Archive for January 5, 2013

Artist of the moment…..Ryan McGinness….

Ryan McGinness is an American artist born in  blank city in 1972. He makes wonderful absbract works using acrylics but also mixes in well known corporate icons and symbols . He also paints very unique figure paintings of women. He sometimes paints on circular surfaces. These round works take me back to the 1980s when I was a young boy and I used to spend many hours looking through my kaleidoscope. These were tube shaped toys that looked like telescopes. On the inside were many fun shapes and designs that were made of glass pieces, mirrors, and beads. My moving the kaleidoscope around the viewer could make new designs instantly!  Below is an example of the sights seen in a kaleidoscope and why it reminds me of Ryan McGinness and his artwork.


In this clip we visit a show given by the artist at a LaJolla Museum of Art.

Price range information: Works in acrylics range from $2,000 to $60,000. Screenprints range from $1,000 to $10,000.

For McGinness’ collegiate education he attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Same university as Andy Warhol, only when Warhol attended it used to be called Carnegie Institute of Technology. During his collegiate years McGinness interned at the Andy Warhol Museum and was an assistant curator.

Here is a great interview brought to us with Ryan McGinness and Walrus TV.

The artist reminds me of several artists. When looking at his paintings of women I am reminded of Pablo Picasso. If you didn’t know by the title what you were looking at, would the viewer even know he was looking at body parts? A breast, a leg, a bare foot, I love the simplicity of his design. Below is an example of Picasso and his cubist style of painting women. The piece is titled Les Demoiselles and was made of five prostitutes in a brothel.


For his flatness and concentration on the silhouette of the female figure the artist reminds me Julien Opie. Opie is a wonderful contemporary artist from Britain who employs digital mediums in his work with the simplified form of the female figure. This work was part of a commission for the National Theater in Prague.

McGinness has a fantastic sense of design and that is apparent in his abstract paintings. He uses organic shapes varying them slightly in these works. I love his works with chains. With his use of shapes and color it reminds of the Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. Milhazes has had a very successful career having works sell at auction for more than one million U.S. dollar$! Here is a wonderful example of Milhazes style of art.


McGinness is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Ryan McGinness currently lives and works out of Manhattan, New York.

I hope this artist inspires you try experiment with some simplified figure works in the future!


Artists of the moment….Photographers Doug and Mike Starn…..

Douglas and Mike Starn are two identical twins are known for their vast production in the field of photography.  What is most interesting about their technique is the vastness of their prints. Many prints of say a tree are for example 6 by 8 feet. The end picture is made of several smaller panels, similar to a triptych or diptych.

The twins were born in New Jersey in the year 1961. For their artistic education the twins attended the  School of the Musuem of Art Boston. The two were able to complete a five year program in only four years!

Below is a great example of the Starns photography works.

Price range information:  The most expensive work of the artist are the photographs from the Blot Out the Sun series. Number 3 sold for $50,000. These prints are a very large size.  Prints can be found starting around $1,000. The brothers have also completed collages which start around $500. The two are masters at their chosen medium so many different prints like gelatin silver or cibachrome prints can be found.

First major exhibition was the Whitney Biennial in 1987. The two have already put in 50 years combined in their chosen medium of photograpy! Like two Ansel Adams at once.

The Starn brothers also received a great deal of attention for a show that took place in 2010 on the roof the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show was titled Big Bambu and the show had some amazing numbers. Their show was the fourth worldwide in attendance for an art show featuring contemporary works of art. Below is a clip featuring the artists at the Met.

In 1989 the brothers made the move to Red Hook, Brooklyn from Boston. Now they reside in Beacon, New York.

For me its a very exciting time in an artist’s life when they get their first public commission. In this clip we see and watch their brothers work on their first public commmission.

If you enjoy photography as an art form please be sure and read check out another wonderful duo of photographers McDermott and McGough. David McDermott and Peter McGough both paint, work in film, sculpture, and photography. The two split their time in Dublin, Ireland and New York City. I enjoy looking at their photographs because they use time period processes. This would be methods from the 1800s such as cyanotype and gum bichromate. The two are known to dress up in clothes from the 1800s. Below is a photograph of the two in 1860’s time period costumes.

McDermott & McGough ~ Portrait of the Artists (With Top Hats) 1865, 1991

Make it a point to learn about  all forms of art.