Jacek Yerka: Surrealist Paintings

Jacek Yerka (1952-) is a Polish artist whose surrealist art combines fantastical vision with a “meticulous Flemish technique”. Salvador Dali, Remedios Varo and Giuseppe Arcimboldo are undoubtedly influences, and below I present eight works that explore (i) imaginary worlds, (ii) dream-worlds and (iii) interiors.

I. Imaginary Worlds (4): (1) Don’t Slam the Door [1993]; (2) The Winter Wave [2005]; (3) Brontosaurus Civitas [2004] & (4) Wegener’s Theory [2001].

These four absurdist, fantastical, gravity-defying landscape paintings fire imagination. The second painting’s starting point might have been Hokusai‘s The Great Wave [1831] and the fourth painting takes Alfred Wegener’s the then original theory further that continental landmasses are “drifting”, “interacting” with each other in the process.

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Review: The Bilingual Brain by Albert Costa

The Bilingual Brain: And What It Tells Us About the Science of Language [2017/2021] – ★★★1/2

Albert Costa was a Research Professor at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona, and in this short book, which was translated from the Spanish by John W. Schwieter, he explores bilingualism, the mysteries surrounding a human brain that is used “to juggle” two languages daily. “How do two languages coexist in the same brain?…What are the implications of this coexistence? and “is there anything special about being bilingual?” [2017/2021: ix], asks Professor Costa. Referring to many studies and evidence from neuro-imaging techniques, the author meditates on such topics as (i) how bilingual babies acquire languages, (ii) why some people with brain injuries lose their language abilities, (iii) what effect a second language may have on a dominant one, and (iv) how the choice of a language affects human judgement. Instead of providing convincing or concrete arguments, the book rather emphasises the awesomeness of bilinguals and the fact that many questions are still open to debate in this field. However, where Professor Costa’s essay lacks in rigour and depth, it certainly makes up in piquing curiosity and stimulating conversation.

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