WHY I SCULPTED THE PRESIDENT

22 09 2012

THE PRESIDENT’S PORTRAIT FINALLY IN BRONZE!!!

By Tsvetana Yvanova

The story behind this work is long. It started in the spring of 2010.

I was asked often – Why did you sculpt the President?
The main inspiration behind the President’s sculpture portrait are Mr. Obama’s character, individuality and intelligence.
As an Artist – for portraiture, I am attracted to subjects, who posses a unique blend of character features, which are seemingly unrelated, but in reality are deeply interconnected. Mr.Obama’s features are of such nature. His contained radiance, his charisma stems from his deep belief and his deep caring for all Americans, regardless of age, financial status and color. This universal quality comes from the depth of his desire to awake the passion of millions and sparkle a call to action to make a difference –this is what made him inspirational.

When a person with such global vision ignites an idea, which comes from this love and compassion for all people – people follow. He managed to begin restoring the world’s respect and admiration for America – so tarnished during the previous presidency.
The historical fact that Barack Obama is the first black President is indisputable. This fact has a significance within our country and outside its borders. With in the US – it gave hope to all who have given it up – outside the US – his election proved to the world that America has changed and all the
shadows of the dark past were just that – shadows.

On a personal level – I have discovered subtlety in Mr. Obama’s character qualities, which make him more powerful. His kindness, his calm and collected demeanor blends with the resilience and enhances remarkable strength that he possesses. Artistically, I am only interested in the character of a subject, so I can give the sculpture a personal presence . In the case of Mr. Obama – this was not an easy task, since I have never met him in person. When I finished it in clay, one viewer made a remark , I will never forget “ Oh my God – he is ready to talk?”. This gave me the assurance that maybe I have accomplished my goal

That evening it was also the first time anyone would view the President’s Portrait in bronze. For all who viewed it that night, I hope I have created and image of a remarkable man, whose personal presence inspires and at the same time makes us ask ourselves questions. One question comes to mind: How far are we willing to go to make the United States of America the greatest country in the world once again? Are we ready ? Can we do it? We all know the answer.

Yours Truly,

Tsvetana

For The ArChronicle





ALLURE OF ABSTRACTION

9 06 2012

WHAT ‘S IN AN ABSTRACT?

A few months ago I came across a handwritten note by a very good artist, in his eighties – who just happens to like  classical representational art. He not only did not like abstract painting – he disliked it. OK – many people do not like abstractions – but they have the wisdom to say -’ I don’t understand it’. What is the Artist trying to say?  That is a valid point. You must understand something before you appreciate it or pass an opinion. I personally struggled for a long time because I did not understand Christo. However –  after a few  videos, his  biographical book, and a few other books on his art – I came upon the ‘aha’ moment. I got it! And ever since  that moment a few years back –  I am trying to the best of my abilities to explain  his art to others – to the best of my understanding.  Back to  the old school Artist, who dislikes Abstract art.  So much so, that he had the audacity to cut out an Article form a newspaper, about a celebrated abstract artist Helen Frankenthaler, with a note  addressed to his fellow-artist buddy:  ‘ Hi  John! Here is another example of hoe talentless fraud is accepted as art  and equally kook-y critics!’”. I just happen to know ‘John’,  who knows I love abstract art and just lets me have the  cut outs… The point here is – it is so easy to  dismiss something one does not understand. And  for some – belittling and degrading something they simply cannot   grasp – comes even easier.

But WHY?

Why dismiss something that clearly has values to many – aesthetic value, poetic value,  even monetary value ….. That brings me to  enclosing some reprints from a a well known publication about my favorite  abstract artist – Gerhard Richter – named lately ” The Top Selling Living artist“:  by Wall Street Journal in an  article by Kelly Crow.

About Gerhard Richter’s unrivalled success Mr. Crow adds: “The artist’s ascent is being driven by market demands as much as curatorial merit: Auction houses and museums, eager for new masters to canonize, are showcasing Mr. Richter’s works around the world at an ever-increasing clip. An influx of international collectors and dealers are also seizing the moment to buy or sell his pieces at a profit—including art-world tastemakers such as Russian industrialist Roman Abramovich, French luxury-goods executive Bernard Arnault, dealer Larry Gagosian, Taiwanese ele
ctronics mogul Pierre Chen and New York hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen

Mr. Richter’s work is uniquely suited to the tastes of the current art market. Like Picasso, he paints in a number of different styles—from rainbow-hued abstracts to poignant family portraits—giving collectors plenty of choice. Like Warhol, he is prolific, which ensures a steady volume of his works in the marketplace—yet enough of his works are in museum collections that he has avoided a glut. And ever since the deaths last year of painters Cy Twombly and Lucian Freud, collectors searching for another senior statesman have started giving his work a closer look.

Collectors are paying a particular premium for Mr. Richter’s larger abstracts from the
late 1980s, which have all the visual impact of a work by Francis Bacon or Mr. Rothko, artists whose prices spiked before the recession. These abstracts are also immediately identifiable as being Mr. Richter’s creations, making them easy status symbols. San Francisco dealer Anthony Meier says, “Collectors want an iconic work in a format that everyone recognizes. Monkey see, monkey do”

As Terry Teachout points out in his article “ The Seductive Allure of Abst

raction” :

“Part of what makes this series so fascinating is that Mr. Diebenkorn, who died in 1993, waged a lifelong “battle” with abstraction. He started out as a gifted Abstract Expressionist painter. In 1955 he suddenly embraced representation, turning out dozens of figurative paintings that translate the language of Matisse into a wholly personal, semiabstract style. Then, in the Ocean Park series, he made a decisive return to total abstraction, in the process creating the most original works of his career.

“To chart Mr. Diebenkorn’s stylistic development is to be reminded of the near-overwhelming power of the idea of abstraction in the 20th century. It was even felt by artists who, like Pierre Bonnard and Fairfield Porter, never produced an abstract painting in their lives, but were nonetheless influenced by the way in which practitioners of abstraction created what Mr. Diebenkorn called “invented landscapes,” nonobjective images that evoked the world of tangible reality while steering clear of literal representation.”

“Just as Kandinsky turned his back on figuration, so did the atonal composers of the early 20th century, led by Arnold Schoenberg, abandon tonal harmony, the fundamental ordering principle on which all Western classical music had previously been based. In a tonal composition, harmonic movement is the “plot” that propels the listener through time. Schoenberg, by contrast, sought to express his inmost feelings in a raw, unmediated way instead of using large-scale tonal architecture to shape them into conventionally coherent structures. “One must express oneself! he told Kandinsky in 1911.Express oneself directly! Not one’s taste, or one’s upbringing, or one’s intelligence, knowledge or skill. Not all these acquired characteristics, but that which is inborn, instinctive.”

Whatever causes the Abstract Art to  be in the center of such controversies as despised by some and revered by others  – is certainly not going away. Abstract Art  is here to stay. For those of us – who love Abstract Art – and even paint abstract – this is the good news. For the ones, who have not grown to at least like it – I would say – “Get over it!  Spend more time trying to understand it and less time complaining and maybe you will figure out why abstract art is so timeless…’ For now, my Abstract lovers – let us enjoy Richter’s unlimited imagination, while he keeps being amazed at his  own success….

Yours truly,

 

 Tsvetana Yvanova

 for The Art Chronicle





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 »





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





LONDON-CASS FOUNDATION SCULPTURE PLANS 2012

21 10 2010

LONDON. Exhibition Road, home to the South Kensington museums, is to be lined with ten new and recent sculptures by UK artist Tony Cragg during the 2012 summer Paralympic Games.

The scheme to take over the pedestrianised thoroughfare is led by the Cass Sculpture Foundation, a charitable trust that commissions and sells monumental work on display at its 26-acre estate at Goodwood, near Brighton.
“As a partner of the Cultural Olympiad, we have been working on the Exhibition Road project for the past two years with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea,” says entrepreneur and philanthropist Wilfred Cass, who established the foundation in 1992. ( Right, Photo of Tony Cragg, Sculptor-www.tony-cragg.com. View a video of on Cragg’s work, click here.)

In another significant move, culture minister Ed Vaizey has expressed interest in the unique funding model of the foundation. Ahead of the 20 October comprehensive spending review, the politician was no doubt keen to discover how the organisation has survived without receiving any funding from state-backed bodies such as Arts Council England.
“The charity’s simple business model effectively means that no outside funding is necessary,” says Cass. “The overheads of the foundation are paid for in full by admission charges and events.” Ed Wilde, technical director at the foundation, says: “When a piece by a particular artist is sold, we will commission another work from them using the foundation’s half of the proceeds. This effectively means that the artists will benefit from 100% of the net profit of a sale, even though the contractual fee is 50/50.”

The sculpture park attracts about 18,000 visitors a year, who pay £10 each to enter. Major sales recently have been to foreign collectors such as Portuguese billionaire José Berardo.

“People find it difficult to understand that a charity can also be commercial but isn’t this the kind of scheme favoured by the current government? With institutions such as the arts council and museums throughout the country facing major cuts, we see our role as working more closely with these bodies,” adds Cass.

 

 

 

VITAL FACTS ABOUT THE CASS SCULPTURE FOUNDATION

The Cass Sculpture Foundation has won a broad international reputation by carefully honing its expertise in the commissioning and sale of large-scale sculpture from the finest British artists.

Profits from all sales are split equally between the artist and the foundation to date we have displayed over 440 new sculptures and have provided an internationally renowned platform for a significant number of British sculptors.
We are now extending our visibility and international profile by planning a major series of events outside of Goodwood.

 

 

Tsvetana Yvanova

Editor,The Art Chronicle








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