Posts Tagged ‘Julian Opie’

Artist of the moment…..Brian Alfred


Brian Alfred is an American artist known for his style of flat and bold colors in his portraits. When I look at his work I am reminded of Julian Opie and Alex Katz. Brian Alfred was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the year 1974.

For his collegiate education Brian Alfred attended Pennsylvania State University earning a B.F.A. Alfred would go on to earn a M.F.A.  from Yale University.

In this clip we visit a show featuring Brian Alfred that took place in 2006:

Alfred paints mainly in acrylics.

In this clip a short interview with Brian Alfred:

In this clip we watch as Brian Alfred executes a wonderful piece of street art! :


Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $35,000. Alfred produces acrylic original paintings plus collage works.

I love the portraits of this artist the most. A great example of modern Pop Art.


Artist of the moment…..Lucie Bennett

Lucie Bennett is a British artist born in the year 1972. Bennett enjoys working with the silhouette of the female figure. The artist works mainly with prints. For her artistic education she attended Manchester Metropolitan University studying the interactive arts. Bennett also studied in France.

In this series with the figure she tries to compare the female form to a botanical form. So what jumped into my mind was Ellsworth Kelly and this botanical work with a very simple line.


price range information: Most prints priced between $2,500 and $4,000. No pricing info on originals.

Her artwork has been seen on British television shows and even in movies.

A link to the website of Lucie Bennett:

Solo exhibition in 2011 in London, England.

Being a British artist born in the early 1970s her work might have been influenced by Julian Opie, profiled here already. Opie also enjoys working with the silhouette of the female figure. A true modern artist, Opie sometimes uses computers in his art and this is a great example of his work. Instead of using paper a series will use 50 LED screens.


Art , smoking, and cigarettes….

although this industry has certainly seen better days, that is why Tobacco Row exists on the eastern part of the United States. Lets take a look at artists who have been inspired by such figures as the Marlboro Man or for such large tobacco companies as Lucky Strike. Lets think back to just a few short decades ago when Virginia Slims sponsored some major tennis tours and it was the Jack Benny Program sponsored by Lucky Strike

Here we have Chinese artist Shi Wei and a series he did titled Skinny lady.


Richard Hambleton is a well known artist from Canada who did a series inspired by the Marlboro Man advertisements. He started out a street artist and works mainly with figure in silhouette form.


In this clip we see the great musician Bob Dylan and good ole Andy Warhol share a smoke. Different times indeed!

Al Hirschfeld was m favorite caricature artist hands down. He was the reason I started drawing figures as a young boy. I enjoyed his clean lines and the clever way he hid his daughters name Nina in every work. I loved the way he made the smoke appear in many circular shapes and patterns. Here we see Humphrey Bogart enjoying a cigarette.


And here we see famous comedian Groucho Marx with his signature cigar. Its fun to see what the artist does with the smoke patterns, they remind me of the pill artist Fred Tomaselli.


Here is a signature work by famed artist Fred Tomaselli, its who I think about when looking at Hirschfeld’s figures that are smoking. Tomaselli uses pills, leaves, and any materials he can find in designing his wonderful works of art.


Here we have artist Keith Haring and some works he did back in the late 1980s with the Lucky Strike logo.


And another Haring offering.


Here we have famed figure artist Mel Ramos working with the Lucky Strike brand.


Its only recently that smoking has come under attack in North America. Companies like Phillip Morris and British American Tobacco are growing at a great pace in overseas markets. Here we see artist Jesus Bubu Negron with two very large and used up cigarettes. This was Art Basel in Miami this past December.


Xu Bing is very innovative artist who brings to use a idea for cigarettes other than smoking them, making art with them. Here is a video clip because the picture is nice, but you need to see something where the view goes back and forth so that you can get an idea as to how much thought went into the design of these Tiger Carpets.


This film clip goes back and forth to give a better idea as to design.

Smoking was so popular in this country that even ashtray design and fashion was a very large market at one time. Here we see famed design duo Georges Jouve and Mathieu Mategot.

Here is a great example of a bear claw style of ashtray.


Another artist working with the rural south would be the great Dean Mitchell. He grew up in Quincy, Florida about twenty miles from Tallahassee, Florida. He worked in these tobacco fields when he was growing up and he enjoys their nostalgic feel, back to a time when cigarette ads featuring celebrities were everywhere.  Here we see one of these tobacco farms that the artist enjoys painting. This is a painting of a southern tobacco barn.




And here we have some  works by Pablo Picasso.

picasso1 picasso2




And finally we have Alex Katz with a great piece of art.


Hope you enjoyed this look into tobacco and art!

After a comment regarding this genre, I recently found a new piece by Julian Opie featuring a woman and a cigarette,  that is just wonderful!




Artist of the moment…..Ryan McGinness….

Ryan McGinness is an American artist born in  blank city in 1972. He makes wonderful absbract works using acrylics but also mixes in well known corporate icons and symbols . He also paints very unique figure paintings of women. He sometimes paints on circular surfaces. These round works take me back to the 1980s when I was a young boy and I used to spend many hours looking through my kaleidoscope. These were tube shaped toys that looked like telescopes. On the inside were many fun shapes and designs that were made of glass pieces, mirrors, and beads. My moving the kaleidoscope around the viewer could make new designs instantly!  Below is an example of the sights seen in a kaleidoscope and why it reminds me of Ryan McGinness and his artwork.


In this clip we visit a show given by the artist at a LaJolla Museum of Art.

Price range information: Works in acrylics range from $2,000 to $60,000. Screenprints range from $1,000 to $10,000.

For McGinness’ collegiate education he attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Same university as Andy Warhol, only when Warhol attended it used to be called Carnegie Institute of Technology. During his collegiate years McGinness interned at the Andy Warhol Museum and was an assistant curator.

Here is a great interview brought to us with Ryan McGinness and Walrus TV.

The artist reminds me of several artists. When looking at his paintings of women I am reminded of Pablo Picasso. If you didn’t know by the title what you were looking at, would the viewer even know he was looking at body parts? A breast, a leg, a bare foot, I love the simplicity of his design. Below is an example of Picasso and his cubist style of painting women. The piece is titled Les Demoiselles and was made of five prostitutes in a brothel.


For his flatness and concentration on the silhouette of the female figure the artist reminds me Julien Opie. Opie is a wonderful contemporary artist from Britain who employs digital mediums in his work with the simplified form of the female figure. This work was part of a commission for the National Theater in Prague.

McGinness has a fantastic sense of design and that is apparent in his abstract paintings. He uses organic shapes varying them slightly in these works. I love his works with chains. With his use of shapes and color it reminds of the Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. Milhazes has had a very successful career having works sell at auction for more than one million U.S. dollar$! Here is a wonderful example of Milhazes style of art.


McGinness is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Ryan McGinness currently lives and works out of Manhattan, New York.

I hope this artist inspires you try experiment with some simplified figure works in the future!


Artists working with the figure….Julian Opie…

mediums used: digital media with LCD screen display, canvas, panel, sculpture, lithograph, serigraph, vinyl

low price range:  Various prices  and here are some examples. Digital media painting landscape from my bedroom window, this was a series and most of the landscapes in the gallery are from this series. Cost is around $2,000 u.s. dollars. Most screenprints go for $2500 to 10,000.

high price range: six figures for large public size works

This artist hails from England and is known for his very modern looking figure work. A master of a variety of mediums he is comfortable working in video and film installation as well as screenprints or sculptures of vehicles. He was born in London in 1958 and grew up in Oxford, England. His technique involves using digital software along with the human figure to give a simple figure result void of individual characteristics such as eyes, eyebrows, or a smile. Studied at the Chelsea School of Art in 1978.  Attended college at Goldsmith College in England finishing in 1982.

Take his work with crosswalk signs. In some of his art he has taken the skirt and legs of a woman, used his artistic license to make it a “sexy” leg, and then made it into art by reflecting his clean feminine lines.

This short clip deals with a series done by Opie about a pole dancer.

A clip showing some of the digital works by the artist located in Ireland.

A 60 second or so clip featuring the artist talking about art and becoming a professional artist.

A link to the artist’s personal website:                     I must add this is a FANTASTIC website as you can get a feel for the many mediums this artist uses. On the website go to films and click 2010 or 2011 and see some shorts such as Rod Walking. A great work showing a man walking. Very simple but animated. The character doesn’t even have any feet.

Also very cool are his digital landscapes. A traditional design such as a flower bed, but showing movement of a slight wind perhaps 3 to5 miles per hour.

And also visit his music section, some landscape images of the artist mixed with different sounds, very experimental new and refreshing!


His first one person show was in 1983 at the Lisson Gallery located in London.

I enjoy how the artist tries to portray mood and movement using only a few simple shapes and lines.  A very active and emotional stick figure if you will. He sometimes uses vinyl as his medium of choice and even uses a laser to cut it. I enjoy how creative the artist is at trying to modes of expression.

Received some great public commissions such as designing a diver to help celebrate the coming summer olympic games that will be taking place in London this summer. Also did a large monument for singer Bryan Adams that is located in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Gained a large amount of publicity after designing the cover of a British band called Blur.  Created some LCD screens that are sometimes used by the band U2.

Try taking a figure of a sport that you enjoy and drawing simply as Julian Opie might do. Very simple without such details as fingers or feet!

Kudos to this artist for always finding new means of expressing his ideas!

Happy painting!