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A Painted Kiss…Klimt’s art continues

31 Oct

“…I found a woman with red hair leaning against a slick dark tree trunk. It elicited a lecture on CONTRAST.

“…I saw the work of Klimt..the cartoons…They were only long rolls of paper fixed to the wall, but they were filled with light, like crystal chandeliers. I stepped very close to look at the brushstrokes. The paint slid across the paper in rivers and trickled down in rivulets.”

The artists studio “…had taped things to the walls: a color wheel, newspaper clippings about an actress named Limova from Moscow who had toured the European capital, engravings of buildings in Rome that had obviously been ripped from books, postcards, sketches of cubes and cylinders with measurements penciled in beside them.

Porträt der Eugenia (Mäda) Primavesi (1912)

“I gazed across the room at a pile of chairs in the corner next to the window. They were upside down and on their sides and stacked one on top of the other, the ones near the top dangling precariously. In the gray light they cast no shadow. It was like a pile of bones from the slaughterhouse. I tried to memorize the parallel lines and right angles and triangles and various tones of dark and light. Slowly the shapes sharpened into distinct pieces. I began to see each individual chair. It was a haphazard collection, begged and borrowed from friends and relatives: a stool painted white, a warped rocking chair, a tattered sofa….”



Moving on… to the fabulous mural Medicine designed by Gustav Klimt for the Great Hall of Vienna University. It was destroyed by fire in the Immendorf Palace in 1945, so only copies are now left. It was originally criticised for being a “lewd” representation of the Goddess, who is an allegory for Medicine.


Medicine, University Hall

… Alone on the left side was a nude woman, arms outstretched, who floated in space, held aloft by a watery substance, like amniotic fluid. Here was the obscene girl. Her pelvis was tilted forward in a suggestive way. All of the figures seemed to be suspended in the same viscous liquid. They were clumped on the left side of the painting like a pile of corpses. Some were in fact skeletons, shrouded in the long hair of hers. Pregnant woman, old men; all of humanity was included, suffering, tormented, dying.

It was nightmarish painting….it’s a philosophical work.




In the center her name is…HYGEIA, the goddess of health.

….” In Gustav’s allegory of medicine, Hygeia was in the foreground, looking like an avenging angel, dark, mysterious. I could not help but thing she was an Adele Bloch-Bauer type. Had he been thinking of her? Hygeia was hardly compassionate-looking type, holding her snake and cup. You could not be sure whether she was coming to heal you or kill you.


Portrait of Adele Block Bauer

This is Adele…



Emphasizing Visual Thinking through Art in the Classroom

5 Aug

Visual arts are one way of enhancing visual thinking, the use of thinking by pictorial or visual images in your mind, as one can utilize the image to express oneself. This provides a natural and easy way of understanding and extending ideas, since the pictorial image becomes the extension of your thinking process.

Albert Einstein once said, “The words or the language as they are written and spoken do not seem to play any role in the mechanism of thought.”

Have you ever tried to solve a molecular or electrical problem by words alone? This is because we generally think visually and then convert to verbal forms later. The diagrams help form the idea in your mind first, then it becomes verbally reinforced. That is why visual thinking is the foundation of our thought.

There are three different kinds of imagery – seeing, drawing and imagining. These three work together in various ways to promote the thinking process. Seeing facilitates drawing and drawing invigorates seeing. Drawing stimulates and expresses the imagination and imagination heightens the material for drawing. Imagination directs and filters seeing, while seeing provides the material for imagination.

Drawing works in a similar way as imagination. Drawing is more than a recording of an event and more than an expression of one’s ideas. Drawing is a form of thinking, understanding and communicating. Drawing is seeing, seeing is an observational tool and when one draws something, it understands the object better.
Drawing helps you understand people’s feelings, since you begin to see people’s expressions, which show signs of the emotional state of the person. It brings vague inner images into focus and acts as the reflection of the visual mind.

When making a work of art, usually you draw it out and this process of drawing and thinking are frequently simultaneous that the drawn image appears almost as an extension of the mental process. Almost everybody can learn to see more fully, to imagine more productively and to express their visual ideas by drawing.

One of the primary ways that visual thinking is used in the classroom is in art class. Art is where visual thinking can thrive and actually does in the primary years, but once students get older, art loses is appeal for many. So its important to stress Art in the long term.
We’ll see why in the next step. Part 2.

More things like this (Chronicle Books)

21 Jul

This book by Dave Egger looks great. A must to buy, with all these great artists. Don’t know what its about though!!!

check out the Artists in this book:
Amy Jean Porter

All the species, all the time, of lamb 2008


Tucker Nichols
Royal Art Lodge

Postermaking, Royal Art Lodge

or better yet, check out the article in Marie Claire

Artist_Andrea Mastrovito

21 Jul

In and out of life

Andrea Mastrovito, a young artist from Bergamo, ironic, passionate about his work (of course!) and about the magic forests of butterflies…multicolour butterflies or black and white.

Colour is a firey lover. I move continually between its presence and its absence, like a poem by Dante.

Paintings that are mysterious, delicate paper collages, explosive site specific installations to get attention a historical places.

Artist_Aron Demetz

18 Jul

Now, this is a new artist for me and I would like to explore his works for you (whoever you are???!!)

Wood for Aron Demetz is what marble was for Canova (for example Le Tre Grazie) : natural, a friend and a beginning point (but also an arrival point) for his whole life. Get it?


Contemporary art is now about video, installations and performance. Forget it, Aron is about chisels, punches and  files: all tools for wood sculpture. He talks about people (like Valerio Berruti does), only using tree trunks, resins and chunks of wood.

Aron lives in Val Gardena, in the Italian Alps and one of my fav places, where forests and mountains condition your every movement. Kids playgrounds and toys, kitchen tools, the sculptures in the little villages: everything is made of wood. So for him, it was a natural choice to use wood as his medium.

He takes a trunk of wood, brings it into the studio, makes a sketch  and turns on the chainsaw (this is not a chainsaw massacre, but a chainsaw creation!). Once he gets the volume that he likes, he redefines it with an axe and then with hot scalpels.

Compare this to Michelangelo Pistoletto, who takes a block of wood, slices an angle from it and adds mirrors.

Log, 1999

The magic from a block of wood! The “Michelangelo” of wood sculpture, for as you know, Michi knew that the figure was inside the marble and had to be sculpted out from the true form that was inside.

Aron does this with his sculptures: they cry to be released from their natural state. 

Well worth a visit.

image of Pistoletto courtesy of

Sex (Art) and the City

13 Jul

A Draw-a-thon in NYC! A marathon of drawing and art where, in between avantgarde and voyeurism, punk painters and models in a tutu, posing nude is not even a trasgressive act!

living art

 The artists perform and the people draw…surreal scenes where a room full of people, music, scenes and craziness.  check him out next time your in NYC for the next session!

 foto courtesy of fast forward blog

great article in Marie Claire Italy

Art Lesson n. 1 – The language of Art

4 Jul


is humanity’s visual language. Knowing how the language of art works can help you to understand and appreciate more of your visual world.

Design elements and principles are the words and grammar of the language of art.

Colour may be used realisticaly in art to represent a natural appearance. Colour may also be used to create a mood and to symbolize ideas. Bright colours may be used to express happy things, dark colour serious themes or ideas.


Braque, Bay La Ciot

Texture can be used by the artist to depict objects as they are in nature. Paint may be built up to produce a sense of the bark of a tree. Artists may also deliberately alter the texture to suit the message. Adding a sense of texture is one way to create visual interest in a composition and to direct the viewer’s gaze.

Twilight trees, Toni Grote

 Space refers to the distance between two points. People measure space in terms of length, width and depth. In 2-D art, depth is an illusion – clever use of line, value and colour may give the illusion of space.  In much contemporary art, artists choose deliberately to avoid the illusion of space. Their works can appear quite flat. Linear perspective is the illuson of space on a flat surface.