"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"

- Alan Hogan

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Mysterious Winner.

'Mysterious Black Box'

I recently entered a contest hosted by Theodora Dimitrijevic on the art website Fine Art America. The contest entitled 'Mysterious' gave me the chance to enter one of my more obscure images called 'Mysterious Black Box'. And it turned out to be the winning entry.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Cup 2010 - Vuvuzelas for pan pipes anyone?

As the soccer World Cup invades our livingrooms I recently received an interesting theory from my brother.

Mathematic Calculations To Determine the 2010 World Cup Winner
Mathematicians have worked out a formula to determine
who will the 2010 World Cup.

In 1970 and 1994 the winner of the world cup was Brazil
And when you add 1970 and 1994 together you get 3964

In 1978 and 1986 Argentina won the world cup.
And when you add 1978 and 1986 together you get 3964

In 1990 and 1974 Germany won the world Cup
Again when you add 1990 and 1974 together you get 3964.......

So to work out the winner of the world cup,
you need to take 2010 away from 3964,
which leaves you with 1954......

And who was the winner in 1954: Germany!
So logically you should all put your money on Germany
to win the 2010 World Cup!

We shall have to wait and see if it comes true. From what I have seen of Germany so far, it may be a good bet. It's early days though!

I haven't got into this 2010 World Cup as much as I'd like to, especially as my home country Ireland didn't qualify. Neither did Finland, the country where I now live. I followed every match in Finland's World Cup campaign on television with the same passion I normally reserve for Ireland. It was a special treat to watch two of my favorite ex-Liverpool players Sami Hyypiä and Jari 'The King' Litmanen play together in the Finland jersey.

Unfortunately we will not see Ireland or Finland in South Africa, and I thought they both deserved to be there.
Nevermind, for the moment I have placed my hope in Chile, a team I'm not that familiar with. I do know they have a few skillful players and I would really like to see them do well.

As we have withnessed, there seems to more and more money issues entering the game of football these days. The latest news being the eviction of a group of female Dutch fans for wearing mini skirts. Apparently they had something to do with 'ambush marketing' for a beer company. As far as I know they were only wearing plain orange dresses, although I heard they wear designed by the beer company. Anyway, haven't the Dutch been wearing orange for many years now at World Cups, the girls were simply wearing the colours of their country.

I know soccer has had money interests and involvement for decades. It needs it just the same as any other professional sport, otherwise the sport just wouldn't be worth watching. And what sort of supporters would travel half way around the globe to watch a bunch of amateurs play?
I do feel however that the more and more of a role money has to play in this sport, the sooner we will see an implosion of what soccer is all about.

To me soccer is a great game. A game enjoyed by many nations around the world. A game that can make a star out of the poorest child who starts his talent kicking an old can around dirty streets. It's not a sport one needs to have wealth to go forward. Soccer is also a sport that can unite and uplift the spirit of an entire nation. As an Irish citizen living in Dublin during a remarkable spell for Irish international soccer, I witnessed how a country can be transformed by a few balls kicked in the back of the opposition's net. Between 1988 and 1994, Ireland had qualified for one European Championship Finals and two World Cups Finals. A remarkable feat for a small country. Such was the excitement of being on the world stage of soccer, the whole country was sent in to a state of massive euphoria.

O'Connell Street, Dublin City, Ireland
2.30pm, 12 June 1988
This is a painting I made back in 1988.
It depicts the scene on Dublin's busiest city street at kick-off time
during the Republic of Ireland and England match at the
1988 European Football Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
I made this drawing from a newspaper photograph later that week.
I was a little busy to paint 'plein air' at the time!

Just ask any Irishman what it was like in Ireland at this time and they will give you a long and detailed answer. I believe it was this happiness and positivity that set the wheels in motion to creating a better country and the hope of a better economy. Times were hard in Ireland in the eighties, politicians were more reckless than usual, but public spirits were high from 1988 onwards. Once the Irish football team were playing well, people had a reason to cheer and be optimistic.

This in a way is why I would like to see Chile get a few good results. The country suffered a lot earlier this year when a massive 8.8 earthquake occured there. I think one or two good results and maybe a few magical goals will unite it's people and give a little hope and encouragement to make things better again. So throw away those awful vuvuzelas and let's hear the pleasant sound of the Chilean pan pipes instead! (Surely these vuvuzelas should be banned after players from both the Netherlands and Denmark complained they could not hear each other over the deafening sound)

Incantation - Cacharpaya 1982

This is a great tune by a band that features an Irishman, a Scotsman, two Englishmen and three Chilean musicians. You may remember their music from the 1986 film 'The Mission' starring Robert De Niro.

Chile begin their World Cup 2010 campaign today,

so Go Chile!!

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