Joe Xuereb, Sculptor, Gozo

DSCF4284 (Large)His idols are Henry Moore, Fernando Botero and Auguste Rodin. Joe Xuereb was 19 years old when he created his first limestone sculpture. At this time, in 1973, Gozo was a less developed island in the Mediterranean. The time passed there much slower than on the big sister island of Malta.DSCF4346 (Large)

I met him in his studio in the small village of Ghajnsielem on Gozo.

DSCF4280 (Large)Everything started with Mary Claridge from the UK. The lady opened a crafts center on the island at the end of the 1960s. „My sister was sewing clothes for her. Therefore I came as a delivery boy to her house“, says Joe, who was born in 1954. „I saw her working with stones.“  It was the first time he touched them. Her stones. „My father was a stone dresser but I have never been interested in that material“, he admits today. He saw the encounter with Mary as a challenge. A real challenge! „I wanted to prove myself.“ He created a coffee table out of 2 stones with an elaborate design on top.

Mary also encouraged the locals to make in art. „And she sold my table within 3 weeks.“ She told me not to work with ornamental designs but rather with smaller ones.

DSCF4286 (Large)More and more he got inspired by the prehistorical sites of his homeland. He created fertility goddesses and repeated the process again and again. The stylized female figure has acquired symbolic stature as an expression of fertility and sexual power in an equal measure. Today he is proud of starting as an autodidact.

Female forms and women figures belong to his main work. „I go in my studio when I feel I have to. I am working every day, even on Sundays, most of the times for more than 4 hours“, he states. And he is a real local from Gozo. „We always had a different mentality than the people from neighbouring Malta. We use simple tools until today, we always had to think how to survive.“DSCF4312 (Large)

A French Magazine referred to him one time as the „Botero of Gozo“. I mention this and he is a bit proud. Of course, he can be proud of this comparison. His works are found in private collections all over Europe, in the US and Australia. His art is also represented in various exhibitons all over the globe.DSCF4336 (Large)DSCF4259 (Large)DSCF4272 (Large)

www.joexuereb.com

Photos: Enric Boixadós

Kama Sutra, Khajuraho

IMG_4761 (Large)IMG_4826 (Large)IMG_4829 (Large)The temples of Khajuraho were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. during the Chandela dynasty of Central India. After the decline of the Chandela dynasty in 13th century, the temples were left under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years, which gave the city of Khajuraho its name, Khajur in Hindi means a date. In 1838, a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered them. By that time only 22 of the original 85 temples had survived. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world.

These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical poem to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty’s passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures; the temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.

More about Sadhus, the holy men of India. Here at sl4lifestyle.

Picasso, Kulturspeicher Wuerzburg

Picasso, Tête de Faune, Kopf des Faun, 1962, Farblinolschnitt, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succes~1

Picasso, Tête de Faune, Kopf des Faun, 1962, Farblinolschnitt, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succes~1

Kulturspeicher Wuerzburg

till January 17, 2016.

Graphics from the Kunstpalast Museum’s collection, Duesseldorf.

Pablo Picasso is, without a doubt, the most famous artist of the 20th century. The artist was not only active as a painter and sculptor, but also left behind an extensive collection of graphic works. From his first etching in 1904 until the last years of his life, prints remained an integral part of his work, totalling eventually 2.400 images.

Picasso, Françoise, 1946, Farblithographie, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succession PicassoVG Bild~1

Picasso, Françoise, 1946, Farblithographie, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succession PicassoVG Bild~1

One is amazed not only by the magnitude of this productivity, but also by the technical diversity of his graphics. Picasso made use of the full spectrum of graphic techniques, ranging from drypoint, aquatint, lithography and linocut, to rare and complex methods such as sugar lift and experimental combinations of various techniques.

Picasso, Trois Nus debout, Drei stehende Akte, 1927, Radierung, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succe~1

Picasso, Trois Nus debout, Drei stehende Akte, 1927, Radierung, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succe~1

The themes of his graphics mirror his entire painting universe: figurative representations with portrait characteristics appear alongside still lives, animal illustrations and allegorical and mythological scenes. Most of the time, they were linked to his personal fortunes, often a direct reflection of his daily routine. Whenever he was inspired by literary works, he took the freedom of reinterpreting the original texts and gave characters, such as the bull-man „Minotaur“, both positive and negative features.

Picasso, Maternité, Mutterschaft, 1924, Radierung, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succession Picasso~1

Picasso, Maternité, Mutterschaft, 1924, Radierung, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succession Picasso~1

With a total of 73 prints, the Stiftung Kunstmuseum Duesseldorf (Duesseldorf Art Museum Foundation) possesses a graphic cross-section of most of the artist’s creative phases from the 1920s on. Among these are unique prints, such as the rare 1924 etching „Maternité“ (Maternity) or the 1929 figure (Bather Opening a Cabin), as well as series and portfolios such as the illustrations for the story „Chef d’oeuvre inconnu“ (1952) by Honoré de Balzac, or prints from the famous „Suite Vollard“, a series of graphics purchased from Picasso by the art dealer Ambroise Vollard, which was only published after Vollard’s death at the end of the 1940s.

Picasso, Le départ, Der Aufbruch, 1951, Farblithographie, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succession ~1

Picasso, Le départ, Der Aufbruch, 1951, Farblithographie, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © Succession ~1

The portfolio of bullfighting depictions „La Tauromaquia“ (1959) – inspired by José Delgado y Galvet’s book which explained, for the first time in 1796, the process of bullfighting – is complete, as well as the enigmatic series „Poèmes et Lithographies“ (1960), where, on each plate, Picasso inscribed individual, somewhat surreal handwritten texts which contrast with the masterful illustrations.

Picasso, Tête de taureau, tournée à gauche, Stierkopf, nach links gedreht, 1948, Lithographie, Museum ~1

Picasso, Tête de taureau, tournée à gauche, Stierkopf, nach links gedreht, 1948, Lithographie, Museum ~1

Picasso, Paloma et Claude, 1950, Farblithographie, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf © Succession PicassoV~1

Picasso, Paloma et Claude, 1950, Farblithographie, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf © Succession PicassoV~1

In a 1968 multiple-figures scene, which is part of a vast graphic series, the 87-year old artist reunites once again the themes of his painting theatre: painter and model, the different stages of life, allegories of freedom (the lamb), masculine strength (the horse), tamed by the tender gesture of the figure on the right, and erotic obsessions – so to speak the banishment of fear, just a few years before the artist’s death, and the longing for mythical happiness.

Picasso, Petite Tête de femme couronnée, Kleiner Frauenkopf mit Krone, 1962, Farblinolschnitt, Museum ~1

Picasso, Petite Tête de femme couronnée, Kleiner Frauenkopf mit Krone, 1962, Farblinolschnitt, Museum ~1

On the occasion of the exhibition at the Museum im Kulturspeicher in Wuerzburg, the collection of Picasso’s graphic works from the Kunstmuseum Duesseldorf will be published for the first time. A selection of photographs, taken by Hubertus Hierl in 1966 when Picasso was visiting a bullfight in Arles, complete the exhibition.

Picasso, Figure, Figur (Badende in der Kabine), 1929, Lithographie, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © S~1

Picasso, Figure, Figur (Badende in der Kabine), 1929, Lithographie, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, © S~1

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

IMG_3881 (Large) IMG_3937 (Large)This UNESCO World Heritage Site serves as a memorial to the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The mausoleum was built from 1562-1572 AD with the help of Persian architects, Sayyed Muhammad ibn Mirak Ghiyathuddin and his father Mirak Ghiyathuddin, who were brought in from Herat (Afghanistan). The tomb clearly exhibits the influence of Persian art and was a landmark in establishing some of the essential norms for later Mughal mausoleums in India.IMG_3852 (Large) IMG_3843 (Large)It was definitely one of my favourite spots in the busy town of Delhi. It was good to enjoy the quietness of the place after the stress of the huge Indian city.IMG_3876 (Large)