World Art Day

World Art Day takes place annually on April 15 to celebrate the birth of Leonardo Da Vinci, it is an international celebration of the fine arts declared by the International Association of Art (IAA) in order to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide. It was started after a proposal was put forward at the 17th General Assembly of the International Association of Art in Guadalajara to declare April 15 as World Art Day, with the first celebration held in 2012. This proposal was sponsored by Bedri Baykam of Turkey and co-signed by Rosa Maria Burillo Velasco of Mexico, Anne Pourny of France, Liu Dawei of China, Christos Symeonides of Greek Cyprus, Anders Liden of Sweden, Kan Irie of Japan, Pavel Kral of Slovakia, Dev Chooramun of Mauritius, and Hilde Rognskog of Norway. It was accepted unanimously by the General Assembly.The date was decided in honor of the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci.(ownpage) Da Vinci was chosen as a symbol world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multiculturalism as well as art’s important to other fields.

The first World Art Day on April 15, 2012 was supported by all IAA national committees and 150 artists, from France, Sweden, Slovakia, South Africa, Cyprus and Venezuela, but the intention of the event is universal. Events varied from special museum hours to conferences and more. For example Venezuela held outdoor art exhibitions with paintings, sculptures, prints, video and more, as well as a Florentine cooking demonstration in honor of Da Vinci.More events were held in 2013 all over the world including the Mbombela municipal art museum in South Africa.However, there was controversy at celebrations in Sweden when the Swedish minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, cut into the genitals of a cake representing a black African woman. The performance art was meant to be a statement against genital mutilation but many found the depiction racist.World Art Day has also been supported online, especially by the Google Art Project.

Leonard’s Da Vinci

imageItalian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer Leonardo da Vinci was born April 15 in 1452. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and “his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote”. Marco Rosci points out, however, that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time. Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded him by Francis I. Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter.

Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Leonardo’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo. Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull, and he outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. He made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science

Bishop Thomas Percy

imageBishop Thomas Percy was born 13 April 1729 he was Bishop of Dromore, County Down, Ireland. Before being made bishop, he was chaplain to George III. Percy’s greatest contribution is considered to be his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765), the first of the great ballad collections, which was the one work most responsible for the ballad revival in English poetry that was a significant part of the Romantic movement. He was born as Thomas Percy in Bridgnorth, the son of Arthur Lowe Percy a grocer and farmer at Shifnal who sent Thomas to Christ Church, Oxford in 1746 following an education firstly at Bridgnorth Grammar School followed by nearby Adams’ Grammar School in local Newport. He graduated in 1750 and proceeded M.A. in 1753. In the latter year he was appointed to the vicarage of Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire, and three years later was instituted to the rectory of Wilby in the same county, benefices which he retained until 1782. In 1759 he married Anne, daughter of Barton Gutterridge.

Dr Percy’s first work, ‘Hao Kiou Choaan, or The Pleasing History’, was published in 1761. This is a heavily revised and annotated version of a manuscript translation of the Haoqiu zhuan (好逑傳), and is the first full publication in English of a Chinese novel. The following year, he published a two-volume collection of sinological essays (mostly translations) entitled ‘Miscellaneous Pieces Relating to the Chinese.’ In 1763, he published Five Pieces of Runic Poetry, translated from the Icelandic. The same year, he also edited the Earl of Surrey’s poems with an essay on early blank verse, translated the Song of Solomon, and published a key to the New Testament. His Northern Antiquities (1770) is a translation from the French of Paul Henri Mallet. His edition of the ‘Household Book’ of the Earl of Northumberland (1770) (The Regulations and Establishment of the Household of Henry Algernon Percy, the Fifth Earl of Northumberland, at his Castles of Wresill and Lekinfield in Yorkshire. Begun anno domini M.DXII) is of the greatest value for the illustrations of domestic life in England at that period.

These works are of little estimation when compared with the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765). In the 1760s, he obtained a manuscript of ballads (the Percy Folio) from a source in Northumberland. He had in mind the idea of writing a history of the Percy family of the peerage (the Dukes of Northumberland), and he had sought materials of local interest. He had sought out old tales from near Alnwick, the ancestral home of the Northumberland Percy family, and he had come across many ballad tales. In 1763, Percy, aiming for the market that Ossian had opened for “ancient poetry” (see James MacPherson), published Five Pieces of Runic Poetry from Icelandic, which he translated and “improved.” Percy was a friend of Samuel Johnson, Joseph and Thomas Warton, and James Boswell. In 1764, Dr Johnson and others encouraged Percy to preserve the poetry he was finding at home. Percy therefore took the ballad material he had from his folio and began searching for more ballads, in particular. He wanted to collect material from the border areas, near Scotland. In 1765, he published the Reliques to great success. Appointed a chaplain to the king in 1769, Percy was formally admitted to Emmanuel College, Cambridge that year, and received a doctorate of divinity from Cambridge in 1770.

Still not having secured an adequate living, Thomas Percy continued with his project of commemorating the Alnwick area, and so he composed his own ballad poem on Warkworth Castle, then a ruin, which the Dukes of Northumberland controlled and which the Duchess of Northumberland favored for its sublime views. Combining the vogue for the “Churchyard Poets” and the ballad vogue that he himself had set in motion, Thomas Percy wrote The Hermit of Warkworth in 1771. Samuel Johnson famously composed three ex tempore parodies of this verse in the 1780s. When an admirer too often told Johnson of the beautiful “simplicity” of the ballad verse form, Johnson pointed out that the line between simplicity and simple mindedness is narrow: just remove the sense.

The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry set the stage not only for Robert Burns, but also for Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads. The book is based on an old manuscript collection of poetry, which Percy claimed to have rescued in Humphrey Pitt’s house at Shifnal, Shropshire, “from the hands of the housemaid who was about to light the fire with it.” The manuscript was edited in its complete form by JW Hales and FJ Furnivall in 1867-1868. This manuscript provides the core of the work but many other ballads were found and included, some by Percy’s friends Johnson, William Shenstone, Thomas Warton, and some from a similar collection made by Samuel Pepys. Percy “improved” 35 of the 46 ballads he took from the Folio. In the case of The Beggar’s daughter of Bednal Green (Bethnal Green), he added the historical character of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Evesham. In this version the ballad became so popular that it was used in two plays, an anonymous novel, operas by Thomas Arne and Geoffrey Bush, and Carl Loewe’s ballad “Der Bettlers Tochter von Bednall Green”. A fuller account of the history of the ballad can be found in “The Green” by A. J. Robinson and D. H. B. Chesshyre. Percy sadly passed away on 30 September 1811

Freaky Styley – Hillel Slovak

Best known as the original guitarist and founding member of the Los Angeles rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Israeli American musician Hillel Slovak ‏ was bornApril 13, 1962. Slovak recorded two albums with the band, Freaky Styley (1985) and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987). His guitar work was primarily rooted in funk and hard rock, although he often experimented with other genres including reggae and speed metal. He is considered to have been a major influence on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ early sound.

FREAKY STYLEY http://youtu.be/8QCJL38k0Lo

Born in Haifa, Israel, Slovak immigrated with his family to the United States when he was five years old. Slovak met future band mates Anthony Kiedis, Flea, and Jack Irons while attending school in Los Angeles. He joined the group Anthym along with Irons while attending Fairfax High School; Flea would later join the group, which later changed its name to What Is This?. Slovak, Flea, Kiedis, and Irons started Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1983, which became popular in the Los Angeles area, playing various shows around the city. However, Slovak quit the band to focus on What is This?, which had gotten a record deal, leaving the Red Hot Chili Peppers to record their debut album without him. He rejoined the Chili Peppers in 1985, and recorded the albums Freaky Styley and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan with the band.

During his career, Slovak developed a serious heroin addiction. He attempted to quit the drug many times, but ultimately succumbed to his addiction, dying of an overdose on June 25, 1988 at age 26. He was replaced by guitarist John Frusciante, who was greatly influenced by Slovak’s playing style. Several Red Hot Chili Peppers songs have been written as tributes to Slovak, including “Knock Me Down” and “My Lovely Man”. In 1999, his brother James Slovak published a book entitled Behind the Sun: The Diary and Art of Hillel Slovak, which features Slovak’s diaries and paintings. Slovak was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on April 14, 2012, with his brother accepting on his behalf.