Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu

"real life" Tag

Big Bird

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

While walking through the basement of the Stedelijk, one object‘s shape caught my eye. When I looked again I saw such a friendly face looking back, cheerfully. I wondered why it was such a friendly face. I noticed a lack of bright colours. But this – what I thought to be at this point a birdmanvaseface – looked so happy and alive, with his wobbly and alive-like-lines and flappy wings or its little beak.

foto1.0 Grote Vogel


First I tried to search online for this bird and it first brought me to the website of the Stedelijk Museum. Here it is described and documented and in which publications it is mentioned. The second things I found were different spices of Picasso’s ceramics which have been auctioned off back in 2012. Soon I realised that this same auctionhouse/their website, had a whole collection of these ceramics. They called it the Madoura Collection, the best Pablo Picasso auction that has ever been and will be.

 foto2.0 stedelijkweb boekken

foto3.0 Madoura Collection


The Auction House Christie’s made a film about the collection. After seeing this film I wondered they sold over 500 ceramic pieces of Picasso so statistically speaking they also could have Picasso’s bird vase. So I set upon the quest to scroll through the entire collection and see if I could find it. There were similar vases but they did not have the bird face so I kept on scrolling, until I got half way through, when I found it.

foto4.0 Video Madoura Collection

I learned from the auctionfilm, that Picasso was working with the Ramié family in 1946. After a year he returned and stayed working with the family, was living in the same area till he died in 1973. So he must have had a lot of pleasure making these ceramics and maybe that pleasure you see in this bird vase.


Because now I new of two vases which were the same, I wondered how unique is this vase. So I looked into the catalogue of the auction and learned that this vase was executed in an edition of 25.


My last  “issue” with this beautiful vase (in fact with all ceramic vases by Picasso) is that you never see the vase being used as a vase: for example on a kitchen table, in a window or as an mantelpiece. I think it is a kind of sad that this vase is always in some kind of studio/museum setting and never in a real environment. Because of several reasons: According to the lady of the video Picasso wanted anybody to come in and buy a piece of his ceramics with their pocket change. That is, I think, the main reason, so many pieces are made.

For us, poor people who are not willing or  “able” to buy a 300,000 Euro vase, it is hard to imagine how the vase would look like in a natural environment. In other words for our first impression of the vase we have to read how big it is, to read how the texture is and to guess which flowers I can put in: I mean what kind of vase is this? Would big sunflowers look good, or would daisies look even better. Because after all, it’s still a vase and when it’s used for it’s purpose then a vase filled with flowers gets an extra dimension and can glow with radiance.

I have studied many Picasso’s, paintings, ceramics and pictures of his studio’s and for what I have seen, he himself is very practical with his work. The following pictures show how this statue of a goat is often a cheerful object in his daily life. The only picture of two vases near some flowers shows again that the object is not used for its purpose. Nevertheless this particular picture shows what some colorful hydrangeas do for those vases.

foto5.0 gaot

foto6.0 hydrangeas

My point of view is that a few beautiful sunflowers in Picasso’s bird vase would certainly give an extra dimension to the vase.





Jan Toorop’s Delftsche Slaolie

Saturday, October 27, 2018

This poster is one of the first works that is exhibited at the Stedelijk when you enter the base. I spent a couple of hours at the museum looking at everything, trying to look for different options, but in the end it is the first one that I saw that made the cut.

It is a lithograph made by Jan Toorop in 1894 for the Dutch Oil Factory (Nederlandse Olie Fabriek, NOF), but it is also because graphic design (and in this case advertisement) can be forgotten; when people think about design, the first things that usually comes to mind is furniture. I then wanted to investigate how different it would be to research in this field of design.

I first started by going to the academy library and found three books about Jan Toorop, two in Dutch and one in French. In art books, Toorop’s posters are always quickly mentioned, if ever mentioned at all. Most of them focus more on his paintings and drawings and his advertising period during the 1890s is largely overlooked. But what would there be to say? It seems to be a question I cannot find an answer to this. I find it strange that this piece is considered one of the most famous works of Toorop and Dutch Art Nouveau and that there is so very few information and texts about it.



Furthermore, when I did my research on the internet, only basic information showed up, usually on museum’s websites like the Rijksmuseum or the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Both of them have a print in their collection, that’s why you can find it there: a picture, with a title date and dimensions. So no analysis or study or history or context like I expected. For instance there was only one website (the Moma) that mentioned the company this poster was made for; you can find the initials on the poster (NOF).

Another thing really intrigued me: in the first websites popping up under the research bar were both Christie’s and eBay. On the first one, original 94×64 cm prints are auctioned from 22500 euros. On the second one 53,7×12 cm prints are sold for 25 euros. The one in the Rijksmuseum is 95×62,5 cm, in the V&A it is 101×69,9 cm. I also stumbled upon who retailed two sizes, for 50 and 70 euros. The posters always come in different sizes and prices, original print or not; they even come in different shades since Toorop made versions with slightly altered color schemes. I also came across stamps with the design printed on it.


Everything published before 1928 is automatically public domain, which is the case for the Delftsche Slaolie poster (which was created in 1894); it means that with no copyright, anybody can use it. If I wanted, I could sell postcards like this person on eBay or commercialize shirts with this image on them.
This thought also made me realize another weird thing: when I was browsing on google images, I only found pictures of the poster alone, but never in context. At first, this poster was supposed to be an advertisement, but I never encountered a photograph showing a situation where this work was actually put to its initial use. I also expected to find pictures of this poster as decoration, since it also sells like this nowadays, but absolutely nada.
After searching for a long time I only found one image with a framed poster. It was on the website of a gallery and the piece was sold for an unknown price.



I started wondering about the fact that more than a century ago, people saw this on the street like we see advertisement ourselves nowadays; we wouldn’t think about hanging this Oatly (a brand of oat milk)

poster that has been all around the streets of Amsterdam on our wall, and in the same way maybe the people back then would have laughed at the idea of putting the Delftsche Slaolie poster in their home.

I went to the Stedelijk museum again but couldn’t find a postcard of the work in the gift shop. Since I couldn’t find any picture of the poster in context, weather it be advertisement or decoration, I would do it myself, and I decided to do that with a kitchen wall because I figured that most people would hung that in their kitchen. It is food related after all.



If I print it myself at school in good quality and same size as the original it would cost me a couple a few euros, and maybe it would be even better than the eBay or ones. I will have to do that for my grandmother so she can add it to her collection on her toilet wall.

What does all this mean for the future of our present advertising? All brands try to make beautiful or eye-catching or subversive ads in order to differentiate themselves from the rest; but what does it have to take to end up in the Moma, Christie’s or an old lady’s toilets? ©

Friday, October 26, 2018

The other day I was working on this essay, or what I thought it would become this essay, and I bumped into something. I saved an image of the artwork “Kubus Geschirr” from Wihelm Wagenfeld on google to add in pages. But while in pages, I couldn’t find this saved image anymore.

Weird technology.

So I tried something different, I made a screenshot of the image on google. But, while I did this, the internet immediately brought me to a page about:

fair use.




Never heard of it.

My original plan to write about the differences or similarities on how “Kubus Geschirr” from Wilhelm Wagenfeld, appears on the internet and in books got replaced for my interest in the world of fair use.

c/o Pictoright, SM Amsterdam 2004

Fair use has a few similarities with copyright. You use the term fair use if something is a small part of a copyrighted work, you don’t have to ask permission or pay a fee to use it. Where as with copyright you have these five restrictions:

  1. Check who owns it
  2. Get permission to use it
  3. Give credit to the creator
  4. Buy it
  5. Use it responsibility

But with fair use, its slightly different. If for example an image has a fair use coat over it, you can use it for education, news reporting, criticizing/commenting and comedy/parody. In comparison to copyright, fair use has some rules as well:

  1. It has to be a small part of a bigger thing
  2. It has to have a new meaning, it has to be original
  3. It has to be a “rework”
  4. It is non profit (no fee)

IMG_5857 These are the words from someone else, but I remade it, so it's a fair use.

If you ask me, this is al about respect and owning.

Its about getting the credits for something YOU have made and YOU have brought into the internet, you did it, so you want to be sure the credits are still given to yourself. Wait, but you don’t have to pay for it if you made a new work out of it, because then its fair law. ???.

As you can maybe sense I get a little bit confused about this. I’ve never experienced copy right. There are parts of it that I get, but also parts I really don’t get.

It’s interesting to think about it.

Why would it be so important to get credits for your own work? Is it about self-respect and pride?  You’re proud of something you’ve made and you want to show it to the world, but you’re also too jealous when someone tries to steal your work/idea so you put a watermark on it and do something with copyright so you can control it.

I spoke a friend from high school about this subject. She always wanted her friends to put her name in the description or tag her when we putted a photo she made on instagram. I thought it was lame, just be proud you made this photo and own it that way.

I recently asked why she wanted the credits for making the picture. Her answer was that she compares this issue with artists that put their initials on their work or musicians who put their name on their album cover. She sees it as an appreciation for the work she has made and that she would think, I would also like to get that recognition for my work.

Yes, I agree actually. I love when people like my work, so of course I want my name on there. Its a kind of attention your sometimes longing for. Some people more than other, but I dare to say its human.

I asked her later how the internet changes this issue. She thinks that on the internet stealing is easier, which makes you want to have good copyright, to prevent this.


So there is a difference between copyrighting on the internet and in real life. On the internet you can be anonymous and steal someones work within copy and paste. You can steal world wide and also publish world wide. And you can punish someone from stealing your work to ask for a fee and get it of the internet.

In real life its you’re own social circle you’ll steal in, its harder to be anonymous and also harder to publish. When you want to confront someone with it, you’re having a conversation. But on the other hand, making a picture or a copy of something specific in a book is really easy to do and also easy to spread around.

In both worlds we have to deal with copyright, but in these worlds there are different approaches. I feel like on the internet the feeling is more intense, because copyright is a big deal on the internet. It’s less personal, but it is personal. Copyright makes it personal and tender.  In real life, in books, copyright violations are harder to detect and easy to do. Again, in both worlds you want to publish your work, get recognition, but also know that someone can use your work for other purposes. It’s a decision you make.

My suggestion is to apply copyright in the real life-life:



Copyright is the new self respect.
Like and copyright.

Log in