Archive for:October, 2011

Art of the Day — Paintings: “Untitled” by Hussein Al-Mohasen (2010?) & “Vase” by Nihad Al-Turk (2010)

October 22nd, 2011



       Hussein Al-Mohasen (b. 1971 (?) in Qatif, Saudi Arabia)
       Untitled, 2010, Acrylic on canvas



       Nihad Al-Turk (b. 1972 in Aleppo, Syria)
       Untitled, 2010, painting

     Two lovely works by contemporary Middle Eastern artists Hussein Al-Mohasen & Nihad Al-Turk. I first stumbled across Al-Turk’s “Vase”, and loved its big fat beet-like proportions and moody maroons. It immediately drew me to it, it had gravitational pull. & I liked its heavy black outline too, and the way it shifted back and forth between two and three dimensions, alternately looking like an upright vessel and some kind of liquefied brick puddle oozing over a mat.
     I was excited to post “Vase” and call it a night when my art-image search, the results of which I was just about to close, revealed to me Al-Mohasen’s “Untitled”. Anyone who’s followed “Art of the Day” or who knows my art tastes won’t be surprised that I gravitated to this piece — I’m a sucker for controlled visual noise (or, better yet, as in the case here, frantic color harmonies and resonances easily mistaken for visual noise). Blues and purples of different intensities, varieties and emotions anchor the piece and provide context for the central burnished golden urn/pouch object. The urn/pouch floats with beatific glow, touched by kelp strands and efflorescing golden glyphs, itself bursting with treasures and curlicues of exuberant color, sprouting pale flowers, lipstick smudges at its mouth. You can probably see why, with Al-Turk’s “Vase” fresh in my mind, this other round stout vessel-portrait caught my attention. That’s where the similarities end though; each work departs from that common ground in very different directions & through wholly different means achieve its own vision & presence & power.

More about Al-Mohasen & more of his art at

More about Al-Turk & more of his art at Ayyam Gallery.


[posted by: C Way at 10:52 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| paintings/drawings]

Art of the Day — Music: Henry Purcell’s “Funeral Sentences” (1695)

October 16th, 2011

“Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and ne’er continueth in one stay.

In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?

Yet, O Lord most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears unto our pray’rs; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty.

O holy and most merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall away from thee.”

                    – from the Book of Common Prayer (as revised by composer Henry Purcell)

Here is Purcell’s musical setting of “Funeral Sentences” (Note: videos appear shrunken on purpose; just use to play sound, the visuals are unnecessary):

1. First, the Funeral March:

2. Second, the sung text:


A terrific bio and collection of info about Purcell lives over at classical label Naxos’ site, right here.

[posted by: C Way at 8:39 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| Music ||| poetry]

Art of the Day — Painting: Yang Hongwei, “Family of China No. 1″, 2007

October 15th, 2011



       Yang Hongwei (b. 1968 in Tianjin, China)
       Family of China No.1, 2007, Wood engraving

     Been awhile! Sorry for the absence folks, will try my best to be semi-regular about this from here on out.
    Today I’m offering up this stunner by Yang Hongwei, “Family of China No. 1″. Like most of the art I post for Art of the Day, this, and its artist, were new to me. This one bricked me when I saw it, just stunned me with its tone, texture, themes. What at first seems like a Fangoria zombie murder scene reveals itself to be more complex: a family in a bathtub, struggling, holding each other desperately. A kind of ghost figure leaning in on the right side. Flesh merging with flesh as the family members lose their autonomy, seeming to eat each other to survive, becoming one unit. A smoky industrial sky, as if these people live out in the sooty open, naked and tangled.
    All of this to me evokes first of all the bloody, raw grind and compress of poverty. The way it forces boundaries erased and puts people in conditions where privacy is impossible. Where there isn’t emotional energy left to waste on anything but extreme expressions of yearning, mourning, fear, hunger, anger. No time for nuance, subtlety.
    And it suggests the ways in which a family, in order to protect itself and survive, can turn inward, become insular and conglomerated, & thereby finding a strength in that insularity, but also a deepening of their confusion.

More of Hongwei’s work at Artnet.


[posted by: C Way at 2:37 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| Ekphrasis ||| paintings/drawings]