Saturday, August 31, 2013
This painting will be in exhibition at my upcoming solo show: "Le Mystére de l'Eau", at the Bibliotheque de Cauterets, France, September 3-30. Vernissage (opening reception) is on Friday, September 6, 5:30-730 pm. Come on and join me!! Watercolor above is of the Cirque de Gavarnie, in the Haute Pyrénées, France.
I have recently read: Venise - Aquarelles de Turner, published by the British Museum. It has fantastic pictures of Turner's series of watercolors of Venice. I read that Turner used to draw non-stop in his sketchbook. When he died in 1851, there was a collection of more than three hundred sketchbooks!
Friday, August 30, 2013
My solo show: LE MYSTERE DE L' AGUA
opens next week at Bibliotheque de Cauterets, France, from September 3-30. More than 20 paintings, mostly watercolors, on the theme of water, so important for our life, and so treacherous some times. This Spring the rivers in the Pyrénées were overflown due to heavy snow during the winter, and a great storm during the Spring, with lots of rain at the same time that the snow was melting. This is the reason I have chosen the theme of water this year for my yearly exhibition in France. You are all invited to come see the show. I will be posting some more paintings on the blog during the exhibition. Cauterets is 30 km. South of Lourdes, in the Pyrénées, France. If you are not from the area, Lourdes is between Pau and Toulouse, on the Highway A64.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Continuing with my report on La Biennale di Venezia , another interesting exhibition was the comic book form of Genesis, by R. Crumb, American. " By the mid 1970s he was a legend in underground comics. His one-page comic "keep on truckin' became a slogan. in 2009 he published his most ambitious work to date: All 50 chapters of the book of Genesis in comics, 207 pages of black and white drawings. It took him over five years to complete. The sacred is seen through the base and lurid lens of the human." says the catalog. It was awesome to see several walls covered with the framed 207 pages with the story, word by word, of the book of Genesis from the Bible, and the drawings.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
He gives the mythological theme of Danaë a new interpretation. This Greek legend can be read in different ways. This Russian artist chose to do it like this: only women can enter on the ground floor, where you are given a transparent umbrella to cover yourself from a" rain of gold coins"! This is a reference to the seduction of Danaë as a symbol of human lust and greed, and the corrupting influence of money. You are instructed to pick up a bunch of "gold coins", keep one for yourself, and deposit the rest in a bucket for that purpose in another room. Zakharov demonstrates to a society that no longer believes in myths, the importance of mythological personifications. He said: "Time has come to confess our rudeness, lust, narcissism, demagoguery, falsehood, banality, greed, cynicism, robbery, speculation, wastefulness, gluttony, seduction, envy, and stupidity." I pasted my "gold" coin on my notebook, and wrote what it says on the back, in the bigger representation below the actual coin.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Born and raised in a small village in Nigeria, he had his first camera when he was 20. He became obsessed and soon found work as a photographer, quickly becoming a well known photographer in Nigeria. In the 1960s he began documenting various aspects of Nigerian culture. For over 40 years he has captured elaborate hair styles and head wrappings of Nigerian women. The catalog of the Biennale di Venezia 2013 says about Ojeikere: "In more than 1000 photographs the sculpted and braided hair, whose elaborate designs can take days and weeks to complete, he registered hair styles of some of Nigeria's hundreds of ethnic groups. They indicate changing fashion, skill of the hair stylists, and the changes that attended the transformation of Nigeria as it grew into a new era of autonomy and self-determination." The photographs at the Biennale were life size, and a joy and a marvel to look at. He's 83 years old this year.
Monday, August 5, 2013
His work has influenced Japanese contemporary art very much in the past 30 or so years. He has produced multi-layered works in painting, sculpture, and bookmaking. At La Biennale di Venezia, I saw some of his 60 individual books, some bulging with up to 700 pages. Like keepsake albums, collections of found materials, paintings, tickets, magazine cut-outs, each book also becomes a sculptural object. This is my watercolor representing Ohtake's "Scrapbook number 14".
Sunday, August 4, 2013
One of the most influential psychotherapists of the 20th C. Jung experienced dreams, visions and fantasies from an early age. At 12, he saw God, from a throne in the sky, defecating on the Basel Cathedral, shattering its roof. He believed that myth held an important place in human existence, while not believing in any myths himself, which bothered him. Concentrating in his "active imagination", he started writing and painting his visions in a collection of small black notebooks for 16 years, which he bound together as an illuminated manuscript in red leather. This became his Red Book. "All of my work, all of my creative activity", he said, "has come from those initial fantasies and dreams." Jung's Red Book, opened to page 119, at La Biennale di Venezia 2013.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
It was fun to sketch in Venice. It is such a challenge to control your colors, though. Color jumps at you from every corner. Continuing with my reporting La Biennale di Venezia: another artist's work I liked: Geta Brātescu, from Romania. She's 87 years old now. She's one of the most important figures in the Romanian avant-garde of the 60s and 70s, she was trained in art and literature. In the 1980s she created a series of quilted machine-embroidered textile collages in which she shifted from the deeply personal work she was doing in her studio, to address broader questions of female identity. At the Biennale she presented: "Medeic Calistenic Moves", sewing machine drawings on textile.
Friday, August 2, 2013
I have chosen to report on this artist, because I was impressed with her work. Guo Fenyi developed acute arthritis at the age of 39, being forced to retire. Her suffering lessened when she started practicing Qigong, focusing and strengthening energy. After several years of immersion in Qigong, she experience visions, and a tremendous outpouring of energy and artistic productivity. In a few years, she created over a thousand drawings in ink, pencil, and ballpoint pen. Guo Fenyi saw her work as an extension of her Qigong practice and said she was only a medium, asserting that her message "came from heaven". "I draw because I don't know" she said. "I draw in order to know."
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Born in 1941, in the USA, John de Andrea's figurative works bring the tradition of lifelike sculpture to a climax. I read that he had started working with resin, but now layers paint on bronze casts. He imparts an unsettlingly realistic likeness of human skin to their surfaces. Hyperrealism. When I walked in the room, I thought this one was an actual, real, alive woman posing!! It fooled me!! Of course, this was at La Biennale di Venezia, a few days ago.
In the 1950s he begun working on a detailed architectural model of an imaginary museum, which he called "The Encyclopaedic Palace of the World". His Palace is a testament to humanity's encyclopaedic drive. When he died, his construction went to a warehouse/storage space for over 30 years. Now it is the theme of the Biennale di Venezia, in 2013. He was seen as "strange" in his time, and "visionary" today. I hope that's true for me, too!!!