Archive for April, 2013

Artist of the moment…. Shane Cotton….

Shane Cotton was born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in the year 1964.  His background is part Maori, so he sometimes expresses his ideas on colonialism, capitalism, and the modern world.

For his artistic education Cotton attended the IIam School of Fine Arts in 1988.

Upon graduation was part of teaching faculty at Massey University.

Was a winner of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship. One of the best artist in residence opportunities in New Zealand this award is given to an up and coming artist of the region. Hodgkins was a well known and respected New Zealand artist born in 1869. Below is an example Hodgkin’s painting style. Upon winning this prize Cotton’s work was in high demand.


Price range information:  The artist has produced screenprints which $1,000 to $1,500.  Original acrylics range $1,000 to $35,000. Lithographs cost $1,000 to $2,000.

In this clip from the National Gallery of Australia a work titled three quarters view is explained. As in his past work Cotton makes us aware of the different ideas that exist at this time from colonialism to Christianity and also the Maori culture which is also part of the artist heritage.

Its important when looking at Cotton’s work to SLOW DOWN! Take it all in and recognize that every object in the painting has meaning. It could be a golden finch (bird) or even some plain text, but his paintings have a deep emotional and cultural feel though it may not be felt at first if you don’t know what the symbols mean, such as the finch.


Artist of the moment…..Auguste Edouart…

Auguste Edouart was a leading french silhouette artist born in Dunkerque, France in the year 1789. His working career was spent in London, Scotland, and the United States.

He left France in 1814 setting up shop in London, England.

A clip to a short link featuring work by Auguste Edouart on the popular PBS program Antiques Roadshow. The clip is just under four minutes long.

Price range information:  The artist worked mainly with cut paper silhouettes but which range $500 to $8,000. Watercolors range $2,000 to $8,000 and these are mainly lanscapes. The artist was renown for his cut paper artwork that featured both people an animals.

Started making his famous paper cut works in 1825.

From 1829 to 1832 Edouart lived in Edinburgh, Scotland and completed nearly 5,000 of his cut silhouette works. Remember this is a time before the Iphone or that matter even before the polaroid! A cut paper silhouette was a great way to capture the likeness of a person without the expense of an oil painting or watercolor. Many owners would have them done of themselves alongside their pets.

Works in major museums worldwide including the National Gallery of Art in London, England, the National Gallery of Art in Scotland, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

I enjoy looking at works from this time period. Its perhaps the first time a person who wasn’t wealthy had the opportunity to immortalize themselves with art. More silhouette artists coming soon!

Edouart passed away in 1861 at the age of 72 years old.

If you enjoy silhouette art make sure and check out my previous writings about artist Annysa Ng who has a work below. Ng works with acrylics and inks in many works.


Another great artist who is perhaps the most famous working African- American visual artist in the country, Kara Walker. The artist is well known for cut paper works and even produces books alongside her original artwork and lithographs. Below an offering from Kara Walker. This work will come for auction on the 29th of this month at Phillips New York. It is a collection of works dealing with the Emancipation Proclamation. Estimates are $120,000 to $180,000.





Artist of the moment…..Cheong Soo Pieng….

Cheong Soo Pieng was born in Singapore in the year 1917.   Cheong Soo Pieng is best known for his work with the figure and depicting the daily life of his people.

In this clip we preview a show given for the artist at the National Gallery of Art in Singapore in 2010.

Was a longtime teacher at the Nangyang Academy and taught many students the keys of this painting style. The figures are stereotypical of what a person looked like in the region with wonderful almond eyes and bronzed skin with elongated limbs.

Pieng started art school at age 16 studying at the Xiamen Academy of Fine Art. To continue his studies the artist moved to Shanghai, China. His studies here were cut short by the outbreak of war.

Eventually the artist would leave China for Hong Kong in 1945. He then moved to Singapore where he found a wonderful teaching  job at Nangyang University.

His first solo show in China was in 1942, he displayed his large selection of watercolours. He painted in this medium as it was tough to find oil paints during this time period due World War 2.

The artist was very publicity shy and never had an interview with a reporter whose primary language was english.

The artist passed away in 1983 at the age of 66 years old

Price range information: The artist worked in many mediums including ink which range from $10,000 to $25,000. He also produced works in gouache, collages, and wood but not enough to form a pricing schedule. Oils range from $30,000 to $544,000.


Artist of the moment……Rex Homan….

Rex Homan is a wonderful contemporary artist born in Thames, New Zealand in the year 1940.   Homan is a master of Maori art, this is art coming from the country of New Zealand.

Homan is known for his work with wood, though he does works with bronze as well.

Now lives in Tuaranga, New Zealand.

When working in a series he will sculpt birds from a particular region such as Canada or his native New Zealand.

My favorite works by Homan are his owls. Owls play an important role in the Inuit society in Canada, especially the snowy owl that takes away your spirit when you pass away. Its interesting to see Inuit art and Maori art that use the same subject matter.  Ravens, crows, and eagles have all been explored by the artist. I enjoy the simplicity and flowing lines use by the artist.


When comparing the works of Rex Homan to another artist I am reminded of the great Charlie Harper. Harper was a wonderful illustrator and did many series with various species of birds. The flowing lines and bright colours used by Homan made me think that had Charlie Harper been a sculptor, this is what his work would look like today. Below an example of an owl by Charlie Harper.


Price range information: Works in wood and bronze range $6500 to $20,000.



Artist of the moment…..Jacques Lipchitz

Jacques Lipchitz was an artist born in Lithuania in the year 1891. He would go on to become one of the great sculptors of France living in Paris for a large portion of his life. Most of his working life he was dedicated to Cubism. So think Picasso in 3 dimensions! He studied engineering at first but then switched to art at the encouragement of his mother.

Lipchitz moved to Paris in 1909 and would become an actual French citizen in 1925.

For his collegiate studies the artist studied at the les Ecoles des Beaux-Arts located in Paris. In addition Lipchitz studied at the Academie Julian and the Academie Colarossi.

During the outbreak of World War II and Nazi death camps, Lipchitz took off for the United States. Lipchitz would arrive for the first time seeking asylum from the Nazis in 1941. He arrived in New York in 1941 and would eventually settle in Hastings-on-Hudson in New York.

Price range information: Etchings and lithographs can be found for less than $1,000. Marble works range from the low six figures to $850,000. Drawings range $1000 to $5,000. Works in bronze start at $2000 to his record for a bronze at 2. 05 million dollars.

In this clip we see a print by Lipchitz analyzed.

In this clip we visit a very large outdoor sculpture and view it from many angles. When looking at this work and the bends and folds of the figures I am reminded of the paintings of Peter Paul Rubens.

In this clip we go to Philadephia to view a large public commission.

Jacques Lipchitz passed away in 1973 at the age of 81 years old.


Artist of the moment……..Josh Agle also known as Shag….

I am quite sure most readers of this blog pay attention to art everywhere and have seen works by Josh Agle, who signs his work Shag. Josh Agle was born in Los Angeles, California in the year  1962.  I love the modern looking design of his interior paintings. Another subject the artist likes to work with is cats. Similar to women painted by the artist, both the cats and ladies have very large emotional eyes with slender curving lines making the shape of their bodies.

First solo exhibition in 1997.

The artist is highly successful as a commercial artists working not only with prints and painting but also designing sculptures like the one below.


He has designed a large amount of record and CD covers, another place you might have seen Shag’s work before.

A link for the artist’s own personal website:

In this clip we visit a show for the artist.

In this clip we visit the artist at his home and studio which are one in the same, in Orange County California.

A great interview with Shag  from Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York city.

Here is a link to the very latest works by Shag. One impressive scene looks to be a party given at Andy Warhol’s silver factory. The party goers are having a great time and Andy is standing in the background taking it all in!  Andy is standing in front of the second pole from the right. Everyone else is partying like its 1999!  How about the 2 Marilyns on the wall also by Warhol.


More great pictures like the one above here!

Price range information: Sorry none available for individual works.

I enjoy this artist more and more with each new series. As a huge Warhol fan I am looking to exploring his new paintings. Its very interesting to see how the artist Shag has interpreted 1960’s and 1970’s groups like the Velvet Underground and the famous screen tests that included such great personalities as Bob Dylan and Salvadore Dali.


Artist of the moment……Papiara Tukiki

Papiara Tukiki was born in the Cape Dorset , Nunavet Territory of Canada on Christmas Day, December 25, of 1942. Tukiki is another of the great Inuit artists that specializes in printmaking and drawing.  She draws the daily life she loves and has remarkable results.

My favorite works of the artist are when she takes an animal or certain shape and repeats it through out the piece. In the gallery one can see lemmings, hands, and even sharks. Another theme is people out living with nature. Her generation was perhaps the last of the Inuits to live their nomadic lifestyle. Back in those days the Inuits were dependent upon fur trapping and that trade was a main source of income. The times changed and now so many artist in this region I have decided to label it my favorite art colony in the world!

She has worked with the Kinngait Studios to make many series of prints. Last year she produced five works included in their annual collection. Its a great place to visit to see the wide range of Inuit printmaking artists.

Husband is named Qiopi Tukiki.

A link to a current show in Toronto, Canada featuring Papiara Tukiki.

In her artistic statement we learn a great deal about the artist. She says,” I love to draw animals and am amazed at how they survive up here in the north.”

Not only a great artist with line, but she also has a tremendous use of color. Remember all the images in the gallery are prints, its striking how bright and colourful they appear.

For more background on how the Inuits artwork moved into major galleries in Canada and gained international acclaim be sure and check my post on James Houston. A Canadian man who grew tired of urban life and went looking for adventure. He found what he was looking for not only in the Inuit artwork such as carvings or drawings, but also the daily life of the Inuit peoples who at that time were still basically nomadic.

Houston lived with the Inuits for more than one decade and participated in many of their activities like building and living in igloos and also hunting and eating whales and walruses.

Price range available: Very affordable works ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Artist of the moment……Alexandre Orion…

Alexandre Orion is internationally renown street artist born in Sao Paulo,  Brazil in the year 1977 .   Alexandre Orion is my favorite male street artist with Swoon being my favorite female artist. He has combined street art with photography to make what could loosely be defined as installations. They are indeed street works of art painted on buildings and in public view, but Orion takes it a step further by imagining how actual people can be used for further impact. The result are some truly unique works where you might have some painted flowers fall off a ledge from above and land on a passerby.


Alexandre Orion is known for his street artwork but also for being world class photographer working mainly in black and white images.



Another funny image has a person riding a motorcycle in real life, whilst Orion has painted a person holding on for dear life. Its this use of people in his photographs with his graffiti that makes this the highest form of street art at the moment. With the use of someone besides just the viewer and the artist it gives us an extra dimension to work with in art appreciation. Awesome!



In this clip we see Orion at work on a piece and then the fuss by police that follows. A great glimpse into the production and demise of a work of street art. Its also great to see the artist work differently than most street artists. Many draw their works line by line, Orion prefers to make a large black shape and wipe out the positive shape. In essence he creates a stencil using a freehand method.


This piece was used to show people how fumes and car exhaust can hurt people. The artist just wiped away the exhaust and black tar that built up in the tunnel, it wasn’t necessary to use paint. What a clever idea to get the public to think about car exhaust and a healthy environment. In fact the government had to develop a law that called what he was doing illegal because in fact he was CLEANING  the environment by wiping away dirt and grime, not defacing it with paint.


In this clip we hear from the artist and see a montage of works involving the use of people passing by.

A link to the artist’s own website:

Orion started doing graffiti at age thirteen.

Like my favorite female artist Swoon, I draw much inspiration for Alexandre Orion for not only his art skills, but for his ideas to improve his local community by using art.

Price range information: Books available on the artist but no original works.

Artist of the moment…..Valerie Jaudon…

Valerie Jaudon is an American painter born in Greenville,  Mississippi in the year 1945. For her collegiate studies she attended many schools. The Memphis Academy of Art, the University of the Americas, and St. Martin’s School of Art in London, England.

price range information: Etchings can be found around $500. Works in oils range $2,000 to $25,000.

Jaudon was a member of the Pattern and Decoration movement popular in 1970s. When looking at the artist’s work its abstract, yet very organized. For instance you have very loose abstraction such as this work by Jackson Pollack. Interesting for a variety of color combinations and surface texture, but very loose in design and use of color.


Then we have what I like to call organized abstraction. For this is an artist like Beatriz Milhazes from Brazil or even Kandinsky of Russia. Both have a fair amount of unused or a one color portion in their works. Jaudon and other members of the Pattern and Design movement concentrated on organized abstraction. When looking at many of these works and Jaudon’s in particular the viewer is reminded of a luxury gate or doorway with intricate patterns and also with basic geometric shapes which are repeated through out the artwork. Another pattern that comes to mind would be the pattern seen through a kaleidoscope.  Here is a work by Beatriz Milhazes who has had works break the one million dollar level. Very abstract but organized and with an emphasis on color combinations.


In this clip we visit a gallery show featuring the artist  at the Von Lintel gallery in 2012. Take the time to view the entire work but pay attention shortly after the one minute mark. The camera focuses close up on the image and then pans out. When looking at a close view its amazing the variety of textures and colors found in these works which seem from a distance rather flat.

Valerie Jaudon also has fulfilled many commission requests and check out this architecture project she completed. Its an awesome bird’s eye view. She has completed more than ten of these public commissions.

Von Lintel Gallery | New York - http://www.vonlintel.vom/

Jaudon lives and works out of  New York city.

Jaudon is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.



Artist of the moment……Gloria Petyarre…

Gloria Petyarre comes from a huge family of artists of Aboriginal descent. Gloria was born in 1945 and is renown for her paintings of bush leaves that have wonderful movement and a great use of color. The artist is also known as Gloria Pitjara.

In this clip we watch Gloria Petyarre at work on a large canvas while it lies on the floor.

Considered the most well known and highly collected of the living Aboriginal female artists. She is renown internationally for paintings of the bush leaves.

Great selection of work by Gloria Petyarre in under one minutes time!

Her career exploded into the realm of success after winning a coveted art prize at a gallery in New South Wales. The piece was a large bush leave work for which she has become famous.

She is from a very small town in region in Australia called Utopia. It is reachable only by a dirt road, so it is not reachable at all times during the season.

Her aunt was probably the most famous Aboriginal female artist ever and her name was Emily Kame Kngwarreye, she passed away in 2006. Her aunt had some of the same abstract patterns appear in her work as Petyarre. Here is a work by Kngwarreye that is probably her most famous Big Yam Dreaming.




As with the Inuit peoples a small group was formed of the best artists. The group became a collective which brought profits and sales to all those included. Very similar to the way the Inuit peoples do their annual print shows. She and her aunt were founding members of this collective.

price range information: Many works priced $2,000 to $20,000. Her record is $74,000 in aussie dollars.

Was commissioned to do a mural at the Kansas City Zoo in the United States.


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