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Five Van Gogh “Sunflowers” Virtually Live, and in 360

August 16, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

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“Van Gogh’s paintings of Sunflowers are among his most famous. He did them in Arles, in the south of France, in 1888 and 1889. Vincent painted a total of five large canvases with sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’. In this way, he demonstrated that it was possible to create an image with numerous variations of a single colour, without any loss of eloquence.”

“The sunflower paintings had a special significance for Van Gogh: they communicated ‘gratitude’, he wrote. He hung the first two in the room of his friend, the painter Paul Gauguin, who came to live with him for a while in the Yellow House. Gauguin was impressed by the sunflowers, which he thought were ‘completely Vincent’.” (Van Gogh Museum. )

The Van Gogh Museum – Fine Art in the New Media

The Van Gogh Museum has been in the forefront in its use of New Media. The first two posts when this blog began six years ago were the Van Gogh Museum and The Van Gogh Letters. Now, five versions of a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece are being reunited for the first time in a “virtual exhibition,”


“According to a press release, on Monday August 10, 2017 The National Gallery in London, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Neue Pinakothek in Munich and the Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art in Tokyo all linked up for the presentation called Sunflowers 360, which is available to view now on Facebook. ”

“Also launched is a  virtual-reality experience that shows viewers all five “‘Sunflowers'” in one room. Willem van Gogh, great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo, narrates the  360° tour. This virtual gallery, as of now, has already had some 3.7 million views.

“Virtual reality technology and computer graphics make it appear as if the paintings are all in one gallery together. Viewers can either use VR headsets to examine the paintings or get a 360-degree view of the gallery on their computer or mobile screens.” ((Jason Daley smithsonian.com)


You can watch the each of the museums’ presentations on livestreams at:
National Gallery: http://vangogh.com/QZDQ30eqhnk
Van Gogh Museum: http://vangogh.com/YuWJ30eqhvx
Die Pinakotheken: http://vangogh.com/CC6g30eqhyE
Philadelphia Museum of Art: http://vangogh.com/ZCHR30eqhBO
Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum: http://vangogh.com/9XOY30epRLq


Van Gogh Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, Summer 1887  Detroit Institute of Arts








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J.M.W. Turner – Obsessed with the Sun

August 9, 2017 – New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday by Jack Dziamba.

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Turner and the Sun

As this is August, the sun, hopefully, is foremost in people’s plans. A current exhibition depicts beautifully works by Turner in paint, and studies with wash and color, and crayon. The exhibition is open now and runs to October 15, 2017.

“Turner had a life long obsession with the sun. ” In the weeks prior to his death, J.M.W. Turner is said to have declared (to John Ruskin) ‘The Sun is God’ – what he meant by this, no-one really knows, but what is not in any doubt is the central role that the sun played in Turner’s lifelong obsession with light and how to paint it.”

The Giudecca Canal, Looking Towards Fusina at Sunset (1840, Tate), (above) gives visitors to Turner and the Sun a very rare chance to see a work created using pencil, watercolour and crayon.” (Art Daily).

From The Hampshire Cultural Institute website,

“This exhibition celebrates J.M.W. Turner as the undisputed master of light and focuses on his lifelong fascination with the sun. Witnessing the technicolour vibrancy of sunset, Turner explored the transformative effects of sunlight, and sought to replicate its life-giving energy in paint. Combining naturalistic observation with imaginative flights of fancy, his light-drenched landscapes remain as dazzling today as they were for a contemporary audience.”


Going to the Ball (San Martino), exhibited 1846, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775‑1851). Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photo ©Tate, London 2017

“The popularity of the Grand Tour and the enduring appeal of Venice created a lucrative and artistically important opportunity for Turner in his late career. In Going to the Ball (San Martino) (exhibited 1846, Tate), we see boats taking Venetian revellers to a masque ball against the backdrop of a golden cityscape. This was Turner’s last painting of Venice and was in his studio at the time of his death in 1851.” (Art Daily).

Fine Art in the New Media

The Lake, Petworth: Sunset, Fighting Bucks c.1829 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

The website for this exhibition at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre , gives us the opportunity to view the two works above. Unfortunately, the remainder of the exhibition must be viewed in person.

However, googling “Turner the Gallery Winchester Discovery Center” does bring up other images, one of which is The Lake, Petworth, Sunset; Sample Study (c.1827-8, Tate), (above) and the haunting  Sun Setting over a Lake (below), and others.

Of course, we would like to see every institution making their entire exhibition online to fulfill the mission of making art available to everyone, everywhere.

Lake of Lucerne, Looking from Kussnacht towards the Bernese Alps; Mont Pilatus on the Right, Dark against the Sunset 1841 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851


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Sam Shepard / Samuel Beckett – a Tribute

August 2, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

Much has been said in print and in video about Sam Shepard since his death on July 27, 2016 at the age of 73.

In this post we wish to celebrate his life as an Actor, Playwright, and with a brief comparison of the theme and purpose of the works of Sam Shepard, and Samuel Beckett.


Sam Shepard – Actor

The coolness and talent of Sam Shepard as an actor is displayed in simple the clip above.

Sam Shepard – Playwright

“Sam Shepard’s plays are performed on and off Broadway and in all the major regional American theatres. They are also widely performed and studied in Europe, particularly in Britain, Germany and France, finding both a popular and scholarly audience. A leader of the avant-garde in contemporary American theatre since his earliest work. Sam’s plays are not easy to categorize. They combine wild humor, grotesque satire, myth and a sparse, haunting language to present a subversive view of American life. His settings are often a kind of nowhere, notionally grounded in the dusty heart of the vast American Plains; his characters are typically loners, drifters caught between a mythical past and the mechanized present; his work often concerns deeply troubled families.

Before he was thirty, Shepard had over thirty plays produced in New York. In his works Shepard has repeatedly examined the moral anomie and spiritual starvation that characterize the world of his drama.

Sam began his career as a playwright in New York in 1964 with the Theatre Genesis production of two one-act plays, COWBOYS and THE ROCK GARDEN  at St. Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery. Their lack of conventional structure and the manic language of their long monologues offend critics from uptown papers. Some find the plays derivative of Samuel Beckett and other European dramatists. But Michael Smith of THE VILLAGE VOICE hails them as “distinctly American” and “genuinely original,” and declares their author full of promise.

By 1980, he was the most produced playwright in America after Tennessee Williams.

Over the past forty years, Sam has written over 45 plays, eleven of which have won Obie Awards. In 1979 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for BURIED CHILD. In 1986 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 1992 he received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy.  He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1994.” (sam-shepard.com)

Sam Shepard/ Samuel Beckett

A comparison of the images of Sam Shepard and Samuel Beckett, above, is quite striking.  However, the works of both playwrights may bear a similar striking similarity in theme and purpose. The quotes below are not meant to satisfy any “academic standard;” we leave that to the work of scholars.

Sam Shepard

In high school, Sam Shepard “read Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, an experience that says transformed him … In reviewing Shepard’s initial offering, Village Voice critic Michael Smith wrote: “The plays are difficult to categorize, and I’m not sure it would be valuable to try…. Shepard is still feeling his way, working with an intuitive approach to language and dramatic structure and moving into an area between ritual and naturalism, where character transcends psychology, fantasy breaks down literalism, and the patterns of ordinariness have their own lives. His is a gestalt theater which evokes the existence behind behavior. Shepard clearly is aware of previous work in this mode, mostly by Europeans, but his voice is distinctly American and his own.” (theatredatabase.com.)

Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett ” dealt with human beings in such extreme situations not because he was interested in the sordid and diseased aspects of life but because he concentrated on the essential aspects of human experience. The subject matter of so much of the world’s literature—the social relations between individuals, their manners and possessions, their struggles for rank and position, or the conquest of sexual objects—appeared to Beckett as mere external trappings of existence, the accidental and superficial aspects that mask the basic problems and the basic anguish of the human condition. The basic questions for Beckett seemed to be these: How can we come to terms with the fact that, without ever having asked for it, we have been thrown into the world, into being?” (britannica.com)


Sam Shepard, 1943 – 2017

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“Dreams of Dali” in 360

July 27, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.


With the news of the exhumation of the body of Salvador Dali for DNA testing, perhaps it is a good time to look at Dali’s work, here especially Dalí’s 1935 canvas Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus, portrayed through the video above, “Dreams of Dali,”  as an excellent use of the tools of the New Media to enhance the presentation of the work.

Fine Art in the New Media

As described by Colin Marshall in Open Culture,

“The 360-degree video, drops you into the world of Dalí’s 1935 canvas Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus,’  an homage to an earlier work (Jean-François Millet’s painting, “The Angelus”) which enjoyed enormous popularity during Dalí’s youth.”

“Th[is] late 19th century painting depicts a peasant couple standing in a field with their heads bowed in prayer. For many it was a sentimental work, but for Dalí’ it was troubling, with layers of hidden meaning, which he explored through daydreams and fantasies.”

“As the artist himself put it, ‘”I surrendered myself to a brief fantasy during which I imagined sculptures of the two figures in Millet’s ‘Angelus’ carved out of the highest rocks.'”

“His formidable imagination converted that mid-19th-century image of rural hardship and piety into the moonlit desert landscape through which ‘”Dreams of Dal픑 flies you.”

“Created for ‘”Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination,'” an exhibit at St. Petersburg, Florida’s Dalí Museum on the friendship and collaboration between those two visionary 20th-century world-creators (see Destino, the short film Dalí and Disney collaborated on).”

“The video not only gives the painting a third spatial dimension, but a detailed sonic one featuring the godlike voice of Dalí himself.”

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Raphael – The Drawings

July 19, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

Raphael – The Drawings

“The Ashmolean’s captivating summer show brings together 120 stunning works from international collections spanning the brief but brilliant career of this Renaissance genius.

Aged only 37 when he died, Raphael’s fame in drawing had a transformative effect on European art over centuries. This exciting exhibition focuses on his extraordinary creativity, and shows how exploration and experimentation shaped his breathtakingly accomplished drawings.” (ashmolean.org.)

The Exhibition

The museum states,

“The Ashmolean’s unrivalled Raphaels are joined by superb works from the Albertina and loans from other international collections including the Louvre, the Uffizi and Her Majesty the Queen. Drawings include the exquisite Head of a Muse, [below] which broke records when auctioned at Christies in 2009, as well as the sublime Heads and Hands of two Apostles, considered to be the finest drawing Raphael ever made.”

Raphael Head of a Muse

Fine Art in the New Media

As a blog devoted to reviewing the use of the New Media tools to make art accessible to everyone, everywhere, we would have to say that the Ashmolean exhibition site “Raphael The Drawings” does now allow us to see any of the 120 works in the exhibition as pictures to enlarge and study.

However, in the video below, Dr Catherine Whistler, Keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean, and Fellow in Art History at St John’s, discusses three Raphael drawings the from different stages in the artist’s career with such insight and clarity that it should serve as a model of how an institution uses a video and words to describe visual art. This is something you are not likely to get, even visiting the exhibition itself.



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Beckett Directs Godot


“Clips from an October 1988 WGBH Boston presentation of Beckett Directs Beckett featuring a Paris performance of “Waiting for Godot” by members of the . The film was directed by Walter D. Asmus. The play was directed by Samuel Beckett.”(You Tube.)

Beckett Directs Godot

Catchy title. The story, and comments on Fine Art in the New Media, below.

“In 1985 Samuel Beckett directed “Waiting for Godot”, “Krapp’s Last Tape” and “Endgame” as stage pieces with the San Quentin Players. All three productions were grouped together under the overall title “’Beckett Directs Beckett.’” As such they toured throughout Europe and in some parts of Asia to wide acclaim.”

“Furthermore, each time a new tour was organized for these productions, after sometimes lengthy lacunae, Beckett has, with the assistance of Walter Asmus, and/or Alan Mandell, brought them back to performance level.

Though the initial productions as staged in 1985 already brought forth substantial changes in the published acting texts of the plays, each time a re-mounting of the productions occurred additional changes were made.”

“The same was true during the production period for these television versions, with Beckett sometimes making textual changes on the telephone even as a given scene was being taped.” (MITH Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities)


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Beckett directing Waiting for Godot in Berlin in 1975

Fine Art in the New Media

While You Tube, and the Internet may now be considered “old new media,” the contribution to Fine Art in the New Media is enormous. Here, in one place, wherever you are on the globe, you can see clips from the production of the play, hear the comments of those involved, and see portions of the annotated text including word alterations and stage directions. This is “making art accessable to everyone, everywhere “at its finest. Moreover, the creative use of these resources in the classroom is worth a thousand lectures.


More:  Beckett Directs Beckett – The Story of the Productions.

Research and Production Links

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“A Clockwork Orange” and “The Shining”- Music Composed by Wendy Carlos

July 5, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

Wendy Carlos’s Synth Scores- the Near-Unbearable  Tension’s in Kubrick’s Worlds

Wendy Carlos’ theme music for Stanley Kubrick’s  A Clockwork Orange and The Shining “are indispensable in creating the dread and horror that carry through these cinematic masterpieces. As you can hear in the opening title music for both films, at the top and below, Carlos’ synth scores set up the near-unbearable tensions in Kubrick’s worlds.” (Open Culture.)

Wendy Carlos

Wendy Carlos (f), born Walter Carlos (m) is “one of the great innovators in synthesized and electronic music,” (IMDb.) 

“Wendy Carlos has not followed a conventional music course. Born in Pawtucket, R.I., she started piano lessons at age six and exhibited talents for graphic arts and the sciences, winning a Westinghouse Science Fair scholarship for a home built computer. After pursuing a hybrid major in music and physics at Brown University, she earned an M.A. in music composition at Columbia University, studying with pioneers Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky at the first electronic music center in the U.S.A. Upon graduation, Carlos worked as a recording engineer and befriended Robert Moog (who currently manufactures many instruments at Big Briar,) becoming one of his first clients.(wendycarlos.com.)

Opening Music from A Clockwork Orange

“The haunting arrangement music by composer Henry Purcell, (1659- 1698), in the film’s opening title has become inseparable from the classical and futuristic elements commingled in Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess. ” (Open Culture.)

“Her music for the title sequence (with Producer Rachael Elkind’s distorted voice)—so weirdly, dissonantly ominous—provides the perfect accompaniment to one of the most complex opening sequences in film history. Her album Switched on Bach, released the same year as 2001, won the composer three Grammy Awards, put Baroque music on the pop charts, garnered the highest praise from no less a keyboard authority than Glenn Gould, and “made electronic music mainstream.” (Open Culture.)

“The Shining”

“For The Shining, she and Elkind wrote a complete score for the film and Kubrick—writes site The Overlook Hotel—“ended up using only two of their complete tracks, ‘The Shining’ (Main Title), and ‘Rocky Mountains.’” As with 2001, the perfectionistic director instead decided on several classical compositions—from Ligeti, Penderecki, Bartok and others.”

Wendy Carlos (More)

Wendy Carlos

In 2005Wendy Carlos was presented with the SEAMUS 2005 Life Achievement Award, in recognition of her groundbreaking work in the electro-acoustic world since the ’60s. She has delivered papers at New York University, the Audio Engineering Society’s Digital Audio Conference, Dolby’s NYC Surround Sound demonstration and panel, and other music/audio conferences. Carlos is a member of the Audio Engineering Society, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. (wendycarlos.com.)

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