Larry Gagosian is the legendary Prince of the Art World. He is known to be smoothly articulate when dealing with the media but avoids the limelight, lending him an aura of elusiveness and intensifying his mystique. He is the very definition of socialite, mingling amongst the most celebrated. He is a renaissance man for our times.
Larry Gagosian chatting with actor Dennis Hopper.
Larry Gagosian posing for a photo with singer Elton John.
Larry Gagosian throws a bash at his gallery in Beverly Hills, California to celebrate a preview of his Jeff Koons exhibition.
Gagosian is well known for his golden touch on the careers of the artists his galleries choose to represent. Artists who find themselves under the golden Gagosian umbrella are thrust to stratospheric heights in their careers. Highlighted here are some of those artists whose careers are flourishing under that umbrella, their talents are extraordinary and their forms of artistic expression set them apart from the rest. Artists who are defining our times.
He has been known to compare himself with Picasso and has been seen walking around New York in his pajamas. He is a painter and a film maker. He has profound talent and an ego to match. Schnabel was born in New York City in 1951. He had his first solo exhibition at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1979. He established notoriety early in his career with his painted, broken plates. He is well known for his blatant, grandiose self promotion which hasn’t seemed to have hurt his career in the least, but rather taken him to where he was always wanted to go. He is well traveled having spent time in Europe and in particular Spain. Schnabel has exhibited extensively including the Tate Gallery in London in 1983 and the Whitney Museum in New York and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1987.
Schnabel transitioned into writing and directing films, his achievements include the films “Basquiat” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. He has three marriages under his belt and today resides in New York, Los Angeles and Spain.
Schnabel’s early work, broken painted plates.
Julian Schnabel with actors Sean Penn and Brolan.
Murakami’s work is approachable and cheerful. Born in Tokyo, Japan February 1, 1962 Murakami works toward merging low and high end art. He wants his art to be accessible to the masses for all to enjoy, therefore he creates trinkets as well as art works that sell for millions of dollars at auction.
Superflat is the art genre that Murakami is credited for creating.
Kiefer was born in Germany in 1945. For most of his career his work has been deemed very controversial. In 1969 he made a series of photographs where he was depicted giving the Hitler salute in various locations including France and Italy. At that time it was considered too soon to artistically “stir the pot” regarding this very politically sensitive subject in Germany and the rest of Europe. Kiefer felt that reenactment of occupation was necessary in order for him to grapple with the profundity of the horrors and absurdity of the Third Reich. Kiefer’s works tie in closely with history and literature. Some of his work is an examination of the Third Reich’s decimation of the land and people. In other works he created contrasts to blonde Aryans and dark haired Jews.
Kiefer felt that artists were alchemists and utilized materials that were available to them to express profound life themes. In recent years Kiefer’s work has evolved into expressions of universal cultural and societal paradoxes.In recent years Kiefer exhibited at Mass Moca in Massachusetts, USA. I viewed that exhibition and it was massive, expansive and hugely impressive. A very emotionally powerful exhibition it just made me so very still and quiet inside.
Georg was born in Deutschbaselitz, Germany on January 23, 1938. His claim to fame is hanging his work upside down. In 1995 he had a retrospective exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His work is exquisite and exceptionally executed. His compositions thought provoking.
Hirst was born in 1965 in Leeds, England. Of course he is a product of the 60’s, all about freedom of expression. Hirst’s work is known for crossing all genres. Since his school days he has been known for independent thinking and as an action orientated individual. He was controversial even back then.He is the artist that many love to hate and I think it has more to do with the fact that he used his imagination, courage and marketing skills to amass a fortune of three hundred million dollars to date doing what he loves to do best, create art.
Hirst is charismatic, charming and playful even with the press. He doesn’t apologize for his grand success nor should he. He isn’t afraid to go out on a limb and do what it takes make his mark in the art world. Today Hirst is a household name and he deserves to be. Be it presenting dots in a new way or creating art with dead cows placed in formaldehyde with the aid of his army of assistants Hirst continually has dared to go where other artists hesitated to go. Regarding the dots, Hirst didn’t steal from anyone, dots like many other ideas and concepts have been re-worked and reinvented since just about the time of the caveman. Hirst just knew how to re-work the ideas and present and market them in an advantageous way for his career and quite frankly there isn’t any crime committed there, nor any artistic ethics compromised. He is just suffering from a backlash of envy from others who love to hate those who dared and became wildly successful as a result.
Damien Hirst being photographed with his work of Zebra.
Damien Hirst with Zebra and Cow in formaldahyde.
Damien Hirst’s infamous Shark.
Damien Hirst’s Unicorn.
Damien Hirst’s latest work Pok-a-dots. This is the work that famed eighty two year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama claims Hirst stole her idea. To date I do not believe Hirst has made acknowledgement of her accusation.
Clemente was born in Naples, Italy in 1952. Major influences in his work in the early years were Cy Twombley and Alighiero Boetti. He became involved in the transavantgarde Movement in 1979. Today he lives in New York City an exhibits in the United States and Europe.
Francesco painted for the movie “Great Expectations”, a film starring Gweneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke.
The early days with starting from left: Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquait and Francesco Clemente. Three enormously talented artists who defined our times in countless ways. Their impact on civilization globally is immeasurable. All three of them have been immortalized and we would not want to try to imagine how we would perceive the world we live in if they had not graced our lives.
Francesco Clemente seated next to Salamon Rushdie at a dinner party. Great talent and great minds commune together. Such associations create a great elixir that stir imagination and results in creativity that moves us all.
One of Francesco Clemente’s Opening Receptions.
Jerry Hall posing in front of a painting Clemente created of her.
In January of this year 2012 Kusama left her home at a mental institution where she willingly lives, in Japan to attend her Opening Reception at the Tate Gallery London for her Opening Reception. Kusama began creating art as a child close to the age of ten. She was born in Japan and moved to the United States in 1957. During the 1960’s she lived a rich, full life filled with fashion shows, organizing political demonstrations as well as working for newspaper and film productions. In 1973 she moved back to Japan and wrote novels and continued to create her art. She has exhibited her work in most major galleries and art institutions throughout the world ever since. Her dot art works are spell binding and provocative. I feel the dots will always be her signature art. They define her. She speaks her own special secret language through them. She lives there with them. She is the Grand Madam of the Contemporary Art World. No one can ever take that claim to fame from her. She truly has suffered for her art.In an interview with Mark Brown the arts correspondent for The Guardian UK Kusama stated “I don’t have many positive feelings about men. I haven’t had sex with a man for decades. My father was the type who would play around and womanize a lot and I saw this all the time through my wretched childhood. That probably affected me a lot”. She acknowledged that she was afraid of men, but only straight men. She loves gay men and many are her friends. Needless to say she like many carry around her fair share of demons that she wrestles with, perhaps she pours all of her fears and mixed emotions into creating her immortal art.
Yayoi Kusama seated in front of some of her works at the Opening Reception of her work at the Tate Gallery in London.
Yayoi Kusama’s Retrospective at the Tate Gallery London.
Kusama Mirror Room.
One of the YBA, Young British Artists was known earlier in her career for her raw, sexual, in your face crude expressions of art. Much of Emin’s work depicted explicit sketches of female masterbatory images. In recent years she her work has evolved to a far more etheral, sophisticated and highly conceptual compositions. Examples of her evolution in her work are her latest installations.
It isn’t any secret that Emin’s indulged a great deal in exessive alcohol consumption in the past and this may have contributed to her lax attitude and blatant openess regarding her sexuality. But in recent years Emin’s has embraced sobriety and embracing this new life style choice has enhanced her art dramatically. When interviewed and photographed now it is evident that she is on a new journey and one that is rewarding her and endearing admirers of her work that much more.
Tracey Emin early work, an installation entitled “My Bed”.
Emin’s work “Blankets”.
One of Emin’s latest installations “Not the Way”.
Tracey Emin meeting the Queen of England at the Turner Art Gallery.
His work takes you by surprise and sometimes takes your breathe away. He lives in Los Angeles, California in the United States. He is a reclusive and extremely private man. I could not find any interviews with him at all nor photos. Here is a discussion by art professionals who are familiar with him. His work is primarily about large scale work.
Therrien’s installation “The Couple”.
Therrien’s signature work, enormous plates.
Therrien is well known for his work in enormous scale size installations.
Mann is a photographer famous for her controversial and sometimes disturbing subject matter of her work. She is also known for the equisite poignancy and surreal qualities in her work that open doors to our imagination and force a sometimes painful view of reality.
Sally Mann seated in front of two of her photographic works.
Mann’s photo of two young girls role playing as mother, with cigarrete in hand.
Mann’s photographic work “Immediate Family”.
Mann’s disturbing work entitled “What Remains”.
Mann’s work of landscape. A very ethereal piece that draws the viewer in.
And there you have it. Ten of Gagosian Galleries most talented artists of our times. Granted they are just a handful of Gagosian’s most talented but they are artists that I feel have contributed to defining our times. Their work has contributed to molding how we view ourselves, our lives and others around us. They have opened our eyes and broadened our perceptions. Some of them have created a new way of seeing and that is the profound purpose of contemporary art.