Archive for May, 2009
The work of 74-year-old painter PETER SAUL reveals an artist whose vigor for wild Cartoon Expressionism remains undiminished by age. A pioneer of Pop Art who wears his pulp influences on his sleeve, Saul has created some of his finest modern work in this show of mostly large scale new paintings now on display at NYC’s venerable DAVID NOLAN GALLERY, all of which explode with the trademark color and humor inherent in all of the artist’s most memorable work. Rightfully, the paper of record has taken notice:
The irrepressible Peter Saul, now 74, continues his cheerfully acerbic, riotously goofy ways. The paintings in this entertaining show are made in Mr. Saul’s signature Pop-Surrealist cartoon style. With their rubbery, pneumatic forms neatly rendered with a spongy, semi-pointillist touch in glowing colors, they are like much-enlarged stills from a twisted animated film.
There are three different types of pictures: weirdly personal, violently political and insouciantly art historical. In “Viva la Difference,” a grinning bon vivant in pajamas with a martini in one hand wraps his arm around an amorphous blob that sprouts multiple breasts and is perforated by numerous vaginal orifices. (Talk about your male gaze!)
On the political front, there’s “Stalin & Mao,” in which the dictators are represented as giants punching the heads off enemy soldiers. As for art history, “Better Than de Kooning,” a translation of de Kooning’s “Woman” paintings from the 1950s into a picture of bulging, writhing, tubular forms, is visually captivating and amusingly Oedipal.
“Beckmann’s the Night” is based on a 1919 painting by Max Beckmann. In Mr. Saul’s version, a green maniac armed with a knife and a pistol attacks a naked blonde tied by her wrists to an overhead beam, while Beckmann himself licks the swollen foot of a half-naked man who hangs by the neck. A careening bullet rips through the flesh of the strung-up victims. Mr. Saul’s picture reminds us that few sights are more gripping to behold than scenes of horrific carnage.
—KEN JOHNSON, NYTimes
On display until May23rd, consider this a must-see show of the highest order. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
SPIKE JONZE‘s forthcoming “Where The Wild Things Are” film marketing blitz is easily the most welcome merchandising moment in recent years. Kicking off the collecting onslaught is MEDICOM TOY‘s excellent KUBRICK set depicting Max and his merry band of monsters alongside an amazing 12″ REAL ACTION HERO version of Max in his fuzzy suit and crown. All figures hit shelves in October when the movie— based on Maurice Sendak’s seminal children’s book of the same name—drops in theaters…
Madonna relaxes on Newson’s “Lockheed” on-camera in 1993. Amazingly, this fact hasn’t hurt the chair’s value…
Supertouch buddy and upcoming “Stages” art show participant MARC NEWSON created his iconic “Lockheed Lounge” chair in 1988 and in recent years it has become the most famous piece of designer furniture to ever change hands at auction. Last week saw an artist proof of the silver aluminum chaise lounge that previously belonged to the artist’s mother (and once made an appearance in Madonna’s 1993 “Rain” music video) close out the design auction at PHILLIPS DE PURY & CO in London for a record $1.6 million USD, a new record for a piece of design furniture. The chair broke its own sales record previously established at a 2007 Sotheby’s auction when the chair brought in $968,000 USD. Amazingly, the design world has managed to buck the massive sales slump currently facing the art world with resale values remaining virtually undiminished and demand for stellar pieces consistently high. Maybe the fact that it’s art you can actually helps justify the splurge in a downturn…
Van Gogh’s “Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear” from 1889 tells the story…
VAN GOGH’S EAR WAS CUT OFF BY FRIEND GAUGUIN WITH A SWORD
By Henry Samuel in Paris, Telegraph UK
He is known as the tortured genius who cut off his own ear as he struggled with mental illness after the breakdown of his friendship with a fellow artist. But a new study claims Vincent Van Gogh may have made up the story to protect painter Paul Gauguin who actually lopped it off with a sword during an argument. German art historians say the true version of events never surfaced as the two men both kept a “pact of silence” – Gauguin to avoid prosecution and Van Gogh in a vain attempt to keep a friend with whom he was hopelessly infatuated.
In Van Gogh’s Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence, Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans claim it was the sword attack, not Van Gogh’s madness, that led him to commit suicide two years later. The prevailing theory is that the Dutchman, who painted Sunflowers and the Potato Eaters, almost bled to death after slashing his own ear with a razor in a fit of lunacy on the night of December 23, 1888.
He is said to have wrapped it in cloth and handed it to a prostitute in a nearby brothel.
However, the new work from experts in Hamburg offers a very different version.
Gauguin, an excellent fencer, was planning to leave Van Gogh’s “Yellow House” in Arles, southwestern France, after an unhappy stay. He had walked out of the house with his baggage and his trusty épée in hand, but was followed by the troubled Van Gogh, who had earlier thrown a glass at him. As the pair approached a bordello, their row intensified, and Gauguin cut off Van Gogh’s left earlobe with his sword – either in anger or self-defence. Click HERE to continute reading…
Pioneering “Hyperrealist” artist DUANE HANSON spent a lifetime perfecting his totally lifelike human sculptures before cancer claimed his life at age 71 in 1996. Now, in homage to the great renderer of the everyman, GALERIE EMMANUEL PERROTIN is presenting an incredible collection of some of the artist’s best work, representing everyone from skater kids to construction workers in their epic new Rue Turenne space in Paris’ 4th arrondissement. Hanson cast his sculptures from live subjects and fabricated them using fiberglass and resin, allowing for utterly lifelike detail. Thematically, Hanson was concerned with the man on the street and sought to portray the marginalized members of society he saw around him every day: “People, workers, the elderly, all these people I see with sympathy and affection. These are the people who have fought the battle of life and who now and then show the hard work and the frustration … It’s all about human activity, it’s truth, and we all get there.” As the home to Lance Armstrong‘s upcoming anti-cancer “Stages” art show benefiting the Livestrong foundation this July 16th, Perrotin’s incredible exhibition provides the perfect prelude illustrating the career of an artist working at the peak of his craft when his life was so tragically ended by a disease still not fully understood. Hanson’s work remains on display until July 11th, don’t miss it. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Here we have the very first sneek peek at LANCE ARMSTRONG‘s newly completed Supertouch-curated TREK art bikes for his run in the upcoming GIRO d’ITALIA by artists SHEPARD FAIREY and KENNY SCHARF. The world’s most prestigious cycling stage race after the legendary Tour de France, the Giro is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2009, coincidentally the first year Lance has ever entered the race. Lending their formidable creative talents to the challenge, Shepard and Kenny created two vastly different and utterly unique cycles to draw attention to Lance’s upcoming NIKE-backed “STAGES” anti-cancer art show benefiting LIVESTRONG that will debut on July 16th in Paris at GALERIE EMMANUEL PERROTIN during the TDF. Getting up on Lance’s “daily driver” Trek Madone road bike, Shepard Fairey created a vibrant homage to Lance’s cancer fighting foundation while including ancient patterning in homage of Italy’s rich architectural details. NYC Pop Art legend Kenny Scharf took a totally different approach to Lance’s Trek TTX time trial cycle and created the “lightspeed” space bike that will hopefully hurtle Tex across the finish line in record time. Both bikes will be auctioned off on October 2nd (10/2 marks the date of Lance’s original cancer diagnosis) at the NYC stop of the “Stages” art tour with all proceeds going to benefit Livestrong. Look for detailed official photos of both bikes here on ST in the next few days. Meanwhile, ENJOY THE PEEK: Read More