Archive for November 8, 2013

Artist of the moment…..Roy Henry Vickers

Roy Henry Vickers is a Norhwest Coast artist who is a carver, builder of houses, painter, and printmaker born in the year 1946 in Greenville, British Columbia. For his collegiate education Vickers attended the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Art located in Hazelton. His father came from the Tshimsian clan and was a fisherman. His mother had a British background.

He grew up in the Tshimshian village of Kitkatla.

Price range information: Many prints priced between $1,000 and $3,000. No pricing available for carvings or houses!

The artist is included in collections of princes and government officials.

In this clip we view a house/gallery built by the artist and have a personal interview with him:

Another short interview with Roy Vickers below:

The more Northwest Coast artists that I profile it is astounding to see how skilled this artisans are. Carving, painting, building houses their learning curve never seems to falter!

The prints featured at the bottom of the gallery remind me of the sosuka- hanga artisans we have been learning about.


Artist of the moment……Un’ichi Hiratsuka

Un’ichi Hiratsuka was born in the year 1895 in Matsue, Shimane a city on the coast of Japan. Hiratsuka is associated with the sosuka-hanga movement. The artist was also a talented carver of wood. The artist taught at the Tokyo School of Fine Art where he was the first printmaking artist. He came from a line of architects as his dad erected shrines and his grandfather was an architect of buildings.

Hiratsuka was a mentor to sosuka-hanga printmaker Shiko Munakata.

For some of his prints the artist used a square-end chisel to make his mark.

Hiratsuka worked in color  in the early part of his career and then after World War 2 began working in black and white.

In this clip a great documentary on the artist and his life. Many works are shown:

Extra lifestyle points for this artist as he passed away in 1997 at the age of 102 years of age! One day after his 102 birthday.


Artist of the moment…….Street Artist Retna

Retna is a street artist based in Los Angeles, California. Retna is a wonderful artist who blends text from English, Arabic, Hebrew, and even the Egyptian hieroglyphics. Retna was born in 1979 in California. Retna works in acrylics and oils on canvas for his paintings. The artist began graffiti at the age of 11 in 1990.

Following a successful show in 2011 Retna received a commission from the musician Usher Raymond to create a portrait of the slain musician Marvin Gaye.

Retna has appeared in national art magazines including Juxtapose.

The artist had his first solo exhibition in 2011.

Similar to the art collective Faille, Retna is part of the art collective The Seventh Letter. These collectives are awesome and this one allows the artists to spread their word in many mediums including t-shirts, hats, and the traditional prints. A link to the website of the collective is below:

In this clip a great interview with the artist:

As a reader of this site you know I enjoy artists who work with calligraphy and text, in this clip we view Retna at work on a very large piece. I have practiced my calligraphic strokes many times but just on a table, quite impressive to see him create the text using a full sweeping motion of his arm!

Retna, a wonderful artist who is highly successful as a gallery artist, street artist, and commercial artist.


Artist of the moment……..Edmonia Lewis

Edmonia Lewis was born close to Albany, New York  in a city called Greenbush, New York in the year 1845. Her actual birthday is not known. Edmonia Lewis was the first woman of color to achieve national prominence. Her father was African- American and her mother was a Native American Indian of the Chippewa tribe. Her mother was a crafts person and also created weavings.

Her mother and father both died when the artist was nine years of age.

In 1856 with some help from abolitionists Lewis attended Oberlin College located in Oberlin, Ohio. During her last year she was supposed to go sledding with some fellow classmates and she served them an alcoholic beverage that made them both ill. The two didn’t die, but were very ill. The townspeople revolted and a mob formed and beat her severely as she was walking home one evening. She left the college before graduation.

For most of her working life Edmonia Lewis was based out of Rome.

Her full name was Mary Edmonia Lewis.

A brief documentary on Edmonia Lewis with some of her sculptures:

Among people she created figures of were leading abolitionists, a leader of an African- American infantry group Robert Shaw, and also the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

During her peak she received two commissions worth $50,000. Even President Ulysses Grant ordered a commission from the artist.

Edmonia Lewis passed away in 1907 whilst in London, England.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Inspiring to see that despite her difficulties and loss of parents, Lewis relocated to Europe and flourished as an artist.