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Self obsession to culture, taboo to ubercool: How selfies have come a long way. The obsession for selfies has not only take over the people but the markets are all slaves to the trend now. You Might be Interested. Oppo F3 1. Android 6. Vivo V5s 4. Comments - Join the Discussion. Trending Today. Editor's Pick. News Samsung Galaxy M60 hands-on video leaked. News Xiaomi has sold 15 million units of Redmi Note 7 series globally.

Related Stories. Environmental Health. Although the public acknowledges that natural, built, and social environments affect our health in profound ways, environmental health is often conflated with healthcare. This reduces appreciation and support for the work of organizations which ensure that our air, water, food, and buildings are free of contaminants that impact the health of entire communities. The dominant narrative in America is that economic success and failure are tied to personal choice and determination.

When thinking this way, people assume that the playing field is already level and that being poor is the result of bad choices. This view reduces public support to address economic policies, legal systems, institutional racism, and other factors that contribute to economic inequality and health disparities. Food Systems. Diet is a leading contributor to chronic disease across the country, but the public still views this as an issue of personal choice rather than a public health problem.

By viewing healthy food as a luxury consumer item rather than a human right, attempts to improve the food system are challenged by claims that the problem is a free market issue with no role for government or policy solutions. Parks and Urban Nature. Experts understand that access to nature is a boon to public health because it increases opportunities to be physically active, improves air quality, and can reduce stress, among other benefits.

However, the public thinks about health outcomes primarily at the individual level.

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This means that people may not see a benefit to supporting parks for others in their community if that park is not close to them personally. Even when it comes to race, the majority of Americans still do not see racism as a systemic or structural problem, but rather as something that lies within individual people. This fit: It made sense that a painting by a top-tier artist would have attracted a prominent collector. Six was so excited that he jumped on his bike and cycled a short distance across central Amsterdam to the home of Ernst van de Wetering, universally renowned as a top authority on Rembrandt; still breathless, Six thrust a photocopy of the picture at him.

As befits a person whose opinion is weighted with import, van de Wetering typically reacts with reserve on first seeing an image, but he was intrigued. Six cycled back home and bought a plane ticket. Six was particularly drawn to the lace on the collar. Lace was a signifier of status throughout the 17th century, and Six believes Rembrandt had a signature way of depicting this variety, which is called bobbin lace. Other artists of the period painstakingly executed its intricacies in white paint on top of the jacket.

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Rembrandt did something like the opposite. He first painted the jacket, then over it the collar area in white, then used black paint to create the negative spaces in the collar. And where other painters were careful to create repeating patterns in the lacework, Rembrandt wove a freestyle design. For viewers standing a few inches away from such a painting, the collar appears as a hieroglyphic jumble; step back a pace, and it coheres. The original was conveniently located just across town in the National Gallery, so he ran over there, and before long he was standing in front of it, gazing back and forth from the painting to the image on his camera, feeling his blood race as a hunch solidified into near certainty.

Jan Six is a tall, slim, almost apologetically dapper man, whose customary expression contains a hint of someone carrying a burden. The burden turns out to be his name, which is actually Jan Six XI. Dating back four centuries, his aristocratic family has named a firstborn son Jan in nearly every generation. The first Jan Six, a man of art, culture and politics, was a true representative of the Dutch Golden Age, the period in which an explosion of creativity in art, science and commerce vaulted the tiny nation to the forefront of European life and thought.

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That Jan Six was actually a friend of the great Rembrandt van Rijn. When he decided, sometime in the s, to have his portrait painted, he asked Rembrandt to do the honors. The first Jan Six amassed a large collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings by a variety of artists. But Rembrandt is at the heart of the Six Collection.

As the Six Collection passed down from one generation to the next, it grew to include works by Vermeer, Bruegel, Hals and Rubens, as well as the odd Titian and Tintoretto. The collection now holds no fewer than portraits of family members. As the centuries rolled on and other great European family art holdings were broken up and museums became the principal repositories for such things, the Six Collection, which remains in the Six family home, grew in mystique. But Jan XI, the art dealer, is not that Jan, not yet anyway. His father, Jan X — or, as he prefers to be called, Baron J.

Six van Hillegom — still reigns. The elder Six, who is 71, is known in cultural circles as both a deeply private man he declined to be interviewed for this article and a somewhat prickly one. I met the elder Six nine years ago, when I was researching a book about the history of Amsterdam and wanted to see inside the famous Six house. After a typical Dutch lunch of sandwiches and milk in a kitchen that seemed right out of a Vermeer painting — dark woodwork, tile floors, angled light — he took me through his home: a delightful warren of halls and old rooms stuffed with curios, some of them priceless.

Though display rooms and living quarters were separate, the feeling of being simultaneously in a home and a museum was palpable: You turned from admiring a Frans Hals to note a splayed book and reading glasses on a side table, or a broom and dustpan in the corner.


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My overall impression from the visit was of something out of a Thomas Mann novel: faded grandeur and an air of antique stillness, overseen by a wizened and mildly vexed aristo. The elder Six may be known for his contentiousness, but regarding his most public battle, a multiyear lawsuit against the Dutch government for failing to live up to an agreement to pay for maintenance of the house, some people say he had a point. In the past the family had been forced to sell Vermeers and other national treasures in order to pay tax bills.

Eventually, in , the lawsuit was settled and an agreement reached: A foundation owns the Six mansion, the family has a right to live in it in perpetuity and the state provides funds for its upkeep. In exchange, the Sixes are to provide limited public access to the collection. Six can talk about Rembrandt endlessly, absorbingly and with great feeling. Among the many reasons for the centuries of popular enthrallment with Rembrandt — the tremendous volume, range and quality of the work he produced, the plethora of styles he experimented with, his own complex biography — maybe the most trenchant is the psychological insight he brought to bear on his subjects, the way his figures seem to engage the viewer, to pull you into the particular struggle of that moment in their lives.

The Dutch Golden Age marked a turn away from strictly religious subjects; suddenly people were interested in ordinary life and in themselves, and artists followed suit. Portrait painting became an industry. But Rembrandt went one better than his contemporaries.

Self obsession to culture, taboo to ubercool: How selfies have come a long way

Many of them could paint what you looked like. What made Rembrandt so special to the citizens of Amsterdam, who lined up to commission him to paint their portraits, was that he seemed to be able to go beneath the surface, to get at who you were. Early on, he became the most celebrated painter of the day, but he refused to follow shifting fashions and fell from favor. He overspent, going heavily into debt.

Then he went bankrupt. He seems to have lived his last years in a misery of his own making. If the Dutch Golden Age evinced a newly intimate focus on the individual, Rembrandt applied the dictum to himself ruthlessly. His self-portraits, especially the later ones, are pitilessly honest explorations of the psychic toll we inflict on ourselves. See the brush strokes? He started here and slowly moves to the right and makes a curve.

A Customary Obsession by Jane Graiko | Kirkus Reviews

He adds these broad strokes. He cleverly uses the way light actually shines on material. Slowly it recedes into shadow. When I was working on my book about the history of Amsterdam, Six invited me here and conducted a remarkable little demonstration. He turned off the lights and lit candles, and in an instant the paintings were transformed. They took on new energy; the golds and reds and flesh tones became warmer. The flicker of the flames seemed to breathe life into the two-dimensional figures. Six was helping me to experience the world of 17th-century Amsterdammers in the most tangible way: the minute differences in ways of seeing and feeling that separate one historical epoch from another.

A Customary Obsession

But I came to realize that he was also giving me an insight into something else: his lifelong struggle with his family over what it expected of him as heir to the Six Collection. Where previous heirs — who were avid collectors, though not art professionals — seem to have accepted the responsibility with equanimity, Six pushed it away.

He hated high school, got a job as a cook in a restaurant and thought for a time that becoming a chef might be his route of rebellion. When his parents were away, he would host parties in the mansion. Sometimes we set off the alarms. Six knew what was expected of him but bristled. He came around, however, at least partly, when he started to interact with the people who showed up at the front door, tickets in hand, to take tours of his home.

It was these ordinary folk who made Six realize that art was his calling. Then I saw how happy and interested the people were.