Tag Archive | Painter

Robert Deyber at Martin Lawrence Galleries

Dress Code
Dress Code By Robert Deyber (All Photos By Gail)

Pop Surrealism is a genre of painting that never gets tiresome for me. Connecticut based Artist Robert Deyber paints realist-style visual renderings of clichés, euphemisms and popular sayings or phrases, to create surreal, dreamlike tableaus that really take the viewer elsewhere. I love his work.

ClubHouse
Club House

Despite his keen sense of humor and the visually absurd, Robert Deyber is a seriously skilled painter. Much like solving Rebus Puzzles, the fun in observing Deyber’s paintings is trying to deduce the title from the images on the canvas. Sometimes it’s really easy and obvious, and at other times quite confounding. You can even make a game of it with your friends!

Fire Arms
Fire Arms

Here are some of my favorites from Thursday night’s opening reception, where I had the chance to meet Robert, and he was very nice!

Lion of Coke
Lion of Coke

Think Tank
Think Tank

Baseball Bat
Baseball Bat

Chick Magnet
Chick Magnet

Martin Lawrence Galleries is located at 457 West Broadway (Between Houston and Prince) in Soho, NY.

Screw You
I’ll let you guess what this one is called.

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Joseph Arthur Solo Exhibition at Able Fine Art

Joseph Arthur with Art
Artist/Musician Joseph Arthur with his Art (All Photos By Gail)

I first heard the name Joseph Arthur over 13 years ago, when he was recording for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label (then distributed by Virgin). What I discovered closely in tandem with his music is Joseph’s distinctive, almost primitive Picasso-esque style of abstract drawing, which you could see adorning his album covers and T Shirts.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit5

Although he is not quite a household name, both Arthur’s music and art careers have continued to thrive worldwide and I was lucky to attend the opening of a new exhibit of his artwork last night in Chelsea.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit6

Entitled simply, Solo Exhibition, this collection of vibrant and engagingly abstract portraits are mostly rendered in ink and oil pastel on paper or spray paint on paper. I’ve been following Joe’s art for years and it’s so exciting to see his considerable body of work progress and develop while staying recognizably in his unique style.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit Painted Instruments

Around the gallery you will also see a few guitars and musical instruments (such as a child’s toy drumset) as well as the lower half of a mannequin, all of which Joe has hand painted. It’s almost as if he just can’t stop being creative.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit4

Joseph Arthur Painted Guitar

With a little memory jogging, Joseph remembered me from an interview we did at the Virgin Records Offices in 2000 for the release of his critically lauded sophomore album, Come to Where I’m From — a really fun conversation which he admitted he “Think[s] of often,” which was flattering to hear.

Joseph Arthur Performing in Art Gallery

Once the gallery started to fill up with fans and admirers, Joseph sat down to play his guitar, accompanied by his trademark recorded loops and effects, which are truly mesmerizing. What a talented guy!

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit1

If you enjoy colorful, thought provoking abstract art or are a fan of the spontaneity inherent in the street art movement, you will dig the creative force of Joseph Arthur.

Joseph Arthur’s Solo Exhibition will be on View through April 16th, 2013 at Able Fine Art, Located at 511 West 25th Street, Suite 507, in Chelsea, New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit2

Giant Lipstick Sculpture By Agne Kisonaite

Giant Lipstick Sculpture
Image Source

Eastern European painter and sculptress, Agne Kisonaite, created this stunning sculpture, entitled simply Giant Lipstick, using over 5000 used lipstick tubes. Measuring a height of 2.5 meters (8 feet) with an overall weight of 200kg (440 pounds), the sculpture is incredibly modern and yet timelessly beautiful. Agne made the sculpture to draw attention to the need for green effort consciousness with regard to reduction, recycling and reuse here in our consumer culture

In her artist statement, she emphasizes that four tubes of lipstick are sold in the world every second and the packaging left cannot be recycled.

Giant Lipstick Close Up Top

Please note that the top, or red colored part, of the sculpture is obviously comprised new, or rather unused lipsticks, and that the work was sponsored by Avon, who likely donated the lipsticks and tubes/packaging for use in the sculpture.

Giant Lipstick Close Up Side

Check out more photos of this unique and thought provoking work of art This Link!

Thanks to Pamela Nguyen for The Tip!

RIP Artist Richard Artschwager

Richard Artschwager Portrait
1923 – 2013 (Image Source)

American painter, illustrator and sculptor Richard Artschwager passed away on February 9th at the age of 89. I recently visited the Whitney Museum here in Manhattan and had the chance to see a retrospective of Artschwager’s work, which surprised me with its diversity and freshness.

Exclamation Point Artschwager
Exclamation Point (Chartreuse) Soft Sculpture by Richard Artschwager at The Whitney Museum .

Read more about the artist’s life and work at This Link. RIP.

Halfhearted By Robert Deyber

Half a Heart By Robert Deyber
Art By Robert Deyber, Photo By Gail

I discovered the fun and thought provoking art of surrealist painter Robert Deyber just a few days ago, while I was at the Mark Kostabi exhibit at Martin Lawrence Galleries. Martin Lawrence also represents Deyber, and their basement gallery was filled with his clever images, which are literal visual representations of familiar, popular or mundane phrases or things such as “The Buck Stops Here,” “Bad Hair Day” or “Train of Thought.” I actually had to guess at the title of the painting above — which could be “Half a Heart or “Halfhearted” — because it wasn’t listed in the gallery and I could not find it online, so feel free to correct me if you are a Deyber fan who is familiar with this awesome painting.

Watch a cool short film on Deyber and his art at This Link.

Recommended Viewing: Full Circle, The Kostabi Story

Mark Kostabi Full Circle
Image Source

The art world is filled with enigmas, and that’s what keeps it exciting. This week, I attended a screening of a new documentary film about American contemporary artist/painter Mark Kostabi, called Full Circle, The Kostabi Story, directed by Italian filmmaker Sabrina Digregorio. The film is amazing, but before I get into it, I need to get something off my chest about another excellent Kostabi documentary from 2011, called Con Artist. Because, to me, Full Circle felt very much like the bookend to Con Artist, though I am sure that was unintentional.

While Con Artist did an excellent job of distilling Mark Kostabi’s colorful life, undeniable scenester status and celebrated art career up to that point, the title of the film referenced the fact that Kostabi, like so many modern art superstars, employs a staff to execute his paintings. I’ve met Mark Kostabi casually a few times (he is extremely friendly and approachable) and even visited his Chelsea based studio, Kostabi World, so it’s not like his process is a huge, dirty secret.

Far from it. This “revelation” is not at all scandalous when you consider that Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, among many others, employ assistants and craftsmen to execute their projects, without being subject to serious flack as to whether this step in the creative process detracts from their legitimate artistic credibility. Hell, even Michelangelo had a staff. Con Artist is an enjoyable film, but the filmmakers definitely had an agenda, and I’m still not sure if Kostabi was complicit in the way it came off. I could have asked him about it, but I never did.

Con Artist left me with a weird feeling of emotional manipulation: like I wasn’t supposed to respect Mark Kostabi or admire his art because he doesn’t personally paint every single one of his paintings. The conclusion I drew was that Kostabi had become disillusioned, abandoned the creative process and simply turned to manufacturing art, instructing his art-drones to paint in the prescribed style of “a Kostabi,” and then signing his name to that canvas. As if, by being labeled a “Con Artist,” he had surrendered to and embraced that accusation. For lack of a more eloquent phrase, it was kind of a bummer, but one that nevertheless added an additional layer of enigma to the artist.

Full Circle, on the other hand, is an extremely uplifting film. While providing only the most cursory background information on Mark, the film opts for a tight focus on his current career, his reputation among Italian art critics (Kostabi spends half the year living in Rome) and an in-depth exploration of how he works with his staff to fully realize more of his paintings – from idea to canvas – than he could possibly create physically on his own. What you get to see in full glorious detail is how all Kostabi paintings are born not just from a vague idea or rote instruction but from complete sketches that Mark provides to the painter. While the employees of Kostabi World transfer Mark’s detailed sketches to canvas he continually consults with each until the painting is up to his standards and just feels “right.”

I think that anyone who’s been confused by seeing Con Artist definitely needs to see Full Circle. Mark Kostabi really is a talented, wildly passionate and unique artist, an amazing modern classical pianist, a knowledgeable art historian and a reputable teacher. Beyond that, he is a very nice, interesting and cool person. Mark Kostabi!

I recommend Full Circle, The Kostabi Story not just to art fans who already know Mark’s work, but to anyone who is curious about Contemporary art and artists, or who feels like they don’t “get” art. I learned lot from this movie and my only minor complaint is that, at just over 60 minutes run time, it is not nearly long enough.

Watch The Trailer Below!

Erik Parker's Bye Bye Babylon at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Erik Parker New Jekyll Island Club
New Jekyll Island Club By Erik Parker

Summer may be quickly fading away, but German-born artist Erik Parker has brilliantly immortalized the feeling of the endless summer in his new series of paintings, Bye Bye Babylon, up now at Paul Kasmin Gallery on 10th Avenue. On view  in the gallery are eleven of Parker’s 2012 still-life and jungle-landscape paintings, which all incorporate vibrant, fluorescent colors and fun, almost cartoonist shapes. Some of Parker’s images reminded me of the wildly hallucinatory animation on Adult Swim’s subversive series, SuperJail. If you’ve seen that show, and see Parker’s work in this exhibit, you will know what I mean by that comparison

Colombier Beach By Erik Parker Bye Bye Babylon
Colombier Beach

Updating these traditional art-historical genres through the pictorial idioms and sly humor of satirical cartoons, psychedelia and underground comic books, Parker’s paintings provide vistas into brilliantly colored worlds of semi-sentient flora and idiosyncratic geometries.

For Parker, creating the jungle paintings provides him with a way to escape into custom-made exotic locales without having to leave his Brooklyn studio.

Erik Parker New Bimini Trail

New Bimini Trail

He draws inspiration from the imaginary landscapes of Henri Rousseau — who never left his native France, and Joseph Yoakum — who mixed his memories of his own travels into his visualizations of unknown cities and countries. In Parker’s fantastical scenes, fleshy, claw-like leaves and snaking vines part to reveal panoramas of placid rivers and distant mountains.

Detail from New Bimini Trail Erik Parker Bye Bye Babylon at Paul Kasmin
Detail from New Bimini Trail

Lending a sense of tongue-in-cheek surrealism to Parker’s compositions, the leaves and vines cast unrealistic shadows onto the sea and sky behind them. Following the logic of cartoons and dreams, these jungle scenes and still-life paintings feel seductive and eerie; visually sensible but also askew.

Analog Babylon byErik Parker Bye Bye Babylon at Paul Kasmin
Analog Babylon

Trust me that photos cannot fully capture the intensely bright colors of these canvases. If you’re intrigued at all, do make it over to Paul Kasmin while the show is up.

Erik Parker’s Bye Bye Babylon will be on exhibit through October 13, 2012 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 Tenth Ave, Street Level, New York City. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Erik Parker Bye Bye Babylon Sign

Erik Parker Babylon Chatta

Babylon Chatta

Bold Hype Gallery Presents Archaic Ornaments By Beau Stanton

Archaic Ornaments Exhibit Bold Hype Gallery
Foreground Painting: The Reclamation, Oil on Canvas By Beau Stanton (All Images Courtesy of Bold Hype Gallery)

Local Surrealist painter Beau Stanton has been an up-and-comer on the New York art scene for a few years now, gaining notoriety through his participation in various group shows on the way to achieving his first New York solo exhibit, up now at Bold Hype Gallery in Chelsea. Beau’s latest collection of paintings, presented under the name Archaic Ornaments, combines classical oil painting with his intricate silk-screened patterns “inspired by pre-modern architecture, letterpress printing designs and decayed infrastructure.” The details of the silk screens come into play especially on Stanton’s layered paintings, such as the series of skull images seen in the photo above, and they really need to be seen up close to be fully appreciated.

Archaic Ornaments Visceral Perception

Visceral Perception, seen above, is my favorite of the many skull images in the show, and I especially liked Stanton’s use of  “Flower Power” colors and the painting’s overall vibrancy. One of the cool things about Beau Stanton, besides his visionary artwork, is the fact that he is such a passionate fan of art in general and he’s enthusiastic in his support of the work of other artists. I see him out all the time at Gallery openings and he is always friendly and has an insight to share on what others are doing. Beau Stanton is an artist to watch, for sure. Make a point to see Archaic Ornaments while you can.

Archaic Ornaments Cyclops Polyphemus

Cyclops Polyphemus

Archaic Ornaments By Beau Stanton will be on Exhibit at Bold Hype Gallery, Located at  547 West 27th Street,  New York, NY 10001 through May 5th, 2012. Gallery Hours are Noon – 5:00 PM, Tuesday – Saturday.

Archaic Ornaments Erythrean Sibyl

Erythrean Sibyl