Monday, November 30, 2009

Park West Gallery Launches Tim Yanke Website

SOUTHFIELD, MI — Park West Gallery announces the recent launch of a website for Michigan-based artist Tim Yanke. The site features information about the artist, a virtual gallery of his artwork, and exclusive video footage of Yanke showcasing his work.

Tim Yanke, Park West Gallery
Yanke's abstract artworks are distinctive; from his explosive, visually appealing color palettes, to the random numbers and words scattered throughout the canvas, energy and excitement emanate from every Yanke work. While many of his works are purely abstract, others incorporate discernable imagery. Particularly evident in Tim’s imagery is his fascination with Southwest iconography, including Native American headdresses and shields and Kokopelli images.

Yanke has formidable drawing skills and is able to render flawless, realistic images, yet he prefers to work in the realm of abstraction. Of his choice to pursue a career as an abstract artist, Yanke has said, "The beauty of abstract art is that a hundred different people will have a hundred different interpretations of a work. Abstract art is reminiscent of play and childhood. It's fun…fun to do, fun to look at, fun to experience. It evokes emotion…curiosity. I wouldn’t have it any other way."

The growing number of collectors enthusiastically acquiring Yanke's artwork wouldn't have it any other way, either. "Tim's works have become increasingly popular with collectors worldwide, and individuals and businesses alike have commissioned Yanke works," said Park West Gallery President Marc Scaglione. "It doesn't look like the demand for Tim's work will be fading anytime soon."

This new Tim Yanke website makes his fine artwork viewable worldwide and continues Park West's mission of bringing fine art to people everywhere.

Visit the Tim Yanke website at

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibit at MFA Boston

French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is considered one of the great masters of Post-Impressionism. Although exhibitions of Toulouse-Lautrec's work were not well received in his lifetime, he is now one of the world's most popular artists, represented in most major museums of France and the United States. Learn More at Park West Gallery Artist Biographies >>

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Aristide Bruant in his Cabaret, 1893.BOSTON, MA — More than 30 bold and subtle posters, prints, and paintings representative of the bohemian nightlife of late 19th-century Paris are presented in Café and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). The French aristocrat Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), one of the most famous artists of the Post-Impressionist period, is known for his striking images of performers in the centers of Parisian entertainment in the 1880s and 1890s, specifically the café-concerts and cabaret nightclubs in the neighborhood of Montmartre. Toulouse-Lautrec spent most of his time in this lively section of the city — where women danced the Cancan at places such as the Moulin Rouge — and chronicled in his canvases and lithographs the extravagant nightlife of Parisian dance halls and nightclubs.

Despite his short life, Toulouse-Lautrec was enormously productive and succeeded in developing a style uniquely suited to the celebrity culture of the raffish district of Montmartre, where he and other privileged sophisticates went “slumming” in the late 1800s. He had a genius for caricature that captured the signature features and body language of his subjects, who included his friends, the singers and dancers May Milton, Jane Avril, and La Goulue (“the glutton”). He accomplished this with the radical use of broad flat colors, strong silhouettes, and unusual points of view. Toulouse-Lautrec was heavily influenced by the Japanese prints discovered during this time and incorporated Japanese design elements in works.

Toulouse-Lautrec incorporated into his own highly individual vision stylistic elements from various contemporary artists, including the French painter Edgar Degas. Toulouse-Lautrec inserted himself into his images of nightclubs and hung his work in the cabaret Le Mirliton, one of his many haunts. He also designed advertising posters for his good friend the singer, comedian, and showman Aristide Bruant.

In addition to works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Café and Cabaret highlights evocative images of Parisian nightlight by several other celebrated artists of the period, including Pablo Picasso’s painting Stuffed Shirts (Les Plastrons) (1900), Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen’s poster Collection of the Chat Noir (1898), and Pierre Bonnard’s lithograph At the Theater (1895).

Café and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris is now on view through August 8, 2010.

For more information, please visit

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Romero Britto Creates Montreux Jazz Festival Art

Known for his bright colors, pop images and playful themes, Romero Britto’s artwork reflects his unrestrained and optimistic point of view. Park West Gallery is proud to offer exclusive graphic editions from the world-renowned contemporary artist Britto.

View Selections from the Park West Gallery / Britto collection >>

Romero Britto. Montreux Jazz Festival Poster 2010. Park West Gallery.ZURICH /Reuters/ — Brazilian Romero Britto has created the 2010 edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival's poster, adding to a long list of striking images by famous artists that have made the posters desirable objects among collectors.

Painted in strong and fresh colors, the poster for the 44th Montreux Jazz Festival represents a boy playing guitar and his dog sat on a drum. It is the second time Britto, known for his powerful colors and the cheerful vitality of his art, has designed a poster for the festival, which each year asks a prominent artist to create a fresh image for its trademark advertisement. Britto, who currently lives in Miami, also created the festival's poster in 1999.

The 44th Montreux Jazz Festival takes place on July 2-17, 2010 and will hope to build on the success of the 2009 festival, which featured such diverse stars from the worlds of pop, rock and the blues as Lily Allen, Prince and B.B. King, alongside jazz stalwarts like Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and Jamie Cullum.

[Source: Reuters]

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Durer Exhibit: Impressions of the Renaissance

Famed German draftsman, painter and writer, Albrecht Dürer, is best known for his exquisite, intricate woodcuts and engravings. Dürer’s name is included among art history’s Old Masters, and he continues to earn renown for his innovative, skillfully-executed works.

Learn More About Albrecht Dürer at Park West Gallery Artist Biographies >>

Park West Gallery. Albrecht Durer. Adam and Eve, 1504.POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - Albrecht Dürer: Impressions of the Renaissance, an exhibition organized by the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, features 41 works celebrating the world of Albrecht Dürer, one of the greatest artists of the Northern Renaissance.

With keen curiosity and limited education, Albrecht Dürer interacted with leading humanists and scholars of the northern Renaissance, an exciting period when the spread of resurrected texts and classical art sparked a fashionable cultural revolution in his native Nuremberg. Their discussions and friendships informed many of his prints, which became monuments in the history of printmaking.

Ideas Dürer confronted in his prints stem in part from his conversations with these scholars and their knowledge of ancient and contemporary literature made available in first and newly published editions. The rise of humanism, revived classical sources, and new theological writings attracted Dürer and propelled his portraits of scholars as well as his renderings of saints, biblical figures, classical gods and goddesses, sea monsters, satyrs, Satan, and Death.

Albrecht Dürer: Impressions of the Renaissance is now on view through December 24, 2009.

For more information, please visit

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Norman Rockwell Exhibit: Behind the Camera

Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of the Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors. For more information, please call 800.521.9654 x 4.

Norman Rockwell: Behind the CameraSTOCKBRIDGE, MA — A landmark exhibition that sheds new light on Norman Rockwell’s art and artistry is on view at Norman Rockwell Museum. Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first exhibition to explore in depth Rockwell’s richly detailed study photographs, created by the artist as references for his iconic paintings. This the final major exhibition of Norman Rockwell Museum’s 40th anniversary year.

“Norman Rockwell was a natural storyteller with an unerring eye for detail,” said Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Norman Rockwell Museum. “This ground-breaking exhibition shows how that narrative instinct found its first expression in the artist’s meticulously composed photographs.”

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera brings together approximately 120 prints of Rockwell’s study photographs and 25 original paintings and drawings linked to the photographs on display. In addition to original art from Norman Rockwell Museum’s collection, several significant works are on loan from such noted institutions as The Brooklyn Museum, The Memorial Art Gallery, and The National Air and Space Museum, and will be featured in the exhibition. The result is a fascinating frame-by-frame view of the development of some of Rockwell’s most indelible images. At the same time, the photographs themselves - painstakingly staged by Rockwell and involving an array of models, costumes, props, and settings - are fully realized works of art in their own right.

Guest curator Ron Schick is the first researcher to undertake a comprehensive study of Norman Rockwell Museum’s newly digitized photography archives. This repository of nearly 20,000 images encapsulates Rockwell’s use of photography over four decades.

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is now on view through May 21, 2010.

For more information, please visit

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Le Kinff Creates Official Kentucky Derby Artwork

As one of the world’s most unique contemporary artists, Linda Le Kinff creates artwork that glows with a luminescent quality, depicting a fantasy world that is poetic and delightful. As the exclusive dealer of Le Kinff’s serigraphs, Park West Gallery has the pleasure of bringing Le Kinff's art to collectors worldwide. The Official Park West Gallery / Le Kinff Website >>

Linda Le Kinff, Kentucky Derby 2010, Park West GalleryLOUISVILLE, KY — A bold and colorful painting by internationally acclaimed French artist Linda Le Kinff was unveiled Nov. 13 at Churchill Downs as the official artwork of the 2010 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. The focal point of the vibrant work, which showcases exquisite line quality, is the world famous Kentucky Derby winner’s circle.

Officials from Churchill Downs and JettStream Productions, which is in its ninth year as the official licensee of the Art of the Kentucky Derby series, joined Le Kinff at the historic racetrack to formally unveil the work that will appear on posters, prints, tickets, racing programs and officially licensed product for the 2010 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.

The 136th runnings of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby are scheduled for Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1, respectively.

Linda Le Kinff, Kentucky Derby 2010, Park West GalleryThe commission of Le Kinff as The 2010 Official Artist of the Kentucky Derby marks a significant apex in the collection of prestigious artists who have lent their interpretations of America’s greatest race.

In Le Kinff’s Kentucky Derby image, a sense of energy and graceful line merge to commemorate the 2010 Kentucky Derby winner’s circle. Her fashion acumen bursts onto the canvas with ladies hats festooned with jewel-toned feathers, rich fabrics and bright spring flowers. A well-heeled gentleman sports a silk tie adorned with a festive Fleur de Lis. The winning Thoroughbred stands posed to enter the winner’s circle as admiring fans wait to celebrate the crowning moment.

Elements of Le Kinff’s beloved masters permeate her highly original visions, recalling essences of Lautrec, Matisse and Modigliani. Her body of work, however, stands on its own.

Le Kinff was born in Paris, France from French and Brazilian parents. Her painting career began at age 20 and her artistic pursuits led to a 12-year stay in Italy to learn the ancient techniques of tempera, egg painting and the gold leaf method taught by masters in Florence and Liverno. Both the Kentucky Derby and Oaks paintings are embellished with these golden accents.

Linda Le Kinff, Kentucky Derby 2010, Park West GalleryLe Kinff works without a model and her inspiration comes from extensive travels, her dreams and imagination. Her subjects are diverse and include musical scenes and couples elegantly dressed often for a night on the town.

In 1998, Le Kniff was selected as The Official Artist of the World Cup in which she created a painting for the international soccer championship that was minted into a commemorative coin by the French government – an honor never before offered to a living French artist.

Le Kinff’s exhibitions are vast and truly international. Over the past two years, her works were exhibited in London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Berlin and the Salon of The Louvre Carrousel as well as numerous shows throughout France. Her serigraphs are represented in the United States and Canada by Park West Gallery. In 2010, the city of Paris will acquire a Le Kinff sculpture and her work will be exhibited at the 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai, China.

Le Kinff’s selection as The 2010 Official Artist of the Kentucky Derby furthers a local French connection. The city of Louisville – the home of Churchill Downs since 1875 – has a rich foundation of French-related history, starting foremost with its name which comes from King Louis XVI. The ubiquitous Fleur De Lis can be found all around Louisville, from the city’s flag to the opulent Victorian mansions of Old Louisville to colorful jockey silks and beyond. Additionally, Montpellier, France is Louisville’s “sister city”.


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Friday, November 13, 2009

Picasso Exhibit of Suite Vollard Artwork

Since their creation by Pablo Picasso during the 1930’s, the etchings, aquatints, and drypoints from the Suite Vollard have been regarded as one of Picasso’s greatest graphic achievements. The Park West Gallery® Collection of Suite Vollard etchings ranks among the world’s largest.

Learn More at the Park West/Picasso Website >>

Picasso Suite Vollard, Park West GalleryNEW DELHI, INDIA - The Fundación Mapfre and the Cervantes Institute have opened the exhibition Vollard Suite by Pablo Picasso. Formally inaugurated Wednesday by Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, this is the first major exhibition at the Cervantes Institute.

The show includes 100 prints created by Picasso between September 1930 and March 1937, commissioned by the art dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard.

The story of the origin of this work, its varied themes and its technical diversity in which various creative styles were used (chiseling, etching, aquatint, wash drawing and dry point, and even combinations of these styles), has led to its dispersion and to the fact that at present there are very few complete collections.

The Vollard Suite is one of the most important historic and artistic testimonies from the first half of the 20th-century.

Vollard Suite is currently on view through January 24, 2010.


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Berlin Wall Artwork 20 Years Later

Artist Alfred “Alex” Gockel’s brilliant use of color and the graceful motion of his figures characterize his compositions. As a leading representative of Alfred Gockel art, Park West Gallery offers sculptures, jewelry and exclusive editions of the artist’s works. Visit the Park West Gallery/Gockel Website >>

"Often in my paintings I use elements that reflect my challenging past... But my purpose is to express my joy in life, and to show that we can overcome many obstacles through the expressions of life's beauties.” ~ALFRED GOCKEL

Alfred Gockel, Park West GalleryGERMANY — Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, German artist Alfred Gockel and the gallery Anders in Lünen (Germany) have come together to create a painting on one of the last existing original pieces of the wall.

Many other artists recently returned to the largest open-air gallery in the world, the so-called East Side Gallery in Berlin; a three-quarter mile stretch of the Berlin Wall decorated with approximately 100 colorful murals. In 1990, artists from all over the world came to paint the gray wall and in recent days, most have come to restore their works in honor of this year's 20th anniversary of the wall's opening.

The artwork painted by Alfred Gockel depicts the struggle of Germany during the Cold War between the USSR and the USA. A steel sculpture on top shows the excitement of the people jumping on that wall that day - November 9th, 1989.

[Photo Credit: Avant Art]

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Traveling Pompidou

Founded in 1969, Park West Gallery strives to connect people with fine art and the artists who create it through our galleries in Michigan and Florida as well as on cruise ships internationally. Paris' renowned Pompidou Center is embarking on a new venture with a similar mission, “...bringing art to the people to awaken their desire..."

Pompidou Centre, Paris
Art Under the Big Top: The Roving Pompidou
By JENNY BARCHFIELD • AP November 5, 2009

PARIS — Forget the lions, tigers and bears. Paris' Pompidou Center plans to fill a colorful circus big top with Picassos, Matisses and Calders instead, creating a roving museum to take its masterpieces of modern art to France's culturally deprived rural regions and rough suburbs.

The so-called "Pompidou Mobile" aims to be just as avant-garde in its design as the original Pompidou Center — the audacious, tube-covered structure that houses the city's premier contemporary art museum and caused a furor when it opened in 1977.

Only part of the necessary funding has been raised and no itinerary has yet been drawn up. Visiting the roving Pompidou will be free, and the project's priorities are rural regions and the poor, crime-ridden suburbs that ring France's cities but are often largely cut off from the cultural offerings there.

"It's about bringing art to the people to awaken their desire to go toward the art," the Pompidou's president, Alain Seban, said in a statement. "It's a sign of our openness."

Architect Patrick Bouchain, whose firm specializes in circus tents and other collapsible structures, showed sketches of his design for the new Pompidou structure at a presentation Thursday: several triangle-shaped modules that can be fitted together to create different structures fitted to the different environments in which the museum will pitch its tent.

"It has to be adaptable anywhere, from a parking lot at a suburban shopping center to maybe a country lot or field," Bouchain said.

Inside the high-tech canvas structure, solid glass and plastic encasements will protect the artwork from vandalism and theft and keep the temperature and humidity constant, Bouchain said.

The total cost of the 1,000-sq. meter (10,700-sq. foot) structure is estimated at euro3 million ($4.43 million) — of which euro500,000 has been pledged so far, Seban said. He's looking for sponsors to fund the balance.

Provided they get the money, the mobile museum will hit the road starting at the end of next year, Seban said. The 10-15 works from the Pompidou's extensive permanent collection that are likely to go on display include Pablo Picasso's Femme en Bleu (Women in Blue), a 1944 post-Cubist painting in shades of indigo, and a primary-colored mobile by American artist Alexander Calder.

Henri Matisse's 1941 painting Nature morte au magnolia (Magnolia Still Life) — among the French artist's personal favorites — could rub proverbial shoulders with America, America, a 1964 neon sculpture of fingers snapping, by Martial Raysse.

The artwork on display will change as the museum moves across the country, with exhibits loosely focused around broad themes like primary colors and black and white, the human body, and the energy of the city, said curator Emma Lavigne.

Three three-month-long stints will be organized per year, with regional governments footing the bill for the museum's operating costs, Seban said.

[Source: AP]

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Exhibit of Picasso Artwork and Japanese Prints

UKIYO-E, or “pictures of the floating world”, is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries, featuring motifs of landscapes, tales from history, the theatre, and pleasure quarters. Park West Gallery Japanese Woodcut Collection >>

Secret Images.BARCELONA, SPAIN /AFP/ — The Japanese prints that inspired some of the erotic works of Pablo Picasso are the subject of a new exhibition at Barcelona's Picasso Museum. Secret Images aims to show the influence of the 19 erotic prints on the works of the Spanish artist. The prints, from the 17th to the 19th century and which were part of Picasso's private collection, are on show alongside the 27 engravings and drawings of Picasso that they inspired.

Picasso, who lived from 1881 to 1973, developed an interest in Japanese art through the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas and Vincent Van Gogh, all of whom were fascinated by eastern art.

Among the erotic Japanese prints is a work by Hokusai Katsushika, which depicts a woman and an octopus, a version of which was done by Picasso in 1903. He was most influenced by the detailed work of Japanese artists depicting genital organs during sex. The exhibition also includes books, catalogues and albums that illustrate the Japanese influence on Barcelona in the 19th century and on Picasso.

Given the fragility of the works on display, the exhibition cannot be transported to any other site, the organisers said.

[Source: AFP]

Secret Images is now on view through February 14, 2010.

For more information, please visit

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Rembrandt Exhibit Going on Now

For over 40 years, Park West Gallery has been a world-wide source for collectors of original etchings by Rembrandt Van Rijn, the artist viewed by so many as the greatest etcher of all time. Park West – Rembrandt Website >>

Rembrant van Rijn. Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet, 1657.CARDIFF, WALES — A special loan of Rembrandt van Rijn's (1606-1669) Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet from Penrhyn Castle is on view at National Museum Cardiff alongside original etchings and Netherlandish portraits from Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales' own collection. The portrait of the wealthy Amsterdam lady, painted in 1657, is an example of Rembrandt's outstanding talent for painting characters, not just faces. It demonstrates his ability to combine fine detail, blurred impressions and dramatic effects of light and shade.

Rembrandt was also a brilliant printmaker. Examples of his etchings, with which he experimented to achieve unprecedented tones and expressive effects, also form part of the Rembrandt in Focus display. These are joined by Netherlandish portraits of three other women including a painting of the Welsh heiress Katheryn of Berain, attributed to Van Cronenburgh.

During the 1650s, Rembrandt was the most celebrated artist in Amsterdam. Today, he's recognized as one of the most important figures in the history of art and his work continues to inspire artists across the globe.

Rembrandt in Focus is now on view through March 21, 2010.

For more information, please visit

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rembrandt Millennium Impressions

Bust of a Man Wearing a High Cap; Three-Quarters Right. Millennium Impressions Image. Rembrandt van Rijn.
The Millennium Edition is comprised of 2500 each of eight etchings printed directly from original copper plates created by Rembrandt. It is the only printing of original Rembrandt etchings from existing plates, where the edition size is exactly known and specifically limited.

Park West took over the distribution and release of the Millennium Impression Rembrandt etchings in 2003 from the previous owners of the plates and distributors of the etchings printed from them.

Printed between 1998 and 2008, the Millennium Impressions will become known as the last edition whose publication began during the millennium in which Rembrandt lived.

Background of the Copper Plates
The Raising of Lazarus: Larger Plate. Millennium Impressions Image. Rembrandt van Rijn.Dr. Robert Lee Humber acquired 78 original Rembrandt copper plates in 1938 and then lent them to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh where they remained in storage for more than 30 years. In 1993 the estate of Dr. Humber sold his collection to private collectors, dealers and museums through Artemis International in London.

Eight of the plates from the Humber Collection were sold to Robert Light, a noted Rembrandt expert and art dealer in New York. In 1994 Robert Light sold the plates to Howard Berger, who was to form Millennium Impressions.

In 1994, Emiliano Sorini of the Sorini Studio in New York, one of America's finest printers, was engaged to study the condition of Rembrandt's plates and determine whether impressions could be printed once again in history. Emiliano embarked on the year long effort to carefully remove the centuries of old crystallized and congealed ink from Rembrandt's plates, and a lengthy search was conducted to find the finest European paper and ink.

After Sorini's painstaking and delicate effort and careful studies of Rembrandt's Lifetime Impressions, Sorini printed the first proofs of the Millennium Impressions from Rembrandt's copper plates.

In 1998, Sorini was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and he could not continue to print the Millennium Impressions. Before his illness crippled him, he taught Marjorie Van Dyke, his student and protégé, to thoroughly understand what it took to faithfully and properly print Rembrandt's plates. She eventually finished Sorini's work as a tribute to his life.

More info on the Millennium Edition Rembrandt etchings >>

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Park West Artist Interview with Leslie Lew

Director of Park West Gallery, Morris Shapiro, recently had a rare opportunity to sit down for a chat with artist Leslie Lew. Following is Part 1 of a compelling interview in which the "Sculpted Oils" artist discusses her artwork and thriving career...

Leslie Lew in her studio. Park West Gallery.
Morris Shapiro: One of the things that strikes me about your work, which I find so fascinating and appealing, is that the notion of Pop Art and American Art is often about taking imagery from our culture and elevating it to art from a context in which it’s not art. You have this very positive idea of finding things in our culture, in our past particularly, that elevate people and bring them wonderful feelings about their past, about growing up in America.

Leslie Lew: I feel that we all have little portions of our lives…maybe when you were a child…that fresh and that wonderful time when you saw life in a totally different way and everything was new and exciting. That’s what I’m dealing with. I’m almost channeling memories. I’m channeling moments that we’ve all had. People see my work and they say, “I remember when I did that…” or, “This brings back my memory of…” And it’s not one experience—there are all these little moments of our lives. I feel I am a recorder of history; I feel I am almost channeling that and grabbing it for posterity. Life has changed so much; life now is so chaotic. We’ve got Home Depot, we’ve got Bed, Bath and Beyond. We don’t have those little stores any longer; they have gone out of existence. So I grab these little moments that we’ve had, because we need to keep them. It’s our American heritage; it’s part of our souls.

MS: Tell us about the three artists who were you primary influences—Peter Max, Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell.

LL: Peter Max, with the vibrant and explosive color. People who like Peter Max tend to gravitate toward my work. He is draws from popular American culture, so I can see that. And of course Warhol is the ultimate Pop artist. Like my father, he was in advertising before he was a painter.

MS: So from Peter Max you get the idea of reaching the public with cultural iconography. And Warhol has influenced your Pop style, where you appropriate things from culture. What about Norman Rockwell?

LL: From Norman Rockwell I learned to appeal to the soul. It’s about our whole memories, like macaroni and cheese and meatloaf—comfort food—appealing to those memories that we have deep in our soul. I’m so happy because people get it; they may not know about art, but they love it. And people who are collecting Picasso’s and Rembrandts also get it. I just love that.

Norman Rockwell did a lot of scenes of Americana. You know…the barber shop scene with the little boy getting his hair cut, the army scenes, soldiers, things that were happening in his life. For me, I think I’ve done something similar for my generation—the Baby Boomers. I’ve noticed, though, that even people in their 20s and 30s still seem to be able to relate. And I grab those kinds of ideas. I’ve done a barber shop, and I didn’t put anybody in it, but there are a lot of products. It’s almost about the barber and his shop. He’s got his little coat in there and he’s got his little icons on the shelf and a hairdryer, and the mirror reflects his jacket. Or I do the Animal Crackers because we’ve all had animal crackers.

MS: Tell me about Animal Crackers.

LL: Animal crackers. I think that’s got to be better than Campbell’s soup. It’s the epitome of every childhood. Everybody growing up in America has had animal crackers. My son has had them, you have had them, I’ve had them. I would say most people in the world have. I don’t even know if I thought about that when I first started doing animal cracker paintings. I just loved the animals and I loved the idea of building them up and making them like little live creatures.

MS: And this particular subject is, I think, one of your most popular. I understand you made a painting which is in the Mayo Clinic.

LL: Yes, the very first animal cracker painting that I ever painted was purchased by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. What made me feel really great was that they hung it in the lobby of the children’s ward. When the kids walk in, and these are scared, sick kids, the first thing they get to see is Animal Crackers. And literally, every one of those kids lights up. They are allowed to touch it, and I think in some ways it might be a little bit of a healing thing, too...

* * * * *

Stay tuned to the Park West Gallery blog for Part 2 of this fascinating interview with Leslie Lew!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Norman Rockwell Illustrated Health

Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of the Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors.

Norman Rockwell. The Muscleman, 1941.FREDERICKSBURG, VA – Gari Melchers Home and Studio is hosting the exhibition Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum. One of the most successful visual communicators of the twentieth century, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a keen observer of human nature. Created over six decades, his carefully conceived narrative for the masses gave voice to the ideals and aspirations of real people and served as a reassuring guide during an ear of sweeping social and technological change.

Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration features 11 original paintings by Norman Rockwell from the collection of Pfizer Inc., which are among the finest examples of the artist’s advertising imagery. Norman Rockwell’s paintings explore the doctor/patient relationship, health and healing across generations, and the importance of physical fitness. In addition to the outstanding Rockwell canvases are featured 14 of today’s preeminent illustrators from the pages of Healthy Living, Men’s Health, Newsweek, The New York Times and The New Yorker. Their artwork presents a contemporary perspective on many of the same health-related subjects explored nearly 50 years earlier by Rockwell.

Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration is now on view through January 31, 2010.

For more information, please visit

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