Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Episode 77: Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali was one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century. His flamboyant mustache, eccentric personality, and artistic passion combined creating a truly Avant Garde man.

Get your mustache ready and join Chloe and Johanna in exploring the world of Salvador Dali.

Print and apply to upper lip!

Salvador Dali
Persistence of Memory, 1931
The technical training, psychological influences, mixed together with Dali’s personal symbolism create complex pieces that usually leave the viewer questioning  

Swans Reflecting Elephants, 1937
His “hand painted dream photographs” confuse and delight viewers.

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee (Around a Pomegranate, a second Before waking up), 1944
Besides painting Salvador Dali also worked in sculpture, graphic design, and other visual arts. Not even the world of Hollywood was beyond his reach. In 1945, Dali collaborated with Disney on an animated piece called Destino. The project was abandoned but in 2003 was completed.

Lobster Telephone 1936
Chupa Chups Logo 1969


Chloe and Jo getting into character for the Dali episode. They actually wore these while recording!

Tune in next week! Jo and Julia will be talking about Edward Hopper.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Episode 76: Photorealism

Photorealism is the term used for the art movement in the United States during the Late 1960’s and 1970’s. Louis Meisel coined the term Photorealism in 1969. It is also referred to as Super-Realism, New Realism, Sharp Focus Realism, or Hyper Realism.

Photorealistic artists use photographs to creating paintings that look extremely realistic. 

They would take an actual photograph, project it onto a canvas and then paint the image. They did this to create and exact replica of the original photograph. Painting in this style requires extreme skill and discipline and attention to detail.

Pop Art and Photorealism were reactions to the abundant use of photography in the media which, they felt, was diminishing the importance of imagery in art.

Like Pop Artists, photrealists use everyday commercial objects and scenes, like cars, motorcycles, shops and signage to break down the hierarchies of subject matter. Because of this, photorealistic paintings tend to be very impersonal and detached. It’s a way to be completely impartial to a scene, which appealed to the Minimalist and sometimes offended the Modern Abstract painters and critics of the time.
Photorealism cannot exist without the use of a photograph.

Audrey Flack, Marilyn (Vanitas), 1977
Audrey Flack’s works are all about the fleeting nature of material things.

Chuck Close, Big Self-Portrait, 1968
This up ‘close’ and personal image of Chuck Close is not a photo, but actually one of his painted works.
Ralph Goings, Ralph’s Diner, 1981-82
Feel like you just walked back in time to a 70’s diner? You may just be looking at one of Ralph Goings diner paintings.

Robert Bechtle, ’61 Pontiac, 1968–69
No this is not an old photograph you found in a shoe box in your mom’s closet, it is another Robert Bechtle’s photorealistic paintings.

Richard Estes - reflective, clean, and inanimate city and geometric landscapes (Airbrush)
Check out the shadows and reflections in this piece, everything is portrayed to the T!

Charles Bell - large scale still lifes
If you are only going to paint mostly gumballs and marbles, you may as well be good at it. It is hard to get any more exact or precise than this. 

Don Eddy -cars and urban cityscapes

Anyone who is into awesome classic cars would love to have one of Don Eddy’s photorealistic paintings on their wall.

"Red Lightning"
Tom Blackwell - motorcycles (Airbrush)
Check out the lighting and highlights reflected off of the metal on this sweet ride. Looks real enough to hop on and cruise down to one of Ralph Goings diner scenes.

Come back next Wednesday to learn about Salvador Dali with Jo and Chloe!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Episode 75: Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or just Michelangelo a famous sculptor, painter, architect and poet. He was born March 6 1475 in Caprese, Italy and grew up in Florence. 

At the age of 13 he was apprenticed to Domenico it was at this time that he really excelled as an artist. and later joined the Household of Lorenzo de’Medici, the Medici Family was one of the primary patrons of the arts in Italy.

Michelangelo, Pieta, 1498-99
Michelangelo, David, 1501-04
Listen to Episode 25: The Davids to learn more about Michelangelo's statue of David, as well as Bernini and Donatello David's.

Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508-1512
Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel in 1508 by Pope Julius II. Michelangelo didn't want the commission and turned it down at first. He really did not like to paint and much preferred sculpture. He would have had to complete one figure every four days in order to finish the ceiling in the four years it took him to finish painting it.

Michelangelo, The Last Judgement, 1537-41
Michelangelo, Medici Chapel

Michelangelo, Medici Chapel detail.
Tune in next week to hear Julia and our newest member Alisha, talk about Photorealism.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Episode 74: John William Waterhouse

John William Waterhouse was born April 6, 1849 in Rome, Italy where his father worked as a painter. In 1870 when his family returned to England John enrolled at the Royal Academy of Art where his early work in the classical genre was a great success. 

Later, Waterhouse became inspired by the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood which had disbanded many years before. He was also inspired by the Impressionists, although their influences isn't as clearly visible as the PRB. 

One of his favorite subjects was "The Lady of Shalott" from Sir Alfred Lord Tenneson's poem, a subject that was also very popular with the PRB.  Waterhouse painted three versions, the first in 1888 the second in 1894 and the third in 1916.

Waterhouse, Lady of Shalott, 1888

 This version is the most famous of Waterhouses' three works on the Lady of Shalott. In this version she has already looked out the window and set eyes on Lancelot, and is in the boat on the way to her death.

Waterhouse, Lady of Shalott, 1894
In this version you can see the mirror behind her and her weaving wrapped around her legs as though she has stood up to walk toward the window to look at Lancelot. You can see his reflection in the mirror.

Waterhouse, I am half sick of shadows, said the Lady of Shalott, 1916

This final version shows the Lady sitting at her loom, the mirror reflecting the outside world.

Another topic Waterhouse liked to paint was Ophelia from Hamlet. In his most famous version painted in 1894 Ophelia is sitting on the branch of a willow tree over a river. In the play the branch snaps and Ophelia falls in the river and drowns. Ophelia is always associated with flowers. Here are some flower meanings from Hamlet.

Rosemary: To remember, faithfulness
Pansy: thoughts, faithfulness
Fennel: flattery
Columbine: male adultery, ingratitude, faithlessness, and Emblem of Deceived lovers
English Daisy: Innocence

Waterhouse, Ophelia, 1894
Waterhouse, Ophelia, 1889
Waterhouse, Ophelia, 1910

Some of Waterhouse's early work:

Waterhouse, After the Dance, 1876
Waterhouse, Sleep and his Half-brother Death, 1874

In 1887 an illustrated weekly magazine called The Graphic commissioned an art exhibition of twenty-one Shakespeare heroines. Waterhouse submitted his painting of Cleopatra.

In the Victorian era demure modesty was highly prized in women. How shocking the portrait of Cleopatra must have been! She is depicted as a strong, unashamed woman, a powerful woman and perhaps a femme fatale.

The painting sold for 60 guineas in 1889, the equivalent of about 60 pounds today and then the painting disappeared. More than a century later it was found in a cabin in Colorado and subsequently went to auction in 2003. It did not meet the reserve of 300 to 500 thousand pounds.
Waterhouse, Cleopatra, 1888

There are many legends concerning the death of Orpheus, but Waterhouse chose to represent the myth of Orpheus' head being chopped off and floating down to the Lesbos shore where the inhabitants found it, still singing mournful songs, and buried it then building a shrine in his honor.

Waterhouse, Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus, 1900

Come back next week to listen to Chloe and Jo talk about Michelangelo!