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PAM1975005W00028-34ASummer has arrived in our part of the world–long days, heat on your back, first morning coffee on the front step, dinner out on the back deck–so let’s talk about rain, lest we forget.  Where we live, no one complains when the sky suddenly turns bright and fills with sunlight, but being surprised by a splash of rain, caught unexpectedly, under-equipped, predictably brings a cry of “no fair!”. This photo by Martin Parr from Bad Weather.

When it rains on your parade, some of us handle it better than others.

caught in th rain_glastonbury-85-ely-wet The music may have stopped, but the beer is just as tasty and mud between the toes can be quite lovely.. sometimes.

Caught in the Rain flower standThe flowers are still lovely too, and these two know that although the rain may keep some customers away, in the big picture, it’s fundamental to life, isn’t it luv?  Eau de vie as they say.

If flower sellers and festival goers tolerate rain, some photographers seem to absolutely adore it–a gift from the sky every bit as precious as light.

caught in the Rain ruipalha11 This Rui Palha photo above is an ode to geometry and rainfall.

caught in the rain Z_DWagner_Rolleiflex_64Beautiful image by Z D Wagner depends for much of its eloquence on the presence of rain (and wind)

 

caught in th rain New York Museum of MN117383-2 New Yorkers, of course, find ways to not just persevere in the rain, but to make something memorable of it, such as this wet-footed pas de deux.

caught in the rain james dean boweryAnd if you are James Dean, a rainy day gives you another part to play, another iconic image you’ll leave behind.

On the other hand…

caught in the rain_LOndon_voting day100180103_People_are_caught_out_in_a_heavy_rain_shower_in_Westminster_London_PRESS_ASSOCIATION_P_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqvzJnqpVGpnfyf5cbbtTpCfeont4dPw4tRGY Unexpected rain isn’t just a photo op, is it?

caught in rain HK 2012 typhoon 600_qpyxyat2jcj1nznmtmwptmdgoka6yhaxSome of us caught in it will face nasty and possibly dangerous conditions.

Caught in the Rain Medicine HatFlood is more than an inconvenience.  It can bring daily life to a stand still. Immobilized. The very water that gives life to us all can take it away.  Without much warning.

We are the water planet in a thousand different ways.  Try as we might, we cannot (yet) control when or how much water will fall from the sky.  What we can control is how we react to rain.  If the warnings go out to take cover, then by all means run for shelter and batten down the hatches.  But otherwise, look up, be grateful, we are born water babies.

caught in the rain downpour Katherine Australia r1073_788_2991_2630_w1200_h678_fmax

FRANCE. Paris. 1989.Joie de vivre/eau de vie caught by Elliot Erwitt, Paris.  Salut!

 

 

 

 

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2017-08-06 09.48.26Look, up in the sky…

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Look, there’s people.  Up in the sky.  Walking around and round inside a coloured ring2017-08-06 06.04.41Don’t worry, it is only–ONLY!–a work of art from Olafur Eliasson, this time in Denmark where where was born, this time in the city of Aarhus.  It is called Your Rainbow Panorama.

This is the same artist who put a waterfall under the Brooklyn Bridgeolafur waterfalls01

And managed to get another one to fall out of the sky at Versaiilesolafur-eliasson-waterfall-versailles-designboom-10

So maybe creating a rainbow you can walk inside on top of an art museum wasn’t such a stretch for him.  But he seems all alone (to us, anyway) in his capacity to astonish so many people from all over the place, time after time, with ‘public works’–open, visible, engaging to anyone.  Water, light, colour, always unexpected, always accepted.

Will we ever see another like him?  Is that even worth thinking about?

Olafur E Model for a Timeless Garden IMG_MDA107810_1600pxAbove Moments from a Timeless Garden, water fountains, made to freeze in mid splash.

Truth is, maybe, some things only come along once.  So get used to it and make sure you don’t miss any part of it.  Wherever you go next, Mr O, we’ll be watching.

With thanks.

harry g hotel

Sometimes the best discoveries don’t require meticulous planning, a long journey, or special shoes.  Sometimes you just have to see what’s in front of you.

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Harry G gas up 47b16

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This is some of what Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert has been seeing and recording for the rest of us over the last 40 years.

harry g russia children

Harry G two girls with visors_R

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He is credited with helping to prove the point that European photographs could be in colour and still be taken seriously.  Not that there is anything wrong with black and white.

ITALY. Sardinia. Near the town of Cagliari. Poetto beach. 1998.

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SOUTH KOREA. Seoul. 2007.

Mr Gruyaert claims that he doesn’t think much about all this, and he avoids talking about it if at all possible.

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The British Journal of Photography did manage to get a few words out of him, which can be read here

All images © 2015 Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos

 

Tony Ray-Jones made photographs of people–and cows and horses–being themselves. We find it hard to take our eyes off them. And once you do, they’re impossible to forget.

Bravo Mr Jones (1941 – 1972).  And thank you.

See a show at the bbc here 

Here at less, we are fans of a lot of uncommissioned public art, namely the kind that 1) makes you smile 2) makes you admire how well it is made and 3) makes you glad no damage was done in providing you with this unexpected smile.  The category of u.p.a. that succeeds most often on all three scores is the kind that people stick on walls with paste.  Like this swell white rabbit.

As you can see he’s just a little guy on the run caught in full motion on a nice blue/grey wall, found here

Here’s a white dog or doggish creature  stuck on a wall in a lavatory in Melbourne, where quality public art of the non-commissioned kind seems to thrive.  This colour spewing critter is the invention of an artist named Ghost Patrol, who is said to be one of Melbourne’s most prominent artists.  See here.

According to the internet, at least, the top spots for really good stick-on art are Australia (Melbourne and Fremantle) and England (Bristol and London)

This fine little two dimensional shamrock green dachshund lives in London.  He was spotted by the keen-eyed, generous, prolific photographer mermaid99, bless her heart.  Find the pooch and much much more from the mermaid here.

Looking for the uni-coloured dachshund is this colourful kitty, another mermaid 99 find in London  here.

pretty weird squidman in Mexico City.

And here’s a lovely bird, a swallow stuck up in Rye, East Sussex England.  The artist goes by De Wilde when he’s outdoors.  See this fine woodcut and more here

The finders of this paste up, called “Hello Stranger”, on a lamp post in North Oakland CA, are Alex and Allison who rightly point out that it is equal parts pretty and sinister, as all good childrens’ tales should be, we think.

This is just swell, another one from Melbourne.  Thanks to we heart it 

Why is it that “Steve” is the perfect name for this little white dino?  Go here to meet Steve and other Fremantle sights.

These two bandits are having a lot more fun than Bonnie and Clyde.  Found here at a site called Oakown Art (“an exposé of cool public art & culture in and around oakland, california”).  The artist goes by “Get Up”.

Below, three finds of our own in Paris, 2011.

On this one old wall you’ll find a white paste up figure of indeterminate species grasping maybe a large slice of pizza and a coffee (?), a nifty green octopus attacking…Popeye (?), and a whole bunch of tulips.  Also way at the top, a space invader.

And here’s a dapper masked fellow with a rosy fleur for his sweetheart.

And here is another sweet little space invader eyeing/protecting a sweet little cafe.

Space Invader is all over Paris (and quite a few other places too).  These are also stick-up art but made of ceramic tile not paper so they last and last.  They have become part of the fabric of Paris, not a poke in the eye, but an unexpected treat for those who love the sight of children at play without supervision.  This image from here

Let’s give London the last smile:

Again thanks to mermaid99  for this fox. Find it here.  The artist is Surianii.

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