Introduction:

"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



Showing posts with label artists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artists. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hong Kong Hot Shots





Last Saturday I got to see an exhibition by a group of professional photographers based in Hong Kong collectively known as HKPPN. The exhibition was titled The Portfolios 10 Exhibition and featured a variety of intriguing works showing at The Central Oasis, a busy public space in downtown Hong Kong. 



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To be honest, I actually found this exhibition by pure accident while on a short visit here before returning home to Finland from a holiday in Australia. While not a serious photographer myself I do enjoy this artform and take a lot of inspiration from it. I also appreciate good photography when I see it. If I ever get a proper camera for myself one day I can only pray to produce results like those seen here in Hong Kong. 




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Anyway, after spending several hours walking around the huge metropolis that in Hong Kong, this sudden find was an instant oasis of calm and enjoyment for me. Having arrived back home I found out more about this exhibition and was quite surprised to see the amount of work involved in producing this show.



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For example, the exhibition's official poster was an achievement in itself. Here's a short video of it's creation. While involving some hard work, it certainly looks like these guys had a lot of fun too!
More photos from this exhibition can be found on the HKPPN Facebook profile here.







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- Alan
 



               
                                                             






Sunday, September 22, 2013

Eyes without a face

Okay, so this blogpost has nothing to do with Billy Idol's hit song of the 1980's 'Eyes without a face', but hey it's a catchy title, so it might attract a few new readers to my blog via taglines!

What my blog is about is this....

Last June I posted a request for photos featuring peoples' eyes on my own Facebook page and a few other pages. I didn't get a lot of offers, but received enough for what I required. Firstly I want to thank those who helped me out, especially those of you from the IESAF Facebook group (International English Speakers Association of Finland). 
The photos I received where used to complete a series of four paintings which are to be exhibited by myself at the Stoa Culture centre in Helsinki this September and October 2013. It is part of a themed art exhibition called Reflections/Heijastuksia being held by the HIAA (Helsinki International Artists Association). There are 14 other visual artists participating alongside me at this exhibition which holds it's opening night this Tuesday, 24th September at 18.00-20.00. All of you are welcome to come and join myself and the other artists as we celebrate the association's 5th anniversary! The exhibition will run until 13th October 2013. For anyone using Facebook, an event page has been created here.

Here's a short video I put together showing the four paintings I will be including as part of the exhibition. 
The eye being an instrument of reflection can determine opinion and an individuals judgement of what it sees. One person's reflection of a vision is a separate account and will usually differ through analysis to that of another person. Such is my interpretation and approach to this exhibition theme of Reflections.




I hoped you liked my little video and hopefully you can make it to the exhibition. 
My apologies to any Billy Idol fans who may have stumbled on to my blog, here's that song you wanted to hear!






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You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 



                     
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Living next door to Alice


ALICE by Mick Minogue


Kieran Street, Kilkenny

This is an extension to an earlier post I wrote about a short visit I made to Kilkenny in July 2013. While I was walking around the city's streets I discovered an impressive piece of street-art. Situated at an empty building plot on Kieran street, this large art project entitled 'Alice' by Kilkenny artist Mick Minogue depicted images of a woman called Dame Alice Kyteler




Mick Minogue and Alice

My first thoughts when I saw the artwork was 'I like that, nice work...and something to do with witchcraft!!!'  I also wondered to myself how long will this artwork be here? I realised it was presented in an empty building space with a main part painted on the area's hoarding. I assumed it was perhaps a temporary addition to the city's art scene and would in time be replaced by a new property or business. With that thought in mind I had to enjoy the painting all the more in that moment, as it will most likely be out of sight before I get back to Ireland again. 

ALICE by Mick Minogue

Detail from the hoarding


I've never been much of a historical buff, but I sometimes like an interesting story or character. So after seeing the 'Alice' painting I read up a little more about this Kyteler woman. I discovered that "she was the first woman in all of Europe to be tried by the Church for crimes of witch craft". Now witches as part of Irish history or folklore never really seemed to register in my head as being interesting or popular until now. It was always Tír na nÓg, Queen Maeve, Setanta and banshees for me, and leprechauns for the tourists! 

Detail from Mick Minogue's ALICE


So leaving legends, myths and the little people aside, this old witch story seems to be somewhat documented with names, dates and occurances in time from 13th century Ireland and thus worth a little attention. A mild browse over Alice Kytelar's history and activities kindled up an image to me of a beautiful woman who apparently had a wicked way with men but in time befell to certain forces of evil and witchcraft (or maybe not?). There's some relevant reading about this woman on Mick Minogue's Blog and also Scandalous Women: Dame Alice Kyteler (1280 - 1324?)

Mick Minogue Made This!

The 'Alice' project was a special commission by The Keep Kilkenny Beautiful Committee as part of Tidy Towns 2013 and the artist has integrated this theme cleverly into his designs. Close evidence of this can be seen here in this short video. I particularly liked the witch themed anti-litter signs.






Seeing Mick Minogue's 'Alice' project made me check out more of his work, which I found to be both interesting and a little quirky. I don't get to travel back to Ireland as often as I would like, so I feel lucky to have had the chance to see this example of Mick Minogue's work and the Kilkenny art scene. More of Mick's work can be found at his website here or on his Facebook page.



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Check out these six 'Ireland' travel posts here on my blog. Click on the destinations below to read the rest!





















Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 



                     




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Who'll Stop The Rain



It's been a while since I've had a little blog post here, but then what's new about that eh? 
I had planned on posting a few photos over the past few months but I've just been so lazy. To be honest, I reckon I spend too much time on my computer between reading emails and social media, most of which seem increasingly to be just spam or scams. Are any of you having the same problem?

Anyway I wanted to post this item on my blog for my own record, so here goes!
It concerns a bit of bad weather in the town where I live.
Coming from Ireland I'm fairly used to a drop of rain. I use the word 'drop' lightly here as it's an Irish thing. A drop of rain to an Irish person is usually equal to torrential rain elsewhere in the world. I say this just so you know where I'm coming from. It's not often you hear an Irish person go on about the RAIN!


new swimming pool


Anyway the rain arrived yesterday, and flooded out the garage under my house.
I use this garage as an art studio space, which I call 'The Art Garage'. This is where I keep most of my paintings and drawings. Lucky for me however I managed to get most of my work out of danger before the water level got too high. Only a few items were damaged. Also, stupid old me didn't have any wellies (wellington boots). I only had a pair of crocs to wade through what was freezing water, made so by a pile of large hailstones just outside the door!




My garage wasn't the only casualty in Karis, a lot of other premises where flooded also including the local supermarkets. Here's a video somebody else shot in Karis centre. It's hardly a state of emergency I know, but nice to keep a record.



Next time it would be nice to have some kind of weather warning from the met office. Only a small thunder and a small amount of rain was the given forecast on this occasion. But nevermind, everything is back to normal here now though. Hot sunny Finnish summer, just the way it should be!


Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. Big Hello to any readers living in NYC, thanks for all your greetings and support! 




You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


-Alan 





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Monday, November 26, 2012

Speak to Me! - Art Exhibition in Helsinki

  
Last Tuesday November 20th I went to the opening of an art exhibition called 'Speak to Me!' (or 'Puhu Minulle!' in Finnish). The event was held by the HIAA (Helsinki International Artists' Association) and it's members come from various countries worldwide including Finland. All of the members live in Helsinki or close by. Preparation for the exhibition began last June with a meet-up to view the gallery venue and to also meet the other participating artists.

Preparations for the Annual HIAA Art Exhibition at the Kanneltalo, Helsinki.


As a member I had the privilege of having my work displayed alongside works from a group of amazing and very talented artists. The artists I'm referring to are Paul Takahashi, Outi Debnam, David Flood, Elise Gegauff, Connie Heik-Jokinen, Hong Liu-Sertti, Kirsi-Marja Moberg, Semra Türkmen, Kenan Türkmen, Susan Wilander, Victor X and Emine Özdemir. The turnout for the opening was impressive and very encouraging, with plenty of interested and curious visitors. A special thank you is owed to all those who attended.

The 'Speak to Me!' exhibition continues until December 8th 2012 at the Kanneltalo Cultural Centre in Helsinki, Finland. 
Here's one of the six paintings I have on display during this exhibition. It's called 'Connections'. All of my paintings at the exhibition are currently for sale if anyone is looking for a special Christmas gift. Also, if you're quick I left some free Christmas cards next to my work for anyone visiting the gallery.


'Connections' - Alan Hogan, 2012
Some more of my paintings can be seen in the lobby gallery area.

Some of the participating HIAA member artists at the Kanneltalo exhibition:
(left to right) Semra Türkmen, Hong Liu-Sertti, Susan Wilander and Alan Hogan. 

Elise Gegauff was one of the artists present at the opening and she made this short video while she was there which included some of her paintings and one or two of mine amongst others.

 




Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. You can find out more about the HIAA on it's website here and opening times for the exhibition can be found on the venue's website here . Also, thanks to Elise Gegauff for her video and I have to plug her blog here now, so why not check it out! 'Elise's World'


You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


-Alan 





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Friday, March 2, 2012

Hogan's Heroes of Music - Manic Street Preachers



"Most of the posts on this blog are art-related. So I wanted to include a regular posting dedicated to music, another art form which inspires me. Unfortunately (or should that be fortunately?) I don't play any musical instruments myself, but I do love to listen! This series of blog posts will cover just a few of the musicians and bands who I have admired and listened to over the years. I won't be listing my favorites in any particular order. Some of you reading this will most likely have your own opinions and views on the bands mentioned. And some of you will have your own favorites which I may not list. But for now I am just going to list off a few of my personal faves. You are welcome to add any comments below after reading. Thanks!"


- Alan Hogan
Manic Street Preachers - photo by Julian Broad.

Manic Street Preachers

The Manic Street Preachers are on my Heroes of music list for several reasons. Firstly, they brought a kick-ass attitude to a somewhat boring year of music for me when they first arrived on the scene. The year was 1991 and the music charts were full of boring and unimaginative tunes, with a few exceptions. It was a year full of re-releases and greatest hits. The summer of 1991 was held hostage by Bryan Adams and his number one hit single '(Every thing I do) I do it for you'. You couldn't turn on the airwaves and not hear it being played. While it wasn't a bad tune, it felt as though mainstream radio was plagued by this song. 

Anyway, one day while watching a tv show I witnessed this new band called the Manic Street Preachers singing a tune called 'Motown Junk' and I said "wow, that'll do for me!".  
After being somewhat disappointed by another favorite band of mine R.E.M. and their 1991 'Out of Timealbum release for it's lack of guts and energy, seeing the Manic Street Preachers' 'Motown Junk' being played live on my tv screen was a welcome treat. The song itself was a great introduction to a band who were critical of the world, culture, politics and even iconic idols. While they may have been seen as new wave rebels singing about such controversial topics, I was more focused on the musical energy and fresh attitude this band were dishing out.





This four-piece band from Blackwood in Wales continued to gain notice, credibility and success in the early 1990's when in 1995 their main lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards vanished. The musician, who then suffered from dispression has since never been found and in 2008 was officially announced as 'presumed dead'. After his disappearance in 1995 the band continued and in 1996 they released their acclaimed album 'Everything must go'. It contained lyrics for five songs by Richey Edwards. Here's one of the tracks he wrote from the album, and it's also a favorite of mine called 'Kevin Carter'.





Unfortunately I have not kept up with the Manic's releases after the year 2000. Although, while I still listen to their earlier work, I hope to get to listen to more of their recent albums soon in time. I would also like to see the band live in concert someday. 
Perhaps I'll come back here one day and update this blog. But for now, here's lead man for the Manic's, James Dean Bradfield singing two more of my favorite songs. The first song below was their first UK number one and it's also in the Guinness Book of Records as the number one single with the longest title without brackets. It's called 'If you tolerate this your children will be next'. The second song 'Motorcycle Emptiness' is from their 1992 debut album 'Generation Terrorists'. It's a full-on melodic tune said to be about capitalism and it's fake reality. Good Stuff!!!






Manic Street Preachers



Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends. I also recommend reading about Manic Street Preachers on allmusic. There's also a Finnish website called MANIC FINLAND.


Read more Hogan's Heroes of Music
The Beatles




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Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 



                     




Saturday, February 18, 2012

Helsinki Artoteque celebrates 17 years!




Last weekend I was invited to birthday celebrations held at an art gallery in Helsinki. But this wasn't just any art gallery, this particular gallery was called Artoteque, or Taidelainaamo in Finnish. 


This gallery is situated on Rikhardinkatu, only a five minute walk from the main Esplanade walkway, right in the heart of Helsinki. The gallery is part of the Rikhardinkatu library, a fine old building also worth a visit.

The street entrance to Artoteque (left) which is situated only a few steps away from the main entrance to Rikhardinkatu Library (right). 


On this occasion I was greeted with a nice cup of coffee and some biscuits served to me by the lovely Eeva Muona, manager of the Rikhardinkatu Artoteque. On this day they were celebrating 17 years since the gallery was established back in 1995.  The Artoteque displays works of art by members of the Helsinki Artists' Association, which comprise of over 700 professional artists. The selection of art works include 3000 paintings, drawings, graphics, sculptures and photographs. I must mention and say a special thank you to Riitta, a friendly and informative lady working at the gallery who talked to me during my visit. The Artoteque is open every Tuesday to Friday,12.00-18.00 and Saturday/Sunday, 12.00-16.00.

The main collection and reception area at the Artoteque in Helsinki.


The concept of the Artoteque allows members of the public to come and view art from a selection of Helsinki's best professional artists. If interested they have the option to buy or rent the artworks available. Customers can also be private persons, corporations or organisations. The idea of paying for a piece of art through installments is quite refreshing for me as an artist. I realise that purchasing a piece of art can sometimes be expensive, so I think it's good to have such a set-up in place. It makes art more accessible to those who really desire a certain work but can't afford the full cost immediately. It may also suit those looking to purchase from a notable artist as an investment.

I can't imagine this arrangement would work everywhere however. I guess a high level of trust and respect must be adhered to between the customer and the seller for it to work smoothly. But then, trust is taken very seriously here in Finland, so it doesn't seem to come into the equation too often. There are a few similar artoteques to this in other cities and towns around Finland, but I have been informed that the Rikhardinkatu Artoteque has the largest selection of artists and artworks to choose from in Finland.





My own impression from my visit last weekend was one of inspiration and ideas. I found the variety of styles, colours and techniques that surrounded me truthfully inspiring. I am always seeking to adapt new ideas and techniques to progress my own art, and I wasn't short here! Also, in commercial matters I have only ever sold my art in one single payment, whether it be selling locally or to someone on the other side of the world. Having said this, if I suddenly receive any interests from clients in Finland enquiring about either renting or buying my work through installments I would certainly consider it.





To sell your art at Artoteque you must be a member of Helsinki Artists Association. Which is why I paused with the thought of joining this association. But the fact is that I would need to be a resident of Helsinki to qualify for membership to both the association and the gallery. Nevermind, I took with me back to my home in Karis a bucketful of thoughts and plenty of ideas for my own artwork.

This little anniversary celebration was filmed by YLE, the Finnish national television broadcaster, which you can check out here at 05.50 on this link. YLE news
The footage is of course in Finnish, but you can see some of the wonderful art and layout of the gallery. And you have the bonus of watching me looking like I know something about art. Don't blink now or you'll miss me!!!

Happy Birthday Artoteque!


Thanks for reading my blog and feel free to share with all your friends.

-Alan

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