Into the Floating World of Clarence H. White

There’s something quiet about Clarence H. White’s photos that captivates the calm within all of us. The simple, almost unscripted scenes of everyday life are so masterfully done that almost everyone can relate to them in one way or the other.

cri_000000008274White is probably one of the greatest influencers in photography of the early twentieth century, not just because of his works, but also because he was considered as one of the most important photography teacher of the time. A lot of his students became notable in the field as well, names you might even find more familiar than their master’s: Dorothea Lange, Ralph Steiner, and Margaret Bourke-White just to name a few.Caption from LIFE. "At 76, the Mahatma is in good physical condition. He weighs 110 pounds, but he is not so frail as he looks."White was attuned with his contemporaries as well, and was one of the founding members of the art movement Photo-Secession, a movement which daringly pushed the limits of photography and turn them into almost painting-like works of art during a time when photographic images were taken as direct and factual representations of real life.

He was one of the forefathers of photo manipulation—not as the same way as how we perform photo manipulation today with the help of various digital photo editors—but much more organic, done within the confines of a dark room, manipulating light as if it were liquid on film.

Clarence H. White, The Mirror, 1912. Varnished palladium print. George Eastman Museum
Those who want to view White’s work first hand may visit an on-going exhibition of his works, “Clarence H. White and His World” which will run from June 22 to September 16, 2018 at the Portland Museum of Art. It will not only contain his photographs but also a lot of memorabilia and curious ephemera—including an interesting condolence letter from another Photo-Secession founding member, Alfred Stieglitz addressed to White’s widow. The two had an unfortunate falling out in 1912 on the account of Stieglitz’s overbearing ego.x1983-496Fast forward to today, we now see their names side by side again, under the collective label of pictorialists. Photographers whose works transcends the representational. White’s most notable works himself, echoed Japonisme and ukiyo-e prints, in particular. Ukiyo-e, which is defined as “pictures of the floating world”, can also directly translate to “pictures of a sad and troublesome world”…and don’t they capture the very essence of White’s work in entirety? Photos that look as if trapped in time, in a world of floating existence, while also pouring out emotions of quiet melancholy. His works, truly, are dream-like, and definitely something worth seeing.

References: theartofjapan.com, artblart.com, uk.phaidon.com, bostonglobe.com, www.all-about-photo.com

Travel Back in Time to Ikea’s 75 Years of Furniture Design

When you think about furniture, it’s difficult not to think of Ikea. That’s how iconic the brand is when it comes to furniture design. And why wouldn’t it be? This furniture giant from Sweden has been influencing the world of design for 75 years now!  ikea-vintage-gratulera-collection-design_dezeen_2364_hero-1-852x609Yes, that’s right. This year marks Ikea’s 75th anniversary, and they are releasing an anniversary collection made up of their most iconic pieces. Aptly named “Gratulera” (which is Swedish for congratulate), their collection will have three separate launches, or sub-collections: 1950s to 1960s, 1970s to 1980s, and 1990s to 2000s. The first one, 50s to 60s, is set to be released this August. The next one will be around October. And of course, the final collection will be released in December along with the holiday season. So be sure to mark those calendars!3f9dfc3cdce9fc6c6196a1167105b02239ca8e5eGratulera will not only include their most iconic furniture, but will also feature lighting and tableware collections. One such piece is the LÖVET table (now known as LÖVBACKEN), which is the company’s first knock back product. This collapsible concept was apparently brought into life when one of their employees dismantled the LÖVET’s legs to fit it into his small car. Fast forward to today, almost all of Ikea’s pieces are flat-packed and can simply be assembled at home for convenience. This very concept, catapulted Ikea to furniture design fame, making it almost impossible to imagine that this giant furniture company started by just being a small post order business ran by a teenager. ikea-vintage-gratulera-collection-design_dezeen_2364_col_9-1704x1278 The 70s to 80s collection will be just exciting as the company will relaunch the original Klippan sofa, which we have seen grow and adapt throughout the years, along with other Retro-inspired items.ikea-vintage-gratulera-collection-design_dezeen_2364_col_32-1704x1278Finally, the 90s to 00s collection will include Thomas Sandell’s sculptural furniture, such as the iconic small bench with wheels, which was another game player in the world of furniture design. Ikea announced that each design will be released in limited edition, so be sure to plan your purchases wisely.
References: en.wikipedia.org  hikeamuseum.com  www.ikea.com  www.apartmenttherapy.com  www.dezeen.com/

The dragon of Barcelona: Gaudi’s Casa Batlló is one of the most bizarre architectural works from the 20th century

Casa_Batllo_Overview_Barcelona_Spain_cutBarcelona is a city of great culture and amazing architecture which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Some of the most recognizable architectural masterpieces were constructed by the one and only Antoni Gaudi, who at the beginning of 1900 started to build a house which today is considered as one of his greatest works.   398px-CasaBatllo_0054The name of the house is Casa Batlló and the architect’s idea was to depict Saint George and the dragon. He was hired by the Batlló family to rebuilt their previous home. The owner gave total freedom to Gaudi to do what thinks its best to reconstruct the whole place. With his artistic vision, he created the most authentic work of art.800px-Close_up_Casa_BatloThe texture of the façade looks like a dragon’s gills and there is a cross on the roof that represents the saint. The balconies which are carved of cast iron look like faces and suppose to be the skulls of the dragon’s victims. The unusually shaped windows in the lower part of the house and the entrance have white curved frames and highly decorated columns that combined together look like a dragon’s jaw. That is way Casa Batlló is also dubbed as the House of Bones.CasaBatllo_inner_courtyardThe interior is as bizarre as the exterior. One of the most stunning spaces is the loft with its nadrealistic white walls that looks like a dragon’s spine. The main floor is the largest space in the house which has the unusually shaped windows covered with colorful stained glass. The most popular feature in the house is the roof which according to Gaudi represents the dragon’s back. It is made of colorful ceramic tiles and there is a small window shaped like a triangle that symbolizes the dragon’s eye.
CasaBatllo_rooftop_chimneys_dragonThe house was finished in two years, and from 1910 it was impossible for the locals to not stop in front of it and admire its unusual beauty. The word of the House of Bones spread fast around the world and everyone was excited to see this dragon in the middle of the city. It belonged to the Batlló family until the 1950s and after almost forty years it was bought by the Bernat family who are the current owners. From 1995, the house is open to the public and many events are hosted during each year. Millions of people come to visit the house and it always stands out as one of the greatest places they’ve visited from their must-see lists. In 2005, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and remains as one of the most valuable icons of Barcelona. CasaBatlló_NobleFloor_saloon_side1024px-Casa_Batlló_(Antoni_Gaudi)_(interior,_ceiling_close_up),_43,_Passeig_de_Gràcia,_Eixample,_Barcelona,_Catalonia,_Spainimages: wiki