Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pop Surrealism

Mark Ryden is one of the most celebrated artists of the Pop Surrealism movement. His works recall a parallel universe of 1950s Golden Books and the whimsy of Lewis Carroll. His cheerful bunnies, rendered in the glowing hues of children's books, are more likely to be carving slabs of meat rather than frolicking in the forest.
Ryden’s known for his superb technique with freakish imagery to create a world of strange and disturbing beauty. At once captivating and unsettling, baffling and enchanting, Ryden's works are a subtle combination of many sources and influences as wide-ranging as Psychedelic and Vienna School artists, Neon Park and Ernst Fuchs, to French neoclassical Ingres and David.
How many artists can make grotesque creatures and haunting childlike characters look so innocent???

"Well, I have to admit I don't really paint my paintings; a Magic Monkey does. He comes to my studio late at night, when it's very quiet. Mysterious things happen late at night when most people are asleep. I help the magic monkey, but he does most of the work. My job is to get him to show up”
Mark Ryden

Mr. Ryden

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


This was my debut collection of paintings which I launched at Index Exhibition Dubai 2004, named The Decadence Collection. This collection was a collaborative effort between me and another artist. All the paintings depict beautiful women in highly stylized poses.
The most striking aspect of the art work is the glittering jewelry worn by the women. Beautiful necklaces, ornate tiaras, large earrings and even a contemporary version of the traditional Arabian burqa'a have been painstakingly painted on canvas and encrusted with thousands of Swarovski crystals.
The languorous demeanor of the women and the ornate backgrounds of the paintings are reminiscent of opulent French palaces and the debauched lifestyles of their occupants.
Titles such as The Widow, Debutante, Madame Deficit, Paramour, Jezebel, Odalisque and Naiveté also suggest a classical mood, yet there is a certain kitschy, pop art like element that gives the art work a contemporary feel. Inspired by the work of Art Deco legends such as Tamara de Lempicka, costumier Erte, and jeweler Lalique.
As a film-maker as well, I always had a thing for close-ups, and this is reflected in my compositions. The artist then translated my ideas into oil on canvas. Once the paintings were ready, then I started the painstaking process of applying thousands of Swarovski crystals individually on each of our creations, to complete the final look. This process took weeks, and with some even months to complete. This was the least enjoyable part of the collection, for I was going literally blind. The most annoying part was when I would layout the crystals, and then with a sudden nudge they all scatter on the table, and I have to start all over again! The end result though was phenomenal. They could light up an entire room, once the light hits them.

La Coquette


Commtesse de La Motte





Madame Deficit

Friday, May 15, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

When you’re a film maker, turned artist, turned interior designer, you always look at things differently. This is what happens to me all the time. Whether I am in the car looking out the window and noticing something interesting, or even looking at a tree can inspire my next design project.
Now going to the movies is a whole different thing all together. I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie, and literally enjoyed the story line or plot.
My mind would be racing a million miles per hour, already designing my next project in my head. This wall would look great with so and so project; this chair is perfect for so and so house! It does get frustrating at times to be honest, as I would really like to switch off and enjoy the film like anyone else. I failed tremendously, and just can’t get design out of my head. It’s either the set design or lighting, the window treatment, the wall paneling, the furniture, the costumes, the art etc etc…
One film which I watched over and over again, trying to grasp the plot, which again I failed at, was “Marie Antoinette”
Don’t get me wrong, I do know the story inside out, but I just couldn’t enjoy the acting as much as I enjoyed these visuals. The colors were mesmerizing, the set design was impeccable, the fabrics were decadent, and food never looked as beautiful as it did in this film. I remember watching an Interview with Sophia Coppola, in which she mentions that she derived the color palette of the entire film from the infamous MACARONS, which clearly is evident throughout the film.
Feast your eyes on history recreated…

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Blaise Dovifat has always had a passion for art and design. Now, armed with the experience of his professional career in graphics, he has moved towards the creation of furniture and accessories somewhere between drawing and sculpture.It is in his workshop in the Paris region that he constructs his creations that are often imposing and somewhat theatrical. He cuts out, profiles, perforates or makes fretwork like lace out of steel, stainless steel or even aluminium, giving the raw material all its nobility and thus creating rare and significant pieces.Today he presents a range of mirrors, consoles, tables or lights with varying characteristics : baroque, tribal, contemporary or intriguingly unusual.His creations are authenticated "one-off" pieces or limited numbered editions.
Below are some of his amazing creations we proudly carry at Burlesque.