Archive for August 8, 2013

Artist of the moment…..Dempsey Bob

Dempsey Bob is a world renown sculptor and carver of masks, bowls, and totem poles. Dempsey began to carve in 1969. An important mentor was artist Freda Diesing. For his education the artist Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in Hazelton, British Colombia.

In June of this year (2013)  Bob was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

The artist is included in many prominent collections including the Smithsonian Institution, the Vancouver International Airport, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The artist is increasing his fame on the international scene and below is his sculpture at the Vancouver International Airport.




Artist of the moment…..Ben Shahn

Ben Shahn was born in Kovno or Kaunas, Russia in the year 1898. This region is now the country of Lithuania. Shahn was an  artist renown for his printmaking and painting skills. Shahn was a teacher, painter, and photographer. His family came to the Unites States in 1906 after his father was exiled to Siberia and fled the region entirely. As a fifteen year old boy he was able to be an apprentice to an lithographer. For his collegiate studies Shahn attended the National Academy of design briefly and the City College of New York.

Shahn also enjoyed painting his political views. He often made paintings that symbolized his anger at going to war.

price range information: Shahn was a prolific artist making prints and originals found for $500 to $150,000.

Part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

In this clip we visit a fantastic mural painted by Ben Shahn titled “The Meaning of Social Security.” This was a fresco painting done in 1942 at the William Cohan Building in Fairfax, Virginia.

In 1933 worked on murals with famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.

An interview with Ben Shahn produced by CBS news.

And finally in this clip a great montage of works by Ben Shahn. What stood out to myself was his grasp and great use of color to depict mood. Through exaggerated body movements just from a quick glace at his work we can feel the emotion of his characters. Very similar to the last Inuit artist I just posted about Silas Kayakjuak. Some of his elder carvings used the mustache of the characters beard to help express emotion.

Ben Shahn passed away in 1969 at 70 years of age.


New Andy Warhol original coming up for auction….Happy Birthday Andy!!!


First off  HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite artist of all time Andy Warhol who would have been 85 years old on August 6th were he still alive. Sadly unlike Elvis, there appear to be no more Warhol sitings!

In this clip showing the grave of Andy Warhol watch as fans of the artist bring a perfect tribute to the artist. A can of soup!

A new found original work by Andy Warhol will be up for sale at the end of this month. The one of a kind Silkscreen is titled “Of Thee I Sing.”  The title is in reference to one of the artist’s celebrity friends fashion model and singer Nico also known as Christa Paffgen. The auction will be held on September 2 of 2013.

The work is a silkscreen printed on paper that was made specifically for Warhol. The work was bought in the 1960s and 1970s and kept in a private collection.

Below is one of Andy Warhol’s screen tests of Nico. Nico was the first IT girl of the Warhol bunch, to be followed by Edie Sedgwick, covered here previously.

Thanks again Andy for all your contributions to the art world and of course for the Andy Warhol Foundation, a helpful part of so many working artists!


Artist of the moment…..Silas Kayakjuak

Silas Kayakjuak is another contemporary Inuit artist renown for his sculpture work with the figure and wildlife. Silas Kayakjuak was born in Hall Beach, Nunavet Terriories, Canada in the year 1956. Both parents were artists. Having two artists as parents helped him start to carve at the age of 8. By the age of 12 he was skilled enough to be shown in galleries. His personal statements sums up his approach,” I carve people people in movement and everyday life.

Whilst browsing I had to share this more updated image of the artist, what a wonderful smile!


I love the Inuit artists as a group for their unique blend of realism, and must pay my respects to Kayakjuak for attacking the subject of an Inuit mother giving birth. Very creative!


A few decades ago the artist moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada where he still resides.

price range information; Kayakjuak is a great businessman working in many mediums and sizes with price ranges starting at less than $100 to $4,000.


Artists of the moment……Mounir Fatmi

Mounir  Fatmi is a contemporary artist born in Tangiers, Morocco in the year 1970. Fatmi is renown for using circles in his work. Sometimes the circles might be circular saws. Fatmi not only makes sculptures from found materials, but also includes Arabic writing in his work, adding an extra sense of culture to the work. ( I don’t speak Arabic but have studied calligraphy and find much of the line work extraordinary).

The artist is currently based out of Paris, France.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Some other materials the artist uses are coaxial television cable, video cassette tapes, and records.

In this clip we see the artist using circles to invent some wildly creative machinery.

Mourni Fatmi’s most acclaimed work is a series done with the skyline of Manhattan, New York. The title of the series is “Save Manhattan.” The 911 attacks had a large impact on the artist and he made these works as a tribute to Manhattan using books and another using videotapes, and another using sound machines.

In this clip we see the version of the Manhattan skyline that used sound machines. Check out the shadows, very cool!

Subjects explored by Fatmi include religion and the consumer economy.

In this 40 second clip get a great grasp of the many works and moving installations the artist has created. Some of the circles he has worked on are records and when they are spinning its a new type of Op-Art illusion!

Artist of the moment….Photographer Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon was an American photographer born in New York City in 1923. Avedon was renown for his photography with celebrities and also people that you wouldn’t normally associate with Fine Art photography such as mental patients. His father came from Russia and after a rough beginning in the States opened a successful retail clothing store. His mother came from a family that owned a dress manufacturing business. From a young age the artist was exposed to fashion and art.

price range information: Many works are priced between $2,000 and $6,000 to a high of $723,000 for an edition of the Beatles.

Avedon was great at capturing movement, he did this by cropping pictures.

Below a brief clip from the B.B.C.

Some other individuals the artist found interesting to capture on film were his father and his battle with cancer, mental patients, and even farmers.

Avedon was also a great writer and poet.

In the World War 2 Avedon joined the Merchant Marines. After his departure Avedon became a department store photographer. This led to employment in the fashion photography industry working with Harpers Bazaar. He would continue to mentor under Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research. The art director at Harper’s from 1944 to 1950 before eventually opening up his own studio.

In addition to Harper’s Avedon worked for Vogue and the New Yorker magazines.

In 1985 Richard Avedon was named photographer of the year by the American Society of Magazine Publishers.

Below a montage of images by Richard Avedon. Many celebrity images in this clip.

Another great montage of works.

Avedon passed away in 2004 at the age of 81 years old.

Artist of the moment….Josep Cisquella

Josep Cisquella was a fantastic mixed media artist born in Barcelona, Spain in the year 1955. His art out to me immediately not only for his work, but for prompting the public to touch his artwork. For most of his working life he was based out of Barcelona, Spain.

Cisquella loved to pay homage to other artists and movements.

I love the way the artist was able to capture the simplicity and beauty of everyday life. The idea of his paintings also are great as they inspire the viewer to think about what is creating the shadows. He is that one artist out of 10 that would paint the shadow and wall BEHIND a vase of flowers, rather than the actual flowers. He was able to create great designs with so much surface texture.

In this clip we visit a show titled “Touching the Reality.”

In this clip we visit a gallery show for Josep Cisquella. Its awesome to see how vast the canvas size is. Also very close up images are shown and you can see the detail and the textured ground pumice stone medium used by the artist.

Sadly the artist passed away in 2010 at the age of 55 years old.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Its awesome to see the mixture of abstraction with different surface texture, but also excellent painting skills in making the surface look old and weathered. Its too bad the artist passed away while in the prime of his developing his skill set. He was still growing at a remarkable pace as an artist.