A few years ago, I was introduced to The White Stripes. I’ve since become quite a fan, but at the time I’d never heard of Jack White or his then wife Meg. (He was born Gillis and took her surname in an appealing off-beat Quieter Elephant kind of way.) I don’t remember now how I came to listen to De Stijl – probably borrowed it from the library. Anyway, I found the LoFi production and unaffected energy to be addictive. I particularly liked the unorthodox angle of “You’re Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)”.
I think it has something of the early Beatles to it.
So anyway, it never occurred to me that De Stijl (Dutch for The Style) had any significance other than being a bit off beat. I know, I know… I can be a bit slow sometimes. Often in fact. So allow me to educate you dear reader, so you leave this page a little wiser, perhaps…
De Stijl was a Dutch artistic movement, and is now used to refer to a body of work from 1917 to 1931 founded in the Netherlands. Theo van Doesburg was its leading light and when he died in 1931, the group did not survive. One of its other worthies was Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, who called himself Piet Mondrian after 1906. His work is instantly recognisable with neat vertical and horizontal lines and efficient use of primary colours.
And once you know all that of course, the cover of The White Stripes’s De Stijl makes a whole lot more sense!
OK – so by now you’re wondering where all this is going. Back to school actually. All this preamble was just an excuse for a couple of photos I took of Central Middle School on Fort St., Victoria. Enjoy!