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Category: Art.

Beautiful chaos.

Graanmarkt 13 is a boutique which houses stylish high-end fashion, curious design objects and collectibles. Items that inspire and feel like coming home, carefully selected by Graanmarkt 13, run by old mutual friends of mine, Tim and Ilse.

Graamarkt 13 also houses a restaurant run by Seppe Nobels who learned his trade in the kitchens of top chefs such as Gianni Brunelli (Osteria le Logge, Siena) and Wout Bru (Chez Bru, Eygalières). He takes the honest, regional cuisine to a higher level and was voted ‘best junior chef in Belgium’ in 2005.

In collaboration with Bart Belmans, Seppe turned all available space of Graanmarkt 13’s garden and rooftops into a genuine city garden. Turning it into a small-scale nursery-garden growing herbs, wild plants and forgotten vegetables.

Vegetables grow happily in the garden of Graanmarkt 13 while herbs stretch towards the light on the roof terrace. Their own bees provide heavenly honey and the optimal pollination of their kitchen garden. What they can’t grow themselves, they get from close by: fish from the North Sea, meat from carefully selected farmers in the local area. Their farmers raise their animals outdoors with a commitment for high quality and healthy foods.

In fact the city-garden barely qualifies for the term since its agricultural area encompasses as much as 40 m2. At first sight, this does not seem much, but it is sufficient to harvest part of the season’s herbs and vegetables for Seppe’s dishes.
In it you’ll even find several themes: a Mediterranean garden, a sea-garden, a vegetable- and fruit-garden, and onion-garden and a shadow-garden. Go for a three course lunch while shopping!







Hide and seek.

During one of my recurring work trips I happened to end up in Antwerp, Belgium for an overnight stay. Instead of rushing back to Amsterdam my boyfriend and I decided to stay for a romantic evening in Antwerp. And so I happend to end up spending a night in one of the most charming bed & breakfast’s of Antwerp Boulevard Leopold .

A beautiful house dating from the 19th century in the middle of the Jewish quarter of Antwerp. Owned by Bert Verschueren and Vincent Defontainers, Boulevard Leopold is located between the Albert Park and the City Park; the owners say their aim in the interiors was to create a sense of “forgotten glory.”

With three regular rooms for rent and two larger apartments available on longer terms, the B&B, built in 1890, features a mix of intact antique and contemporary design Hardware from that period throughout the entire B&B.

One fine line comes up while staying there “the eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” Henri Bergson (French Philosopher, 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature, 1859-1941)

Some special things you should look out for when staying there:

A tabletop adorned with cloche-covered hydrangeas and black candles in crystal.

A black-stained cabinet of curiosities covered with a mix of old books, antique crucifixes, and animal specimen.

A bathroom with tiles from 1900 in one of the two apartments available for long-term lease.

And last but not least the jungle-like dining room where the B&B serves residents breakfast; for those not staying at Boulevard Leopold, breakfast is still available for €10. When staying there I would really recommend room number 01!








Solar cells.

Imagine if every object worked as a solar cell?

Marjan van Aubel created a collection of everyday objects that absorb energy from daylight!

This solar glassware gathers energy from the light around it. Whether you are drinking from your glass or have left it on the side, it is constantly working to gather energy.

The solar cells are completely integrated into the objects themselves, a unique self-sufficient system. When you put the glass away, the specially designed cabinet itself collects and stores this energy; it’s a way to gather and harvest energy all within one room. The cabinet works as a battery; this power can be adapted in many ways, from charging your phone to powering a light source.

Within each glass is a photovoltaic layer of dye Synthesized Solar Cell. This means that the properties of colour are being used to create an electrical current. This technology was invented by Michael Graetzel at EPFL. It is a technique based on the process of photosynthesis in plants. Like the green chlorophyll which absorbs light energy, the colours in these cells collect energy.

Graetzel uses a porous Titanium dioxide layer soaked with photosensitive dye – a natural pigment extracted from the juice of blueberries or spinach. He discovered that the dye that gives the red or blue colour to berries, gives off an electron when light strikes it. One side of the glass is positive, the other negative and when the cell is exposed to light, the dye transmits its electrons to the titanium dioxide and releases an electronic current.

The glassware uses sunlight as a sustainable source of energy, but can also work under diffused light. This makes them much more efficient for use inside the home compared to standard solar panels, which only work in direct sunlight and are not suitable for indoor use.

Different colours mean different properties. Each colour has a unique wavelength and collects different currents. For example, blueberries and raspberries have their own voltages and levels of efficiency according to the colour spectrum.

How cool is this?




Jimmy Nelson.

Jimmy Nelson (Sevenoaks, Kent, 1967) started working as a photographer in 1987. Having spent 10 years at a Jesuit boarding school in the North of England, he set off on his own to traverse the length of Tibet on foot. The journey lasted a year and upon his return his unique visual diary, featuring revealing images of a previously inaccessible Tibet, was published to wide international acclaim.

Soon after, he was commissioned to cover a variety of culturally newsworthy themes, ranging from the Russian involvement in Afghanistan and the ongoing strife between India and Pakistan in Kashmir to the beginning of the war in former Yugoslavia.

In early 1994 he and his Dutch wife produced Literary Portraits of China, a 30 month project that brought them to all the hidden corners of the newly opening People’s Republic. Upon its completion the images were exhibited in the People’s Palace on Tiananmen Square, Beijing, and then followed by a worldwide tour.

From 1997 onwards Jimmy began to successfully undertake commercial advertising assignments for many of the world’s leading brands. At the same time he started accumulating images of remote and unique cultures photographed with a traditional 50-year-old plate camera. Many awards followed. When he started to successfully and internationally exhibit and sell these images, this created the subsequent momentum and enthusiasm for the initiation of Before they Pass Away.

One of my favourite series of the 30 tribes he photographed is the series on the ancient Arctic Chukchi community who live on the peninsula of the Chukotka. Unlike other native groups of Siberia, they have never been conquered by Russian troops. Their environment and traditional culture endured destruction under Soviet rule, by weapons testing and pollution.

Due to the harsh climate and difficulty of life in the tundra, hospitality and generosity are highly prized among the Chukchi. They believe that all natural phenomena are considered to have their own spirits. Traditional lifestyle still survives but is increasingly supplemented.








Hans Feurer.

Hans Feurer has been a mainstay of fashion photography since the late 1960s, but despite his influence, this legendary photographer has had no books dedicated to his work–until now. Feurer’s career has certainly been an illustrious, star-studded and influential one, and the models who were his subjects, the designers he profiled and the leading publications which featured his work comprise a roll call of the highest echelons of the fashion and magazine worlds. Feurer has shot for Vogue, Nova, Elle and many more leading publications. One of his most famous advertising campaigns was for Kenzo in 1983, which immortalized Iman and secured her status as an iconic supermodel of the period. Before embarking on a career in photography, Feurer worked as a graphic designer and art director. Traces of these previous careers are detectable throughout his work, evidenced by his careful compositions and precise styling. Emmanuelle Alt, the editor of French Vogue, has revived Feurer’s photographic career, and he is now widely referenced by top photographers such as Inez & Vinoodh. Designed by Fabien Baron, and lavishly illustrated with 175 photographs, this overview is a must-have for collectors of fashion photography books. It presents the photographer’s most iconic images from throughout the years, in a fascinating mélange of fashion styles and trends. Hans Feurer was born in Switzerland in 1939. After studying art in Switzerland, he worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and artistic director in London. In 1966, he traveled to Africa, during which trip he decided to become a photographer. He returned to London and began to compile a portfolio. Source. Here is some amazing work of his for Kenzo











Print is not dead.

Anthology: a shelter and lifestyle magazine that takes a narrative approach to its coverage of home decor, travel, design, entertaining, and culture.

Each issue is conceived as a collection of stories, all centered around a theme. The first issue focused on “The Slow Life” and included articles about an artist’s cozy Berkeley abode; a Chicago designer who handcrafts beautiful furniture; the joys of a modern-day cutting garden; and a fun, not fussy, dinner party. The second issue explored “Where the Past Meets the Present,” while the third celebrates the notion that “Life is a Party.”

Anthology is packed with thoughtful columns and features, stunning photography, and compelling graphics—totaling more than 120 pages. Since they are a reader-supported publication with a limited number of ads, there’s plenty of content to enjoy. The magazine is printed on matte finish stock that is eco-friendly. The perfect size for tucking into a bag and taking to the coffee shop, or on the bus or plane.

By buying or subscribing to Anthology, you’re not only supporting an independent magazine, you’re confirming what we’ve believed all along: print is not dead.





Just Like You is a series of video portraits that showcases creative individuals who are doing meaningful work around the world, and in August, new videos will be launched, this time on supermodel Christy Turlington and archbishop Desmond Tutu.

As part of this series, a special limited-edition product is created. Both Christy and Desmond created a T-shirt, which will launch with their videos. All proceeds from Christy Turlington’s shirt will benefit Every Mother Counts, which is a campaign to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world; and all proceeds from Desmond Tutu’s T-shirt will benefit the Desmond & Leah Tutu Foundation, which leverages the legacy of the archbishop to enable peace in the world. Both items will be available through the Just Like You website.





Steak and chicken are the order of the day at Tramshed. The menu is simple – seasonal sharing starters, followed by chicken or steak .

Yesterday we teamed up at the mezzanine floor for a Citizens of Humanity elevated private dining with views of the restaurant and the specially commissioned artwork by Damien Hirst featuring of course, a cow and a cockerel.

To celebrate the opening of Tramshed, Damien Hirst created a sculpture specifically for the restaurant. ‘Cock and Bull’ (2012). A Hereford cow and cockerel preserved in a steel and glass tank of formaldehyde – is installed 4 metres above diners. The work forms part of the ‘Natural History’ series, Hirst’s seminal collection of preserved animals.

Alongside Hirst’s monumental formaldehyde work, the artist has created a painting entitled ‘Beef and Chicken’ (2012) specifically for the restaurant. Installed at the mezzanine level, the painting depicts the 1990s cartoon characters ‘Cow and Chicken’ (Cartoon Network).

Take a walk downstairs to see our very own The Cock ‘n’ Bull Art Gallery. Mark Hix is known for his love of art and the exhibitions change every 6 weeks.

The famous grade-2 listed tramshed building on Garden Walk and Rivington Street was designed by Vincent Harris and built in 1905 as an electricity generating facility for the Tramway System.

Away from the restaurant is Mark’s Library Kitchen. As the name suggests Mark’s extensive cookery book collection surrounds the walls of his demonstration kitchen. Here, Mark is hosting exclusive one-night only events this autumn, collaborating with celebrated chefs from across the country to demonstrate and cook a 4 course meal with wine to match.

The latest addition to the artwork at Tramshed comes in the form of street art from RUN (a wall painter from Italy) and Dscreet (A graffiti artist from Australia who paints owls). As I learned yesterday during a Street Art tour in East London.







This summer, Somerset House hosts ‘I Only Want You to Love Me’ – a major retrospective of photographer Miles Aldridge‘s work, to coincide with the publication of the book by the same name, published by Rizzoli. This is the largest exhibition of his work to date and will include large-scale photographic prints from throughout his career including previously unpublished material as well as hand-drawn story-boards, drawings, polaroids and magazines, offering an intimate insight into Aldridge’s point of view and process.

Women and colour are Aldridge’s twin obsessions. His work is filled with glamorous, beautiful women from dazed housewives and decadent beauties to sunbathing sexpots and ecstatic Virgin Marys. Luscious colours dazzle from every image – blood red ketchup splashes against a black and white floor; a mouth drips with gold; egg yolk oozes across a plate. But the technicolour dream world of seemingly perfect women with blank expressions belies a deeper sense of disturbance and neurosis. Look more closely and there is silent screaming, a head pushed down on a bed, a face covered in polythene, a woman pushing an empty swing.

Aldridge’s work has never been constrained by the demands of the fashion world. Working like an auteur filmmaker, his view of the world is wide and deep. His many influences include film directors such as David Lynch and Federico Fellini; the styled elegance of fashion photographer Richard Avedon and the psychedelic illustrations of his father, Alan Aldridge. Each image is immaculately crafted, often starting with story-board drawings so that the final image lies somewhere between cinema and photography.

Born in London in 1964, Aldridge studied illustration at Central St Martins, and briefly directed music videos before becoming a fashion photographer in the mid-90s. He has published his work in many influential magazines including Vogue Italia, American Vogue, Numéro, The New York Times and The New Yorker. His work was showcased in Weird Beauty at the International Center for Photography in New York in 2009, and he has works in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Reflex Art Gallery Amsterdam will show his latest work during next edition of Unseen Photo Fair Amsterdam