mercoledì 16 dicembre 2009


Interview by Das Bork

Das Bork: To get started, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your influences.
Jeremy Lipking: Well, I really liked the naturalist painters, like Jules Bastien-Lepage, Emile Friant, and [Pascal-Adolphe-Jean] Dagnan-Bouveret. What I liked about naturalist painters is that a lot of them were amazing draftsman, and that they really wanted to capture what was really happening and what was really out there. And also their ability to create some huge paintings, and most of the time they painted outdoors.

DB: That was the movement where they started painting what they saw.
JL: Yes. And a lot of them built these glass studios so they could have some protection from the elements in order to make it as close to painting outdoors as possible. And in painting what they saw they still had plenty of work. They still had to have some elements of design and composition. So the problem they had was to make a naturalistic painting, but still incorporate good design and composition.

DB: So is that what got you interested in plein air work?
JL: Well, no, not really. I didn’t really get to know about those painters until later on. As far as painting outdoors, I liked Edgar Payne and William Wendt, and a lot of the California impressionists.

DB: As far as subject matter, what has influenced you to paint the subjects that you paint?
JL: Well, [John Singer] Sargent is a big one for me, as well as Anders Zorn and [Joaquin] Sorolla. They all painted figures. That is probably where it started for me, as far as artists that I liked who were figurative painters.

DB: In terms of training, I’ve seen a lot of great artwork coming from the school [California Art Institute] you went to. What was it about that place that made that happen?
JL: A lot of good things have come from that school, but I’m not really sure what it was. Because when I was there, I felt like I was missing out on something.

DB: Because it was a small school?
JL: Yeah, it was a small school. But I always felt that I needed a more academic type of training.

DB: Why is that?

JL: Well, we didn’t really have any long drawing poses or long painting poses-- maybe six hours was about the longest. I wanted to be able to paint and draw figures for as much time as I needed to then.

DB: How long does it take you to do a studio painting?
JL: On average, about two to three weeks for an average-sized painting. Then, for some reason, I’ll do a painting that will take twice as long, but usually around that time.

DB: Your paintings have a cool color palette. I was wondering if you could talk a bit about how that works or how you achieve that sort of look.
JL: For me, the palette or the key of my paintings actually became cooler when I moved into my studio, where the walls were painted blue. At first, I didn’t really like it, and I was going to paint over the walls. But I did a couple of paintings in there with a blue background and I just started to get used to it. I started to like it.

DB: So it branched out from there?
JL: As far as I can remember it, yes.

DB: Color harmony is a mysterious thing. How do you achieve it in your work?
JL: You really have to try not to lose sight of it in the big picture. When you're working on a section of a painting it's easy to forget about the rest of it and how it relates. So every piece of color, every shape and brushstroke is a part of the bigger picture.

DB: As far as drawing goes, how do you go about it, or what's your thought process?

JL: As far as drawing in my painting goes, I don’t do much drawing at all during the lay-in stage in the beginning. I just block in big shapes and lines with my brush to get the placement of the subject. I never do any drawing with a pencil, even in my charcoal drawings. As far as drawing on paper, I’ve been trying out a lot of different types of paper in charcoal. Lately I’ve been using Strathmore 400 paper.

DB: Why do you approach drawing that way? Is it to keep the painting looking fresh?
JL: If it was all drawn out first it would feel a bit boring, because it would end up looking like I was just filling in shapes. Also, I like to use my whole arm and body when I’m painting. It helps me to feel less restricted, and it allows me to paint more freely.

DB: I’ve read on your site that after school you trained on your own.
JL: Well, I took classes for about a year and a half at the Art Institute. I was mostly doing drawing classes, and I started to do a little bit of painting. After about a year and half I started teaching a drawing class there. Eventually, I taught a few classes a week. I still considered that a part of my schooling or training.

DB: So what would you say you got out of your training?
JL: Well, the one teacher I studied with the most was an illustrator, Glen Orbik. He does comic book covers. His style of drawing was really tonal-- it was like painting in black and white. In other words, it was drawing in charcoal, but it wasn’t linear. It was really tonal.

DB: So did you then take that into your painting?
JL: Yes. Because you are basically using the same elements that you need to have in painting, such as values, edges, and shapes. The only thing missing is color.

DB: Your artwork now has such a cool mood to it. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I was wondering how you achieve that.

JL: I’m not really sure if there is one thing that does it. It’s probably a combination of things, such as the subject and the colors. But I would say it's mostly because of the light.

DB: What do you paint with in the studio? Do you use windows, or do you have a setup of lights?
JL: I light the model with natural light from a window. I like it so much better than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. I don’t really have a north-lit studio, but I’d like to, just for the consistency in the light. However, I don’t like the quality of the light as much compared to light just coming from a window.

DB: The models you use, who are they?
JL: A lot of them are professional models, but a lot of times it’s somebody that was recommended by another artist, or somebody that has offered to model for me. Sometimes I’ll see somebody that I think would be a great subject to paint, so I’ll ask them. Like the model in my Bedside painting... I met her at a party where they had a naked catering company. They were all painted in body paint. It was for somebody's birthday party. So she was there, and she had a nice look and a nice figure.

DB: So you just asked her to be in a painting?
JL: Yep. That’s how it happened. Most of the models I have had lately aren’t professional art models. I always like to paint new people or different people, because you just get a whole new set of ideas for painting.

DB: What do you look for in a good painting?
JL: It can be about that one thing that you notice first, whether it’s the color harmony, a nice design, or even just the lighting. It’s different for every painting. But being able to capture that theme is what really can make it special.

DB: I’ve heard people say that everything has already been done in painting. What do you think about that statement?
JL: Well, I’ve heard that a lot, too. However, I don’t really think it’s hard to do something new. I mean, people have been writing stories for a long time and it’s all in the same language, but they all manage to say something new. It’s the same for painting. We all paint in the same language, but we manage to say something new.

DB: That’s very true. I’ve got one last question for you. I have to ask you this because we try and ask this question to everyone we interview: in your opinion, do dogs have lips?
JL: Boy... that's a good question.

DB: Do you have dogs?
JL: I have one dog, but I don’t know.

DB: It’s the debate here, and we haven’t really come to a conclusion yet.
JL: Well, I would say... (pauses) no.

DB: Alright. Thanks for doing this, Jeremy.
JL: Thank you,

Das Bork.

mercoledì 9 dicembre 2009

Serge Marshennikov

Serge Marshennikov was born in 1971 in Ufa (Bashkiria, USSR). His grandfather was the general manager of a horse breeding company, his father, an electrical engineer and his mother was in pre-school education. Freom the earliest of times, Serge was always drawing, painting and sculpting from any material he could land his hands on. His Mother encouraged Serge to study and from early childhood and he had a succession of private teachers and art studies he attended. After receiving a number of awards for his children’s watercolor and pastel paintings, Serge decided to become a professional painter.
In 1995 he finished the Ufa Art College and then continued education at one of the most prestigious art academies in the world, The Repin Academy of Fine Art in St. Petersburg, Russia. As one of the most talented graduates of the academy, Serge was offered to stay for post-graduate studies at the studio of the Academician, Rector of the Academy, Professor Milnikov.
Serge’s first solo exhibition was in the gallery “Sangat” of his native UFA in 1995, the year of his graduation from the college. The show was a success and Serge was invited to exhibit at the Artists’ Union gallery. Since that time Serge has exhibited on a semi-annual basis, showing his works to his collectors and piers in both St Petersburg and Ufa. Serge’s graduation work caught the eye of a Brownwood University faculty member as well as Hardin-Simmons University. Serge, during his post-graduate years, also exhibited in the prestigious art departments of those Universities.
More recently, Serge’s paintings have been sold through important art auctions, including famous Christie’s of London and Bonham's in Knightsbridge. His work is in much demand and his prices are constantly rising. Serge’s paintings are held in the Museum of Modern Art (El Paso), in The Grace Museum (Abilene), and in many important private collections in Russia, England, Denmark, France and Japan.
Serge’s biggest influences are Andrew Wyeth & Lucian Freud. From more contemporary times, he likes works of Jeremy Lipking. Serge is married and has a 7 year old daughter.
Russian artist Serge Marshennikov's delicate original female oil portraits capture the hearts of collectors all over the globe. Serge Marshennikov's sensuous oil paintings are available through Hallmark Fine Art Gallery La Jolla in San Diego, 858-551-8108.

lunedì 12 ottobre 2009

Jia LU


Dancing in the Light
Metrosource (Los Angeles: October 2006)

Tom Kieliszewski

Jia Lu's life story sounds like the sort of sweeping modern epic Hollywood goes gaga over. Beijing, China: 1954: In the wake of the communist revolution, Jia Lu, a young girl from a creative family, dreams of becoming an artist. She comes of age during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. Around her, artists and intellectuals - her heroes and mentors - are vilified, murdered and driven out.
Her artistic ambitions stymied, Lu joins the Navy when she finishes school, working as an O.R. nurse. Then, unexpectedly, inspired by the sketches of one of her patients, she begins to draw again. At the same time, for political reasons, her Navy career stalls.
Lu accepts a job for a state oceanography journal. This reignites her artistic ambitions and opens the way for her to join the Central Academy of Art and Craft. Several serendipitous plot twists later and we find Lu in Canada studying painting. A stranger in a strange land, she struggles to reconcile East and West in her art.
Lu's great artistic step forward comes after her first visit to Europe in 1996. She embraces the Western tradition of light and shadow, mass and texture. "I was blown away by the incredibly sexy, monumental paintings of saints and goddesses," Lu recalls, "I didn't understand the Bible stories and the classical myths, but I completely understood the power of the nude figure."
Lu soon moves to California and begins to paint male and female nudes and semi-nudes, accompanied by Asian motifs. These early oil paintings juxtapose Eastern and Western figures and cultural objects, but soon Lu becomes more interested in fusing the carnal and the spiritual. The resulting paintings are hauntingly beautiful but never outwardly sexual or base.
"Sex is human nature, but the sexual power that flows through every animal or blade of grass is divine," Lu says. "It is the engine that drives life. The men and women in my paintings are aware of that power. Designers talk about good design, thrilling design, as 'sexy'. It describes a perfection that seems not to belong to this world."
For years Lu painted the female figure exclusively, but many of her most recent works are intimate, tightly cropped depictions of the male form. Lu's models are professional dancers, caught in motion. "I try to capture movement, light and shadow. Physical beauty is transient. It perishes in an instant. I think the job of an artist is to capture that movement."
Jia Lu exhibits her work throughout North America. Lately she has been turning heads in Provincetown, where she exhibits her work every summer. Lu is also designing a Las Vegas show entitled "Transcendance," a 100-minute live musical performance that combines Asian theater, dance, martial arts and acrobatics with state-of-the-art lighting and special effects.
Learn more about Jia Lu at

lunedì 5 ottobre 2009

martedì 29 settembre 2009

Frank Lloyd WRIGHT

A cinquant' anni dall' inaugurazione del suo capolavoro, due libri ribaltano l' immagine dell' architetto americano, svelandone aspetti nascosti Il genio oscuro di Lloyd Wright Narciso, schiavista, erotomane: ritratto inedito dell' autore del Guggenheim Che cosa rende un uomo irresistibile alle donne? La sua passione e, se è un artista, il talento che lo rende inafferrabile e, se è un intellettuale, il sex appeal del suo cervello. Tutti elementi presenti in quantità nella personalità di un genio dell' architettura come Frank Lloyd Wright, le cui qualità narcisistiche, erotiche e visionarie sono oggi celebrate negli Stati Uniti da due romanzi e da una grande retrospettiva al Guggenheim Museum di New York, che festeggia il cinquantenario dell' inaugurazione avvenuta nell' ottobre del 1959 alla presenza di un direttore ostile, in una New York stupefatta e davanti a una stampa orripilata. Allora, il critico del «New York Times» John Canaday definì il pioniere di tutti i musei artistici a venire l' espressione di «una guerra tra l' architettura e la pittura da cui entrambe le discipline escono gravemente mutilate». Come in tutte le leggende che si rispettino, il protagonista di quella memorabile giornata mancò l' appuntamento. Lloyd Wright era morto sei mesi prima a novantun anni. Frank Lloyd Wright ha scritto di se stesso: «Nella vita ho dovuto scegliere presto tra l' arroganza sincera e l' umiltà ipocrita; ho scelto l' arroganza». E non a caso uno scrittore brillante e sarcastico come Thomas Coraghessan Boyle, che ha romanzato la vita del sessuologo Ken Kesey e quella dell' inventore dei corn flakes John Harvey Kellogg, ha identificato in Wright l' interprete ideale di una storia sul lato in ombra del Sogno Americano. Il che spiega il taglio che Boyle ha voluto dare al romanzo che uscirà da Einaudi quest' autunno col titolo Le donne: non l' avventura intellettuale dell' architetto che ha sfidato la forza dell' acqua con la Casa sulla cascata a Bear Run in Pennsylvania, ma il groviglio di amori, odii, vessazioni, tradimenti, gesti grandiosi e meschini di un uomo che ha vissuto lo sterminato arco di tempo compreso tra la fine della Guerra civile americana e l' inizio dell' era spaziale. Un uomo fedele al principio di non permettere a niente e a nessuno di ostacolare il proprio successo. «Wright aveva la classica personalità narcisistica» ha detto Boyle in un' intervista. «Era il tipo di persona a cui non interessa quello che vogliono gli altri, o chi siano, e non riesce nemmeno a immaginare che possano avere emozioni e desideri propri. Gli altri per lui esistevano soltanto come mezzi per soddisfare le proprie necessità». Gli altri, qui, sarebbero i clienti soddisfatti o traditi, i creditori non pagati, le donne amate e gli assistenti schiavizzati come Tadashi Sato, la voce narrante del romanzo, un giovane giapponese che nel 1932 inizia un apprendistato col maestro a Taliesin (la grande casa che Wright aveva costruito per sé nel Wisconsin) e diventa il suo schiavo. Sato racconta a ritroso la storia degli amori del suo maestro sorvolando sul ruolo della prima moglie Kitty Tobin che, pure avendogli dato sei figli, rimane una figura opaca, indifferente anche al pubblico fino al momento in cui fu sostituita dalla moglie femminista di un cliente di Wright, Mamah Cheney, che nel 1903 divenne la sua amante con tale scandalo da indurre l' architetto a costruire Taliesin per tenerla lontana dagli sguardi dei curiosi. Undici anni dopo, mentre Wright era assente per lavoro, Mamah Cheney veniva uccisa a colpi di accetta insieme con due dei suoi figli e altre quattro persone da un domestico impazzito che dopo la strage diede fuoco alla casa. Il perché non è mai stato chiarito. L' ipotesi di Boyle è che la donna abbia cercato di educare il domestico al femminismo e al libero amore e, avendo scoperto che picchiava la moglie, lo abbia licenziato provocandone il furore. Quali che siano stati i veri motivi della strage, la stampa scandalistica ci andò a nozze. Ispirando una sconosciuta di nome Maude Miriam Noel a scrivere lettere a Wright in cui gli offriva la sua consolazione. Lui ci cascò. Maude era una primadonna e una pazza e, tra le altre cose, una morfinomane. Si trasferì a Taliesin nel 1914 e sposò Wright nel 1922. Dopodiché lo lasciò. Ma quando lui s' innamorò della danzatrice montenegrina Ogilvanna Lazovich Milanoff, diventò la loro persecutrice. Gli attacchi e le incursioni di Maude arrivavano all' improvviso: «E di nuovo Wright e Ogilvanna dovevano fuggire da Taliesin così precipitosamente da lasciare i letti sfatti e i vestiti sul pavimento e la colazione sul tavolo da pranzo ad attirare le mosche, mentre il giardino veniva abbandonato ai corvi e a orde di insetti pulsanti con le loro mandibole instancabili e le loro bocche infinite». E se questo vi pare materiale da melodramma, nulla è in confronto allo scenario in cui si svolge il secondo romanzo ispirato a Wright in questi giorni, in cui l' ottuagenaria primadonna di New York Gloria Vanderbilt, non paga di avere amato o sposato grandi uomini come Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra e Howard Hugues, si è dilettata a scrivere una Histoire d' O alla maniera di Pauline Reage intitolata Obsession. Nel suo romanzo, la vedova di un grande architetto del tutto somigliante a Wright scopre dopo la morte del marito un pacchetto di lettere di un' amante misteriosa che racconta di fruste, attrezzi erotici, corde di seta, copricapezzoli d' oro e di una casa di piacere a Brooklyn dove si svolgono orge furiose. Di fronte a tutto questo, che qualcuno oggi ricordi come cinquant' anni fa l' allora direttore del Guggenheim James Johnson Sweeney abbia litigato con Wright su ogni singolo dettaglio del suo progetto museale incluso il colore della pareti (Wright le voleva avorio, Sweeney bianche), non scandalizza nessuno. Con buona pace delle sue donne, ci si chiede piuttosto come Wright abbia trovato il tempo di lavorare in mezzo al fuoco incrociato di tante passioni. Per non parlare della lucidità di mente di immaginare un museo, non come una spirale, come siamo abituati a sentirlo descrivere, ma nelle sua visione assai più precisa e poetica, come «la curva di un' onda che non frange mai». Manera Livia Pagina 39 (25 agosto 2009) - Corriere della Sera

sabato 8 agosto 2009

Pedro CANOSurOriente

Suroriente è la nuova mostra di PEDRO CANO, nata dai suoi celebri taccuini di viaggio più volte ammirati ed esposti in mostre pubbliche, oggi rielaborati in un nuovo ciclo di acquerelli. Il lavoro, maturato in Spagna negli ultimi due anni, celebra i paesaggi di Libia, Iran, Yemen e Marocco, ritratti in oltre 60 opere di piccolo e grande formato. I colori, le architetture, le atmosfere del Mediterraneo, del Medioriente e del Nord Africa, rivistano, attraverso il filtro attento e raffinato della memoria, i quaderni di viaggio dell’artista viaggiatore realizzati nei suoi viaggi attrraverso quelle terre fra il 1998 ed il 2000. Fra questi la testimonianza della città di Bam in Iran, quasi totalmente scomparsa in seguito al terremoto del 2003. Pedro Cano torna così a Firenze dopo aver recentemente presentato alla città – introdotto da Antonio Natali e sempre con l’organizzazione della Galleria Falteri - il suo ciclo di figure in “Identità in transito”, dedicato al tema dell’immigrazione ed esposto presso la Sala d’Arme di Palazzo Vecchio; una esperienza che si è conclusa con la donazione dell’autoritratto del maestro alla collezione di ritratti d’artista della Galleria degli Uffizi. Il catalogo, introdotto da Stefano Malatesta, sarà disponibile in galleria a partire dal giorno dell’inaugurazione. L’artista sarà a Firenze il 27 ed il 28 novembre per accogliere i suoi sempre più numerosi estimatori e collezionisti. Pedro Cano nasce nell’agosto del 1944 a Blanca, una piccola cittadina della provincia spagnola di Murcia; ha iniziato a dipingere dall’età di 10 anni come autodidatta. Ha studiato prima all’Accademia San Fernando di Madrid e successivamente all’Accademia delle Belle Arti spagnola di Roma. Ha vissuto in Spagna, America Latina e Stati Uniti; oggi risiede ad Anguillara, una piccola cittadina a 30 chilometri da Roma, di cui è stato nominato cittadino onorario. Ha esposto in tutto il mondo, curando anche le scenografie di alcuni allestimenti teatrali fra i quali “Le Memorie di Adriano” di M.Yorcenaur con la regia di Maurizio Scaparro. E’ membro dell’Accademia Real di Belle Arti di Santa Maria Arrixaca ed è stato insignito dal re Juan Carlos dell’Encomienda de l’Orden de Isabella Cattolica.
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