Coin jar of history of this art accounts for about 6 thousand years. Notably, this currently popular trade owes its emergence to happenstance... A prehistoric man once noticed that after any natural colorant had gotten into a place of a burn or a cut, very lasting drawings stayed on skin. From that moment on people began inflicting slight damage to themselves in order to decorate own bodies with ornamentation and stand out among others. Researchers discovered the oldest samples of tattoos during excavations of sacred Egyptian pyramids.
Nowadays tattoos come laden with less and less meaning being merely a trendy feature. One can frequently hear a phrase: “Want to get a tattoo but can figure out where and what kind”. But approach to such an important deed hasn’t always been so light-hearted…
Starting with times of prehistoric people drawings depicted mindset of a person. While uniting into tribes everybody tried to demonstrate belonging to a certain social group. And tattoo performed this function perfectly. Besides, certain patterns were invested with magic virtues and served as disguise during hunting. The art didn’t lose its popularity in times of totemism when tribes believed in magic powers of a certain spirit-ancestor that protected them during their entire lives. Its picture or name was inked on bodies: thus a guardian was always being near a person. Some peoples even used tattoos as some sort of method of secret correspondence: for that a necessary message was inked on a shaved head of a captive or a slave and later, when his hair would grow back to securely hide text of a letter, he was send to a destination point.
Not just images and its placement but also colors were of huge significance. For instance in Dayak tribes from Borneo they were sure that in heaven everything light becomes dark and vice versa. With this in mind it was customary to make tattoos in dark colors and shades exclusively. It was believed that after death they would turn light to shed it on the road to paradise. On-body pictures were used as punishment, too: in ancient China they marked military prisoners and slaves using tatted images on faces to make it much harder for them to escape and much easier to be identified. Tattoos were used for the same purpose by ancient Greeks and Romans.
Geographical spread of this art strikes imagination: almost every white-skinned people have covered their bodies with tattoos while dark-skinned ones replaced it with scarification. The culture reached the summit of its heyday in Japan. Tattoos enjoyed crazy popularity there among geishas who managed to bypass nudity ban with the use of them. Multicolored patterns on skin seemed like imitation of clothes. Only face, palms and feet remained non-tattooed. More to that, those were Japanese experts who first started to draw 3-D images: instead of flat shapes they began inking exceptionally realistic pictures. The art also enjoyed great popularity in the Land of the Rising Sun among members of Yakuza mafia and other criminals. In Africa tattoos were popular among representatives of both sterner and gentler sex. In numerous tribes they made cuts in skin to rub it with resin. It was customary for women to wear tattoos that pointed to their social and marital status. Male on-body pictures normally characterized their holders as brave warriors and skilled hunter.
Culture of painting bodies was brought to Europe by James Cook in 18th century. Or more precisely he brought a Polynesian fully covered in pictures. But it was since than when tattoos started gaining popularity in this part of the world. Another version exists saying that tattoos came to Europe from Australian Samoa Island, where they are till present days believed to be an attribute of high social rank of a person.
Extremely important moment in the history of tattoo is 1891 when an American Samuel O’Reilly invented electric inking device to replace previously used self-made tools and instruments. Entire Europe and America were flashing standard selection of pictures on their bodies before, but in 1950s-1960s new era in the art began. With consideration of global traditions (Polynesia, Far East, American Indians), new body painting experts began experimenting boldly. New schools, styles, methods and currents emerged. Tattoo application techniques broadened their abilities significantly. Idols of youngsters of those times began coming to salons with increasing frequency so fans followed their lead. The industry got mighty momentum. Starting with 1976, when the first festival of adherers of this culture (tattoo convention) took place in New York, such events have been held in many cities of both the Old and the New World several times a year. They determine and award winners in various nominations turning each fest of this kind into a bright artistic event.
Anime admirers would never pass by contemporary Japanese art. Especially if this trend is directly related to manga comics. Artist Takashi Murakami was the first to think about how to dub an art that catches inspiration in every new anime, but speaks of eternal values, interlacing with the ethnic canvases of Western artists.
Exclusive glass vases and Christmas tree decorations that only exist in one or two samples, aside from high price, most often also have in common unique production technology that is mastered by representatives of a rare profession – glass-blower. The history of the craft has lasted for a couple of millennia with some old secrets of handmade production still kept under seal.
Modern cities cannot be imagined without murals – large-scale in size works of picture art that decorate buildings. Not only we have gathered most outstanding works in our collection but also tried to learn as many interesting things as possible about this art movement.
The artist from New Zealand Hayley King working under the brand FLOX is well-known all over the world for the fascinating pictures showing the enlightened beauty of wild nature. Her colorful birds, picturesque landscapes, and fairy-tale-like animals remind us about the necessity to get united with the primordial nature. Hayley King creates the type of art giving inspiration and vitality. She is concentrated onto recognition of ancient heritage of the sacral places and making it spread among the wide publics. In the interview the artist told us about her social projects, travels and the modern cultural trends inherent to New Zealand.
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
You often got convinced that skilful hands of a master who puts life into his creation, can transform humble tree stump into a charming violin, piece of plaster becomes an ancient sculpture, and even clay tile looks like a work of fine art.
Twelve-string guitar, the twilight of Portuguese nights, candles, and soul-gripping voice… Dramatic incentives of fado song tell about unrequited love. It cannot appear in the crossroads of destinies; however, it enables feelings to embody into the touching sounds of Portuguese romances.
The Japanese are one of those peoples who zealously respect the ancient traditions. They respect old age, being interested in ancestors and often know the family ancestry by heart. With such a worldview, it is not surprising that a unique technique for the restoration of kintsugi appeared exactly there. Read about it in Outlook.
The eccentric elder Katsushika Hokusai was the real star of the Edo period, the creative genius and the brutal debtor of the half of his city. He used at least 30 names, changed 93 houses and created a lot of prints, drawings and paintings. His internationally recognized print The Great Wave off Kanagawa is mesmerizing. But only a few people know that this block printing, as well as many other works, was created by Hokusai with assistance of his daughter - artist Katsushika Ōi, lost in time and overshadowed by her genius father crazy about art.
‘Love evolves when one looks in the eyes of the person beloved seeing there God’, in such a way the lines of some Arabian song called Qawali is translated. The authorship of this chant is ascribed to Eastern strangers Sufi who tending to find the sense of existence strolled around the half an Earth bare-footed. In the travels they composed songs where they told narration describing what they had to endure.
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
"Dali in a skirt", "The greatest provoker of the last century", shocking and inspiring confidence in the almost limitless potential of man, Frida Kahlo surprised contemporaries and continues to admire the admirers of her work today. The people of Kiev can now look behind the scenes of the life of the Mexican genius. With the support of the Embassy of Mexico in Ukraine in the National Museum named after Taras Shevchenko an exhibition of photographs devoted to the relations between Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera was opened.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life. Twilight land of legends always have a shelter for a weary traveller: no one is alone on the paths of spirits.
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple. However, while admiring another line intricacy and allusive painting theme, bear in mind that beneath the plot of glossy surface, as per usual, stand painfully familiar disputes with an impatient client, unpleasant surprises from nature and damaged health of painters-executants.
Dirty cars are like a host for an artist. One may treat such art differently. Someone will wrinkle his nose and disdainfully wrestle his clothes. Others necessarily want to put a finger in such a picture in order to check the fragility of the "canvas" and smear its outlines. However, others will definitely make a selfie. However, nobody can pass by.
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...