Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pinocchio Tattoos: Funny, Gross and Sexy?

While doing a Pinocchio search, found these tattoo images and just had to share. Not sure I would like to see him staring at me but it's a riot. And the nose surely grows...

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Everyday" Exhibit Worth Seeing In Every Way...

This exhibit  at 111 Minna in San Francisco, ends on October 2nd so get your butt in there quick! Wonderful works by the likes of Mike Davis, Mike Giant, Ryan Scott Shaffer, Juan Puente, Regino Gonzales, Daniel Albrigo, Shawn Barber, Henry Lewis, Don Edward Hardy and Edu Cerro.

I have been to Minna many times but never in the daytime as it is also a bar. It was nice to see the space opened up and uncrowded, with the works well lit. With their larger group shows they put up temporary walls to hang the art on and the lighting isn't the best at night. This show is just big enough, big with talented artists and kick-ass art! Have posted just a few pix of some of my faves here...

For all the works at Minna go here.

Lee Bontecou at Moma, New York

Visited MOMA this summer and loved so much there that I got a little behind. Just saw too much art this summer, poor pitiful me! 
Lee's show - "All Freedom In Every Sense" was well worth my sore feet staying earthbound. At first I was hesitant, not being keen on a lot of abstract art, but the elements of figurative surrealism and construction in her works won me over. She is definitely one of those artists whose works you HAVE to see in person, the textures and dimensions just don't cut it in a picture. 
The works were really a mixed media, just about every medium was represented. While her choices were eclectic in materials, they all came together under her eye and vision. Fantastic sculptures, lithos, paintings, light projections, drawings, industrial constructions - some reminding me strongly of Max Ernst and Kandinsky. Some pieces had a wonderfully dark science fiction feel to them and some an organic lightness. Even the shadows cast off from the art were fantastic.  

Shadows from one of her works

If you get a chance to see her work, do it!

Johnny Depp Poem and Art by Tim Burton

Johnny Depp AND Tim Burton...
what else need be said?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Saying GoodBye to Paul Conrad, He Made His Mark

I was very saddened to hear of Paul's death on September 4th - happily his art will live on in our hearts and political minds. Paul was a master cartoonist as well as a deft quick sketch artist, something that many artists today lack. He was a grumpy old gruff, ornery and cantankerous, friendly and engaging, the champion of the little guy, an opinionated loudmouth, a quick thinking editorialist and a genuine sweetheart. He was all of this, a liberal artist, respected and loved. His strength was the gestation of a single image that would say it all. Watching him at work was always fun - the precision pencil roughing out the gesture of a victim, with angular and tentative jagged graphite; then the sometime frustration when it didn't meet his vision, the cuss words as he cast it in the trash to begin another. Finally, after getting his painstaking sketch down, the pen applied with masterful ink strokes, thick and thin, was a wonder to behold. In a world full of oatmeal personalities (those without the cojones to take a stance, any stance) Conrad was a refreshing and dedicated strong thinker, his wonderful pen pulled no uncertain punches.

From the Los Angeles Times-
(Conrad's long time home) -

With an unyielding liberal stance rendered in savage black and white, Conrad both thrilled and infuriated readers for more than 50 years. He won three Pulitzer Prizes, a feat matched by only two other cartoonists in the post- World War II era. Mayors, governors and presidents cringed at the prospect of being on the business end of Conrad's searing pen, while many Southern Californians made him their first stop as they sifted through The Times, the newspaper that was his principal home for nearly 30 years. Just before his death in 2007, the onetime editor of The Times' editorial pages, Anthony Day, worried that the skittish and contracting newspaper industry would no longer support a "genius" like Conrad. "It's easier to not make trouble," Day said, "than to make trouble."
He was always and everywhere on the side of decency and ordinary men and women. His targets were the self-satisfied powerful, those indifferent to or antagonistic to our common good, and they included presidents -- as in these cartoons -- as well as governors, mayors, popes and corporate executives. 
What impressed me, too, was that someone as impassioned as Conrad, a devoted Catholic, came to change his mind about abortion rights issues; he was persuaded – no, he persuaded himself, he once said – that he had "forgot[ten] about the women in this thing." 
My favorite all-time Conrad, one of the best images on this subject. Pretty much says it all...
 Thanks, Paul!

Paul at work, Los Angeles Times

Thursday, September 16, 2010

London's National Portrait Gallery, The BP Portrait Award, 2010

If you like portraits - this huge gallery (or rather museum) is a must stop for you in London. From realistic to abstract, paintings, drawings and sculptures, photographs, famous and nobodies - this is an enjoyable and eclectic mix of people in art.
The BP Award exhibit: Not sure if this is the BP of the famous oil mess but I think so. I sure hope they have the funds to continue to sponsor this exhibit, but after a year like this, I wonder. This is a top notch show with countless works worth including here, if I only had the time. The expertise, vision and composition of all the pieces were heavenly.
Featured here are just some of the many masterpieces.
Mary Jane Ansell's "Dan" (above) was my top pick. The execution of this piece blew my mind. Every single hair on Dan's head was a single perfect brushstroke. And the way she captured his vulnerable, self-conscious look is sheer perfection.
For the Eclectix interview with Mary Jane click here.

  Molly Parkin by Darren Coffield

Free David by Paul Beel
Gillian by Miriam Escofet
Again, incredible hair sized brushstroke and details...
Daytime Observations by David Dipre
Think Peace by Tim Okamura
(sorry about the lousy foto)
Geneva by Ilaria Rosselli del Turco
Lila Pearl by Thea Penna
Blue Coco by Shaun Downey
That's it for the BP exhibit! For smaller versions of all the BP art go here.
The show is up thru Sept. 19th, 2010....

Below are just a few from the regular gallery collection. Again, way too many outstanding pieces to blog here, so you may just have to go there! 

Sir Paul Maxime Nurse 

by Jason Brooks

(this piece was huge, 107" across!)

Phyllis Dorothy ('P.D.') James, Baroness James of Holland Park 

by Michael Taylor

Kate Winslet by Jason Bell
Bell’s work regularly appears in Vanity Fair and Vogue
Self by Marc Quinn
 This was a great idea for a self-portrait! The whole shell of his head is filled with nine pints of his own blood. It looks very cool in person, the blood color has a lot of depth and movement to it. I think the head is made out of some kind of cast silicone and the whole unit is kept refrigerated. Quinn made his first blood head in 1991 and has continued to make a new cast, every five years to document his aging.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Bathing Beauty at Harrod's, A Hunk Worth 530,000 Pounds

While playing tourist in London this August, we had to make a run thru the famous Harrod's department store. Of course, our American dollars couldn't afford a thing in there but it was fun to look. The historical building with it's art deco features all intact and in tip-top shape, didn't let us down. In one of the street windows was a huge bathtub, carved from a single block of white rock crystal from the Amazon in Brazil. It was so friggin' beautiful I had to share. Just wondering how much environmental damage they did to the Amazon to get this opulent tub for some pampered person to eventually take a bath in. Not to mention the shipping, wonder how much this puppy weighs...
The natural light shone thru the marble veins casting different hues, from jade greens to whites to peachy golds. Crafted by Italians (who else?) with diamond cuts, portions of the crystal were left unfinished to highlight its natural jagged state. The tub is 7ft long and 2ft deep and costs a mere £530,000!
Tried to get you fashionistas some photos of the glittering, decadent evening wear on display there, but I was chased away by a salesperson after only this one shot of a Valentino dress. Guess they thought I might steal the pattern and go home and whip one up. As if...

A Visit to the Saatchi Gallery in London

The Saatchi Gallery has built quite a name for itself and has a formidable online presence. I have heard about it for years and was looking forward to a visit. It was a very nice space, tons of room and a few floors in a very modern building. However, the current exhibit "Newspeak: Bristish Art Now" left me hungry for better art, a let down. Once again, that mantra runs thru my head- 'what a great show this could have been!' There were many artworks by different artists in various media, mostly soul-less images leaving me dry and cold. The ones that weren't extremely contrived and pretentious were downright amateur.
On to the plus side - the "Cher Che" by Scott King (above) was a welcome and humorous relief. Just loved it! The funky bird painted screen (below) was just wonderful. After digging around the Saatchi site I gave up on finding the artist's name. Could have, should have written it down.
I also really enjoyed Phoebe Unwin's "Girl" (below)
and Edward Kay's "The Losers" (below)

The shining star of the show (for me) was William Daniel's "William Blake II", (below). This is a fantastic oil portrait with elements of cubism and collage, an eclectic, strong and emotional image. For a good blurb on this piece, go here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vintage Pinball Machine Art, Even Charlie's Angels

Many months ago, (embarrassed to say how many) while in Florida, we went kickin' around the town of Delray Beach. Trying to stave off the skin cancer by moderating our fun in the sun. The town's museum - the Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture had a surprisingly great exhibit up and running. 
Titled - Pinball Palooza:  the Art, the History, the Game – It was the art and history of the pinball machine from 1930’s to the present.  A collection of vintage pinball machines, pinball art, and neon arcade signs from private collections. Just loved the old school designs and illustrations on and in the machines. Talented artisans worked hard on perfecting these displays - so much wonderful eye candy!
Nowadays, the boom box noise of hip-hop and flashing gaudy lights seem to have replaced any thoughtful or stylish imagery. 
In the upstairs galleries were two fab and fun encore exhibits as well:  What a Doll!! –  the Barbie and Friends Exhibit and Les Petites Vignettes, a miniatures exhibit. May get to posting images of these sometime soon?