Saturday, January 24, 2009

Deadly Friends, by Patrick Lee

I don't know much about this Los Angeles-based artist - but came across some of his drawings a few months ago. I've hard a hard time locating more of his work online, but the link below to the gallery that represents him has a few others. I am particular interested in the tension he creates between these "tough guys" and the tradition of fine art portraiture. These are men who live a coarse existence, yet Lee captures them with delicacy.

From his gallery website:
Lee’s drawings are painstakingly crafted over months of refinement. Inspired by photographs he takes of men from the streets of America, they convey a unique insight into class and gender ideals. Many subjects are ‘outsiders’ or ‘outlaw’ types; mimicked by pop culture icons and contemporary heroic figures.

Patrick Lee online

Deadly Friends (Rock Star), 2007, graphite on paper, 24" x 36"

Deadly Friends Study #14, 2007, graphite on paper, 14" x 11"

Friday, January 16, 2009

Andrew Wyeth Dies, 91

This week's post is devoted to one of the most important American painters of the last century: Andrew Wyeth, who died this morning at age 91. I saw an exhibition of his watercolors and drawings a couple of years ago - one of the best I've seen. His steadfast commitment to recording the world around him with poetic detail is unparalleled. His painting, "Christina's World" (pictured below) is one of the great icons of American painting. Also below is a link to an article about his death and his life. Even if you don't know of him, raise a glass of wine and get to know what he left behind...

Famed Artist Andrew Wyeth Dies

Andrew Wyeth Art

Christina's World (1948)
Tempura on Gessoed Panel
32.25" x 47.75"

Trodden Weed (1951)
Tempura on Panel
20" x 18.25"

Wind from the Sea (1947)
Tempura on Masonite
18.5" x 27.5"

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Human Project, by Steven Cosentino

I'm not very familiar with this artist - and I don't find his paintings to be particularly engaging. However, I stumbled across this piece of "social art" he created and found it to be pretty impressive. Below is his description of the project - a massive portrait "painted" with the discarded clothing of homeless people. Note especially the "ghost image" left after the work was destroyed...

The Human Being Project
In 1999, Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services was informed that its landlord, St. Agnes Church, was selling the hundred year old building that housed the entire social service program for the homeless. A real estate developer planned to build a high rise apartment on the site. To protest the move, I decided to paint an image of a "Human Being" on the roof, using discarded clothes from the center as the "paint". The image measures 65x35 feet and was featured in the New York Times. The building was destroyed along with the "Human Being" and fifteen of my murals inside. Hundreds of homeless people were displaced.

Attempt by St. Agnes to cover up the image before the sale of the building. The church ripped up all the clothes and painted those areas black. The mismatch of blacks (paint and tar) produced this black version.

Cosentino Studios