Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"The Bathers" (1858) by Gustave Courbet

"The Bathers" (1858) by Gustave Courbet, Oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: René Lewandowski.

Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (10 June 1819 – 31 December 1877) was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting.

Best known as an innovator in Realism (and credited with coining the term), Courbet was a painter of figurative compositions, landscapes and seascapes. He also worked with social issues, and addressed peasantry and the grave working conditions of the poor. His work belonged neither to the predominant Romantic nor Neoclassical schools. Rather, Courbet believed the Realist artist's mission was the pursuit of truth, which would help erase social contradictions and imbalances.

For Courbet realism dealt not with the perfection of line and form, but entailed spontaneous and rough handling of paint, suggesting direct observation by the artist while portraying the irregularities in nature. He depicted the harshness in life, and in so doing, challenged contemporary academic ideas of art, which brought the criticism that he deliberately adopted a cult of ugliness.

His work, along with the works of Honoré Daumier and Jean-François Millet, became known as Realism.

Towards the end of the 1860s, Courbet painted a series of increasingly erotic works such as Femme nue couchée. This culminated in The Origin of the World (L'Origine du monde) (1866), depicting female genitalia, and The Sleepers (1866), featuring two women in bed. While banned from public display, the works only served to increase his notoriety.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Painting (1980) by Wayne Coyne

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: a color reproduction of an early painting by Wayne Coyne, singer of the Flaming Lips! Do click on the image for a larger version.

I blogged about a black and white reproduction of this painting in a book I'm reading, and an Art Boobs reader ("KILLER blog, by the way -- one of my favorite subjects!") kindly supplied me with the above color reproduction.

From wikipedia: Wayne Michael Coyne (born January 13, 1961) is the lead singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter for the band The Flaming Lips.

Wayne Coyne was born on January 13, 1961, the fifth of six children of Thomas and Dolores Coyne. Relatively uninterested in school, Coyne preferred music, painting, and football to his assignments. His brothers, and other friends played in a backyard football team named the "Fearless Freaks." He continued making art for many years, and designed many of the early graphics for The Flaming Lips himself (in recent times, he has also provided the artwork for both Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and At War with the Mystics).

Coyne worked as a fry cook at a Long John Silver's restaurant for 11 years, and was awarded a special badge to honor his service. Although he had been toying with an acoustic guitar since he was fourteen, it was this job which enabled him to purchase an electric guitar, a Les Paul, which he did after eight months of employment. Wayne was a senior in high school at the time.

Coyne formed the Flaming Lips in 1983 with brother Mark singing lead and Michael Ivins on bass guitar. Mark later left the band, and Wayne assumed vocal duties.

During large-crowd festival performances, Wayne makes his entrance by descending from space in a bubble, and floating across the audience to the stage. Coyne has also been known to pour fake blood down his face via a hidden tube during live shows, usually during the track "The Spark that Bled" which features lyrics about cutting yourself on the head without realizing it.

This painting is reproduced in black and white at page 12 of "Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips" by Jim Derogatis:

Painting by Frank Frazetta

Painting by Frank Frazetta. Source.

Wayne [Coyne of Flaming Lips] still spent hours painting, sometimes creating surreal fantasy scenes in the style of Frank Frazetta -- "You'll see some of the girls in those paintings with long black hair that look just like me, except he always drew gigantic boobs on them," Hali [his former girlfriend circa 1980] said [..].

From a book I'm reading now: Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips by Jim Derogatis (p. 13). There's a reproduction of one of those Frank Frazetta-inspired paintings on the same page as well. Please leave a comment if you want me to scan it.

Highly recommended - the Flaming Lips story is very inspirational:

Frank Frazetta (born February 9, 1928) is an American fantasy and science fiction artist. He is one of the most emulated artists of these genres in the world.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Bathsheba" (1654) by Willem Drost

"Bathsheba" (1654) by Willem Drost. Oil on canvas. Musée du Louvre, Paris

"The king, while walking on the roof of his house, saw Bathsheba, who was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, taking a bath. He immediately desired her. David then committed adultery with her and she conceived."

"Around 1650, Willem Drost became a student of Rembrandt, eventually developing a close working relationship, painting history scenes, biblical compositions, symbolic studies of a solitary figure, as well as portraits. As a student, his 1654 painting titled Bathsheba was inspired by Rembrandt's painting done in the same year on the same subject and given the same title. This was a common practice at the time and even a few hundred years later, other artists such as Paul Cézanne did a painting titled Bathsheba. Both Drost’s and Rembrandt’s masterpieces were acquired by the Louvre in Paris."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Sexuality" (2008) by Sébastien Tellier

"Sexuality" (2008) by Sébastien Tellier

2008 album from the French vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, produced by Manuel de Homem-Christo from Daft Punk. Sexuality is Sebastien Tellier’s third studio album and, like his previous records, Sexuality combines electro with lush strings and atmospherics. Features the first single ‘Sexual Sportswear’, Lucky Number.

"Samson and Delilah" (1609) by Peter Paul Rubens

"Samson and Delilah" (1609) by Peter Paul Rubens. Oil on wood, 185 x 205 cm. National Gallery, London

Samson then falls in love with a woman, Delilah. The Philistines approach Delilah and induce her (with 1100 silver coins each) to try to find the secret of Samson's strength. Samson obviously does not want to tell the secret, so at first he teases her, telling her that he can be bound with fresh bowstrings. She does so while he sleeps, but when he wakes up he snaps the strings. She persists, and he tells her he can be bound with new ropes. She binds him with new ropes while he sleeps, and he snaps them, too. She asks again, and he says he can be bound if his locks are woven together. She weaves them together, but he undoes them when he wakes. Eventually Samson tells Delilah that he will lose his strength with the loss of his hair. Delilah calls for a servant to shave Samson's seven locks, which causes her boobs to fall out of her dress. Since that breaks the Nazarite oath, God leaves him, and Samson is captured by the Philistines. They burn out his eyes by holding a hot poker near them. After being blinded, Samson is brought to Gaza, imprisoned, and put to work grinding grain. (source)

"Saline Solution" by Peregrine Honig

"Saline Solution" by Peregrine Honig. mixed media on paper. 10" x 12".

b. 1976, San Francisco, CA.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Rachel Love Redux" (2007) by Eddie Ostrowski

"Rachel Love Redux" (2007) by Eddie Ostrowski.

Eddie Ostrowski - Boudoir & glamour photographer from San Jose, California. This photo is from his "fine art nudes" set on Flickr.

"Andrea Cruz Carrer Junta de Camere, Barelona, February 1996" by Craigie Horsfield

"Andrea Cruz Carrer Junta de Camere, Barcelona, February 1996" by Craigie Horsfield. C-print flush mounted on foamcore. 139 x 139 cm. (54 3/4 x 54 3/4 in).

Horsfield has said: 'The work I make is intimate in scale but its ambition is, uncomfortable as I find it, towards an epic dimension, to describe the history of our century, and the centuries beyond, the seething extent of the human condition.' His black and white photographs record the environment around him and people he knows. He attempts to establish an understanding of history that challenges the notion of a mythical past or inexorable future, divorced from human experience of the here and now.

Craigie Horsfield was born in Cambridge, England in 1949. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996, for the continuing development of his work shown in solo shows at the Antoni Tapuies Fundacio in Barcelona and at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York.

Source: image | text

"Venus" (2007) by Jeroen Geel

"Venus" (2007) by Jeroen Geel, Aquarell auf Bütten auf Alu, 43 x 88.5 cm

Previous posts on Venus here and here.

"Famili" and "The Preparation with Green Sky" by Ashley Bickerton

Famili, 2007
acrylic and digital print on canvas in carved wood, coconut, mother of pearl and coin inlaid artist frame
86 x 72 x 7 inches
218.4 x 182.9 x 17.8 cm

The Preparation with Green Sky, 2007
acrylic and digital print on canvas in carved wood, coconut, mother of pearl and coin inlaid artist frame
72 x 86 x 7 inches
182.9 x 218.4 x 17.8 cm

Ashley Bickerton studio, 2007

See also my previous post on Ashley Bickerton.

Ashley Bickerton pushes further into his dystopic, end-times vision for his second solo exhibition (20 March –- 19 April 2008) at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, 540 West 26th Street. The gallery will present a new group of Bickerton’s large-scale paintings called “The Eight Paintings” along with bronze sculptures. These new works are a fusion of painting, photography and sculpture and exude sexuality, exoticism and color.

The eerie quality of the green men from Bickerton’s earlier work has now given way to the raucous and psychedelic-hued adventures of his blue “20th Century-Man” as he navigates a world populated with shamelessly inflated women and littered with the wreckage of “existentialism” and “escapism.” Bickerton represents this world of abundance and sensual opulence while addressing his concerns as a painter.

He employs models and actors whom he paints on directly, then photographs numerous times. Bickerton then manipulates the images with a computer almost to the point of implausibility. These are printed onto canvas and altered further with paint. As a means to question the art object as commodity, these new paintings are displayed in elaborate hand-carved frames. While Paul Gauguin was searching for something intangible in the human spirit, with Bickerton we see a fin-de-siecle malady, and an almost artistic certainty that we are approaching the end of the road.

Ashley Bickerton was born in the West Indies in 1959. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts, graduating in 1982, and continued his education in the Whitney Museum Independent Studies Program in New York. Over the last twenty-five years Bickerton has exhibited extensively around the world and his artwork can be found in many museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, all New York; The Tate Gallery, London and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Currently his work may be seen in Fractured Figure: Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection at the Deste Foundation in Athens, Greece and recently, he was included in The Incomplete at the Chelsea Art Museum and the East Village USA retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Bickerton was a seminal figure in the East Village scene in New York and one of the original members of the group of artists that came to be known as “Neo-Geo.” He remains an influential figure with younger generations today and since 1993 Bickerton has taken up full-time residence on the island of Bali where he continues to work.

Two paintings by Kevin Lee Allen

"Ecstatic Repose" and "Yellow Boob" by Kevin Lee Allen

Kevin Lee Allen is an EMMY Award winning scenic designer. Mr. Allen’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Newark (New Jersey) Star Ledger, The Washington (DC) Post, Entertainment Design, Scanlines, and other periodicals. Mr. Allen has created scenery for such entertainment luminaries as Imogene Coco, Jack Klugman, Joe Namath and Patrick Swayze, and collaborated with Saturday Night Live Director Tom Schiller, photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and legendary stage and screen director Franco Zefferelli.

More of his (slightly NSFW) erotic works here and his paintings of "random penises found on the internet" here.

Thanks to Kevin Lee Allen for suggesting his site.

"Fit To Burst (Heather Stephens As The Bird Flu)" (2007) by Barnaby Whitfield

"Fit To Burst (Heather Stephens As The Bird Flu)" (2007) by Barnaby Whitfield, Pastel On Paper, 28.5 by 36 inches

Barnaby Whitfield has a solo exhibition (“Little Deaths, All The Same”) opening tomorrow at 31GRAND (Manhattan's Lower Eastside: 143 Ludlow St. New York, NY 10002). It runs through April 19, 2008.

Press release, bio (pdf), more images (more boobs).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Untitled (Suzie Hedge)" (2006) by Brandon Herman

"Untitled (Suzie Hedge)" (2006) by Brandon Herman

Archival pigment inks on 100% cotton rag paper print still available for sale at 20x200 for $20.

Brandon Herman was born in Hillsborough, California in 1983 to Bruce and Sue. He studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been shown both nationally and internationally, most notably in solo exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles, and in such publications as Anthem, Dazed and Confused, Eyemazing, Flaunt, Soma, Tokion, V, and Vice. While primarily focusing on photography, recent projects have incorporated sculpture, video, and installation as well. His conceptual focus is with the psychology surrounding the relationship between memory, fantasy, and mainstream media. Acting, elaborate role playing, and assuming false identities are integral parts of his artistic process. Herman is 24 years old and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. (source)

"Amanda" (2003) by John Currin

"Amanda" (2003) by John Currin.

"The Currin canon is swelling again, with nearly a dozen new works, which – assuming he finishes them on time – will be shown for the first time next month at the Sadie Coles gallery in London's Mayfair."

Source: John Currin: The filth and the fury - Features, Art & Architecture -

Previous posts on John Currin.

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