|the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.|
|I want a trouble-maker for a lover,|
Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame,
Who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate,
Who burns like fire on the rushing sea.
From Rumi’s Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi
|Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.|
--W. H. Auden
|Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face|
Do You Realize - we're floating in space
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
|The best things in life are not things.|
The Hero Challenge is exactly the fun we should all be having when collaborating together.
It is incredibly important to set up direct lines of communication between artists at the top of their game and those of us in the path. It's empowering to speak to each other through the special language of creativity, artistic passion and the special bonding friendship of the global DeviantArt community.
The Hero Challenge is for deviants of all ages and all talent levels; it is for any artist for whom only the simplest prompt is all that is needed to spark the desire to create, to share, and to connect with other artists.
And this gallery of entries is just the start of all the fun we can have.
Attack on Titan is the groundbreaking Japanese manga and anime series created by Hajime Isayama in 2006 as his entry for Japan’s prestigious Magazine Grand Prix (MGP), an award sponsored by Kodansha, Japan’s biggest manga publisher and the eventual publisher of the series. Isayama received the ‘Fine Work’ award and fired up by the achievement took the ambitious step of moving to Tokyo from his hometown of Ōyama to follow his dream of working as a manga creator.
It wasn’t until 2009, after a few short stories had been published, that Attack On Titan began serialization in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine and it has been running ever since. There are currently fifteen volumes completed with over forty-five million copies in print around the world. There is a spin-off novel series, an anime series, four video games, and two films in production slated for release in 2015.
Attack On Titan is set in the far future, one hundred years after the giant Titans appeared and devastated the Earth. These oversized humanoids killed with no seeming rhyme or reason, often eating people, not out of necessity, but getting more enjoyment out of the actual killing itself. Soon the Earth was laid waste by these colossal creatures.
The story centers around a country that has isolated itself from the rest of the world by constructing a series of giant concentric walls all around it to keep the Titans out. Over the one hundred years since their construction most of the countries inhabitants have been raised never having seen a Titan. That changes when a sixty foot Titan appears one day and crashes through the outer wall. Titans have a thick skin that is difficult to penetrate and regenerate quickly, with their weak spot being at the nape of their neck. In one attack, Erin Yeager, a primary character of the series, sees his mother eaten by a Titan and so he vows to kill them all. He enlists in the military along with many of the young adults to defend the city.
Hajime Isayama plans to end the series with the twentieth volume and over time has changed his mind as to how it will end as his original intention was for all the characters to die. Isayama acknowledged the outpouring of support for his characters from his fans as the reason for changing his mind. This is a great example of creators being affected and influenced by their fans.
The wonderful advantage to being a creator in Japan is that you are in full creative control of your own series. It stops when you want it to and the publisher cannot create new stories without your permission. Imagine how few of the characters we know in the west would still be in print if the rights favored the original creators in the same way…
So strap on your Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, head for the wall, and let’s kick all this deviant produced Titan ass that’s coming our way!
We’re going to explore the outside world someday, right? Far beyond these walls, there’s flaming water, land made of ice, and fields of sand spread wide. It’s the world my parents wanted to go to.”
On that day, mankind received a grim reminder. We lived in fear of the titans, and were disgraced to live in these cages we called walls.”
Someone who can't sacrifice anything, Can't never change anything. That to defeat a monster, you have to be willing to throw aside your humanity.”
If you win, you live. If you lose, you die. If you don’t fight, you can’t win!”
Once I’m dead, I won’t even be able to remember you. So I’ll win, no matter what. I’ll live, no matter what!”
If you think it’s natural for people to sacrifice their own lives to save others, surely you understand that sometimes a single death can save many lives.”
I want to see and understand the world outside. I don’t want to die inside these walls without knowing what’s out there!”
First introduced by Marvel in 1963, The Avengers was Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s superheroic response to the success of DC Comics’ Justice League of America.
In the original comic the founders of the superhero team were Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Ant–Man, and The Wasp who came together to defeat the evil god Loki. The 2012 live–action Avengers movie loosely based on Marvel’s The Ultimates (2002) comic book series had a different core group adding Captain America and Nick Fury to the team and replacing Ant–Man and The Wasp with Hawkeye and Black Widow.
Unlike other Marvel teams The Avengers are not mutants fighting for equal rights or a family of Four who met with unexpected effects after a mission in space. The movie version of The Avengers is a government sponsored elite team of skilled warriors, a Super SWAT team led by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury, while in the comics Tony Stark housed and funded the team while secretly hiding his identity as Iron Man from his teammates.
The comic world of Marvel has many twists and turns, filled with crossovers, gender swaps, and alternate timelines that aren’t always explained or don’t make it into the movie adaptations. Comic fans usually have a one up on movie fans in terms of knowing more about the characters’ origins and their backgrounds. Did you you know Nick Fury was originally white when he was first introduced in the comics and only later was he portrayed as black in an alternate timeline of The Avengers where the group is called The Ultimates as part of Marvel’s Ultimate Comics line? This change was made by the creative team of writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch, who even drew Nick Fury as Samuel L Jackson years before the movie was cast.
Nick Fury may not have super powers, but he can hold his own as one of the best military commanders of World War II where he originally met and befriended Captain America in the comics. In the comics Sgt. Nick Fury led his squad, the Howling Commandos, through Europe to Germany. After a lifetime in the military he was recruited by Tony Stark to run the newly created government super agency S.H.I.E.L.D.
Captain America was previously the leader of another military super–team known as The Invaders during WWII. He gained his power as part of an experiment by Professor Erskine to create an army of super–soldiers, but Erskine was assassinated during the experiment, making Steve Rogers the only one. He later received his circular indestructible shield as a gift from President Roosevelt.
Speaking of weapons, we all know Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, can only be wielded by those “worthy” enough and in the movie the only one to even come close to making it budge is the original boy scout, Captain America. However in the comics the hammer can actually be wielded by other superheroes including Captain America, X-Mens’ Rogue, DC Comics’ Wonder Woman and Superman, and even Loki.
Not to be left behind in the weapons department is Tony Stark whose character was based on inventor, adventurer, multi–billionaire, ladies’ man and eventual recluse Howard Hughes. It was Iron Man’s co–creator Don Heck who modeled playboy industrialist Tony Stark’s look on Robin Hood (1938) actor Errol Flynn. When Stark dons his fully powered Iron Man suit he can lift up to 100 Tons almost the same as the Hulk, only as we now know, the angrier Hulk gets the stronger he gets, so Hulk will ultimately be the strongest.
There are a few team members who have murkier pasts. Hawkeye wasn’t always the hero we know him to be now. Clint Barton as he was originally known started out as a circus performer which is where he refined his archery skills. Eventually breaking off from the circus and going on to call himself “Hawkeye” he went down the dark path of being a villain before being inspired by Iron Man to become a superhero.
No stranger to shades of grey is the deadly Natasha Romanoff. One of the world’s best spies and assassins, she was originally a member of the Russian KGB where her ruthless effectiveness earned her code name “Black Widow.” Her threat to global security made her a target for S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Barton, who was sent to assassinate Black Widow recognized her skill and disobeyed orders recommending her as an agent instead.
Last, but not least, the Hulk. Who contrary to popular belief did not start out as a big green monster. In the comics, the Hulk’s appearance caused great difficulties for colorist Stan Goldberg who couldn’t get the right shades of grey for the Mr. Hyde side of Bruce Banner which lead to him being green in a few panels. Ultimately Stan Lee and Jack Kirby decided to keep the green coloring to make Goldberg’s job a little bit easier.
While you may not see superheroes running around on a daily basis like in the movies you might very well run into them at a comic convention. We’ve rounded up our own recruits to join the ranks of the cosplay elite.
Now grab some shawarma and check out the action–packed Avengers we’ve assembled for this edition of Cosplay Friday.
Apparently I'm volatile, self-obsessed, and don't play well with others.”
You know, the last time I was in Germany and saw a man standing above everybody else, we ended up disagreeing.”
That’s my secret, Captain. I’m always angry.”
Regime’s fall everyday. I tend not to weep over that, I'm Russian. Or I used to be…”
Have you ever had someone take your brain and play? Pull you out and stuff something else in? Do you know what it’s like to be unmade?”
So you take the world I love as recompense for your imagined slights? No, the Earth is under MY protection, Loki.”
I recognise the council has made a decision, but given that it's a stupid ass decision, I've elected to ignore it.”
Individual “executive producers” based at the “Big Five” increasingly cut deals with star independent producers, directors and, especially, movie star actors for percentages of profits. These “elements” had become indie players making their own deals. They were no longer company employees being paid salaries and assigned movie roles. Television was in its ascendancy and challenging the profitability of feature films. The fragmenting movie studios increasingly rented out their facilities and personnel to service TV production. The bottom line was that the studios no longer decided what movies were getting made. They were forced to go with the flow of the times.
Some lamented this passing of the Golden Age of American moviemaking. But for others, the brief period of film anarchy before the studios finally reassembled and took back total control, was “The New Hollywood” — in which movies took a turn for the artistic over the commercial, and stories that really “meant something” could be told. This New Hollywood that gave so many dreamers and innovators so much hope for movies becoming a truly elevated art form lasted from roughly 1967 to 1982. No single individual represents the Rise, Reign and Fall of the New Hollywood as the young screenwriter out of UCLA Film School, Francis Ford Coppola. He would symbolize, and often sponsor and mentor, the new generation of filmmakers, who were students rather than salesmen of movies, arts school majors rather than street–wise pitchmen. Coppola became their “Godfather.”
Three films epitomized New Hollywood: “Bonnie & Clyde” (1967), “The Graduate” (’67) and “Easy Rider” (’69).
Movie star actor Warren Beatty produced “B & C,” which shocked some critics with its bloody violence and offended others with its very choice of making criminals the anti–hero protagonists of a movie. “The Graduate” made Dustin Hoffmann, a short “ethnic–looking” actor, a major movie star leading man. Talented performers who once would have filled supporting roles as “character actors” could be stars in New Hollywood. “Easy Rider” represented total anarchy committed to film. Simply put Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson on motorcycles, provide camera and drugs, and let them improvise a story as they shoot and ride. So much for any studio production or business model.
At Paramount in 1971,
Production head Robert Evans wanted an Italian director to create in “The Godfather” an “ethnic to the core” film. But a film authentically depicting the real “mafia” was considered a no–win proposition. American Italians would be offended by being tarred with the mafia brush. There was also the risk of making heroes out of gangsters. Executive Peter Bart had over a dozen directors turn down “The Godfather.” Coppola didn’t like the Mario Puzo novel the movie was to be based on, but needed the work to get himself out of a serious debt situation. He reluctantly signed on. Both Puzo and Coppola wanted Marlon Brando to be the Godfather. Paramount didn’t trust the erratic eccentric actor and preferred the more reliable Ernest Borgnine. Only when Brando acceded to a filmed audition, to working for a percentage and no salary, and to putting up a bond against any delays in filming he might cause, was he nervously given the part.
From day one of production, Coppola fought a war with Paramount.
He was constantly threatened with being fired and replaced. The studio was not used to having its “advice” so cavalierly disregarded by a director. Only Brando’s threat of quitting should Coppola be fired is rumored to have saved the director’s job. “The Godfather” became a high–stakes showdown between the now quintessential New Hollywood independent director and the last of the powers that be still wed to the “proper” studio way of doing things.
“The Godfather” was released in March of 1972. Coppola had won. The critics and the public were unanimous in their enthusiasm for what was recognized as an instant American cinema classic on the same level as “Citizen Kane” and “Casablanca.” Coppola had re–worked and re–envisioned a pulpy sensationalist novel into a modern mythic fable about the immigrant experience of suffering, rejection and struggle eventually triumphing in assimilation and acceptance into American society. Crime is not glorified but a necessity for survival. The immigrant dream is not to carve out ghettos to rule over as crime lords—but instead to as quickly become “real Americans” as possible, so that the initial “survival crimes” can be forgiven and forgotten.
For the next ten years, Francis Ford Coppola would be the symbolic “godfather” at the lead of all the New Hollywood rebels who followed in his wake. Responsible for such notable films throughout his career starting with ‘Finigan’s Rainbow’, ‘Rumble Fish’, ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, ‘The Conversation’, and even Michael Jackson’s 3D short film, ‘Captain EO’ that played at Disneyland for 12 years. But largely unknown to his fans and colleagues alike, Coppola, even with all his cinematic success, was his constantly facing a personal economic Armageddon. The vulnerable soft white underbelly of the otherwise well-armored Coppola movie–making machine was “Zoetrope.”
Zoetrope was to be Coppola’s new style of movie studio.
One in which directors and other artists, not producers and other “money men” called the shots in film production. Coppola reputed sunk almost $7—million of his own money into purchasing a plot of land in L.A. to raise this dream studio upon.
American Zoetrope was founded by Coppola with his then protege George Lucas. Lucas’ first film THX1138 was released under the banner and became just Zoetrope Studios with the release of Apocalypse Now in 1979. He later switched it back to American Zoetrope in 1991 and has remained under that banner ever since.
Aside from George Lucas and Coppla’s own films, Zoetrope produced films from Jean–Luc Godard, Wim Wenders, Akira Kurosawa, Paul Schrader, Caleb Deschanel, Norman Mailer, Kenneth Branagh, Tim Burton, Robert DeNiro, and his daughter Sofia Coppola. The studios films influence was incredibly palpable in Hollywood. Many other productions and directors at the time tapped into this new zeitgeist to be inspired to elevate their projects.
But the conglomerate corporations buying up the shells of the movie studios were not amused. They pulled every trick in the book to block Coppola’s forward progress. Things ended dishearteningly for New Hollywood”s “Godfather” and most combative visionary. Facing losing his home and his California wine vineyard to bankruptcy, he ended up selling his dream, his Zoetrope facility, to studio representatives and going to work for the studios as a contract director on mundane fare like “Peggy Sue Got Married” in order to keep his financial head above water.
By 1982, Old Hollywood had found a formula for its way back to hegemonic rule over movie production. Ironically, the film that shone a beacon on the path back to total control was “Star Wars” in 1977, with Coppola’s and partner in Zoetrope, George Lucas, directing. The summer action–adventure tent–pole blockbuster for financing the rest of the year’s movie slate was the new magic formula. It worked well. The studio execs were back in command. Coppola and the New Hollywood insurgents had been routed by one of their own. Coppola having paved the way for Lucas and Spielberg’s success had also poured the foundation of his companies own decline. Gone were the artfully produced movies he had dreamed of and they were replaced with the summer blockbuster initiated by his own student.
The New Hollywood may have been doomed from the beginning.
The concept of artists’ controlling film production is based on the idea that the public would really like to spend their hard–earned dollars on superior films—as designed by the artist experts themselves, and not the as–cheap–to–produce–as–possible junk food movies preferred by the studio salesmen. Maybe this was a fundamental error in perception. Maybe, if given the choice, 9 out of 10 Americans would still prefer dining at McDonalds rather than a 4–star restaurant…
Maybe the general public wasn’t there to support Coppola because maybe they just weren’t quite in agreement that they wanted the new dawn in cinema he was offering them. Coppola’s Zoetrope can then be seen not as a failure, but as being just a little before its proper time. We can still dream of a day when “The Godfather” sets the minimum standard in what we can expect in a movie.
Although usually associated with religious paintings as a form of portable personal iconography, the diptych can actually be any two images presented in side–by–side juxtaposition. Classic diptychs are joined together with a middle hinge, so the images can be “closed” and worn as a pendant on a chain. But art galleries often simply hang the “related” photos or paintings together, or place both within one frame—as is the case with the contemporary diptychs in this collection.
“A picture is a poem without words.”
“Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.”
— Ansel Adams
“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
— Alfred Eisenstaedt
“To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.”
— Edward Weston
Collection: Spots, Atoms, Order and Chaos
Spots, Atoms, Order… and Chaos
Spots fascinate the human mind. It’s as if we’re born “knowing” on some molecular level that we’re not really “solid” but an electronically glued together quivering system of particles. Aristotle surmised as much by simply walking on the beach and lifting up a handful of that solid beach, only to have the countless grains of sand flow through his fingers.
Spots arranged in patterns represent order—and order creates life. Spots and circles are arranged by the artist or craftsman. The eye is fascinated. The mind is pleased.
Collection: Once Upon A Time
Once Upon A Time
Fairy tales usually begin once upon a time—a time that need not be identified because the tale, and its meaning, are of a timeless nature. The landscape of a fairy tale is often dreamlike, as if to tell us trying to apply normal logic to the story will only confuse the point that the storyteller is trying to make. Fairy tales usually involve dangerous journeys, often following after or searching for a wayward loved one, and entail a getting lost in the mists of time and space. The climax is almost always the discovery of a heretofore unknown inner store of courage in the face of evil and imminent death. Fairy tales tell our child
Collection: The Green Fairy Takes Flight Again
The Green Fairy Takes Flight Again
It was banned in America in 1915, but distillation and sale resumed in USA and Europe in the 1990s. It’s a spirit produced from the flowers and leaves of the wormwood plant. Anise, fennel and other “medicinal herbs” are blended in according to secret formulas of different distillers. Who drank absinthe? Hemingway, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Toulouse–Lautrec, Van Gogh, Modigliani, Picasso, Oscar Wilde and occultist Aleister Crowley. Why were writers, poets and painters so ardent for this drink? Its secret is trace amounts of terpene thujone, reputed to induce clarity of
Collection: The Steampunk Menagerie
The Steampunk Menagerie
The magic of thousands of years of natural selection and other evolutionary factors has created in all living creatures pretty much the optimal version of each for where each fits in the world. But never tell a human being, especially a steampunk, that there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.
Here’s a collection of interesting imaginings of mechanical steampunk replacements for the somewhat mundane denizens of the actual natural world. For some people, especially some artists, until there’s been an upgrade or enhancement to anything, there just isn’t any “there” there.
Frozen was Disney’s tremendously successful third attempt at adapting the grimm Hans Christian Anderson tale 'The Snow Queen.' As early as 1943, Walt Disney saw the potential in this the longest and most highly acclaimed of Andersen’s stories, but it took 70 years and a couple of modifications for the film to finally become a dream come true.
First published in 1845, the villainous Snow Queen was described in the story as: “…a woman, dressed in garments of white gauze, which looked like millions of starry snow–flakes linked together. She was fair and beautiful, but made of ice—shining and glittering ice. Still she was alive and her eyes sparkled like bright stars, but there was neither peace nor rest in their glance”
In order to make the story work on screen Disney had to turn the Snow Queen from villain to flawed heroine and in doing so introduced it’s first dual Princess narrative featuring sisters Elsa and Anna.
Disney always includes a few artistic treats in their animated films and this one is no different. The names of the characters—Hans, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven—are a tribute to the original author, when placed together it sounds like Hans Christian Anderson. During Anna’s song ‘For the first time in Forever’ she swings and poses in front of a painting in the palace gallery based on 18th-century oil painting ‘The Happy Accidents of the Swing’ by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. It seems to be a popular painting among the Disney animators as it has show up in concept art of films like 'Tangled.'
Frozen’s popularity is a tribute to the essential and timeless themes of Anderson’s story—love, family, and finding one’s inner strength. The award winning film has not only melted audiences’ hearts across the world and become the highest–grossing animated movie of all time, it has also inspired a multitude of cosplayers to “let it go” and transform into their favorite Frozen characters.
Ready the reindeer and prepare to sled full speed ahead through a chillingly beautiful cosplay collection!
Some people are worth melting for”
Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway”
Do you want to build a snowman?”
But — but — Oh, come on! It’s a palace made of ice! Ice is my life!”
Current Residence: A Peaceful State|
deviantWEAR sizing preference: L
Print preference: As Big As Possible.
Favourite genre of music: Rock. Jazz(Hard Bop). Blues. 80's Metal. Tribal(Aboriginal thru Electronic). Classical.Troubado
Favourite photographer: Sebastio Salgado. Richard Mapplethorpe. Walker Evans. Weegee.
Favourite style of art: Post-impressionist. Abstract-expressionist. The New Digital Vanguard. Contemporary fantasy.
Operating System: OSX
MP3 player of choice: Shuffle
Shell of choice: Any Conch will do.
Wallpaper of choice: French Louis XIV Rococo Style
Skin of choice: Thick enough to persevere and thin enough to feel.