Tag Archives: people

Artist Empowers Humanity by Reinventing Classic Portraits

images-1Artist Kehinde Wiley is restoring power and respect to humanity through art. How? By reinventing classic portraits in a way that honors black individuals. Wiley believes art—particularly portraiture—is power. He told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “What is portraiture? It’s choice. It’s the ability to position your body in the world for the world to celebrate you on your own terms.” With stunning vulnerability and bravery, Wiley reworks classic paintings so that they include black and brown-skinned people as the main subjects. For example, Wiley reinterpreted Jacques-Louis David’s portrait of Napoleon crossing the Alps by replacing Napoleon with a camouflage-clad black man. The made-over portrait places the black man in the same position of influence that Napoleon held. Now, that’s power.

The True Role of an Artist

What is an artist’s role in society? Should artists primarily make things look better, prettier? Kehinde Wiley doesn’t think so. He believes artists should think about “what they can do to start a broader conversation about presence and imminence and the desire to be seen as respected images-2and beautiful.” According to Wiley, an artist’s role in society should be one that facilitates the redemption of the beauty of humanity, regardless of race. That’s why he’s pouring his blood, sweat and tears into transforming masterpiece paintings into works of art that feature individuals of black and brown skin tones. Wiley says, “I understand blackness from the inside out. What my goal is, is to allow the world to see the humanity that I know personally to be the truth.”

Kehinde Wiley Makes Mugshots Beautiful

Mugshots are not typically thought of as beautiful; they are most commonly associated with shame and punishment. However, Kehinde Wiley sees them as something entirely different: a type of portraiture. imagesWiley turns mugshots into portraits that subtly broadcast a person’s vulnerabilities, fears and dreams. This is just another way he is displaying the humanness and intrinsic importance of people who are sometimes overlooked by society. Wiley refuses to overlook these individuals. He wants the world to see them for who they really are: humans who deserve to be respected and understood. Kehinde Wiley has a pretty good idea of why he is alive and what he was born to do. He says, “My job is to walk through the streets, find someone who’s minding their own business, trying to get to work, stopping them — the next thing you know, they’re hanging on a great museum throughout the world, and it allows us to slow down and to say yes to these people, yes to these experiences, yes to these stories.” Please note: the photos featured in this blog post are NOT the property of Segmation.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Artists Bring the Streets To Life with 3D Art

The World’s First Tetrachromat Artist

An Artist’s Story of Taking Risks and Staying Determined

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First Female Tattoo Artist Starts a Cultural Phenomenon

beautiful, maud wagoner, people, tattoo artist, tattoos, works art

There is something magical about art. Music, poetry, dance, and drama all hold an enchantment so real that people will do just about anything to make contact with the particular art form that makes their life worth the living. Art is so captivating that many people desire to wear it, or even to become it. This is made evident by the millions of dollars that are spent each year on designer clothing and one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Those who just can’t seem to get close enough to art often become a living, breathing work of art. How? By getting tattooed.

Some would agree that tattoos are not only works of art, but means by which individuals become art. This is fascinating when you think of it. For relatively small amounts of money, someone can enter a tattoo parlor having 100 percent natural-toned flesh and exit having had a section of their body shaded with vibrant colors. What beautiful things tattoos are.

Tattoos used to be considered primarily masculine. However, the times have changed drastically. More women were tattooed in 2012 than men (in the United States). Also, tattoos are evolving into more feminine, beautiful works of art. In some ways, tattoos are becoming a female affair. This is due in part to a woman named Maud Wagoner — the first American female tattoo artist.

Maud Wagoner was a woman like no other. While most ladies of the Victorian era were studying homemaking and vying for a husband and children, Maud was doing all she could to become a skilled tattooist. She went so far as to “trade a date with her husband-to-be for tattoo lessons.” Her talent for tattooing was passed down to her daughter, Lotteva Wagoner, who was also a tattoo artist.

Thanks to artistic forerunners like Maud Wagoner, body art on women is becoming more the rule than the exeption. For art lovers, this should be good news. After all, when done by excellent artists, tattoos turn people into walking works of art, and that is a beautiful thing.

Sources:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2013/01/slide-show-a-secret-history-of-women-and-tattoo.html#slide_ss_0=3  

Coming soon: Read our next blog post to learn what an artistic impression a colorful front door can make on guests and neighbors.

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— Piero della Francesca — Early Renaissance Art 

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— Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/green-represents-saint-patricks-day/

— Early Cave Art in Spain

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/early-cave-art-in-spain/

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The Natural Side of Art

When most people think of art, the first thing that might come to their mind is an easel, oil paints, brushes, and watercolors. Or perhaps an individual’s thoughts might immediately conjure images of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, or Degas’ ethereal paintings of ballerinas. These works are certainly exquisite examples of fine art. But art is inclusive of these “traditional” works and so much more. Organic art is part of that “more.”

Organic art is somewhat of a movement that is beginning to make waves in the art world. Organic (or as one particular artist puts it, “eco-friendly”) art is inclusive of art pieces that have been created with organic materials, such as dried leaves and flowers, twigs, plants, tree bark, and other natural elements. Organic artists often use a canvas made out of processed tree bark and will glue elements to the canvas using organic glue. Some artists do not use paint, even if it is naturally derived, to color their creations. Rather, they use dried flowers and leaves to create the effects they desire.

Artists are choosing to embrace organic art for reasons that are both moral and preferential. Some are truly against any type of waste, and therefore reject traditional art supplies. Such artists wish to use only materials that are readily available from the earth and would have gone to waste had they not been used for artistic purposes. Other artists simply love nature and find it a privilege to use its offerings to compose their pieces with.

In your opinion, what is art? Is it only paintings and drawings that have a certain amount of prestige, or can it be creations crafted with totally natural elements? Many people seem to believe that art can be highly refined as well as rugged and earthy. This principle bleeds over into other art forms, such as music, dance, writing, and the like. Organic art is convincing people that the term “art” is more expansive and inclusive that they ever thought possible.

http://www.redbubble.com/groups/uncommon-supports-to-paint-on/forums/14208/topics/287961-the-uspo-july-how-to-basant-soni-art-on-natural-bark-of-palm-tree

Note: Images represented in this post do not belong to Segmation; they were found at http://www.redbubble.com/groups/uncommon-supports-to-paint-on/forums/14208/topics/287961-the-uspo-july-how-to-basant-soni-art-on-natural-bark-of-palm-tree and http://www.etsy.com/listing/95693579/fine-art-giclee-print-on-canvas-image-03

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Garden Art Knows No Limits

Is there a limit to what can be considered art? It is very likely that there will never be a consensus on that question. Every person has his or her own opinion of what constitutes art. For Pearl Fryar, art doesn’t merely exist in the form of oil paints on a canvas or chalk pastels on paper, it exists in a most unusual place: His garden.

In 1984, Pearl Fryar wanted to win the “Yard of the Month” title in his community. In an effort to do that, he began creating a garden that would one day become what it is today: a three acre topiary wonder. Possessing only desire and no training, Fryar set out to purchase plants for his garden. He took home the raw materials of his soon-to-be feast for the senses as well as a three-minute lesson in topiaries. From those basic resources, Fryar created a garden that is as true an art form as one can find.

Years after he had started crafting his garden, people began to tell Pearl Fryar that he had broken the rules of horticulture in the creation of his art. By that time, he had cultivated a masterpiece that was drawing major attention.

There is something about art that intrinsically draws people to the divine and eternal. The art that resides in Pearl Fryar’s garden is no different. Each week 300-500 people flock to his garden with all the fervor of those pursuing a weekly service at a church or temple. Fryar commented that he considers his garden as much a ministry as any place of worship.

Bente Borsum said, “Art knows no limit, and the artist will never achieve perfection.” How true that statement has proven itself in the life of Pearl Fryar. His garden art has outgrown the limits of what is considered a “traditional” art form, and even proceeded to touch the human spirit. As far as achieving perfection in his craft, Fryar seems to know that he never will, and he is not concerned; that is not his goal.

What is Fryar’s goal for his garden art? In his own words, “The idea is to leave this garden with a message, to feel differently than you did when you started.” Pearl Fryar wants those who come into contact with his art to be changed; isn’t that the desire of all true artists?

http://www.scetv.org/index.php/etv_sumter/entry/pearl_fryars/

http://quote.robertgenn.com/getquotes.php?catid=176

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The Beauty of Abstract Art

Abstract art has a unique beauty that is often overlooked or forgotten due to the unrealistic nature of it. Before the mid-nineteenth Century most Western art was quite literal. For example, if an artist wanted to represent a woman in a painting, he or she painted a woman. In non-abstract art, one of the emphases was and is making the subject of the art clear to the viewer. This is not the case with abstract art.

The lack of definition that abstract art expresses sometimes can be confusing or even repulsive to people. The inability to understand something can be undesirable to the human mind. This is one reason why some people do not like abstract art – because it is rarely easy to understand. But just because something cannot be understood, does that mean it cannot be beautiful? Many people would answer no to this question.

Abstract art, also known as “nonfigurative art,” “nonrepresentational art,” and “nonobjective art,” has a beauty all its own, and that beauty lies in its unreality. Aristotle himself said, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Does abstract art not do this very thing? Is it not created to signify meaning rather than reflect appearances?

La Premier Disque (1912-1913), created by Robert Delaunay, is an example of abstract art as well as Lyrical Abstraction. Painting La Premier Disque was quite a risk for Delaunay, especially considering the time in which it was created. The painting’s lack of a specific subject, break from classical perspective, and unique and bold colors create an expressive and stunning piece of abstract artwork. Can you appreciate the warmth and loveliness of La Premier Disque?

Many people do not care for abstract art. To that our reply is, “To each his own.” Still, there is something to be said for those who can forget the confines of perspective and deeply appreciate the beauty of the undefined. Releasing the desire for logical answers and viewing abstract art more with the heart than the eyes allows its true beauty to be experienced fully.

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Thomas Kinkade: The “Painter of Light”

Thomas Kinkade, popularly known as the “Painter of Light,” passed away in his sleep at the age of 54. His inspirational work touched the lives of many and will continue to live on.

Blessed with an ability to capture a moment in time, Kinkade preserved some of the most beautiful scenes of life in his paintings. Those who admire his work know that each of his paintings offer an escape from reality.

His idyllic settings, infused with radiant light, include nature scenes; gardens and seascapes, as well as nostalgic homes, cottages and cityscapes. He painted a classic America; one that many dream of and long for. Kinkade’s paintings depict the world that many people wanted to be part of – picture perfect in every way.

The painter once said, “My mission as an artist is to capture those special moments in life adorned with beauty and light. I work to create images that project a serene simplicity that can be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.” He painted for the people, not for the critics.

Even those unfamiliar with Kinkade’s paintings can see that his work tells a story. The champions and collectors of Kinkade’s endeavors know there is more than meets the eye in each painting. For instance, the “Painter of Light” always included his wife’s initials. He also inserted his very first hero, Norman Rockwell, into many of his pieces. If you spot the boy working his paper rout on a bicycle in “Hometown Morning”, then you have discovered Kinkade himself, preserved in the moment he met his beloved wife Nanette.

Much of the inspiration for his art was fueled by his faith. Despite a less than ideal childhood, Kinkade always clung to his art. By the age of sixteen, he had become an accomplished painter. He studied at the University of California at Berkley and then worked as an artist for films.

Many people credit his time spent working on films as the experience that enabled him to grasp the effects of light, which he transferred to his painting. All of his paintings include a warm, radiant and comforting light that calls one back to a simpler time.

Thomas Kinkade’s life mission, to make art available to everyone that they might enjoy beauty, is still a reality. Though the talented and generous man is gone, he lives on through his paintings. Millions of people will still stand looking at his paintings, caught for a moment in the comforting and inspiring worlds he created.

http://www.artbythomaskinkade.com/thomas_kinkade.html

http://www.thomaskinkade.com/magi/servlet/com.asucon.ebiz.biography.web.tk.BiographyServlet

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Figure Drawing Tips

The human figure is one of the hardest things to draw accurately. When drawing a human figure, you need to be aware of technical issues such as proportions, shading and foreshortening, but you must also be able to portray the figure with emotion and sensitivity. Even if your figure drawing isn’t 100% accurate in terms of resembling real life, a drawing imbued with creative energy can create a powerful effect upon the viewer.

To better study and render the human figure, Renaissance artists dissected and studied corpses, taking detailed notes and making realistic drawings from their anatomical observations. Learning about the structure of muscles and other internal organs helped Renaissance artists create more precise artwork. These days, you don’t need to visit a morgue to brush up on your figure drawing skills. Ample books and websites focus on drawing the human form, providing countless illustrations of body parts, both externally and internally.

Figure drawing classes are invaluable for enhancing your ability to draw the human form. Most community art centers offer figure drawing classes with instructors who can critique your artwork and give you pointers. Most figure drawing classes are conducted with live nude models, which may come as a shock for people who have never been to one before, but this is standard. Drawing the nude figure helps artists gain a better grasp of the human body and how it looks in various positions.

If you are unable to attend a drawing class, you can search for free reference photos online. Many “artist community” websites offer a bank of free reference images that you can use without worrying about copyright or obtaining a model release. For specific poses, expressions or costumes, you’ll need to take your own reference photos. Hire a model or bribe a friend to do the posing for you.

If you want to draw a person is a specific pose but you do not have a model and can’t find the right reference photo, use a poseable mannequin, such as the one shown above. The poseable mannequin will give you a general idea of where to place the various body parts, but you’ll have to “invent the details”, such as facial features, clothing, etc. For this reason, a wooden mannequin is usually more ideal for gesture drawing, rather than a figure drawing that needs to be true to life.

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