TURNING DREAMS INTO BRONZE

6 06 2012

 PORTRAIT OF NICK

The story of this portrait is probably most unusual and has more depth  for  me than anyone else.  Our story started officially on June 3d. But it began a year before that. I have no intention of boring you with details of how I met Nick – but the truth is  it was   an accidental unexpected stroke of  simple destiny.  The suddenness, the beauty and the poetry of it -   will stay with me forever.  Instant bond.  He had this inexplicable capacity to bring the best in people.  Our connection ignited into a wonderful exchange of moments where we would literally finish each other’s thoughts.

On our first trip on Roamer III – he  invited me for lunch. Lunch was an hour away by water  from Marina Del Rey to Redondo Beach.  In  a warm California day in June, there is no better place to be than on water off the coast. The ocean  at this time of the year  is dark blue with playful ripples  as far as the eyes can see.  The coolness of the water, maintaining the steady 64 degrees Farenheit  offsets the summer heat. This extravagant gesture was meant to impress me – and that it did ! Magnificent ocean  views aside – on a purely intellectual level, I  always had a fascination of Motor Yachts  as well – their compact design, the aerodynamic grace, with which they are seeming gliding  on the surface, while reaching depths to preserve balance. The  inherent wisdom of their utility, where nothing must be in excess, except quality – the fine balance between necessities and  luxuries. The lack of space was complimented by high quality of craftsmanship and ingenuous design. Like a giant jewelry box  - everything in Roamer  III was well maintained, despite the fact that she was ready to be retired.

I was very new at Yachting – and fascinated immensely – being at awe of the ocean to begin with.  Roamer III was a lady. What a brave adventurer she was – a wanderer.  She could be tosses left and right – but always maintained balance.  (I believe it has a lot to do with technology on board.)  Roamer and I were quickly became best friends.  I loved the way the engine hummed away  – while gliding    through the surface of the water making its way towards the breakers.  I had to learn the terminology – ‘top deck’  ‘starboard’ and ‘port’  – and  at some point I even graduated to navigating it for an hour   in open ocean and was able to dock Roamer back into her slot, without wrecking it !

That particular day – it was a beautiful day in  June  9th  in early 2000  -  on top deck , on our way to Redondo Beach  - I observed him very carefully . It was sheer joy to see Nick navigate or dock his 75 foot ‘Princess’,  with focused and precise movements, that came  so naturally to him.  His profile was so distinctively British and hansome with the unruly long hair and bronzed skin. There was a remarkable unity between the color of his Celtic blue eyes and the color of the Pacific ocean at that moment. I    marveled the moment   -  while he watched me  be enthralled with the school of dolphins, that were  racing  the yacht.  I  wanted to remember this moment forever.  He  looked incredibly content in his reserved quiet kind of  way – given away only by the glimmer in his blue eyes!  I took some photos. This moment – the ocean, with all its blue power ,  the joy  of dancing dolphins,  Nick with  his boundless passion for yachting and me – all in one place  - will stay with me until my last day .

In the summer of 2005, I was getting ready for an art  show and I wanted to make a sculpture portrait of  Nick  as a surprise. The thought stayed with me for a long time. It always takes me a while before I make a decision to sculpt or paint someone close. In spring 2005 I finally started. I decided to  use water based clay, because it allowed me to work faster and achieve a more spontaneous effects.  His long unruly hair was a challenge – but it worked out well. Nick was   a  passionate Contemporary Art Collector with rather avant-guarde  taste and the portrait needed to reflect his persona and his visionary temperament.  There was something inspirational about him, that does not lend itself  to defining in words. I finished the piece on time and was able to cast it on time for the show.  As the show approached – I was  hoping Nick will come. He was out of town – in Cleveland, where he maintained a permanent residence – a place he loved very, very  much and where he spent a great deal of time.

The Art reception and opening were on July 9, 2005.  Attendance was fantastic –  Tony Michaels  piano virtuoso and Carol Chaikin  on trumpet  -  filled the air with  exquisite jazz improvisations;  everyone had a wonderful time. The next two days brought great  sales too.  Reception was at the Balboa Bay Club,  in Newport Beach. Nick did not come. He could not make it -  he sent someone else  instead  as an act of grace. He always used to do this. His impeccable  blue blood manners were his signature. After the show we talked  a  lot. A couple of weeks after the show we were planing to have dinner as soon as he returns from his short trip to London and Bordeaux, France. That was the last time we spoke.

He never  went to France.   Nor  to London that month. He never  even saw his portrait . Things developed with lightning speed. On August 19 – I received a call. Nick had undergone a six hour emergency operation, from which he did not wake up. It had happened the day before.

But the portrait,  remained  as a pure embodiment of that beautiful June afternoon, when  the stars  were aligned and the world was happy – Nick was happy – and I was extatic. He literally changed my perception of life. He brought out the best in me. That moment – I try to capture  in his subtle smile. His  head is tilted, looking down at the rotor handling  with absolute  precision  the   Read the rest of this entry »





ANGEL – THE PRISONER- ARTIST

6 03 2012

THE SAN CLEMENTE FREE SPIRIT

That January morning,  the 12th,  I accidentally caught on a TV clip about a prisoner, who  started painting in prison. San Clemente – if I am not mistaken. This man, of Mexican descent,  incarcerated for something he did in, was in  great pain and deep  remorse of his actions.  Pouring out his pain     -  and  his disappointment  from his own mistakes by drawing on the prison wall. In these brief few minutes, the presenter let him speak. He said, that when he draws and paints – he is at peace.e has time to think and look deeper in his soul. He kept drawing on the walls, with (permission of the guards) without  having any formal training. His enthusiasm was so contagious, that the other prisoners started supplying him with  whatever they can, so he can continue his work. Pencils, crayons.
It was admirable! Watching this human being, who fell  prey to circumstances and his  to  own temper perhaps, and entrapped himself – to elevate himself and rise from the ashes of self-destruction. He found a way to awaken a   talent , he did not know he had  – and found a noble  way to bypass anger and  channel  it into  a whole new level  of thinking.

Talk about the transformational quality   of Art!
It made me think  about imprisonment  of the spirit. Imprisonment of the spirit, that has nothing to do  with walls  – everything to do  with the limitations in our minds. Do we imprison our spirit when  we  surround ourselves with people, whose superficiality is  numbing ? Do we imprison our spirit when we distract ourselves with things that have no relevance to the world around us or within us? Do we imprison our minds when we squander valuable time and devote time to  exploring limiting belief systems, that impose on us ready-made values, impose on us how to think, how to react -to the point that we become a mere reflection , not a source?
Angel – the  imprisoned person with a   free spirit – made me think.
The power  of this unusual  uplifting of a human being still stays with me. The paintings were a pure expression of his pain. The mural was executed in mixed medium  – crayons, pencils and acrylics – whatever he finds.  (I presume there are no art shops in prison…. ). Not only does he lack the conventional environment of being an artist – not only is he lacking in mental stimulus of his environment  by virtue of a formal art education!  Yet the little glimmer of opportunity, time and space became his main motivator. After all – he does have the encouragement of the other prisoners and even of the prison guards, who gave him a permission to draw and paint. He needed permission to draw!!!!!

Think about it!
The sheer focus and determination he had! Many of us would try to achieve and sometimes it simply does not work. Could it be that the more freedom and  time we have – the less our desire to value it?

Could it be that the very presence of obstacles generates light and power beyond one’s expectations not only to overcome but  to excel?

Is it any wonder that some of the greatest creations of art have been created under impossible circumstances. Maybe the obstacles are simply  a spark plug that gets the desire to create in a  mode, that  overrides the trivial,  the unimportant and  the minutia?
Some of us create, because they love art and have spent time to develop their  skills and talents and want to share with the world. We simply breathe and live Art. Others create – because they have an obligation for a project or  a commission  or a gallery. Lucky ones! And then there are  many levels of creativity  between the highly skilled professional and the dilletante. But to create in the face of insurmountable obstacles  – is probably the highest form of Art.  What he lacks in  training – complements in inner desire to express  and  reflect the life-changing experience  his life.

Angel – the prisoner – artist , whose spirit  is anything but imprisoned. I was hoping I could find some  photograph of his work – but none was accessible. What I saw – was a complex composition, a large mural, depicting the events of his life, that lead him to this corner. So, I have no pictures  of Angel nor of his murals.  Just a deep impression from an accidental TV show about a prison and an incredible human being. And a deep admiration of the human spirit  and the  transformational power  of Art.

Stay inspired, my friends! Stay inspired, despite all odds! Stay inspired – no matter what!

Yours truly,

Tsvetana for TheArtChronicle

PS.The photo inset above is by Gerhard Richter.

And the Signature Image below is a Painting by this Author..





TONY CRAGG – ABSTRACT SCULPTOR

10 02 2012

One cannot not notice once in a while a giant  among us. A giant, that is the same height, same stature like everyone of us – only his  mind and his prolific resume make him a giant. Meet Tony Gragg. An unbelievably prolific sculptor – in a class of his own.

Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool, England in 1949. Internationally recognized as one of the leading abstract sculptors of his generation, Cragg has produced a highly influential body of work centered on the manipulation of shapes and surfaces as they relate to the human environment. Using such diverse materials as bronze, glass, and found objects, Cragg has created enigmatic works that meld bio-morphic shapes with otherworldly textures. In 1988, Tony Cragg was awarded the Turner Prize from the Tate Gallery, London, England. Tony Cragg has exhibited in museums throughout the world including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas; the Tate Gallery, London, England; Musee National d’Art Moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Wiener Secession, Vienna, Austria; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain.

London Art Award nomination Tony Cragg: ‘I’m not a religious person—I’m an absolute materialist—and for me material is exciting and ultimately sublime. When I’m involved in making sculpture, I’m looking for a system of belief or ethics in the material. I want that material to have a dynamic, to push and move and grow.’

The Telegraph: “His move away from assemblage towards a material freighted with art-historical baggage could well have made Cragg look antediluvian. But as a show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art reveals, over the last 20 years Cragg not only faced the challenge but revelled in it, making bronzes that weigh many tons, and yet look as though they’d been freed from the laws of gravity and inertia, zigzagging giddily upwards, as vertiginous in their verticality as Brancusi’s Endless Column. In these amazing sculptures Cragg appears at times to be engaging in a private conversation with the great masters of early 20th-century sculpture.”

Cragg: “There is this idea that sculpture is static, or maybe even dead, but I feel absolutely contrary to that. I’m not a religious person—I’m an absolute materialist—and for me material is exciting and ultimately sublime. When I’m involved in making sculpture, I’m looking for a system of belief or ethics in the material. I want that material to have a dynamic, to push and move and grow.

“I also want that to happen over the course of making things, so that as soon as one generation of sculptures has gone up, another generation is coming on and things are growing up around me. That’s how it seems to work for me.”

The Liverpool-born visual artist is currently the director of Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and has lived in Germany since 1977. He won the Turner prize in 1988, and for his services to art received a CBE in 2002. He also opened a sculpture park in Wuppertal, Germany. All his sculptures are handmade, and he is well-known for scorn of factory-made art; likening non-handmade works to relatives that one has never met.

 View Tiny Craggs work in a Waldfrieden Sculpture Partk in Germany

Tsvetana,

for the ArtChronicle





FINE ART STORIES by TSVETANA

10 02 2012

THE  “CHAOS&TRUTH”  STORY


Wow ! What a title! How did it come to coin this name, someone asked me once…

Here is how this name came to be one of my most cherished paintings….CHAOS & TRUTH. It started one  summer in early 2000. Summers in Southern California can be scorching – especially  for some of us, born in moderate  European continental climate  across the ocean. The trees in my luscious mini forest -  seem to take it better than the patio, which is turning into an oven for many hours   a day.

I had just begun to experiment with large scale abstract painting, as a diversion from the endless and tedious hours of sculpting. In large scale paintings – every layer consumes   a great deal of paint and needs to dry completely before the next layer be applied. So – the more I experimented – the more  time it needed to dry. The temperature is never the same – so all I could control in the process was the time, not the exposure. Eventually, the frames that I especially create for each piece, stays for great periods of time- waiting its turn  to be completed.

In reality – these new large scale  abstract pieces are as much of a creation of the Sun as they were by me. Really! The temperature makes its own changes on that particular layer – sometimes they are spectacular in its effect! Other time – not so much. In these cases – you have to start over form that point on. This is the spontaneous part I like. Constant discovery!

One time – I had imagined a very large, sprawling canvas, that is very gentle at the sale time…I wanted to make a piece that is very large, horizontal, that has this strong, but calming presence. I make my own frames – it is an involved physical, a little tough – but while I am laying out the wood and the fabric – it gives me time to  put even more thought in  the end result. So I built the frame  36″ by 120″ and let is wait. I used a very fine , but strong blend of linen and silk.  I believe in integrity – when you create something – make sure it is genuine to its  core – including the materials. The purity of material is important to me, whether it is sculpture or a painting.

One summer passed – the large frame stayed untouched. The next summer  I did one layer.  Another summer passed. Then – 3 years later – I put it outside, where I usually work under the blue sky – and  I let my imagination free.
Then one afternoon – in 2009 I had this moment of  discovery and innovation. I was ready to do something entirely different from the ZEN SWIRLS I first did   in 2000. And right there , on the  ground – next to the blossoming orange trees -  I started  layering  the spontaneity of many  years of suppressed intentions to complete for this piece.

The more my determination grew – the softer I wanted it to look! Somehow it always takes more effort to make something  that looks effortless…
Like the ancient  hieroglyphs – which express and entire event – not just a single thing! It is almost impossible to register the thoughts that were occupying my mind at that time. At this moment, you may say – this is my own private performance. It is full of emotions, joy, wonder,  discovery, impatience, – it runs the gamut of  human expression. Then you wait a few hours, because the heavy layers need to settle and be protected from everything – from falling orange blossoms petals –to the tiny cute faced lizard, who live under a near  by  decorative rock  to a wanderer squirrel or a cat, who see this is just a part of the yard , only wet and slippery …
If one had a glimpse of the scene, while I was doing this painting    – it would have been quite baffling to the unknowing eye – the scene would have been closer to a dance, than to painting, simply because of scale. And that is maybe the reason why  each of these large scale paintings have so much meaning for me.

In a few hot summer days in 2010 I managed to complete  CHAOS & TRUTH. There was this gentle lace-like effect, when you look from a distance; when you come close to explore in depth  – it transforms itself into an organic  universe with unexpected spatial depth, impossible to describe.  In the end – this canvas is as appealing vertical as it is horizontal.

The truth is – this piece is very dear to  me. It took years to complete. And I fulfilled my goal – to have a complex large scale painting, that changes with the distance it was viewed. And the chaos, that preceded its completion was simply a precursor for a truth, that emerged in the end.

Isn’t that always the case  – Truth always emerged from Chaos.
Chaos always  preceded the Truth.And that is my very own story behind this piece! Hope you enjoy  it!

 

Yours truly, Tsvetana for TheArtcChronicle

PS. The CHAOS & TRUTH is featured in a DVD, which showcases in  videoart  the paintings of  Tsvetana Yvanova. The idea is to find a brand new way to experience the viewing of art  – a very artistic way of viewing . This DVD selection is available for the first time on Amazon.com.





WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR YOUR ART LATELY?

7 01 2012

HOW RELEVANT IS YOUR ART?

A few weeks ago a good friend sent me a cut our from an article in a Northern California newspaper. The cutout was missing the subtitles in the corner … However – reading this short and yet powerful article – I decided as soon as I can – I will post it on this blog, since it is so relevant! In our daily lives as Artists and designers – recognition sometimes never comes soon enough . There are moments when you just wish you were someone else – not constantly working,  struggling – and when it comes to promoting your art- you take a back seat. No reason. Maybe you thin your art will speak for itself.  Or maybe it is too close to your heart  – or  you still think it needs to be perfected  … whatever the reason, you let it sit  in your studio. And time passes . The truth is – once you have created it – you have an obligation to share it! Forget the sales – forget the fact that very few can afford to purchase art. A sale may come or not – but if your art is worth it – it will leave a mark in someone’s life.  A memory – will awaken hope or  a dream or a sense of  belonging . Whatever the case may be – your art mean something to someone  – and you must show it for that t reason only.

Have we become do corrupted that we cannot say the word Art without infusing the word Money in it?  VALUE does not always have to do with money. The intrinsic value of your art is the one you must show the world.

What is intrinsic value?:” The intrinsic value of something is said to be the value that that thing has “in itself,” or “for its own sake,” or “as such,” or “in its own right.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

If you put your heart in your Art – it will have value; intrinsic value to someone. And that is worth a lot more than any extrinsic value, expressed in modern currency. And that is worth a lot more than any extrinsic value, expressed in modern currency.  In the grand scheme of things – this form of value is of less importance, isn’t it?

What have you done for your art lately? Who did you show it to?

Here is Patrick Lydon’s Article:

ARTISTS MUST SHARE THE IMPORTANCE OF THEIR WORK

by Patrick Lydon

Recently a fellow San Jose Art Commissioner was speaking to a former firefighter. She mentioned her position on the commission, to which the man replied: “ Art? What is Art? I see them installing sculptures in front of the fire stations, but what does it do for us?”

The former firefighter essentially saw public art as a poor use of money that could be diverted to other utilitarian services. The commissioner dutifully retorted by explaining her point of view on how public art inspires us, educates us, makes us think, laugh, smile, fosters a sense of Community and generally makes our neighborhoods better places to live.
But Art is far more than this community and generally makes our neighborhoods better places to live. But Art is far more than this.
If you are an Artist, you might not notice the ubiquity of the firefighter’s sentiment, especially when you are around friends and family who support you. However, an overwhelming majority of people today for one reason or another do not understand how and why art and creativity are important.
And it is not their fault!
As artists we can’t so easily blame art literacy on those who don’t understand it, on school boards who cut it from the curriculum or on government for not supporting it financially. It is difficult to admit, but we first need to blame ourselves.
Those of us who understand the importance of art and the creative spirit are largely failing at making it a part of others lives – failing at teaching the importance of our craft, failing at reminding others every chance we get how important the arts have been to us, failing at showing how art and creativity can and should be an important part of everyone’s life.
Although art often competes poorly in people’s minds when put alongside science, math or even shopping, the use of art as an integral part of life actually predates the oldest of these activities by some 30,000 years. (See Chauvet in France, the topic of Werner Herzog’s new film “Cave Forgotten”) Art has long been one of the basic components of a balanced life.
Throughout history, the most successful developed societies have valued artists highly, not only for what they produce directly but also for the positive tangenial effect that their uninhibited creativity has on society as a whole. This mysterious gift of creativity that Artists wield has had a large part in shaping our world into what it is today. As difficult an idea as it may seem, without creativity and the arts, you and I could quite easily still be living in caves – and caves without drawings on the walls at that.
The definition of art is often confined to painting, sculpture and perhaps performing arts, but the art is far more broad than these disciplines. Whether we recognize it or not, art surrounds us. From the music on our iPod to the design of the chair we sit in, the effect of art enters our lives hundreds of times dally. Art is not relevant to us unless we are educated as to what it is and why it is not only important but necessary.
In order for that relevancy to be understood and maintained, the stories of art and creativity must be told again and again, and in as many times ways as possible for as many different types of people as possible.

So – for those of you who know the value of arts and creativity: WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE ART STORY? AND WHOM HAVE YOU TOLD LATELY?

A few words about Patrick Lydon:

WHO IS PATRICK LYDON?

http://www.SocieCity.com

Editor-in-Chief
San Jose State University
About

A student of art, music, technology, and of the world around him, Patrick Lydon gained aesthetic and communicative training and interactions while earning his B.A. at San Jose State University. Following his studies, Lydon spent seven months traveling throughout East Asia and Europe, studying the energy and interactions between people, art, nature, and the urban space. From those experiences, his social/urban/nature research venture SocieCitywas formed, with content from a varied cast of authors, researchers, and artists, produced for consumption by the majority.

___________________________________________________

Perhaps Mr. Lydon does not realize it – but  his point of view has inspired  many.  This is my way of saying ‘Thank you!’

Yours truly,

Tsvetana Yvanova

for Art Chronicle





WILLIAM TURNER GALLERY in 2012

7 01 2012

A few notes of my favorite gallery – William Turner Gallery has represented mid-career and emerging artists since its inception in 1991. William Turner Gallery began on the historical “Market Street” in Venice, California. The gallery now occupies an impressive 5000 sq. foot space at the Bergamont Station arts Center in Santa Monica, California.

Focusing on museum quality exhibitions and secondary market art sales, William Turner Gallery has upheld a reputation for representing some of the most exciting contemporary artist’s in LosAngeles. The gallery’s knowledgeable staff works hand in hand with clients, contemporary interior designers, and architects to match investment quality artwork with the most refined living and corporate spaces.

The Gallery is  located at  2525 Michigan Avenue,Santa Monica, CA (310) 453-7535.

The reception is at 6 pm .  Hope to see you there, Art Enthusiast!!!!

Yours Truly,

The ArtChronicle





LA ART SHOW IS FINALLY HERE!

7 01 2012

THE LA ART SHOW  HAS A NEW FORMAT!

Seems that the New Year 2012 – The Year of the Dragon – starts off with a splash for the Art world! With new ideas, new shows, new enthusiasm, and a new format for the show! It is actually three shows in one -  read on – and most of all ATTEND!  Seeing the work of so many creative powerhouses can be a very spiritual experience …It is for me!  I remember in past Art  shows – how impressed and moved I was by the transformational power of Art – especially the Los Angeles Company, The LA ArtMAchine-- who channels the talents of  local Graffiti Artists to elevate their ideas to a new plateau.  This transforms lives. ART transforms lives.  Art has the power to save! Better than religion, better than politics and certainly better than wars . Art and Love has always been intertwined in  literature in poetry. It is because it is in the very core of our DNA to create.  Creativity is based on light, truth and has a power, that transforms. You may disagree – but you know I am right. Read on!

…and have  A Happy New 2012 Year!!!!!

David Arquette, The Art of Elysium, the J. Paul Getty Museum Education Department, the Fine Art Dealers Association, the International Fine Print Dealers Association, Los Angeles Art Show LLC., and KR Martindale Show Management cordially invite you to attend the Opening Night Premiere Party of the 2012 Los Angeles Fine Art ShowLA Art Showand the LA IFPDA Fine Print Fair.

Join David Arquette and LA’s top collectors and benefactors for an evening celebrating creativity, diversity, and charity. Enjoy culinary, visual, and cultural delights as well as the unique compelling artistic expressions of Jim Dine, Ed Ruscha, Gorky, Thiebaud, Warhol, Botero, Guy Rose, Picasso, Camille Pissarro, Renoir, and more. Participate in the must-attend event of the year, support the community, and enjoy a magical evening of art.

DON’T FORGET TO ATTEND!!! JANUARY 18 HERE IS THE LINK:

THE LA ART SHOW

HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE 2012 OPENING NIGHT PREMIERE PARTY

An installation by performance artist Mark Mothersbaugh, who will debut a much anticipated artwork combining sculpture and music in an interactive experience.A special re-creation of The Myths of Rape, originally performed in 1977 by Leslie Labowitz-Starus as part of Three Weeks in May. This unique event is part of Three Weeks in January, a new work by Suzanne Lacy presented by LACE as part of Pacific Standard Time.

SL_bwperformance                              LACE logo

CHINA PAVILION: Classic Buddhist Paintings: A Retrospective of Xia Jingshan. This unprecedented exhibit in the US will feature a retrospective of important works by this renowned Chinese master brush painter and will introduce the work of Xia Jingshan’s preeminent student Tong Hongsheng, bringing the voice of the next generation of the master’s Beijing-based school, Xia Xue, to light.

The exhibition will also showcase the re-creation of an elaborate reading room of an antique Qing Dynasty wooden home from Southern China.

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

Yours Truly,

Tsvetana Yvanova,

For TheArtChronicle








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