Happy Fat Tuesday — a day early of my normal post!! Today is Mardi Gras Day so I just have to acknowledge an celebrate accordingly with this video about the Mask Market in New Orleans. Enjoy the music too.
Although I’m not so much into the glitter, I have some Venetian masks so I can appreciate the appeal of unique, hand-made masks and masking for Mardi Gras as a tradition.
However, this next tradition is one of which I was completely unaware. I guess my parents must have sheltered me while growing up in New Orleans. Actually, I do remember parade-goers shimmying up poles to catch beads but maybe this was before “greasing the poles” was started. Who knew a whole artistic performance could be created — only in New Orleans!
This post was set to draft and never posted last week – so it is now the post for this week…After my last post regarding collaboration of collective art media and initiatives that generate positive public art, I was inspired to think more holistically in my blogging approach. It is not the quantity, well sometimes it is in the blogosphere where it can be only about the SEO rankings, but the quality of posts generated. After reaching over 500 posts — this is my 512th — I’ve decided to cut back to one post a week. I realize this is bucking the trend of posting more not less but time, mental health, my other business and my family are all more important. It takes quite a chunk of time to write blog posts and I’ve been doing this since 2008, so no fly-by-night here, but with more things needing my attention, there is just so much time to be able to spread my self any thinner. I had thought about ending this blog altogether, although, I have always received enjoyment from writing it, in particular due to the discovery of all the new things out there each day. I would never be able to post all of the 60 pages of 12 entries on each that I’ve collected to write about over the years. Some of them, although interesting, are out of date, needless to say.
This is the end of the month and start of a new fall season so it seems an appropriate time to switch my posts to Wednesday’s Once a Week. I’ll still keep reporting on all of the same topics, Murals and Kick Starting the Weekend won’t go away but they will share the post time and will most certainly alternate with other subjects. That is what this blog is about — many subjects with Art being Everywhere.
On this note, I saw this texturized painting, which reminds me of of a sculpture, called “hope” by Segun Aiyesan and thought about the past meeting present and it seemed to sum up my state of mind. Blogging has been an education – always reflecting on what has come before in relation to what is new and there is joyfulness within the search, correlation and discovery. I thought this interview on Next with the artist was quite interesting to learn that he was self taught, coming from an engineering background and to learn about his creative process and what inspires and drives him to create art. Learning about this from other artist’s perspectives gives introspective insight that is always enlightening and often inspirational to me.
Segun Aiysean's sculpture
Michelangelo's Creation of Man
You see the reference right? On a humorous note, I’ve been saving this mural below and can’t resist posting now….and how cyclical it is. This mural, a spoof on God’s Gift to Woman, is by Studio Vertu, as described here on The Huffington Post, and painted in Cincinnati (see last post, where this one started).
George Clooney as God's Gift to Woman painted by Studio Vertu in Cincinnati
Now you know what is weird about this trail, is it leads me really full circle, back to my decorative art business. I’ve been following this group for their Fresco Wall™ technology, where a mural can be commissioned and ordered as a portable fresco to install — either permanently or with Velco®. This has been interesting to me ever since I first learned about it over a year ago in my Faux Finisher magazine, which has since stopped publishing. I’ve been following because it generalizes the same concept of my decorative painting being transferred to a wallcovering substrate that is independent of the wall and in my case, removable and reusable, Casart coverings. We’ve gone one step further in being able to also customize the work.
I can’t leave this without sharing recommended readings for the following: 1) Blogging is Big Business (2008 / WTAE.com) — where the state of blogging started (when I began) to although not saying goodbye yet but cutting back, and Saying Goodbye (ArtTalk – Chicago, 2009), which states some great parting sentiments regarding art reviews from writer Kathryn Born – well worth reading.
Finally what you’ve all been waiting for, a little music to Kick Start Your Weekend (and in this case, your week, as this is posting late ) — a collective One Love by Bob Marly by various artist around the world through the effort Playing for Change.
Maybe you’ve heard that Prince William and Kate Middleton were married last Friday? You may be in a cave if you haven’t but you might not know that that there are new portrait murals in Australia of the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, made with bricks. Yes, they are getting the royal treatment alright. The company that created these murals, AustralBricks, is also the same one that did the Oprah mural.
William and Kate brick murals via Wall Street Journal
There is a new mural of the lovely couple slated for the lower east side of Manhatten by street artist, Antonio “Chico” Garcia. Not sure if they’ll be so enamored by this, but they’re now in the public spotlight whether they like it or not. Maybe when they come to America, they’ll take a drive-by look?
This photo, by Peter Macdiarmid or Getty Images, cracks me up, btw. The bridesmaid on the left says it all.
Actually, the wedding was beautiful as was the bride — very traditional yet modern by wearing her hair down. She did look very graceful and stately, reminding me of Grace Kelly’s elegance yet, you could tell she was nervous during the ceremony. She and her husband seemed relieved and relaxed afterwards, while on the balcony during this long-awaited public kiss.
I’ve been meaning to post this for so long that it seems appropriate to do it now while I’ve just mentioned Mardi Gras costumes, which conjures dressing up in disguise.
This reminds me of Arcimboldo exhibit that my son Piers and I saw at the National Gallery of Art while he was in town for winter break. I had studied Archimboldo for my Art History major but wasn’t really familiar with the details of his work. I was mesmerized by how everything he painted, in exceptional detail, had some sort of symbolic meaning and or was attributed to the world’s fascination, at the time, with new found flora and fauna in Nature and even with the grotesque. Not to mention, the exceptional skill it took to assemble all these elements to paint a trompe l’oeil painting that was an imaginative and representational portrait. He was highly regarded and popular during his lifetime (unlike so many artists). He was the court painter for three different monarchs, Ferdinand I (Habsbourg), Maximilian II and his son Rudolf II (Prague). Leonardo was probably aware of his work and later, Salvador Dali, among others, were influenced by his surrealistic style. The more you look at his paintings, the more will be unveiled.
Arcimboldo's Vortumnus via Arcimboldo.org
Arcimboldo's Winter-(L'Inverno), 1572
Here’s a picture that we took of an incredible modern sculpture that was inspired by Arcimboldo’s Winter montage/ portrait, above.
Arcimoldo style sculpture at National Gallery of Art. Photo by Piers Spencer
Since I normally post about Murals on Mondays, how could I forget. Here’s a wonderful trompe l’oeil mural of a humorous grocery/ fruit stand scene in Osaka, Japan.
Trompe l'oeil mural in Osaka, Japan, via Silent I (Photo by Glennia Campbell)
It’s not every day that you read an article that goes against the grain of what a parent is supposed to do with the reality of the situation and asks the question, “Do you save all your child’s artwork or do you pitch?” This New York Times article about when art takes over by Michael Tortorello and what to do about saving children’s artwork resonated with me; even though, my boys are nearly all grown up, or at least are both in college. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be tongue-in-cheek but I loved its humor, for instance, this is the cover photo, with little Elizabeth displaying a piece from “her blue period,” as her mother says.
When art takes over. All photos via New York Times
A clever solution for another "blue period piece" *
I had mixed reactions to this piece because I did save a lot of my children’s artwork but I also was very selective and threw a lot of it away as it was coming in daily with no space to save. I think there must be a way to find a balance in doing this. I remember my mother, who is a trasher (opposite of a hoarder), actually saved some of my artwork. I was surprised when she presented it to me when I was an adult. I was moved that 1) she had saved it all those years and 2) that it sparked some reflection back in my childhood that seemed already so distant and removed. It brought back chuckles and a sense of innocence as well as some heartfelt emotion that helped temper the stresses that the adult world and responsibilities of living in it bring. It was nice to have that keepsake and then I promptly, being a practical person and aware of my limited space for clutter, pitched it. OK, I may have saved one that wasn’t a stick drawing. Now I know what to do with the two jam-packed portfolios of “masterpieces.” I’ll return them to their creators, for they may get more meaning out of them than I and it can be their responsibility to decide to keep or trash. Either way, the early artwork saved does serve a reflective purpose down the road — if you have a place to save it.
* Here’s some artwork that I get to enjoy everyday, as I turned my older son, Piers’, imaginative artwork of a pirate ship into a magnet. I think he was using pirate Legos at the time when he drew this and I’m sure still has that built ship somewhere. He’s now nearly 23 and getting ready to graduate from the University of Virginia with a degree in Civil Engineering. Through his early artwork, I can see the developing stages of that mind for creative construction in the making.
Child's artwork as a magnet
This song, Sour Girl, by the Stone Temple Pilots has been playing in my head all week. Funny that it’s one of the few songs where I do not like the video but here’s the link that coincidentally, reminds me of Telly Tubbies (for children), so may be weirdly appropriate for this post + it has better sound quality. However, I thought this was a better one to be able to concentrate on their music for Kick Starting the Weekend.
Due to the results of the current election, I decided to post one more mural and a surprise illustration that I received from one of my readers.
This 10 x 40 foot, trompe l’oeil architectural mural below, painted by EVOL, appears to be falling down. What a great illusion that I think is representational of the current state of affairs — as grand as the Berlin Wall finally being dismantled — slowly — piece-by-piece-by-piece, but eventually no longer and only a remembered scare. It’s also a memory that no one forgets and I would hope we could all learn from it’s circumstances as not to repeat again. When things fall down, however, the best thing to do is to clean it up.
Trompe l'Oeil painted Architectural Art Mural on dornob
One of my readers contacted me in July after seeing my post on Political Caricatures, where I used a (step-by-step) instructional how to draw Obama illustration by Steve Breen that was featured in my local newspaper. This reader was kind enough to ask me if he could copy the drawing and change a few things. I relayed that it wasn’t my original drawing but I had posted it in my blog with credit to the artist. I suggested he contact the artist, which he did, to get his permission, which he gave and said, go for it! It’s nice to see such thoughtfulness in this modern day to even think to obtain permission. Here’s Vince’s first version. He was going to change the sign and refine. I’m not sure if he ever did but I mentioned that I would like to use his caricature and that I would contact him when I posted it. Now seems a good time, considering. Don’t be surprised if you see these on t-shirts in the next election campaign. You can say you saw it here first and give the artist his due credit. Vince did a good job!
The response was so positive that Capeau decided to paint Monroe next to Einstein. On the great thinker’s other side is a question mark — and Capeau is asking Herald News readers to choose the next star who will appear on the wall.
The candidates are Charlie Chaplin, John Lennon, Humphrey Bogart, Lucille Ball and Judy Garland. To vote on a selection, log on to heraldnews.com. Capeau has agreed to paint the selection that receives the most votes.
Ed Capeau paints celebrity mural. Photo by Jack Foley for Herald News
Kimberly Brooks paints a series of portraits as part of her Stylist Project, as seen in this one of Rachel Zoe.
Rachel Zoe portrait by Kimberly Brooks on The Examiner
These are some fascinating portrait murals created by chipping the paint away, or scratching the surface of the existing paint — a reverse process of painting, by Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto.
I was really taken with the moment when I saw this mural and its subject, Marc Abrams, a physician who was a celebrity in his neighborhood for walking 20 -30 miles, shirtless, while often reading the paper. He was a fitness advocate but sadly was found dead in his backyard at age 58.
Marc Abrams walks past a subject in a mural painted in his likeness
And in light of the upcoming election, here is one of my favorite murals. This is a link to other optical illusion murals besides this one in DC, that I’ve always admired.
Trompe l'Oeil Graffiti Mural in DC. Photo by katmere on Environmental Graffiti
The murals I mentioned in the last post must have required a lot of tape. Although painter’s tape is traditionally used for “taping off” areas for painting and mural projects, this sticky blue stuff can also be used to make unusual and temporary tape art and murals as seen in this examples by Michael Townsend.
Michael Townsend. Photo via Technology Review by John Maeda
Bonfire Tape Art by Michael Townsend
I also ran across this unusual site via Trend Hunter for tape murals by Multipraktik. This video describes the process for making their creations and shows the fun involved.