Sunday, June 22, 2008

Is this for real? Kara Walker is asked to share?


It comes as no surprise that controversy seems to surround Kara Walker's work wherever she goes. I have never understood peoples need to censor or stifle artistic expression but in Kara Walker's case the controversy has worked in her advantage and she has become the most well known female African American artists of our time. The latest attack on Walker is as empty and ridiculous as prior allegations. This seems more like a group of angry mothers at a PTA meeting, than intelligent art criticism. When has art ever been accused of being fair? NEVER. I think Kara Walker's work is important and her narrative extraordinary, for people to ask her to stop hogging the spotlight is absurd! She earned her position, and anyone who has ever experienced her emotionally charged work first hand knows it. I think that these artists who are upset about the iconic status that Walker has been awarded, need to readjust their criticism and aim it back at themselves. Jealousy is a useless emotion and they should use that energy to improve their own work. Anybody else agree?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Published! George Green Research Project

I received word from my art history professor Dr. Leda Cempellin, that our research essay about artist George Green was finally published! Leda is an extraordinary professor and one of my mentors. I was so lucky to learn from her and in my last semester with her she pushed my writing and research skills to new levels. I'm so proud of this project and I hope you will take the time to read it George Green is an extraordinary artist, he is represented by the legendary Louis Meisel Gallery in New York, NY

This is the email I received today:

Dear students of the ARTH 490 Seminar, the great moment has arrived: George Green's group project is now published online!!! Here is the information: Dalton, Kristin; Fritz, Katie; Klein, Dustin; Meyer, Rachelle; Schanzenbach,Luke (ed. Leda Cempellin). "Eye Deceptions: The Evolution of George D.Green's Painting from the Late 1970's to the Present". UndergraduateResearch Journal for the Human Sciences, vol. 7A, Special Edition, 2008.

I'm very excited! Sending a huge thank you to Dr. Leda Cempellin, the other students involved in this project and the Undergraduate Research Community for making this possible!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fucntional Fine Art

The genius of Richard Prince transcends art and now it has slowly leaked into music and fashion. When I bought Sonic Youth's "Sonic Nurse", I had no idea who was behind the album artwork but I knew that I needed to find out. Richard Prince had created the "Sonic Nurse", influenced by his Nurses series, especially for the bands album that was released in 2004. I then googled him and I became obsessed almost immediately. He is such a smart artist yet he doesn't take himself too seriously, he has dedicated his life to art in many different fields. (Check out this article, one of the best Richard Prince Q&A's My obsession and admiration for his work has grown over the years and when I heard that the incredible Marc Jacobs was collaborating with him on his new handbag series for Louis Vuitton I was enthralled! Two of the loveliest workaholics in the world coming together to create something beautiful.

Marc Jacobs has built a glamorous bridge between the fine art world and the fashion world. I admire his work so much and think people are finally realizing that there is no real difference between the two worlds. Fashion is simply wearable art and fine art sets the tone for fashion, they coexist together and Marc Jacobs was brilliant enough to understand that. By collaborating with artists like Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince, you can afford a piece of functional fine art. Genius! I'll probably have to set aside another blog in honor of the magical Marc Jacobs...

Even the advertisments were flawless, blending references from Prince's muscle car series and the vampy luxury that Jacob's has brought to Louis Vuitton.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Illustration time...

Cecilia Carlstedt is one of my favorite illustrators to date. Anytime I need new ideas dealing with line or composition I look through her work to find inspiration. She creates beautiful work and has been comissioned by some of the most stylish companies in the world (even Absolut Vodka! see previous blog). Absolutely lovely! Check her out at

I especially like the pieces she created for Stick Magazine (Above). In these photos you can see how she takes objects and patterns from daily life and uses them in her illustrations to make her subtle line work stand out and more compositionally intriguing. You can see why she's getting so much work, her drawing skills are amazing and she creates interesting work that still relates to her audience.

If you're not satisfied with Cecilia, check out the lovely work of Jenny Mortsell (bottom left) and Anna Higgie(bottom right)

If you want daily news on up and coming artists, illustrators, and graphic designers just frequent It's my favorite site and it's where I've found hundred of talented young artists. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Absolut Vodka Ads Are Absolutely Amazing

I was looking through a magazine today and I noticed Absolut Vodkas ad campaign "In an ABSOLUT world". I've always admired Absolut Vodka ads, as well as their quirky and intellegent product design. “In an ABSOLUT World” is a powerful campaign that provides a rich framework for the ABSOLUT brand that builds on the foundation established by ‘The Absolutes’ campaign last year. Our consumers are intelligent, and we hope they have a gut reaction that sparks conversations and challenges them to think about their vision of an “ABSOLUT World,” says Tim Murphy, Senior Brand Director, The Absolut Spirits Company, Inc. Their ads in print are wonderful and their new commercials are brilliant! I especially like "In an ABSOLUT world friends would get together more" comedians Zach Galifianakis, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim were commissioned by Absolut Vodka to create any sort of film that promoted their product. This is what they came up with... Absolut Vodka's publicity/advertisment teams are genius, this is a prime example of what smart, tasteful design and font can do for product sales. They have made advertising an art form. Check out this campaign and others at .

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Oooo Oooo!

I was introduced to this book by the fabulous and talented Ms. Diana Behl, who specializes in intaglio innovations . When I picked it up I couldn't put it down, it's a quick but vital read for ALL artists. It's real, it sucks, it's impossible, it's art! This isn't a sweet, "every creator is created equally" book, it explains and exposes actual worries you should have as an artist. I haven't found a more honest, "how to art" guide yet, and it's nice to hear the truth from people who have impacted the world you want so badly to be a part of.
One of my favorite letters...
Dear Young Artist,
I started my career as a young artist is 1957. Then, there was
not the money in art that there is today. Therefore, one made art because one needed to do so. I taught public school
five days a week and painted when I could. I got married and participated in having two children, which made it more difficult to make art. I lived in National City, California, not an art center.
My advice? Don't go into art for fame or fortune. Do it because you cannot not do it. Being an artist is a combination of talent and obsession. Live in New York, L.A., Koln, or London. As for money: If you're talented and obsessed, you'll find a solution.
Yrs in art,
John Baldessari
Vencie, California

Greeting and Salutations

I have decided to start a more grown-up, solely art related blog, to place my thoughts of visual culture and criticisms for all to see. I will also be posting my own work for you, (friends, enemies, and strangers) to criticize me as well. Let the battle of the wits commence!

It will probably take me a little time to get this monster project started, i.e. uploading photos, researching new ideas, etc. so please bare with me.

Since returning home I've been obsessed with illustration and trying to draw everyday. I've put down my paint brush for a while and decided to get back to the basics of line, shadow, and mark making in general. I guess I'm floating around waiting for my muse, my subject matter and while I wait there is lots of work to be done. When I find the idea for my new series I suppose I might go back to watercolor if it fits, as Richard Prince said, "The subject comes first, the medium second." and I could not agree more.