One of my favorite artists is Emily Bickell, largely for her paintings of water, which I think are sublime. You can get affordable print versions of them here: Traces Art Print by emilybickell | Society6.
Better still, you can get affordable original versions of them here: Art Interiors.
Some good links on the art of the 1980s, of which Basquiat and Haring played a big part, here and here.
Most of the time the links I post are mostly because I want other people to know about them. Links that talk about my youth are mainly for me. 🙂 But fans of either painter or art of that time should click through.
Painting above by Haring in tribute to Basquiat. May they both RIP.
It seems every year the website Artsy puts together a list of artists who were recently influential. The lists are always interesting, mixing artists you likely heard of (e.g., Jeff Koons) and others you may hear more of. It’s a great way to find out what artists are making a difference right now.
I had not heard of Mrinalini Mukherjee before. (Not that I even pretend to know everything about the current art world.) But I am glad to have discovered her for myself. Go here and learn more for yourself: The Most Influential Artists of 2019 – Artsy
(Image about is of Mukherjee and a featured work of hers.)
You can see many more pictures of it here, at Colossal.
I’ve always loved and admired JFK’s Official White House Portrait. I found it intriguing, too. After reading the “Story of Aaron Shikler’s Posthumous Painting of John F. Kennedy”, I found it even more so. Fans of the work or JFK will want to read that piece.
Before the pandemic, I would not have taken this too seriously. But with everyone studying from home, I am taking it a bit more seriously. And even without the pandemic, there are benefits to this approach. So if you want to get some of the benefits of going to art school without going to art school, check out this piece and this syllabus: Don’t Want to Pay for Art School? Here’s a Streamlined Syllabus for Getting Your Own DIY MFA at Home | Art for Sale | Artspace
Key passage from that piece:
Art schools are renowned as being inspiring places where art lovers can imbibe the history and practice of their favorite creative disciplines among like minded strivers. They’re also known for being very expensive (and not necessarily remunerative). Happily, we can offer an alternative avenue to learning. Here, …find a syllabus that will give you the tools you need to navigate today’s art world—taught by some of the greatest artists and thinkers in the world.
If that appeals to you, get a copy of that syllabus and get studying.
Gray is a beautiful colour, but it is hard to appreciate. If you feel that way, I recommend this piece, which is beautifully write about this beautiful colour: Ode to Gray
And then there are these quotes by Gerhard Richter about the colour gray.
I’d love to read more such pieces on colours that mean so much to artists. These two artists make me appreciate gray more than I ever did.
Fans of Bauhaus, take note: The Exuberant Postcard Art of the First Bauhaus Exhibition.
Lots of really good works by members of Bauhaus, including Klee (above).
That is actual floor tile you can buy! The floor is flat underneath, but the different shaped tiles trick your eye into thinking otherwise.
For more on this trompe d’oeil, see: An Optical Illusion Tile System Designed by Casa Ceramica via Colossal
It’s not a fun time, and it’s not an era for travel, but if you want a souvenir of your non-travels from the pandemic, head on over to Colossal and check out: Witty ‘Coronavirus Tourism’ Posters Advertise the Thrilling Adventures of Staying Home
Better still, if you like the one above, or any of the other ones, visit the artist’s commercial site and buy one!
Hey, what’s the point of (non) travel if you don’t get a souvenir or two.
If you are tired of other streaming services, or if you want to improve the films you are watching, now is a good time to check out the high quality films on The Criterion Channel.
Right now they have a 14 day free trial. Now, if you are not a cinephile, the list of films they have could feel daunting. To make it simple, here is a list of 50 essential films you can watch there, with reasons why you want to see them.
If you aren’t sure, you can check out Criterion films streaming on Netflix, Apple TV and more. Consider giving them a try, though.
This is a nice little tool if you want to turn a photograph into a stencil or drawing: Free Picture Stencil Maker.
If you wanted to simplify an image, this can help. For example, if you wanted to break down an image for painting or drawing, this could be really useful.
Give it a try!
It’s a great work for many reasons, not least is the technically superb use of Audio Visual technology. It’s well worth seeing and experiencing. Do so soon: it ends May, 2020.
For more on it, see: Lisa Reihana: in Pursuit of Venus [infected] | Art Gallery of Ontario
…is a fantastic story you can read about here: Princeton University portraits lacked diversity, so artist Mario Moore painted blue-collar workers who ‘really run things’ – The Washington Post.
His painting is fine, and the subject matter he has chosen especially so. Check out the story: it has many of his works on display too.
Anselm Kiefer had a big show in England this year, and that lead me down a rabbit hole reading pieces in the Guardian on him. Never boring in his art work or his interviewers, anyone interested in knowing more about this great German artist can learn more here:
These works, one of which is shown above, are fantastic: Scribbled Portraits of Brooding Figures by Adam Riches | Colossal.
Go to Colossal for more.
First off, what is it?
The Embroidered Computer is an exploration into using historic gold embroidery materials and knowledge to craft a programmable 8 bit computer.
Brilliant. For more on the design and more photos, see here: The Embroidered Computer | Irene PoschIrene Posch
Some amazing work here: Glitched Sculptures of Greek Gods by Zachary Eastwood-Bloom Reimagine Classicism in the Digital Age.
From the good people at Colossal. Go to their site to see more of Eastwood-Bloom’s work.
They may not be fancy, but they are cheap and plentiful. And some people have used them to work out ideas. People like Basquiat and Haring.
I never thought much of them, but I changed my mind after a number of posts over at the blog of Austin Kleon. Click on the link for more inspiration. Then head out to the dollar store and get your own.
By Blake Gopnik, Andy Warhol Inc.: How He Made Business His Art – The New York Times.
By Jerry Saltz, on the Whitney retrospective of Warhol.
P.S. I think Andy would approve of being used on a skateboard.
From this superb piece, Jerry Saltz: How to Be an Artist, come this:
Step One: You Are a Total Amateur
Lesson 1: Don’t Be Embarrassed
Lesson 2: “Tell your own story and you will be interesting.” — Louise Bourgeois
Lesson 3: Feel Free to Imitate
Lesson 4: Art Is Not About Understanding. Or Mastery. (It is about doing and experience)
Lesson 5: Work, Work, Work
Step Two: How to Actually Begin
Lesson 6: Start With a Pencil
Lesson 7: Develop Forms of Practice
Lesson 8: Now, Redefine Skill
Lesson 9: “Embed thought in material.” — Roberta Smith
Lesson 10: Find Your Own Voice (then exaggerate it)
Lesson 11: Listen to the Crazy Voices in Your Head
Lesson 12: Know What You Hate
Lesson 13: Scavenge
Step Three: Learn How to Think Like an Artist
Lesson 14: Compare Cats and Dogs
Lesson 15: Understand That Art Is Not Just for Looking At
Lesson 16: Learn the Difference Between Subject Matter and Content
Lesson 17: See As Much As You Can
Lesson 18: All Art Is Identity Art!
Lesson 19: All Art Was Once Contemporary Art
Step Four: Enter the Art World
Lesson 20: Accept That You Will Likely Be Poor
Lesson 21: Define Success
Lesson 22: It Takes Only a Few People to Make a Career
Lesson 23: Learn to Write
Step Five: Survive the Art World
Lesson 24: Artists Must Be Vampires
Lesson 25: Learn to Deal With Rejection
Lesson 26: Make an Enemy of Envy
Lesson 27: Having a Family Is Fine
Step Six: Attain Galactic Brain
Lesson 28: What You Don’t Like Is As Important As What You Do Like
Lesson 29: Art Is a Form of Knowing Yourself
Lesson 30: “Artists do not own the meaning of their work.” — Roberta Smith
Lesson 31: All Art Is Subjective
Lesson 32: You Must Prize Vulnerability
Lesson 33: Be Delusional
But read the piece: the comments he provides are what gets to the heart of it.
Two worthwhile pieces on Jeff Koons: this Stop Hating Jeff Koons – The New York Times, and in a way, this.
I used to have great disdain for Koons, but the more I think about his work, the better appreciation I have for it. There is a ceiling to that appreciation: the emptiness of it imposes that. But Koons and his work gets me to think about art and the art world and the meaning of art and culture, and for that his work appeals to me.
However you think about him, those pieces are worth reading.
(Image via link to the NYTimes.com piece)
A good list: 10 Rules for Appreciating Art by Sister Wendy Beckett (RIP), the Nun Who Unexpectedly Popularized Art History on TV | Open Culture.
Not just for people who know little about art. Thanks Sister Wendy: you are missed. As are you, Francis Bacon, the painter of the image above.
Here are two good pieces full of advice for artists.
One big: Advice to Young Aspiring Artists from Patti Smith, David Byrne & Marina Abramović | Open Culture
One small: None of us know what will happen – Austin Kleon
Key quote from the Austin Kleon piece is this, from Laurie Anderson:
The world may end. You’re right. But that’s not a reason to be scared. None of us know what will happen. Don’t spend time worrying about it. Make the most beautiful thing you can. Try to do that every day. That’s it. You know? What are you working for, posterity? We don’t know if there is any posterity.
(Image from pexels.com)
That photo above is just one of the many photos over at Via Colossal of Venice at night. Far removed from the tourist busy city of day. Well worth visiting Colossal to see the rest.
Your city should be so lucky as to have Jim Bachor filling your potholes with amazing mosaics such as this:
For more on it, see: Mosaic Vermin Invade New York City as Part of Jim Bachor’s Latest Pothole Interventions at Colossal. Also, search from him on Instagram: he posts regularly and he does a wide range of mosaics. And he travels, so maybe your city is next.
It uses smart ink, so it’s low power. But it changes throughout the day, based on the information it gets from the Internet. It looks great, and it’s around $134, which is not bad.
I’d like to see more tech do this. A fine marriage of high tech and aesthetics.
For more information, see A smart poster that knows the weather | Yanko Design
A good item to add to your bucket list, if you are a fan of Basquiat: travel the world and see all the places where his works are displayed. To do that, you will need this list: Where to See Basquiat Around the World – Barron’s. And money. And time.
After you do that, you can go see all the Vermeers in the world!
Sounds impossible, but if you go here and watch the enclosed video, you will feel confident you can watercolor too: How to watercolor: In under 3 mins.
That particular post comes from Danny Gregory , who has a great blog for all of us artists. (That’s you too). Well worth reading.
For fans of Anselm Kiefer, there is an in depth discussion of this particular work, here:
Heroic Symbols 1969 by Anselm Kiefer – In Focus | Tate
If you are Philip Glass you can. And likely anyone who has the capacity to make art can as well. It may take you longer, but you can do it. To see how he did it, see this piece: How Philip Glass Went From Driving Taxis to Composing – The Atlantic
What if your goal was to see all the Vermeer paintings in the world? There are not that many: you just need to travel a lot to do it. One person set out to do that. See Vermeer Goals for details.
This is a terrible title for a good article of the women that Francis Bacon painted: Sex Scenes: Francis Bacon’s Bohemian Muse, Lesbian Bartender and Artist/Model – GARAGE
Besides the article, the close up photos are worth viewing: you can really get an appreciation for Bacon’s brush work in the photos.
According to this, art can make us more confident by providing us with stories and representations of people with characteristics we share that overcome similar obstacles that we run up against. After all….
Confidence isn’t the belief that we won’t meet obstacles. It is the recognition that difficulties are an inescapable part of all worthwhile contributions. We need to ensure we have to hand plenty of narratives that normalise the role of pain, anxiety and disappointment in even the best and most successful lives.
The image is an extended version of the work highlighted in the article. Like the Stations of the Cross and other works, they illustrate the difficulties of a way of life, and by making us aware of them, allow us to best prepare to meet them and overcome them.