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Saturday morning fun with Jean-Michel Basquiat

April 18th, 2015

I was browsing Facebook this morning, and enjoyed a photograph posted by a friend showing a collaborative art project between him and his son … his son made the drawing, and the dad added the colors. My first thought was, “that has the feel of a Basquiat,” both in the characters and the color palette. Sure enough, a quick Google image search for “Basquiat” revealed two different paintings that seem to match up pretty well. Scroll down for more …

a father and son's art project which reminds me of Basquiat

This got me in a Basquait mood … so I started looking through some of my own Basquiat art books, and decided I’d try to make my own “Basquiat” just for fun. Let me tell you, for all the people out there who might look at a Basquiat and say “those are just childish scribbles,” it sure as heck isn’t easy to copy … they’re actually quite-complex compositions. Here’s my attempt (below right) to at least capture the essence of Basquiat’s work, below left, without being able to make an exact copy. I enjoy my end result when viewed by itself, but placing it side-by-side with the real thing, I see how good Basquiat was!

trying to copy a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat


Pets + Graffiti + Procrastination = a new collage

April 17th, 2015

Sometimes my procrastination really gets the best of me … I’m in my office, easily distracted from the work at hand, when I notice that all three of my pets – two dogs and a cat – are sprawled out together on the floor. The creative urge hits, I dig through some old graffiti photos from 5 Pointz, and came up with this image. Maybe this should be a new art movement … Procrastinism, anyone?

2 dogs, a cat, and graffiti from 5 Pointz


Designer Mattia Bonetti

April 16th, 2015

I was reading a short feature on the French designer Mattia Bonetti, and was intrigued by his work. He is described as someone who “doesn’t have a signature look or reference any particular period,” but rather designs pieces “as they come to me.” That kind of artistic freedom, to do whatever you want without the constraints of fitting into a specific “expected” output, is very appealing to me. Many of his furniture pieces are unique and not mass-produced, so many of his clients are also contemporary art collectors, and when you see a couple examples below, you’ll see why.

Bonetti is going to have a short exhibition of “new editions” later this month at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, running from April 29th to May 4th … I’ll have to try to get into NYC to check it out.

furniture designed by Mattia Bonetti


Geometric art on the exterior of the Baltimore Aquarium

April 10th, 2015

The Baltimore Aquarium has a lot of cool things to see on the inside, one of which is the 3-story, 225,000-gallon shark tank called “Shark Alley.” But the outside of the Aquarium has some nice features as well, including this geometric art on the exterior of the building. The colorful shapes really make the building jump out on the waterfront … even with all of the great art to be seen in Baltimore, the Aquarium was still one of our favorite destinations on this recent trip.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore with geometric art on the exterior


Freddy Sam mural with a little taste of Schnabel and Basquiat

April 10th, 2015

I just got back from several days in Baltimore, and will have plenty to share both here on Artsology as well as eventual full coverage on our sister site, The Arts Adventurer.

The mural pictured below is a large-scale street art piece by the South African artist Ricky Lee Gordon, who goes by the street art nickname “Freddy Sam.” It’s part of the “Open Walls Baltimore” series of graffiti murals that are spread out over the Station North Arts District.

It’s an impressive mural, and one can spend quite a bit of time walking from one end to the other and back, taking in all of the details. One thing I noticed is the section in the lower left corner – you can see a bunch of words have been painted in this section. It’s not so much the actual words that caught my attention, but rather the visual references to the art of Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Scroll down to see more …

Mural by South African artist Freddy Sam in Baltimore

As you can see in this detail view below, the word “mountains” is painted within a large scale “brush stroke” of white paint; above and to the right of this is a 3-pointed crown. If you’re not familiar with these visual references to Schnabel and Basquiat, please scroll down for some comparison images.

Open Walls Baltimore mural by Freddy Sam

As you can see in the example of a Schnabel painting, below left, he often has words painted within horizontal bands of color as well. As you can see in the example of a Basquiat painting, below right, a 3-pointed crown is one of Basquiat’s iconic images that he used in countless paintings and drawings. By pointing out these visual references, we don’t mean to take anything away from Freddy Sam’s impressive mural, but rather to just share the art historical references that we picked up when viewing this street art masterpiece.

Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings


Motto of a Baltimore Graffiti Artist

April 9th, 2015

I just got back from a trip to Baltimore, my first visit to the city. There was a lot of great art to see, both in the museums and galleries as well as in the streets. I saw this graffiti motto painted on a wall in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District of Baltimore. According to “Joba,” which is the tag listed in the lower right corner, the goal is to “Create, Conquer, Celebrate.” I’m not sure where the “conquer” aspect comes in, but certainly “create” and “celebrate” makes sense to me.

Joba, graffiti artist in Baltimore


Investigating the historical kitchen of Jackson Pollock

April 2nd, 2015

Robyn Lea visited the Jackson Pollock Museum in East Hampton a few years ago, and took notice of what she saw in the kitchen. It suggested to her that Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner enjoyed cooking and entertaining. So she did some research, including getting access to the pantry and their cookbooks, and finding recipes pulled from the New York Times in the 1940’s. She also interviewed people who were close to him, to get a better sense of Pollock the “foodie” – and the result is a new cookbook titled “Dinner with Jackson Pollock.”

Our playful illustration here depicts Pollock offering up a home-made pizza along with a “drip cake” while wearing an apron whose mess is questionable – is it paint, or tomato sauce and other food stuff?

Check out the cookbook on Amazon here: Dinner With Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature

Cookbook with historical references to Jackson Pollock's kitchen


Hillary Clinton as street art icon?

April 2nd, 2015

If Hillary Clinton “runs” for the Presidency, will her hair fly out in the breeze like the hair on this street art image? I can’t say for sure that this wheat paste street art found in Bushwick (Brooklyn) is supposed to be Hillary Clinton, but a comparison between the street art and a photograph shows some strong similarities in the eyes, eyebrows, pursed lips and chin … what do you think?

wheat paste street art in Bushwick that looks like presidential candidate Hillary Clinton


Geometric artists in Kansas

April 1st, 2015

Check out the image below …it makes for some funky, abstract geometric art, right? It’s actually an aerial image of farmland in Finney County, Kansas, with the circles created by center pivot irrigation systems. Each circle is a separate irrigation system within an overall 500 square mile patch of farmland shown here. The larger systems are one mile in diameter, and the smaller ones are a half mile in diameter. Scroll down for some other pictures that will be less-abstract in showing how the pivot irrigation system looks and operates.

geometric earth art via pivot irrigation

a look at center pivot irrigation and how it works


Artsy snowflake cut-outs in NYC

March 31st, 2015

Remember the paper cut-out snowflakes that your teacher used to have you make in elementary school? I saw these two elaborate snowflake cut-outs taped to the inside of a door window on East Houston Street on the Lower East Side last month … I especially like the pattern on the left one.

paper snowflakes on the Lower East Side


Vincent Van Gogh at Artsology Artsology offers free online games about the arts, and delivers investigations into topics in the visual arts, music, and literature. Artsology is a good resource for fun learning about the arts for people of all ages and is enjoyed by students, homeschoolers, and adults. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page. Pablo Picasso paintings at Artsology

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