Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Yorker Cover Art, Painted With an iPhone

[From NYTimes.com]

May 25, 2009

Some people send text with their iPhones, and some play games. The artist Jorge Colombo created this week’s cover for The New Yorker with his.

Mr. Colombo drew the June 1 cover scene, of a late-night gathering around a 42nd Street hot dog stand, entirely with the iPhone application Brushes. Because of the smears and washes of color required by the inexact medium, it comes off as dreamy, not sharp and technological.

“The best feature of it is that it doesn’t feel like something that was done digitally; quite the opposite,” said Fran├žoise Mouly, the art editor for The New Yorker. “All too often the technology is directed in only one direction, which is to make things more tight, and this, what he did very well, is use this technology for something that is free flowing, and I think that’s what makes it so poetic and magical.”

Mr. Colombo bought his iPhone in February, and the $4.99 Brushes application soon after, and said the portability and accessibility of the medium appealed to him. He began the scene by beginning with the buildings’ structure, then layering on the taxis, neon lights, hot-dog stand and people. (A video of the process is available at newyorker.com beginning on Monday.) [Editor's Note: check out the video; it's pretty cool!]

It “made it easy for me to sketch without having to carry all my pens and brushes and notepads with me, and I like the fact that I am drawing with a set of tools that anybody can have easily in their pocket,” he said. There is one other advantage of the phone, too: no one notices he is drawing. Mr. Colombo said he stood on 42nd Street for about an hour with no interruptions.

“It gives him an anonymity in the big city that an artist with the easel wouldn’t have,” Ms. Mouly said.

“Absolutely nobody can tell I am drawing,” Mr. Colombo said. “In fact, once I was doing the drawing at some place, and my wife was around, and they asked her why did I have to work so hard? I seemed to be always on my iPhone sending messages.” STEPHANIE CLIFFORD

AHA Mailbag

[Editor's note: Still experimenting with listing various AHA Bulletin Board type announcements in the Paint Rag. I tend to think this is redundant with the Bulletin Board, takes up a lot of space, requires a lot of editing and attention and breaks the flow of the Paint Rag. My feeling is that this type of item is better handled via the Bulletin Board (click here). But we'll see.]


Aloha everyone, AHA needs a volunter to make postcard and e-anouncements for our Aloha show and Contempporary show using Vista Point or some such program. The position involves only a handfull of invitations and or announcements of our coming show receptions. Without this we cannot reach a bigger audience of guests for our award shows. Please let me know asap if anyone is willing to take this on. Mahalo, President Tony randallt001@hawaii.rr.com or feel free to call me 398-1863. We need the Aloha show postcards done and printed by entry day July 31.
Aloha everyone, as of today we only have about 3 artists for our Summer Sizzle show at HCC. Theme is pretty open but we have no artists. Anyone interested please contact Priscilla or myself asap. Entry day is Sunday June 28 9 a.m. AHA doesn't want to lose HCC as a venue but we need to supply the demand . . . Mahalo, President Tony For Prospectus, click HERE.
Aloha , We are in need of a new web master for the AHA web site. If anyone is interested please contact myself or Priscilla. My e-mail is randallt001@hawaii.rr.com or feel free to call me at 398-1863 Mahalo, President Tony
Warren Stenberg is our new publicity chairperson for the AHA. He will be responsible for marketing the AHA activities to the public by contacting the newspapers, radio and other media of our events. His phone number is: 262-8306 and his email address is: Warsten.art@hawaiiantel.net.
Dates: Friday, July 31, 2009 (Intake Day: from 9:30am to 10:30am) to August 24, 2009 (Take Down Day: from 12:00pm to 2:00 pm)

Gallery Hours at Honolulu Hale: Mon.-Friday from 7:30am to 5:00pm.

Reception: Friday, August 7, 2009, 5:00PM - 7:00PM. Entrants are requested to bring a pupu to share.

Juror: Mr. Michael Schnack, owner of Cedar Street Galleries.

Awards: Best in Show, 1st Place, 2nd Place and 3rd Place with 3 Honorable Mentions.
The Contemporary Museum
June 26, 2009 (1-3 p.m.)
$15 TCM members; $20 non-members

Take a summer break from email and treat someone special to a handmade origami card. This unique summer workshop is open to all ages, keiki (6 and up) and adults alike. Three different origami models will be taught from the very simple sailboat, to the low-intermediate twist fish, to the more challenging butterfly. Learn at your level and then create unique note cards with beautiful handmade papers. Come ready to have fun! Reservations are required. Please call (808)237-5217 or email Quala-Lynn Young, Curator of Education at qyoung@tcmhi.org.
Artwork created by City and County of Honolulu employees and their family members will be on display July 13 to 28 at Honolulu Hale.

Fourth Annual Exhibit of The National Arts Program® in Honolulu is being presented by The National Arts Program Foundation and the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts. The program was established in 1983 by The National Arts Program Foundation to identify the artistic talents of our nation. The program involves employees and family members of municipal and county governments and businesses, and is gradually expanding to include the general public. All works will be judged by professional arts practitioners in the following categories: amateur, intermediate, professional, and youth.

It currently reaches more than 450 cities and communities in 44 states and the District of Columbia in 84 annual venues. The City and County of Honolulu is currently the only organization in the state of Hawaii to participate in this program.

Exhibit hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Exhibit viewing is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts at 808-768-6622 or visit www.honolulu.gov/moca.


An Exhibition of New, Recent and Rediscovered Works by five Association of Hawaii Artists members: David DEVENOT, Charlene HUGHES, Ruth Laird PISTOR, Warren STENBERG & Hank WHITTINGTON

July 1 thru July 30,2009
Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden Gallery
45-860 Luluku Road, Kaneohe, HI 96734

Please join us at our Artists' Reception

Please Join Us *** Ample Free Parking
(Call for more info: 262-8306)
You can get more information regarding Gallery Openings, spotlites on art
exhibitions like the Haleiwa festival, at the website: http://www.honoluluartsbeat.com

One of the features at this website has Ward Centre GAllery News: Susie Anderson has been invited to represent Oahu at the "July 4th Makawao Paint-Out Invitational - Painting a Volcano from Crater to Coast!" 22 plein air artists will be painting for 7 days from June 28 to July 4th at locations on the Island of Maui: Tedeshi Winery, Harvest Dat at O'o Farms, Alii Lavender Farm, and at the Grand Wailea Resort. Susie will be posting an updated schedule at her website: www.susieanderson.com

Mark Norseth will be having his "3rd Annual Summer Painting Demonstration" on
Saturday, June 20, 2009. Watch Mark's demonstration, bring a light suppper if
you wish, and be part of the onlookers. For details, contact Mark at: 263-2013,
or email him at:mark@marknorseth.com
On display at the First Hawaiian Center, 999 Bishop St. There were 56 artists juried into the show from hundreds of entries. 15 of the artists did self portraits. Show runs through September 11, 2009 and is organized by the MACC. The First Hswaiian Center hours are 8:30am - 4:00pm Monday thru Thursday, and 8:30am = 6:00pm on Friday. The Schaefer Portrait Challenge is a spectacular exhibit, not to be missed.
Connie Hennings-Chilton showed her work in Fukuoka Japan in June along
with a Hula Festival at the Fukuoka Sun Palace Hotels and resort, June 6-7. The
main sponsors of the event - Aloha Monarch RKB Hawaii. One of her pieces to be
featured in their brochure is LEGEND OF THE TARO.

Roger Ebert Movie Review: My Kid Could Paint That (PG-13)

Cast & Credits With Marla, Mark and Laura Olmstead, Anthony Brunelli, Elizabeth Cohen and Michael Kimmelman.

Sony Pictures Classics presents a documentary produced and directed by Amir Bar-Lev. Running time: 83 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for language). Opening today at the Music Box and Evanston CineArts.

By Roger Ebert

The truth lurking beneath "My Kid Could Paint That" is that your kid couldn't paint that. The documentary considers the perplexing case of Marla Olmstead, a 4-year-old girl from Binghamton, N.Y., who got a lot of publicity because at her age she was producing abstract paintings that sold for hundreds and then thousands of dollars, were awarded gallery shows, generated a firestorm in the art community, and were the subject of a controversial segment on "60 Minutes."

The paintings are pretty good. They are as good as some, not most, abstract paintings. They play into the hands of those who dismiss abstract art as the process of applying paint to canvas with a technique that looks random and unconsidered. Some, not all, abstract art gains its importance not because of its intrinsic quality but because of its price. At $25, it looks like dribbles. At $25 million, it looks like a masterpiece.

The story as told by Mark, Marla's dad, an amateur painter himself, is that one day little Marla was on the kitchen table while he was painting, and she grabbed a brush and started painting, too. The child showed an instinctive feeling for color, pattern, composition, texture, and because of her age and the abstract-art-debunking angle, she started to get worldwide publicity.

The problem was, no one had actually seen Marla creating a whole work from start to finish except, presumably, her parents. "60 Minutes" came to do a piece on the girl, put their equipment all over the house, and installed a secret camera in the basement ceiling. Through it, they were able to see Marla beginning a painting with urgent whispered instructions from her father. We never see him touch a brush to the painting, but on the other hand, the finished painting doesn't look like a "Marla" but like something any child could paint.

Is the little girl the star of a hoax by her family? Amir Bar-Lev, the maker of this film, says he doesn't know, and the film has an open ending. He grew quite close to the Olmsteads, and at times worried that he was betraying their confidence. My own verdict as an outsider is, no, Marla didn't paint those works, although she may have applied some of the paint.

But it's more complicated than that. As I said, some of the paintings are pretty good. People might pay hundreds if they were by a kid but would they pay thousands unless they actually liked them? The irony may be that Mark Olmstead is a gifted painter who could never break into the closed circle of abstract art without a gimmick like Marla.

My favorite modern painter is Gillian Ayres, OBE. Ayres (born 1930) is a well-known British abstract expressionist whose huge canvases, often measuring several feet in their dimensions, look like finger painting, because they are. With untrammeled exuberance, she paints in bright colors with a thick impasto. Chaz and I had not heard of her when we saw one of her paintings in a warehouse, and simultaneously agreed we loved it. I append an Ayres painting, one of 14 in the Tate Modern. No, a kid couldn't paint that.

In the last analysis, I guess it all reduces to taste and instinct. Some paintings are good, says me, or says you, and some are bad. Some paintings could be painted by a child, some couldn't be.

Ivory sculpture in Germany could be world's oldest

[From Yahoo! News - for some reason, there's been a mini-run of art articles on Yahoo! recently.]

BERLIN – A 35,000-year-old ivory carving of a busty woman found in a German cave was unveiled Wednesday by archaeologists who believe it is the oldest known sculpture of the human form. The carving found in six fragments in Germany's Hohle Fels cave depicts a woman with a swollen belly, wide-set thighs and large, protruding breasts.

"It's very sexually charged," said University of Tuebingen archaeologist Nicholas Conard, whose team discovered the figure in September.

Carbon dating suggests it was carved at least 35,000 years ago, according to the researchers' findings, which are being published Thursday in the scientific journal Nature.

"It's the oldest known piece of figurative sculpture in the world," said Jill Cook, a curator of Paleolithic and Mesolithic material at the British Museum in London.

Stones in Israel and Africa almost twice as old are believed to have been collected by ancient humans because they resembled people, but they were not carved independently.

The Hohle Fels cave discovery suggests the humans, who are believed to have come to Europe around 40,000 years ago, had the intelligence to create symbols and think abstractly in a way that matches the modern human, Conard said.

"It's 100 percent certain that, by the time we get to 40,000 years ago in Swabia, we're dealing with people just like you and me," Conard told The Associated Press, referring to the southern German region where the sculpture was recovered along with other prehistoric artifacts.

Conard believes the 2.4-inch-tall (6-centimeter) figure may have been hung on the end of a string. The left arm is missing, but Conard said he hopes to find it by sifting through material from the cave.

The Hohle Fels sculpture is curvaceous and has neither feet nor a head, like some of the roughly 150 so-called Venus figurines found in a range from the Pyrenees mountains to southern Russia and dating back about 25,000-29,000 years.

But Cook warned against trying to draw any connections between the Venuses and the Hohle Fels figure, saying that would be like comparing Picasso to a classical sculptor — too much time had passed.

"I wonder whether at this point we're looking at figures which are unique within themselves and unique within the cultures that they're arising in," she said.

Archaeologist Paul Mellars, of the University of Cambridge, suggested a clearer continuum.

"We now have evidence of that sort of artistic tradition of Venus figurines going back 6,000 years earlier than anybody ever guessed," he said.

Neanderthals also lived in Europe around the time the sculpture was carved, and frequented the Hohle Fels cave. But Mellars said layered deposits left by both species over thousands of years prove the sculpture was crafted by humans.

"Nothing within a million miles of this has ever been found in a Neanderthal layer," Mellars said.

The archaeologists agreed the sculpture's age and features invite speculation about its purpose and the preoccupations of the culture that produced it.

Cook suggested it could be symbol of fertility, perhaps even portrayed in the act of giving birth.

Mellars suggested a more basic motivation for the carving: "These people were obsessed with sex."

Conard said the differing opinions reinforced the connection between the ancient artist and modern viewer.

"How we interpret it tells us just as much about ourselves as about people 40,000 years ago," he said.