Friday, October 30, 2009

Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness......AVAM

Pedro Martin DeClet has come a very long way since his stint as head of the Latin Kings gang in the CT prison system. His works are now on display in the American Visionary Art Museum's newest show, Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness, curated by Roger Manley. Declet's Portrait de Genocide honors past martyrs in both the American Indian and Hispanic culture and is a powerful work with it's bleeding pictograph placed center stage. In another room is a hand-made book filled with paintings and paperwork which reflect his disavowal of the infamous gang, along with an altered book, a cross sculpture and a canvas carrying bag sporting a self-portrait. There is also a construction called El Philosopher which is made up of a time clock together with time cards hand painted by the artist. Pedro Martin DeClet is a man who does not look back, but rather reflects on a positive future. I thank Roger Manley for having an open mind and including these important works in his stellar show. It will run for close to a year and is worth the visit to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, where the AVAM sits like a dazzling crowning jewel.
Photos courtesy of Roger Manley, curator

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

American Visionary Art Museum, 2009

I would like to thank Roger Manley for the unparalleled job he did in curating the newest show at the AVAM in Baltimore. He went out of his way to include artists not always seen, to make this show fresh and very alive. From my gallery he choose five works by Pedro Martin DeClet, former head of the Latin Kings gang in the CT prison system, whose works deal with freedom on a very primal level. He also picked a lovely painting of a Jazz Funeral by Gerald Thornton, who was able to attend the opening with four generations of his family.
Roger included many works created by Dr. Ala Bashir, who is represented by Corvus Art Gallery, (Lesley Roy). Dr. Bashir was Saddam Hussein's personal physician and a world known plastic surgeon, who also is a world class painter and sculptor. His goal in life has always been to heal both body and spirit and his works are superb. Thank you Roger, for thinking out of the box and bringing all of this important work to a new audience. The art is hung beautifully and shown to it's best advantage. I hope you all have an opportunity to see this brilliant show.
Images included are two extraordinary paintings by Dr. Ala Bashir.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Self-taught and Outa' Sight.....Gale Hart

Gale Hart is a Renaissance type of gal. She paints, she sculpts, she makes furniture of the edgiest kind. All this despite a real problem with dsylexia, which she has never let get her down. I would toss out everything I own and let her redesign all I have and use, were money no object. Not that her works are out of sight, price wise. To the contrary, they are very reasonably's the shipping of large crates of the stuff which would slow me down. If you're anywhere near Sacramento this weekend, go to A Bitchin' Space and see what I mean. Just don't tell me if you' ve bought anything......I'd be too envious to hear about it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Unexpected art, assemblages, and paintings by Canadian artist

This Canadian artist, who is equally at home with paint as she is with assemblages, once lived in Florida. I wish I had know her then, when my life was bringing me there several times a year. Carmen Hickson was a self-taught artist, who now has "three years of commercial art school" under her belt. She has remained true to herself and to her voice and she exhibits quite a talent. Recently she was successful in Canada's largest juried art show held in Toronto. This is work I'd love to see in person one day. Click on the title of this piece and it will bring you to her website. Be sure to check out her paintings, which are as magical as are the assemblages.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vernissage for Helga Hornung


Ausstellung im Rahmen der Ottobeurer Konzerte

im Haus des Gastes

Helga Hornung & Philipp Reisacher

“Weiter als der Horizont”

Zum Konzertwochenende 60 Jahre Basilikakonzerte

Vernissage: Freitag 18. Sept. 2009 19.30 Uhr

Im Dialog mit den Künstlern, Bernd Schäfer (Bürgermeister Ottobeuren)

Musik: Reinhard Reißner (Klassische Gitarre )

19. und 20. Sept. von 10.00 bis 18.00 Uhr

Helga Hornung

Phantasie und Traumwesen die beflügeln und den Betrachter verzaubern.

Bilderbuchreihe “ Derkleine Lalu”

Philipp Reisacher

steht mitden Füssen auf der Erde, mit dem Herzen hängt ersich in den Himmel

Cornelia Kleybolt, M.A.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Intuit's newest program........bring your own popcorn

Tattooed WonderTattoo Flash
and Circus Banners

Intuit will host a panel discussion with experts on tattoo history and circus banners and performers. The panelists are Freaks & Flash co-curator, Anna Friedman Herlihy; Amelia Klem Osterud, author of the forthcoming book The Tattooed Lady: A History (Nov. 2009, Speck Press); and former circus traveler turned artist, Glen Davies.

This talk is free and
open to the public.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kris Lewis and Travis Louie........beinart stars.....

The International Surreal Art Collective boasts some of the very best artists in the world among it's members. Alex Grey and Ann Harper are two of my favorites. But now I learn of two more accomplished people to add to the list. Travis Louie’s new exhibition is at Roq la Rue Gallery.His " hypnotic portraiture is compelling for its blend of the hyper realistic with the blatantly unreal. Fantastical creatures gaze out from paintings so technically refined (using transparent layers of acrylic paint over a tight graphite drawing on a smooth flat surface) that they look uncannily like old photographs." This fact entices you take a second look. Kris Lewis, who is currently showing his portraits at David B Smith Gallery in Denver Colorado, has a romantic yet edgey quality to his work which makes the quirkiness quite appealing.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Painter, advocate, furniture maker

Gale Hart is my hero. This self-taught artist is a highly visible animal rights activist, and her paintings and constructions are well known and exhibited. Her show "Why Not Eat Your Pet" has received rave reviews and raised the consciousness of droves of onlookers. And she is one hell of a furniture maker! This painting called "Blinded for Your Good Looks" takes on the cosmetic industry and their unconscionable use of animals for product testing. The two tables need to be in my living room ASAP! Such energy and raw talent!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Before he was Paul........

Connecticut artist, Paul Pitt is known for his folk art paintings of scenes from a gentler time, populated with up to 250 men, women, children and animals. And always there are two running boys, one Black and one White, one of whom is wearing the ever present red scarf. But searching through an old barn this week, Paul's first efforts were rediscovered. These vintage paintings, over 30 years old, are much different from the idyllic scenes for which Paul Pitt is well known. The earlier works have an appeal all to themselves so I've decided to share them with you. Tell me what you think!
A link in the title will bring you to Paul's work as it is recognized today. He is in many permanent museum collections and his work has been on the cover of quite a few magazines. The older works are now available for purchase.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"To The Marrow," a deep look inside

This collage by Kathy Carvellas started out as "Spinal Tap", but work progresses and changes along the way and the final piece, along with it's new title are now complete. In the artist's words, "I just finished the first of the three pieces I've been working on. "To the Marrow" is all about the deep connection between the mind and the body. Between our deepest memories and the tiniest cells in our bodies. No matter how aware or unaware we may be of those connections, they effect us each and everyday. For better or worse. Thank God we have the capacity to tap into these connections and receive healing and release in the places we need them!!" Many artist's are able to achieve healing through their work, and we are the benefactors of their labor.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lori Field, self-taught art with a fine art feel

Lori Field's work is smart, seductive and beautiful. A combination of drawing, collage, bee's wax and encaustic materials transforms intelligent thought into alluring art. Lori's images are bits of human elements morphed with flora and fauna, with exotic results.
To quote the artist, "Animals lack self-consciousness or artifice, so the animal-like figures provide a means for emotive personification, characterizing or exhibiting human motives and foibles. The external traits of the animal/human figures suggest internal ones. As my shape-shifting creatures morph, are they 'becoming-animal' or 'becoming-human'? Which transformation would leave them better off? These human/animal archetypes - a cast of recurring characters - create intuitive narratives that explore themes of loss, rebirth, identity, denial, alienation, loneliness......and human vulnerability." See, I told you she was smart! The above examples are courtesy of the artist.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Discovered on the streets of DC.......

As my son and I were leaving a Georgetown restaurant in 1995, a blaze of color caught our eyes. To see Matt Sesow's paintings is to share in a bit of his reality. A landing airplane hit and severed his left arm at the age of eight, forcing him to become right handed. The physical and emotional pain of the trauma has left a clear mark on Matt's work. In 1994, at the age of 28, he began painting. His titles, such as "Painting by Remembers", "Lost Luggage", "Alone in Death", and "Sucker Punch", are more than subtle hints of the turmoil he has experienced. He views painting as a way to communicate his emotions and experiences in an immediate and powerful manner. He talks of "punching" the paint on his surface, and the turbulence it creates grabs at the viewer, never quite letting go. Bold backgrounds, angry and averted orange eyes, or friendly blue ones, heavily outlined figures not able to stay within the confines of the canvas, are all hallmarks of his style. Nowadays Matt's interest is in painting day to day life and and commenting on the news, which he does with considerable charm and wit. Three early pieces illustrating this blog, are now available for sale through
Little Buddy, Picking Daisies, and Turndown (Almsman)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Symbolist collage using 19th century prints......

As a child I loved to see the arty backdrops displayed in high fashion windows at Bonwit Teller in New York City. As an adult I got to meet the extraordinary man who created these collages utilizing images from 18th and 19th century engravings. Many decades later, Anthony Guyther is still creating wonderful works, as well as tongue in cheek constructions, and each one is as clever and witty as ever. The older works are published in a book called "Symbolist Collage", and I have been very fortunate over the years to have collected many of those original works for the gallery and for my personal collection. The construction above is called "Macanudo Lady", the collage is "Egg-guardian", and below that is "Fighting Nix". Yesterday I received copies of his new works and luckily I'll be able to see them in person in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted.......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Duck, duck, duck, tape!

According to Marshall McLuhan, "art is anything you can get away with", and Pete Warburton's show at the University of Michigan's Taubman Health Center, is proof! Don't get me wrong, this clever work is definitely art, and successful art at that. Warburton utilizes an unusual art material called duck tape, which is ordinarily used for many types of painting and fix it yourself projects. In this artist's hands, the lowly material becomes so much more. "Night Route to Gallium" is proof of his talent. Click on the title and read more about this exceptional artist. Or contact him directly at

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Maine artist soothes in life as well as in art.....

As a therapist in Southern Maine, Charles Farrell works with individuals and families who are dealing with many forms of mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, anxiety, addictions, depression, and more. With art, both for his clients, as a form of art therapy, and for himself, he has found a voice and an order. Farrell's own work draws from historic as well as contemporary imagery and his combination of collage, photomontage and paint, as well as pencil and ink, produces a mysterious mix of fantasy and recognizable reality striking a chord within the viewer. Click on the title of this piece, and you will be brought to his blog, which is filled with many more intriguing works.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Eco House in Japan steals my heart......

It's been a long time since I have fallen in love with architecture which felt so organic and which inspired furniture to properly fill the spaces. The new eco oriented Shell House in Japan is such a creation. Ero Saarinin and Mes Van Der Rohe were the last, as my own furnishings attest. The goal to have a shelter appear as if it sprung up in the woods like a mushroom, and looks as appropriate in it's surroundings, is a great achievement. And it has happened again. I could move in tomorrow.....just don't know where I'd hang the art!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Seraphine.....self-taught artist's life in winning new film

The Foundation for Self-taught American Artists is showing a special viewing of a sleeper hit in France. From their invitation: "SÉRAPHINE went on to a surprise win of the Best Picture and Best Actress for Yolande Moreau along with five other awards at the 2009 Césars.
Based on a true story, SÉRAPHINE reveals the life and work of Séraphine de Senlis (Moreau), a simple and profoundly devout housekeeper whose brilliantly colorful canvases adorn some of the world 's most famous collections. German art critic and collector Wilhelm Uhde (The Lives of Others’ Ulrich Tukur) —the first Picasso buyer and champion of primitive painter Rousseau —discovers her paintings while Séraphine is working for him as a maid in the beautiful countryside of Senlis near Paris. A moving and unexpected relationship develops between the avant-garde art dealer and the visionary artist. Martin Provost'’s fictionalized and poignant portrait of Séraphine is a testament to creativity and the resilience of one woman’s spirit."

SÉRAPHINE opens to the public July 17, at the Ritz 5 Theatre I cannot wait to see this film!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kent, redux, so richly deserved!

I'm quoting from this article about William Kent, once more, because I do not want to be one of those people who knew about, and in fact collected his work, and never helped to get the word out.
Wood Be Master
By Alan Bisbort
The smell of wood resin and wood dust precedes William Kent's barn in Durham, Connecticut by about 100 yards. As you make the final turn on serpentine Howd Road—after passing cow pastures, woodlands, vine-choked ponds and creeping suburbia—Kent's lime-green door appears, a visual beacon that most people simply speed past.

Why shouldn't they? They have no way of knowing that inside lives and toils one of the world's master artists. Private by nature, the solitary William Kent once preferred it that way. But now, having turned 82, Kent is beginning to wonder why the larger world—meaning the major institutions dedicated to art and culture—have not beaten a path to his door. This is not just some idle pipe dream of a hobbyist or second-rate talent but a valid complaint from a forgotten master. William Kent, according to an art critic cited in a New York Times article about him, is "the world's greatest living carver of wood. There's not even anyone close."
Read the rest, you will Never forgive yourself if you don't! And run to Kehller Liddel Gallery for this show.......
Bob Falcetti is the remarkable photographer who captured Bill and his work so beautifully!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Strong at 90, William Kent

"William Kent? He is a printer and sculpture- currently 90 yrs of age and still working from his Durham CT studio home. He is known in CT from group shows in the past decade and being aquired by some of the major museums - Lyman Allen, Yale, a few prominent galleries and many private collectors. Considered something of a CT treasure......" These are the words of Linda Hali Zucker, Gallery Coordinator at Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven CT. Luckily for area residents the political prints made from chiseled slate and the huge wood carvings made over a lifetime, are on display at the above mentioned gallery through August. This is a must see show. An artist highly influenced by music and the times, which is evident in his totally unique style. I treasure the pieces of his work I am fortunate enough to own.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Outsider art at my door!

After a long and delicious visit with my kids and grandkids in the Boston area, I came home to a mysterious package waiting for me at the back door. The return address was for an artist I knew from the internet, Dirk Dahl. I have posted some of his truly amazing sculptures of Jazz greats on this blog, but the package was a complete puzzle. When I finally got both suitcase and package inside the house, and turned off the alarms, I opened the box. Stunned is not a word I use often, but I was completely stunned. Inside was a magical African figure loaded with so much Mojo that I could hear the music. Eyes askance, head dress loaded with amber glass marbles, rope and mud, nail head necklace, mouth tiny and was beyond belief. It would be right at home in the African Art collection I just visited at the Yale University Art Galleries. An unexpected gift is always fun, but this.....this was beyond imagining. I am's that word again....stunned!
Dirk, thank you so much for allowing me to have such a remarkable piece of your work in my collection!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sculpture show hits the big time....

Click on title to see TV coverage of the sculpture show, or better yet, enjoy these photos taken by &ndrew at Urban Papers Art dot Blog Spot dot com.