Archive for April, 2013

Artist of the moment…..D@Face…..

D*is a fantastic street artist born in the city of London, England in the year 1978. D *Face is also known as Dean Stockton. I believe we are in a revolutionary time in the art scene where the street and graffiti movement is in full swing. D Face and other artists like Banksy, Swoon, the Invader, Mr. A. the list goes on and on. What thing to notice is that many of these artists are like Shepard Fairey, another street artist, in the that these artists now do small number limited editions which sell in the thousands of dollars. Very profitable for the artist and the printmaker. D Face has seen his work appear on skateboards, posters, and stickers.

From a young age the artist was following the street art movement via the likes of magazines such as Thrasher and skateboarding magazines.

Stockton took an illustration and design course working as a freelance illustrator.

First U.K. show was in 2006.

Was the owner of the first gallery to concentrate on street art. The gallery was called Outside Institute.

Helped to design the cover of Christina Aguilera on her album cover Bionic.

In this clip a brief interview with the artist. He talks about influences from American pop art.

Another interview with the artist this time about a project with the BBC and focuses on art and young people.  His work sometimes makes me think it might be what Roy Lichtenstein might paint if he had a nightmare!

A link to the artist’s own website:  http://www.dface.co.uk/

Price range information:  The most affordable are prints which range $500 to $4,000. Acrylics originals range $5,000 to $40,000. He has also worked in mixed media and spray paint art, but not enough sales to form a pricing schedule.

Yet another street artist that has gone onto international success. Its interesting that when the local art scene wasn’t enough to influence him, only Banksy and Shepard Fairey were popular, he chose to think about artists on the other side of the world in New York city for inspiration!

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Artist of the moment……Barry McGee also known as Twist

Barry McGee is a wonderful street painter who uses the tag “Twist” was born in 1968 in the city of  San Francisco, California. For his collegiate studies McGee earned a bachelors of fine arts in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute.

This clip is from a show given for a mid career retrospective featuring Barry McGee.

Our friends from the public broadcasting system and their wonderful program Art21 made this clip in which “Twist” talks about tagging, its history in general and also with the artist. A great feature in this clip is around 3 minutes in where Twist recreates the street/ graffiti artists as they make their “crime.” I hadn’t given it enough thought, but just the positions these artists get in to make their pictures is amazing!

In this last clip we view a great montage of works by the artist. We get a chance to see how great McGee is at portraying emotions.

Has worked with his cartoon characters on items such as skateboards.

Price range information: McGee works in a variety of mediums including acrylics which range $4,000 to $65,000. The artist has also worked in oils which range $10,000 to $60,000. Mixed media works range $5,000 to $60,000. This would be his art done on liquor bottles and other found materials. Many times instead of painting with acrylics Twist will use enamel paints.

Has completed several murals and other large sized public commissions.

A main theme for McGee is a pessimistic view of the world that doesn’t really care about the individual, but rather just looks to exploit their addictions view a mass corporate advertising campaign.

Was included in the Venice Biennale in 2001. This brought the artist much fame and media attention. As a result many of his public works found on the streets of  the Bay area have been stolen or scavenged!  Even when not in galleries your art can be stolen!

Sadly the artist has lived through a traumatic event. He was married to an artist named Margaret Kilgallen. She was pregnant and was found to have breast cancer. She kept the baby and didn’t undergo chemotherapy during the pregnancy. Just 3 weeks after having the baby named Asha, Kilgallen and the wife of the artist passed away in 2001. The couple did some collaborations and both artists were vital parts of the San Francisco Street art movement. Below some examples of works by Margaret Kilgallen

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Artist of the moment…..Pinchas Shaar…..

Pinchas Shaar was  born in the city of Lotz, Poland in the year 1923. His family history was  Jewish and Polish which landed him in a concentration camp from 1939 to 1945. After the end of the war Shaar attended the Munich Academy of Art. Shaar got his first job in the art world as a theatrical set designer.

Shaar also attended the Grand Chaumiere the Academy des Beaux Artes, both in Paris, France.

In 1956 Pinchas Shaar immigrated to Israel.

Shaar became famous for depicting many facets of Hebrew culture.

price range information: the artist worked as a painter and a printmaker. Oil paintings range $500 to $4,000. Lithograph prints range $400 to $1000.

Pinchas Shaar passed away in 1996 whilst in Israel.

The artist passed away in 1996.

Shaar had a wonderful gift in that he could tell a story through the emotions he painted in his characters. If I were to compare him to another artist it would be Arnold Friberg. Friberg gained fame as not only a Western themed artist, but also for illustrating the Book of Mormon. Below an example of an illustration painted by Friberg for the Book of Mormon.

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So similar to Shaar, you have an artist very familiar with a certain way of lifestyle and religion and they are able to share with us in intimate detail their feelings which make for remarkable works of art. I enjoy the many facets seen in Shaar’s work such as cubism, realism, and surrealism. A great way to tell a story!

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Artist of the moment…..Barnabus Arnasungaaq

Barnabus Arnasungaaq is another premiere Inuit sculptor born in the  Baker Lake, Nunavet Territory in Canada in the year 1924.

Price range information: His work is in high demand and his works are mainly in stone and range $1,000 to $17,000.

In this clip we visit a muskox carved by the artist. Its great to see the sculpture from 360 degrees around the figure.

An Inuit woman carved by the artist.

A mother and child tandem scupture by the artist. This clip starts off with some viewing problems but about 8 seconds in everything is fine!

And a father and child tandem by the artist.

The artist has been carving professionally for more than 40 years.  The 1950s brought change to the Inuit community as it was the end of their fur trade and hunting profits. The government decided to try and keep them together and move them to a location with permanent housing and also to give them better medical facilities. So the group was moved from Keewatin Bay in 1956 and 1957 to the Baker Lake, Nunavet Territory. The goverment struggled to find programs to bring some economic activity to this group of people that had made their living by hunting and trapping furs.

The government started their art and carving programs in the 1960s and the programs were a boon for Barnabus Arnasungaaq.

The artist enjoys using steatite for his carving medium. He also has used the traditional materials such as whalebone and caribou antlers.

Arnasungaaq uses some very common themes with the Inuit carvers, a shaman transforming into an animal such as a bird, bear, the muskox.

The artist is married to another carver/ artist named Fanny Arngnakik. Below is an example of her style. Fanny Arngnakik was born in 1929.

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The couple had two sons that were artists named David and Norman. Below are some examples of work from David Arnasungaaq born in 1964.

 

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Arts in the prison scene…..Inez Walker, Leonard Peltier, and Ray Materson

First off sorry for the length of this article but I found these artists to be fascinating not only for their artwork, but for their personal histories!

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Inez Walker and Leonard Peltier were both found guilty in a court of law for murdering someone and both turned to art as a therapy and outlet during their time in prison. Ray Materson also spent a significant amount of prison where he picked up needlework.

This first set of pictures belong to the artist Inez Walker. Walker led a hard life. She was born into  poverty in Sumter, South Carolina in the year 1911. Her family gave her up and she became an orphan at a young age. At age sixteen she married, had some children, and moved to Philadelphia during a time. In the 1960s she was found guilty of killing a man. It is assumed the man beat her often, but she ended up in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for negligent homicide. She took an art class and began to draw, also an attempt to isolate herself from the rough and tough girls of the prison.

Inez Walker was released in 1972. Many works deal with the bad girls of the prison! She got married again in 1975 and passed away quietly in 1990. She was excited to share her art with anyone that wished to see it.

Inez Walker has works in Museums in the United States, Switzerland, and France.

A link to a great website telling the story of Inez Walker.

http://www.inezwalker.com/

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Leonard Peltier was a leader in the A.I.M. or American Indian Movement in the 1970s. Peltier was born in 1944 and was raised mainly by grandparents in North Dakota. He would eventually live in Seattle, Washington and own an auto mechanic shop. Peltier joined a movement called A.I.M. American Indian Movement. On a reservation in South Dakota a newly elected President Richard Wilson, was seen to have gotten the job via intimidation, violence, and even starting a private militia to intimidate voters.

Wilson stood trial but was not found guilty to the dismay of Peltier and other members of his movement. This led to back and forth incidents in which more than sixty A.I.M. members were killed in a few short years. Even the federal government got involved.

In 1976 some F.B.I. agents went looking for a suspect on the Pine Ridge Reservation wanted for assault and theft. After locating the vehicle they came under intense fire. The agents called in for backup and waited. No help came in time and the shooters were able to get off more than 120 shots. Peltier was one of the shooters and started to flee across the country landing on the F.B.I.s most wanted list. He would eventually end up in Canada where he was turned in by a female witness later found out to have been told what to say to the court by the F.B.I. men. She was threatened severely. Later it was revealed that she wasn’t at the shooting and didn’t even know Peltier before he fled to Canada.

A great painting by Peltier.

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Peltier is serving two consecutive life terms and is still behind bars. He sells paintings to help cover his defense and legal fees.If he wasn’t behind bars I am sure he would be among the most sought after native american painters in the country. I found it interesting the rifle that was key behind his guilty verdict is the same rifle we read about daily in the papers, the AR-15. Below is the car from the shootout with the Feds and Peltier.

Peltier has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize award nine times.

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A link to a website featuring art for sale by Leonard Peltier.

http://www.leonardpeltierart.com/

In this clip we see some photographs of the artist, a cover for a movie made about the story of Leonard Peltier, and some of his wonderful paintings starting at 43 seconds into the clip. Peltier was able to attain a high level of skill with his paintings which rival those of other famous Native American painters such as T.C. Carson or R.C. Gorman. Peltier is still incarcerated.

Ray Materson began crafting needlework during his stay in prison. Materson was born into a family that had many drugs and alcohol users. He started using himself as a teen. Materson eventually became a cocaine addict and to support his habit stole a toy gun from a retail store and completed many robberies. Materson was found guilty and even then tried to escape from jail! He was caught and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Whilst there he collected used and dirty socks using them to create his needlework. Upon his release in 1995 the artist has only increased his skill. Some works can contain as many as 1,200 stitches per square inch.

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Below a clip from an appearance by Ray Materson on CBS.

A link to Ray Materson’s own website:

http://www.raymaterson.com/

Another artist to check out never spent a night in jail, but I love the works of this artist! His name is Martin Wong and this work has to do with tatoos and prison. I have posted about Wong often as he was a key figure in the street/ graffiti art movement, amassed a great collection, then donated it to the city of New York. He passed away in 1999 of A.I.D.S.

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Andy Warhol did some wonderful works with this theme including the movie Prison. Prison was a film that featured such Andy Warhol All Stars as Edie Sedgwick and Sandy Kirkland. The story was about tales that happen while behind bars as was told to Andy by Bibbe Hanson.

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Artist of the moment……Robert Therrien….

Robert Therrien was born in Chicago, Illinois in the year 1947.

For his collegiate studies the artist attended the University of Southern California earning a bachelors and masters degree of fine arts.

Part of many museum collections including the Scottish National Gallery of Art, the Getty Center, the Tate of London, the Museum of Modern art in New York cit, and the George Pompidou Centre in Paris.

Therrien is very diverse working with mediums such as photography, painting, sculpting, drawing, and printmaking. The artist enjoys working with simple shapes and structures that he can trace back to his early history. Some examples would be the outlines of simple houses, clouds, doors, coffins, and snowmen.

Its easy to understand why he enjoyed doing the oversized table and chair work, he could trace this feeling to his own history so he was very attracted to the idea.

In this clip we revisit a show  from 2008 by Robert Therrien.

When looking at Therrien’s body of work its so diverse its hard to compare to another artist but I found this work of his to be reminiscent of the late street artist Martin Wong. Wong enjoyed trying to replicate the color and surface texture of the red brick. First an image by Robert Therrien.

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And this offering from Martin Wong.

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Robert Therrien’s work also reminds me of a current art exhibit taking place in Berlin, Germany at the Bundestag Museum of Art. The exhibit aims to show how dangerous the world is for little kids by showing viewers how dangerous it can be just walking around in the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. The title of the show is “How Children See the World.”

"How Children See The World" Exhibit

A brief clip showing people interacting with Robert Therrien’s table and four chairs.

A link to some more pictures and images about this show:

http://www.kmov.com/news/slideshows/How-children-see-the-world-204675171.html?gallery=y&c=y

Price range information: Sorry none available.

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Artist of the moment…..Joe and Mialia Jaw…and the Jaw family of Inuit artists…..

Joe Jaw was a great Inuit sculptor thought by many to be the best ever at his craft. Joe Jaw was born in 1930.  Joe Jaw passed away in 1987. The artist had four children, all sons that went on to become world renown artists.

Joe Jaw was married to another artist  named Mialia Jaw. Born in 1934, Mialia was an artist best known for her prints and printmaking skills. Mialia passed away in 2006. Below some examples of Mialia Jaw’s style. Mialia enjoyed using colour in her works giving them a lively and vibrant feel.

Joe and Mialia Jaw had four sons that went to become artists. One such son is Pootoogook Jaw that was born in 1959. Below some examples of his Pootoogook Jaw’s art. The artist has been carving nearly his entire life and varies his mediums accordingly. The harder the stone, the simpler the character. Some main themes are birds and hunters.

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Mathew is another son born in 1950  who is not only a great artist, but also the mayor of Cape Dorset.  His last name is not Jaw, his full name is Mathew Saviadjuk. The artist has been a leader and a great example for all Inuit artists to learn from. Mathew led the art- cooperative the West Baffin co-op. His main themes are wildlife and the spirit/ shaman like human spirit. Interestingly nowadays not many musk ox live in Cape Dorset, though its a theme used through by many carvers. Mathew didn’t see one in person until 2001! So it is possible to create great art by only seeing subjects on television.

King Jaw, also known as Kingwatsiak Jaw, was the youngest of the artist brothers being born in 1962. As a youngster he was interested in all art forms and tried carving at the age of 8 years old. King Jaw didn’t approach carving with the idea of being a professional artist until he was in his thirties. King Jaw is a certified carpenter and a very skilled mechanic. Like the rest of his family he is from the Cape Dorset, Nunavet Territory in Canada. His main influence on his art other than his father was the aforementioned Pootoogook.

The last son Salamonie was a heavy drinker and ended shooting and killing a police officer in 2004.

What an interesting family of world class museum level artists!

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Artist of the moment……Felipe Castaneda

Felipe Castaneda is one of the most sought after artists in Mexico. Felipe Castaneda was born in the city of  La Paloma, Michoacan    in the year 1933. The area where the artist grew up has not only a deep Mexican history, but also includes a history of Columbia. The artist has  a fantastic mix of european ideals and an abstract feel that makes his women seem very real  and engrossed  in deep thought.  In 1958  Castaneda  determined that he needed to live in Mexico City to get the experience and education he would need to succeed as an artist.

For his collegiate studies he attended La Esmeralda Painting and Sculpture Academy in 1958.

The artist finished school in 1963 and seven years would pass until he would have his first solo exhibition in 1970.

Castaneda works in many mediums including bronze, onxy, and marble.

If you like this artist make sure to check out the artist Francisco Zuniga. Zuniga was born in Mexico in 1912 and went on to become world renown for his sculptures of women. Below is a great example of his style.

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One note I found very inspiring about the artist was in his artist’s statement. Castaneda considers it a miracle that actual human beings are created out of rock. I hope that you not only respect these artists that use traditional materials like bronze and wood, but I also hope to introduce you to other artists using mediums such as whalebone, antlers from the Inuit peoples of Canada, and even chewing gum (Maurizio Savini). The main thing to grasp from his statement is that ARTISTS CREATE MIRACLES!

Price range information: The artist has used many mediums including marble which range $5,000 to $60,000. The artist also has worked with alabaster but not enough sales to produce a pricing schedule. Bronzes range $4,000 to $60,000.

 

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Artist of the moment……Graffiti and street twin artists Os Gemeos

Os Gemeos are world renown street/ graffiti artists coming from Brazil. The identical twin brothers were born in the year 1974 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Their style is easily recognizable as their characters are rather tall with slender limbs and a slightly yellow color to their skin. At first they copied the graffiti are they saw coming from the streets of New York. Soon the twins were able to find their own style of painting and started to express their cultural views about Brazil.

The names of the brothers are Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo.

Below a short clip featuring the artwork of Os Gemeos.

A big break for the artists came in 1993 when they met American artist Barry McGee. McGee is best known for his cartoon characters, which to me resemble faces made by John Brack, that he paints often on bottles using gouache. The artist is also great at creating abstract patterns and designs. Since I first saw him in national art magazines for his work with bottle I have decided to include works by Barry McGee from his bottles series. Below some bottles by McGee. McGee attended the San Francisco Art Institute but was studying in Brazil. He showed them many examples of American style graffiti. McGee also taught them lettering and graffiti style techniques.

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The twins have created their art in many cities including Miami for Art Basel Miami Beach, in Heerlen located in the Netherlands. They have also produced works in Portugal, New York city , and in London, England at the Tate Modern.

In this clip we see famed street artist Blu work with the Twins on this very large project completed in Portugal for a festival.

In addition to painting the two also create sculptures and light installations.

First United States exhibition in 2003.

How graffiti and street artists differ in the world. If you have been reading the blog lately you might have seen artists  like Cool Disco Dan, who loved to tag mainly along certain subway lines. In Brazil subway systems are a great deal of pride for the community, so authorities do their best to keep them clean looking. But in the last decade with the approval and rise of graffiti and street art to gallery and main street artists, Os Gemeos and other well known graffiti artists were COMMISSIONED to paint the subway legally. Another great example of how the street movement has a full head of steam behind it!

Price range information: The twins work in many mediums the most frequent being spray paint and acrylics which range $10,000 to $125,000.

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Artist of the moment……Nuna Parr….

 

 

 

Nuna Parr is yet another of the great Inuit artist colony/ community located in Cape Dorset in the Nunavet Territory of Canada. Nuna Parr was born in 1949 in Cape Dorset. In the Inuit community it is normal to adopt children amongst families and Nuna Parr was adopted by an artist named Parr and another artist Eleeshushe. Parr lived from 1893 until 1969 and was known for his etchings and paintings. An example of Parr’s art below.

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His mother was also an artist named Eleeshushe. She like her husband Parr had a reputation for drawing and printmaking. This artist colony as I call it has its own art cooperative called the West Baffin Eskimo Collective. Over her lifetime from 1896 to 1975 Eleeshushe created more than 1,000 prints. Below an example of Eleeshushe’s artwork.

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In the clip below we see some varieties of stone used by the artist. Many of the artist just mine and find their own stone, so in essence by owning the artwork you also own a piece of the region, an actual artifact. This is the first 2 minutes of the clip. After this we visit a wonderful example of a dancing bear carved by Nuna Parr. I love the lively and animated look of the bear.

 

Nuna Parr has been carving for more than forty years.

Price range information: The artist works in very large and very small scales so prices range $2,000 to $16,000.

Of all the Inuit artist sculptors no other brings so much creativity to the table. Also the fact that he is able to work in a very large scale and his knowledge of the use of stone for the flow of  the grain and texture is used to add an artistic touch to his works.  Each stone is slightly different to the artist but might appear the same to the someone not engrossed as deeply in sculpture as Parr.

When you think of dancing bears, walruses, and seals think of the wonderful art of Nuna Parr!  Also what a great story! An artist husband and wife adopt a child who goes onto become an internationally collected and renown artist, look out Beyonce and Jay-Z, Blue has met his match in Nuna Parr!

 

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