Archive for February 14, 2014

Artist of the moment…….Jose Clemente Orozco

Jose Clemente Orozco was born in the year 1883 in Zapotlan el Grande, a small city in the Jalisco region of Mexico. His father was a businessman and his mother occasionally sang for money. His parents worked hard to support him and two other siblings, but the family was on the poverty line. It was difficult time for much of the country, in the midst of the Mexican Revolution. Whilst he was young he was able to view the famous Mexican artist Jose Posada at work. This provided a never ended source of fuel for the man who wanted to become an artist.

He was originally in school to study agriculture, but gave this  up after his father died and began taking art lessons. Like many other artists from the this region Orozco attended the San Carlos Academy of Fine Art.

In order to help earn some money for his family after his father died, Orozco took many odd jobs including hand coloring portraits of people that had passed. He was also able to find employment as a draftsman for an architecture firm.

This is when tragedy struck the artist at this time. Orozco was making some home made fireworks to help celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. Something went wrong and a chemical explosion occurred. It was during the national holiday so he was unable to see a doctor immediately. By the time he got to the doctor his hand was so infected they had to amputate the hand.

He would work various smaller jobs in the art world including as a caricature artist and even painting dolls to help pay the bills.

Along with George Sisquerios and Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozc was among the most well known Mexican artists renown for their mural paintings.

In this clip from PBS we view a brief documentary about Jose Orozco:

Some wonderful footage here! We get to see some of the many murals painted by Orozco, not in a museum, but on the sides of buildings out in the open as they were painted decades ago:

Orozco illustrated the book titled “The Pearl” which was written by John Steinbeck.

Jose Orozco passed away in 1949.

What a multi-talented artist with an incredible life story.



Artist of the moment……..Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan in the year 1942.  and is one of the most sought after ceramics artists in the world. For his artistic education Jun Kaneko took art classes in high school and attended the Chouinard Institute of Art in Los Angeles, California.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Kaneko has also taught at many institutions including Scripps College and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Kaneko is now based out of Omaha, Nebraska.

Like many other artists Kaneko has worked as stage and set designer for Opera productions.

The artist is known for his use of the closed form in his ceramic pieces. These are similar to a vase in shape, but are closed at the top. The works in this series  are called “django”. Django means closed form in Japanese.

In this clip the artist is interviewed by some young people:

In Japanese django means closed form. In this clip Kaneko explains his works in the django series:

A link to the website of Jun Kaneko:

I really enjoy the wide variety of sizes the artist has available. Not only does he work in small sizes, but also in very large sizes bigger than his body! Very creative ceramics. Perhaps this centuries George Ohr!


Artist of the moment……Leon Gaspard

Leon Gaspard was born in Vitebsk, Russia Empire  in the year 1882. Gaspard was renowned for his paintings of landscapes and small towns of Russia and Asia. Gaspard enjoyed making works with large crowds of people. For his mediums of choice Gaspard worked in oils for the most part but did use watercolor, gouache, and pastels in addition.

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $800,000.

His father was a salesman of rugs and furs. His mother loved to play the piano.

For his artistic education Gaspard attended the Academy Julien located in Paris, France. Gaspard also studied with famed figure painter Willaim Adolphe- Bougereau.Whilst in school his parent’s passed away and though he quit studying, he was far enough advanced as artist to find a dealer to represent his work.

Gaspard met and married an American woman who was a professional ballerina. He joined the French Aviation Corps and was injured in the field.

The couple moved back to the United States. The couple lived in New York City before relocating to the Taos, New Mexico area.

Once in Taos, New Mexico the artist flourished and gained much attention and fame for his paintings of his native Russian homeland.

Leon Gaspard passed away in 1964.

What I love about the Russian Impressionist painters is their color palette. The sky is full of amazing blue grey color and clothes are a great compliment to the skies.