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April 8, 2015
I have always been in love with photography, as you know. I have recently become acquainted with the work of NADAR TOURNACHON and his brother ADRIEN TOURNACHON. This post is on Nadar and what I have learned about him I do hope you enjoy his work as I fell in love with his style.
Have a great day! Love,
To the question—“Who do you think is the world’s greatest photographer?”—French essayist Roland Barthes provided a simple, one-word answer: “Nadar.” And in the history of French photography in the nine- teenth century, there are few who rival the artistry and output of this
man who lived for eighty years of the nineteenth century and ten of the twentieth century.
Nadar’s notoriety in photography came after successful careers first in writing and publishing and then in caricature. Based in Paris, Nadar met and communed with a large circle of late-Romantic artists and writers, as well as the radical social thinkers of the time. This circle considered
itself bohemian and in opposition to anything bourgeois; it was politically and socially liberal and believed in the importance of art, personal integrity, and freedom of self-expression.
Nadar’s turn to portrait photography appears to be a natural progression from his work in caricature. Already focused on capturing the essence of individuals’ physi- ognomy through drawing and then mass producing the caricatures through lithography, Nadar possessed the aesthetic
and interpersonal skills to use the medium of photography to its best advantage. Not only did he study with a photographer producing the finest-quality prints in Paris in 1854, but he also had a ready-made clientele, as well as name recognition. His circle of acquaintances was very broad, and
many up-and-com- ing and established artists, writers, and social activists had already sat for Nadar. One of two extant albums that Nadar used for guests to sign when sitting for their portraits comprises over 400 names (with accompanying commentaries or samples of drawing, music, or poetry)
of the most famous individuals working in music, art, poetry, fiction, politics, and the military in a twenty-year period between the mid-1850s and the early 1870s.
April 3, 2015
I was at a friends apartment and they had a few pieces from CINDY SHERMAN whom I
think is an outstanding artist. So today’s post is on a really talented photographer. I hope you enjoy learning about her!
Cindy Sherman was born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Sherman earned a BA from Buffalo State College, State University of New York (1976). In self-reflexive photographs and films, Cindy Sherman invents myriad guises,
metamorphosing from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron. Often with the simplest of means—a camera, a wig, makeup, an outfit—Sherman fashions ambiguous but memorable characters that suggest complex lives that
exist outside of the frame. Leaving her works untitled, Sherman refuses to impose descriptive language on her images—relying instead on the viewer’s ability to develop narratives, as an essential component of appreciating the work.
While rarely revealing her private intentions, Sherman’s investigations have a compelling relationship to public images, from kitsch (film stills and centerfolds) to art history (Old Masters and Surrealism) to green-screen technology
and the latest advances in digital photography. Sherman’s exhaustive study of portraiture and self-portraiture—often a playful mixture of camp and horror, heightened by gritty realism—provides a new lens through which to examine
societal assumptions surrounding gender and the valuation of concept over style.
Cindy Sherman began her now famous series Untitled Film Stills twenty years ago at the end of 1977 Those small black-and-white photographs of Sherman impersonating various female character types from old B movies and film noir
spoke to a generation of baby boomer women who had grown up absorbing those glamorous images at home on their televisions, taking such portrayals as cues for their future. With each subsequent series of photographs, Sherman has
imitated and confronted assorted representational tropes, exploring the myriad ways in which women and the body are depicted by effective contemporary image-makers, including the mass media and historical sources such as fairy tales,
portraiture, and surrealist photography.
March 27, 2015
You know, its a funny thing when I hear writers talk about writers block. Designers, whether it be a fashion designer or an interior designer, get design block. Why I bring this up? I was on a project, that for the life of me I could not get a vibe on nor get started. At the time, my eldest daughter, who was three then,was in love with a book called,
Swami on Rye! and Ohh-la-la-so, that is where Maria Kalman comes in. I just caught her exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York, and it is fabulous!
I am grateful, as my inspiration for this clients entire house was because of her colored illustrations. Just to fill you in, the client wanted her entire home in shades of purple! I hope you have the opportunity to view this fabulous exhibit!
Maira Kalman was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York with her family at the age of four. She has worked as a designer, author, illustrator and artist for more than thirty years without formal training. Her work is a narrative journal of her life and all its absurdities.
She has written and illustrated twelve children’s books including Ooh-la-la-Max in Love, What Pete Ate, and Swami on Rye. She often illustrates for The New Yorker magazine, and is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the NewYorkistan cover in 2001.
Recent projects include The Elements of Style (illustrated), and a monthly on-line column entitled Principles of Uncertainty (2006-07) and The Pursuit of Happiness (2008-09) for The New York Times.
According to Maria Kalman, ”it’s wonderful to wash dishes when you’re trying to write a story.” Trying to live in an unordered house would make her nervous, she says.
But Kalman, an artist whose humor and candid sensitivity have made her a fixture in American illustration, lives, like the rest of us, in a very unordered and chaotic world. In fact, she’s built an artistic career out of making sense of, and editing, and even celebrating, the chaos. An exhibit of her work,
“Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World),”
is currently on show at the Jewish Museum in New York.
Like many cartoonists, Kalman straddles high and low art, her unique writing voice and drawing style adept at addressing a wide audience across a range of forms. Her illustrations appear steadily in prominent newspapers and magazines. She has published many children’s books and an illustrated edition of Strunk & White’s classic composition guide,
“The Elements of Style.” She created two ongoing visual blogs, for the New York Times’ website, later published as books. And her work has graced many a cover of the New Yorker, including a famous image that mapped the various tribal areas of the city (Pashmina on the Upper East Side, Taxistan in Queens,
Khandibar in Brooklyn) a few months
after September 11th, while the city was still shaken up, but intact in its diversity.
Kalman’s first blog for the New York Times, “The Principles of Uncertainty,” was a meditation on questions of happiness, purpose, loss and her own personal history. Photographs, paintings, and loopy, handwritten text interrogate legacies of the past. Kalman moves from an illustration of an older
woman with three bobby pins directly
to a painting of a library flattened during the London blitz, with the following caption:
Then the all-clear sounded. And people returned, hope undiminished. They returned, so elegant and purposeful to the books. What does this have to do with bobby pins and radiators and Kokoshniks? One thing leads to another.
Kalman’s second series for the Times also explored history and philosophy, but she focused intentionally on a topic she knew less about: American democracy.
“I was sent on this assignment because I didn’t know anything about politics, so I would bring a naivete, but also a sense of optimism and a sense of curiosity to the subject,” she says.
Kalman handles large questions about leadership and patriotism by focusing on the daily routines of the Founding Fathers and the objects that gave texture to their lives. She becomes fascinated by Abraham Lincoln and asks Ruth Bader Ginsburg about where she gets her robes
and lace collars (some are from Paris). The result is a deeply empathetic
treatment of justice, citizenship and American politicians past and present.
This past year saw the first major museum survey, which showcases the range of her illustrations. In addition to 100 works on paper, the exhibit features embroideries and photographs, as well as an installation of belongings that have been immortalized in her work.
March 23, 2015
I was introduced to the work of Grayson Perry who is an amazing potter, and tells his life story via his art. He is also a cross dresser with an alter ego that I found very interesting!
Grayson Perry, winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, uses the seductive qualities of ceramics and other art forms to make stealthy comments about societal injustices and hypocrisies, and to explore a variety of historical and contemporary themes. The beauty of his work is what draws us close. Covered with scraffito drawings,
handwritten and stencilled texts, photographic transfers and rich glazes, Perry’s detailed pots are deeply alluring. Only when we are up close do we start to absorb narratives that might allude to dark subjects such as environmental disaster or child abuse, and even then the narrative flow can be hard to discern.
The disparity between form and content and the relationship between the pots and the images that decorate them is perhaps the most challenging incongruity of Perry’s work. Yet, beyond the initial shock of an apparently benign or conservative medium carrying challenging ideas, what keeps us drawn to the work is its variety.
Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, drawing us in with wit, affecting sentiment and nostalgia as well as fear and anger. Autobiographical references – to the artist’s childhood, his family and his transvestite alter ego Claire – can be read in tandem with debates about décor and decorum and the status of the
artist versus that of the artisan, debates which Perry turns on their head.
Born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1960, Grayson Perry lives and works in London. Perry was the winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, and has had major solo exhibitions at Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2007), Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2006),
Barbican Art Gallery, London (2002) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002). Grayson Perry has also curated two exhibitions - Unpopular Culture, de la Warr Pavilion (then touring) (2008) and The Charms of Lincolnshire, The Collection, Lincoln (2006).
March 18, 2015
Richard Pettibone’s small construction/paintings of the 1960s — appropriations of work by Warhol, Stella, and Lichtenstein — were a defining aspect of a peculiarly West Coast current of “Conceptual Pop.”
His earliest works were shadow-box assemblages addressing his interest in model making, especially toy trains and airplanes. In the 1960s he found his voice in diminutive “copies” of newly famous New York pop artists.
Always framed and constructed upon miniature stretcher bars, they are usually presented in single-image replication.
By the 1970s, Pettibone was combining and juxtaposing different images, introducing monochrome areas and gestural scribbles into these combinations, and experimenting with the simulation of photo-realist techniques.
The Brancusi sculptures from the 1980s are various sized versions of such iconic works as Bird in Space and Endless Column. In a conflation of modernism and modernist “taste,” the Brancusi simulations are often presented in
combination with his beautifully crafted homages to the pared-down forms of Shaker furniture. Pettibone’s visual punning and aesthetic elegance is evident in his simple juxtaposition of an elegant Shaker table with a minimalist,
In the late 1980s to the present, Pettibone pursued an obsession for the poetry and criticism of modernist Ezra Pound (another great appropriator) and created a group of paintings based upon the original covers of Pound’s publications.
In the 1990s, he engaged the work of Piet Mondrian, whose paintings he both replicated and “reduced” in sculptural constructions. But without doubt, his most insistent andunifying theme has been his ever-expanding colloquy with
two paradoxical giants of 20th-century art, Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol
March 13, 2015
You didn’t think I was not going to introduce you to more of my newest art crush! ILYA BOLOTOWSKY-wonderful abstract expressionist whose paintings you may befamiliar with. I think his work is tremendous, and I hope you enjoy this post!
Bolotowsky is considered to be a leading early 20th-century painter in abstract styles in New York City. His work, a search for philosophical order through visual expression, embraced cubism and geometric abstraction.
Bolotowsky was a painter and sculptor of Russian birth. Having moved first to Constantinople (now Istanbul) and then in 1923 to New York. Inspired both by Surrealist biomorphic forms and geometric abstraction, his first non-objective work was in 1933.
During the Depression of the 1930s he painted numerous abstract murals under the auspices of government-sponsored art programs. By the late 1940s, when he taught for two years at Black Mountain College, he was concentrating on a color diverse variant of Piet Mondrian’s Neo-Plasticism, the style that characterized both the painted columns Bolotowsky began to make in the 1960s
March 9, 2015
March 6, 2015
Pierre Alexandre Claudius Balmain 18 May 1914 – Paris, France, 29 June 1982) was a French fashion designer. Known for sophistication and elegance, he once said that “dressmaking is the architecture of movement.”
Balmain’s father, who died when the future designer was seven years old, was the owner of a wholesale drapery business. His mother and her sisters operated a fashion boutique. Balmain studied architecture at theEcole des Beaux Arts,
but did not complete his studies. He spent his time there designing dresses. While attending the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Balmain went to Molyneux, who promised to give him a trial. Balmain then left his architectural studies to work for the fashion
designer Edward Molyneux for whom he worked from 1934 until 1939. After World War II and opened his own fashion house in 1945. The house showcased long bell-shaped skirts with small waists – a line which later became popular as Dior’s New
Look. In 1951 he opened branches in the United States selling ready-to-wear clothes. During the 1950s, Balmain popularized the stole for day as well as evening wear and created a vogue for sheath dresses beneath jackets. His talent as a designer
lay in his ability to make simple, tailored suits as well as grand evening gowns, all with the same aesthetic of slender and elegant lines. Balmain also designed the iconic uniform of the Singapore Airlines Singapore girl , which is very reflective in the collection today!
Balmain also created perfumes, including Vent Vert (1947), his first successful scent and one of the best-selling perfumes of the late 1940s and early 1950s, Jolie Madame (1953), Ivoire (1979), and Eau d’Amazonie (2006). His first perfume,
launched in 1947, bore his company’s Phone Number, Elysées 64-83.
Balmain’s vintage couture gowns remain chic, sought after and popular among the international jet-set, movie stars and socially prominent women, and have been seen on Angelina Jolie Penelope Cruz Kate moss and Kristin Davis
February 24, 2015
David Hammons work is a true statement in art meets a sociological experiment. I had the pleasure of seeing a few of his works in new York the last time I was in. And I am glad to bring him to you today. I have always liked the question of where art evokes
emotions and particularly where it influences sociology This is true of every art form. Including Interior design. What Designer one uses, the renown of said designer and the notoriety it will bring. What status does it afford the homeowner?
The same is true of works on canvas, or installation art.
enjoy David Hammons work and consider the sociological impact. Have a great day!
What do you call a basketball hoop set 30 feet up on a telephone pole? Conceptual art? Sculpture? An installation? A joke? Yes, and no — to all.
A lot of Hammons works are brushy, oil-on-canvas abstractions, reminiscent in style of de Kooning or Gerhard Richter, which have been overlaid with obscuring materials: black plastic garbage bags, torn industrial tarps and worn-out blankets and towels.
We think Modernism, but we also think street people, construction sites, trash.
Mostly, the plastic is hung or draped in layers over the canvases, leaving the painting visible only around the edges or through tears in the sheeting. A blanket glued directly to the surface of a painting has a kneaded, twisted texture,
like the aftermath of a struggle. A piece of gun-metal gray plastic stretched tight over another surface looks agonized, as if it were being ripped apart.
A comparison with Rauschenberg, at least, is not inapt. Like him, Mr. Hammons makes art out of everyday life, though he has often gone for grungy, don’t-touch stuff (hair, bones, liquor bottles). If Abstract Expressionism is about the
preciousness of the painter’s touch, Mr. Hammons’s arrangements of raddled plastics and frayed blankets are about the touch of ordinary bodies laboring, sweating, sleeping, trying to stay warm.
This isn’t to say that his new work adds up to a sociological statement. Mr. Hammons is allergic to these. But it does seem motivated by his understanding that the art world, which he is part of even if he’d rather not be, is a microcosm of the real
world, and that he feels bound to keep a critical eye on it.
February 18, 2015
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In honor of Black History Month, I would like to introduce a prolific and amazing photographer and poet, artist and poet, GORDON PARKS! Parks used his prodigious, largely self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience and to retell
his own personal history.
You know I am a huge fan of photography and I have just been introduced to the works of this genius! The depth and breadth of his talents are truly awe-inspiring. I hope you enjoy this post and marvel as I do at his talent!
Gordon Parks was the first African-American to work as a staff photographer for Life magazine and the first black artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, “The Learning Tree,” in 1969.
He developed a large following as a photographer for Life for more than 20 years, and by the time he was 50 he ranked among the most influential image makers of the postwar years. In the 1960′s he began to write memoirs,
novels, poems and screenplays, which led him to directing films. In addition to “The Learning Tree,” he directed the popular action films “Shaft” and “Shaft’s Big Score!” In 1970 he helped found Essence magazine and was its
editorial director from 1970 to 1973.
An iconoclast, Mr. Parks fashioned a career that resisted categorization. No matter what medium he chose for his self-expression, he sought to challenge stereotypes while still communicating to a large audience.
In finding early acclaim as a photographer
despite a lack of professional training, he became convinced that he could accomplish whatever he set his mind to. To an astonishing extent, he proved himself right.
Gordon Parks developed his ability to overcome barriers in childhood, facing poverty, prejudice and the death of his mother when he was a teen-ager. Living by his wits during what would have been his high-school years,
he came close to being claimed by
urban poverty and crime. But his nascent talent, both musical and visual, was his exit visa.