Steampunk Cultural Phenomena

Steampunk is the most influential and largest cultural phenomena ever and probably one of the most established art forms, it enjoys the most interest, most respect and attracts the largest fan base at festivals and exhibitions around the globe.

Whether you are an art collector or just love something new and unique, steampunk is the way to go, but many are still trying to figure it all out, they fascinated by the art form, yet lack the background on it.

Steampunk Excitement

Steampunk is a fusion of fashion, art, inspired by the industrial revolution, it’s a form of past technology such as Tesla coils and steam engines brought back to life via nostalgic futurism. It beautifully blends industrial with Victorian art, enhanced by futuristic concepts, using several machine parts like rivets, cogs and clockwork and blends it with laboratory equipment adding robotics.

It is a fabulous ultra-modern throwback design form that delights via the brutality of the steam ages, invoked by imagination with a touch of romance. Steampunk was first a subset of fiction, more accurately science fiction in the 1980s, yet it attracted so much attention that it is now the latest trend used in art, fashion and movies.

What it strives for is historical accuracy, at the inventiveness, modifying technological devices into retro-futuristic elements, such as laptops and electric guitars, drawing inspiration from the Victorian era.

Steampunk Fashion

Never has art influenced fashion as strongly as steampunk, Victorian styled dresses enhanced by the use of different materials. Brass is a favourite, while the style also includes military elements with leather boots decorated with gears, while accessories include sunglasses influenced by safety equipment of pilots. It offers fashion designers a whole new era to explore, while thousands dress up and wear helmets that reminds of war and ancient diving equipment.

Steampunk Materials

Steampunk is all about original parts, and objects from the Victoria area, re-imagined, the most used materials include iron, steel, copper and brass or any other industrial metals combined with fabric, wood, and printed designs with a Victorian feel. It is basically the most exciting combination of industrial blended with mechanical blended with animal skins, natural elements and driftwood.

Steampunk – The Inspirations

Inspired by technology, literature, art, design, early 20th century and the Victorian era mixed with science fiction and a whole lot of imagination, Steampunk explores technology via a dystopian view on the future. It enables artist and designers to explore a whole new range of themes, its combining forms and functionality, most of the objects previously served a purpose in either the military or industrial eras have gone by. Its loved by everyone interested in the heavy metals used for diving suits ages ago, steam train enthusiasts, those who still value the Victorian style and everyone who enjoy exploring new combinations with a touch of style, classic charm and industrial all combined into one of the most exciting designs and art forms of our time.

A Decade After His Death, On the Wall Celebrates Michael Jackson’s impact on Art


The king of Pop would have turned 60 in August, with the almost decade that has passed since thousand had to say their final goodbyes to one of the biggest icons of our times. The “On the Wall” exhibition hosted in Finland, Bonn and Paris offers Michael Jackson paintings from more than 48 artists, the diverse group is made up from artists from several generations, different backgrounds, generations, ethnicity and nationalities, which means the art forms include a plethora of mediums. This defines the “On the Wall” exhibition as both a memorabilia collection and biography. It offers fans a reflective selection of art celebrating the idol’s career, fashion, dance and music while it also offers a study of the king of pop’s fame. The exhibition scheduled to continue for the next two years, touring Europe, is a dedication to the influence Jackson had on contemporary art.

Michael Jackson Exhibition Sparked During Exploration for an Andy Warhol Exhibition

It all started with portraits of Jackson, screen prints done for the Time magazine back in 1984, which made Cullinan realize just how many artists have been fascinated by Michael Jackson, his fame, his career and his fashion. It became clear that the idol of millions had a huge impact on contemporary art. The most visually-striking art pieces include the display by David LaChapelle, his diverse display include hyper-real photographs on a large-scale, including the short film of Jackson’s Billie Jean, while the later pieces include Jackson portrayed as the American Jesus, showing him becoming both a martyr and saint. Other highlights of the exhibition also include the work of Candice Breitz, the South African displays over 16 videos of Michael Jackson fans singing his biggest hits in German, which includes Thriller.

Never Seen Before Portrait – Equestrian of King Michael Jackson

It is the first time ever that the Equestrian Portrait of King Phillip II aka Michael Jackson is on display, painted by Kehinde Wiley reinterpreting the King of Spain painting by Ruben. The Dangerous concert part of Michael Jackson’s tour in Bucharest on film is part of the exhibition, while one of the highlights is also the first ever displayed selection of priceless photo’s showing Andy Warhol rubbing shoulders with a youthful Jackson, by Faith Ringgold, naming it the “Who’s Bad”

Lorraine O’Grady based in New York also added her collection to the exhibition. The art exhibition offers millions of Michael Jackson fans the opportunity to celebrate the life of one of the biggest stars of all times and with several art pieces on display for the very first time, the possibility already exists that the tour could continue for more than two years and visit several countries. There is no doubt that it will be one of the most well-attended art exhibitions in Europe and everywhere else in the world, which confirms that the king of pop enjoys as much popularity now as he did when he was alive!

Master Paintings Tells the Christmas Tale


There are many paintings by the big master’s in art that perfectly tell the tale of Christmas. These have remained favourites through the ages, and some are now part of the most valuable paintings around.

Caravaggio Nativity with St Francis and St Lawrence (1609)

The absence of literateness in the Renaissance and pre-Renaissance times motivated the Catholic Church as well as the wealthiest merchants to order a large group of painters to tell the tale of Christmas – the origins of Christianity via paintings. Painters and artist were in fierce competition with each other to gain the very generous contracts of the church, which ultimately led to the most stunning art pieces.

The Annunciation – Botticelli – 1489

Sandro Botticelli, the Florentine Renaissance master, was commissioned by Cestello, the Florentine Monastery to paint Gabriel, the archangel as he delivers the news to Virgin Mary that she was chosen to give birth to the son of God. In the Annunciation, her face masterfully illustrating the emotional nature of the message she receives.

Mary and Joseph on the Way to Bethlehem – Hugo van der Goes – 1475

Part of the Portinari Altarpiece the painting by the Flemish painter, Hugo van der Goes, the painting shows Joseph and Mary as they travel to Bethlehem. Mary’s advanced pregnancy is beautifully illustrated as the ageing Joseph carefully guides her down the rocky mountain.

The Census at Bethlehem – Pieter Bruegel the Elder – 1566

Pieter Bruegel the Elder depicts Joseph and Mary on their way to register for the census, the Romans ordered, which is set in a snowy, winter scene. Pieter Bruegel was known for his tendency to paint biblical event in a local and contemporary setting, which The Census at Bethlehem perfectly illustrates.

Dream of Joseph – Rembrandt – 1645

The Flemish painter, Rembrandt, depicts Christ’s earthly father, as he agrees to marry Mary, once he discovers she is pregnant. According to Matthew’s gospel, God sends Joseph an explanation with an angel who visits him in a dream to instruct him to name the baby Jesus, while he also explains the divine conception.

Nativity with St Lawrence and St Francis – Caravaggio – 1609

Sadly, the Nativity with St Lawrence and St Francis by Caravaggio was one of the masterpieces stolen in the heist that was the most notorious in history. This invaluable painting was cut from its frame and never found. The original painting is now replaced by a replica of the last large-scale paintings, which shows the Virgin Mary as she gazes at her child and rests. Caravaggio places an unknown youth prominently in the foreground of the painting, one who looks in the direction of the ageing Joseph. All hope is still placed on finding the original one day, stolen from the Oratorio di San Lorenzo in Sicily.

Unsolved Art Theft

The Gardner heist took place over 25 years ago, it is still unsolved and remains one of the robberies that hit the art world the hardest. To honour the anniversary of this huge upset, the Gardner Museum offers a virtual tour. There have been several magazines who have published the latest information regarding the case.

18 March 1990


According to the case files, it was 1:24 am that the guard was asked by two policemen to buzz them in at the Gardner Museum. Well, they looked like officers, yet once they gained access to the building, they ordered the guard to stay away from the emergency button, which was his only communication to the world outside. He got handcuffed and tied up with another guard in the basement. This gave the thieves around 81 minutes to raid the museum and grab some of the most valuable treasures. Outside a vehicle was waiting and when the day shift guard arrived, he found the empty spaces, the artwork missing includes five works by Edgar Degas, Storm on the Sea Galilee by Rembrandt, Chez Tortoni by Manet, and also The Concert by Vermeer. Empty frames were left behind after priceless art pieces were sliced from them.

Largest Art Heist Ever in the USA

Some of the artworks were collected during travels in the 1890’s through Europe, and this crime started a multinational investigation that included several private parties, the police and the FBI. Even today, it remains the largest robbery of art in the USA, and the value of the stolen art adds up to well over $600 million. No matter how many leads were followed up, more than twenty-three years later, none of the art pieces have been found. Every bit of new information led to great excitement, yet none paid off, art thieving is a major industry, and art theft reached up to $8 billion every year.

Gardner Museum Heist Still Baffle FBI Investigators

With so much planning and in all its complexity, what still baffles the FBI investigators is how crudely the heist of the Gardner museum was carried out, some of the most valuable art pieces were left behind, such as The Rape of Europe by Titian. Others such as two of the most valuable Rembrandts where simply sliced out of their frames, which indicates that the thieves might have been unaware of the damage and decrease in value. Some say they knew how to plan a robbery, yet they were completely art stupid. What makes this case super unusual is that after two decades not one of the stolen art pieces have resurfaced into the art market, the one theory is that all have been destroyed, while the Art Crime Team feels it still is in existence as such valuable art is hardly ever destroyed. Knowing the location is the get-a-reduced-sentence card any criminal would use in exchange for a lighter sentence. All hopes are still that one day the art would find their way back to where they belong.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World

Collecting art can be an amazing experience, especially for those who truly appreciate the details and the way these works of art were created, no matter how old. There are many different paintings that sell for huge amounts of money, and while we’d all love to own them, there are simply some that are just completely out of reach.
That doesn’t make these items less desirable, but rather more impressive as it’s so rare to see the actual original and discovering why it’s one of a kind and worth so much. On this list, we look at some of the most expensive painting today and what they sell for.

Mona Lisa


To most, the Mona Lisa shouldn’t even appear on this list as it’s simply priceless. The Leonardo da Vinci painting has become the most famous in the world. Though a price can’t really be set on this painting, it was insured for $100 million back in 1962, which was a huge amount of money for the time. Converting that into today’s value would mean over $700 million, making it the most expensive painting in the world.

Nafea Faa Ipoipo

Paul Gauguin travelled to Tahiti in 1891, which started a love affair the country and its women for the artist. He created the now well-known Nafea Faa Ipoipo painting while in the country, which translates to “Will You Marry Me”. It features 2 women sitting in the countryside among friends of golden grass, mountains and golden skies. The painting appears second on the list as it sold for $300 million in 2015. The current owner is unknown, but many think it’s been acquired by the Qatar royal family.

The Card Players


The Card Players offers an interesting series of painting that were created in 1892 through to 1893 by Paul Cezanne. These paintings are currently in museums in both Paris and London, but it has been said that the painting were sold privately in 2011 for an incredible price of $250 million. Since this took place before the above art sales, it was considered the most expensive painting sale at the time. Once again, the Qatar royal family played a part in this painting as it has been confirmed that the above painting is in their position.

Number 17A

The Jackson Pollock painting known as Number 17A was sold in along with another well-known painting called Interchange, which was sold in 2015 to Ken Griffin. On both the painting, the billionaire spent a total of $500, of which the Number 17A painting was estimated to hold a price tag of $200 million of that price. The painting offers an interesting drip effect with various bright colours and black spots. It was created in 1948, offering a unique inspiration of painters throughout the world to this day. It appears on our list as the 4th most expensive painting.

Salvador Dali – When he Paints, The Ocean Roars

The most prolific and versatile artist of the 20th century, Salvador Dali, a surrealist whose painting will never age, be ordinary or stop capturing the imagination of millions. His exceptionally long career, marked by his success in printmaking, sculpturing, filmmaking, painting, advertising and fashion. Dali was flamboyant, mischievous, and wonderfully virtuous.

Dali’s Key Inspirations


Dominant in this artwork the large distorted human face observing the landscape, an acquainted rocky coastline scene resonant of Dalí’s Catalonia home. An unclothed female figure embodying Dalí’s new-at-the-time muse is the naked figure of Gala that growths from the skull, figurative of the type of the illusory men mesmerize while engaged in an activity described by the title.

What suggest approaching fellatio is the females mouth near the crotch while he is literally “censored” at the knees he bleeds, a symbol of a subdued sexuality. On the other side motifs such as a grasshopper is part of the painting and the reason, it is consistent beacon with the sexual anxiety portrayed in Dalí’s work, eggs represent fertility while ants represent elusion to death and decay.

Great Masturbator created in 1929, could represent Dalí’s relentlessly opposed approaches concerning sexual intercourse also his permanent paranoia of female genitalia at the fractious section of falling in love with Gala.
As a young boy Dali was exposed to explicit photos by his father, it was a book demonstrating the effects of venereal disease, disseminating disturbing suggestions of sex with indisposition and decay. When Dali met Gala he was a virgin, it is said he encouraged his wife to have affairs, later in his live his artwork transformed into philosophical and religious themes.

Dali’s Last Painting – The Swallow Tail

Completed in May 1983, the Swallow’s Tail, a series inspired by the catastrophe of mathematics was the last paintings by Salvador Dali. Born on the 11th of May 1904 in Spain, Dali was inspired by Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack, Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. With thousands of painting completed by Dali, some of his most famous are The Burning Giraffe completed in 1937. It portrays his personal struggle with the war in his country. Two female figures with opening draws down their legs is dominant while a burning giraffe is placed more towards the back. Dali described the giraffe image with flames as the manly celestial apocalyptic monster, which he believed was the forewarning of war.

Other painting by the Spanish artists includes Tuna Fishing, Galatea of the Spheres, Metamorphosis of Narcissus as well as Christ of Saint John of the Cross completed in 1951 as well as The Persistence of Memory depicting melting watched draped on rocks with a calm ocean in the background. Dali described the melting of the watches as a symbol of mortality, while the ants around the watches present decay. The concept Dali used for this painting is that of the human mind as it shifts during sleep from softness to the hardness of reality.

Magical Garden is Monet’s Source of Inspiration

Art lovers have no difficulty in recognising the work of Monet. His masterpieces were inspired by architecture, landscapes and his own garden that was described as simply magical. Claude Money was a famous art master; his painting includes Jean-Pierre Hoschede and Michel Monet on the Banks of the Epte and A Stormy Sea. Most of his paintings were inspired by the tranquil gardens in Giverny France. Often it was noted that Monet said his greatest creations was never his art but his own garden in Giverny, He filled his garden with tulips, waterlilies and dahlias plus several other flowers.

This garden also featured a soon-to-be-iconic bridge with Japanese-styled arches that reached over his pond. This can be seen in his painting called the Bridge Over the Pond of Water Lilies painted in 1889.Many artists of his time have said that the only way to understand and know Monet was to see his Giverny garden, there were plenty of facts about this garden that influenced this impressionist’s style.

His Arrival in Giverny meant a Fresh Start for Monet.

A considerable amount of hardship and negativity was part of Monet’s earlier part of life. This included his struggle, constantly with his unconcerned parents, the lack of buyers, harsh critics and all of it resulted in immense financial difficulty. His parents disowned him, his debt increased, and at the end, in retaliation, his creditors started taking some of his canvasses away.

He was dealing with a lot, and in 1883, after he arrived in Giverny, his career finally changed for the good, his painting draws public interest, and he could begin to make an income from his artwork. As Monet become financially stable, he was also able to buy plants, and get gardeners to assist him in building one of the most amazing gardens.

Monet Discovered his Giverny Garden by Luck

The first time he spotted the quaint village of Giverny, Monet saw it through the window of the train, it is this view of the charming village that made him walk towards the first pub once he decided to get off the train. He took a seat and ordered a jug of cider and started talking to the villagers. It was then that Monet heard that there was a carpenter who had a farm he no longer needed. The famous painter took the information seriously and first started renting it in 1883. It was at this property that his journey started and led to the painting of flowers and gardens.

In Giverny, Monet started Creating the Subjects in his Paintings

Way before he discovered the Giverny garden the talented painter would only paint objects created by others such as steam locomotives, haystack and the banks of the River Epte, it was things that gave him, as an artist, inspiration. It all changed once Monet stared building a pond on the property and decorated it with waterlilies that he got inspired by something he created and wanted to paint. His garden was messy, but it had balance, and it was filled with shrubbery and willows. Before he could afford the assistance of gardeners, it was his family members that helped to expand and preserve his garden. The garden he created continues to bring thousands of visitors every year to Giverny.

There’s a Living Spirit in Hand-Made Items, They’re Genuine & Back in Fashion

In handmade items, there is a genuine spirit that is so alive it is well worth hanging onto. During the City of Craft fair in Toronto over 4,000 people attended and made this the busiest yet, while the fair included handmade items from 60 different vendors. The City of Craft fair offered shoppers an exceptional selection of stained-glass jewellery, crocheted cacti, ceramic sculptures and many other handmade items.

The huge increase in the popularity of the craft fair according to the creative director, Kalpha Patel, also a long-time crafter is that mass-produced products are impersonal in nature and leaves shoppers yearning for something more. Everyone has the desire to personally engage with their belongings in a thoughtful and more meaningful way as well as knowing that items collected are of good quality and great value.

Hand-made Crafts are More Accessible

Apart from the City of Craft fair in Toronto and the Craft Week in London, online retailers such as Etsy is also a great way to purchase handmade items. The Brooklyn based e-commerce created as a platform for collector’s and vendors of handmade as well as handmade items have enjoyed mass success and now connects over 31 million buyers from around the globe with 1.9 million sellers. Dayna Isom Johnson, the trend expert at Etsy, shared that the continuing popularity of customisation is the main reason why the company gravitated towards items that are handmade. The beauty of each item is its uniqueness, every piece has a story and at the same time is a great conversation maker.

In Halifax, Gary Markle leads the craft division of the NSCAD University and feels that the handmade craft economy is ripening the DIY era in which individuals understand that what is really worth a lot of cash is handmade items such as hand-knitted sweaters. It recalibrates what the value of an item is once buyers participate and experience the making process.

Patchwork Part of Christian Dior Spring 2018 Runways

Whether suggested or real, it was the aesthetic of craft that was visible all over the runways of Spring 2018. Stella McCarthy and Jil Sander channelled macramé, while Calvin Klein incorporated quilting and Christian Dior patchwork. Alexander McQueen fashion included floral needlepoint, and ribbons turned up at Christopher Kane, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel. In 2016, the Financial Times published that an integral part to any design is the craft, it teaches us all what something is about, more about the materials and how it works. Basically, it let us know where we are at that moment.

Have We Finally Entered an Era Where Everyone Loves the Imperfections of Things Made by the Human Hand? The spirit of each hand-made item lies in the magic of the human touch and is conveyed from our hands to something made with love. If something is made with intention, Love is the intention, its substantial. Capturing that feeling is priceless in today’s digital era!

Is Digital Art Considered “Real Art”

While you may look at digital art and think that it’s one of the most stunning pieces that could be created, others may automatically compare it to the art that’s created by clay, pencils, or paint and deem it not as “real” as other art formats. Or, you may even think that as long as you have a drawing tablet as well as a digital art software – you can just create equally amazing pieces on your first try.

Though, the last two mindsets combined created the common misconception that digital art isn’t as real or authentic as other art formats. This could come from many believing that a real artist must go through a rigorous training regime of learning the density of charcoal pencils, the best clay to use, or the different kinds of paint before they can start creating wonderful pieces of art. Though after learning and creating, their art can exist externally. It could be touched and viewed up close. Due to this, digital artists get a bad rep of all they must do is buy some expensive tablet and software and bam – they created some stunning piece of work. Though, this could be further from the truth. There are so many unfair misconceptions about digital art that can negatively affect the artwork and the artist’s self-esteem about their own work.

The differences between the art styles

If anyone takes a visit to an art museum, it is almost undeniable that there are so many different forms of ways to create art. Withdrawing, you take a pencil to paper, sculpting requires the moulding of a soft clay, painting can combine drawing as well as the usage of paints, and digital art requires a tablet and drawing software. Though, one thing to keep in mind is that while all these activities are considered art related by a majority of the society, it’s not really creating. Those artists aren’t creating anything new except for an image while using previously created items (the paint, pencils, etc.).

For the longest time, the only three art methods that were commonly known in the world was drawing, sculpting, and painting. Though with technology increasing, a new art from finally emerged – digital art. Enhancements with computers proved to become an artist’s best friend, a new tool that could be used to create new images. Moreover, it allows for a workspace to be portable and allows for mistakes to be made without having to re-do an entire piece. Although, all of these perks allowed for some of the traditional artists to turn a sour glace towards digital art and begun to utter the mantra that it wasn’t “real art”. Instead of having tons of brushes, pints of paint, and blocks of clay, a digital artist only had one pen that could do all of that and much more, plus with the option of saving a piece and working on it at any time.

This has created a stigma in the art community as digital art just seemed to be too easy. No matter the mistake. While digital art is a more convenient way of doing art due to the lack of having to buy additional items, it doesn’t discredit the art or the artist. The computer is not an art tool. It just allowed for another platform of art to be created.

Adding Personality to Your Home With the Usage of DIY Lettering

Going through a quick search on HGTV.com will show you a countless number of images filled with decorative DIY inspiration. One that truly stood out the most was a DIY creation of a centrepiece for a coffee table, which was created using short flowers which were inserted into paper letterings to make the word “bloom” look even liver.

Due to the rising popularity of DIY, creating your own signs is no execution. Al sorts of letterings, from spelling out a phrase, name, saying, or even a greeting has been growing with home décor. The reasoning is due to the personalized touch that it adds to your home and makes it more “you”.

Although, the true fun is that you can find these letters anywhere. You can buy letter blocks in a crafts stores – which can be made out of wood, metal, glass, paper-mache, cardboard – or basically, any material that you can think of. Which can lead to the obvious question of how should you design the letters? That’s where the true fun comes in as its completely up to you!
Marcie McGoldrick, the editorial director of crafts for the iconic Martha Stewart Living series, stated that in the last few years, a shift towards personal invention has been growing, and the best way to do it at times is to either have something custom made, or do a fun DIY that you can colourful of.

What is Word Art

Word art can be a considered a variety of things. Such as covering the letters you find with glitter, filling them up with colorful sand or beads, or even placing fake (or living) flowers to create a stunning floral design. Heck, you can even go as far as to take a more nature-inspired look and add rocks or leaves. Basically, anything you want to design your letters in or with is considered word art, and anyone can be an artist.

One example is from an Esty store, which is called Emma & the Bean. This store will turn your personal information, such as a wedding date, the family birthday, or any important date into a stunning work of word art of your choosing. Which goes with what McGoldrick was stating, the personal touch is becoming trendier than having a home that looks like a model one.

How Can I Make Word Art?

There are so many ways to make word art that is nearly impossible to run out of them. Although, if you’re looking for some suggestions, a few expect may home some perfect advice for you.McGoldrick has thrown the idea that using a combination of chalkboard paint and vintage décor paint, which both can be found on Amazon or a crafts store, which will give your letting DIY a timeless appearance without having to drop hundred. Plus, doing it on wood letting has been shown to look the best.

Another suggestion is the usage of lightweight chipboard lettings which can be easily painted and decorated. Plus, they are the perfect letters if you want to have them hanging on a string on the wall over a series of family photos.