Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Marechal Floriano Peixoto by Kehinde Wiley

NPR reported recently on paintings of Barack and Michelle Obama being unveiled at the US National Portrait Gallery (NPR February 12, 2018).

The style of Barack Obama’s portrait looked familiar to me with its large scale and nature inspired intricate background. And then I realized that I had taken some photographs at the Phoenix Art Museum of a colourful double portrait by the same artist: Kehinde Wiley.

Marechal Floriano Peixoto (from The World Stage: Brazil Series) – Oil on canvas (2009) by Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley was born in Los Angeles and lives in New York. On his website, he presents himself “as a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists, including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, among others”.

The Phoenix Art Museum website has a very informative Art Guide for Educators on this painting that shows the inspiration for the pose: a sculpture of Marechal Floriano Peixoto by Brazilian sculptor Eduardo de Sá (Rio de Janeiro, 1866 - idem 1940).

It is really interesting how the artist takes the art of the portrait and, while staying figurative and classical in his method (and his reference), gives it a modern twist by his use of vibrant colours, intricate backgrounds and choice of models. This art is at the same time playful and profound.
Related articles and resources

Other artworks at The Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004 – USA

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Flying back from San Jose sketches

Intercontinental flights mean being at the airport way in advance and a lot of dead time to use. This is where having a portable sketching set-up makes sense. 

My sketching material for travel: 
  • Moleskine watercolour notebook.
  • Sennelier watercolour travel box with 14 half pans. Light box with a good selection of fine colours and an integrated palette. 
  • Micron ink pens 0.5 – black and brown. 
  • Pen brushes filed with water 
  • Some travel brush (I rarely use them) 
  • A mechanical pencil (again, I rarely use it as I am drawing directly with the ink pens) 
  • A rag. I clean the brush pen tip when I change colour.
The whole thing fits into a clear plastic bag with a zip.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Claude Monet’s Water Lilies - Musée de L'Orangerie

The eight Water Lilies painting are set out in the two oval rooms, which receive natural light from the roof. The form of the room means you are surrounded by the panorama of quiet water, wherever you look.

first room brings together four compositions showing the reflections of the sky and the vegetation in the water, following the day. 

The second room contains a group of paintings with a different palette and features trunks and branches of weeping willow reflecting in the water.

Jardin des Tuileries
Place de la Concorde
75001 PARIS

Site of the museum

Related posts

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Red apples

Red apple - Oil on canvas board (6" x 8") by Benoit Philippe

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Art in the Christian Dior exhibition

This is the end of the Christian Dior exhibition in Paris (Musée des Arts Décoratifs – “Christian Dior, Couturier du rêve”) to celebrate the 70 years since the creation of the Maison Dior Couture.

Portrait of Christian Dior by Bernard Buffet

It featured dresses created by Christian Dior and the creative directors who followed since: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons et very recently Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Early in the exhibition, there was a room with art from Dior’s time.

Buste de Femme Rétrospectif (Painted bronze and mixed media) – Salvador Dali 

The three Poets (A.Salmon, G. Appollinaire, M. Jacob) – Oil on canvas by Louis Marcoussis

Perpetual Motive (Metronome and photo collage) by Man Ray

Femme (Bronze) by Alberto Giacometti

Objet Désagréables à jeter (Patinated bronze) by Alberto Giacometti

Solitude (Oil and pastel on canvas) by Mario Tozzi

Portrait of Emiliano Terry (Oil on wood) by Salvador Dali

Imaginary landscape (Ink and gouache) by Eugene Berman

Maquette de la maison en colimaçon (Painted cork, wood, sandpaper) by Emilio Terry y Sánchez

The exhibition cleverly mixed the art of the dresses with pieces of art that influenced their creators. 

LU-LEE-SAN – Gazar origami cocktail dress, by Christian Dior – John Galliano

SUZARKA-SAN – Embroidered and painted linen coat, by Christian Dior – John Galliano

La Carmencita – Oil on canvas by John Singer Sargent

The artist’s garden at Giverny (Oil on canvas) by Claude Monet

Printed faille bustier cocktail dress – by Yves Saint Laurent (circa 1960)

Rose dans un coupe – Oil on canvas by Henri Fantin=Latour

Jardin Fleuri – Christian Dior – Maria Grazia Chiuri (2017)

Portrait of Madame de Bonnières (Oil on canvas) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir