MD: American Visionary Art Museum

visionary This place. Wow. I cannot even begin to describe how inspiring it was! They define visionary art as “art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.” Definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area.

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visionary4 [35mm taken with my 1999 Olympus 105G Superzoom. Click here for more pictures of Maryland.]

Faces on Places: Guido van Helten’s Reykjavik Murals

Guido van Helten,

These murals are by Australian artist, Guido van Helten. He was commissioned to work his magic on this building after the owner saw his painting a nearby house (image below). The house mural is based on a photo of the grandfather of the woman who owns the house. The commissioned murals are based on a 1961 photo from a play that van Helten found in the Museum of Photography here in Reykjavik. I posted about the first painting (last photo in the post) back in November, soon after it was finished. Over the winter, van Helten finished two more enormous black and white scenes. This area at the edge of the city is rather plain- a few grocery stores and the harbor- and the murals are wonderful additions to the view. 

Guido van Helten

Guido van Helten,

Guido van Helton [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

The Weight of Mountains

Temujin Doran has created a achingly beautiful film….about geography…. “about the processes by which mountains are created and eventually destroyed. It is based upon the work of British geographer L. Dudley Stamp,” narrated with a quiet voice and beautifully paired with breathtaking scenery of Iceland and its remarkable geography. Enjoy.

Gallerí Graffiti

Graffiti in Reykjavik, Iceland I took a detour on my way to church last week  and came across a veritable gallery of graffiti. All but two of the pieces in the above composite are from the same run down lot. You’ll find it tucked here, tucked behind the Listaháskóli (Art University) with the mountains as a backdrop. Graffiti in Reykjavik, Iceland

Graffiti in Reykjavik, Iceland  And here’s a stray film shot from a nearby street art hotspot. Graffiti in Reykjavik, Iceland

The Incredible Sculptures of Einar Jónsson

Einar Jónsson's "Protection:

According to the Einar Jónsson Museum, the eponymous artist was Iceland’s first sculptor.  He lives from 1874-1954. Earlier in his career he drew on Icelandic folklore as well as religious and mythological motifs for subjects. After living in Rome around the turn of the century, he “emphasized the need for artists to forge their own path and cultivate their originality and imagination instead of following in the footsteps of others…he developed a figurative language composed of interpretable symbols, personification and allegory.” “Protection” (pictured above) is one of my favorite of his works. I love walking to the (free!) sculpture garden to revisit the hauntingly realistic faces and try to understand the complex symbols in his work.

Einar Jónsson's "The Spell Broken"

You can see Einar Jónsson’s works all around the city as well as in the museum and beautiful sculpture garden right next to Hallgrímskirkja. In fact, the museum website features an excellent map for taking a walking tour of his works in City Center, which includes  “The Spell Broken” (pictured here in the snow) along the path encircling Tjörnin.  For those who like to wander, this route also happens to be a great “intro” to downtown Reykjavik. [These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000]