Posts Tagged ‘calligraphy’

Artist of the moment…….Street Artist El Seed


El Seed is a wonderful street artist working with the art of calligraphy, graffiti art, and  Arabic lettering in his art. El Seed was born in 1981 in the Le Chesnay, France.

El Seed has even teamed up with clothing line Louis Vitton to merge his artwork with luxury designer hand bags.

In this clip a brief interview with El Seed:

Another great interview with El Seed:

Here is a link to the website of the artist El Seed:

Though he hasn’t been featured in a large show in the U.S., El Seed has taken part in prestigious shows in Dubai, Paris, and Berlin. Look out for more exciting work from this artist!

Price range information: Sorry none available.

El Seed is now based out of Montreal, Canada.

The artist received an important commission from the government of Qatar to design some walls showing his work in Doha.



Artist of the moment………..Liangchi Qi


Liangchi Qi was the son of the wonderful artist Qi Biashi born in the year 1921. The artist worked mainly with landscapes and still life paintings. His works are usually made with ink and watercolor. For his artistic education Liangchi Qi studied with his father beginning at ten years of age. He also went on to Beijing Fu Jen University.

The artist was an astute printmaker.

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $75,000.

Liangchi Qi passed away in 2003.

The artist was great at designing works that included multiple panels. A work containting two images is tough, the artist makes it look very easy in the last painting featured in the gallery.



Artist of the moment……..Toko Shinoda

Toko Shinoda was one of the foremost Japanese printmaker and she is still alive today at 100 years of age! I enjoy reading about artists who live to be 100 years or older and some already profiled here include Martha Walters and Grandma Moses. Toko Shinoda was born on March 28th on 1913. Shinoda has worked with ink and prints. Her style is a mixture of abstraction and calligraphy.

Shinoda began to teach calligraphy in 1935.

Toko Shinoda was born in Manchuria where her father ran a tobacco factory. In 1914 the family moved to Tokyo, Japan.

Toko Shinoda visited the United States in the mid 1950s where she became influenced by the Abstract Expressionist movement. Shinoda began to experiment with abstract works in the late 1940s.

In this clip a wonderful montage of works by Toko Shinoda:

For her printmaking works Shinoda prefers to work with lithography. Shinoda began to work with lithography in the late 1960s.

In her brushwork Shinoda is trying to evoke nature. Some themes include wind or aromas.

Price range information: Works range from $500 to $30,000.


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……Maki Haku

Maki Haku was the artistic name of Japanese printmaker Maejima Tadaaki. Maejima Tadaaki was born in the year 1924 in Ibaraki Prefecture. Maki Haki is renown for his work with calligraphy, text, and printmaking. Many works are abstract paintings and also poems. Many works are actually very old Chinese characters that were borrowed by the Japanese. The artist would start with a base, then refine the shape to make it more elegant and calligraphic.

The artist was trained as a kamakaze pilot. A pilot that is trained for a death mission. After leaving the service and the end of World War 2 the artist taught at the high school level and continued to pursue art on his own.

Price range information: Works range from $500 to $3,000.

The artist is associated with the sosaku-hanga movement.

Maki Haku is included in the Los Angeles County Art Collection.

The artist passed away in 2000.

Its great to see abstraction and text involved in printmaking. I only wish I knew what the text stated!  Maki Haku was also tremendously skilled at depicting floral scenes.


Artist of the moment….Chen Zhifo

Chen Zhifo was a fantastic painter born in China in the year 1895. Zhifo favorite subjects include flowers and calligraphy.

In this clip we see some wonderful artwork  by Chen Zhifo. Part 1 of 2. :

More wors by master artist Chen Zhifo. Part 2 of 2:

Chen Zhifo published a book that dealt with his floral and bird works.

Price range information: Works range from $10,000 to $400,000.

As a young painter Chen Zhifo went to Japan and was heavily influenced by the Japanese style of art. The artist worked as a graphics designer and didn’t start working with his favorite subjects, birds and flowers, until he was nearly 40 years old.

Chen Zhifo passed away in 1962.


Artist of the moment…….Xue Song

Xue Song is a contemporary artist born in Anhui, Anhui Province, China in the year 1965. Song attended the Shanghai Drama Academy where he studied stage art. Song worksare in fact collages made with mixed media and blends landscape painting, calligraphic text, and small figures that are called Zen figures in his work. The work by Xue Song is very layered and intricate. The artist also is an avid printmaker.

price range information: Works range from $10,000 to $330,000.

The artist has a unique connection to fire and many works contain paper that has been in a fire. Years ago his studio suffered a fire. The artist retrieved some of the remains of his charred paintings and ashes. Since this incident he will burn paper on purpose as he sees ashes as part of the cycle of life. The ash is a rebirth of sorts.

Xue Song is a huge fan of calligraphy and feels its the art that the Chinese people have taken further than any other type of painting. The artist has taken some aspects of calligraphy and mixed it with poetry. One artist that Song pays homage to is Feng Zikai. Zikai was among the first to use cartoon like black outlines of figures. Very reminiscent of the Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein. Below a classical example of Zikai Feng’s style of art. Zikai Feng lived from 1898 to 1975.


By blending classical verse and text, landscapes, and the use of figures Xue Song not only references the past but is able to modernize his work as well. I also love the variety of textures used by the artist, especially the ash.


Artist of the moment……..Masuo Ikeda

Masuo Ikeda was a fantastic Japanese artist born in 1934 not in Japan but in Mukden, China. Ikeda was a very accomplished artist not only painting, but also a printmaker, illustrator, ceramist, and writer.  Ikeda was also known for his fantastic work with calligraphy.

Attended the Nagano School of Art.

What I love most about the artist was when he was coming up and making his name as an up and coming artist and people would ask his profession, he would say I am Masuo Ikeda! What a great answer and it reminded me of some of Andy’s Warhol’s old interviews.

Whilst in his mid twenties he met a German artist who told him to become a printmaker to increase his earnings. Ikeda then decided to study working with copperplate. In the clip below we hear from Masuo Ikeda directly as he talks about developing a print.

Ikeda broke the mold as he was so much more than just a visual artist. He tried everything much in the same way Andy Warhol did in the states or Takasha Murikami is doing now in Japan.

A museum named after the artist is located in Nagano, Japan.

Ikeda also worked as a film director.

Ikeda came onto the international art scene in the 1960s.

First Japanese artist to have a one man show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

As a writer he published some novels and even had some works turned into movies that he directed. Some even included porn stars.

His wife was a famous violinist named Yoko Sato. Both he and his wife loved to drink alcohol and enjoy sake.

The artist passed away in 1997 at the age of 63 years old.

Artist of the moment….Kay Rosen

Finally another great letter artist to study! Kay Rosen is an American artist born in Corpus Christi, Texas in the year 1949. Rosen is renown for her artwork with letters and calligraphy. I find her works great not only for a tremendous use of color, but she has a great wit about her. Sometimes her play on words doesn’t jump into the viewer’s head, but give it a few moments!

In this clip we see a clever work by the artist done in the Chicago Loop. What a great idea to inspire the young children. Go Do Good is name of the sign if its not apparent right away!

Talk about finding your niche! Letters and the alphabet are perfect for his artist who at a very young age spoke Spanish, English, and Yiddish.

For her collegiate studies Rosen attended Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans, Louisiana. Also attended Northwest University.

Part of teaching faculty at the Chicago Art Institute.

Price range information: Prints can be found between $1,500 and $3,000. Original works done with enamels on board can be found between $3,000 and $9,000.

If you enjoy letter artists as much as I do be sure and check out artists Robert Cottingham, Denis Brown, and Mel Bochner.


Artist of the moment…..Hong Kong Street Calligraphy artist…..Tsang Tsou-Choi

Tsang Tsou-Choi was born in Guangdong, China in the year 1921 and was the most famous graffiti artist to come from Hong Kong. His style was a mix of calligraphy and graffiti.

Moved to Hong Kong after fleeing China in the 1930s. Started to do his signature graffiti in 1950s.

He seemed preoccupied with covering the public spaces with his calligraphy, claiming his grandfather owned the land. This caused his family to disown him and his wife to leave him.

Tsou-Choi spent a great deal of his life living in the streets. Much of artwork has been covered, but that which comes up at auction might include acrylic and ink on paper or even calligraphy on a public utility box.

He would spent countless hours walking the streets with brushes and ink moving very slowly on crutches.

A clever move was securing a contract with Swipe Away. In the television commercial he used the product to remove his calligraphy ink.

If the authorities removed his ink, he would soon replenish the work. Over the years he created between 50,000 and 60,000 works on lamps, utility boxes, and walls.

Over his career he never earned more than pocket money for art, but Sotheby’s held an auction for the artist and one work on board sold for slightly more than $7,000.

Seen as a public art star, the government sprayed some works with a clear protective finish to preserve them for future generations.

In this clip the public argues to preserve his calligraphy.

In this clip a short career retrospective of Tsang Tsou-Choi.

Tsang Tsou-Choi passed away in 2007 at the age of 85 years old.