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"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." - Pablo Picasso

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Mysterious Skywriting near NYC

February 4th, 2014

At approximately 7:45am today, someone was skywriting an “X” in the northern skies of NJ, and someone else was skywriting an “X” in the southern skies … what’s going on? Seems like more than just a coincidence. Alien tic-tac-toe? “X Marks the Spot” for something happening today? Location, approximately 15 miles west of midtown Manhattan.

strange occurence of skywriting the letter x in the sky near NYC


Abstract Art out of winter elements

February 3rd, 2014

A little snow, ice, and salt on a slate sidewalk makes for some great abstract art:

ice, snow and salt on a slate sidewalk looks like abstract art


Snowy Trees and Jackson Pollock

February 3rd, 2014

It’s been snowing all day here today, and as I look out my window, the winter landscape reminds me a bit of a Jackson Pollock painting …

snow on trees has a similar look to a Jackson Pollock painting


Art Museum Super Bowl Wager

February 2nd, 2014

I thought it was interesting to see that a Super Bowl bet has been made between the directors of the Seattle Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum. If Denver wins, the Seattle Art Museum will provide a loan of “Sound of Waves,” a 12-foot-wide screen panel done in 1901 by Japanese artist Tsuji Kako, depicting a hawk by the sea. If Seattle wins, the Denver Art Museum will provide a loan of Frederic Remington’s 1895 bronze sculpture, “The Broncho Buster,” both of which are pictured below. May the best museum win!

Denver Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum make a Super Bowl wager with art from their collections


Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, and Jean-Michel Basquiat

February 1st, 2014

We happened upon this previously unpublished photograph showing these three titans of the arts and music industries hanging out together in the early 1980’s … Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I wonder what they were talking about? Bacon flavored biscuits?

pets dressed up like famous artists


Graffiti inspired by an Italian verb

January 31st, 2014

I’ll bet I know what you’re thinking when you read that headline … who makes graffiti based on verbs in any language, let alone Italian? At first, I assumed “Migro” was the name of the graffiti artist – and I suppose it could be – but when I Google-searched the word, it came up with being the Italian verb for “migrate,” which makes sense considering it’s accompanying an image of a flying goose or duck. Even that idea – graffiti featuring a duck – who makes duck graffiti? Maybe there’s more of a story to this graffiti … found in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, NJ.

graffiti showing a flying duck in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark


Architectural illusions by Lucia Koch

January 29th, 2014

I was introduced to the photography of artist Lucia Koch today, and wanted to share some with you. Lucia Koch was born in Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 1966, and currently lives and works in São Paulo. She had her first U.S. exhibition last year at the Christopher Grimes Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. Her exhibition was titled “(a small show with a lot of space in it),” and featured five large-scale photographs, which you can see the actual scale in relation to a person, below. They appear to be large architectural spaces, and the scale of the photographs makes one more-convinced that it’s a space that you could walk into and inhabit. But the truth is that these “interiors” are actually photographs looking inside of food packages! For example, this top image is in fact the inside of a rice package, and as you scroll down, you’ll see another “interior” which is the inside of a spaghetti box, and the 3rd is the inside of a bag used for popcorn! Her use of lighting and the scale certainly transform these images, but I think even seeing them online in a smaller format, they’re still very convincing. For more on Koch and her exhibition, check out the Christopher Grimes Gallery website here.

photographs by Lucia Koch

Lucia Koch photographs at the Christopher Grimes Gallery


James Tower exhibition at Erskine, Hall & Coe

January 29th, 2014

The Erskine, Hall & Coe Gallery in London is featuring an exhibition of ceramics by James Tower, which will open on February 5th and runs through the 28th. James Tower is known as one of the most distinguished ceramic artists of the 20th century. His ceramics are unique for their visual effects which suggest that he responded to nature and his environment. It has been said that the sea and its inhabitants provided motifs and compositional models that Tower adopted in his work. I can certainly see a reference to sea life in the two pieces shown below, as they both remind me of coral and reef elements that I’ve seen when scuba diving.

exhibition of James Tower ceramics at Erskine, Hall & Coe in London

Tower’s career was unusual in that he inhabited the worlds of both fine art and ceramics which, in the 1950s and 1960s, still had only a low level of interaction between the two. Teaching at Corsham brought him into contact with some of the pioneering painters of post-war abstraction, including William Scott, Peter Lanyon and Howard Hodgkin, and as a potter Tower showed his work alongside Bernard Leach and Lucie Rie. During the 1960s and 1970s, he worked with white terra cotta and bronze, expanding his diversity of sculptural work. From the late 1970s until his death in 1988, Tower concentrated again on glazed ceramic forms. Below is an example from this late period, shown from several different angles. It’s titled “Snow Forest,” and is dated from 1982. The Eskine, Hall & Coe website has multiple pictures from different viewpoints for all of the work in this exhibition, which is a really nice feature allowing one to get a full sense of the pieces.

ceramics exhibition of James Tower at Erskine, Hall & Coe Gallery in London


The Donald Judd Bunk Bed Incident at the Tate

January 29th, 2014

You may have heard the news about a recent incident at the Tate Museum in London: a family approached an untitled wall sculpture from 1980 by Donald Judd (below left), and the kid decided to climb onto the bottom “shelf” and take a rest. Another visitor at the museum – who happened to be an art dealer from Brooklyn – saw this action, and in her moment of astonishment, decided to take a picture (below right) and post it to Twitter. She then approached the parents and said that it wasn’t appropriate for their kid to be climbing on an art work worth millions of dollars, and the indignant mother replied “You don’t know anything about kids.”

It seems like a pretty straightforward story, right? But in seeing coverage of this story elsewhere, it seems like the public’s interpretation of this story goes all over the place, you’d almost think they didn’t read the story. There’s two elements that contribute to various responses: Donald Judd’s minimalist sculptures may not seem like “art” to some people – but the fact remains that it’s something in a museum, and you’d think the parents would realize you’re not supposed to touch – let alone sleep on it. And the fact that the woman who took the picture is an art dealer is relatively irrelevant – she could have been a librarian, and still felt compelled to tell the parents that their kid shouldn’t be on the art. Anyway, scroll down below the picture to see some of the ridiculous things that people had to say about this.

Donald Judd Tate incident with kid and woman posting to Twitter

Here’s some of the comments we read on other sites in response to this story:

“Karen” writes: “That’s not worth millions of dollars. Unless there’s a bag of money on that top piece that we can’t see, then they just look like shelves to me.” Why would one’s personal perception of value dictate whether someone can climb on it or not?

“Vin” writes: “If I was this woman’s boss, I’d wonder what she was doing on Twitter instead of handling those clown parents immediately.” Uh, Vin, she is not an employee of the Tate … she’s just another visitor who happens to have her own art gallery.

“Insjmb” writes: “If there’s art work that looks like it’s a bench, or a shelf, you might want to put up a sign that says it’s art.” When is the last time you’ve seen shelves installed in the middle of an art exhibition?

“Captain Tripps” writes: “If she owns the place, just ask them to leave.” Hey Cap, it’s a museum, she doesn’t “own” it, she’s a visitor just like the family.

“Rillo” writes: “$3 million for some shelves? How pretentious does one have to be in order to consider those things in my pantry that I put peanut butter on to be art?” So does this mean that he/she encourages kids to climb on his pantry shelves?

“Nonie” writes: “Even if the bottom shelf fell off the wall because that kid was playing on it, you can just fix it. It’s not like he’s smearing black paint all over the Mona Lisa.” So does this mean that if a kid is hanging onto the arm of an ancient Greek sculpture, you can just “fix it?”

“DJ” writes: “If you go to an art museum and let your kid touch the art, then I hope you will also go to the zoo and let your kid climb into the cage to pet the tigers.” I guess it’s okay because the Donald Judd sculptures can’t bite.

“Violet” writes: “I’m not advocating a movement to go touch and deface art in museums, though I would enjoy such a thing.” Well, at least she’s not shy about hating art.

And we’ll close with this funny comment by “Aperturius” – “The kid’s just a very young performance artist making a crucial commentary about the perceived sanctity of fine art. By using ’sculpture-as-jungle-gym’ the child breaks the subject/object barrier and ultimately becomes a participant in the art-making process. I look forward to the toddler’s retrospective in a few years.” Hilarious.


The Art of Gültekin Bilge

January 26th, 2014

I stumbled upon the art of Gültekin Bilge via Twitter the other day, and was really drawn in right away and found the work very beautiful as well as unique. Bilge is a Turkish Cypriot artist who often describes himself “an outsider,” as he feels that he does not perceive things in the same way as others see them. He was born in 1945 in Ceyhan, Paphos, and is a graduate of the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts.

Below are two pieces that I really liked – both are painted on wood, which I think gives them an interesting presence that wouldn’t quite be the same if they were on a square canvas. You can check out more of Bilge’s art on his website here, or on his Facebook page here. But if you want to see something really cool, check out his virtual gallery here, where you can click to enter and click to “walk through” the space, going into multiple rooms.

original oil on wood panel paintings by Gültekin Bilge


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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