Archive for September 14, 2012

Artist of the moment….Gao Zengli….

Gao Zengli was born in Lanzhou, China in 1964.

For his college educaton Zengli attended the Fine Arts Academy of Shandong. He also attended the Paris National Academy of the Arts.

A short clip featuring a show given by the artist.

The artist had his first solo show in 2000.

The theme of his work is to take an idea or a thought that it is embedded in his memory, and then recreate the emotions of the day through painting.

Sometimes the images are of famous people such as Chairman Mao. By using famous people that he remembers from childhood the artist hopes to tap into feelings that people had about China and compare them to the thoughts and emotions of modern China as their struggle for freedom and a middle class continues.

Currently the artist moves back and forth between Beijing, China and Paris, France. He appreciates how different both cultures are from each other and keeps a studio in both cities. Also Zengli states that the more he is away from China, the more he wants to paint the memories he has from China.

Zengli has had major one man shows in Russia, Singapore, Italy, and Australia.

His paintings are very large having sides longer than fifty inches.

From his artistic statement we find out that the artist prefers to work in black and white for his memory paintings. He says its easier for him to remember.
I enjoy this artist’s work for his variety of paint surfaces and techniques. In many works the artist attaches ceramic bowls and plates both broken and new, to a gunny sack or canvas.  Zengli then paints right over the entire surface with oils.

Using the ceramics in addition to his paintings give his work a very unique feel. The monk reading a book is a great example. He is trying to enrich his modern life, via old school Chinese ideas of self reflection and enlightenment through the gathering of knowledge. By including the traditonal Chinese ceramics with the young monk the viewer is shown a bigger glimpse into the ideas and themes of the modern make up of contemporary China.

low price range:  $10,000   for a  60 by 60 inch painting done in oils.

high price range:  $ 28,000 for a 60 by 60 inch painting of the Chairman Mao.

I enjoy this artist for his very unique method of portraying his culture on canvas. I would like to see some paintings of Taos with some of the traditional pottery worked into the background!

Try a new medium to learn to appreciate what you already know!


Artist of the moment….Chilean realist Claudio Bravo….


The artist was born in Valparaiso, Chile in the year 1936. His father was the owner of a ranch. His mother ran the household and Bravo was one of seven children. The artist was well versed at all aspects of art and even toured a short time as a professional dancer in Chile.

The artist showed signs of potential at an early age. He was not very good at math and science. In order to get better grades in his math and science classes he would offer the teacher a portrait. Bravo went on to study from the ages of eleven to twenty years of age with Miguel Venegas. Chile was heavily influenced by the european style of art and the artist’s main mentor, Venegas, was devoted to realism and not modern flat and cubist art.

The artist had his first solo show at the tender age of seventeen. All the works sold to family and friends and Bravo gained large support throughout the community.

Bravo attended college in Santiago, Chile studying literature and music.

The artist admired Salvadore Dali and the Surrealist movement.  Brave also admired the Renaissance era painters.

Bravo lived around the world in such places as New York City, Morroco, Chile, and Spain.

Bravo worked in a variety of mediums including watercolor, oils, bronzes, crayons, pencil, and pastel.

Like other prominent artists he painted many people belonging to the upper classes. The artist even painted royalty. Among his clients were Imelda Marcos and her husband the famous dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Francisco Franco the dictator from Spain. He also painted the publisher of Forbes magazine.

Bravo started selling portraits in Chile. He did so well he saved enough to sail for Paris. Due to bad weather he stopped off in Barcelona and eventually ended up in Madrid, Spain.  He painted the local well to do crowd and was highly successful.

As with most dictators, they try and control thoughts!  Franco was highly conservative and the artist felt restricted in his paintings. One day his sisters brought home some packages and the artist found a new work in painting packages. He became obsessed with creating trompe textures in his art.

A great collection of the artist’s work. Notice the great use of edges on both the corners of tables and also windows. The artist was able to create tremendous depth in his works. Also notice the many different textures the artist was able to create. His paintings of overlayed fabric are spectacular!


High price range:  $1.172 million for a work done in oils.  $216,000 for a work done in pastels.

Low price range:  Pencil works start at $5,000. Charcoals start near $10,000. Lithographs start at $1,000.

The artist passed away in 2011. He was living in Morocco at the time.

I enjoy this artist for his fantastic works with painting fabrics and the still life.  The artist was best at creating depth and by creating many different surface textures from wood to cloth, that kept the viewers eye moving about the picture. Another texture and surface the artist paints very realistically is glass.


Its GREAT to create!