THE SECRET OF ART

1 10 2014

ART, DESIGN AND THE WISDOM OF MILTON GLASER

Two days ago I was checking my FineArt America newsletter and I came across an interesting topic, that stemmed from a popular blog by a prolific and super talented Graphic Designer Milton Glaser. He is the creator of more than 300 posters for clients in the areas of publishing, music, theater, film, institutional and civic enterprise, as well as those for commercial products and services.

Milton Glaser Secret of Art Success copyIn the Article that I read – that actually was a talk he has given quite a while ago – Mr. Glaser touches interesting subjects that no one talks about. The everyday search for work, the effort to preserve integrity despite the pressure to earn income, the everlasting pull-push relationship between Client – Consumer – Designer. Mr. Glaser is a graphic designer. However – his insights are equally valid  – probably even more so for Artists. I know – some Artists are looking down on Designers – for some inexplicable reason. How I know? I am a Designer.   Has been one for all my life. But I am also an Artist . A good one too. Ultimately I am hybrid of the two.  Where does the Designer end and the Artist begin?

I wondered many times. Once of my Facebook connections – I saw a comment about a Designer – by a novice Artist saying: “…. He is just a trained technician – that is what designers do …”  I  laughed out loud. I could no believe that someone could be so narrow-minded. This made me think.  What is the difference between Artists and Designers? And where is the fine line between the two – if in fact it does exist?  Here is my view on this . Designers are Artists, who learn how to harness their talent and skills to the specific need of a market of a Client, who use their creativity to produce an great amount of designs. Their final result is measured by the reaction of the Client and /or their Public – and in that sense it might be geared to a specific extroverted effect. Designs can be groundbreaking, innovative, uplifting, flattering, complimentary…. Designers seldom stand and admire their own work…. They are already on the next project…. While Art is more intuitive, introspective, meditative and philosophical .  Artists vision is unharnessed by their Clients wishes – rather, they are expected to provide their own criteria and   aesthetic value. Designers act  like aesthetic agents for their clients while  Artists possess an  aesthetic nucleus,  which is a reflection of their own perspective on life. Their Collectors ( Clients)  follow.

In general, however  – Artists can learn a lot more from Designers. Designer  work requires more discipline – freedom is conditional. Yet – in essence – the two professions blend in a way that leaves us asking for more. It is not an accident that the best projects in Public Art are a result of the successful amalgam of  Design (Landscape Architecture)  and Art or Sculpture and architecture or poster designs and contemporary painting. And if anyone wants to dig deeper through the centuries – they can go as  far back as Gian Lorenzo Bernini – or his successor Michelangelo. They were both Sculptors and architectural designers. I suppose these titans of art were the harbingers of interdisciplinary practice of blending design and art seamlessly.

So – here are  the 10 things Milton Glaser has learned…. My fellow Artists, are you listening?  Good Designers are Artists – and good Artists are Designers. I will let ponder this on your own.  I found the text below – both incisive and rather an eye opener. Here it is:

10 Things I Have Learned – The Secret of Art

 Ten Things I Have Learned, Part of AIGA Talk in London, November 22, 2001

1.YOU CAN ONLY WORK FOR PEOPLE THAT YOU LIKE.

This is a curious rule and it took me a long time to learn because in fact at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism required that you didn’t particularly like the people that you worked for or at least maintained an arms length relationship to them, which meant that I never had lunch with a client or saw them socially. Then some years ago I realised that the opposite was true. I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of an affectionate relationship with a client. And I am not talking about professionalism; I am talking about affection. I am talking about a client and you sharing some common ground. That in fact your view of life is someway congruent with the client, otherwise it is a bitter and hopeless struggle.

2.IF YOU HAVE A CHOICE NEVER HAVE A JOB.

One night I was sitting in my car outside Columbia University where my wife Shirley was studying Anthropology. While I was waiting I was listening to the radio and heard an interviewer ask ‘Now that you have reached 75 have you any advice for our audience about how to prepare for your old age?’ An irritated voice said ‘Why is everyone asking me about old age these days?’ I recognised the voice as John Cage. I am sure that many of you know who he was – the composer and philosopher who influenced people like Jasper Johns and Merce Cunningham as well as the music world in general. I knew him slightly and admired his contribution to our times. ‘You know, I do know how to prepare for old age’ he said. ‘Never have a job, because if you have a job someday someone will take it away from you and then you will be unprepared for your old age. For me, it has always been the same every since the age of 12. I wake up in the morning and I try to figure out how am I going to put bread on the table today? It is the same at 75, I wake up every morning and I think how am I going to put bread on the table today? I am exceedingly well prepared for my old age’ he said.

2.SOME PEOPLE ARE TOXIC AVOID THEM.

This is a subtext of number one. There was in the sixties a man named Fritz Perls who was a gestalt therapist. Gestalt therapy derives from art history, it proposes you must understand the ‘whole’ before you can understand the details. What you have to look at is the entire culture, the entire family and community and so on. Perls proposed that in all relationships people could be either toxic or nourishing towards one another. It is not necessarily true that the same person will be toxic or nourishing in every relationship, but the combination of any two people in a relationship produces toxic or nourishing consequences. And the important thing that I can tell you is that there is a test to determine whether someone is toxic or nourishing in your relationship with them. Here is the test: You have spent some time with this person, either you have a drink or go for dinner or you go to a ball game. It doesn’t matter very much but at the end of that time you observe whether you are more energised or less energised. Whether you are tired or whether you are exhilarated. If you are more tired then you have been poisoned. If you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and I suggest that you use it for the rest of your life.

4.PROFESSIONALISM IS NOT ENOUGH or THE GOOD IS THE ENEMY OF THE GREAT.

Early in my career I wanted to be professional, that was my complete aspiration in my early life because professionals seemed to know everything – not to mention they got paid for it. Later I discovered after working for a while that professionalism itself was a limitation. After all, what professionalism means in most cases is diminishing risks. So if you want to get your car fixed you go to a mechanic who knows how to deal with transmission problems in the same way each time. I suppose if you needed brain surgery you wouldn’t want the doctor to fool around and invent a new way of connecting your nerve endings. Please do it in the way that has worked in the past.

Unfortunately in our field, in the so-called creative – I hate that word because it is misused so often. I also hate the fact that it is used as a noun. Can you imagine calling someone a creative? Anyhow, when you are doing something in a recurring way to diminish risk or doing it in the same way as you have done it before, it is clear why professionalism is not enough. After all, what is required in our field, more than anything else, is the continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success. So professionalism as a lifetime aspiration is a limited goal.

5.LESS IS NOT NECESSARILY MORE.

Being a child of modernism I have heard this mantra all my life. Less is more. One morning upon awakening I realised that it was total nonsense, it is an absurd proposition and also fairly meaningless. But it sounds great because it contains within it a paradox that is resistant to understanding. But it simply does not obtain when you think about the visual of the history of the world. If you look at a Persian rug, you cannot say that less is more because you realise that every part of that rug, every change of colour, every shift in form is absolutely essential for its aesthetic success. You cannot prove to me that a solid blue rug is in any way superior. That also goes for the work of Gaudi, Persian miniatures, art nouveau and everything else. However, I have an alternative to the proposition that I believe is more appropriate. ‘Just enough is more.’

6. STYLE IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

I think this idea first occurred to me when I was looking at a marvellous etching of a bull by Picasso. It was an illustration for a story by Balzac called The Hidden Masterpiece. I am sure that you all know it. It is a bull that is expressed in 12 different styles going from very naturalistic version of a bull to an absolutely reductive single line abstraction and everything else along the way. What is clear just from looking at this single print is that style is irrelevant. In every one of these cases, from extreme abstraction to acute naturalism they are extraordinary regardless of the style. It’s absurd to be loyal to a style. It does not deserve your loyalty. I must say that for old design professionals it is a problem because the field is driven by economic consideration more than anything else. Style change is usually linked to economic factors, as all of you know who have read Marx. Also fatigue occurs when people see too much of the same thing too often. So every ten years or so there is a stylistic shift and things are made to look different. Typefaces go in and out of style and the visual system shifts a little bit. If you are around for a long time as a designer, you have an essential problem of what to do. I mean, after all, you have developed a vocabulary, a form that is your own. It is one of the ways that you distinguish yourself from your peers, and establish your identity in the field. How you maintain your own belief system and preferences becomes a real balancing act. The question of whether you pursue change or whether you maintain your own distinct form becomes difficult. We have all seen the work of illustrious practitioners that suddenly look old-fashioned or, more precisely, belonging to another moment in time. And there are sad stories such as the one about Cassandre, arguably the greatest graphic designer of the twentieth century, who couldn’t make a living at the end of his life and committed suicide.

But the point is that anybody who is in this for the long haul has to decide how to respond to change in the zeitgeist. What is it that people now expect that they formerly didn’t want? And how to respond to that desire in a way that doesn’t change your sense of integrity and purpose.

7. HOW YOU LIVE CHANGES YOUR BRAIN.

The brain is the most responsive organ of the body. Actually it is the organ that is most susceptible to change and regeneration of all the organs in the body. I have a friend named Gerald Edelman who was a great scholar of brain studies and he says that the analogy of the brain to a computer is pathetic. The brain is actually more like an overgrown garden that is constantly growing and throwing off seeds, regenerating and so on. And he believes that the brain is susceptible, in a way that we are not fully conscious of, to almost every experience of our life and every encounter we have. I was fascinated by a story in a newspaper a few years ago about the search for perfect pitch. A group of scientists decided that they were going to find out why certain people have perfect pitch. You know certain people hear a note precisely and are able to replicate it at exactly the right pitch. Some people have relevant pitch; perfect pitch is rare even among musicians. The scientists discovered – I don’t know how – that among people with perfect pitch the brain was different. Certain lobes of the brain had undergone some change or deformation that was always present with those who had perfect pitch. This was interesting enough in itself. But then they discovered something even more fascinating. If you took a bunch of kids and taught them to play the violin at the age of 4 or 5 after a couple of years some of them developed perfect pitch, and in all of those cases their brain structure had changed. Well what could that mean for the rest of us? We tend to believe that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind, although we do not generally believe that everything we do affects the brain. I am convinced that if someone was to yell at me from across the street my brain could be affected and my life might changed. That is why your mother always said, ‘Don’t hang out with those bad kids.’ Mama was right. Thought changes our life and our behaviour. I also believe that drawing works in the same way. I am a great advocate of drawing, not in order to become an illustrator, but because I believe drawing changes the brain in the same way as the search to create the right note changes the brain of a violinist. Drawing also makes you attentive. It makes you pay attention to what you are looking at, which is not so easy.

8. DOUBT IS BETTER THAN CERTAINTY.

Everyone always talks about confidence in believing what you do. I remember once going to a class in yoga where the teacher said that, spirituality speaking, if you believed that you had achieved enlightenment you have merely arrived at your limitation. I think that is also true in a practical sense. Deeply held beliefs of any kind prevent you from being open to experience, which is why I find all firmly held ideological positions questionable. It makes me nervous when someone believes too deeply or too much. I think that being sceptical and questioning all deeply held beliefs is essential. Of course we must know the difference between scepticism and cynicism because cynicism is as much a restriction of one’s openness to the world as passionate belief is. They are sort of twins. And then in a very real way, solving any problem is more important than being right. There is a significant sense of self-righteousness in both the art and design world. Perhaps it begins at school. Art school often begins with the Ayn Rand model of the single personality resisting the ideas of the surrounding culture. The theory of the avant garde is that as an individual you can transform the world, which is true up to a point. One of the signs of a damaged ego is absolute certainty.

Schools encourage the idea of not compromising and defending your work at all costs. Well, the issue at work is usually all about the nature of compromise. You just have to know what to compromise. Blind pursuit of your own ends which excludes the possibility that others may be right does not allow for the fact that in design we are always dealing with a triad – the client, the audience and you.

Ideally, making everyone win through acts of accommodation is desirable. But self-righteousness is often the enemy. Self-righteousness and narcissism generally come out of some sort of childhood trauma, which we do not have to go into. It is a consistently difficult thing in human affairs. Some years ago I read a most remarkable thing about love, that also applies to the nature of co-existing with others. It was a quotation from Iris Murdoch in her obituary. It read ‘ Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real.’ Isn’t that fantastic! The best insight on the subject of love that one can imagine.

9. ON AGING.

Last year someone gave me a charming book by Roger Rosenblatt called ‘Ageing Gracefully’ I got it on my birthday. I did not appreciate the title at the time but it contains a series of rules for ageing gracefully. The first rule is the best. Rule number one is that ‘it doesn’t matter.’ ‘It doesn’t matter that what you think. Follow this rule and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late or early, if you are here or there, if you said it or didn’t say it, if you are clever or if you were stupid. If you were having a bad hair day or a no hair day or if your boss looks at you cockeyed or your boyfriend or girlfriend looks at you cockeyed, if you are cockeyed. If you don’t get that promotion or prize or house or if you do – it doesn’t matter.’ Wisdom at last. Then I heard a marvellous joke that seemed related to rule number 10. A butcher was opening his market one morning and as he did a rabbit popped his head through the door. The butcher was surprised when the rabbit inquired ‘Got any cabbage?’ The butcher said ‘This is a meat market – we sell meat, not vegetables.’ The rabbit hopped off. The next day the butcher is opening the shop and sure enough the rabbit pops his head round and says ‘You got any cabbage?’ The butcher now irritated says ‘Listen you little rodent I told you yesterday we sell meat, we do not sell vegetables and the next time you come here I am going to grab you by the throat and nail those floppy ears to the floor.’ The rabbit disappeared hastily and nothing happened for a week. Then one morning the rabbit popped his head around the corner and said ‘Got any nails?’ The butcher said ‘No.’ The rabbit said ‘Ok. Got any cabbage?’

10.TELL THE TRUTH

The rabbit joke is relevant because it occurred to me that looking for a cabbage in a butcher’s shop might be like looking for ethics in the design field. It may not be the most obvious place to find either. It’s interesting to observe that in the new AIGA’s code of ethics there is a significant amount of useful information about appropriate behaviour towards clients and other designers, but not a word about a designer’s relationship to the public. We expect a butcher to sell us eatable meat and that he doesn’t misrepresent his wares. I remember reading that during the Stalin years in Russia that everything labelled veal was actually chicken. I can’t imagine what everything labelled chicken was. We can accept certain kinds of misrepresentation, such as fudging about the amount of fat in his hamburger but once a butcher knowingly sells us spoiled meat we go elsewhere. As a designer, do we have less responsibility to our public than a butcher? Everyone interested in licensing our field might note that the reason licensing has been invented is to protect the public not designers or clients. ‘Do no harm’ is an admonition to doctors concerning their relationship to their patients, not to their fellow practitioners or the drug companies. If we were licensed, telling the truth might become more central to what we do.

To learn more about this prolific and wise artist , please visit his website MiltonGlaser.com. The design Company is located in NY, if anyone is interested to subscribe for their newsletter visit their website.    Milton Glaser, Inc. 207 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016   T: 212-889-3161  F: 212-213-4072     studio@miltonglaser.com.

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Tsvetana For Art Chronicle





BOGDAN ALEXANDROV – A Modern Bulgarian Master

28 06 2013

Dear Friends, it has been a while… forgive my inconsistency! While the desire to write about artistic events and work that interest me is as usual boundless – time seems to be the only limitation. However – for those of you who enjoy these writings, that come from the heart of my love for Art , I am restarting my writing with this post– about a Bulgarian artist, whose work has crossed boundaries. I have always wanted to devote special posts to my Facebook ‘discoveries’. Some of these Artists  are unbelievable.1  Susanne Kessler ( a sophisticated installation Artist from Germany ), Philip Geist, Ross Ashton ( brilliant Multimedia artists from Germany and Great Britain ) ,  Cliff Garten ( a California Public Artist with incredible visions) to name a few.  These artists have something in common – they are absolutely brilliant! And inspirational!

     SUSPENDED (E)MOTION

As I promised in the beginning – I only show you artists who have in some way astounded me and inspired me. That is a promise I will keep! So before I resort to presenting each an every one of them in time, allow me to present you a very talented and masterful BOGDAN ALEXANDROV, whose latest work, that was exhibited in Yuzina Gallery(2013) –  I also encountered on Facebook.  The genuineness of his vision is undisputed. His latest exhibition in Sofia  has created quite a sensation. It id here – on the West coast by means of digital  media. The large canvases  by Bogdan Alexandrov convey a certain mood, that seems to captivate the viewer and leave a lasting impression. AndBOGDAn ART (3) makes us think. Makes us relate to the people in the images. ” What are they thinking? What are they talking about…? “After these questions fade away , we discover that it does not really matter. What matters is – that these paintings have captured a moment in time – that will never happen again. The eternal ‘now” as the Zen philosophy points it. The only moment that actually exists.

Regarding his method, in Mr.Alexandrov’s own words: ” Nowadays , people document life with greater ease than ever.” Says the Artist. ” Equipped with new technology, reporters, filmmakers and artists are “capturing” images constantly. The digital medium transmits images in a format, where the image is reduced to a time code and is modified by the imperfections of he optical systems being used.” These imperfections have been superimposed and intelligently used as the foundation of his method, that is difficult to define – by creating the illusion of the movement, without the still  frames…

BOGDAn ART (4)The Artist: “In my works I depict the characters by synthesizing multimedia images in a series of transitional transparencies. Their hands, faces, gestures and movements are in a state in which the conventional two-dimensions representational painting is replaced by the dynamic of the movement.”

The Artist Bogdan Alexandrov lives and works in Bulgaria, his website and his blog  are: http://bogdanaleksandrov.blogspot.com/

Enjoy !

Your Truly.

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Tsvetana  for

TheArtChronicle

For Your Viewing Experience – Below is Bogdan Alexandrovs List of Exhibits

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Bogdan Aleksandrov, Born in 1960, Vidin, Bulgaria.

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1989 – “St. Cyril and Methodius” University, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria,

M.A. in Fine Art Painting.Lives and works in Vidin, Bulgaria.

Solo Exhibitions:

2012 “Purgatorium”, Rayko Aleksiev gallery, Sofia, BG. Curator Desislava Moneva.

2012 “Creation from nothing”, St. st. Cyril and Methodius University Veliko Turnovo, BG. Curator Georghi Minchev.
2012 “Local cooling”, Gallery L’Union, Plovdiv, (BG), painting.

2010 “Panta rei”, painting, Novi Sad, Serbia.

2010 “Noise”, Sofia City Gallery, Sofia,(BG), painting, sound installation.

2008 “Entrebaillement” Cite International Des Arts, Paris, France,  Video projection and performance

2008  “mixed”, Art Alley Gallery, Sofia, (BG), digital print, painting, video,drawings.

2007 “Initial E”, Gallery L’Union, Plovdiv, (BG), Video installation, work on handmade Japanese paper.

2007 “Replacement” , Nikola Petrov Gallery, Vidin (BG), painting and video projection,  curator Gordon Carter

2006 “Residual image”, Narodni muzej, Zajchar, Serbia

2005 “Residual image”, Stara Capetanjia Art Gallery, Zemun, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro

2003 “Anthropomorphous version”, National Art Gallery, Sofia (BG)

2002 “My Glagolitsa”, painting, Sofia Art Gallery, London (UK)

2001 “Shores”, painting, King’s Head Gallery, Presteign, Wales (UK)

1999 “Metamorphoses of the Instant”, painting and plastic arts, “Art 36″ Art Gallery, Sofia (BG)

1997 “DURE” Art Gallery, Timishoara, Romania

1997 “Stalbata” Art Gallery, Sofia (BG)

1994 Painting, “Spectra” Art Gallery, Veliko Tarnovo; “Ilia Beshkov” Art Gallery, Pleven (BG)

1993 “Agora” Art Gallery, Reshitza, Romania

1993 Painting & Drawing, Art Museum, Kalafat, Romania

1992 Painting, “Nikola Petrov” Art Gallery, Vidin (BG)

1990 Painting & Drawing, Higher Institute of Architecture, Sofia (BG)

1990 “Version of Progress”, Kinetic installation, Higher Institute of Architecture, Sofia (BG)

 

 

 





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





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








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