Although raised in Australia, Sia Furler rose to fame after moving to the U.K., where she worked as a guest vocalist for several groups — including the electronica duo Zero 7 — and released her own solo albums. Born in 1975, she first performed on the Adelaide jazz circuit during the ’90s as a vocalist for the band Crisp. An attempt to launch a solo career in 1997 didn’t pan out, though, and the blonde, blue-eyed antipodean eventually hopped on a plane to London. While there, she landed a gig as a backup singer for Jamiroquai and inked a solo contract with DancePool, a sublabel of Sony.
Sia released her first single, “Taken for Granted,” in early 2000. Although the song only peaked at number 100 on the Australian charts, it rose to number ten in the U.K. and increased European demand for her debut album, Hearing Is Difficult, which followed in 2001. At the same time, a string of big names in the British music scene began asking for Sia’s services; offers from Zero 7and William Orbit ensued. Although some projects only called for Sia to sing on one song, her association with Zero 7 proved to be a recurring thing. She ultimately remained with Zero 7 for three albums, serving as the group’s go-to vocalist while also furthering her own career with solo releases like Colour the Small One and Some People Have Real Problems.
Meanwhile, Sia also began building an audience in America. One of the songs from Colour the Small One, “Breathe Me,” gained attention when it was used in the elaborate final scene of the Six Feet Under series, and the resulting buzz allowed her to enjoy a successful stateside tour. That tour was documented on her first live release, Lady Croissant, in 2007. By the following year, Sia’s American audience had increased to the point that Some People Have Real Problems, her third album, debuted at number 26.
Zero 7 began working on another album in 2009, but Sia had already shifted most of her attention to furthering her own career, and the band hired another singer in her place. Working alongside bassist Sam Dixon, she boosted her songwriting cred by writing several songs for Christina Aguilera, who put the songs onto her 2010 release Bionic. Sia also continued writing songs for herself, and We Are Born marked her most upbeat album to date in 2010.
Edvard Munch was an expressionist painter and printmaker from Oslo Norway. He was regarded as the pioneer of the amazing Expressionist movement. His art work from the late 1800′s is the most well known, but his later work is gradually attracting more attention and is a worldwide inspiration. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a seriesThe Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.
A singer/songwriter whose lush, theatrical pop harked back to the traditions of Tin Pan Alley, cabaret, and even opera, Rufus Wainwright was born in 1973; the son of folk music luminaries Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, his parents divorced while he was a child, and he was raised by his mother in Montreal. Beginning his piano studies at age six, by 13 he was touring with his mother, aunt Anna, and his sister Martha in a group billed as the McGarrigle Sisters and Family; a year later, Wainwright was nominated for a Juno (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) as Most Promising Young Artist, while his “I’m a-Runnin’” was concurrently nominated for a Genie (the Canadian countepart to an Oscar) for Best Song in a Film.
Coming out as a homosexual while still in his teens, Wainwright sought solace in opera throughout his adolescent years, also becoming an enormous fan of performers including Edith Piaf, Al Jolson, and Judy Garland. After attending the prestigious Millbrook School in upstate New York, he briefly studied music at Montreal’s McGill University, eventually turning away from classical performance toward pop and rock. Becoming a fixture on the Montreal club circuit, Wainwright soon cut a series of demos with producer Pierre Marchand; Loudon Wainwright III then passed a copy of the tape to friend Van Dyke Parks, who in turn handed it on to DreamWorks exec Lenny Waronker. The label signed him soon after, resulting in the release of Rufus Wainwright during the spring of 1998. The album landed on several critics’ “Best of 1998” lists, while Wainwright spent the next few years touring and appearing sporadically on soundtracks (Shrek) and compilations (The McGarrigle Hour). His sophomore album, Poses, brought similar acclaim in mid-2001.
After spending much of 2001 and 2002 touring on his own and with Tori Amos, Wainwright settled into Bearsville Studio, in Woodstock, NY, with producer Marius de Vries to record sort of a double album. The first project, Want One, was released in September 2003, with Want Two following a year later. In 2007, Wainwright released both Release the Stars and Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall.
The Persistence of Memory (Spanish: La persistencia de la memoria; Catalan: La persistència de la memòria) is a 1931 painting by artist Salvador Dalí, and is one of his most recognizable works. The painting has been in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City since 1934. It is widely recognized and frequently referenced in popular culture.
The well-known surrealist piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch. It epitomizes Dalí’s theory of “softness” and “hardness”, which was central to his thinking at the time. As Dawn Ades wrote, “The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order”. This interpretation suggests that Dalí was incorporating an understanding of the world introduced by Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Asked by Ilya Prigogine whether this was in fact the case, Dalí replied that the soft watches were not inspired by the theory of relativity, but by the surrealist perception of a Camembert cheesemelting in the sun.
Although fundamentally part of Dalí’s Freudian phase, the imagery precedes his transition to his scientific phase by fourteen years, which occurred after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
It is possible to recognize a human figure in the middle of the composition, in the strange “monster” that Dalí used in several period pieces to represent himself – the abstract form becoming something of a self-portrait, reappearing frequently in his work. The orange clock at the bottom left of the painting is covered in ants. Dalí often used ants in his paintings as a symbol for death, as well as a symbol of female genitalia.
The figure in the middle of the picture can be read as a “fading” creature, one that often appears in dreams where the dreamer cannot pinpoint the creature’s exact form and composition. One can observe that the creature has one closed eye with several eyelashes, suggesting that the creature is also in a dream state. The iconography may refer to a dream that Dalí himself had experienced, and the clocks may symbolize the passing of time as one experiences it in sleep.
The Persistence of Memory employs “the exactitude of realist painting techniques” to depict imagery more likely to be found in dreams than in waking consciousness.
The Scream (Norwegian: Skrik) is a series of Expressionist paintings and prints created by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch between 1893 and 1910, showing an agonized figure against a red sky. The landscape in the background is the Oslofjord, viewed from Ekeberg, Oslo.
Edvard Munch created several versions of The Scream in various media. The National Gallery, Oslo holds one of two painted versions (1893, shown to right). The Munch Museum holds the other painted version (1910, see gallery) and one pastel. A fourth version (1895), in pastel, is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, and will be offered at auction on May 2, 2012. Experts estimate that the painting could sell for as much as $80 million. Munch also created a lithograph of the image in 1895.
The Scream has been the target of several high-profile art thefts. In 1994, the version in the National Gallery was stolen. It was recovered several months later. In 2004, The Scream and Madonna were stolen from the Munch Museum, and recovered two years later.
London-based Matt Hales, aka Aqualung, started getting involved in music at a young age while listening to different tracks played at his parents’ Southampton record store. He began writing songs at age four on his family’s piano. At the age of 16, after achieving a scholarship, the enthusiastic young man began attending composition classes. A year later a symphony called Life Cycle became his debut in the classical field, performed by a 60-piece orchestra. His brother Ben joined him in a band to cover the Police’s classic songs. In the early ’90s, following studies at London’s City University, he became part of the Britpop band Ruth, releasing Harrison on ARC Records in 1999. After leading the 45’s (not the Atlanta-based garage rock revival band) and issuing two singles on Universal, Hales grew disenchanted and started working on Aqualung in 2002, often co-writing songs with his wife Kim Oliver and brother Ben Hales. The alternative rock project (initially just a lo-fi bedroom venture) became quickly popularized by a VW Beetle TV ad in the U.K. featuring his song “Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put a Spell on You),” which coincided with the release of his self-titled debut in 2002. Several singles followed into the next year, as well as his second album, the fuller-sounding Still Life. The record spawned another hit single in “Brighter Than Sunshine,” and soon, various Aqualung tracks were popping up in popular television shows and movies on both sides of the Atlantic. Hales then combined tracks from his earlier U.K. albums into one 12-song set for Aqualung’s proper American debut, which finally surfaced in early 2005 via Columbia Records entitled Brighter Than Sunshine. Extensive touring throughout North America followed over the next two years, driving the album to number one on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and going on to sell over 250,000 copies. On the road, since Hales was essentially just playing songs he’d written years earlier to a new audience, he would routinely switch up the Aqualung show with different musicians, settings, and approaches to keep things as fresh as possible. The diverse elements he explored during this time (including the echo device called the Memoryman) subsequently drove the creative process behind what would later become Aqualung’s next album, March 2007’s more ambitious Memory Man. In 2008 Aqualung released the intimate Words & Music, the band’s Verve Forecast debut.
Salvador Domènec Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), known as Salvador Dalí (Catalan pronunciation: [səɫβəˈðo ðəˈɫi]), was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia,Spain.
Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire includes film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.
Dalí attributed his “love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes” to a self-styled “Arab lineage”, claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.
Dalí was highly imaginative, and also had an affinity for partaking in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem and to the irritation of his critics.
Art is a term that describes a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities, but is most often understood to refer to painting, film, photography, sculpture, and other visual media. Music, theatre, dance, literature, andinteractive media are included in a broader definition of art or the arts. Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences, but in modern usage the fine arts are distinguished from acquired skills in general.
Many definitions of art have been proposed by philosophers and others who have characterized art in terms of mimesis, expression, communication of emotion, or other values. During the Romantic period, art came to be seen as “a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science”.
The nature of art, and related concepts such as creativity and interpretation, are explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.