Monday, September 28, 2009
Cezanne and Picasso—together again for the first time
What was the influence of Cezanne on the work of Picasso? Even though art historians have been considering this question for decades, there has never been an international exhibition which took this question as its subject—until now. At the Musee Granet, in Aix-en-Provence, a major gathering of works by these two giants shows clearly the ways in which Picasso, both overtly and implicitly, showed his admiration and respect for Cezanne.
The two artists never met—although it would have been possible for them to have done so between 1901 and 1906, when they shared the same dealer in Paris, Ambrose Vollard. However, throughout his career, Picasso revered Cezanne and, in 1959, actually moved into Cezanne’s “neighborhood” when he and his wife, Jacqueline, bought the Chateau de Vauvenargues. From his new home, Picasso looked out on the scene made famous by Cezanne—the Mont Ste. Victoire—although Picasso chose not to paint it, perhaps in deference to the master.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Sports are good for the body, Art is good for the mind
In these current economic conditions I’m hearing about art budgets getting cut in our public schools in favor of sport budgets. I don’t get it! Ok, I realize there are large contingents of “sporty” parents and “back in the day” jocks out there. And yes I grew up hearing about “team spirit” but in terms of my education they were wrong then and wrong now.
When I was in high school and told my guidance councilor I was an artist and wanted to study art his reply was “that’s nice but how will you make a living?” As I’ve said before, I am an artist and that is how I make my living. I’ll save writing about the importance of nurturing creative skill for another time.
But for now, think about this. How many job openings in sports are there going to be in the future? Compare that number to how many creative jobs in the arts are evolving now and presumably will keep opening up in all the new media outlets. Television, both network and cable, internet, hand-held devices, print, etc. We can’t even imagine what is coming around the corner in new media. One thing we can guess at, there will be a need for creative people to fill all those new channels. So if the high school art budgets are cut how are the students who want to go on to Art Colleges going to get there?
Now—this is where I blow my own horn—well, my employer’s anyways, because I’m thinking the FAS Creative Course could work well for the kid in high school who wants to pursue fine art. Famous Artists School’s Creative Course can provide a great foundation to build from as well as a portfolio to bring to college interviews. Sports are good for the body, Art is good for the mind and you can make a good living—oh—except paintings are hard to price and sell but later for that ...
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Hard nut to crack
A friend of mine Kevin, an actor not a painter, had a relevant response to friend who asked: “You’ve been doing this so long and you’re so good at it, why haven’t you gone into New York and hit the big time?”
His answer—I thought—was relevant to the concept of success for all artists in any medium. He said: “Its not about fame, its about audience. I just want an audience, any audience will do. Local independent audiences are just as much fun as any others. I feel the same way about my paintings and graphics. I just want people to look at the work. I’m interested in reaction—good or bad.”
However the situation becomes more complicated when an artist considers the following equation: If I were supported by my work, I would have more time to do more work and my work would evolve and improve so I could continue to support myself and the work ... so forth, so on. I’ll say its a hard nut to crack.
In my neck of the woods, selling Art is made more difficult by the close proximity of New York City. Because we are only fifty miles outside NYC, people feel that if they are going to spend money on “Real Art” they should go into New York. It’s some kind of license to believe. When a person is afraid of their own taste, when they are afraid to commit to “liking” something on their own point of view, they turn to a “professional” to tell them. I mean what if Mr or Mrs “I’m not creative” walked into a show and spontaneously bought something on the piece’s own merit? How could they be sure their friends might come into their house and say: “You spent how much for that?” If your trusty suburbanite can answer with confidence: I got that for a very good price at “hotsy totsy” Gallery. In this case, they are safe from criticism—especially when followed by “I don’t understand it either but it is a good investment and it goes with the couch.”
Still I keep painting. For me ...
Friday, September 18, 2009
Art dances with architecture: Kandinsky at the Guggenheim
For one thing, the Guggenheim owns more Kandinskys than any other major modernist painter. For another, his work seems to carry on an intimate dialogue with the spiral rotunda of Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique building. It’s possible that Wright designed this circling ramp with Kandinsky’s swirling abstractions in mind.
Kandinsky had a vision that saw art, music, shape, sound, and color as part of a continuum, and the setting of this show at the Guggenheim makes that vision come to life. You can see a slide show with commentary at the New York Times website.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I’m introducing myself today.
It seems like all my life I’ve wanted to be an artist and that Famous Artists School was always there just down the road. Now I am an artist and I work for FAS as a graphic designer on their various projects including the website and the project we are working on right now (mentioned below by Magdalen) which will be the re-publishing of of our Creative Art Course.
I am interested in discussing the whole nine yards about Art and especially “What is a Famous Artist today?” Back in the heyday of illustration, the people who put together the FAS courses had been made famous by their work in magazines and there was what I’ll call “The Big Boys,” like Picasso, Dali, and Andy Warhol. They were all known by the public in general for their work and for their lifestyles. But what I’m interested in finding out, what I’m looking for is—where is that energy in today’s Art World? Who and what is a famous Artist today? I know about Julian Schnabel and he is close—especially after “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”—but really only arty people know about him. (I’m afraid I don’t really “get” his art anyhow) So where is it? Will it come back? Famous Artists, where are you?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Alumni far and wide
We’ve been getting a lot of mail lately from former students who have gone on to make successful careers in art. One is from the Netherlands: Ben Huisje. He’s an illustrator, cartoonist, and caricaturist—and he also paints! Visit his website at www.benartwork.nl
We also heard from Julinya de Vince, who took our Course as a teenager when her family lived in Brazil. Look for more details about her on our website soon, and visit her at www.julinya.com.
Back in the saddle!
It’s been a while since this blog has been updated—too long a while, I admit! There are all kinds of reasons for our long silence, but most of them are just garden-variety “too much on our plate”.
However, there is something exciting afoot which has taken a lot of our attention here at Famous Artists School—and that’s the brand-new, updated and reorganized version of our Creative Art Course. We’ve been working very hard on all the editorial and design aspects of this project, and we’re getting close to launch time!
The best news of all is that the new Course will be available on line, so that students can download the Lesson Chapters and Assignments. You won’t have to pay for the textbooks any more—unless of course you choose to own them for reference and display—and to pass along to your children and grandchildren.
So, stay tuned to InsideART for full details and dates when you can find our new Course right here on our website!
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