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This is from a thread post. P’s Mixel that precedes it is a river bank shot with a city skyline that is hard to identify, it runs the length of the background and is small enough in scale as to be indistinguishable, it isn’t particularly memorable, it could be anywhere.

The foreground is an empty expanse of river, I love the colours and tones of the water, and although there’s no activity going on something in it reminded me of Venice painted by Canaletto.

This Canaletto hangs in the National Gallery, I worked there for a few years and my time there probably informs a fair amount of my limited art knowledge.

Mixel 100
So I’m exactly one calendar month in to my Mixel odyssey today and this week I reached a milestone, Mixel number 100, I know I know it’s just an honour to be nominated!

For my 100th Mixel I went suitably royal, Lucian Freud came to mind, probably as an echo from the Jenny Saville work I was looking at last week.

I don’t know if you realise what a shock it was to hear Her Madge voice the words “good evening Mr Bond” during the Olympics Opening Ceremony. It still feels remarkable because ceremonial duties aside this is a monarch who only addresses her subjects on formal occasions. She’s said to watch Strictly Come Dancing and Eastenders but still, that she would be aware let alone interact with pop culture in any way is quite startling. That Bond moment was everything.

Quennie never speaks informally and has a well preserved mystique and mystery, she has been photographed her whole life but there’s a controlled distance, even in the age of a ‘more relaxed royal family’ The Queen is a cipher for remote authority, we don’t know her at all.

In this Freud has made her fleshy and human, its so far removed from the stage managed portraits i associate with her.

Royals who are Heads of state seem like such an anachronism today, inherited power and privilege is so out of sync with growing global democratic citizenship. Our ire and rage are rightly focused on bankers and financiers but for me the Royal Family can pretty much evaporate for all the interest I have in them and rather my taxes went on hospitals and sports clubs. I’d vote to keep Her Madge for ceremonial cameos though, at the next international celebration of Britishness that we host, i insist she steps in to the tardis.

Ma’am *curtseys*


My favourite Mixel of the last week

The lightening bulb moment, the eureka, the epiphany, a sudden reveal of truth, personal or otherwise, is often characterised as having illuminating qualities. The corners of my mind aren’t that dark really but the sudden reappearance of an former obsession was like a flare going off in the darkness. How could i have forgotten how much i love the photography of Darren Almond?

It’s been years since i’ve seen his work, i don’t even know whether he’s still alive. What i recall is the air of wonder his moonlit work evoked for me -Almond produced a series of photos that were lit by moonlight and the photos have an eerie atmosphere.

This Mixel combines a Darren Almond landscape with a drawing by Gustav Klimt and a portrait of Georgia O’Keefe. I like the tones and that the stillness in the landscape is echoed within the beauty of O’Keefe’s pose, the juxtaposition of Klimt’s unusually basic drawing feels nice too.