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April 01 2020

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"Po raz pierwszy w życiu było mi wiosną tak ciężko i samotnie. Już wolałbym trzy razy z rzędu przeżyć luty".

Haruki Murakami "Norwegian Wood"

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March 28 2020

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Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.

— Pierce Brown
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Ty nie wiesz, ile razy przez całą noc byłaś ze mną, mówiłaś do mnie, śmiałaś się do mnie; wyznawałaś mi takie rzeczy, o których marzyłem, a kiedy przychodziło rano i budziłem się, widziałem obok siebie puste miejsce.
— Marek Hłasko
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Human Figures Removed from Classic Paintings by Artist José Manuel Ballester

Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” (1498)

Despite being a couple of years old, José Manuel Ballester’s artworks feel eerily familiar in the time of COVID-19. The Spanish artist recreates classic paintings like Goya’s “The Third of May 1808,” Vermeer’s “The Allegory of Painting,” and Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” except he leaves out one central aspect: humans. Some of Ballester’s versions retain remnants of the former subjects, showing blood-covered ground marking the spot of a gruesome battle or even a faint outline of the sitter in an unfinished portrait. Other works, however, seem to exist simply on their own, offering a view of an empty gallery or a wreckage on rough waters.

In an interview with Bored Panda, Ballester said that while his Concealed Spaces series often is regarded as humorous, it has multiple meanings. “After a deeper look it’s not difficult to find transcendence and the multiple possible interpretations, both as new images and as related to their original counterparts,” he said.

One of the clearest aspects in this series is the way we can understand art from the point of view of each period, which has a unique way of looking and understanding reality shared by artists, who develop their creativity inside those period’s values and connect with ideas and universal precepts extended in time.

For more of Ballester’s digital creations that reconsider historical projects, check out his site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Diego Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” (1656)

Sandro Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” (c.1486)

Jan Vermeer’s “The Allegory of Painting” (1668)

Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” (1937)

Francisco Goya’s “The Third of May 1808” (1814)

Théodore Géricault’s “The Raft of Medusa” (1819)


Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, apply for our annual grant, and get exclusive access to interviews, partner discounts, and event tickets.

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Jenny Slate, Little Weirds

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