Archive for April 11, 2013

Artist of the moment……Parra

Parra was born in 1976. . His work is best described as a modern Warhol style that includes bright colors and an acrylic palette. The artist is known for  working as a graphics designer but when it comes to lettering he prefers to draw his own letters freehand.

Has done works with the KidRobot company. This place is very unique retail store, art is everywhere but at a huge cost. For instance a piece done of Charley Brown can easily set you back $7,000. An example of this sculpture made out of vinyl is in the gallery.

The artist uses a variety of mediums and produces drawings and animation, paintings, and sculpture.

Here is a t-shirt design by the artist and apparel company Stussy.

Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Founder of clothing company Rockwell.

Price range information: Acrylics originals range $4,000 to $10,000.

A link to Parra’s website here:

A great story about Amsterdam is that young children scour the streets to find and tear down posters made by the artist!

Parra is quite a commercial artist success story. He now only takes selective jobs but prefers to work on smaller assignments such as posters for local groups.

Parra is also part of an electronic band named “LeLe.”

Here is a link to wonderful article with a journalist that visited the Amsterdam studio of Parra. You can catch a glimpse of his workign style and his use of typography.

In this clip we visit the artist taking his dog for a walk! The piece reminded me of the dvd out on Rex Ray. Its fun to hang out with artists  and just experience them as people.

Its great to see Parra in his Amsterdam studio and the viewer can see many ink pen drawings and also the clutter of a person always thinking.

Parra should give anyone inspiration that wants to be successful as an artist. He is a great business person up there with the likes of Warhol for all of his different ventures. From art, to clothing, to his own musical band Parra keeps us all in suspense of what he will tackle next!


Artist of the moment……John Brack….

John Brack was a wonderful artist and illustrator born in Melbourne, Australia in the year 1920. He was best renown for his work with the figure and large crowds of people painted in a highly stylized manner such as Alex Katz.

A big jump for the artist came during the 1950s when he received critical acclaim for works dealing with the everyday life of Australians.

For his collegiate studies Brack attended the Nationally Gallery School located in Melbourne, Australia.

Among  John Brack’s  most famous works is a painting titled “Collins Street 5pm” pictured below. A painting  done in the early 1950s that brought John Brack critical acclaim and the attention of the national media.


Brack served as Art Master at the Melbourne Grammar School for one decade from 1952 to 1962.

Served as Head of the National Gallery of Victoria Art School.

Included in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.

I love the line work of John Brack’s art. Many of his works take me back to Disney’s group of the Nine Old Men. He loved to paint crowds, but each face is similar but unlike any other. To me his work was about standing apart from the crowd. There is the crowd, a boring mix of greys , and then something or someone in the picture is so colorful and lively as opposed to the crowd.

With his paintings of couples dancing  and moving about the floor together I am reminded of the artist Jack Vettriano’s dancing scenes that show couples dancing under moonlight as the servants attend to their every desire. An example of Vettriano’s style.


Price range information: John Brack was highly prolific as a painter. His oil paintings range from $10,000 to $1.35 million dollars.  Lithographs range $1,500 to $10,000. Watercolors range $50,000 to $180,000.

John Brack passed away in 1999 at the age of 78 years old.

Artist of the moment……George Arluk…

George Arluk is another artist coming from the great Inuit people of Canada. George Arluk was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada in the year 1949. He was raised in Eskimo Point, Keewatin in Canada.  Arluk now lives in an Intuit community called Arviat. Community has slightly more than 2,000 people.

In this clip we view a sculpture by George Arluk. Its great to see the work from many dimensions as the viewer can imagine something different from different angles. Arluk is also unique for using multiple figures in one work of art.

Price range information: The artist works in the mediums used by Inuit such as whalebone, antler, basalt, soapstone etc, and prices range $300 to $3,000.

George Arluk is a self taught sculptor beginning at age nine using the soapstone medium.

Below is a newer image of George Arluk.


George Arluk’s brother is also a famous artist. Charles Panigoniak is a well known musician throughout  Canada and below is one of his hit songs.

No more information available.


Artist of the moment……….James Castle…..

James Castle was born in Garden Valley, Idaho in the year 1899. Castle is considered by historians to be an “outsider” artist. He didn’t follow the national trends, he created art simply for the purpose of doing so. Castle loved to communicate via art and was deaf and mute. He completed over 20,000 works of art in his lifetime. Many works are on found cardboard, wood, or paper and many times the artist used soot and saliva as his medium of choice rather than a pen or pencil. Many times the found paper is a cut up cigarette box. In addition to painting and drawing Castle produced books and assemblage.

Many of Castle’s works show landscapes or interior scenes.

Price range information: James Castle worked with many found materials and also produced watercolors and works in chalk. Works range from $1,000 to $20,000.

Castle was born deaf-mute and refused to learn how to read or write. Instead he just drew and drew and drew and this was his main form of communication.

Castle is similar to such artists as Martin Ramirez or Yayoi Kusama. Two artists that both spent time in mental health facilities and both used art as a main form of communication and it also seems self therapy. Ramirez came from Mexico to work in the fields and spent much of his life in mental institutions in California where he created works such as the one below out of found paper and for color, used small pieces of melted crayon.


For his education the artist attended the Idaho State School for Deaf and Blind located in Gooding, Idaho.

In this clip we see and here from the friends and family of James Castle.

Another montage of works by James Castle. He produced over 20,000 works over his lifetime.

James Castle passed away in 1977 at the age of 78 years old in Boise, Idaho.

Its always comforting to see someone who just enjoys the process of creating over and over. The fact that he didn’t have store bought materials didn’t impede his desire to draw and paint in the least as Castle completed more than 20,000 works of art over his lifetime.