Some of you may remember my feature a few months ago on abstract artist Esther Barend. Well Esther has a unique new project that I want to share with you. These one of a kind “Portable Art” bags are hand-made by Barend from design to assembly. The outer shell of the bags are original acrylic on canvas paintings signed by the artist. Each bag is reinforced on the inside with a thin plastic layer so the canvas remains in tact. Rain and dirt proof, the bags also have a protective varnish so they can be used in any kind of weather. As well, each piece comes with its own certificate.
This week’s Deviant is Surreal artist Janelle McKain. Born and raised in Nebraska, USA, McKain has a Bachelor’s degree in K-12 Art Education with an endorsement in Gifted Education from Kearney State College and has been teaching art for the past 29 years in public schools across Nebraska. Currently, she is Department Chair and teaches Drawing and Advanced Drawing at Millard South High School in Omaha, NE.
McKain works mainly in graphite but enjoys watercolour painting as well. She is also involved in collaborative drawings with other international artists through the The Exquisite Corpse and The Antipodes Project. In all of their complexity, nearly all of McKain’s drawings are unplanned. She begins when she feels inspired and lets the images and shapes emerge without constraints.
Despite her busy teaching career, McKain always has a drawing or collaboration on the go. “I draw because I enjoy it immensely; it is soothing to me, not unlike rocking a child in a rocking chair… and this sensation…keeps me coming back to the drawing table over and over again. I enjoy the mystery of what is unraveling before me, and each drawing appears full of personal imagery that has no obvious answer. This is what inspires me; this is what fuels my work. Breathing and drawing are of equal importance to me.”
McKain’s work has been exhibited in group shows, has been featured in numerous magazines, and will be included in the upcoming book “Imagine the Imagination. New Visions of Surrealism” in November 2009.
Sunday’s Pic is by California based artist and snowboarder Caia Koopman. Koopman’s paintings have been used commercially as graphics for snowboards, skateboards and wakeboards for major companies such as K2, Morrow, and Hyperlite. She has also been featured on MTV, “mtv sports” as an athlete/artist for her snowboarding and painting. Caia has shown her paintings in a number of galleries around the world and most recently at La Luz de Jesus in LA.
To see more of Caia Koopman’s work visit CaiaDesign.com.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Dominique Fung has a BAA in Illustration from the highly esteemed Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.
Fung’s dreamlike images are inspired by “popular culture and the secrets hidden within the world”. Using various mediums including pencil, pen, watercolours, acrylics, oils, and computer tablet, her works are a mixture of fine art and design, often exploring environmental concerns and humanity’s place in the world.
Fung currently works for a social network as a graphic designer, creating web designs, and motion graphics, as well as pursuing a freelance career. She has exhibited in group shows in Canada and the United States including a recent group show of emerging artists at the Show & Tell Gallery in Toronto called “The Kids are Alright”.
Sunday’s PIC is by Korean born artist Amy Sol. Sol currently works and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and is a well known part of the Pop Surrealist (low-brow) artists. Usually painting on wood panel, Sol’s style of work is influenced by a combination of manga, folk-art, vintage illustration, and modern design.
To find out more, visit AmySol.com.
1. Artemisia Gentileschi – July 8, 1593–ca. 1656: Born in Rome, Italy, and influenced by Caravaggio, Gentileschi is considered to be one of the most accomplished painters of the early Baroque period. She was trained by her father and well known artist Orazio Gentileschi as well as artist Agostino Tassi. Tassi raped the 18 year old Artemisia and promised to marry her but was eventually arrested. Tassi’s trial received a great deal of attention, and negatively affected her reputation, prompting her to move to Florence where she had a successful career.
As a result of her experiences, the heroines in Gentileschi’s paintings, depict powerful women enacting revenge on malicious males. Her style was influenced by dramatic realism and strong contrast of light and dark.
At a time of a male dominated art world, Gentileschi was the first female painter to be accepted as a member of the Acadamia di Arte del Disengo in Florence, Italy. She was also one of the first female artists to paint historical and religious themes, a skill thought to be beyond the intellectual abilities of women.
2. Judy Chicago – July 20, 1939: Born Judy Cohen, Judy Chicago is an American artist (sculpture, drawings, paintings), author, feminist, and educator, whose work and life are “models for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and a woman’s right to freedom of expression”.
Between 1974 and 1979, with the participation of hundreds of volunteers, Chicago created her most well-known work, “The Dinner Party“. The multimedia project, a symbolic history of women in Western Civilization, has been seen by more than one million viewers during its 16 exhibitions held at venues in six countries.
Chicago has a Bachelor and Masters of Art from the University of California Los Angeles. She has received numerous awards, and has honorary doctorates from Duke University, Lehigh University, Smith College, and Russell Sage College. Chicago’s work is housed in the collections of major museums including: The British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Getty Trust, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
3. Julia Margaret Cameron – June 11 1815 – January 26, 1879: Born in Calcutta, India to a British official of the East India Company and the daughter of French aristocrats, Cameron was educated in France but returned to India in 1838 and married jurist Charles Hay Cameron. The couple moved to London in 1848 where they were aligned with the elite circles of Victorian society.
Cameron did not take up photography until the age of 48, when her daughter gave her a camera as a gift. She enlisted friends and family for her photographs and used an artistic approach that differed from the commercial studios of the time – an approach for which she was often criticized.
Known for her closely framed portraits and illustrative allegories based on religious and literary works, some of Cameron’s subjects include Charles Darwin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, and others.
Cameron’s photographs, particularly her closely cropped portraits, had a significant impact on the evolution of modern photography. As well, her portraits of major historical figures, are often the only remaining photographs and record of the time. She was meticulous in registering her photographs with the copyright office and kept detailed records which is why many of her works survive today.
4. Elizabeth Catlett Mora – April 15, 1915 -April 2, 2012: Born in Washington, D.C., Catlett graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C.in 1935, where she studied design, printmaking and drawing. In 1940, she studied under painter Grant Wood and sculptor Henry Stinson and became the first student to receive an M.F.A. in sculpture from the State University of Iowa .
In 1947, Catlett married Mexican artist Francisco Mora, and made Mexico her permanent home. In 1958, she became the first female professor of sculpture and head of the sculpture department at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, School of Fine Arts, San Carlos, in Mexico City where she continued to teach until her retirement in 1975.
Catlett is best known for her abstract wood and stone sculptures of archetypal African American women. She is also an accomplished printmaker and has produced lithographs and linocuts that celebrate the heroic lives of African American women.
Catlett’s work reflects a social and political concern that she shares with the Mexican muralists. Using her art to bring awareness to causes including the African-American experience and the plight of the lower classes, many of her works illustrate the diverse roles of women as mothers, workers, and activists.
Catlett received many awards including the Women’s Caucus For Art and has an honorary Doctorate from Pace University, in New York. She is represented in numerous collections throughout the world including the Institute of Fine Arts, Mexico, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, Museum of Modern Art, Mexico, National Museum of Prague, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum, NY.
Catlett remained an active artist until her death on April 2, 2012 at the age of 96.
5. Berthe Morisot – January 14, 1841 – March 2, 1895: Born to a prosperous family in Bourges, Cher, France, Berthe Morisot was encouraged at an early age to become an artist and studied with neoclassical painter Geoffroy-Alphonse Chocarne.
Characteristic of Impressionist art, Morisot painted her daily experiences and reflected 19th century cultural expectations of her gender and class. Her works include landscapes, family and domestic life, portraits, garden settings and boating scenes.
Morisot worked with pastels and watercolors and oil, and experimented with lithography and drypoint etching in her later years. She first exhibited at the Salon de Paris in 1864 at the age of 23 and continued to show there regularly until 1873, just prior the first Impressionist exhibition.
Morisot grew to be a key member of the group of Impressionists. Her home was a meeting place for painters and writers including Renoir, Degas, Mary Cassatt, and Stéphane Mallarmé. She participated in the Drouot sale of 1875, where the artists were greatly criticized. Her paintings, however, were purchased at slightly higher prices than those of Renoir, Monet, and Sisley.
Undervalued for over a century, she is now considered among the finest of the Impressionist painters.
Sources:Artemisia Gentileschi.com, Met Museum, Wikipedia, Judy Chicago.com, Met Museum, MoMA, Wikipedia, Cleveland Museum of Art, Wikipedia
Read more 5 Women Artist You Should Know posts.
This week’s Deviant is sculptor Ellen June Jewett. Born in Markham, Ontario Canada, Jewett’s interest in shaping three dimensional forms began at a young age.
A self-taught sculptor, Jewett has a degree in Biological Anthropology and Art Critique from McMaster University in Ontario.
Sculpting with only her hands, Ellen’s inspiration comes from her relationships with plants and animals and a fascination with the images of science and discovery. Working with polymer clay, home-made foam clay, and other mediums, Jewett creates a world of fantastical dragons, birds, elephants, and other creatures with incredible detail and intricacy.
Jewett recently exhibited at Anticipation – the 67th World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal and will also show at the Guelph Studio Tour in Ontario, Canada from October 16th – 18th 2009.
Today, we look at the hyperrealist sculptures of Patricia Piccinini. Piccinini was born in 1965 in Freetown, Sierra Leone and moved to Australia in 1972. Piccinini has a Bachelor of Arts (Economic History), from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts in Painting from the Victorian College of the Arts.
To construct her bizarre but lovable characters, Piccinini uses a number of ingredients including silicone, fibreglass, human hair, leather, plywood, clothing, polyurethane, leather, and mdf.
Piccinini has received worldwide attention for her works that explore themes of biotechnology and contemporary ideas about nature that take us to a “post-Darwinian destination populated with fantastical creatures, new communities and bioethical conundrums.”
Children are often featured in Piccinini’s sculptures: “A young child represents possibility, both positive and negative. Also babies don’t make judgments. The world is totally new to them – they just take it in. They have no expectation and are always surprised. Children aren’t threatening. On the contrary, they bring out the best in us; we want to care for them, protect them. I use children to evoke the idea of vulnerability. In my work, it is often the creatures that seem vulnerable. They are mostly reliant on us and at our mercy.”
Piccinini is not only a sculptor, but works in a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, video, sound, interactive CD’s, and digital images. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide including Australia, New York, Japan, Peru and the Philippines, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, France, Italy, Wales, Korea, and New Zealand.
To explore more of Patricia Piccinini’s diverse works, visit PatriciaPiccinini.net.
Suday’s image is entitled “Offerings 2” by American artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. To see more of her work, visit ShadowScapes.com.
Sunday’s image is from Dutch born painter Patricia Van Lubeck. To see more of her ‘psychedelic gardens’ visit VanLubeck.com. Enjoy!