Well it’s Easter so what better day to post representations of the Last Supper in art. I am too full of Easter chocolate to provide any coherent, meaningful comparison or analysis, so here simply, are three images depicting the last meal of Jesus and his Apostles. The first, probably the most famous by Leonardo da Vinci; the second, Salvador Dali’s The Sacrement of the Last Supper; and third, an artist I like, known only as Arum1966 or Mark from Deviant Art. Enjoy and Happy Easter!
I happened upon a great commentary from Walter Mosely on NPR a little while ago about the idea of creating your own personal pocket art collection so that you become “the curator, the critic, as well as the patron” of your own pocket art gallery.
Pocket art is not a new idea. Miniature portraits were popular from the 16th to the early 19th centuries where small paintings were carried as remembrances of loved ones, and paintings on personal items such as jewelry and snuff box covers. With the invention of early photography in the 19th century, however, miniature paintings fell out of popularity.
Purchasing larger works of original art is out of reach for many people and over the last several years, the pocket art movement has been making a comeback. It has taken the form of ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) ACEO’s (Art Cards Editions and Originals) and sculptures small enough to fit in your pocket. Art galleries have conducted “mini-art” shows and there are even vending machines converted from retired cigarette machines that dispense small pieces of original art.
Pocket art need not be a purchased item that fits neatly into a specific genre. The choice is yours, it could be a stone that catches your eye, a leaf or flower you carry around for the day, a favourite poem – something that is meaningful to you. Whether purchased or found, pocket art is a great idea to carry as a reminder that beauty and art is present in whatever we may be doing and wherever we may go.
Many believe (myself included), that nature is the ultimate form of art. It is in nature that we find an infinite array of colours, shapes, patterns, and motion, giving any artist an endless choice of subject matter.
I have been gratefully reminded of this as the Japanese sakura (cherry blossom) trees have come into bloom. Cherry blossom festivals are popular all over Japan and people gather in parks and other tree lined areas to participate in the custom of Hanami (flower viewing).
Witnessing the blossoming of the sakura over the last few weeks has been like walking through a work in progress, a living painting that evolves from a very basic outline sketch into a most colourful and rich in detail work of art.
Victor Vasarely was born in Pécs, Hungary on April 9th, 1906. Vasarely grew up in Piešťany, Slovakia and then Budapest where he studied at the ‘Mühely’ Academy which was known as the centre of Bauhaus studies in Budapest. In 1930, Vasarely moved to Paris where he worked as a graphic artist and creative consultant and developed his style of geometric abstract art.
Vasarely is acknowledged as the leader of the Op-Art movement (optical art) and for his innovations in color and optical illusion. His works can be seen in almost every major museum in the world that has a collection of contemporary art. Museums in Aix-en Provence, France; Pecs, Hungary; and a wing of the Zichy Palace, Hungary, are devoted exclusively to his work.
For more information about Victor Vasarely, visit the Official Web Site.
I’ve been a big city dweller for most of my life and one thing that continues to astound me is the amount of useless paper I encounter on a daily basis. Junk mail, free newspapers, magazines, and catalogues, cardboard packaging – the list goes on. I wanted to do something artistic with all this paper but didn’t know what. A quick Google search led me to the idea of making a basket/bowl out of old magazines. A simple tutorial from Cutoutandkeep.net showed me how and the photo you see here is the result of my first try.
Some may think that, yeah, that’s kinda cool, but I have better things to spend my time on – think again – I produced this bowl while watching TV, and listening to my Japanese language course – things that I would normally be sitting still for that didn’t require a whole lot of concentration. I actually found the repetitive nature of the process mind calming, allowing me to focus even more on the Japanese course.
Alfred Cheney Johnston was born on April 8, 1885 in New York to a wealthy family who had connections with New York’s upper class. In 1903, Johnston attended The Art Students League of New York but transferred to the National Academy of Design in New York in 1904 where he studied illustration and experimented with photography. While there, he met fellow student Norman Rockwell with whom he became lifelong friends.
In 1908, Johnston graduated from the Academy and married classmate and painter Doris Gernon in 1909. With the encouragement of family friend Charles Dana Gibson (creator of the “Gibson Girl”), Johnston continued to develop his photographic skills. His wife Doris was known to complete the darkroom retouch work on his prints and glass plates.
Johnston was invited to become official photographer of the Ziegfeld Follies by its founder Florenz Ziegfeld around 1916. Ziegfeld promoted his productions as “Glorifying the American Girl” and it was Johnston’s job to capture that vision in photographs. His photos were considered sexual at the time and his props included tapestry backgrounds, pearls, and shawls and scarves for draping.
Through his relationship with Ziegfeld, Johnston also became known for his portraits of silent film stars, the upper class society, advertising work, layouts for industrial firms and cigarette companies.
Johnston’s photographs became famous around the world and he had a very successful career with the Follies until the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent death of Ziegfeld in 1932.
In 1937, Johnston, with Swann Publications, published his book of artistic nude photographs entitled “Enchanting Beauty” which had only limited success. Johnston continued to work in New York until 1939 when he and his wife moved to a rural property in Oxford, Connecticut where they converted their barn into a studio space. There are few records of Johnston’s photographic work in Connecticut though he is known to have belonged to photographic clubs and associations where he gave numerous lectures. Johnston also taught photography from his studio during this time.
In the 1960’s, Johnston attempted to donate his studio and photographic works to several organizations in New York and Washington but received little interest in the proposal. Johnston died in 1971 at Griffin Hospital in Ansonia, Connecticut. In 2006, the book “Jazz Age Beauties: The Lost Collection of Ziegfeld Photographer Alfred Cheney Johnston” by Robert Hudovernik was published. Today, Johnston is considered a top photographer of his time, among the ranks of Edward Steichen, Horst, Arnold Genthe, and others.
Sources: Alfred Cheney Johnston.com
One of my favourite websites for discovering new art is DeviantArt.com and I plan to feature artists from the site on a regular basis. While there’s a lot to sift through, the site’s organization makes it easy with it’s category organization and (if you’re a member) handy tracking tools to help you follow your favourite artists.
This week’s Deviant – Polish surrealist – Andrzej Troc (“broda502”). Troc produces art that is mesmerizing – colours and textures that draw you in, paintings you can examine and enjoy over and over again. To view more of broda502, check out his Deviant Art Profile.