Monday, January 24, 2011

El Corazón

"Frutas y Corazón", acrylic on canvas.

For the past seventeen years curator Jose Vargas has organized the "El Corazon" exhibition for the Bath House Cultural Center. Here's my contribution to this year's show. The opening reception is January 29 and continues through February 26.
From the Bath House Cultural Center web site:

"The idea of creating an opportunity for local artists to explore various artistic interpretations of the human heart was conceived by Dallas artist and curator, Jose Vargas in 1993. Since then, this passionate and delightfully eclectic art show has featured diverse creations inspired by the heart (El Corazón), an important symbol in Mexican and Latin American art, and a significant theme in western culture.

Mr. Vargas has always been attracted to the symbol of the heart and, because of that fascination, he decided to create a public showcase of outstanding heart-related art pieces. This exhibition has enabled him throughout the years to share his passion with art patrons in Dallas and to engage close to one thousand participating artists.

ARTISTS: Denise Althea Graham, Chandra Armstead, Deeya Bain, Joni Beamish, Laura Beikman, Penelope Bisbee, Carol Blanchard Parks, Angie Bolling, Eunice Bridges, Roy Cirigliana, Ray-Mel Cornelius, Patricia Curry, Dan Dudley, Lori Dudley, Gina Marie Dunn, Jacque Forsher, Sandra Gonzalez, April Greenlee, Rebecca Guy, Franziska Haarmann, Juli Hulcy, Karen Jacobi, Laura Johnson, Jenny Keller, KeLaine Kvale, Katrine Kyhnel, Javier Limon, Eli Lorenz, Darlene Macias, Laurie Mahoney, Kerian Massey, Julia McLain, Teresa Megahan, Karen Merten, William Messimer, Sharon Neel-Bagley, Melia Newman, Jennifer Olvera, Carol Pankratz, Cap Pannell, Paul Pena, Filiberto Pérez, Luzette Portillo Flores, Alfredo Rodriguez, Johanna Roffino Hulsey, Lisa Rountree, Lesley Rucker, Ruth Sanchez, Armando Sebastian, Cindy Seely, Pam Stern, Linda D. Stokes, Melissa Wertz, Michele Wertz, Tamara Wyndham, and David Zarazua II."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Favorite paintings

Again, this is a case of this being more about a favorite painter than a single painting. Robert Cottingham came to attention as one of the 1970s Photorealists, a movement that made the photographic source of the image as important as the subject being depicted. The emphasis on technology to aid in making a work of art placed Photorealism in the middle of the Modernist camp, although it related more to Pop than to any of the abstract movements like Abstract Expressionism or Minimalism.
Robert Cottingham's paintings of storefront signs and neon associated with the old and unfortunately often decaying areas of large cities' business districts are innovations on the subject of landscape in the same way Warhol's soup cans and Brillo boxes gave a contemporary spin on the traditional still life. Their sharp and hard edges are appropriate for the subjects, man-made milestones realized by mechanical means.
Recently he has made paintings of typewriters and simplified pieces of machinery, taking his view point from big and up to small and within arm's reach.

All images, I'm quite certain, ©Robert Cottingham.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Back to roosters...

Enough with the real world, already. I need to get back to roosters.
Here are, clockwise from the upper left, "Apollo", "Mars", "Ricardo" and "Odin 2". Is this a print worthy image? I'm thinking maybe.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Roger Hane

Artist Roger Hane's work exemplified the look of mass media art in the early 1970s. His career and life were tragically cut short by a stupid, senseless murder committed by juveniles bent on stealing Mr. Hane's bicycle during a ride through Central Park in 1974.
His work was among my earliest influences as an art school student. His cover art for Carlos Castaneda's Ixtlan and C.S. Lewis' Tales of Narnia books were poured over like holy texts, every detail studied and marveled at.
Vanguard Productions, the publishing empire headed by my buddy J. David Spurlock, has published Roger Hane: Art, Life and Tragedy, a review of Mr. Hane's work and a fine selection of his paintings. It is available at the Vanguard web site and on

A Separate Reality, by Carlos Castaneda, featured one of Roger Hane's signature paintings. Today it's surrealistic imagery may seem tired and trite, but Mr. Hane was among the first mass media artists to adopt the language of surrealism into popular art.

I have to confess I have never read a word of the Narnia series. I bought all of the books only for the cover art.

This piece was commissioned by DeBeers in the early 1970s.