a conversation with chuck close

Tonight Valerie and I were privileged to attend "A Conversation with Chuck Close" at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts here in Richmond. Preceding the event was a book signing wherein the artist and his biographer signed my newly-acquired copy of Chuck Close: Work. That was one of my gifts from Valerie for our 6th wedding anniversary, which is tomorrow :-)

At any rate, the conversation itself also featured the artist and his biographer, alternating between anecdotes, personal history, technique, and opinion. Everything was so engrossing for both my wife and me that I found it jarring when an official from the museum walked on stage to inform Mr. Close that they were essentially out of time. I don't think I'm the only one in the sold-out auditorium that would happily have stayed another hour.

It was a real thrill to have a living treasure of the art world in my fair River City. I look forward to the arrival of the Picasso exhibit this winter.

Tin Robots

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7-tP12f1Pc&hl=en&fs=1&w=580&h=470]

The above series of shorts comes from San Francisco artist Eric Joyner - a chap who has a strong affinity for vintage toy robots and the donuts they inexplicably crave. I heard about the artist a few years ago via The Sneeze, but only today discovered this glorious collection of clips.

Be sure to check out his paintings, though - there are some true wonders.

Wall-E End Credits

Okay, there are enough gushing reviews of Pixar's latest release, Wall-E, that I needn't muddy the waters with my lesser writing skills. I loved it. Best movie of the year so far in my opinion.

This post, on the other hand, is about the brilliant end credit sequence. Not only do we catch a glimpse, in a combination of stills and light animation, what happens after the conclusion of the feature, but we also see the visual design of the titles transition from cave drawings through hieroglyphs, to impressionism, and even up to 8-bit video game graphics. Pixar outdoes themselves with their films quite often, and the attention to detail - artistic detail, mind you - in an oft skipped part of a movie was a surprise indeed. Give these folks a Best Picture nomination.

Kehinde Wiley

Nicole Pasulka interviews painter Kehinde Wiley for The Morning News about his series, "Colliding Worlds," which unites classical portrait painting and contemporary imagery.

The images provided for the article are particularly enjoyable in their inclusion of the frames which, I feel, add a bit of extra character to these works. My favorite is "Tosin Otegbole" with its bold orange background and line-drawing-esque overlays.

The Knot

two-inch rope in a frame at an art gallery

I don't have much to say other than I thought this was pretty freaking sweet.

Da Vinci's Last Digital Supper

If you're willing to wait for the long load time, you can check out Da Vinci's The Last Supper in 16 BILLION pixels of glory.

The navigation is straight forward enough, and though you can't see a large blown-up image of the complete work, you can zoom in to any section with great detail. The whole thing just became available today, so give it some patience and hopefully the web hosting will be adjusted soon.

Stephen Earl Rogers

The Morning News has a fantastic slide show featuring the work of painter Stephen Earl Rogers. The accompanying interview, while brief, is informative. The following line, particularly, stands out:

I can’t remember the last time I ran dry. I work with medieval technology, so things take a long time—I am always playing catch-up with myself: so many ideas, so few of them realized yet.

I quite enjoy the sense of aloofness on much of the subjects' faces (when people are involved). It's the closest thing I can imagine to a "candid painting." Please forgive the distortion that comes with a reduced image size for the below painting - one my favorites:
painting of a woman in a fur coat

Josh Keyes

My friend Steph's site Gentle Graffiti has a post up about artist Josh Keyes, and I have to say his paintings are wonderful.

At once both preposterous and pointed, his scenes render a compelling juxtaposition of the natural and the manufactured. Below is one of my favorites:
Shark Painting

Edward Hopper

Slate has a nice slide show essay on their site about American painter Edward Hopper, best known for the excellent Nighthawks.

Geek it up, Arthouse Style

I just hit an excellent link off Kottke's site for the DrawerGeeks. These folks create clusters of illustrations depicting fictional characters and themes. They've covered everything from Harry Potter to childhood nightmares, and below is a fine example from their Santa Clause set:
Just Married