Amedeo Modigliani’s mother wrote that at about the age of fifteen the artist attended is first seance. His youthful spiritual and esoteric inclinations took him in the direction of the occult, reflected in this drawing, Portrait of a Medium (1906), made from memory, of a session he attended in Venice, where he studied for two years before coming to Paris.
Max Ernst was fascinated with microscopic images, which were first broadly distributed in the early twentieth century. For The Gramineous Bicycle Garnished with Bells the Dappled Fire Damps and the Echinoderms Bending the Spine to Look for Caresses (1921), he created an overpainting on the ambitious scale of traditional oil painting by using a commercially available teaching chart. Ernst inverted the found poster, which contains magnified views of brewer’s yeast cells, and selectively painted in a black background. He then painted gears and bands, as well as humanizing details including eyes, noses, limbs, and whiskers to create a virtual circus of tightrope walkers, clowns and cyclists. The inscription lands amusing sexual connotations to the hairs, orifices and protrusions of these microorgasms.
Throughout her long career, Louise Bourgeois (1911 – 2010) treated the motif of spiders across many different media, from drawings and prints to monumental outdoor sculpture. The theme was initially associated with her mother, a tapestry restorer, but grew to take on broader associations as a strong female protector against evil. This example, Spider Woman — dating from the last decade of the artist’s life — represents a female spider with a human face, contained within an egg-shaped form. The vibrant scarlet ink is a color that Bourgeois favored in her later work.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
I see the Street Tag “Sheep” — with the second ‘e’ written backwards — all over downtown, and today I saw it in this variation. The artist is Little Ricky. Photographed on Houston walking east from Sixth Avenue.
Dutch artist Stephan Brusche makes fun art on and with the skin of the delicious Banana. Here, he has demonstrated his technique with a rendering of the famous cover of The Beatles’ album, Abbey Road. So clever!