30 September 2015

Leon Kossoff

I think I took this i-phone photo in The Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. I have just come across it in the computer. 

Not only do I marvel at the Humanity in it but also of its thick impasto which indicates so much struggle within the portrait itself. He is alive and painting at 88 years.

28 September 2015

Spacey Art!

There is a group show at the Galerie Thaddeus Ropac Pantin outside Paris, featuring art work inspired by Space and Space exploration. Included are a few celebrated artists of the 20th century. 

Here are two which appealed to me.

"MOON" by Not Vital 2013

and, most curiously this one by Robert Rauschenberg entitled "Nagshead Summer Glut Sketch". This surprises me by its poetic eloquence, something I have rarely ever felt in his art work despite his immense popular success and celebrated status.

26 September 2015

This is a large scale mural (27 feet high) which decorates the side of a building owned by Wyllie Goodman in Red Hook Brooklyn, NY.
According to the NY times she heard what she though was gunfire outside. Actually it was the sound of paintballs being shot at the mural.

The mural is part of a campaign in London and New York protesting the prison sentence of Iranian illustrator Atena Farghadani who received 12 years for depicting politicians as animals. (!)

In any event, I was simply struck by how much nicer the mural worked with the addition of the long vertical white stripes down its side. It gives an otherwise bland black drawing some real character.

Sadly it will be painted over because of local protests from the Brooklyn neighbors who hate it apparently.

So, does Iran have saboteurs working not so covertly in America?

25 September 2015

Earnest Ernest Hemmingway at the Morgan Library

This looks like a wonderful show at the Morgan Library in Manhattan. Here was man who seemed to be at the epicentre of the zeigist of the early 20th century. A tough guy who who did unpolitically-incorrect things like shooting lions and tigers. But, he also took a stand against the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. A flawed man, apparently, one whose own inner demons killed him with a shotgun. But, what a hard-drinking talent of a writer! If only our politicians today had an ounce of this kind of courage!

24 September 2015

Thomas Hart Benton, oops, that's Art!

Ha ha, two Republicans in Missouri caught trading telephone numbers with one another while doing so using a painting by Thomas Hart Benton as a surface. Sacré Bleu! Liberals, and Democrats alike are up in arms of course. (And they should be) This wonderful photo by Dave Marner, editor of the Gasconade County was taken at the Missouri State Capitol and published the other day.
What surprises me in some much of the social media commentary is just how scathing people are towards these two bureaucrats. (And they should be, I repeat) However, it also strikes me as a bit confusing (perhaps a bit disingenuous) because it would seem to me that these same people (Liberals, Art lovers, Lefties, etc) also celebrate  the freedom of expression which takes the form of Graffiti so celebrated by the very upper crusted institutions around the world. And, painting Graffiti it seems to me, isn't so very different a behaviour as the non-chalance performed by these two bureaucrats.

Unhappily, we seem to live in a world governed by philistines. If it isn't Terrorists chopping up Palmyra or defacing Parisian streets, it is great Cultural institutions  promoting Graffiti Art at the request of interested parties in the commercial Art world. The world, it seems, is ruled by a selfish disinterest in that thing called Beauty. Poor Beauty! Pillaged by Post-Modernism, and flogged by Contemporary Art schools, it seems to survive only in the hearts of few lost dreamy souls like myself.

10 September 2015

Japan Graphic

I fell in love with this.

08 September 2015

Piero della Francesca, yet again

Born in 1415 and he lived many full and rich years but in that short life of a painter he created so many marvellous things. The portrait above is one of the reasons I began painting. A large poster of this head which I found in Italy has somehow survived my various homes and studios from Aix to New York, back to the Drôme, and it now lives in Australia. It is a remarkable thing; alive and so full of feeling. And that, is what I believe it is all about in Art regardless of the current vogue for intellectual machinations.

This is the reason I paint.


07 September 2015

Le 28 Août, 2015

oil on board 150 X 100 cm, Myocum N.S.W. Australie

This is a new painting which pushes me into another direction.

02 September 2015

what is a home anyway?

As the refugees slip through the porous eastern front of Europe many of us watch from the comfort of our homes with memories of the horror of World War II. Even a little house like the one above would do. 

And further, do I find myself more worried about the destruction of the ancient site of Palmyra or the invisible children of Syria who trying to escape?