Friday, December 3, 2010


From the first moment I saw the round figures of Martinez, I felt like invaded by happiness and though I felt like crying at the same time. They seem strong and though so delicate, their velvety skin is glowing, but from inside, deep withing their soul. They seem content in their stillness, and though why they torment me in such ways, like I feel something tragic is happening somewhere, deep inside them.

Ricardo Martínez de Hoyos (28 October 1918 – 11 January 2009) was a Mexican painter. From a very young age painted for an income to help his family, though he didn't have a formal training in fine arts (he studied law). He learned from books like Max Doerner's The materials of the artist. His first works were still life paintings, followed by non-narrative monumental figures related to Pre-Colombine sculpture. At the end of the 1960s decade Martínez created irreal atmospheres in his works by using light and shadow.


Friday, November 5, 2010


What is about these large figures of Zhang Xiaogang, why do they make me feel like a horrible past, which is not even mine, is coming back to haunt me? They look back at me from up there, from their time in the future, without a sound, their empty stare torments me. I understand why a buyer of a painting, had to bring it back to the gallery, their silent reproaches cannot be borne by everyone. 

Zhang Xiaogang is one of the most famous artists of China but he doesn't seem to care about fame or fortune. His portraits are based on studio family photographs popular during the Cultural Revolution years in the 1960s and 1970s.
“There’s a complex relationship between the state and the people that I could express by using the Cultural Revolution. China is like a family, a big family. Everyone has to rely on each other and to confront each other. This was the issue I wanted to give attention to and, gradually, I became less and less linked to the Cultural Revolution and more to people’s states of mind.”
For years these paintings weren't permitted to be displayed publicly in China. In 1996, Zhang was invited to show at the Shanghai Biennale, but his work was pulled on the orders of a senior Communist Party official, anxious about what he saw as reminiscences of the Cultural Revolution. Now, Zhang can barely keep pace with demand, being quite a slow painter who works alone. Most of his buyers are international collectors. “Many people in China want to buy my paintings now,” he says, “but for them art is like stocks and shares, and they just want to ‘stir-fry’ the prices. So I am careful who I sell to.”
Art critic Huang Zhuan said about Xiaogang's work: “In a big family, he had to learn how to shut himself up in a secret small cell. His paintings give room for viewers to fill in their own experience. He just made the story his mode. Based on understanding, the viewer can find his own story.”
The Saatchi Gallery: "Inspired by family photos from the Cultural Revolution period, as well as the European tradition of surrealism, Zhang Xiaogang’s paintings engage with the notion of identity within the Chinese culture of collectivism. Basing his work around the concept of ‘family’ –immediate, extended, and societal – Zhang’s portraits depict an endless genealogy of imagined forebears and progenitors, each unnervingly similar and distinguished by minute difference. Often painted in black and white, Zhang’s portraits translate the language of photography into paint. Drawing from the generic quality of formal photo studio poses and greyscale palette, Zhang’s figures are nameless and timeless: a series of individual histories represented within the strict confines of formula. The occasional splotches of colour which interrupt his images create aberrant demarcations, reminiscent of birth marks, aged film, social stigma, or a lingering sense of the sitter’s self assertion. Incorporating the aesthetic of traditional Chinese charcoal drawing, Zhang’s style wavers between the exaggeration of animation and stoic flatness. Muted and compliant, Zhang’s extended family convey individual identity through their unalterable physical features: too big heads, tiny hands, long noses, and subtle alterations in hairstyle give clues to intimate characteristics and stifled emotions. These dream-like distortions give a complex psychological dimension to Zhang’s work, heightening the tension of regulated claustrophobia, and initiating suggestive narrative readings." The Saatchi Gallery

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


See Sean Cheetham working:

Monday, October 18, 2010


Francesca Woodman (1958 - 1981) was an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself or other female models.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Here are some of the pictures I took in Vienna this summer.
This beautiful portrait can be seen in Belvedere Museum in Vienna. Here you can also admire The Kiss and many other important works of Gustav Klimt. Klimt found an original technique to paint the dress of the model, from the distance looks so light and transparent and really complicated, but if you approach, you see only some very simple, long and thin brush strokes. The other portrait in which he employs a similar technique, is the one of Shubert. Klimt's portraits in Belvedere really opened my apetite for working in oil again.
Leopold Museum has one of the most important Egon Schile's collections, but many other artists are represented, like Klimt or some expressionist painters.
I really wanted to see this self-portrait of Richard Gerstl in real-life. In all the images I saw it, the background was either blue or green and I wanted to see for myself the real colour. Gerstl had a very short and tormented life, he didn't get along with many artists and he fell deeply in love with the wife of Schoenberg. Not a very wise thing to do, as Mathilde was some years older and had some young children to care for. The composer had the bad ideea to invite the young artist in his home and to order more family portraits. Gerstl did them in his way and style, highly stylized heads anticipated German expressionism. Mathilde and Gerstl ran away together, but she came back to her children and husband some months later. Unfortunately Gerstl killed himself at only 25. Such a loss, the same as in the case of Henri Gaudier, who died in the war at only 24, or Francesca Woodman who died at 22. Nevertheless all these young artists left great artworks behind.

Friday, October 8, 2010

JUDITH WRIGHT Judith Wright lives and works in Australia in Brisbane. She came to her work as an installation artist with a background in dance having performed with the Australian Ballet.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

facebook Valeriu Mladin

L-am cunoscut pe Domnul Valeriu Mladin acum vreo 13 ani pe cand lucram la o galerie de arta in Bucuresti. Aflata inaintea plecarii din tara, dumnealui m-a invitat cu caldura in atelierul sau. Atunci am aflat de pasiunea sa pentru fotografie si am vazut camera in care developa singur fotografiile.


Portretele sale de dimensiuni mari in culori vibrante, nu numai ca striga la tine, te si zguduie si te fac sa tremuri la fel ca o piesa de Wagner. Mladin pare sa fi surprins exact clipa in care poate spune cel mai mult despre aceste chipuri. Sunt ca momentele surprinse de camera, fractiuni de secunda unice care nu se vor mai intoarce nicioadata, dar in acelasi timp sunt mult mai mult, artistul schimba aceste fete, le da forta si vitalitate stropindu-le cu toate culorile, le accentueaza trasaturile si le infrumuseteaza schimonosindu-le. Sunt portrete, dar nu niste portrete comune ale frumusetii exterioare, portretele domnului Mladin tasnesc de undeva adanc, direct din lumea interioara.
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