It was at the Five Points Festival that I spotted this amazing painting by artist Paul Fernandez-Carol that mashes up The Beatles with characters from Star Wars in a very clever way. On one hand, we could be looking at The Beatles, dressed in their colorful, highly-recognizable satin band suits from the Sgt. Pepper-album cover — Ringo in Pink, John in Yellow, Paul in Blue and George in Red — who are avoiding being recognized by wearing disguises on their heads. On the other hand, this might be the Star Wars saga characters of a Scout Trooper, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and an Imperial Stormtrooper (who are all distinguishable by the helmets they wear) posing as The Beatles. Who can say? Speaking of posing, I believe that the figures’ poses in this painting were copied from This Photo of the Fab Four taken in 1967 during a promotional photo shoot for the Sgt. Pepper album cover. You can see more art by Fernandez-Carol on his page at Seven Arts Gallery.
One of the most versatile and inventive English artists of the postwar era, David Hockey settled in Los Angeles in 1964. An especially iconic example from a group of double portraits of friends and associates from the 1960s, American Collectors (1968) depicts the contemporary-art collectors Fred and Marcia Weisman in the sculpture garden of their of their Los Angeles home. As stiff and still as the objects surrounding them, the couple stands apart, his stance echoed in the totem pole to the right, hers in the Henry Moore sculpture behind her. Brilliant light flatters the scene and sets the couple in sharp relief; they seem oblivious to each other as well as to their art
Photographed in the Art Institute Chicago
The Drinkers (1890) was painted during Vincent Van Gogh’s time in the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, a small town in the south of France. Van Gogh was highly productive during this time, but he struggled to maintain confidence in his own abilities as painter. To retrain himself, he made a number of copies after the works of artists he admired, which freed him from having to produce original compositions and allowed him to concentrate instead on interpretation. Van Gogh borrowed this composition from a black and white print after Honore-Victorin Daumier, but the vibrant colors were his own invention. The greenish palette may be an allusion to the notorious alcoholic drink, Absinthe.
Photographed in The Art Institute Chicago.
There is so much beauty in NYC, and you don’t have to look very far to find it. I was getting my steps in one Sunday afternoon when I noticed this beautiful, mirror-polished stainless steel abstract sculpture for first time. I took a handful of photos and then did some Googling to get the lowdown on this artwork, and this is what I found out. Artist David Fried’s Stemmer (part of an eponymous sculpture series ) is a public artwork that was permanently installed on the northeast corner of 34th Street and First Avenue in April of 2019, while the site (which is the courtyard of a high-rise apartment building) was still under construction, and before the plaza officially opened to the public in May.
Please enjoy this in-depth analysis on the Stemmer sculpture series, found on Fried’s Website:
The networked spheres and interdependent multifaceted structures found in each Stemmer sculpture suggest a multitude of processes and phenomena in the natural and built environment. While their forms clearly follow basic laws of economy and self-organization found in adaptive bubble structures, there is also an intended association to organic cell clusters.
With an emphasis on the most fundamental form of autonomy — the Membrane: both a barrier and communicator between the self and the environment — Fried suggests an abstract embodiment of the origin of life-forms – natural or engineered.
Their forms appear in an undifferentiated yet fertile state — like a Venus von Willendorf at conception —full of potential, ready for chance, influence and self-determination. Anti-fragile balancing acts operating far from equilibrium – individualities in an interdependent process of becoming.
In Fried’s mirror polished stainless steel versions, we see the environment and ourselves reflected in the faceted surfaces, absorbed 360° by the sculpture. Its appearance is integrated with — and largely defined by — its environment, hinting that one‘s sense of identity is a complex development of ‘nature and nurture.’
The sharp networked angles formed by intersecting spheres of varying size result in dynamic shapes that, in spite of their clean mathematical origin, appear biological, and seem to possess an abstract yet curiously personal character.
Fried coined the term ‘Stemmer’ as a personifying name for stem-cell creations. Currently, the stem-cell is the most promising yet controversial, programmable, self-reproducing building-block on a cellular level, which in the hands of the genetic engineer, has become the absolute malleable ‘bio-porcelain’ of choice at the turn of this century.
As in many of Fried’s other works, the artist presents us with minimalist symbolic imagery that suggests a fusion of mythological and scientific beliefs, while calling attention to the manipulative processes that are now deeply rooted in our cultures. By resurrecting and modernizing humankind’s oldest fertility icons—in an era whereby applied technologies are trumping the oldest form of reproduction and evolution—with fertility icons of a synthetic nature, Fried confronts us with our desire and ability to alter nature’s course, and perhaps the future of our own evolutionary process.
From Weng Contemporary:
The Souper Dress, inspired by the iconic Campbell Soup Cans series by Andy Warhol, was imagined and produced by the Campbell Soup Company as a mail order offer and as an effective advertising campaign when paper dresses were all the rage in the 1960s. Two labels from any different variety of Campbell’s Vegetable Soups and $1.00 got you the dress.
The Souper Dress is a classic example where fashion, art and industry intersect into one image. The paper dress captures to perfection the vibrant, youthful, optimistic and consumerist zeitgeist of America in the 1960s . This, then, disposable A-line dress made of screen-printed tissue, wood pulp and rayon mesh with binding tape, is printed with the Campbell’s Soup red, black and white labels. At the back of the neckline is attached the original label that reads: “The Souper Dress/No Cleaning/ No Washing/ It’s carefree fire resistant unless washed or cleaned/To refreshen, press lightly with warm iron/80% Cellulose, 20% Cotton.” Examples of The Souper Dress is excellent condition can sell for as msuch as $8,000 at auction.
Photographed as part of The Exhibit Camp: Notes on Fashion, on View Through September 8th, 2019 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This amazing painting featuring a group of seven of the most well-known Fast Food Mascots at a funeral was spotted by me at an arts and crafts street fair in Chicago. They are clearly serving as pallbearers and you can see that the coffin says “Monsanto,” the notorious chemical company. But, what does it all mean? The painting is clearly mounted in an up-cycled window frame, and the rows of towering palm trees in the background indicates that the location is southern California. I neglected to note the artist’s name, so if anyone has a clue as to who painted this, and what it is all about, please leave that information in the comments! Thank you, Drive Through!
By the 1970s, Roy Lichtenstein’s comic-strip style of painting had become his trademark. While he had adapted his early compositions from actual comic books, here Lichtenstein referred to an art historical rather than a pop culture source: Henri Matisse’s Red Studio (1911, in the collection of MoMA), which features Matisse’s canvases casually set around a room. Into the flattened studio space of Artists Studio Foot Medication (1974), Lichtenstein similarly inserted whole of partial versions of his own real and imagined artworks across a range of subject matter, including geometric abstraction. This painting’s title calls out the 1962 print Foot Medication, reimagined as a monumental painting at the upper left. This kind of self-quotation, at once playful and thoughtful, would become anther feature of Lichtenstein’s production.
Photographed in the Art Institute Chicago.