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January 26, 2015
“There are many schools of painting. Why should there not be many schools of photographic art? There is hardly a right and a wrong in these matters, but there is truth, and that should form the basis of all works of art.”
I love photography. So I am bringing you today, one of the world’s greatest photographers! His city scenes of new York are so striking and always
remind me of when I was a child and my Paternal Grandfather’s love of his work. His wife was extraordinary and I will bring you a post on her next.
Photography has not always been considered an art. In early days, photographs were considered an advance of science, not art. Cameras were machines, and everyone knew that machines didn’t make art;
people made art. But when Alfred Stieglitz made this picture he was leading a movement called Pictorialism, which promoted the photograph as art, the same kind of art as a drawing or painting. Stieglitz and other
Pictorialists understood that a photograph was created when the camera was used as a tool, like a paintbrush was a tool. And they tried to show that they were a part of the art tradition by manipulating their photos in the darkroom,
using tricks and techniques that were evidence of the human hand in the process.
There are other references to the world of art in this photograph. Stieglitz was very involved in the modern art scene and had closely followed the Impressionist movement in Europe. Impressionists were some of the first artists to look to the
city as a worthy subject for their paintings, and it was a new city they looked at. Machines and all things modern in the city were desirable subjects. At the same time, Impressionists represented these modern scenes in stop-motion glimpses,
with plenty of atmosphere. European painters chose the steam engine as a subject and a symbol of the modern city. Stieglitz would embrace the city as his subject too, but he would use photography as his medium.
Stieglitz was very concerned that photographs not look like paintings and this idea fueled his pursuit of images. Images of everyday life became the main subject for Stieglitz, thus not allowing the viewer to escape into romantic images.
There is so much to know about him and his work, I do hope that this brief introduction or re-aquaintence leads you to pursue more about him!
Have a wonderful day!
January 21, 2015
A good friend of mine who is very involved in the “ART SCENE” introduced this artist’s work to me and needless to say, my love of installation artists was brought to a new level!
Jennifer Rubell is brilliant to say the least. I am re-printing a review of an installation she did at a museum for you to get the gist of this major talent. Installation art is an art form you either get or think a five year old could do it. A lot like the thoughts of people that don’t understand the contribution of artists like ellsworth kelly for instance. Art is one of my loves and I have studied my whole life, so to see an artist be so brilliant in their medium is amazingly inspirational!
Aside from Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, one of the most famous artworks of all time, food is an under-explored subject in art, especially in comparison with how much of our daily lives it occupies. Artist Wayne Thiebaud is probably the most renowned contemporary painter of food, but the work is predominantly lushly frosted cakes. Claes Oldenburg has done a lot of soft-sculptures—a hamburger, French fries, and ice-cream cones among them—but no one has really made real food into an art form. And aside from a particularly elaborate centerpiece, the catering at museum galas (which are rife in the spring in New York) infrequently ascends to something that qualifies as spectacle.
The Brooklyn Museum’s gala, however, Jennifer Rubell changed all that. She staged a series of “happenings” that elevated her art medium—food and drink—into an interactive bacchanal that was truly lavish. The Harvard University–educated daughter of Don and Mera (the Rubells, of Miami’s renowned art-hoarding dynasty) certainly piled a lot onto her plate in her four-month preparation for the gala. The outcome was a display that referenced seminal artists and artworks. Rubell must have been breast- and spoon-fed a steady diet of art from infancy, as child-like eating rituals were the norm at the museum, with the hands of the 600 participants the predominant utensil.
Drinks were dispensed from large, minimal canvases, each with a spigot, which Rubell calls “Drinking Paintings.” The museum wall labels specified the concoctions each of the “paintings” dispensed and the medium of which they were made. The works were references to “drips” common to Abstract Expressionism, but I found the canvases more akin to leaking unprimed Robert Ryman paintings. Revelers filled their glasses to their hearts’ content—and to their livers’ discontent. I saw no shortage of people topping up Mason jars with dirty martinis, which was one of the first canvases to run dry. Screwdrivers, rum and Coke, and white wine were also on tap.
A massive pile of potato chips became another canvas, as closet painters in the crowd realized their inner Jackson Pollocks by squirting multi-colored dips from 700 blank paint tubes. An instant Pollock-like drip painting would form, only to disappear from the grubby hands that reached in for a bite of the art.
Bio- Jennifer Rubell creates participatory artwork that is a hybrid of performance art, installation, and happenings. The pieces are often staggering in scale and sensually arresting, frequently employing food and drink as media: one ton of ribs with honey dripping on them from the ceiling; 2,000 hard-boiled eggs with a pile of latex gloves nearby to pick them up; 1,521 doughnuts hanging on a free-standing wall; a room-sized cell padded with 1,800 cones of pink cotton candy.
Viewers are encouraged to partake in the work, violating the traditional boundaries of art institutions and engaging senses usually forbidden in or absent from museum and gallery contexts. Rubell’s work explores the intersection of the monumental and the ephemeral, and serves as a counterpoint to the virtual nature of much of contemporary life.
Some of Rubell’s notable previous projects include Old-Fashioned, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The de Pury Diptych at the Saatchi Gallery, London; Icons, at the Brooklyn Museum; Creation, for Performa, the New York performance-art festival; and, since 2001, a yearly breakfast project in the courtyard of the Rubell Family Collection in Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach.
Rubell, 40, received a B.A. from Harvard University in Fine Arts, and subsequently attended the Culinary Institute of America. She wrote about food for over a decade prior to beginning her artistic practice, including columns in the Miami Herald and Domino magazine, and the book Real Life Entertaining (Harper Collins). Rubell lives in New York City.
January 16, 2015
I saw the work of Philip Guston in an auction catalog and was immediately drawn to it. The artist had a very difficult childhood, coming to this country at
the early years of the 1900′s,
being Jewish, and having had to face all of the anti-semtitism and re adjustment to a new way of life. His father wound up hanging himself in a shed, and Philip
was the one to find him.
America was going through so many changes and advances and Philip had the benedfit, albeit at the time, he didnt see it that way, of being part of the development
of Abstract Expressionism
and mural painting.
“There is something ridiculous and miserly in the myth we inherit from abstract art. That painting is autonomous, pure and for itself, therefore we habitually
analyze its ingredients
and define its limits. But painting is ‘impure’. It is the adjustment of ‘impurities’ which forces its continuity. We are image-makers and image-ridden.” From 1968
onwards he made
these words his motto. In this body of work he created a lexicon of images such as Klansmen light bulbs, shoes, cigarettes, and clocks. His work, in this manner
caught a lot of attetntion, some good some awful But this work really lead to opening the door to a freedom of expressionism that was not there before.
Often times we have a tendency to look at paintings as so one dimensional and when one puts the reasoning and the hisptory of that artist and what led the artist
to that way of painting, then for me, the art has a much more true meaning.
I hope you enjoy this post and have a chance to read about this incredible artist.
January 12, 2015
I have always loved cecil Beaton’s work and the iconic images he created. His portraits have stayed in our minds when we think of the images of certain people. Much like Madonna’s song that she sings Vogue, all of these characters were Cecil Beaton’s images.
Photography, and what I am hoping to show you, is as important a medium as a pint brush and a canvas. A lens in the hands of an artist is so stunning. Have you ever taken a bad picture? or heard the expression that the camera loves a certain person?
I love the medium, and I hope you enjoy this art form.
The man described by his on-off friend Truman Capote as a “total self-creation”, he knew that the business of being Cecil was no laughing matter, but something that needed serious application for the success he had always craved.
And the proof of that success is the influence he has had over so many younger photographers since his death 29 years ago. Mario Testino, who has captured modern society and fashion as variously as Beaton did, speaks for many when he says:
“He marked his period as if he were the only photographer around.”Another of today’s most celebrated fashion photographers, Nick Knight, praises his work “for its grace and elegance. From the touching and funny pictures of his sisters and the delicately
fragile poses of his photographs of society beauties, as if they were made of porcelain, to the memorable wartime images, he was always sensitive and poetic.”
So, what was the essence of Beatonism? He was a born outsider; posh but not quite posh enough – his family’s wealth was based on trade. Well educated – but at Harrow, not Eton. Cambridge, not Oxford. Clever but not intellectual. Good-looking but not quite handsome.
He just failed to make the grade in those things that he considered mattered. Vain – he had his clothes made one size too small to flatter his already slim figure – but never glamorous, despite an international lifestyle that brought him into contact with everyone who “mattered” for more than 50 years.
But he had a burning desire to leap the fence and browse the green fields of aristocratic privilege, still going strong in the Twenties and Thirties. Beaton was what was known at the time as a pansy. With eyes trained on the British upper classes and American plutocrats, his tendencies could have
been a disadvantage, but he capitalised on them by aiming not at the men, but at their wives.
Beaton was a very clever photographer whose early portraits reflected continental art movements in his use of mirrors, torn paper, fragments of classical sculpture and even Cellophane to create a surreal fantasy that would automatically make his sitters look much more interesting
than they usually were. They were as flattered culturally as they were physically, even if they had no idea that the original ideas were taken from the work of Cocteau, Bakst or Dalí.
January 5, 2015
I had the pleasure of running across a very whimsical artist named BRUCE McCALL. I love James goodman Gallery and he carries his work. Very light and happy in comparison to many of the artists Ilike to write about.
Sometimes its fun to just appreciate the simplicity of looking at a piece of art work that doesnt need much explanation. which, as you know for me, not needing a lot of explanation in and of itself is highly unusal! HA!
Bruce McCall’s humor writing and art work have been seen regularly in The New Yorker since 1980. Born and raised in Canada, where he was a high-school dropout, McCall is a largely self-taught artist and writer who returned
to his first love, humor and satire, after careers in commercial art, journalism, and advertising. He has published two story collections, “Zany Afternoons” and “All Meat Looks Like South america,” as well as an illustrated humor book, “The Last Dream-O-Rama,” and a memoir about growing up Canadian, “Thin Ice,” and his firstchildren’s book, “Marveltown,”.
December 17, 2014
You gotta love an artist that can make art, truly out of anything he sees. I saw a piece by Vik Muniz and was insanely curious about this artist. I enjoyed the fact that he could see he way though
what is, into what could be-so an existential view almost.
He incorporates a multiplicity of unlikely materials into this photographic process. Often working in series, Vik has used dirt, diamonds, sugar, string, chocolate syrup and
garbage to create bold, witty and often deceiving images drawn from the pages of photojournalism and art history. His work has been
His work is based on different levels of perception. Primarily, he is a sculptor who documents his work with the photography medium. After the project execution it does not matter
if the objects are destroyed, as long as the idea is captured in the photographs.
An example of how Muniz experiences perception in his work can be seen in his series ‘Equivalents’ (1993) – simulations of cloud formations, made with lumps of cotton, inspired by
Alfred Stieglitz’ cloud studies. In this piece the visitor can see once at a time lumps of cotton, clouds or an image that he sees in these clouds. But he will never see these 3 phenomena at the same time.
Muniz photographs all kind of everyday materials and creates illusionary visualizations. Material he uses are i.e. chocolate, sugar, wire, dirt, confetti, objects, thread or jam.
December 12, 2014
The first time I was introduced to the work of DIANE ARBUS, it was an exhibit at the Met in New York. The show was mounted in such a way that leant an even more eerie feeling to these photographs. Again, noting that art can be a bit disturbing, and provocative at the same time.
When disturbing subjects are in the hands of artists it is fascinating to see what they do with the images. I hope you enjoy this post and learning about ARBUS!
Born Diane Nemerov on March 14, 1923, in New York, New York. Diane Arbus was one of the most distinctive photographers in the twentieth century, known for her eerie portraits and offbeat subjects. Her artistic talents emerged at a young age; she was created interesting drawings and paintings
while in high school. She married Allan Arbus in 1941 who taught her photography.
Working with her husband, Diane Arbus started out in advertising and fashion photography. They became quite a successful team with photographs appearing in such magazines as Vogue. In the late 1950s, she began to focus on her own photography. To further her art, Arbus studied with photographer Lisette Model
around this time. She began to pursue taking photographs of people she found during her wanderings around New York City. She visited seedy hotels, public parks, a morgue, and other various locales. These unusual images had a raw quality and several of them found their way in the July 1960 issue of Esquire magazine.
These photographs were a spring board for more work for Arbus.
By the mid-1960s, Diane Arbus was a well-established photographer, participating in shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York among other places. She was known for going to great lengths to get the shots she wanted. She became friends with many other famous photographers, such as Richard Avedon and `Walker Evans.
While professionally Arbus continued to thrive in the late 1960s, she had some personal challenges. Her marriage ended in 1969, and she later struggled with depression. She committed suicide in her New York apartment on July 26, 1971. Her work remains a subject of intense interest, and her life was part of the basis of the 2006 film,
Fur, starringNicole Kidman as Arbus.
December 8, 2014
A friend of mine who owns a gallery is in love with Braco Dimitrijevic’s art and his whole raison d’etre! So, I did some research and found him to be fascinating in his philosophy and reasoning.
I hope you enjoy this post!
Braco Dimitrijevic, one of the pioneers of conceptual art, had his first one-man exhibition at the age of 10. In 1963 he made his first conceptual work, The Flag of the World,
in which he replaced a national flag with an alternative sign. It marked the beginning of his artistic interventions into urban landscapes.
Over the past forty years he has exhibited extensively all over the world.
Dimitrijevic gained an international reputation in the seventies with his Casual passer-by series, in which gigantic photo portraits of anonymous people were displayed
on prominent facades and billboards in European and American cities. The artist also mimicked other ways of glorifying important persons by building monuments to
passers-by and installing memorial plaques in honour of anonymous citizens.
December 1, 2014
I am in love with the work of Shepard Fairey! His , what is now, iconic political campaign poster for Obama, is one of the most amazing examples of his work. There is a fabulous movie called, Exit Through The Gift Shop, a must see! All about graffiti artists, many of whom you will recognize.
Fairey created the “Andre the Giant as a Possee” sticker campaign in 1989, while attending the Rhode Island School of Design(RISD).This later evolved into the “Obey Giant” campaign, which has grown via an international network of collaborators
replicating Fairey’s original designs. As with most street artists, the Obey Giant was intended to inspire curiosity and cause the masses to question their relationship with their surroundings.
The Obey Giant website says: “The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker.” The website later goes on to contradict this statement however by saying that those who are familiar with the sticker simply find humor and enjoyment from its presence. Those who actually try to look deeper into its meaning only burden themselves and often end up condemning the art as an act of vandalism from an evil, underground cult.
Originally intended to garner fame amongst his classmates and college peers, Fairey states, “At first I was only thinking about the response from my clique of art school and skateboard friends. The fact that a larger segment of the public would not only notice, but also investigate, the unexplained appearance of the stickers was something I had not contemplated. When I started to see reactions and consider the sociological forces at work surrounding the use of public space and the insertion of a very eye-catching but ambiguous image, I began to think there was the potential to create a phenomenon.”
November 21, 2014
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In continuing with my love of Graffiti Art, I am brining you a legend! Lee Quinones
Graffiti means writings or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed freely on a wall or other surface in a public place. Then, graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times as a way of self-expression or social or political protest: for example, in Pompeii, we can see caricatures of politicians and in the walls of every Middle Aged prison, crosses together with other graffiti of sexual meanings.
Think about the 1970′s and how it was the time just after the ” Love Child” world of the ’60′s. Self expression and freedom with art , think music and literature took a different path, enter the Graffiti Artists.
Current graffiti art, is in relation with the World Wars, with the apotheosis of the urban life reflected in the building of subways and with the hip-hop culture. Frequently, graffiti is considered vandalism, since graffiti artists paint private or public properties without asking for permission.
Lee Quiñones: was born in Puerto Rico but raised in the Lower East Side section of New York City. He painted from his childhood but he started with Subway Graffiti in 1974 and by 1976, Lee was a legend.
Lee is known for outrageous graffiti art on over 100 cars. When journalists and art dealers became interested in him, several of his works appeared in one of the most famous books on Graffiti Art, called “Subway Art”.
His work was also featured in the award-winning documentary called “Style Wars’. He became an immediate influence for people worldwide and an already well-known icon in New York subways.