Jean Michel Basquiat – Provocative Neo-Expressionist

Jean Michel Basquiat was perhaps the most provocative artist of the 1980s.  His artistic expression in many respects was even bolder than Jackson Pollack’s work and was perceived by many as confusing, dark and disturbing.  His utilization of bright colors expressing dark subject matter made for a rich complexity that captivated the viewer.  He chose socio-political themes for his art and it exemplified the tug of wars between rich and poor, white and black.

His mind often in a dark place plagued with insecurities and paranoia expressed itself with a style rooted in his Haitian and African-Puerto Rican heritage.

 

 

Jean Michel Basquiat - December 22, 1960 - August 12, 1988

Jean Michel Basquiat – December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988

 

 

 

 

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Basquiat was encouraged by his mother in particular to express himself through art and he began to do so by age three and four.  As a child he was fluent in Spanish, French and English and read literature voraciously. 

 

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Basquiat was hit by a car as a child in 1968 and was hospitalized for a while; during that time he read “Gray’s Anatomy” and he held onto it wherever he went while he was recuperating from multiple internal injures and a broken arm. 

 

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In 1976 Basquiat began hanging out with street artist Al Diaz and he began painting graffiti with Diaz.  Basquiat came up with the pseudonym SAMO that the two of them used to sign their street art, translated it meant “Same Old Shit”.  Basquiat was fifteen years old during this early time in his career.

 

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Jean Michel was a gentle, yet very tortured soul.  He was profoundly affected by the absence of his mother who was institutionalized for mental illness.  His vulnerability appeared in a contorted manner through his artistic expression.

 

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Fall of 1985 Basquiat was signed on for representation by Mary Boone and later by Gagosian Gallery.

 

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In 1979 his well known friendship with Andy Warhol began which provided him with the validation, inspiration, connectedness and acceptance Basquiat so very much needed.  It was a group exhibition with Warhol that placed Basquiat on the road to the high end art world.  In 1980 Basquiat exploded on the New York Art Scene.  As a young man of twenty his career took off and he joined Andy Warhol as a permanent icon in the art world.

 

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Above is Basquiat’s Self Portrait.

 

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Basquiat’s friends began to become alarmed by his drug use in 1984.  He was routinely paranoid and suspicious of unlikely scenarios that might occur to his career and art. 

 

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Above: Fallen Angel

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Above:  The Boxer

 

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Above:  The Philistines

 

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Above:  Boy and Dog in a Johnny Pump

 

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In loving tribute to an artist. 

Until next time,

Ava Wright

Living Life Artfully through Life Philosophies

Philosophers have expressed their thoughts and ideals for centuries in an attempt to give meaning to humankind’s challenges, tragedies, joys and wonderment of this journey we call life.

Listed below are some of the philosophies that inspire us, make us stop and think and even at times genuinely console us.  When we perceive ourselves, others, and the world around us through a previously unexplored “lens/angle” our consciousness is re-configured and we construct entirely new paradigms which eventually evolve into an elevated level of societal change.  To live thoughtfully is to live artfully. 

 

 

“Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.”

Author: Henry Miller

True understanding is to see the events of life in this way: “You are here for my benefit, though rumor paints you otherwise.” And everything is turned to one’s advantage when he greets a situation like this: You are the very thing I was looking for. Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth of those around you. This, in a word, is art – and this art called “life” is a practice suitable to both men and gods. Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing; what then could be strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend?

Author: Marcus Aurelius

“I had a dream many years ago that sums up this thought in a different way, one that has become a sustaining metaphor for me.  I am on a train going home to God. (Bear with me!) It’s a long journey, and everything that happens in my life is scenery along the way.  Some of it is beautiful; I want to linger over it awhile, perhaps hold on to it or even try to take it with me.  Other parts of the journey are spent grinding through a barren, ugly countryside.  Wither way the train moves on.  And pain comes whenever I cling to the scenery, beautiful or ugly, rather than accept that all the scenery is grist for the mill, containing, as Marcus Aurelius counseled us, some hidden purpose and a hidden blessing.”

Author:  Arianna Huffington

“My family, of course, is on board with me.  Beyond our families, we choose who is on the train with us, who we share our journey with.  The people we invite on the train are those with whom we are prepared to be vulnerable and real, with whom there is no room for masks and games.  They strengthen us when we falter and remind us of the journey’s purpose when we become distracted by the scenery.  And we do the same for them.  Never let life’s Iagos – flatterers, dissemblers – onto your train.  We always get warnings from our heart and our intuition when they appear, but we are often too busy to notice.  When you realize they’ve made it on board, make sure you usher them off the train; and as soon as you can, forgive them and forget them.  There is nothing more draining than holding grudges.”

Author:  Arianna Huffington

“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”

Author:  Alan W. Watts

“Perhaps not one religion contains all of the truth of the world.  Perhaps every religion contains fragments of the truth, and it is our responsibility to identify those fragments and piece them together.”

Author:  Christopher Paolini, Brisinger

Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say “so what.”  That’s one of my favorite things to say.

Author:  Andy Warhol

“Choose well, your choice is brief, and yet endless.”

Author:  Goethe

“Change is not something that we should fear.  Rather, it is something that we should welcome.  For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”

B.K.S. Iyengar (1918 – 2014) Founder of Iyengar Yoga

“Music is…..A higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy”

Author:  Ludwig van Beethoven

“I like art, and by art I mean music, poetry, sex, paintings, the human body, literature…..All of this is art to me.”

Author:  Unknown

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose”

Author:  William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

“There are no ordinary moments.”

Author:  Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior:  A Book that Changes Lives

“Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe.”

Author:  William Shakespeare, King Richard III

“Nothing, Everything, Anything, Something:  If you have nothing, then you have everything, because you have the freedom to do anything, without the fear of losing something.”

Author:  Jarod Kintz

“Inner peace begins the moment when you stop letting another person or event control your emotions.”

Author:  High Conscous

“The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.”

Author:  Mark Twain

“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.”

Author:  Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband

“You will evolve past certain people.  Let yourself.”

Author:  Mandy Hale, The Single Woman

“What you think, you become.  What you feel, you attract.  What you imagine, you create.”

Author:  Buddha

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.  “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.  “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.  One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”  He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.  The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”  The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”  The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Author:  Cherokee Legend

“The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on.”

Author:  William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part III

“There is no escape – we pay for the violence of our ancestors”.

Author:  Frank Herbert, Dune

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.”

Author:  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.  It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

Author:  Albert Einstein, The World as I See It

“The meaning of life is just to be alive.  It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.  And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

Author:  Alan Watts

“The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.”

Author:  William Shakespeare

“I think long term almost to a fault, always focusing on the bigger picture.”

Author:  Cirino

“Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.  I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak IS NOT what you are going to remember about me.”

Author:  Al Capone

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”

Author:  William Shakespeare

“There are two ways of telling your story.  One is to tell it compulsively and urgently, keep returning to it because you see your present suffering as the result of your past experiences.  But there is another way.  You can tell your story from the place where it no longer dominates you.  You can speak about it with a certain distance and see it as the way to your present freedom.”

Author:  Henri Nouwen

“What I hate is ignorance, smallness of imagination, the eye that sees no farther than its own lashes.  All things are possible.  Who you are is limited only by who you think you are.”

Author:  Egyptian Book of the Dead

“If you walk in fear and anger, you’ll find fear and anger.  Go into situations with what you want to find there…When you worry, you’re holding pictures in your mind that you want less of….What you focus upon, you become.  What you focus on comes to you.  So hold in your mind what you want more of.”

Author:  John Roger

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Author:  Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

“The problem with religion, because it’s been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.”

Author:  Sam Harris

“Man’s naked form belongs to no particular moment in history; it is eternal, and can be looked upon with joy by the people of all ages.”

Author:  Auguste Rodin

“What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously.  A convention is a social convenience, as, for example, money…but it is absurd to take money too seriously, to confuse it with real wealth…In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are ‘coins’ for real things.”

Author:  Alan W. Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity:  A Message for an Age of Anxiety

“Why are there beings at all, instead of Nothing?”

Author:  Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics

“We are the sum of all people we have ever met; you change the tribe and the tribe changes you.”

Author:  Dirk Wittenborn, Fierce People

“When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things:  either there will be ground to stand on, or you will be given wings to fly.”

Author:  O.R. Melling, The Summer King

“We look for the Secret – the philosopher’s Stone, the Elixir of the Wise, Supreme Enlightenment, ‘God’ or whatever…and all the time it is carrying us about…It is the human nervous system itself.”

Author:  Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger Volume I: Final Secret of the Illuminati

“There is your truth and there is my truth.  As for universal truth, it does not exist.”

Author:  Amish Tripathi

“Philosophy is the highest music.”

Author:  Plato

“High thoughts must have high language.”

Author:  Aristophanes, Frogs and Other Plays

“Words are the clothes thoughts wear.”

Author:  Samuel Beckett

“In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering among innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge.”

Author:  Friedrich Nietzsche

“Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity.”

Author:  Democritus

This blog posting is dedicated in loving memory to my Great Grandmother, Baroness Josefa from Eastern Europe.  She lived for love, and money was secondary to her, though she was quite affluent.  She lived her life on her own terms and in the end paid dearly for it.  She was murdered in the woods not far from her estate.  This is for you Grandma……I wish I could have known you. 

Love,

Your Great Granddaughter

Ava

P.S.  We made it to America Grandma……..

 

Haute Couture Art

The art form that is haute couture is decadence at it’s finest.  Cloaking the human body as expressed by this art genre provides a hedonistic pleasure and fuels the imagination in a way that no other artistic expression can. 

The following images are a fun, explorative romp of the art genre that is haute couture with a thread of a story weaved among the fashion images.  Enjoy!

 

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(Below) New York City fashion model Gigi Haddad

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Valentino Couture Fall Winter 2015 Fashion Show in Paris

Above, designer Valentino provides the viewer with his interpretation of ethereal in motion.  This season cloaking the human female form in attire that is so very light and presenting the form as the true beauty in and of itself. 

Below, other designers embrace this season’s expression.

 

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Below, designer Vivienne Westwood’s designs are edgy and also embrace the barely there expression of this genre of the arts.

 

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(Below) There is no experience on earth like Paris!

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The jewelry has it this season.  So very decadent!

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In keeping with this season’s theme this bejeweled skirt is richly provocative and chic!

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This gown is over the top plush!

Marchesa Spring / Summer 2016 collection at the St. Regis New York for NYFW.

Marchesa Spring / Summer 2016 collection at the St. Regis New York for NYFW.

 

 

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(Below) When the bling is the thing………

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Glam, glam, glam………………

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(Above and below) Ohhhhh….it is Paris!

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(Below)  Off the charts original, inventive, over the top haute couture….lol!!!

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In my opinion there really isn’t anything as gorgeous as the female form draped in opulent, rich, plush fur……I know, I know…..it’s not a politically correct thing to say these days but damn!  It’s how I feel.  Sorry to those who don’t agree.

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(Below) Manolo Blanhnik shoes….every woman’s dream.

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(Below) Designer Giorgio Armani always delights with innovative and fantasy driven designs as well as chic street wearable designs.

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Again…..when it’s all about the bling!

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(Below) Gigi Haddad, the “It Girl” of our time in the fashion industry delights us with eye popping color out on the street!

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There is nothing like “clean, crisp lines” in pure, winter white, a whole other elevated level of chic!

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(Below) There just isn’t anything as delightfully intriguing as someone who is beautiful and appears mysterious.

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In closing I would like to thank my blog viewers for their loyalty.  I hope you have enjoyed this posting, I know that highlighting the fashion industry in my blog is a very different approach for me to take while reviewing contemporary art as my subject but I honestly feel that haute couture is indeed very much contemporary art and an art that we wear every day.  I hope the story I weaved between these most of note worthy designer fashions provided an inspiring imaginative visceral adventure for you.

I would also like to dedicate this posting of “Haute Couture Art” to a most grand lady of the fashion world…now retired model Ingmar Lamy.

 

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Lots of Love,

Ava Wright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People Everywhere

To look into someone’s eyes for the first time is to see them with your purest perception of them.  Our senses send our brains hundreds of messages within moments of first looking at someone, hearing their voice and becoming cognizant of their scent.  The setting and circumstances under which you first see them along with voice timber, intonations and inflections construct an even more elaborate and detailed profile for our unconscious reference system.  After that initial moment we will never view them with an unfettered lens of perception ever again.

What is to follow is my presentation of the faces of “people everywhere”, view them and look into their eyes for the first time and enjoy imagining who they are……what their lives are like…..what their life experiences have been……who do they love….who has loved them, hurt them…..made their lives richer. Look at their faces and enjoy your journey imagining about them.

 

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Dance Couple

 

 

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Thank you ……..I hope you enjoyed viewing the faces of the many people that graced this blog posting.  Some of the people here are complete strangers to me, others I have known for many years.  If you are one of those people that I have been so incredibly fortunate to have met in my life time, please know that I am grateful.  Please also know that I selected a photo of you because you are one of those people when walking into a crowded room everyone notices you.  You are fortunate to possess that special quality that attracts other people to you instantly.  I felt that viewers and followers of the blog around the globe will look into your eyes …..try to image who you are….what your life is like and if they are lucky they will see a glimmer of that special essence that I saw the first time …..I…..looked into your eyes and began my journey ….to know you.

I love you all,

Ava

Architecture and the Home as Art – Part One

Home is the space were we live our most private and intimate lives.  How we choose to create, design and decorate this space speaks volumes to ourselves and the world about how we perceive ourselves in relation to the life we are living.

This segment, part one of a series on the home, architecture and the art of expressing who we are with the sanctuary of our private spaces is a exploration if you will, of the journey we all take to claim and create something of beauty in a manner that validates and pleases us.  We invite our friends into our homes to share our lives with them and in doing so make them part of the living, breathing tapestry that is home.

With that said, please enjoy the visual and auditory journeys into the homes of some of the most creative, intuitive and inspiring home owners from around the globe.

 

 

 

 
A tree house that transcends the concept of such and creates a sanctuary that invites the outdoors in and provides an ambiance of peace and tranquility nestled in nature and hidden from civilization.

 

 

 

The cathedral ceiling and the floor to ceiling windows create an ethereal ambiance.

 

The soft earth tones, the tile floor and the archways set the mood, calm, at peace.  The woven chairs add a textured richness to the room that aids in creating interest and visually makes the room pop!

The dark wood and the light shade of marble creates a balance in this kitchen and

the sculpted carved wood imbues character.

 

The splash of aqua blue compliments the soft mustard tones in this kitchen.  The design of this cozy space induces a feeling of well being and invites intimate conversation over cooking.

Living outdoors and indoors with ease and grace.  Creates a feeling of achievement and all things are possible.

 

A cook’s dream, this kitchen inspirers.  The utilization of the length of the room and the A frame of the ceiling invokes passion of creativity in the kitchen.  Abundance is the dominating theme in this room.

 

Last but certainly not least, this elegant contemporary bedroom that creates an air of lightness of being, spaciousness, clean lines and art on the wall that makes a statement about connection to history and eroticism.

 

This concludes Part One of this series of Architecture and the Home as Art.  I hope that the images of the interiors of some of the most inspiring homes along with the videos have provided my followers with new ideas for creating homes for themselves that give them a sense of peace, tranquility and well being when they walk in the door. 

Thank you for viewing my blog and I look forward to posting for you again.  And as always please feel free to post your feedback and insights about the blog, it is appreciated.  Until next time….be happy and well.

Sincerely,

Ava Wright

Short Films Worthy of Recognition: Curated by Ava Wright

Short films are an art genre that gauge cultural, societal as well as creative barometers of a given snap shot in time. 

The following is a collection of short films I have curated that bears witness to our time and how it is interpreted and expressed by film artists, directors and producers of varying levels of expertise in this genre.   

The criteria of which was applied to determine what short films qualified to be presented in this curated edition were: originality, imagination, direction, execution of style, provocativeness, instilling a sense of curiosity and awe in the viewer as well as taking a subject matter and presenting it in a “new way”, a different view through the lens, a different perspective, a new angle or view.

Enjoy this thoughtfully curated collection and please feel free to express your thoughts and impressions of the short films presented.  First in the line up is a short film about the many not so obvious expressions of lust in nature all around us.

 

 

 

Second short film to be presented is raw, powerful beauty.  It is absolutely one of my “Preferred Picks”!  The energy and imagination of the film grabs my attention makes me look at raw, feminine beauty differently.  I was taken aback by this work!  It is inspiring and I can’t forget about it!

 

 

Third short film to be presented expresses with lighting and spatial awareness what can be done in film to create mood and instill desire.  Creating intimacy can be difficult in film and this work shows the viewer that attention to the smallest details has a cumulative effect producing emotive button pushing when applied along with all the other well timed nuisances.

 

 

 

 

Fourth short film presented is by the newly iconic photographer Vivian Maier.  She was an unrecognized artistic genius and while alive she wanted to remain anonomous.  We salute you Vivian! 

 

 

The fifth short film presented here is an underwater society, dreamscape that holds the viewer in it’s grip and won’t release you.  Interesting juxtaposition between peaceful blissful state of mind and unexpected, uninvited sexual encounter; then release and solo journey.

The sixth short film is haunting, powerful and poignant.  The direction and execution of this film is uniquely provocative in the sense that the viewer is drawn in, captured if you will, and begs for resolution for the disquieting feeling that settles over you and envelopes you.  Yet you feel that you are a pioneer on a ages old journey.

 

The seventh short film a fusion of exquisite, romantic visuals of ballet and the rooftop of the Paris Opera House overlooking the City of Lights.  The light is an integral player in the composition of this capture your heart piece of film.

The eighth short film is one of my “Preferred Picks” of all the films presented here.  It is imaginative, captures the viewer’s interest and holds it, provocative, sensual, erotic, visually appealing and the viewer can just feel the sensation of water!

The ninth short film I must confess I was a little hesitant and felt squeamish at first at the idea of viewing but pushed myself to do so and glad that I did.  It was not as I initially imagined and actually I found it pleasantly intriguing and a little amusing to watch.  Yet I feel it is a serious short film that shows true imagination on the part of the film maker, director and producer.  Very well done! 

 

The tenth short film is “My Favorite Pick” of all the films presented here.  It was filmed in black and white and the images are vivid with sharp contrast between subject and mother nature, the sea, presented with a fluidity and harmony that makes the viewer feel peaceful inside.  

 

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this first curated edition of short films by Contemporary Art Globally Speaking!  I researched many contemporary short films for this edition and was very cognizant of the refining process during selection trying to remain true to the defining criteria in order to present a collection that represented serious film making talent currently on the globally scene.  I would like to thank the film artists who have worked so diligently on their craft and who provide us with important subject matter to think about and visually entertain and inspire us as well!

Autumn Exhibitions Boston 2014

During my recent touring of exhibitions in and around Boston, Massachusetts, USA I found surprising contemporary art installations as well as two dimensional works that stood out as innovative and spoke to me in some new ways.

Below are two photographic works from an exhibition at Lanoue Gallery, 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, USA in September 2014.  http://www.LanoueGallery.com

 

Exhibition Lanoue Gallery

Exhibition Lanoue Gallery

Artist – Eric Zener

 

Photography Exhibition Lanoue Gallery, Boston, MA

Photography Exhibition Lanoue Gallery, Boston, MA

Artist – Eric Zener

 

Below are images of mixed media works of the same exhibition at Lanoue Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, USA in September 2014 – http://www.LanoueGallery.com

 

Mixed Media two dimensional work at Lanoue Gallery.

Mixed Media two dimensional work at Lanoue Gallery.

Artist – Jane Maxwell

Lanoue 3

Artist – Jane Maxwell

 

Below are some images of those works beginning with installations at the September 2014 Exhibition at Galatea Gallery 460B Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts by the delightfully insightful Ruth T. Segaloff  who I had the privilege of speaking with at the Opening Reception.  She explained to me that all of her works have long involved stories to tell and viewing her work I think you will agree.  http://www.galateafineart.com

 

This installation depicts a story of travel, music and life of an artist.

This installation depicts a story of travel, music and life of an artist.

Artist – Ruth T. Segaloff

Galatea G Ruth 4

Artist – Ruth T. Segaloff

 

Galatea G Ruth 1

Artist – Ruth T. Segaloff

 

Below exhibition at Bromfield Gallery, 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  The artist is Jennifer Day, the medium is graphite on paper on a grand scale, intricate and delicate.  http://www.bromfieldgallery.com
1st Gallery 3

Artist – Jennifer Day – Work is entitled: Falling Down

 

Close up work on paper

Close up work on paper

Artist – Jennifer Day – Work entitled: Falling Down

 

Closer view work on paper

Closer view work on paper

Artist – Jennifer Day – Work entitled: Falling Down

 

The Boston Sculptors Gallery on 486 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts featured sculptor Larry Pollans work at the Opening Reception on First Friday, October 3, 2014 in Sowa, the art district. http://www.bostonsculptors.org

 

Boston Sculptors Gallery

Boston Sculptors Gallery

Artist – Larry Pollans

 

Boston Sculptors Gallery

Boston Sculptors Gallery

Artist – Larry Pollans

September and October 2014 contemporary art exhibitions in Boston, Massachusetts, USA offer solid talent to be viewed.  Until next time……continue to feed your mind, heart and spirit……..visit an art exhibition.