Farewell, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The much-loved writer and journalist Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away a bit over a week ago, on the 17th of April, after struggling for a long time with the ravages of a degenerative disease. I must confess that I was rather disappointed with the media coverage of this story: a few minutes after his passing, and major news hubs such as Times and BBC were already publishing very lengthy articles about his life and activity. That can only mean one thing: they had the story already prepared and waiting for a go, since they knew he was in the hospital battling his illness. I have nothing against the immediate release of news such as this, but I would expect them to come in the form of a headline or just a few sentences announcing his passing. Therefore, I was a bit conflicted at first about publishing this piece, since I really didn’t want to add up to the long trail of people somehow profiting from his death or finding a good story in it. But since 10 days have passed from his departure, and since I genuinely was – and am – a huge admirer of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s works, I decided to proceed with this tribute piece. Hat’s off to you, father of magic realism.


This photograph of Gabriel Garcia Marquez was taken by Richard Avedon. He already had a chance to take a portrait of the writer in 1976, on a rainy day, but he was dissatisfied with the result. He waited for another opportunity and in 2004 it was presented to him again. This is the second photograph he took of Marquez, in Mexico City, the early spring of 2004. This one was deemed good enough by its author, and while I couldn’t find the one resulting from the first try, I think we can all agree that it’s indeed a fine portrait.

I won’t waste space with brief introductions of who Gabriel Garcia Marquez was or what he is most known for; if you’re here reading this article you probably know already. I will merely name a few of the reasons I enjoyed his works or point out a few less known-facts about him. For example, I always found it heart-warmingly nice of him to be a Shakira fan. I hate the often large gap between high culture and the so-called “low culture” (which is basically low culture) that comes along with elitist tendencies. Therefore, I loved how a Nobel prize-awarded writer advocates as a sincere fan of a commercially successful pop music star. It’s refreshing and puts a new light on Shakira’s music as well. Since it has come up, did you notice how delicate and airy her voice was on the soundtrack of Love in the Time of the Cholera movie adaptation? Perhaps their friendship and mutual respect played a part in how well Shakira sang for that movie.

Another lovely fact about Gabriel Garcia Marquez is that he said all inspiration for his literature’s stories came from real life and cases, and that if he hadn’t been a journalist first and foremost, he wouldn’t have been able to find the right stories to write about. In this respect, he reminds me of Dostoyevsky, who also took the inspiration for his novels from the papers and the news of the day – he studied the obituaries, the scandals, the trials, and made beautiful things out of that which others saw only as plain dirt.

And last, but not least, what really stuck with me permanently after reading Marquez was a sense of tender nostalgia for all things passed, even before they pass, as if you can see it in places you love even before they disappear. Some critics claimed the main theme of his writings was solitude, I’d say that Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote first and foremost about nostalgia. He lived a relatively long life, but I refuse to believe that he was ever old. “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams” (Gabriel Garcia Marquez).

Incredible Prison Art: What a Confined Artist Created with Only Prison Materials

Jesse Krimes, a 31-year old artist who had to serve a 70-month jail sentence for the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, found the time in jail particularly hard as he had no one to talk to or no means to express himself artistically as he was once able to. The only way to alleviate the solitude and fight off the pangs of depression was by working at a massive work of art finding whatever was on hand: sheets, hair gel, plastic spoons, toilet paper, but especially magazines from which he would clip a few images making a bit of collage art as he went. The result was a breath-taking massive mural masterpiece that Krimes created somewhat incognito, as he hid the materials used from the guards who would have otherwise confiscated them.


Anyway, his relation to the guards and the other inmates was actually improved by the assertion of his artist identity. In a phone interview given to Slate, Krimes said that his art allowed him to attract sympathizers on both sides of rival gangs, thus avoiding violence himself. “They called me the independent”, he said. “Artwork facilitated conversation. And it humanized me to some of the guards. They saw me not as an inmate but as a person”. The fellow inmates, most of whom were dangerous criminals, started to commission portraits and to pay him in jailhouse currency. Still, caution was needed when procuring the required materials for the art that provided him with the much-needed escape from his confinement. If Krimes somehow managed to get all the raw things he needed inside to complete his piece of incredible prison art, a bigger problem was how to get the work out, once the day of his release was approaching. In order to achieve this, he mailed pieces of the mural to his girlfriend outside, package after package. Of course, having gained the guard’s trust surely helped him get away with it.


Once he got home himself, Krimes already had scored a job that was waiting for him at the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, where his boss already reserved a large office space for him to work on his mural and eventually display it. The work’s name is derived from the Greek word for apocalypse and the author says that the profoundly dehumanizing prison experience is the main inspiration behind it. It’s easy to believe that prison can demoralize and dehumanize anyone, but somehow, seeing this piece of incredible prison art and knowing where it originated just makes it all more touching.


To create it, Krimes juxtaposed images of travel images in the New York times with images of man-made disasters occurring in the same areas advertised as the ideal get-away. The superimposition is meant to accentuate the feeling of desertedness and danger and fragility: nothing beautiful is able to last under the threat of man-made violence.


The artist described his works from the pre-prison period as being sculptural, three-dimensional and highly expressive, while his incredible prison art featured here gradually became clustered and closed, two-dimensional, obsessive, compulsive and darker. Working in that environment and feeling isolated and hopeless for 5 years also produced a revelation of sorts in the artist: he intends to work not only for further developing the style he found for himself while in prison, but also to help other convicted criminals practice art and maintain a connection to the outside world. He has a project in mind that would “give a face to the faceless” and help tell the stories of inmates in creative ways. If the project would be done, the resulting images would be projected onto a museum just outside the prison, so the inmates could actually glimpse images of themselves on the opposing building. And if we allow ourselves to feel the feeling of the mural pictured here, we can maybe understand how that would be like.


Source of images and quotes: Slate.com

Russian Photographer Katerina Plotnikova Repaints the World in Mystical Colors

Here, on ThisBlogRules, we are very passionate about all types of artwork, but it is surreal photography that has somehow gotten under our skin. We love everything that manages to blur the fine line between reality and fantasy. A few weeks ago we shared the Impossible Photography Defying the Rules of Gravity of Michael Rhode, and today we would like to present the work of a very talented Russian photographer by the name of Katerina Plotnikova. She is not the first surreal, Russian photographer to have been featured here. We have already admired the work of young Elena Vizerskaya, another talented artists.



Katerina Plotnikova was born in 1987, in Mowscow, and has been exploring the art of photography since she was a little girl (more specifically, five years old). Her artwork is indeed one-of-a-kind. She has described it as being an enchanting wonderland. And it truly is. Although she uses simple elements and settings, there is something mystical about the end results. Wild places, forests, jaw-dropping women, and animals are usually present. She seems to have taken a liking to ginger girls. Either way, she has shown us that true beauty can be achieved with the simplest of things, by paying attention to light, color, and environment. Nothing is left at chance, and every component plays a part in the ensemble.




There is no need to suspend your disbelief when viewing her photography. Everything that she has done is real, no Photoshop (except for minor tweaking of the settings). The interaction between human and animal is real, the settings are real, everything is real. Katerina Plotnikova has managed to recreate these images with the help of two professional animal trainers, and a couple of beautiful women. She has managed to evoke a mythical, fairy-tale world, and when you look at her art you get the sense that you are transported to another time and place. In the end, it was the artist who said that her work is just another tale about Wonderland. The expressions on the models’ faces are extremely powerful and the majestic animals which are featured (bears, stags, camels) are exquisite. Nevertheless, it is the bond created between human and animal that makes Katerina’s work so powerful.




In one photo, an autumn-haired girl extends her arm to a bear as if asking him to dance, while in the other, a ginger beauty caresses a snake. Don’t ask any more questions and simply enjoy the beauty that Katerina Plotnikova has captured in her photography. Her artwork will give you a break from reality and transport you to the land where nymphs, princesses and queens still exists. Where prince charming might still appear, riding his white horse, to whisk you away.




At first glance, the shots might seem dangerous, but they were created with the help of professional trainers, and docile animals. The bear in these photograph, which symbolizes strength contrasts extremely well with the delicate and elegant princes that he embraces. But it is not only the animal photography that is filled with mysticism. Even the other poses are rich in magic and dream-like qualities which makes them absolutely beguiling. She is only 27 which means that she has barely begun her adventure with photography, and we are eager to see more. Plotnikova’s human models exude a quiet regal air that is only made all the more arresting by their animal companions.






15 Rare Historic Photos You Should See

History is mysterious and exciting. Just when we think we’ve found out all there is to know about a certain event, new evidence is discovered. Although humans look to the future, they can’t help but look back. The fact of the matter is that the world as we know it has been shaped by previous generations and there are certain monumental events that will never be forgotten. What better way to celebrate them than by immortalizing them with incredible photography? The following historic photos show us a glimpse of life since World War I.

A few weeks back we shared with you breath-taking photography taken of Calcified Animals on the Lake Natron, and today we would like to present some of the best rare historic photos.

1. In 1972, Charles Duke embarked on the mission to explore the moon’s surface with a lunar roving vehicle. While he was there, he also took a picture of himself, his wife, and his two sons, which he sealed in plastic. He left it on the moon’s surface, and it probably remains there to this day.

historical photos

2. The Hidenburg Disaster, May 6, 1937

historical photos

3. Everyone knows how the Statue of Liberty look finished, but have you ever seen a photo of it under construction? Here’s a great one, from Paris in 1884. Lady Liberty was actually a gift from the French to the Americans.


4. Evils Presley in the Army, in 1958

5. Back in 1947, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale jumped from the observation deck of the Empire’s State building, and crashed on a limousine parked beneath. This photography was taken soon after by photography student Robert Wiles. It was re-used years later by Andy Warhol for an art print.


6. Martin Luther King, Jr. with his son, removing a burnt cross from his front yard, 1960

7. Hotel owner pouring acid in the pool while African-Americans were still in it.


8. The Titanic accident was indeed a great tragedy that most of us remember through the eyes of the Oscar Winning movie. Here’s is a photo from 1912, when the survivors were boarding the Carpathia ship.


9. It’s rare to see a man laugh during his execution. This was the case of a Russian Spy who was caught and executed in 1939, in Finland, during the Winter War.


10. An incredible photo of Tsar Nicholas II, who allows his daughter, the Duchess Anastasia to smoke from his pipe.


11. Did you know what Queen Elizabeth participated in World War II? Here are some images. You should also check out our article about the Impending International political problems that might hint a WWIII scenario.


12. Construction of the Berlin Wall, in 1961


13. A photo of the infamous lion roar on the MGM logo, taken from another angle.


14. Osama Bin Laden was immortalized with his family, in 1970, in Sweden. He is the one with green shirt and blue pants. (second on the right).


15. Before the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the country was preparing to adopt democracy, and equal rights for women. During that time, women also had access to books, non-traditional clothing, education, public transportation, and spaces. This didn’t last long, as, since 1990’s, the Taliban government from the forbid them access to education.


Image Sources: 9gag.com, TheBoredPanda

5 Cocktails by Cody We Would Love to Try

This isn’t a commercial and not even an endorsement of some sort, but we happened to find out about the bartender mixologist Disney fan in Spokane, WA and we also happened to like what he’s coming with in the realm of cocktails. This guy was struck by the muse and designed with new cocktail combinations inspired by Disney characters. You’d say this isn’t much, as there are a lot of things out there inspired by Disney characters, including designer outfits that make female celebrities look like (at least vaguely) some famous princesses and characters, but you can’t neglect a man’s passion for making some sort of art in a field that seems to not leave room for any more art than it is already. The Disney inspired cocktails by Cody not only that look in some metaphorical way with the characters they are inspired from, but borrow a little of their personalities too and if you take a look over the Internet, you will see people actually receiving these creations with a hint of joy and respect for the bartender. Not to mention that some of the cocktails sound truly delicious (and to some extent, inebriating to the point of seeing the world as a colored, vivid animation movie). We took a look into the menu and picked 5 cocktails by Cody we would love to try in the immediate future. While watching the old and the new Disney movies and famous characters.

5. The Bayou Beauty

bayou beauty

The recipe displayed says this “swamp – inspired” cocktail contains white rum, ginger liqueur and cucumber. In the great world of cocktails, you might think that only fruits are good to be mixed with all sorts of alcohol and sweet blends of chocolate and sugary mixes and spices, but when we heard about ginger and cucumber our imagination went through the roof. How on Earth does THAT taste, especially mixed with white rum? If you get to try it, let us know!

4. No Worries, Lion King!

no worries

Just as Cody himself admits, it is hard to inspire a cocktail out of the Lion King African landscape, where everything looks dry and earthy and the brown colors and tones aren’t at all appetizing to see them blended in your cocktail glass. But then Cody saw the exotic jungle, fruits, colors and atmosphere and came up with the No Worries, a cocktail combining peach vodka, Amaretto, orange juice and mango and it is safe to assume this is a summery cocktail that makes you dream about lush beaches in exotic resorts.

3. Coldfront


Now imagine where this is coming from! This cocktail inspires some winter cold and even a blizzard, but don’t let it fool you: this is an interesting blend of white chocolate liqueur, peppermint schnapps, Malibu and milk. So if you still feel your soul freezing in the beginning of this season, this cocktail might warm you up inside and give you a good reason to check out the new movies and animations in town.

2. Glass Slipper

glass slipper

This one doesn’t just look amazingly eerie and soft, but also sounds delicious. And also strong, if you take into account the blueberry vodka and the whip cream vodka, all mixed with a tad of cream. So it’s a bluish cream – based cocktail that will send you one – way ticket to the fairytale land.

1. Maleficent


Oh yes! Among all the cocktails by Cody we would love to try and we looked at, this one is the most promising, a bit terrifying and definitely one of the tastiest (or so we think). Not to mention that the upcoming Maleficent movie starring the queen of all darkness and the ruler of some of the most powerful female characters on the silver screen Angelina Jolie is a reason enough to try this cocktail: black vodka, grape schnapps and apple pucker. Is this maleficent or what?

The cocktails by Cody we would love to try include many other creations and surprising combinations, but these are our top five favorites. You can look for Cody on the internet, as he became some sort of a legend on entertainment sites and pick your own poison too.