the last judgement mural in the sistine chapel

The last judgment, the Sistine Chapel Michelangelo

The final devil is a mural that is on the altar of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican. It is the artwork of Michelangelo. The painting took nine years to complete; he only began working on it thirty years after the ceiling was full. The last judgment mural covers the whole ceiling of the chapel.

The painting took place in 1534 and 1541. The painting is about the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse. There are the righteous in the company of Christ and his saints and the sinners who get their punishment.

close up view of the last judgement sistine chapel mural painted by michelangelo

The mural raised controversy since the figures in the painting are naked. Cardinal Carafa said that Michelangelo was immoral and obscene. Furthermore, the mural was in the most known church of Christianity.

Since Michelangelo had all the figures in the painting naked, a censorship campaign by Carafa and Monsignor Sermini began and its main aim was to remove the fresco. The work of Michelangelo remained until Daniele da Volterra covered up the genitalia in the figures.

flayed skin depicting michelangelos portrait

Michelangelo put his portrait in the painting, showing himself as St. Bartholomew after his skinning. It is that his reason for doing this is because he had feelings contempt for being tasked with painting the last judgment.

Reception of the mural

There were those who appreciated the painting and then there were the critics who viewed the drawing as immoral. The disputes arising from the last judgment saw the artist Michelangelo accused ever so often of insensitivity and disrespect, especially because his painting was real nudity on the ceiling of the chapel.

The master of ceremony of the Pope, Biagno da Cesena raised complaints about the art calling it shameful and worthy of being in taverns and baths. Michelangelo put Cesena’s face in the painting depicting him as the judge of the underworld. He gave him donkey ears and covered his genitalia with a coiled snake.

Cesena complained to the Pope, but the Pope said that the painting had to remain. For two whole decades, the controversies continued, and the art remained the same. The genitalia in the painting was then painted over when the Council of Trent recommended restraint in religious imagery. The use of images for art in chapels and places of worship had to be approved by the bishop.

vie of the entire sistine chapel ceiling along with last judgement mural painted by michelangelo

The last judgment

The painting has over 300 influential figures, all in different poses all over the wall of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. There are Christ and His saints, the leader of the underworld, the righteous and the sinners. The last judgment is an explicit depiction of what the second coming of Christ is going to be like for sinners and the righteous.

Christ is a powerful figure who is the center and most important part of the painting. Just next to Christ is the Virgin Mary and then below Him are wingless angels who sound the trumpets for the dead to rise for judgment day.

There are two of the angels holding the books who seem to be recording the deeds of those resurrected. The book that contains the damned is kept lower, and the expression on the angel’s face that of empathy. Looking closely, you spot the chosen ones, the elect on the bottom left. The dead coming from their graves, angels are there assisting the resurrected ones.

There is a herculean angel who is shown to lift souls that are clinging to rosary beads. There is also a tug of war as a demon tries to claim one of the resurrecting souls. The angels pull at the heart as the devil tries to take the man. The tug opens up a crack that gives a small view of the fires of hell.

the last judgement mural in the sistine chapel

The right side, on the left side of Christ, demons drag the sinners to hell. There are those trying to escape the wrath of hell, and the angels beat them. Some of the sinners’ vices show. One of them is a sinner because of pride; they dare to fight back contesting their fate.

The ferryman from the Greek mythology who is a transporter for souls is seen swinging his oar and shows the damned the way to hell. Below that image is the picture of Minos, who has a snake biting his genitals. He is at the corner of hell passing judgment to the souls sent to hell.

The detail put into the painting and the graphic nature that the mural depicts the viewer fear of what’s to come and of the end days. Michelangelo’s aim, however, was to show the triumph of Christ and that heaven dominates.

Michelangelo design was to put together an epic painting that those keen, elite and understanding would see the artistic features of the art. Those who did not understand this found the art shameless and immoral. They missed the main picture that the art aims to show.

In the 16th century, there weren’t as many people viewing the last judgment. Today, there are millions of people traveling to see the final sentence that is such an artistic milestone and tourist attraction. It is much more appreciated now than it was then.

In 1980-1994, the mural underwent restoration together with the chapel. The recovery, seen to by the curator of Vatican museums Fabrizio Mancinelli. During the renovation, several aspects of the painting found, that were hiding under the surface. The image of Cesena a Minos did not have its nudity covered by a coiled snake; rather the snake was biting his genitalia.

The covering up of the nudity of the figures that was done by Daniele took place in 1564 after the death of Michelangelo. The painting remained in its original state until the artist passed away then the nudity on the mural was covered up.

Pictures and engravings of the art have made their way around the globe. The last judgment remains the most discussed and most visited, today, painting in the world. Even after covering up the nudity of the painting, it did not lose its value and intended impact on the viewers.

the walled off hotel website image

The Walled Off Hotel

“For a long time, I thought it was a scam until I got some cash in to the bank” those were the exact words of Montreal artist Dominique Petrin when she was asked about the call from British street artist Bansky in regards to the project codenamed; The Walled Off Hotel.

Dominique Petrin and Bansky were the sole master minds behind The Walled Off Hotel, which is located at the West Bank city of Bethlehem. It sits just beside an Israeli wall which was built to prevent Palestinians from invading the country. Petrin did her best preparations as she was handpicked by Bansky himself, asked about this she based it on a one liner statement “British colony on the verge of collapsing”.

view of the interior of scenic room inside of the walled off hotel

The three storied all-inclusive hotel boasts of a ceiling to floor graffiti-strewn concrete from almost each and every room. It hosts a low lit restaurant and bar which is highly decorated as a British colonial clubhouse, but some of the artists’ works are ironic covering the walls and were unveiled just about a few weeks ago but have only opened recently to overnight stays. Bansky who is well known for his politically motivated artwork converted a former pottery workshop to an all-inclusive resort, which also includes an art gallery, a tea shop and a graffiti supplies store.

view of mural featuring ironic depiction of two men pillow fighting painted by banksy inside of the walled off hotel

Bansky did most of the artwork, from the angels on life support hanging just above the piano to the masked Palestinian pillow fighting with the Israeli soldier just above one of the beds. Every room has its own uniqueness, one room has been painted solely to like a concrete wall is surrounding the whole room, and somehow it still manages to feel and look comfortable.

Another room feels and looks like an army barrack, furnished with foot lockers and bunker beds. An art gallery which is situated on the first floor will show art works made in this region exclusively, its curator Ismail Duddera saying “it will open an entirely new chapter of Arab art in general and Palestinian art in particular”.

On August 2015, Bansky – whose identity remains a mystery, launched his Dismaland attraction at a derelict lido in Somerset, which was designed as a cynical take on Disneyland entertainment resorts attracting 150,000 people within duration of five-weeks. After the closing of Dismaland “Bemusement Park”, he sent fixtures and wood from the park dismantled castle to the jungle refugee camp, he thus added a painting of Steve Job’s signature look of a black polo neck clutching an earlier Apple computer on his left hand while slinging a sack over his shoulders with his right hand.

Bansky decorated most of the corridors and bedrooms within the hotel, using a range of his signature stencils. A couple of the guest quarters will be decorated by guest artists Sami Musa from Ramallah and French-Canadian Dominique Petrin.

view of the timeline displayed in the museum inside of the walled off hotel

Instead of a gym, the walled off hotel chose to incorporate a museum which is dedicated to enlightening guests and visitors on the separation barrier providing a much deeper context on the topic, while being thoroughly careful not to choose a side between the Israelis and Palestinian conflict which surrounds the hotel.

model depiction of construction vehicles during the creation of the wall as seen inside of the walled off hotel

Banksy’s work largely being politically affiliated, from a chain of stencils on Israelis separation wall, which violates international laws by stretching into the occupied West Bank, to a life-sized sculpture of an inmate from Guantanamo Bay. A few images have become largely controversial and emblematic critiques of the Israeli state policies. Other works are also mischievously politically motivated like a bullet-ridden tank that shoots water into a hot tub, a bust with a piece of clothing, made from cotton tightly covering the mouth, while tear gas cloaks it.

the 'wall mart' store inside of the walled off hotel that sells art supplies for painting on the west bank barrier

At the entrance of the museum sits a figure of former British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour, whose hand moves mechanically in repeated circles indicating the signing of the Balfour declaration of 1917, expressing the UK’s support in establishing a home for the Jewish people. The exact timing of this installation is somehow politically significant; as it has been exactly a century since the British took a hold of the Palestine and power shifted drastically. Balfour is still the most controversial figure in the conflict, detested by Palestinians, thanked by Israelis

Not everyone is taken with the hotel and its route is full of controversies and has a dramatic impact on the everyday lives of a lot of people. One thing everyone agrees on is that everything here is under dispute. The art project was meant to promote and encourage talks about peace between the Israeli and Palestinians, all this while functioning as a normal hotel.

Banksy’s work may bring about positive effect around the community, his work not only sheds spotlights on places but also makes statements on important and critical issues happening around there. The Walled Off Hotel is a masterpiece and a reminder to everyone staying inside it of what exactly the Palestinians are experiencing.

ian berry denim art woman in bedroom

Ian Berry Does Artwork Using Denim

If you think your old jeans are only good for the dustbin, artist Ian Berry differs greatly differs with you. Instead of using paint, Ian uses denim jeans to create incredibly detailed pieces of art. For him, denim is an art with which to design portraits and landscapes using only bits of vintage denim. His art revolves around the depressing urban scene, usually representing the solitary and less enchanting side of the city life.

How he started

The Yorkshire-born Denimu, as he’s famously known, was always this kid with the dream of becoming an artist, yet he ended up going down into commercial advertising. His story simply began at home. Ian was planning to leave his mom’s house and go seek a job in London. Since he was leaving for good, his mom decided to redecorate his old bedroom and get rid of all his old stuff, including a large pile of jeans.

While cleaning out his room he noticed the different textures, shades and colors of the denim together. And that was the moment he thought the jeans would make a pretty interesting medium for a piece of art.

When he started working out the jeans, it was purely aesthetic. He was still feeling attached to some of his most favorite jeans and he didn’t want to throw them away, even though they didn’t fit anymore. They had a link to his memories throughout his past years.

Working with denim brought even more meaning into it. He realized that he was as comfortable using denim jeans in creating art as he was comfortable wearing them. When Ian sees denim, the only thing in his mind is how he would design something out of it.
blue by ian berry denim artwork artist

Denim’s art technique

Ian’s work begins from photographs. Initially, he used to work with Photoshop to mark pieces out then he advanced to work directly from the colour photo, which he acknowledged is easier to visualize. The process is really technical and needs so much concentration. He can only work at one artwork a single time since he needs to focus on the kind of shade he’s using. On the off chance that he uses a wrong shade or loses one, the job will be as good as screwed up.

As an established artist, these days he enjoys plenty of jeans at his disposal which makes his work better as he can find various shades and textures that he needs. That suggests his work is now much easier but it’s not; it takes much longer to find and choose from the many options available.
sleeping alone denim artwork by ian berry

Over time development

When he started, he could use blocked colors, of which the denim pieces remained the same shade. The end portraits usually looked like they were created using paint. He now varies the shades within the jeans and plays with high contrast that it becomes hard to tell whether his pieces are made out of denim.

On the subject matter, he began with faces of people who wore iconic in the history of denim, the likes of Marilyn and James Dean. Today, he tries to work bigger and put more emphasis into the work with city scenes. Such work contrasts with him personally considering he now lives in rural Sweden, yet the scenes he does features urban areas like London and New York City.

His typical piece is a man having dinner alone or a lonely girl in a bar with everyone else minding their own business – that melancholic side of urban life.

Exhibition

Ian’s work gained popularity a few years into the industry. That was good for him yet the pressure for exhibitions built up. He did a solo exhibition in London last year which wowed many art lovers who were craving for his work.

ian berry denim art woman in bedroom

One of the featured work, Behind Closed Doors, is comprised of a series of opulent interiors and almost all of them had a lonely woman as the subject. However, the exteriors look glossy and that was the narrative of the pieces in this collection; to portray the gap that exists between perception and reality. You might look at someone’s life and think it’s beautiful, yet the truth is more complicated. The works are basically based along those lines.

Another work he exhibited is one he calls My Beautiful Launderette. It focused on the devastating cost of living in the city and the effect it brings to communities. The idea was the energy that used to exist in the city is now disappearing and he settled on the launderette to represent the idea. Launderettes were such places where people could meet and talk and get to know each other yet they are now disappearing. That’s the message.

Ian’s creative pieces certainly continue to attract many followers. From the technical brilliance he inputs in designing denim art to the emotional complexity experienced in the finished work, every piece triggers imagination and should be marveled in every home.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a pile of garbage resembling donald trump in the subway of new york

Ben Rubin Subway Doodle

Art being a creative way of visually expressing imagination, skill and talent, some artists have found a way to link art and technology to come up with some of the most amazing pieces today.

Ben Rubin, a media artist from New York City was born in 1964, Massachusetts, Boston, says that he has been drawing all his life; though there was a time he did not do too much art. He took AB Computer Science in Brown University in 1987 and later went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for MS Visual Studies in 1989. Mr. Rubin also became a critic in graphic design after teaching in the Yale School of Art in 2004. He has worked for 25 years in television, and owns a marketing company called The Mint in Brooklyn New York which makes promotions for social media and also television networks.

Mr. Rubin has also has a number of exhibitions to his name. Starting as early as 1993 with The Tuning of the World in the Nickel Art museum in Calgary, art in the Anchorage in Brooklyn all the way to Madrid for the Ministerio de Fomento with Habitats Techtonicas in 2001. The same year he teamed up with Mark Hansen at the Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn Academy of Music.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a young boy and a playful rat beast

Some of his works are situated in the collections of the San Jose Museum of art, the art institute of Chicago and the Science Museum, London and some of his work has been publicized at the MoMA, Whitney Museum in New York, and other worldwide venues. He has in turn been appointed to craft a large-scale public art work for the New York Times Building, the University of Texas and the City of San Jose among others.

The Shakespeare Machine which was commissioned by the New York City’s Percent of Art initiative as an on-going restoration of the landmark institution and completed in October 2012 is an art fitting, which is site-specific and long-lasting.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a monster wiht a horn on it's head in a small police car

It was Rubin’s large-scale multimedia sculpture creating a clarifying display of the Shakespearean dialect. It pauses as the Public Theatre lobby’s chandelier and organizes pieces of the texts according to various attributes that are arranged into motion guidelines of an infinite number of texts. 37 display panels one of each representing Shakespeare’s plays, appear in luminous characters of the moving texts. Ben Rubin himself said that his goal for the Shakespeare Machine was to generate flashes of the wit and passion that existed at the time of these plays’ creation.

For his achievements in the field of public art; he received the Public Art Annual Award in 2012,  and later went on to win the CoD+A Public Art Award in the category of Public Spaces in 2013, his work was included in the 2013 Public Art Network year in review.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a celebrating monster heading to a sports game in subway tunnel

Mr. Rubin has operated closely with some key figures including architects, performers, theorists and artists. Mostly he has collaborated with Mark Hansen in projects like Listening Post (2002), Movable Type (2007) and together with the Elevator Repair Service presented a performance, Shuffle, that reviewed text of three 1920s American novels

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a monster with two horns riding on a blue bicycle in new york

In 2011, Ben Rubin took art to another level as he found a creative innovative way to pass time during his daily routine commuting from Brooklyn to Manhattan by doodling on his iPad. If ever you’ve ridden the New York City subway you clearly experienced it first-hand that there’s never a shortage of peculiar and bizarre incidents. Subway Doodling is simply cartoon characters which are humorously integrated into certain or immediate surroundings. These characters are incorporated in photos next to subway riders who are unaware and find themselves starring in social media avenues which has drawn more than 52000 followers.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a tentacle monster beast snuggle a sleeping guy on subway

Mr. Rubin started drawing humorous creatures in the subway environment on his iPad that gave it the social media sensation termed as Subway Doodle. In kind of a funny way these subway doodle creatures, from a wide range of sweet and cuddly to scary monsters, took the representation of the New York subway riders themselves.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a pile of garbage resembling donald trump in the subway of new york

He then jumped into sharing his creations on social media some years back as a place to archive them but in an unexpected way took the internet by storm. Most of his monsters are furry blue creatures with a weird-looking facial or body attribute, sometime come in a beautiful form such as unicorns and chicken holding flowers. Those who want more should visit his official Subway Doodle website.

He enjoys making these creatures around unsuspecting people who are in their own world which is part of the humour though he sometimes asks friends or family to pose. It is not as a way to make a statement, but from the humour that comes from it. It is just a creative way to pass time in what could be a boring subway ride and brings some kind of fun to people who are seated on the subway, not imagine being having a ridiculous creature sitting next to them.