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The Richmond Review: "the French connection" Painter pushes boundaries of contemporary art for the sake of Mankind
Philippe Sokazo is out to rescue the world from boredom. Dull and dark? Nuh uh. Try bright and sunny. Sokazo is a contemporary French painter whose vibrant acrylic paintings of fluid lines, shapes and bright colours have found life beyond the canvas. His art has become attached to jewelry, rugs, tiles, cigar humidors, wine bottles, clothing and even cars. “It is still a part of my dream to change our everyday life. I think everything is boring sometimes,” says the 45-year-old from his Vancouver home. His artwork is part of a five artist Richmond Art Gallery exhibition entitled Shift, Working Through Repetition and Difference, which opens today. Together, the artists explore change, repetition and perpetual production, along with themes that include calls for social change. Sokazo was born in Toulouse, France and lived and developed his bold style in Europe before settling in Vancouver two years ago. He was raised by a family of musicians and art collectors, who lined walls with works of artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Kees van Dongen. His family also had works of 20th century contemporary French painter Henri Matisse, whose decoupages (paper cut-outs) had a deep impact on Sokazo as a child. He promised himself if he ever became a painter, he would do the same. It was on to University of Toulouse, where Sokazo studied ethnology, and he later studied art at the Beaux-Arts School in Paris. He travelled the world for inspiration, including a stop in Miami, where he worked as art director for Teen magazine. His artwork made a splash in France thanks to its striking lines, humour and colour. Soon the winemakers were calling, looking for splashy new labels. Other product deals followed, including one with Mercedes-Benz, for which he created energized exterior designs. For the man who wants to splash the earth with colour, it’s hard to say no. “My life is like that. I try to change a little bit every day, my world,” he says. “All the kids need to have hope, and if the kids see something different—not grey but orange—they can say, ‘Wow we can do anything. We can change the planet. ’” Sokazo carried that momentum to Canada. Now in Vancouver, he’s found new inspiration and a welcoming environment for his art. He’s shown his work at onepointsix, the city’s experimental design studio and art gallery, and the trendy False Creek warehouse gallery Snap Contemporary Art will soon also show his work. At Richmond’s gallery Sokazo will have three to six pieces of interpreted and invented landscapes that fit with the exhibition’s theme of working in repetition, as Sokazo’s shapes and colours are recurrent. “At the end, I’m not so contemporary, because I love to paint the landscape—landscape from my imagination, but from your imagination also, because if you’re eyes are going everywhere in my painting, you find a place right for you, or something talking to you. ”Each piece in the show—from all the artists—also represents a lot of work, which isn’t necessarily evident to viewers. Sokazo takes one month to complete each painting to make perfect his flat colours and multi-dimensional shapes, which he creates with no masking. “It’s a long long process of repetition,” he says. “That’s the reason why I keep care of my eyes. ”In France, people love his work. In Canada, he says, people are crazy about it. “They feel joy inside because of the colours and composition, ”he says. “For me, it’s a present to satisfy the people.” Matthew Hoekstra Arts & Entertainment ReporterKonica Centuria ISO 100 film review
a lab i sometimes use for processing gave me a free roll of konica centuria 100 film to test out. obviously this isn't really Konica branded any longer (since KM was bought by Sony). but same chemicals/emulsions and mfr'd in the same plant as it always had been. i believe it is now DNP Centuria ISO 100 film. and i think they stopped manufacturing it about may 2009. not sure though. i had no idea what to expect. i was just told to try it. i asked it if rated accurately (at ISO 100). the guy looked at me sideways like i misplaced my brain in another room or something, "it is 100 speed film, what're you talking about?". duh, nevermind... i would have to say that without a doubt, this is the wonkiest, most unpredictable film i have prolly ever shot with. color scatters towards the blue/green palette in one frame, oranges the next. deeply saturated colors here. i'm serious. exposure latitude isn't very good for a 100 speed film. blows highlights faster than any 100 speed negative film i've ever used. DMAX has to be really low... like under-the-rug-limbo low. maybe 2.8 or 3.0 at best. very little shadow (three-quarter tone) detail. this film stock is troublesome to scan, because the colors can fluctuate and only seem to hold good values in the mid-tones. but the lush colors are pretty interesting. it's not 'crisp' or 'fresh' colors like velvia. it's not quite the oversaturated and nearly cross-processed look of the lomo 100 color neg film. often times, i think the word many would use to decribe the 'look' and color palette of this film is "vintage." it is just a different animal IMHO. good news? if you want wonky wackiness from your lomo diana, holga, brownie, or film slr... this film can deliver happy accidents like prolly no other.
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