The magical world of Dido: The Nude Rider

Nude Rider
Nude Rider

A mystical and fairy figure that is floating in the depths of the ocean amongst fish and debris from long wasted ships. The figure is enigmatically poised with a perfectly composed body of a young woman holding a fishing stick, head turned towards the infinity of the ocean blues as if just a little too busy to notice the watchful eye of the spectator.

Enter the magical world of Dido.

I chose to discuss this painting with Dido one afternoon in August, the last August Sunday, after we had completed the itemising of his works. Each of his paintings has been a journey of discovery for me but this particular subject stood before my eyes and I had to know what the story behind it was.

Me: Dido, this painting reminds me a scene of a fairytale. How did you choose the subject for it?

Dido:  My ex-girlfriend wanted to travel around the world and inspired me to paint her ambition and craving desire to travel. She wanted to go on a voyage and explore places as she has never been abroad.  In the first instance I wanted to capture her longing and to present her as a traveller and at the same time to juxtapose the winner in her as a believer, in a slightly Christian sense. The body had to be natural and non obtrusive, aesthetic and not vulgar. That is why I have composed it as in a styled space with abstract details, slightly giving it this eerie effect, which does not accentuate so much on the nudity.

Me: Is there any physical space, which inspired you to project your heroine?

Dido: The place is rather a mystical metaphysical space, the sort you can find in the Jules Verne’s ‘20000 Leagues Under the Sea’. The water in this painting is the connection with the traveller’s spirit in the works of Jules Verne. Specifically I have aimed to make parallel with Capitan Nemo –  a very brave,  smart and knowledgeable person as a symbol of this spirit.

Me: So, in a sense this painting is empowering the women emphasizing their potential. Is that the message that you are trying to send?

Dido: The clandestine idea of the painting in addition to first layer depicting the urge of the woman to travel and discover, is connected with the Christian idea , underlining the notion of the human spirit which travels with the values. That is further expressed with the use of fish, instead of horse. I have interpreted the charisma of St George into a modern version of the triumph, development and progress. In that sense the painting is not dedicated to the woman but is the wish to the humankind and message for evolution. The nude female body is a personal decision motivated by my own impressions from a particular individual I knew.

You can commission a work to Dido via Cerise Art Agency, by e-mailing to

Diyan Dimitrov – Dido will exhibit at The Smithfield Gallery 16 West Smithfield, London, EC1A 9HY from 22nd November until 28th November 2009.


I have been meaning to send you this photo all day…

Cold flowers of the escaping summer!
Cold flowers of the escaping summer!

I almost missed it.

I looked once.

I looked twice.

While talking on the phone!

What an ‘art depreciation’! I almost closed the browser without realising that I am probably looking at the most beautiful photo for the day. Black and white, simple and eternal as the life itself. The marrying of the left and right with the diffusion of greys and whites creates the harmony in the photo as it does in life. It’s all about balance in this photo.

Right – left



Straight – mirror

Sharp – dim

It’s easy to miss this calm and somehow melancholic picture from a first glance. The fact that is black and white emphasize the notion of passing and sadness, which is with great contrast of the bright and lively colours we would expect the tulips to be photographed. However, this is not depriving the picture of the quiet beauty it beholds; it rather continues the theme of the name ‘Холодные цветы ускользающего лета!’ (‘Cold flowers of the escaping summer’) . The exclamation mark at the end of the sentence is certainly trying to put a stop on that elusive summer, clearly transmitting the emotions of the young photographer.

And that’s exactly how life works, good and bad happens and sometimes we want to stop the moment or to push it further, but it doesn’t happen at our own will. Our life becomes a line of self-balancing events and in the long film of the time these events becomes memories, first colourful and slowly fading into black and white and grey…

The best time to become an … art collector

The most difficult times open a plethora of opportunities for the brave and for the …first time buyers. And we are not talking here about the housing market but about the wonderful world of art and all of its glory.

 We all have opinions, we know what we like and what we dislike and we know the price we are ready to pay for it. So when choosing art, follow what you like and trust your instincts. One of the images I have in my mind when I buy art is whether this picture will fit in my kitchen, lounge, bedroom, studio…Can you see it in your home, office, holiday home? Can you see it next year and still like it, what about in 10 years, 20 years?

 But let’s be clear. You have to have a reason to buy art. And even if you buy on a whim (and that’s delightfully bohemian), you still have a reason. Are you buying for yourself, are you starting a collection, redecorating a house or just buying a present for a dear friend. People very rarely buy on impulse, especially when it comes to more expensive pieces, and with so much information around on art websites, magazines etc, you have the perfect chance of researching your artists, galleries, agents and of course…art objects. Or if you don’t like desktop research just have a look around, browse the local and central galleries.  Be brave even – visit a gallery on the opposite side of the city, in another country, you never know what you might like there.

 The deepest depressions and economic crises present the perfect opportunities and deliver the best ideas. The biggest collectors have amassed some of their best works in times like these and you have the chance to be a part of it.

 So remember:

1.  Buy what YOU like.

2. Buy what you can AFFORD.

3. Do your RESEARCH


 Cerise Art Agency, 2009

Obituary printed in the London Times

……. Interesting and sadly rather true

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He
will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the
worm; Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend
more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children,
are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended
from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for
reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition..

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental
consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could
not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses;
and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a
burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by
his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, dend this on. If not, join the majority and do

Blessed by Petar Stanev

Blessed, originally uploaded by Lil Wizz.

This picture was one of many that captured my attention when I was flicking through Petar’s photos. It has never been published before and I was keen to ask him more about the photo.

Me: Petar, when and where was this picture taken?

Petar: It was a hot sunny day in July 2002 in Kathmandu, Nepal. I was doing my kora’s (circum ambulating) with my cameras around the Great Stupa. Most of the time the equipment was with me and 99% of the pictures taken during my 3 months stay at the IBA (International Buddhist Academy) were natural. Nothing has been arranged, changed or altered.

Me: I personally don’t like crows but there is certain serenity in the pose of the bird. Was it such a spiritual experience as it is reflected on this picture?

Petar: (laughs) Dharma is for everyone. No matter what do we understand of the teachings of the enlightened ones, but every being has got emotions and conscience and in particularly in this picture we can see a real example of this.

Me: Can you explain to me where is this orange-y colour coming from?

Petar: This is saffron. The whole stupa is flashed with saffron before full moons, because during full moons time, the energies are most active and the practices carried out during this time are very important, and the effect of this could be multiplied many many times. It was a wonderful moment in my personal experience.

Bet YOU did not know this…..

In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig.’ Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’ because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

In the late 1700’s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The ‘head of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘chair man.’ Today in business, we use the expression or title ‘Chairman’ or ‘Chairman of the Board..’

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told, ‘mind your own bee’s wax.’ Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term ‘crack a smile’. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . Therefore, the expression ‘losing face.’

Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades.’ To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t ‘playing with a full deck.’

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to ‘go sip some ale’ and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns.. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term ‘gossip.’

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’ and who was drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the term ‘minding your’P’s and Q’s ‘

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem…how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a ‘Monkey’ with 16 round indentations.

However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.

Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.’ (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.)