Day 358- Mark Ryden- “True Magic is All Around Us”

It’s Day 358 and I can’t believe my project is coming to an end.  It’s also Christmas eve and I think my plan is to try and relax tonight!  My arm is hurting and last night we had a holiday get together with friends.  I’m ready to give my elbow a huge rest in the new year!  BUT today I spent a large portion of my day tackling my painting.  It was extremely challenging and difficult.  One of my favorite artists and one of the most difficult in my opinion regarding his style and the materials I dealt with.  Please join me in honoring Mark Ryden today.

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden (born January 20, 1963) is an American painter, part of the Lowbrow (or Pop Surrealist) art movement. He was dubbed “the god-father of pop surrealism” by Interview Magazine. Ryden’s aesthetic is developed from subtle amalgams of many sources: from Ingres, David and other French classicists to Little Golden Books. Ryden also draws his inspiration from anything that will evoke mystery; old toys, anatomical models, stuffed animals, skeletons and religious ephemera found in flea markets.

Ryden was born in Medford, Oregon on January 20, 1963, but raised in Southern California. Ryden is the son of Barbara and Keith Ryden. His

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

father made a living painting, restoring and customizing cars.  He has two sisters and two brothers, one a fellow artist named Keyth Ryden, who works under the name KRK. Ryden graduated from the Art Center College of Design inPasadena, in 1987.

From 1988 to 1998 Ryden made his living as a commercial artist. During this period Ryden created numerous album covers including, Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ One Hot Minute, and Aerosmith’s Love in an Elevator.

Fur Girl- Mark Ryden

Fur Girl- Mark Ryden

Also during this time, Ryden created book covers including Stephen King’s novel Desperation and The Regulators. Ryden made a living as a commercial artist until his work was taken up by Robert Williams, a former member of the Zap Comix collective, who in 1994 put it on the cover of Juxtapoz, a magazine devoted to “lowbrow art”.

Ryden’s solo debut show entitled “The Meat Show” was in Pasadena, California in 1998. Meat is a reoccurring theme in Ryden’s work. Ryden observes the disconnect in our contemporary culture between meat we use for food and the living, breathing creature it comes from. “I suppose it is this contradiction that

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

brings me to return to meat in my art.” According to Ryden, meat is the physical substance that makes all of us alive and through which we exist in this reality. All of us are wearing our bodies, which are like a garment of meat.

A midcareer retrospective, “Wondertoonel,” which refers to a cabinet of curiosities or Wunderkammer (“wonder-room”), was co-organized in 2004 by the Frye Museum in Seattle and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. It was the best attended exhibition since the Frye Art Museum opened in 1952, and also broke attendance records in Pasadena. Debra Byrne, curator at the Frye at the time of Ryden’s exhibition, placed Ryden’s work in the camp of the

Yoshi the Forest Spirit- Mark Ryden

Yoshi the Forest Spirit- Mark Ryden

carnivalesque—a strain of visual culture rooted in such works as Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. According to the Russian author and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin (1895–1975), there are three forms of carnivalesque art—the ritualized spectacle, the comic composition and various genres of billingsgate (foul language)—all three of which are interwoven in Ryden’s work.

In 2007, “The Tree Show” opened at the Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles. In this show Ryden explores the modern human experience of nature.  Ryden explains “Some people look at these massive trees and feel a sort of spiritual awe looking at them, and then other people just want to cut them up and sell them, they only see a commodity”. Ryden has created limited editions of his art to raise money for the Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy.

In 2009, Ryden’s exhibition “The Snow Yak Show” was shown at the Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo. In this

The Butcher Bunny- Mark Ryden

The Butcher Bunny- Mark Ryden

exhibition Ryden’s compositions were more serene and suggestive of solitude, peacefulness and introspection.

In 2010, “The Gay 90’s: Old Tyme Art Show” debuted at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York. The central theme the show referenced the idealism and sentimentalism of the 1890s while addressing the role of kitsch and nostalgia in our current culture. Here Ryden explores the line between attraction and repulsion to kitsch. According to The New York Times, “Ryden’s pictures hint at the psychic stuff that pullulates beneath the sentimental, nostalgic and naïve surface of modern kitsch.”

Ryden’s “The Tree of Life” painting was included in the exhibition “The Artist’s Museum, Los Angeles Artists 1980-2010” at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). The exhibition showcased artists who have helped shape the artistic dialogue in Los Angeles since the founding of MOCA over 30 years ago. Ryden hung on the same wall as Robert Williams.

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

On May 13, 2014, Ryden released an album entitled ‘The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell,’ that features Tyler the Creator,Weird Al, Katy Perry, Stan Ridgway of Wall Of Voodoo, and Danny Elfman, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Nick Cave, Kirk Hammettof Metallica, and Everlast, all giving a different rendition of the same song, Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two). The proceeds from the signed and limited edition record, benefited Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit that supports musical education in disadvantaged elementary schools.

Ryden has two children, Rosie and Jasper. In 2009 he married artist Marion Peck in the Pacific Northwest rainforest. He currently lives in Eagle Rock, California, where he shares a studio with his wife.

Biography is from wikipedia.

“There is a very dark and painful side to life, but that is natural. People in our culture think they should never be unhappy. They think that being unhappy is unnatural. They try to make it go away. They take pills or they go to therapy to “fix” themselves. They blame themselves or others for their suffering. We need to understand that sadness is as much a part of life as joy. It would be easy just to get bitter and cold while focusing on the dark side, but there is also an amazing, wonderful side of life. If you look for it, there is true magic all around us. Maybe that sounds trite to the hardened, self-protective modern ego, but there is magiv in this miraculous life. If you open yourself up, you do make yourself vulnerable to pain but the deeper the pain you experience, the deeper joy you have.”   ― Mark Ryden

I decided to do a simple Mark Ryden tribute…painting on the wood was a little more challenging than I expected.  Again, I’m using acrylics and not oils so blending was hard and I don’t think I primed and prepped the wood as good I as I could’ve.  His paintings have such a soft look to them which for me is especially hard to emulate.  But I did something!  I think it turned out okay.  🙂  I’m sad, but also kind of excited to have this project end soon.  I think my body and brain need a rest and to get back to doing some of my other passions…like writing!

I will see you tomorrow on Day 359!  Best, Linda

Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Wood Panel

Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Wood Panel

Side-VIew Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Wood Panel

Side-VIew
Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 1 Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 1
Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 2 Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 2
Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 3 Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Wood Panel

Close-Up 3
Self-Portrait- Tribute to Mark Ryden
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Wood Panel

 

Day 355- Marta Minujin- Everything is Art

It’s Day 355 and I had a blast doing today’s extra bold and colorful piece.  She did so many different forms of art, but I really wanted to do something insanely bright and colorful today.  Please join me in honoring Marta Minujin today!

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujín (born January 30, 1943) is an Argentine conceptual and performance artist.

Freaking on Fluo- Marta Minujin

Freaking on Fluo- Marta Minujin

Marta Minujín was born in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. She met a young economist, Juan Carlos Gómez Sabaini, and married him in secret in 1959; the couple had two children. A student in the National University Art Institute, she first exhibited her work in a 1959 show at the Teatro Agón. A scholarship from the National Arts Foundation allowed her to travel to Paris as one of the young Argentine artists featured in Pablo Curatella Manes and Thirty Argentines of the New Generation, a 1960 exhibit organized by the prominent sculptor and Paris Biennale judge.

Her time in Paris inspired her to create “livable sculptures,” notably La Destrucción, in which she assembled mattresses along the Impasse Roussin, only to invite other avant-garde artists in her entourage, including Christo and Paul-Armand Gette, to destroy the display. This 1963 creation would be the first of her “Happenings” – events as works of arts in themselves; among her hosts during her stay was Finance Minister Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (later President of France).

She earned a National Award in 1964 at Buenos Aires’ Torcuato di Tella Institute, where she prepared two happenings: Eróticos en technicolor and

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

the interactiveRevuélquese y viva (Roll Around in Bed and Live). Her Cabalgata (Cavalcade) aired on Public Television that year, and involved horses with paint buckets tied to their tails. These displays took her to nearby Montevideo, where she organized Sucesos (Events) at the Uruguayan capital’s Tróccoli Stadium with 500 chickens, artists of contrasting physical shape, motorcycles, and other elements.

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujin

She joined Rubén Santantonín at the di Tella Institute in 1965 to create La Menesunda (Mayhem), where participants were asked to go through sixteen chambers, each separated by a human-shaped entry. Led by neon lights, groups of eight visitors would encounter rooms with television sets at full blast, couples making love in bed, a cosmetics counter (complete with an attendant), a dental office from which dialing an oversized rotary phone was required to leave, a walk-in freezer with dangling fabrics (suggesting sides of beef), and a mirrored room with black lighting, falling confetti, and the scent of frying food. The use of advertising throughout suggested the influence of pop art in Minujín’s “mayhem.”

These works earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1966, by which she relocated to New York. The coup d’état by General Juan Carlos Onganía in June of that year made her fellowship all the more fortuitous, as the new regime would frequently censor and ban irreverent displays such as hers. Minujín delved into psychedelic art in New York, of which among her best-known creations was that of the “Minuphone,” where patrons could enter a telephone booth, dial a number, and be surprised by colors projecting from the glass panels, sounds, and seeing themselves on a television screen in the floor. She was on hand in 1971 for the Buenos Aires premiere of Operación Perfume, and in New York, befriended fellow conceptual artist Andy Warhol.

She returned to Argentina in 1976, and afterwards created a series of reproductions of classical Greek sculptures in plaster of paris, as well as miniatures of the Buenos Aires Obelisk carved out of panettone, of the Venus de Milo carved from cheese, and of Tango vocalist Carlos Gardel for a

Geometria blanda, 2014- Marta Minujin

Geometria blanda, 2014- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

1981 display in Medellín. The latter, a sheet metal creation, was stuffed with cotton and lit, creating a metaphor for the legendary crooner’s untimely 1935 death in a Medellín plane crash. She was awarded the first of a series of Konex Awards, the highest in the Argentine cultural realm, in 1982.

The return of democracy in 1983, following seven years of a generally failed dictatorship, prompted Minujín to create a monument to a glaring, inanimate victim of the regime: freedom of expression. Assembling 30,000 banned books (including works as diverse as those by Freud, Marx, Sartre, Gramsci, Foucault, Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz, and Darcy Ribeiro, as well as satires such as Absalom and Achitophel, reference volumes such as Enciclopedia Salvat, and even children’s texts, notably The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry), she designed the “Parthenon of Books,” and following President Raúl Alfonsín’s December 10 inaugural, had it mounted on a boulevard median along the Ninth of July Avenue. Dismantled after three weeks, its mass of newly-unbanned titles was distributed to the public below.

A conversation with Warhol in New York regarding the Latin American debt crisis inspired one of her most publicized “happenings:” The Debt. Purchasing a shipment of maize, Minujín dramatized the Argentine cost of servicing the foreign debt with a 1985 photo

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

series in which she symbolically handed the maize to Warhol “in payment” for the debt; she never again saw Warhol, who died in 1987.

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Minujín has continued to display her art pieces and happenings in the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, the National Fine Arts Museum, the ArteBA festival, the Barbican Center, and a vast number of other international galleries and art shows, while continuing to satirize consumer culture (particularly relating to women). She is well known for her belief that “everything is art.”

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  My eyes hurt just a little after painting it, but I think it came out pretty nice.

I will see you tomorrow on Day 356!

Best,

Linda

 

Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

 

Day 350- Salvador Dalí- Overdose of Satisfaction

It’s Day 350 and I spent forever today painting and making sure I did a wonderful tribute to today’s artist since he’s been one of my favorite artists since high school!  Please join me in honoring Salvador Dali today.  I’m posting this kind of late since I was rushing around doing holiday stuff this evening!

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí Painter (1904–1989)

Spanish artist and Surrealist icon Salvador Dalí is perhaps best known for his painting of melting clocks, The Persistence of Memory.

Still Life Moving Fast- Salvador Dali

Still Life Moving Fast- Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain. From an early age, Dalí was encouraged to practice his art and would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid. In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí’s first Surrealist phase. He is perhaps best known for his 1931 painting The Persistence of Memory, showing melting clocks in a landscape setting. The rise of fascist leader Francisco Franco in Spain led to the artist’s expulsion from the Surrealist movement, but that didn’t stop him from painting. Dalí died in Figueres in 1989.

Salvador Dalí was born Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domenech on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain, located 16 miles from the French border in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. His father, Salvador Dalí y Cusi, was a middle class lawyer and notary. Salvador’s father had a strict disciplinary approach to raising children—a style of child-rearing which contrasted sharply with that of his mother, Felipa Domenech Ferres. She often indulged young Salvador in his art and early eccentricities.

It has been said that young Salvador was a precocious and intelligent child, prone to fits of anger against his parents and schoolmates. Consequently, Dalí was subjected to furious acts of cruelty by more dominant students or his father. The elder Salvador wouldn’t tolerate his son’s outbursts or

The Persistence of Memory- Salvador Dali

The Persistence of Memory- Salvador Dali

eccentricities, and punished him severely. Their relationship deteriorated when Salvador was still young, exacerbated by competition between he and his father for Felipa’s affection.

Dalí had an older brother, born nine months before him, also named Salvador, who died of gastroenteritis. Later in his life, Dalí often related the story that when he was 5 years old, his parents took him to the grave of his older brother and told him he was his brother’s reincarnation. In the metaphysical prose he frequently used, Dalí recalled, “[we] resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections.” He “was probably a first version of myself, but conceived too much in the absolute.”

Salvador, along with his younger sister Ana Maria and his parents, often spent time at their summer home in the coastal village of Cadaques. At an early age, Salvador was producing highly sophisticated drawings, and both of his parents strongly supported his artistic talent. It was here that his parents built him an art studio before he entered art school.

The Burning Giraffe- Salvador Dali

The Burning Giraffe- Salvador Dali

Upon recognizing his immense talent, Salvador Dalí’s parents sent him to drawing school at the Colegio de Hermanos Maristas and the Instituto in Figueres, Spain, in 1916. He was not a serious student, preferring to daydream in class and stand out as the class eccentric, wearing odd clothing and long hair. After that first year at art school, he discovered modern painting in Cadaques while vacationing with his family. There, he also met Ramon Pichot, a local artist who frequently visited Paris. The following year, his father organized an exhibition of Salvador’s charcoal drawings in the family home. By 1919, the young artist had his first public exhibition, at the Municipal Theatre of Figueres.

In 1921, Dalí’s mother, Felipa, died of breast cancer. Dalí was 16 years old at the time, and was devastated by the loss. His father married his deceased wife’s sister, which did not endear the younger Dalí any closer to his father, though he respected his aunt. Father and son would battle over many different issues throughout their lives, until the elder Dalí’s death.

Day 345- Joseph Cornell- Poetic Theater

It’s Day 345 and I finally got to do a shadow box.  I love today’s artist.  The crazy storm that hit the Bay Area has caused power outages and flooding everywhere, but I still did my piece!  I am posting now just in case the power goes out.  Please join me in honoring Joseph Cornell today.

Joseph Cornell

Joseph Cornell

Untitled (Swan Box)- Joseph Cornell

Untitled (Swan Box)- Joseph Cornell

Joseph Cornell (December 24, 1903 – December 29, 1972) was an American artist and sculptor, one of the pioneers and most celebrated exponents of assemblage. Influenced by the Surrealists, he was also an avant-garde experimental filmmaker.

Joseph Cornell was born in Nyack, New York, to Joseph Cornell, a well-to-do designer and merchant of textiles, and Helen TenBroeck Storms Cornell, who had trained as a kindergarten teacher. The Cornells had four children: Joseph, Elizabeth (b. 1905), Helen (b. 1906), and Robert (b. 1910).

Both parents came from socially prominent families of Dutch ancestry, long-established in New York State. Cornell’s father died in 1917, leaving the family in strained circumstances. Following the elder Cornell’s death, his wife and children moved to the borough of Queens in New York City. Cornell attended Phillips Academy inAndover, Massachusetts, in the class of 1921, although he did not graduate.

Except for the three and a half years he spent at Phillips, he lived for most of his life in a small, wooden-frame

Untitled- Joseph Cornell

Untitled- Joseph Cornell

house on Utopia Parkway in a working-class area of Flushing, along with his mother and his brother Robert, whom cerebral palsy had rendered physically challenged.  Aside from the aforementioned period he spent at the academy in Andover, Cornell never traveled beyond the New York City area.

Cornell was wary of strangers. This led him to isolate himself and become a self-taught artist. Although he expressed attraction to unattainable women like Lauren Bacall, his shyness made romantic relationships almost impossible. In later life his bashfulness verged toward reclusiveness, and he rarely left the state of New York. However, he preferred talking with women, and often made their husbands wait in the next room when he discussed business with them. He also had numerous friendships with ballerinas, who found him unique, but too eccentric to be a romantic partner.

Pink Palace- Joseph Cornell

Pink Palace- Joseph Cornell

His last major exhibition was a show he arranged especially for children, with the boxes displayed at child height and with the opening party serving soft drinks and cake.

He devoted his life to caring for his younger brother Robert, who was disabled and lived with cerebral palsy. This was another factor in his lack of relationships. At some point in the 1920s, or possibly earlier, he read the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, including Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Cornell considered Eddy’s works to be among the most important books ever published after the Bible, and he became a lifelong Christian Science adherent.

He was also rather poor for most of his life, working during the 1920s as a wholesale fabric salesman to support his family. As a result of the American Great Depression, Cornell lost his textile industry job in 1931, and worked for a short time thereafter as a door-to-door appliance salesman. During this time, through her friendship with Ethel Traphagen, Cornell’s mother secured him a part-time position designing textiles. In the 1940s, Cornell also worked in a plant nursery (which would figure in his famous dossier “GC44”) and briefly in a defense plant, and designed covers and feature layouts for Harper’s BazaarViewDance Index, and other magazines. He only really began to sell his boxes for significant sums after his 1949 solo show at the Charles Egan Gallery.

Cornell was a highly regarded artist towards the end of his career, yet remained out of the spotlight. He

Hotel Eden- Joseph Cornell

Hotel Eden- Joseph Cornell

produced fewer box assemblages in the 1950s and 1960s, as his family responsibilities increased and claimed more of his time. He hired a series of young assistants, including both students and established artists, to help him organize material, make artwork, and run errands. At this time, Cornell concentrated on making collages, and collaborated with filmmakers like Rudy Burckhardt, Stan Brakhage, and Larry Jordan to make films that were evocative of moving collages.

In 1967 the artist was reported in possession of two or three original drawings from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. The exiled Saint-Exupéry’s wife, Consuelo, was similarly an artist and sculptor.

Cornell’s brother Robert died in 1965, and his mother in 1966. Joseph Cornell died of apparent heart failure on 29 December 1972, a few days after his sixty-ninth birthday.  The executors of his estate were Richard Ader and Wayne Andrews, as represented by the art dealers Leo Castelli, Richard Feigen, and James Corcoran. Later, the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation was established, which administers the copyrights of Cornell’s works and represents the interests of his heirs. Currently, the Foundation is administered by Trustees, Richard Ader and Joseph Erdman.

Medici Princess- Joseph Cornell

Medici Princess- Joseph Cornell

Cornell’s most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These are simple shadow boxes, usually fronted with a glass pane, in which he arranged eclectic fragments of photographs or Victorian bric a brac, in a way that combines the formal austerity of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Many of his boxes, such as the famous Medici Slot Machine boxes, are interactive and are meant to be handled.

Like Kurt Schwitters, Cornell could create poetry from the commonplace. Unlike Schwitters, however, he was fascinated not by refuse, garbage, and the discarded, but by fragments of once beautiful and precious objects he found on his frequent trips to the bookshops and thrift stores of New York. His boxes relied on the Surrealist use of irrational juxtaposition, and on the evocation of nostalgia, for their appeal.

Cornell never regarded himself as a Surrealist; although he admired the work and technique of Surrealists like Max Ernst and René Magritte, he disavowed the Surrealists’ “black magic,” claiming that he only wished to make white magic with his art. Cornell’s fame as the leading American “Surrealist” allowed him to befriend several members of the Surrealist movement when they settled in the US during the Second World War. Later he was claimed as a herald of pop art and installation art.

Cornell often made series of boxed assemblages that reflected his various interests: the Soap Bubble Sets, the Medici Slot Machine series, the Pink Palace series, the Hotelseries, the Observatory series, and the Space

Object Abeilles- Joseph Cornell

Object Abeilles- Joseph Cornell

Object Boxes, among others. Also captivated with birds, Cornell created an Aviary series of boxes, in which colorful images of various birds were mounted on wood, cut out, & set against harsh white backgrounds.

In addition to creating boxes and flat collages and making short art films, Cornell also kept a filing system of over 160 visual-documentary “dossiers” on themes that interested him; the dossiers served as repositories from which Cornell drew material and inspiration for boxes like his “penny arcade” portrait of Lauren Bacall. He had no formal training in art, although he was extremely well-read and was conversant with the New York art scene from the 1940s through to the 1960s.

His methodology is described in a monograph by Charles Simic as follows:

Untitled (Grand Owl Habitat)- Joseph Cornell

Untitled (Grand Owl Habitat)- Joseph Cornell

Somewhere in the city of New York there are four or five still-unknown objects that belong together. Once together they’ll make a work of art. That’s Cornell’s premise, his metaphysics, and his religion….Marcel Duchamp and John Cage use chance operation to get rid of the subjectivity of the artist. For Cornell it’s the opposite. To submit to chance is to reveal the self and its obsessions.

Cornell was heavily influenced by the American Transcendentalists, Hollywood starlets (to whom he sent boxes he had dedicated to them), the French Symbolists such as Stéphane Mallarmé and Gérard de Nerval, and great dancers of the 19th century ballet such as Marie Taglioni and Fanny Cerrito.

Christian Science belief and practice informed Cornell’s art deeply, as art historian Sandra Leonard Starr has shown.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 346.

Best,

Linda

Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Side-View Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Side-View
Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Close-Up 1 Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Close-Up 1
Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Close-Up 2 Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Close-Up 2
Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Close-Up 3 Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Close-Up 3
Start New- Tribute to Joseph Cornell
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media in a Shadow Box

Day 342- Odilon Redon- Ambiguous Realms

It’s Day 342 and I had a good time with today’s piece.  I was torn on what style I wanted to paint in because the artist did so many styles.  I decided to do a charcoal based piece because I wanted to experience charcoal a bit more before this project ended. 🙂  Thanks to my friend Mark Rachel for recommending today’s artist.  Please join me in honoring Odilon Redon today.

Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon

Cyclops- Odilon Redon

Cyclops- Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon (born Bertrand-Jean RedonFrench; April 20, 1840 – July 6, 1916) was a French symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman and pastellist.

Odilon Redon was born in Bordeaux, Aquitaine to a prosperous family. The young Bertrand-Jean Redon acquired the nickname “Odilon” from his mother, Odile. Redon started drawing as a child and at the age of ten he was awarded a drawing prize at school. He began the formal study of drawing at fifteen, but at his father’s insistence changed to architecture. Failure to pass the entrance exams at Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts ended any plans for a career as an architect, although he briefly studied painting there under Jean-Léon Gérôme in 1864. (His younger brother Gaston Redon would become a noted architect.)

Back home in his native Bordeaux, he took up sculpture, and Rodolphe

The Winged Man (The Fallen Angel) - Odilon Redon

The Winged Man (The Fallen Angel) – Odilon Redon

Bresdin instructed him in etching and lithography. His artistic career was interrupted in 1870 when he joined the army to serve in the Franco-Prussian War.

At the end of the war, he moved to Paris, and resumed working almost exclusively in charcoal and lithography. He called his visionary works, conceived in shades of black, his noirs. It was not until 1878 that his work gained any recognition with Guardian Spirit of the Waters; he published his first album of lithographs, titled Dans le Rêve, in 1879.

The Eye- Odilon Redon

The Eye- Odilon Redon

Still, Redon remained relatively unknown until the appearance in 1884 of a cult novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans titled À rebours (Against Nature). The story featured a decadent aristocrat who collected Redon’s drawings.

In the 1890s pastel and oils became his favored media; he produced no more noirs after 1900. In 1899, he exhibited with the Nabis at Durand-Ruel’s.

Redon had a keen interest in Hindu and Buddhist religion and culture. The figure of the Buddha increasingly showed in his work. Influences of Japonism blended into his art, such as the painting The Death of the Buddha around 1899, The Buddha in 1906, Jacob and the Angel in 1905, and Vase with Japanese warrior in 1905, amongst many others.

Baron Robert de Domecy (1867–1946) commissioned the artist in 1899 to create 17 decorative panels for the dining room of theChâteau de Domecy-sur-le-Vault near Sermizelles in Burgundy. Redon had created large decorative works for private residences in the past, but his compositions for the château de Domecy in 1900–1901 were his most radical compositions to that point and mark the transition from ornamental to abstract painting. The landscape details do not show a specific place or space.

Only details of trees, twigs with leaves, and budding flowers in an endless horizon can be seen. The colours used

Portrait of Violette Heymann- Odilon Redon

Portrait of Violette Heymann- Odilon Redon

are mostly yellow, grey, brown and light blue. The influence of the Japanese painting style found on folding screens byōbu is discernible in his choice of colours and the rectangular proportions of most of the up to 2.5 metres high panels. Fifteen of them are located today in the Musée d’Orsay, acquisitioned in 1988.

Domecy also commissioned Redon to paint portraits of his wife and their daughter Jeanne, two of which are in the collections of the Musée d’Orsay and the Getty Museum in California. Most of the paintings remained in the Domecy family collection until the 1960s.

Le Silence- Odilon Redon

Le Silence- Odilon Redon

In 1903 Redon was awarded the Legion of Honor. His popularity increased when a catalogue of etchings and lithographs was published by André Mellerio in 1913; that same year, he was given the largest single representation at the New York Armory Show.

Redon died on July 6, 1916. In 1923 Mellerio published Odilon Redon: Peintre Dessinateur et Graveur. An archive of Mellerio’s papers is held by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 2005 the Museum of Modern Art launched an exhibition entitled “Beyond The Visible”, a comprehensive overview of Redon’s work showcasing more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints and books from The Ian Woodner Family Collection. The exhibition ran from October 30, 2005 to January 23, 2006.

The Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland is showing a retrospective from February to May 2014.

Redon’s work represents an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche. He himself wanted to “place the visible at the service of the invisible”; thus, although his work seems filled with strange beings and grotesque dichotomies, his aim was to represent pictorially the ghosts of his own mind. A telling source of Redon’s

Little Flowers (Human Heads), 1880. Charcoal on paper- Odilon Redon

Little Flowers (Human Heads), 1880. Charcoal on paper- Odilon Redon

inspiration and the forces behind his works can be found in his journalA Soi-même (To Myself). His process was explained best by himself when he said:

“I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased.”

The mystery and the evocation of Redon’s drawings are described by Huysmans in the following passage:

“Those were the pictures bearing the signature: Odilon Redon. They held, between their gold-edged frames of unpolished pearwood, undreamed-of images: a Merovingian-type head, resting upon a cup; a bearded man, reminiscent both of a Buddhist priest and a public orator, touching an enormous cannon-ball with his finger; a spider with a human face lodged

Head on a Stem- Odilon Redon

Head on a Stem- Odilon Redon

in the centre of its body. Then there were charcoal sketches which delved even deeper into the terrors of fever-ridden dreams. Here, on an enormous die, a melancholy eyelid winked; over there stretched dry and arid landscapes, calcinated plains, heaving and quaking ground, where volcanos erupted into rebellious clouds, under foul and murky skies; sometimes the subjects seemed to have been taken from the nightmarish dreams of science, and hark back to prehistoric times; monstrous flora bloomed on the rocks; everywhere, in among the erratic blocks and glacial mud, were figures whose simian appearance—heavy jawbone, protruding brows, receding forehead, and flattened skull top—recalled the ancestral head, the head of the first Quaternary Period, the head of man when he was still fructivorous and without speech, the contemporary of the mammoth, of the rhinoceros with septate nostrils, and of the giant bear. These drawings defied classification; unheeding, for the most part, of the limitations of painting, they ushered in a very special type of the fantastic, one born of sickness and delirium.”

Redon also describes his work as ambiguous and undefinable:

“My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.”

Biography is from wikipedia.

I was really drawn to Redon’s charcoal or “noir” drawings.  So I decided to focus on that style.  I hope you enjoy my piece for today and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 343.

Best,

Linda

Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Side-View Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Side-View
Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 1 Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 1
Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 2 Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 2
Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 3 Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 3
Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Day 339- Marc Chagall- Color is All

It’s Day 339 and I’m very happy about today’s artist.  Intimidated but happy.  Please join me in honoring the wonderful Marc Chagall today.

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall Biography Illustrator, Painter (1887–1985)

Bonjour Paris- Marc Chagall

Bonjour Paris- Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall was a Belorussian-born French artist whose work generally was based on emotional association rather than traditional pictorial fundamentals.

Born in Belarus in 1887, Marc Chagall was a painter, printmaker and designer associated with several major artistic styles, synthesizing elements of Cubism, Symbolism and Fauvism. One work in particular, “I and the Village” (1911), pre-dated Surrealism as an artistic expression of psychic reality.

An early modernist, Chagall created works in nearly every artistic medium, including sets for plays and ballets, biblical etchings, and stained-glass windows. Chagall died in France in 1985. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the most successful artists of the 20th century.

Marc Chagall was born on July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Belarus (in the Russian Empire), and was raised in a devoutly Jewish environment with eight other siblings. His father worked in a fish

Circus- Marc Chagall

Circus- Marc Chagall

warehouse, and his mother ran a shop where she sold fish and sundry baking supplies. As a child, Chagall attended heder (Jewish elementary school) and later went to public school, where lessons were taught in Russian.

After learning the elements of drawing at school, from 1907 to 1910, Chagall studied painting in St. Petersburg at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts, eventually under stage designer Léon Bakst. A characteristic work from this early period is “The Dead Man” (1908), a painting that depicts a violinist (a recurring image for the artist) amid a nightmarish rooftop scene.

Chagall moved to Paris in 1910, and then moved into a studio on the edge of town in a Bohemian area known as La Ruche (“the Beehive”). There, he met several writers and artists, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Robert Delaunay and Albert Gleizes. In such artistic company, experimentation was encouraged, and Chagall quickly began developing the poetic and innovative tendencies that had begun to emerge in Russia at the time—tendencies that may not have previously been encouraged.

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall

At the same time, he came under the influence of the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Fauvist pictures he saw in Paris museums, and was introduced to Fauvism and Cubism. Before long, he was participating in the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne (1912), annual French exhibits, staging his first solo show in 1914 in Berlin to great adulation.

This period—during which he created several images of his childhood and hometown of Vitebsk—is considered Chagall’s strongest, artistically, and the style he developed would remain with him for the rest of his life. His works during this time include “Hommage Apollinaire” (1911-12), “The Fiddler” (1912) and “Paris Through the Window” (1913).

World War I

After the Berlin exhibition, Chagall returned to Vitebsk, Belarus, where he intended to stay long enough to

I and the Village- Marc Chagall

I and the Village- Marc Chagall

marry his fiancée, Bella. A few weeks later, though, he was stranded by the outbreak of World War I, as the Russian borders were closed indefinitely. Instead of despairing, Chagall embraced local scenes in his art, working at the time in an unusually realistic style. Paintings such as “The Praying Jew” (or “The Rabbi of Vitebsk”; 1914) and “Jew in Green” (1914) emerged during this period.

Chagall married Bella in 1915, and the flying lovers of “Birthday” (1915-23) and the playful, acrobatic “Double Portrait With a Glass of Wine” (1917) serve as testaments to the joyousness of the artist’s spirit during the early years of his marriage.

At first, Chagall was enthusiastic about the Russian Revolution of October 1917, and he decided to settle in Vitebsk. In 1918, he was appointed commissar for art, and then founded and directed the Vitebsk Popular Art School. Disagreements with the Suprematists (a group of artists primarily concerned with geometric shapes) resulted in Chagall’s resignation from the school in 1920, after which he

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall

moved to Moscow, there undertaking his first stage designs for the State Jewish Chamber Theater. Chagall then left Russia for good. After a stop-over in Berlin in 1922, the artist returned to Paris in 1923 with his wife and daughter; his first retrospective took place there the following year, at the Galerie Barbazanges-Hodebert.

Chagall had learned engraving while in Berlin, and he received his first engraving commission in 1923, from Paris art dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard, for creating etchings to illustrate a special edition of Nikolay Gogol’s novel Dead Souls. Over the next three years, Chagall completed 107 plates for the Gogol book, 100 gouaches for poet Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables, and a series of etchings illustrating the Bible; his career as a printmaker was in full swing.

During the 1930s, besides painting and engraving, Chagall traveled extensively: to the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Italy and Palestine, where he stayed for two months, visiting the Holy Land to inspire his Bible etchings. In Palestine in 1931, Chagall immersed himself in Jewish life and history, and by the time he returned to France, he had completed 32 of biblical plates (he would create 105 in total).

World War II

With Hitler rising to power, a full-blown war was waged in Germany against artists, and, subsequently, anything

Birthday 1915- Marc Chagall

Birthday 1915- Marc Chagall

deemed modern or difficult to interpret being confiscated and burned (with some of Chagall’s works being singled out). The once-impressed German press now turned on Chagall, and in response, Chagall’s paintings struck a different tone, with terror and persecution taking on foreground roles.

In “Solitude” (1933), Chagall’s anxiety over the fate of humanity is represented by an atmosphere of despondency and in the figure of the huddled, pious Jew; in “White Crucifixion” (1938), Jewish and Christian symbols are mixed in a depiction of a Nazi crowd terrorizing Jews. The artist would be dealt another blow in 1939, when Ambroise Vollard died and Chagall’s various etching projects were put on hiatus. (Another publisher later picked up where Vollard had left off, issuing Dead Souls in 1948, La Fontaine’s Fables in 1952 and the Bible in 1956.)

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall

With the outbreak of World War II, Chagall moved farther and farther south in France, as the Nazi threat became increasingly real for European Jews. A group of Americans ran a rescue operation smuggling artists and intellectuals out of Europe to the United States via forged visas, and Marc Chagall was one of more than 2,000 who escaped this way. He arrived in New York with Bella on June 23, 1941—the day after Germany invaded the Soviet Union—and spent most of the next few years in the New York area.

In New York, Chagall continued to develop his signature themes, but in 1942, a new commission came his way: to design the sets and costumes for a new ballet, Aleko, by Léonide Massine, which would stage Pushkin’s The Gypsiesand be accompanied by the music of Tchaikovsky. When Aleko—Chagall’s first ballet—premiered on September 8, 1942, it was a great success. Also during this period, Chagall designed the backdrops and costumes for Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird (1945), another success.

The course of Chagall’s life and art was changed yet again in 1944, when his wife, Bella, passed away. Thereafter, depictions of memories of his wife recurred in Chagall’s work; she appears in several forms—a haunted weeping wife, an angel and a phantom bride—in “Around Her” (1945), and as a bride in “The Wedding Candles” (1945) and “Nocturne” (1947).

Before moving back to France for good in 1948, Chagall was honored with retrospective exhibitions at both the

Blue Violinist‏ by Marc Chagall

Blue Violinist‏ by Marc Chagall

Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Later Years

In 1948, Chagall settled again in France, on the French Riviera at Vence. During the 1950s, he forayed into painting and modeling ceramics, stone sculptures and mosaics. In 1958, Chagall designed the scenery and costumes for the ballet Daphnis and Chloe for the Paris Opera, from whom, five years later, he received a commission to paint a new ceiling for its theater.

The choice of artist, however, stirred controversy, as some objected to having a French national monument redesigned by a Russian Jew, while others disliked the idea of a modernist working on such a historic building. Nonetheless, the project went forward with Chagall at the helm, and when it was unveiled, it was a huge hit with all factions, surprising many and vindicating others, Chagall included.

The Bridal Pair with The Eiffel Tower by Marc Chagall

The Bridal Pair with The Eiffel Tower by Marc Chagall

Over Chagall’s decades-long career, his use of color captured the attention of viewers, and his varying projects in his later years were no different: In 1960, he began creating stained-glass windows for the synagogue of Hebrew University’s Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem—a project that became a spiritual journey for Chagall, once again linking him to his Jewish heritage. Chagall later took on more stained-glass projects, including at the United Nations building (1964); the Fraumünster Cathedral in Zurich (1967); St. Stephen’s Church in Mainz, Germany (1978); and the All Saints’ Church in the United Kingdom (1978).

Marc Chagall died in Saint-Paul de Vence, France, on March 28, 1985, leaving behind a vast collection of work in several branches of the arts, as well as a rich legacy as a major Jewish artist and a pioneer of modernism. Pablo Picasso famously once said of the artist, “When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.”

Biography is from www.biography.com.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 340!  25 left…

Best,

Linda

Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Blue Night Flight- Tribute to Marc Chagall
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 336- Henry Darger Jr.- In the Realms of the Unreal

It’s Day 336 and I’ve been excited to do this artist for a long time.  I knew it was going to be challenging and I think I had too many ideas that my brain got a bit jumbled.  Well, I finally did it and I think I’m pretty happy with it.  Please join me in honoring Henry Darger Jr. today!

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Hands of Fire- Henry Darger Jr.

Hands of Fire- Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. (April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a hospital custodian in Chicago, Illinois. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story.

The visual subject matter of his work ranges from idyllic scenes in Edwardian interiors and tranquil flowered landscapes populated by children and fantastic creatures, to scenes of horrific terror and

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

carnage depicting young children being tortured and massacred. Much of his artwork is mixed media with collage elements. Darger’s artwork has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.

Darger was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosa Fullman and Henry Darger, Sr. on April 12, 1892. Cook County records show that he was born at his home, located at 350 W. 24th Street. When he was four years old, his mother died of puerperal fever after having given birth to a daughter, who was given up for adoption; Henry Darger never knew his sister. One of Darger’s biographers, the art historian and psychologist John M. MacGregor, discovered that Rosa had two children before Henry, but did not discover their whereabouts.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

By Darger’s own report, his father, Henry Sr., was kind and reassuring to him, and they lived together until 1900. In that year, the crippled and impoverished Darger Sr. had to be taken to live at St. Augustine’s Catholic Mission home and his son was placed in a Catholic boys’ home. Darger Sr. died in 1905, and his son was institutionalized in the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children in Lincoln, Illinois, with the diagnosis, according to Stephen Prokopoff, that “Little Henry’s heart is not in the right place”. According to John MacGregor, the diagnosis was actually “self-abuse” (at the time, this term was a euphemism for masturbation, rather than self-injury).

Darger himself felt that much of his problem was being able to see through adult lies and becoming a ‘smart-aleck’ as a result, which often led to his being disciplined by teachers and ganged up on by classmates. He also went through a lengthy phase of feeling compelled to make strange noises (perhaps as a result of Tourette Syndrome) which irritated others. The Lincoln asylum’s practices included forced labor and severe punishments, which Darger seems to have worked into In the Realms of the Unreal. He later said that, to be

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

fair, there were also good times there, he enjoyed some of the work, and he had friends as well as enemies. While he was there, he received word that his father had died. A series of attempted escapes ended successfully in 1908, the 16-year-old returned to Chicago and, with the help of his godmother, found menial employment in a Catholic hospital and in this fashion continued to support himself until his retirement in 1963.

Except for a brief stint in the U.S. Army during World War I, his life took on a pattern that seems to have varied little: he attended Mass daily, frequently returning for as many as five services; he collected and saved a bewildering array of trash from the streets. His dress was shabby, although he attempted to keep his clothes clean and mended. He was largely solitary; his one close friend, William Schloeder, was of like mind on the subject of protecting abused and neglected children, and the pair proposed founding a “Children’s Protective Society”, which would put such children up for adoption to loving families. Schloeder left Chicago sometime in the mid-1930s, but he and Darger stayed in touch through letters until Schloeder’s death in 1959. Darger biographer Jim Elledge suggests that Darger and Schloeder may have had a romantic relationship while Schloeder lived in Chicago.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

In 1930, Darger settled into a second-floor room on Chicago’s North Side, at 851 W. Webster Avenue, in the Lincoln Park section of the city, near the DePaul Universitycampus. It was in this room, for 43 years, that Darger imagined and wrote his massive tomes (in addition to a 10-year daily weather journal and assorted diaries) until his death in April 1973 in St. Augustine’s Catholic Mission home (the same institution in which his father had died). In the last entry in his diary, he wrote: “January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now… I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am…”

Darger is buried in All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois, in a plot called “The Old People of the Little Sisters of the Poor Plot”. Darger’s headstone is inscribed “Artist” and “Protector of Children”.

In the Realms of the Unreal is a 15,145-page work bound in fifteen immense, densely typed volumes (with three of them consisting of several hundred illustrations, scroll-like watercolor paintings on paper derived from magazines and coloring books) created over six decades. The majority of the book, The Story of the Vivian Girls,

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, follows the adventures of the daughters of Robert Vivian, seven princesses of the Christian nation of Abbieannia who assist a daring rebellion against the evil regime of child slavery imposed by John Manley and the Glandelinians.

Children take up arms in their own defense and are often slain in battle or viciously tortured by the Glandelinian overlords. The elaborate mythology includes the setting of a large planet, around which Earth orbits as a moon (where most people are Christian and mostly Catholic), and a species called the “Blengigomeneans” (or Blengins for short), gigantic winged beings with curved horns who occasionally take human or part-human form, even disguising themselves as children. They are usually benevolent, but some Blengins are extremely suspicious of all humans, due to Glandelinian atrocities. Darger illustrated his stories using a technique of traced images cut from magazines and catalogues, arranged in large panoramic landscapes and painted in watercolours, some as large as 30 feet wide and painted on both sides. He wrote himself into the narrative as the children’s protector.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Once released from the asylum, Darger repeatedly attempted to adopt a child, but his efforts failed. Images of children often served as his inspiration, particularly a portrait from the Chicago Daily News from May 9, 1911: a five-year-old murder victim, named Elsie Paroubek. The girl had left home on April 8 of that year telling her mother she was going to visit her aunt around the corner from her home. She was last seen listening to an organ grinder with her cousins. Her body was found a month later in a sanitary district channel near the screen guards of the powerhouse at Lockport, Illinois. An autopsy found she had probably been suffocated—not strangled, as is often stated in articles about Darger. Paroubek’s disappearance and murder, her funeral, and the subsequent investigation, were the subjects of a huge amount of coverage in the Daily News and other papers at the time.

This newspaper photo was part of a growing personal archive of clippings Darger had been gathering. There is no indication that the murder or the news photo and article had any particular significance for Darger, until one day he could not find it. Writing in his journal at the time, he began to process this forfeiture of yet another

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

child, lamenting that “the huge disaster and calamity” of his loss “will never be atoned for”, but “shall be avenged to the uttermost limit”. According to his autobiography, Darger believed the photo was among several items that were stolen when his locker at work was broken into. He never found his copy of the photograph again. Because he couldn’t remember the exact date of its publication, he couldn’t locate it in the newspaper archive. He carried out an elaborate series of novenas and other prayers for the picture to be returned.

The fictive war that was sparked by Darger’s loss of the newspaper photograph of the murdered girl, whose killer was never found, became Darger’s magnum opus. He had been working on some version of the novel before this time (he makes reference to an early draft which was also lost or stolen), but now it became an all-consuming creation.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

In The Realms of the Unreal, Elsie is imagined as Annie Aronburg, the leader of the first child slave rebellion. “The assassination of the child labor rebel Annie Aronburg… was the most shocking child murder ever caused by the Glandelinian Government” and was the cause of the war. Through their sufferings, valiant deeds and exemplary holiness, the Vivian Girls are hoped to be able to help bring about a triumph of Christianity. Darger provided two endings to the story, one in which the Vivian Girls and Christianity are triumphant and another in which they are defeated and the godless Glandelinians reign.

Darger’s human figures were rendered largely by tracing, collage, or photo enlargement from popular magazines and children’s books (much of the “trash” he collected was old magazines and newspapers, which he clipped for source material). Some of his favorite figures were the Coppertone Girl and Little Annie Rooney. He is praised for his natural gift for composition and the brilliant use of color in his watercolors. The images of daring escapes, mighty battles, and painful torture are reminiscent not only of epic films such as Birth of a Nation (which Darger might easily have seen) but of events in Catholic history; the text makes it clear that the child victims are heroic martyrs like the early saints.

One idiosyncratic feature of Darger’s artwork is its apparent transgenderism. Many of his subjects which appear

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

to be girls are shown to have penises when unclothed or partially clothed. Darger biographer Jim Elledge speculates that this represents a reflection of Darger’s own childhood issues with gender identity and homosexuality.  Darger’s second novel, Crazy House, deals with these subjects more explicitly.

In a paraphrase of the Declaration of Independence, Darger wrote of children’s right “to play, to be happy, and to dream, the right to normal sleep of the night’s season, the right to an education, that we may have an equality of opportunity for developing all that are in us of mind and heart”.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

A second work of fiction, provisionally titled Crazy House: Further Adventures in Chicago, contains over 10,000 handwritten pages. Written after The Realms, it takes that epic’s major characters—the seven Vivian sisters and their companion/secret brother, Penrod—and places them in Chicago, with the action unfolding during the same years as that of the earlier book. Begun in 1939, it is a tale of a house that is possessed by demons and haunted by ghosts, or has an evil consciousness of its own. Children disappear into the house and are later found brutally murdered. The Vivians and a male friend are sent to investigate and discover that the murders are the work of evil ghosts. The girls go about exorcising the place, but have to resort to arranging for a full-scale Holy Mass to be held in each room before the house is clean. They do this repeatedly, but it never works. The narrative ends mid-scene, with Darger having just been rescued from the Crazy House.

In 1968, Darger became interested in tracing some of his frustrations back to his childhood and began writing The History of My Life. Spanning eight volumes, the book only spends 206 pages detailing Darger’s early life before veering off into 4,672 pages of fiction about a huge twister called “Sweetie Pie”, probably based on memories of a tornado he had witnessed in 1908.

Despite Darger’s unusual lifestyle and strange behavior, he has not generally been considered mentally ill. This

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

topic is addressed in the biographical film In the Realms of the Unreal, in which Darger, while certainly described as eccentric, is also mentioned to be “in complete control of his life”. MacGregor, in the appendix to his book on Darger, speculates that the most fitting diagnosis is autism, of an Asperger syndrome type.

Darger’s landlords, Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner, came across his work shortly before his death, a day after his birthday, on April 13, 1973. Nathan Lerner, an accomplished photographer whose long career the New York Times wrote “was inextricably bound up in the history of visual culture in Chicago”, immediately recognized the artistic merit of Darger’s work. By this time Darger was in the Catholic mission St. Augustine’s, operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor, where his father had died.

The Lerners took charge of the Darger estate, publicizing his work and contributing to projects such as the 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal. In cooperation with Kiyoko Lerner, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art dedicated the Henry Darger Room Collection in 2008 as part of its permanent collection. Darger has become internationally recognized thanks to the efforts of people who knew to save his works. After Nathan Lerner’s death in 1997, Kiyoko Lerner became the sole figure in charge of both her husband’s and Darger’s estates. The U.S. copyright representative for the Estate of Henry Darger and the Estate of Nathan Lerner is the Artists Rights Society.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Darger is today one of the most famous figures in the history of outsider art. At the Outsider Art Fair, held every January in New York City, and at auction, his work is among the highest-priced of any self-taught artist. The American Folk Art Museum, New York City, opened a Henry Darger Study Center in 2001. His work now commands upwards of $80,000.

Since his death in 1973 and the discovery of his massive opus, and especially since the 1990s, there have been many references in popular culture to Darger’s work by other visual artists including, but not limited to, artists of comics and graphic novels; numerous popular songs; a 1999 book-length poem, Girls on the Run, by John Ashbery; a multi-player online game, SiSSYFiGHT 2000, and a 2004 multimedia piece by choreographer Pat Graney incorporating Darger images. Jesse Kellerman’s 2008 novel The Genius took part of its inspiration from Darger’s story. These artists have variously drawn from and responded to Darger’s artistic style, his themes (especially the Vivian Girls, the young heroines of Darger’s massive illustrated novel), and the events in his life.

Jessica Yu’s 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal details Darger’s life and artworks.

Comic book artist Scott McCloud refers to Darger’s work in his book Making Comics, while describing the danger artists encounter in the creation of a character’s back-story. McCloud says that complicated narratives can easily spin out of control when too much unseen information is built up around the characters.

Darger and his work have been an inspiration for several music artists. The Vivian Girls were an all-girl indie/punk trio from Brooklyn; “Henry Darger” is a song by Natalie Merchant on her album Motherland,

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

“Vivian Girls” is song by the band Wussy on their album Left for Dead. “The Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His Squadron of Benevolent Butterflies” is a song by Sufjan Stevens on his album The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album, “The Story of the Vivian Girls” is a song by Comet Gain on their 2005 album City Fallen Leaves, and “Segue: In the Realms of the Unreal” is song by the band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead on their album So Divided, “The Vivian Girls” is a 1979 song by Snakefinger (Philip Lithman Roth) also recorded by the Monks of Doom on their album The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, “Vivian girls” is a song by the band Fucked Up on their album Hidden World, and “Lost girls” (about Darger’s work) is a song by Tilly and the Wall on their album Bottoms of Barrels. On their 1994 album Triple Mania II, San Diego’s industrial noise performance outfit Crash Worship reworked several Darger images and screen printed them on a copper foil foldout discfolio; as well as the insert and disc.

Darger is the subject of a radio play, Darger and the Detective, by Mike Walker performed by members of the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company for BBC Radio 3.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I love his story so I decided to include all the the page.  I hope you enjoy my piece for today and I will see you tomorrow on Day 336.

Best,

Linda

Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Side-View Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Side-View
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

 

Day 334- Katsushika Hokusai- Sketching From Life

It’s Day 334 and I really had a great time creating today’s piece.  I immediately wanted to do a painting of Mt. Fuji, which I did, but then I found paintings that the artist had done of demons and ghosts and was sad that I hadn’t found those first!  But alas, I am happy with how my piece turned out. 🙂 Join me in honoring Katsushika Hokusai today!

Self Portrait- Katsushika Hokusai

Self Portrait- Katsushika Hokusai

The waterfall of Amida behind the Kiso Road - Katsushika Hokusai

The waterfall of Amida behind the Kiso Road – Katsushika Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎, October 31, 1760 (exact date questionable) – May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by such painters as Sesshu, and other styles of Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei?, c. 1831) which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s.

Hokusai created the “Thirty-Six Views” both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fuji in Clear Weather, that secured Hokusai’s fame both in Japan and overseas. As historian Richard Lane concludes, “Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusai’s name, both in Japan and

Fuji, Mountains in clear Weather (Red Fuji) - Katsushika Hokusai

Fuji, Mountains in clear Weather (Red Fuji) – Katsushika Hokusai

abroad, it must be this monumental print-series…”. While Hokusai’s work prior to this series is certainly important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition.

Hokusai’s date of birth is not known for certain, but is often said to be the 23rd day of the 9th month of the 10th year of the Hōrekiera (in the old calendar, or october 30, 1760) to an artisan family, in the Katsushika district of Edo, Japan. His childhood name was Tokitarō.

The Dragon of Smoke Escaping from Mt Fuji- Hokusai

The Dragon of Smoke Escaping from Mt Fuji- Hokusai

It is believed his father was the mirror-maker Nakajima Ise, who produced mirrors for the shogun. His father never made Hokusai an heir, so it is possible that his mother was a concubine. Hokusai began painting around the age of six, possibly learning the art from his father, whose work on mirrors also included the painting of designs around the mirrors.

Hokusai was known by at least thirty names during his lifetime. Although the use of multiple names was a common practice of Japanese artists of the time, the numbers of names he used far exceeds that of any other major Japanese artist. Hokusai’s name changes are so frequent, and so often related to changes in his artistic production and style, that they are useful for breaking his life up into periods.

At the age of 12, he was sent by his father to work in a bookshop and lending library, a popular type of institution in Japanese cities, where reading books made from wood-cut

A colored version of the Big wave - Katsushika Hokusai

A colored version of the Big wave – Katsushika Hokusai

blocks was a popular entertainment of the middle and upper classes. At 14, he became an apprentice to a wood-carver, where he worked until the age of 18, whereupon he was accepted into the studio of Katsukawa Shunshō. Shunshō was an artist of ukiyo-e, a style of wood block prints and paintings that Hokusai would master, and head of the so-called Katsukawa school. Ukiyo-e, as practiced by artists like Shunshō, focused on images of the courtesans and Kabuki actors who were popular in Japan’s cities at the time.

After a year, Hokusai’s name changed for the first time, when he was dubbed Shunrō by his master. It was under this name that he published his first prints, a series of pictures of Kabuki actors published in 1779.

The Lantern Ghost, Iwa- Hokusai

The Lantern Ghost, Iwa- Hokusai

During the decade he worked in Shunshō’s studio, Hokusai was married to his first wife, about whom very little is known except that she died in the early 1790s. He married again in 1797, although this second wife also died after a short time. He fathered two sons and three daughters with these two wives, and his youngest daughter Sakae, also known as Ōi, eventually became an artist.

Upon the death of Shunshō in 1793, Hokusai began exploring other styles of art, including European styles he was exposed to through French and Dutch copper engravings he was able to acquire. He was soon expelled from the Katsukawa school by Shunkō, the chief disciple of Shunshō, possibly due to

The Phantom of Kohada Koheiji- Hokusai

The Phantom of Kohada Koheiji- Hokusai

studies at the rival Kanō school. This event was, in his own words, inspirational: “What really motivated the development of my artistic style was the embarrassment I suffered at Shunkō’s hands.”

Hokusai 1820. Erotic wood block print

Hokusai 1820. Erotic wood block print

Hokusai also changed the subjects of his works, moving away from the images of courtesans and actors that were the traditional subjects of ukiyo-e. Instead, his work became focused on landscapes and images of the daily life of Japanese people from a variety of social levels. This change of subject was a breakthrough in ukiyo-e and in Hokusai’s career. Fireworks at Ryōgoku Bridge (1790) dates from this period of Hokusai’s life.

From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp

Kajikazawa in Kai Province - Katsushika Hokusai

Kajikazawa in Kai Province – Katsushika Hokusai

the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.

Partial biography is from wikipedia.  His bio is extraordinarily large and very interesting!  Check it out.

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 335…only 30 to go! Wow.

Best, Linda

View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Side-View View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Side-View
View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 1 View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 1
View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 2 View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 2
View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 3 View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 3
View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint 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