Maison De Greef

When I saw this Maison de Greef advertisement for the Collection Diamonds in Knack Weekend (29th of November 2017) I thought there was something wrong with my eyes and / or my brain. There is either a relation between a banana and a well known almost 200 year old jeweller that I don’t get or it’s rather mind-blowing that a respected firm as Maison de Greef is opting for this type of sexual visual language in this Harvey Weinstein / #MeToo era. Years ago Natan Diamonds did a similar trick – irony towards De Beers or not, who will tell – with a Valentine advertisement…

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To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, rapper Typhoon was asked to write and perform a new song. ‘Van de regen naar de zon’ is a beautiful song, but above all contains ball-faced statements. To send messages like these on this moment (the official start of the festivities), on this place (the so called Ridderzaal), in front of these people (the king, the queen, the former queen, dignitaries of all kind) is in my opinion heroic. It’s analytic and hard but above all positive. The chosen esthetical language is not that of the fine arts this audience is used to, but a multicultural evocation of street culture. Hip hop at it’s most relevant. And what does it say about the country that makes it possible? Typhooon’s small hesitation in the middle of the songs makes it even more beautiful.

Déjeuner en enfer

Iraq fireman are trying to stop a fire at an oil well in Al Qayyarah (near Mosul, Iraq) after it has been set afire by ISIS. The photo resembles in a way the Déjeuner sur l’herbe – Lunch on the grass paintings by Edouard Manet (1863, Musée d’Orsay, Paris) and Claude Monet (1866, Pushkine Museum, Moscow, former collection of Sergueï Chtchoukin).




You conquered Rome, now you’ll conquer paradise

In former times is was the church or the monarch who wanted to impress with the best the world has to offer and big parades. Nowadays it’s the criminal world who wants to make a statement. The funeral of Vittorio Casamonica, member of the Casamonica clan, in Rome last August involved big banners, brass music from The Godfather,  a Rolls-Royce as a hearse, a helicopter dropping rose petals and gilded, horse-drawn funeral carriage,… A highly efficient display of maffia power!

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Made in China: A Doug Fishbone Project

Dulwich Picture Gallery and conceptional artist Dough Fishbone executed an interesting experiment: Made in China. One of the pieces from the collection were exchanged with an contemporary copy from China and hung in the original frame. The public was invited to have a close look at the collection and find out the forgery. Out of 3000 participants (only) 347 pointed out the correct painting. Material for reflection…