Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Voltaire, born François-Marie Arouet, was a french author, poet and political activist. Alongside his books, he composed thousands of poems, pamphlets and essays over his career. His most notable, and my favorite work is Candide. Candide is a satirical novel aimed at poking fun at the cultural norms of his time. My reason for choosing Voltaire is that his life was spent arguing for things he believed in. He was a prominent advocate of religious freedom and class equality, and he used his artwork to express this. He was also one of the first public figures that expressed ethnic equality in France, during a time which speaking out on such issues was very frowned upon. Voltaire’s works in social activism, as well as the beauty of his writings has challenged me many times to think about the world in which we live in.

This website offers information about the general life of Voltaire. It also describes his major works and contributions.

This site focuses on the philosophies of Voltaire, as well as providing more information about his life.

This site links to the Voltaire Foundation.This a site run by University of Oxford. It houses all of the publishing information for his works, as well as information about his life and works.


Wassily Kandinsky
Image from:http://www.wassily-kandinsky.org/Composition-VIII.jsp

Wassily Kandinsky is a Russian artist and theorist. He was a part of the expressionist movement in the early 1900s. All of his works are known as non-objective abstractions where the subjects and forms are unrecognizable to anything we know in our lives. His artwork only relied on the color and form and their relationships and contradictions. His complete abstraction allowed his art to speak profoundly of his inner experiences. I wanted to share Kandinsky because I do simply find his work aesthetically pleasing. There is great compositional balance in each piece, and I can see the connection to music. Whether your eye dances randomly across the page or you take in each piece systematically there is a sense of movement whether it is abrupt or flowing, a story of feeling is told.
This website goes into detail of what really inspired Kandinsky in his work such as expression of feeling and music. A biography describes Kandinsky’s childhood, when he was first exposed to the expressionist movement, up to his death and how he influenced other abstract artists such and Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
This article explains the relationship Kandinsky saw between music and painting/color. He drew inspiration from this relationship in every piece of his work. This article also goes into depth about the connection Kandinsky saw between color and the spiritual self. Overall it is emphasized that Kandinsky took a very theoretical approach to painting.
Image from: http://totallyhistory.com/composition-vii/
This website gives some background behind one of Kandinsky’s most famous works, Composition VII. They explained the planning and work behind the painting which gives some insight to Kandinsky’s artistic process. The website explains how to forms and colors have an apocalyptic feel and express the theme of Judgment Day.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican feminist who was beyond her time.  Not only does her artwork embody modern ideas with surrealism, but her subject matter and unique style is taught in art classrooms across the world.   After being immobilized from a tragic automobile accident in her teenage years, Frida was on bed rest and had restrained movement for much of her life.  She would lie in her bed, staring at herself in the mirror mounted above her bed, and paint self-portraits of her pain and thoughts on the world.    Her ability to see beyond the constraints of her time grants her immortality.
Frida’s life was often admired for reasons beyond her art.  Her life was especially difficult, with polio as a child, a tragic accident in her teenage years, and pain that lasted the rest of her life. She was also well known for a glamorous life among the famous, including Tina Modotti and Leon Trotsky.   Kahlo was also well known for feminism activism.
Frida had a complicated relationship with her husband.  This site notes, “She often referred to him as her baby. She met him while still a schoolgirl and later, in 1929, became the third wife of a man who gaily accepted the diagnosis of his doctor that he was "unfit for monogamy."   They were known to not be monogamous, as Frida had many lesbian lovers while she was married.   Additionally, the accident maimed Frida, making her infertile, so she was never able to fulfill her lifelong dreams of being a mother.
Frida was diagnosed with polio as a child, she hid her deformity from the world with bandages wrapped around her thinning leg and wore thick wool socks over them to prevent the world from seeing.  Frida saw the good in the worst parts of life. “My papa and mama began to spoil me a lot and love me more,” Kahlo told Campos.  This source continues on to say that, “This statement, extraordinary in its pathos, provides one sorrowful key to the artist’s psyche”.  Frida continued on to associate pain with love, with her response to one Rorschach as, “male genitals with fire and thorns”. 


Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, "Self-portrait", 1986

Tags: Andy Warhol, Self-portrait, Photography, Pop Art

Andy Warhol is one of the most well known American artist and a leading figure in pop art. One can measure this via Google hits – more than 20 million search results. And his work can be easily recognized by the man on the street. Those paintings are masterpieces that made Pop Art a phenomenal art movement. For example, you may find the following painting familiar. Marilyn Diptych contains fifty images of Marilyn Monroe. Half of them are vividly colored and the other half are in black and white with an effect of fading.

Andy Warhol, "Marilyn Diptych", 1962

Tags: Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Painting, Pop Art

Andy Warhol was more than a painter. He was also a photographer, a filmmaker and a musician. Warhol worked in great depth in many different forms of media. He was, in the words of writer, Peter Wollen: “Renaissance man”.

Andy Warhol and Twiggy 

Tags: Andy Warhol, Twiggy, Lesley Lawson

Warhol’s native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has the Andy Warhol Museum, which is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist. I visited there during my trip to the east coast last winter. It was an amazing and inspiring experience. I also made my own “screen shot” in the Warhol manner. You definitely want to check out their website.

The museum holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives from Warhol. They also have online galleries including several levels of his work spanning his lifetime. So you can browse through a large collection of artworks by Andy Warhol without actually visiting there!

Also, this is a link to Andy Warhol’s biography. The website is very informative on Warhol’s early life and how his artistic career moved. It provides the facts that help you understand Warhol’s art work better.

This website presents a documentary film on Andy Warhol. The documentary was made all about the life and death of Warhol. It is an excellent documentary especially for people who are into paintings.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Grace Miceli

"Why can't I just be a fucking artist? Dudes get to just be artists. They don’t have to be 'male artists'." -Grace Miceli

Grace Miceli is a pop culture artist who bases her work on everyday femininity. She is incredibly inspiring to me because she’s created Art Baby Gallery, an online showing space for her and other underrated young artists’ work to be presented to a large audience. Despite the fact that she had just finished college and was not making money, she found a way to present her work to an audience that understood and appreciated it, and shared her space with other artists. Miceli holds strong views that I agree with about feminism in art: that feminism is an idea that should be present due to the lack of representation of female artists, however, she recognizes that it’s frustrating being labeled as a “female artist” rather than an “artist” as male artists are. The pop culture and nostalgia that Miceli works with is extremely relatable to me, she is around the same age as I am and we grew up seeing the same things on TV, in toy stores, in books, in grocery stores, etc. 

http://gracemiceli.com/ is Miceli’s website. It features her work, the clothing and art she sells, and the Art Baby Gallery. The work she presents are drawings, paintings, and photos; she also uses instagram (linked on the website) to promote her art.

https://www.thefader.com/2015/11/23/grace-miceli-art-baby-interview is an interview with Miceli, asking her opinions on feminism and pop culture nostalgia, her show Girls at Night on the Internet, and her work and how the internet’s role comes in.

https://www.nylon.com/articles/girls-at-night-on-the-internet is a profile of Miceli’s Alt Space Brooklyn exhibit “Girls at Night on the Internet” which is a digital space for unestablished young female artists. It’s meant to showcase art and inspire other young artists to share their work. The art world can be very intimidating and Miceli’s goal is to show other young artists that showing their work in a gallery or other forms is attainable.

Dimitra Milan

"I want my artwork to inspire people and make them feel that anything is possible for them. Help them understand who their true self is and how they are capable of anything they put their mind to." 

-Dimitra Milan

Dimitra Milan is a 16 year old artist who began painting only 4 years ago. Being the daughter of two artists, Dimitra has been continuously exposed to art since a very young age. Growing up, her parents had a profound impact on her in the world of art, as they have always given her guidance and advice about painting and the creative process. She chose to be home-schooled so that she could focus more time on training, and, when her parents opened an art school, she began taking classes at age 12. Using a combination of classic oil pieces and mixed media oil pieces, Dimitras paintings reflect a dream-like atmosphere, which she does intentionally to make the viewer feel that "anything is possible." Her artwork often depicts women interacting with nature and animals, which is why I am drawn to this artist. 

This is the artists website, which includes her bibliography, artwork, gallery listings and ways to follow her through social media. 

This is a link to an interview from Anna Gragert. Gragert interviewed Dimitra Milan earlier this year in January. In this interview, Gragert asks about her life, her inspiration, creative process, and setting and the symbolism of her work. 

This is another interview done earlier this year in January by BoredPanda staff member, Dainius. This interview gives more information about Dimitra Milan's life, how her skills developed and her parents influence on her artwork.