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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Under the Name of Art

Lately, I received an email condemning the actions of the artist, Guillermo Vargas Jiménez, known as the artist name "Habacuc".
According to the email, in 2007, the Costa Rican "artist" took an abandoned dog from the streets, and then tied the dog to a very short rope to the wall of an art gallery in Managua, placed a pan of food on the other side of the room beyond his reach, and left him there to slowly die of hunger and thirst - as part of an "art" installation.

This was a very disturbing news to me as I am an artist myself, and love animals. So I did some search on the web to find out more about this "art" and came across variety of stories about this "art" exhibition.

This is what the "artist" said originally;
I knew the dog died on the following day from lack of food. During the inauguration, I knew that the dog was persecuted in the evening between the houses of aluminium and cardboard in a district of Managua. 5 children who helped to capture the dog received 10 bonds of córdobas for their assistance. During the exhibition some people requested the freedom of the small dog, which the artist refused. The name of the dog was Natividad, and I let him die of hunger in the sight of everyone, as if the death of a poor dog was a shameless media show in which nobody does anything but to applaud or to watch disturbed. In the place that the dog was exposed remain a metal cable and a cord. The dog was extremely ill and did not want to eat, so in natural surroundings it would have died anyway; thus they are all poor dogs: sooner or later they die or are killed.

Then he changed his statement several times depending on the climate of public opinion. In the end, Juanita Bermúdez, director of the Códice Gallery, insisted the dog escaped after just one day and didn't die at the gallery.

Surprisingly, the prestigious Centralamerican Biennial of Art decided that this insensible act - whether the dog really died or not - was art, and Guillermo Vargas Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel actions in "Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008."

It seems that no one really knows whether the dog died at the gallery or ran away from there. However the pictures are enough to make a judgement. The dog clearly needed loving attention and tender care, not to be displayed as a piece of "art". This poor creature did not deserve this, nor any other animal on this planet. The Managua exhibition certainly attracted worldwide attention and many people believe it to have been an act of cruelty rather than art.

It might be quite difficult to judge what is art and what is not. If you label all the disturbing images as "not art", then what about the paintings by Goya, or those by artists involving in so called "dark art"? But at the same time, if you accept the starving dog as a piece of art, what about the photographs of victims taken by a murderer or a rapist? In my opinion, if the art physically hurt or harm something or somebody, then it should not be called art, but then, if Guillermo Vargas Habacuc did not leave the dog to starve to death, was it art?

Where should we draw the line?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


church, bell, trees, tower,
Prints and greeting card of this photo "When the Bell Rings" is available from my ImageKind Gallery.

I recently came across a website called "ImageKind". Imagekind is a website where you can buy art prints and also sell your own artwork there. Of course I joined there :-) and uploaded 4 photographs so far. This is my ImageKind Gallery URL:

For any of you who are interested in selling prints of your own artwork, the following is a little information about ImageKind.

If you are an artist or a photographer and want to sell your work on ImageKind site, you can create a Free account for a start. If you want to have more visibility and storage, Pro ($7.99/month) or Platinum ($11.99/month or $94.99/year.) account are also available.

Imagekind Free Artist Account include:
  • 200 MB monthly bandwidth allowance.

  • One gallery with up to 24 images.

  • 200 MB total storage allowance.

  • Print-on-demand & custom framing.

  • Commission on print sales.

  • Publicly searchable galleries.

Artists can also set their own mark-up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Greeting Card Store is Up And Running

Bird in the trees greeting cards in black & white
One of the blank photo card I have on my
Eternal Moment Greeting Card Store.

This is just a little announcement.

Recently, I created an online greeting card store called "Eternal Moment Greeting Cards" on the Greeting Card Universe site. I'm still working on adding more designs to my collections, but it's up and running.
All the photos and paintings are my own work. A lot of my cards have got some inspirational & encouraging quotes on them, so if you are interested in, please visit my store by clicking the link here (

I would truly appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Taking Photos of Teddy Bears and Kids

Teddy Bears in flower shop window

When I walk around the towns and the cities, I kind of look for teddy bears. They are everywhere. Sometimes with babies and children, sometimes in the shop windows, nicely smiling and posing for photo shooting.

As a teddy bear lover, taking photos of teddy bears by themselves is fun enough for me. But, very often, the real good photo opportunities of teddy bears come when they interact with people.

Having said that, when I come across children with teddy bears on a playground looking so photogenic, I feel a little bit awkward to take photos of them... These days, if you are walking around with a camera near kids, people tend to think you as a weirdo. It doesn't matter whether you are a male or a female. If you ask for a permission beforehand, they suddenly start to pose and become a bit unnatural, it kind of ruins the whole atmosphere I wanted to capture.

I suppose if you are there long enough, kids might forget your existence and start playing naturally, but I'm kind of a impatient person ;-)
Dilemma, dilemma, dilemma...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Las Fallas

fallas, falla, spain, valencia, gandia,
"Las Fallas in Gandia"

On the 15th of March, several hundreds of these enormous sculptures pop up on the streets throughout the Valencian communities. This is the beginning of the great festival of the region - the Fallas. Surrounded by fireworks, carnivals, traditional dress and dance and music for 4 days, these sculptures all go up in flames in the end. Las Fallas is known as one of the craziest festivals in Europe.

The Fallas is the biggest annual celebration in Valencian region. It is a world famous street party, a spectacular celebration of Valencian tradition. During the year, communities - also called "fallas" - construct huge colourful Fallas-Sculptures (2 each = around 800 in total) made of wood and papier-mache. The fallas are usually satirical in content and often elaborate works of art, some as high as 25 metres.

On the 15th of March, the fallas get planted throughout the communities. On 16th, it is the folkloric carnival. On 17th and 18th, it is the Offer of the Flowers – a wooden silhouette of the Virgin in the plaza de la Virgin is filled in with carnations, brought by traditional parades in full colours and music. On 19th, it is the Carnival of Fire, and all the Fallas-Sculptures get simultaneously burned to the cheers of the crowd.

Thus is commemorated the coming of spring.