“Painting Desires”

Gustav Klimt painted his rumoured lover, Adele Bloch-Bouer, a Viennese high society socialite as the subject of his famous painting – Judith and the Head of Holofernes (also known as Judith I) in 1907. The painting, depicting her in denuded sensuality holding the beheaded Holofernes sent shockwaves through Viennese society. Judith, set against an opulent golden background, with her voluptuous expressions, unabashedly channelling the ‘enchantress’ and the ‘avenger’ revels in murderous pleasure. The work speaks of desire unchained. In the history of art, the objects of desire abound. Desires reveal; desires betray; desires express; desires declare. Desires are multifarious and infinite, be it of grandeur, romance, power, preservation or of ruination. For Opus #3, we sought submissions on or inspired by paintings of desire. Enjoy!

“Homo Bulla”

Man is like a bubble. Its life fragile and brief. (Soap) bubbles floating about the canvases of 17th century Dutch vanitas paintings harped upon the brevity of life, the suddenness of death and therefore the futility of pleasure. The vain be warned. Beauty is transient. Death inevitable! But interpretations have varied. It has found beauty in ephemerality. How does one see these bubbles? As idealisms, empty promises and self-delusion in satirical prints? As an allegory for the vice of vanity in the manner of Thomas Couture’s Soap Bubbles or as Jean Siméon Chardin’s ode to childhood, idleness, and the simple pleasures of life (bubble gums and bubble wraps) ? As an elegant reminder of the fleeting nature of time? The impermanence of youth? How would Harrison Odjegba Okene, the accidental aquanaut, see it? For our Opus #2 we sought bubble bedecked submissions on or inspired by artworks alluding to the themes above.

Ptenopus Special


At 50, after being struck by lightning, Japanese ukiyo-e (woodblock) artist, painter and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai had to learn his art all over again. A decade later he took up a grand project – a series of landscape paintings titled “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji”. It was grand not simply because of its scale, but also of a vision that could encompass 36 views of a mountain top. It is this vision that sustains art and life both. For our Opus #1 we sought submissions inspired by artworks that expanded one’s perspective and enabled one to have “36 Views” of the world and beyond.

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