Caturday: The Dog Edition

bullThe Zelfgemaakte Markt was back at Mariaplaats today and I was hoping to pick up another print by Studio Ellessi, so I found myself walking down Zadelstraat. That means two things: Domtorentje chocolates from Theo Blom and the bulldog(s) of De Koperen Bel.

As I approached the shop, I was worried, because I didn’t see any dogs in the usual chairs. But then, lo and behold, there were two squat legs and a white tush staring up at me (yes, it turned out I approached him from behind). When I got to the front end, I knew I’d have to take a quick picture. Sadly, I should have used my proper camera instead of the phone to get a few closer shots. His tongue was sticking out on the left, adding to the whole look of wanton abandon. Fortunately, Nico Arkesteijn, a fantastic photographer here in town got another shot of the dog in the same position, just from a different angle. Go check out the photo and then check out more of Nico’s photos and/or follow him on Twitter. He gets some really wonderful photos of Utrecht.

The title of this post was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but before ceiling cat comes down and smites me, I should probably throw in at least one cat photo, just to be on the safe side. I only saw one cat while I was out today and he zoomed past me before I could even think of taking a photo, so I’ll leave you with a photo of Lola sunning herself in the front window, distracted for a moment by the satellite basket she sees and sniffs daily.

Artists in Utrecht: L-Tuziasm

I focus a lot on the art history side of Utrecht, especially as it relates to specific buildings. I developed a love of architecture while working on my history of art degree and a bit of rustication or a beautifully proportioned series of arches can make me a bit giddy.
L-Tuziasm Painting in the PopUp Galerie UtrechtYet Utrecht is much more than a collection of historic buildings. There are plenty of local artists working in a variety of mediums, creating new works of art to add to the city’s rich history. I figured it’s about time I began focusing on some of these artists, learning more about them and sharing their work.

First up is L-Tuziasm, AKA Lars, a visual artist who finds his enthusiasm (get it?) and inspiration in the world around him. He has a wonderful sense of colour and creates incredibly atmospheric works of urban abstraction. Multi-coloured squares and rectangles pile up upon each other forming landscapes that are urban and alive with energy. His use of colour and form — sometimes hard lines and aggressive colours, other times cool, hazy implied shapes — create an astounding array of moods and emotions.
L-Tuziasm Dawn CityPerhaps it’s the fact that he creates architecturally inspired works that is one reason why I enjoy his style so much. He turns the rigidity of architecture into something much more organic. He also plays around with the types of paint he uses and the way he gets the paint onto the canvas. All of it adds a lively, expressionistic feel to his paintings.
Utrechtse kunstenaar L-Tuziasm  maakt prent van Utrecht met oplage zo hoog als de DomtorenNow he’s turned his hand to creating a print as a tribute to his hometown, Utrecht. In this piece, he combines his trademark blocks that line up along the canal, accompanied by the iconic Domtoren. This is a limited edition print: only 112 are made. Best of all is the reasoning for that number. Just as nothing can be built in the city center taller than the Domtoren’s 112 meters, there will be no more than 112 prints made.

His paintings are typically found in galleries — and even in the Brussels airport — but this print is available directly through L-Tuziasm. You can get a framed print for just €35. Simply contact him through his Facebook page or email him. If you “like” his Facebook page and share the post about the print, you can even get €2.50 off the price. This print, and its affordability, is a thank you to his supporters.
Prent L-Tuziasm 2013 Utrecht  gracht & DomThe holiday season is coming up, so surely the print would make a fantastic gift. Not only do you get a fantastic print of Utrecht, you get to support a local Utrecht artist. Win-win!

He gets bonus cool points for a particular work of art that involved an eliphant (olifant!). In 2010 he painted an elephant sculpture for the Elephant Parade exhibition. The pieces were auctioned off at Christie’s and proceeds went to the Elephant Family, the largest elephant charity in the world.
L-Tuziasm Concrete Jungle Elephant Elephant Parade 2010So if you’re in the Utrecht area, go see some of his work on display at various exhibitions. Regardless of where you are, do check out his website and see some of his other works. Hopefully, you’ll be enthusiastic, too.

All photos courtesy of L-Tuziasm