2008 UCI Road World Championships

Women Elite Road RaceThe UCI Road World Championships opening cerimony took place at the Varese Cycling Stadium, Italy from september 22 through 28, beginning with the Men Under 23 Time Trial.

September 24 and 25 were dedicated to the Women Elite Time Trial and Men Elite Time Trial respectively. Road Race competitions for each category, unfolded over the next three days, September 26, 27 and 28.

Why miss the opportunity to follow this important sport event? In addition it would have been a great occasion to bring all my photo gear with me to make some practice with action photography.

This was my first experience in the field. I tried to put my best efforts in it. I’m not completetly satisfied with the end result, anyway before publishing my photo gallery on Flickr I went through a long selection process that helped me enhance the overall quality.
I hope you will enjoy the shots and I wait for your comments. See you soon on Flickr!

Flowers

I’ve always been attracted by the beauty of flowers. This is one of the reason why couldn’t miss Flowers, the latest art exhibition at Studio Forni in Milan. Since ancient times the giving of flowers were used to communicate passions and emotions to the ones who received it. The language of flowers — Florigraphy, or "flower writing" — has been used from the beginning of the human history and evolved through the centuries.

In England, during the victorian age, a coded language was created by Miss Corruthers. Nearly any flower were given a meaning and it was possible to secretly communicate human passions without using spoken or written words. Most of these hidden meanings are nowadays forgotten by the many, anyway flowers continue to represent human feelings such as passion and happines, life and death.

The same aforementioned human feelings are perceived by the occasional viewer who want to take her time to enjoy this art exhibition. Many italian artists were confronted with the same theme revealing their personalities, artistic styles and sensibilities. Specific techniques were used by each artist: from oil panting to drawing, from photography to mix technique and sculpture.

Gianluca Corona use lights dramatically. He treats flowers as human beings uncovering his intentions since the titles of his artworks. Carlo Ferrari‘s oil paintings constantly use black as a background color but surfaces are nicely cluttered with the saturated colors of beautiful flower close-ups. Vittorio Guy seems inspired by the ancient oriental art preferring to play with very large surfaces that resemble minimalistic japanese scrolls. His recurring subject — a white flower — could be thought of as an artistic obsession of beauty and purity.

Another artistic obsession could be the one of Doriano Scazzosi who like to depict delicated peonies immersed in romantic and decadent settings. One of his artworks, — Peonie in acqua — who depict four floating pink peonies partially dipped into water, is among the ones I prefer from the entire exhibition and I find it to be a very heartbreaking piece of art.

These were the artists I found more appealing to me, anyway there were a lot more presented in the exhibition and I want to list all of them for your convenience: Agostino Arrivabene, Andrea Barin, Andrea Boyer, Maurizio Bottoni, Paolo Campa, Gianluca Chiodi, Gianluca Corona, Carlo Ferrari, Massimo Gardone, Gigi Guadagnucci, Vittorio Guy, Mario Madiai, Paolo Mazzanti, Gabriele Mersile, Isabella Molard, Doriano Scazzosi, Eric Serafini, Giovanni Sesia, Luciano Ventrone.

The Exhibition is currently closed and was sheduled from 8 May to 15 June 2008 at Studio Forni, via Fatebenefratelli 13, 20100 Milano.

Forms follow building’s function

Personally I appreciate a lot historic buildings. In my country, ancient art is everywhere. Art, culture and tradition are part of my heritage.
Anyway I’m attracted by contemporary art and history too, particulary I’m fascinated by the modern movement in architecture and industrial design because it’s strongly connected to graphic design and typography.

In Europe the Bauhaus founded in Weimar, Germany, was one of the first colleges and an innovative training centre and has influenced design and architecture all around the world.

Switzerland is another country which can be considered innovative in developing modern architecture.

I’m interested in architectural photography and I like to get abstract images from my shots. In all my compositions, I usually like to play with lines and chromatic contrast.

Below there is a very narrow selection of snapshots I did at the USI campus, Lugano, Switzerland. Enjoy!

building's detail at the university campus of Lugano© Davide Montellanico, all rights reserved.
building's detail at the university campus of Lugano© Davide Montellanico, all rights reserved.
building's detail at the university campus of Lugano© Davide Montellanico, all rights reserved.

All the photos were taken using a digital compact camera Panasonic Lumix FZ2 in a very low light condition and without a tripod, therefore they would result much better exposed and more sharpened if I had used a more appropriate equipment.

The soul of New York

Alejandro Quincoces was born in 1951 in Bilbao, Spain where he still lives and works. During his youth he was attracted to both music and art. He studied violin but soon discovered himself in love with figurative art. During the early stage of his career he worked in commercial art for different advertising agencies. Later, at the age of 36, he decided to acquire more skills through a formal education and training in Fine Arts.

He has always had a great attraction to urban lanscape and architecture and his paintings reflect this uncompromised love. All of his painting’s subjects, despite being made up of concrete and steel, are treated as living creatures. They all have a distinct personality.

De Nueva York y de su alma is the name of the latest Alejandro Quincoces’ exhibition in Milan. The entire exhibition is composed approximately by no more than twenty oil on panel paintings, most of which are large sized.
The exhibition is entirely dedicated to New York City’s urban landscape and all the paintings are based on photos personally taken by Quincoces during one of his last stay in New York.

The photos were completely reinterpreteted through the passional nature of the artist. Quincoces add a sense of drama to the lanscapes he portrays.
The colours used are the muted ones of the winter. The sky appears thick and bruised. NYC seems to be wrapped into a never ending misty twilight that reminds the viewer of the romantic sceneries depicted in Turner and Friederick’s paintings.

The exhibition is sheduled to run from 8 November 2007 to 5 Junary 2008 at Studio Forni, via Fatebenefratelli 13, 20100 Milano.
The paintings are great and if you stay in Milan during the aforementioned period, it worth a visit!

Day with(out) art

Today, New York City artist, floral and event designer Wolfang Thom challenges World AIDS Day traditional practice of covering artworks in museum and galleries with black cloth.

The practice was started in 1989 from the activist organisation Day Without Art. In 1997 the group decided that hiding art wasn’t the right answer and proposed it as a means to bring AIDS awareness to the masses. Thom agree on that:

Given the option of a Day Without Art and a Day With Art, I say definitely with.

Wolfang Thom.

Disaster Capitalism

Are out there opportunities to produce visual outstanding works supporting a right cause for free? Naomi Klein’s latest book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism represents such a right cause indeed!

I just begun to read the book, watched a lot of video interviews with Naomi Klein and read through all the pages of the book’s official website:

In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s free market policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

Naomi Klein’s latest book is based on hard fact and probably a lot of historical research was needed before the writing process.

The short film aimed to accompany the book was the result of a collaboration between Naomi Klein, the mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón and his son Jonás Cuarón. Despite the film was first conceived as a promotional tool it now stands on its own because of its polical message strenght.

Everybody can pirate it, download it, give it to their friends, do whatever they want to do. It’s not a commercial product in that respect.

Alfonso Cuarón.

The equus project

Tim Flach is a British photographer whose passion for animal photography shows through his entire portfolio. Animals are often photographed by Flach during lenghty studio sessions in which all the details were carefully planned beforehand. He usually takes very close shots of his subjects using very unusual angles of view, framing and cropping.

Equus is the title of Flach’s last fine art photography book, commissioned by PQ Blackwell Publishing in New Zealand.
All the photos published in the book differentiate themselves completely from the tradition of the equastrian photography genre. The aim of the book is to celebrate the horse in visual form. Flach exclude man from his last work choosing to show the horses alone or at least with other equines:

Historically equestrian art has essentially been a mechanism used to impose status upon patrons, what I’m doing is distinctive because it chooses not to show man with horse.
By separating the horse from man I am able to focus upon celebrating the horse itself.

Tim Flach.

In the first year of the project Flach moves to different continents across the globe to photograph horses against their natural landscapes: Mustangs in the deserts of Utah. Haflinger’s high in Austrian Alps, Arabians in expansive deserts, Icelandic Horses against glacial backdrops and racing Thoroughbreds in the pristine confinement of their training environments.

Discovery’s Animal Planet channel accompanied him to Iceland to document his work with Icelandic horses. The documentary titled Through the Lens of Tim Flach Photographer was directed by Chris Purcell.

A preview of the documentary movie as well as his online portfolio are available at Tim Flach Photography.

Travelling while sitting in my armchair

Just yesterday afternoon I was watching on tv an episode of a very special documentary series: Venice-Bejing on a scooter.
The series is broadcasted on SitcomUNO an italian digital terrestrial channel.

Tibet - photo by Carlo Alberto CavalloTibet – photo by Carlo Alberto Cavallo – all rights reserved.

So far I only watched four episodes because I didn’t take note of the television daily program schedule. The anchorman Carlo Alberto Cavallo travels by scooter through different eurasian and eastern asian countries starting in Venice and ending in Benjing.

Very interesting and with stunning beautiful landscape images, taken in unusual places, was the episode regarding the Tibet region. Mr. Carlo Alberto Cavallo is very open minded and sensitive. He has the ability to capture the attention’s audience with his words and to transmit the same moods he perceive during the trip.

For those of you who don’t have the possibilities and/or the time needed for a long travel I would warmly suggest to watch Venice-Bejing on a scooter.

The documantary is produced by Marcopolo-Sky, in case you don’t live in Italy, try to find out more about it on Sky and please report me if it’s available on your local area.

Why Venice-Beijing on a scooter? I am asked. A polite question, of generic interest, that I manage to avoid by answering ‘why not?’.
What do you want to prove? That’s a good question. At least so it seems.
A serious, wise question, by someone who knows that life has its direction, its destiny, if you want to call it that.
So what do you want to prove? Nothing.
I’m quite fed up with having to prove something. Neither to others nor much less to myself.
Venice-Beijing on a scooter is simply that. Like the title says. With no other meaning except doing it.

Carlo Alberto Cavallo.

blonderedhead 23

Me and part of my generation have grown up listening to alternative music during the late eighties and early ninties.

Music from bands like Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Firehose, Slint, My Bloody Valentine and others as well, was the accompanying soundtrack of our daily lives. A lot of time has passed since then and I’m now struggling in nostalgia remembering the old good days. They are gone forever!

Blonde Redhead was one of those bands but the good news are they are back in the musical spotlight with a groundbreaking new album released on 4AD simply titled 23. Their music is now mature and intense. Musical instruments are employed with a minimalistic approach. Blonde Redhead are now able to compose perfect pop songs without compromising their attitude toward freshness and sperimentalism.

Scott Hirsch has reviewed for Ground Control Mag one of the latest Blonde Redhead’s gigs taken place at Bimbo’s venue in San Francisco the 25th of April. Accompanying the review article you will find a beautiful Blonde Redhead photo gallery by Terri Loewenthal.

euro mayday 007

Euromayday 007 posterStarted at 3.00 p.m. from Porta Ticinese, the seventh Mayday Parade in Milan has just ended.

Precarisation of living and working conditions are the norm for a growing number of youths. The same precarious conditions are nowadays more than ever motive of concerns among the aged population.

No wizardry is going to solve such problem in the short term. On the other hand only through self-engagement and community awareness we were able to draw more attention to the process of precarious employment and overcome what can be seen as a lack of civil rights and equal opportunity.