Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lucian Freud, Rembrandt and Turner

What do these three artists have in common? That as they became aged and aging artists they became much more interested in paint and its physicality, sometimes to the point of obscuring what they were depicting.

See this article from Prospect Magazine entitled The Skin We Live In by Sebastian Smee. He says as follows:  "In the 1990s and 2000s, he takes this still further, introducing layers of painted reinforcement. A spiky quality that goes beyond mere representation appears in many of his best pictures. As with late Rembrandt, the paint is applied in ways that disrupt or interfere with the viewer’s easy access to the image. Something extra is conveyed—an awkwardness, but also a sense of deepening interest, thickening emotion, urgency."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Avoid These Pay to Play Art Galleries & Venues

Avoid These Pay to Play Art Galleries & Venues

Artists often find out about these offers through various forms of advertising, particularly mass emailings. The more agressive senders relentlessly bombard artists with emails and sometimes even contact them directly by phone. Costs to participate can range anywhere from under $100 to thousands of dollars, especially if you factor in incidental expenses like shipping, travel, insurance or accomodations. Whatever the circumstance, make sure you are aware of all costs and potential benefits or drawbacks in advance. Does everyone benefit... or is it more like you pay, they play? Here is a partial list, in no particular order, of publications, venues, and other situations where you have to pay to expose your art, and that you should fully research-- before you pay-- in order to understand exactly what you're getting for your money:

GENERAL RULE, don't pay to exhibit, exceptions quality juried shows at recognized venues, and shared rentals at established venues.

* Agora Gallery, New York City (related solicitations: Chelsea International Fine Art Competition)

* Florence Biennale

* Gallery Gora, Montreal, Canada

* Artists Wanted (related solicitations: The Power of Self, Art Takes London, 3rd Ward Open Call, Art Interview Online Magazine, One Life - An International Photography Competition, Art Takes Miami)

* World Art Media (related solicitations: NY Arts Magazine, APW Gallery, Arts Hotline, Art Fairs Newspaper, Annual Artists' Web Directory, Beijing Arts Space, NY Arts Beijing, The Broadway Gallery NYC, Art Fairs International)

* Artoteque (related solicitations: Artists of Today - 100 Contemporary Artists, iBIENNIAL 2011 2012)

* Masters of Today (related solicitations: Art Addiction, World of Art Magazine, Creative Genius, Art in Vogue, Art Connoisseurs, Female Artist's Art Annual, Artist's World - 100 Contemporary Artists, Nude de Nude online art annual, Bibliophile Limited Edition art book)

* World Wide Art Books (related solicitations: International Contemporary Masters, International Masters of Photography)

* World Art Foundation (Umbrella Publishing, Jojo Marengo)

* Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City

* International Contemporary Artists

* Art & Beyond Publications (online Magazine)

* Palm Art Award

* World Art Vision (related solicitations: Open Art Code)

* Magazine

* Contemporary Art Network (CAN), New York City

* Ico (aka Icosahedron) Gallery, Chelsea, New York City

* Art-Exchange (.com)

* RAW - Natural Born Artists

* American Art Awards

* Artist Portfolio Magazine (related solicitations:

* The Artists' Alley, San Francisco, CA (also known as Galiaria)

* American Art Collector published by Alcove Books

* NY Art Marathon

* Artspecifier (related solicitations: Photospecifier)

* A. Jain Marunouchi Gallery, New York City

* Artists Haven Gallery, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

* The Brick Lane Gallery, London, UK

* Printspace Gallery, London, UK

* Queen Gallery, Toronto, ON

* Working Artist Org.

* Manu Sol Publications

* Art LA (.com)

* James Gray Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (Art LA)

* Laguna Art (.com)

* Townley Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA (Laguna Art)

* Fine Art Connoisseur (related solicitations: Artist Advocate Magazine, PleinAir Magazine, American Forum for Realism, Plein Air Convention)

* Art Show Productions, Rochester & Pittsford, NY (related solicitations: Artisan Direct, ARTISANworks)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dido & Aeneas

I received an email via my website contact page from a student from Belgium who for her course of Latin has to talk about an artwork about Dido & Aeneas. She asked me the following several questions:

  • I would like to learn more about your series.

  • You say that the paintings represent the feeling of Aeneas when he's leaving the city.

  • What is then the difference between each painting of the serie?

  • Why did you chose the topic of Dido and Aeneas?

  • What's your vision on the topic of DIdo and Aeneas?

  • Is there something symbolic in the paintings?

I answered her questions this way:

Thank you very much for looking at and enjoying my work.

I have done some reading, in English, of the classics because they are great stories with universal impact.

Dido's story is a woman's struggle; at Tyre her brother kills her husband, she escapes to Carthage, founds the city, cleverly lays out its walls, builds a home for her people and is judged to be a wise ruler.

So even though the Aeneid is the story of the founding myth of Rome and thus of Aeneas' wanderings, at its heart is Dido's lament and the pyre she builds to immolate herself.

Stanley Lombardo's translation, in Book 4, at lines 689-708:

"O God!" she said. "Will he get away,

Will this interloper make a mockery of us?

To arms, the whole city after him!

Launch the fleet! Bring fire, man the oars!

What am I saying? Where am I?

What has come over me? Oh, Dido, only now

Do you feel your guilt? Better to have felt it

When you gave away your crown. Behold

The pledge, the loyalty of the man they say

Bears his ancestral gods, bore on his shoulders

His age-worn father! Could I not have torn him

Limb from limb and fed him to the fishes?

Murdered his friends? Minced Ascanius himself

And served him up as a meal to his father?

The battle could have gone either way: What of it?

Doomed to die, whom did I have to fear?

I should have torched his camp with my own hands,

And thrown myself on top of the conflagration.

So, I see these images and the story, as not so much of Trojan Aeneas' journey to Rome and glory as the founder of a successful patriarchal dynasty, but more of Dido's lament and her funeral pyre. She immolated herself out of deep regret, guilt at giving herself to his ambitions, and the realization that she'd let down her people.

Is there a difference between each painting of the series? There basically is no difference between the paintings, they are variations on a theme.

You ask is there something symbolic in the paintings? If there's any overt symbolism is the bits of red paint scattered into the black. Could be that red is the fire and black is the soot and ashes. I prefer not to overstate symbolism in my work, but let the viewer do their own thinking.

Once again, thank you ever so much for looking at my work, enjoying it, and for giving me the opportunity to do some thinking and explication of it. Hopefully, this makes sense to you.

I wish you continued success in your studies.