Sunday, 17 January 2010

Real Bears Don't Wear Somebody Else's Fur

Mum gave us a tip on this one:

After activists and supporters of the Croatian animal rights organization Animal Friends gave their support to the ice hockey club Medvescak Zagreb (Zagreb Bears) during many games in the regional league EBEL against Slovenian, Hungarian and Austrian teams by unfolding a huge banner that said "ANIMAL FRIENDS ADORE THE BEARS", the Bears paid them back for their support and in turn gave their support to the "For Croatia without Fur" campaign – by undressing their handsome 26 year old defender Luka Novosel!

Luka said: "I joined this campain because I love animals, and if there is anything I can do for them, the least I can do is to get my picture taken and help animal protection. Fur should be where it belongs. On animals!"

January 1st 2007, the new Animal Protection Act that bans fur farming in Croatia came into force. But this regulation will not be effective until January 1st 2017. In this long period, hundreds and thousands of animals will continue being killed for fashion and human vanity. And in any case, an end to fur farming does not mean an end to selling fur in Croatia and importing it from other countries. Thus, Animal Friends launched a national campaign in January 2007 called "For Croatia without Fur" - the aim of which is to completely stop the cruel treatment of animals by the fashion industry as soon as possible.
Croatian fashion models and designers have already joined the campaign, and now they also have a real Bear defender on their side!

Read more on the official Animal Friends website!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Portrait of the Artist as Chirayliq (Part 1)

Here are some artistic visions of famous (and rather handsome) painters in the 19th and 20th century.

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky
, Armenian: Hovhannes Aivazian (1817 — 1900) Portrait by Alexei Tyranov, 1841.

Born in Feodosiya, Crimea. Studied in Simferopol and St. Petersburg, traveled around the Black Sea and through Europe, worked and exhibited in Rome, Paris, and Constantinople, as well as his hometown, where he also spent his final years. Some of his maritime works can be viewed at

Pyotr Zakharov-Chechenets
(1816 — 1846) Self portrait in Chechen costume, 1842.

Russian painter of Chechen origin. Orphaned during the Caucasian War 1819, he was raised by a Cossack family and later adopted by a Russian officer who recognized his artistic talents. In spite of ostracism because of his Chechen background, Zakharov-Chechenets remained proud of his heritage (as seen on his chosen name and his costume) became a successful artist, but died of tuberculosis at a young age.

Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov
(1848 — 1926) Self-portrait, 1868.

Son of a village priest, grandson of an icon painter. His brother Apollinary also became a painter. Vasnetsov became a friend of Ilya Repin while studying in St. Petersburg and even modeled for him. He is famous for his mythological and fairy-tale motifs, but he was more interested in everyday scenes of simple life in the beginning of his career. He designed uniforms for the Red Army in 1918 and is credited with the invention of the distinctive budenovka hat - directly inspired by the pointy helmets of the ancient bogatyrs (epic heroes) in Vasnetsov's paintings.

Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel (1856 — 1910) Self-portrait, 1885.

Born in Omsk, studied in St. Petersburg. Symbolist painter inspired by medieval religious art and oriental aesthetics. Particularly famous for his paintings inspired by Mikhail Lermontov's Caucasian romance poem "The Demon".

Part 2 with 20th century artists coming up soon!