Archive for September 17, 2012

Artist of the moment…Light artist Leo Villareal….

The artist was born in Albuquerque,  New Mexico in 1967.

Currently works and lives in New York city.

A clip from the San Jose Museum of Art featuring a show given my Leo Villareal.

Another clip from the same show.

I decided to add another clip because his art is something that must be seen when it lights up and its fun to watch the pattern of the lights.

The artist is among the finest in the world when it comes to incorporating modern technology with his art. His installations are a visual delight for the eyes. Fun shapes and electricity make for a wonderful result.  Like Harkness Villareal went to Yale and earned his bachelors degree there. For his graduate studies the artist went to NYU Tisch School for the Arts.

Had had major exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. The Hirschorn Musuem of Art and Sculpture, the Los Angeles Musuem of Contemporary Art. Included in museum collections at the Museum of Modern Art New York and Brooklyn Museum of Art also in New York.

A link for the artist’s own website:

The artist developed a computer code that makes an autonomous illumination of the hundreds and sometimes thousands of lights used by the artists. The artist sometimes works in a very large format with works sometimes having sides longer than twenty feet.  Its great because by varying colors the viewer can have the feeling of bright sunshine or a cool grey sunset.

The most known public work of the artist is at the National Gallery of Art  in Washingon D.C.  The work is titled “Multiverse.” You can view it whilst walking from the East to the West buildings of the gallery.  The installation has more than 40,000 lights set up to a computer program.

A short clip from the Multiverse work.

In 1994 the artist attended the Burning Man festival in the middle of the Nevada desert. This helped him to decide on his artistic path.  Villareal wanted to re create experiences but done on a very large scale.

Price range: Was able to find a 12 by 12 by 6 inch box that went for $3,000. Not idea how much the larger sized public installations would be.

Villareal is working on a project to light up the San Francisco bridge. Some numbers on the project! It includes around 25,000 LED lights, the project is 1.8 miles wide, and 500 feet high.  Its a great project and it should start in 2013 and is set up to run for two years time.   The design took a great deal of work to be visable by those visiting the area and close to the bridge, but the community didn’t want it to become a distraction for the drivers crossing the brige. A great link for the project is:

I enjoy this artist for his use of very modern items including LED lights and developing his own software codes to illuminate the lights. Very innovative and contemporary!


Artist of the moment…..Hilary Harkness….

The artist is best known for painting the female figure set among submarines or other large vessels. Most of her paintings make a social commentary on the current and past women of the world and where they are headed into the next century.

The artist was born in the year 1971 in Detroit, Michigan. The artist attended the University of California at Berkeley for her bachelors of art degree. For her M.F.A.  Harkness attended Yale University.

Lives and works out of New York City.

On line and land based gallery:  Mary Boone Gallery in New York City.

Short interview with Hilary Harkness and another artist, Andra Ursata.

Artist and art critic James Kalm visits the Mary Boone Gallery in New York city to view a show given about Hilary Harkness.

For a short period in her life the artist lived in San Francisco. Here she talks about her experiences of living on both coasts, and how each helped to develop her as an artist and as a person. She loved San Francisco but had to move back to the east coast as she couldn’t find a gallery that would take her. She definitely had the last laugh!

The thing I like about this artist is her ability to overcome obstacles in order to achieve her artistic goals. After leaving the east coast and moving west she thought she would stop painting, but living in the Bay area she continued to paint.  Although she tried without success to find gallery representation in San Francisco, she was able to achieve her style. No more mimicking other artists or themes she wasn’t that interested in.

She is now my definition for a modern day Surrealist painter. She has created her own universe void of men and their destructive ways. Her paintings of submarines showing the entire crew to be women are full of detail and bring a new definition to Rosie the riveter!  The new century has seen women move into the workplace faster than ever, in her universe women can be called upon to do anything a man can, only successfully. The more I look at her art, the more it makes me smile. Her vision is somewhat true, as men are shrinking from the workforce at an alarming rate, but this is due to the fact more women are attending college and the industrial jobs that men used to have exclusively go to machines or have disappeared altogether.

The artist seems to make a point of women being seen as sex objects but the paintings are funny in that the women in each painting are trying to be sexy and controlling over each other rather than any man. Is the artist trying to state that even if you remove men from the picture entirely, the women might try to be more controlling or act sexier towards each other?  As I look through her well painted ships its seems I can always find myself another question to ask about a particular painting.

A link to the artist’s website:

Low price range: Graphite drawings starting around $3,000. Original oils at $20,000. The artist paints very slowly and with a great amount of detail only finishing around five paintings per year.

High price range:  Oil painting for $66,000.

I hope this artist inspires you to never give up no matter how many people don’t have confidence in your abilities. Always believe in YOU!