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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: Sculpture

Friday June 22 2018

imageOn the day that England ruthlessly crushed Tunisia at football, with a very late goal, I was checking out the most recent Big Things of the City of London.  But there are other things in the City of London besides Big Things, and this is, you sense, deliberate.  They’re trying to make the City more than a place of work which becomes deserted when everyone buggers off to the suburbs early on Friday evening.  They trying to make it stay alive at evenings and weekends.  They’re trying to make it the sort of place that people might like to visit, as opposed merely to a place that lots of people find it profitable to work in.

One of the things that signals this effort is sculpture.

On the right is a photo I took of the first sculpture I encountered during my walkabout.  Frankly, I wasn’t impressed.  The colours are quite nice, but the sculpture itself is too much like a miniature and pretend Big Thing.  And why would you want that when you have real Big Things all around you?  Standing as it does next to the Lloyds Building, this pile of coloured rectangles just looked feeble and sad.

I much preferred this carthorse:

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And this goat:

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Here is a link to information about the goat.

Strangely, I could find absolutely nothing on the www about the carthorse.  This may be because, rather than being Art, it is merely a 3D advert for alcohol.  Those big giant courgettes it is dragging along in its cart are for making booze of some sort, or such is my guess.  Or, the silence of the internet may be because this carthorse has only very recently arrived at the spot where I encountered it.  Or, the internet is full of stuff about this carthorse and I merely failed to find it, which is the most likely explanation for this not-link.

Whatever.  The thing I liked about both the horse and the goat is that they are simulated biological entities, rather than man-made structures like that pile of coloured rectangles.  They do not compete with the Big Things, because they are different from them.  Instead, they make a welcome contrast to the Big Things.

Big Things on their own are very dull, I think, and little Big Things don’t change that.  Sculpted creatures do change this, I also think.

Thursday June 14 2018

Yes, here is the Royal Albert Hall, photoed by me this afternoon:

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That photo was taken early this afternoon.  I was there to hear GodDaughter2’s graduation recital in the Royal College of Music, which is just down the steps and across Prince Consort Road, south of the Albert Hall.  After I had heard GD2 do her singing, superbly, and after I and all her many other friends and family present had celebrated afterwards with her, I started to make my way home. 

Before leaving the vicinity of the College and the Albert Hall, I took more photos of the statue of Prince Albert that stands at the top of the steps, the other side of the Hall from the Albert Memorial.  In the photo above, you can hardly see the Prince Albert statue.  But later in the afternoon, the direction of the sunlight having altered, Albert was looking a lot better:

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The Royal Albert Hall is looking particular fine just now, because scaffolding.

Saturday June 09 2018

Yes, in Piccadilly Circus, photoed at the same time as those hair-patting ladies.  And this time, you know, just photoers, just photoing photos.

What strikes me is what a good camera I now have.  The light was not good.  I was there to meet up with someone, not to make the best of some sunny weather, because there was no sunny weather to be made the best of.  In the bad old days, when their were two zeroes in the years, most of these photos would have been an unsightly blur.  But now, the only thing I worry about is if there are recognisable faces on show:

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Once again, I made the selection of what to show here entirely by me liking the photo and you not seeing recognisable faces.  No thought was given to what sort of cameras were being used.  Which means that what cameras were actually being used becomes interesting and informative, like a small scientific experiment.

Once again, we observe the rise and rise of the smartphone as the preferred way for regular people to photo.  There are some Real Photographer cameras to be seen here.  And I think there always will be, because there will always be photoers for whom the best possible photos are the thing they want, and the best that a big old clunky machine can do will always be better that what a smartphone can do.

But, thinking about that some more, is that right?  Will there actually soon come a time when all photoing is done by little things the size of a biscuit?

And will there then be a Great Grumble from all the Real Photographers – a category which is maybe starting to include me - similar to the one when digital cameras first got going?

Sunday June 03 2018

One of my favourite public sculptures in London goes by the official name of Assembly.  This, or perhaps it should be “these”, stand outside of the Woolwich Arsenal, on the south side of the river, downstream of the centre of London.

I photoed these militaristic characters a while back.  Here is how they look, in their local context:

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I did a posting here about them.

Here is one of the photos I showed in that posting:

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That’s actually the inside of the head of one of these men, but your eye is telling you that this is a regular head, rather than any sort of concaveness.  Yet concaveness is what it is.  Your brain insists on telling you it’s a regular head, and you can’t successfully tell it any different.

Here’s another of these head-shaped holes, and this time it is a lot easier to see what is really going on, because there is a bit of context.  Also present is a spider’s web, visibly flat, which couldn’t be if the head was sticking out like a regular head.

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And now here is another photo which makes everything clear, by turning the head entirely black:

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No chance, therefore, for the brain to misinterpret what’s going on.

The reason I was reminded of these sorts of optically illusional images is that I am currently reading this book, which is about how the brain in particular sees things, and in general makes sense of things.  This was recommended by Alastair James, commenting on this earlier posting.

The point being that it isn’t just the brain that “makes” all this sense.  The process of “making” sense takes place at all levels within the brain/nervous system.  Your retina, for instance, is already prejudiced, so to speak, in how it looks at things.

Put it this way.  The phrase that has kept on rattling around in my head while I’ve been reading this book is the title of another book, by Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations.  We don’t just passively soak up information, and then only a bit later “make” sense of it.  Our sense organs are all the time imposing intelligent guesses upon what we are experiencing.

That summary probably isn’t that good.  But I’ve only on page 40 and I’ve been finding it pretty hard going.

The last photo above reminds me of the picture in this Samizdata posting that I did a year ago.

Tuesday May 22 2018

Ten years ago, to the very day, I took these photos.  Two are of regular heroes, Indiana Jones and Lara Croft; and two are heroes of the Super variety, Batman, and Superman:

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The above heroes were, of course, not real.  They were plasticated sculptures, standing outside the old London County Council building, to advertise movies, presumably.

It’s interesting – is it not? - that no such statues are erected to honour real people.  Or none that I knowe of.  Those are still done in monochromatic metal.

I’ve just seen how the photos have worked out.  Indy is trying to whip Superman.  And Lara Croft is shooting Superman.  Both of which seem rather unwise.

Tuesday May 15 2018

Today was a perfect day for a day out on a big photo-expedition, but for some reason to do with getting older, I didn’t feel up to it.  It’s too early to be sure, but I sense that a phase of my life, a phase that consisted of, among other things, exploring and photoing London, may just have come to an end.

So, instead of showing you photos I took today, here are some from an ancient I Just Like Them! Directory:

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Taken in 2008 in Trafalgar Sqaure (1.1), in 2012 underneath that rather pointless ski lift thing out east (1.2), in 2014 while those swanky student accommodations were under construction at the far end of Westminster Bridge from Parliament (2.1), and at the top end of Horseferry Road looking at the top of a random building at the top end of Rochester Row (2.2) also in 2014, when all the tree leaves had been shaken off.

Monday May 14 2018

Having spent a week appreciating the Frenchness of France, I now find myself especially noticing the Englishness of England:

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1.1 (cricket in Vincent Square) and 1.2 (Prince Albert outside his Hall) were taken yesterday afternoon.  2.1 (Westminster Abbey plus Big Ben smothered in scaffolding (plus a tiny bit of Wheel)) was taken yesterday evening.  2.2 (a Handley Page Victor recently acquired by a friend) was taken earlier this evening.

Friday May 11 2018

When you go by train to Quimper from London, you start by going by Eurostar to the Gare du Nord in Paris.  And when you step outside the main entrance of the Gare du Nord, you find yourself next to a big red bear with wings.

Although I noticed this big red bear with wings when I first got to Paris, I only photoed it on the way back, a week later, when I and GodDaughter 2’s Mum were in less of a hurry between trains and when the weather was much better.

Also, on the way back, we didn’t suddenly see the big red bear with wings.  We could see it as we approached the Gare du Nord, and I had my camera ready to go, as it had been all afternoon:

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I quite like this big red bear with wings, but I am less sure about whether I admire it.  It seems like a mixture of too many unrelated things.  The lots-of-holes style of sculpting, which I associate with 3D printing, is one thing.  Making a bear look like a bear is something else.  And then, there are those wings.  On a bear.  Wings with holes in them.  The idea of the wings is that they turn the bear into an angel bear.  Something to do with global warming and the melting icecaps, I read somewhere and then lost track of.  The artist, Richard Texier, is not big on logic.  He prefers to stimulate the imagination.  To evoke magic.

The big red bear is called, see above, “Angel Bear”, and it has an inescapable air of kitsch abou it, to my eye.  Like something you’d buy, smaller but still quite big, in a posh gift shop, for far too much money.  I prefer a bull that Texier has also done, in the same 3D printed style.  No wings.  Much better, to my eye.  Cleaner, as a concept.

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But still a bit gift shoppy, I think.  Which is another way of saying that I bet these big old animals are by far his most popular works.  I suspect that Texier may be a bit irritated by this.  He likes being popular and he likes these big animals.  But he also likes his more abstract less gift shoppy stuff, and wishes the populace liked them more too.  Things like this:

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I found both of those images at the Richard Texier website, at this page.

Despite my reservations about the big red bear with wings and my preference for other Texier works, I can, when I look at his big red bear with wings, feel Paris trying.  Trying to become that little bit less of the big old antique such as, compared to London, it now is.  I mean, you can’t miss the big red bear with wings.  Personally, I don’t find it to be wholly successful.  But it is holey.

Angel Bear outside the Gare du Nord
Nova behind Pavlova
In Mile End Road
Hippo with lid
Weird Queen Elizabeth IIs and weird Sherlock Holmeses
Faces on a Monument
Weird Piccadilly photos today
Blurring the face of the Big Prawn
Creature photos
Small Lego buildings and small 3D printed buildings
Ladies in Quimper Cathedral
Penis park
The horror of a concrete thing having its eye put out
Copycat (and copydog)
Pavlova dances on a sign and next to a clock
A face and some windows
A Mickey Mouse posting
I like Prince Albert’s backing
The Gayer-Anderson Cat
Queen and Bean
Shazam for art
A Nelson photo of mine finds a new home
Quota hippo
Pavlova is back
Taxi with tree
Dramatic sky over Brixton
XYZprinting’s full-colour 3D printer ‘paints’ your builds as it makes them
War Memorial outside Westminster Abbey
Dr Salter’s imaginary cat statue
Sculpture with greenery
Beau Brummell and three smartphoners
BMdotcom quote of the day (in three dimensional latin)
A recital by GodDaughter 2 at the Royal College of Music
City peddlers etc.
Art is strange
Huge lion carved out of a huge tree
Victoria chimney cluster
Luxury
London statues
Bronze Osbert Sitwell at the Tate
Fish in Orchard Place
Anti-BREXIT demo signs
Scaffoldage
The Robert Stephenson statue at Euston
Shopping Trolley Spiral beside the River Lea
Up early – blogging early – elephant sculptures
Packaging that is too good
Quota Citroen DS
One mobile phone photoer now
Stratford
Some more lighthouses for 6k
Creatures of outer London
A photo of nothing
Pavlova under wraps
Union Jacks having fun
An enlarged Dinky Toy in Belgravia
The wonderful things they’re doing with plastics nowadays
240 Blackfriars behind some reinforced concrete that is being demolished
Wooden Citroens and black baby dolls
Just the top of the BOT … but still instantly recognisable
Six dials at Seven Dials
Keeping their distance
Quota Pavlova statue photo
Ghostbusters sculpture advert at Waterloo Station
LIFE at the Park Theatre
Nelson statue in Greenwich
Photoers and railings
A pig and two dogs
Are London’s cranes about to depart for a few years?
The new Tate Modern extension from inside Blackfriars Station
The Union Jack’s near death experience(s?)
Lions - Bears - Blackhawks
The Sugar Land selfie statue
The City from above
Seven London bridges (again)
Trees pruned into strange sculptures
South Bank Superheroes
Checked out: The Big Olympic Thing
Today I am checking out the Big Olympic Thing
Pavlova sunset
Quota Pavlova
Bike fishing in Amsterdam
Twelve 2015 photos
Quota sculpture made of plastic milk bottles on the South Bank in 2012
Stick objects and my brother through a stick object
Some reindeer-based Christmas cheer from last year
Modernist sand castles at Amusing Planet (and at Mick Hartley’s)
The laboriousness-to-effect ratio at Colossal
Wheel and shadow (and Wheel reflected)
Anonymous guys taking (and making) pictures in Trafalgar Square
Coloured lights in bottles outside the RFH
Going to Kings Cross to see gas holders
The sexiest statue in London?
Jim Glymph gets Frank Gehry past the limits of what is buildable
Another The Wires! Building in Japan (plus more Dezeenery)
Man on horseback – and cranes
On packaging – and on the need to chuck it out
Big Ben through the legs of Gandhi statue in Parliament Square
Digital photography ballet
Two photographers photoing me
Lining things up behind the Royal Festival Hall
London dragon
Pavlova reflected in double glazing
Two strangers photoed by Mick Hartley and shown there (and here) without their permission
Two more Pavlova pictures
Ballerina and crane
Why I mostly write about architectural design rather than about interior design
A Shiny Thing and a friend also photoing it - with an iPhone
More Big Olympic Thing photos
A Shiny Thing by Frank Stella Hon RA
Big 4
Giant cat head worn by a human
CATable at the Building Centre
The receiving station at Swains Lane (and the previous version of it)
From a cat cushion to Bill Murray and a nude to a demon horse sculpture that killed its creator
Bean drops snow on tourist
Pavlova with a new building and a passing bus
The rise of (interest in) 3D printing
Is 2007 old enough?
Anish Kapoor photoed next to his big shiny balls
Dancing
BMdotcom (mathematical (and sporting)) quote of the day
Hand done photos
Cats in Quimper shops
Hirst’s Hymn outside the Tate Gallery
To Covent Garden (3): Cat that looks a bit like a dog
Christmas tree with scaffolding
To Tower Bridge: Shadow selfie – Peace memorial – Big Things old and new
Phone (and cash) box
The Poppies (4): Bald Blokes photoing them
Quota photo from Paris (also a selfie)
The Poppies (3): People taking selfies
The Poppies (2): The crowds
The Poppies (1): What they look like
Shard shots
Friday photo-puzzles
The illustrations for Christian Michel’s talk this Friday (plus some thoughts from me)
Halloween buckets
Big cat advertises guide dogs
Photographers in Tate Ancient
The ballerina and her support act
Ballerina with cranes again - this time with added spy cameras
Quota ballerina with cranes photo
Out and about in the sunshine
Back from France (plus cat photos)
Sacred architecture and profane roof clutter - a speculation
Colossal fun
What is this Thing?
A Bobcat digger and the Coade Lion from the back
3D printed structural joints and another Gormley man
The Dragon Bridge of Da Nang
Pavlova with cranes
Leaf Cycle
Big Blue Cock photos
Noah – Cosi at the Imax – Big Blue Cock
James II dressed as a Roman
VC DSO DSO DSO DSO
Lego bridge in Germany
Star car
Finally working out what I liked about those Gormley Men
Art has its uses – but where did it have its uses this time – and what is it?
Photographers in the spring
3D printed baby in the womb
Blue wind
Don’t judge a new technology by its first stumbling steps
A quota post (with a quota link to a post about a post about a quota photo) and another quota photo
Camel
Faberge - Brutalism
Temporary art made of brightly dressed people
6k quota photo of sea
Sandcastles that will live for ever
Ice sculptures in Docklands – Big Things from Docklands
3D printer sighted!
Dog wearing funny spectacles plus electrical clutter
Ballerina with crane
Sculpture at St James’s Tube
The Kelpies of Falkirk
Michael Jennings photos the bridges of Porto
Crows nest made of coat hangers
Owl at Canning Town railway station
Photoing each other - and photoing stuff in the canal
A day in and around Olympicland with Goddaughter One
Quota photo of a bucket of plastic crocodiles in an otherwise deserted shop window in Oxford Street
Rooftops
Savoy cat
Stairs Thing outside St Paul’s
Wedding photography (3): Technology as sculpture
A mannequin in Tachbrook Street sheds light on the nature of perception
Art without Artists
Cheap hippos are hard to find
Skull made of skulls in gift shop street
New crane up
Croydon cats
Little Lady Liberty - still in France
Photographing Kreod
Bomber Command Memorial pictures
Latest C4 logo sculpture
Quota frogs
76 operas and a monument in the wrong place for Hermann the German
Quota hedgehog sculpture
Another pub
Another Assembly of Men
Gormley’s South Bank Men
Blue Men on a boring building in Borough High Street
Giant bull held up by scaffolding
Cool sculpture
Giant Jesuses
Tiny Cardboard Box People Appear All Over Singapore
A picture I want to remember
Cats with human faces
As strong and sweet as the free market itself
One man’s intellectual theft is another man’s marketing
Everybody draw Mohammed every day!
Quota swan
London is about to be Kapoored with a big new Olympic Games Thing
We’ll always have Chelsea
Scaffolding ball
Eros under an umbrella
Giant Bean covered in mirror
The Min-Kyu Choi folding three point plug
Decorated hippo
As found roof sculpture
Johanna Kaschke versus the Deluded Leftwinger
The Labour Party finally agrees on a new Prime Minister to replace Gordon Brown
Dripping table
Slumponomics
Structural decoration
Cat blogging and Gormley blogging
What The State looks like
The Wheel through some Art
The towers of London from the Copper Horse
Another strange Staines statue
Roll out the Lino
Not Billion Monkeys!
An abstract view of Kings Place
More sticking up stuff
Big head and big something else
Resizing Slim with Expression Engine
3D!
Pictures with words
A sculptural suggestion
Classic car thinness
The return of Friday cat-blogging
Twickenham shop attacked by the Dark Side of The Force
Exciting posting about shelves
Celebrating a victory
Not a hot day in January for the Billion Monkeys!
Billion Monkey scrunched up in a ball!
Reflections in a Belgravia shop window
Three proper photos … and three Billion Monkeys!!!
Spherical trouser sculpture
More St Pancras snaps
Manhole cover cats and Angel of the North shelves?
Yes this is cat blogging
American war memorial by the sea at St Nazaire
Berlin Billion Monkeys photo rat and cheese sand sculpture!
A squinting cat and a master ephemerist
Further pictorial shallowness
Engadgetry
Rokeby Billion Monkey!
Cat sculptures
More Magic Andy sand sculpture
Magic Andy makes magic dragon
The Mainstream Media finally get around to noticing Andy and his sand sculptures
Random London snaps from last year
Pylons
Kiev cat
No more photos for a bit after these ones
Alice in Fortnum and Mason
Everyone likes Magic Andy
Should blogs - this one in particular - specialise?
Bartók outside South Kensington tube
The Ben Pimlott lump
Old media
And then I went home happy
Puke