Friday, July 31, 2009

The Master Etcher: Rembrandt van Rijn


Return of the Prodigal Son (1636). Rembrandt van Rijn.
While Rembrandt is most famous for his paintings, his unofficial title of “the Master Etcher” is a perfect fit; his mastery of the medium of etching, which he revolutionized and perfected, is unmatched by any artist in history. Rembrandt’s ability to capture the intricate details and nuances of his subjects and to create spatial depth with the use of chiaroscuro (strong contrasts of light and shade) effects shows his true artistic genius.

Rembrandt’s genius was recognized during his lifetime and as a result many of his contemporaries were collectors of his work and many artists sought to learn under him. Despite there being many artists who strove to replicate his mastery of etching by studying his plates and impressions, no one to date has been able to equal him, even with the advent of new technologies.

Etching and the ways in which the materials of the medium could be used to convey so much information about a subject intrigued Rembrandt and thus drove him to continually hone his skills and experiment. It is this experimentation and evolution that allow the division of his works into three periods, each of which possess distinct and predominant characteristics.

1628 – 1639
A careful and restrained draftsmanship style can been seen in Rembrandt’s works from this period along with his use of pure etched lines. It was during this period that Rembrandt truly began to think of printmaking as its own artistic medium. He considered it separate from his paintings and he rarely, if ever again, used his paintings as models for his etchings or created a narrative dialog of his themes between the two.

1640 – 1650
Rembrandt began incorporating drypoint and burin into his works which heightened the effect of light and shade in his etchings. He devoted substantial attention to the overall design and tone of his compositions, and the style he utilized was far less restrained.

After 1651
During this period, Rembrandt’s lines of shading were more open, the breadth of his technique expanded, and the forms he used were less conventional than before.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Park West Foundation’s "Blue Babies" Initiative


Initiative to help youth aging out of the foster care system to be unveiled during events on August 1st

Blue Babies, Park West Foundation SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN - The Park West Foundation, established in 2006 by founder and CEO of Park West Gallery, Albert Scaglione and his wife Mitsie Scaglione, is unveiling its "Blue Babies" iinitiative. The initiative is designed to facilitate the positive transformation of young people who are aging out of the foster care system.

"Blue Babies" represent Michigan youth who have triumphed over adversity. These youth are committed to leading by example to empower their peers and to serve as guardians and advocates of children's rights in service of their communities.

The "Blue Babies" initiative will be formally unveiled during the Together, We Can Michigan "Blue and Green Fest" community event on Saturday, August 1 from 10am to 4pm at the Joseph Walker Williams Recreational Center, located at 8431 Rosa Parks in Detroit.

This free event is open to the public and features free food, fun, games and live entertainment. The event includes a bus tour of historical sites and celebrity homes, with tour times at 12:30, 2:00, 3:30, or 4:30pm. Special preference will be given to guests who wear blue or green. A special session, Healing from Abuse will take place from 10am to noon.

"Park West Foundation is currently working with more than 200 young adults who have recently aged out of the foster care system," said Mitsie Scaglione, executive director of the Park West Foundation. "We have assisted in the transformation of dozens of young people who left foster care without a decent place to live, without a clear direction for their future, in many cases without adequate job skills or education, and often without the support network necessary to create a positive life. 'Blue Babies' was formed to bring a more focused approach to the needs of these young adults."

"Blue Babies" range in age from 17-21 years old when they age out of the foster care system, are in many cases left on their own to find housing, employment and/or educational opportunities. The "Blue Babies" initiative provides a framework of support that includes a "family" of foster care peers to provide guidance and assistance, as well as access to a network of social and government services available for financial, education and job training resources.

Without support of organizations like Park West Foundation, and many other local partnering agencies, many of the "Blue Babies" fall victim to predators, or become involved in crime or in drug use.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rare Dali portrait of his wife Gala on display


FIGUERES, SPAIN -- Antoni Pitxot, director of the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, and Montse Aguer, director of the Centre for Dalinian Studies, have presented the latest acquisition made by the Dalí Foundation: an oil titled Gala. This painting could be the first portrait of Salvador Dali's wife and it may be viewed starting today in a montage designed specially for this exhibition by Pep Canaleta.

Salvador Dalí. Gala (detail). 1931. © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres.
When, in 1929, Dalí met Gala Éluard, a strong impression was provoked, so intense that from that point on he would never be separated from her - until the death of Gala in June of 1982.

The painter made - from a photographic portrait of Gala - a detailed portrait with collage, full of details. Starting from the smoke of a cigarette, he integrates the iconography of this moment, repeated often in the paintings made between 1929 and 1931 - the lobster, the bird, the figure of the great masturbator, the shells, the squirrel, the ants… - all accompany Gala with long hair; Gala, the ideal woman. A Gala that stares at us with clear sight. A delicately executed portrait and due to its small size, a small jewel.

Read the full article at ArtDaily.com >>

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Artist Peter Nixon's Goddesses of the Moon


Written for Park West Gallery by Artist PETER NIXON

MY RECENT PAINTINGS, The Moon Triptych, were originally inspired by a book I read some time ago; Moondust by Andrew Smith - a poignant account of the NASA mission, containing moving interviews with all the astronauts. I was reminded of the book recently - on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the moon landing in 2009 - and decided to produce a triptych to celebrate the magical and momentous memory from my childhood.

Many of the subjects of my paintings are taken from Greek and Roman myths so I decided to paint the goddesses representing three phases of the moon. Their Greek/Roman names are Selene/Luna, Artemis/Diana and Hecate/Trivia - and they correspond to the crescent, harvest and full moons respectively. As a connecting element in the paintings, I dramatically silhouetted the three goddess figures against a full moon.

In Selene/Luna (shown below), the picture has insets with depictions of the goddess from ancient illustrations - a horse’s head symbolizing her chariot, the torch she traditionally carried and an astronaut’s footprint from the surface of the moon. There is also a quote from a painting by the German artist Caspar David Friedrich showing two figures gazing at the moon.

Peter Nixon. Selene/Luna. 2009.
In Diana/Artemis (shown below), the goddess stands dramatically flexing her bow as this lunar phase was also known as the "Hunter's Moon." In addition to the depiction of an astronaut, there are also insets with representations of her from Greek vases and Roman statues, and a painting by the romantic English artist Samuel Palmer, who was famous for his moonlit landscapes.

Peter Nixon. Diana/Artemis. 2009.
In Hecate/Trivia (shown below) there are insets showing the Lunar Module and ancient portrayals of the three-faced goddess, who was also associated with crossroads and another dreamy Samuel Palmer landscape. This picture presented a problem in that I had used the full moon as a backdrop in the other two paintings whereas Hecate/Trivia characterizes the phase of the moon when it is below the horizon. I resolved this by placing the horizon high up in the picture as a line of buildings.

Peter Nixon. Hecate/Trivia. 2009.
Across the top of each painting are the four phases of the moon. However, as there only three goddesses, as a visual joke I placed a silhouetted self-portrait against the fourth moon.

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Park West Gallery would like to thank Peter Nixon for sharing this wonderful glimpse into his creative process and for describing so prolifically the inspiration for his recent artworks. We certainly look forward to reading more from the artist in the future!

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Toulouse-Lautrec Posters at Les Arts Décoratifs


Shigeo Fukuda. Hommage to Toulouse-Lautrec (detail). 2001. © Photo Les Arts Décoratifs - Jean Tholance.
PARIS, FRANCE -- Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs, housed in the Louvre Palace, pays homage to the posters of Toulouse-Lautrec in its latest exhibition. The show is a nostalgic celebration of the legendary Belle Epoque, when Montmartre and the Chat Noir were the artistic and entertainment center of the world.

The curators have organised twenty-six of the artist's thirty-one posters - designed between 1891 and 1900 - under the theme Nouveau Salon des Cent. The posters are placed within the context of new works by one hundred contemporary artists from twenty-four countries, whose pieces were created in 2001 on the occasion of the centenary of Toulouse Lautrec’s death.

Hommages à Toulouse-Lautrec affichiste is currently on view until January 3, 2010.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Dali and Disney: The Art and Animation of Destino


Park West Gallery VIP customers, Lawrence and Holly Thompson are sharing some surreal artwork with the Dayton Art Institute. The Destino artwork collection - the result of a unique collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney - is available at Park West Gallery.

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Shown above (left to right): Details from Destino Set 4 - #276, 213, 81.

Dayton Art Institute marks its 90th year

Published July 24, 2009 in The Dayton Daily News

DAYTON, OHIO -- It is time for a 90th anniversary and the Dayton Art Institute has reason to celebrate. Two new shows will arrive in October, one of them featuring work by surrealist Salvador Dali in collaboration with Walt Disney.

“Dali and Disney: The Art and Animation of Destino” is on loan from Springboro couple, Dr. Lawrence and Holley Thompson. Their unique collection traces its history back to 1946, when the popular studio hired the famous artist to work on an upcoming feature film.

"Apparently when Dali came to the United States, he immediately identified Walt Disney as being America’s greatest surrealist,” says DAI director Jan Driesbach.

During an eight-month period, Dali produced the paintings, pen-and-ink drawings and storyboards for the short animation piece that was slated to be incorporated into a feature film. But due to financial reasons, the project was axed. Years later, in 1999, Disney’s nephew, Roy, resurrected Destino from the Disney vaults and completed the film in 2003.

The DAI will show both prints of Dali’s art and the animated short in its free exhibit.

Read the full article >>

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Did you know? Park West Gallery recently launched a website dedicated exclusively to artist Salvador Dali! Visit dali.parkwestgallery.com -- and be sure to leave a comment below with your feedback!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum


Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn. Portrait of His Son Titus, Dressed as a Monk (detail). 1660. © Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
VANCOUVER, BC -- The Vancouver Art Gallery is currently showing Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum, the largest and most significant collection of 17th century Dutch art ever presented in Canada.

On view now until September 13, 2009, the exhibition of 128 works of art features some of the finest paintings by celebrated masters such as Frans Hals, Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer, as well as a remarkable selection of drawings and decorative arts.

The seventeenth century in the Netherlands, a time now known as the Golden Age, saw the new Dutch Republic emerge as one of world’s foremost powers. The five decades of the Golden Age set the stage for one of the most spectacular periods in European art history.

Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art is divided into eight sections: Maritime Power, The Artist and His World, Still Life, The City, The Dutch Landscape, Travelling Artists, Portraiture and Scenes of Everyday Life, each revealing intriguing details about life in the burgeoning Republic.

[Source: www.vanartgallery.bc.ca]
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Did you know? Park West Gallery has a website dedicated to Dutch master, Rembrandt van Rijn! Visit rembrandt.parkwestgallery.com -- and be sure to comment below with your feedback!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Art Institute of Chicago Launches Virtual Tour


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Today the Art Institute of Chicago launched Pathfinder, the museum's new interactive floor plan and virtual gallery tour system on its website. The first art museum in the world to dynamically combine its floor plan with fully up-to-date high-definition and panoramic views of its galleries, the Art Institute now offers web surfers and visitors planning a trip to the museum a completely unique experience of the galleries.

Art Institute of Chicago, PathfinderPathfinder features not only the interactive floor plan, which is part of the wayfinding system installed throughout the museum for the opening of the Modern Wing, but also the ability to zoom in and out of the panoramic views for closer looks at works of art, direct links to the available catalog information for individual works, and Spanish-language prompts and on-screen navigation tools.

The initial launch of Pathfinder includes views of nearly a third of the museum's permanent collection galleries, with images of the remaining galleries to be added throughout the year.

Read the full article at artdaily.org
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Did you know? Anyone can visit Park West’s 63,000 square foot museum-quality gallery without ever stepping foot out the door! See extensive footage of the stunning Park West Collection of fine art as you stroll through 23 exhibition rooms in just minutes. Take the Park West virtual tour: www.parkwestgallery.com/tour/video.aspx.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Picasso and the Allure of Language


DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presents Picasso and the Allure of Language, a groundbreaking exhibition examining Pablo Picasso's lifelong relationship with writers and the many ways in which language affected his work.

Pablo Picasso, pages 86-87 from Pierre Reverdy's Le chant des morts (The Song of the Dead). Published by Tériade, Paris, 1948. © 2008 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Picasso and the Allure of Language comprises some 60 works in all media by Pablo Picasso, as well as select examples by fellow artist Georges Braque, and photographs, letters, manuscripts and book projects by a diverse group of artists and writers. Together, these works illuminate Picasso's deep and multidimensional interest in writing and language, and challenge the notion of what have been considered highlights of his lifetime of work.

Picasso's love affair with words began soon after his permanent move from his native Spain to the bohemian Montmartre section of Paris in 1904. It was there, in his studio at the “Bateau-Lavoir” that he formed ardent friendships with a circle of important French writers and poets.

Picasso himself turned his hand to writing in 1935 and over the course of 24 years wrote hundreds of poems and two full-length plays. From the late 1920s to about 1950, he also produced strikingly innovative work for numerous illustrated book projects, challenging traditional notions of the relationship between image and text.

Picasso and the Allure of Language will be on exhibit from August 20, 2009 through January 3, 2010.

[Source: nasher.duke.edu/picasso]

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Park West Gallery recently launched a website dedicated to the master, Pablo Picasso. Visit picasso.parkwestgallery.com -- and be sure to comment below with your feedback!

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Matisse Exhibit at Philadelphia Museum of Art


André Derain. Portrait of Henri Matisse. circa 1905. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Henri Matisse and Modern Art on the French Riviera. The winding stretch of Mediterranean coastline extending from Marseilles to Menton — known as the French Riviera — has inspired numerous artists since becoming a tourist resort in the 1860s.

Henri Matisse (1869–1954) moved there in 1917, attracted by the area’s scenic beauty and radiant light. Matisse settled in Nice, the center of artistic and intellectual life in the south of France, until the end of his life. What is referred to as his “Nice period” consists primarily of the works he completed in the 1920s, when he painted richly decorated hotel interiors, suffused with light and inhabited by languorous odalisques.

The dazzling optical effects of the sun-drenched coastline encouraged other artists — such as Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947), Raoul Dufy (1877–1953), and Chaim Soutine (1894–1943) — to move there in search of light and color. Including 42 paintings and sculptures from the Museum’s collection and local private collections, this installation celebrates the French Riviera’s mythic allure for modern artists.

Henri Matisse and Modern Art on the French Riviera is on currently on view now until October 25, 2009.

[Source: philamuseum.org]

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“Henri Matisse and Modern Art on the French Riviera” highlights artists whose quest for light and color brought them to the Mediterranean coastline. What locales do you find most inspiring?

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Giant Leap Into the Art World


WASHINGTON / July 19, 2009 / AFP — FORTY YEARS AFTER Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon, the now 77-year-old former astronaut still likes to share his memories of space flight with a broad audience -- by painting them.

Alan Bean in front of his painting easel at his art studio in Houston, October 14, 2008. Credit: Photo by Carolyn Russo/NASM, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Bean decided to make the switch from astronaut to artist a dozen years after the Apollo 12 mission that took him to the moon in November 1969 and after spending two months in space in 1973 on board Skylab, and his souvenirs from both missions dominate his artwork.

When, at age 49, he dropped a bombshell on his bosses and colleagues at NASA, telling them that he was leaving to become a full-time painter, they wondered if he wasn't in the throes of lunacy.

But they've all come round and now quite like the canvasses that Bean sells for up to 200,000 dollars these days, some incorporating precious moon dust and threads from the American flag that was on his space suit during his moon flight into the textured acrylics that are his preferred medium.

"It may be 500 years from now, but they will have a gallery on the moon," he said.

Read the full article.

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Did you know? July 20, 2009 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon-landing in 1969! Pop artist Peter Max was also influenced by outer space, saying, "If I didn't choose art, I would have become an astronomer." What inspires you?

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How Artist Peter Max Met His Muse


Peter Max. Two Hearts. © Peter Max 2008.
July 17, 2009 / nwi.com -- POP ARTIST PETER MAX is as easy-going, cheerful and accessible as his signature neon-bright paintings of hearts, flags and the Statue of Liberty. The genial '60s icon loves to talk - about Woodstock, contemporaries like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, and his work with the Beatles on Yellow Submarine. But his favorite topic, endearingly, is his Muse - wife Mary Max.

"She's so stunning," he sighed, sounding 17 instead of 71. How'd they meet? Max exited his New York studio one day about a decade ago and spotted one Mary Baldwin chatting with friends on the sidewalk.

She was no stranger: he'd doodled her exact profile for years. Max rushed into his studio, returned with a drawing and handed it to the stranger, blurting, "I've been drawing you all my life." His crush was politely unimpressed. "Her friends said to her, 'That's Peter Max!' And she said, `Who?'"

He gave her his number, fretted until she called, then coaxed her to go to lunch. And that was that.

"I remember reaching over the table, kind of clumsy, and putting my palms on each side of her face and saying, 'I'll take care of you for the rest of your life,'" he said. "And she put her hands on my hands and said, `You're in good hands with me.'"

They married the next year.

Read the full article: Pop Goes the Heartstrings

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"Muse: a source of inspiration" -- Pop artist Peter Max says his Muse is his wife, Mary. Who or what is your artistic Muse?

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Simon Bull Unveils Art Tribute to Michael Jackson


Michael by Simon Bull. 2009 ©SimonBull
ARTIST SIMON BULL recently revealed his latest painting - a tribute to the “King Of Pop,” Michael Jackson.

"When I thought about celebrating Michael Jackson’s incredible life I wanted to come up with something that captured, in a straightforward way, the joy and vibrancy he brought to us all through his music," Simon said of his work.

"I finally decided that nothing could be more direct than just his name spelled out like a neon sign, bristling with color, life and movement. Michael, thank you for the music."
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The untimely death of the "King of Pop" shocked the world, and prompted an outpouring of creative tributes. Leave a comment with links to your favorite Michael Jackson inspired artwork!

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Dali Sculpture Saved by Spanish Court


MADRID, SPAIN / July 16, 2009 -- Spain's Supreme Court has ordered the Madrid authorities to preserve a sculptural ensemble created by surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904-1989), which they had intended to take apart, the daily El Pais reported Thursday.

Detail of monument, Dalí's Dolmen, at Salvador Dalí Square in Madrid, Spain.
The ensemble on the central Salvador Dali Square comprises a four-metre-high bronze statue of 17th-century scientist Isaac Newton moving forward on a pavement with a radial design against the backdrop of a dolmen supported by three 10-metre pillars.

The local authorities decided in 2003 to redesign the square to contain a fountain and an open-air sculpture museum. The dolmen would have been moved to a distance of 50 metres and the statue would have been taken to a park, according to residents who launched a legal battle against the plan.

The reform would have destroyed the artistic significance of one of Dali's last major works, which the eastern Spanish artist designed in 1985, the residents argued. [Source: EarthTimes.org]
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Have you seen Park West Gallery's exclusive videos featuring the artwork of the master, Salvador Dali? Check out "surreal" videos of The Biblia Sacra & The Divine Comedy -- and don't forget to leave a comment with your feedback!

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Andrew Bone: An Artist with a Mission


IN NOVEMBER 2008, with generous sponsorship from Park West Gallery, wildlife artist Andrew Bone undertook a South African expedition that took him to the extremes that the continent had to offer.

The endless roads of the Namib desert.

In over one month, through 5,000 miles, 5 countries and 6 punctures, wildlife artist Andrew Bone studied, photographed and recorded the fascinating inhabitants of some of the most inhospitable terrain in Africa. Andrew traveled through the oldest desert in the world (the Namib), the largest continuous stretch of sand (the Kalahari), examining the oldest living plant (the Welwichia) and the largest Cape Fur Seal colony in Africa - all of this in temperatures well in excess of 120 degrees.

From the black-maned lion of the Kgalaghadi to the birthing of springbok in Namibia, from the enormous Sociable weaver nests to the comical ostrich, from the belligerent beach-masters of Cape Cross to the zebra herds of Etosha, and from the mystique of the Victoria Falls to the elephant of the Kalahari – all now serve as inspiration for a series of oils, studies and sketches being undertaken this year by Andrew.

"The desert species have adapted remarkably to their harsh environment," explained Andrew, "although all respect the mid-day truce when shade is the only true ally from the repressive heat. Waterholes, in the evening and morning, bring a constant stream of both predators and prey, and it is here that one can gather the best material."

"I have been fortunate in having had access to the Zambezi valley when I was learning how to paint, but now, having traveled through the desert, I have found that there is so much more that has captured my interest,” Andrew said.

Andrew Bone studying the Welwichia Plant in Namibia.

Inspired by his latest travels, there has been a new and exciting development in Andrew Bone’s art. In an attempt to bring ‘all things African’ to his Park West clientele, Andrew completed a series of oils depicting the Zulu people. The first time they were shown aboard a cruise, a bidding war broke out at the art auction, firmly establishing Andrew as a truly African artist. In April of 2009, the artist traveled once again to visit the Zululand interior to gather more material for a new series of oils.

In addition to his painting, Andrew continues to be involved with the conservation of his native continent. In a recent development he has been approached to become a trustee of a drive to create an awareness of the plight of the African wild dog.

In the near future, Andrew will be publishing his art journal, amidst numerous studies and paintings of his most recent works. Andrew's anticipated memoir, Brushstrokes of Africa, relives his growing up in Rhodesia, the trauma of the bush war, his career as a guide in the Zambezi valley and the forces that have molded him into the wildlife artist he is today.

Young cheetah surveying the plains.

Bat Eared Fox - a common resident of Etosha.

A lioness overlooking the Kalahari.

Photo credit: Andrew Bone
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Related Links:

  • Learn more about wildlife artist Andrew Bone


  • Read more about Andrew's South African safari


  • View artwork inspired by Andrew's travels available at Park West Gallery
Have your travels inspired you creatively (art, drawing, music)? Share your story by leaving a comment below!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yaacov Agam Sculpts Message For World Games 2009


"It is designed to give the expression of time, an Israeli and Jewish conception of time," Yaacov Agam said of his sculpture entitled Peaceful Communication for the World, created for World Games 2009.

Yaacov Agam. Peaceful Communication with the World. 2009 World Games.
KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN / July 16, 2009 -- Israel's participation in the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung will not be limited to just sports, but will encompass culture, arts and other areas, the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO) said Thursday.

"While we have 15 athletes coming from Israel to compete in five events, Israel will also have an exhibition at the World Games expo to showcase our agricultural products, technologies, tourist information and industries," an ISECO official told CNA.

Renowned Israeli artist Yaacov Agam, a pioneer in the optical and kinetic art field, has created a public art installation especially for the World Games, the official said.

The 8th World Games, which will open in the southern city of Kaohsiung July 16 and run until July 26, is expected to draw some 3,300 athletes from 90 countries. [Source:TheChinaPost.com]

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Can peace be communicated through artwork? Share your thoughts here!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Discovery of Spain: Goya to Picasso


EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND -- A spectacular celebration of Spanish culture will bring some Mediterranean colour to Edinburgh this summer, as the National Gallery of Scotland unveils The Discovery of Spain: Goya to Picasso.

The Discovery of Spain: Goya to Picasso
On exhibit from July 18 to October 2009, The Discovery of Spain: Goya to Picasso will explore the fascination for Spanish art and culture in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain, and examine the taste of Hispanophile collectors and artists.

Spain is now a familiar and much-loved part of the British view of Europe, but in the eighteenth century it was relatively little known. The Discovery of Spain will explore the process by which this changed, and convey the excitement of the period from 1800 to the 1930s (the eras of Goya and Picasso), when the country’s architecture, customs, fashions and painting were gradually ‘discovered’ by artists and collectors, and created a sensation in Britain.

Outstanding examples of Spanish art, including works by Velázquez, El Greco, Murillo and Zurbarán, will form a dramatic centerpiece for the exhibition. The Discovery of Spain can only be seen in Edinburgh, and will include over 130 paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and photographs.

[Source: http://www.nationalgalleries.org/]

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Related Links: Have you seen the new Park West Gallery website dedicated to Pablo Picasso and his artwork? Please visit picasso.parkwestgallery.com and share your feedback below!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Celebrate Rembrandt's 403rd Birthday


Rembrandt van Rijn. Sheet of Studies, Head of Rembrandt, Beggars. Circa 1632.
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA -- The Bowers Museum is inviting the public to join in its celebration of the 403rd birthday of Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn. The event, on Wednesday, July 15, will include performances, art projects, and a film screening.

From 10am to 4pm, museum visitors who dress up as Rembrandt or wear their favorite Renaissance costumes will receive free admission all day long. Those in costume will also receive a free piece of cake with any purchase at the museum café.

The exhibition, Sordid and Sacred: The Beggars in Rembrandt's Etchings, features 35 rare etchings executed between 1629 and 1654 and is currently on view at The Bowers Museum until August 23.

In his essay for the exhibition catalogue, Gary Schwartz - Dutch author, art historian, and editor of The Complete Etchings of Rembrandt - writes:

“The image of the beggar in Netherlandish art was no better than in society as a whole. It would not then have been out of line with the convictions of his society, with Netherlandish artistic tradition or classical art theory, had Rembrandt depicted beggars as contemptible or loathsome creatures. Indeed, some of his work fits perfectly well into this picture.

This kind of crossover between street life and sacred history matches a pattern that is found elsewhere in Rembrandt's work. Mean and sordid though they may have been in life and in art theory, in Rembrandt's etchings beggars are bestowed with sanctity and individuality.

This constellation of images and of markets - from the pennies paid for small etchings of beggars to the veritable fortunes Rembrandt earned for paintings for the stadholder - shows how essential Rembrandt's etchings of beggars were in his formative years as an artist. The way he imagined the beggar is inextricable from the way he imagined himself, the way he imagined Christ, the way he conceived of imagery itself.”
Rembrandt van Rijn is widely recognized as the greatest practitioner of the etching technique in the history of art.

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Have you seen the new Park West Gallery website dedicated to Rembrandt and his etchings?

Please visit rembrandt.parkwestgallery.com and share your feedback below!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Renoir Retrospective: Promise of Happiness


Dance in the Country (1883) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
The largest exhibition of artworks by Pierre-Auguste Renoir ever to be held in Korea is being shown at the Seoul Museum of Art, now through September 13, 2009.

The premier retrospective, entitled Renoir: The Promise of Happiness, features 118 works, including 70 oil paintings and sketches by the French Impressionist. The exhibit focuses on the artist's most well-known works arranged around central themes like Bathers and Nudes, Images of Women and Happiness of Daily Life.

Renoir, known as an artist who never painted tragedies, followed the philosophy, "A picture has to be something pleasant, delightful and pretty." In the 5,000 oil paintings he completed during his lifetime, Renoir desired to convey joy - a world where the viewer would forget their worries and experience true happiness.

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Renoir once said, "Painting should be the gift of joy to clear the soul," - do you agree? What is your creative philosophy?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Arts, Beats and Eats Festival Needs Poster Art


Attention all artists and creatives!

Arts, Beats & Eats
For the first time in its 12-year history, Arts, Beats & Eats is calling for poster art submissions for this year's festival. The annual summer event celebrating art, cuisine, music and humanity will be held Labor Day weekend, September 4 - 7, 2009 in Pontiac, Michigan. This year's theme is Arts, Beats & Eats - Festival of Hope.

The winning artwork will be featured on the 2009 festival poster, program cover and advertisements. The winner will also receive two festival VIP passes, free parking, $250 in festival food and beverage tickets, entry into the Sunshine Artists Art Festival Poster of the Year Contest and $250 in cash.

DEADLINE for submissions is Friday, July 31, 2009.

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Which annual summer art festivals do you usually attend?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ann Arbor Art Fair Turns 50


Source: TheDetroitNews.com

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN / July 9, 2009 -- The Ann Arbor Art Fairs -- that quartet of independently sponsored fairs that occupy central Ann Arbor for four fizzy days every summer - celebrate their 50th anniversary next week.

Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair 2009The oldest of them - the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, "the Original" - is turning 50 on Wednesday. The Street Fair first set up shop way back in 1960 on two blocks of South University Avenue.

Together with the other three fairs comprising the whole - the South University, State Street Area (which came along in 1967) and the Summer Art Fairs, respectively - this sprawling, four-day, city-wide bazaar draws more than 500,000 visitors annually, and hundreds of artists from across North America.

New this year will be an expanded performance area on Ingalls Mall, a much-larger tent that will shelter talent from Mick Bassett and the Marthas to Sista Otis and the Wholly Rollers...Read the full article >>

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What are your favorite Ann Arbor Art Fair memories? Share them here!

BBC1 Announces Modern Masters Arts Series


Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jul/09/bbc-television

Modern Masters, four-part peaktime arts documentary series for BBC1, to consider Picasso, Dali, Matisse, Warhol

Pablo Picasso
UNITED KINGDOM / July 9, 2009 -- BBC1 is to launch a new peaktime arts documentary series looking at the impact of four major artists on the world.

Modern Masters, which will feature Picasso, Dali, Matisse and Warhol, was confirmed by BBC1 controller Jay Hunt at the unveiling of the channel's autumn season launch today, although it is not due to air until next year.

The four-part series, for which a presenter has yet to be named, will look in depth at each artist and "explore why these modern masters deserve their fame and how their legacy continues to pervade our culture and everyday lives."

The first episode will profile Pablo Picasso, from his early career in Spain and Paris and his first figurative works through to the birth of cubism and his influence on architecture and fashion. Episode two will feature Salvador Dali and the birth of surrealism, while Henri Matisse will appear in the third. The final film looks at Andy Warhol, moving through his most memorable images and looking at their current appeal and impact on the world of advertising and media.

"This bold new series looks at how the work of four iconic artists has influenced our lives," said Hunt, who commissioned the show. "It tackles why modern art matters and I am thrilled to have such an ambitious piece on BBC1."

Read the Full Article >>
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Which other influential artists deserve to be profiled on the Modern Masters program? Share your thoughts here!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Teenage Rembrandt Revealed


Source: TheArtNewspaper.com

Leading scholar believes that the 16-year-old artist features in a Lievens painting

AMSTERDAM / July 1, 2009 -- The earliest depiction of Rembrandt has been identified in a painting by his colleague, Jan Lievens. American art historian Dr. Arthur Wheelock, of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, says that Rembrandt is the central figure in The Cardplayers, 1623-24, when Rembrandt was aged 16.

'Jan

The painting (shown above), owned by a private collector, is currently on show in a Lievens exhibition at the Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam until August 9. Rembrandt and Lievens studied together in Amsterdam under Pieter Lastman.

Dr. Wheelock is convinced that Rembrandt was the model for the jovial central figure wearing a blue cloak. The figure is similar to Lievens’ later Portrait of Rembrandt of 1629 (on loan to the Rijksmuseum from a private collection). The closest Rembrandt self-portrait to the image in The Cardplayers is one of 1629-30, Self Portrait in a Gorget (Germanisches National­museum, Nürnberg). The figure in the Lievens painting is a jaunty young man, relishing the fate of the loser in the game.

For Lievens exhibition information visit http://www.rembrandthuis.nl/cms_pages/index_main.html

Learn about the Park West Gallery Rembrandt Collection at http://rembrandt.parkwestgallery.com/

Monday, July 6, 2009

Romero Britto Transforms Bentley into POP Art


Source: theautochannel.com

BERLIN, GERMANY / July 3, 2009 -- For his exhibition “Come to my World" in Berlin, the famous artist Romero Britto chose a Bentley Continental GT as a canvas for his cheerful and vivid signature motifs.

Romero Britto Bentley

This is probably one of the most unusual Bentleys ever seen: a large, happy flower, little stars, squiggles and signs dance on the elegant hood and colourful, comic-like figures adorn the doors. The Continental GT – a static prototype built in 2003 – has become a truly unique work of art created by the world-renowned Brazilian artist Romero Britto. Bentley Motors donated the Coupe on the occasion of Britto´s Berlin exhibition “Come to my World” in the Automobil Forum Unter den Linden.

Britto, one of the most admired and popular artists currently working within Pop Art, creates pieces specifically to put a smile on people´s faces. Having grown up in poverty in Recife, Brazil, his work belies his background by creating a fantasy world inhabited by child-like creatures and optimistic, strong colours. “Since everything in life moves toward an end”, says Romero Britto, “we should fill our life with colour and hope.” His paintings, graphics and sculptures can be admired in many of the world’s leading art galleries including the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim in New York. He counts the Kennedys, Rothchilds, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steffi Graf and Elton John among his friends and collectors.

Romero was delighted to be given the chance to turn a Bentley into a Pop Art sculpture: “It is the most beautiful and elegant car in the world. The lines of the new design are perfect to paint as a clean canvas. What a way to start a fascinating and colourful journey.”

Raul Pires, Head of Exterior Design at Bentley Motors and like Romero Britto, a Brazilian was central to the creation of the Continental GT. He thoroughly agrees with his countryman: “A Bentley holds the unique combination of exhilaration and relaxation in one package. An automotive sculpture with elegant powerful surfaces. The ultimate in craftsmanship.”

The Romero Britto exhibition, hosted by the Automobil Forum Unter den Linden in cooperation with the Mensing Gallery, will take place from 10 July until 6 September 2009. In keeping with Britto’s wider ideals, at the conclusion of the show, the “Britto-Bentley” will be put up for auction in aid of the Nathalie Todenhöfer Foundation for multiple sclerosis as well as Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to improving the integration of the mentally disabled within society.
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