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Pop Art Banner

You can’t not know what Pop Art is. I mean –you can, but if you saw pop art you’d definitely recognize it. And that’s very much the intention of the movement –to be popular. Not to become popular, but to already exist as something popular. How can this be? Pop Art as a movement creates a mirror for popular culture –it’s things like Campbell soup cans, Wonder Woman, and large balloon animals. Pop artists have faced critiques of originality from the movement’s inception; however, one look at these artworks and you won’t be able to deny their creativity.

 Pop art arose in the 1950s as a reactionary art movement to abstract expressionism. Abstract Expressionism concerned itself with the subconscious or the spiritual; it was spontaneous, automatic, and had great emotional intensity. The point was to avoid the artistic censorship that occurred after World War II (and all the political propaganda “art” that came with it) by creating art with abstract or neutral subject matter –think Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. 

Pop Artists entered the art scene in an attempt to lighten the mood from the intensity of this genre by reverting to the everyday realities of popular culture. They emphasized the banal, kitschy, even the cheap elements of society –employed in an almost satirical or ironic reaction to the art of the times. Things you’d normally see in comic books, advertisements, and every day mundane (albeit cultural) objects appeared in compositions whose creators called them “art”. And by the 1960’s, “Pop Art”, as it came to be known, was ready to change the world. Artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol dominated the art scene. But it wasn’t just an art-movement, it was an ideology; it was a lifestyle

In the 1980s Pop art had a resurgence known as “Neo-Pop”. Like the Pop art of the 60’s it was confrontational and irreverent and witty. The Pop aesthetic never really went away and can be seen today in street graffiti, comic books, photo montage, and large-scale sculpture. The movement remains relevant today because people are drawn to the objectivity of these artworks. Pop culture motifs give viewers a feeling of inclusion or belonging –the artwork has an immediate personal significance.

Were they trying to make a socio-political statement? A critique of society? Or were they finding real beauty in Campbell’s Soup cans? Maybe they just saw everyday objects artistically?

Kaws-Installation  Soup-Cans

Images by: https://www.themodern.org/blog/Contemporary-Pop-Art/343 & https://mymodernmet.com/what-is-contemporary-art-definition/

Posted By Andie DeLapp

"The Nature in Ephemeral Art"

5/29/2018 6:00 PM

As mentioned in our last post, "The Floral Still Life: It's Stems and Roots", the traditional still life focused on a moral lesson –perhaps the most frequently used motif being life’s temporality. Flowers as they exist in nature are an art in and of themsleves; Claude Monet even said "My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece". But these tragic beauties only last a season. They bud; they bloom; they die --such is life. 

Here are some contemporary artists who capitalize on the short-lived nature of real live flowers to produce exquisite ephemeral art. Be sure to add any of your favorites I may have missed below!


Wolfgang Laib –"Pollen from Hazelnut" at the MoMA (2013):

This artist literally gathers pollen from trees and plants near his southern-German home, bottles it up, and takes it to museum's all over the world to create dust-carpet installations on their floors. Part of me is impressed by his commitment, the other part wonders how the bees must feel...

 Pollen fromm Hazelnut Detail

Image Credit: The New York Times


Detroit Flower House - Lisa Waud and others:

Before a delapidated house in Detroit was demolished, florist - Lisa Waud - decided to give it one last hurrah by decking out the place in flowers. She partnered with local floral artists to make the various installations and the results were hauntingly beautiful.  The "Detroit Flower House" exhibit opened for one weekend in October 2015.

Detroit Flower House 2 Detroit Flower House

Image Credit: boredpanda


Flower Carpet Festival –Brussels, Belgium:

The event occurs bi-annually on the Grand-Place of Brussels, featuring a different design theme each year. This year's flower carpet will “bring Guanajuato to the centre of Europe”

Flower Carpet Festival - Brussels, Belgium

Image Credit: flower carpet


Jean-Michel; Bihorel: Flower Figures (made out of dried hydrangea):

Flower Figures

Image Credit: designboom


Carl Kleiner: Postures Series (minimalist floral arrangements):

Carl Kleiner: Postures Series  Carl Kleiner: Postures Series 2

Image Credit: The Cool Hunter


"Flower Puppy' by Jeff Koons:

Flower Puppy by Jeff Koons

Posted By Andie DeLapp

Floral Still Life Style Progression

In this month’s exhibition we’re celebrating flowers and their appearance in various artwork styles from traditional to contemporary. The roots of this subject matter, so to speak, lie within the still life.

The still life grew in popularity, especially in northern Europe, during the 17th century. The intention of the still life at this time was to teach a moral lesson, especially to remind the viewer of the transience of life. Each bloom was imbued with a personal, cultural, or even religious significance –wilting flowers reminded the viewer of the temporality of life, lilies indicated the Virgin Mary, pink roses signified a clandestine love, etc. Despite their beauty and significance, "floral still life" as a subject matter remained at the bottom of the painting hierarchy, trailing far behind grandiose history paintings. 

“ . . . Even if the painter of flowers need not make the same studies to make or conquer the same difficulties as the history painter, does that mean flower painting is a lower or more limited genre?”—a review of the 1817 Salon

In the 19th century, French realists and impressionists alike began to move away from painting still lives as Memento Mori/Vanitas artworks and began to paint scenes of everyday life –their objects and subjects –for their own sake. This shift was very unpopular; the painting was no longer edifying –just beautiful. Can you imagine a time when the impressionist “still life” was considered “modern” and ruffled the feathers of traditionalists? To best appreciate this genre, it’s important to understand that even the simplest subject matter faced criticism.

“(The) poor fabricators of still lifes, who have been so violently disbarred just when they least expected it . . . [T]hey are multiplying at an alarming rate. The rats in the Paris sewers are less numerous and less menacing. If the academic order ever crumbles, it will be because the still-life painters, down below, have gnawed away, one by one, at its foundations.”—Critic Jules Castagnary, writing about the Salon des refusés in 1863

Here are some quotations from the floral artists from the 1800s to help give some context to this genre (and perhaps redeem the critics' harsh reviews with some romanticism). Enjoy this behind-the-scenes glimpse of still lifes and their hidden roots!

  • “I am following nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers." - Claude Monet
  • “I must have flowers, always, and always." - Claude Monet 
  • “A painter can say all he wants to with fruit or flowers or even clouds." - Edouard Manet
  • “How right it is to love flowers and the greenery of pines and ivy and hawthorn hedges; they have been with us from the very beginning." - Vincent Van Gough
  • “I am working at it every morning from sunrise on, for the flowers fade so soon, and the thing is to do the whole in one rush." - Vincent Van Gough
  • "What seems to me to be one of the most important things about our movement is that we have freed painting from the tyranny of subject-matter. I am free to paint flowers and call them flowers, without having to weave a story round them." - Pierre Auguste Renoir 
  • " . . . I think that nothing is more difficult for a true painter than to paint a rose, since before he can do so, he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted." - Henri Matisse 
Posted By Andie DeLapp

This week marked the start of our “In Bloom” exhibition here at Art Leaders. We look forward to celebrating floral art in all its forms –each painting as unique as the flowers they represent. But before we get too far into this exhibition, I wanted to offer some tips for appreciating the details during your visit in the gallery this month –a quick lesson in “slow looking”.

Despite the fact that the 70-plus paintings are of the same subject matter –the bouquet –they each offer so much beauty and interest when explored more carefully. Here are some ideas for how to prolong that quick glance into a slow look. You might be surprised at what beauty unfolds before you when you spend time with a single painting.


1. Scan the painting. I know, I know –I told you to slow down and now I’m telling you to “scan the painting”, but we can’t help of course but to take it in quickly at first, so do it. Scan the painting from left to right and top to bottom. Where does your eye fall within the painting? What grabs you as you eye wanders?

2. Get Close –so close that the painting becomes out of focus. From this perspective, try to figure how the artist created this piece of art one paint stroke at a time.

3. Step Back. How does the composition change when you step back a few feet? How do those details interact with each other to make the whole?

4. Consider Color. Spend some time with our flowers painted in the impressionist style. Chances are you’ll find multiple colors –perhaps the entire rainbow –within a single petal.

5. Seek out Details. Bugs like flowers too –can you find any hiding within these paintings? How about dew drops, perfectly poised to roll off smooth petals? Whether it be a tiny ant or an ironic swath of color –the beauty of each painting lies greatly in their details.


We hope to see you this weekend or throughout this month to enjoy our flower exhibition. Come in to practice your “slow looking” –after all, we can only appreciate life’s beauty when we take the time to stop and smell the roses.

Posted By Andie DeLapp

Happy Birthday Magritte

11/21/2017 12:11 PM

René Magritte was born in Belgium on this day, November 21st, in the year 1898. He was known as a surrealist artist who painted thought provoking and witty images that some have called poetic.

You might recognize his painting “The Treachery of Images” –a painting of a pipe which reads “Ceci n'est pas une pipe” and translates to “This is not a pipe” 

Of this work, he said:

 “The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying!”

By placing familiar images in unfamiliar contexts or intentionally creating odd juxtapositions, he challenged our perceptions of reality and the world’s preconceived notions of art. And so today, we commemorate his contribution to the world of art and philosophy. 

Happy 119th Birthday Magritte! 

Posted By Andrea DeLapp

What a fun event for Konstantin Savchenko! It was wonderful to see so many of his collectors attend, and the mini painting everyone worked on turned out great!

Here are some of our favorite pieces from the evening.

Konstantin Savchenko with Collectors

Contributing to the Mini Painting

Konstantin Savchenko with his Artwork

Konstantin Savchenko Talking to Collectors

Konstantin Savchenko Painting Demonstration

We raffled off the mini painting the day after the show, and one of our longtime clients was the excited winner! 

Painting Raffle Winner

Posted By Mary

Spring Revival

2/23/2017 10:48 AM

From birds chirping and the sun shining to the melted snow and new buds, spring is in the air! Revive your home from the winter blues with fresh colors and new art from some of our favorite artists.

"Golden Moment" by Pietro Adamo

See artwork details here

Golden Moment by Pietro Adamo


"Rise" by Peter Kuttner

See artwork details here

"Rise" by Peter Kuttner 

Posted By Mary

And the Award Goes to...

1/17/2017 1:28 PM

With award season here, we are so honored to have been given the distinction of "Best of Houzz 2017" in the Service category. It's our mission to make sure every client is 100% satisfied with their gallery experience, and awards such as this make us happy to know that we are uniting collectors with art they truly love. 


Check us out on Houzz: 

Art Leaders Gallery in West Bloomfield, MI on Houzz
Posted By Mary Williams

Pinterest is the king of home decor and DIY ideas, and they have compiled a list of 100 ideas that are sure to make an impact in 2017's design forecast. Here are some of the top ideas.

Read the original article from Aparment Therapy's here.

Here Are the Top Pinterest Home Trends for 2017

As we're fast approaching the end of 2016, we start looking forward to what's going to be hot in the next year. Today, Pinterest released their Pinterest 100, a cadre of trending ideas to try in 2017. We've taken a peek at their picks for the home, and can say that we heartily agree. Check out the top ten trends that will be sticking around:

Navy is the new black

Navy is up 80%, and we love how it looks in interiors, especially in the kitchen.

This plant is literally taking over

Pothos and other climbing plants are up 200%, and since they're so easy to care for, this is a good entry into the world of houseplants for beginners.

This Plant Is So Easy To Care For It's Stupid (But We'll Tell You How To, Anyway)

Wood everywhere

Between reclaimed wood, shiplap, and wood tiles, the natural material has taken over walls across America.


Pins of nightstands are up 721%. Switching up these bedside tables is a smart way to refresh your bedroom, whether you DIY or buy.

On the farm

We've seen a return to farmhouse style this year, in our tours and in decor. Pinterest noted that interest in the style is up 40%.

The year of hygge

We're not alone in falling under the hygge spell—the Danish ideal of warm feelings and coziness is up 285% this year.

Marble wallpaper

Marble is no longer relegated to just the kitchen or bathroom. Wallpaper specifically is up 303%.

Brooke Shield's living room featured on Architectural Digest
(Image credit: Architectural Digest )


The see-through material is clearly here to stay, especially in new applications. We especially love that floating frames take art to new heights.


Whether DIYed with marble or paired with pink, we can't get enough (it's up 90%). It's even Krylon's pick for Color of the Year.

Radiant heating

Keep your tootsies warm well into 2017 with heated floors, up 54%.

Check out the full Pinterest 100 here.

Posted By Mary Williams

Happy Black Cat Day! Here's a look at 7 of our favorite cats created by esteemed bronze sculptor, Loet Vanderveen. With clean lines and an Art Deco flare, these felines are sure to make a statement in any room.


#7 - "Panther, Classic" Sculpture #313

Panther, Classic - Sculpture #313


With its playful pose and beautiful patina, "Pather, Classic" begins our list at #7. It's a smaller sculpture, perfect for new Vanderveen collectors or those who need to add a touch of drama to a small space.


#6 - "Lioness, Jewel Alert" Sculpture #504J

Lioness, Jewel Alert - Sculpture #504J


This magestic lady lion comes in at #6 on our list. You can be certain that your room will be guarded well with her huntress eyes on the look out. 


#5 - "Lion, Leo" Sculpture #127

Lion, Leo - Sculpture #127


Not only is this pose dynamic, but look at that gorgeous mane! "Lion, Leo" places 5th on our list of favorite Vanderveen black cats, proving itself as the perfect bronze for summer children and big cat lovers alike.


#4 - "Jaguar, Jewel Reclining" Sculpture #503J

Cougar, Jewel Reclining - Sculpture #503J


This casual kitty comes in at #4 on our list. "Jaguar, Jewel Reclining" is a substantial sculpture with an excellent presence that brings both interest and comfort to a room. Who doesn't want to let loose and relax with this guy hanging around nearby?


#3 - "Panther" Sculpture #112

Panther - Sculpture #112


This cat exudes class and sophistication in this black-on-black picture. "Panther" arrives at #3 in style, reminiscent of the Art Deco movement with a modern influence. Reaching 12" long, this sculpture has the size and composition to make a very dramatic statement piece in any room.


#2 - "Cheetahs, Running" Sculpture #184

Cheetahs, Running - Sculpture #184


Oh, the movement! This sculpture is a close runner up to first because of its beautiful composition and design. Because of the way these two cats are are fused together to balance out weight, Loet was really able to capture the true motion of a running cheetah while producing a spectacular sculpture.


#1 - "Panther, Large" Sculpture #159

Panther, Large - Sculpture #159


"Panther, Large" prowls in at the top of the list! The shape, fluidity, and overall beauty of this sculpture is really something to behold in person. Stretched out to 31" long, this cat is not meant for life on a simple shelf, but for a grand location where it can be ooed and awed at on a daily basis.


Now you know our favorites! Which black cat of our list was yours?

Posted By Mary

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