He paints black people…really black. He says the lighter the skin tone the more acceptable the person. He wants to make clear that black people can not be valued on the basis of their skin color. He brings to mind Manet’s painting of a of a nude, oh so white prostitute receiving flowers from an admirer…being handed to her by an oh so black maid who’s so black that at first you don’t notice her at all…all you see are the flowers.
Historically, female artists are pretty rare before the 1800’s. Well, maybe not rare but ‘rarely’ recognized. Obidos, the daughter of a painter was highly regarded in the mid 1600’s in Portugal and Spain. These still life paintings are part of a series, one for each month of the year. I find them quite extraordinary! A bit surreal really. I love discovering new stuff!
These small works by Diebenkorn give the artist a chance to work out subject, color and composition on a small scale. They are wooden cigar box lids…size is under 10 inches. I wish I owned one! I love small works. They seem precious like a rare gem.
Some years ago I saw these photos of abandoned houses in 4 different diamond mines in Africa. I thought they were gorgeous! So beautiful! The photographer lives in New Brunswick, Canada and offers what sound like fascinating workshops at the Maine Photographic Workshops.
When I Googled Soutine’s landscapes all these crazy wiggling images came up! Just startling. How come he saw the world this way? He was a deeply troubled artist but a wonderful painter.
These scary, cool, slightly shocking drawings are done by a young Boston artist. He's got a book of collages on his website...which I don't quite get...but these drawings ...Yikes!!!
Actually I want to send out a plug for a really interesting book I am reading...The Art of Rivalry...by Sebastian Smee. It's about the friendships between artists and how those friendships and competition affect their work and their relationship. Here are some works by both Manet and Degas. Both working in Paris at the same time. Degas a few years younger than Manet. Images #1-3 are by Degas...the first one is of Manet and his wife...way interesting! The last 2 are by Manet.
This black British artist uses his work to comment on what he calls a cultural construct. He uses ‘African’ fabric and says that it represents that ‘construct’ …really there’s no such thing as African fabric. I do like these pieces…and I think they are quite beautiful, even if you don’t have any background information. Sometimes there’s a direct reference to a work of art. In others there’s a feeling of colonialism. Figures dressed in costumes from the 18th century. But…then in outrageous colors and patterns. Playful, surreal
We're at the height of Leaf Peeping Season here in NH...and it's gorgeous! Goldsworthy has played around with color during this season using the natural world. His work is temporary. Often lasting only a day. Some are whimsical and others...well, have a look!
Basquiat was born in 1960 and was dead at the age of 27 due to a heroin overdose. He was really gifted; fluent in French, English and Spanish, reading and writing at 4, and early on showed talent in art. He grew into a graffiti artist and soon had shows in galleries. His work is full of dichotomies such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and the issues of race and power
I heard about this guy from a friend who’d just returned from Iceland. I don’t know much about him but he is well known in his home country. His paintings reference the landscape around him... up to a point and then takes off on its own. In a land without trees…where you can see the horizon... the landscape becomes simpler but more evocative.
Repin was a Socialist Realist; one of a group of young artitsts known as ‘itinerents’. He traveled to Paris and saw the work of the Impressionists but it didn’t affect his own work, which remained realistic portrayals of common people and historical events. I was given a book of his work years ago. I’d never heard of him. I found the paintings beautiful and moving. He lived till 1930…a long time.
She paints views she sees from above. Often they are night images with lights from buildings and cars creating an abstract view of a city. She flies above cities and sometimes the ocean in small planes and helicopters.
I mean the name alone! One could go far with such a name. She’s from London and trained as an architect. I think the delicacy of the material…creating structures that in life size would feel sturdy is interesting. Some of the work reminds me of my love for architectural models…so carefully crafted with small sticks, balsa wood and paper. So difficult to do, requiring patience I’ll never have.
I first saw his work in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. It had paintings and drawings he had done of his young son who had some sort of medical problem. He’d had a tracheotomy with a hose coming out of his throat…I remember an oxygen tank and his father holding him. While scary it was also so beautiful…beautifully painted. Somehow very romantic.
I don’t choose enough 3D artists. The contemporary ones are often hard. Hard to explain in a few words and often hard for me to understand enough to explain. So one of these pieces, titled ‘Lick and Lather’ shows 2 portrait busts, one in chocolate and the other in soap. The artist gradually ‘deconstructs’ the busts by either licking them…the chocolate, or by washing with them…the lather.
See what I mean? It’s hard. I will say that I saw this piece in Washington some time ago. There were like…8 of each material in a gallery. The viewer walked between the two rows. The smell was lovely! To learn more…there’s a great Art 21 video you can find on YouTube.
From ancient times to the present, the theme of the Three Graces has appeared in various mediums on objects ranging from statues to mirrors to sarcophagi…and of course paintings. To the Greeks they represented beauty, abundance and mirth. They are shown chronologically …Greek, Botticelli, Raphael, Rubens, John Curren, Calamaria Jackson (who I know nothing about but loved the image…which might be a photograph).
I remember when I first saw a self portrait in art school. I was amazed at how lose her brushstrokes were! So unlike her peers! I thought she was pretty brave! She was married to Edouard Manet’s brother and became part of the Impressionist group in Paris. Manet painted her numerous times and was influenced by her to try plein aire painting.
The DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA has a fabulous sculpture park. Worth a trip with the family and kids. Kids in museums can be a nightmare but in a sculpture park it’s a different story. So I put together some images of the park…as an enticement. Many of the sculptures have been there a long time but others rotate through. It’s has a great contemporary museum that features New England artists and a wonderful, extensive gift shop. I spent much of my childhood here, taking classes and waiting for my mom, who taught modern dance to get done so we could go home.
Davidson is an Irish artist who tends to work in series. His first, after college was views of Belfast which was beginning to emerge from "the Troubles". He then turned to these 'head' paintings. The paintings are big. Maybe 3 times life size. The first one of Mark Knoffler was so compelling. I thought I might weep. Somehow he looks so vulnerable. Shown are Knoffler, Kenneth Branagh, Angelo Merkel...but many, many more are writers, poets and activists.