Artist of the Day- Henri de Toulouse Lautrec(click on image to view more)

I’m not all that well read…or smart…but I think there are wonderful things about a liberal arts education. I began co-teaching a high school history course which was focused on viewing social change through the visual history of a time period. I found the connections between the art of the German Expressionists and WWII pretty telling. I loved viewing the French Revolution through the eyes of David and Delacroix.

So…

While reading in the New Yorker about a young jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant, I saw the name Yvette Guilbert and instantly knew who she was. The image of her nose and the black gloves… Salvant had heard one of Guilbert’s songs and was hoping to turn it into a jazz number…but I got stuck on Lautrec and Guilbert. Here are some of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec’s paintings and sketches of Guilbert, a cabaret singer at the Moulin Rouge. Go to You Tube and listen to Salvant…WOW! Even if you’re not a jazz fan you will love her!!!!!

Artist of the Day- David Lynch (click on image to view more)

“The only way to find the new is to start different things and see if there’s something that can come out of experimentation,”

I agree with this quote by the director of Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Eraserhead. Sometimes when you get stuck…just throw stuff at the wall and see if something sticks. His art is as weird as his films…but like his films…strangely interesting.

Artist of the Day-Anders Zorn ( click on image to view more)

Zorn was called the Swedish John Singer Sargent. The two artists have much in common. Facile in both watercolor and oils, known for their portrait paintings and their friendships with wealthy patrons like Isabella Stewart Gardner. It was at her museum in Boston that I first saw Zorn’s small etchings. Like Sargent, Zorn makes these lose marks that come together to create a solid form. First up a portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice!

Artist of the Day- Toyin Odutola (click on image to view more)

Toyin Odutola’s drawings question physical and sociopolitical identities as they pertain to skin color. She works in pastel, pencil and charcoal. Many of these pieces are large while others, done in ballpoint pen are like…9”x12”. She likes the idea that black is not black is not black…how we think we see a color but then in reference to other ‘blacks’ we realize they are not what we thought. She was born in Nigeria but grew up in conservative Alabama. None the less…she carries her roots with her.

Artist of the Day- Toyin Odutola (click on image to view more)

Toyin Odutola’s drawings question physical and sociopolitical identities as they pertain to skin color. She works in pastel, pencil and charcoal. Many of these pieces are large while others, done in ballpoint pen are like…9”x12”. She likes the idea that black is not black is not black…how we think we see a color but then in reference to other ‘blacks’ we realize they are not what we thought. She was born in Nigeria but grew up in conservative Alabama. None the less…she carries her roots with her.

Artist of the Day- Donald Teskey (click on image to view more)

 Donald Teskey was born in Co. Limerick and graduated from Limerick College of Art and Design with a Diploma in Fine Art in 1978. He came to prominence as an artist through his skill as a draughtsman during the 1980s, with several significant solo exhibitions. This was pretty much it about this artist. I like his scratchy marks… the ones in the trees especially…how they look so dry and harsh. His occasional use of lighting on the side of a building is quite breathtaking. He’s a landscape painter who rarely uses green.

 

 Donald Teskey was born in Co. Limerick and graduated from Limerick College of Art and Design with a Diploma in Fine Art in 1978. He came to prominence as an artist through his skill as a draughtsman during the 1980s, with several significant solo exhibitions. This was pretty much it about this artist. I like his scratchy marks… the ones in the trees especially…how they look so dry and harsh. His occasional use of lighting on the side of a building is quite breathtaking. He’s a landscape painter who rarely uses green.

 

Artist of the Day- Leonid Pasternak (click on image to see more)

I discovered him as I began reading a biography, Lara by Anna Pasternak about her grandfather, Boris Pasternak the famous author of Dr. Zhivago! He was a well known Post-Impressionist artist in Russia in the early 20th century. He left Russia before the revolution with his wife and most of his children and went to Germany. I’ve included some paintings that show his connection to notable intellectuals of his time…like Tolstoy, Rilke, Rachmanioff and Einstein and a self-portrait at the end!

Artist of the Day- Leo Katz (Click on image to see more)

I went to my high school reunion last weekend and found that Leo Katz was the grandfather of one of my classmates.  Katz was born in Czechoslovakia in 1887. He studied art in Vienna and Munich and then got a sponsorship to the US. He taught at the New School for Social Research and was co- director of Atelier 17, a photography gallery. He was really an all around artist. He worked with Orosco on the murals at Dartmouth College, he was a printmaker and a teacher as well as being a photographer.

Artist of the Day- Aboudia

A couple weeks ago at my 55th high school reunion Aboudia’s work was on display in the school’s gallery. His work reminds me of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s. He is a refugee from Ivory Coast. He writes, “My work is similar to that of a journalist writing an article: I was simply describing a situation, in order to create a record of my country’s recent history, I’m an ambassador of the children—they do writings on the walls, their wishes, their fears, I’m doing the same on my canvas. I’m like a megaphone for these children.”

Artist of the Day - Dima Rebus (click on image to see more)

Dima Rebus is from Russia and now lives in NYC.

His work is a bit disconcerting which I love. I’m curious aboutwhy he works in watercolor. The paintings look more like oils.There’s an edgy, somewhat unsettling nature of his work, there’s a strange sort of tension. He works primarily as an illustrator but these pieces feel different to me. Some titles are…Standard Deviation, The Selfish Gene, Follow Me, the main thing is not to make noise… 

Artist of the Day- Bill Cunningham (click on image to see more)

" I realized that you didn’t know anything unless you photographed the shows and the street, to see how people interpreted what designers hoped they would buy. I realized that the street was the missing ingredient."

For over 40 years Bill Cunningham did a weekly photo piece in the Style section of the New York Times. He traveled throughout the city on his bicycle watching for fashion trends. He had a great eye, a modest personality and a blue French workman’s jacket. He died a year ago. The Style section will never be the same for me. There’s a lovely documentary about him you can watch on Netflix…maybe even You Tube. Below is a link to a nice essay he wrote about himself. I've also included a photo of him!

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/fashion/bill-cunningham-on-his-life

Artist of the Day- (click on image to see more)

Claffey holds a BFA in Painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University and an Associate’s Degree in Horticultural Technology from the University of New Hampshire. She feels a part of the natural world. She listens with all her senses.  She works in encaustic and creates wonderful, translucent layers of color. Enjoy!

Artist of the Day- George W. Bush (click on image to see more)

He wasn’t my favorite president. I am however really impressed with his paintings. He has recently published a book of paintings he has done of veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. I think they are really good. I went on line and looked at some of his early paintings, which are pretty bad…but he’s really worked hard, taken some lessons and it’s paid off! He gets that it’s all about the work. He’s not trying to be too realistic but he IS able to evoke real feeling. The fact that he’s not invested in ‘likeness’ allows emotion to come through. Way to go ‘W’!!!He wasn’t my favorite president. I am however really impressed with his paintings. He has recently published a book of paintings he has done of veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. I think they are really good. I went on line and looked at some of his early paintings, which are pretty bad…but he’s really worked hard, taken some lessons and it’s paid off! He gets that it’s all about the work. He’s not trying to be too realistic but he IS able to evoke real feeling. The fact that he’s not invested in ‘likeness’ allows emotion to come through. Way to go ‘W’!!!

Artist of the Day- Peter Halley (Click on image to view more)

Having emerged in New York’s East Village Art scene in the early 1980s, Peter Halley is best known for his brightly colored, geometric paintings made of Roll-a-Tex, a textured paint used for decoration, as well as florescent Day-Glo paints. Developing his own visual lexicon, Halley engages in a play of relationships between what he calls “prisons” and “cells”—composed of rectangular shapes and vertical bars—evocative of geometric networks from the urban grid to high-rise apartment buildings to electromagnetic conduits. This is a quote from...I don't remember where...I've never been a big fan of Halley's paintings...especially the color...but that's me. It helps to not just dismiss them...to really look at them. 

Artists of the Day- Mishka Henner/Andrew Hammerand (click on image for more

Watched and Watching/satellite photos of earth

This is the subject of our times. The other day on NPR there was a story about Army surveillance from drones and satellites. How watching on a screen bombings, beheadings, beatings…even at a remove take a huge emotional toll on those soldiers who while not in combat provide essential information to the troops on the ground. Years ago Ai We We created a sculpture of a surveillance camera as a comment on ‘big brother is watching’. These are now ubiquitous… I find these photos by Mishka Henner and Andrew Hammerand really intriguing and very different. Henner is first/ Hammerand second.

 

Artist of the Day- Marie Lassnig (click on image to see more)

Lassnig lived from 1919 to 2014. She was raised in Vienna and produced loads of really unusual self -portraits. She didn’t begin to receive recognition till 1980 when she represented Austria at the Venice Biennale. I am drawn to the paintings of kitchen implements. I like how she gives ‘women’s’ tools power and character.

Artists of the Day- Diane Meyer and Carole P Kunstadt (click on image for more)

I came across these two photographers while looking for another one.I also have a friend who is working on embroidery on photos. I guess that’s why I was looking. Anyway…taking photos in a new direction is kind of interesting to me. I was intrigued by Diane Meyer’s concept of taking photos of sites in Berlin and then embroidering where the Berlin Wall would be if it was still standing. Not only is it a cool idea…I think the photos are good! Carole P Kunstadt has taken strips of photos and woven them to create new images. Years ago I did this with a student. It was tedious and our finished work was very different. I might revisit this idea!