Podcast #6 Master- Albrecht Durer, Modern- C.M. Coolidge

This is a fun week about pets, animals and art!  The great master artist, Albrecht Durer, was primarily an engraver and printmaker, he was also a painter and “theorist”.  During his lifetime (1471 – 1528) he created some of the most recognizable animal prints that people are familiar with today.  He is also said to be one of the first European landscape artists.

Young Hare I

Young Hare I

Teresa and Suzanne talk about two important pieces, Young Hare I (1502), and Rhinoserus (1515) (his spelling). Both are fantastic works of art, one for it’s amazing attention to detail and shading, the other because of it’s remarkable likeness to an actual rhinoceros, though the artist had never seen one in real life.  It takes a draughtsman with strong skills and vivid imagination to create an engraving that has such believability.

“I just want to reach in and pick up the hare” says Suzanne as they talk about Durer’s work.

“It’s true, his work is so detailed and exacting, it has very strong sense of being” Teresa points out.

The rhinoceros is another story completely- the image was based on a written description and brief sketch by an unknown artist of an Indian rhinoceros that had arrived in Lisbon earlier in 1515. Dürer never saw the actual rhinoceros, which was the first living example seen in Europe since Roman times. In late 1515, the King of Portugal, Manuel I, sent the animal as a gift for Pope Leo X, but it died in a shipwreck off the coast of Italy in early 1516.

Rhinoceros, Durer 1515

Rhinoceros, Durer 1515

Dürer’s woodcut is not an entirely accurate representation of a rhinoceros. He depicts an animal with hard plates that cover its body like sheets of armor. Despite its anatomical inaccuracies, Dürer’s woodcut became very popular in Europe and was copied many times in the following three centuries.  Some art historians have said of Dürer’s woodcut: “probably no animal picture has exerted such a profound influence on the arts”.

After the break they talk about a painting that has been found in basements, bars, pool halls and even public bathrooms for about 100 years, a painting done by self-taught commercial artist and painter, Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, better known as C.M. or even Cash.  That painting… (drum roll)….

Dogs Playing Poker, Coolidge.

Dogs Playing Poker, Coolidge.

Dogs Playing Poker!  This iconic painting brings together a group of dogs who all have their own personalities while playing cards at a table.  A true work of Americana and Folk, you can’t take your eyes off of it while you visit each character and imagine you’ve seen them before (if you’ve ever played poker).

Coolidge, almost the complete opposite of our Master, Durer, has a sense of humor and an eye for detail, at least as far as a card game is concerned.  Just as Durer’s rhino and hare spent many years as great artistic reference, so does Coolidge’s Dogs, for parody in illustration.

During his career, Coolidge made a series of paintings for his animals, mostly dogs depicting daily life in an anthropomorphic manner.  Shooting dice, playing poker, playing pool.  They were used for advertisments and as anyone would tell you today, if he was a working commercial artist, he was a success!

The reason for such diverse artistic personalities is mostly because The Art Garage is hosting an art show for the month of June called “Peticular Poses” which features a wide range of paintings and photos of animals and pets.  The artist reception is Friday, June 7th from 6-9pm while the show will be up until the end of June.

See you next week!


Podcast #3 “Marked”: The Art of the Tattoo.

https://mastersandmodpod.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/artgarage-podcast-marked1.wavhello_sailor_collo Tattoos have a fascinating history and can be amazing works of art.  This episode, Suzanne and Teresa talk about the latest exhibit at The Art Garage, “Marked”, which celebrates the art of tattoos.  For the months preceding this show, Teresa (a big fan of tattoos) went around to some of North Jersey’s well known tattoo parlors, including Powerhouse and Jinx, to get some information on the artists of tattoos and have them participate. Before we start talking about the artwork and the artists who make this art form, Suzanne asks, “how exactly do you make a tattoo?” to which Teresa gives a brief tutorial on the inks, the machines and the sanitary practices. Teresa suggests that you always make sure the tattoo parlor that you are at uses only the most clean and sanitary practices. That segues into a discussion of Sailor Jerry, or Norman Keith Collins, the American tattoo artist who developed and perfected a true American style of the art form.  Taking influences from Vargas and Betty Page, Sailor Jerry turned tattooing into a business as well as an art. img1889smAfter his passing in the 1970’s, his apprentice, Ed Hardy, began building a following and also took the art of the tattoo to yet another level, adding T-shirts, sneakers, handbags and other items with the Ed Hardy label.  What else made tattooing the craze that it is today? Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Kat Von D, basketball star Denis Rodman and soccer star David Beckham displaying “flash”, has helped make it more mainstream. Finally, Teresa introduces the famous woman tattoo artist, Sunny Buick!  Sunny has been tattooing the rich and famous for years from her tattoo parlor in Paris. The art show, “Marked”, will be on display at The Art Garage in Montclair, NJ from April 7th- May 1st.  An artist reception will be on Friday, April 19th from 6-9pm.  211 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair NJ. https://mastersandmodpod.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/artgarage-podcast-marked1.wav

Podcast #2: Three Awesome Women Artists (and their names are not Frida, Mary or Georgia!)

Welcome to podcast #2!  Although we have already broken with our decided format of a Master and a Modern, we think that we can be excused for this one!  We have three amazing women artists.  Originally this was for Women’s History month, but we made another decision that women artists should be honored all year, as much as possible.

This week Suzanne and Teresa visit the artwork of the master artist, Artemisia Gentileschi, the modern work of architect and artist Maya Lin and the very contemporary and up and coming artist, Amanda Conner.

Artemisia Genileschi Self-Portrait.

Artemisia Genileschi Self-Portrait.

Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian painter during the 1600’s from the school of Caravaggio.  Her work is on par with any of the male artists of her generation.

Born in Rome in 1593, she received her early training from her father, but after art academies rejected her, she continued study under a friend of her father, Agostino Tassi. In 1612, her father brought suit against Tassi for raping Artemisia. There followed a highly publicized seven-month trial. This event makes up the central theme of a controversial French film, Artemisia (1998), directed by Agnes Merlet.

After her death, she drifted into obscurity, her works often attributed to her father or other artists. Art historian and expert on Artemisia, Mary D. Garrard notes that Artemisia “has suffered a scholarly neglect that is unthinkable for an artist of her calibre.” Renewed and overdue interest in Artemisia in recent years has recognized her as a talented seventeenth-century painter and one of the world’s greatest female artists. The first book devoted to her, Artemisia Gentileschi – The Image of The Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art. by Mary D. Garrard, was issued in 1989; her first exhibition was held in Florence in 1991. A TV documentary, a play and, more recently, a film and now a podcast have advanced her visibilty as an important artist.

020808_maya-lin-artworkOur Modern, Maya Lin is an important figure in todays art and architectural movement.  Her prize winning design for the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial catapulted her into the spotlight where she most definitely belongs. Lin’s conception was to create an opening or a wound in the earth to symbolize the gravity of the loss of the soldiers. The design was initially controversial for what was an unconventional and non-traditional design for a war memorial. Opponents of the design also voiced objection because of Lin’s Asian heritage.  But it is a well known fact that the Vietnam Memorial is the most visited memorial in Washington D.C.

In 1994, she was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. The title comes from an address she gave at Juniata College in which she spoke of the monument design process. Talking about the origin of her work, Lin says “My work originates from a simple desire to make people aware of their surroundings and this can include not just the physical but the psychological world that we live in”.

beforewatchman_silk_spectre2_02Our contemporary artist is Amanda Conner.  Admittedly, The Art Garage is partial to comic book and graphic novel artists, and here is one to watch.  Her work is playful, smart and well crafted.  Amanda Conner is a woman in a field that is definitely dominated by men.  Yet her work stands out and is part of some of the most popular comic books in recent history.