Archive for April 17, 2013

Artist of the moment……Ju Ming…..

Ju Ming is my favorite Taiwanese sculptor. Some call his work abstract, but when looking at his sculptures I know exactly what they are. Ming’s talent lies in capturing the movement of the figure using very simple shapes. He works in a series and one of the most famous is his Taichi series.

Ju Ming paid for the cost of his museum himself, not relying on public funds.

In this clip we visit a the Ju Ming museum in Jin Shan, Taiwan. A great selection of museum pieces. Impressive works in this piece include works of people in military uniform.

In this clip another more in depth look at the museum in Jin Shan.

As a young boy Ju Ming was an apprentice to a woodcarver, thus honing his skills from a young age. Versatile in his choice of mediums Ming has worked in wood, styrofoam, bronzes, and ceramics.

He started his own crafts business and was a success but tired of being a machine, he yearned to break out of his creative slump. He quit the business and became an apprentice again. His new master even got Ju Ming to take up T’ai chi. This experience led him to produce a series dedicated to t’ai chi, these are my favorite works of the artist.

Now lives and works out of Taipai.

Price range information: Works done in wood range $30,000 to $450,000. Bronze works cost $100,000 to $2.7 million dollars.

Try drawing your next figure using very simple shapes and exaggerate the movement, tell a story with the movement of the figure. Think of not only Ju Ming, but also the Inuit carvers who are able to give stone and basalt a “personality.”

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Artist of the moment…..Lucassie Echalook

 

Lucassie Echalook is another of the great Inuit sculptors born in the Hudson Bay area in Canada in 1942. He is best known for sculptures of the Inuit way of life and completed many carvings in ivory and soapstone. His father died in the 1950s and his family went through some very difficult times. Echalook did not attend school of any sort.

Echalook is best known for adding multiple figures in his works of art. Among the Inuit sculptors I consider him to be the among the most modern in his technique as he distorts the face and figure for dramatic artistic effect. In this manner I am reminded of artist I just profiled here named Ron Mueck. Mueck cleverly distorts parts of the anatomy for a wonderful and expressionistic work of art. With his longer works featuring many heads it is very similar to a totem pole, but made horizontally rather than vertically.

Price range information: Works range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for his sculpture works.

The artist has produced prints for sale on occasion, twice in the 1970s he was included in the regional print series.

His wife Martha Echalook is also an artist and produces wonderful works with baskets as her medium of choice. Below some example’s of Martha Echaook’s art.

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Thomasee Echalook is one of the sons of Lucassie Echalook, who is also a wonderful sculptor. Below are some examples of his style. I tried to do some more research and a popular practice in the Inuit culture is to adopt a child from another family and this might have been the case as Thomasee Echalook lived from 1935 to 2011. Lucassie Echalook is listed as the father and was born in 1942 and is still alive today.

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More Inuit artists coming soon!

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Artist of the moment…….Robert Graham….

Robert Graham was born in 1938 in Mexico City, Mexico and went on to become known for his sculptures of the human figure. Graham’s father died when he was only six years old. The artist’s family then moved to California and Graham became a citizen of the United States in 1952.

For his collegiate studies Robert Graham attended San Jose State College and the San Francisco Art Institute.  For much of his life Graham was based out of California.

First museum show was at the Dallas Museum of Art in 1972.

A big jump for the artist’s career came with the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

Graham married famous American actress Anjelica Houston in 1992. Below is an image of Anjelica Houston. Houston is the third generation of her family to win an Academy Award.

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In this clip view photographs of Robert Graham and Anjelica Houston as a couple.

Price range information: The artist most affordable works are etchings which can be found for a few hundred to one thousand dollars. Occasionally he produced watercolors or oils but not enough pricing available to form a pricing schedule. For bronze works the range is $2,000 to $120,000.

Graham completed other famous public works such as sculptures featuring Duke Ellington, boxer Joe Louis, and jazz singer Duke Ellington.

Below a clip from Robert Graham’s work from 1963 to 1973.

Robert Graham passed away in 2008 at the age of seventy years old.

When looking at Graham’s work with the female form I am reminded most of Edgar Degas. Mainly for his variety of mediums Graham chose in depicting the human form.

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