Esperanza Spalding Performs at the White House Poetry Jam

Esperanza Spalding (born 1984) is an American multi-instrumentalist best known as a jazz bassist and singer, who draws upon many genres in her own compositions. In 2011, she won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy Awards, making her the first jazz artist to win the award.

Spalding grew up in the King neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, a neighborhood she describes as “ghetto” and “pretty scary”. Her mother raised her and her brother as a single parent.

Spalding has a diverse ethnic background. She notes, “My mom is Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American, and my father is black.” She also has an interest in the music of other cultures, including that of Brazil, commenting, “With Portuguese songs the phrasing of the melody is intrinsically linked with the language, and it’s beautiful”.

Her mother shares Spalding’s interest in music, having nearly become a touring singer herself. But while Spalding cites her mother as a powerful influence who encouraged her musical expansion, she attributes her inspiration for pursuing a life in music to watching classical cellist Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhoodwhen she was four.

Axe Fallen Angels

A24041_ELVIS_ANGELS_FAYE_AXE_300x222.indd by doodle_juice 

A24041_ELVIS_ANGELS_FRANCIS_AXE_300x222.indd by doodle_juice 

axe-deodorant-fallen-angel-print-ad by doodle_juice
Axe-Excite by doodle_juice

A24041_ELVIS_ANGELS_MAGDA_AXE_300x222.indd by doodle_juice

I am a great fan of good Ads, and love the new brilliant Axe Excite ad campaign. In advertising this would be a ad-jacking. What they have done is they have taken the popular imagery of Victoria Secret models and adapted it to their campaign targeted at I suppose men of any age but specially the twenty some-things. The girls are very beautiful and seductive. To top this they have used digital cameras in train stations so that pedestrians could see image of themselves projected with these angels.

In real life though, unless the deodorant smells of a billion dollars in cash it is not likely to make any of such angels fall!

Certified Copy

certified_copy by doodle_juice
certified_copy a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

I rented “Certified Copy” a new film by the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami on DVD last night. I was familiar with Kiarostami’s work and in terms of style had always wondered if the style for the new Iranian Cinema movement was mainly down to constraints of budget, and the framework of Ayatollah’s censorship, as well as the type of audience or because the directors really wanted to make films the way they do.
I imagined that Kiarostami had seen “Three Colours” all three of them but specially Blue, and like the rest of us had fallen madly in love with Juliet Binoche and her screen presence or the immaculate directing of Krzysztof Kieslowski with his obsession with little details and his play with time and multiple layered plots and said “yes I want to make one of these in my own style, and prove myself outside the Iranian Cinema” so he did!
So what did he come up with?
He created a unique, and yet brilliantly bizarre film that is distinctly in his own style. In his opening he deliberately torments the audience by making them wait for 6 minutes before something really starts. That opening is effectively a statement in itself. It says you are watching a different kind of movie, this is not Hollywood, get used to the pace I set you.
Then with very clever editing and shooting he takes you into the story and makes you one of his characters.
His usage of hand-held cameras and sounding on site take the realism to a new level. The story line itself is like an onion skin starting from one position and revealing a level about the characters as it moves along. The performance of Juliet Binoche is brilliant, but one cannot help thinking that in terms of gender roles this is very much an adaptation of Iranian gender roles mapped into a different culture. Nevertheless I think it worked beautifully.
William Shimell who plays the  leading man is a rather cold character, he comes from the background of Opera so somehow his formality and upright gestures suited his role yet I could not help thinking that Kiarostami must have thought of the stereotype of an Englishman and if like many of us he lived in lovely, jovely  Blighty he wouldn’t stick to such a cartoon character of a British educated middle class man .
Overall, anyone who is not used to the enigmatic, alluring and allegorical style of Iranian cinema or someone with little patience for the day-to-day poetry of human depth might struggle with the timelines and might walk off and go and order a 30 second ready latte from the local Starbucks!
What kind of reviews did the film have? Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw found it bizarre and thought it was lost in the translation of cultures, The Observer’s Phillip French seemed seduced by its enigmatic style and focused on the story-line and the background of the people involved in making the film, and also seemed more familiar with the cultural side of Iranian cinema. Sukhdev Sandhu of The Telegraph didn’t seem to think highly of it and thought Binoche carried the film and found the enigmatic loose ends perhaps annoying. He is right Binoche did carry the film but the film was written specially for her and it was in my opinion deliberately made that way. He should also read more! Modern western Art and literature is full of unresolved loose ends. What is my verdict of it? I thought as charming and brilliant Binoche is, this would have been even a better movie if it was an Iranian movie, but I’m glad he made it and I enjoyed it but my wife who was exhausted walked off and went to bed and did not care to give Mr Kiarostami the benefit of the doubt with that rather blank 6 minute  opening! Do I recommend you seeing it? If you are a movie buff yes. After all that what was the basic plot? I’m not going to tell you, that would spoil it and like a Sufi/Zen allegory the basic plot had very little to do with the reality of it in this case the reality of the storyline itself!

Black swan posters


I went to see Black Swan last night. Everything about the film was fantastic. Natalie Portman gave a great performance, and she was very seductive. The film was stylish, good directing, great script and good supporting roles from Mila Kunis, and Vincent Cassel who played the carefree spirited dancer and the egocentric, narcissistic director.
It was a real treat. I think Hollywood must have finally realized that the formulated rubbish that simply gets you to buy the ticket but leaves you with a bitter after taste can only generate so much revenue and this film was more in the direction of art and European Cinema. A good human story and a personal trauma of a competitive Ballerina was beautifully put on screen, and having Natalie Portman looking gorgeous and stepping from a frigid dancer to an out of control woman with casual sex and lesbian dreams only added spice rather than exploit the story telling.
Finally, apart from everything else including the casting, and costumes being great I thought the publicity was excellent too. Look at these four posters designed by the London based studio LABOCA. They are in the Russian Constructivists style. I think the designers must have gone to the same awesome Tate Modern exhibition that I went to a few years a go ( Alexandr Rodchenko and Liubov Popova)



Exergian minimalist poster series popular TV shows



Charlie’s Angels

Founded in 1998, Exergian is a Vienna-bases design consultancy specialized in Art direction , identity and design.

I love their work.

There is something to be said for the minimalist designs because they cleverly take the essence of a concept and turn it to a recognizable symbol or icon.
If you like to see the rest of their work follow this link or click on any of the images then scroll down.

Anish Kapoor Marsyas 2002 theEYE:Anish Kapoor

Some people (including me) believe that Art can change your life and if I was to name a defining work of Art that has left me with a remarkable experience it has to be Anish Kapoor’s Marsyas.

This monumental sculpture in some ways is also a painting in space. It is a celebration of colour and just as Rothko demonstrated the different layers of what initially appears as the same colour, Anish Kapoor demonstrates how a large structure stretched in a large space gives different experiences of a colour in this case red.

If public galleries are our modern temples then Anish Kapoor has provided some of its remarkable objects of worship.

The mythology of Marsyas is also interesting.

In Greek mythology, the satyr Marsyas (gr. Μαρσύας) is a central figure in two stories involving music: in one, he picked up the double flute (aulos) that had been abandoned by Athena and played it;[1] in the other, he challenged Apollo to a contest of music and lost his hide and life. In Antiquity, literary sources often emphasise the hubris of Marsyas and the justice of his punishment.

read more on the Marsyas mythology

Blu animations

These are the ultimate in street Art and doodling in 4d space-time.

Sita sings the blues

This is one of my favourite animations. enjoy. It isn’t my work. I wished!

A Journey Round My Skull

This is a cool blog which has a lot of beautiful images from Iranian books. There are mainly books for children.

A Journey Round My Skull

Blog at