Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pretty, pretty pictures

When I was young I drew all the time. I drew at school, and then I came home and drew in the evenings. The thing I liked to draw best were women. I drew women and goddesses from the greek myths I read, then I drew superhero women like Wonder Woman and Catwoman, then I drew women like the ones I saw in magazines. Sometimes I thought I should draw guys just so I could learn to do it well, but I'd get bored. Partly it was a way of self expression, and I would draw the kind of women I wanted to be, but also for some reason it's just a delight to draw the feminine form. I was just thinking about this the other day and it inspired me to post some images of women throughout history that I have found particularly interesting.

Francesco Melzi "Flora"
I mainly am enchanted by the whimsical joy on her face...

Cosme Tura "Spring"
Love the regal composition and the folds of her dress are amazing. I like that she is sitting "like a man" rather than in a daintier pose.

John August Dominique Ingres "The Countess of Haussonville"
The blue satin and the red ribbon look lovely with her sassy but friendly countenance.

Charles-August Mengin "Sappho"
The goth in me digs this...

Jonathan Viner "A Pale Girl in a Pale Camo"
I adore this painting. I love her awkward pose and the bruise on her leg.

Lori Earley "Drained"
My favorite Earley painting by far. I think it's the lighting...

Audrey Kawasaki "Blue Girls"
or anything by Kawasaki. It's like an eyeball massage to look at the art nouveau linework and delicate precise shading against the wood grain...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The economy versus art

Arrested Motion blog has a post about how the economic downturn is affecting art galleries. There have been many closures and it sounds like some galleries lost their shirt at Art Basel. In my own little section of the art world- I think this is a good thing. NOT because I want galleries to close (although I will readily admit I'm sick of hearing about a new Pop Surrealism/Street Art gallery opening every other freaking week)...but rather anyone familiar with this scene knows that the huge explosion of popularity and interest in this scene has lead to a lot of derivative crap being exhibited. I think the outcome of wallets tightening means collectors are going to be a lot more picky about what they buy, meaning artists are going to really have to step up their game or get left behind. I think and hope this is a great impetus for artists and I'm really hoping we start seeing the same stellar quality works amongst the younger artists, that the top tier artists in this "movement" have been creating for some time. I also think there is going to be a big schism, with many of the greater artists leaving behind the gallery rotation everyone seems to do, and settling in with just a few good galleries, Pop Surrealism focused or not. This means the galleries will also have to really step it up (me included). This will be great for everyone and most especially the legacy Pop Surrealism leaves behind.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My favorite Christmas song

I dont really go in big time for Christmas- but I like some of the little family traditions my family observed anyway. One of them was listening to Missa Luba- a mass sung in a traditional Congolese style. Here is a particularly lovely version of "Kyrie". The outpouring of joy in the beautiful voices in this song sounds like a waterfall. It always makes me feel happy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kristine Moran

I just discovered Kristine Moran's sensually messy paintings that combine a tension-inducing hyper-speed blur effect and the most delectably vibrant color palette I've seen in a long time.

From her site:
"Kristine Moran draws on the immediate world around her as inspiration for the chaotic beauty of her car crash paintings. "It's something I feel living in the city," she says from her Toronto studio, "how hectic it is, the sensory overload." She also lifts ideas from action and sci-fi movies. - The Fifth Element is a favourite - from Japanese anime, videogame Websites and from the most reliable source for anyone on the lookout for disaster, the daily news.

"I'm attracted to the choreographed violence in the media and to the intense colour, surround sound and fast-moving images of action movies. It becomes pure aesthetics and it takes away any emotional connection we might have to the actual tragedy. That melodramatic action is what I am trying to portray in my paintings."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Laurie Hogin

Because I have been too busy I totally flaked on posting Laurie Hogin's new show at Littlejohn Gallery in New York, where she has several large scale, allegorical and decadently psychedelic wildlife tableaus. I love it. That's really all I have to say about it. The combinations of color, form, and tension is to die for.

Daniel Martin Diaz

I really like Daniel Martin Diaz's work, which is redolent of Mexican folk art and heavy on the catholic references, with the splash of gothic morbidity and the teeniest pinch of a punkish irreverence. He has a show up at Billy Shire which I think is one of his best.