Archive for the ‘Contemporary Art’ Category

 

What is Art? | 2019 Dr. Seuss Book Release

Posted on: February 28th, 2019 by Art Leaders No Comments

Dr. Seuss's Horse MuseumWith the 115th birthday of Dr. Seuss approaching, and the recent passing of his wife Audrey Geisel, there has been a lot of press regarding the legendary author; 28 years after his death!

Recently, an unfinished manuscript was discovered among the many drawings remaining at the Seuss estate. This manuscript was found in a similar manner to the one used the create the posthumous 2015 release of “What Pet Should I Get” (a now best-seller).

This new manuscript however deals with a quite exciting topic for those of us who already appreciate Dr. Seuss fine art! As you may know, Ted’s late wife Audrey Geisel paired with Chase art group at the turn of the century to establish a collection of limited-edition fine artworks, never before seen to the public. Ted created many artworks during his lifetime which he never sold. The rare collections include his Secret Art, Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy, Illustration Art, & Bronze Tribute Collection.

The upcoming book asks the question “What is Art?” and explores an artist’s creative process. It will give readers an inside look at how Ted thought about art, and how he viewed the world. Ted (Theodore Seuss Geisel) had an amazingly creative eye and a passionate belief in imagination! It is so exciting to be able to get a glimpse inside his mind after all of these years.

“Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum” is set to release this upcoming Sept. 3. through Random House Children’s Books. Illustrator Andrew Joyner finished the 80% completed manuscript and fully illustrated the book, as the sketches recovered were too incomplete to use. Joyner’s style has been described as “both subtly Seussian and wholly his own.”

New Dr.Seuss Book 2019 Original Dr. Seuss Sketch 2019 Book Release

The publication will feature references to Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, and other famous artists. It is rumored that famous Seuss characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Horton, and the Grinch may also appear! Some of Joyner’s previous children’s books include “Too Many Elephants in This House” and “The Swap.”

Needless to say we are delighted about the upcoming release of this new children’s book and are so happy to see the legacy of Dr.Seuss living on in this new generation!

 

Images by ABC News

Populus: People Making People

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by Art Leaders No Comments

Craig Alan Art ShowDespite the title’s multiple meanings, I am of course referring to the Populus figurative artwork series by our very own artist, Craig Alan! His artwork has captured the attention of many in the past decade or so since releasing this groundbreaking series.

Each painting from a distance can be described as a portrait – often a celebrity or known public figure. It’s when you approach the work and look closely that you start to understand that each line and detail making up the po

Craig Alan Populus Gallery Installation

rtrait is a unique individual of their very own. The figures that make up these portraits are always unique and interacting in a world within the depiction of another a human being! After all, aren’t we all just people made from people?

Craig’s inspiration behind the series began after he started taking photographs from his mother’s condo balcony, six floors up. As he captured the ever-changing crowds from a distance, a pattern began to form of a human eye in the lens of his camera. “This started my creative wheels turning,” Craig explains. Everything after that I suppose is history!

Craig has been expanding his series, offering originals, commission mixed media work, and has recently released a new limited-edition line on canvas! Craig now works in three different artwork classifications; Original, Mixed Media, and Limited Edition. His new limited-edition works (a line of about 15 images) are signed & numbered edition of 75 giclée’s on canvas. His mixed media on wood (his most popular genre of work) are available for commissions – they are customizable in size, color, and details (Clients have asked him to add in their names, certain figures, etc.) Then of course his original paintings where the limits are fairly endless, at the artists’ discretion of course (i.e. wanting him to paint your face in the populus style).

Stay tuned and let Art Leaders be your go-to resource for all things new with Craig Alan!

Craig Alan Painting, Marilyn Monroe: Fantasize, Populous Series

 

Images from artleaders.com, insta-stalker.com, & vimeo.com

The Art of Neon

Posted on: October 30th, 2018 by Art Leaders No Comments

 

Neon Art Idaho by Laddie John Dill

Has anyone else noticed this obsession with neon lately? Not only with interior design, but with fine art as well! The fluorescent neon lighting trend has come a long way since its affiliation with smoke filled bars and strip clubs. It has been creeping back into the artworld for the last several years and the evidence is everywhere.

Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers discovered neon by accident in 1898 while experimenting on liquid air. Georges Claude began creating neon lighting in 1902, as he had surplus neon leftover as a byproduct of his air liquefaction company. Neon lighting consists of brightly glowing, electrified glass tubes or bulbs that contain rarefied neon or other gases. Neon lights are a type of cold cathode gas-discharge light. A neon tube is a sealed glass tube with a metal electrode at each end, filled with one of a number of gases at low pressure

Not all neon lights are neon, in fact only one color of ‘neon’ is actually neon! The color of the light depends on the gas within the tube. Neon lights were named for neon, a noble gas which gives off a popular orange light, but other gases and chemicals are used to produce other colors, such as hydrogen (red), helium (yellow), carbon dioxide (white), and mercury (blue). Various combinations have been created over the years, creating some of our favorites (the pinks and purples!) that we have come to love today.

Threshold” (2009) from the 53rd Venice Biennale by Ivan NavarroGood Boy, Bad Boy by Bruce Nauman

Did you know there is a museum of neon art? MONA is an institution that exists to encourage learning and curiosity through the preservation, collection, and interpretation of neon art! They have hosted several notable Exhibitions in the last several years. She Bends: Women in Neon was a group art show featuring women benders from around the world and was curated by Meryl Pataky.

Though neon, and neon in art is not new it has been popping up all over lately! Not only do we personally follow several artists who have moved into neon as a medium in the last several years – notable exhibitions and art contests have been booming with the stuff!

 

The winner of the jury awarded $200,000 Grand ARTPRIZE in Grand Rapids,MI October 8th, 2018 went to “brown, carmine, and blue.” by Le’Andra LeSeur. LeSeur’s “brown, carmine, and blue” utilizes visual media (including several neon elements), installation and performance to make sense of the way current ideologies frame marginalized identities. “Le’Andra so compellingly utilizes all of her resources to take us into her world and her worldview. Her work was so deeply immersive. It’s about gender, it’s about race, it’s about America at its core,” said Davis Anderson, an ArtPrize 10 juror and the Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum at PAFA.

Neon Art Brown Carmine and Blue Le'Andra LeSeur Neon Art Brown Carmine and BlueBrown Carmine and Blue Le'Andra LeSeur

And then there is Alex Da Corte’s Rubber Pencil Devil featured at The 2018 Carnegie International, that opened on October 13th. The Philadelphia-based artist displays a skeletonof a house covered in neon with flower plantings, jack-o’-lanterns, cupids, etc. Inside, 57 magnetic music videos play (Over the course of three hours), each with pop-culture references. Da Corte stars as most of the characters in the videos. A giant Heinz bottle is jumps around, The Wicked Witch of the West is sings LeAnne Rimes accompanied by Oscar the Grouch, Bugs Bunny is sits on a cartoon crescent moon, singing Frank Ocean.

Then, as ambient music plays, Da Corte walks slowly through the door of a familiar-looking set. He’s dressed as Mister Rogers (who shot his children’s TV show nearby), wearing one of his brightly colored sweaters, smiling warmly to the camera and sitting down to change his shoes. Pretty soon he’s out the door, returning a moment later in a different sweater, switching his shoes once more and departing. He does it again and again, arriving each time in a new sweater and with the same joyful hello to the audience. It’s by turns hilarious and sad, and more than a little dark, but as he keeps going, something else happens: it begins to have the feel of an epic. It’s moving—heroic, even. He—Rogers, Da Corte—is striving to get the job done as well as he can. Like us all, he’s putting on his best face, trying to get through the day.

-Andrew Russeth |ArtNews

Rubber Pencil Devil

Pencil Devil Neon Art

rubber pencil devil alex Da Corte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We seriously can’t get enough of this work! Fingers crossed we can make some magic happen and go experience it for ourselves. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, but it resonates this strange, intriguing Americana nostalgia. The work has already been widely praised in its week since opening. Popular art hub Artsy recently published “The Carnegie International Puts Joy before Politics”. Everyone is eating up the light-heartedness of this neon structure. Wither it be the cottage feel, the candy-colored films, or various pop culture references such as Pinocchio and Mr. Rogers, something about it makes you smile!

We hope this trend sticks around for years to come! It is candy to our eyes and – I for one have NO shame in being related to a bug drawn to a zapper because we are oohing and aahing over this art trend.

 

Photos by: Sleekmag.com, Artprize.com, & artnews.com

 

ArtPrize 10 | Autumn 2018

Posted on: October 24th, 2018 by Art Leaders No Comments

The results are in! ArtPrize 10 has officially come to an end. We are so proud to have had four of our amazing artists featured this year; Antonio Molinari, Gerd Schmidt, Konstantin Savchenko, & Andrii Afanasiev. We had an amazing time visiting downtown Grand Rapids and stopping into all of the venues! It truly is an experience.

Jason Peters - The Sum of Its Parts ArtPrize 10 2018

If you are unfamiliar – ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place every other fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over five hundred thousand dollars in prizes are awarded, including a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts!

Any artist working in any medium from anywhere in the world can participate. Art is exhibited in various venues throughout downtown (museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, bridges, laundromats, auto body shops, vacant storefronts and office spaces, etc.)

ArtPrize is free and open to the public and now attracts over 500,000 visitors, making it the most attended public art event in the world according the Art Newspaper’s annual “Big Ticket List.”

ArtPrize 10 Opening Ceremony 2018

ArtPrize 10 announced the winners of $500,000 in prizes on October 8th, 2018. Below are some details regarding the winning entries!

Two $200,000 Grand Prizes were awarded, through smartphone-enabled public vote to “THE STRING PROJECT” by Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez, and by a jury of art experts to “brown, carmine, and blue.” by Le’Andra LeSeur.

“The String Project” is a series of photographs taken across five continents that together represent humanity’s shared connection.“Visitors selected a stunning visual representation of hope, empathy and connection to take home the top public vote prize,” said Jori Bennett, ArtPrize executive director.

LeSeur’s “brown, carmine, and blue” utilizes visual media, installation and performance to make sense of the way current ideologies frame marginalized identities. “Le’Andra so compellingly utilizes all of her resources to take us into her world and her worldview. Her work was so deeply immersive. It’s about gender, it’s about race, it’s about America at its core,” said Davis Anderson, an ArtPrize 10 juror and the Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum at PAFA.

-Charlsie Dewey GR | MAG

The String Project Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez ArtPrize 2018 brown, carmine, and blue Le'Andra LeSeur ArtPrize 10 2018

It is safe to say that the artists brought their all this year. There were so many deeply conceptual, emotionally rooted pieces that immerse the viewer in the reality of the artist and what they are attempting to convey. Most of which fell into the category of performance art. Most art critics will tell you that the conceptual element in itself is what makes an artist, an artist. Physical artistic talent alone is rarely acknowledged anymore and considered crafty, naive, or decorative on its own – only impressive to a non-art educated viewer or audience. I will say that despite this current viewpoint in the art world, there were several skillfully impressive works with honorable mention this year. We are in no way implying or intending to remove any thought or concept intended to be connected with these pieces. Simply wanted to throw a shout-out to some wonderfully talented artists this year – some of our favorite works detailed below:

Both falling in the 3-D category, public:

“The Phoenix” by Joe Butts & “Sun Pop” by Joshua Clark

ArtPrize 10 2018 The Phoenix by Joe Butts Sun Pop by Joshua Clark ArtPrize 10 2018

We want to extent congratulations to all of the winners and artists who exhibited at ArtPrize 10 this year! This event could not be possible for all of us to enjoy without you. We are excited to see what this event will continue to bring in the future. Art Leaders Gallery is so proud to call Michigan our home and our immediate art community!

 

Photos by: Artprize.com & mlive.com

 

Dr. Seuss: His Mystery Midnight Paintings

Posted on: October 23rd, 2018 by Art Leaders No Comments

Dr.Seuss Theodore Geisel Secret ArtWe all know and love famous children’s book author Dr.Seuss! Whether we grew up reading the books or watching the cartoons, we all know the rhymes and whimsical style that we have come to love. What you might not know is that Theodor Seuss Geisel was also a fine artist! Ted illustrated children’s books by day and spent his nights creating what he called his “midnight paintings”. His limited edition artworks are available for sale at select galleries -and wow are they amazing.

Ted never sold his works during his lifetime. He felt that it would distract from his career as a children’s book author. He also had an interesting time considering himself a fine artist at times. After his death in 1991, his home shared with wife Audrey, contained hundreds of drawings, paintings, and taxidermy sculptures.

Following Geisel’s death, Audrey donated many of his drawings to the University of California, San Diego. In 1996 art dealer Robert Chase approached her with the idea to release limited edition reproductions of her late husband’s collection. “The Art of Dr. Seuss Collection” officially launched in 1998 following a preview of the collection in 1997 where a small number of editions released annually for collectors.

“I remember telling Ted that there would come a day when many of his paintings would be seen and he would thus share with his fans another facet of himself—his private self.”

-Audrey Geisel

Many of the paintings include political commentary, sexual innuendos, and just generally not the G-rated wholesomeness we have come to expect from the Seuss name. This really is the draw for a lot of collectors – after all, Ted was a man living in this world (as well as his Seussian world) with opinions to be shared! He actually got his start with cartoon drawings in newspapers, focusing primarily on political satire. His earlier advertising illustrations in the 1920’s & 30’s eventually led him to a stint as a political cartoonist in 1941 during World War II. He even joined the army in 1943 as a scriptwriter for a filmmaking unit that documented the war.Tower of Babel Dr.Seuss Secret Art

While Ted hid his midnight paintings from the world, he also had some fun with them! He hung one of his  paintings in his home, “Green Cat With Lights” and signed it with pseudonym, Stroogo Von M; pretending that he had discovered a new artist. Ted would talk about it at dinner parties to gauge what other people truly thought about his work. According to his wife Audrey “On at least one occasion, a guest replied, ‘Oh yes, I’ve heard of Stroogo Von M.’”

Green Cat Wiith Lights Dr.Seuss Secret ArtThe collection from Chase art group currently available for sale includes illustrations, midnight paintings, and what he called his “unorthodox taxidermy.” These sculptures are mounted creature heads that Geisel originally created with papier-mâché. The original beaks, horns, antlers, etc. were from real deceased animals from the Springfield Zoo in Massachusetts where his father worked. The reproductions of course are cast and include no real animal elements.

While it was Ted’s children’s books and literary rhymes that made him a sensation, his uniquely styled animals and figures have cemented themselves as distinctly Seussian. Rest assured that his Secret Art maintains that same whimsical charm. And when you think about it, his work was always immensely conceptual. Sneetches and Yertle the Turtle explain discrimination and fascism, while The Lorax advocates to preserve the environment. Hoping that generations to come will continue to enjoy the genius that was Theodor Seuss Geisel.

 

Sludge Tarpon unorthodox taxidermy Dr.Seuss Secret Art

 

Images by: http://www.drseussart.com/

Shredding It: Continuing the Conversation

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by Art Leaders No Comments

Banksy Shredded Art 2018

I am sure by now we have all heard of the latest Banksy prank pulled earlier this month. If not, here is a brief synopsis to catch you up with the art world this October! One of his trademark paintings appeared to self-destruct at Sotheby’s in London after selling for $1.4 million at auction!

The work, “Girl With Balloon,” a 2006 spray paint on canvas, was the last lot of Sotheby’s “Frieze Week” evening contemporary art sale. After competition between two telephone bidders, it was hammered down by the auctioneer Oliver Barker for 1 million pounds, more than three times the estimate and a new auction high for a work solely by the artist, according to Sotheby’s.

“Then we heard an alarm go off,” Morgan Long, the head of art investment at the London-based advisory firm Fine Art Group, who was sitting in the front row of the room, said in an interview on Saturday. “Everyone turned round, and the picture had slipped through its frame.”

The painting, mounted on a wall close to a row of Sotheby’s staff members, had been shredded, or at least partially shredded, by a remote-control mechanism on the back of the frame. 

-NY Times

The mystery female millionaire winning bidder has recently announced that she will be keeping the piece at the original purchase price. She released a statement Thursday regarding her over-the-phone bidding experience and the later realization that she has purchased a valuable moment in art history.

“When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” the buyer, who was identified only as a “European collector and a longstanding client,”

I mean if we were her, we would keep it too! After all, isn’t artwork value – along with really everything else in our consumerism society determined by its popularity? The piece, recently retitled “Love Is in the Bin” is now considered to be more valuable than its hammer price just a week or so ago. In fact, all of Banksy’s work is rumored to have gone up in value the last week and a half. A smart play by Banksy, and a comment to all of us for caring about it – therefore continuing to increase its value.

Never the less, we art lovers are bound to talk about art! It is what we love. We galleries will continue to support our artists and their smart, potentially upsetting antics – monetarily motivated or otherwise! After all, if any of you are artists or know one in your personal lives, wouldn’t you agree that something would be lost without them? We thrive on and pull from their creative steam!

Many retailers, as well as political commentators have taken advantage of the press in the last week or so. I have below a few images for your enjoyment –

Notes From Poland Banksy

Ikea Rug Bansky Shred Art

After all, there is so much conversation to be had about this act of performance art – if you will. How would you feel if you were the bidder behind the hammer? Initially – anger, regret, confusion? Eventually – happy, mocked, taken-advantage-of, famous?

Regardless of the potentially cynical societal undertones of Banksy’s ever so elusive commentary (made ever so evident in the 2010 film Exit Through the Gift Shop) we think it is a good thing we are talking about art again as a culture! We will soak up the attention and continue to appreciate artists conceptual efforts!

 

Images by:

https://www.nytimes.com/

The Nature in Ephemeral Art

Posted on: June 26th, 2018 by admin No Comments

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…

 

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.

 

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”

Image Credit: flower carpet

 

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

Image Credit: designboom

 

Carl Kleiner: Postures Series (minimalist floral arrangements):

 

Image Credit: The Cool Hunter

 

“Flower Puppy’ by Jeff Koons:

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Art Leaders Gallery has been providing Oakland County and the Metro Detroit Area with unique fine art and custom picture framing since 1992.