The REAL Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1989
Vincent van Gogh, (1853-1890)

Myth:  Van Gogh was a manic, possibly slightly deranged man who just spontaneously threw paint at the canvas.

Truth:  He was a very experienced artist (he made 900 paintings in ten years) and doggedly honed his skills. He created very deliberate compositions.
__________

Red Vineyard at Arles, 1888
Vincent van Gogh

Myth: Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime.

Truth: Van Gogh sold ONE painting during his lifetime, Red Vineyard at Arles, to a Russian collector, Sergei Shchukin. This painting now resides at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.
__________

Vincent's Bedroom in Arles, 1888 Digital version shows what may be the original violet walls.

Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles, 1888
Digital version shows what may be the original violet walls.

Myth: In Van Gogh’s beloved painting of his bedroom in Arles, France, the walls were painted blue.

Truth: New high-tech research shatters Van Gogh myth! Van Gogh originally painted the walls of his bedroom a pale lilac, not blue! The reason…purple (lilac) is the complementary color of yellow. He experimented with new pigments. These new pigments, particularly the color red, proved to be unstable and the red pigment disappeared after a short time changing to blue.
__________

Don’t miss this video! Watch as Vincent van Gogh’s masterpieces come alive!
Click here if unable to view the video.

Leave a Comment

Posted in Artists, Contemporary, Film, Impressionist, Museums | Leave a Comment | 32 Comments

Great Art in 90 Seconds

 
Click here if you are unable to view the video.

Image: Joy of Life, Henri Matisse

Film by Kirby Kendrick
Animation by Simon Christopher, Light-Matter Media

Leave a Comment

Posted in Artists | Leave a Comment | 59 Comments

Once in a Lifetime Art Exhibition!

The Red Room, 1908 Henri Matisse The Hermitage Museum, Paris

The Red Room, 1908
Henri Matisse
The Hermitage Museum, Paris

You may feel a surge of joy when you see the ORIGINAL Matisse “The Red Room.” You may be brought to tears. You will certainly be stopped in your tracks.

Perhaps you think you know “The Red Room” from a thousand dorm room posters, but no reproduction can capture the depth of the vermillion wallpaper streaking down right onto the table, the cobalt blue of the sky from the window, the yellows…oh, oh, oh…

Pastorales Tahitiennes, 1892 Paul Gauguin Hermitage Museum, Russia

Pastorales Tahitiennes, 1892
Paul Gauguin
The Hermitage Museum, Russia

The artworks of the finest impressionists — Matisse, Gauguin, Picasso, Monet and many others — are on display until mid-February 2017, at the new Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris Observatory of Light by Daniel Buren, temporary installation

Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum, Paris
Frank Gehry, Architect
Temporary installation: Observatory of Light by Daniel Buren

One hundred thirty works of art have been allowed to leave the major museums of Russia, the Hermitage and the Pushkin, for the first time. Odds are we will never see these works together again in our lifetime.

The study in Sergei Shchukin’s house. Photograph: Heritage Images/Getty Images

The study in Sergei Shchukin’s house.
Photograph: Heritage Images/Getty Images

The collection was put together in the late 1800’s by Sergei Shchukin, a wealthy textile industrialist from Moscow. Twenty years later, after the Bolshevik revolution, Stalin and Lenin “nationalized” the collection, branding the paintings “degenerate” and dispersing them throughout Russia, some even exiled to Siberia!

Today, 100 years later, the collection is for the first time reunited in Paris, the blockbuster of all blockbusters…”Icons of Modern Art.”

Bonjour Paris!

Leave a Comment

Posted in Artists | Leave a Comment | 14 Comments

America How Great Thou ART!

Flag, 1967 Jasper Johns, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels) 33 1/2 x56 1/4in.

Flag, 1967
Jasper Johns
The Broad Museum, Los Angeles

Jasper Johns was an acclaimed artist known for his paintings of flags, targets, and other ordinary objects in the mid 20th century. He helped usher in the Pop Art era.

Jasper Johns:
“In Savannah, Georgia, in a park, there is a statue of Sergeant William Jasper. Once I was walking through this park with my father, and he said that we were named for him. Whether or not that is in fact true or not, I don’t know. Sergeant Jasper lost his life raising the American flag over a fort [Fort Moultrie, American Revolutionary War].”
__________________

Morning Day on the Farm, 1951 Grandma Moses

Morning Day on the Farm, 1951
Grandma Moses

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, nicknamed Grandma Moses, began painting at 78 and lived to 101.  Art historians say her work portrays homely American farm life and rural countryside.  But Grandma Moses had a different way to describe her subjects: “I like old-timey things—something real pretty,” she said. “Most of them are daydreams.”
__________________

American Gothic, 1930 Grant Wood

American Gothic, 1930
Grant Wood
Art Institute of Chicago

With the onset of the Great Depression, the painting, American Gothic, came to be seen as a depiction of steadfast American pioneer spirit.

Leave a Comment

Posted in Artists, Contemporary, Folk Art, Modern, Museums | Leave a Comment | 30 Comments

Surprise! Georgia O’Keeffe Watercolors

Watercolor, Evening Star No. IV, 1917

Watercolor, Evening Star No. IV, 1917
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Surprise! Georgia O’Keeffe didn’t just make large iconic oil paintings of flowers, skyscrapers and bones against a desert landscape!

Georgia O'Keeffe at age 30 with her watercolors in Texas, 1916

Georgia O’Keeffe at age 30 with her watercolors in Texas, 1916
Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz

Miss O’Keeffe, not quite 30 and not yet famous, moved to Canyon, Texas, in 1916. She spent 17 months in the tiny Panhandle town, teaching at a local college and painting small, luscious watercolors of the Texas landscape and nude figures.

Sunrise and Little Clouds, 1916 Georgia O'Keffee

Sunrise and Little Clouds, 1916
Georgia O’Keffee Museum

Nude Series VIII, 1917 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Nude Series VIII, 1917
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Problem…Nude models were definitely frowned upon for women artists in 1917, and O’Keeffe was intensely interested in painting the human form.

Solution…O’Keeffe used her own body as her model.

O'Keeffe photographed at home in Abiquiú, New Mexico

O’Keeffe photographed at home in Abiquiú, New Mexico Photo by Philippe Halsman, 1948

In 1986, late in life and almost blind, O’Keeffe enlisted the help of several assistants to enable her to once again create art.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” Georgia O’Keeffe

Leave a Comment

Posted in Artists, Contemporary, Impressionist, Modern, Museums, Photography, Southwestern | Leave a Comment | 11 Comments

The Kiss and Art

The Kiss of Betrayal

"Kiss of Judas", 1304-06, Giotto, Fresco (detail) Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Italy

“Kiss of Judas” Fresco (detail), 1304-06
Giotto di Bondone

This magnificent fresco portraying the betrayal of Jesus, was painted by Giotto over 700 years ago in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy.

Giotto portrays Judas thick browed, eyes deep set and dark, almost Neolithic.

Christ’s face is alive: living, breathing, grieving, hurting.  Yet we see Christ’s forgiveness and sorrow for Judas and the enormity of his deed…the Judas kiss, the kiss of betrayal.
__________________

The Maternal Kiss

Sleepy Baby, 1910 Mary Cassatt Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, Texas

Sleepy Baby, 1910
Mary Cassatt
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, Texas

Whoa! This is not just another sentimental, sugar sweet painting of mother and child! Ponder this painting for a moment:  Mother and child share a deep and common love. There is a passion there, a bliss, an ecstasy. The mother and child are physically and intensely wrapped up in each other…almost like the feeling of being “in love.”

It was astonishing that Mary Cassatt (1849-1926), could capture these images as she herself eschewed marriage and a family of her own.
__________________

The Kiss of Passion

"From Here to Eternity" Lancaster and Kerr in the beach scene at Halona Cove, Oahu, Hawaii.

From Here to Eternity
Lancaster and Kerr in the beach scene at Halona Cove, Oahu, Hawaii

The greatest beach-kiss scene in film was made in 1953 in a tiny cove on Oahu, in the Hawaiian Islands. The film was adapted from James Jones’ excellent novel, “From Here to Eternity.”

Take a look at this video and you will see why Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr made movie history! Click here if you are unable to view the video.

Leave a Comment

Posted in Ancient, Architecture, Artists, Classical, Contemporary, Film, Impressionist, Modern, Museums | Leave a Comment | 8 Comments

Ahhh-mazingg’ Art Museum

 
AHHH-MAZINGG’!

Hottest new museum to hit USA is the Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles! The architecture alone is worth the trip…a honeycombed boxy building tilted on its side filled with natural light.

Broad Museum, Los Angeles, CA September 20, 2015

Broad Museum
Los Angeles, CA
September 20, 2015

But, ohhh, the art… Blue-chip-masterpieces from the likes of Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Joseph Beuys, Damien Hirst, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol. And emerging artists as well!

Balloon Dog (Blue) 1994-2000 Jeff Koons

Balloon Dog (Blue), 1994-2000
Jeff Koons

Flag, 1967 Jasper Johns

Flag, 1967
Jasper Johns

It is really the private museum of one of Los Angeles’ wealthiest men, Eli Broad. Together with his wife, Edith, Broad has been collecting art for 45 years, often buying works from unknown artists who are now superstars.

A multi-billionaire who made his money in the unglamorous business of tract housing and insurance, Eli Broad says, “we want this to be a gift to the city of Los Angeles.” And sure nuff it is…the admittance to the museum is free and no matter how long the line to get in, no one is turned away.

AHHH-MAZINGGG’!

Video: Art in the Broad. Click here if you are unable to view the video.
(If you are unable to view the video on a mobile device, open your internet browser or YouTube app and try to play the video again, or view on a desktop computer.)


Leave a Comment

Posted in Abstract Expressionist, Architecture, Artists, Classical, Contemporary, Film, Folk Art, Impressionist, Installation, Modern, Museums, Photography, Sculpture | Leave a Comment | 15 Comments

Artists to Watch in 2016!

Spielbergian Climax, Hebru Brantley, 2014

Spielbergian Climax, Hebru Brantley, 2014

Hebru Brantley

33 years old and 6’8″ tall, Hebru Brantley is Chicago’s fastest-rising visual artist. A street painter turned fine artist making comic-book style pop-art paintings, his figures reflect his growing up on the south side of Chicago. Brantley’s works can command upward of $100,000.

Leaning Into The Wind, Andy Goldsworthy, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, January 2015

Leaning into the wind,
Dumfriesshire, Scotland, 15
January 2015
,
Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy’s latest work is all about the elements of nature.  He explores and seeks intimacy with nature by using leaves, stones, snow, ice, and wind…yes, wind. Goldsworthy makes his art, it stays for a while, and then it is gone.

The art may disappear but Goldsworthy photographs each piece, the process, and the moments of peak and decay. We may no longer have the art, but we have the memory.

Ladies Chatting, Genieve Figgis, 2013

Ladies Chatting, Genieve Figgis, 2013

Genieve Figgis

Irish painter, Genieve Figgis, produces paintings rich in color, texture, humor and the macabre. Her canvases draw upon art history, featuring sumptuous domestic interiors and stately country homes. The protagonists are dressed in finery and are innocently feasting, horseback riding and entertaining in their grand salons.

But all is not well. Behind the most mundane facades, Figgis’ figures appear as either faceless or foolishly grinning, ghoul-like creatures. The viewer is shocked, bewildered and intrigued at the turn of events and stops dead in his tracks.

“Art just did its job!”

Leave a Comment

Posted in Architecture, Artists, Contemporary, Impressionist, Modern, Museums | Leave a Comment | 13 Comments

Salvador Dalí…Revealed!

Magnificent oil painter, megalomaniac, devoted husband, exquisite jeweler, bizarre film creator, sculptor, narcissist, multi-millionaire…

Salvador Dali, 1904-1989

SALVADOR DALÍ
1904-1989



Dalí: “I am the first to be surprised and often terrified by the images I see appear upon my canvas.”

The surreal art world exploded with the arrival of Salvador Dalí in Paris in 1926. Calling his paintings “hand-painted dream landscapes,” Dalí painted streams of consciousness, intense feelings and above all, his dreams.

PAINTING

The Persistence of Memory, 1931 Salvador Dali MOMA, New York City

The Persistence of Memory, 1931
Salvador Dalí
MOMA, New York City

Some art scholars believe that Dalí’s melting clocks may symbolize Albert Einstein’s groundbreaking theory of relativity, a new and revolutionary idea back in the culture of the 1930’s. Through the theory of relativity, Einstein proposed a new concept of time as being relative and complex–not something fixed and easily tracked with as crude a gadget as a pocket watch. Time is melting.

SCULPTURE

Lobster Telephone, 1936 Dali, plastic, painted plaster, and mixed media Tate Museum, London

Lobster Telephone, 1936
Painted plaster, plastic, and mixed media
Tate Museum, London

The Lobster Telephone is one of Dalí’s most startling and unsettling creations. The simple placement of two unrelated objects together – a lobster on a traditional phone receiver – turns the everyday device into something surreal, making it strange but fascinating. The telephone works, but would you pick it up?!

JEWELRY

Eye of Time brooch, 1949 Dali Theatre-Museum, Catalonia, Spain

Eye of Time brooch, 1949
The Gala – Salvador Dalí Foundation
Theatre-Museum of Figueres, Catalonia, Spain

With his wicked sense of humor and desire to baffle his public completely, Dalí designed wildly imaginative jewelry and very fine jewelry indeed.  A watch is set with a ruby, diamonds and enamel. The eye is a finely crafted Swiss timepiece.

Salvador Dalí: “Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí, and I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dalí.”

Video: The Chaos of Salvador Dalí. Three minutes of Dalí, his art and escapades, narrated by Robert Foxworth, award winning actor and director. Click here if you are unable to view the video

Leave a Comment

Posted in Abstract Expressionist, Artists, Contemporary, Modern, Museums, Sculpture, Surrealism | Leave a Comment | 9 Comments

Andy Warhol…Why Is He An Important Artist?

Marilyn Monroe, 1962
Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol painted icons. He painted Marilyn Monroe only after she took her own life. These images deliver a big punch. Mortality stares us in the face…Marilyn’s mortality and our own.

Jackie, 1964
Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol painted history in the making. He uses boxes of silk-screened photographs to record Jackie Kennedy’s courageous encounter with death.

Love him or hate him, Andy Warhol was just the latest in the long line of artists documenting our times.

Portrait of George Washington, 1797
Gilbert Stuart

Jimmy Carter, 1976 and Richard Nixon, 1972
Andy Warhol

Warhol presents these presidential images in wild colors. They are silk-screened, an ancient method of print-making using stencils and ink on silk. Many of his works are huge in size.

Derrick Cartwright, Ph.D., states, “What I think is most essential about Warhol was his canniness in identifying images from the media, repeating them and recirculating them as art before many others recognized them as history.”

The colors, the odd blurring of lines, the uncompromising images startle us.

We, the viewers, first see Andy Warhol’s art. Then we experience history, our own history.

Watch Andy Warhol in Action! Click here if unable to view the video.

Leave a Comment

Posted in Abstract Expressionist, Artists, Classical, Contemporary, Film, Modern, Photography | Leave a Comment | 5 Comments