The Museum of Contemporary Art is actually comprised of three locations. The first is the MOCA Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood; the second is the MOCA on Grand Avenue; and the newest location is the Geffen Contemporary. There is actually a fourth location in Nevada. Yes! Nevada. The artist, Michael Heizer's artwork titled, "Double Negative" is a work of land art located in the Moapa Valley on Mormon Mesa near Overton, Nevada and was acquired into MOCA's permanent collection in 1985. If the artist's name rings a bell, it's because I recently wrote about his other monumental piece of artwork at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; CLICK HERE TO READ THE BLOG ARTICLE. I should note that time didn't permit me to visit the Pacific Design Center, or the Geffen Contemporary (or visit Nevada), so this post will only include my visit to the MOCA on Grand Avenue. I also visited the Broad Museum (Read On & See Below.) The Geffen Contemporary is just a 15-20 minute walk from MOCA Grand and admission to one museum grants you admission to the other museum.
The MOCA on Grand Avenue housed an entire gallery room with Mark Rothko paintings. While I can appreciate Rothko's artwork and acknowledge its importance in art history, his paintings are not my favorite. I do love all the colors, and I also love the shapes, however, there is ambiguity, blurring of lines, that doesn't hit me the right way. Rothko wanted viewers to stand close to his paintings to see the vertically stacked bands of color seem to float upon colored grounds.
This large painting on two panels is by the artist, Njideka Akunyili Crosby. It's called "Garden, Thriving" and was completed in 2016. Her artwork was quite fascinating to see in person and I've included a detailed photograph of the two-panel painting. Originally from Nigeria, the artist layers photographic imagery within the chairs' fabric and the plant leaves. The images are pictures of Nigerian pop stars, models, military dictators, celebrities, and the artist's own personal photographs. To create this artwork, she uses acrylic paint, transfers, colored pencils, and collage on paper. There is so much to see in this painting, you could look at it for 10-20 minutes, or longer!
I should also mention that the mural that is wrapped around the exterior of the museum is by this same artist!
Three other works by Jackson Pollock from MOCA’s permanent collection, were also on view. These were great examples of the diversity and range of materials Pollock used in his artwork from watercolor to collage.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California
This building is simply spectacular. Frank Ghery is one of my favorite architects and this is a perfect example of why that's the case. (In addition to all the awards he has won for his incredible architectural design). Frank Gehry was asked to devise a new home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Walt Disney Concert Hall opened in 2003. Reflecting Gehry’s longtime passion for sailing, the structure’s exterior features are expanses of stainless steel that hover above Grand Avenue. Frank Gehry has devoted his career to disrupt the very meaning of design within architecture. From the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, and now the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Frank Gehry has proven time and again the beautiful magic of his whimsical, cutting-edge design.
The Broad is one of the finest contemporary art museums I have ever visited. Founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the museum houses more than 2,000 works of art and holds one of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.
The Broad's third floor galleries show a rotating selection of artwork and, best of all, it is free! The first floor galleries are for special exhibitions, like the Jasper Johns exhibit "Something Resembling Truth" that runs through May 13, 2018.
So let's talk about the beautifully designed building... It's often called "The Veil and the Vault" because the building has gallery space as well as an extensive storage facility. In contrast with the neighboring Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Broad was designed to be porous and absorptive. There are wonderful olive trees that were planted in the plaza next to the museum.
There were a number of artworks by Jeff Koons at The Broad. "Balloon Dog (Blue)" is perhaps one of his series of works that is most famous. The artwork is made of stainless steel and wights 2,000 pounds. It was created as part of his Celebration Series, a group of paintings and sculptures that memorialize rituals, icons, and images related to birthdays, holidays, and other celebratory parties or occasions.
Roy Lichtenstein is one of my all-time favorite pop artists. He was one of the founders of Pop Art in the 1960s and used tiny dots in his artwork, similar to the printing style of comic-books. The dots were placed in such a way to create an image, imitating the way comic-books and newspapers were printed.
In addition to borrowing or seeking inspiration from newspaper ads, commercials, and comic books, Roy Lichtenstein also was inspired by some of his favorite artists like Picasso and Mondrian. See the two images below.
Here is a sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein, "Goldfish Bowl" created in 1977. It is painted and patinated bronze. On the right is a detailed view, showing that the sculpture is very two-dimensional, despite it looking 3-D.
I always love seeing paintings by Chuck Close. Chuck Close is known for his detailed paintings of faces, and later he was known for the deconstruction of that detailed portraiture. He explores portraiture and created this photo-realist painting called "John", painted in 1971-72. I included a detailed shot showing the incredible painting technique.
John Baldessari, "Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell" 1966-68, Acrylic on Canvas. John Baldessari never touched this painting, didn't paint it, didn't write the text. Here, it's the role of the artist as the facilitator of the artwork; creating the concept. The humor is that the view is shown the paintings message, but the message is text taken from an art magazine with tips on what art should be.
Another one of my all-time favorite artists is Andy Warhol. A short time after Marilyn Monroe died in 1962, Andy Warhol started to create silkscreen images of Marilyn. I learned that Warhol had recently just learned how to silkscreen, so this was a somewhat new process for him! In the painting above, titled, "Two Marilyns" created in 1962, Warhol captures the terrible fact of Marilyn's death, as if he was reporting the news. With silkscreens, the images deteriorate with each printing, which I believe is symbolic of her presence and then her fading into history with her death. It can also be interpreted as the volatility of fame and celebrity. I'm not sure how many versions of "Two Marilyns" were created, but I learned that the one pictured above from The Broad Museum was the 27th version of the silkscreen created.
Ellsworth Kelly worked with shapes and solid colors. The painting below, "Green Blue Red" created in 1963, uses colors and shapes to create contrast and bring attention to edges. In the above image on the left, the green rectangle and blue oval are vibrantly displayed against the red background. His composition almost goes against the principal of design of balance. Below, Kelly's oil on canvas painting, "Green Relief with Blue" was completed in 2011. It's actually two conjoined canvases and I've posted the photo of the same painting as seen from different angles. It almost acts like a 2 dimensional painting trying to be a sculpture, with different views from different angles.
Jasper Johns: "Something Resembling Truth"
A Special Exhibition at The Broad (Through May 13, 2018)
While The Broad Museum's main collection has free admission, this special exhibition required a special ticket with a timed entry. The exhibit was one of the best I've ever seen. The exhibit covered over 6 decades of artistic achievement from this iconic American artist. The comprehensive exhibit features more than 120 extraordinary paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures, by Jasper Johns and draws upon works from within The Broad's permanent collection as well as from loans from over 50 international public and private sources.
The imagery he used in his artwork were common items such as American flags, numbers, letters, targets, and light bulbs. Perhaps Johns’ most famous painting, "Flag (1954–55)" and is a fairly accurate representation of the American flag, in encaustic on collaged paper and fabric.
The American Flad is a geometric composition that has a strong sentimental and patriotic value in society. Jasper Johns' flags ofent trick the eye, or blur the lines between perception, reality, and illusion.
Jasper Johns began to incorporate objects and tools used in his artwork directly into the artwork's creation. Things like paintbrushes, color charts, and rulers. In the painting below, the "R" of "Red" is a neon light and wooden letters protrude outward from the canvas.
I highly recommend you to experience the Jasper John Exhibit if you can!
Also on the first floor was a very unique art installation by artist, Yayoi Kusama, titled "Infinity Mirrored Room--The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away." It is a mirror-lined room that includes LED lights that reflect endlessly in the mirrored space. It doesn't sound like much, but it is quite amazing to see. You need a separate timed ticket, which is free, and only one person can enter the room at a time for a duration of 45 seconds.
As you can see, the Broad Museum is quite an amazing experience. I highly recommend you visit The Broad in Los Angeles and experience the art scene in Downtown LA. For more information about The Broad, please visit their website: www.thebroad.org
I love it when Art is just there; you didn't plan to "see art" or visit a gallery or a museum. You just stumble upon it randomly. This is exactly what happened on my most recent visit to Los Angeles. I checked into my hotel, located on the famous Sunset Blvd. In the lobby, and in the driveway are two pieces of public art on display. They are large fiberglass guitars designed and painted by artists that are peppered all along Sunset Blvd. The public art exhibit is called "Guitar Town" and features more than 25 ten foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul model guitars. The artworks are placed all along the legendary Sunset Strip and are auctioned off for the benefit of charitable organizations. Here are just a few of the ones I saw on Sunset.
Not too far from the Sunset Strip, just over the Hollywood Hills is Universal City Walk, located adjacent to Universal Studios Hollywood. It was here that I took a photo of this even larger guitar that flanks The Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Studios. I took a similar photo from just about the same angle here, only at the time the guitar was colored differently. The giant guitar in front of the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal City Walk was updated to become a replica of Eddie Van Halen's "Frankenstrat" Guitar. Here is my painting based on this photo/perspective as I saw it prior to the update.
This past week I learned that I was being featured in Boston Voyager Magazine in their article titled, "Flashes & Strokes: A Tale of Two Mediums." The article celebrates artists working in both traditional and digital mediums. You can view the article HERE!
Just a few days ago was the Chinese New Year and 2018 is the year of the dog according to the Chinese Zodiac. Celebrations began on February 16th this year and last for 2 weeks. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy, healthy, & prosperous Chinese New Year!
Personally, I was born in the year of the Tiger. So maybe I'll paint a tiger one of these days...
But in honor of the Year of the Dog, I'll post some of my recent dog paintings. Dogs are honest and loyal friends to so many people. And I think they are just cute, and fun, and represent love and happiness. That's why I love painting dogs, and puppies! Here are the first two paintings I did of dogs back in 2016:
I wrote a blog article after "Woof Woof! Gotta Get My Bone" was sold. You can read it by clicking HERE.
I recently completed 2 really fun dog paintings, both original acrylic on canvas paintings, 18" x 18" each. Here's a photo of each of them...
Click on the Painting to view it in my online store! Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous Chinese New Year 2018, The Year Of The Dog!
Which Puppy is your favorite? Let me know in your comments below! And feel free to share this post on social media!
I'm pleased to announce that I was selected by Artsy Shark as their Featured Artist. Below is the article and you can view it online using this link:
Being a Featured Artist is an incredible opportunity to have your artwork seen and shared widely. The article is read by thousands of people who visit the Artsy Shark web-site.
This weekend, I participated in a wonderful juried art festival in Needham, Massachusetts. The 2017 Needham Winter Arts Festival was held at Town Hall and featured over 30 local artists exhibiting their work. It was wonderful to be a part of this event which attracted hundreds of people (despite the first snowfall of the season) and featured musicians and singers performing holiday tunes onstage. The event was made possible through support from the Town of Needham and the Massachusetts Cultural Council Festival Grant Program.
I decided to post this blog article because two paintings of mine found a new home! The paintings, shown here, "Honey, I'm Home" and "Love Shines #2" were both sold and is now part of a private collection, bringing smiles to people residing in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The "Honey, I'm Home!" painting is acrylic paint on canvas and is 18" x 24". I was inspired to paint the house upon being invited to exhibit in a group show with the theme, "House." Before being sold, the "Honey, I'm Home!" painting was exhibited at the Morse Public Library, in Natick, MA in October 2016. It was also exhibited at the Attleboro Arts Museum December 9, 2016-February 2, 2017. I love this painting because of all the mosaic illusion elements, the representation of bushes, and how I used a broken line to indicate the front doorway.
The second painting sold, "Love Shines #2" is a 10" x 10" acrylic on board painting with resin and ground glass. "Love Shines #2" was one of my most recent paintings completed within the past month! This was one of my first few paintings that features my use of acrylic paint and ground glass with multiple layers of resin. I love using hearts in my artwork to convey the emotion of love, passion, romance, and fun! I really do feel that love does shine, and in the case of my artwork, it does too through the use of ground glass that reflects the sparkling light!
The accompanying painting, "Love Shines #1" is still available, and I'm glad that it received a lot of positive praise at the Arts Festival. I'm currently working on another series of 10 paintings, all 10" x 10" with acrylic paint, ground glass, and resin. So stay tuned for more information on those paintings once I'm done with them in my studio. They are going to be awesome and a LOT of FUN! OMG!
I also sold out all my puzzles and blankets featuring my artwork as well as sold a lot of greeting cards, coasters, candles, limited edition prints, and notepads too! The 2017 Needham Winter Arts Festival was a great and successful event! I'm looking forward to participating in it again next year!
I'm thrilled that these paintings sold to folks who absolutely loved them and I hope that they will enjoy their original paintings for many years to come!
To see the painting sold last weekend and read the blog article: CLICK HERE!
This past weekend, I was a visiting artist exhibiting my artwork at Gorse Mill Open Studios. Gorse Mill Studios is located in a historic old mill building in Needham, MA, a suburb of Boston. The building houses dozens of artists who create all types of artwork; from paintings to pottery, stained glass to mosaics, ceramics, jewelry, photography, illustration, encaustic, glass, performing arts, graphic design, and more! Gorse Mill Studios hosts openings, gallery shows, and art education programs throughout the year. It was wonderful to be a part of their event.
I decided to post this blog article because one of my favorite paintings found a new home! The painting, shown here, "Woof Woof! Gotta Get My Bone" was sold and is now bringing smiles to a new family! The painting is acrylic paint on canvas and is 10" x 20". I love this painting because of it's unusual size, the movement portrayed by the vertical lines of varying width, and how I incorporated mini-dog bones within the mosaic illusion part of the painting. It always makes me laugh!
Before being sold, this painting was exhibited at the Wellesley Community Center for the Wellesley Society of Artists Fall Show from September 2016-April 2017. This is the painting that I used for the cover of my new 2018 Calendar that features the birthdays of dozens of famous artists. I also created a coffee mug of this painting too! I'm thrilled that this painting sold to someone who shared with me how much he loved it and I know he and his family will enjoy it for many years to come!
What I loved about painting the Marathon-Themed Box in Natick was that painting it on-site allowed me to interact with people walking by, take photos together, and share my artistic process with them.
As I began to think about the project, I created several sketches that included a lot of ideas related to the town of Natick, the Boston Marathon, as well as how best to integrate my artistic style to create something visually appealing. I wanted to make it uniquely “Natick” by incorporating things like the Gazebo, the church, Natick’s zip code, etc. I like to include the American flag because Natick, I feel, is really an all-American type of town. Diverse, patriotic, down-to-earth, democratic, and inclusive.
And as I began to think about the Marathon component, I wanted to include visuals like the beautiful Boston Marathon Medal, the Marathon Runner Number, the Trophy, and the amazing runners racing toward the finish line. I also wanted to demonstrate the inclusive nature of the Natick community and the marathon itself by including a competitor in a wheelchair. I also gave a lot of thought to how the colors of the Boston Marathon (Blue and Yellow) would integrate into my overall design. And while most people won't be able to see the top of the box, I’ve painted “Boston Strong” on the top of the box.
Many of my paintings all use a similar color palette of primary colors, white, black, and neutral greys.
All my work focuses on lines, shapes, vibrant colors, and the integration of an illusion of mosaic tile.
This illusion of mosaic tile provides cohesion to my body of work and serves to provide balance, repetition, movement, and other elements of strong artistic design and composition.
I often think about the mosaic element as confetti, to further my goal of conveying fun, exhilaration, and happiness; the mosaic patterns add life and positive energy into my work.
I’m excited about the actual process of creating public art and/or installing the artwork on location with observers and participants.
There were a few funny stories of things that happened while I was on-site painting. It was the first day on-site at the electrical box. One of the first things I needed to do was make sure the box was clean of dirt, bugs, cobwebs, etc. before I could start painting. So imagine people walking by seeing a guy on a stepstool washing by hand an electrical utility box!
As people walked by, I could tell people were a bit confused or thought I was out of my mind.
As you saw in the video, I began by painting a solid black color on the entire box, and then place lines of tape, to be uncovered later. When I started with the spray paint, painting it all black, again, some people were trying to figure out what was going on, if I was vandalizing the box, or why it was all black. Maybe they preferred it grey?
But as I continued with my painting, people began to stop, ask what I was doing, ask me what it was going to look like, etc. It was a great opportunity to share with people the great things the Natick Center Cultural District has done around town to enhance life for everyone in Natick.
I painted the box over 2 weeks, almost every day, so I got to see a few people on a number of occasions on their daily walk, and it was great to stop and chat with them and hear their reactions as they saw the progress over time.
In Boston, the box I painted is on Boylston Street, a very busy city street so most of my interactions were with pedestrians on their lunch break or people heading to a Red Sox game. But in Natick, I can’t tell you how many people honked their horns and smiled at me while I painted.
People even rolled down their windows and shouted things like “Great Job!, I love that! & That’s so cool!”
I’m so pleased that in all my interactions on site, people were really happy to see my artwork.
One woman said to me, “That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in Natick. And that;s very cool.”
And it was great to see all the wonderful comments on all the Facebook and Instagram posts!
I love watching the first time a passerby sees my artwork on their evening jog, their walk home from work, or pushing a baby stroller on their way to Dunkin Donuts.
These are all inspiring reminders of the transformative impact a piece of public art can have on the overall look of physical space and the pleasure it gives people.
The Dedication on Sunday, October 22nd was a wonderful event. It was a beautiful, sunny and warm day. I'd like to thank everyone who came out to the Ribbon Cutting, especially my wife, kids, my in-laws, and cousins! It really meant to much to celebrate this special community event with family and friends. I've posted a video to YouTube, which you can watch here below of the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
I'd like to also take this opportunity to thank the Natick Center Cultural District and the Public Arts Committee for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful public art project.
I hope everyone in the area will join me to watch the Boston Marathon at the site of the electrical box on Patriots’ Day 2018.
Here are some photos from the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:
Last month I visited Napa Valley and had the pleasure of visiting Yountville, St. Helena, and Napa. The region of Napa Valley is known for incredible wine, so it was no surprise that it had incredible art as well.
During my visit, I visited a few wineries and did a few wine-tastings all in two days. I learned that many of the vineyards in the area have art galleries associated with them. I'll write about the artistic things that I came across, however, my blog is by no means a comprehensive listing of all the artistic offerings of this incredible region in California.
I had an amazing time at Kelham Vineyards, where I was lucky to have an incredibly delicious, gourmet dinner. Kelham Vineyards also sells a number of prints by the French artist Gerard Purvis. The artsist is best known for creating original sculptures & prints made from wine bottle foils. To my knowledge, Gerard Purvis' work can only be found in the United States at Kelham Vineyards. For more information, please visit: KelhamVineyards.com and kelhamvineyards.com/Puvis.html.
The next day, the first stop was in St. Helena at the Alpha Omega Winery, which was one of my favorites: aowinery.com. At our next stop, I enjoyed a private luncheon in Yountville at Cliff Lede, which is where I came across some very cool art. For more information about Cliff Lede, please visit: cliffledevineyards.com. Outside of the private tasting room on a beautiful terrace were these two incredible sculptures. I only wish my photos were better to really capture these sculptures. I posted the photos here:
The private tasting room, called the White Room, named after the Beatles White album, also had some very cool art in it. The lunch for our private party was served directly in the Tank Room where we saw the innovative technology used in producing their delicious wine. Looking up toward the White Room, were some beautiful paintings, which I posted here below.
That evening, I dined in Napa and had the pleasure of strolling around the town and exploring a number of public art sculptures in town. Many of the sculptures were part of the Napa Art Walk. The Napa Art Walk is a bi-annual, rotating exhibition of juried sculpture created by artists from the Western United States. For more information, please visit: www.napaartwalk.org.
Based in Napa is the Art Association of Napa Valley, which is a private, nonprofit arts organization that enhances life for the Napa Valley by supporting arts and culture in the area. Their website includes an artist listing, newsletters and class and event listings. Located in Downtown Napa at 1307 First Street is an art gallery that features the work of members of the Art Association Napa Valley. For more information, please visit www.artnv.org.
The Yountville Art Walk was one of the highlights of my trip to Napa Valley. Known for the finest food and wine in the country, Yountville is also known for art. The Napa Valley Museum is located in Yountville. For more information, visit www.napavalleymuseum.org.
Beautiful sculptures lined the streets of Yountville. I learned that in 2010, Gordon Huether partnered with Yountville Arts to establish the Yountville Art Walk. More information about Gordon Huether can be found on his website, www.gordonhuether.com. The sculptures are for sale, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Yountville Arts Fund to support their arts-related activities, programs, and events. Based on my observation, the sculptures ranged in price from $6,000 to $60,000! Yountville was a terrific place to explore and experience some great public art. Below are some photos of just a few of the sculptures I had the pleasure of seeing during my time in Yountville.
For more information about Yountville Arts, please visit www.yountvillearts.com.
See this beautiful, bright yellow painted piano reminded me of the piano I painted as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston's Play Me I'm Yours StreetPianos Boston 2016 Public Art Installation. To learn more about the piano I painted, please click the link to visit: StreetPianos Boston City Hall Plaza 2016.
There is so much to see and do in the Napa Valley Region. I barely scratched the surface of the art offerings the region has to experience, but I hope that this blog article inspires you to visit the area and explore on your own! I know that I'm already excited about the possibility of returning to the Napa Valley and exploring more the art world has to offer!
Many of these murals were created over the past few years as part of Pow! Wow!, which is a cool mural festival and celebration of art and culture. The festival also takes place in cities and countries such as Hawaii, Taiwan, Long Beach, Israel, Singapore, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Guam, New Zealand, Germany, and more. The POW WOW! Worcester mural festival, which was just in August 2017, has added dozens of murals in Worcester in less than 10 days while also hosting a number of arts and community-centered events and programs. Although I missed taking part of the festivities, I'm glad that I got to see a few of the incredible artworks that came out of this incredible festival. Visit www.powwowworcester.com for more information.
I came across this awesome video on Pow! Wow! Israel and you can check it out here: http://powwowhawaii.com/blog/pow-wow-israel-2017-official-video/
Another of my favorites was located at this parking garage, which had two tower-like paintings on each side by artist Victor Quinonez. Check out Instagram @Marka_27. This was very cool.
There's a great article that was recently shared with me on the pros and cons of some of the major brands of acrylic paint used by both professional and amateur artists around the world. As a professional artist, the paint I use for my artwork is of paramount importance to both me and those who purchase and collect my artwork. The article is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about acrylic paint, and finding the paint that works best for you, meeting your artistic and creative objectives.
The link to the article written by Lindsey Bourret on Wonderstreet.com can be found here: http://wonderstreet.com/blog/choosing-the-acrylic-paint-thats-best-for-you
For me, my go-to acrylic paint is Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint. I like the drying time, the vibrancy of the color, the consistency of the paint, and I never experience any color shift. And I sometimes use Liquitex Professional Gloss Medium & Varnish to varnish some of my paintings to create a shiny or glossy look, or in some of my mixed media work where I use it to affix special papers on my canvases. I also like the Liquitex Acrylic Paint Markers, which come in both a small and large point or tip size.
I've also experimented with another acrylic paint, not mentioned in the article, called Flashe paint. Flashe comes in jars and once applied to the canvas, it dries completely opaque with a matte finish. It is made in France by Lefranc & Bourgeois. And for teaching, I often recommend that my students begin to learn how to paint with Grumbacher Academy student grade paint because it is fairly inexpensive and in my opinion has a similar feel to the Liquitex Professional Heavy Body. Grumbacher Academy Paint is discussed in the article using the link: http://wonderstreet.com/blog/choosing-the-acrylic-paint-thats-best-for-you
I encourage you to check out the article and see for yourself what works best for you and the artwork you want to create.
Just recently, on February 14th, I came across an editorial article on Artsy.net by Isaac Kaplan entitled, "Do Francis Picabia's Anti-Semitic Remarks Tarnish his MoMA Retrospective?" After reading the article I learned about Picabia's anti-Jewish feelings (and womanizing behaviors). MoMA's exhibit apparently does address this part of Picabia's character; however, I must have missed this as I walked through the gallery. To answer Kaplan's question personally. I think it does, in fact, tarnish his reputation. I really enjoyed his artwork during my visit to the MoMA. But after learning more about the artist, I can't say that I can admire him. Famous artists are people that I want to look up to and admire. They are people that I want the next generation of artists to look up to. And so, while I can appreciate his artwork at face value and his artistic technique, learning about his anti-Semitic behavior does take him down several notches in my book. Similarly, just like we want our kids to admire our professional sports players, it's hard to have our kids look up to them if they do drugs, treat women badly, are anti-gay, or are anti-Jewish, or discriminate in any way. So, I'm kind of let down after my great experience viewing his work in the gallery. But for this blog article, I will continue to proceed sharing my thoughts on the exhibit as if I hadn't learned of his anti-Semitic feelings and behavior.
Here is the link to the article for your information: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-francis-picabias-anti-semitic-remarks-tarnish-moma-retrospective
As I walked though the gallery rooms, the one thing that struck me the most was how his artistic style changed throughout his lifetime. Picabia was an artist of many genres, and his body of work lacks consistency and categorization. He shifted styles over time. The exhibit highlights his impressionist landscapes, abstract works, paintings, photo-based nudes, etc.
Here are some photos from the exhibit.
These two Picabia paintings shown below reminded me of one of my own paintings that I painted earlier this past year, "Woof Woof! Gotta Get My Bone." All three works utilize black lines in a similar fashion. I should note that my painting was created without ever seeing Picabia's work; I am just noting the coincidence in how we both used these lines in the same fashion.
"Revolutionary Impulse: the Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde" was another wonderful temporary exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art that runs through March 12, 2017. The fact that all the artwork on display comes directly from MOMA's permanent collection, demonstrates how wonderful MOMA is and how impressive their permanent collection is. Of all the artwork on view, there were two artists whose work caught my eye.
The two photos below are from the Russian artist Alexandra Exter. The oil on canvas painting on the left, called "Theatrical Composition" was very intriguing to me. I loved the colors, shapes, and overall composition of the painting. The other smaller works, pictured to the right are six designs from various stage sets like The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and others.
To photograph all the well-know paintings from all the famous artists would be a huge undertaking. So I'm including a small selection of some of my favorite pieces along with some detailed close-up photos from the following artists: Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Henri Matisse, Fernand Leger, Jim Dine, Andy Warhol, Edward Ruscha, Josef Albers, James Rosenquist, Robert Rauschenberg, and Sol LeWitt. I have the close-up photos to show the brushstrokes, the detailed use of color, and a glimpse into what the artist was focused on while painting their masterpiece.
Pablo Picasso's Guitar Sculpture (3 views), and below, "Vase of Flowers" & "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
I highly recommend visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. More information about the museum can be found on their website: www.moma.org.
The exhibit's juror is Judith Klein of Judith Klein Art Gallery, New Bedford, MA. I highly recommend checking out this exhibit before it closes on February 2, 2017.
Upcoming exhibits at the Attleboro Arts Museum look amazing as well, so if you're in the Boston Area or Providence, RI, be sure to check out the small but wonderful Attleboro Arts Museum.
For more information about the exhibit:
The "When Language Meets Art" Exhibit at LHUCA is in their Christine DeVitt Exhibition Hall, LHUCA serves as an exhibition space for local, national, and internationally known artists. This current exhibit demonstrates their commitment to bringing insightful and thought-provoking exhibitions that deepen one's understanding, appreciation, and connection with the visual arts.
Below are some photos of the my painting, "Close Your Eyes" on exhibit in at LHUCA.
One of LHUCA's programs is the First Friday Art Trail. The First Friday Art Trail is a free, self-guided public art event held predominately in the Lubbock Cultural District. The First Friday Art Trail is held from 6-9pm, rain or shine, on the first Friday of every month! This vibrant art scene brings together art-lovers, art collectors, artists, and the greater community. The art trail can be exploreed on foot or by one of the free First Friday Trolleys to experience the galleries along the downtown route. More information can be found at http://www.ffat.org/
Christian Conrad wrote about the exhibit that is on view through January 28, 2017. Christian Conrad earned his PhD in Critical Theory and Artistic Practice from Texas Tech University in 2010 and his MFA from Radford University in 2005. As a working artist, Christian creates in a variety of media, ranging from oil painting to video installation to traditional paper collage. Christian has taught several college-level courses in art at Texas Tech University, and he is currently a featured speaker with the Art History Lecture Series sponsored by the Museum of Texas Tech University Association and the Saturdays at LHUCA art lectures.
I wanted to create a piano for Street Pianos Boston because I love Boston and I love public art. I believe there are incredible opportunities to use art to represent Boston as one of the world’s best cities; a city that has a vibrant and thriving arts community that adds to the inherent value of everyone living here or visiting Boston.
The Play Me I'm Yours Street Pianos exhibit is something I've admired since I first saw it a few years ago in 2013. When I first heard that "Play Me, I'm Yours" was coming back to Boston, I was very excited about the opportunity to paint a piano for this project. My artistic style is about fun, bright colors, using the illusion of mosaic tiles, and bold lines, and I believed that my art would complement the exhibit really well, drawing people to the pianos and interacting with them on the streets of Boston. It was a real honor to have been selected to be a participating artist.
I was excited about Street Pianos Boston because it would be my first public art project. My art is loved by people who have my art in their homes, but I also believe that my art has a place in the public realm; my style lends itself for large murals, even sculpture, in public places as well as in corporate office settings. I'd love to do more in the public realm so that art can be accessible to everyone.
Being part of the Celebrity Series of Boston Street Pianos exhibit was particularly meaningful to me because I realized how much I enjoy the process of creating public art and am excited about the possibilities for other terrific public-domain art projects in the future.
More videos of the Piano being played can be found on the Eddie Bruckner Fine Art YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCamBWngXFOwL9AZhBjoy24A
And more photos and videos can be found on the Street Pianos website: www.StreetPianos.com Look for Downtown Boston: City Hall Plaza.
The hashtag for the project is #streetpianosboston if you'd like to follow it on social media.
I am very proud that my painting/piano added value to this city-wide, public art and performing arts exhibit. It was really special to see Bostonians, visitors, and tourists enjoy playing all the pianos that were created for this wonderful project. The piano will be at Boston City Hall Plaza through October 10, 2016.
This past week I had the pleasure of visiting two of my favorite Art Museums in the Boston area. What I love about art museums is the special combination of new temporary exhibitions and spectacular permanent collections.
The Rose Art Museum
The first museum I’ll write about is the Rose Art Museum, located in Waltham, Massachusetts. On a personal note, the Rose Art Museum is special to me because it is part of Brandeis University, my alma mater. As part of my art education at Brandeis university, I had the unique opportunity to tour the Rose’s amazing permanent collection—however, not exhibited on the walls of the museum, but rather in the museum’s storage vault. In the mid-1990s, I saw incredible works from the collection from Roy Lichtenstein to Andy Warhol to Willem de Kooning to Jasper Johns. With over 8,000 works of art, mostly from American Artists from the 1960s and 1970s, the Rose Art Museum is one of the leading art museums in the world. Use the following link to see the digital collection: http://rosecollection.brandeis.edu/
This week the Rose Art Museum was exhibiting a temporary retrospective exhibit on the artist Rosalyn Drexler. The exhibit, “Rosalyn Drexler: Who does She Think She Is?” recently closed, but I believe it is traveling to other museums in the coming months.
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston
The following day I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, which houses one of the world’s best and diverse collections of fine art including contemporary art, art of Asia, Oceana, Africa, Europe the Americas, art of the ancient world, and jewelry, musical instruments, prints, drawings, and photographs. Although I didn’t get to see everything in the museum, I was able to see some of my favorite works of art again as well as see some new things and very cool new temporary exhibits.
And while I’m more of a contemporary and modern art kind of guy, I was particularly impressed with the story behind a 13-foot-tall statue of a classical sculpture of Juno. The Roman marble lady is the largest Classical sculpture in any museum in the United States. But perhaps even more fascinating was where the statue was found; It was found in the backyard of a Brookline, Massachusetts home (a suburb of Boston). The statue that is dated to about the year 1633 was purchased at the end of the 19th Century in Rome and brought to Brookline, Massachusetts to be placed as part of a formal garden.
The Danish artist, Jeppe Hein’s work entitled “PLEASE…” is a neon light installation from 2008. Hein is fascinated with the relationship between the viewer and his artwork and the art really isn’t complete without the viewer’s participation. I really can relate with Jeppe Hein and his work because some of my artwork also has a similar element to it. My paintings entitled “Close Your Eyes” and “You Have To Read This” come to mind when thinking about Hein’s work. With “Close Your Eyes” I’m trying to convey to viewers a bit of edginess or something to make you think twice about what you are seeing. I really enjoy the irony of creating art that is visual, and then the message of the painting instructs you not to look at it. “Close Your Eyes” was selected in the prestigious Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts Annual Juried Art Exhibit a few years ago. The six works of art are pictured here. http://www.jeppehein.net/
Throughout the museum (and around the Museum and even in Faneuil Hall in Boston) is the Megacities Asia exhibit, which runs until July 17, 2016. Megacities are cities with populations of more than ten million. These megacities are increasing in numbers and changes the lives of so many people. I was really impressed with the works of the artists Ai Weiwei and Choi Jeong Hwa. Choi Jeong Hwa’s “Breathing Flower” located just outside the museum was very moving. http://aiweiwei.com/
I recently returned from a quick 2-day trip to New York City. The first day was primarily focused on a new movie I am working on (currently looking for investors for the film) called “Dan & Carla.” We had a spectacular table reading of the script with the actors along with a number of friends and interested parties of the film. After the reading, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Jack Pierson, a longtime family friend of the film’s director. Jack Pierson is an incredible artist who works with a variety of different mediums, including sculpture, photography, video, and is best known for his word signage installations. His artwork is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, just to name a few. (See below for more about his two incredible pieces that were on view at the Whitney Museum.)
Here’s some information about the film for those interested: It is a modern-day romantic comedy about two young NYC lovebirds who try to salvage their troubled relationship: Dan & Carla, two lovers from opposite sides of the subway tracks, are forced to confront the issues of romance, commitment, betrayal and sexual (dis)orientation.”
For more information:
There is SO MUCH ART in New York City! There were three pieces of public art that I had the pleasure of seeing on this trip. Here is a photo of Robert Indiana’s HOPE Sculpture located on the corner of 7th Avenue and 53rd Street. A couple months ago, I wrote in my blog about Robert Indian’s LOVE Sculpture in Scottsdale, Arizona. This HOPE Sculpture is also only a few short blocks away from the LOVE Sculpture in New York City 55th and Avenue of the Americas/6th Ave. I’ve learned that each year on the artist’s birthday, September 13, Robert Indiana HOPE sculptures will be installed and displayed in locations throughout the world. The HOPE sculptures celebrate the message of hope and fulfill the artist’s vision of a more promising future for us all.
Another public sculpture, located just outside of Penn Station and Madison Square Garden (7th Avenue and 33rd St.) is Roy Lichtenstein’s “Brushstroke Group.”
And the last public art sculpture that I got to see was Elmgreen & Dragset’s “Van Gogh’s Ear” located in Rockefeller Center. It’s basically a huge swimming pool stood upright. I really liked how misplaced it looked, especially in such a dense area, with a huge amount of foot-traffic, in contrast to a large swimming pool, typically seen in a less congested area. This is a temporary installation, so be sure to see it before June 3rd!
I started the second day of my trip at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The new Whitney’s architecture is spectacular inside and out. And the artwork within the walls of the Whitney is very special.
On the Sixth and Seventh Floors of the museum, I experienced the exhibit, "Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney's Collection." It made me rethink my own internal definition of the word "Portrait." The exhibit demonstrated the way portraiture has changed from the early 1900s to present day. When you think about it, the whole concept of portraiture has changed over time. The painting of portraits was once reserved for the elite, and those who could afford such a luxury, yet with the rise of photography, everything has changed. With the iPhone and other smartphones and with the influence of social media, the "selfie" is almost a new form of portraiture. Whatever the form, portraits get to the very essence of who we are as people and our place in the world.
Chuck Close, is very well known for his huge, floor to ceiling, portraits best viewed first from afar, and then up close (excuse the pun). This is his work titled "Lyle" and I've included a few views for you to see the genius behind his artwork.
And Jack Pierson, who I had the pleasure of meeting the night before, had two of his many works that are part of the Whitney's permanent collection, on display. One a self-portrait, "Self Portrait #4", 2003, and the other called, "Jerry in the Dressing Room", 1993.
I also saw some impressive works of art from some artists that I haven't been exposed to before. The painting shown here is one from the artist, Howard Kanovitz, called "New Yorkers 1". It's a very large painting and I found it to be very striking. I especially liked seeing the use of pencil within the painting as shown in this close-up photo.
There is a beautiful outdoor space with stairs leading to other levels and views of the surrounding cityscape and the new, NYC treasure, the High Line. If you plan to visit the Whitney Museum, you could also walk on the High Line either before or after what is sure to be an incredible art experience at the Whitney!
After the Whitney, I visited the Chelsea Market where I stumbled across a wonderful ID Pop Shop that featured apparel, accessories, Jewelry, and art. www.Idpopshop.com
I then proceeded on my quest to visit some of the Chelsea galleries that feature modern and contemporary art. Some galleries were focused on established artists and artists who are well-known to the general populace and others showcased emerging artists. I walked my feet off and ended up visiting about two dozen difference art galleries in Chelsea. I'll share some of my favorites here:
One of the galleries that I really enjoyed visiting in Chelsea was Jim Kempner Fine Art. http://jimkempnerfineart.com/ It was at this gallery that I was introduced to an artist named Greg Parker. His artwork features a unique process that results in an unbelievably cool work of art. He starts with a wood panel that is covered with up to 20 layers of polished gesso, thin layers of powdered pigment and graphite that is applied in progressive steps within mathematical systems. Kind of looks like metal or wood but the end result is a subdued reflective surface that is solid at nature.
At the Bryce Wolkowitz gallery, http://brycewolkowitz.com located at 505 W. 24th St., I saw a truly unique exhibit of multimedia sculptures and video installations from the artist, Yorgo Alexopoulos, I have learned that he films the 4K video, makes use of a translucent LCD video screens, robots, 3-D printers, motorized dollies, and multiple cameras simultaneously shooting time lapse photography. The piece that I found most compelling was one titled "First Time On The Moon,” which is comprised of the digital animation on a high definition translucent LCD display, aluminum and patina steel, glass, and custom electronics. The subject matter is the moon with the earth hovering in the distance in space.
The Berry Campbell Gallery www.berrycampbell.com presented the work of the artist Stanley Boxer, a Massachusetts born artist known for his thickly painted abstract works of art.
I visited the new Lisson Gallery at 504 W. 24th St. lissongallery.com It was a brand-new exhibit that opened just this past week, featuring the artwork of Carmen Herrera. I learned that she has been painting for almost 80 years in her Manhattan studio. She's perhaps the oldest living artist I've seen on my venture; she will celebrate her 101st birthday later this month and will be honored with a survey exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in September 2016. The exhibit at the Lisson Gallery represents a new body of work produced in the last two years. The paintings exhibited were primarily acrylic on large-scale canvases. They almost had an Ellsworth Kelly kind of feel to them, in terms of the colors used in a very minimalist way.
At 138 10th Ave., I visited Lori Bookstein Fine Art. www.loribooksteinfineart.com There were a few artists represented in this gallery exhibit, but one stuck out to me, an artist named Diana Horowitz. The exhibition featured a series of small paintings depicting the landscape of and around Lake Como, Italy. She painted on en plain air and each of the small 5" x 7" or smaller canvases had subdued tones and colors capturing the light across the landscapes.
One of the most unusual, yet fascinating exhibits that I saw was at the Lions Wier Gallery at 542 W. 24th St. www.lyonswiergallery.com The gallery featured the pop artist, Jae Yong Kim in the exhibit titled "Pop Goes The Donut". The walls of the gallery were lined with ceramic, glazed donuts, many featuring Swarovski crystals, gold, and other mixed media.
At the Cheim & Read Gallery, a brand new exhibit features the work of Spanish artist, Juan Uslé. Jack Pierson has shown his work at this gallery in the past. Many of the works were in excess of 9 feet in height. I learned that the short, broad brushstrokes comprising the bands in his paintings are based on the artist's pulse, similar to a cardiogram. www.cheimread.com
The Agora Gallery at 530 W. 25th St. focuses on emerging artists, and I recommend checking this gallery out for emerging talent! www.Agora-Gallery.com
The Rush Arts Gallery (Rush Philanthropic Foundation www.rushphilanthropic.org) at 520 W. 26th St. featured an exhibit called “Medium: Black.” The Rush Philanthropic Foundation is a non-profit founded in 1995 by media mogul Russell Simmons and his brothers and is committed to bettering the lives of under-served city youth through exposure to the arts and to provide professional support for emerging artists and curators. The group show featured artists that all use the color black. One of the pieces of artwork that I found most fascinating in this gallery was the work of Charlotte Becket who used a motor within the artwork, giving the artwork almost an organic or living feeling to it.
The Tagliatella Galleries featured some originals and prints from some of the more well-known contemporary artists like Alex Katz, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mr. Brainwash, Bansky, Kaws, Damian Hirst, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, etc. http://www.taglialatellagalleries.com/
Another well-known and established gallery, The Pace Gallery, featured David Hockney prints entitled, “The Yosemite Suite”. http://www.pacegallery.com/ The Robert Miller Gallery on 26th St featured the work of Lee Krasner. http://www.robertmillergallery.com/ And the Mitchell-Innes and Nash Gallery featured the incredible work of Tom Wesselmann. http://www.miandn.com/
Before heading back to Boston, my final stop was the Fashion Institute of Technology where I was able to see a wonderful exhibit on the history of denim. When you think about fashion, denim is one of the many materials out there that really stands out and has lasted for hundreds of years. Denim may even be the most popular fabric in the world today. The exhibit entitled: “Denim: Fashion’s Frontier” showed the evolution of denim. The exhibit takes you from the very earliest use of denim all the way to present day, highlighting the milestones denim has had impacting the fashion world. In its last days, this exhibit will be followed by an exhibit on May 20th, entitled “Uniformity,” which will explore the history behind a variety of uniforms (military, work, school, and sports), considering both their social role and their influence on high fashion. The Museum at FIT is located at 7th Avenue at 27th St. http://www.fitnyc.edu/museum/
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and my reflections on the art I've seen. Please check out the websites of these galleries for more information and for current exhibition dates!
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