Kuriosis Issue 01—Turning Ink into Magic

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WELCOME TO OUR CABINET OF CURIOSITIES

We are Kuriosis. A small team of treasure hunters hailing from every corner of the globe; celebrating a passion for creating Fine Art prints & posters in the heart of Berlin, Germany. Through many years of curiosity, we have carefully curated a collection of over 4000 motifs in 80 collections to choose from. Our mission is to make art affordable & accessible for everyone. We believe that by shining a new light on the past, we can show you these historical masterpieces and iconic artworks in a new way. We produce each print from start to finish at our atelier in Berlin with expert attention to detail and an added personal touch that is unrivalled by our competitors. Let us show you what we’re all about! Love Maryna & team.

ATELIER

SHOWROOM

WEB& SOCIAL

GET IN TOUCH

Sonnenallee 90 12045 Berlin Germany

Hufelandstraße 42 10407 Berlin Germany

kuriosis.com kuriosis.trade @kuriosiscom

+49 176 8800 2385 +49 176 6890 9418 info@kuriosis.com


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TURNING INK INTO MAGIC

MADE WITH LOVE

THE BEST OF THE BEST

VINTAGE POSTERS

The story of how a jellyfish, some old books & a whole lot of determination turned into Europe’s fastest growing independent art print shop.

The journey of each poster from start to finish in our studio in Berlin to your homes worldwide.

A curated selection of our most popular & best selling posters. A concise overview of tried and true favourites.

Vintage posters from all categories; advertising, Zoologischer Garten, Julius Klinger and the Bauhaus.

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MAKE YOUR OWN GALLERY WALL

JAPANESE ART

PHOTOGRAPHY

MATERIAL MATTERS

A step by step guide on mixing and matching and how to make your own gallery wall.

A wide range of Japanese styles including Ancient ink painting,, Ukiyo-E and woodblock prints.

A celebration of the diversity of the medium featurinng Karl Blossfeldt & the pioneers of Japanese Photography.

Up, close & personal with the materials that make our Fine Art prints so magical.


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FROM THIS LAND TO THE STARS

BLOOD, SWEAT & PAPER CUTS

MODERN ART

FLORA & FAUNA

A select range of Geological Maps, Astronomical Charts, Science & Transportational Art Prints.

A Behind the scenes look at Kuriosis & the journey which has brought us to where we are today.

A rejection of history and conservative values in the spirit of experimentation and innovation.

The beauty of the natural world comes to life with green plants, medicinal mushrooms and beautiful flowers.

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RESPECT, RETOUCH REMIX—

MARYLÈNE MADOU

AND I’M FEELIN’ GOOD

STOCKISTS & TESTIMONIALS

Returning images to their former glory—A look at our restoration, retouching & design services.

Collection spotlight on our collaboration with wonderful Belgain artist Marylène Madou.

Inspired by old gig posters, this collection pays homage to the legends of the Jazz & Soul genres of music.

Locations where you can find our prints, customer reviews & general contact information.


TURNING INK INTO MAGIC THE STORY OF HOW A JELLYFISH, SOME OLD BOOKS & A WHOLE LOT OF DETERMINATION TURNED INTO EUROPE’S FASTEST GROWING INDEPENDENT ART PRINT SHOP



JELLYFISH CHART

SEA005

KURIOSIS— From the market to your home! Kuriosis all started with a beautiful jellyfish illustration our founder Maryna found in an old encyclopedia. Not long after, here we are: thousands of happy customers later and shipping worldwide! In addition, we have two showrooms in Berlin and are actively selling our work at art markets on the weekends. Through many years of treasure hunting, we have carefully curated a collection of over 4000 motifs in more than 70 collections. Our mission is to make art affordable & accessible for everyone. We believe that by shining a new light on the past, we can show you these historical masterpieces and iconic artworks in a new way. We produce each print here at our atelier in Berlin with expert attention to detail and an added personal touch unrivalled by 6

our competitors. When we first started this business, printing in our spare room at our house and selling at the markets, we had the same determination and motivation we have today. We were prepared to take risks and tackle the hardships along the way, even during a global pandemic. Still, it didn’t mean we were going to give up easily. We shifted our focus to online platforms, which enabled us to become an international business and compete with much more prominent and established companies. The ethos of Kuriosis is rooted in a passion for the historical impact of the art we are curating and a commitment to only using the highest quality materials.


We print using the latest chromolithography technology on museum quality Fine Art paper and cotton canvas. The high quality Japanese archival pigment inks allow us to guarantee the quality of every print that leaves our atelier; printed, cut, wrapped and carefully packed with love. Each day is an opportunity to learn and discover new things. We are continually fascinated by the artists we immerse ourselves and our company in. Behind every book page, millions of concepts, discoveries, and lives have come and gone to tell us and teach us about the beauty of our world.

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MADE WITH LOVE IN BERLIN THE JOURNEY OF A POSTER FROM START TO FINISH IN OUR STUDIO IN BERLIN TO YOUR HOMES WORLDWIDE



TURNING INK INTO MAGIC & MAKING PAPER LOOK GOOD If you already know Kuriosis, you probably noticed we or wax onto the surface of a smooth, level lithographic limestone plate. have many antique motifs in our collections. Maybe you are even wondering where we found them and how we turned them into beautiful posters. The stone was treated with a mixture of acid and gum arabic, etching the portions of the stone that were not protected by the grease-based image. When the stone We have to admit it is not a simple or quick process, but when we see the results we always agree it is worth was subsequently moistened, these etched areas it. Most of the old illustrations we print were originally retained water. An oil-based ink could then be applied printed as lithographs, a process in which a designs and would be repelled by the water, sticking only to the were drawn onto a flat stone (or a prepared metal plate, original drawing. The ink would finally be transferred usually zinc or aluminum) and affixed by means of a to a blank paper sheet, producing a printed page. chemical reaction. We are very proud of our Antique Illustrations collection, made of lithographs from the 1800s. But let’s start from the beginning. Lithography was invented in 1796 by German author and actor Alois The collection is a product of months of research, Senefelder as a cheap method of publishing theatrical curation & hard work. works. It originally used an image drawn with oil, fat, 10


Once we had the books, we analysed page by page to select which ones were interesting to turn into posters. This was Maryna’s favourite part of the process. Our creative and empowered leader had a lot of fun discovering the small and fascinating details of the illustrations! After that, they were scanned, and then we invested a lot of time retouching, colour correcting and enhancing the images untill they become the best edition they can be. Only when we are satisfied, we proceeded to the printers. We test all all new work in large sizes and both materials: fine-art paper and cotton canvas. We only put them on our online store when the result is amazing. Because your walls don’t deserve anything less than that!

Of course, more recently we are also sourcing images from digital libraries which are more readily available and a commitment to creating Kuriosis original illustration and graphic design works directly from the studio. Since our business has grown in the last year, we have made a commitment to using our platform to collaborate, empower and support living artists. Adding more variety and diversity to the artwork we celebrate and make accessible for everyone!

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EDIT PRINT CUT ROLL PACK

At Kuriosis, every print is made to order— this ethos has evolved from a commitment to minimise waste and ensure the quality of each and every print that leaves our atelier. We don’t outsource any step of the process; we curate & create the artwork, print every piece of art ourselves, cut it to size, gently roll it in protective tissue paper in a poster tube and then for additional protection; put it inside a mailing box with a little surprise, seal it with love and drop it to the post office. From the very start of a posters life, whether it is restoring an old lithograph or starting with a simple idea and creating something new—there are quality checks at every step of the way. When you recieve a poster from Kuriosis, we have scrutinised it at every point—from resolution to colour management, the quality of the Fine Art Paper and Museum Quality Cotton Canvas, the Japanese archival ink we use to chromolithographically print it. It is a commitment to cleaning our printers, checking for smudges or irregularities. The precision of cutting to the correct size, the gentle rolling and the protective packing. Ensuring your address is correct, preventing delays, answering your queries. You can guarantee your poster has passed under many critical eyes to get to you as perfectly as possible. It is this attention to detail and a continued aspiration to improve and communicate which is what Kuriosis is essentially all about.



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THE BEST OF THE BEST A CURATED SELECTION OF OUR MOST POPULAR & BEST SELLING POSTERS. A CONCISE OVERVIEW OF TRIED AND TRUE FAVOURITES


BIRDS OF PARADISE Ernst Haeckel BIR009


ZOOLOGISCHER GARTEN FLAMINGO POSTER Julius Klinger POS020

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GREEN PEACOCK

BAUHAUS AUSSTELLUNG

Ohara Koson JAP026

Rudolf Baschant ART005

YORO WATERFALL

FIGHT BETWEEN A TIGER & A BUFFALO Henri Rousseau HRS004

Katsushika Hokusai JAP014

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TRICOLORE BALOON TRA008

YELLOW LOBSTER SEA041 20


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THE CURIOUS Kuriosis (Left) CUR035

SEVERAL CIRCLES Wassily Kandinsky (Right) KAN015 GEOLOGICAL CHART VINTAGE EDUCATIONAL POSTER GEO003 (Below)

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VINTAGE POSTERS

VINTAGE POSTERS FROM ALL CATEGORIES: ADVERTISING, ZOO + TRAVEL POSTERS, JULIUS KLINGER & THE BAUHAUS



HISTORY OF THE POSTER— Designing posters is not only a commercial pursuit but also a philosophical endeavor Angela Lippert at Poster House defines a poster as “A temporary promotion of an idea, product, or event put up in a public space for mass consumption” Posters date back further than you may think. One of the earliest forms of visual advertising, they were often used in ancient Greece and Rome to make official announcements and make legal texts accessible to the general public. These early posters were placed 24

on large white wooden panels and were usually placed in town squares to ensure as many people as possible saw them. By the 16th and 17th centuries, with the development of the printing process, posters had evolved to a combination of text and pictures to advertise goods sold by tradesmen and merchants, and to entice spectators to upcoming events, such as Shakespeare plays, circuses, and fairs.


ZOOLOGISCHER GARTEN PANTHER Julius Klinger (Left) POS021

SELF PORTRAIT Julius Klinger (Above) POS047 HEART & BRAIN ANATOMY ART SET SET011(Above Left) PALMISTRY HAND CUR027 (Left)

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Lithographic posters became relatively popular in the early 1800s. Lithography, a printing process invented in the 1790s in Germany by Alois Senefelder, enabled artists to create metal and wood engravings with simple designs. Color was possible – these lithographs were known as chromolithographs – but the process was laborious, time-consuming, and expensive. Chromolithographs were impractical for mass production, so plain black-and-white monochromatic lithographs became the norm. All this changed during the Belle Époque (1880 – 1914) period thanks to French artist Jules Chéret. Chéret is widely considered to be the father of the modern poster. He began his lithographic training at thirteen and studied the process for almost twenty years. While working as a designer for perfume manufacturer Eugène Rimmel, Chéret experimented with various color techniques and developed a quicker and more cost-effective lithographic process. Known as the three stone process, Chéret simplified chromolithography by using primary colours, which he made semi-transparent so he could create different tones and shades, and used softer, watercolor-like brush strokes. He also changed the chromolithograph’s standard design from plain to expressive. Chéret drew freehand instead of using stencils, reduced the amount of text, and made what remained more elaborate. He increased the amount of space his vibrant illustrations occupied in his posters. His technique was revolutionary. After opening his own lithographic printing firm in Paris, Chéret published the first book on poster art and organized the first-ever poster exhibition. This is a key moment in art history because it ignited an era of posters being accepted, celebrated, and respected as fine art. The posters of this period were influenced by the rising Art Nouveau movement, whose admiration of Byzantine and Pre-Raphaelite art inspired French artists to incorporate a beautiful floral, ornate style into their work. The influx of ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the newly reopened Japan was also a significant influence on French posters. With French artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Eugène Grasset, Pierre Bonnard, Louis Anguetin, and Adolphe Willette engaging in this new, expressive kind of art, posters soon dominated the working-class streets of Paris. The city’s urban streets became known as “the poor man’s picture gallery”.

The Bolsheviks exploited the poster’s ability to evoke emotion by creating bold, geometric illustrations, which would later inspire the posters of Communist movements in Cuba and China. Posters reverted to advertisements in the 1920s. They exploited the modernity of Art Deco, Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, and Dadaism to showcase technology, fashion, and music. Jazz posters, in particular, were infused with modern angular styles which were far removed from naturalism. While the poster was used as a propagandist tool during the Second World War, attitudes towards it had changed by the 1950s. The Baby Boomers did not see them as art and declared them a public nuisance, making their streets look dingy. Knowing they had to compete with unforeseen competitors such as television, poster makers adapted and embraced the new decade’s emerging consumer and corporate culture. Posters from the 1950s are characterized by two styles. The first is fanciful, bright colors designed to encourage playfulness; this style was popular in travel posters. The second is sensible and orderly informative posters, inspired by the cool, sophisticated, and no-nonsense style of the stark Bauhaus movement. Posters in Eastern Europe were fond of this style and applied it to their social realist art posters. Posters played a crucial role in the rebellious 1960s. This was a decade defined by social and cultural change; human rights and anti-war protests were rising. Posters were used to spread messages of peace and love through Expressionist, Surrealist, and often psychedelic art, and new, innovative styles such as Pop Art. The psychedelic poster, inspired by the madness of Surrealism and decorative excessiveness of Art Nouveau, was incredibly popular, as were music posters. Modern posters, which broadly include any poster from the 1970s to the present day, apply various kinds of art depending on their purpose. There has been a resurgence in recent years of the popularity of vintage posters. The work of Chéret, de Toulouse-Lautrec, Baschant, and Toorop has become very desirable and is in high demand, particularly among Millennials and Gen-Z.

Posters increased in popularity around the globe thanks to Chéret’s new techniques. The posters produced by each country bore their unique cultural preoccupations. While cabarets and cafes were popular in France, posters from Italy celebrated fashion and opera, posters from Britain celebrated pastimes such as attending the circus and riding bicycles, and posters from Spain showcased their love of festivals and bullfighting. Each country’s individual style was also expressed in their posters. German posters were influenced by their prosperous medieval period and their culture’s directness, and Dutch posters expressed their culture’s desire for neatness and restraint. Many countries were also influenced by Modernism and incorporated its abstract style into their posters. By the First World War and the Bolshevik Revolution, posters had become propagandistic tools. Inspired by the French Revolution, didactic posters were designed to raise funds, recruit soldiers, and instil hatred of enemies.

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TOKYO TRAVEL POSTER TP021 27


TRICOLORE BALOON TRA008

YELLOW LOBSTER SEA041 28


TIERPARK BERLIN OWL Roland Beier (Left) POS017

BAUHAUS AUSTELLUNG WEIMAR Rudolph Bachant (Right) ART002 LOVE IN FOUR LETTERS Kuriosis Original (Left) LET011 METAMORFOZE POS027 (Below)

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FROM THIS LAND TO THE STARS A SELECT RANGE OF GEOLOGICAL MAPS, ASTRONOMICAL CHARTS, SCIENCE & TRANSPORTATIONAL ART PRINTS



THE FLOOR OF THE OCEANS MAP044 (This Page) PRINCIPAL HIGH BUILDINGS GEO013 (Opp. Top) THE GRAND CANYON GEO007 (Opp. Middle) PLANETEN SYSTEM AST042 (Opp. Bottom)



ECLIPSE OF THE MOON AST020 (Right) COLOUR PRISMATIC CHART POSTER SCI006 (Top Left) FLAT MAP OF THE WORLD BY GLEESON MAP017 (Bottom Left)



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EDELSTEINE SCI018 (This Page)

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BACTERIOLOGIE CHART SCI002 (Previous Page-Left) FARBE CHART SCI004 (Previous Page-Right) 39



MAJOR TOM PHO006 (Opposite) MOON PHASES BLACK AST037 (This Page)


BLOOD, SWEAT

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PAPER CUTS A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT KURIOSIS & THE JOURNEY WHICH HAS BROUGHT US TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY











MODERN ART

A REJECTION OF HISTORY AND CONSERVATIVE VALUES IN THE SPIRIT OF EXPERIMENTATION & INNOVATION



TULIP & LILY I

William Morris (Below) WMP029

PAINTING WITH GREEN CENTER 1913 Wassily Kandinsky Exhibition Poster WKY002

WASSILY KANDINSKY— The father of Abstract Art Wassily Kandinsky, who is credited as a pioneer of abstract art, surprisingly enough, hadn’t picked up a brush until the age of thirty. Before he began his journey leading to an impressive career as a painter and art theorist, he had already built a successful career in law and was even offered a professorship at the University of Dorpat as the Chair of Roman Law.

a catalogue that it was a haystack. This lack of clarity was unpleasant to me: I thought that the painter had no right to paint so unclearly...” This was a revelation that led him to invest his energy into art and explore the possibilities of it. It was also after this tour that he decided to go to Munich to pursue his newfound passion for painting.

During a tour in Russia, the young law professor was very moved by some of the artworks he saw. Among them, one of Claude Monet’s ‘Haystacks’ later proved to be an important milestone on his path to abstraction. He later recalls his encounter with this artwork: “And once I saw the painting for the first time. It seemed to me that it was impossible to guess without

After spending many years in Europe delving into his artistic endeavours Kandinsky returns to Russia following the outbreak of World War I. Here he starts to teach at the universities and becomes more and more involved with art theory. He often articulates his now-famous thoughts on art, soul and how they relate to each other.

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He regards art as a kind of a spiritual need, almost food for the soul. Both creating and experiencing art happens at a very spiritual level as well as physical. He talks about a double effect an artwork evokes; The first one being the physical perception of the colours, which he compares to enjoying a tasty delicacy. The second is, as he put it, “causing a vibration of the soul or an “inner resonance”—a spiritual effect in which the colour touches the soul itself.” In his quest for feeding the soul, Wassily Kandinsky creates a strong connection between music, colours, and forms. In his mind, he breaks the barriers between different forms of art. For him material distinctions between image, sound and words are arbitrary. They melt away and become a force that shakes the spirit and eventually the world. It’s no wonder, to this day his vibrant paintings are widely appreciated, studied and reproduced by many. An important factor to his fluid perception of different mediums was that he had a unique condition called synesthesia. Meaning that certain stimulations evoked sensations in him which are specific to other sensory organs, like hearing the colours or seeing the sounds. So he would often talk about colours as visual equivalents of certain sounds and feelings. And he was very specific about what each represented. According to him red is a fiery colour of an immaterial and restless character and resembles the light tones of a violin. Orange’s radiant sensation emits health and sounds like a baritone or viola.Yellow is disturbing and evokes delirium, its sound is that of a trumpet. Green lacks dynamism as it evokes calm and passivity. It sounds like the deep tones of a violin. Blue is a pure and immaterial colour and its sound resembles a flute, a cello, or an organ. He was especially fond of blue. Violet is conceived as a slow, dull colour associated with mourning and old age and reminds the sound of a bagpipe. White is where material colour disappears and turns into a feeling of pure joy. It is a silence full of possibilities, a musical pause. “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” Of course, to appreciate Kandinsky’s artwork you don’t have to agree with him about what each colour represent to you. You don’t have to be a synesthete either. If you listen, his paintings will start singing to you as soon as you put one on your wall.

PORTRAIT Wassily Kandinsky (Top)

EVERYTHING STARTS FROM A DOT Wassily Kandinsky Quote Poster (Left) QUO040 55


UPWARD 1929

YELLOW PAINTING 1928

Wassily Kandinsky KAN020

Wassily Kandinsky KAN018

BLUE PAINTING

GRACEFUL ASCENT

Wassilly Kandinsky KAN003

Wassily Kandinsky KAN009

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PIET MONDRIAN & The Pursuit Of Total Abstraction Piet Mondrian was born in the Netherlands in 1872. Encouraged by his family to follow his creative path from an early age, Mondrian eventually attended the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam. His early style consisted of impressionistic landscapes and representational studies, clearly influenced by the Dutch impressionist movements happening at the same time.

The restrained colour palette and grid-like infrastructure characterised by Mondrian were a lifetime in the making, only arriving at his signature style in his forties. This exemplifies his continued dedication to the creative process and an understanding that such abstract ways of thinking could take time to be accepted into popular culture.

Remembered for his distinctly geometric minimalistic style, Mondrian descended from Impressionism and Cubism to continually reinvent and revolutionise the painting throughout his career. His style evolved from cubist landscapes influenced by his predecessors Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque to eventual total abstraction.

“The absolute must be realised relatively for the time being. I found that my closed rectangular form was too absolute; thus, also for me. The resolution of what will be possible and will come later.”— Piet Mondrian

Throughout his career, Mondrian moved towards more conceptual and spiritual ideologies. This allowed his work to transition from symbolic representations to exploring the rhythmic relationships between form and colour. Mondrian was a co-founder of the De Stijl movement with Theo van Doesburg and pioneered Neoplasticism, a dedication to pure abstraction divorced from representation and nature. The artists practising Neoplasticism believed that the work should only involve vertical or horizontal lines, primary colours, and primary values (black, white & grey). 58

Mondrian’s influence continues to this day & is seen throughout Bauhaus architecture, graphic design, typography and beyond. The rigorous use of primary colours and grid systems cemented his work in history as one of the most influential art movements. The reduction of visual language to such simple forms became the basis of modern design as we know it today. Working until the day he died, Mondrian celebrated a lifetime immersed in endless curiosity, the pursuit of dynamism and total abstraction.


PIET MONDRIAN Place de la Concorde MNP002 (Left)

PIET MONDRIAN Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow & Black MON007 PIET MONDRIAN Exhibition Poster MNP004 59


ROAD IN ETTEN Vincent Van Gogh Exhibition Poster VVG017

ART EXHIBITION POSTERS— & The Value of Reproductions We see more Art Exhibition Posters nowadays because not all people can pay thousands, thousands of hundreds or even millions of euros when buying a painting. Therefore, Art Exhibition Posters have come to offer us a more accessible form to collect art. If you think for example on the Starry Night by Van Gogh, a painting with an invaluable price that is still estimated at more than 100 million euros, even if you had the money to buy it, you probably would think twice or more times before making the purchase. In the same direction, there are other types of paintings and designs with such a high value that most of us would not be able to buy them only because of their price. Original pieces by Matisse, Rousseau, Af Klint or the same Van Gogh are rare 60

and difficult to find. That is why an Art Exhibition Poster is an alternative for people to replicate the artist’s work presented in a specific gallery or exhibition. But what would be the difference between an original and an exhibition piece? On the one hand, and as we have mentioned, the first one typically has a specific price and then only increases in time. On the other hand, an art exhibition poster has no extra value in time because they are indeed reproductions of the artist’s work. They neither were initially created by them nor have a signature by the artist. Thus, when we possess an art exhibition poster, we have a reproduction of the original painting or design that was part of an exhibition at a particular date.


BUDDAH’S STANDPOINT Hilma AF Klint Art Exhibition Poster HFK004 (below)

DOMINANT CURVE Wassily Kandinsky Art Exhibition Poster WYK028 (Right) BAUHAUS POSTER ART007 (below)

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Consequently, in that aspect, and given the current situation we face globally, most museums are closed. The chances to visit an art exhibition -depending on your country- are predominantly null. That is why having one of these pieces can be an excellent option to have part of the original design work presented in a museum. In the same line, we have a collection full of art exhibition posters to offer, and there are more to come. We are preparing an art exhibition museum online for you to choose any of the prints you feel to match the best with your home decor. Rousseau’s style was widely criticised for not being closer to reality and what other artists were trying to reach at the time. He was a painter with no academic training in arts but more of a self-taught painter. Considering what we mentioned, people did not see his work as relevant for the absence of technique and lack of realism that other painters were achieving in the 19th century. Rousseau continued working on his paintings. He ended up evolving his own particular and distinctive style of painting, which was also a source of inspiration for artists like Picasso, Kandinsky, and others. Henri Rousseau’s Jungles in Paris Exhibition in the Musée d’Orsay is one example of exhibition posters we have for you. This exhibit took place between March and June of 2006, and it had more than 135.000 visitors. Here you have some designs that were part of that collection of paintings. Van Gogh’s story is not the happiest, but it is something that people inevitably think about when they read or learn about him. His passion for art was palpable, and he did more than 2000 pieces of work during his short life before dying at the age of thirty-seven. To improve his painting skills, he inspired himself in other people’s faces. By doing this, he started to perfect his skills as a painter. Many of his most acclaimed works are precisely portraits, and they are worth dozens of millions of euros.

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Van Gogh’s best works came from his more stable years with his mental and physical health. The time where he was on his feet and gave us many of the most exciting and significant paintings, such as the Wheat Field with Cypresses. A couple of paintings are part of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The images are part of various collections the museum offers, and you can see them here. With a unique style and way ahead of other contemporary painters, Af Klint made what others tried to reach decades before. She did not feel comfortable with her current works, mainly because of the acid criticism by Rudolph Steiner. Hence, Af Klint quit painting for some time before deciding to continue her journey of the “Paintings for Temple” collection. Owner of unique talent and use of colours, Af Klint at the moment was finishing one painting every five days. She felt utterly inspired once again and did not stop until she finished it. People consider Hilma’s work abstract art. And that is not hard to imagine taking into account that her source of inspiration came from her spiritual sessions where she connected to outer spirits that they painted through her according to what she said. All these prints are from the painting for the Future exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York. This exhibit took place between October 2018 and April 2019. If you want to know more about it, you can follow this link to the exhibition itself.


THE EQUATORIAL JUNGLE Henri Rousseau Art Exhibition Print HRS003 63


PEACOCK PHEASENT William Morris Exhibition Poster WMS009

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ROSES ART POSTER

THE TEN LARGEST NO.2

Vincent Van Gogh Art Exhibition Poster VVG007

Hilma AF Klint Art Exhibition Poster ART005

LARKSPUR

JAPANESE AZEALIAS

William Morris Art Exhibition Poster WMS005

Ogawa Kazumasa Art Exhibition Poster KOP018

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SEA VIEW CALM WEATHER Eduard Manet Exhibition Poster MAN029

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CYPRESSES

COLOURFUL ARCHITECTURE

Vincent Van Gogh Art Exhibition Poster VVG002

Paul Klee Art Exhibition Poster PKE004

THE SISTERS IN LINE

STILL LIFE WITH MILK JUG

Picasso Inspired Art Exhibition Poster PIC006

Paul Cézanne Art Exhibition Poster CEZ084

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GRASS WITH LAVENDER, YELLOW & PINK WILDFLOWERS William Morris WMP120

WILLIAM MORRIS— Art as a Method of Social Protest and Outreach for All William Morris was a British architect, designer, craftsman, translator, poet, novelist and a socialist activist. We dedicate today’s blog to one man who excelled in many different aspects throughout his life, and we will tell you why we love his work. William Morris came from a wealthy middle-class family from Britain. We say “wealthy” middle-class because he was in that position where even though his family was not explicitly wealthy, they still managed to perform significantly better than others. Morris was aware of this, but he never felt completely comfortable in his environment. He was an avid critic of the industrial system, not because of the improvements of the system itself, but the form men were administrating it and particularly, their employees. Due to this, he saw himself influenced by socialist ideals, and he considered them a fundamental part of his life. Therefore, he took a protagonist role in the fight for workers rights. He firmly believed that companies should be owned by their workers

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instead of one person who was profiting with their employees and not paying fairly for their work. William Morris was indeed no ordinary man, and he was the leader of the British Arts and Crafts movement, a strong movement against industrialization in the second part of the XIX century. The Arts and Crafts current of thought was related to arts in general, but most importantly, to fine and decorative ones. This philosophy of thought covered what artists wanted to use as their way of expression. This movement was a direct response to industrialization for its mass production system and the flaws that the system had when replacing handwork by machines. Morris was the most important representative of this movement, which tried to give protagonism back to people who were building, creating and making beautiful art decor but only in a local scenario. He was also a devoted critic of art for socialité, and his idea was to go back to simplicity and make art affordable for all.


TULIP William Morris (Below) WMP001

BLUE MARIGOLD William Morris (Above) WMS010 PORTRAIT William Morris (Left)

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“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” “I do not want art for a few; any more than education for a few; or freedom for a few” In this quotation, we can see the principles which Morris had and how he put arts at the level of education and even freedom. It is important to remember that liberal arts were a symbol of expression of ideas and content, but mostly discontent, by the artists, especially in those years post-industrialization. His remarkable style was, at the same time, complex and straightforward. An avid critic of royalties and the absurdities of building ridiculous expensive designs to brag about your last name and privileges back in time, he opted for something different. He went simple. And we say “simple” because he inspired himself by nature and everyday moments that all people live instead of fancy and exclusive designs for wealthy families. We said his style was also tricky, but not only because of the design, but for the process of creation. To make his designs and wallpapers, Morris had to come up with an idea to make them happen. He worked with patterns. These patterns were a mix of different blocks which included a design, and they were combined to create one figure. This process was called “block-printing” and to do this; Morris had all the designs in wooden blocks. The first figure was made in a wooden block. Later, he printed the model on paper. Next, he continued pressing the block design through the surface to the end. Then, the first colour of the pattern was left to dry so the process could continue with the second layer. He printed these colours one on top of the other and repeated this process till the final design was completed and finished the entire pattern. The total time varied depending on how many pieces he printed on the paper, but it could take up to a month to create just one of them. These patterns Morris created them himself, and he presented them in a tone on tone pattern or in a multicolour one. The first pattern was more uncomplicated but still had its complexity since he had to take a pure colour and add grey, black or white to it. By doing this, the colour becomes clearer or darker -depending on the neutral colour added- and it becomes a “variety” of that colour. Green, light green, dark green, etc. are examples of what a tone can be. However, this was just one way of creating the pattern and one of the two “sub techniques” by Morris. The other consisted of mixing different hues and making patterns as colourful as you can imagine. The image below represents one of the multicolour designs which looks exactly like an original William Morris Wallpaper. 70

Without a doubt, the most famous design by Morris that we have is the Strawberry Thief. A pattern which Morris treasured deeply. I took him months to complete since the conditions for printing the model at the time were not the best. The reason Morris deeply cherished this pattern was that it reminded him of thrushes stealing strawberries from his hometown. Another big seller is the Blue Marigold by Morris. This wallpaper is from 1875, and it resembles the tranquillity and the right taste for such a great combination of colours. Its design is simple is clean and hypnotizing, and it is undeniably a perfect addition to your home decor. Another classic from William Morris. The Apple Pattern Poster is a representation of the outstanding block print, which adds subtle but noticeable details of apples to it. This pattern has been reproduced in different tones, but the one we have available for you is the classic by him. The design consists of different layers, but the three most important and noticeable are the first with light leaves printed uniformly. The second layer has more giant leaves, and they include a detailed internal design. Finally, there is a third layer with the apples which even though they are not the most noticeable object from the print, they are still observable to the viewer. William Morris was without doubts one of the most influential people in the XIX century. He was a cultured man, and although he had almost everything, he was always thinking of how to bring art to all people. His works have been exhibited in many different museums across the world, including the MET Collection which we present you here and in the Vitoria and Albert Museum of Arts in London, UK. “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” This is one of his most inspiring quotations and here at Kuriosis, we are delighted to have such a beautiful collection made by Morris, and we are tremendously jubilant to see how you welcome them. After more than one hundred years of his death, we are still bewildered by his words and his way of thinking. By reproducing his art, we hope we can bring these prints to all of you, so everyone has a chance to admire this whole artist and person.


BIRDS EXHIBITION POSTER William Morris WMS011

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FLORA AND FAUNA THE BEAUTY OF THE NATURAL WORLD COMES TO LIFE WITH GREEN PLANTS, MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS & BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS



LES FLEURS Botanical Educational Print BOT013

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LIME FLOWER & LEMON FRUIT BOT034 (Below)

KAFFEE BAUM BOT053 (Above)

STILL LIFE WITH ROSES Elias Van den Broeck BOT061 (Left)

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AMERICAN CACTUS

BOT003

FLOWER STILL LIFE

MAGNOLIA FLOWER

Brockhaus Educational Print BOT021

BOT079

MORENIA POPPIGIANA

FRUITS CHART

KVM013

Adolphe Millet BOT015

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TEMPLE OF FLORA, BLUE EGYPTIAN WATER LILY BOT063

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AMERICAN CACTUS BOT003

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CACTUS COLLAGE

ARTICHOKE SEPIA

Brockhaus Educational Print BOT031

BOT008

COCONUT BOTANICAL POSTER

COFFEE PLANT

BOT213

Botanical Educational Poster BOT167

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LE CHOCOLAYER Cacao Plant Vintage Poster BOT135

BOT003

VANILLA BOTANICAL POSTER BOT022 80


TEMPLE OF FLORA, BLUE EGYPTIAN WATER LILY BOT063

COFFEE BOTANICAL POSTER BOT079 COCOA PLANT POSTER BOT176 81


FLOWER POWER

OUR FLOWER MARKET POSTERS ARE INSPIRED BY VINTAGE TRAVEL POSTERS AND THE COLOURFUL AESTHETICS OF THE 1960S. 82


PARIS Flower Market Poster FNP011

HITACHI Flower Market Poster FNP027 LONDON Flower Market Poster FNP018 83


LISSE FLOWER MARKET POSTER FNP019

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AMERICAN CACTUS

BOT003

AARHUS

MALMÖ

Flower Market Poster FNP012

Flower Market Poster FNP016

HOKKAIDO

CHELSEA

Flower Market Poster FNP028

Flower Market Poster FNP020

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STOCKHOLM Flower Market Poster FNP007

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CREATE YOUR OWN GALLERY WALL 88


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FLOWER MARKET Set of three posters SET094

HOW TO— Put together an instagram worthy & successful Gallery Wall at home! We’ve put together some top tips for creating your very own gallery wall at home. How to combine colours, themes and different styles to suit your decor and personal taste.

At Kuriosis; we like to put together Gallery Walls based on different factors—sometimes this can be our favourite colour, artist, mood or theme!

1. MEASURE YOUR SPACE

2. COLOUR

Make sure you measure the wall you are working with and check the size guide when you are buying multiple prints for a gallery wall so they will all fit when you go to hang them! Also if you plan to frame your prints; take into account that your frames may be larger than the size of the actual artwork.

When it comes to colour, we recommend choosing one or two focus colours and building up your gallery wall around this! It will often lead to a much more cohesive set of artwork. Maybe you want your gallery wall to compliment your living room couch; or even better to contrast it!

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Maybe your furniture is monochrome and you are using the artwork to bring some life into the room! 2. ARTISTS Pick your favourite artist and dedicate an entire wall to them! One of our favourite things to do is to combine two different artists and styles for a really confident approach. Alternatively you can create a wall based on a movement; for example, The Impressionist Movement or Abstract Art; this way you know the work is all going to compliment each other. 3. THEME Combining different pieces of art based on a singular unifying theme can be one of the most satisfying ways to create a gallery wall; but also one of the trickiest! It gives you so much freedom to pick multiple different artists and colourways and match interesting visual combinations. We recommend picking one or two statement pieces and then building up complimentary pieces around the stars of the show. 4. HANGING A useful thing to do is to lay out your artwork on the floor if you have enough space and then easily move the pieces around to see how they look together and find the arrangement that you love the most! CHECK OUT OUR SELECTION OF READY MADE GALLERY WALLS & SETS ON THE COMING PAGES!

PINK & BLUE Gallery Wall GW043

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LES FLEURS Gallery Wall, GW041


JAZZ & SOUL Gallery Wall GW082

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ART NOUVEAU Gallery Wall GW047

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BLUE & RED

DANCE WITH ME

Gallery Wall (Top) GW050

Gallery Wall (Bottom) GW049

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MADE FOR EACH OTHER Different series of any 2, 3, or 4 posters or prints sold together at a discount. Custom Sets also available; where you can also choose any 2, 3, or 4 motifs from any collection and combine them!


PAPPILONS SET015 (Opp. Top) THE GREAT WAVE SET087 (Opp. Bottom) BLACK PEACOCK SET SET085 (This Page)


BOTANICAL HAECKEL SET SET070


CUSTOM SET

HEART & BRAIN ANATOMICAL SET SET011


JAPANESE ART

A WIDE RANGE OF JAPANESE STYLES INCLUDING ANCIENT INK PAINTING, CALLIGRAPHY, UKIYO-E AND WOODBLOCK PRINTS


YORO WATERFALL Hokusai JAP014


JAPANESE ART— & The influence on Western Art Movements “Japanese art is important as a teacher. From it, we once again learn to feel clearly how far we have strayed from nature’s true designs through the persistent imitation of fixed models; we learn how necessary it is to draw from the source; how the human spirit is able to absorb a wealth of magnificent, naive beauty from the organic forms of nature in place of pedantic, decrepit rigidity of form” – Julius Lessing, Report from the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1878 102

Japonisme is a French term coined by French art critic and collector Philippe Burty in 1872 to describe the popularity and influence of Japanese art in nineteenth century Europe. The French, art historian Gabriel P. Weisberg explains, were particularly drawn to Japanese art because it’s seclusion “appealed to their sense of exclusivity. They saw strength but also restraint in the Japanese, and they were driven to combine those elements with French tradition and make something new.”


JUMPING CARP Koson (Left) JAP064

STARRY NIGHT Vincent Van Gogh VVG007 (Left)

JAPAN AT NIGHT Shiro (Above Left) JAP041

SAMURAI FROGS Kuniyoshi (Above) JAP037

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HISTORICAL IMPACT Japan was a mystery to the world for over two hundred years. The small country closed its borders in 1635 under the Sakoku policy (literally meaning “closed country”) enacted by Japan’s feudal military government - Tokugawa shogunate, known in Japan as the Edo shogunate – at the time. This policy was designed halt colonial influence on their way of life and so relations and trade were limited, almost all foreign nationals were prevented from entering Japan, and regular Japanese people were forbidden from leaving the country under penalty of death. As a result, Japan’s way of life was a complete mystery to the rest of the world. That is until the 1850s. After William II of the Netherlands unsuccessful tried to convince Japan to end their self-imposed isolation in 1844, The Perry Expedition, lead by Commodore Matthew Perry, was launched in 1853. It aimed to convince Japan to reopen its borders and engage with American trade. Known in Japan as Arrival of the Black Ships (黒船来航, kurofune raikō, the name they gave to Western ships arriving in the county), the threat of attack initiated a successful political dialogue and Japan began trading with the West as soon as five years later, after the Treaty of Amity and Commerce was declared. IMPACT OF JAPAN’S REOPENING ON WESTERN ART Japan experienced a massive influx of merchants, tradesmen, and tourists following their reopening. Styles and methods of art creation specific to Japan were finally available in the West. The likes of ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) and delicate ceramics and pottery became incredibly popular, particularly in France and England where these items started appearing in curiosity shops. People were drawn to Japanese art’s aesthetic because they were soul-searching. As Matthew Martin explains, many artists and intellectuals in second half of the nineteenth century believed “that the rise of industrial production in the nineteenth century had destroyed taste”. They longed for a radical shift in art; they wanted to redefine what art is and what art could be. They wanted to break away from the limitations of neo-Classicism’s perfectionism. They wanted art for art’s sake. Japanese art opened that door. Japanese art, the jeweller Lucian Falize said, “taught us the poetry of the world”. Their ukiyo-e, which often depicted landscapes and regular people at leisure rather than the battle epics and classic, grey-toned military portraits that had dominated the West, felt modern and expressive. Its unique aesthetic informed the emerging social-reform art movements of the late nineteenth century, particularly Impressionism and Art Nouveau. JAPANESE ART INSPIRED: IMPRESSIONISM Impressionists were enormously influenced by Japanese art’s use of flat planes, bright colours, unusual perspectives, and emphasis on asymmetry and negative space. Nancy Hass commented that it “liberated them from the strictures of hyperrealism”. Japanese art freed these artists.

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One of the most famous Impressionists (and post-Impressionists) of all time, Vincent van Gogh, adored Japanese art. Throughout his life, he collected ukiyo-e prints he bought from various Parisian curiosity shops and even promoted them to his contemporaries at an exhibition in 1887. The often natureworientated, vibrant, and flat-planed style we associated with van Gogh today is in large part thanks to his love of Japanese art. Van Gogh’s motive in his move to the south of France was to more authentically capture the spirit of Japanese landscape painting. One work that accentuates his love for it is his Portrait of Père Tanguy (1887). Van Gogh produced two versions of this portrait of his colour merchant, Julien Tanguy, both featuring backdrops of Japanese prints from the famous Japanese artists such as Utagawa Kunisada and Utagawa Hiroshige, who is considered the last great master of ukiyo-e. JAPANESE ART INSPIRED: ART NOUVEAU Art Nouveau (“New Art”) was at its most popular at the turn of the nineteenth century (1890 – 1910). Like Impressionism, it sought to free itself from traditional art constraints and emphasised romantic expression through its use of the natural asymmetry of plants, flowers, and animals. French architect and designer Hector Guimard stressed that “nature is the greatest builder and nature makes nothing that is parallel and nothing that is symmetrical”. The short-lived movement took its name “from the Paris gallery, La Maison de l’Art Nouveau, opened in December 1895 on the rue de Provence by Siegfried Bing”. Bing was an ardent admirer of Japanese art and was one of the most influential figures in Japonisme, utilising its commercial potential. Inspired by Japan’s refusal to differentiate between high and low art, Art Nouveau “embraced the notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk —the total work of art”. Two of the greatest artists within Art Nouveau are Gustav Klimt and Ernst Heinrich Haeckel. Like van Gogh, Klimt was inspired by ukiyo-e prints and the Rinpa School of Kyoto. The use of intricate patterns, vibrant colours, and gold leaf backgrounds in his work are directly influenced by his love of Japanese art. Haeckel was a German biologist and his representations of deep-sea organisms and flora and fauna, characterised by whiplash curves and serpentine lines, were greatly influenced by the popularity of Japanese art. According to Cybele Gontar, from the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Nouveau’s Japonisme lines “may be understood as a metaphor for the freedom and release sought by its practitioners and admirers from the weight of artistic tradition and critical expectations”.


5 WHITE CRANES IN THE SNOW

Koson JAP025 105


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JAPANESE ART GALLERY WALL GW039 107


RED CRANES & WHITE CRANES SET SET086

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WHITE HERON IN DARK SNOW Koson (Middle) JAP029

BLUE LAKE Taguchi Tomoki (Above) JAP055 WHITE PHOENIX Kamisaka Sekka (Below) JAP072

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FUJI NO YUKEI Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Left) JAP099 JAPANESE KOI FISH JAP023 THE GREAT WAVE OFF KANAGAWA Hokusai (Below) JAP013

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GEISHA IN THE SNOWSTORM Hasui (Right) JAP055 111


PHOTOGRAPHY

A CELEBRATION OF THE DIVERSITY OF THE MEDIUM FEATURING KARL BLOSSFELDT’S MACRO BOTANICAL IMAGERY AND THE PIONEERS OF JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHY



KARL BLOSSFELDT— Finding a New World of Possibilities through Macro Photography Being a sculptor and a professor at Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbemuseums Berlin, Blossfeldt started thinking about unique patterns and forms which his student could work. He had a model of a dragonfly’s wing, and even though the model was remarkably brilliant, he still could not get the approval from the school director for it was considered “trivial” at that time. Everything we observe around us has its peculiarities and beauty. For some people, there is a lack or excess of beauty in things we look at every day. For some others, beauty is subjective. Nevertheless, according to theory, that is an idea we have in our minds instead of in things by themselves. Things do not change because they are always what they are. We, humans, give a value to everything we see, and that is what the theory tries to explain. Does it sound complicated? To your calmness, Karl Blossfeldt can explain this better through stunning images. In this aspect, he began to work with the beauty he could find in nature, and which other better example of the beauty we know, as the same he chose almost 100 years ago: plants.“Blossfeldt was never for 114

mally trained as a photographer. Blossfeldt used home-made camera and lenses to magnify his subjects up to 30 times their natural size” Due to this, he decided to start taking photographs from different things he wanted to show in his class. He began with insects (eventually seen in his collections) and then he moved to plants. Here, he started paying even more attention to details, and it was in this moment when he began working with magnifying lenses so his less-skilled students could see details in these plants and improve their sculpting skills. Nevertheless, and as he did not have any help from the university to continue developing his work, he saw himself obliged to make these magnifying lenses by himself. He was not a photographer, but he was tremendously determined to continue doing this as he thought this was the best way to make his students improve and make them better premature artists.


SERRATULA NUDICAULIS (Left) Karl Blossfeldt PPB004 PLANT PHOTOGRAVURE NO.67 (Below) Karl Blossfeldt PPB067

ACHILLEACLY PEOLATA (Above) Karl Blossfeldt PPB002

Since he did not see any support from the school, Blossfeldt himself wrote a letter to the School Director explaining the situation and asking for a place in the school so he could show this botanical photo collection. In this letter, he expresses the approval of his colleagues and how they also consider these photographs as suitable for educational purposes. At the end of this letter, Blossfeldt asked the School Director to consider the possibility to have an area of no more than 12 square meters exclusively to show his work.

collector, discovered his work and decided to mount an exhibition of the work made by Blossfeldt. After this, Blossfeldt was recognised in different cities in Germany. Later, in 1928, he published Urformen der Kunst and immediately became a pioneer of the new objectivity movement. He was the person who started all these new ways of showing the natural world through the lens of a camera. Thanks to him, we can see all these phantasmagoric shapes of plants in different tones and a level of detail that no one had seen in those years.

“Because they are the fruit of years of work and considerable material sacrifice, I would very much welcome them being used in some way, either as inspirational material in individual classes, libraries, etc. for a wider audience and, above all, for all students.” Extract from the letter written to the School Director.

What could we say about the technique Blossfedt used along with the different pictures he took and all the work that meant for him? How did he manage to get this? It is essential to mention that we are talking about around 1925 and yes, even though at that time photography in colour was already a thing, it was tremendously expensive and difficult to get due to the long exposures, time and process of printing and the need of special equipment. Therefore, colour photography was sporadic in those years.

As time went by, Blossfeldt’s work started to become more and more popular not only on the campus but in Berlin. Then was when Karl Nierendorf, a gallery owner and influential art

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Attention to detail is essential, and Blossfeldt knew it. He knew that plants were a mine of different shapes to discover. The German sculptor managed to photograph a vast range of plants because he thought that in nature, we find the foundations of all forms. Wildlife, and plants explicitly, are one of those mines that people ignore but not because they don’t want to do that, but because the beauty in simple things sometimes is more difficult to appreciate in our everyday life. Precisely, that is what these photographs intend to do: To portray small-scale forms and encourage students and people to pay more attention to them.

My botanical documents should reawaken a sense of nature, point to its teeming richness of form, and prompt the viewer to observe for himself the surrounding plant world. To do this, Blossfeldt used a home-made camera and magnifying lenses. He was able to take photographs of objects thirty times their size. His way of making photography is not simple to describe as one specific photography technique, given the fact Blossfeldt was not a photographer, and he just did what worked for his teaching and educational purposes. Nevertheless, most of the photographers considered him as one of the most influential macro photography exponents in history. Nevertheless, not everything is related to these magnifying images but also the way of taking pictures. Blossfeldt was extremely careful with the way he handled his shots concerning the angles. We can appreciate a pattern when observing his photos, and there are two clear perspectives and another that we can see from time to time. Blossfeldt is known for his zenith perspective and frontal ones. Sometimes, although not that often, he worked also with diagonal views and the good news, is that all of them are available in this new Blossfeldt plant collection we have for you. Blossfeldt is the reflex of why we do things in life and the purpose of them. In our everyday lives, there are several things that we usually do for the sake of doing them. Blossfeldt went beyond that, and he solved a real-life situation he faced in school and how Blossfeldt was not being able to explain and describe what he intended his students to do and fixed that by making these photographs. Kuriosis, we are delighted with this collection. It is a genuine honour, and we are tremendously excited to see how our customers will see this new collection. Some of us think that it is the most exciting and beautiful we have seen in our catalogue.

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ORANGE LILY Ogawa Kazumasa KZO011

OGAWA KAZUMASA— Pioneer of Japanese Photography Ogawa Kuzumasa was a Japanese photographer, publisher, and printer in the Meiji period and one of the innovators of photography and photomechanical printing in Japan. He opened the first photography studio in Tokyo in 1884 and created the first collotype photo printing business in 1889, but he is best known for his beautiful hand-colored photographs of flora, fauna, and Japanese landscapes. Japan was a mystery to the world for over two hundred years. The small country closed its borders in 1635 under the Sakoku policy (literally meaning “closed country”) enacted by Japan’s feudal military government - Tokugawa shogunate, known in Japan as the Edo shogunate – at the time. This policy was designed to halt colonial influence on their way of life and so relations and trade were limited. Almost all foreign nationals were prevented from entering Japan, and regular Japanese people were forbidden from leaving the country under the death penalty. As a result, Japan’s way of life was a complete mystery to the rest of the world. That is until the 1850s. After William II of the Netherlands unsuccessfully tried to convince Japan to end their self-imposed isolation in 1844. 118

The Perry Expedition, lead by Commodore Matthew Perry, was launched in 1853. It aimed to persuade Japan to reopen its borders and engage with American trade. Known in Japan as Arrival of the Black Ships (黒船来航, kurofune raikō, the name they gave to Western ships arriving in the county), the threat of attack initiated a successful political dialogue and Japan began trading with the West as soon as five years later, after the Treaty of Amity and Commerce was declared. Photography was still a relatively new invention by the time it arrived in Japan in the 1850s. Japanese and foreign artists were fascinated by the art’s ability to seemingly capture reality, and it became incresingly prevalent. David Odo, an anthropologist and curator at Harvard Art Museums, notes that “photography played very well into this kind of desire to learn more about Japan”. Japan, once “forbidden” and “beyond reach” was “all of a sudden somehow knowable”. The Japanese were keen to blend the style of their traditional woodblock prints, Ukiyo-e, developed in 1765, depicted scenes from everyday Japan, and remained popular through the Meiji period until its end in 1912, with this modern invention.


CHERRY BLOSSOM

COLOURFUL LILY NO.3

Ogawa Kazumasa (Below) KZO021

Ogawa Kazumasa (Bottom) KZO018

PORTRAIT Ogawa Kazumasa (Above)

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JAPANESE AZALEAS Ogawa Kazumasa Exhibition Poster KOP018 HÆRDACEOUS PEONY Ogawa Kazumasa KZO026

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What makes Japanese photography so uniquely beautiful is its use of watercolors. The lack of color in photographs left people feeling as if the image was incomplete and so tinted dyes and coloring soon became part of the photography process. Unlike the colored photographs produced in Europe and the US, which looked more like paintings, Japanese artists delicately painted their prints with watercolors, creating a hyper-realistic aesthetic. Western tourists adored these photographs, and the money brought in by their purchases enabled Japan to mass-produce photographic print on paper from a negative. This process was called the albumen print, also known as the albumen silver print, and it involved creating prints from the albumen found in egg whites which bound the photographic chemicals to paper.

which he published with Hakubunkan. These were the collotype album A Photographic Album of the Japan-China War (Nisshin Sensō-zu), printed around 1894-1895, and the Russo-Japanese War Album (Nichiro seneki shashinjō), a chain of albums printed in halftone and collotype from 1904—1905. Ogawa passed away in 1929. His photographs are appreciated and respected not only for their beauty but for their foundational place in Japanese photography history. Ogawa helped popularise photography, was a crucial component of photography’s journey in becoming a recognized art form in Japan and helped bring Japan’s unique artistic style to the Western world, which in turn influenced movements such as Art Nouveau.

Ogawa Kazumasa was born in 1860 to the Matsudaira samurai clan of Saitama. His family had been samurai for generations, and his father was among the last of them. Ogawa showed an interest in photography from a young age, and by the time he was fifteen, he had started studying photography and English. In 1880 he moved to Tokyo to further improve his English skills, and soon after, he became an interpreter for the Yokohama Police Department. Dedicated to his artistic passions outside work, he studied photography with Shimooka Renjō, who widely credited as the father of Japanese photography and was the owner of the first photography studio in Yokohama. Despite a potentially lucrative career in the police force, Ogawa decided that photography was his first love. Having secured wemployment as a sailor on the USS Swatara in 1882, Ogawa landed in Washington in the United States and moved between Boston and Philadelphia to study collotype printing, portrait photography, and the dry plate process. When he returned to Japan two years later, Ogawa opened the first photography studio in Tokyo, located in the Iidabashi (once Kōjimachi, until 1947) district. It was called the Gyokujunkan, and its primary export was portraiture. His studio was incredibly successful, enabling him to open his dry plate manufacturing company, Tsukiji Kampan Seizō Kaisha, in 1888, and Japan’s first collotype business, the Ogawa Shashin Seihan jo, also referred to as the K. Ogawa printing factory, the following year. Ogawa was also involved with Shashin Shinpō, a literary photography journal, as an editor and founded the publishing company Ogawa Kazumasa Photographic Copperplate Engraving Studio, which printed Essence of the Nation (Kokka 国華), Japan’s first mass-produced art periodical. Kokka was fixated on the beauty of flowers and plants, which perhaps accounts for their presence in a majority of Ogawa’s hand-colored works. Ogawa printed both publications using the collotype printing process. During this period, Ogawa also helped establish the Japan Photographic Society, which promoted the participation of professionals and amateurs alike. Ogawa’s work was sought after because unlike many of his contemporaries, including Kusakabe Kimbei, he focused more on how technology could be used to document reality rather than recreating Japanese mythology or older customs. His photographs of Buddhist sculptures in Nara and solar eclipses were especially popular, as well as two key volumes

YELLOW LILY Ogawa Kazumasa Exhibition Poster (Above) KOP008 LILY Ogawa Kazumasa (Right) KZO001



TEBORI JAPANESE TATTOO Kusakabe Kimbei KIM003

KUSAKABE KIMBEI— Japanese Photographer to the Western World From around 1860 to 1900, Yokohama-shashin (Japanese albumen prints sold in Yokohama) became very popular. These photographs depicting Japanese landscapes, people and culture were popular souvenirs for tourists at the time. Considered to be one of the most underrated Japanese photographers of the 19th century, he worked with Felice Beato and Baron Raimund von Stillfried from the 1860s as an assistant and photographic colourist before he opened his own studio many years later in Yokohama in 1881. Kusakabe was at the forefront of creating souvenir photograph albums for western tourists in Yokohama containing hand-painted Japanese prints of landscapes and studio portraits of everyday life in the Meiji period. For this reason, he is still better known today in the West than he is in Japan. Kusakabe’s albums also included many of the famous photographs of his mentors as he had acquired the negatives of both Felice Beato and Stillfried, as well as those of Uchida Kuichi 124

in 1885. Although historically the works of his mentors are held in such high regard for their remarkable record of Japan in the 1860s and 1870s, it can be said that from the 1880s no studio had come close to producing as consistent high-quality work as that of Kusakabe Kimbei. The quality of the painting and hand-colouring of his photographs are exceptional and in 1891 Kusakabe advertised himself as both photographer and painter. By 1892 his studio had a selection of over 2000 unique Japanese prints of landscapes and studio portraits of Samurai and Geisha as well as scenes of everyday Japanese life available to western tourists. The albumen print, also known as an albumen silver print, was the first method of mass-producing a photographic print on paper from a negative. A key ingredient used in the process of creating these Japanese prints was the albumen found in egg whites which bound the photographic chemicals to paper. Becoming the dominant form of photographic positives from 1855 and peaking after the Meiji Restoration (明治維新) of Japan between the 1860s and 1890s.


A JAPANESE LADY Kusakabe Kimbei Kim008

日 下

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部 金 兵 衛


JAPANESE TRAVELLERS Kusakabe Kimbei KIM004

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WOMAN POSING

JAPANESE MAN WITH TATTOO

Kusakabe Kimbei KIM005

Kusakabe Kimbei KIM009

SAMURAI IN ARMOUR

HAIRDRESSING

Kusakabe Kimbei KIM007

Kusakabe Kimbei KIM002

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MATERIAL MATTERS

UP, CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE MATERIALS THAT MAKE OUR FINE ART PRINTS SO MAGICAL



FINE ART PAPER OR COTTON CANVAS? This question is by far the most common one we receive from our beloved customer. Therefore, we believe it is time to explain the difference between both materials and which one is more suitable depending on your taste and interest.

Cotton Canvas can be your option if you go for a more vintage look. The quality of the ink is the same in both of them, but in cotton canvas is less glossy and it looks more vintage.

It is also water-resistant and waterproof. That means that you can have all your prints in your kitchen or We begin by saying both materials are outstanding. even your bathroom exposed to humid conditions and It is only a matter of taste and nothing else. We will it will remain the same. Probably you will not hang it talk about both of them in detail, so you have a better in the courtyard, but even if that was your intention, understanding of what cotton canvas and paper are. you could also do that. Here you can watch a video of Apart from that, we will give you some leads to the process of printing so, again; you can brag with all your its potential. friends when you tell them about these beautiful prints. Furthermore, cotton canvas has texture, and it is easier to stretch. It is also the exact material used in museums When it comes to ink, you have nothing to worry. and most of the exhibitions. In other words, it would We print by using thermal inkjet printers, and they be like having a piece of museum quality art at home. have the latest chromolithography technology, also known as the method for making multi-colour prints. These inks are Japanese archival pigment inks and are both waterproof and UV resistant. This means, they can even last more than a life without fading not even one bit. Now onto materials. We will tell you all about them so you can make a choice best suited to your taste. Nevertheless, if you are still not sure which of the two you prefer, do not hesitate in contacting us and we will do our best to help you. Both of them are available in all the different sizes we produce; from A3 all the way up to XXL. Fine Art Paper has vivid colours, mostly yellow, magenta and cyan. When you see prints with a wide range of different colours on the lithograph, fine art paper will not disappoint you. Given the material, all of them look incredibly clean. The colours are vibrant and full of life. If you want to have a print that looks alive and with all the complete detail of the image itself, is your go-to choice. Apart from that, our paper is super easy to hang. You can frame it to protect it more and it will give a whole new design. It works perfectly with classic frame designs and in wood, white, or black. If you don’t want to frame it, you can dangle it on your wall only by using tape in the back part of the print to not damage it or use binder clips & nails. 130


FINE ART PAPER

COTTON CANVAS

COTTON CANVAS

FINE ART PAPER

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RESPECT RETOUCH REMIX­— RETURNING IMAGES TO THIER FORMER GLORY— A LOOK AT OUR RESTORATION, RETOUCHING & GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES



BEFORE

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AFTER

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RESTORATION & RETOUCHING All of the artwork we acquire, either from digital archives or from scans of old books & lithographs undergo retouching and restoration when they are not up to our high standards.

In the final image we can see that after many hours of careful restoration, the crease is almost invisable and the colours and contrast of this beautiful garment have been restored.

We have a small team of dedicated graphic designers who restore these images to their former glory; this can be a simple process such as colour correction and cropping or sometimes more complicated; when scratches and damage need to be removed from the artwork files.

At Kuriosis, most of our designer’s time is dedicated to preparing and restoring artwork for our broad collection of motifs to add to our online store. However, we do offer graphic design services to private clients too; if you have a piece of artwork or even photography that you would like restored and retouched, we are here to help!

This attention to detail is unrivalled and we carefully restore images, as you can see in the images opposite. Notice with the red kimono; the differences between the original photograph of the laid out kimono, the first retouching effort and the final product. Before, you can see the image is faded and there is a visable crease of the fabric in the center of the image.

7 BIRDS Pictured bottom opposite; Here you can see different colour iterations of one of our most succesful prints.


BEFORE

AFTER

Notice the faded appearence & visable crease of the fabric down the center of the kimono. (Above)

The colours have been carefully restored and the crease has been carefully retouched. (Above)


FRESH OFF THE PRESS THE MOST RECENT ADDITIONS TO OUR CATALOGUE, FEATURING ARTIST COLLABORATIONS + ORIGINAL COLLECTIONS 138


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MARYLÈNE MADOU

RESTING BUTTERFLIES, SNARLING TIGERS, POWDERY SMUDGED 1960S DAISY PRINTS, SCENES OF EXPLODING SARTORIAL & FLORAL WONDER, REPLETE WITH OVERLAPPING PATTERNS, PRINTS AND HUES.



HIEP HIEP HOERA— Belgian Artist Marylène Madou in collaboration with Kuriosis Shimmering luminescent tropical sea life, neon ultramarine koi ponds alive and undulating with blooming lily pads and speckled carp, fluffy coral-pink flamingos on a bed of citron jungle flora, graphic Warhol poppies and teeming Pointillist gardens, resting butterflies, snarling tigers, powdery smudged 1960s daisy prints, sweet Dachshunds, amiable rabbits and deers, gentle cranes, colourful cockatoos, softly arranged Japanese Gingko leaves, scenes of exploding sartorial and floral wonder replete with overlapping patterns, prints and hues. This vision is what awaits when one chances upon contemporary Belgian designer Marylène Madou. 142

Although named after the 19th-century Belgian painter and lithographer Jean-Baptiste Madou, her work is of another ilk completely, and entirely, unabashedly her own. All illustrations are original, meticulously hand-painted and later digitally manipulated. Madou takes her inspiration from beautiful objects of the past: historic textiles, antique vases, vintage stuffed birds. She studies the blossoms of her own abundant gardens and pulls heavily from the world of fashion, which she loves. She makes frequent trips to museums, gardens and vintage shops, to gather a deep reserve of unique motifs and unexpected colour palettes to tap new work from.


MARYLÈNE IN HER STUDIO FOREST BIRDS Marylène Madou (Left & Top Right) MYM006 143


As she says, “It often is a particular image that triggers my eye, whether an animal on a vase, a shape or a colour combination in a painting. My often eclectic and colourful aesthetic comes forth out of a fascination for historic textiles and unique objects… I most definitely like to combine this with elements that are close to my heart, such as private family gardens and Lemony (her Dachshund). Colour research and drawing are highly important to me in the process. Prints simply give me the opportunity to create my own world.”

This collection of Madou’s art prints was designed exclusively for KURIOSIS and printed in Berlin at our Atelier with Japanese archival inks. Whether your space be calm or lively, allow us to grace your walls with warm or cool colourful tones —a Madou-original sun-flooded meadow of plump saffron strawberries or a Madou original midnight lilac garden illuminated by moonlight. Her prints have the power to soothe, refresh or revitalize any interior, imbuing any space with a distinct, enlivening atmosphere.

KURIOSIS, a woman-owned business, is also proud to support and showcase the work of female artists. As a young female entrepreneur, Madou advises that one must learn to filter advice. As she says, “My brand launched two years ago, and during those past two years, I got so much advice from so many different people. Some of it was very useful, but some even quite hurtful, especially the ‘advice’ you get from older men in grey suits. It’s cliché, but my main thing is still: follow gut, no matter what. But do have someone next to you that’s money-smart!” Madou’s prints, fresh and invigorating, have taken the print world by storm and made an impressive mark in a short time. Her work has been featured in Fashion magazines Elle and Marie Claire and has already been utilized for several prestigious commercial collaborations. She is committed to being ecologically responsible and sustainable in her practice and demands integrity and attention to detail in all that she does. KURIOSIS shares her values and prides itself on this artist collaboration.

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KOI SKETCH

KOI POND FLORAL

Marylène Madou (Above) MYM028

Maryléne Madou (Right) MYM026


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TRICOLORE BALOON TRA008

YELLOW LOBSTER SEA041 146


JUNGLE BIRDS Marylène Madou (Opposite Page) MYM022 BUTTERFLY GARDEN Marylène Madou (Below) MYM015 JAPANESE TIGER FLOWER Marylène Madou (Left) MYM030

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WHITE TIGERS GREEN Marylène Madou (Opp. Top) MYM013 GINGKO JAPAN SUN Marylène Madou (Opp. Bottom) MYM007 KOI POND WARM COLOR Marylène Madou (This Page) MYM027

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AND I’M FEELIN’ GOOD INSPIRED BY OLD GIG POSTERS, THIS COLLECTION PAYS HOMAGE TO THE LEGENDS OF THE JAZZ AND SOUL GENRES



THE JAZZ COLLECTION— Paying homage to legends of the past & music that continues to live Music is a very broad topic, and talking about it is always a challenge. And with Jazz it isn’t any different. For many, Jazz is a special musical genre. In addition to it’s wide range of subgenres, for exampls; Acid, bebop, Swing and Ragtime—Jazz has become the cradle of great idols in the musical and cultural history of the world. The charm of this genre goes beyond jam sessions and the richness of improvisation; Jazz was and still is one of the great mediums used to publicize the fight for equality, human rights and, in particular, 152

protest against racism. In this very special collection, we pay homage to the big names of this very important and captivating rhythm, featuring legends such as Miles Davis, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Posters that take us back to the golden age of jazz and translate the magic and genius of this incredible music to the comfort of your home.


153

OTIS REDDING

RAY CHARLES

JAZ010 (Left)

JAZ012 (This Page)


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155


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LOUIS ARMSTRONG Kuriosis (This page) JAZ004 NAT KING COLE Kuriosis (Opp. Bottom) JAZ003 CHARLIE PARKER Kuriosis (This Page) JAZ006 157


Stockists You can find our prints in over 25 stores in 10 different countries! AUSTRIA

RAHMENWERKSTATT THOMAS EDER

Dӧblinger Hauptstraße 43, 1190 Wien, Austria bilderrahmen-werkstatt.at

DENMARK

MIO MIO VINTAGE

Tåningvej 35, 8660 Skanderborg, Denmark miomiovintage.dk @miomio_vintage

MAISON MADELEINE

7 rue de Ferrare, 77300 Fontainebleau facebook.com/pg/Maison-Mad leine-1388839217873124/ SAS HOUS’TALET

25 Rue Neuve, 12000 Rodez, Frankreich houstalet.com BOBAZAR

10 Bis Rue des Colverts, 14800 Saint-Arnoult

UNITED KINGDOM

THE FURNITURE RECYCLING SHOP 1a Station Road, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, SL8 5QE furniturerecyclingshop.co.uk @furniturerecyclingshop VINTAGE FROG

56 Station Road, Gomshall, Surrey, GU5 9LB. vintagefrog.co.uk @vintagefrogsurrey FREE MILE STYLE freemilestyle.com FRANCE

ANA TOM CONCEPT STORE 7 rue Taison 57000 Metz @ana.tom.sallyjane LES P’TITS PAPIERS

2 place Félix Fournier, 44000 NANTES @lesptitspapiersnantes SARL BOOGALOU SHOP

7 Rue du Consulat, 87 000 Limoges @boogaloushoplimoges

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GERMANY

COSITA BONITA

Collegiumsgasse 6, 72070 Tübingen cositabonita.de


COSITA BONITA

Brüsseler Str. 45, 50674 Köln cositabonita.de RAUMGLÜCK

Hauptbahnhof Kakenstorf, Unter den Eichen 1, 21255 Kakenstorf

I TA LY

NAP ATELIER

Viale Piave 19, 20129 - Milano napatelier.com NAVE CERVO

Via Volturno 4, 63074, San Benedetto del Tronto facebook.com/navecervolibreria @navecervolibreria MAKERFISH

Via Giuseppe Ripamonti 15, 20136 Milano facebook.com/makerfish/

POLAND

YESTERSEN

Lekarska 5, 00-610 Warszawa yestersen.com/pl-pl/

TURKEY

SAUCA COLLECTION

M.K Atatürk Caddesi No:186/13, Eskişehir saucacollection.com/art-collection

I MAGES CO U RTESY— R A H M E N W E R K S TAT T T H O M A S E D E R

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Testimonials We would like to extend our eternal gratitude to our all of our lovely clients. Thank you for your support through a crazy year, all the photos of our artwork hanging in your homes & as always your kind words. Without you; none of this would have been possible.

L IZ (G R E AT B R I TA I N)

Absolutely fantastic print, beautiful quality. It arrived beautifully packaged with a lot of thought and was very prompt in its arrival. I would definitely recommend this company and the product, which exceeded my expectations. 160

F R A N C ES CA (G R E AT B R I TA I N)

Amazing selection of prints, gorgeous quality and brilliant service from start to finish. Really helpful updates on delivery and when my prints arrived they were beautifully packaged. Will be visiting the website again before too long! Thank you.


CL AI R E (I R EL AN D)

L AURENCE FRANCE)

A very professional company with exSuch a brilliant company. Extremely cellent customer care. If contacted they good quality and so efficient. Oh yes & they always give you a little present! reply within the hour! The prints (on fine art paper) are beautiful, the colours are as viewed on the internet. The A N TO N I O (I TA LY) packaging is excellent, the prints are The print is very nice, but, mostly well protected. Perfect! I will definitely important, the persons behind this buy again from Kuriosis and recomcompany are exceptional. mend them to anyone. They perfectly know how to make And thank you for the sweets and every single customer feel the most important person in the world. MAR IA (S PAI N) I totally suggest them. High quality stuff. Very happy with my purchase G ER AR D (I R EL AN D) Beautiful Prints of Superior Quality Every print I have gotten from Kuriosis has been top quality. I have 6 paper prints and 2 canvas prints, and they are superb. All visitors to my house ask about them. They arrived quickly and perfectly packaged. AMELIE (FRANCE)

All good! The service was clear efficient and quick! It was easy enough to navigate the website and the delivery was straightforward!

ALL REVIEWS COURTESY OF TRUST PILOT

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Credits We would like to take a moment to give special thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of our business, customers & team members. None of this would have been possible without your support and hard work. Thank you to all the photographers, collaborators, museums and artists featured in this catalogue. Especially Nico Tracey (@nicotracey) who made this beautiful catalogue. She is really happy with it. So are we.

SPECIAL MENTION:

MAX POWER

IGNACIO SÁNCHEZ ZUDAIRE

Photographer www.maxpower.photo

Restoration & Retouching www.11-11visualstudio.com

HANA HONG

MARYLÈNE MADOU

Photographer www.hannahong.com

Artist Collaboration www.marylenemadou.com

Contact & Business Info Please find below our contact information for both private & business customers. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about any of our products.

CONTACT INFO:

ATELIER

SHOWROOM

Sonnenallee 90, 12045 Berlin, Germany

Hufelandstraße 42, 10407 Berlin, Germany

CONTACT

WEB & SOCIAL

Tel: +49 176 8800 2385 Email: info@kuriosis.com

www.kuriosis.com @kuriosiscom

WHOLESALE

www.kuriosis.trade

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