Anthony Hernandez is a Mexican American Artist based in Los Angeles. I viewed his exhibition at the recently re-opened SFMOMA.
The exhibition will be on view September 24, 2016 through January 1, 2017. This is his first retrospective and the show encompasses his life work for the early stages of figurative street photography to the abstracted images of people influenced spaces.
As stated in the label text at SFMOMA, Hernandez found his calling when he started to stray away from photos of people, removing the personal aspect and focusing on what is left behind.
The beautiful images below show scenarios and landscape that have traces of humanity and tell a story of what went on here without actually showing the cause. The viewer must infer meaning by imagining Hernandez’s treks into the unknown and uncomfortable world of the homeless and other marginalized groups.
Beach portraits from early street photo series
Love the colors and textures
What happened here?
Abandoned mattress and homeless camp
Something quaint and something sad simultaneously.
Hernandez’s vision explores the unknown and unpopular lifestyles of his invisible subjects. We are left wanting to know more. How did this person come to this place? How long will they stay? What happened?
Susan O’Malley’s work is a celebration of life and a cheerful affirmation that we are on the right path. Having passed away suddenly, this Bay Area Artist and Curator will be remembered as a voice of wisdom and ernest encouragement. She received her MFA from California College of Arts in San Francisco in Art and Social Practice and through whimsical performances, conversations, and text with bright gradients of color she conveyed a message of hope and trust in ones self.
Click on the circle to see full images.
O’Malley created an art project called Pep Talks, where she counseled others on how to keep a positive attitude and not give up. Her work is a reminder that things will get better and that there is beauty and meaning in the world.
Below is O’Malley’s work: “An Unsolicited Open Letter to the Young-ish Artist (this means all of us, right?).” May 29, 2013.
Dear Young-ish artist, I noticed that you needed to be reminded of a few things – many of which I’m sure you already know. But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. So here it goes.
Taking the path of an artist is a radical one. There is no steady paycheck, 401K or linear trajectory. You do it because it’s either art or insanity; or because you have a gift that needs to be shared with the world; or because you want to be famous. But here’s the deal: it takes time to cultivate it. Very few of us can jump out of undergrad and earn a living as a novelist. Sometimes you have to take a job writing copy at an internet company to prove that you can take care of yourself; or you have to take several jobs so you can buy the materials for your giant octopus sculpture; or you have to experience the darkest grief of your life in order to find your voice. And there will be lots of bad poems and terrible paintings and bad decisions before anything comes of it. It takes time and it takes space and sometimes it takes doing very little alone or in the company of other like-minded people for these things to happen. Everything is part of it. So be patient, pay attention, and be kind to yourself.
Maybe it will take 15 years, so in the year 2028, when you quit your day job writing ad copy for Hologram Space to begin. Maybe then you’ll decide to finish the novel you’ve been plugging away at in your free evenings. You decide to do it because it’s been nagging at you for years, sometimes making you feel so empty inside that you don’t recognize yourself, your spouse, or your children. And as you finally jump into this adventure it dawns on you: it’s always been here. You’ve always had everything you needed to do it. It just took you this long to accept this and the uncertainty of the process. And, now finally, you’ve said yes and things are happening. Don’t scold yourself for taking so long, just appreciate that you’ve finally made it here.
Sincerely, Your friend Susan O’Malley,
Since her tragic passing this year her work has taken on extra meaning. The messages seem to come from a place beyond time, yet fully human and brimming with love and understanding. Susan O’Malley’s work will be remembered as courageous, joyful and inspiring.
Her book entitled “Advice From My 80 Year Old Self,” is being published and is due to release this year. The book serves to point out how perspective in life can be a gift in helping us get through the hard times.
During her life Susan O’Malley participated in an artist residency at Montalvo Arts Center, a retreat in the mountains of the peninsula. Here she created a healing walk for the benefit of all and to complete this walk seems like a great way to pay tribute to her contribution and experience her message to the world.
Gustave Klimt was an Austrian artist of the Art Nouveau movement. He was part of an artistic style called Jugendstil, named after a magazine “Youth,” which featured Art Nouveau designs.
The Jugendstil is known for floral designs and natural elements and its later Japanese influence, and abstract styles and is a development of the English Art Nouveau Style. Considered modern, Art Nouveau was a deliberate attempt to create a new style and breaking away from tradition and using impressive line work. The patterning is what stands out in Klimt emotionally expressive paintings.
Gustav Klimt could clearly paint oils in the traditional style, but instead he used materials such as gilding in a unique way and created patterns and richness that has an etherial quality. He used media such as casein paint, gold paint, black and color chalk, graphite, applied plaster, mirror, mother-of-pearl, curtain rings and more.
His experience in mosaics informed his work and he was also commissioned by the to build a large scale mural frieze installation as part of a sculpture exhibition in the Secession Building in Vienna in 1902.
Originally build of light materials the wall was intended to be ephemeral, so it is amazing that it still exists today. The Frieze can be viewed and recently a close up is possible thanks to an installation by Rockenschab.
“Art is a line around your thoughts.” – Gustav Klimt
“I can paint and draw. I believe this myself and a few other people say that they believe this too. But I’m not certain of whether it’s true.” – Gustav Klimt
“All art is erotic.” – Gustav Klimt
“Today I want to start working again in earnest – I’m looking forward to it because doing nothing does become rather boring after a while.” – Gustav Klimt
“Even when I am being idle, I have plenty of food for thought, both early and late – thoughts both about and not about art.”– Gustav Klimt
“If the weather is good I go into the nearby wood – there I am painting a small beech forest (in the sun) with a few conifers mixed in. This takes until 8 ‘o clock.” – Gustav Klimt
“Whoever wants to know something about me – as an artist which alone is significant – they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognize what I am and what I want.” – Gustav Klimt
“On my first days here I did not start work immediately but, as planned, I took it easy for a few days – flicked through books, studied Japanese art a little.” – Gustav Klimt
So far the information I have found about Ihti Anderson has been only on his website and esoteric print magazines about visionary art and music festivals. He started as an artist creating backgrounds for psychedelic music parties and has continued to create images and make immersive decorations for such events.
Ihti Anderson’s work is etherial, and light filled consisting in energy patters and light trails that geometrically emanate from and around his subjects. The images look digitally created but actually they are hand painted with brush and airbrush using UV reactive paint.
His work is also found on custom wearable art, motorcycles and cars, and both indoor and outdoor installations of decor. The decorations often consist of stretched fabrics which are airbrushed and illuminated in 3-D overlapping shapes that create a colorful relaxing atmosphere for contemplation.
Ihti did not study art but rather practiced it from a young age. He draws upon sacred geometry and the symbols found in cultures all over the world in addition to his imagination which he believes has now boundaries.
“The development of our own imagination, gives us wings, and they help to fly through the worlds of our subconscious, from my own experience I can say, that these worlds much more broader and multidimensional than the world we see with our eyes.” – Ihti Anderson
“This art opens doors to other dimensions, into the worlds of the subconscious, expressing what is hidden from ordinary human eye, presenting other creatures and objects that can not be touched or explain.” – Ihti Anderson
His work can be purchased on the web site Art Collider and on his own website:
Yayoi Kusama has been interested in the Pop Art movement since the 1960’s, having moved to the United States in 1958 from Japan. Although she was sometimes violently discouraged from pursuing art by her abusive mother, she ended up seeking out the arts as a method to cope with her insecurities and developing obsessive compulsive disease. By embracing the bright colors and psychedelic forms of Pop Art, Kusama channelled the phantasmagorical hallucinations she had beginning in childhood into something therapeutic, not only for herself but for her audiences too.
In her early career she painted, sculpted and worked on performance art such as “Happenings.” As a feminist, she has brought political aspects to her work, and a type of playful edgy sensuality.
She is particularly known for her polka-dot artworks, performances and installations. Environments that she sometimes places herself in the middle of, like a camouflaged entity in her natural environment. By finding ways to blend in with her created world, she sought self obliteration as a way to unite with the infinite universe.
When I arrived in New York, action painting was the rage, de Kooning, Pollock and others. I wanted to be completely detached from that and start a new art movement. I painted obsessional, monochromatic paintings from morning till night. They were huge paintings that had no composition like a 33-foot white infinity net painting. -Kusama
…a polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement… Polka dots are a way to infinity. -Yayoi Kusama
More recently, she has made use of LED technology to build immersive art, where guests can enter and experience something like an infinite reflection of stars in space as seen in her work entitled, “Mirrored Room.” She attempts to give her viewers a glimpse of eternity and actually become it through immersion.
In 1977, Kusama checked herself into a psychiatric institute in Japan where she continues to live, working in a studio across the street. Despite being diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Kusama as remained a prolific artist who continues to create awe inspiring work and push the boundaries of what art is and what it does.
Major retrospectives on her work have be held at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and Tate Modern and in 2008 and she sold a work for $5.1 million, a record for a living female artist at the time. Also she has written several books and been a long time avant-garde influence in the fashion world. She says she will paint until she dies, always pushing to create more art for the healing of mankind.
Hilaire Hiler is a charismatic artist and color theoretician with psychoanalytical training born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He sailed to France in 1919, studied at the University of Paris and ran a jazz club, where he painted interior and exterior murals. “The Jockey Club” was a hangout for artists and literary figures, including Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway and Anais Nin.
He moved to San Francisco in the 1930s, and executed murals for the WPA at the location which is now the San Francisco Maritime Museum. Originally designed to be a public beach bathing house, due to a dispute about a casino that would take over the building, Hilaire organized a walk out before the project was completed, however it was nearly finished.
He became interested in “structuralism” in art, and a balance of form and color in the latter part of his career. He created a room at the SF Maritime Museum building called the “prismatarium,” which was recently restored by conservators to its original glory as a full spectrum rainbow color wheel covering the ceiling with grayscale gradients covering the walls.
He wrote several books on color, painting techniques and paint recipes including:
From Nudity to Raiment: An Introduction to the Study of Costume, 1929
Notes on the technique of painting, 1934
The Painter’s Pocket-book of Methods and Materials, 1937
Why Expressionism? 1946
“A painting must satisfy man’s geometrical instinct. ”
Artist Mario Martinez, who also goes by Mars-1, was born in Boulder, Colorado and grew up in Fresno, California where he was inspired by graffiti art, comics, and science fiction. Through his visual art, murals and sculptures he creates worlds of material and etheric atmosphere in complex acrylic paintings swirling with colorful geometric forms and strangely familiar organic shapes. His paintings depict visions of transcendent and universal subjects like worm holes, nuclear physics and celestial phantoms. Martinez often collaborates with other artists such as Alex Grey, Brendan Monroe and Doze. Guests of the Symbiosis Gathering at Pyramid Lake were able to watch a collaboration take place between Mario Martinez, David Choong Lee, Damon Soule, and Oliver Vernon. http://www.mars-1.com/Symbiosis-Pyramid-Lake
Muralist Judy Baca is a Chicana artist working in the mural style of many artists from Mexico before her. She is also a political activist who started the community arts organization Social Public Art Resource Center in Los Angeles.
She is most well know for “The Great Wall of Los Angeles,” the largest mural of its time in Los Angeles started in 1974. Taking over 4 years to complete, this mural is half a mile in length and receives regular restoration treatments.
Judy Baca’s mural work was recently the subject of political debate in the city of Los Angeles where the fine line between art and other stuff (advertising, signage, graffiti) was challenged.
Baca’s work continues to push the boundaries to help continue to evolve the definition of art to include all useful methods, rather than the narrow definition allowed by city governments. In the past, only murals created in fresco were allowed to fit the definition of a public art mural because other types of applications are seen as ephemeral. Several cases have been to court over this issue and the unfortunate removal of murals in California. Previously murals painted in acrylic or aerosol were in danger of being removed based on definitions that did not recognize advancements in technology and conservation methods, sometimes murals would be removed if they had not been painted with a brush!
Baca and her group SPARC have defended art in many mediums with many styles of application. The debate has now moved to the technological arena, some debate whether the use of digital projection, printing and painting on panels can be considered art. The question comes down to what is intended to be permanent and what classifies a work of art as being valuable to a community historically.
Under the Visual Artist Rights Act (VARA) and California Art Preservation Act (CAPA) there are many rights that Artist’s have but are typically not aware of. Judy Baca and SPARC have defended artists in these rights and art has been able to proliferate in ways that might have been smashed down without the guidance and support that Baca has provided and fought as an artist herself.
Amanda Sage is an American Artist living in Los Angeles and Vienna Austria. Sage grew up in Boulder Colorado and attended an arts school where she met teacher and artist Hiraku Hirata. She studied in Vienna and became a student artist Ernst Fuchs becoming his assistant and mentee for over 10 years. She studied the Mische-Technique, using oils, acrylic and casein in a wet medium and now teaches courses in visionary art and painting techniques that appear to glow with light on the canvas.
“She who works with her hands is a laborer… She who works with her hands and her head is a craftswoman…
She who works with her hands and her head and her heart is an artist”
– St Francis of Assisi (masculine and feminine reversed from original version by Amanda Sage)
Banksy is a British Street Artist, whose work in known all over the world. His highly skilled stencils convey a political point of view. Anyone can see a Banksy because he paints outdoors in the urban environment and only recently has entered the world of museums and galleries. Much of his work is ironic like the pieces seen below.
This painting on the Israeli Palestine border is one of his political commentaries on what is happening in the world right now. It draws upon traditional Trompe L’Oeil styles of mural painting to show what the reality is. Also the context is very important, the child walking past may get a glimpse at a better possible life and may be inspired in the face of this insane 30 foot tall barrier.
This work, Stop and Search, was actually cut out of the cement wall in Bethlehem to be displayed in a gallery in England. It is unclear whether he approved the removal of his work from the public, though he has gone on record discouraging this type of behavior. Surely, after the removal of the art the wall was patched up to maintain the purpose of isolating communities from their resources.