Day 344- Banksy- The Banksy Effect

It’s Day 344 and I’m thrilled to do a tribute to today’s artist.  Please join me in honoring Banksy today!

Banksy- from Exit Through the Gift Shop

Banksy- from Exit Through the Gift Shop

Banksy

Banksy

Banksy is a pseudonymous English graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencilling technique.

Banksy

Banksy

His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

Banksy’s work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.  Observers have noted that his style is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris. Banksy says that he was inspired by “3D”, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of Massive Attack.

Banksy- Olympic Rings

Banksy- Olympic Rings

Above is from wikipedia.  The whole page was insanely long.

Banksy, a street artist whose identity remains unknown, is believed to have been born in Bristol, England, around 1974. He rose to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces in the late 1990s. Banksy is the subject of a 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which examines the relationship between commercial and street art.

Banksy began his career as a graffiti artist in the early 1990s, in Bristol’s graffiti gang DryBreadZ Crew. Although his early work was

Banksy

Banksy

largely freehand, Banksy used stencils on occasion. In the late ’90s, he began using stencils predominantly. His work became more widely recognized around Bristol and in London, as his signature style developed.

Banksy

Banksy

Banksy’s artwork is characterized by striking images, often combined with slogans. His work often engages political themes, satirically critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children.

In addition to his two-dimensional work, Banksy is known for his installation artwork. One of the most celebrated of these pieces, which featured a live elephant painted with a Victorian wallpaper pattern, sparked controversy among animal rights activists.

Other pieces have drawn attention for their edgy themes or the boldness of their execution. Banksy’s work on

Banksy

Banksy

the West Bank barrier, between Israel and Palestine, received significant media attention in 2005. He is also known for his use of copyrighted material and subversion of classic images. An example of this is Banksy’s version of Monet’s famous series of water lilies paintings, adapted by Banksy to include drifting trash and debris.

Banksy’s worldwide fame has transformed his artwork from acts of vandalism to sought-after high art pieces. Journalist Max Foster has referred to the rising prices of graffiti as street art as “the Banksy effect.” Interest in Banksy escalated with the release of the 2010 documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for an Academy Award.

Banksy

Banksy

In October 2013, Banksy took to the streets of New York City. There he pledged to create a new piece of art for each day of his residency. As he explained to the Village Voice, “The plan is to live here, react to things, see the sights—and paint on them. Some of it will be pretty elaborate, and some will just be a scrawl on a toilet wall.” During that month, he also sold some of his works on the street for $60 a piece, well below the market value for his art.

Banksy’s identity remains unknown, despite intense speculation. The two names most often suggested are Robert Banks and Robin

Banksy

Banksy

Gunningham. Pictures that surfaced of a man who was supposedly Banksy pointed toward Gunningham, an artist who was born in Bristol in 1973. Gunningham moved to London around 2000, a timeline that correlates with the progression of Banksy’s artwork.

Above is from biography.com.

I hope you enjoy my tribute piece today.  Of course I would’ve loved to do my tribute on a wall today…but alas, my canvas will have to do. 🙂  I will see you tomorrow on Day 345!  Only 20 to go.

Best,

Linda

Make Art- Tribute to Banksy Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Make Art- Tribute to Banksy
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Make Art- Tribute to Banksy Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Make Art- Tribute to Banksy
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Make Art- Tribute to Banksy Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Make Art- Tribute to Banksy
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Make Art- Tribute to Banksy Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Make Art- Tribute to Banksy
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Make Art- Tribute to Banksy Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Make Art- Tribute to Banksy
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 329- Doze Green- Infinite Perspectives

It’s Day 329 and I had a fun time with today’s piece.  Please join me in honoring Doze Green today.  I love his style.

Doze Green

Doze Green

Doze Green

Doze Green

Doze Green translates complex metaphysical concepts through his paintings, such as the possible manipulation of energy and matter to create a timeless space. He explores meditations on matter and anti-matter, layers of consciousness, and different possibilities based on cosmology.

Through stream-of-consciousness painting, Doze Green creates fractured imagery to convey infinite possibilities. His intention is to reveal works with an ever-changing narrative. Multi-dimensional planes and illusion of time are presented through fragmented, incomplete figures.

He believes by depicting beings that are not fully materialized, these beings are not of this realm. He presents

DOZE-GREEN-Luminosity-preview-14

DOZE-GREEN-Luminosity-preview-14

possibilities of immortality through paintings where narratives are interminable. His collection of paintings is an extension of this metaphysical concept.

Cubist influences include ascending and descending planes and repetitive, overlapping, and concentric lines in an otherwise undefined landscape. For Doze Green, this energy and motion of created forms exist in a visual meeting place of ideas.

Doze Green

Doze Green

Influenced by Edo period paintings, Doze Green mixes black gesso with Sumi ink and applies “creatively chaotic, and intuitive brushstrokes,” in a calligraphy-inspired and graffiti aesthetic. Doze Green translates these primitive markings as “biological entities, a swarm of arrows coming in from infinite perspective.”

Doze Green is also known for his live painting performances. Doze Green’s work is in many public and private collections throughout the United States, Japan, Europe, and Australia. His works have been published in

Detail of painting- Doze Green

Detail of painting- Doze Green

BlackBook, Anthem, Juxtapoz, Tokion, and­­ Vibe and reviewed on CNN.

Biography above is from www.dozegreen.com.

Below blurb is from http://www.artsy.com.

In the 1970s, Doze Green was a Hip-Hop pioneer. A member of the legendary Rock Steady Crew—the group that pioneered breakdancing (also known as B-Boying)—the subway-tagging graffiti artist often participated in breakdance performances at SoHo and Lower East Side galleries.

Doze Green

Doze Green

Moving from walls to canvas, Green’s recent paintings, influenced by the art of the Edo Period in Japan and created with gesso and sumi ink, incorporate his signature style of figurative abstraction and use of letterforms while at the same time posing metaphysical questions about the nature of narrative, the physics of time, and the possibility of immortality. He calls them “biological entities, a swarm of arrows coming in from infinite perspective.”

~

I hope you enjoy my tribute today and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 330!  35 to go…I almost can’t believe it.  I’m

Doze Green

Doze Green

happy, proud and sad all at the same time.

Best,

Linda

Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Day 326- KAWS- Infusion

It’s Day 326 and I’m pooped…had a show last night and then heading out to rehearsal in a little while.  Please join me in honoring KAWS A.K.A. Brian Donnelly today.

KAWS Brian Donnelly

KAWS Brian Donnelly

kaws

kaws

Brian Donnelly (born 1974), professionally known as KAWS, is a New York-based artist and designer of limited edition toys and clothing. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

KAWS was born Brian Donnelly in Jersey City, New Jersey. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration in 1996. After graduation, KAWS briefly worked for Disney as a freelance animator painting backgrounds. He also contributed to the animated series 101 DalmatiansDaria and Doug.

He began his career as a graffiti artist growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey. Later moving to New York City in the 1990s, KAWS started subverting imagery on billboards, bus shelters and kaws aldrich invite-thumb-523x358phone booth advertisements. These reworked advertisements were at first left alone, lasting for up to several months, but as KAWS’ popularity skyrocketed, the ads became increasingly sought after. In addition to New York, KAWS has done work in Paris, London, Berlin and Tokyo.

In the late 90s, KAWS began to design and produce limited edition vinyl toys, “an instant hit with the global art toy-collecting community,” especially in Japan, where this genre is well respected and widespread. More toys and later clothing were made for Original Fake, a recent collaborative store with Medicom Toy, in the Aoyama district of Tokyo where an original limited edition product is released each week.

KAWS- The Nature of Need Exhibition

KAWS- The Nature of Need Exhibition

KAWS has also participated in other commercial collaborations with Nigo for A Bathing Ape, Jun “Jonio” Takahashi for Undercover, Michael “Mic” Neumann for Kung Faux, snowboard projects with Burton, and sneakers with Nike and Vans. His most recent collaboration was with Comme des Garçons. As of August 2010, it is reported that Kaws has designed a limited edition bottle for Dos Equis, a Mexican beer brand. The bottle was released in Mexico in early September 2010.

KAWS’ acrylic paintings and sculpture have many repeating images, all meant to be universally understood, surpassing languages and cultures. One of KAWS’ early series, Package Paintings, was made in 2000. This series, entitled The Kimpsons,subverted the famous American cartoon, The Simpsons.

KAWS explains that he “found it weird how infused a cartoon could become in people’s lives; the impact it could have, compared to regular politics.” In addition,

kaws toys

kaws toys

KAWS has reworked other familiar icons such as Mickey Mouse, the Michelin Man, the Smurfs, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Recent solo exhibitions include Original Fake at the Bape Gallery in Tokyo (2003) where his sculpture “Wonderful World” sold for $400,000. KAWS has been periodically showing both paintings and products at Colette in Paris since 1999. His work is included in the traveling exhibition Beautiful Losers, which started at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center and will be traveling through 2009 throughout the US and Europe, including his largest museum show to date, which will be held at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

kaws installation

kaws installation

KAWS’s “Companion,” a grayscale figure based on Mickey Mouse with his face obscured by both hands, was adapted into a balloon for the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as part of the parade’s “Blue Sky Gallery” feature.

For the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards KAWS’s company redesigned the iconic moonman statue.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today for KAWS.  I love his work and it makes me want to design toys!  I also enjoyed fusing my favorite cartoon character Spongebob and his artwork today. 🙂  I will see you tomorrow on Day 327!

Best,

Linda

Oh My- Tribute to KAWS Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Oh My- Tribute to KAWS
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Oh My- Tribute to KAWS Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Oh My- Tribute to KAWS
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Oh My- Tribute to KAWS Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Oh My- Tribute to KAWS
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Oh My- Tribute to KAWS Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Oh My- Tribute to KAWS
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Oh My- Tribute to KAWS Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Oh My- Tribute to KAWS
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 323- Barry McGee- Outside the Art World

It’s Day 323 and I worked on today’s piece a bit last night and this morning.  I spent most of my afternoon running errands and getting soaked in the rain.  Now I have to do stuff at home before heading out to improv class tonight.  I worked really hard on today’s piece and I am very happy with the result!  Join me in honoring Barry McGee today. 🙂

Barry McGee

Barry McGee

Barry McGee

Barry McGee

Barry McGee (born 1966 in San Francisco) is a painter and graffiti artist. He is also known by monikers such as Ray FongLydia FongBernon VernonP.KinRay VirgilTwist and further variations of Twist, such as TwisterTwistyTwisto and others.

McGee graduated from El Camino High School in South San Francisco, California. He later graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1991 with a concentration in painting and printmaking.

McGee rose out of the Mission School art movement and graffiti boom in the San Francisco Bay Area during the early nineties. His

Barry McGee Installation SF MoMa.

Barry McGee Installation SF MoMa.

work draws heavily from a pessimistic view of the urban experience, which he describes as, “urban ills, overstimulations, frustrations, addictions & trying to maintain a level head under the constant bombardment of advertising”.

McGee’s paintings are very iconic, with central figures dominating abstracted backgrounds of drips, patterns and color fields. He has also painted portraits of street characters on their own empty bottles of liquor, painted flattened spray cans picked up at train yards and painted wrecked vehicles for art shows.

Barry McGee- Bottle

Barry McGee- Bottle

McGee has had numerous shows in many kinds of galleries and was also an artist in residence at inner-city McClymonds High School in Oakland, California in the early 1990s.

He was married to the artist Margaret Kilgallen, who died of cancer in 2001. The couple has a daughter named Asha.

The market value of his work rose considerably after 2001 as a result of his being included in the Venice Biennale and other major exhibitions. As a result, much of his San Francisco street art has been scavenged or stolen.

McGee was highly influential on the urban art scene that followed in his wake. He popularized use of paint drips in urban-influenced graphic design, as well as the gallery display technique of clustering paintings. These clustered compositions of pictures are based on similar installations he saw in Catholic churches whilst working in Brazil.

He also was an early participant in the practice of painting directly on gallery walls, imitating the intrusive

Barry McGee- Untitled

Barry McGee- Untitled

nature of graffiti. His use of chisel tip markers has heavily influenced sticker art and graffiti in general, which can be clearly seen in works produced by artists like sure, faust, and mecro.

McGee learned his later lowbrow style from Margaret Kilgallen, but was taught graffiti in 1989 by SR-1, mentor to both Barry McGee and artist “Dan Plasma”, and the founder of the THR graffiti crew, of which Barry was the second member.

Barry McGee

Barry McGee

McGee was involved in a controversy regarding the Adidas Y1 HUF, a shoe for which he provided the artwork. This gave rise to a protest campaign by some Asian-Americans who claimed that the picture on the shoe’s tongue depicts a racist stereotype. McGee responded to the controversy in a March 2006 press release. He stated that the drawing was a portrait of himself as an eight-year-old child. Barry McGee is half Chinese.

In 2004, as part of an exhibit, McGee spray-painted “Smash the State” on the walls of San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzalez’ City Hall office (City Hall is a registered national landmark).” Gonzalez told the press that he knew his office would be repainted for the next occupant.

Quotes-

  • “The more I learned about the art world, the more my interest in what was going on outside of it increased, I didn’t have any desire to bring graffiti inside the school’s walls or anything.”
  • “Compelling art to me is a name carved into a tree. Sometimes a rock soaring through a plate of glass can
    Barry McGee

    Barry McGee

    be the most beautiful, compelling work of art I have ever seen.”

  • “I’m not a sweet person. I’m OCD, ADD, but DFW and say thank you obsessively.”

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  The most challenging part was painting the geometric pattern as precise as I could.  I got some new fancy brushes and boy, do they make a difference!

I will see you tomorrow on Day 324!

Best,

Linda

My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
My Secret Friend- Tribute to Barry McGee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 305- Invader- Invasion!

It’s Day 305!  I have a show tonight and had only a few hours of sleep last night…so I finished my piece early so that I can take a little nap and relax a bit today.  Join me in honoring Invader today!

Invader

Invader

Invader

Invader

Invader is the pseudonym of a well-known French urban artist, born in 1969, whose work is modelled on the crude pixellation of 1970s 8-bit video games. He took his name from the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders, and much of his work is composed of square ceramic tiles inspired by video game characters.

Although he prefers to remain incognito, and guards his identity carefully, his distinctive creations can be seen in many highly-visible locations in more than 60

cities in 30 countries. He documents each intervention in a city as an “Invasion”, and has published books and maps of the location of each of his street mosaics.

In addition to working with tiles, Invader is one of the leading proponents of indoor mosaics created using stacks of Rubik’s Cubes in a style he refers to as “Rubikcubism”. He is also known for his QR code mosaic works.

As a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts, or Tiling School on Mars, Invader initially derived inspiration for his creations from video games from the late 1970s to early 1980s that he played when he was growing up, particularly characters from Space Invaders, from which he derived his work name. Games of the era were constructed with 8-bit graphics, and so lend themselves well to the mosaic treatment, with each tile representing one pixel. Invader likes tiles for their robustness and permanence. Invader’s first mosaic was installed in the mid 1990s in his home city. It was a sleeper for several years before the full “invasion” programme was conceived in 1996.

In this project, the idea is to bring the virtual world into reality. One can see many things in it, but it refers to the early days of digital and the video game.

The first wave of “invasion” began with his home city in 1998, and then spread to 31 other cities in France. Since then, Invader’s works have appeared in 60 cities in 30 countries around the world.  He has invaded New York five times, and Hong Kong on three separate

Invader

Invader

occasions. He has tagged historic buildings and other locations. One of the more prominent places where the mosaics have been installed is on the Hollywood Sign.  The first was placed on the letter D on 31 December 1999 to mark the Y2K bug. During subsequent trips to Los Angeles, Invader placed mosaics on the eight other letters of the sign.

In June 2011, Invader marked the installation of his 1000th work in Paris with an exhibition at La Générale entitled “1000”. Since 2000, the artist has installed in excess of 70 pieces of work dotted around Hong Kong; the artist has declared the third wave undertaken in city, with 50 works, “probably my most accomplished city invasion wave”. By June 2011, 77 cities have been invaded, 2,692 Space Invaders placed comprising some 1.5 million ceramic tiles; 19 invasion maps have been published. Invader estimates that more than 15% of his early pieces, ones that were small and placed rather low, have been removed. To combat their removal or damage by building owners, thieves or fans, Invader places many out of easy reach.

In 2012, Invader made a short film Art4Space documenting his attempt to launch one of his aliens into space on a modified weather balloon. Invader is also known for his QR code works. Created using regular black and white tiles, the patterns can be decoded using apps

installed on smart phones. One decoded message reads “This is an invasion”.

Invader

Invader

Invader works incognito, often masked and largely at night. To guard his anonymity, he pixellates his own image or wears a mask as a disguise for interviews. He claims that only a few people know his real name and his face, and that even his parents think he works as a tiler in the construction industry.

By June 2011, Invader had travelled around the world six times and spent 22 nights in prison cells. Invader accepts arrest as an occupational hazard. He was arrested in 2010 for placing a mosaic on the Hollywood sign, charged with vandalism and made to pay a fine. In July 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department detained two French nationals on suspicion of vandalism near MOCA’s Little Tokyo gallery with tile and grout in hand. The police asserted that one of them was Invader, but released the pair without charge. He was also arrested by plain-clothed police in October 2013 in New York, just as he had completed installing a mural in Orchard Street in East Village in the early hours. He was again fined; the owner of the building took down the work featuring Princess Peach and had it preserved. Invader said that whilst creating installations he had been accosted by police in Hong Kong, but was left alone once they realised he was not committing any crime.

Invader sees himself as a hacker of public space spreading a virus of mosaic; the streets are his canvas, his invasions gifts to the city and its people. He believes that museums and galleries are not accessible to everyone, so deliberately makes his works public by installing

them at street level for ordinary people to enjoy on a daily basis.

The sites for the mosaics are not random. These are scouted and carefully researched, often with local support, and are also chosen for the

Invader

Invader

visibility (strategic), local interest (aesthetic) and symbolism (conceptual) they provide. Although high visibility is one objective, Invader may choose locations that are less prominent. He has said that “A spot is like a revelation… it jumps out at you.

Although many of his works feature the signature aliens, no two pieces are alike. The subject matter may also be themed and adapted to their context. Invader’s repertoire of subjects now includes Star Wars characters (London), as well as the Pink Panther and Mega

Invader

Invader

Man(Paris).  Sites near major bank buildings are marked with dollar sign mosaics. His works in Hong Kong have a more oriental theme: with some martial arts characters; gold and red colours have been employed more often to reflect the traditional Chinese colours for fire and earth. Typically, mosaics are placed ten to fifteen feet above the ground, and on street corners in areas of high visibility. He has developed methods and techniques to attain those potentially dangerous and hard-to-reach locations. Invader unveiled a massive Spider-Man (PA 1040) very high up in the 11th arrondissement April 2013.  In his invasion of Hong Kong in 2014, he planted mosaics that featured Hong Kong Phooey, Thomas from Kung-Fu Master and Popeye.

Invader has said: “I don’t know what ‘holidays’ means because anywhere I go, I can’t resist bringing tiles and cement with me.” His mosaics are half-built in advance. The weight and fragility of the tiles are constraints that influence his planning and site choices. When Invader arrives in a city, he usually stays in a city for two or three weeks.  He obtains a map and spends at least a week installing the mosaics, which are catalogued (each given an identifier with the city code and sequential number), photographed (one close-up and one in its context) and mapped to indicate their locations within the city. He prints and distributes “invasion maps” within the city he is visiting, and they are later sold in his on-line shop. In Montpellier, the locations of mosaics were chosen so that, when placed on a map, they form an image of a giant Space Invaders alien.

Since about 2004, Invader has been working on another project that involves making artworks exclusively using Rubik’s Cubes. He may

Invader

Invader

be the originator, and is certainly one of the foremost proponents of the art form he calls “Rubikcubism”.  Invader takes an image from popular culture, uses a computer program to work out the precise disposition of the six colours for each image. He then manipulates nine pixels for each Rubik’s Cube to give the required pattern – taking perhaps ten seconds per cube, constructs a full image by stacking them, after which the cubes are glued to a backing board. A piece typically composed of approximately 300 cubes, measures about 0.9 by 1.3 metres (3 ft × 4 ft), and weighs approximately 36 kilograms (80 lb), but the exact size depends on the subject and the desired level of detail.

The works are themed along three axes: “Bad Men”, where he reinterprets villains such as Osama bin Laden, Jaws and Al Capone; “Masterpieces” where famous paintings by artists such as Delacroix, Warhol, Seurat, Lichentenstein are given a workover; and “Low Fidelity” based on iconic album art such as Country LifeThe Velvet Underground & Nico, and Nevermind.[12][26][29] He has created images of the Mona Lisa and the Dalai Lama with this technique. He received a lot of attention for the 2005 portrait of Florence Rey he made with the technique, which has since been much imitated.

Space Invader tours have been organised by third parties in Paris. Invader has had solo exhibitions at art galleries in Paris, Osaka,

Invader

Invader

Melbourne, Los Angeles, New York City, London and Rome. Space Invader has shown in many galleries, art centres and museums, from the 6th Lyon contemporary art biennale (2001), the MAMA Gallery in Rotterdam (2002), at the Paris based Magda Danysz Gallery (2003), at the Borusan Center for Culture and Arts in Istanbul, Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles (2004).

In 2010, he was one of the featured artists in the Banksy production Exit Through the Gift Shop shot by Thierry Guetta (Mr. Brainwash), Invader’s cousin. In 2011, he took part in the MoCA LA show at the Geffen Contemporary  : “Art in the streets” curated by Jeffrey Deitch.  His work, when sold in galleries, often fetches six-figure sums.

Fellow street artist Shepard Fairey wrote in Swindle:

Invader

Invader

Invader’s pop art may seem shallow, but by taking the risk of illegally re-contextualizing video game characters in an urban environment that provides more chaotic social interaction than a gamer’s bedroom, he makes a statement about the desensitizing nature of video games and consumer culture. In a postmodern paradox, a game like Grand Theft Auto takes the danger of the streets and puts it in a safe video game, while Invader takes a safe video game icon and inserts it into the danger of the streets.

Invader’s work is not universally welcomed. During his Hong Kong invasion in early 2014, Invader installed 48 works all over the city. However, the city’s Highways Department admitted to removing at least one work later

Invader

Invader

that month, taking down a roadside mosaic in Fortress Hill “to ensure safety of road users”. Local residents were disappointed, and saw the removal as an example of the government only paying lip-service to promoting the arts in the city.  The artist expressed his sadness, saying he “never faced a situation where a public authority would systematically and rapidly remove the art from the streets”.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I had such a fun time with today’s piece!  I hope you enjoy it.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 306.

Best,

Linda

ART- Tribute to Invader Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

ART- Tribute to Invader
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Side-View ART- Tribute to Invader Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Side-View
ART- Tribute to Invader
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 1 ART- Tribute to Invader Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 1
ART- Tribute to Invader
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 2 ART- Tribute to Invader Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 2
ART- Tribute to Invader
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 3 ART- Tribute to Invader Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 3
ART- Tribute to Invader
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Day 253- Hense (Alex Brewer)- Colorful Murals

It’s Day 253!  I had a really fun time painting today’s piece.  I love today’s artist and please take note to how large his pieces are!  It’s my dream to do murals and he does entire buildings as well.  Please join me in honoring Hense (Alex Brewer) today.

Hense

Hense

Hense

Hense

Internationally recognized contemporary public artist and award-winning painter Alex Brewer, known as HENSE, has been creating colorful works of art combining techniques of street art and abstract painting for nearly two decades.

Brewer’s artworks incorporate line, shape, and gesture to creative abstract compositions that are invigorated by the quick pace and commentary of street culture. His works in the realm of public arts, grants, commissions, and cross-media connections have landed him local, national, and international public art projects and commissions. Brewer has received numerous notable commissions from the cities of Atlanta and Arizona, and from local big names like Alton Brown and Fay Gold.

His largest commissioned work was for The ISIL Institute in Lima, Peru amassing

Colorful Church- Hense

Colorful Church- Hense

an impressive size of 137 feet tall and 170 feet wide. One of Brewer’s highest honors was a commission by The High Museum of Art in Atlanta to produce a site-specific installation as part of the museum’s summer exhibition Drawing Inside the Perimeter.

Hense

Hense

With nearly two decades of experience, Brewer has been creating artwork since a young age. Growing up in an artistic household allowed him to draw inspiration from various elements of his childhood. Starting in the early ‘90s, Brewer discovered his love for creating art in the public space through graffiti. He quickly became consumed with the graffiti culture and gained notoriety for his work under the name HENSE. A mix of formal education, immersion in street art culture, and experience in professional studios have lead Brewer to establish his whimsical abstract-inspired style.

 Brewer has always been inspired by creative expression in the public realm and

Hense Mural

Hense Mural

feels it plays an important role in the community. His artwork combines a street culture point-of-view with abstract compositions often consisting of vibrant colors, playful lines and a wide variety of shapes. His work focuses on the relationships of shapes, forms and colors and how those elements interact with one another.

Hense Painting

Hense Painting

Many of his tools remain consistent with those used by graffiti artists, such as rollers, spray paints and house paints. Brewer pushes himself to explore new concepts during the course of creating artwork. The freedom to re-paint and add layers during the progress of a project leaves room for experimentation and discovery. Brewer continues to explore new avenues of his artwork and looks forward to wherever his next projects will take him.

Biography is from Hense’s website.  It’s very cool and you should visit it!
~
I hope you enjoy my tribute to Hense!  Love his work and it was a joy to paint.  Now to do it HUGE on a wall… 🙂  See you tomorrow on Day 254!
Best,
Linda
Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Colors Make Me Happy- Tribute to Hense
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 231- John “Crash” Matos- Street Life

It’s Day 231 and I’m sure once you start scrolling you can understand why I am so excited about today’s artist.  I had a blast painting this today.  Join me in honoring John Matos a.k.a CRASH today.

John CRASH Matos

John CRASH Matos

John CRASH Matos

John CRASH Matos

Crash (b. John Matos, Bronx, New York, Oct. 11, 1961) is a graffiti artist. As early as 13, John Matos was spray painting New York City trains, the full image art as opposed to simpler tagging soon transferred to silk screened canvas. He was first noticed through his murals on subway cars and dilapidated buildings, he is now regarded as a pioneer of the Graffiti art movement.

His work is said to convey a “visual link between street life and established society”. In

John CRASH Matos

John CRASH Matos

1980, Crash curated the now iconic exhibition:”Graffiti Art Success for America” at Fashion MODA, launching the graffiti movement that has remained very active through today. By the 1980s Matos had exhibits across the United States and abroad. Galerie Yaki Kornblit was the first instrumental gallery in Amsterdam that help launch his career in Europe.

Mural- John CRASH Matos

Mural- John CRASH Matos

In 1981 Crash, along with 10 other artists were chosen by The Public Art Fund to design animated imagery for The Spectacolor Billboard in Times Square. He was given his first gallery showing by Sidney Janis at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1983. Chase Manhattan, N.A., as well as CITIBANK, N.A., and other collections came calling. In 1984, Crash along with Keith Haring painted mural installations for the 5/5 Figuration Libre France/USA at the Musee d’art Moderne de la Villa de Paris.

In 1988 he sprayed Notes in the Wind measuring 178 x 178 centimetres to be exhibited and eventually to be owned by the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation in Zevenaar, Netherlands. In 1995, Crash was commissioned by British American Tobacco to create a commission for Lucky Strike brand cigarette, joining fellow artist Keith Haring, to create a special work for this company and their collection.

In 1996, Crash painted an Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster and gave it to the artist as a gift. Clapton went on to use the specially designed

John CRASH Matos

John CRASH Matos

Stratocaster guitar by Crash

Stratocaster guitar by Crash

guitar through his 2001 tour and later appeared with another. In total Crash has created 5 guitars for Clapton, though only three of them have made public appearances. One of Clapton’s “Crashocasters” (nicknamed by Eric’s former guitar tech, Lee Dickson) auctioned for $321,100 (USD) by the name of “Crash-3” and was used extensively during the first Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004.

Soon after Fender Musical Instruments commissioned the creation of 50 such graffiti designed guitars from Crash and named the line “Crashocasters.” Crash went on to also design a line of custom painted Telecasters with matching Fender amps. Other artists such as John Mayer have used the custom painted Crashocaster guitars.

John CRASH Matos

John CRASH Matos

In July 2006, the pieces titled “Aeroplane 1” (1983) and “A-U-T-O-matic”,(1985), along with other paintings from their permanent collection were displayed in the Brooklyn Museum of Art in a featured exhibit titled “Graffiti.” In 2009, Crash held his first exhibition of painted guitars and guitar related artwork in NYC.

In 2010, Crash held a 30 year retrospective at Fairfield University’s Walsh Gallery. Crash was asked by Sanrio to create a series of paintings to be shown at Art Basel, Miami Beach, FL, featuring Hello Kitty and other characters from Sanrio’s catalogue. Also, in 2010, Crash was commissioned to create a special limited edition luggage for TUMI, Inc. A painting was created and used for the design, which was released world wide in 2011. Same day releases were coordinated in Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Germany, Paris and London. Crash is one of the New York artist featured at MOCA, The David Geffen Building, Los Angeles’ “Art in the Streets”, April–August 2011. In 2011, Crash held his first print survey exhibition in Southport, Ct., at Southport Galleries.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I pulled out some of my old X-Men comics from high school and really wanted Archie to be in there as well. 🙂  I will see you tomorrow on Day 232!  Best, Linda

WHAK- Tribute to CRASH Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

WHAK- Tribute to CRASH
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View WHAK- Tribute to CRASH Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
WHAK- Tribute to CRASH
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 WHAK- Tribute to CRASH Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
WHAK- Tribute to CRASH
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 WHAK- Tribute to CRASH Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
WHAK- Tribute to CRASH
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 WHAK- Tribute to CRASH Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
WHAK- Tribute to CRASH
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 139- Shepard Fairey- OBEY

It’s Day 139 and I was very excited (and also intimidated) to do today’s tribute piece.  I pulled my back out days ago and my muscle is still bugging me!  I hate pinching nerves/pulling muscles…it can really eat into your day in a bad way.  I still had tons of fun planning and designing my piece today so join me in honoring street artist Shepard Fairey today!  It’s also thanks to Marc Maron’s podcast that I chose to do Fairey today since I listened to his interview yesterday. 🙂

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

OBEY- Shepard Fairey

OBEY- Shepard Fairey

Frank Shepard Fairey (born February 15, 1970) is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer activist and illustrator who emerged from the skateboarding scene. He first became known for his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” (…OBEY…) sticker campaign, in which he appropriated images from the comedic supermarket tabloid Weekly World News.

He became widely known during the 2008 U.S. presidential election for his Barack Obama “Hope”

Hope- Shepard Fairey

Hope- Shepard Fairey

poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston calls him one of today’s best known and most influential street artists. His work is included in the collections at The Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Shepard Fairey was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. His father, Strait Fairey, is a doctor, and his mother, Charlotte, a realtor. Fairey became involved with art in 1984, when he started to place his drawings on skateboards and T-shirts.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

In 1988 he graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. In 1992 he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from theRhode Island School of Design.

Fairey’s first art museum exhibition, entitled Supply & Demand (as was his earlier book), was held in Boston at the Institute of Contemporary Art during the summer of 2009. The exhibition featured more than 250 works in a wide variety of media:

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

screen prints, stencils, stickers, rubylith illustrations, collages, and works on wood, metal and canvas. As a complement to the ICA exhibition, Fairey created public art works around Boston. The artist explains his driving motivation: “The real message behind most of my work is ‘question everything’.”

Fairey sits on the advisory board of Reaching to Embrace the Arts, a nonprofit organization that provides art supplies to disadvantaged schools and students. In May 2006, Fairey became a board member of the Music Is Revolution Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports music education for students in public schools.

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat- Shepard Fairey

Jean-Michel Basquiat- Shepard Fairey

Fairey created the “André the Giant Has a Posse” sticker campaign in 1989, while attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). This later evolved into the “Obey Giant” campaign, which has grown via an international network of collaborators replicating Fairey’s original designs. As with most street artists, the Obey Giant was intended to inspire curiosity and cause the masses to question their relationship with their surroundings.

The Obey Giant website says: “The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker”. The website later goes on to contradict this statement however by saying that those who are familiar with the sticker simply find humor and enjoyment from its presence and that those who try to look deeper into its meaning only burden themselves and often, end up condemning the art as an act of vandalism from an evil, underground cult.

Originally intended to garner fame amongst his classmates and college peers, Fairey states “At first I was only thinking about the response from my clique of art school and skateboard friends. The fact that a larger segment of the public would not only notice, but investigate, the unexplained appearance of the stickers was something I had not contemplated. When I started to see reactions and consider the sociological forces at work surrounding the use of public space and the insertion of a very eye-catching but ambiguous image, I began to think there was the potential to create a phenomenon.”

Vivi La Revolucion- Shepard Fairey

Vivi La Revolucion- Shepard Fairey

In a manifesto he wrote in 1990, and since posted on his website, he links his work with Heidegger’s concept ofphenomenology. His “Obey” Campaign draws from the John Carpenter movie They Live which starred pro wrestler Roddy Piper, taking a number of its slogans, including the “Obey” slogan, as well as the “This is Your God” slogan. Fairey has also spun off the OBEY clothing line from the original sticker campaign. He also uses the slogan “The Medium is the Message” borrowed from Marshall McLuhan. Shepard Fairey has also stated in an interview that part of his work is inspired by other street artists.

After graduation, he founded a small printing business in Providence, Rhode Island, called

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

Alternate Graphics, specializing in t-shirt and sticker silkscreens, which afforded Fairey the ability to continue pursuing his own artwork. While residing in Providence in 1994, Fairey met American filmmaker Helen Stickler, who had also attended RISD and graduated with a film degree. The following spring, Stickler completed a short documentary film about Shepard and his work, titled “Andre the Giant has a Posse”. The film premiered in the 1995 New York Underground Film Festival, and went on to play at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. It has been seen in more than 70 festivals and museums internationally.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

Fairey was a founding partner, along with Dave Kinsey and Phillip DeWolff, of the design studio BLK/MRKT Inc. from 1997 to 2003, which specialised in guerrilla marketing, and “the development of high-impact marketing campaigns”. Clients included Pepsi, Hasbro and Netscape (for whom Fairey designed the red dinosaur version of mozilla.org’s logo and mascot).

Fairey created a series of posters supporting Barack Obama’s 2008 candidacy for

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

President of the United States, including the iconic “HOPE” portrait. The New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl called the poster “the most efficacious American political illustration since ‘Uncle Sam Wants You'”. Fairey also created an exclusive design for Rock the Vote. Because the Hope poster had been “perpetuated illegally” and independently by the street artist, the Obama campaign declined to have any direct affiliation with it. Although the campaign officially disavowed any involvement in the creation or popularization of the poster, Fairey has commented in interviews that he was in communication with campaign officials during the period immediately following the poster’s release. Fairey has stated that the original version featured the word “PROGRESS” instead of the word “HOPE”, and that within weeks of its release, the campaign requested that he issue (and legally disseminate) a new version, keeping the powerful image of Obama’s face but captioning it with the word “HOPE”. The campaign openly embraced the revised poster along with two additional Fairey posters that featured the words “CHANGE” and “VOTE”.

They Live- Shepard Fairey

They Live- Shepard Fairey

Fairey distributed 300,000 stickers and 500,000 posters during the campaign, funding his grassroots electioneering through poster and fine art sales. “I just put all that money back into making more stuff, so I didn’t keep any of the Obama money”, explained Fairey in December 2009.

In February 2008, Fairey received a letter of thanks from Obama for his contribution to the campaign. The letter stated:

I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can change the status-quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign. I am privileged to be a part of your artwork and proud to have your support. I wish you continued success and creativity.– Barack Obama, February 22, 2008

Fairey resides in Los Angeles with his wife Amanda and daughters Vivienne and Madeline. In addition to his successful graphic design

Noam Chomsky- Shepard Fairey

Noam Chomsky- Shepard Fairey

career, Fairey also DJs at many clubs under the name DJ Diabetic and Emcee Insulin, as he has diabetes.

Very partial biography from wikipedia.  It was long so I just included parts!

I know that when I first saw the OBEY Andre the Giant stickers everywhere I was very curious to what it meant and who was behind it.  If you’d like to hear the whole story from Shepard Fairey’s mouth listen to this great podcast (it’s great in general…I love Marc Maron and WTF. Best podcast ever in my opinion.). WTF- Shepard Fairey Episode 497

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for today’s piece.  Something political?  Ironic? Profound? Meaningful?  After researching and staring at his art all morning, a random idea came to me.  I even looked up the font for OBEY when researching this.  I designed it in photoshop…which took quite a while and then decided to put it on a wood panel and paint the rest.  At first I thought it’d be cool to make it look like a sticker that was pasted on a lamppost or fence, but then I opted for more color!  Red and gold!  What could be better than also paying tribute to the great Patrick Stewart/Jean Luc Picard?  I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 140!  Best, Linda

ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

Side-View ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

Side-View
ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 1 ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 1
ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 2 ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 2
ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 3 ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 3
ENGAGE- Tribute to Shepard Fairey
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media/Acrylic on Wood Panel

 

 

Day Thirty-Two- Jean Michel Basquiat- “I am not a black artist. I am an artist.”

Today was the complete opposite than yesterday!  It’s the first painting of February and the first day of Horse year.  Maybe that was on my side because it’s my year.  Oh yeah.  I was sooooo super excited about today’s painting.  My only downfall was that I wanted to paint more than one painting to honor this wonderful man.  Jean Michel Basquiat!

Basquiat!

Basquiat!

Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was a Haitian-American artist.  Basquiat first achieved notoriety as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti group who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City during the late 1970s where the hip hop, post-punk and street art movements had coalesced. By the 1980s he was exhibiting his Neo-expressionist and Primitivist paintings in galleries and museums internationally, but he died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1988. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992.

Untitled_acrylic,_oilstick_and_spray_paint_on_canvas_painting_by_--Jean-Michel_Basquiat--,_1981Basquiat’s art focused on “suggestive dichotomies,” such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience.  He appropriated poetry, drawing and painting, and married text and image, abstraction and figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique.

Basquiat used social commentary in his paintings as a “springboard to deeper truths about the individual”, as well as attacks on power structures and systems of racism, while his poetics were acutely political and direct in their criticism of colonialism and support for class struggle.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, born in Brooklyn, New York, was the second of four children of Matilda Andrades (July 28, 1934 – November 17, 2008)  and Gerard Basquiat (born 1930).  He had two younger sisters: Lisane, born in 1964, and Jeanine, born in 1967.

His father, Gerard Basquiat, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and his mother, Matilde Basquiat, of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, was born in Brooklyn, New York. Matilde instilled a love for art in her young son by taking him to art museums in Manhattan and enrolling him as a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum of Art.  Basquiat was a precocious child who learned how to read and write by age four and was a gifted artist. His teachers noticed his artistic abilities, and his mother encouraged her son’s artistic talent. By the age of 11, Basquiat could fluently speak, read and write French, Spanish, and English.

In September 1968, when Basquiat was about 8, he was hit by a car while playing in the street. His arm was broken and he suffered Untitled_acrylic_and_mixed_media_on_canvas_by_--Jean-Michel_Basquiat--,_1984several internal injuries, and he eventually underwent a splenectomy.  While he was recuperating from his injuries, his mother brought him the Gray’s Anatomy book to keep him occupied. This book would prove to be influential in his future artistic outlook. His parents separated that year and he and his sisters were raised by their father.  The family resided in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, for five years, then moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1974. After two years, they returned to New York City.

When he was 11, his mother was committed to a mental institution and thereafter spent time in and out of institutions.  At 15, Basquiat ran away from home.  He slept on park benches in Washington Square Park, and was arrested and returned to the care of his father within a week.

Contemporary Art AuctionBasquiat dropped out of Edward R. Murrow High School in the tenth grade. His father banished him from the household and Basquiat stayed with friends in Brooklyn. He supported himself by selling T-shirts and homemade post cards.

In 1976, Basquiat and friend Al Diaz began spray-painting graffiti on buildings in Lower Manhattan, working under the pseudonym SAMO. The designs featured inscribed messages such as “Plush safe he think.. SAMO” and “SAMO as an escape clause”. In 1978, Basquiat worked for the world famous Unique Clothing Warehouse, in their art department, at 718 Broadway in NoHo and at night he became “SAMO” painting his original graffiti art on neighborhood buildings. Harvey discovered Basquiat painting a building one night, they became friends, and Harvey offered him a day job. On December 11, 1978, The Village Voice published an article about the graffiti.  When Basquiat & Diaz ended their friendship, The SAMO project ended with the epitaph “SAMO IS DEAD,” inscribed on the walls of SoHo buildings in 1979.

In 1979, Basquiat appeared on the live public-access television cable TV show TV Party hosted by Glenn O’Brien, and the two fb_basquiat_08started a friendship. Basquiat made regular appearances on the show over the next few years. That same year, Basquiat formed the noise rock band Test Pattern – which was later renamed Gray – which played at Arleen Schloss’s open space, “Wednesdays at A’s”, where in October 1979 Basquiat showed, among others, his SAMO color Xerox work.

Gray also consisted of Shannon Dawson, Michael Holman, Nick Taylor, Wayne Clifford and Vincent Gallo, and the band performed at nightclubs such as Max’s Kansas City, CBGB, Hurrah, and the Mudd Club. In 1980, Basquiat starred in O’Brien’s independent film Downtown 81, originally titled New York Beat. That same year, Basquiat met Andy Warhol at a restaurant. Basquiat presented to Warhol samples of his work, and Warhol was stunned by Basquiat’s genius and allure. The men later collaborated. Downtown 81 featured some of Gray’s recordings on its soundtrack.  Basquiat also appeared in the Blondie music video “Rapture” as a nightclub disc jockey.

basquiat-gagosian-chelsea-julius-caeser-on-goldThe early 1980s were Basquiat’s breakthrough as a solo artist. In June 1980, Basquiat participated in The Times Square Show, a multi-artist exhibition sponsored by Collaborative Projects Incorporated (Colab) and Fashion Moda. In September of the same year, Basquiat joined the Annina Nosei gallery and worked in a basement below the gallery toward his first one-man show, which took place in March 1981 with great success. In December 1981, René Ricard published “The Radiant Child” in Artforum magazine, which brought Basquiat to the attention of the art world.

In March 1982 he worked in Modena and from November, Basquiat worked from the ground-floor display and studio space Larry Gagosian had built below his Venice home and commenced a series of paintings for a 1983 show, his second at Gagosian Gallery, then in West Hollywood.  During this time he took considerable interest in the work that Robert Rauschenberg was producing at Gemini G.E.L. in West Hollywood, visiting him on several occasions and finding inspiration in the accomplishments of the painter.  In 1982, Basquiat also worked briefly with musician and artist David Bowie.

In 1983, Basquiat produced a 12″ rap single featuring hip-hop artists Rammellzee and K-Rob. Billed as Rammellzee vs. K-Rob, the Basquiat-Black-246x300single contained two versions of the same track: “Beat Bop” on side one with vocals and “Beat Bop” on side two as an instrumental. The single was pressed in limited quantities on the one-off Tartown Record Company label. The single’s cover featured Basquiat’s artwork, making the pressing highly desirable among both record and art collectors.

At the suggestion of Swiss dealer Bruno Bischofberger, Warhol and Basquiat worked on a series of collaborative paintings between 1983 and 1985. In the case of Olympic Rings (1985), Warhol made several variations of the Olympic five-ring symbol, rendered in the original primary colors. Basquiat responded to the abstract, stylized logos with his oppositional graffiti style.

Basquiat often painted in expensive Armani suits and would even appear in public in the same paint-splattered suits.

By 1986, Basquiat had left the Annina Nosei gallery, and was showing in the famous Mary Boone gallery in SoHo. On February 10, 1985, he appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazine in a feature entitled “New Art, New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist”.  He was a successful artist in this period, but his growing heroin addiction began to interfere with his personal relationships.

6f267a022b68d05dadcec6ecf9f900cc-lWhen Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987, Basquiat became increasingly isolated, and his heroin addiction and depression grew more severe.  Despite an attempt at sobriety during a trip to Maui, Hawaii, Basquiat died on August 12, 1988, of a heroin overdose at his art studio in Great Jones Street in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood. He was 27.

Basquiat was interred in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery.

Read more of his biography at wikipedia.

So, like I said…my biggest hurdle was trying to figure out what to paint…I wanted to paint a million different things.  As I researched his paintings (I’ve seen them before of course) I took on a whole new respect for them.  I love his style so much.

This quote explains a lot about the message of his paintings.

“Basquiat’s canon revolves around single heroic figures: athletes, prophets, warriors, cops, musicians, kings and the artist himself. In these images the head is often a central focus, topped by crowns, hats, and halos. In this way the intellect is emphasized, lifted up to notice, privileged over the body and the physicality of these figures (i.e. black men) commonly represent in the world.”

— Kellie Jones, Lost in Translation: Jean-Michel in the (Re)Mix

My tribute doesn’t really have much of a sociologically or political message.  I have to be honest in that respect. 🙂  I took an old

Let's get going!

Let’s get going!

journal entry from about 10 years ago and pasted it onto the canvas and then let the brush take over.

You can see the reference photo on the right that I took.

I like that you can still see the words through the paint…if you look close enough!

Close-Up during progress...

Close-Up during progress…

Another little thing from my journal that survived the paint!

Another little thing from my journal that survived the paint!

BLOOD!

BLOOD!

Teeth and tongue!

Teeth and tongue!

And now here’s my tribute to Jean Michel!  I hope you like it.  Happy Lunar New Year All and let’s all make it a good one.  It is going great so far for me!  Thanks to everyone who have been following the blog far and near.  I’ve gotten more messages to reserve these paintings.  I think there’s a good amount that are called for, so as soon as you see one you like.  Let me know!

xoxo, Linda

There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Side-View There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Side-View
There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Close-Up 1 There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Close-Up 1
There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Close-Up 2 There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Close-Up 2
There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Close-Up 3 There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Close-Up 3
There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Close-Up 4 There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas

Close-Up 4
There are Secrets under Me and My Puppet- Tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic/Pen/Paper/Glue on Canvas