Famous Artist Friday · Uncategorized

Famous Artist Friday | Karen LaMonte

Sometimes I just look at someone’s art and am awed at what they can do.  And also wonder how on earth they even came up with the idea.

 

Enter, Karen LaMonte.  She makes large, glass sculptures.  They. Look. Like. Ghost. Dresses.  I am in love.

 

Just, look:

Evening_Dress_With_Shawl
Source

 

I’m still confused about using pictures.  All I can say is that she has a gorgeous collection of pictures of her art, and that she inspires me to go re-read some Nancy Drew books with fake ghosts.  Looking at her art makes me feel like a kid who wanted to solve a mystery that involved a ghost in fancy dress-ware.

 

-Smudged

 

Famous Artist Friday · Uncategorized

Famous Artist Friday | Annette Lemieux

Today I’m going outside of my comfortable territory.  I really want to foster an appreciation for multiple genres of art within myself.  So, I’d like to discuss conceptual art and artist I conveniently found on Wikipedia after accidentally looking up Duchamp (who is the guy who signed the urinal, if you’re familiar with that particular story.).

 

As far as I can tell from reading Wikipedia (and I’m hungry and confused, I should really eat some lunch) Conceptual art is really rebellious.  I don’t want to say something like “realistic portraiture is too mainstream.”  I mean more of a “everything is BS, let’s see how far we can take this.”  Which I appreciate.  In a culture that values fame and money, it is fascinating to see people simultaneously break down what makes art art AND sell some fairly ridiculous things to rich people (like a signed urinal).

 

But to my point, I picked Annette Lemieux.  Who was listed on the Conceptual Art page in Wikipedia.  But Wikipedia lists Picture Theory as the art scene/era (I don’t know, I’m only slooooooooowly educating myself).

 

So I looked up Picture Theory.  I have spoken English my entire life but had to look up what the word proposition meant because (even though I totally know what it is!) the context was super unhelpful and didn’t make sense with the definition I know.  I think the idea was basically to use pictures to represent (suggest?  I think that’s the proposition link?) concepts.  To have pictures speak for themselves.

 

I could be totally wrong and would love to be corrected.  Also, if corrected, please act like I know nothing and should be talked to slowly and with small words.

 

My basic understanding of her work is that she takes objects and creates an environment that has a distinct meaning.  I think I remember an important art word:  juxtaposition (when things are placed side by side for comparison…like a giant baby next to a miniature man).

 

This is called Things to Walk Away With (what a heavy title!  I love it!) ( and according to the site I found it on, it is copyrighted to Kent Fine Art, New York © Courtesy of the Artist and Fisher Landau Center for Art.  Citation isn’t something I’m great at.  Also, I really want artists to get their credit and proper due, but am also in debt and cannot really afford to buy awesome art right now.  Someday.

 

Things to Walk Away With

 

Just look and ponder and think.  Why are these objects together?  Why are you walking away with them?  Just be silent, let your brain think.  I don’t want to put thoughts in your head.

 

That’s something I love about art.  Which is also why it’s hard to go to art museums with people who just don’t get it.  You have to slow down.  You have to shut up.  You have to think.  And that is so beautiful in a world that is so fast.

 

She also has a series called The Strange Life of Objects (which could also be a book).

 

The Strange Life of Objects

 

I mean, look at that.  There’s so much story in that concrete.  People tend to say things like “ugh, I could do that.”  Which honestly, had really scared me away from conceptual art.

 

But here’s the thing.  You didn’t do that.  I didn’t do that.  Also, it’s very impressive to take something simple and create a huge emotional impact.

 

Kudos, Annette Lemieux.

 

-Smudged

Famous Artist Friday · Uncategorized

Famous Artist Friday | Artemisia Gentileschi

Today I’m going to talk about a pretty cool lady.  She was also the oldest child in her family, so I relate to her on that level.

 

Artemisia has a pretty cool background (she knew GALILEO).  She was the first woman accepted into the Academy of Arts and Drawing (which, you know, it was the 1600s, so kind of a big deal).  She liked to do violent paintings of women, including famously Judith Beheading Holofernes:

 

488px-Artemisia_Gentileschi_-_Giuditta_decapita_Oloferne_-_Google_Art_Project

 

If you don’t know the story about Judith beheading Holofernes, it’s pretty great.  Judith, a gorgeous Jewish widow, is fed up with her countrymen for not trusting God save them against the Assyrians.  She straight up ingratiates herself with the Assyrian leader, waits until he’s super drunk, and CUTS HIS HEAD OFF.  And she saves Israel.

 

I think you can get that from Artemisia’s painting.  It’s clearly dark, but warmly lit.  Judith looks pretty serious, but not disturbed, she’s just taking care of business.  Artemesia liked to depict strong, somewhat violent women.  Which is understandable because Artemesia not only survived being raped…but was also straight up tortured during the trial WITH THUMBSCREWS!  I mean, according to Wikipedia, which….totally legit.  Her rapist was sentenced…but never served time.

 

I can’t imagine (and she was young when this happened) as an artist being tortured…specifically on the hands, you know, which are kind of important.  I mean, I know some people can use their mouth or feet (which is pretty awesome), but still.

 

She painted a lot of Biblical ladies, which is pretty cool.  I really enjoy this one of Samson and Delilah mostly for Delilah’s facial expression.  It’s all “I’m going to cut you” in a very serious way:

 

Samson_und_delilah

 

I won’t lie, I love these old paintings that depict Biblical stories or Greek mythology.  They’re like the fanciest comic books.  Pictures that legitimately are worth a thousand words.  Possibly more.

 

-Smudged

Famous Artist Friday · Uncategorized

Famous Artist Friday

So today is going to be a little different because I’m in a mood.  It’s a very specific mood.  I don’t have just one word for it.  It’s something along the lines of “irritated because I’m feeling short on money, but ambitious and stubborn enough to figure it out.”

 

And out of this frustration, Macklemore.  I just felt a desperate need to listen to Macklemore.  Specifically, Thrift Shop.  Someone excited about not spending $50 on a t-shirt?  I’m so in.

 

But, I’m frustrated because I want more songs like that.  Like, I feel poor, but I’m ok.  Not woe as me.  More, I’m doing ok.  I can have fun anyway.

 

So, in that vein, I decided to search out songs VERY specific to making me feel better, even happy.  I don’t feel like making a YouTube playlist.  That seems like a lot of work, and I’ve already done laundry today.

 

So I’m just going to put the songs I find in here.  (PS:  My train derailed, enjoy these songs that are vaguely related that I totally love)

 

Thrift Shop by Macklemore:

 

 

Hard Times by Paramore

 

 

Can’t Buy Me Love by The Beatles

 

 

Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks

 

 

She Works Hard For the Money by Donna Summer

 

 

Money by Michael Jackson

 

 

Summer, Man by Taking Back Sunday

 

 

Surf Wax America by Weezer

 

 

The Future Freaks Me Out by Motion City Soundtrack

 

 

I really love Motion City Soundtrack, so just one more by them:

 

Worker Bee by Motion City Soundtrack

 

 

 

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

 

 

We Are Golden by Mika

 

 

And now I have so much energy that I’m listening to music I can’t even understand because IT’S FUN

 

Bang Bang Bang by Big Bang

 

 

I’ve lost control

 

Do You Want To by Franz Ferdinand

 

 

Run the World by Beyonce

 

Should have stopped at Don’t Stop Me but I CAN’T STOP

 

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

 

-Smudged

 

PS: I stopped on the blog.  But I can’t stop dancing.  Send help.

Famous Artist Friday · Uncategorized

Famous Artist Friday

In college, I had a professor who was OBSESSED with textiles.  I mean, I think she pretty much had her doctorate in it.  Under her tutelage, I wove things and tried my hand at indigo dying.  Also, in 5th grade, my class was all girls and the teacher was so excited that she had us make a quilt.

 

So you can say, I have a history with fabric.  I also want to admit that quilts aren’t really my thing.  They always seemed old fashioned and definitely not as comfortable as my super fluffy blanket that I like to cuddle up in.

 

But dangit, some quilts have personality.

 

And one of the artists I learned about in college, she stuck with me.  Because she made me appreciate what you can do with a quilt.

 

 

 

 

Her name is Faith Ringgold and she literally put her stories on quilts.  And they’re beautiful.  Just look at that closeup above.  There’s a real sense of narrative.  There’s a real story going on there.  I haven’t spent a lot of my life in cities, but even I can get a sense of a muggy summer night spent relaxing on a rooftop chatting about a day.  I’m not her, I don’t know if that’s what’s happening there, but that’s what looking at it makes me feel.  And I like that feeling.

 

Faith is also well known for her sculptures (which include some awesome masks) and her performance art.  And based purely on her Wikipedia page, just generally being a really cool person who stands up for what she believes in.

 

She makes art with a purpose, and I love that.

 

She has a website:  HERE!  I definitely recommend reading up on her.

 

Also, cool fact about her.  She’s still alive.  Unlike the last artists I researched.  So it was not depressing to read up on her.  Also, I believe she still makes appearances!

 

-Smudged

Famous Artist Friday · Uncategorized

Favorite Artist Friday

Art Nouveau is one of my favorite art styles.  It just encompasses so many things.  I mean, it wasn’t just paintings.  It was everything.  Furniture, architecture, advertisements.  EVERYTHING made beautiful.  Even hair brushes.

 

hairbrush

Honestly.  Who makes hair brushes that pretty now?  Maybe it’s a little bourgeois (am I using this word right?).  It’s fairly excessive.  And obviously, I love it.  I want everything to be beautiful.  Why shouldn’t it be?

 

Common theme, I think nature is beautiful.  Art Nouveau totally borrows from nature, like all over the place.

 

Alphonse Mucha.  Alphonse Mucha.  I love his stuff so much.  I have seen so many people copy his style.  AND I LOVE THEIR STUFF TOO!!!  It’s just so pretty.  The curves and the color.  I don’t care if it means anything or not.  It’s just beautiful and I like to stare at it.  That can be a thing, right?

 

I bought this poster at a college poster sale my freshman or sophomore year.  It hung over my bed until I graduated.  I had never heard of Mucha before.  I was immediately in love.

 

night
http://www.alphonsemucha.org/

 

 

I just found that website while looking for pictures AND APPARENTLY YOU CAN BUY PRINTS OF ALL OF HIS WORK AND I’M CRYING.  Obviously, I know what I’m putting on my Christmas list.

 

Just…look:

 

night2

 

And if I had a library, I’d totally put as much of the Slav Epic throughout the room.

Apotheosis_of_the_Slavs_history_-_Alfons_Mucha

 

Also, shout out to Wikipedia for making it super easy to reference back to the picture’s source:  HERE!!!

 

I want to end this on a happy note because I love his art work so much.  But, even though he lived to the ripe old age of 78, people thought his work was outdated.  Also, he died from a lung infection after being interrogated by the Gestapo.

 

Happy note?  Look at this awesome drawing of his daughter (got a bit of a teenaged glare going there, like “ugh, dad, stop drawing me.”):

 

Jaroslava_Mucha_by_Alfons_Mucha
Source

-Smudged

Famous Artist Friday · Uncategorized

Famous Artist Friday

Before I start making oohing and ahhing sounds, I’d like to point out that I have no idea what I’m doing.  What’s allowed, what’s not allowed, etc.  I would like to discuss one of my favorite artists.  And show his work.  And discuss him.  I don’t know if this counts as a review, I know with movie reviews or music reviews, you can have a clip and it’s totally ok.  I don’t know about art.  Also, he’s dead…so I’m all kinds of confused.

 

So, here goes nothing.

 

Piet Mondrian.  Dutch.  Artist.  Best known for neoplasticism, which to those not in the art community could be put in a large group called “I could do that.”  Basically, white background, throw some stripes on, and fill in some of the newly created blocks with primary colors.  If you’re into art and that kind of thing, it’s a lot of geometry and asymmetry, and oh my gosh, no wonder I love him as I am an accounting/art person.

 

Composition-II-in-Red-Blue-and-Yellow-1930-Piet-Mondrian

 

*I would like to say that I found the above picture at this link and they do a great job of breaking down Mondrian’s artwork in a totally professional way.  Unlike me.  It’s about to get unprofessional up in here.

 

But honestly, that’s not my favorite stuff by him.

 

Story time.  I took painting in college.  In fact, I took 4 painting classes because I love painting and hate having extra time.  One of our assignments was to replicate and artist’s work, but it had to be a certain kind of artist.  Or at least, I vaguely remember thinking it had to be a specific kind of artist because I remember being irritated that I would have to paint straights lines or things I wasn’t incredibly fascinated by.  And then I found this book on Mondrian.  It might be the one by David Shapiro that I found on Amazon after a quick look up.  It might not.  But it was a book on Mondrian’s flowers.  I fell in love with them immediately.  I thought they were heart-shatteringly beautiful.  Also, the rebel in me was satisfied that I could fill the project requirements and do WHATEVER I WANTED.  Winning on a technicality.

 

But here’s why I fell in love with his flowers:  they’re so sad.  They’re so beautiful and they’re so sad.  Here is the closest image I could find to what I fell in love with:

 

sad chrysanthemum

 

I wish I had a picture of the painting I did, but I cannot locate it at the moment.  So save those hopes and wishes for another day.  (Oh also, I found this picture through Pinterest and landed on a website with a language I couldn’t read, but just to be safe.)

 

I love all of his sad chrysanthemums.  Flowers are normally so happy or romantic, but his art so sad.  I mean, when you think of it flowers are kind of sad, you cut them off from what keeps them alive and decorate your house with them until their petals start falling off.  Until they lose their beauty.  I don’t know what his artistic intentions were.  I wish I cared a little more, but I don’t.  I’m just in love with these flowers.  They are beautiful in their moment of darkness and immortalized in paint.

 

Look how sad this sunflower is!!!!:

 

sad sunflower

 

And no, not all of his flowers are sad.  Some are just beautiful.  I think I vaguely recall (sorry for the extreme generalities, memory is flexible and full of errors and I don’t want you thinking that I trust my memory for one second), the author of the book mentioning that Mondrian didn’t particularly like his flowers.  That they didn’t fit in with what he wanted his art to be.  But he couldn’t stop.  And I’m so glad he couldn’t stop.  I love these flowers.  Flowers may be common or basic or something ridiculous like that, but they’re beautiful and I love them.

 

I mean, just a quick Google search and you can find gorgeous pictures like:

 

sad chrys pt 2

 

Also, while looking for all of these pictures, I found this post and while I wasn’t feeling not lazy enough to translate it, I am so happy that someone decided to put so many of his flower paintings in one place.  The internet can be so good sometimes.

 

Totally related side note, it’s really cool to find out someone you’re a fan of does other stuff.  I mean, Mondrian was famous for neoplasticism or whatever, but I was psyched to find out about the flowers.  BUT DID YOU KNOW!  Billy Dee Williams (my favorite Harvey Dent and the coolest guy in the Star Wars universe) is a painter!!?!?!?!?!

 

Seriously. Billy Dee Williams is so cool!

 

-Smudged

 

PS:  Don’t be mad at me for not knowing what neoplasticism is without looking it up.  I only had one art history class, and it didn’t exactly cover neoplasticism or anything like that…it was pretty neat though.