom. Christianity takes a presence over the Roman soldier who was condemned to an arrow execution after being shot by two archers.

With assistance, Saint Irene released him while he was still alive and healed his wounds. At the times, Sebastian was a popular, noble and powerful saint because of his one attribution to cure the black plague. The scene is dramatic as Saint Sebastian devotes himself in the name of religion and the people.

Out Of Focus: Photography

The brilliant Out of Focus: Photography exhibition installations are on display this weekend in London.

Charles Saatchi’s contemporary photography collection captures various elements of today’s styles and changes showcasing 38 photographers from 14 countries featuring themes of beauty, emotions and digital processing.

There are lots of photos with portrait identity constructions, abstract art, nudity, landscapes and contrasting imagery. David Benjamin Sherry has dramatic shots mixing mountains infused with light to cast the colors at exposure to influence color and light in a photo.

David Benjamin Sherry. All Matterings of Mind Equal One Violet.
2011. C-print. 182.9 x 232.4 cm. Photo from Saatchi Gallery.

Photographer, Ryan McGinley depicts a striking group of naked youth on a journey to find their freedom on a nature adventure with fireworks, ipods and fog machines to set the atmosphere. Photographer, Sara VanDerBeek uses influences of family through experimental and surrealist approaches to highlight inventiveness and idealism by focusing on memory, experience, inspiration and influence for framed photographic prints.

One of my favorite artists, Hannah Starkey’s photographs reconstruct scenes from everyday life with a concentrated stylisation of film. Starkey finds these generic moments with a sense of relational detachment to create reflective instances of inner contemplation, isolation and conflicting emotion. This evokes narratives from different classes, races, genders and identity with a hint of voyeurism. Starkey’s works are often left untitled for the viewer to connect their own thoughts to the sense of blurred reality.

Mariah Robertson. Nude with Afghani with Export Rug. 2007. Silver gelatin print. 20.3 x 25.4 cm. Photo from Saatchi Gallery.

Pushing the limits of photography, Mariah Robertson uses unique color print on metallic paper and silver gelatin prints to change the rough edges of her art as a way not to confine the print to a frame. Robertson follows an alternative process of experimental shadowing for  irregular chemical reactions for negative collages to combine figuration with abstraction.

At times, an out of focus photo can make the shot what it is and reveal something more. These shots usually break the standards of photography with focus and exposure conveying a depth of field that’s unreal. Out of Focus – Photography is at the Saatchi Gallery until 22 July 2012.

Jack White’s ‘Blunderbuss’

American singer/songwriter Jack White is set to top the Billboard 200 Chart in the US after releasing his debut solo album, Blunderbuss.

The new album features 13 tracks of replete with waltzes, multiple riffs, cool ballads, melodic pianos, brave guitar solos and intense energy from his vocals leaving you wanting more of his mischievous art form.

Jack White performing. Photo from CNN.

The 36-year old musician, Jack White said: “I’ve put off making records under my own name for a long time but these songs feel like they could only be presented under my name. These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colors on my own canvas,” according to source NME.

The former White Stripes man is no longer wearing red and white as Jack White has formed into a new colour scheme of blue. With his weird and passionate musical style, many people admire Jack White’s international rockstar status as an important guitarist of the decade.

The Blunderbuss produced by the singer’s own Third Man Records/XL Records HQ in Nashville, Tennessee is out now.

Also Jack White will begin touring this summer. The announced dates are 21 June at London’s O2 Academy Brixton, 22 June at HMV Hammersmith Appollo and 24 June at UK Capital’s HMV Forum. Fans can purchase tickets now.

The Cabin in the Woods

The horror comedy, The Cabin in Woods features a group of friends who are tricked into spending a weekend in a mysterious cabin in the woods.

Together the five college students must uncover the truth behind what is happening in a remote area of Canada.

Settling into their cabin, Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt, (Chris Henworth), Jules, (Anna Hutchinson), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Holden (Jesse Williams) soon discover things are not as they seem while hidden cameras film their every move for two technicians Richard Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Steve Hadley (Bradley Whitford) with an undercover operation.

As they find a basement trap door, more secrets and numerous artifacts unleash horror scenarios. Terrified of what’s to come, the five plan an escape until the technicians cut them off from the outside world.

Directed by Drew Goddard, the mystery and suspense leads to mind-blowing events with the usual horror victim stereotypes. There are themes presented such as survival and isolation that reference other horror films including The Shining, The Evil Dead, The Ring and The Strangers.

Brasilian Sensation

Three time Grammy nominated São Paulo singer/songwriter, Céu is on the rise as she began her UK tour today.

The voice of 31-year old Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças is illuminating fans in Bristol with eclectic moods from her latest album Caravana Sereia Bloom.

Céu performing São Paulo sounds in Brasil. Photo from NY Times.

Céu’s musical vision is a mixture of influences including choro, electrojazz, hip hop, R&B, samba and soul vibes. Céu said: “Culturally, racially we are all a mix in one way or another. I didn’t grow up listening only to samba, I was absorbing classical music and jazz alongside Afro-Brazilian rhythms.”

Talented and versatile, the artist was also once interested in art and performing. Her 2005 first self-titled album debut was a chilled blend of classic bossa-samba crafted with edgy rock beats similar to the underground music in an experimental São Paulo spirit.

That year, her first international release was on Starbucks’s Hear Music label skyrocketing her status in America. Leading to a Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary World Music Album” in 2006. Then in 2007,  Céu went across the pond to the UK and France where she became the fourth highest selling artist for the Archambault chain of music shops.

Most of Céu’s inspiration is gathered from the graffiti and music scenes with bohemian undertones from all over Brasil. Associated Press and Reuters recognize Céu as a fresh new face of Brasilian music scenes. Her success led to a 2008 Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary World Music Album”. Then in 2009,  Céu’s critically acclaimed second album Vagarosa was #2 on the US Billboard’s World Music charts following a 2010 Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary Brazilian Pop Record.”

Céu’s latest album, Caravana Sereia Bloom is out now from record label Six Degree Records. For more information: comono.co.uk