art, London

Art – “Sprayed” at the Gagosian Gallery

July 1, 2015
19273789855_9d58301f8e_k

One of the great things about living in London is the possibility of seeing amazing art. And even better, for free – just because you can’t afford to invest, you’re still allowed to go around and take a look at what’s going on in some galleries. And some of them, will be so nice, they’ll even let you take some photos – we did ask to take photos for our blogs so we were happy, yay!

IMG_6971

This was the first outing of the Blogger Douchebag Crew #BDBcrew, with the amazingly funny and colourful Axel from Solaris 100 and rest assured there will be more.

We met at King’s Cross and made our way to the Gagosian to have a look at what was going on there – an exhibition titled “Sprayed”. I had no expectations as I just tagged along and didn’t have a chance of looking into what was going on there.

IMG_6976

It was quite surprising. Not sure if in a good way, if I’m honest. You have plenty of works by famous artists such as Schnabel, Andy Warhol, Murakami, Koons, Haring or Basquiat, among others to look at, that’s for sure but most of the works on display didn’t really say much to me.

IMG_6954

This was a collection of pieces that had in some capacity been made using a spraying technique. You might say Andy Warhol is going a bit too far in the spray category with his “Oxydation” piece, which is part of his Piss Paintings series, but I believe it is relevant if you take the term loosely and not just think of graffiti art. You may remember that scene from the film “Basquiat” where Warhol (played by David Bowie) is directing some dude to piss on some pieces of metal laid out on the floor. That’s pretty much what it is that you are now looking at – sorry I couldn’t find the segment on Youtube, though.

IMG_6962

I did enjoy the more colourful pieces, particularly the Murakami. You can see Axel posing in front of it too. However, and this is a matter of personal taste, most of the pieces there didn’t stand out too much.

IMG_6977

A very recognisable Keith Haring piece.

IMG_6976

IMG_6974

IMG_6973

IMG_6970

IMG_6964

IMG_6963

Holy *beep*!

IMG_6960

IMG_6958

PicMonkey Collage

The colourful car crash remnants and Axel trying hard not to step on the sprayed dot with his cool sneakers. There was a security guard making sure that no one stepped on the pink polkadot on the floor. It was a bit silly and funny at the same time, to think of it as something precious.

IMG_6966

I had a lot of fun taking photos and just generally being silly and decided that the Blogger Douchebag Crew was to be taken out on the road again! Axel also wrote about this and you can read it here. If you’d like to go see for yourself, here are the details you need to know:

SPRAYED
WORKS FROM 1929 TO 2015
JUNE 11 – AUGUST 1, 2015

Gagosian Gallery
6-24 Britannia Street
London WC1X 9JD
Hours: Tue–Sat 10-6

art, Lifestyle, London

The best of June – in London and on the Interwebz!

June 30, 2015
19087831179_593028d992_k

June has gone in a flash. Am I the only one thinking the same? I don’t know why I get this feeling, maybe because the weather has shown some signs of improvement, with some pleasant sunny days thrown in for good measure. Also the fact that I have been super busy with my trips to Berlin and Lisbon as well as family and friends visiting. Here’s a bit of a rundown of some of the exhibitions I have attended, recommend but couldn’t take photos at, along with some random pics I took around London!

IMG_6981

During these visits I was a bit of a tourist in my own city and went to Kensington Palace, where you can visit the Queen’s Chambers, the garden around it as well as two very interesting exhibitions: Fashion Rules and Victoria Revealed. Fashion rules shows a few gowns from Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana’s wardrobes and show why their style was so influential. Victoria Revealed shows us a collection of objects and artifacts that display a more human side of Queen Victoria. Both are worth visiting!

I also attended the Shoes – Pleasure & Pain exhibition at the V&A, which I thoroughly recommend, for obvious reasons. The shoes and boots on show are not only a dream (the majority of them) but also great testimonials of human history. Personal favourites were the David Lynch/ Christian Louboutin fetish ballet flats. Unfortunately photos were not allowed, so you’ll have to go and take a look yourself!

Another exhibition worth visiting until the 31st of August is Fashion on the Ration, at the Imperial War Museum. I took a couple of photos with my phone until I was asked to stop. they weren’t all that good, so I’m not sharing them and will admonish everyone who is in London until that time to go and see it for themselves. My friend Jasiminne from Posh Broke & Bored did a good write up on it, so you might as well go and read it there!

PicMonkey Collage

These are my news of the month and as always, I’ve found some nifty morsels of interestingness all over the interwebz: crazy cat lady conventions, catvertising and how to tell if your co-worker is an asshole, among other equally amusing things. Have a look after the jump!

Continue Reading…

Lifestyle

#lightscameracurrys – A photo workshop with #photocoachuk

June 29, 2015
19081767018_42c66e3eb3_k

A couple of weeks ago I attended yet another great event organised by Joe Blogs, this time a photography workshop sponsored by Currys and Canon. The idea was for us to step out of our comfort zone and start shooting in manual.

I definitely needed something like this, as I feel that I have yet to explore all the possibilities of my Canon 600D and sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to read a manual or watch all the tutorials. I had used a point and shoot for year and years and only got a proper DSLR a couple of years ago. It was an old Canon Rebel XT I got second hand and even though it had its limitations (it’s around 10 years old), it was great to start practising. Now I have a much better and more modern camera that eliminates some of the issues the older one created, so it’s about time I learn how to make the most of it. Being a kinestetic learner (I know this because I took a test at work, you know, important stuff) I learn better by doing and a workshop was the perfect way to go about it – having the chance to experiment and ask questions as we go is great! Paul Hames was there to be our teacher and photo mentor and we all had a great time (and hopefully will start taking better photos). We had a few pointers and technical advice given and then were set free in the city, to go out and explore with our cameras.

IMG_6887

What were my main takeaways from this? There were a few more technical bits that I wrote down but I feel these are the main ideas anyone needs to remember to be a better photographer, regardless of skill level and equipment:

Continue Reading…

Lifestyle

Hayfever blues – how do you deal with it?

June 25, 2015
17124790022_741e6f8871_k

If you are one of the many people to be lucky to have been given hayfever when some divine entity was out there dishing out punishment, you will know exactly what I’ll be talking about. Hayfever is a very common allergic reaction to pollen, more prevalent in Spring and when the weather is warm and dry, as the trees will be setting them free in hopes of reproducing.

These miraculous particles will sometimes land on our noses instead of the stems of other pretty flowers and create havoc by causing our noses to itch, run and our eyes to get red and equally itchy, all topped with a tendency to sneeze like we’re trying to expel the devil from our noses. Flowers are pretty, but boy, they are evil!

17100385036_9eb8e3bb8c_k

There are a few ways of avoiding or dealing with these symptoms, which include:

– Not leaving the house or opening any window for the course of a few months (or at least when it’s not raining).
– Using a saline nasal spray for washing the nasal cavity and getting rid of allergens that might be stuck up there.
– Taking anti -hystamines which can sometimes be drowsy and leave you in a state of drugged confusion.
– Use a nasal guard gel, which is something I’ve only discovered existed this year.

The first option is not really possible, unless you:

a) enjoy being seclusive

b) work from home

c) are retired.

When it comes to treatments, the second option is actually quite good, as it really relieves itchiness and make your nose feel refreshed. Third option is also good and you just have to be careful with taking the non drowsy pills during the day. The forth option I have just tried and it’s really good because it’s a drug free option.

Lately I’ve had the worst and most violent hayfever reaction I can remember. I was alright, until I went to Berlin. I don’t know what kind of trees made it flare up but boy, talk about a sneezefest. My head was permanently full of snot, which also gave me the impression that my brain was trying to escape my skull through my nose. My eyes got a bit swollen and had a massive permanent headache for a few days. Back here in London, it’s been a bit better but only on a few days. I’ve been doing the combination of drugs and nasal guard gel that works during the day but I always find it that I’m worse when I wake up in the morning.

I’ve been trying mostly everything and I’ll try anything that helps deal with this flowery curse. Have you tried anything else that worked?

PS: I received a sample of Allergie Block, words and opinions (and the amazing graphics, haha) are my own.

Lifestyle

Wordy rappinghood

June 23, 2015
Doge

Language is a funny thing. I would even venture to say that it might be one of the most exciting things you can learn. By learning a new language and grasping its specificities you not only gain a new way of communicating with more people, but you also gain a new worldview.

As a non-native English speaker (but having acquired a good level of proficiency), it’s fantastic to be able to express myself in different ways and having a choice in which language I want to express myself. There’s a funny story about the way I’ve learned English – we had Sky TV and unlike English language shows on Portuguese TV, there were no subtitles, so along with what I learned in school, Sky was was my second English teacher. Also my friends Linda and Ira gave me books in English, and that also helped a lot with spelling. During Uni I befriended a few foreign artists that were living in Lisbon at the time and that was when my conversational skills started evolving. Then there was the internet and writing on Livejournal back in the day helped consolidate all of this. And the rest is history.

477406315JF00009_General_At

As an avid user of social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram, I get also to learn a lot of new slang expressions all the time. Some of them can be really funny and even though might not be necessarily useful in my day to day life as a copywriter for enterprise software, they sure make life more colourful. It’s by learning slang and keeping up with whatever is being said out there that you really acquire and understand a language and a culture. It’s all well and good to know all the grammar and where all the apostrophes go, but when it comes to day to day convos, slang is where it’s at.

Slang, as pointed out in this interesting round table debate hosted by McCarthy & Stone, is not necessarily a bad thing, even if inappropriate in certain situations. In fact, slang is the motor that makes languages change and evolve and in today’s world, the internet has a lot to answer for. I can say that one of those sad people that spends too much time online and ends up speaking in memes… Ermahgerd! Yes, I am one of those idiots, but what can I do? I’m just too immersed in it sometimes and use the following on an almost daily basis:

Such wow, Stahp it!, LOL, QT.

It’s fun and silly and it makes me and other people smile, so it’s all good in my book.

What are your favourite slang expressions?

PS: This post has been done in collaboration with McCarthy & Stone. Words and opinion are my own.