Thursday, January 28, 2010



David Hockney,(born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer, who is based in Bridlington, Yorkshire, although he also maintains a base in London and Los Angeles. An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century.Hockney was born in Bradford and educated first at Wellington Primary School. He later went to Bradford Grammar School, Bradford College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. While still a student, Hockney was featured in the exhibition 'Young Contemporaries'- alongside Peter Blake- that announced the arrival of British Pop Art.In October 2006 the National Portrait Gallery in LOndon organized one of the largest ever displays of Hockney's portraiture work, including 150 of his paintings, drawings, prints, sketchbooks and photocollages from over the course of five decades.Many of Hockney's works are now housed in a converted industrial building called Salts Mill, in Saltaire, near his home town of Bradford. Since 2009, Hockney has made drawings using the Brushes iPhone application.



Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967) was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. In both his urban and rural scenes, his paintings reflected his personal vision of modern American life. Hopper’s images are among the most iconic in the American art canon with paintings like Chop Suey and Automat.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


GEORGE TOOKER (1920 - 2011)

"I am after painting reality impressed on the mind so hard that it returns as a dream, but I am not after painting dreams as such, or fantasy."

"Painting is an attempt to come to terms with life."

Woman With Oranges
1977, tempera on gesso panel, 23 1/2 x 17 1/2

Coney Island, 1947-48
Egg tempera on gesso panel, 19 x 26 in.
Curtis Galleries, Minneapolis, MN
"I wanted to paint positive pictures about integration," Tooker said. "And I didn't like the subway. I think it's obvious I didn't like ... a lot of things about living in the city."

Embrace of Peace II, 1988
Egg tempera on gesso panel, 18 x 30 in.
Reis Private Collection

In the Summerhouse, 1958

George Tooker in his studio, 2009, photograph by Nina Keck

"I don't want too much attention. I never really wanted to be part of the New York scene."

George Tooker at 5 St. Luke's Place (With Paul Cadmus and Jared French in Mirror)

Friday, January 22, 2010


I met the Australian great portraitist Robert Hannaford (Alfie) in 2005 at a party in Adelaide. He stayed only with me and my husband the whole night and we talked about art, portraits and philosophy. He is a very charismatic man, very charming and passionate. We were completely seduced from the first moment, we will never forget the night when I chatted with Robert Hannaford. One year later he was severely ill with cancer, but his passion of life must have saved him. I didn't expect after all the ordeal he has been through to come to the opening of my exhibition in North Adelaide. But he did, he showed up there in the gallery with his clothes covered with paint, and amazed everyone. Thank you Alfie.
Robert Hannaford never thought he’d be an artist. Despite that, he’s become one of the country’s best known realists and he is a self-taught artist.
Robert Hannaford: I've won the People's Choice three times. Well, I value the People's Choice because of its democratic nature, if you know what I mean. I always get a bit of a pleasant surprise if I win it because I think, "Of all the people that went there to the gallery, most of them liked my picture best." Well, I suppose the main thing about him is that he has a... I think they call it a PEG - it's a tube - inserted into the stomach to feed. And that's me. I had it in for about five months, I think, due to my throat cancer. Actually, it was cancer on the back of the tongue. And the most likely cause, as I'm not a smoker and never have been, is that it was from oil paints. Cadmium and lead - both poisons and a bit carcinogenic. Paul Keating pointed out to me that I had a bad habit of putting my brushes in my mouth sometimes and I thought, "Oh, yeah, thanks, Paul. Good advice, but I think I'm OK."
Lowitja O'Donoghue: Putting that dreaded brush in his mouth, which he did a few times. And I had warned him that I was actually going to stop him from doing that. It was the first time that I'd ever sat for a portrait. I was quite shocked when I saw the final. Deep down in the person that is Lowitja O'Donaghue is a lot of hurt, a lot of pain and experience I think that he's managed to convey in that portrait. I knew from the first day that I came to this place and sat in this chair that this was a man that I felt that I could accept as my brother.
Robert Hannaford: Just to look at a human face seems to suggest so much. It seems to be the whole history of mankind. One can't but be sort of inspired by that. I contemplated going to art school and decided definitely against it because the art schools in those days, perhaps even as now, weren't teaching the sort of thing that I wanted to learn. And I knew very definitely what I wanted to do and that was to draw and paint the life around me as I'd done all my life anyway. These are drawings of an old man called Hans Krevel who I met when I was living in Melbourne in the late '60s, early '70s, honing my skills, I suppose you could say. I studied him from every angle. I tried to capture his various moods. If I wasn't satisfied with what I'd done, I'd draw it immediately and compare the two. One of the things in painting portraits is to get the hands looking natural. The hands are as interesting and as expressive as the head. I grew up in this vicinity, the mid-north of South Australia. It's a very special area for me because I love the country, I love the landscape. I've always been interested in death and decay and change, but I guess having had the cancer just makes me even more interested. It was an obsession. I found him in a fence just north of Hawker. He was hanging by his paws and he'd got his back leg caught in the fence and he obviously died there. So it's got that quality of decay, natural decay. It's just the angles of it, the bones, the muscles all showing through. Very inspirational. I had to have it. These two are of my father when he died about 15 years ago. These here are of my wife who died of cancer about nine years ago. These were drawn in the last couple of days before she died when she was in a coma. And it was a very poignant experience for me. I've always seen drawing and painting as a way of understanding the world. Whenever I see something that interests me, if I draw it and spend time looking and drawing, I learn about things that I'd never have discovered any other way. I've come here as a child and I love this particular spot because of the long views right out. I feel I'm on top of the world here surrounded by the trees that I love and the birds.


Here is a list with my favourite films:

Dean Spanley (2008, New Zealand, UK), is a comedy after a short novel by Lord Dunsany. Dean Spanely seemed that he was no more or less than a dog in a previous life, and the interaction with him, makes everyone and especially cynical old Fisk, played by the wonderful Peter O'Toole, to learn the value of life. "One moment we were running along, next moment we weren't..." seems to be the key phrase of the film, an urge to live life to the full and value every moment of it...

Shine (1996, Australia), about pianist David Helfgott. An amazing performance of Geoffrey Rush. Part of the movie is filmed in Adelaide, where I spent some beautiful years.

A single Man (2009), a film about love and isolation and the importance of the small moments in our life. Painfully beautiful. 

 The Third Star (2010) - it seems to be a film about death, but in fact it is all about life and the most important things in life, love and friendship. The final scene just blew me away. 

Enlightment Guaranteed Two brothers from Germany feel that they failed miserably in their lives. They travel from Munich to Japan and even if they seem that they lost everything, they got to find themselves in the end.

The Barbarian Invasions (2003) 
When it's time to leave you can see what is really important. Two Oscars in 2004, for best foreign film and best original screenplay, one more reason to watch it. 

Ardor (2002, South Coreea) Not accepting the truth can be much worse.

(Kieslowski) Essence of life is living. Juliette Binoche is doing one of the roles of her life.

Lust, Caution (2007)
 Seeing this film on the big screen was totally worth it. Intriguing and passionate film about the favorite themes of Ang Lee, duality and repression. 

Chinaman - a beautiful but sad story about love.

In the Mood for Love
 and "2046"both by Wong Kar Wai (Hong Kong director), inspiring and beautiful films about love, extraordinary image by Australian Christopher Doyle.

The Double Life of Veronique
 - Kieslowski explored themes of duality and fate, music of Zbigniew Preisner

Andrei Rublev (about artist's destiny), Stalker (you must see it at least twice to grasp some meaning), Nostalgia, Sacrifice, Solaris, Mirror.

City of Angels with Nicolas Cage, remake of Wings of Desire. Extraordinary idea, it could have been used better, but still worth to watch. Would you swap eternity for love if you were an angel?

Le Temps qui Reste/ Time to Leave Nothing seems to be enough to change such a mean and selfish young man, but than something happens, and he becomes a totally different person.
Seraphine wonderful film on Seraphine Louis life and art. See the post for more details:

Breaking the Waves - disturbing film of Lars von Trier. From the beginning I felt like the director wanted to tell us something was wrong, but what? Was it too much love, or too much faith? Or maybe it was too much "kindness", the way Bess' doctor called it? Whatever it was, I was completely taken by this film, and I am not going to tell you more to not spoil everything. One of the best roles of Emily Watson. 

Savage Messiah - about sculptor Henri Gaudier. See the post for more details

The Silent Touch (Atingerea mainii) - Is it art living our life everyday as humanly as possible, or is it art the selfish passion which asks the unconditional sacrifice of everyone around? This film is as much about the art of life as it is about the elusive nature of creativity.

Life of Pi

Adam's Apples (2005)

The Great Beauty

I Killed My Mother (2009)

The Pianist

Pina 3D

No Man's Land

Fight Club


Being John Malkovich (1999)

In the Name of the Father (1993)

Todo Sobre Mi Madre


Priceless (2006) comedy with Audrey Tautou

Life is Beautiful (1997)

The Big Blue (1988)

Is it art? The PPP test

I found an article about how to identify real art, they call it PPP art test.


An artwork too involved in the past tends to be derivative and insipidly decorative. Whatever the genre, it is not art but just a pretty picture.

An artwork ignorant of visual history tends to be naive in concept and/or realization. Amusing and childlike, this kind of art fails to make use of thousands of years of artistic creation. Idiot savants are as rare in art as they are elsewhere.

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