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StrangeSights: ‘Kyiv Calling’; a cake cathedral; and hair portraits…

Hair portrait

DAVID ADAMS provides a round-up of some stories on the odder side of life… 

Ukrainian band Beton

The members of the Ukrainian band Beton, Bohdan Hrynko, Andriy Zholob and Oleg Hula, pose for a picture while getting ready to go to a studio in Lviv to record their single Kyiv Calling, in this undated handout picture obtained on 19th March. PICTURE: Beton band/Handout via Reuters.

 Ukrainian punk band Beton have reworked the Clash’s famous London Calling, turning it into Kyiv Calling to highlight events in Ukraine and raise funds for a resistance movement. The three-piece band, comprising an architect, orthopaedist and businessman, recorded their reworded take on the 1979 Clash hit in a studio in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. They hope it helps raise funds for the non-military operations of the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement, a publicist for FURM said, adding the Clash have agreed to donate all royalties raised to the movement’s communications department. “Kyiv calling to the whole world…Come out of neutrality, you boys and girls,” read the new lyrics. The song is accompanied by a video of the band with clips of battle damage in Ukraine. “Many Ukrainian musicians are now on battlefields or in territorial defence. This time they’ve changed guitars to guns,” said Beton lead singer Andriy Zholob. “We hope this song shows Ukrainians’ spirit and our defiance to Russian aggression.” The Clash were one of the biggest bands to emerge from Britain’s punk scene in the late 1970s and had several hits, including Should I Stay or Should I Go and Rock the Casbah. “The Clash were one of our inspirations when we fell in love with punk rock and music in general, there is no snobbery or pretentiousness to the music, they had something to say and voiced their opinions against human anger,” said Zholob. “London Calling epitomises all of that and we are very happy to be able to take this iconic classic and turn it into our own anthem with new meaning and life.”
– ANDY BRUCE/Reuters

• An Indian cake artist in India’s western Pune city has entered the World Book of Records for making a gigantic Milan Cathedral-shaped vegan cake. Prachi Dhabal Deb was awarded for creating the most number of Vegan Eggless Royal Icing Structures inspired by Indian and European architectures. The cake, weighing 100 kilograms is 1.98 metres long and 1.4 metres tall, was created by Deb in a month.”This is actually the edible replica of Milan Cathedral which is a very famous monument in Italy. Like I said, the architecture style is something that I am very fascinated with but before this also I have tried making many structures inspired from Indian and European architecture,” said Deb.
– Reuters

Hair portrait

Artist and Filipino seafarer Jesstoni Garcia works on a portrait of Rihanna, made out of human hair, in San Juan City, Philippines, on 10th March. PICTURE: Reuters/Eloisa Lopez

• Every few months when Jesstoni Garcia takes electric clippers to his head, he’s not just giving himself a haircut, he’s also harvesting art materials. Using a thin brush and clear, sticky resin, the co-owner of a Manila hair salon sprinkles these collected strands and clippings on a blank white canvas, taking two to five hours to arrange them into striking images of musicians and actors.  The 32-year-old’s main job as a seaman involves spending up to eight months a year on cruise ships, and lacking adequate art supplies like paint and sketchpads at sea, Garcia in 2021 turned to using his own hair to create images. He started with self-portraits and eventually moved on to depicting celebrities. Away at sea much of the time, rather than in his salon, he uses only his own hair, sometimes shaving his sideburns when he needs extra material. Garcia said making this art helps ease his stress as long voyages take a toll on his physical and mental health. “We need to have an outlet to deal with depression. For me, my outlet was making art,” he said, adding that he eventually wants to sell his work.



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