Friday, May 20, 2011

Kevin Schafer

Kevin Schafer is an amazing photographer that has traveled all around the world mostly specializing in photographs of endangered species mostly in rainforests and polar regions. I feel that it is very important to acknowledge animals that are slowly disappearing from the Earth. Schafer doesn't stop after taking a picture, most of the time he makes sure to tell a story about that animal or aspect of wildlife. I find him so interesting because he spends around six months out of the year adventuring around to different countries and this shows that he has much expertise in this form of art. He has been photographing for 25 years as well. Overall, Kevin Schafer is a successful photographer and his work should be shown off to the world.

This is Kevin Schafer's personal website where he displays a lot of his photographs that he has taken around the world.

Kevin Schafer's Facebook page has more biographical information offered, contact information, and posts provided by the public.

National Geographic has a page about Kevin Schafer that describes what he does and offers more pictures to look at.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nick Cave


Nick Cave's work is very riveting. By looking at the SoundSuit still on their hangers you get an urge of motion, seeing them in action is an incredible experience. I think his work is inspiring people to move and express themselves, and to break out of the monotony of everyday life. His "invations" are the most interesting part of his work to me. Dancers put on the SoundSuits and go around downtown areas and gatherings bringing a smile to everyone who see's them.
This link is very informative about Nick Cave's work at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It also give his personal statement about why his work is important. He wants to reach a global level and involve everyone in his innovation.

Until the begining of June Nick Cave's work is on display at the Seattle Art Museum. The Seattle times did a wonderful review of the artist's exhibit.
This is the link to Nick Cave's website that allows you to purchase apparel and gifts inspired by SoundSuits.

Denis Smith - Photographer

“All the money I made in jobs that I hated, and were killing me. Have been substituted by something that gives me so much worth. And to other people as well, it’s giving to other people, and that changed my life.”

For Denis Smith his photography is not just a way to make a living, it gives him a reason to live. A former alcoholic, Smith got started in photography after quitting his job as a sales consultant and moving to Southern Australia with his family. As a way to cope with the stress his alcoholism, depression, and out of control spending habits had caused him, Smith picked up a camera. With no formal training he was able to create beautiful images with information he acquired online. Smiths light paintings are created by taking a light source (such as a flashlight or lantern) on a string, and swinging it in a circle while simultaneously moving in a circle. This is all done at night under a full moon, the end result is mesmerizing spheres in the middle of beautiful Australian landscapes.

What I find most fascinating about Smith however is that his story could be anyones story. Depression, alcoholism, and debt are an all too common occurrence in this day and age. But Smith provides hope for those struggling, that things can change. Sometimes all one needs is a push to get out, and pursue a childhood dream, or discover a newfound passion. Smiths story is a

reminder to pursue what you are passionate about, and that there is more to life than a well-paying job.

Denis’s official website. Which features a short autobiography, as well as an overview of past and upcoming work, and contact information.

A thorough interview on Smiths work, inspiration and transition from sales consultant to photographer.

Denis’s flickr profile. Which showcases his signature ‘ball of light’ photos as well as other primarily landscape photos.

Below is a short documentary about Denis's work.

Ball Of Light from Sam Collins on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker first became famous when he created the band 'Hootie and the Blowfish' in the mid 80s. He was the lead singer and guitarist of the band. Until 2008 Rucker was solely considered an R&B artist. At this time he made the move to become a country artist, and he did so quite successfully. He has released two albums under his country label, and has had several number one hits.
I admire Darius Rucker for his ability to transcend genres of music. I have always enjoyed listening to his music as a member of Hootie and the Blowfish, and I enjoy his country music even more. I think it is a rare talent for an artist to be able to do exceedingly well in two different genres of music & reach an even broader audience.

This  site is Darius Rucker's official website. It is dedicated to his solo country music career. There are photos, music, video, information about Rucker, tour dates and more on this site.

This is Darius' site. It provides a bio, pictures, information about Rucker and his albums, and even artists who are similar to Darius.

This link is dedicated to Hootie and the Blowfish. It provides the history of the band, tour dates, and information on their foundation. Here you can learn about the beginnings of Hootie and the Blowfish, and their very successful career.

David Tennant

What I mainly know David Tennant from, and what most people generally know him from as well, is Doctor Who, the fantastic Sci-Fi series on BBC. He played the Tenth Doctor and was on the show for four years before dying and regenerating into Eleven. Out of the three Doctors that I have seen (I haven't watched any of classic Doctor Who), I would say that Tennant is the one who gave the most to the show and set the bar pretty high for Matt Smith, the actor who now plays the Eleventh Doctor. Aside from Doctor Who, Tennant has been in numerous Shakespeare productions such as Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, and Hamlet where he was called "the greatest Hamlet of his generation." He is now starring with Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing which plays through September of this year in London.

I think what makes David Tennant such a great actor is how versatile he is. He can go from film to TV to the stage and to radio without skipping a beat. There are a lot of people out there who think that because they are awesome on TV or film that they will be awesome doing everything else, and that's not always the case. He is one of the few people whose talent stretches beyond one media because it can and not because it is forced to.

This is a link to David Tennant's official website. If you click around a bit you will find information on all of his projects like Much Ado About Nothing and The Gobetweenies, a radio show that he is currently taking part in. There are also interviews, photos and videos scattered about on related pages.

The link here is the IMDB site for Tennant. It gives you a complete list of everything he has been a part of in chronological order. Just by looking on the first page, I found out that he voiced one of the characters in How to Train Your Dragon, which is pretty cool.

This last link is a fan site for Tennant. I like fan sites like these because they tend to have content that other, more official site's don't. Big fans go out of their way to find pictures and videos that haven't been put up anywhere official quite yet.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Emma Hack

When artists present the human body as a work of art, they must be very careful about how their work is presented and interpreted. Nudity can be seen as very taboo in Western culture. Emma Hack has found a way to camouflage nudity and present the human form in collaboration with the medium of painting. Body painting is a fairly new approach to art and has been so successful that there are now international festivals in celebration of this unique form of art.

Emma started her career as a face painter. She has evolved the art of face painting into a twenty-one year career of body painting. For Emma the body is a canvas. She uses the interplay of wall paper designs and the natural contours of the human form to produce a sensual and impressionable piece of art. Emma's interests in world wide cultures and their historic contexts are represented within her works. She has traveled all over the world seeking inspiration for new and innovative collections. Some of her collections include Oriental designs from works of pottery dating back from the Ming Dynasty. She also has a collection with influences from Eastern religious traditions. The Mandala is a form used by Hinduism and Buddhism that Emma adopted to create a line of work that I consider one of her most unique and memorable of collections

Below is a list of three websites that are infomative and resourceful on the works of Emma Hack. Please explore and enjoy.

This is an official artist site of Emma Hack. Here you will find an introduction of the artist and her accomplishments. You will also find her collections, exhibitions, live installations, documentaries and more. -This link is a personal blog of a fan of the artist, Emma Hack. This site is a visual experience of the artist's past and present works. It is an incredible sensory experience.

This link contains an interview with Emma Hack and gives a more detailed understanding of her backround as an artist.

The Band Perry

The Band Perry is an up and coming band among country music. I have been a country music fan since my childhood. This group is a great representation of country music because the music they compose together is unique in many ways. The three members, Kimberly (main singer), Reid, and Neil are all siblings. Kimberly, being the oldest, started when she was 15, and had her brothers join her around playing in churches and clubs. The brothers went their separate ways for a while, creating their own band; but because they grew up with music in their household, they knew they would end up a group together, it just took some time. They grew up with a diverse music background, a rock background coming from their dad, and country from their mom. Kimberly has a quote "Daddy rocked us to sleep with the Rolling Stones; Mama woke us up with Loretta Lynn. So we get it honest."

The oldest, Neil, points out that they all bring something different to the table when it comes to composition. "Kimberly carries in a bag of melodies and lyrics, Reid always has some really great musical ideas in his back pocket, and I bring in a sense of humor and some thread that ties it all together." They compose their own music, and I think it I find it so compelling because they have two different backgrounds that they incorporate into their songs, which makes their sound fun to listen to. Here are some websites I hope you all find enjoyable!

The following website is The Band Perry's personal website, where there is information about the band, their music, tour dates, blogs, and photos.

The next website is filled with a few music videos from the group. Since their music is relatively new, they do not have a ton of videos, however, they have a fun collection so far. The videos they have are unique in that they portray their compelling style throughout the video.

I think it is important how artists create their lyrics, which is why I am posting this next link. This page explains how they created their first hit song "If I die young" and defines the meaning behind the words.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958. He is known as the “King of Pop” and one of the most significant artists of all time. His music revolutionized the industry and has 13 Grammy awards along with receiving the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award. He was introduced to music at a young age being in The Jackson 5 music group at the age of 11 with his siblings. He has sold over 750 million albums throughout his career, 13 number 1 singles, and has been inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame twice.

There are not many artists I consider influential to music, but Michael Jacjson is one of the few by revolutionizing the music world with his music to his dancing. The “King of Pop” did it all while entertaining millions of people and doing what he loved to do. You don’t have to love him as a person with his personal struggles, but you can appreciate what he brought to the table and how he has influenced musicians and dancers.

Here are three links that can be useful if you want to know more about Michael Jackson and his career.

This is Michael Jackson’s personal site for fans and here you can listen to the many songs he recorded during his career as a singer, watch videos, or even shop for merchandise.

This site shows videos and music of Michael Jackson. There is a biography on his life and has many sections about him as a person and artist.

This site has many live performances, music videos, and watch the “King of Pop” do what he does best.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Composer Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer is a German born film score composer. He has won over 40 awards for his compositions, including a Grammy for the Dark Knight and a Golden Globe and Academy Award for The Lion King. Over his thirty year career, he has composed over 130 scores. Some of his most memorable scores include the second and third and fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Inception, The Lion King, Gladiator, and The Dark Knight. He uses a broad range of instruments and styles, both which help the film come to life in an extraordinary way. His music has a way of capturing the audience’s attention and truly fitting in with the film. Zimmer creates the types of scores that you want to listen to again, even without watching the movies. Sometimes, a composer just plain moves you.

As a musician, I am very picky about what type of music I listen to, and Hans Zimmer's style captures my attention. That being said, you don't necessarily have to have a musical background to appreciate his work. His work manages to walk the very fine line that encompasses exception musical quality and easy to enjoy for the casual non-musician listener.

This is the Internet Movie Database page for Hans Zimmer. It includes a basic biography, filmography and trivia facts. There is also a comprehensive list of all award nominations and wins he has received.

The official Hans Zimmer fansite, this includes a list of his works and where they can be purchased, features the latest releases and previews of what’s to come. There are also interviews with Zimmer and information about his involvement with various charities.

These are playlists users have made of Hans Zimmer’s work. There are tracks from various movies, including Sherlock Holmes and Black Hawk Down.