Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Hello all,

So according to a quick run through my WordPress stats I have 66 living and breathing beings following my blog.

I wish to thank you all for your interest in my words and false wisdom.

It has been a while since I posted anything worthwhile. In the past two years I took an oath not to partake in any political discourse or social critique.

Why? I am too busy drawing lines and chasing after my livelihood.

There are many things in life that you cannot shake off: You being a writer and a radio person.

It has been a good year – minus the French scenery in France and Marion Cotillard – if you know your cinema you will get the reference.

However, I am blessed with a woman who is as lovely as Marion. I don’t talk much about my personal life as I try to let my work talk about myself as much as I can.

So yes it has been a good year. I am now a news reader and editor at Bliss 104.3, where I find myself surrounded by creative decent people. I’ve been working on expanding my art studio F.A.D.A. 317 and a couple of other projects.

I also haven’t stopped doing graffiti. There is something liberating about spraying your lines on a wall in Amman – it cuts the middleman and places your work for observation by thousands of people.

Following an artistic cultural trip to the U.K., compliments of the British Council, I started a blog dedicated to graffiti.

I called  it Spray Rocket Ape: Graffiti JO + and even designed the banner – since my side career is now all about illustration.

Sprayrocketape banner by Mike V. Derderian

I have a thing for apes;-})

Anyway … time for me to get back to designing album art for a client.

So here is the link to Spray Rocket Ape and I hope I can get to blog a little more.

https://sprayrocketape.wordpress.com/

Stay sound and sane …

Mike V. Derderian, a.k.a. Sardine.

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Coppella Main

A Ballet with 75 Performers

By Mike V. Derderian

The hall was overflowing with people. Wherever one looked there was someone sitting on the footsteps of the carpeted aisles of the theatre at the Royal Cultural Centre.

It was a Saturday, and to be more specific the 25th of October, 2014.

A month later I decided to write a review of the wonderful ballet, choreographed by the ever glowing Rania Kamhawi; a review I was supposed to write the moment I’ve returned home.

I was there with my wife and daughter Amie and like anything you would expect from The King Hussein Foundation: The National Centre for Culture & Art it was an evening of enchantment.

If there was any shortcoming, and there was one, it was not the fault of the 75 performers, Miss Kamhawi and the artistic and technical team behind Coppélia as a production; it was that of the theatre itself: It was too small for such an unforgettable beautiful performance.

Coppélia, as a ballet transcended the boundaries of the narrow stage of the Royal Palace. It was genuine and heartfelt; performed and played out with fervor by all 75 dancers.

If it wasn’t, the theatre hall wouldn’t have been overflowing with attendees to a degree that made having such a crowd in one single space rather dangerous if a fire, God forbid, broke out.

An elderly lady and three others, younger in age, Lebanese judging by their accents, sat next to me on chairs that were placed at the last moment. Like everyone else present they were transfixed by the balanced blend of classical music, dance and acting.

Every few minutes and throughout the performance my daughter, who usually pulls a Footloose on us when we go through clothing departments in malls that play loud dance music, started swinging her arms and standing on one leg.

A sense of pride with some embarrassment swept over me as I watched her face light up to the tempo of the music to which the performers of Coppella danced.

If I was writing this piece for The Star Weekly, where I worked as a journalist for eight years, I wouldn’t have included some of the above paragraphs but since this is a personal blog I am sure you will forgive my transgression.

There are many elements that turned Coppella into a beautiful and enjoyable ballet, and as I have mentioned earlier the genuine delivery of dance and theatrics are among those elements.

Before we go into that let me list the creative team behind it:

Artistic Direction & Choregraphy …. Rania Kamhawi

Head Dance Instructors …. Rania Kamhawi & Svetlana Tahboub

Dance Instructors … Ruba Abu Sabha, Tamara Haddad and Natalie Salsa

Costume Design … Hind Dajani

Set Design … Hamada Shweini

Graphic Design … Ala Al Qaisi

Financial Administration … Mohamad Badran and Bana Wreikat

PR & Marketing … Randa Fakhoury and Nour Dirieh

Technical Staff … Jamal Masri, Mahmud Hamad, Mohannad Al-Tal, Mohammad Attiyeh, Fawaz Al Rawashdeh, Faisal Huneiti and Omar Rawashdeh

Volunteer … Zeinab Al Shrouf, Saba Obeidat, Suzan Al Banawi and Mohammed Zemirli.

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Anyone reading the program will come upon a special thanks to Ms. Lina Attel, Mr. Mohammad Abu Sumaqa, Firas Al Masri and the Royal Cutlural Center.

I would have loved to include the names of all 75 performers with the above credits but to be honest I could not for lack of time – sure if I wanted I would have asked for a soft copy of the program but I didn’t. Continue reading please!

The talented 75 performers had roles that ranged between feasting friends, giddy school children, exuberant butterfly catchers, anxious toy makers, lovely dolls, and energetic sickle dancers swaying and dancing during a wheat harvest dance.

The National Center for Culture and Art – King Hussein Foundation Coppélia is a ballet in three acts: Act I, A Ballet in Three Act; Act II, The Deception and Act III, The Wedding. It tells the story of a screwy doll maker, Coppelius, who lives in a village full of nosy life-loving people, who are constantly breaking into his toy shop out of curiosity and interest in his humanoid inventions.

Also living in the village are Swanilda and Franz, who are gradually falling in love with each other to the backdrop of a festive village.

The three main characters are performed by Natalie Salsa (Swanilda), Bijan Qutub (Franz) and Apo Yaghmourian (Coppelius).

The beautifully tailored costumes gave the performance a European production value. The set design was simple and practical – allowing quick shifts in between scenes without disrupting the flow of the story.

One of the most memorable scenes was the dolls ballet scene at Coppelius’ toy shop where the lead female character Swanilda and her friends decide to toy with the old recluse.

After breaking into the toy shop Swanilda and her friends find themselves facing colorful dolls by the dozen. The moment the eccentric toy maker walks into the room they all hide behind the dolls. A few seconds later the lifeless dolls, each representing a culture, come to life to the sound of gentle music and well-choreographed ballet movement.

The entire production seemed familiar and reminded me of a ballet performance that I saw on television 25 years ago. The distant memory of an old toy maker getting angry with young men and women, who snuck into his workshop came to my mind as the performance neared its finale.

Premiering on the 25th of May in 1870 Coppélia was choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to a musical arrangement by of Léo Delibes. I still haven’t found the tele-ballet that I saw a couple of years ago but I will, and when I do I will share it.

What I loved most about the Coppélia choreographed by Miss Kamhawi was how all the performers, young and old, were really into their roles. The friendly smiles and the inviting hand gestures intermingled in the background adding to the movements of the graceful dancers floating in the foreground.

It was a magical night for this writer, his wife and his daughter, and I cannot wait to attend any upcoming performance by the National Center for Culture and Art – King Hussein Foundation for I know I will not be disappointed.

“Thank you for enduring with us especially with such a full stage. We truly apologize for that! Based on tonight’s attendance we are to perform the ballet for another night,” Miss Kamhawi, who was surrounded by her dancers at the end of the performance, announced to a cheering audience.

“I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is of utmost importance to us that you attend our performances. Thank you for supporting us,” Miss Kamhawi concluded.

On a final note the next time you hear of such a performance that is choreographed by the ever-passionate and gentle Rania Kamhawi make sure you buy a ticket.

About the writer/blogger:

Mike V. Derderian is a writer, a disc-jockey at Radio Jordan 96.3 FM and a journalist with 13 years of experience. At the moment he is working as an illustrator and a street artist. For writing and illustration assignments e-mail mikevderderian@yahoo.com

For the past few years illustration has offered me another way to write – visually!

I have to confess both ways have their allure and offer one’s mind a challenging merriment once a piece is finished. The process is never 100 percent fun.

Words interconnect to form a sentence, a paragraph and a story the same way a drawn line becomes part of another line, before they formulate a manifestation of an image floating in one’s head.

The following are two posters, Graffiti Power Vol. I & Vol. II. They are a reflection of my affection for graffiti art. I am not a graffiti artist but I have been doing some wall illustrations using spray paint with my friend and mentor Wize One Wesam Shadid.

The themes in both posters are rather simple and the message clear: Graffiti, which is now being hailed as an art form – it always was but not in the eyes of those who own the wall – gives power to those who use it.

It grants those who are holding a spray can wings and allows them to push through thorns.

I hope you like them :-})

Graffiti Power Vol. I by Sardine

The above is Vol. I. and  here is Vol. II.

Graffiti Power Vol. II by Sardine

Good day all …

Thank you for following my blog :-})

 

Teaser 3

 

So I finally got around to launching my Society6 store a few days ago. Hurray!

Recently I launched my 12th t-shirt with Mlabbas, the Tah Smiley tee, that you can see on the lower right of the above snapshot from Society6, so I realized it was time to go online; and hopefully beyond Amman, Jordan.

No, I am not swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck ;-})

With each new line I draw I learn more about myself as an illustrator. The illustrations that I’ve uploaded are the pieces that I think are good in terms of themes and execution.

Teaser 4

Society6 allows anyone to purchase my posters/prints/tshirts with the push of a botton – okay, now I am bordering on shameless self-promotion, which is in a way the objective of this blog.

I will soon get back to fighting crime; I promise ;-})

Until then … to visit my Society6 store just click on this blue … I mean red … magical link: http://www.society6.com/SardineArt

Good day all …

Sardine a.k.a Mike V. Derderian a.k.a A Brick in The Head 

2014

 

If I have never stopped playing guitar in 2003 I would have most probably ended up adopting the style of music that inspired this evening’s poster.

The Devil's Orchard - Opeth

Opeth’s The Devil’s Orchard has a classical timeless feel to it, especially when it comes to the guitar play. This is a song that you will continue to listen to for years to come.

The guitar echoes of despair, a human emotion that a lot of us experience every now and then; some more than others.

It reminded me of Chris Rea’s Nothing to Fear!

 

This is one reason why we often find solace in the despair of others – it makes us realize and without a doubt that we are all the same in the end.

This poster is a reflection of the official video. It comes part of my Cinerama, minimal series that I started producing a couple of years ago. Here is the link to the entire collection on Behance, Vol. I http://bit.ly/1ojcafX

By the way if you find my work interesting you can examine my artwork and updates on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SardineArt

 

From within the darkest corners of despair man found his gods and demons.

Hope you find yours!

I am finding mine with every line I write; and every line I draw.

If you know anyone who wants something different pass on my e-mail to them: mikevderderian@yahoo.com ;-})

This journalist, writer and illustrator is done fulfilling the dreams of ass wipes. Alas, this year I wasted two months on one major ass wipe. Never again! It is time for me to Catch The Rainbow as the song goes; my own rainbow.

A good day to all those who are following my lines, written and drawn. Thank you for your “Likes” and “Comments!” It means a lot to me.

Sardine, a.k.a. Mike V. Derderian, 2014

P.S: I am usually hush hush when it comes to business dealings and work experiences, especially bad ones, but this ass wipe deserved an honorable mention ;-})

By Mike V. Derderian

A passionate embrace is flooded by streams of light. Gold yellow waves interspersed with darker shades the color of violet, red, orange and white engulf a man and a woman in a state of love.

Stand still, keep quite and watch the enamored couple; the only two who managed to find each other unlike the other men and women who roam the dream-like illuminated pieces of Hammoud Chantout, that are now hanging at Dar Al-Anda Art Gallery in Lweibdeh.

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State of Life, that measures 145 x 120 cm, is but one of the many impressive canvases that Chantout’s hands created. It  conjures up Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. Chantout’s two lovers are caught in a vortex of colors that embody the enlightenment that their love brought fourth.

Unlike the two in State of Life, a title that Chantout used with other pieces, the others appear to be aloof and detached. Viewers will find them standing next to objects that Chantout’s brush brilliantly produced.

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Why is that male artist standing a few meters away from a red chair, while another, a female artist, is leaning on a rail amidst a haze of earthly tones?

Some of Chantout’s colorful personages, and I say colorful because uneven patches of color formulate their construct, are standing next to bright colored pieces of furniture while others are standing under trees that give away echoes of Africa.

Viewers crossing the entrance hall will find a set of six exquisite miniature tableaux to their right. Chantout cleverly created a landscape broken down to six pieces. Each pieces tells part of a story that could have happened anywhere around the world. The architectural edifices that Chantout relies on to create his sceneries give out the feel of Syrian rural mud houses.

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Born in 1956 Chantout graduated from the Suhail Al-Ahdab Art Center in Hama, Syria in 1975. In 1976 he was admitted to the Faculty of Fine Art with a 1st rank. He has been holding solo and collective exhibitions in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Canada, and Turkey since 1972.

At Dar Al-Anda one will also come across a book entitled Chantout and that allows viewers to take a glance at his impressive volume of  work.

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Copies of this book that holds haunting images that found their way out of Chantout’s beautiful mind are most probably on sale.

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The female figure dominates a lot of Chantout’s pieces.

The Bride with the White Mask (70 x 100 cm), Paradise (70 x 100 cm), Hope (80 x 100 cm), Angel (60 x 70 cm) and A Princess from One Thousand Nights (60 x 70 cm) are a celebration of the femme and her role in the building of humanity and the birth of mythology’; a legacy that some are trying to bury.

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Thanks to such poignant pieces by Chantout the celebration continues, and another memory is added to humanity’s collective memory, to remind us of the  femme that haunted the minds of artists throughout the ages.

With Adam’s Apple (60 x 70 cm), and that Dar Al Anda used for the cover of their beautifully designed brochure, a must have, Chantout offers us an interpretation of the ultimate illumination: Knowledge.

Illumination springs from darkness and as one goes through the details of Chantout’s pieces a balance is found. Where there is darkness there are also corners that are illuminated; corners where artists like Chantout, and the likes of him over the centuries, have found themselves standing to illuminate the path for the rest of us.

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Don’t search for clear answers in a painting, enjoy the emotions it yields within you. The above piece Oriental Princess (122 x 100 cm) is but one of many of Chantout’s pieces that will generate discourse in the minds of viewers.

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Anyone entering Dar Al Anda, before Chantout’s Illuminations exhibition wraps on April 25, will come across a torrent of colors and lines that carry within their folds a lot of passion and interpretations that will stir ones’ imagination.

For more information about Dar Al-Anda go to http://www.daralanda.com

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A footnote:

1 … 2 …  3 … 4 …

The text pointer flashed a couple of times before he started typing.

Two years passed since he last wrote a professional art review, a review that used to be published in The Star on a weekly basis; a review that used to be edited. He was edited by three individuals. The one he loved most passed away a few months ago. Rest in peace Abu Hassan.

In 2003 I joined The Star weekly as an intern. My dear father went with me. I managed to get a shot at writing an art review of a botanical exhibition at The Instituto Cervantes in Amman. It was a successful piece even though the exhibition and the description of the pieces were in Spanish. They were impressed and I started getting paid on a freelance basis. After a few weeks I managed to convince the editor that I would be able to write cinema reviews. I was given a column and was asked to come up with a name. Cinerama was born. After a year I got the job and I was a staff writer. Why a year? That’s another story for another blog post.

The above few lines demonstrate how I felt as I wrote this review after three years of not writing any. It only took me a moment to decide. I was outside Dar Al-Anda running an errand.

“It has been so long. Don’t you miss immersing yourself  in art? Go in!” I thought to myself. It was quite an emotional experience that reminded me of the eight years I’ve spent visiting art galleries in my Amman part of my work as a journalist; an experience I loved.

Hopefully I will get back to doing this more often ;-})