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April 17, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

A Different Type of Art?

These two were acting like complete teenagers. When I walked up, she was nuzzling her head against his shoulder. She giggled the entire time I talked with them, while he kept a big goofy grin on his face. And whenever I asked about their relationship, she clutched his arm, looked at him just like this, giggled, then said: "We're not telling!" Image: HONY Facebook page

When I tell people I work for an online art gallery they typically envision sculpture, painting and mixed media pieces. Photography is a large and amazing part of Zatista’s gallery too, but photographer Brandon Stanton is a different type of photographer than we’re used to. Or is he?

"I just want to be financially independent while I'm still young enough to enjoy it." "Are you close?" "Well, I've still got two daughters that need to go to college. So no." Image: HONY Facebook page

Stanton began taking pictures of strangers in 2010. His initial goal was to photograph 10,000 strangers in New York and learn a bit more about their lives. Not surprisingly, the HONY (Humans of New York) project became much more than that – there are now over 4 million followers of HONY on social media, myself being one of them. I look at posts daily, and I only wish Stanton would post more often. Here’s an example from the HONY Facebook page:

"For the longest time, I was so focused on being deaf in my left ear, that I almost forgot my other ear was perfectly fine." Image: HONY Facebook page

This type of contemporary photography depicts a certain realism. Of course paintings, photographs and mixed media works can also fall under the genre of realism, but to me these photographic images and snippets about the subjects dive deep and paint a vivid picture in an instant, which I find truly amazing. Now, when I walk through downtown San Francisco, Chicago, or even through an airport, I see people in a different way. I picture them as a part of HONY and I imagine what their quotes might be.

"He sings to each of his kids individually when it's time for them to go to bed." Image: HONY Facebook page

The HONY phenomenon has prompted many people start their own forms of HONY, such as Humans of: Sarah Lawrence, Oslo, India, San Francisco, Berlin, Toronto and many more. This doesn’t necessarily make every photographer an artist, or does it? I believe we’re all artists in some way, shape or form.

"She made me take ballet." Image: HONY Facebook page

What do you think? Are these photographs traditional art, or do they convey a different message? You can check out more work from Humans of New York here. Let us know what you think on WallSpin!

 

April 15, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Sidewalk Chalk Done Right

The Interrupted Tea Party by Kurt Wenner Pavement Art kurtwenner.com

Taking street art to a new level, Kurt Wenner, former NASA scientific space illustrator, creates his masterful sidewalk art pieces with inspiration from mythology, literature and much more. He can’t make you fly in the air, but he can make you fly on the ground. His work has appeared across the globe including these pieces from China, America, and Italy respectfully.

Sky Woman by Kurt Wenner kurtwenner.com

The Flying Carpet by Kurt Wenner kurtwenner.com

Another pavement expert is Julian Beever. His 3D art has a special view where they are perpetually stories. From self-portraits to fantasy buildings beneath the ground, these scenes give New Yorkers and Glasgow Scotland an exciting sight as they walk the streets.

Times Square in Times Square by Julian Beever julianbeever.net

Swimming-Pool In The High Street by Julian Beever julianbeever.net

Here we see the Swimming-Pool, drawn in Glasgow, Scotland, but viewed from the "wrong" side. These drawings only work from one viewpoint otherwise the image appears strangely distorted. julianbeever.net

Edgar Muller says that he enjoys giving passer-byes a new look of their streets. Since he was 25 he had dedicated himself to street art. His version of the ground which he calls 3D pavement art, is not one you would want to step on but, you can!

Where Do I Go by Edgar Muller metanamorph.com

Lava Burst by Edgar Muller metanamorph.com

Emerald Cave by Edgar Muller metanamorph.com

When you are enjoying your stroll around a new city, watch your step. These and many other artists have taken to the streets to create their optical illusions for everyone to enjoy!

 

April 10, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

The Largest Outdoor Art Show

Nighthawks, 1942 Edward Hopper The Art Institute of Chicago

Reported by Deborah Vankin/LA Times:

Among the denim-clad glamour girls and blockbuster movie stars staring down from the billboards of the Sunset Strip, images of great American artworks will be displayed this summer in what organizers are calling “the largest outdoor art show ever conceived.”

Five museums — the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York — have come together with the Outdoor Advertising Assn. of America to execute Art Everywhere, a sweeping, interactive art campaign.

American Gothic, 1930 Grant Wood The Art Institute of Chicago

Along with billboards in Hollywood, the images will be displayed in Times Square and bus stops, subway platforms and signs around the country.

The public is invited to vote on its favorite American artworks from a master list of 100 that the museums have curated from their combined collections, the frenetic color-drippings of Jackson Pollock and the fluid curves of Georgia O’Keeffe’s oil blossoms among them. The 50 most popular images will then be featured throughout August on about 50,000 billboards and signs in select U.S. cities.

Classic Landscape, 1931 Charles Sheeler National Gallery of Art

The campaign, which follows a similar program in England last year, may be a publicity play for the museums, but it’s also an effort to raise awareness of art nationwide.

Untitled, 2008 Cindy Sherman Whitney Museum of American Art

“Images out of sight may be out of mind,” LACMA Director Michael Govan said. “Art Everywhere puts marvelously diverse American ideas and stories told through images in the open air with public involvement — reminding us of the many more great images that are accessible in our museums.”

The Water Fan, 1898/99 Winslow Homer The Art Institute of Chicago

Voters will be asked to consider not just paintings but photographs, multimedia works, drawings on paper and decorative objects from the 18th century to 2008. Grant Wood’s now-iconic “American Gothic,” of a rigid-looking farmer clutching a pitchfork beside his daughter, was nominated by the Art Institute of Chicago. LACMA’s black and white John Baldessari photograph from the mid-’60s, “Wrong,” is also in the mix.

Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth, c. 1890 Martin Johnson Heade National Gallery of Art

“In a way, it’s a mini history of American art — and an opportunity for people to identify which works resonate for them personally,” said Dallas Museum of Art Director Maxwell L. Anderson. “I hope families and individuals will have a fresh look at our collective cultural heritage and see the potential in their lives of visiting museums and appreciating great works of art.”

White Center, 1957 Mark Rothko Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Voting will take place at ArtEverywhereUS.org, where the final list of artworks will be announced June 20. Among the artists whose works are on the ballot: Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Ed Ruscha, Catherine Opie, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Frank Lloyd Wright.

PH-143, (1955-No.2), 1955 Clyfford Still Los Angeles County Museum of Art

“The beauty of this project,” Govan said, “is that we can share these masterpieces of American art with people all around L.A. and the rest of the country — no admission necessary.”

 

April 8, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Woman In Gold

Gustav Klimt, Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907). Via Wikimedia Commons.

According to Artnet News:

The true story of one Holocaust survivor’s fight to win back her family’s priceless Gustav Klimt paintings will be the subject of the upcoming film Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, Deadline reports. Mirren will play Maria Altmann, an aging Jewish refugee whose aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer, famously served as a model for the Austrian symbolist painter. Adele’s husband, Czech sugar magnate Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, owned five paintings by Klimt, including two portraits of his wife.

Left: Helen Mirren in 2013. Right: Maria Altmann in 2010. Photos: Angela George, Gregorcollins. Via Wikimedia Commons.

The movie takes its name from the most famous of the five pictures, a striking 1907 portrait done largely in resplendent gold tones titled Adele Bloch-Bauer I. When Altmann ultimately won her case, the five paintings were estimated to be worth $150 million, making it the most valuable case of restitution of Nazi-looted artwork.

Birkenwald I 1903 by Gustav Klimt

Adele, who died in 1925, requested in her will that the works be donated to the Austrian state museum. Ferdinand, their legal owner, who lived another 20 years, instead bequeathed his estate, including the paintings, to the couple’s nieces and nephews.However, Nazis stole the paintings, 16 Klimt drawings, and an impressive porcelain collection from the Bloch-Bauer estate during Germany’s 1938 annexation of Austria. After the war, the Austrian government justified keeping the paintings based on the terms of Adele’s will.

Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912) by Gustav Klimt

Altmann, who escaped Europe with her husband after he was held by the Nazis in the Dachau concentration camp in 1938, thought for many years that her aunt and uncle had left their collection to Austria. In 1998, she discovered the truth of her uncle’s will, and set out to reclaim her family’s art.

Apfelbaum (ca. 1912) by Gustav Klimt

The film will depict her eight-year legal battle with the Austrian government. After a panel hearing with the Austrian Cultural Ministry returned the drawings and porcelain, but not the paintings, the case was brought to trial in California, as Altmann could not afford the exorbitant legal fees (equal to the value of the items for which restitution was sought) demanded by the Austrian courts. The dispute went all the way to the United States Supreme court, before Altmann was granted satisfaction by an arbitration panel in Austria.

Häuser in Unterach am Attersee (Houses in Unterach on Attersee Lake), ca. 1916 One of Five Klimts Repatriated to the Bloch-Bauer Heirs in 2006

Altmann and her family later sold the paintings. New York’s Neue Galerie bought the film’s namesake for $135 million, at the time a record sum. Christie’s auctioned the other four to private collectors for a cumulative $192.7 million. Altmann died in 2011 at age 94.

 

April 3, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Wine and Dine

In the spirit of my 21st birthday, I would like to dedicate this post to a beautiful selection of pieces from Zatista about wine. I recently traveled to Napa Valley, California and learned all about vineyards and how wine is made. After my trip, I immediately went to Zatista’s website to check out the selection of pieces that incorporate images of wine, and there were plenty of pieces to choose from. I selected a few of my favorites.

“Zinfandel- Original Wine Painting” by Filomena Booth, is a colorful piece that incorporates acrylic paint, collage elements, and metallic gold pen line work. I love all of the colors and the metallic outline across the piece:

Zinfandel - Original Wine Painting by Filomena Booth on Zatista.com

“Wine Country Quiet” by Timon Sloane, is a perfect depiction of what the vineyards look like from afar. The landscape is just as gorgeous as you’d imagine – it almost looks surreal. The artist describes the painting, “I can still remember the smell of the grapes and the early morning chill in the air that cleared as I started to setup for this painting.” What beautiful imagery:

Wine Country Quiet by Timon Sloane on Zatista.com

The final piece is “We’re Going to Need Bigger Glasses!” by Simon Fairless. This painting is an abstract still life with a geometric, playful feel. I particularly love the alignment of the bottles and the disarray of cheese and flowers:

We're Going to Need Bigger Glasses! by Simon Fairless on Zatista.com

There are many other options involving wine and all that it entails available on Zatista’s website. For me, these three pieces in particular all exhibit different aspects of this sweet and sometimes bitter drink of choice for many. What fun it can be to collect art that reflects our tastes, travels, or hobbies. Cheers!

 

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