Author - Peter Boskov

I pass time by writing and educating others about life, fun and humor. Are you having fun yet?

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Band Morphine – life after death

The Boston-based alternative rock band Morphine ruled the big stage during 90s until the tragedy struck. Mark Sandman, the frontman, died ten years ago, on July 3, 1999. But, it was the kind of death that few rock legends have experienced. Mark was onstage, performing with powers, presenting the most ambitious album of his career, that the band just finished. His sudden death while performing on stage was a huge shock for the music world. His fellow friend and band member, Dana Colley remembers some of the stories from the beginning to the tragic end.

About starting the band, Colley said: “He started developing the two-string bass — it was a one-string bass at that time — and I got a hold of the baritone saxophone I’d been playing. I’d been playing tenor previously. When we jammed once in his apartment, the sound just sort of clicked. It was one of these ‘eureka’ moments, you know? It wasn’t anything we would have predicted.” Talking about making the guitar-less band in the middle of the grunge era, Colley says: “I can remember playing early on, at the height of grunge, and kind of jokingly saying at the end of the set that I think we’re the palate cleanser, like the sorbet between the sandwich of heavy guitars.”

He remebers: “The two-string slide bass, baritone saxophone, drum thing, oh yeah. For some reason, people were almost wanting to see the end of that, in a way. Like, OK, they’re gonna shoot the bottom of the barrel with this concept – still thinking it’s conceptual. That’s funny, no one ever asked a rock quartet the same question, ‘Another album with guitar, bass, drums?’ To me, (Morphine) is like a combination lock. You’ve got three numbers to choose from. But let me see you open up a combination lock you don’t know the number for. Let me see how many times it will take you to do that.”

But, when it comes to that particular concert in Italy, Dana Colley recalls: “I remember Mark saying, ‘I don’t want to tour. We’re over this. I want us to get closer as a band.’ Because we’d fragmented, I think, in many ways from Mark’s being pulled out west by Dreamworks. We were kind of pulling the wagons around a little bit. It was pretty intense. He went through the mill for sure.”

On that particular day of the concert, he remebers: “The next day, the temperature was very hot, it was about 100 degrees on the stage. Mark seemed ready to go. He was sitting at Billy’s drum kit, playing the bass drum and the hi-hat with both feet while playing his bass, waiting for us to come down to soundcheck. He was chomping at the bit, ready to play, with a big smile on his face.”

At the beginning of “Supersex,” the second song of their set, Colley explains: “we were doing the introduction, it’s kind of an open-string thing. I look over to my right, and I just see him, his knees buckle. He fell down, he fell back, with his bass on, and the whole place just came to a complete hush.” An ambulance took Mark Sandman to the nearest hospital, but he was soon pronounced dead of a heart attack. He was 46, having no history of heart trouble.

The Boston-based alternative rock band Morphine ruled the big stage during 90s until the tragedy struck. Mark Sandman, the frontman, died ten years ago, on July 3, 1999. But, it was the kind of death that few rock legends have experienced. Mark was onstage...

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Banksy artwork destroyed?

Banksy’s artwork that satirizes western government surveillance is removed, with suspicions that it has been destroyed. His Spy Booth mural was made in April 2014 on the wall of a house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It has three secret agents in trenchcoats who use modern devices to spy on people’s conversations at a telephone box next to the wall. This house with a famous mural is actually located just a couple of miles from GCHQ, which is the home of UK government’s surveillance operations. Another “coincidence” is that the mural appeared just few months after Edward Snowden’s shocking uncovering story about widespread phone-tapping by western governments.

During the weekend, there were rumors that the mural had been purposely destroyed. Social media were flooded with photos of tarpaulins and scaffolding that covers the wall of the house. These photographs reveal that the wall was stripped back to the brickwork, with a pile of rubble down on the ground. This mural also had a protected status. So, it is still unclear if this mural was destroyed during the work on the building or removed beforehand.

In January this year, this house was listed for sale for £210,000, with the note which says that urgent work needed to be done on the house. There is still a possibility that this mural was taken down to enable the beginning of the works. But the funny thing is that, in February 2015, Cheltenham council granted a planning permission, saying that the mural was protected and shouldn’t be removed without the approval of the city’s council.

The leader of Cheltenham council, Steve Jordan explained that these works began with intentions to repair the plasterwork on the house, and that he wasn’t aware of the removal of this mural. He also said that the enforcement notice for the work was issued even before Banksy printed this mural. He concluded: “It [the artwork] is protected by a listing. I will have a look at what the situation is, certainly.” We all know that most of Banksy’s works grabbed huge attention, causing the controversy for years. One piece of wall with Banksy’s painting was cut out and shipped to the United States had to be returned to Britain, which was ordered by a high court judge last year.

“Art Buff” is a painting that shows a woman who stares at an empty plinth, created in September 2014. Just like the “Spy Booth” mural, it was constantly vandalized, shortly after it was painted. The similar controversy was caused in 2014, after Banksy made a work called “Mobile Lovers” which was showing a couple embracing while check their mobile phones, on the wall of a youth club in Bristol. David Stinchcombe, the owner of the club, moved the painting in the club, trying to earn money on donations from the people who wanted to see it. At the time he even received some death threats. Later that year, Banksy wrote a letter to Stinchcombe which declared the painting to be an original, allowing the club to have it.

Banksy’s artwork that satirizes western government surveillance is removed, with suspicions that it has been destroyed. His Spy Booth mural was made in April 2014 on the wall of a house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It has three secret agents in...

Entertainment

Great parenting comics

Many of us grew up with comic books and we still feel a sort of nostalgia when someone mentions it. Most of those early comics were humoristic, carving the path for future authors. That world never disappeared. There are many comic artists today that make us laugh on daily basis, especially the ones who create short ones, but full of humor. Here’s the story about one of those persons, totally involved in this nice and funny art.

Greeting card artist and dad of two children, Brian Gordon expressed the will to create a comic series which would be a bit more personal than his usual works. He said: “I thought I had figured out what kids were like and how to parent after the first one, but my daughter came along and proved I had no idea what I was doing.” Finally in 2013, the “Fowl Language Comics” was launched, as a funny, cute and expletive-filled look at parenting nowadays.

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His comics were an instant success on the internet worldwide. He tries to focus on the tougher part of being a parent, that is well-known to all of us. He says: “Nothing’s easier to make fun of than failure and frustration, and that’s about 90% of parenting, as far as I can tell.”

The author expressed hope that parents would feel a sense of solidarity when they see theses comics. He said: “A lot of people are hesitant to complain about their kids or admit how mind-numbing certain aspects of parenting can be, but we all experience it. I think it takes the sting out of the frustration when you realize that other parents are going through the same crap you are.”

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Early in kindergarten, Brian Gordon decided to become a cartoonist. He says that his classmates had equally unrealistic life goals and dreams, like becoming superheroes and princesses. But this little boy was more tenacious.

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On his official website, he says: “So far, things are working out okay. Secret to my success? I suck worse at everything else. You get a lot of drawing done when Plan B is Starve To Death. My comics are largely inspired by my struggles as a parent, my fascination with technology, science and all things geeky. Oh, and a constant, crushing wave of self-doubt and anxiety. That’s a big source of inspiration, too.”

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His parents characters are always replaced with animals, adding a bit more of comedy in already funny stories. Comics are short and they talk about the stuff that we’re all facing as parents on daily bases. We all have problems and we all make mistakes, but Brian somehow put all that in a funny atmosphere, so instead of being pissed off, we laugh loud. Maybe by creating all these comics, Brian Gordon actually made his life as a parent a little easier. He keeps a sort of diary in his mind and then put it all on the paper.

Here are some of his great comics below, reminding us that we’re all in this together.

Many of us grew up with comic books and we still feel a sort of nostalgia when someone mentions it. Most of those early comics were humoristic, carving the path for future authors. That world never disappeared. There are many comic artists today that make us...

Lifestyle

Painting Kenya in yellow

Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda has the plan to paint the city of Nairobi in yellow and it has already begun with houses of worship. This presents the part of artist’s public art project named “Colour in Faith”, where religious buildings like mosques and churches are painted in lemon yellow, representing the peace among all religions in Africa. From his studio in New York, Arboleda said: “The goal was to take houses of worship in Kenya and paint them yellow in the name of love. The idea from the beginning was to turn buildings into sculptures that speak to our shared humanity.”

The artist says that he chose this particular color because of its brightness and warmth, naming it “Otpimistic yellow”. He explained: “People think our photos are Photoshopped because the yellow is so saturated.” The project started back in 2015 when the Arboleda spent time in Kenyan capital for an artist residency. He’s into creating public art since 2006, and the most famous is his pink balloon project. He used it also as a symbol of peace in Kabul, Afghanistan, after the Taliban attack in 2013. There he met the founder of In Commons, Nabila Albhai. It is a civic engagement organisation. He says: “We talked about our shared humanity and our highest goals as people across religions. How do we disarm each other through beauty? And how do we do that across lines of language, religion, ethnicity and politics?”

Barack Obama’s visit to Nairobi in August 2015 was the inspiration for Arboleda. At the time, some journalists referred to dangerous nature of this, labelling eastern Africa as “a hobted terror”. Later the executive of the same broadcast network had to fly to Nairobi in order to apologize for publishing such stuff. It was a tough job to convince pastors, imams and sheiks to participate, so Arboleda had to go to top religious councils of the country to try to “obtain” the huge number of buildings for the project. He said: “We learned these councils are powerless. We had to go to pastor to pastor, priest to priest, imam to imam, sheik to sheik.”

Eventually, 14 houses were willing to be painted in yellow, but because of the complicated nature of religious bureaucracy, he had only three to begin with. For example, one mosque wanted to see the proof that the color yellow was representative of Islam and some church asked him for the financial support for participating in this project. He remembers: “At that point, I went home and cried. I was so heartbroken. We were trying to make a statement about unity and beauty but even with a shared vision, there are still limitations and challenges. Thankfully, we found people willing to collaborate in a more transparent way.”

The Jeddah Mosque Kambi was the first to jump on board, so it was painted in September 2015. Arbodela says: “The sheikh, from the very beginning, was so willing to support the cause and help connect us to other institutions. He enabled the dream.” Later he added: “In Kenya, religion is a way to control society. To ask questions and have a dialogue is incredibly powerful for these communities.”

Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda has the plan to paint the city of Nairobi in yellow and it has already begun with houses of worship. This presents the part of artist’s public art project named “Colour in Faith”, where religious...

Entertainment

Shaquille O’Neal producing a movie

When we first heard about it, it seemed like a strange couple: Famous gallerist Larry Gagosian sings a contract to produce a documentary movie about a local basketball team, choosing the legendary NBA L.A. Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal for a partner. If you think that this is some kind of random collaboration, you’re wrong. This film, called Killer Bees, is a story of the Bridgehampton School basketball team in their mission to defend the 2015 state championship title.

Regarding to the official movie synopsis, this documentary takes us beyond the court and “explores how Bridgehampton’s African American community came to exist in the heart of the Hamptons and its struggle to survive.” The true story is in slight contrast to the public’s opinion on Long Island’s East End as a summer playground that serves only for rich and powerful. The place where collectors and artists come together to party and to move from the city’s huge heat. So, the support of the film by members of the art world seems pretty natural, in all that odd tension.

The art collector Glenn Fuhrman and the film’s executive producer, told the following to the media: “I’ve driven past the Bridgehampton School millions times and never really appreciated what the student body was about or any of the history.” He heard about the project from filmmaker Orson Cummings, who has already written and directed the movie with Ben Cummings. He said: “It just sounded like a story that was really worth telling.” The new member of the NBA’s Hall of Fame, Shaquille has interest in basketball focused story, which is not surprising. But this time, it was his art world connections that made him involved in this project at the first place.

Shaquille O’Neal has already worked closely with Fuhrman, helping him to curate two exhibitions for Fuhrman’s FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea: “Size DOES Matter” in 2010 and “SHAQ LOVES PEOPLE” in 2014. Fuhrman says: “It was a kind of an obvious call to see if Shaquille wanted to help us get the film made. Much to his credit, he said yes literally instantly. His breadth of interest is so broad, it’s pretty spectacular…”

Gagosian lives in nearby East Hampton, so he knows Orson very well. The movie’s executive producer, Furhman, encouraged him to sign on as associate producer. Just to add some spice on the whole story, when it comes to the art world intrigue, this high school team took painter Joe Zucker as the assistant coach for the season.

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born March 6, 1972. Through the carrier he carried the nickname “Shaq”. Even if this American professional basketball player retired, he is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. He’s listed at 7 ft 1 in, 2.16 m, tall and weighing 325 pounds, 147 kg. With that stats he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. O’Neal played for six different teams throughout his 19-year NBA career. The biggest impact was certainly his time with Los Angeles Lakers.

When we first heard about it, it seemed like a strange couple: Famous gallerist Larry Gagosian sings a contract to produce a documentary movie about a local basketball team, choosing the legendary NBA L.A. Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal for a partner...

Celebs

Marie Lorenz on Hudson River

New York based artist Marie Lorenz showed up with two invited guests at the Village Community Boathouse, at Pier 40, on the Hudson River, couple of weeks ago. She finished her five-week journey in which she piloted a canoe from Buffalo, New York, to Manhattan, passing through the Erie Canal and the Hudson River. Her aim was to take her two landlubbing guests on the water in that same canoe that she had built by herself, whose sides had a print with design in marine grasses manner. She said: “I figured that today we would see if we can get across the river to New Jersey.”

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For ten years this artist is offering transportation to people of New York who want a ride. They just have to name the desired destination, and then she checks out tide charts to see when the tide and current will be the safest to get the canoe there. She thinks that she’s made about 250 people rides by now. This project is the part of her journey-themed exhibition, called “Wanderlust”, which is on view on the High Line and it also includes artists such as Tony Matelli, Mike Nelson, Iman Issa and Rayyane Tabet. Those waterways around New York City have been the inspiration to many artists from various periods. One time Robert Smithson was sketching “Floating Island”, a barge covered with trees behind a tug boat on Hudson River.

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Now in early 40s, Marie Lorenz started building boats at art school, while preparing a major in printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. At that time, the Providence River that runs through the city, was fully covered with roadways. She would sneak underneath them with boats she’d built, making a kind of performance art. She said: “When I moved to New York, the boat became more of a portal for others to see the city through me, and less of a spectacle.” She also wants us to look the wonders of nature with appreciation. She added: “You don’t necessarily think about the tide and the current in the grind of daily life, but there’s an immense force, moving all around the city, and it’s actually part of what made the city.”

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On August 25 and September 15, Lorenz will give visitors a ride in canoe, as the part of the High Line show. They should just sing up until the list is fully subscribed. Those who miss it will be offered with free rowing sessions by the Village Community Boathouse. The part of its mission is “to restore safe, universal public access to our city’s largest public space—its waterways.”

The exhibition “Wanderlust” is on view on the High Line until March 2017. Marie Lorenz’s exhibition “Tide and Current Taxi” will be on view at the Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York, starting on September 23. Her other solo works such as “The Valley of Dry Bones”, “Archipelagio” and “Upriver” were on view in many states across the U.S. and Canada during last 8 years.

 

image source: news.artnet.com

New York based artist Marie Lorenz showed up with two invited guests at the Village Community Boathouse, at Pier 40, on the Hudson River, couple of weeks ago. She finished her five-week journey in which she piloted a canoe from Buffalo, New York, to...

City Life

Talks in the Cuban Art

The conversation with Elizabeth Cerejido, organizer of the Dialogues in Cuban Art project, that is explained as a week-long artist exchange that took place in Havana last year and Miami this spring. Cerejido described the exchange on a more personal and private level, while she’s looking for the project’s next phases.

She talked about activities scheduled for the Havana group in Miami this spring, and gave an explanation of a studio visit.

They made a visit with Maria Martinez-Canas. Ceredijo claims that she is one of the most important artists in Miami. She has numerous awards that were given to her by galleries and museums all around the world. Her work is deeply connected with Cuban history, and whose cultural identity is profoundly Cuban American.

They had a merging of various narratives that everyone shared, in different ways though. There was a common interest to everyone, artists and cultural producers but also as Cubans.

María provided a highly, well-organized presentation about her work and progress. She showed her collage negatives from which she printed out much of her famous work from the 1990s, like the Totems.

She also showed some materials from the Jose Gomez Sicre collection, which she is in the process of documenting. There were also some photographs and letters that fascinated the group.

Her typical day goes about something like this: The bus would wait for the group outside the hotel at 9 a.m. sharp. She claims that even though gathering people can be fun it can also be really stressful. Sometimes their work would last until late in the night.

She gave one day as an example. There was a tour that was led by Cesar Trasobares that included visits to public art works that have become highly popular in Miami, such as Ed Ruscha permanent installation at the main library that is situated in downtown of Miami and Claes Oldenburg that is also in the same area. Cesar is an ex executive director of Metro Dade’s Art in Public Places Program, and he would talk to the group about the inside stuff that happens in the program, where do funds come from, and discussed the political and logistical issues that happen.

After downtown Miami, they would go to Little Havana and have lunch at a traditional Cuban cafe, El Rey de las Fritas (Many didn’t now what a frita was it’s part of Cuban exile cuisine.).

And then they would end up at the Cuban Memorial Boulevard. Cesar talked about Ana Mendieta’s work that is carved on one of the boulevard’s ceiba trees, he would also put her in work in the context of the politically filled space in which it’s situated. Casa del Preso Politico is close to the boulevard we were next to, that’s the place where Afro-Cubans leave their offerings- at the base of that very ceiba tree, or the statue of a Virgin that is not that far away from the tree. That particular area witnesses Cuban painful political history.

The conversation with Elizabeth Cerejido, organizer of the Dialogues in Cuban Art project, that is explained as a week-long artist exchange that took place in Havana last year and Miami this spring. Cerejido described the exchange on a more personal and...

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Ethnic diversity in museum staff

Two studies that are made not that long ago showed a lack of ethnic and racial diversity in museum staff in the US. People of color present 38% of USA’s population, they make only 16% in museum administration, conservators and educators, and 9% of museum boards. This shocking number tells a lot about offices and boardrooms of US cultural institutions. Those institutions have to decide what has to be done about this problem that occurred.

A year ago New York City Department of Cultural Affairs surveyed about 1000 local cultural organizations, they committed one million dollars to help to support diversity in city institutions. Institutions such as Metropolitan Museum of Art and Bronx Historical society were some of the institutions that were partaking in this program. Paid internships are being evaluated in order to help the removal of the barriers that are stopping people who can not afford to work for free.

After they surveyed 181 museums in partnership with the Mellon Foundation last year The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) decided to acknowledge this problem and talk about it on their annual meeting in May. The survey results were eye opening, only 4% of curators, educators, conservators and top administrators are African American, 3%  are Hispanic, and %6 are Asian.

At the AAMD conference they were talking about how you build an institution that has cultures of inclusive excellence, rather than thinking of diversity as something that is a deficit that you need to fix in order that your program has a certain quality. In March the foundation launched a project with the help of Hunter College that will help students from under-represented and marginalized groups with their careers as New York City arts organization.

There was a striking change in the approach of this issue among directors. For example Rod Bigelow of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, received a board endorsement to revise his title to executive director and chief diversity and inclusion officer, which means that these are the values he is responsible of. The museum hiring targets are based on the demographics of the early 2020s.

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, has announced a new initiative couple of weeks ago that they will hire diverse-owned investment first to take care of a portion of its 116 million dollars endowment.

The survey results are not a surprise for those who are working to change the sameness of the museum sphere; the statistics are going to help with the measuring of the improvement. „Information can be a powerful agent, those are the words from Holly Sidford of Helicon Collaborative, and she is working on promoting equity in cultural organizations. She knows that this topic is hard to talk about, but it’s the only way of solving the problem.

But some people have different ideas about the future changes. The New York- based development officer Nicole Reiner says that the funds should be given to struggling community organizations that are multicultural rather than trying to change the diversity of well funded more popular institutions.

Two studies that are made not that long ago showed a lack of ethnic and racial diversity in museum staff in the US. People of color present 38% of USA’s population, they make only 16% in museum administration, conservators and educators, and 9% of museum...

Entertainment News

Spider-Man comics

 

Spider-Man is one of the most famous Marvel Comics super heroes. Spider-Man’s character was created by the editor Stan Lee and writer artist Steve Ditko, his first appearance was in the Amazing Fantasy #15 in the Silver Age of Comic Books. Peter Parker (Spider-Man) is an orphan who was raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, he is a teenager that lives a normal life, but when he puts his suit on he becomes a crime fighter. He is super strong and has an ability to cling to surfaces, shoots spider web using his wrist-mounted device. He also has his “Spider-sense” that helps him with his reactions and his fighting. Later on Peter Parker found his company called Parker Industries.

When the first Spider-Man comic book appeared in 1960s, teenage super heroes were rarely protagonists. Spider-Man was the first comic book that had a high school student Peter Parker as the main character. It was created in a way that teenagers can relate to the character because of his teenage years and everyday problems. Spider-Man never had a role of sidekick, and he never had a mentor. “With great power there must also come great responsibility”- is the line that originally came from the comic book, but it was retroactively added to his Uncle Ben

Spider-Man has appeared in many comic book series, but the most famous one is the super popular The Amazing Spider-Man. Years have passed and Spider-Man went from the shy high school student to an outgoing college student, to married high school teacher to, later on a freelance photographer. In the 2010s, he joins the Avengers, Marvel’s famous super hero team.

Spider-Man is one of the most popular super heroes world wide. He appears in all the forms of the media TV shows, movies and comic books. Spider-Man first appeared in a movie in the 1977, and he was played by Nicholas Hammond, the movie had a simple title Spider-Man. Later on he was portrayed by actors Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. Spider-Man’s popularity is huge and he is considered to be one of the most famous super heroes alongside with DC Comics characters Superman and Batman.

Spider-Man has fought many super villains over the years. Villains are usually animal-themed, and their super powers come from scientific accidents or the misuse of technology. Spider-Man has multiple arch enemies.

Doctor Octopus is considered to be Spider-Man’s worst enemy.  Doctor Octopus is also a leader of the Sinister Six, a group that Spider-Man is fighting in the comic books.

Norman Osborn as Green Goblin is also Spider-Man’s enemy, he even killed Spider-Man’s girlfriend in one of the most famous comic books that was ever released.

Another Spider-Man’s archenemy is Venom. Eddie Brock as Venom is described as the evil Spider-Man. Venom is trying to ruin Spider-Man’s life. Venom is one of the most popular Spider-Man’s enemies, famous enough to get his own comic book.

Spider-Man comic books were translated to many languages and a bite from a radioactive spider triggers mutations in Peter Parker’s body achieved big popularity.

 
Spider-Man is one of the most famous Marvel Comics super heroes. Spider-Man’s character was created by the editor Stan Lee and writer artist Steve Ditko, his first appearance was in the Amazing Fantasy #15 in the Silver Age of Comic Books. Peter...

Tech News

About the ballpoint pen

When people talk about art, devices and materials there are some kind of ranks. Generally ballpoint pen art is considered to be low art, some say it’s because ballpoint pens only make solid lines. But is that the case? Is this form of art getting enough attention?

Trent Morse manager editor at Introspective traced a the history of the ballpoint pen all the way back to Giacometti, with his vastly and densely drawn portrait heads, and to Alighiero Boetti who was the first man to use the ballpoint pen as the primary medium, all the way to the Korean artist Il Lee who is considered to be the best ballpoint artist of today. He uses a special technique that requires him to heat up the tip of the pen and let the ink flow more freely. We learned that paper needs more ink than canvas.

Morse divided the ballpoint pen art in two categories: “Creatures and Characters” and “Space and Structures” that include figures and faces in the first section and geometrical shapes and abstractions in the second. The artist Thomas Nozkowski the famous artist who uses lines to create his abstract cartoons falls in to the second category, while the famous Italian artist Seb Patane falls into the first.

So what draws that many artists to the medium of ballpoint pen? Rebecca E. Chamberlain has said that her love for this type of art does not come from the possibility to make all kinds of different lines, but rather to the ink itself and the blueness that it makes. She drains the ink from the Bic pens and uses it as paint; her work is based on portraying interior spaces such as offices. She basically takes the pens back home.

Artist Dawn Clements gives the ballpoint pen the credit for the fact that the pen does not smudge in the way the pencil does, she thinks that the pens are clean and easy to use. She also portrays the interior.

These words from artists that come from all around the world give the ballpoint pen a good name. They try to explain what drained them to the medium.

Ballpoint’s art potential is evident to the maximum in the work of Belgian Conceptualist Jan Fabre, who explains why he likes the ballpoint pen. He says that pens are cheap and easy to use and carry. Drawing is something that he loves and with the ballpoint pen he found the way to do what he loves anywhere he goes. His favorite pen is the famous, Bic pen. He draws on many different things such as bathtubs and wood houses.

Thomas Hirshhorn a German conceptualist is also talking about his passion for the ballpoint pen. He was asked by critics why he was using the Bic pen, whose produces is financing and supporting the right-wing French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen. His answer was straight forward and he thinks that there’s no place for politics in art. He uses them because of the things many other artists have said, they are cheap and universal.

When people talk about art, devices and materials there are some kind of ranks. Generally ballpoint pen art is considered to be low art, some say it’s because ballpoint pens only make solid lines. But is that the case? Is this form of art getting enough...

City Life

Matisse Colloquium to be held in Philadelphia

A conference about Henri Matisse is going to be held at the Barnes Foundation from 13th to 15th of October. It will bring scholars to Philadelphia to talk about artist’s long lasting legacy. Lectures and panels will talk about Matisse’s interest in non-Western art and will include historians Claudine Grammont and Helene Ivanoff.

“Our goal is to assess the state of our knowledge on Matisse today and to outline what could be done next in terms of future study, research, exhibitions, and collections; these are the words from the conference’s organizer, Sylvie Patry, the Barnes’s deputy director and chief curator. She thinks it is always amazing for public to comprehend that some of the famous artists such as Matisse; scholars always manage to find a new way to look at his art.

The Barnes has a long lasting connection with Matisse. In 1912, the founder Albert Barnes bought his first two work by the artists, the paintings The Sea Seen from Collioure that was painted in 1906 and Dishes and Melon that was painted somewhere between 1906 and 1907. Years have passed and Barnes continued with the support of Matisse’s work, they even invited him in 1930 to paint a canvas triptych mural for three arches at the foundation building outside Philadelphia in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. The Project was completed in 3 years, cost Barnes $30,000 and helped Matisse to feel better who had difficulties during his years in Nice between 1917 and 1930, states the art historian Yve-Alan Bois. Bois, who was the editor of the book Matisse in the Barnes Foundation published by Thames and Hudson in January, will also speak at the conference.

“In the Nice period, (Matisse) was very frustrated, because he had been surpassed by Picasso as a champion of the avant-grade, and so he retreated” Bois claims. “The end of the 1920s was a difficult period for him. He was bored to death by his Odalisque paintings, even though they were very successful on the market. When the Barnes commission arrives, he is offered a great surface to decorate and suddenly he is plunged back into his youth.”

“The Barnes request inspired Matisse to work on something new outside of his style. “His sketches for The Dance are extraordinary because they are just a few strokes,” Bois says. “There is absolutely no description; they’re just schematic indications of the movement of the dancer. He realizes he doesn’t have to be so guarded. In the early 1930s there is definitely a change in the way he understands drawing and painting and he starts to value work that is not completely controlled.””

 

Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse was born in December 31st in 1869. He was a French artist known for his use of color and his originality. He was a printmaker, draughtsman and sculptor but is known by his paintings. He is considered do be one of the artists who helped to define the plastic arts alongside with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp.

A conference about Henri Matisse is going to be held at the Barnes Foundation from 13th to 15th of October. It will bring scholars to Philadelphia to talk about artist’s long lasting legacy. Lectures and panels will talk about Matisse’s interest in...

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Who is the mysterious woman on Degas’s painting?

After scanning Degas’ painting Portrait of the Woman scientists have found Emma Dobignys’s face. Finally, after 140 years scientists agreed that Emma, who was one of the favorite French impressionist’s models in that time, is hiding beneath Edgar’s Degas’s original painting.

Young woman’s face characteristics emerged when Australian scientists scanned the portrait with a special technique called x-ray fluorescence, it shown the original composition that was later on covered.

The portrait they discovered recalls to Emma Dobigny, a model who was an inspiration to many French artists. With her dark hair and pale skin, she is looking down to the left, totally different from the portrait that was painted over her.

X-ray fluorescence revealed model’s face in a super high resolution that even tracked how the artists used the paintbrush. It’s obvious that Degas painted the young woman’s face first, but spent more time painting the ears into a more fitting shape.

Degas wasn’t the only artists who over painted his works, but Degas used a really thin layer of oils in his Portrait of a Woman that after many years the original face started to show under the top layer. Experts in 1922 have put out a claim that the portrait has traces of discoloration due to the underlying image.

National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne researchers that worked on the project used a really thin, but highly intense x-ray beam that the synchrotron machine have made to scan the 46cm by 38cm canvas. Once the x-ray beam was done it was clear that there was another face hiding beneath the original layer.

After the scanning the process made multiple „elemental maps“ of the painting, which once they are put together reproduce the original portrait of Emma Dobigny, the young model Degas painted seven years before he over painted it. The machine was working for 33 hours in ordered to make a 31.6 megapixel map of the painting, the fact that each pixel measures only 60 thousand of a millimeter is stunning.

It was discovered that Emma Dobigny was Degas model for 20 years, her face was used in many of his paintings. Her face wasn’t only Degas inspiration, many other French artists such as Puvis de Chavannes and Camille Corot had Emma as their model.

It seems like Degas had a special connection for Dobigny. In a letter he sent her, found in his private collection, he wrote: “Little Dobigny, another session and right away if possible.”  It was speculated that two of them were in some kind of a relationship.

Scientists are now hoping that they’ll use the x-ray technique on other paintings. This is really important for the art historians, because it gives them a new perspective on the artworks they are talking about. Experts say that Degas’s Portrait of a Woman was a perfect painting to analyze because of the thin layer Degas used to cover Dobigny’s face. If Degas covered the original painting with a thick layer of oils the image probably couldn’t be reconstructed.

After scanning Degas’ painting Portrait of the Woman scientists have found Emma Dobignys’s face. Finally, after 140 years scientists agreed that Emma, who was one of the favorite French impressionist’s models in that time, is hiding beneath...