After 1952, dripping and pouring paint were no longer the primary means of expression for Jackson Pollack.The totemic forms at the left and right in Easter and The Totem (1953) reflect his renewed interest in using a brush to paint quasi-figurative images. The bright colors and expansive spaces anchored by large swaths of black suggest the influence of Henri Matisse, who was the subject of a large retrospective that Pollack would have seen at MoMA the previous year. The push and pull between abstraction and figuration is a thread that weaves through Pollack’s entire career. As he said in the last year of his life, “I am very representational some of the time and a little al of the time.”
“The Meeting” By Aelita Andre (All Images Courtesy of The Agora Gallery)
At four years of age, artist Aelita Andre is the youngest professional painter in the world. Using acrylic paints and mixed media, she creates large canvases of colorful abstract forms that sell for between five and ten thousand dollars each. A large selection of Aelita’s paintings is currently on exhibit at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea, where all but two canvases (as of this writing) have already found buyers. You might remember another young painter, Marla Olmstead, who made the news at age four (back in 2007) for her own abstract paintings that were selling for thousands of dollars. Marla was the subject of the highly polarizing documentary, My Kid Could Paint That, which dealt primarily with the controversy over whether Marla (and not her Dad) was actually the one creating her paintings. While Marla’s parents were never able to convincingly document their daughter in the process of creating an entire work, Aelita’s parents film her as she works on each one of her paintings, so there is no doubt she is the artist. Videos of Aelita in action can be viewed at the gallery, and you can easily see that this young lady has a definite determination in her process and vision. I mean, the kid can paint. As you watch her swirl, spread and pour paint across the canvas, it’s almost impossible not to think of the creative process of the late, great Jackson Pollack.
“Hong Kong Dragon Dance”
A distinct detail in this collection is how Aelita incorporates a variety of “found objects” into her paintings by applying them directly to the canvas. These items range from beads, glitter, pipe cleaners, plastic “googly eyes,” tiny plastic animals and dinosaurs, colorful hair combs, miniature pom-poms, marbles and wire pot scrubbers to instruments of her artistic medium such as paint brushes, sponges, tubes of acrylic paint and their disembodied caps. Sometimes the objects are painted over and sometimes they appear to have been applied after the final coat of paint, letting them retain more of their original identity. I really enjoyed viewing Aelita’s paintings and would definitely want to add one to my collection if I had a spare ten grand laying around. The Prodigy of Color exhibit is 100% kid friendly and there were parents with young children at the gallery when I visited who really seemed to get excited about the paintings. You can view the exhibit online at This Link, but don’t let that stop you from making the trip in person if you live in the New York area, as the colors are much more vibrant and details more apparent when you see them up close.
“Millenium Pizza” (Note: That’s how it’s spelled!)
Prodigy of Color runs through June 25, 2011 at The Agora Gallery, Located at 530 West 25th Street (West of 10th Avenue), 2nd Floor, NYC. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM.
No one is denying that groundbreaking artist Jackson Pollack (Born January 28th, 1912) was pretty much a complete asshole in real life, but we can still appreciate his contribution to Modern Art, I suppose.
“From afar, this could look like an abstract painting; however this spectacular satellite image is of the dunes of sand and seaweed, sculpted by the ocean currents. The fluted, underwater dunes are formed in much the same way as sand dunes in deserts.”