Eve and Eve inverted

October 30, 2014

All morning busy working on my friend’s website to get it ready in time for his show coming up next month.

Since the pregnant housewife I was straying way from Brassai’s and Bellocq’s prostitutes for a moment, taking it even a step or two back in time and looking at Van der Goes and Van der Weyden, which I love, but it’s late, so if you don’t know them you please look them up on your own now, for time being just my Eve of today, she has a bit of Kiki Smith to her, but that’s alright, perhaps Kiki Smith also likes Northern Renaissance?


Josiane Keller - Eve

Josiane Keller “Eve” (2014)

She’s a bit dark, so I checked how it would look like inverted:

Josiane Keller - Eve inverted

Josiane Keller “Eve inverted” (2014)

Oh well, there she is after all (my absolute favourite painting ever and at all times, and I am posting it frequently):

Hugo van der Goes - Fall of Man

Hugo van der Goes “Fall of Man” (1479)

Eve, the ultimate prostitute, from a prudish perspective, anyways, an incredibly beautiful painting and times have changed, so we’re all good (I hope!) Now off to bed now, sorry for only a short post, and good night!

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Pregnant housewife

October 27, 2014

To compare with the working ladies, a pregnant housewife right here:

Josiane Keller - pregnant housewife

Josiane Keller “pregnant housewife” (2014)

Has something of a Gothic Madonna, not without reason I suppose.

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John Ernest Joseph Bellocq’s Storyville Portraits with scratched out faces and a little bit of Balthus

October 27, 2014

Checking for more images, I came across the photographer, John Ernest Joseph Bellocq (1873 – 1949) who took these portraits of Storyville (New Orleans’ red light district) prostitutes, and the fact that photographer Lee Friedlander bought them, reprinted and published them in a book in 1970:

Storyville Portraits; Photographs from the New Orleans red-light-district, circa 1912, Museum of Modern Art; distributed by New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, Conn; First Edition edition (1970)”

Here wiki’s wisdom on Bellocqhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._J._Bellocq

further, there was a show of the 89 re-prints at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1970 and in 1996 a show at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, which offers a bit more info in compact form, which you can read here:


and here some images, the interesting part (for me) is: the scratched out faces (not all have scratched out faces, but some):

Bellocq - Storyville portraits - 1912

Bellocq “Storyville portraits” (~1912)

Bellocq - Storyville portraits - 1912

Bellocq “Storyville portraits” (~1912)

(* a divan seems to be most essential for the turn-of-the-century-prostitute)

Bellocq - Storyville portraits - 1912

 Bellocq “Storyville portraits” (~1912)

Bellocq - Storyville portraits - 1912

Bellocq “Storyville portraits” (~1912)

This one does not have a scratched out face and seems to be also very much clothed and from what I can judge even very decent, but I love the carpet and above all the nice black backdrop, (this besides the fact that I am anyways a fan of fluffy stolas):

Bellocq - Storyville portraits - 1912

Bellocq “Storyville portraits” (~1912)

Josiane Keller - portrait ala Bellocq, Storyville

Josiane Keller “portrait ala Bellocq, Storyville” (2014)

- and then I liked this one a lot, as it is the only one that does not look like an advertisement for prostitution with a bruised eye and actually NOT a scratched-out-face but instead a close-up:

Bellocq - Storyville portraits - 1912

 Bellocq “Storyville portraits” (~1912)

compare with:

Josiane Keller - street scene - E. at work

Josiane Keller “street scene – E. at work” (2014)

Can’t seem to get enough of these, this one is amazing:

Bellocq - Storyville portraits - 1912

Bellocq “Storyville portraits” (~1912)

Whoever scratched around on these didn’t only have an issue with her face (or identity, or perhaps documenting her identity like that?) but also with a well developed nipple facing the viewer.

And then there is this one:

Bellocq - Storyville portraits - 1912

Bellocq “Storyville portraits” (~1912)

Further, please compare with a famous painting by the Swiss painter Balthus, “Nude Before  a Mirror”, particularly these last two poses remind me of his work, (*yes I messed with it a bit, but look):

Balthus - Nude before a Mirror (adjusted) - 1955

Balthus “Nude before a Mirror”, adjusted  (1955)

If you want to see the original version look here: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1975.1.155,

and if you want to know more about the painter, you could for example read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthus

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Brief Interlude: Sunday morning spam and Tani Buncho’s “grasses and moon” and a spammy idea

October 26, 2014

I had been waiting for this since a while,  nice, deep, uplifting and above all poetic spam in my comment box, and finally the long wait has paid off, here it is, by a person who calls himself no less but “sex”. This is what he has to say (being almost a poem I think I should print it in verse form:


“Valuable information. Fortunate me

I found your site unintentionally, and

I’m shocked


this coincidence didn’t happened

in advance!”


Pretty, huh? Thank you, Mr. sex, for the compliment, I love the ZEN in your message. It is more of less a love declaration, don’t you think?

Hang on, what is missing here is a Chinese ink scroll painting involving a person and a willow…

I found something even better, so all together it should be like this:

 Tani Buncho - grasses and moon - 1817“Valuable information. Fortunate me

I found your site unintentionally, and

I’m shocked


this coincidence didn’t happened

in advance!”

Tani Buncho  “grasses and moon” (1817)


Very famous scroll by Japanese artist Tani Buncho (1763 – 1841), more on him here:


Oh well, enough poetry and ink scrolls, back to work.


Oh, there is another spam, look:

“It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.”

What a brilliant idea! Thanks, mate.

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New girl on the block

October 25, 2014

New girl working, her name is “Better than Claudia”:

Josiane Keller - Better than Claudia - 4 views

Josiane Keller “Better than Claudia – 4 views” (2014)

she’s the Mungo’s favourite (he likes his women mature and chunky), but let’s wait what other girls pop up over time.

*Hmmm, nice shot but we need more Laterne…

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Still at work… small prostitute with a clochet

October 23, 2014

Same girl from last night, now more dry and upright:

Josiane Keller - small prostitute with a clochet 3

Josiane Keller “small prostitute with a clochet 3″ (2014)

Josiane Keller - small prostitute with a clochet 4

Josiane Keller “small prostitute with a clochet 4″ (2014)

Of course not all my idea…:

Brassai - Rue Quincampoix 1932

Brassai “Rue Quincampoix” (1932)

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An e-mail by Miranda Carolina from the LA Times and a new small prostitute with a clochet

October 22, 2014

This morning I received this e-mail and matching with the subject I first thought it is spam, then learning there is indeed a lady working for the LA times with that name, I thought maybe someone pretending to be her and trying God knows what joke next, but no, it was really the lady herself (who seems to start work VERY early in the morning!):
” Message Body:
Hi Josiane: My name is Carolina and I’m a staff writer at the LA Times. I’m doing a story about the whole World Wide Art Fair thing and saw your post. Any chance you could tell me when they invited you to be in the fair? I’m trying to get some sense of chronology on when they did what. (Since a good fair involves lots of advance planning.)

My cell is [xyz] and my email address is [abc] I’m on deadline for this morning.

Carolina ”

So I made it simple and called her back and she is really writing about this “World Wide Art Fair” I had received an “invitation” for, if you wanted to say so, last October and had written in a post about it all (something about ‘art spam’). I forwarded her all the info I have nicely saved in an e-mail folder called “art spam shite”.

This is the article she (or rather Catherine Wagley in this case)  wrote on it so far, I was amazed to learn that this “art fair” apparently even took place, I thought they would only take the money and run:


I am not surprised.

And further whilst listening to many Grayson Perry interviews, I created the next small prostitute, which is wearing a clochet, and just for the heck of it I am presenting her here drying in my studio as an inverted picture just to see what that looks like:

Josiane Keller - small prostitute with a clochet

Josiane Keller “small prostitute with a clochet” (2014)

 Josiane Keller - small prostitute with a clochet 2

Josiane Keller “small prostitute with a clochet 2″ (2014)

oh… and a VERY exhausted Mungo right here:

Josiane Keller - Mungo and Deputy Madame at Suzy's

Josiane Keller “Mungo and Deputy Madame at Suzy’s” (2014)

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More Little Red Riding Hood, or: “better” ones, and more transvestite heads from clay in Honor of Grayson Perry with and without hair and crowns and what it all means

October 22, 2014

Since more or less nobody was apparently able to detect my earlier drawing of Little Red Riding Hood my pride as a draftswoman was triggered, or rather as a ‘more effective communicator through the media of drawing’, and so I made a second version, equally quiggly, but hopefully this one everybody can understand, have a look:

Josiane Keller - Little Red Riding Hood wearing a Wolf

Josiane Keller “Little Red Riding Hood wearing a Wolf” (2014)

Can you understand it now what I mean? So the image shows Little Red Riding Hood wearing a wolf skin or skinned as well like a shaman cloak. Associations are up to you, that is where the art comes in.

And then I made hair or rather a wig from clay for a head from clay, and now it is a transvestite head in honor of Grayson Perry, and I made him also a crown, and it is an interesting mediation piece where you can think about the difference of people with or without hair or people with or without crowns, for instance like this:

Josiane Keller - transvestite head with crown four times

Josiane Keller “transvestite head with crown four times” (2014)

But of course order of images is very important, because we assume there is a connection, in fact a linear connection, which has to do with how our human memory works in relation to the experience of time in linear form. Although that does not always work like that, depending on how traumatized we are, for example, or how drugged or drunk or in love, these questions apply.

So to compare I made a second version, which looks like this:

Josiane Keller - transvestite head with crown four times 2

Josiane Keller “transvestite head with crown four times 2″ (2014)

Which means what? That is up to you. Now back to more clay prostitutes, I suppose…

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Brueghel’s “The Dutch Proverbs”, the “Blue Cloak”, a new outfit for Grayson Perry cross-dressing and Little Red Riding Hood

October 20, 2014

If you listened to the 2013 Reith Lectures on BBC4 you know that Grayson Perry likes Brueghel. (I like Brueghel as well, hurrah!)

So there is a famous Brueghel called “The Dutch Proverbs” showing an illustration of well, the Dutch Proverbs and it looks like this:

Pieter Brueghel the Elder - The Dutch Proverbs

Pieter Brueghel the Elder “The Dutch Proverbs” (1559)


and right in the center you see a lady in a red dress hanging a guy (her husband) a blue cloak over (meaning she is cheating on him):

Pieter Brueghel the Elder - The Dutch Proverbs - The Blue Cloak

Pieter Brueghel the Elder “The Dutch Proverbs /The Blue Cloak” (1559)

It is further a well-known fact to the Grayson Perry -fan that he has the fashion students at Central Saint Martins design his cross-dressing outfits.

Somehow in connection with thinking about a possible interesting new outfit for Grayson I thought about, why one would cross-dress anyways and the whole idea of putting on a woman’s outfit, and had the idea of putting on a whole “woman” like a cloak, or like a shaman, as cross-dressing and masks have some shamanistic quality to them.

It would look something like this:

Josiane Keller Grayson Perry in a shaman's outfit

Josiane Keller “Grayson Perry in a shaman’s outfit” (2014)

and that brought me back to the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf and the criss-cross eating in that story, which with a bit of forest ranger -magic seems to all be easily reversible if so desired…

* In case you don’t know that about me: I am a sucker for fairy tales dealing with innocent women, such as Little Red Riding Hood…, here a sculpture I made a couple of years ago:

Josiane Keller - Little Red Riding Hood 1

Josiane Keller “Little Red Riding Hood 1″ (2008)

More sculptures and pictures of sculptures to come…!

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Little fat prostitute 1 and 2 at work

October 17, 2014

Yesterday’s figure today ready for the job:

Josiane Keller - little fat prostitute 1


Josiane Keller “little fat prostitute 1″ (2014)


Josiane Keller  - little fat prostitute 2

Josiane Keller “little fat prostitute 2″ (2014)

yes, of course, my beloved Brassai inspired…

Brassai - Fille de joie, quartier Italie à Paris - 1932

Brassai “Fille de joie, quartier Italie à Paris” (1932)

Chandelier 1 and 2 and second girl

October 14, 2014

Josiane Keller - chandelier 1

Josiane Keller “chandelier 1″ (2014)

Josiane Keller - chandelier 2

Josiane Keller “chandelier 2″ (2014)

A chandelier has to be inventory of any respectable brothel, I suppose.

The second girl, who has a lot of a ‘Christ on the cross’:

Josiane Keller - fallen lady

Josiane Keller “fallen lady” (2014)

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Brassai, the Deputy Madame at Suzy’s and new Girls versus Buffalos

October 13, 2014

Buffalo Running is being difficult, of course. Sometimes art is like that. There are different ways to deal with it, one is push, one is pull and one is act as if you were not the slightest little bit impressed and move on to a far more interesting topic until the project that was buckling on you calms down and realizes it won’t get done with that attitude.

Last third option is my choice, also not exactly “choice” but the age old discussion that philosophy rarely pays and in case of a potter that puts me in front of the question: shall I make a much easier marketable object again, and how can I either hide that from my more conceptual audience or, much more difficult: integrate it in the concepts I am anyways already dealing with?

Then as a woman, there always the option to make money as a streetwalker, although with growing age one has to either specialize in very refined and rare techniques or lower one’s standards, if not the idea as is means very low standards.

The circle closes, the artist = the prostitute.  Oh dear.

But luckily here is where Brassai comes in, taking incredibly expressive and by now through the shower of time, also very funny photographs of prostitutes and all about the business.

So we can continue with a project I started in 2008 listening frantically to Kurt Weill, creating some very rough ladies from clay, which I did show but never sold, as before it would come to that my house was robbed and I fled the rotten place I dwelled at. Only to dig them same ladies out last spring and take some very Brassai-informed photographs, which you can see right here:


Josiane Keller - Rosie soliciting

Josiane Keller “Rosie soliciting” (2014)

Brassai - Introduction at Suzy's

Brassai “Introduction at Suzy’s” (1932)

*This is not exactly the inspiration for my photo above, but I find it so hilarious and brilliant and brutal that I want to show here.

A scene from a series taken at the lovely little brothel on Rue Gregoire-de-Tours called “Chez Suzy”, in Paris of course, and the fact that the clothes and hairdo’s are no very retro-chique makes us think prostitution is something very nice and very stylish and a part of life in Paris, when life in Paris was adventurous and inspiring. Oh well.

But the point I am making is still what exactly am I selling, if I am selling art? Can art be sold anyways?

We have been there a couple of weeks ago in the rather heated discussion (only I know how heated, because for once I decided not to publish every detail of it on my BLOG. but trust me when I say “VERY”…) about the event of last winter and Mr. Caminero smashing an Ai WeiWei over-painted antique from the “Never Sorry!” project.

So unfortunately I am back to the same question with still no better solution.

And sadly so here is my first girl in the making, and you may call me “Madame”, I suppose…

Josiane Keller - first girl

Josiane Keller “first girl” (2014)

and that would be me, I guess…

Brassai - La sous-maitresse de Chez Suzy

Brassai “La sous-maitresse de ‘Chez Suzy'” (1932)

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Clay buffalo raw, which is too fat and needs trimming

October 8, 2014

Here just for the heck of it a picture of myself with my wonderful mouse (the one still alive, but simply according to life expectancy of a pet mouse I give her about three to four more months, maximum, then she already way over stretched the general 2 years). But for the time being she is happy and alive:

Josiane Keller - artist and mouse

Josiane Keller “artist and mouse” (2014)

and back to work. I finally scraped myself together and got started, so far the basics of the buffalo’s body, not sure now, possibly it is a bit small like that, but we will see:

Josiane Keller - clay buffalo raw

Josiane Keller “clay buffalo raw” (2014)

*In hindsight I realize it is a bit too fat and needs some trimming.

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Detail overkill and Buffalo Running – raw footage

October 7, 2014

Looking at some popular figurative sculptors, such as Ron Mueck or Tip Toland I can’t get over the fact that the work they make simply still does not look like how things look like (in my eyes, anyways) and the reason is: too many details.

I feel a Daido Moriyama photograph looks much more “life like” than a Ron Mueck sculpture, because of the details. Overkill.

Anyways, I am encircling the buffalo-project and started with taking random stills from Eadweard Muebridge’s clip, which looks like this:

Eadweard Muybridge - Buffalo Running raw

Eadweard Muybridge / J.Keller “Buffalo Running – raw” (1883 /2014)

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Buffalo Running – Cookie’s Story and Eadweard Muybridge’s “Buffalo Running” (1883)

October 3, 2014

Finally time to do this project. Within the 2012 “Each reflection of myself echoes a different emotion at me”- project with the street kids there were plenty of stories of individual kids that seemed to be worth at least a second, deeper look.

I had asked Pippa if we should do a follow-up project, but she said, most of the kids are no longer around. That which makes a follow-up project very difficult…

But I had interviewed Cookie a second time, in more depth, and have his interview right here in front of me.

I wanted to do a project on him “Buffalo Running – Cookie’s Story”, only so far had no time.

This is now the moment to do it, so let’s get started.

First of all, a short clip again by Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge “Buffalo Running” (1883), which is supposed to be the theme for this piece:


Eadweard Muybridge - Buffalo Running 1883

Eadweard Muybridge “Buffalo Running” (1883)

Here also once more Cookie’s first interview text from the 2012 project:


Josiane Keller - Cookie painted meets the White Buffalo

Josiane Keller “Cookie painted meets the White Buffalo” (2014)

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… and a painting from my Edinburgh days, “Man with A Beard” resembling… Mark! and Bonnington Square in Vauxhall… and a PS on an article on an Ai WeiWei show, directed from afar

September 27, 2014

I am still exploring and have no time to show you what I see, which is all very magical and leaving impressions on me, seems by the day I have a formative (is that the right word?) meeting.

But I was digging trough my images and found this here, called “Man with A Beard”, which I painted in 2000 in Edinburgh.

Compare it with Mark!

Josiane Keller - Man with a Beard - 2000

Josiane Keller “Man with A Beard” (2000)

Interesting, don’t you think?

Well, met an old friend and went to an old sight, Bonnington Square in Vauxhall, where I lived for a very short time in summer 1999 in the last squat on the place. No no more squatting on Bonnington Square, but the alternative spirit is still there and also Margarete from Tirol is still cooking at Bonnington Cafe:  http://www.bonningtoncafe.co.uk/

Bonnington Cafe - Margarete Baur

Bonnington Cafe – Margarete Baur

PS: Oh, by the way: a dear friend just sent me this link today to an exhibition by Ai WeiWei, somewhat I feel it confirms the point I tried making earlier in context with a certain blog post, Mr. Wei is not a free man and not really free to do or say as he pleases. People concerning his comments in certain situations should take that into consideration, I think…. :


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more Mark – whilst I am busy exploring

September 26, 2014

There is tons to tell and I took also pictures, but time is lacking so for now please spare with me and look at more Mark pictures:

Josiane Keller - Mark 1

Josiane Keller “Mark 1″ (2014)

Josiane Keller - Mark 2

Josiane Keller “Mark 2″ (2014)

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More De Beauvoir, Mark and sing-along-Bert Brecht’s ‘BALLADE VON DER UNZULÄNGLICHKEIT MENSCHLICHEN PLANENS’ (Song of the Insufficiency of Human Struggling)

September 25, 2014

Well, well, well. Madame De Beauvoir would absolutely flip, that’s for sure. if I have time I will add a matching quote, but my time in this amazing place is limited, because Mother nature, very much against the ideas of Madame De Beauvoir, threw me a massive curve-ball in my plans.

That’s fine, not the first time that my ideas don’t work at first attempt. All I need now is come up with a PLAN B, and I am already working on it. I am not giving up just so fast, Mother Nature, maybe we can even come to a compromise where each side is contempt with? I will need a bit of time to work on this but do spare with me.

Meanwhile let’s enjoy a bit of culture (boy, I have so much culture around me right now, I am culture-shocked from all that culture, that’s for sure!!), so here is a man whom I met last night, who totally blew me away! No, of course not what you mean, I mean the atmosphere of him, he looks like about 50% of all the guys in my paintings, just that I am not painting right now, still so.

I saw him whilst I was sitting in a Cafe and he was handing out flyers for stand-up comedy, but after I took about 20 pictures of him I thought I should at least talk to him.

He was so very sweet and didn’t immediately tell me I was nuts, (it always helps to say that you are an artist!) to my greatest surprise he said he himself was not an artist, but used to buy and sell rare records (if that isn’t an art in its own!) and he told me he would honestly consider asking for modelling work at Royal Academy, as I urged him to do.

Here is one picture of him:

Josiane Keller - Mark 3

Josiane Keller “Mark 3″ (2014)

I took more, but I want to run out and swim a bit around in more culture, so that’s all for now.

But meanwhile we can all sing along with Bert Brecht’s


here the melody and song in original Germanhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WENkquBHchM

and for those who prefer it, here the same moral in English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xS2uJgxR9U

and here the lyrics in original German:

Der Mensch lebt durch den Kopf.
Sein Kopf reicht ihm nicht aus.
Versuch es nur, von deinem Kopf
Lebt höchstens eine Laus.
Denn für dieses Leben
Ist der Mensch nicht schlau genug.
Niemals merkt er eben
Diesen Lug und Trug.

Ja, mach nur einen Plan!
Sei nur ein großes Licht!
Und mach dann noch’nen zweiten Plan
Gehn tun sie beide nicht.
Denn für dieses Leben
Ist der Mensch nicht schlecht genug.
Doch sein höhres Streben
Ist ein schöner Zug.

Ja, renn nur nach dem Glück
Doch renne nicht zu sehr
Denn alle rennen nach dem Glück
Das Glück rennt hinterher.
Denn für dieses Leben
Ist der Mensch nicht anspruchslos genug.
Drum ist all sein Streben
Nur ein Selbstbetrug.

Der Mensch ist gar nicht gut
Drum hau ihn auf den Hut.
Hast du ihm auf dem Hut gehaun
Dann wird er vielleicht gut.
Denn für dieses Leben
Ist der Mensch nicht gut genug
Darum haut ihm eben
Ruhig auf den Hut!

Here some wiki-wisdom on the Three Penny Opera (that’s where that song is from, it is sung by Peachum, Polly’s dad): 


PS: Simone de Beauvoir, wir sprechen uns noch!

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Simone De Beauvoir – The Second Sex (1952)

September 20, 2014

To anybody who is since the last weeks trying to go on my nerves trying to undermine my decisions regarding my career in relation to what they think I should rather be doing what according to their opinion is my “duty” or “responsibility” I would like to quote the following paragraph from Simone De Beauvior’s (1908-1986) “The Second Sex” (©1952 Alfred Knopf, Inc.):

“… They (women) are forever looking back to see how far they have come, and that interrupts their progress. By this procedure they can have honorable careers, but not accomplish great things. It must be added that many men are also unable to build any but mediocre careers. It is only in comparison with the best of them that woman, save for very rare exceptions – seems to be trailing behind. The reason given are sufficient explanation, and in no way mortgage the future. What women essentially lacks today for doing great things is forgetfulness of herself; but to forget oneself is first of all necessary to be firmly assured that now and for the future one has found oneself. Newly come into the world of men, poorly seconded by them, woman is still too busily occupied to search for herself. …”

More info on her at wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_de_Beauvoir

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Italian bakery, diner and ice cream shop

September 14, 2014

Josiane Keller - girl in a white dress

Josiane Keller “girl in a white dress” (2014)

Josiane Keller - boy reaching

Josiane Keller “boy reaching” (2014)

Josiane Keller - Grilled Cheese

Josiane Keller “Grilled Cheese” (2014)

This girl is almost too beautiful to make this shot work the way I want it to work, or I guess I took the shot somehow wrong. She is surely one of the most beautiful girls I have seen, but as often enough, ironically, I bet she does not know it and I am not sure if she would even care.

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Metamorphosis I and II

September 10, 2014

Metamorphosis I:

Josiane Keller - Metamorphosis I

Josiane Keller “Metamorphosis I” (2014)

Metamorphosis II:

Josiane Keller - Metamorphosis II

Josiane Keller “Metamorphosis II” (2014)



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Pippa’s drawing from life, a photo of it, a photo of the photo and a negative of it, and… Moon IV

September 10, 2014

My friend Pippa won (!) a trip to South Africa.

Here is a drawing* made by her, of the view of her balcony, of which she took a photograph to show it on facebook, or actually it is now a photograph of her drawing:

Pippa Arend - photo of a drawing of a hotel balcony

Pippa Arend “photo of a drawing of a hotel balcony” (2014)

(*Actually, it’s watercolor)

here the same thing in black/white and as a negative:

Pippa Arend - drawing of a hotel balcony photo bw and negative

Pippa Arend “drawing of a hotel balcony photo bw and negative” (2014)

Isn’t t interesting if the drawing is perhaps the most direct image she took, but a photograph of it makes it look more plausible somehow, more “real”?

Talking about real, not real and more real, here is MOON IV:

Josiane Keller - Moon IV

 Josiane Keller “Moon IV” (2014)

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Moon III

September 8, 2014

Still working  on the Moon images.

According to NASA Apollo 16 the dark side of the Moon looks like something like this:

NASA - dark side of the moon

NASA – dark side of the moon (1972)


– we have seen it before.

So far I got three images, this being the third:

Josiane Keller - Moon III

Josiane Keller “Moon III” (2014)

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More discussion about the breaking of the breaking of Ai WeiWei’s piece by Maximo Caminero and Japanese kintsugi- PART II

September 4, 2014

The article caused an interesting discussion with a friend who is teaching philosophy, and due to lack of time I simply will post my reply to her here:


The point of Ai WeiWei’s piece is as far as I understood him NOT the piece, but the very act of breaking it.
I am opposed to his reaction like your he states, one should not break other people’s property, because of this very reason: the art in this case is NOT the object, intact or broken, but instead the act of breaking.
If he says now it should not have been broken, then that means only HE himself is allowed to break it, that shifts the focus from what he said at first it is all about: the breaking, which can and should be done by EVERYONE to the act of breaking may ONLY be performed by him alone, which makes the piece then into a performance art where he is doing it, the focus in on him and nobody else but him can do it.
But then why bother at all?
Why should he break it at all then, then he better make a piece like the rest of the word, which is far easier to market on a high profile market like US, and no hassle and all dealers and collectors are happy and all philosophers are bored.
The piece gained interest because he said “it should be broken”, not “I shall break it”.
There is of course a huge difference, same as in structure of a sentence, it means something totally different.
In my case with my figures the objective was to save the figures from being owned, as the figures were made according to the instruction of the kids, so I would hate the idea if some collector buys and “owns” some or all of them. They are also only the visual focal point in order to tell the story of the kids, like a prayer tablet with a deity depicted, it is of course not the actual deity, but only a piece to help set up a Pavlov’s Dog effect, to make it easier to imagine the story.
The point is not the object, so the object, even if I make it, use it and to some extent it helps me, not to use the word “need” it to better make my project, it is not the point of it, the actual art lies in the story and not in the object, same in my case, the part of breaking the figures is called “I am going into the forest”



as well as in Ai WeiWEi’s case of breaking the overpainted vases.
Yes, I think the man did actually a very interesting thing by taking one and breaking one and it is getting more and more interesting that he did not even imagine it might be so valuable and that even Ai WeiWei said the estimated value of 1 Million $$ is total bogus.

JK “


More on the idea of the act of breaking the object and why that possibly could be an essential contribution to the original piece as opposed to alleged destruction (at least from a philosophical viewpoint), read about Japanese kintsugi technique, the filling in of a crack with lacquer and emphasizing the crack with gold dust:

Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method

“Tea bowl repaired in the Kintsugi method”



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Ai WeiWei – Never Sorry (2012) and my question to Ai WeiWei: 衛先生,你對卡米內羅先生在迈阿密博物館 打破你的花瓶有什麼看法?- PART I

September 3, 2014

* The reason why this discussion came up (about an event that lies back half a year) ago is a recent post in a certain BLOG.

I had more details up about it all, as the BLOG in its original form was highly offensive, at least to me, this not so much because of the opinions expressed in it, but instead because it was written in an extremely condescending tone that I find highly inappropriate coming from a source like that.

But in all fairness: I did contact the publisher, who was graceful enough to send me a detailed response (although he was very offended as well), stating the post in its original form was an accident and should not have been published like that.

I very much respect that, although I am still not happy with the amended version for similar reasons I want to also show good will on my side and took more details about it down now.

Instead I want to stick to the actual and much more interesting question and following discussion, about what does it mean when Ai WeiWei smashes an over-painted antique urn versus what does it mean when an unknown local artist smashes an antique urn over-painted by Ai WeiWei.

*With the help of a Chinese friend I finally got what apparently is good Chinese (or is it?):

衛先生,你對卡米內羅先生在迈阿密博物館 打破你的花瓶有什麼看法?


I want to know:

“Mr. Wei, what is your opinion on Mr. Caminero having broken your vase in the museum in Miami?”

Twitter, made popular by Mr. Wei himself after his film NEVER SORRY, makes it possible.

We will see.

Watch Mr. Caminero here smashing Ai WeiWei’s vase in a Miami museum:


Compare with “Ai WeiWei – NEVER SORRY” (2012):




I found this bit of a reply in an article from Miami CBS Local (February 19th):

Ai said Wednesday that he did not agree with Caminero’s tactic.

“Damaging other people’s property or disturbing a public program doesn’t really support his cause,” Ai said in an interview in Beijing.


The article states further:

“The installation aims to “trigger questions about authenticity and the value and meaning of original artwork,” according to the museum’s website.”


More about it here:

“The Miami New Times quoted Caminero as saying it was a spontaneous protest after seeing the photos of Ai breaking the ancient Chinese vase. “I saw it as a provocation by Weiwei to join him in an act of performance protest,” he said.

Ai said the artist’s apparent inspiration was “misleading.”

“You cannot stand in front of a classical painting and kill somebody and say that you are inspired by” the artist, Ai said, adding that “this doesn’t make any sense.”


“Ai said he thought the value of $1 million mentioned on the Florida police affidavit was “exaggerated.” He said that he wasn’t involved with the insurance details, but that he thought the figure was “a very ridiculous number.”

Most interesting case.

Who gets to smash antique vases and who owns what and after we defined what exactly means the ownership of art then let’s discuss what justifies destroying it?

If there is only a limited amount of paintings by a certain deceased artist around, and a certain millionaire purchases such paintings, and orders in his last will to be cremated together with these paintings, do we feel we lost something or do we agree that it was his and he may do so?

I will never cease to wonder…

I would definitely, still and after all LOVE to hear more about it by Mr. Wei, (who is probably sick of this discussion by now), but I would not leave the discussion entirely up to him alone, even so he smashed the original “Never Sorry-urns”.



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A turning piece: “One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it -” (Lewis Carroll)

September 2, 2014

I was just realizing that I whilst I am faceblind and extremely shortsighted I can write mirrored, upside down and upside down mirrored and have a great sense of orientation. But if someone for instance accidentally moves some stuff on my desk, I am helplessly confused, even if it was only re-arranged, not removed and probably can’t find my stuff very quickly.

So the question is: is it coincidence or are these things connected in some form?

Josiane Keller - Lewis Carroll - One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it -

Josiane Keller /Lewis Carroll “One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it -” (1871/2014)


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Saturn turns Moon I and Moon II (the dark side of the moon) and Vilem Flusser “Towards a Philosophy of Photography”

September 2, 2014

Vilem Flusser “Towards a Philosophy of Photography”:

“(…) The photograph of the moon landing, for example, can slip from an astronomy journal to a US consulate, from there onto an advertising poster for cigarettes and from there finally into an art exhibition. The essential thing is that the photograph, with each switch-over to another channel, take son a new significance: The scientific significance crosses over into the political, the political into the commercial, the commercial into the artistic. In this respect, the division of photographs into channels is in no way simply a mechanical process but rather an encoding one: The distribution apparatus impregnate the photograph with the decisive significance for its reception. (…)”

[ ©Reaktion Books 2000, Copyright © 1983 European Photography Adreas Mueller-Pohle, Goettingen, Deutschland]

The Saturn I used on the wheel for the animated film “I anyways live until I die” is now a Moon.

Here free interpretation of NASA photos, MOON I:

Josiane Keller - Moon I


Josiane Keller “Moon I” (2014)

and MOON II:

Josiane Keller - Moon II

Josiane Keller “Moon II” (2014)


NASA-SPL AS16-M-3021

NASA-SPL APOLLO S16-Moon-3021 (April 1972)

(*My friend Mike just said it is the dark side of the moon….!)

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Brief interlude from real life: Loriot “Der Kosakenzipfel”

August 31, 2014

Brief interlude from real life. I might tell you about my adventures of this Sunday evening.

Instead of going into further detail, let me put the event aside and up here a German comic classic that will leave little to imagination, IF you understand German, that is.

If you don’t understand German, let me roughly explain, we are watching two couples who met five years ago on a camping ground and are celebrating their 5 year friendship by offering each other the informal way to address each other (in German language there are two ways to address each other: formal and informal, and it is a very big deal which one to use and more so: when and how and who offers the other party to swap) and are having an elegant dinner in a fine restaurant.

Sadly so the newly found friendship goes bonkers over the desert, that the two men originally had planned to share, as originally only one last serving was left.

Something along those lines. The man died 3 years ago of very old age and it’s years ago that I was last thinking about Loriot, but he is so, so fantastically amazingly funny! Watch here:


Loriot - der Kosakenzipfel - 1978

Loriot “Der Kosakenzipfel” (1978)

Here more information about this fabulous comedian Vicco von Buelow is his name and he is taking the piss out of superbly bourgeois people:


here is wiki’s wisdom on him and his work:





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And further: the (re-)cycle of the 3D object, in order to produce from it 2D images – only the photograph=memory remains: “I was here”

August 27, 2014

Roland Barthes - Camera Lucida

Roland Barthes “Camera Lucida” (1982)

Since Roland Barthes already explains, a photograph turns a 3D object into a 2D object, the question is: if the goal is to create only the photograph for its own sake (like in my case as a photographer, working with models), then I would not need to keep the (clay) models used for it at all, and clay being clay can recycle them and use them for other clay models:

Josiane Keller - clay earthworm cycle

Josiane Keller “clay earthworm cycle” (2014)

Only the photograph or the film representing the human memory remains and it remains also on a limited time frame only as long as it can.

“I was here.”

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Funeral for a mouse (Popelku) and Roland Barthes

August 26, 2014

Last Sunday then was the funeral:

Josiane Keller - mouse funeral (Popelku)

Josiane Keller “mouse funeral [Popelku]“ (2014)

Although I am not too much of a fan of his book Camera Lucida because I was desperately trying to figure out what Barthes was actually trying to say with it (besides that he misses his beloved dead mother and that he is not a photographer himself being too lazy for the darkroom process (how about now with digital technique?) I want to quote this paragraph, which I find applicable to this day and my current work:

Roland Barthes - Camera Lucida

Roland Barthes “Camera Lucida” (1980)

” (…)    the Photograph they say is not an analogon of the world; what it represents is fabricated, because the photographic optic is subject to Albertian perspective (entirely historical) and because the subscription on the picture makes a three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional effigy.    (…) “

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Dead Mouse – 22.August 2014

August 22, 2014

“The photograph does not necessarily say what is no longer, but only and for certain what has been.

This distinction is decisive. In front of a photograph, our consciousness doe snot necessarily take the nostalgic path of memory (how many photographs are outside of individual time), but for every photograph existing in the world, the path of certainty: the Photograph’s essence is to ratify what it it represents.”

[Roland Barthes "Camera Lucida - Reflections on Photography", ©1980]

Today my pet mouse Popelku died in my hands (she is too small to say “arms”), we assume of ripe of age of 2.5 years.

There will be a funeral.

If you own tame pet mice you will be able to relate to my loss, otherwise you may think I am absolutely insane ( I am not, if you doubt me and have the chance: go get yourself a pet mouse, love it and tame it and see how you feel when it dies in your hands.)

Josiane Keller - dead Popelku 22AUG14

Josiane Keller “dead Popelku 22AUG’14” (August 2014)


Obituary, “Popelku” 2012-2014


Josiane Keller - Popelku

Josiane Keller “Popelku” (October 2012)


Josiane Keller - Popelku and Vanilla

Josiane Keller “Popelku and Vanilla”  (January 2013)

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More Basha and Summertime by Janis Joplin 1996

August 6, 2014

Meanwhile look at another shot of Basha here:

Josiane Keller - Basha standing behind a doorframe

Josiane Keller “Basha standing behind a door-frame” (2014)

talking about the qualities of blurry pictures…

and whilst we are at it, listen to Janis Joplin, “Summertime” live in 1996:


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Can’t freeze time – Painting versus Photography – notes, and yet: “Wristwatch stopped at 11:02, August 9th, 1945, Nagasaki” by Shomei Tomatsu

August 5, 2014

Contemporary painting is often from memory, what we remember, but it is no longer in front of us, but photography is often from life = the moment ——> and then it becomes a “memory”.

We say our memory has become “blurry” over time.

But if we paint from memory the  unnecessary bits are omitted.

I think one should also take photographs like from memory, blurry, with the unnecessary parts being omitted.

We can’t freeze time.

Shibata Zeshin - Crows in flight in a red sky

Shibata Zeshin “Crows in flight in a red sky” (1880)

Giacomo Balla - Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash - 1912

Giacomo Balla “Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash” (1912)

Just when I thought ‘that’s it for today‘, I can lean back and be so proud of my achievements, I git this image in my Inbox and it throws everything over and I can start thinking all over again:

Shōmei Tomatsu - Wristwatch stopped at 11-02 August 9, 1945, Nagasaki

Shōmei Tomatsu “Wristwatch stopped at 11:02 August 9, 1945, Nagasaki” (1961)

read an obituary on Shomei Tomatsu (1930-2012) from The Guardian here:


and wiki says this:


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Evgen Bavcar – blind photographer – a documentary

July 31, 2014

Watch this, documentary on the Slovenian blind photographer Evgen Bavcar (it’s in German, but you’ll get it), there is a scene where you see him editing his work on Photoshop, computer having voice command installed, it is very interesting:


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Hiroshi Sugimoto on “MEMORY”

July 30, 2014

Listen and watch here:


That is enough for today.

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William Kentridge “Felix in Exile” animation

July 29, 2014

Watch William Kentridge’s animated film “Felix in Exile” (1994):


(*That’s enough for today!)

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Break time

July 29, 2014

I am on summer break.

I need it.

And I am very busy, even though on summer break.

For that reason I will put stuff up here and there, but maybe not every day as I have done so far.

Please hang in there (or go on summer break, too!) until I come back, there will be hopefully new interesting stuff to be seen and read.



Josiane Keller - Rudi and me

Josiane Keller “Rudi and me” (2012)

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What is the wavelength of black colour?

July 9, 2014

Thinking about the question why people like or even prefer black-white photography (if they do?) I was wondering about the question “what is the wavelength of black colour?”

Yahoo answers offers plenty of ideas, of which akm69‘s seemed the best explained to me, God knows if it is correct, but it sounds very interesting and it may be correct:

“In physics, a black body is an idealized object that absorbs all electromagnetic radiation that falls on it. No electromagnetic radiation passes through it and none is reflected. Because no light (visible electromagnetic radiation) is reflected or transmitted, the object appears black when it is cold. However, a black body emits a temperature-dependent spectrum of light. This thermal radiation from a black body is termed black-body radiation.

At room temperature, black bodies emit mostly infrared wavelengths, but as the temperature increases past a few hundred degrees Celsius, black bodies start to emit visible wavelengths, appearing red, orange, yellow, white, and blue with increasing temperature. By the time an object is white, it is emitting substantial ultraviolet radiation.

The visible spectrum is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to (can be detected by) the human eye. Electromagnetic radiation in this range of wavelengths is called visible light or simply light. A typical human eye will respond to wavelengths from about 380 to 750 nm”


This matches with the idea of Chinese and Japanese ink-painters that sumie (ink) being produced from charcoal contains all colors at once, there we can imagine any color when looking at a black-white image.

Hmm, if nothing more than that: a very poetic explanation!

Josiane Keller - bar six hours after owner was shot dead

Josiane Keller “bar six hours after owner was shot dead” (2014)

Josiane Keller - bar eighteen hours after owner was shot dead

Josiane Keller “bar eighteen hours after owner was shot dead” (2014)

Josiane Keller - bar seven days after owner was shot dead

Josiane Keller “bar seven days after owner was shot dead” (2014)

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Homage to my grandfather

July 6, 2014

I had the most amazing grandfather in the whole world. No less. He was also a photographer (next to about a hundred other things, most of them art- or craft- related).

Today I took some pictures he would have very much enjoyed.

So here, an homage to my wonderful, wonderful grandfather:

Josiane Keller - homage to my grandfather


Josiane Keller “homage to my grandfather” (2014)

Josiane Keller - homage to my grandfather 2

Josiane Keller “homage to my grandfather 2″ (2014)

 Josiane Keller - Daucus carota

Josiane Keller “Daucus carota” (2014)


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New pics: changing studio, a shot bar owner and a cat

July 2, 2014


Josiane Keller - changing studio


Josiane Keller “changing studio” (2014)

Josiane Keller - bar six hours after owner was shot dead

Josiane Keller “bar six hours after owner was shot dead” (2014)

Josiane Keller - bar eighteen hours after owner was shot dead

Josiane Keller “bar eighteen hours after owner was shot dead” (2014)

 Josiane Keller - cat cleaning

Josiane Keller “cat cleaning” (2014)

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