Thursday, January 14, 2010

Giorgio de Chirico had once been accused by a Signor Martin Alzaga of plagiarizing his early paintings and selling them. He was later accused of denouncing some of his genuine earlier paintings as plagiarism because Alzaga was jealous of the high prices they were drawing, even though his later work wasn’t commanding such high prices. Ironically and strangely enough, he’s accused of forging his paintings and then denouncing his forgeries as forgeries! But despite the absurd accusations, his paintings remain even more strange and mysterious. Paintings that will poetically haunt generations to come, long after Picasso, Matisse, and Monet are forgotten.

Hector and Andromache. 1917.

“Art is the fatal net which catches these strange moments on the wing like mysterious butterflies, fleeing the innocence and distraction of common men.”

Giorgio de Chirico. The Melancholy of Departure. 1916.

There is a complex relationship between Arthur Ganson and his art. His intentions in his motion devices seem to be just for the love of logic behind the intricacies of how it’s done. He states at the end of this video that these devices mean nothing. That whatever he makes, and what that person feels, is like the gear in one of his devices. These essentially meaningless objects could mean something to you, magnifying some emotional aspect in life, and again, you’re on a trip with the creator and yourself. It brings you back around to a shared emotional idea and passion that Ganson has created. In essence, the creator has done something he loves and has a passion for and you’ve experienced those same feelings just by watching the object in motion.

“Technology is very seductive, and it is certainly changing the way things are designed and made and taught. The problem is when technology has seduced you away from thinking about things as deeply as you should.”
-Arthur Ganson

Looking to improve your figure drawing? Check out PoseManiacs. Go there and set the timer to 1 minute; do 10 a day.

A work of art is useless. So is a flower.
-Oscar Wilde

There is only one absinthe drinker, and that’s the man who painted this idiotic picture. (on Manet’s “Absinthe Drinker”) - Thomas Couture

The painter of grand history paintings couldn’t abide the emphasis on the present and the individual artist. Though Manet studied 6 years under Couture, the Parisian life was quite removed from their circle, but nonetheless very real. When asked to write his autobiography, Couture grieved that “biography is the exaltation of personality—and personality is the scourge of our time.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

“He has no talent at all, that boy! You, who are his friend, tell him, please, to give up painting.”

– Manet to Monet, on Renoir

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”

René Magritte. Le blanc-seing. 1965.

The above portrait is a pretty abstract expressionist painting… for a dog.

Tillamook Cheddar is a Jack Russell terrier that works with her claws and teeth, and will bite anyone who attempts to interfere. She’s the most successful living painter, having already 16 solo exhibitions of her work throughout the United States as well as in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Bermuda since 1999 and has earned over $100,000.

The U.S. Supreme Court is pretty cool. It has it’s own cafeteria, a 450,000-book library and a basketball court on the fifth floor (which staffers call “the highest court in the land”).

One interesting detail: The building’s frieze depicts the history of law, including the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, only the last five commandments are visible, and Moses’ beard obscures some of the Hebrew, so the visible text reads:

Commit Adultery

Oh well.

“Illusion is the first of all pleasures”

“Corner House,” by Hungarian painter István Orosz (b. 1951).

Before World War I, Adolf Hitler produced more than 2,000 paintings and drawings.

Hitler said that his educational slump was a rebellion against his father, who wanted the boy to follow him in a career as a customs official; he wanted to become a painter instead. This explanation is further supported by Hitler’s later description of himself as a misunderstood artist.

There’s no chalice on the table in Leonardo’s Last Supper… but there is one on Bartholemew’s head (far left).

The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.

The national painting of Finland is Hugo Simberg’s The Wounded Angel.

Simberg refused to give a meaning for the painting… but it was his favorite work.

There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats.

Pablo Picasso

At the height of his career, the legendary Spanish painter released this statement that enraged feminists everywhere. In essence, he described that women are either of royalty, embellishing in themselves an exquisite, desiring need to be treated like goddesses. Or you were a doormat. Able to be footed with the respect of a pair Lugz. But therein lies the question: why marry a doormat when there are video game girlfriends and the Eiffel Tower?

Picasso’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso.

Garçon à la Pipe by Pablo Picasso is currently the 2nd most expensive painting in the world which auctioned for $104,100,000. It was surprising to core art buyers because it was painted in the style not usually associated with the pioneering Cubist artist.
Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.
- Pablo Picasso

This is the sketch William Parsons drew of the Whirlpool Galaxy 44 years before van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

Irish astronomer William Parsons might have been surprised to see van Gogh’s The Starry Night appear in 1889.

“I take occasion to give my personal assurance that all pictures appearing in this book are photographed from life. The difficulties encountered in posing kittens and puppies for pictures of this kind have been overcome only by the exercise of great patience and invariable kindness.”

In the early 20th century, Harry Whittier Frees created a booming business in novelty postcards, posing animals in human situations, including props and sets.

“There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”

This photograph of Salvador Dali was taken by Philippe Halsman depicting “a painter’s easel, three cats, a bucket of water, and Dalí himself floating in the air.” Halsman reported that it took 28 attempts to be satisfied with the result. Halsman and Dali eventually released a compendium of their collaborations in the 1954 book Dali’s Mustache, which features 36 different views of the artist’s distinctive mustache.

Salvador Dalí. Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time. 1939.

Salvador Dalí. Metamorphosis of Narcissus. 1931.

This guy, Marc Quinn, took 10 pints of his own blood, froze it, and carved his face in such a deep color red, that it will probably spark an emotional reaction in donors everywhere.

Jean Babtiste Carpeaux’s ‘Ugolino and His Sons’

This is a daunting extract from Dante’s Divine Comedy but the sculpture is just too awesome…

‘Father our pain’, they said,
‘Will lessen if you eat us you are the one
Who clothed us with this wretched flesh: we plead
For you to be the one who strips it away’.

(Canto XXXIII, ln. 56–59)

… And I,
Already going blind, groped over my brood
Calling to them, though I had watched them die,
For two long days. And then the hunger had more
Power than even sorrow over me

(Canto XXXIII, ln. 70-73)[3]

Hey Everyone!

"My name is Josh. I currently have an internship at as a Graphic Designer but have been gaining proficient marketing technique knowledge. The website,, launched 3 months ago and we’re looking for your help! Presently, we’re looking for more members for our art forum, which, I’m not going lie, is like a ghost town. You’ll also notice that my posts on Tumblr are the exact same posts on the forum, which is great because I get to share my interests there and here. Anyway, I told my boss about Tumblr and she thought it was a great idea to lure in artists of all kinds, so don’t hesitate to sign up and start a discussion on our art forum. Hope everybody likes what I have to contribute and don’t forget to sign up at the art forum!"


Have a nice one,

Josh Announces Worldwide Debut

PHOENIX, Arizona –, a Phoenix based website firm, announced today its debut into the realm of online art networks. This monumental accomplishment will fuse art enthusiasts, buyers, sellers, and artists themselves together in one seamless meeting place that spans the entire globe.

Available in over 20 languages and seen in nearly 200 countries, is able to bring together the art from around the world into one impressive meeting place. Art Fortune is working on partnerships with museums, galleries and artists alike to offer clients unique art work, databases for information pertaining to art and forums where art related topics can be freely exchanged between members of the groundbreaking site.

Using state of the art technology, to provide features it is members that include the ability to upload high resolution images of artwork, safely store images with its database, connect with artists, galleries, and museums all over the globe, and even search for artists within a specified genre or regional area. Elena Kohn, president and founder of has been working tirelessly for the past few years to launch a website that encompassed each of these features and is now proud to announce its arrival to the world.

Rene Magritte created witty, thought-provoking images as a Belgian surrealist artist. Surrealism is defined as features of elements of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur (lacking any real meaning relative to what it follows). Most surrealist artists, however, will regard their works as an expression of the philosophical movement with works of art being “artifacts”. Take a look at “The Lovers” and “L’Invention de la vie”. Both painted with oil. Two primary characteristics stand out here that are pretty obvious. Two pieces of cloth are coving the heads of The Lovers while only one person is covered in L’Invention de la vie. The subtle difference is that while the whole body of a person is covered in one illustration, but is it man or woman who is covered? Incidentally, only the heads of The Lovers are covered, while there, displayed, is the depiction of man and woman.

Both paintings re-enact two very interesting concepts: life and love. They are interacting on a backdrop of fluid and solid colors of blue and red. It is the L’Invention de la vie that confused me the most. The picture is utterly absurd. It seems to be telling the story of a person who has not been introduced to the world. The woman who stands next to him hasn’t helped him/her because she has not lifted her own garments, which come straight down in wrinkled but defined quality. The shadows in the cloth reflect the meaning of the painting itself. I came up with a funny idea. Her hands seem to be compromised, which makes me think: what if this was a world without hands! Ha hah! For all we know, this world is a world without hands. Perhaps life itself is just a series of helping hands to uncover that that is life. Life is, after all, mostly and wholly based on interaction.

If you look at the second painting it is quite simple and not as absurd as the first. The Lovers is a beautiful representation of the connotation “love is blind”. The picture isn’t love, but just a representation of what lovers can be. There is no other way to look at it. I think the most important point to understand is the seemingly blindness of love. When you fall in love with a person, what exactly are you falling in love with, their eyes or their voice? What they see and tell or what you hear and think?

Both paintings are extremely subjective and thought provoking for the visual interpreter. These are just a few questions to ask when looking at these painting and don’t necessary have to explain a philosophy. When I look at the lovers, I think of the story between Narcissus and Echo. It’s a great story of a girl, Echo, that falls in love with a boy, Narcissus, but he is cursed to be in love with no one else but himself which makes the story so tragic.

René Magritte. The Lovers (Belgian, 1898-1967). 1928.

René Magritte. L’Invention de la vie. 1928.
Picasso’s “little guitar” found in a shoebox

A wee wooden guitar made by Pablo Picasso has been recovered 3 years after it was stolen by a con-man. Picasso made it for his daughter Paloma, but once it was finished he gave it instead to his friend, Italian artist Giuseppe Vittorio Parisi.

Parisi kept it for decades, but when he was 92 (in 2007), an unnamed “businessman” persuaded him to part with it. The fraudster promised he’d create a special special wood and glass display case for the piece, but once he had it, he disappeared never to be seen again.

Great writing for a great comic that is probably also a lost chance for something that could have been deeper/had more meaningful connections between the situations and people involved.

Either way, great art and great concept. I think the meaning is that assumptions about people’s character or motives are often wrong and “some people” aren’t the a**holes we assume them to be.


In El Lissitzky’s “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge”, we can see a perfect example of simple shapes done with lithography. It is a simplified portrait, using the most basic shapes, to portray a meaning of propaganda. A red, intrusive wedge, symbolizes the workers penetrating and defeating their opponents, the Whites (capitalists/counter revolutionaries), during the Russian Civil War. He delivers a clear political message where, during that time, red was the standard symbol for revolution. White was the standard for anti-revolutionary forces. The text on the right said “Beat Whites” where white was the position of anti-revolutionaries.

An exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea features works painted by Picasso in the decade before his death in 1973, including four from 1967.

“Galleries mounted an impressive string of museum-quality shows. The league leader was the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, where a lavish retrospective of the Italian avant-gardist Piero Manzoni and a stunning assembly of paintings and prints from Picasso’s last decade, left, made both artists feel brand new.”

The Year in Arts: Roberta Smith (nyt)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

5 (Happy Little) Things You Didn't Know About Bob Ross:

1. Before Ross became a TV painter, he spent 20 years in the United States Air Force and retired with the rank of master sergeant.
2. He worked for FREE. Ross could bang out an entire 13-episode season of The Joy of Painting in just over two days, which freed him up to get back to teaching lessons.
3. He didn’t sell his painting, however, Ross did sell some souvenir gold pans during his stint in Alaska.
4. He loved animals. During his childhood in Florida, he once shocked his mother by trying to nurse a wounded alligator back to health in the family’s bathtub.
5. He didn’t love the Fro. Ross had an uncanny knack for marketing, though, so he knew that trimming his locks down to a more conservative ‘do would probably undercut part of his business.

“I’ve never claimed that this is investment art. When we first started out, all the art colleges and universities across the country would sort of badmouth what we were doing. It’s funny that a lot of them now are sending us letters saying, ‘We may not totally agree with the way you paint, but we appreciate what you’re doing, because you’re sending literally thousands of people into art colleges.’” - Bob Ross

Photo-realistic paintings by Alyssa Monks

It’s fun to look at a photorealistic painting, and then go in really close and see that the reflective spot is really a stoke of paint.

Gustav Klimt

“If you can’t please everyone with your deeds and art, please just a few.”

At the end of the 19th century, the University of Vienna commissioned Gustav Klimt to create a painting depicting the field of philosophy. The painting, seen above in its complete form, created such outrage that 20 professors petitioned to have it removed. For a society that was seeking some greater order in any field, Gustav’s painting was certainly not a celebration of certainty or reason. An indication that old order was out and new, unknown age was dawning.

500 years of Female Portraits in 3 minutes.

Artist turns “Missed Connections” from Craigslist into beautiful art.

“Messages in bottles, smoke signals, letters written in the sand; the modern equivalents are the funny, sad, beautiful, hopeful, hopeless, poetic posts on Missed Connections Web sites,” Sophie Blackall says. “Every day hundreds of strangers reach out to other strangers on the strength of a glance, a smile or a blue hat. Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I’m trying to pin a few of them down.”

Sophie Blackall also has a book coming out featuring all these paintings and more in 2012!

If you’d like to discuss this or see more of her work, check out our forums!