Posts Tagged ‘surrealism’

Artist of the moment…….Street Artist and Illustrator Belin



Belin is an amazing Spanish street artist renown for his unique style of work with the face and figure. Belin was born in a city located in the south of Spain called Linares. Belin’s work is a blend of surrealism, realism, and caricature.

Belin is short for the artist’s last name, Belinchon.

The artist often works on murals with other well known street artists including Otes.

When the weather isn’t cooperating with making graffiti, the artist turns to the art of sculpture.

In this clip we view the artist at work on mural in the Netherlands:

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Belin shows remarkable innovation in his work. Often times he uses photographs for resources, but with his style of exaggeration one might think the artist just created a masterpiece from life!




Artist of the moment………Street Artist Brusk


Street Artist Brusk hails from Paris, France and is renown for his style that depicts various items dripping.

In this clip we view Brusk and another artist named Gomer work on a wonderful mural:

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Brusk is part of the collaborative group DMV. In this clip each individual member is briefly profiled:

The DMV group is gaining in popularity and they have been included in traditional gallery shows in France and also London, England.

Brusk was born in the year 1976.

I enjoy the way Brusk and also the previous post, Will Barras, both blend abstraction with the figure. The sense of movement in Barras’ work is similar to the Brusk’s subjects seem to drip and dissolve before our very eyes!



Artist of the moment…….Andre Masson


Andre Masson was a French painter who was renown for his abstract and surrealist style of paintings. Andre Masson was born in Balagny-sur-Therain, France in the year 1896.

Masson grew up in Belgium and began classes at the Academy of Art in Brussels, Belgium when he was only 11 years of age.

Among the most fascinating habits of the artist, Masson would go for hours without food or sleep and sometimes take drugs to enhance his artistic output.

Masson was in France during World War 2 when it became occupied by the Germans. Masson left the country and would eventually find his way to the United States. When he came to enter the United States agents saw his erotic drawings, called them porn, and tore them up in front of him.

Masson served in World War 1 and was hurt  badly.

Over his lengthy career the artist worked as a theater set designer.

In this clip we view a wonderful montage of artworks by Andre Masson:

Price range information: Masson worked as a printmaker and etchings and lithographs can be found starting at $3,000. Masson was a prolific artist when it comes to output and worked in many mediums including watercolor, gouache, oils, ink, and pastel. Works can reach $400,000.

Andre Masson passed away in 1987.

What stands out to me from Andre Masson is a spectacular use of color.



Artist of the moment…..Helen Lundeberg

Helen Lundeberg was a fantastic American artist renowned for leading a movement with her husband Lorser Feitelson that was called Post Surrealism. Helen Lundeberg was born in the year 1908 in Chicago, Illinois. The new style of painting was a mixture of classical painting found during the Renaissance era with Surrealism. One effect was to make Surreal works less odd looking than representational art.

Lundeberg created many murals for the government and the Works Progress Administration program.

For her collegiate education Lundeberg attended Pasadena Junior College . After this she continued drawing lessons at the Stickney School of Art. Her original instructor couldn’t complete the class and Lorser Feitelson was chosen as a replacement. Feitelson would go on to become her husband and the two would start their movement of Post Surrealism.

Lundeberg and her husband were based out of Los Angeles, California most of their lives.

Her husband was named Lorser Feitelson. Below an example of his flatter more abstract style he helped to found and promote with his wife.


In this clip we see an interview with Helen Lundeberg talking about the movement of Post Surrealism she helped to create:

Price range information: Works range from $10,000 to $200,000. Lundeberg worked in oils and acrylics.

In the 1950, 60s,  and 70s Lundeberg concentrated on her flatter more abstract works.

Helen Lundeberg passed away in 1999.

You might have heard her mentioned before, she is the name of a song by the American rock band “Sonic Youth.”

My favorite works are the landscapes of Helen Lundeberg. Especially when looking through a basic flat shape, a door or a window. Lundeberg takes the visual information, flattens it out to basic fields of color, and then plays with the color to make some incredible modernist paintings that are both representational and abstract at the same time.

I will be profiling the husband coming up shortly, but what another wonderfully artistic family!


Artist of the moment…..Pedro Pablo Oliva

Pedro Pablo Oliva was born in the year 1949 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba.  Oliva works with the figure in a whimsical fashion with his own mix of realism and surrealism. Oliva was interested in a creating as a child, and won many awards for art as a youngster. For his artistic education Pedro Oliva attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas located in Havana, Cuba.

price range information: Sorry none available.

For me personally what I enjoy most about Oliva’s style is the his depiction of fabric. Its a great blend of abstraction and color pattern. In addition the stylized manner Oliva portrays the hand I find elegant.

One influence on the artist was a Cuban painter named Antonia Eiriz. Through this teacher Oliva learned to paint his emotions. Below an example of Eiriz’s artwork.


Another large influence on the artist was painter Eduardo Abela. Again another artist who worked in a surrealistic manner to get his point across. Very whimsical and playful. Below an example of Abela’s work.


Began selling his art for money in 1970.

In this clip a short selection of sculptures by Pedro Oliva:

What a talented artist working in a many mediums.


Artist of the moment…..Lu Peng

Lu Peng is a Chinese artist born in Beijing, China in  the year 1967. For his artistic education Lu Peng attended the Beijing Teachers Training College for his bachelor degree. He went on to earn a master’s degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China.  As far as a style of painting  Lu Peng is both a Surrealist and a Pop Artist. His large scale canvas work combines the figure with popular flowers of China.

One well received series dealt with the night life of Beijing, China. Again, many other Chinese artists have worked with this genre but Lu Peng enjoyed it because during this time people really become them selves when the sun goes down.

For his mediums Lu Peng works often with watercolor or ink on paper.

As with many Contemporary Chinese painters Lu Peng enjoys tackling the many changes taking place in the Chinese society. Similar to other artists who have worked with the theme of commercialism rather than Communism.

price range information: Works range from $30,000 to $70,000.

Here we see the artist working live!

In this clip we see the artist’s famed character Qoobee. He is the creator of the idea and the founder of the company.

And here a link to the facebook page for QooBee.

What a wide range of output by the artist. Exciting and dynamic line work of the modern comic strip style, or the wonderful blended color and lovely fauna painted by Peng in his more realistic works.



Artist of the moment……Ron English

Ron English was born in Houston, Texas in the year 1960. English is renown for his use of modern Surrealist that uses mixes well known consumer brands  with a Pop Art twist with works using the face of Elvis Presley.  English not only paints but produces photography and is a musician.

In this clip English talks about Surrealism and Pop- Art.

For his artistic education English earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from the University of Texas.  The artist went on to earn his master’s degree from the University of North Texas.

The artist started out by remaking local billboards for his photography. This grew into using the billboards to express his social view points.

Included in prominent museum collections including the Whitney Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art located in Paris, France, and the Museum Checkpoint Charlie located in Berlin, Germany.

First major exhibit was Art on the Run in New York City in the 1989.

In this clip the artist talks about how on a certain day of the year the authorities look the other way and English is able to change billboards to his design without worrying about breaking the law.

And here we visit Ron English during comic-con New York City in 2012. He talks about using his modern skill set to revisit ideas and themes he tried to produce without much success as a young person.

Price range information: Works range from $10,000 to $110,000.

Artist of the moment…..Wifredo Lam…

Wifred Lam is considered by many to be the most popular painter from Cuba in history.

In Havana City, Cuba there is a musuem named after Lam. Here is a quick clip of the building.

When thinking of this artist it is important to remember that he was trying to push his own culture forward in his painting. A mixture of African and Cuban figures. Lam was born in 1902 in Sagua La Grande, Cuba. Yam had a variety of cultures and influences in his life and it showed in his paintings and sculptures. His father was a Chinese immigrant living in Cuba. His mother was born to a family sharing African and Cuban ancestry. His godmother was seen as a healer in  this society.

As a college aged student Lam hoped to take up law and moved to the urban city of Havana, Cuba. He studied plants and then studied painting and drawing at Escuela de Belle Art.  Young Lam didn’t appreciate the academic style of painting and drawing, he yearned for a more expressive way to execute his drawing. He went off to study in Madrid, Spain.

In Madrid the artist had great fortune to come across the former teacher to Salvador Dali, his name was Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor Zaragoza.

Lam was married when he was twenty seven years old. Sadly his wife and their infant both died from tuberculosis only two years after they were married. Many historians believe this event caused the artist to develop such a dark side.

After the death of his family members Lam took off and explored the countryside of  Spain and lived in Madrid and Barcelona before embarking on a move to Paris.

He was able to meet and learn from his idol, Pablo Picasso.  In fact Picasso became a huge supporter and fan of the artist. Picasso went on to introduce Lam to many other prominent members of the art world such as Joan Miro, Fernand Leger, and Henri Matisse. Picasso and Lam even gave exhibitions together.

The artist continued to travel throughout Europe during the late 1930s and just as World War II was going to start, he was caught and imprisoned and sent back to Cuba. Upon his return to Cuba he became upset and thought the Cuban culture was losing its sense of African pride.

If I were to compare Lam to another artist other than Picasso, because I am sure you know many Picasso works, it would be Manuel Carbonell. I plan to do longer entry on him since he is perhaps the most collected sculptor hailing from Cuba. Carbonell exaggeraed his figures in much the same manner as Picasso. When I first saw this sculture I was reminded of the 3D classic movie Avatar. Here is an example of his style of art.


Price range information: The artist has had works painted in oils sell for as much as $4.6 milion dollars. Etchings start around $500 and go to $3,000. Many paintings in gouache and watercolor range from $1,000 to$5,000. Lam has also worked in sculpture but not enough to form a pricing schedule.


This last clip does a wonderful job at showing the many races and cultures involved in Lam’s Afro-Cuban style. Poncho Sanchez is a popular jazz musician and band leader whose music we are listening to whilst seeing the Surrealist paintings of Wifredo Lam.


Happy painting!


Artist of the moment….John Wesley….


John Wesley is a pop art and minimalist painter. Wesley was born in 1928 in Los Angeles, California.

In the clip you can see some images of paintings by John Wesley from the 1960s to 2000s.

The artist first successful series was done with seals and stamps designs that he made up himself. He then moved on to using cartoon like characters in his works.

Personal friend of miminal artist Donald Judd and also Dan Flavin. Some call the artist a minimalist. The one thing I find similar between Donald Judd and John Wesley are their use of bright and flat fields of color.  Below is an example of a Donald Judd minimalist painting with flat and bright color fields.

For his artistic education the artist attended the Los Angeles City College and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976.
Awarded grant from National Endowment for the Arts.


Until her death in 2003, John Wesley was a partner of Patrica Broderick who was a painter and playwright. Below is an example of her loose figure painting style.

Wesley is sometimes grouped with Sureallism painting and painters like Salvador Dali.

Many of Wesley’s works have to do with the female figure and sex. His minimal use of line and color also reminds me British artist Julien Opie. Opie also uses flat line and color when drawing the female form, sometimes he even produces digitial works. Here is a great example of a digital work of Julien Opie. With very minimal use of line and no color, the viewer still knows he is looking at various poses of the fantastic and erotic female form.

Price range info:  The artist mainly worked in acrylics and the range goes from $577,000 down to $25,000. Works in gouache range from $10,000 to $70,000.  Serigraphs are the cheapest works by the artist and can be found for around one thousand dollars. Works in oils range $60,000 to $409,000.

Before beginning to concentrate on selling paintings in 1953, John Wesley worked in the commercial field as an illustrator for Northrop Aircraft.

The artist relocated to New York from Los Angeles in 1960. Wesley still lives and works out of New York.

John Wesley is a great example of  a contemporary artist still producing works today that remind the viewer of the pop art days. His use of flat and bold color mixed with repeating shapes is similar to the Pop Art movement’s fixation for working with mass produced items such as newspaper or magazine ads.

Try a minimalist figure painting or drawing. Think of the few lines used by artists’ like Wesley or Julien Opie.


Artist of the moment….Hughie Lee Smith…..

The artist was born in Eustis, Florida in 1915.

He was known for being one of few african american artists dealing with surrealism.

A clip from the Detroit Artist’s Market show featuring the artist from 2008. This was done by an art fan and its her trip thru the gallery, pictures start at 1:11 into the clip if you are impatient to wait for the artwork like myself! Also in this clip are some of his lithograph works.

For his art education Smith attended the Cleveland Institute of the Art. He finished his degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Smith was elected to the National Academy of Design.

From a design standpoint two other artists come to my mind. The first being Ed Hopper. Hopper was best known for his portrayal of light that took place on the coastal lands of Maine and northeast. When I look at Hoppers paintings I feel the stillness and calmness of the surrounding ocean. I get this same sense of calmness and peace from the works of Hughie Lee- Smith. Hopper’s work also had an intense feeling of isolation. That you were spying on someone as they went about their daily life. Its this same feeling of “I don’t care if you watch me,” that I get from Smith’s artwork.

Another artist that comes to mind would be Robert Vickrey. Vickrey is a master of light and shadow who often paints surreal scenes with some of the same objects as of Hughie Lee Smith such as balloons and circular shapes. Both artists also took pride in depicting brick walls taking advantage of the repeating rectangular shapes and the fun texture. Vickrey painted mainly in egg tempera and passed away in April of 2011.

Here is a great work from the late Robert Vickrey. A great sense of timelessness here, I would venture everyone adult has blown at least one bubble during their lifetime!

For all three artists,  Ed Hopper,  Robert Vickrey, and Hughie Lee Smith, each does a great job at freezing the moment and emotion at the time. Its like with an Andy Warhol, a sense of time stopping allowing the viewer to take it all in!

He went on to teach at Wayne State and also was a dancer.

Hughie Lee- Smith was also a product of the WPA, or Works Progress Administration, this was a government sponsored part of the New Deal. It encouraged and promoted new buildings and for artists opportunities to create public murals or sculptures. Hughie Lee Smith worked in Ohio and in the Navy for the WPA.

1958 the artist moved to New York beginning a teaching position at the Art Students League where he taught classes for fifteen years. Painted the offcial portrait of the New York city Major David Dinkins in 1994.

Low price range: Pencil works from $1400 to $ 8500. Ink works from $400.

High price ranges: Watercolors from $2,500 to $10,000. Original oils from $10,000 to $102,000.

Lived and worked most of his life out of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

He died of cancer in Albuquerque in 1999 at the age of 73 years old.

This artist was great in his subject matter and I highly respect his advances into Surrealism. I enjoy the sense of calmness and timelessness the artist brought to his works!


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