Jun 2 2016

Only Lovers Left Alive

Aida

“To imagine falling in love as a correspondence of minds, of toughts; it is a simultaneous firing of two spirits engaged in the autonomous act of growing up. And the sensation is of something having noiselessly exploded inside each of them. Around this event, dazed and preoccupied, the lover moves examining his or her own experience; her gratitude alone, stretching away towards a mistaken donor, creates the illusion that she communicates with her fellow, but this is false. The loved object is simply one that has shared an experience at the same moment of time, narcissistically; and the desire to be near the beloved object is at first not due to the idea of possessing it, but simply to let the two experiences compare themselves, like reflections in different mirrors. All this may precede the first look, kiss, or touch; precede ambition, pride or envy; precede the first declarations which mark the turning point – for from here love degenerates into habit, possession, and back to loneliness.”

- Justine by Lawrence Durrell

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography


Oct 30 2015

The Tourist

Aida

I opened my window on the fast highway. The wind blew in and hit my face, but I focused on the structures ahead. I didn’t think, I just pulled out my camera and shot.

This was on a road trip I recently did with my parents and my brother. We planned on visiting nine states before we reached Michigan.
Six years ago my mother and I visited her brothers in Michigan. For the first time I met the one uncle I only heard stories of. He is an incredible human being, also a photographer. The trip was momentous, and I fell in love with my family.
When we had to leave for home my uncle drove us to the Chicago airport.

But, I have learned to love this city.
Chicago gave me hope.

Aida Gradina Photography

The Art Institute of Chicago is an incredible place. I want to live there.

This is a series I did on my brother called “The Tourist”.

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Portrait of Jeanne Wenz 1886

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography
Workshop of Dieric Bouts
Mater Dolorosa (Sorrowing Virgin) 1480/1500


Jun 11 2015

He Was Pointing At The Moon, But I Was Looking At His Hand

Aida

I have always been in love, my whole life, since I was a child I am sure. Even when I did not love a sepcific person I was still in love with love. And it pained me and created a hopeless romantic out of me, but it also created a dark side I can no longer shake off. I have learned to hide it so well that sometimes even I forget it exists. I realize now I am in love with this darkness. I love how it looms over me, hovers, and despises me. It is comforting, and familiar in a lot of my photography. Art is tragic, and I think you need to be strong to overcome the isolation and the darkness of it all because you are the darkness and it is your heart you are painting or versing or photographing, always. Beauty becomes accompanied by a saddness, a sort of nostalgia, I don’t really know what…
All I know is that it all makes me happy, and sad because I miss him, and I wish I could talk to him after all these years because he was dark and beautiful and I was always looking at his hands.

Aida Gradina Photography
(“Melancholia” series, my friend Rose taken at the Rose garden)

Eventually something you love is going to be taken away. And then you will fall to the floor crying. And then, however much later, it is finally happening to you: you’re falling to the floor crying thinking, “I am falling to the floor crying,” but there’s an element of the ridiculous to it — you knew it would happen and, even worse, while you’re on the floor crying you look at the place where the wall meets the floor and you realize you didn’t paint it very well.
- Richard Siken (includes title of post)

And speaking of all that’s dark here are a few films, my dear reader, I promised to recommend every now and then for your viewing pleasure

1992 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – David Lynch
1999 Eyes Wide Shut – Stanley Kubrick
2011 Melancholia – Lars Von Trier
2013 Nymphomaniac – Lars Von Trier
2013 Young and Beautiful – François Ozon
2014 Lost River – Ryan Gosling


May 14 2015

Are You Going To Teach Me About The Meaning Of Life

Aida

stalker

There’s something peculiar in the trees when the wind hits so hard it stirs the peace, quietly.
First the sound, a hush like whisper that spreads from one to the other, then the sight, a sway from left to the right.
It’s almost heartbreaking, this image.
I’ve fallen in love with it, and yet I cannot grasp the beauty of it. I grow frastruated looking at it, as if I want to leap into this tree, into this wind, and be one with it.
Actually, I just want to capture it.

I want to be a filmmaker one day, this desire drives me insane, for I don’t know how to start but ponder over incredibly captured films I’ve seen over the years.
My photography is inspired by films. Most recently I’ve started to pay closer attention to the ways of filmmaking; what makes a good film?
When I see one that I thoroughly enjoy and gain inspiration from it becomes imprisoning not having anyone to share it with. Therefore, my dear reader, I shall bestow this entrapment on you.

Earlier I belive I’ve stated my unconditional love for Russian literature. Today, I proudly confess my love for Russian filmmakers.
I wish I was more eloquent and precise in my writing for I would write an essay about my love and respect for Andrei Tarkovsky, however words cannot expess everything.

Look out for a short list of films every now and then in these posts, I hope you find one you like.

2014 Leviathan – Andrey Zvyagintsev
2003 The Return – Andrey Zvyagintsev
1979 Stalker – Andrei Tarkovsky

stalker_545560


Mar 9 2015

Mainstream Genius

Aida

The fascinating thing about mainstream media is that every now and then it tends to stray into genius.
And Shia is killing it.


Nov 21 2014

Ghost Writer

Aida

I have, what I like to call, a “writing desk”. This is where I keep a few books, journals, and my computer.
My computer screen cracked recently, I broke it. Everytime I open the lid and turn the bright screen monolith on I cringe, which leads to tears. I need a new computer.
I like to use this as my excuse for not photographing. I tell my freinds I’m taking a break from photography, and as they give me puzzled glances I hastly explain how now and then we all need a break to compose ourselves and to produce great art. It’s a good one, I know.
Truth is, I couldn’t do it anymore. And without ‘it’ I realized I couldn’t function at all.

The worst thing is not feeling like yourself, and realizing you miss yourself.
I only hope my parents can forgive me for hating myself these past few weeks, because I love them so much, and everyday that love continues to grow.

This writing desk of mine has brought me much pleasure. It is the first piece of furniture I bought after two years of living without the parents. This desk encouraged a bookshelf (one that I was very much against, for I would have rather bought more books than have spent money on a shelf to house them properly). It also gave way to a little wooden side table which fits so perfectly in the corner of this emotional chaos and keeps seven books afloat beaneath a lucky bamboo.

Sometimes I sit on my unusually tall bed and stare right across into the bindings of old (some first edition) novels I’ve aquired over the years. Looking at them, I feel overwhelmed for I haven’t even touched upon a Melville or heard the bells toll, but mostly I feel a kick of desire, a spring in my step, to reach forward and grab that Hemmingway.

I have been dedicating my time to books, more so than usual, not the ones on my shelf for they will always remain waiting proudly for me, but the ones in libraries, libraries which still exist in the midst of all of this ebook technology, libraries which have always made me feel at home, libraries which have finally encouraged me to read my first Austin and leave this century behind.

After nights spent in avoidance of photography, I sat at my writing desk and filled a journal of inevitable regrets, which somehow, magically led to the thing I love and have missed the most.

I dedicate this post, this photo, this time to books, literal, incredibly scented old books!

Aida Gradina Photography


Aug 8 2014

If Stars Can Stick Why Can’t I

Aida

Blog was down for a while and I was away for a bit meeting places. All is well.

I’ve been working on this series for about two years and am just now realizing how much hard work goes into something like this. Two years feels like nothing, yet within that time frame I constantly tried to capture what I have now, and still it’s not enough, and perhaps will never be enough. How do you know that a certain work is completed when it comes to photography, or any art form?
For now it all comes down to giving yourself some space and time.

Fire, Walk With Me Series, latest work

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography

Aida Gradina Photography


Sep 25 2013

Found Art and Found Books

Aida

Here’s some found art I very much admire.
And for anyone who loves books and lives in Vancouver there’s a Book Fair happening downtown at the UBC Robson Square on Saturday and Sunday.
Check it out! www.vancouverbookfair.com
Also, Vancouver International Film Festival begins tomorrow and The Vancouver Writers Festival starts next month.

Marianne von Werefkin


May 20 2013

Flora Of North America

Aida

Images from “Flora Of North America” by William P.C. Barton (1821).

Barton paid particular attention to native orchids, many of which are threatened today. In his description of the ladyslipper orchid (Cypripedium humile), he notes the plant’s fragility:

“It is a favorite flower, from the circumstance of its continuing to bloom a long time. It does not, however, bear the soil or atmosphere of common gardens… I have repeatedly attempted to cultivate it, but have never had a plant to bloom a second season.”


May 15 2013

And I Love Sofia Coppola

Aida

This world can be so beautiful if you let it.


Jan 22 2013

Compositions

Aida

In the common walks of life, with what delightful emotions does the youthful mind look forward to some anticipated scene of festivity! Imagination is busy sketching rose-tinted pictures of joy. In fancy, the voluptuous votary of fashion sees herself amid the festive throng, ‘the observed of all observers.’ Her graceful form, arrayed in snowy robes, is whirling through the mazes of the joyous dance; her eye is brightest, her step is lightest in the gay assembly. In such delicious fancies time quickly glides by, and the welcome hour arrives for her entrance into the Elysian world, of which she has had such bright dreams. How fairy-like does everything appear to her enchanted vision! Each new scene is more charming than the last. But after a while she finds that beneath this goodly exterior, all is vanity, the flattery which once charmed her soul, now grates harshly upon her ear; the ball-room has lost its charms; and with wasted health and imbittered heart, she turns away with the conviction that earthly pleasures cannot satisfy the longings of the soul!

- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

I am quite fond of this image. I do not know the artist’s name or where it comes from. Sometimes art has a way of sneaking up on me.


Aug 31 2012

Or Nothing

Aida

“The difference between art and life is that art is more bearable.”

- Charles Bukowski


Aug 28 2012

Painting

Aida

Painting by Anselm Kiefer.


Apr 16 2012

And So It Goes

Aida

This is how I feel about contemporary arts

And this is how Christians apparently feel about “A Clockwork Orange”

I took these photos with my phone when I was “studying” with my dear friend at SFU.


Feb 2 2012

Lacrimosa

Aida

“Lord…who are we to you?”

A scene from the film “The Tree Of Life”.
I feel restless because of it. I have never in my life seen a more beautiful film. Every single scene is a photograph of unbelievable beauty, it’s a film about life itself in every form imaginable.
I simply cannot understand how someone can create such a masterpiece.


Jul 22 2011

A Dream

Aida

My amazing friend Rose made a short video a few months ago which I wanted to share.
Together we decided to work on short film projects which I’ve been extremely passionate about for years.
Over the weekend I took her camera and recorded a few scenes in her background during pouring rain. It awakened me and I felt like my old self again.

On The Ineffable from Rose Misko on Vimeo.

Captured with a primitive point-and-shoot; my first video project. (For my world lit. class)
In response to Stefan George’s poem “Words”
Scenes from Mexico and Vancouver
Music: “In Space” by Royksopp


Jun 22 2011

Something Forgoten

Aida

I used to write a lot when I was younger.
It’s been a few years since I’ve read my old poems and stories, and tonight I stumbled upon them.
I used to look for quotes by my favourite authors and I found this one that I’ve saved along with a photo.

It’s funny how time has passed by so quickly and yet I feel the same as I did six years ago.

The great Kurt Vonnegut…


“No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful….
If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
‘The Only Proof He Needed For The Existence Of God Was Music’”
 - Kurt Vonnegut


Jun 10 2011

The Artist Within

Aida

A painting of a tree. This particular tree is a cherry tree.