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"He who despises painting has no love for the philosophy in nature." - Leonardo Da Vinci

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

December 14th, 2014

They say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and I guess you could apply this sentiment to this photograph of a CVS store in NYC on the Upper East Side. Google-searching that phrase, it was interesting to learn that it dates back to Greece in the 3rd Century BC, but also was utilized by Shakespeare when he wrote “beauty is bought by judgement of the eye.” Even Benjamin Franklin added his own interpretation, saying “beauty, like supreme dominion, is but supported by opinion.” Who would guess that a little street photography in NYC would lead to the ancient Greeks, Shakespeare, and Benjamin Franklin?

beauty is in the eye of beholder, ancient Greeks, Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin


Rembrandt and Michael Jackson

December 14th, 2014

I saw this painting by Rembrandt, below left and middle, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art today. Titled Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse, ca. 1665, it depicts Gerard de Lairesse (1641–1711), who was, in his day, a well-known painter, etcher, and art theorist.

When I looked closely at his face, however, the nose especially made me think of late Michael Jackson, below right. While the King of Pop can explain the appearance of his nose due to plastic surgery, de Lairesse’s nose was the result of syphilis, which caused his his swollen features and bulbous nose. I think it’s interesting that Rembrandt didn’t gloss over or try to minimize de Lairesse’s appearance, and interesting too that the sitter must have wanted it this way …?

This isn’t the first time we saw art in a museum that reminded us of Michael Jackson … check out Michael and his ancient Egyptian counterpart here.

Rembrandt Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse


Winter wonderland via David Hockney

December 9th, 2014

This is a short excerpt from David Hockney’s video installation Woldgate Woods, November 26th (2010), which was filmed with nine cameras attached to a moving SUV, exhibited across a multi-screen grid. It was part of Hockney’s recent exhibition at Pace Gallery in NYC.


Naughty or nice?

December 9th, 2014

It’s that time of year again, time to make sure Santa knows you’ve been nice and not naughty. This was part of a holiday display seen in NYC a few years ago …

Santa Claus finds out if you've been naughty or nice


Contemporary art invades Miami next week

November 29th, 2014

There are a number of contemporary art fairs taking place in Miami next week, most notably Art Basel Miami Beach. But we also received a press release from the Woolff Gallery in London, who will be exhibiting a number of their gallery artists at the Scope Art Fair in Miami next week as well. You can get a sneak preview of the work they’ll be showing here, and one of our favorites from this selection was the work of T.P. Hardisty, whose “Rubber Duck” piece is shown below … if you look closely, the overall image is made up of a group of different-colored rubber ducks. We wish we had the chance to join the fun in Miami, but we’ll be here in New Jersey trying to stay warm with winter weather upon us.

Woolff Art Gallery showing at Scope Miami


What kind of tree has blue leaves?

November 25th, 2014

We’ve seen some pretty dramatic fall colors this year, but were a little thrown off when we saw this blue leaf on the ground … to be honest, I think someone had spray-painted something outside on top of some leaves, because there were a few other blue leaves in the area (and certainly no blue-leafed tree).

found a blue leaf on the ground, not your typical fall colors


Saint Clair Cemin: almost an octopus, thanks to some mirrors

November 21st, 2014

I saw this piece by Saint Clair Cemin at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC, and it wasn’t really until I got home and looked closely at this photograph that I realize this “octopus” really only has one arm. Since the sculpture is positioned in a corner of mirrors, the one arm is reflected in the mirrors to produce the illusion of 7 arms in total, at least from this angle. I didn’t move around the piece enough to see if there’s an angle that produces the appearance of 8 arms … you would think that there must be a way to see it that way, because why make an octopus with only 7 arms?

The exhibition is titled “Myth and Math,” and runs through December 23, 2014. The gallery is located at 293 10th Avenue in NYC. According to the gallery’s press release, “the artist continues to push the boundaries of shape and line, manipulating perspective, and uniting disparate materials and themes within individual sculptures.” The artist was born in Brazil, educated in Paris, and currently lives and works in New York (although he also has a studio in Beijing … sounds like a cool mix of places to be!).

sculpture by Saint Clair Cemin at Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC


Street art from a saltine crackers box?

November 21st, 2014

I can’t say I would have ever thought of taking a saltine cracker box and turning it into street art, but then again, I’m not Duke A. Barnstable, who has done just that. You can see a lot of Duke’s street art if you simply walk around Chelsea in NYC.

street art with Nabisco saltine crackers box by Duke A. Barnstable


Paris Dispatch, #11: Infinity mirrors

November 21st, 2014

Here’s our last dispatch from our Paris correspondent – my wife, who was there on a business trip and is now home. If you haven’t seen the previous dispatches, the art gallery where she works was in Paris exhibiting at Paris Photo, the international fine art photography fair. Here she is at a restaurant in Paris with the photographer Richard Misrach, who decided to capture their “infinite reflection” in this double mirror setup. If you’re not familiar with Misrach’s art, you can check it out here.

infinite mirror reflection photograph by Richard Misrach


Paris Dispatch, #10: Street art faces literally in the street

November 20th, 2014

Our Paris correspondent (my wife on a business trip) sent me the following picture … I guess it’s safe to call it “street art” when it’s literally in the street, n’est-ce pas?

street art in paris


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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