Ray Turner: good man-bad man, great painter.

•February 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

OK so I confess to be a shameless groupie. Wanted to fly to Tacoma for his show at the glass museum but was unable to. It is exciting to see that he is expanding his Population series to include more of his improvisational works which take his portraiture deeper, below the skin of his subjects. It is just a short trip from his more literal works and is a satisfying progression to experience. It’s as if his paintings have morphed into the Dorian Gray souls that were lurking just under the skin of his original Population subjects. His latest book, Good Man Bad Man is out. I have ordered it and can’t wait to see it. Wish it was hardcover. I am tough on his books since I look through them so often. Wish he would have a show in the Los Angeles area. Missed the Long Beach show in 2011.
The video film shows him making his loose yet precise brush strokes and best of all shows his palette which is a veritable ocean of thick color mixtures seemingly chaotic but that come together under his guidance in paintings that are like great jazz for the eye. You start with the form that draws you in and end up marveling at the color riffs that are like pieces of living flesh that has been smeared onto the canvas.

Ray if you see this message tell us how we can see you in southern California. Is your Pasadena studio ever open to the public?
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For now the best you can do is to go to rayturner.usray turner good bad3ray turner good bad2ray turner good bad1

Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon: a friendship of mutual influence

•December 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

bacon2frued 3bacon photofreud with dogfreud Self-portraitfreud  baconbacon selfbacon three l fruedFrancis Bacon's Study for Self-Portraitfrom 1964bacon1frued queenbacon2freud 1These two artists were friends and both famed for their often grotesque portraiture. They painted each other as well as several other artists and celebrities. Both used distortion but in very different ways. Freud, a descendant of Sigmund Freud, married and raised a family, rose up through the ranks of he art world and lived more conventionally than Bacon who made out on the mean streets of the art world, often taking on influential lovers/patrons. Yet these two had a great deal of commonality in their choice of subject matter and their approach. Here are some examples of each artists work including portraits of themselves and one another. Can you tell whose is who? Although individually distinctive as painters they adopted techniques from each other and as their friendship grew, their painting styles grew more and more convergent.freud queenbacon1frued shaving

Tauba Auerbach

•December 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

tauba auerach fifty fiftyStanford educated Taura Auerbach at 31 is a decade younger than Guyton and Ruby and already sold a painting for $290,500 on November 15, 2012. She specializes in three-dimensional effects. Pop up books and paintings that resemble crumpled canvases. She recently covered a floor with 80,000 black and white tiles, entitled “50/50 floor”. She has experimented with many styles and is drawn to depicting typefaces. Her parents were designers and she had an early interest in typefaces. She is based in New Yorktauba auerbach1tauba auerbach3taura auerbach8tauba auerbach7

Sterling Ruby

•December 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Another rising star is Los Angeles artist Sterling Ruby. He creates artworks that exemplify his “generation’s unrest” ranging from vampire sculptures dripping 3-d blood to graffiti style paintings. His paintings are mostly collage and he uses bleach, fabric and printed media on wood. Recently a painting sold for $656,000.00. His current prices ranges from $35,000 for a ceramic piece to the $500,000’s for larger works.

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Wade Guyton

•December 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

2011 Whitney Galawade guyton epson printerwade guyton userieswade guyton xseriesThe Wall Street Journal featured Wade Guyton on its art page(wsj11-30-12) as one of the current rock stars of the art world he is currently getting close to $800,000.00 per painting. I highly recommend reading the Wall Street Journal article which outlines his rapid rise to fame as well as several other superstars of the art world. The article is an education in what it takes to make it to the top of the art scene. Guyton was working as a security guard in DiaChelsea a non-profit art space in New York when he and artist Kelley Walker began experimenting with creating art on flatbed scanners. He currently uses a large-scale Epson Stylus Pro 9600 to print out colored letters in various colors. The U and X series are the most well known. Printing glitches add some variation to the paintings. He uses typefaces and pages torn from books and various types of substrates to print on which encourages the printer to drip and smear ink on the printing. His work has been featured at the Whitney Gallery and he is represented by the Petzel Gallery.

Art Basel Miami

•December 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Art Basel Miami is one of the most prestigious art shows in the world according to the Wall Street Journal (See Searching for the Next Art World Star. wsj 11/30/12) It is happening this week and will bring together big bucks buyers and ambitious artists from around the world. The tickets are pretty reasonable considering the fact that this is one of the premier venues in the art world- only $90.00 US for the entire week and considerably less for daily tickets. This is on my go to list for next year. Pop stars and Art Stars seems to be an apt comparison. Since one year’s star artist can be next year’s has-been. investors are anxious to guess whose work will increase in value over the years. In my next few blogs I will feature some of the the big-ticket names that have made the cut most recently. I am mystified as to why these artists in particular made superstar status out of all the incredible artists out there. the Wall Street Journal article outlines their rise to the top giving a bit of insight into how it happened.

Jennifer Stienkamp

•October 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

My first exposure to Jennifer Stienkamp’s work was at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. The video filled all four walls of the room and it felt like being physically immersed in her artwork. The sensation is one you must experience to fully appreciate. if you google her name you will find her website and listings of where she is currently showing. I urge you to go. I think this type of artwork is a forerunner of things to come. Next thing I hope to see is an immersion experience using 3-d art like the Tupac video, but projected so that you can enter the artwork. So far the technology isn’t quite there but I’m certain someone must be developing it.


•September 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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A painting by Itir Orcuun using suminagashi technique in oil color printed directly from the water onto canvas and then over-painted. see my link to her video.

A Suminagashi is a painting technique. Paint, ink or pure pigments are suspended in thickened water and manipulated to form patterns. Marbleized patterns or actual objects, even portraits are floated on the water and then mono-printed onto paper, cloth, leather or even stretched canvas. An excellent background for a painting, especially Anime.  

Watch the the many u-tube demonstrations listed under Suminagashi, Ebru Art, Islamic Collage, or paper marbleling. Heidi Finley gives some excellent instruction. Wikipedia offers lists of materials. Dick Blick has a kit for  $14.99 and also has an instructional video on u-tube.

One of my favorites is one by Itir Orcum using oil paint that is floated on water thickened with probably wallpaper paste. A stretched canvas is dipped in the water to transfer the paint and then the artist paints over that pattern. just Google Itir Orcun suminagashi or try this link: paint.http://youtu.be/FXbrgTE8jEY

There is a college of Islamic art that has an excellent video showing some precise painting with this technique:

Also see this written tutorial that you can copy as a pdf. It lists materials and simple techniques.. You can also buy an e-book on Amazon with the basic recipes and techniques for $3.99. You download their Kindle app and can have immediate access

Gerhard Richter

•August 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment


Richter Self-portrait


Robert Buckminster Fuller a.k.a “Bucky”

•February 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment


Bucky Fuller was a master of collaboration. Japanese Architect Sadeo collaborated with Fuller on the Montreal dome- he met Fuller as a student when Fuller was lecturing at University of Illinois. Sadeo was also a close friend and collaborator with Isamu Noguchi









Bucky hired an engineer to design a car steered by a rudder like a boat or a plane he called it a 4D car

The first geodesic dome structure ever it was designed by a german engineer who also invented the helicopter this was built after WWI and dismantled by the Nazis prior to WWII as it was built by Jews