Posts Tagged ‘modern figure’

Artist of the moment…Francesco Clemente….

Francesco Clemente is a fantastic contemporary artist born in Naples, Italy in the year 1952. His father was a judge and Clemente was the only child born to the family.  As a visitor to many different cultures ans societies his art is  wonderful blend of all cultures. For instance his paintings of India give a wonderful and very playful look into Indian culture.

Price range: Very prolific as far as output. Etchings run $2,000 to $10,000. Watercolor $10,000 to $100,000.  Many pastels range $10,000 to $25,000.  Oils range $20,000 to the low six figures. Also has done some work with photography.

Two series that have been well acclaimed by critics include a great number of portraits spanning decades. A glimpse of Neo-Expression can be seen here. Clemente also produced a wonderful series featuring Tarot cards.

In 1970 attended a University in Rome where he began to study architecture.

First solo exhibition in 1971.

Included in the 1980 Venice Biennale.

He also learned the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit.

In 1984 he worked on collaborations with Andy Warhol And Jean Michel Basquiat.

Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Here is a great interview with PBS anchor Charlie Rose.

Has studios in many international cities including Rome, New York, and also in India.

A clip from a show given at the Tate in London:

This clip is a mixture of German and English. I included it because it covers a series the artist did with watercolors that includes 40 paintings.


Its great to see an artist that lived in the 1980s and actually worked with Warhol and Basquiat thriving and doing so well!


Artist of the moment……Manuel Carbonell…..

Manuel Carbonell was a prominent sculptor who hailed from Cuba and went on to become a star in the art world. The artist was born in 1918 to a family that was involved in sugar plantations. As a kid the Carbonell enjoyed creating and starting making sculptures at an early age. When he was disobedient his parents forbade him to draw.  The artist loved the process of creating, of having a fantastic image and idea in your head, and then executing the best of your abilities.

In this clip some outdoor sculptures. What a wonderful addition to any yard!

Another montage of works by Carbonell.

Price range information:  Depending on size sculptures range from $5,000 to $50,000.

For his collegiate studies Carbonell attended the national school for the arts located in Havana, Cuba. Usually artists are given tests to see how much experience they have had. Carbonell told them he had no formal schooling, but had been sculpting since a young age. He showed them some examples of his work and he was accepted without having to take preliminary courses.

Whilst in college a great influence in his work was the sculptor Juan Sicre. Sicre was a student of  Rodin’s favorite student Antoine Bourdell and made wonderful figurative sculptures. Below is a great example of Sicre’s style of sculpture. Sicre was born in Matanzas, Cuba in 1898. Sicre was a key figure in bringing the European and more modern figure art to Cuba.



In the forties and fifties Carbonell started to build an international reputation for life size, or larger than life size, sculptures celebrating religion and faith as well as the female form.

One piece titled the End of a Race, won an international art award and even appeared on the cover of Reader’s Digest.

In the 1950s Cuba was the Vegas of the Caribbean. Money and nightclubs popped up and Carbonell started his own furniture design company. For this company he was granted a visa to do some shopping for his company in Miami. He left for the states in 1959 and left all of his material possessions in Cuba and arrived in the states with only $200 in his pockets.

His big break came in the states when he gave a sculpture to his publicity agent as payment. A doctor saw it and told the agent he didn’t know he owned a Rodin. This doctor was his first large patron and started his collection by buying three pieces.


Carbonell was very prolific and continued to work until his early nineties and passed away at the age of 93 years old in 2011.

In comparing his art to another artist lets take a look at another sculptor of the figure in an abstracted form, Henry Moore. Moore was based out of Hadham, England.  Moore knew that he wanted to be a sculptor at the age of eleven years old. Moore’s father was a mine employee and his parents thought that sculpting like Michelangelo was too time intensive and in fact  just another form of manual labor. Here is a great example Henry Moore’s type of sculpture.




Artist of the moment…..Kay Walkingstick…


The artist is a Native American member of the Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma and mother of Scott and Irish decent from Syracuse, New York.

A short clip showing the artist talking about her work Primavera or “springtime.”

The artist talking about her series featuring Chief Joseph that was done in the mid 1970.

The artist includes a variety of themes in her works from realism, to abstract expressionism, and conceptualism. The artist was born in 1935 in Syracuse, New York. The artist attended Beaver college in Pennsylvania finishing college in 1959.  She also attended the Pratt Institute.

Walkingstick was also a professor at the collegiate level teaching at Cornell University from 1988 until 2005.

The artist works with a variety of mediums including oils, acrylics, gold and silver leaf, encaustic, and copper.

For her designs she enjoys using the diptych format. Its perfect for her as she is bi racial and enjoys seeing the human figure as a landscape. On many of these works the figure is seen as a silhouette next to a more traditionally painted landscape. Both sides of the artist are seen as different but able to exist together as well. The works are very large in size from sixty and seventy inches on a side.

The artist is part of several museum collections including the National Museum of Canada, the Israel Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the San Diego Museum of Art.

Online and land based gallery:  June Kelly Gallery in New York, New York.

The artist lives and works out of Ithaca, New York.

A link to the artist’s own website :

From her artistic statement we can learn she sees the landscapes as a stand in for her own body. She uses gold and silver leaf to further portray her emotions of the moment she is looking at the landscape. The artist traveled back and forth to Italy many times during the 1990s and 200s visiting Rome as well as the Vatican.

Walkingstick loves to paint mountains. On her native american side the mountains represent the gods. Mountains are given a great deal of respect and honor in the Native American culture.

The artist likes to play with different visual textures. Painting one side with acrylic and the other with oils. One side thick one side thin. One side a majority of gold leaf with very little paint, the other side just the opposite. If you see an artist that uses mixed media such as gold and silver leaf make sure and step back and move left to right. Notice how the picture seems to move with so many reflection of light. Other artists who use mixed media in harmony with gold and silver leaf are Brad Kunkle, Robert Kushner, and Fred Wessel.

For some art homework how about trying a diptych of your own. A picture with two panels.  For example paint one side in the winter and the other side the same area int a different season. Try to exaggerate the colors associated with that time of year.

Happy creating!



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!