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SPRING 2011 • $4.95

REDISCOVERED THE PAINTINGS OF JERRY GARCIA, ART STUDENT

IN CHAIR, by JERRY GARCIA, Oil on Canvas © Clifford Garcia; also as lithograph, courtesy ARSEAM PRODUCTIONS


A CULTURAL REVUE

COLLECTORS’ EDITION

SPRING 2011 • $4.95

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JERRY ★GARCIA JIM ★MESSINA DINO ★DANELLI BOB ★MASSE WES ★FREED ESTHER ★ANDERSON MICHAEL ★KNIGIN MICHELE ★BRAMLETT

JERRY GARCIA PORTRAIT BY SIDNEY MAURER © COURTESY MUSEUM MASTERS INTERNATIONAL


PHOTO CATE CHIRICO

Artexpo NY At The Pinnacle

Perrennial Artexpo exhibitor Samir Sammoun with Fine Art Magazine editor Victor Forbes in Montréal

Eric Smith, Artexpo CEO

International Artexpo New York has stood at the pinnacle of the commercial fine art market for the past 33 years. The list of past exhibitors is a veritable Who’s Who of visual artists, including Andy Warhol, Peter Max, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Indiana, Keith Haring and Leroy Neiman. This year’s show, to be held March 25-27 at Pier 94, will be no different, with top exhibitors from around the world coming to participate in a marketplace expected to generate millions in fine art sales and draw a crowd of more than 10,000 motivated art collectors. “For 2011, we have assembled an extraordinary group of the most influential art dealers and talented artists from around the world,” said Artexpo CEO Eric Smith. “Unique among shows, many artists are in attendance and collectors actually get to meet the artists in person and talk to them about their paintings. This is one of the very cool features of Artexpo New York.” According to Smith, other show highlights include a series of 25 free art seminars and the very popular juried SOLO artists section, where emerging artists are often discovered. This year, Artexpo’s exhibitor base comprises artists from 30 countries. Unique postimpressionist landscape artist, Samir Sammoun plans to unveil new paintings and other treasures from his collection including newly created scenes from New York and France. Sammoun offers a vast repertoire of pictorial themes, e.g. willows, apple trees in bloom, wheat fields, olive trees, villages, storms, churchyards and streetscapes. “I try to make the person

Andrei Protsouk painting , Chardonnay Jerry Garcia lithograph, In Chair

Surfing the Light, Andree Amarica 30 x 30, Acrylic on canvas.

Feels Like Fire, Caroline Rovithi 40 x 40, Acrylic on canvas

looking at my painting feel the color of the sky, the temperature of the air, and the breeze in the apple trees or the wheat stalks,” he said. In addition, a new fine art lithograph by Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia will be displayed along with original paintings by

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Dino Danelli of the Young Rascals, who will be in attendance at the SunStorm/Fine Art booth, 962 Saturday from 1-5 p.m. “People love Artexpo New York. It’s a great cultural event, and an excellent place to meet and find exceptional pieces of art,” said Rami Rotkopf, owner of Smart Publishing, who will mark his 20th anniversary at the show. Rotkopf will feature Neil Loeb, the pop artist from the 80s, and David Schluss. Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 1


Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 1


PHOTO MIKE KANAREK

Bob Weir, 1970, Capitol Theatre, Portchester, NY performing with his band, the Grateful Dead, page 34

PHOTO JAE KANTER

Esther Anderson reasoning with Leroy Sibbles, Negrille Club NYC, 1979; page 61

CATESUN PHOTO

Editor Forbes, artist Michele Bramlett at Haig Printing with press sheet of Dr. Bill Akpinar’s book, 7 Priceless Prescriptions, page 59

Special shout out to actor Samm Levine and writer/producer Eve Fizzinoglia for a wonderful birthday lunch at Antonio’s on Belmont Ave. in true Bronx Tale style —VBF

Jane Seymour, Artexpo Embarksinterviewed on a New at Era Jane Seymour, at Artexpo, interviewed by Jamie Ellin Forbes; youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/FineArtMagazine

Artexpo with Jamie Ellin Forbes, page 19

New Venue, New Management & We Are There

SPRING 2011

founded in 1975

PUBLISHER JAMIE ELLIN FORBES

PHOTO BY TIM SMITH

I hate death. There, I said it. I hate death. I don’t care if Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “O Grave, where is thy victory? Death where is thy sting?” This months sermon is delivered by the Rev. Gary Davis. “Death don’t have no mercy in this land.” I hate that song, too. I can’t listen to it. The Dead used to play it a lot, but homey don’t go there no more. There’s better things to sing about. First, Blue. Dec. 8, 2001 - Oct. 20, 2010. A year and a day before the predicted end of the world. I don’t want to go into it here, but if you are interested, log onto familyradio.com. Blue was just about perfect. The best friend a man could ever hope for. Frank Scaife told me so, up at the Ausable Inn. When Blue died, I knew the end of the world was at hand. The Good Lord wouldn’t let him go through the prognosticated Armageddon. He’d be up there in puppy heaven, waiting for me. So while I am hating death, I am convinced about eternal life, about Jesus Christ conquering death and about end times prophesies. Harold Camping says that after the end of the world, October 21, 2011, there will be no more death. I like that. He says we attain that through the mercy of the Creator, so that we have to ask for it in our prayers. That it isn’t too late. As Ziggy Marley says in Love Is My Religion, “You can take it or leave it, you don’t have to believe it.” I always loved the Byrds rendition of Bye, Bye Blue, but after Blue came into my life, I never played, it, never wanted to hear it. “Bye, bye Blue, you good dog you.” See you in a little while, Lord willing. Then there’s Michael. Michael Knigin. He was a great artist, but an even greater friend. Every minute with Michael was a party for the soul. He was just hilarious, whether we were up in his studio out there in East Hampton, (which was more like a laboratory with computers, printers, bottles of ink hooked up in various configurations) and he enjoyed life. I’ll never forget the time he walked into our printing plant and ol’ Luke the German Shepherd took a swipe at him in full baredfang mode. He caught Michael’s sweater, missed any vital organs and we had a good laugh about it for many years. At the time we were

PHOTO JAMIE ELLIN FORBES via POLAROID

Singin’ In The Rain

TIM SMITH PHOTO

Blue at the Mantrols, Woodstock, NY Midnight Modulation Studio, special thanks to Mikey Dread for the line

PHOTO BY TIM SMITH

VICTOR BENNETT FORBES

working on a complex project for a soda manufacturer who stiffed us both on the bill. We went on to a few more printing/design projects, notably for the Hamptons Music Festival and we made our deadlines, collected our fees and had a few good laughs. Michael – do me a favor, say hello to Big Blue. Remind him of our sleepover and the good times we had, tell him I love him and I miss him and I’ll see him in a little while, and you too, brother. Late last winter, we received a call from Rock Scully. Some of you may know him — he managed the Grateful Dead for many years, taking them from relative obscurity in Haight-Ashbury to international prominence as a musical and cultural entity. Just when you think you’re washed up, over the hill, have nothing to show for your life’s work, you get a call from Rock. “We want to publish something in your magazine.” Well, as the kids say, that’s cool beans. Jerry Garcia’s painting from 1959 or so was recently translated into a superb lithograph by our old friend Jack Solomon for Jerry’s long-time friend, engineer and producer Robert C. Matthews. We had a few encounters with Jerry over the years, as both artist and musician, and it turns out that before Jamie and I ever met, we were both at the Grateful Dead’s historic concert at Gaelic Park in the Bronx. Yes, the Dead visited the Bronx, I would think it was 1971 and I have a home made tape of that show, hand-held mic in the audience, for any of you interested. Revisiting Garcia, and hearing from Rock and Robert, was downright inspirational. After all, they could have contacted any number of magazines in this universe, but chose us. Then our good friend Marilyn Goldberg came aboard with an introduction to Sid Maurer, whose painting of Garcia is on our cover. Any time Marilyn gets involved in anything there is victory and joy. That’s just how she is. In my opinion, the best art maven in the world. We then found our old friend Esther Anderson. She came to visit in 1979 or so and we all went to a club in Manhattan called Negrille. Leroy Sibbles, lead singer and bassist/songwriter for the incredible Heptones was to perform. We went backstage to the dressing room before the show and it was like the seas parted when Esther entered the room. Even the voluminous cloud of smoke from the herb-filled chalices separated as she made her entrance. As I was walking down Riverdale Avenue in a downpour, a week before this was due at the printer, I unconsciously was reciting Bob Marley’s lines: “David slew Goliath/ with a sling and a stone/Samson slew the Philistines/with a donkey jaw bone/Rasta man live up.” I was walking and singing, oblivious. Then a young woman, walking behind me, passed me to enter her house. She turned around and smiled at me, “You’re singing in the rain,” Indeed I was. “Bingie man don’t give up.” Hope y’all enjoy this issue.

PHOTO BY TIM SMITH

Editor’s Note

Susan Pillsbury, with her watercolors, at the Fine Art booth

With Eric Smith’s Redwood Media takeover of the venerable Artexpo, exhibitor

info@fineartmagazine.com

The SunStorm/Fine Art crew at Artexpo, NY, April 2010. In this photograph by the great Peter Simon (visit him on Martha’s Vineyard or by going to www/petersimon.com); standing: Victor Forbes, Charles Wildbank, Tim Smith, Jeanette Gorsky, Steve Zaluski, Ronni Simon; in front: Peter Simon, Jamie Ellin Forbes http://twitter.com/fineartmagazine

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF VICTOR BENNETT FORBES

Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2010 • 5

victor@fineartmagazine.com

WEB MASTER

JOAN HIMMELSTEIN SPECIAL THANKS MARILYN GOLDBERG, DINO DANELLI, ELIZABETH BISSETTE, SHERRI NAHAN, ERIC SMITH, DR. MOVSES HERGULIAN, ROBERT C. MATTHEWS, MICHELE BRAMLETT, MICHEL ROUX, ANDREI PROTSOUK, JEANETTE GORSKY, FRANK MILORDI, STEVE KALOUSDIAN. DORIS MEADOWS, ROCK SCULLY

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Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 1


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Jamie Ellin Forbes interviews documentary filmmaker Susan Cohn Rockefeller and musician/producer/songwriter Nile Rogers at HIFF

Publisher’s Note

At HIFF, 2010 Roc’s Gold Standard Award for Female Feature Director recipient - Director Marilyn Agrelo

JAMIE ELLIN FORBES

Lights, Camera,

Action! SunStorm Arts Publishing Co. Inc. ran full circle this year re-launching and emphasizing our original focus on all phases of creativity— art, music, poetry, literature, video and more. SunStorm’s Fine Art new media led the way, hopefully inspiring others to experiment. We produced over 50 videos posted on YouTube and Vimeo reaching with 10,500 viewers date. Our Fine Art Magazine blog, Fine Art Magazine Online, Face Book page, Fineartmagazine.com & Fine Art Magazine Twitter receive over 20,000 hits per month with 5,000 direct responses to the 10,000 socially networked community seeking Fine Art media info. Our strong emphasis will be to integrate the revolution the internet, which allows the individual artists in all fields of creative enterprise, to connect to an audience helping to grow each artists own brand name, while working with us. Our new video studio will be open for U-Streaming and our recording studio will open later this summer, providing editorial content and services of artistic experience for individual artists in all fields. We will continue to promote our mission, which has always been to broaden the creative arts by publishing/communicating an individual’s art message since our inception in 1975. Fine Art Magazine covers a wide variety of art with an eye for works of up-and -coming as well as established artists from the USA and all over the world. We at SunStorm Fine Art recognize the benefits and value of the traditional approaches toward art promotion and the role of successfully traded international artists, galleries and museums while integrating the new influences of New Social Media. Art changes the way we perceive and imagine. Art is a doorway to change. Through artistic vision, cultures and societies realize their dream. Together we share the potential for creative expression. Art equals social change. Branding, publishing, making markets is not new to us, since 1975 have published the statements and images some of the most recognized names in all phase of the arts. This issue we have a spotlighted multi media artists with successfully active careers in fine 4 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Jackie Martling, HIFF Red Carpet

art & Rock and Roll. Features on Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead; Jim Messina (Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Loggins & Messina), and Dino Danelli, Young Rascals. Also featured is old friend Esther Anderson, award-wining movie actress, photographer and songwriter whose documentary on reggae legend Bob Marley debuts in London this Spring. Plus an update on a new museum tour of Marilyn Monroe images buy Bernard of Hollywood. We attended The Hamptons International Film Festival for the second year in a row. FAM taped Susan Cohn Rockefeller, producer, director and Nile Rogers, musician composer, of We Are Family fame (and countless other hit records) talking about the amazing journey each took while making the documentary Striking A Chord, which premiered at HIFF. We caught Roc’s Gold Standard Award for Female Feature Director recipient, Director Marilyn Agrelo, and spoke about women in film, interviewed director Amy Glazer about her new film Seducing Charlie Barker, chatted with Julian Schnabel and others during the HIFF Founders Night Party. There is no better place in the world for a Film Festival then the Hamptons, Long Island, so a big “thank you” to Stuart Suna of Silver Cup Studios who supports this event every year. FAM covered the Vimeo Festival and Awards, which were launched this last October in NYC by Barry Diller. The setting was inspiring and the energy was electric as the best of the best in new media preview discuss and promote on line video as a viable art form heralding in the new age of art media communication. FAM had the good fortune to interview among others Jeremy Boxer,

Terry Lawler, & Lynn Gardner attending the Athena Fest opening night awards party.

Co-Director of the Vimeo Festival + Awards, Phillip Bloom, Vincent Laforet, two of the foremost experts in the world on DSLR camera use in video and film new media. We look forward to next year’s event. In December. FAM covered The New York Women In Film Awards 30th Annual luncheon where recipients were applauded for their, leadership, accomplishments and contributions to the film industry and their community. Each honoree focused on the unique and qualified role women play in the business. All cited a need to bring parity into the industry for the hiring of women along side of men. Within the film business, each had found a fertile ground upon which they built their careers from individual core strengths. Mentioned by all were family, community and life’s circumstances as they propelled forward along their personal paths to be this years’ award winners. The Athena Film Festival, A celebration of women in leadership was organized and held at Barnard College in February, 2011. The focus was to bring together some of the industry’s great talents by telling the stories and framing the accomplishments of strong accomplished women in film. Kathryn Kolbert, renowned civil rights attorney and Melissa Silverstein, founder of Women in Hollywood, state as cofounders of the festival’s intent is to showcase leaders who make a difference, in addition to highlighting the work of emerging artists now and in the future annual Athena Festivals to come. This years winners include: Debra Granik, Tanya Hamilton, Chris Hededus, for their vision and talent as directors; film distributor Debra Zimmerman; Debra Martin Chase


Harvey Weinstein and Stuart Suna, President Silvercup Studios at Hamptons International Film Festival Founders Party

Terry Lawler, Executive Director of New York Women in Film, Alexandra Levi, President NYWIF, Pat Swinney Kaufman, Abbe Raven, Marsha Hunt, Vanessa Williams, Sade Baderinwa, Cindi Berger

Jeremy Boxer, Co-Director of the Vimeo Festival + Awards, Phillip Bloom

Delia Ephron, Chris Hededus, Debra Martin Chase, Debra Zimmerman, Nancy Schreiber, Tanya Hamilton, Unknown, Leslie Stall, Leslie Bennetts, Abigail Disney, Kathryn Kobert —award winners and presenters from Athena Film Festival, Barnard College, February, 2011

film and television producer; actress Greta Gerwig; screenwriters, Delia Ephron and Anne Rosellini; cinematographer Nancy Schreiber; Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker for producing social change; and Leslie Nennets and Anne Thompson as reporters and commentators on film. At The Athena Film Festival’s opening party/awards ceremony, it was apparent that those who attended or attend Barnard now support the festival mission—“A

Vimeo Festival + Awards, Phillip Bloom, Vincent Laforet

Celebration of Women and Leadership”—with great enthusiasm. Each person was in support of breaking the glass ceiling baring women film equal advancement in all aspects of the film industry. Athena cited repeatedly driving home the statistics: during the festival in 83 years four women have won the Oscar for best Director. In 2009 in the top 250 of all topgrossing domestic films women comprise: 7% of the directors, 8% were writers, 17% executive producers and 2% cinematographers. Women had less that 30% of all speaking roles in 2007, Finally and somewhat ironically, women make up 55% of the entire viewing audience. As SunStorm Fine Art attunes and expands our understanding of new media, we will develop the opportunities of the Internet and social networking with you as we step outside the box to refine and recreate the way we deliver our published message to reflect the growing arts community we serve. We hope to bring you all along as our audience. Join us in our SunStorm Fine Art new media adventure. together we will find the best way to open the

Julian Schnabel at HIFF

Marcia Gay Harden, Alec Baldwin, Mariyn Agrelo, The Roc Awards

doors to the future of art for artists in all media and levels of experience. Contact us online www.fineartmagazine. com, e-mail us at info@fineartmagazine.com, and by telephone, 631-339-0152. Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 5


ANDREI PROTSOUK

Cabernet

Avenue of the Hearts

All In

Have A Nice Day

Catch of the Day

Skateboard Lesson

ANDREIART.COM Tel.: 570-476-4407 7 North 6 Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360

Study, Purple Octopus

Last Drop

Chardonnay

Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 1


VAHAN

ECSTASY, 200 x 350, acrylic on canvas, 2010

Noah’s Ark Art Gallery Art Dealer & Broker Specialists in:

Paintings-Sculptures (Oriental, Russian, Armenian) Icons (Greek, Russian)

Services:

Estimation / Art Publication / Restoration & Framing

Represented Artists:

Vahram, Yuri Tsvetaev, Vahan Roumelian, Alexander Isachev, Suren Voskanian, David D., Ruben Apovian, Ara Azad, Nathalie Labaki, Berdj Tchakedjian, Zaven, Hermes, Yeghya Bakmazian, Edik Pertian, Arthur K.

Address:

Noah’s Ark Art Gallery, Center Grand Park 2, Zoghbi B.B. St., Zalka, Metn - Lebanon Phone numbers: (961) 4 -711-852 (gallery) (961) 4 -714-943 (fax) (961) 4 -711-552 (overnight) (961) 3 -727-211 (mobile)

Personnel: Movses Zirani (Ph.D) owner/director

Elo Saradjian(MA) Admin Director/Media Representative

Herag Herkelian Assistant Director

Spring 2011 • Fine Art Magazine • 7


MATH + MIND = Beam From Infinity

Computer-Based Mathematical Art Arrives via FAVIO

F

AVIO creates spectacularly complex, abstract, intriguing and colorful images via mathematical computer art which provides the artist with a broad range of algorithm inspired tools, yielding an infinite spectrum of image structures which provides the foundation for another infinite spectrum of images – ad infinitum. Definitive structural images can be converted to the abstract with transformation and distortion algorithms. The image is enhanced via a color pallet of almost 20,000,000 colors and a high resolution digital state-of-the-art laser printing process. This process in conjunction with a unique substrate yield images that have a vibrant metallic look that adds depth and dimensionality to these mathematical computer images. One of the leading proponents of mathematical computer art, Frank Milordi (a.k.a. FAVIO) has an Engineering Science Masters and directed an Engineering organization of 1,000 which created an airborne radar moving target detection, tracking and weapon delivery system rooted in advanced electronics, mathematics, real time software and computer graphics. Mr. Milordi’s primary art algorithms are the infinitely repetitive world of Fractals. Some Fractals are transformed and distorted, with numerous mathematical algorithms, creating a new branch of abstract art called Annihilated Fractals. Mr. Milordi also creates Fractal Animations 8 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

augmented with Fractal Music which highlights other aspects of computer based art. Recent FAVIO successes include a spectacular 12’ x 8’ image purchased by NASA (pictured above); solo exhibits at the Orlando Museum Shop Gallery, the Orange County Commissioners Office, the Florida Institute of Technology Library, and the Brevard Art Museum. A three month show at the Florida Capital Complex’s Art and Technical Innovation Center starts April 1, 2011.

Reflective Sunset Skyline


ART Fractured Worlds, FAVIO (c) NASA Installation

Space City

The following paraphrased comments reflect the sense that Mr. Milordi has elevated mathematical based art to new heights; “these images really challenges the mind”, “the colors are vibrant and unbelievable”, “the image complexity is astonishing”, “the infinite nature of these images draw you into an infinite world”, “cool stuff ”, “each image can be described by many names – indicating a multitude of image structure”, “digital smigital - I don’t care what the snobs think, I want one!” etc. Bottom line:

“Mathematical Art has arrived.”

Renaissance Cross

Homage to DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man

To order or for further information visit www.FAVIOART.com or call (321) 242-8884 Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 9


Milton Avery & THE END OF MODERNISM

Nassau County Museum of Art “I try to construct a picture in which shapes, spaces, colors, form a set of unique relationships, independent of any subject matter. At the same time I try to capture and translate the excitement and emotion aroused in me by the impact with the original idea.” —Milton Avery Milton Avery & the End of Modernism looks at work by the artist who brought the sketch, with its spontaneity, movement and fleetingness, to the status of a finished painting. The exhibition features Avery’s intense saturated color fields, the simplification of form, and figures that emphasize the flatness of canvas surface. Milton Avery & the End of Modernism, at Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA) is on view through May 8, 2011. It is organized for NCMA by Museum Director Karl E. Willers, Ph.D. The exhibition was organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York. It was funded, in part, by the New York State Council for the Arts, a state agency; the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art; and the Westchester Arts Council. For presentation at NCMA, the exhibition was expanded as Milton Avery & the End of Modernism. This exhibition examines the contributions of Milton Avery as a significant figurative painter from the late 1920s through the early 1960s. Milton Avery & the End of Modernism takes a concerted look at the development of Avery’s signature paintings from his idiosyncratic drawing style that captures the essence of a person, place or time. According to Dr. Willers, this places Avery’s work within a long history of modernist practice that recognizes the artist’s sketch as a “final, complete and a self-sufficient work of art.” Within the emergence of his avant-garde style, said Dr. Willers, Avery can be seen as one of the preeminent American painters of his time, exerting great influence upon his contemporaries and subsequent generations of artists. Further assessing Avery’s place in American art history, Patterson Sims wrote in an essay for the Whitney Museum of American Art: “Early in Avery’s career, when Social Realism and American Scene painting were the prevailing artistic styles, the semiabstract tendencies in his work were viewed by many as too radical. In the 1950s, a period dominated by Abstract Expressionism, he was 10 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Milton Avery, Still Life with Bottles, 1944, Oil on canvas, 26 x 44 inches, Private Collection

overlooked by critics because of his adherence to recognizable subject matter. Nevertheless, his work, with its emphasis on color, was important to many younger artists, particularly to Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, Helen Frankenthaler, and other Color Field painters.” With the elimination of unnecessary illusionistic detail and simplification of forms into a few flat shapes, color naturally became a dominant element with Avery’s art. Avery has always been recognized as a colorist of the highest quality and most inventive means. Writes Edwin Mullins, as quoted in Adelyn D. Breeskin, “Milton Avery,” The London Magazine, January 4, 1965. [With] Avery…the gift of being a great

colorist is not a matter of selecting beautiful colors…but rather of selecting a range of colors which cohere and complement each other like notes in a chosen key…if it were possible to weigh against each other the different areas of color with which Avery builds up a single painting, they would be found to be more or less equal….Their uniform lightness of tone… emphasizes the flatness of the paint surface, and emphasizes too that the artist’s concern is with the purely surface qualities of a subject, not with its densities and volumes. The museum is sponsoring several informative programs in connection with Milton Avery & the End of Modernism, among them two Tea & Tour events featuring exclusive docent-led exhibition tours.

On Avery & Modernism What is it that makes Milton Avery’s art appear so much more “modern” when compared to canvases by his contemporaries, whether they be figurative or abstract artists? With modernism, the search for immediacy, for quickness, for vitality—the pursuit of effects intrinsic to the sketch became the ends rather than the means of artistic achievement. No longer relegated to a stage within the production of a finished work of art, characteristics of drawings and studies became increasingly appreciated for their ability to convey a world of change, speed, and novelty synonymous with all that was “modern” in people’s lives and daily experiences. Avery’s practice takes this modernist transformation in taste to a level that is neither as prevalent in any predecessor nor as refined in any successor. It is for this reason that Avery and his art are described as being at the end of modernism. Ironically, it is Avery’s rather conventional working process— his conservative method of preparing for works on a canvas by making a series of drawings and studies on paper—that allows this description. Avery’s genius can be seen in the way that he looked discerningly at the effects he was able to achieve in his rapid jottings and spontaneous scribbles. He meticulously works out ways to translate the notations and outlines captured in his works on paper into his oils on canvas. It is difficult to classify Avery’s art in the usual genres. While his works duly fall under the categories of landscapes, seascapes, figures, portraits, self-portraits, and still lifes, Avery’s oeuvre includes, a number of categorical combinations such as the figure in the landscape, that can also be identified as a portrait, that render the categories themselves meaningless. What is important in Avery’s subjects is that they are derived from his personal observation of the natural world and his experience of the simple realities of domestic life among family and friends.


Milton Avery, Sun Over Southern Lake, 1951, Oil on canvas, 32 X 44 inches, Permanent Collection of the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York; Gift of Roy R. Neuberger

Milton Avery, March with a Green Hat, 1948, Oil on canvas 30 x 24 inches; Permanent Collection of the Neuberger Museum of Art Purchase College, State University of New York; Gift of Roy R. Neuberger

On Avery’s Life Milton Avery, the son of Russell Eugene and Esther March Avery, was born in Altmar, New York, a small town near Oswego, on March 7, 1885. When Avery was eight years old, his family moved to Hartford, Connecticut, his home for the next twenty-four years. Upon graduating from high school he took a low-paying job at a local typewriter factory, but in hopes of finding more lucrative employment as a commercial artist he applied for a course in lettering at the Connecticut League of Art Students in Hartford. Unable to gain admittance to the overcrowded lettering class, he opted for a drawing course at the League taught by Charles Noel Flagg and Albertus Jones.This single semester of drawing in charcoal was Avery’s only formal art training in a painting career that would span more than fifty years. In 1924, he met Sally Michel, an illustrator for the New York Times. He moved to New York in 1925 and married Sally, who financially supported the family for the next 25 years. In the fall of 1949, Avery had a heart attack. Sally was told that her husband would live for only a year at best. Although he would create some of his best work over the next decade and would live for more than fifteen years, Sally recalled that Avery never regained his earlier health after this first heart attack. Avery’s health began to deteriorate rapidly in the early 1960s. After an extended period of hospitalization, Avery died on January 3, 1965, at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. A memorial service attended by over 600 artists and friends was held in his honor at the Ethical Cultural Society in New York City. “In order to paint one has to go by the way one does not know,” declares Avery in Burt Chernow, Milton Avery Drawings, 1973. “Art is like turning corners: one never knows what is around the corner until one has made the turn.”

Milton Avery, Blue Trees, 1945, Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches, ermanent Collection of the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York; Gift of Roy R. Neuberger

Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive (just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A, two traffic lights west of Glen Cove Road) in Roslyn Harbor. Docentled tours of the exhibition are offered at 2 p.m. each day; meet in the lobby, no reservations needed. Nassau County Museum of Art is chartered by New York State as a not-forprofit private educational institution and museum. A privately elected Board of Trustees is responsible for its governance. The museum is funded through income derived from admissions, parking, membership, special events, private donations and corporate sponsorships, as well as federal and state grants. Exhibitions are supported in part by generous donations of the Board of Trustees, Museum Council, Contemporary Collectors Circle, Corporate members, and other friends of the museum. Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 11


DIVA OF LUXURY BY MARILYN GOLDBERG

I

t has been long accepted throughout the international art world today that Tamara de Lempicka in her very singular way brilliantly captured the whirlwind decade of the 1920s on canvas by painting the portraits of the illustrious and renowned socialites of Europe. She created the style of painting which we now know as “Art Deco”. Hers was the era of flappers, fashion, music, and politics at a time when the stock market crashed in 1929 followed by many years of The Great Depression. Tamara captured it all, including the epic transition from simple modes of transportation to the advent of the automobile. In one especially grand piece, her self-portrait Tamara in Green Bugatti, she created her iconic statement of self. Maria Tamara Gorwik Gorska, later selfordained “Tamara de Lempicka”, was born in Warsaw, Poland. She was sent to the wealthiest boarding school in Lausanne, Switzerland. On holidays during her youth at the hand and direction of her great aunt Stephanie, she was introduced to imported French luxuries from Maison Jansen and jewels of all colors and shapes which Stephanie displayed on herself at the lavish balls of Emperor Nicolas II. Tamara, as a strikingly beautiful ingénue, envisioned for herself a life of grace, class, wealth and of course, haute couture. By 1916 she had chosen the most eligible and handsome bachelor in Warsaw, an attorney named Tadeusz Lempicki. The marriage of this most enviable couple took place in St. Petersburg near the magnificent State Hermitage Museum. Tragically, Tadeusz was then arrested by the Bolsheviks. Tamara did everything possible during the Russian Revolution with her exquisite looks, flair for fashion and charming personality to acquire the favor of the Swedish counsel ito secure his release. The couple fled to Paris where Tamara studied with all the Polish and Russians of

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influence and class who already knew the French ways. Her incredible future awaited her. Having studied art in St. Petersburg, she decided to paint portraits. She won her first major award in 1927 which was the first prize medal for Kizette on the Balcony at the exposition in Bordeaux. In her early days of poverty in Paris, having studied art in Warsaw, Tamara always traveled with a small canvas portfolio of her very first painting and her very first school medals for art excellence for which she was unceasingly proud, and wanted them always to stay in the family and heritage. Later in her career, as she began to thicken the layers of oil on canvas, she continued to carry her first portfolio from St. Petersburg and kept it by her side always. Her drawings and paintings at the time were on sketch pads and small canvases consisting of thin layers of oil until later in her career when she could finally afford to build up the layers of paint so that the canvases would be more lush in quality. While in Paris, she soon adopted the name Tamara de Lempicka—(as everyone in Paris had a “de” before their fancy names). Her mother instilled in her the need for her to have titles in order to attract the right social climate. She signed her works “T. Lempicki” instead of the Polish feminine way before changing it to Lempicka. Her paintings between the wars were portraits of the renowned and elite socialites, which Tamara co-branded herself by attaching her name to the royal families of Europe. Her daughter, The Baroness Kizette de Lempicka Foxhall wrote in her book Passion by Design (Abbeville Press) that “She painted them all, the rich, the famous and renowned…the best; and with many, she had love affairs.” Tamara’s iconic paintings of the Jazz Age, the period between the wars, remain forever to remind

us of the elegance and frivolity of that period. At the onset of World War II, The Baroness and Baron Raoul Kuffner departed from Paris. They settled in Hollywood in the former King Vidor Estate. He was one of her earliest and wealthiest collectors. The house was previously owned by Hungarian movie director, King Vidor who had completed the movie War and Peace. The couple then moved to East 57th Street, (the early corridor of the abstract and impressionist art world) in New York City in 1943. Tamara put her interior design talents to use in her dramatic two story studio where everything from the floors to the drapery to the pearl gray upholstery was adorned. Tamara waited patiently for the war to end and when it was over, she returned to the street she loved best and by which she was most inspired—The Rue Mechain in Paris. There, she designed her own special décor and surroundings once again but this time in the Rococo Style known as “Late Baroque.” In 1978 Tamara moved to a beautiful and peaceful Villa designed by a Japanese architect in Cuernavaca, Mexico. She could not easily adjust to her aging appearance in the mirror so she surrounded herself with young attractive and passionate people and wanted to be remembered for her talent and style. She also wanted to be cremated and remembered as she was in Paris, the most beautiful portrait painter of her day. Mid-20th century abstract art promoted American greats such as Jackson Pollock. Tamara tried to change her recipe, blurring colors and dissolving shapes which were not well-received, The Baroness Kuffner’s pride was damaged; she no longer wanted to play the game of winning and never exhibited her work again. Tamara de Lempicka died in her sleep on March 18, 1980. Her daughter Kizette was at her side and spread her ashes as she wished on top of the Volcano. In 1966 The Musee des Arts Decoratifs created a Paris exhibition called Les Annees 25.” The elegance and the success of the show created a serious Art Deco revival and inscribed Tamara with another Deco great, “Erté.” Later, Alain Blondel of Paris, inspired by her work, opened The Galerie du Luxemburg to launch a Tamara retrospective. This was followed by The Knoedler Gallery show which was organized by William Weber, an international art dealer living in Greenwich Village. Tamara made many demands on how the exhibition would be mounted and the curator from Knoedler dismissed it. Weber, after completion of The Lempicka exhibition in Japan went to Rome years later to


> Catalog cover © Complesso del Vittoriano 2011 Rome. Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 13 Artwork © 2011 TAH. Licensed by MMI, NYC.


> Clockwise from top: Photo of Tamara de Lempicka © D’ora; Lempicka’s grand-daughter Victoria de Lempicka with Marilyn Goldberg, worldwide agent of the Estate; Jeune Fille en Vert.

establish a relationship for a museum exhibition. In 1994, after Tamara’s death, he arranged for the Brain Trust Exhibition in Japan in her honor. This was planned and organized with the guidance and assistance of Marilyn Goldberg, who he had introduced to Kizette and her daughter, Victoria. He requested that I devote my creative time and energy to Victoria de Lempicka, her granddaughter. In a sudden dramatic turn, a phone call was received at Museum Masters International that Weber fell down the stairs of a large Rome museum and instantly died of a concussion. His dream of a Rome exhibition was revived years later in March, 2011. Both Victoria de Lempicka and Marilyn Goldberg commemorate this exhibition to the memory of men from opposite sides of the globe—Blondel in Paris, and Weber in New York who formulated the international impetus to bring Tamara de Lempicka to world audiences. Now, over two decades later, I am proud to celebrate the inauguration at The Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome.

to the St. Hermitage in St. Petersburg Russia, and to develop programs for The Metropolitan Opera and The New York Philharmonic. Tamara and her paintings have captured my heart, spirit and soul. I understand what she needed and wanted and how she played the game of winning for her own survival on her own terms. I am truly honored to participate in the Rome Exhibition La Regina del Moderno (The Queen of Modern) at The Complessa del Vittoriano curated by Gioia Mori and I dedicate the 2011 Exhibition to this woman who was far ahead of her time, and modern beyond today. The Queen of Modern will be followed by Goddess of Innocence in Athens, Greece 2014 at the B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts directed by Dr.Fotis Papathanasiou who I had the great pleasure of meeting in October 2010. So privileged am I to have worked closely with Victoria de Lempicka and with Mssrs. Weber and Blondel who were so dedicated to Tamara. They helped me find the earliest films of the artist and her paintings to fulfill her dreams of international

After the Japanese Brain Trust exhibition, Lempicka paintings were exhibited at The San Francisco Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Royale Academy, Caixa de Galicia in Mexico, Austria Kunstforum Vienna, Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico, The Bunkamura Museum of Art in Japan, Hyoto Prefectural Museum of Art in Japan followed by the Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome for which MMI organized the merchandising. Today Lempicka paintings, with the 2009 sale by Wolfgang Joop, have brought skyrocketing prices —up to 6.5 million euro. On the Telephone, which sold for $1.9 million in 2009 received an offer on February 10, 2011 for $3,000,000 US dollars. (After deliberation, the The Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome, photograph by Marilyn Goldberg new offer was rejected.) The experience I have had for many years as owner and President exhibitions. my Exhibition Manager who invited of Museum Masters International Inc. of creative, me to Japan to photograph her works in 1994. My transformative, and dynamic marketing on the dear friend William Weber introduced me to the international stage has been the thrill of a lifetime. Baroness Kizette Foxhall and her daughter Victoria I have designed the worldwide creative market for de Lempicka. I personally thank Alain Blondel, Paris preserving the trademarks and logo seals of Da art dealer who helped with films over twenty years Vinci, van Gogh, Picasso, Haring, Warhol, and ago. I have fulfilled my dream to develop and bring Lempicka for younger generations to learn about Tamara’s inspiration to life. and enjoy their works and history. I have had Through her art I know that my life is blessed the great honor and pleasure to consult with and and that I have made the right career choices in bring new innovative exhibitions and presentation acting as the voice of Tamara, promoting her art and models to the greatest Estates and Museums in the protecting her intellectual property rights. © Marilyn Goldberg , 2011. world from The Guggenheim Museum in New York,

14 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 Artworks © 2011 TAH. Licensed by MMI, NYC.


RAFAL OLBINSKI

A Festival of Surrealism “Olbinski’s luminescent works are painstakingly executed and contradict any trend towards the fast and superficial. Most significantly, he is able to stubbornly remain loyal to his own beliefs and has managed to preserve a level of personal expression, integrity and substance that is uncommon … that keeps him immune from the merely fashionable.” Christopher Mount Curator, The Museum of Modern Art New York

“Poetic humor is a quality rarely found in the fine arts. He shifts line with spirit, and invents humorous and piquant situations that become graphic compositions which surprise our eyes. He wants to show us that our imagination is a magical world which is capable of recreating forever.” André Perinaud Président, Salon International De L’Affiche Et Des Arts De La Riue, Paris, France

“Festival of Pleasant and Unpleasant Plays (Homage to Velasquez”, 2003 Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 •32” 15 x 22”


Interactive Recollections, 2003 40 x 30 inches Rafal Olbinski was born in the city of Kielce, Poland. He graduated from the Architectural Department of Warsaw Polytechnic School. In 1981 he emigrated to the US, where he soon established himself as a prominent painter, illustrator and designer. A master of visual language, he moves with ease from painting to typography to opera stage design.

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afal Olbinski’s captivation with sensuality and intellect began in earnest when as a 17 year-old he arrived in Warsaw to study, finally liberated from a strict family upbringing. With what he described as a “big burst of freedom,” he began testing life. Accepted at the very difficult-to-get-into Warsaw University of Technology, he was living in a dormitory with students from all over Poland and Eastern Europe, but more importantly, he was finally free. With the limitations of Iron Curtain oppression, he and his

Sentimental Attentiveness, 2009 11.5 x 22 inches 16 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

friends were eager to get any fuel that they could for stimulation. “We would talk through the night about French cinema noir, or Existentialism, Sartre or Nietzsche or whoever. It was more like we were studying to be 19th century natural philosophers so we were prepared to do anything—film or architecture, drawings or theatre.” At once both controversial and classical, he has built a career examining the mysteries of life. His paintings depicting members of the fairer sex as both distant and effortlessly available are nonpareil. It was the relatively obscure (at least to Westerners) Bruno Schulz who had a major influence in shaping Olbinski’s vision. “When I think about it,” he said, “Schulz and Goya, my other great love in those days, were right on the same level.” Schulz was eighteen years-old when he drew his Book of Idolatry, almost the same age as Olbinski, and the impact of all the sexuality and eroticism contained therein was not lost on the young artist. “Those women were like goddesses and I could relate to him. We must have experienced many of the same emotions. It’s a pity that he is not so well known in America.” Olbinski considers Schulz his first “creative father.” Olbinski’s creative life was molded by his times, the radical 1960s. While everything was changing and he was a participant in the various revolutions of the era, he was so well-versed in the classics and his skills as an illustrator so strong that his work reached a point of universal recognition and acclaim, as much for his psychological and spiritual insight as for his impeccable and distinct draughtsmanship. His architectural career came to a quick end when, sent by the government to toil at a construction site in Kielce as punishment for his revolutionary tendencies, “like some kind of feudal peasant,” he decided that he preferred the life of a Bohemian artist and went back to Warsaw, where he supported himself by drawing cartoons for magazines and making posters. At a bar, “I met a guy who was looking for someone to be art director of his magazine, Jazz Forum.” Knowing nothing about layout or typography, Olbinski crammed at the American embassy library, where he studied publications from all over the world. After three weeks, he created a maquette, with a cacophony of different ideas and the pubilsher loved it. From there, he used his drawing skills and as Art Director, hired himself to paint covers. By doing covers and different jazz posters he became a graphic designer, illustrator and painter. Erotically charged, obviously, his imagery is deeply thought out and in nearly every piece a soulful depth is evident. In her introductory passage to Olbinski’s Women monograph, Gloria Vanderbilt wonders, “What is it that women want? Can it be that Rafal Olbinski reveals an answer to this eternal question in his paintings? A man turning the pages of this book will come upon the mysteries of a woman he has loved to find the answers are not what he expected…a woman turns to discover secrets of men she has loved, because through the images she understands herself in a way she had not before. Man and woman walk a tightrope towards each other over an abyss of alien territory. To keep balance, look at each other through the eyes of Olbinski, trust and press on…” Olbinski agrees: “I have plenty of paintings about relationships, but 90% of the time I am taking the side of the woman. When we are looking at women as sexual objects, that is our problem, not theirs.” This daring concept is evinced in much of Olbinski’s work: bridging the chasms of relationships, enjoying the dichotomy of beauty with an ever-present edge of fulfillment and intrigue. There is always a twist, an insight, a proposition never presented before, a solution never imagined. Olbinski belongs to a generation of


contemporary Polish poster artists and illustrators routinely linked to the Surrealists René Magritte, Paul Delvaux, and Salvador Dalí. It would be pointless to dispute that heritage. And yet, his temperament aligns more truly with the tradition of Renaissance Neo-Platonists, poets and visual artists alike, who dramatized mythologies—pagan, Christian, and newly-minted in a never-ending quest to illustrate universal philosophies of transcendent forms. Count among Olbinski’s forerunners the Bellini of The Allegory of Wisdom, the Botticelli of La Primavera, the Giorgione of The Three Philosophers, the Lotto of Venus and Cupid, the Dossi of Jupiter, Mercury, and Virtue, the Giulio Romano of The Fall of the Giants from Mount Olympus, the Bronzino of Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time, the Poussin of Dance to the Music of Time. As chance or fate would have it—each, like Olbinski, a seeker of Truth in realms of shadows and reflections. Olbinski’s inventive and highly evocative imagery has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, New Yorker, Newsweek, and Time as well as many important publications worldwide. Besides producing work for periodicals, Olbinski has created numerous poster illustrations for opera productions, live theatre, and music festivals around the world. He has garnered more than 150 awards for such work, including Gold and Silver Medals from the Art Directors Club of New York, Society of Illustrators awards in both New York and Los Angeles, and similar honors in England, France, and Italy. “Rafal Olbinski’s art is an extraordinary testament to integrity, spirit and adventure. Technically masterful, emotionally complete, his is one of the brilliant visions today in any art form. Olbinski’s creations are an excellent synthesis of surrealistic mood and symbolism,” notes Richard Burgin, Founder and Editor of the award-winning literary journal Boulevard. For further information about the work of Rafal Olbinski, visit www.patinae.com

Iris, 1995 , 32 x 22 inches – created for the book “Flowers and Fables”

Le Docteur Miracle

L’Elisir D’Amore above paintings created for CD covers for Allegro-Music’s OPERA D’ORO Collection.

Unrefined Intimacy, 2009 22 x 23.5 inches Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 17


Nino Japaridze Les choses non dites (Things Unsaid), 2010, oil on canvas, 23½” x 31½

Mystery

“The Real Subject Of Her Art” “I’m passionate…I have ups and downs,” says Nino Japaridze, interviewed in the documentary film L’Eternel Retour de Nino Japaridze. The passion is fully evident in her artworks but observers might only discern a steady series of “ups” in the artist’s whirlwind year of 2010. Georgian-born and Paris-based— known primarily for her surreal and hypnotically lyrical paintings and drawings with a slightly dark and disturbing edge— she completed a major body of work begun in 2008: a series of six cycles of works on paper. Art critic and historian Stephen Robeson-Miller, in his essay Nino Japaridze and Automatism wrote, “That her works may be grouped into series to which she has given such evocative titles as The Eternal Voyage, The Thread of Life and The Eternal Return is no accident, for one drawing or one aspect of a drawing suggests or leads to the next and the next until a connection develops that envelops the whole. Even the tan or gray papers she uses impart a patina that, combined with the fantastic imagery, transport us to another place, another time.” Spring of 2010 marked the publication of Japaridze’s first printmaking project, L’Eternel Retour, a portfolio of four handpainted etchings which boast an unusual feature in the world of fine art original prints. Steve Lucas, director of New York’s Gallery of Surrealism explains, “Each of the four etchings are printed in black and white from etching plates engraved in dry point by the artist. She then painted every 18 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

individual impression with waterc ol ors so that all of the color was applied by her hand, one impression at a time.” L’Eternel Retour was introduced to the public at the artist’s first museum exhibition held in May at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Organized by the Gallery of Surrealism and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of Georgia, the exhibition was met with wide acclaim and a documentary film was produced. In the summer of 2010, Japaridze concluded a series of oil paintings based upon the imagery from the various drawing cycles. These works premiered in October at Art Elysees, a leading Paris art fair held in conjunction with FIAC. The painting exhibition coincided with the release of Nino Japaridze, the first monograph on the artist’s work. Represented by the Galler y of Surrealism in New York City, Nino Japaridze is currently engaged in a new etching project inspired by Mikhail Bulgakov’s great work of Russian literature, The Master and Margarita, which is anticipated to be completed toward the end of 2011. As Robeson-Miller concludes, “In the final analysis, the real subject of her art is mystery; her pictures celebrate its role in life.”

Le soleil levant (The Rising Sun), 2010, etching hand painted in watercolors, 14” x 17”

Aurelia est heureuse (Aurelia is Joyful), 2009, ink on tan paper, 30” x 22”


Jane Seymour’s Flowers As Passionate Self-Portraits

Portrait of a Chinese Peony, Oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

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By DR. MOVSES ZIRANI

f man, with the ability to reason has in animal life with an untouchable and undeniable worth, then the flower has a fixed worth in the entire scope of nature as a super-sensitive and the most beautiful of creatures. It is not in vain that both the woman and the flower are symbols of beauty and sources of life. In nature, the role of the

flower is to bear and nurture the seed into fruition, whereas the role of the woman is one of fertilization and reproduction. Since the dawn of human civilizations, and in the heathen eras, all the known cultures have presented the flower as the symbol of fertility and of immortality. In the Christian era, especially during the Renaissance and on, many of the painters have included the lily in their portraying

of the Annunciation scene, like Leonardo da Vinci, Giovanni Bellini, Filippo Lippi , and others. In ancient Rome, the goddess of fertility, youth and renaissance was called Flora, flower; she was worshipped in springtime. Most of the Renaissance masters, like Tiziano, Rembrandt and Poussin, have given us beautiful representations of Flora, which usually symbolized the awakening of Spring 2011 • Fine Art Magazine • 19


Portrait of an Iceberg Rose, Oil on canvas, 16 x 20”

Portrait of a Stargazer Lily, Oil on canvas, 11 x 14”

“She is a beautiful flower herself, with much depth and content…” spring and fertilization of life. During the celebrations of the advent The first is the American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. She has painted of spring in Rome, as well as in Armenia, Babylon, Phoenicia, Egypt, many flowers, like the red tulip, the iris, the violet, etc. that are erotic and most of the ancient world, there were hysterical games of love and in nature and somehow call to mind either male or female sex organs sex. Those games were performed so that the mother earth would be and other sensitive parts of the human body. With Georgia O’Keeffe, fertilized and the year would be bountiful. the sexual passion is mixed with the pleasure of love and the flower, Flora personified both the flower and the woman as one entity. through its beauty, expresses erotic emotions. Toward the end of the 18th century and in the 19th century, the flower The second woman is Jane Seymour. She too has painted many ceased being a symbol and artists started to use it for decorative flowers, which are very different from others. Delicate and feminine, purposes. Blooming fields, vases and flower bouquets inundated the those flowers have the charm of life and give us the good news of European paintings. This was a demand, especially to decorate the enjoyment, transporting us to different worlds. The awakening of royal palaces. Later on, the Impressionists and post-Impressionists spring and renaissance of life are characterized with flowers, which consigned the flowers a great worth. They not only tried to bring them as a theme occupy an important space in Jane Seymour’s paintings. away from the decorative status, but also to assign them personalities. Acting is a mediated art. That is, somehow the actor or actress Van Gogh is different. Some of his paintings (The Sunflowers) depends on other artists. So, Jane Seymour goes to painting where are so powerful and personal that we consider them self-portraits. An she feels completely free to express herself. That is why many writers, example is the Sunflower With Two Faces. architects and actors (as well as scientists, Here, the passionate and power-saturated diplomats and others) paint alongside male is presented, where the inner turmoil their various professions. The language of is expressed through the wrinkled and color is universal; and the artists feel free curly leaves. There is the flame of a and uninhibited in this world. burning suffering; a fire which seems to They are freer than with rhythms, be the expression of a wounded ego, of or with words. There are many examples shattered dreams and of watered-down in the history of international art: emotions. van Gogh’s inner fire engulfs William Blake and Gebran Khalil his entire being in flames and we see the Gibran are gifted as painters, as well smoke in the sunflowers. Their expression as writers. Leonardo da Vinci was a is so powerful and insightful that it is scientist, Rubens was a diplomat. Both, transferred to us, burns our conscience however, were some of the titans of and forces us to face our human duties. painting of the Renaissance. This is what secures van Gogh’s For Seymour, painting is not a Jane Seymour, author Dr. Movses Zirani greatness and the standard to value his art. secondary profession. It is an inner calm, Having said all this, van Gogh had no problem in portraying the flower which comes forth from an uncontrolled motive to express herself and its charms. He worked in a natural way; in him everything was artistically. This is confirmed by her biographical details, and by her born instinctively. After van Gogh and his contemporaries, presenting serious attitude toward art. As a highly successful actress, she does flowers continued. However, very few appreciated the flowers by not need to go into the depths of another form of art if that does painting them to express their beauty and wonder. not spring from within her being and does not force her to dive Two of those painters known to us (it is no surprise that both into a world where the colors become meaningful, according to the are women) have successfully painted flowers with special care and suggestions of one’s inner self. in great numbers. Those paintings have the value of self-portraits. Seymour has successfully enacted dozens of important roles and 20 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011


Portrait of A Sunflower

Portrait of a Red Rose, Oil on canvas, 16 x 20”

“A sunflower and a Chinese rose…she is wild like the gypsy beauties of the desert.” is famous for movies like “Live and Let Die” ( James Bond), “The Tunnel”, “After Sex”, “The French Revolution” and many other films which testify to that fact. However, and in spite of all this, she has devoted an important part of her time (and continues to do so) to painting, where the flowers play a pivotal role. She not only paints flowers, but also natural scenes, still life paintings and portraits. The latter group includes self-portraits. Moreover, Seymour’s flowers are aspects of her character, because not only does she feels intimate with the flowers, but also expresses herself through them.

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he is a beautiful flower herself, with much depth and content, and the flowers she paints are the different charms of her ego. That is why her flowers claim our special attention. They have a special meaning and artistic worth in fine art. As we have seen, each of Jane Seymour’s flowers has the nature of a self-portrait, where not only the artists’ taste and attitude toward those sensitive and delicate beings are expressed, but in which we are also given the possibility to know her a step further as a “sensitive and delicate being”—as a flower. Of the irises, the daisies, the lilies, the roses and other flowers she paints, her sunflowers and Chinese roses are noteworthy. When we talk about sunflowers in fine art, we remember van Gogh’s, which are the evidence of a burning and fuming anguish. Jane Seymour’s sunflowers do not suffer; they live to open up to life and to make it more beautiful. They are sensual and lively beings—ready to charm and guarantee the continuity of life, just like the awakening of spring or the sixteen-year-old girl… Seymour’s Chinese rose is wild, like the gypsy beauties of the desert. She is both a sunflower and a Chinese rose; a lily, an iris or another flower. Like the flowers she paints, they seem to be brought to life and personified during acting. In fact, she is that flower which has bloomed at the right time and in the right environment; that being who constitutes a beautiful conception of the nature-subordinate instinct of motherhood, and is called to make life and nature beautiful; to enhance the charm of art. Each of the flowers Seymour paints is an Eve, a first mother, who is beautiful, fascinating and sensual. She is identified with her colorful flowers. The author holds a doctorate in Fine Arts

Actress artist Jane Seymour will be exhibiting her work at Artexpo New York for further information, www.coralcanyonpublishing.com *All images © 2011 Jane Seymour, used by permission Spring 2011 • Fine Art Magazine • 21


SHE LIKED IT IN MEMORY HOT OF A STAR BY MARILYN GOLDBERG

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met Susan Bernard many years ago at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan. I had just completed contracts for Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe, for the first time “legally” co-branding the two icons together. This was truly a highlight of my life. In those days, the

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Warhol foundation had no agreements with Marilyn, Elvis, Campbell, or Pepsi. I did them all and loved bringing the iconic brands together, visualizing nothing but double the power. This was the beginning of celebrating my dad’s dream and his favorite “dream girl”—Marilyn Monroe—after whom I was named. Both our fathers— Susan’s and mine—shared similar good fortune in escaping the Nazis. My dad settled in New York after getting out of occupied Paris while Susan’s father, Bruno Bernard, made it to Hollywood after fleeing Berlin in 1940. I became infatuated with Marilyn—every painting, photo, and story—and devoted a great deal of time to developing one marketing program after another; one merchandise program after another all over the world. Japan, Taiwan, China, Europe, Brazil. I

felt like we were the two Marilyns—me and her! With her grace, innocence, charm and appeal, I longed to memorialize all that she stood for. MM—Marilyn and Marilyn...and so the story goes. Susan Bernard had inherited the mix I needed to further this cause. Her lifetime of respect, devotion and admiration for all her dad did in this country matched up serendipitously with my own feelings toward my father.


Bruno Bernard set up his first darkroom in the basement of his Hollywood apartment in 1940. Shortly thereafter, he moved his studio to the famous Sunset Strip. “No one knew the name Bernard, but they all knew Hollywood,” he said, and hence was created the optical trademark signature, Bernard of Hollywood, that ensured visually for decades the image of glamour. His genius for capturing the spirit and personality of his movie star and celebrity subjects in intimate portraits and candid moments was the strength of his work. A young girl named Norma Jean got her big break in Hollywood with a portfolio produced by Bruno Bernard. This girl went on to become Marilyn Monroe. Their association grew into a lifelong friendship. Bernard immortalized Marilyn and her beauty for posterity in a stream of fascinating images throughout her

“Marilyn’s Intimate Exposure” — A new book by Susan Bernard is a metaphor on the life of photographer Bruno Bernard and his intimate love affair with his camera. The book contains essays from Lindsay Lohan and the late Jane Russell.

MARILYN MONROE’S LIFE: Born on June 1st, 1926 at 9:30 in the morning at Los Angeles General Hospital, her birth certificate read Norma Jeane Mortensen, but she was called Norma Jeane Baker. We don’t know who her real father was. The name Mortensen is the name of her mother’s second husband who left her before the birth of Norma Jean. In any case, the mother of Norma Jean had a relationship with a colleague from work during the absence of her husband that lasted several months. Norma Jean’s childhood was very chaotic. Her mother placed her for adoption when she was only a few days old, came to visit her only on weekends and sometimes, due to her frequent psychiatric hospital stays, didn’t see her daughter at all. It seems that this was a common thread in the maternal family of Norma Jean. The next seven years of the little girl were stable enough. Having put aside enough

money to secure a small house, the mother of Norma Jean takes back her daughter. This doesn’t last long, as she needs to return to a psychiatric clinic. Norma Jean is once again put up for adoption. At 16 years old, Norma Jean marries Jim Doughtery, a neighbor who is five years older. The marriage is “arranged” by her “Aunt” Grace and Norma Jeane starts a life as a housewife, but the outbreak of War requires her husband to join the Marines and she finds a job checking parachutes. An army photographer, assigned to take photos of all working women to boost morale of the troops, notices her. He puts her photo on the cover shot of “FANK” on June 26 1945. She then becomes a Pin-Up girl for

brief and tragic career. Through the artistry of his photographs, Bruno Bernard shared his intimate, up close and personal view of the glamour and excitement of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” Each week he featured a different 30”x 40” portrait of a star under his neon-lit signature. He became the only photographer of his era who simultaneously opened studios in the idyllic oasis of Palm Springs, amidst Laguna Beach’s affluent community, and infamous Las Vegas, where he ran the ultimate portrait salon in the glamorous penthouse of the glowing neon Riviera Hotel and famous Casino. Bruno Bernard’s penthouse suite was the location from which the photographer made some of his most provocative images of the 1950’s. Silver screen goddesses like J a n e Mansfield, Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth

Bruno Bernard (Bernard of Hollywood). From 1946 on, she is on the cover of many magazines and she scores an interview with Ben Lyon, 20th Century Fox talent scout, showing an undeniable quality of great “sex appeal,” Darryl Zanuch signs her up. Lyon has a stroke of genius—to give a new name to this new woman. He proposes naming her Marilyn after the actress Marilyn Miller and Norma Jean suggests Monroe, the family name of her maternal grandmother. She takes this as her legal name only seven years before her death. She gets two small film roles with Fox, but they don’t renew her contract. She then signs a six month contract with Columbia, playing some secondary roles in B movies. During this time she takes acting and speech classes. Columbia doesn’t renew her contract and she is out of work. She then begins to pose in various photographic shoots, notably for Tom

Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 23 Photographs © 2011 Bernard of Hollywood. Licensed by Renaissance Corp.


> Marilyn Monroe exhibition opening in Granada, Spain, February 2011.

Taylor as well as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack were captured in landmark images which symbolized an era. Of all the accolades bestowed on Susan Bernard’s dad—the one that gave him the most joy—was “the discoverer of Marilyn Monroe.” He took great pride in his ability to uncover the mysterious photographic qualities in Norma Jean that transformed a nice-looking girl into

a larger-than-life illusionary beauty. Glamour photography has been defined as “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” However, “had it not been for her almost pathological obsession with becoming a star coupled with her uncanny ability to transform herself before the camera, she would not have become Marilyn and stepped onto the illustrious stage of the beloved goddess’s pantheon,” remarked Susan Bernard.

Susan Bernard and Marilyn Goldberg were both Daddy’s little girls: our dads both loved “Marilyn!” We both honored our dads! Kelly, who has her pose nude in his famous, scandalous calendar. Groucho Marx gets her into the John Huston film with “Asphalt Jungle”­—a huge personal success for Marilyn. M.G.M. becomes inundated with her fan mail but they refuse to give her a contract. She signs on with Fox and her career is launched. At the same time, the scandalous nude calendar comes out (1954) and Fox asks her to deny that these photos are of her. Marilyn refuses and publicly states, “I needed the

24 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

money”. On the subject of the calendar, it was considered pornographic material and blocked from being viewed in certain states. However, another version that was touched up by having clothes drawn on original photos did come out. At the beginning of 1952, she meets Joe DiMaggio, the baseball idol. They married on January 24, 1954, but Joe could not accept her success as a sex symbol. Their divorce is announced on the 27th of October, 1954. Marilyn is

dying for respectability and dreams of a home, children, and a normal life to go along with her career. She takes classes at the “Actor’s Studio” directed by Lee Strasberg where she proves to be a good student and receives lots of gratification. At this time, we see her frequently on the arm of Marlon Brando. But it is during this period that she develops a serious relationship with Arthur Miller. They have a traditional Jewish marriage ceremony in 1956 after Marilyn converts to Judaism. Always searching for a “real” family, she totally immerses herself into Miller’s family life. The summer of 1956, spent in Amagansett, proves to be the happiest period in her life. The rest of her life is well-known history, and equal parts mystery. Long live Marilyn Monroe.

Photographs © 2011 Bernard of Hollywood. Licensed by Renaissance Corp.


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Music for the Eyes The Paintings of Shen

oft swirls of melody visually portray the tunes which speak so deeply to jazz lovers. Soulful lines in each artist’s face engage onlookers with expressions that are only seen when playing the blues. Perhaps the reason these portraits so vividly capture the songs of jazz greats like Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday is that they were painted with the deepest of emotion. As a young woman Shen loved going to jazz concerts with her parents. Each live jazz group she encountered grew an appreciation within her for the tones and tunes that were her father’s passion. Tragically, in 1997 he committed suicide. Her grief pushed her toward the artists whose music overflowed with emotion. Portraits of B.B. King and Frank Sinatra developed into a tribute to her father as she painted what he taught her to love. What he loved became beauty. In the Classic Jazz Series, Shen experimented with a traditional paintbrush for the first time. Although she had already had a long career as an artist, her tools had always been aerosol cans and airbrushes. Her artistic upbringing was in the underpasses of the San Francisco Bay Area with a graffiti crew. However, instead of tagging the city, Shen worked to cover up nasty words with joyful murals. “You can’t see colors at night,” Shen explained. “I had to arrange the cans in my duffel bag by color. You only see shades of gray, so I learned to paint by value rather than hue.” Little did she know that she was getting the perfect training for portraying the intense qualities of the great jazz musicians. Shen merged airbrushed wild style graffiti with acrylic, water color, and oils as old met new much like the musicians she portrayed. The jewel tones in the paintings bring out the intensity of emotion that jazz musicians pour into their music and Shen pours into her paintings. Shen loves to create with Daler-Rowney paints, Iwata Airbrushes, Ampersand painting panels and maybe a couple of aerosol cans. In addition to The Classic Jazz Series, Shen has created a more whimsical series of jazz portraits entitled Illusions of Jazz. Other series include Famous Faces, Jodi Style and countless portraits. Shen has exhibited her work in galleries stretching from La Jolla, California to Soho, New York. Her work has also been seen at the Sausalito Art Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and New York Artexpo. www.ShenStudio.com

Clockwise from top: Bluebird; Dizzy; Hook; Blue Billie; Bird Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 25


Michael Knigin, photographed by Robert Moore

Michael Knigin 1942-2011

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By JAMIE ELLIN FORBES

rtist and pioneering master printmaker Michael Knigin passed away January 19, 2011 on a gray cold and snowy day after a bout with cancer. I felt a profound sense of personal loss immediately when I heard of his not-unexpected death, which was heightened on the morning of one of the endless snowstorms this past winter. My dear friend of thirty years will no longer be a phone call away, I reflected, to share the type of conversations where time begins and leaves off where the last sentence ended. Who will take up his of the holy grail of life as reflected in the artistic process of his more recent diaphanous Tuscan Images, equal to the panache Michael possessed? Knigin could meander; touch all aspects of art with ease, as he covered art philosophy in general, the origins of art and symbol, allowing his imagination to run untethered by traditional interpretations of image. Michael saw the language of the abstract; possibly laced with physics and sacred geometry dissolving into art as form, which he wove throughout his body of work. I can visualize Michael’s animated face emphatically adding his opinion on current art trends and artists showing, while he touched on what he thought was valid art and what may not have been. Michael was in pursuit of what makes the universe tick and therefore, what is and how art is made, which he combined in his Space Series for NASA. He brushed up against the creative process, as a universal life force executed within his works came alive through the collage of his cerebral, yet heart-felt artistic process. He could spend 20 minutes or and hour and a half just hashing over the mundane and from there he would move on to how the mind works, what he observed and how the universe works. Peppered into his conversations on who was showing where, what art business trends in general were surfacing currently, and what was “new” overall was a genuine interest in other artists’ work. Michael loved to talk of art for the love of art talk. No one does this any more, Michael said in one of our last conversations…“carries on a conversation for the sake of a conversation.” Well, that was Michael—a true one-of-a-kind Renaissance man. He could easily speak of his passion for printmaking. He talked of his use of photographic image as a current art process to be used and possibly made into new, evolving art forms though the use of computergenerated process. Michael’s raw excitement for the creative and his ability to put into image his concepts and derived images made him a forerunner in this field. He demonstrated and spoke of his continued dedication to the memory of the Holocaust seen in his Anne Frank series and other memorable work recently displayed at the the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 26 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

“In my paintings and graphics, I seek to isolate objects from their mundane contexts and reorganize them, thereby granting them a new life.” — Michael Kinigin

Monterey Dawn

When I read Michael’s official biographical statement, I understood he was demonstrating the breadth of his learned discipline and passion for art as his life’s process or mission. An on-going stream of consciousness surfaced in Michael’s work, an underlying significant factor in making him a master artist and printmaker, a prime mover of an era in the arts now by gone on the East End of Long Island where Michael lived. Gracious, outspoken and opinionated, Knigin was a walking contradiction, as he was a truly a humble man, never alluding to a sense of selfimportance, rare in the art world. Michael left a void in the universe and many will miss him. He leaves his loving wife Joan Kransky who cared for him during his prolonged illness and countless friends and fans of his work around the world.


Anne Frank, Touch

Michael Knigin, Kennedy Space Center

Michael Knigin was a multi-faceted creative person: painter, printmaker, master lithographer, professor, writer and photographer. Known primarily as a painter and a printmaker, he was also a passionate advocate for wildlife conservation and ecological sanity. Through powerful visual imagery and great technical mastery of his mediums he gave voice to his commitments and made a difference, as an artist and as a human being. As master lithographer he began as a Tamarind Fellow in 1964. He and I were classmates at the Tyler School of Art of Temple University, beginning in 1961. Mr. Knigin purchased the Chiron Press from Steve Poleskie in New York City in 1968 and I purchased it from him in 1971 and moved it to Mexico City the following year, renaming it Kyron Ediciónes Gráficas Limitadas. On several occasions Mr. Knigin came to Kyron to make lithographs on stone. Our friendship, both personal and professional, continued for decades. In the mid 1970s Mr. Knigin set up and functioned as technical director of the renowned Burston Graphic Centre, Israeli Museum, Jerusalem. In order to undertake this project he took a leave of absence from his post as professor of lithography at the Pratt Institute in his native Brooklyn, a position that he held for almost forty years. As a consequence of Mr. Knigin’s technical virtuosity as a printmaker, Pratt Institute became a forerunner in the field of digital printmaking. As an artist, lithographer, and researcher, he became a prominent force in the “New Lithography” movement of the 1970’s. Mr. Knigin co-authored, with Murray Zimilies, two important books: The Technique of Fine Art Lithography in 1970 and The Lithographic Workshop Around the World in 1974, which became a classic reference tool concerning this little known area of collaborative artistic creation. The Lithographic Workshop Around the World is also a showcase for Mr. Knigin’s gifts as a photographer: the book is filled with his candid photographs of the legendary lithographic printers who collaborated with artists such as Picasso, Miró, Lam, Tamayo and many more. Michael Knigin’s untimely passing will be sorely felt, in the art world as well as by his many colleagues and friends. —Andrew Vlady

Provence Landscape

“Vintage Nude Series” by MICHAEL KNIGIN Men and women have always been fascinated with their bodies and bodies of others. The nude has always been a favorite subject of artists and photographers since our creation. The viewer, along with the artist has a similar fascination . No other subject has so enthralled photographers and artists and there is no other motif as prevalent during all the phases of artistic development. By definition, the difference created in the photographic medium, is that there is an actual picture of a person. This anonymity allowed the models an escape from any shame and embarrassment that social mores had placed on them. With the advent of photography, the nude with all it’s titillation had become a new popular artistic subject. I have chosen some images that include props, such as fans, feathers, stockings, veils, sensual environments and garter belts that create a more erotic tone. In my work, I am dealing with artistic and erotic vintage nudes that interpret the human body and it’s gestures. Hopefully this adds an overall sensuality to the experience. Fortunately or unfortunately, as I said prior, I am forced to function within limitations. Those limitations are ones of undefined social definitions of what is erotic and what is pornographic. Nostalgia, one of our strongest emotions is brought to the fore. This also is a major driving force in the emotional response of the artist and viewer. I have put together this series of Vintage Nudes in keeping with my style of creating. I isolate objects and images from their usual contexts, reorganize them and hopefully grant them a new life. I select colors, textures and forms which hopefully complement the realistic images that I use. The elements that I use, reinforce the fact that I create something new, not merely replicating the original vintage photographs that I incorporate in my pieces. Spring 2011 • Fine Art Magazine • 27


Cathi Locati with her Women of the New Millennium series

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Cathi Locati — Renaissance Woman

athy Locati is a versatile artist who is constantly renewing and re-energizing herself. She is the epitome of a renaissance artist whose ongoing evolution garners our expectant attention as she branches out into more modern and adventurous forms of creative expression. Locati is open to all types of subject matter, while the foundation of her work is portraiture and character studies. “Because I am constantly fascinated by people, I strive to capture as much of their personalities on the canvas as possible,” she says. The nuances of her very human creations are especially evident in her photo-realistic renderings of emotions through her brush strokes, sometimes using a Rembrandt-style painting technique that carefully places lighting so that facial aspects are artfully highlighted. That, coupled with her own vision of Modernism and contemporary flourishes infuses her paintings with an organic quality designed to evoke a tactile response. In her series Women of the New Millennium, for example, the artist portrays women involved in what might be considered non-traditional roles. This collection includes a construction worker, firefighter captain, race car driver, hockey captain, and artist (actually a self-portrait). Each 3’ x 5’ work depicts her subjects in action, celebrating their unique power. In other contexts, Locati has created dynamic portraits of Audrey Hepburn, Jerry Garcia, Marilyn Monroe, and many others, offering new visual perspectives to these wellknown personalities. Her portraits are prime examples of commitment to Photorealism; the life-like qualities are riveting. Her subjects have made indelible impressions on the world, a fact understood and appreciated by Locati, and she conveys this realization through her attention to detail and nuance. 28 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

In another creative vein, Locati has developed a series of fifteen interlocking paintings, Comfortable in My Skin: A Sign of Our Times, a puzzle-like study in racial coexistence. Here, she creates original characters with different skin colors who mingle and intertwine in a sensual display of rapture and connectedness. The facial expressions and anatomical accuracy bring each person depicted to life, and each scene creates its own individual excitement. This series exemplifies Locati’s main theme: regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, all people need each other to survive and every human being is connected to the other. “Hopefully, an individual or organization will acquire this entire collection as a whole to be displayed as a flagship of racial coexistence, which is what I intended when I created it.” There are other avenues to explore when one considers the artistic adventures of Cathi Locati. She has created landscapes, murals including one of 75’ in the Rivers Edge Casino in Montana and, more recently, an 18 foot image of Long Island Sound inside the lobby of the Hudson Harbor Development Stone House in Tarrytown, New York. Locati is frequently commissioned to create paintings which enhance public and private spaces. This has become a specialty of hers because of her sensitivity to person/space accuracy in these life-like works. “I like to visit a location and incorporate color schemes and artifacts from that space into an oil painting of specific subject matter, favorite objects, family members, or individuals that literally seem to come alive. I am also developing a prototype series of detailed sketches of historical sites in and around Westchester County, one of the end results will be framed fine art — souvenir collectibles for visitors. In fact, she can offer

this same custom made fine art concept to order for any business, organization, or individual. Furthermore, Locati creates logos and other original, commercial art. Locati has been creating art since she was a teenager growing up in the western United States. Over a career spanning more than twenty year, she has shown her work in several states and internationally. “Asian and European markets are especially interested in depictions of Americana,” she notes and international collectors have been quite enthusiastic over her Wild West Cowgirl images. Locati has moved into another phase of her artistic career as her renaissance continues, seamlessly creating art throughout her migration from the West (Montana, Utah, Washington) to the East Coast. Her relatively new surroundings (a quaint cottage in Tarrytown) and East Coast stimulation have inspired the artist to enter into new avenues of creativity. An integral member of her new-found home and community, she is involved in creating pieces for individuals and organizations in the area and is constantly finding fresh opportunities to expand. “Now that I’m settled in Westchester,” she notes, “I’ve spread my wings and this is my home. I love meeting new people—collectors and art lovers alike. I have a lot to offer and I’m always looking for new venues to share my work.” Her ongoing renaissance promises to be a fluid and ever-expanding immersion into the artistic beyond. She is certainly an artist to watch as her career continues to blossom. Her collections and individual pieces are available as the original oils or as giclee reproductions. More examples of Locati’s work can be seen at www.cathilocati.com. —C. D. GRANT


Dammit, The Stars Have Fallen Of The Flag and We’re in Big Trouble, oil on canvas, 72” x 66”

JOHN MORGAN CRAPPS

SAVIOR OF AMERICAN PAINTING By VICTOR BENNETT FORBES


OHN MORGAN CRAPP

James Perry, Miss Freddy, Freddy and John Morgan Crapps with the truck full of miracles

“Outside the wind was blowing, straggling cloudwisps, snow whirling in the red lanterned streets, city types scuffling around, bundled up­—salesmen in rabbit fur earmuffs hawking gimmicks, chestnut vendors, steam rising out of the manholes.”

—Bob Dylan, Chronicles Vol. 1

With a fist full of dollars, arms full of poodles and a miracleladen rental truck loaded with art, John Morgan Crapps made his assault on the Big Apple. Word spread fast about the big man with the molasses-coated drawl, sweeter than the sugar cane that grew rampantly down in his neck of the woods, Suwanee County, Florida. Cousin Morgan, as I came to call him, strode the streets of Soho purposefully with sleeves of slides of his own paintings for any gallery owner who would care to take a look. Mary Boone, Leo Castelli, Phyllis Kind, Jack Solomon, Ronald Feldman, Tony Shafrazi, they were all there waiting anxiously. Yeah, right. Cousin Morgan continued his walk over the ice-encrusterd terrain, with, as Dylan so aptly put it, steam rising out of the manholes. There was probably some steam emanating from Cousin Morgan’s psyche, enough to heat up the neighborhood, and the word was getting around. We were on the street then, selling gimmicks. Writing dreams. What the hell makes for good art anyway? You tell me. Cousin Morgan unleashed his considerable checkbook right there on Spring Street. Right there in the dead of winter this rube from Live Oak was making a few gallery owners very happy. “I’ll take this one, that one, the other one.” They were flying off the walls. Crapps was buying. What a fool, some thought. He’ll never get a dime for that garbage if he ever needs to sell it. But Cousin Morgan had other ideas. He was going to start a museum in his hometown. Bring some Northern light to the heart of the Bible belt. Hell, he said, I can’t even buy a legal bottle of booze in Suwanee County. So he hit the restaurants when a $200 bottle of wine meant something. We met him almost right away. Practically bumped into him on West Broadway, then we walked around town. I showed him Washington Square Park where the beatniks gave way to the hippies and where they were still gathered around folksingers selling dreams of their own. An article came out, Cousin Morgan said it read like a Hemingway short story. That’s what people told him. Who was I to blow against the wind? The tickets were bought and the contracts signed. JohnMorgan Crapps was a member of the art world now. Making the scene at openings from Soho to Cannes, exhibiting at the Best Buddies shows

30 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Judy Bourdeon a full bodied, mysteroiously complex lady, oil on canvas

“ You can’t outlaw originality…” sponsored by Anthony Kennedy Shriver; a one-man show at The Fine Art Museum of Long Island; visiting the White House as a guest of Hillary Clinton; hobnobbing at art openings with rock stars and Hollywood celebrities from Bon Jovi to Phyllis Diller to Brooke Shields. One recalls a particular furor that was caused in the art world when when Jasper Johns Flag sold for a million dollars at auction in 1980, a then unheard of price for a living artist. We’re not here to dispute Jasper’s considerable skills, his cache, his collectors or his connections, but what makes his cans of Savarin of more cultural and artistic value than John Morgan Crapps’ Dammit, The Stars Have Fallen Off The Flag and We’re in Big Trouble? or The Obnoxious Notions of An Art Critic?

John Morgan Crapps always intended to be an artist. As a child, he enjoyed making things. “In the yard I’d get pine straw, sew it together and make bowls, dig up clay and make arrowheads.” He had plenty of yard to play with as his family owned tens of thousands of acres which cost, in those days somewhere around 15-25 cents per. “In the 1920s, when the State of Florida told my grandaddy to put tags on all our vehicles—and we had many for our timber operations— he told the Sheriff, ‘We own everything from here to the Gulf of Mexico three counties wide and when we get off our property, we’ll buy up your tags.’ We never had to leave the property.” Things were booming when the University of Florida figured out how to make paper out of pine tree pulp harvested from the Crapps’ timber land. “My granddaddy retired and my daddy came up to Suwanee county and purchased more land and bought banks—our First National Bank of Live Oak was one of only three in Florida that didn’t go out of


business during the great depression.” Then the regulators came in and took the fun out of the business. “My Daddy was 80 years-old,” he said “and still worked with a handshake, helping a lot of people. Farmers, shopkeepers, timber cutters and many others stayed solvent in good times and bad—all based on the word of lender to borrower. But we were growing so fast, his critics were jealous. They sic-ed the FDIC, the FBI and the IRS all at the same time, accusing us of being in the drug business. They stayed in the bank six months and found nothing wrong. Then they left. It just about killed him. “My daddy always told me I was wasting my time being an artist as I would starve myself to death, but my mamma encouraged me—she kept everything.” In college, at the University of Alabama, he had a desire to continue his football career, which started in high school, at the Staunton Military Academy. In 1965, he showed up at the Athletic office wanting to talk to Bear Bryant (legendary football coach of Joe Namath and Ken Stabler, among others). Bryant wanted to know what Crapps was studying. “Economics, Income Tax Procedures, Business Finances,” Crapps said. Bryant retorted, “You go home. Get a letter from your mother excusing the National Champs from what is going to happen to you and come back.” Crapps did as he was told and after Bryant read the note, he put him on the practice field, in what was called “The Bull Ring.” He was up against “the baddest cats out there but they couldn’t get me out. Then in pass blocking practice, I ran over a guard and got hold of Snake Stabler. They had to grab my ass and get me off him and that’s a fact. Coach Bryant liked that.” Crapps career was short-lived, however, and even though he gifted the Coach with a case of Jack Daniels, he was scrapped. Seems they didn’t like his attitude toward the equipment manager when he went back to change and all that was left on his clothes hook was his jock strap.

JOHN MORGAN

JMC with Brooke Shields, NYC 1992

Sun Worshippers, oil on canvas

After four years in the US Navy, Crapps went into the family business. It was and still is very demanding to run a gas company and convenience store and paint, but he has managed with over 200 shows (all documented), fairs, festivals, some galleries and colleges in the south before packing up the poodles and the paintings and heading to New York City. It’s been a tumultuous life but all is fodder for the art. His exploits in Suwanee County are also documented, with mug shots and arrest reports available on line for those interested. He’s been, by his own account, thrown in jail eleven times. “Once I was arrested for playing my radio too loud. My lawyer asked the deputies if they knew what a decibel meter was. ‘How long you been in law enforcement?’ he asked. ‘Six years,’ said one. ‘Five months,’ said the other and my lawyer said, ‘You don’t have a decibel meter in your department? How did you know how loud it was playing?’ ‘We heard the radio.’” They took me to jail in my underwear one night. Tasered me, beat me, paraded me around and the jailer said ‘Boy, this is my house!’ And I told him, ‘Hell no. It belongs to the people of Suwanee County.’ I’ll bet that never happened to Jasper Johns. Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 31


Interview With

Bob Masse By ELIZABETH BISSETTE

“I was never one of those people who never knew what they were going to be when they grew up. I’ve always drawn; an artist from day one.” — B. Masse

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anadian Bob Masse, has designed posters for major artists since the early 1960s, before many of them were major artists. The names read like a history of rock: The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Cream, Canned Heat, Led Zeppelin, through today with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alanis Morisette, Bob Dylan with Paul Simon and many, many more. He fell into his life’s work in the ’50s. An art student, he was asked to find a venue and create a free concert poster as a class project. 32 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

“I started getting carried away,” he recalled. “I was in my 20s, going back-stage so I kept going to the Beat coffee houses and doing free work. They loved me,” he laughed. “Then Beat melded into Folk and I was meeting people like Ian and Sylvia, Jefferson Airplane. Then Bob Dylan made folk electric and it went that way. I just went along with the music.” Masse said that, in addition to making posters he did all sorts of other things for bands. He worked the door, helped load equipment, worked concessions. He also, (because he was the one who had a van), went to pick people up when they arrived, sometimes meeting them at the border. “It was a circus trying to get through a lot of the time,” he said. “The Dead, for example, were dressed all wild, smelled like patchouli. We had to assure the guards that they’d be leaving again in a few days. “I did a poster for Bob Dylan and spelled his name Dylon. It wasn’t a huge deal because not that many people even knew who was. At the time, no one knew who the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix or any of those people were.” Throughout the early to mid 60s, an art movement was building in San Francisco. Masse described going there every two months ago, staying with the Grateful Dead in their Haight-Ashbury home: At first the scene there was idyllic. “It was quite amazing.” He said. “Everyone was friendly. Everyone talked to one another on the street. There were beautiful posters everywhere. I had a hell of a time”. Unfortunately, it was also short-lived. “It lasted from 1964 till about ’66, then a progressive decline set in. Every time I went back, more kids had left home and turned up there. The town was full of basically homeless adolescents from the Midwest. “They started panhandling and it wasn’t so much fun walking down the street. You can’t live on nothing, it all falls apart. You get in these situations where you want well, food. “Drugs started affecting everything more. I mean, you’re doing all these drugs and where do you get the money for them? People started getting aggressive.” Masse ultimately relocated to California but for Laurel Canyon over Haight-Ashbury. “I went down to do a cover for Warner Brothers. It was the first time I got to watch an album being recorded and it was really

exciting. When I got there, they told me there was someone else from Canada they wanted me to meet. Here comes skinny blonde, all teeth with two guys. At the time it was no big deal; nonetheless, it was Joni Mitchell, David Crosby and Graham Nash.” Warner Brothers loved his work, offered him more and he moved into the garage behind Errol Flynn’s house, where Flynn’s daughter still lived; (he later lived above the legendary Whiskey a Go-Go). Frank Zappa and Stevie Nicks were among his neighbors


and a house previously owned by Harry Houdini was just down the street. “It was a fabulous place,” he said. “At night you could hear everyone playing music as you walked up to the canyon, all very low key.” “There was a renaissance going on that mirrored itself in the Hippie movement. Art mixed with psychedelic drugs, the colors were bright instead of organic. It’s similar to the parallel group of young, rebellious guys, the Impressionists. They would quietly go into their little studio, paint away at something, then go drink absinthe.” Masse’s main influence in San Francisco was fellow rock artist, Stanley Mouse, (designer of the famous Grateful Dead skeleton with roses, among many other iconic works). Mouse’s work frequently also reflects Art Nouveau. Why Art Nouveau? The revival started, he said, along with the Hippie movement in Nevada’s Red Dog Saloon; a place laden with Old West history. “Art that looked to the past fit in well with the music, the folkiness of everything,” Masse said. “We did steamboat gambling

type pieces, woodcut lettering. “The art of the turn-of-the-century is my greatest love,” he continued. “In part, I saw posters as a way to turn people on to Mucha, to Art Nouveau. I mixed the style with psychedelic lettering, creating a new mixture. “One way of creating art is to modify, to make a thing something else. Elvis—he was a stylist, taking little bits from here and there and combining them to make Rock and Roll. I’m also a populist.” He continued, “I’d rather have thousands of people enjoy my art than a few. For me, posters were a perfect vehicle.” “Musicians then were really giving artists the chance to do their thing. That’s why, for example, you have a Led Zeppelin cover with an avocado on it. I could do whatever I wanted and put the band name on it. My world was built on music but most of the time. I was just playing around. “Nowdays, art can be put everywhere so there’s an enormous amount going on around it but it’s not enough just to have talent, you have to figure out what to do with it.”

all images © Bob Masse, courtesy of the artist Spring 2011 • Fine Art Magazine • 33


JERRY GARCIA A Long Strange Trip That Ended Too Soon

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By VICTOR BENNETT FORBES

ov. 14, 1970 — I somehow managed to convince our lead singer/ lead guitarist to venture from Belmont Avenue up in the Bronx to the bowels of Manhattan’s East Village, the home of the Filmore East for a strange double billing: Sha Na Na and The Mothers of Invention. He was an old school guy even then, a tough guy from the Bronx who didn’t much care for the music of the day, other than the Beatles and their individual work. As far as he was concerned, musical history could have ended in 1968, Elvis’ comeback year. Yet, he was my bud and I was his guitar player so he accompanied me this evening to the Filmore. It was a raunchy setting outside. Street hustlers who would stab you over a nickel bag, garbage everywhere. Hippies begging for spare change, panhandling they called it then. There’s Freddie Belmont in his coiffed hair, straight off a styling and hit of European Natural Black at Nardi’s on Fordham Road sporting Beatle boots and manicured nails, polished clear, clean and bright. We took our seats in the mezzanine, a few feet from the sound man. Sha Na Na was playing and this piqued his interest. We had managed to organize our own “Grease Day” at school — Bronx Community College ­— and it gave a bunch of us the chance to comb our long hair back, put a dollop of Brylcreem in it and act tough. The Dean of Administration heard of our plan and decided that we’d be in big trouble if we went through with it. Remember, this is 1970 and John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John had not yet emerged on the scene. Grease was real, not some Fonzie comedic Happy Days bullshit affair. But our pleas eventually prevailed and we had our Grease Day, but not on campus. The big event was a football match between us greased-up hippies and the short-haired juicers. I was the quarterback and on the last play with the game on the line, I chucked Fast Eddie Kouzoujian a perfect spiral that cut through the dank drizzle of the Jerome Avenue park and led him perfectly. This was no “Hail Mary” pass. It was a diagrammed play. Eddie dove parallel to the ground, to exactly where the ball was thrown and slid about ten yards in the mud, holding on to the ball for the winning touch down. Sha Na Na did their usual set. Bowzer concluded the show with his now famous line, “There’s one thing I want to tell you fuckin’ hippies: Rock and Roll is here to stay.” After he spat at the audience (for real) they broke into the great Danny and the Juniors song of the same name, ending their segment. While the crew was setting up for the headliner, Frank Zappa and the Mothers, a video played on the big screen. It was a clip of Dion singing Runaround Sue from an American Bandstand. Serendipitous, to say the least. Zappa came on and was leading his brilliant ensemble in a tour de force, featuring Flo and Eddie and a song about a mudshark. Highly entertaining. Smack dab in the middle of the set, a lithesome figure with long black hair, looking kind of like Elvira, slithered onto the stage. It was Grace Slick and Zappa stopped his show to let her speak. “Boys and girls,” she said, “I have some news. On Monday night we’re going to have a special concert. The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Hot Tuna, The Grateful Dead and The Jefferson Airplane. Tickets will be on sale tomorrow morning at 9:00. Thank you.” She walked off just like that and Zappa and the Mothers finished their set. The next morning I arose early and made the trip back down to 34 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Still Life, Guitar, oil on canvas, Jerry Garcia © Clifford Garcia

the lower East Side. By 10:00 a.m. I had four third row tickets in my hand — total cost: $22. When we took our place Monday night while the crew set up the stage, they were the best seats in the house. I was on a direct line looking right at Garcia who was stationed behind the pedal steel guitar. He was looking directly at me as he played, he really had no choice. I was directly in his line of sight. Young, vibrant, he had the world at his disposal, yet he seemed genuinely meek and humble, happy to be there, yet empowered. He was generating sounds from the instrument that were seriously not meant to be. On Dirty Business he was otherworldly. That night I felt I gleaned something from Garcia, as I spent the entire New Riders show gazing directly at his countence. Later I learned what. “Each note,” he said, “is a spirit.” When Garcia was at the top of his game, which was more often than not, those spirits cascaded from his soul to his fingers to his guitar as “light giving light to light, fire setting fire to fire,” as Stephen Spender described Shelley’s poetry in Brief Lives. Even the silences carried weight. The music took us all—players and listeners—to another realm, a realm of purity, bliss. “To forget yourself,” Garcia said, “is to see everything else. And to see everything else is to become an understanding molecule in evolution, a conscious tool of the universe. And I think every human being should be a conscious tool of the universe.”


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ome twenty years after that evening at the Filmore East, Jerry Garcia was sitting in a small balcony loft at the Ambassador Gallery in Soho. His band was playing arenas, the biggest concert draw of the 1980s and into the ’90s. The train kept rolling and Garcia was at the helm. On this off night from another sold-out Madison Square Garden run, the line stretched down Spring Street and around the corner, on to Wooster. At an event like this—an art opening—his fans could get close to him, shake his hand, get an autograph on a lithograph or a painting. They were selling like hotcakes, as were his neckties and sunglasses. It was great to have a piece of Jerry in this way. We were the printers for that gallery, producing the invitations, catalogs, interviewing the artists who exhibited there—many of whom were celebrities—Tony Curtis, Miles Davis, Billy Dee Williams, John Entwistle, Tico Torres, Bob Guccione. We were at all the shows and can tell you that Jerry drew the biggest crowd, sold the most art out of all of them. It’s not hard to see why his publisher back then decided to restrike those lithos, essentially killing the value of the original prints. Enter Robert C. Matthews. Or, shall we say “re-enter.” Robert was a boyhood friend of Jerry’s who grew to become his “sidekick.” That’s a term you don’t hear much today, but you know what it means. Robert knew Jerry way back when. “My involvement with Jerry Garcia on a creative level goes back to 1961 when I was not quite 13 years-old. It really all started when I was in the middle of the seventh grade. I wanted to get into a more academically oriented school than the public school I was attending, so I applied to this progressive academy in Menlo Park “In Chair” oil on canvas, Jerry Garcia © Clifford Garcia (San Francisco) called Peninsula School. Seventh grade was full, Available as a Limited Edition of Fine Art lithograph reproduced from 14 but in the middle of the year one student left which allowed me to hand-etched plates using classic ‘direct’ lithography. Each plate transfers one enter. One spring Sunday afternoon, the school held a benefit with discrete color directly onto the media. wandering minstrels and there was a three-piece bluegrass band with The media, 100% French rag, is run through the press as many times as a banjo, and it just knocked my socks off. I’d never really heard a banjo there are plates/colors: 14 in this edition. Offered exclusively from publisher before. And of course, it was Jerry. My peers were all playing folk ArseaEm Productions. Art Director is renowned San Francisco artist Stanley guitar like John Baez and Bob Dylan but when The Beverly Hillbillies Mouse. The edition was printed on century old Parisian presses at S2 Atelier, Las Vegas, Nevada. television show came out with that Flatt and Scruggs theme song and backgrounds, I fell in love with that iconic music. Jerry was one of the few banjo teachers around Palo Alto and I began taking lessons Annie Liebovitz to Courtney Love (who, incidentally, as a five year-old appeared in a photo on the back cover of a Grateful Dead from him at the music store where he worked.” A few years earlier, Garcia had been a student at the The album), among countless others. A teacher there, Wally Hedrick, was an artist who came California School of to prominence during Fine Arts, now known the 1960s. D ur ing as the San Francisco Art the classes, he often Institute. “Jerry wanted encouraged the young to be a painter before he Garcia in his drawing wanted to be a musician,” and painting skills. said Matthews. “Warm, He also was interesting and energetic influenced by Elmer as an artist and man, Bischoff (1916-1991), he was different from one of the masters of other rock stars. He was the Bay Area Figurative a fabulous musician but Art Period (1950-1964) his first love was graphic and a leader among art.” the post-WWII SFAI, founded in generation of artists 1871, is one of the oldest in the San Francisco art schools in the United Bay Area, along with States. Ansel Adams Richard Diebenkorn and Mark Rothko were and David Park, who, but two of the notable after contributing to faculty members and Robert C. Matthews, Jerry Garcia the local emergence of alumni range from 35 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011


Empty Trees, oil on canvas, Jerry Garcia © Clifford Garcia

Abstract Expressionism during the 1940s and 1950s, shifted the terms of their spectacularly sensuous brushwork to recognizable imagery. Their influence on Garcia is obvious, especially with In Chair, where the paint is applied sumptuously, and the imagery, like pieces of a puzzle joining manifests the abstraction into reality. What Arthur Lazere writes about the master, can also be applied to the student. “He [Bischoff ] lays on the paint thickly, an often assertive impasto that lends vigorous energy and movement, even to a scene of relative stillness. The figures here are distinct, and the landscape is broadly defined, but with a sketchy, real / unreal quality. There’s a palpable tension between the representational and the abstract, between stillness and movement. And it is all in counterpoint to the sensuous colors and dappling light that fill the canvas.” In 1958 or 1959, at the end of his time in art school, Jerry’s brother Clifford (Tiff ) Garcia was given the five oil paintings of this series — the only existing evidence of Jerry’s work in the medium— “if he wanted them.” They have been with him ever since. These paintings, and his teacher, offer a clue to the wellsprings of Garcia’s later computer graphic work, and to the tension between abstract and figurative expression present in his whole creative output. Three have been reproduced in the collected Art of Jerry Garcia, published in 2005; all are reproduced here. “These beautiful pieces of his early creativity validated who he was as a person, touching on what he thought was important,” noted Matthews in a recent interview with Fine Art. “I think he would really like that they are being seen today as there has been so much negative interpretation of who he was as a human being.” When Tiff, who re-discovered these paintings in his garage, reminded Matthews of their existence, Robert put together a team that included renown Art Director/Artist Stanley Mouse and chose the first image to reproduce and market. 36 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

He took the painting to Jack Solomon’s S2 atelier in Las Vegas and made an old-school lithograph using traditional processes on a rare 19th Century Marononi Viorin press which produced lithographs for the Parisienne and Montmartre artists of the period. More than 100 years old, the press continues to operate using all its original factory parts. The only modification being the conversion from steam-driven power to electricity. The result is a striking and sumptuous print created by hand from the original painting by actually breaking the colors down into individual plates (of which there are 14) and running them one color at a time to make the final product. Notes Solomon, whose experience in the art world spans five decades, “The colors and techniques that Jerry Garcia used reminds me of the work of the great and historic French artist Georges Rouault (1871-1958). Rouault painted in dark heavy colors. He then used wild, strong brush slashes, presenting his figures in somber but vividly glowing colors with darkly (blacked) outlined faces and figures. Garcia’s early works are similar to Rouault’s best artworks in important areas.” Matthews never set out to be an publisher, but as the original bass player in the New Riders, he knew something of “Dirty Business down in Cold Creek,” which translated—quite to his chagrin and surprise—into the art realm. “I acquired a good collection of Jerry’s artwork about six months before he passed away including his most well-known prints, Wetlands I and Wetlands II which became very popular and about two years after his passing, were up to $10,000 a pop hand-signed. Later on, a matched pair of Wetlands I & II sold for $25,000 “I ended up with all of these great art pieces, paying huge premiums for insurance. Their relevance to me was that they were created by this good friend of mine But…the estate created a second


edition—a major legal and ethical violation and a gross breach of that pledge which is inherent in limited editions and Garcia’s promise on signing the certificate of authenticity. Simply put, not only was this illegal but it violated Jerry Garcia’s personal integrity as well as Legal Code #1744 (11B) in the State of California in which Certificates of Authenticity are required for anything that sells for $100 or more, making an expressed warranty that no additional multiples of the same image, including proofs, have been produced in this or in any other limited edition. “At that point, prices started going down and art dealers didn’t want to get involved as they didn’t know their liability. The onus is on everybody in the distribution chain to make full disclosure. When all 925 lithographs of the Edition are gone, there will be NO MORE! EVER! A second edition violates an implied and legal contract.” In February, 1995, six months prior to his death from a heart attack on August 9, Matthews recalls a conversation with his friend in which Jerry was adamant that the integrity and quality of the art program be maintained. It was more than a shock to Matthews to discover that some pieces in the collection of prints he purchased for himself, and on which he maintained insurance policy based on their appraised value, had been re-struck. Which simply means they were put back on a printing press and printed again, diluting their collectibility. Robert, who is exceptionally miffed at the way Jerry’s name and reputation were defiled through the re-striking of those lithographs, decided to right a wrong by creating a new limited edition, a true lithograph. “Jerry was always a very focused, artistic human being. We believe in the story and we are preserving the integrity of Jerry’s legacy, which has not been treated properly in other realms.” As engineer, producer, confidante and even bass man on the first New Riders recordings which featured Garcia on pedal steel guitar, Matthews is uniquely qualified to make such a statement. Mood River, oil on canvas, Jerry Garcia © Clifford Garcia His name is familiar like family to millions of fans of the iconic American musical aggregation known as the Grateful Dead. Some could say he was even responsible for the band’s very existence, as the band envisioned it. As one-half of the well-respected recording he was the one who introduced his schoolmate Bob Weir to Garcia. team, he is responsible for making Jerry Garcia the world’s mostMatthews was also there when Garcia famously chose the name for recorded musician with thousands of hours of his solo and band the group, flipping over the pages of a dictionary and landing on those work committed to tape. fateful words. “The first definition I saw after the item GRATEFUL In 1969 Jerry started learning pedal steel and John Dawson DEAD,” recalls Matthews, “was an ethno-musicalogical term relating invited him and Mickey Hart into this new aggregation that became to ballads of unrequited love.” The New Riders of the Purple Sage. “In May 1969, prior to the first Shortly thereafter at an early recording session, Robert was New Riders rehearsal, Jerry informed me of their existence, saying, intrigued by the equipment and mechanisms involved in the process ‘By the way, Matthews, you’re the bass player.’ On July 3, 2006 at and expressed his interest to Weir, who basically told him to “manifest Grateful Fest 7, I sat-in on Last Lonely Eagle, two months short of your desire.” 37 years since I last played music on stage. “In 1968 we started learning “As the group evolved, I how to make our own records,” saw first-hand the interaction said Matthews, who worked his between musicians in a momentway up from Assistant Engineer by-moment agreement of a format on the Dead ’s second Warner with a capacity to spontaneously Brothers album (Anthem of the Sun) create. Often, it was incredible. I to Executive Engineer on their third was fascinated watching it all. By (Aoxoamoxoa) to Engineer/Producer making me the bass player, I was (along with Betty Cantor) on two of able to experience it and play music, their most important and best-known answering my question, ‘Does that recordings, Live/Dead (released really happen the way I think it on Matthews’ 22nd birthday), and happens?’” Workingman’s Dead. Those two Matthews spent more time records were revolutionary, pivotal with Garcia one-on-one than all and loved by millions on so many the other engineers combined. “It Garcia’s lithograph printing on S2 Atelier’s 100 year-old press levels. The recording of Live/Dead was very fortunate we worked well in itself is a benchmark for every live together and it was a lot of fun. For album ever made. The innovations and inventions that went into Garcia, playing music was all about connecting to the people who that record changed forever the way live shows were recorded, mixed were watching him play, encouraging the audience to have a good and produced. It is safe to say that Bob and Betty more than played time.” their part in bringing the music to the world almost as exactly as About this time, Matthews and Garcia entered into what would 37 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011


Two legends meet over a printing press: Robert C. Matthews, Stanley Mouse

be their most creative and satisfying collaboration: Garcia’s first solo album, which he produced, engineered and mixed over a three week period in late summer 1971. The majority of the songs were first recorded by Garcia and Bill Kreutzman as simple acoustic guitar and drum tracks. Garcia then overdubbed all other parts. Jerry Garcia was the first studio album to be released by the Grateful Dead family for over a year, the last being the Dead’s highly successful American Beauty. I don’t want anyone to think it’s me being serious or anything like that,” noted Garcia in an interview at the time. “It’s really me goofing around…being completely self-indulgent musically. I have curiosity to see what I can do, and a desire to get into sixteen track and go on trips that are too weird for me to want to put anybody else I know through.” Except for a select few, including Matthews. This was another revolutionary record at the time in its sonic clarity, force and power, with just enough psychedelic tintinnabulations to let everybody, as Matthews said, be invited to put their own imagination in and create their own interpretation In 1972, Bob and Betty recorded Bob Weir’s solo album, Ace, which was mixed at Alembic Studios by Jerry Garcia and friends. Featuring what would become a collection of future staples, it was, in essence, a Grateful Dead album. Says Bob, “I pretty much knew in the back of my mind what would happen. One by one they start coming around. Lesh and Garcia, ‘Hey man, I hear you have some time booked… Need a bass player? A guitarist?’…Of course I ended up with the Grateful Dead on the record, which I figured up front…And we had a great time making it.” That was also Jerry’s theory. Said Matthews, “His #1 rule was if it was a hassle—get out.” W hat worked for the music listener also holds true for the viewer of Garcia’s art. Matthews takes this one step further by adamantly defending the integrity of his friend, creating a true limited edition print of undeniable quality. It is a masterpiece of love. “I am guaranteeing I will adhere to the integrity that was so vital to Jerry.” Continues Matthews, “He was a rare artist in that he never talked about himself, never talked about his music. What other people were doing interested him. Unfortunately, fans kept putting him on a pedestal. He couldn’t dispel that so he just gave up. In the early 1970s, he gave interviews that let people know what they were perceiving was not exactly what was happening. The creative process of Jerry Garcia was never-ending. He described himself famously as a “music junkie” an unfortunate term as it was his addictions that colored the later years of his life. But when it came to creativity, he was constantly in the process. During 38 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Dog Print, oil on canvas, Jerry Garcia © Clifford Garcia

the last ten years of his life, even while the band toured incessantly, he managed to produce some 500 works of art in many media. “I was there when he received his first airbrush. He said, ‘C’mon Matthews. I want to show you how to use this.’ He talked me thru it and made many pieces with it.” Garcia’s early work is presented here for the first time in Fine Art lithography, the gold standard for limited edition multiple fine art. As the preferred choice for the greatest modern and contemporary artists— Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Calder, Bellows, and Norman Rockwell— Matthews sought to replicate the process of these masters’ lithographs using the same time-honored methods. The edition consists of 925 numbered, hand-pulled lithographs on Rives BFK 100% French rag printed from 14 hand etched plates with 40 numbered Artist’s Proofs (“A/P”) and 10 numbered Printer’s Proofs (“P/P”) for a total edition of 975. Each lithograph has the embossed seal of ArSeaEm/Tiff Garcia. A Certificate of Authenticity, hand signed by Tiff Garcia with the embossed seal applied, is delivered with each lithograph. The oil paintings and their copyrights with all rights are the sole property of Clifford Garcia. ArSeaEm Productions is the exclusive and sole licensee for reproduction rights as of September 23, 2006. Formed in 2001 by Bob Matthews. ArSeaEm’ Productions’ live video and audio recording expertise is based on immaculately reconditioned analog equipment, and the original team of Bob & Betty, producers of early Dead records. ArSeaEm has recorded and produced a DVD and CDs of Dark Star Orchestra. For further details visit jerryfineart.com


JIM MESSINA There’s Still Something Happening Here INTERVIEW BY VICTOR FORBES Jimmy Messina picked up his first guitar at the age of five, influenced by the giants of early rock and roll, Scotty Moore (Elvis) and James Burton (Ricky Nelson). Highly proficient at the young age of 15, he formed a teenage surf band called THE JESTERS modeled after Dick Dale’s music and that of The Champs. With a recording deal in hand, his album The Dragsters came out at the tail end of the surf music era and didn’t sell much. He then immersed himself in all aspects of the music business, gaining acclaim and experience as an engineer working at Sunset Sound Recorders on sessions that produced gold records by Lee Michaels, Joni Mitchell and the legendary band, The Buffalo Springfield, famous for their mega-hit record, “For What It’s Worth.” But… with Steve Stills and Neil Young at the beginning of their well-documented stormy relationship, the critically acclaimed music was stalled. Ahmet Ertegun, legendary head of Atlantic Records, recognized Jim’s talents and asked him if he would be willing to produce and deliver the unfinished album that the Springfield had started. Initially hired to engineer the Springfield, Jim by then had already replaced Bruce Palmer on bass guitar, when asked by Ahmet and the band to produce what was to become their final album, “Last Time Around.” He then joined forces with fellow Springfield member Richie Furay to form the seminal country-rock band, Poco. In 1970, Clive Davis of Columbia Records offered him an in-house producer’s job and his first project was with the then-unknown Kenny Loggins. The result of this collaboration was record sales of over 20 million and gigs everywhere, including a memorable one at Carnegie Hall in 1972, opening for Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. Messina’s artistic inclinations beyond music range from building furniture, welding sculptures and painting in acrylic and watercolors. What kind of painting set up do you have?

Taos Ladder, acrylic, 36” x 24”

I have several but I bought an old military desk that might have been an order desk out of the 1940s that was painted battleship grey. After I tore away a little piece of chipped paint, it turned out to be solid maple. So I had it stripped down and refinished. It’s very cool. With its top midsection slightly slanted, it is easier for me to sit and paint when I am working at home in watercolor. I can see well when I paint and the water doesn’t readily trial down on the surface of the painting. I also use a fairly large easel designed more for oils than watercolors, which I use for my acrylic paintings. If I am painting out in the field, I pack all my gear and things that I need, from brushes to bottles, boards to easels and three or four different types of clothing that I can take off or put on, depending on the weather. When I first started working in watercolor, I used a couple of analog Nikons—one loaded with black and white, and the other with color film. The black and white shots allowed me later to check my grey tones and light values. Then I would shoot the same scenes in color. I could then see what the colors actually were and compare them against the grey tone and light values shots. This allowed me later to really see how the shadows, the light and the colors, all played out, something that was hard to keep in mind after I left the site. I would then start drawing out what I saw. Sometimes it would be an easy process; sometimes I would sit there for a whole day or two. I would start with the background, such as the sky and clouds and work my way down through the mountain or horizon details. Sometimes, like in the summer in California Gold Country (too hot), or in Hawaii (the humidity gets too high) it would be impossible to paint in watercolor. The pigment wouldn’t flow evenly inside a “wet on wet” wash. If the ambient temperature was too high and too dry, the wash would absorb too quickly leaving the sky to become simply puddles of color. That was about the time I began to realize that being there to have the initial experience gave me a real sense of the dimensions and sunlight. I would also grab paint chips or a piece of the brick or stone, which was a big part of the process that I could later use at home when finishing up the painting, as in The Wells Fargo Building. It was built in 1857 in the California’s gold country. Clint Eastwood made a number of films in and around it and Kenny and I shot our “Mother Lode” album cover in front of it in 1974, so it had some history for me. I like doing architecture like Pueblos, 19th century Victorians, or old farm houses—things that have a sense of peace and history. I went back to Colombia, CA to paint the Wells Fargo Building in the 1980s, after Kenny and I had broken up, spending a number of days camped out in there in my VW van, drawing and shooting color and black and white photos and getting the drawing the way I felt it should look. What made it most difficult was that the building is crooked from years of settling and I feared there would be those would say, “This guy can’t draw a straight line. HEAVEN FORBID.” ;-) Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 39


Watching the River Run

In any event, as I was standing in the street looking at the building some 30 years later, I felt as though I had stepped into my painting! But I immediately sensed something was missing. For me, once a drawing or painting is committed to canvas, it freezes it in time. Then finally I got it! A very large tree that once stood in front of the Wells Fargo Building from back in the late 1880s was missing. It had been chopped down. How does this compare with your songwriting process? Songwriting is very similar. I was explaining this point at a concert one night, explaining to the audience that this next song reminds me of one of my paintings and how when I step into it, I see how things have now changed. The song is entitled “Traveling Blues” recorded in the 1970s on a Loggins & Messina record. In those days I didn’t have any children. Now that I do, I experience a totally different set of emotions when I sing the song. These new emotions weren’t there when the song was simply a 40 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

projection, or an emotional fantasy of an experience, when the song was first conceived. Another way that painting relates to me as a recording engineer is that over the years playing with colors and pigments, I noticed that the cool colors recede and the warm colors pull forward. It’s the same as mixing sound. The cooler colors or parts —such as echo, reverb and room ambience— have a tendency to recede inside the mix. The warmer colors or parts—vocals and instrumental solos—want to be up front. So it is kind of a dichotomy to put too much echo, reverb or ambience on the warm stuff. That being said, it is done most often for an effect. At times the rule doesn’t always rule.

successful, other than those who spend a lot of money promoting it. But it doesn’t change the artist who has the artistic desire and need to express oneself. I love wood and metal, so I learned to weld and to do woodworking. I’ve built cowboy furniture out of lodge pole pine, as well as pine furniture in the style of Irish and Scottish farm furnishings. As a technical engineer, I enjoy

circuit wiring, repairing gear and using the soldering tools as well as reading schematics. It’s all interrelated to me. As a young man, I had a lot of passion toward my music—to be a somebody— but I was a nobody, just a little, skinny Italian kid, from Colton, California. I knew then that I wanted to know the music business from the pots and resistors in my guitar amp

When did you begin painting seriously? Art for me came at a point in time when I had not been working that much in the music business. My mother and grandmother were both artists, so it was in my blood to paint. Painting fulfills the creativity that is sometimes lost in a business where no one really knows why or how music becomes

A very rare photo of Jim Messina and Neil Young working at the console in Studio One, Sunset Sound, 1966 on a Buffalo Springfield album


Wells Fargo, water color, 23” 17” (Columbia State Park, Columbia CA) This picturesque old red brick building, the most beautiful early day structure in Columbia, was erected in 1857, for Bill Daegener, an agent for the company who held this office until 1872. Columbia camp produced around $85,000,000 in gold, over half of which was weighed on the scales in this building. The cast iron balcony grill that adorns the second story was brought from Troy. N. Y. by mule team.

through and including the words that made up the legalese in the contracts I had signed, and all that was in-between. In heart to heart conversations I’ve had with myself and from those commitments I’ve made, I have come to realize and understand that I can forge my destiny by virtue of my thoughts. Continued and perpetual success? Well, that’s another story. As the Romans would say (if you are a Spartacus fan, as I am), “The Gods may have other plans.” Tell us about your musical past.

Taos Turquoise Door, Acrylic 36” x 24”

I f i r s t b e g a n w o rk i n g with the Buffalo Springfield on their second album, “Again” as a recording engineer. “Bluebird” was on this album; I thought it was their best song and truly a tribute to Steven’s talent as a songwriter and musician. The very first Springfield session is when I met Neil Young. I recall my initial impression was that

Neil was their producer. He and I worked well together to create a very fine piece of work for the band on that album. The third Buffalo Springfield album, “Last Time Around,” was the album that I engineered, produced and played bass on. Multi-track recorders were all eight-track machines in those days so tracks were limited for overdubbing. Partway through the making of “Last Time Around,” I learned that Neil had quit the band, leaving Steven, Richie, Dewey and myself to continue on our own. The band, even when Neil was there, seldom recorded all together. I would work with each of them independently. Steven had songs and musicians he wanted recorded, as did Neil. Richie had songs and musicians that needed to be recorded. Dewey would sing on a song here and there. I had enough bits and pieces from each of them that Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 41


Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina in concert 2009

would allow me to finish the album, as Ahmet Ertegun wanted it done. Near the end, Neil came in with the master of “I Am A Child” which he recorded in studio “C” at Sunset Sound. It sounded great and I was pleased to see that he had decided to contribute to the project. It was a lot of work to finish “Last Time Around” as everyone was so scattered all the time. I never made a dime as a producer off of that album and years later, according to Ahmet, the album never went gold. But what seemed very odd to me was over time I didn’t know of anyone in my generation who didn’t own a copy of “Last Time Around.”

Steven Stills, Jim Messina, Buffalo Springfield days, 1967

Poco evolved out of this? After the Buffalo Springfield dissolved in 1968, I started working with Richie cutting a demo, doing music that was something kind of country but kind of rock. It was during the Buffalo Springfield sessions, we brought in a pedal steel player named Rusty Young who overdubbed on “Kind Woman.” Richie and I didn’t know what the group was going to be yet. It was then that Richie and I thought Rusty was the kind of guy we wanted to have in a group of our own. We had been watching Ricky Nelson perform with the Stone Canyon band, (by the way, his “Garden Party” era was a great moment for him) and he had a bass player named Randy Meisner. We wooed Randy and he decided to join our band, which we initially called POGO. We did our first gig at the Troubadour. That’s when we heard from a guy by the name of Walt Kelly who served us with a lawsuit saying, his cartoon character POGO was off limits, “Stop using that name or go to court.” That’s when our manager Richard Davis suggested that we use a spelling that made up the word “POCO” instead. Good call. I produced and performed on three albums with POCO and toured from 68-70. No matter where we played, we’d always sell out. But we didn’t have the record sales we needed to survive. Our second album contained a song that I wrote and sang lead on entitled, “You Better Think Twice.” It kept our momentum going for a bit longer. The last album I produced and performed on POCO was “Deliverin’”, a live album. So you just wanted to produce records? Yes. I left POCO on October 31, 1970 to produce for Columbia. It was during my last tour with Poco that Don Ellis, who worked in artist development there, asked if I might consider listening to the little brother of a co-worker of his. Two months later, I was introduced to 42 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Upham Hotel, water color, 23” 17” The oldest hotel in Southern California, built in 1871, it’s “Widow’s Walk” faces the ocean and in the 1800s, one could see the ships as they sailed into the harbor.

Kenny Loggins when he came at my invitation to my house for dinner. He was poor in those days and didn’t own a guitar of his own. I lent him one of mine and he sat down and sang a number of his songs into my tape recorder. After he left, I told my wife Jenny there’s something very special about this guy. The fact that he could just sit down and feel comfortable about singing his songs into a tape recorder was refreshing to me after the way the Springfield and POCO recorded. The thing that most scared me was that he had never been on tour nor did he have an attorney, manager or agent. All of that had to be in place if there was ever going to be a single record sold. Nonetheless, I agreed to take him on as an artist to produce. It was during the process of gathering his material and trying to find a manager and an agent for him that I realized nobody was interested in him, which was a shock to me. I then thought maybe the best thing to do would be to introduce him to the audiences and fans I accrued while in the Springfield and POCO by performing on an album


the depth of field. with him like the old jazz guys did—“Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina I seek to get at least four dimensions inside a painting. Starting with Sitting In”—was the concept I thought that would most help him. one plant, then to a wall, and then from that wall to a chair. From the Clive Davis was not too pleased initially. He said I’d be starting a chair to the wall behind it and on and on, thus giving a very dimensional group that would break up after it’s first record, something he did not perspective to the painting. To me, all adobe walls are the same color: want to see. I pointed out to him that Delaney and Bonnie and Friends adobe. Cow skulls are all white and the sky over New Mexico, with its with Leon Russell, Eric Clapton and Duane Allman all performing as unbelievably beautiful blue, is always the same color, only just brighter featured artists had been successful with that concept. In addition, there or a little darker. The turquoise and corals, together with the blacks, had been a number of albums in the jazz realm similar to what I was Indian reds and whites combined with the various blues and blue proposing, Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd to name another. I commented greens with petroglyphs set in silver jewelry are in everything. Yet, no that I felt this was the best option to start on the right track. Clive two paintings are the same in the hands of a fluid master. Somehow, reluctantly agreed and with his blessings, I was able to find a manager all these very skilled and miraculous New Mexican and Native Indian who then secured an agent and we were off and running with an album painters can take the same images that one sees all over Santa Fe and and a tour. I thought once the train was rolling I could jump off at the find many different ways to make a landscape appear so very different next station and just produce Kenny’s albums after that. and yet feel the same. But as it turned out the album was so well-received that Clive For me, the unique territorial architecture (which I adore) combines suggested I consider staying with Kenny. We agreed that I would the Native American adobe architecture with the Victorian architecture continue to produce and perform with Kenny as an artist. Hence... the of the 1800s and is so absolutely phenomenal and beautiful to look at. birth of Loggins and Messina. We had five or six very successful years, selling around 20 million records. Kenny always I think that will be my next series. envisioned himself as a solo artist so this concept I saw recently where Young, Stills and Furay enabled him to launch that solo career. are going out as the Buffalo Springfield. Are After L & M disbanded, I released an album you going to join them? entitled “Oasis” on Columbia Records. Now… the same guy—Don Ellis—who came to me for Actually, no one called to ask if I might like help to get Kenny Loggins started, had somehow to participate in the reunion. And … it would have managed to work himself up the ranks and into been nice to have at least received a call explaining the A & R department there. However, this time how they were conceiving this reunion to be. I he wasn’t asking, he was telling. Standing before am reminded by your question of the old adage me and representing the record label he said, that says, “No good deed goes unpunished.” That “I’m not happy with your album because this having been said, I must add that without Steven, isn’t the album I expected.” When I asked him Neil, Richie and Dewey I may not have traveled “What did you expect? He said, ‘I was expecting the path that led me to the successes I have earned an album that sounded more like Loggins and and enjoy today. The Buffalo Springfield was a Messina.’ I said, “I’m not sure if you are aware of good starting point for me. this or not, but… Loggins and Messina broke up In addition, as anyone who has followed and … quite some time ago too.’ It was no use; my career would attest, my songwriting, he had already decided to kill my album before musicianship and productions have evolved that meeting. Even so, I toured behind “Oasis”, significantly and are quite diversified and financing it with my own money. Surprisingly, sophisticated since 1967, when I was the bass it sold about 150,000 units, approximately the player in The Buffalo Springfield. same amount the first L & M “Sittin’ In” sold In the Springfield, I learned about folk and without any promotion! But still and yet, and folk rock. In POCO, I explored combining with no help coming from the label, I asked my folk, country and rock. In Loggins and Messina, attorney to please get me a release. A number of I took out all the stops and Kenny and I had Taos Ladder, acrylic, 36” x 24” The Pueblo’s months later, I signed with Warner Bros. where distinctive style has influenced much of the region’s success not only with folk music with songs I recorded my next two solo albums. such as “Danny’s Song”, or country hits with architecture. It consists of two long, multi-story adobe structures, one on each side of a freshwater songs such as “Listen to a Country Song” by How did all this impact your creativity? creek. Explore on your own or take an escorted Lynn Anderson, but also rock hits like “Your tour that recounts the Pueblo’s history, which I realized that I needed to find other Mama Don’t Dance” and “Angry Eyes.” We creative outlets until things changed. That’s includes occupation by Spanish conquistadors in also brought to the stage classical music 1540 and by Franciscan friars in the 1590s. how I got into my artwork. I enjoyed hanging compositions and orchestrations like “Be Free” out with painters and took watercolor classes, featuring violins, mandolins and oboes. Some of one with Marilyn Simandle in Sutter’s Creek, California Gold Country. the most fun and sophisticated orchestrations I performed on record and While I had been painting only casually and for fun, her class asked that on stage lie in the Latin jazz and Latin rock genres on my “Oasis” album we only work with her palette in order to try and recreate what she was that expanded upon Salsa with the use of a horn section, percussion and doing with the colors to which she had limited herself. That’s when I keyboards set in a warm bed of chord changes. became aware of how a specific palette, via the pigments and the colors, So, I’m not sure exactly how much fun it would be for me to stand can establish a unique style and look for an artist. on stage and just play a bass, especially if my fellow compadres considered me only a sideman while in the Springfield. Nonetheless, I am extremely You’re kind of a traditionalist in your painting. excited for Richie. I feel this will be a great opportunity for him in so I’ve learned over the years that to plagiarize will only work against many ways to heal (if any) old wounds that may have lingered between the you as far as being able to be unique. At the Taos Pueblo—visitors were three of them during their relationships as young men. It’s all good there. not supposed to take pictures so they wouldn’t let me use my Nikon. I And…it’s all good here for me, too, because I am excited about had a “point and click” with me, but would have preferred to just sit and touring as a solo act this summer. I have put together a wonderful group draw and then paint. However, that was either forbidden or there was of musicians and we will be doing songs from all of those groups above. a fee involved, I can’t rightly remember now. But for me, being able to I am so looking forward to performing to all the fans I have made sit and draw is the difference between getting something to feel threethroughout the years since 1967 and plan to have my art available for dimensional as opposed to just two-dimensional. When I am there and those who wish to buy it at the shows. I look forward to seeing you there. looking at an object, I can see all the little twists and turns that add to Until then, visit jimmessina.com for further details and show dates. Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 43


Dino

Danelli An elegant roughness BY JAMIE ELLIN FORBES & VICTOR FORBES

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Smooth Operator

44 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

hen the Beatles invaded the Western Hemisphere in 1964, and planeloads of their countrymen followed shortly thereafter, the future of American music was in jeopardy. All that changed, however, in seven seconds. That’s all it took to turn the Young Rascals into a household name. It was the intro to their first single and it made the Top Twenty in New York City (#52 nationwide) and changed everything. Drums, organ and electric guitar in a tumultuous crescendo that culminated in Eddie Brigati’s beautiful sneer of a voice screaming, growling, pleading “Yeaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh…” There was never a sound like this on AM radio before (American white teens weren’t yet up to speed on Howlin’ Wolf and Hound Dog Taylor), growling out of a two inch transistorized speaker causing a riot, fomenting a revolution. It was a sound that came up from the center of the earth. A prayer not to be denied, competing for the very air, birthing genres of music yet to be imagined. Punk. Garage. Grunge. Blue-eyed soul. “Ahmet Ertegun, the head of Atlantic Records, was a rare genius,” said Dino Danelli, the drummer in that band, The Young Rascals, over a de-caf cappuccino at Nectar, a small restaurant on Madison Avenue. “He knew ‘Good Lovin’ was going to be huge so he released a little appetizer first.” That “forspeis”, I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore, was but a taste of what was to come from the Rascals—a hitmaking machine of great voices, great songwriters and powerful instrumentalists replete with a social message that fit the times, speaking to and for a generation. Along with Eddie and Dino there was the sublime yet rockin’ Gene Cornish on guitar, harmonica and vocals and Felix Cavaliere who wrenched gospel stylings from


Above: Study For Dreamers; below: Fighter

his Hammond B-3 and sang from the depth of his very being. The Young Rascals sent waves of American teenagers to record shops to buy vinyl; to music shops to buy instruments and to theaters to watch them perform hits like People Got To Be Free, See, Groovin’ and countless others. Included in their fan base were a couple of Jersey kids named Springsteen and Van Zandt who convinced their heroes to get together after 40 years to play a benefit for the Kristen Ann Carr Fund at the Tribeca Grill last April. The highlight of the evening was Little Steven and Bruce joining in on Good Lovin’. Visit our website to watch; catch the look between Gene and The Boss on the guitar parts, when Bruce points knowingly as the Rascal nails that one little unfogettable riff. There’s a lesson in the history of rock and roll right there, and really, what the music is all about. “Music is love,” sang David Crosby and The Young Rascals exemplified this, making music that belonged to us all. There were a handful of memorable drummers from the era that spawned what is now called “Classic Rock.” Ringo, of course; Charlie Watts of the Stones, Keith Moon of the Who, Bonham from Led Zep and Dino. “When the Young Rascals came out, all the Beatle records went away,” said Liberty DeVitto, Billy Joel’s legendary drummer in an interview with Dino he conducted for Modern Drummer magazine, an excerpt of which follows.

LIBERTY: “I became a Rascals groupie. When I was fifteen, I used to roll my pants up to make knickers, pulling up my socks. When I first met you, it totally changed my life. It was so easy to talk to you and you answered so many of my questions. When I was starting out, I met you at a club on Long Island and asked you how to twirl a stick, and you showed me right there! When The Young Rascals came out, everybody bought a 24” bass drum. DINO: I picked that up from Gene Krupa. LIBERTY: I had the throne because you had the throne; my cymbals were flat, because you played them flat. DINO: I got that from Sonny Payne from Count Basie’s band. LIBERTY: I never took lessons so you were one of my teachers. Uptown Girl, When In Rome, a song called Half a Mile Away, that’s me being Dino Danelli.” Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 45


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Giraffe

ino was a prodigy from the Jersey City-Hoboken area, making the scene in his early teens, learning from the jazz greats like Krupa and Buddy Rich who played regularly at the Metropole, a very adult Club in New York City where the management took a shine to the young star-in-the-making and set him up with a cot in a dressing room years before he made it big. “They had vision, knew something was going to happen for me.” Young Dino held a daytime gig at the Metropole with a rock and roll band, travelled to New Jersey sometimes at night with his drum kit, performed with Lionel Hampton when he was fifteen years of age. “I was watching these people like a sponge, absorbing it all.” I was into music, women, the normal rock and roll vibe, watching the jazz players at night, going down to the Village. Agents would call up say ‘I need three guys, four sets, $25 a man.’ I would pick up guys—we all knew the same songs, people weren’t writing a lot back then—we were playing top 40 and R & B obscurities. One of the guitarists was Jimmy James. He went to England and became Jimi Hendrix.” After a while, Dino went to New Orleans, came back to New York, met Felix, joined him for a gig in Las Vegas, returned to New York and with Gene and Eddie, the Young Rascals were born. A few years later, they were headlining at the Wollman Rink in Central Park; the Jimi Hendrix Experience was the opening act. “We took a long intermission,” said Dino of Hendrix’s incendiary set, but the Rascals were second to none. On their finale, Do You Feel It, the interplay between Gene, Felix and Dino, with Eddie on percussion and Felix singing lead, was more than memorable. It seemed like Dino wasn’t just twirling his 46 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Mean Streets

sticks, he was tossing them back and forth to Gene and not missing a beat. “That never happened, but it would have been a nice trick.” The Young Rascals officially became the Rascals with the release of their third long player, the concept album Once Upon A Dream in 1967 which launched Dino Danelli, Artist. It came about in a kind of metaphysical fashion. While Dino was ensconced in his apartment creating, quite literally boxes of dreams, Felix and Eddie were writing songs for the album, the Rascals answer to Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. “The songs were similar in subject matter to what I was putting in those dream boxes. It had to be mental telepathy,” said Dino. “We were connected somehow, spiritually. As I was building that sculpture, those two boxes of things I made and found, it was full of our dreams from that time, things we were hoping to see happen in the world.” Neshui Ertegun, Ahmet ’s brother, oversaw the label’s visual presentations and “he had some art collection, the real deal. Surrealism galore—Magritte, Dali, Picasso, Victor Brauner, Yves Tanguy, Bretton, Man Ray, everybody. ‘Dino,’ he said. ‘Let me show you on the wall.’ He brought a projector into the office at Atlantic Records and I was bowled over by his slides. Seeing those works made me speechless.” When Neshui saw Dino’s assemblage, he immediately proclaimed it the cover of the new album. It won an international graphics award and was reproduced all over the world. Dino had carte blanche on The Rascals album jackets after that, overseeing the covers, photos, layouts. Later on, he did two covers for Fotomaker (a band he formed with Gene in 1973), one quite controversial. The nocturnal energy felt in that image can be seen in many of

Urchin

Danelli’s drawings such as Nurture, a photo shot of a young couple at 3 A.M. in Tribeca, Vogue 1-2-3, depicting androgynous clubbers at the Danceteria in downtown NYC, Dancers I & II, inspired from a photo shot at the infamous Cat Club. Danelli’s people as image are seen moving through the water of the night dreamscape, pushing almost to a point of turbulence, producing visual noise, conducting and creating the essence of ‘elegant roughness.’ Dino started out making large iron sculptures at David Smith’s place in Bolton’s Landing in upstate New York. “David was a colorful character who died in a car crash before his time. He covered all ten of his acres big works. I have a couple of my smaller ones from those days in my garden apartment in Manhattan.” With smaller quarters, Dino began doing design work, paring it all down to pencil and paper drawings which are what he will be exhibiting at Artexpo New York and beyond. Primarily influenced by the early Surrealists, the Austrian and German Expressionists also struck a chord with Dino. “I just love emotions and portraits of people so it came quite naturally to start looking around and drawing things with which I was familiar. I was also greatly influenced by the fashion designer Antonio Lopez. He had a big impact on how I drew.” A force majeur in the fashion world in New York and Paris, Lopez “crossed the lines. He was a fine artist who could draw like Picasso and remained in the fashion world because that’s where all the pretty people were. He was a real influence for me, but above and beyond everybody, Picasso is my guy. There was nobody like him. Until the day he died, he never stopped creating art.”


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hen the Young Rascals went to France on their first European tour in 1966, Dino couldn’t wait to get off the plane and get to Montmartre. “The history and the cafes that were still in existence—many rebuilt for tourists—replicated what it was like in the days of the Absinthe Cafe where Picasso, Modigliani and their crowd went to drink and exchange ideas.” In the tradition of Lautrec and deriving a sense of union with the scene of Moulin Rouge in the great heyday of Paris as the city of light, Danelli felt the revolution of the epoch. This affinity has allowed him to uncover and portray the nocturnal lifestyle of his drawn subjects. A heavy emphasis is placed on line as the artist derives his compositional form, as to suggest to the viewer they can freely experience the energies being exposed and depicted in his subjects. Danelli infuses a rhythmic expression and gesture, heightening interest and textural dimension accentuated by a soft use of highlighting colors. His images seem to vibrate and pass through the illusion of the night, creating amorphous silhouettes profiling his players. He fondly recalls the Cedar Tavern where the Abstract Expressionists did their drinking and later, Max’s Kansas City. “It was just like Europe, the same thing. I met Larry Koons, Warhol, John Chamberlin, Rosenquist, Lichtenstein…everyone. They all hung out at Max’s and the music wasn’t bad either. Blondie, the New York Dolls (now that was a band). Max’s was amazing. Downstairs were all the artists, sitting around a big table. The music was upstairs. The women were fantastic, that period of time was incredible, the pre-crack era before cocaine became such an evil drug. Then it turned into the 80s— Talking Heads, CBGB’s; Stevie Van Zandt tried his damndest to keep that place alive, keep it going. The Ramones were an amazing band, Joey was a fanatic Rascals fan. They had a rough edge, like us early on, very punkish. The Sex Pistols, too. None of them could play but all their bad instrumentation jelled when they were on stage together.” As a youth, Dino was gifted to the point where you couldn’t help but see he was going to be someone special musically, and it is the same with his art. Even though his drumming is of unbridled power, it carries a delicacy, much like the drawings. He doesn’t overpower the beat, he rides it, playing down over his flat cymbals, hitting that 24” kick drum, supporting the band but coloring the music with what will be known in musical history as Danellian fills. The drawings have the delicacy of sumi-e and are somewhat disturbing in their powerful imagery. “Absolutely, some of those figures are disturbing. The Rapper Prophet was a real guy I knew from Washington Square Park. He was a chess player who beat everybody, but when he didn’t take his medication, he

The Prophet

would get up and start orating. Prophet was emotionally disturbed but had total sense about him, a wonderful guy. Sometimes he’d have his medication and sometimes he didn’t. A friend of mine took his picture and I turned it into The Challenges Remain. He couldn’t help himself. That piece is one of my favorites, I ghosted him in one way, to make it a little schizoid without making it too crazy—it’s the stigma of mental illness. Where I put things on the paper is a big thing for me. In Self-portrait, half of the image is off the page. Where they are placed is what makes good composition. Even the Urchin drawing—the little girl on Canal Street selling scarves and trinkets, she was nine years old—I was watching her from a few different angles. Again, she’s off the page…I always search for the right spots. I’ll do them bigger and cut or edit them down to get the composition right. “My New Gun a composite of three images. The little boy has that lethal innocence—you don’t know if he’s going to shoot you or not, and it’s sadly true.” Most of Dino’s drawings have a personal history of some sort; many work without having any explanation but the back stories are interesting. The abstractions bring to mind the painters he speaks of glowingly from the Cedar Tavern era. His passion for art and love of music are the experiences that have driven and fueled his creativity. Danelli’s lifestyle afforded him the opportunity to tour and frequent museums and galleries to feed his artistic hunger, and he used his chance to educate and observe the styles of those he found to be most important to his work— Picasso, Duchamp, Magritte, Lautrec, Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka. Delicate yet powerful, Dino conveys that rough edge that comes from the streets of New York, along with a cosmopolitan sophistication. The sum of these parts is an elegant roughness, further exemplified by

Zebra

the way he includes the lines and grids in the finished drawings. “I don’t erase anything. When it all shows, through, it’s part of the creation,” he says. “That balance of roughness and sophistication is something I seek to convey, especially in the figurative work.” In his colorful abstractions, one can discern forms scenic or representational. “Some are very, very abstract, with no recognizable imagery, but there is to me. People see what they see when they look at art and I do not tend to direct viewers to see what I am seeing. I’d rather leave it open for interpretation so that viewers are not led by my explanation. It’s nice to educate people to art, have them see things they haven’t seen before. When you hear a song and see a video, that vision is placed in you. Without seeing it, you use your own interpretation, not the director’s. It’s hard to talk about abstraction,” he adds. “I prefer not to use the word religious so I describe them as spiritual and I include that element into the abstract works.” “At this point in life, I find that creativity merges. Art, music, film, architecture— they’re different but yet they’re the same. “Even now, people in NYC have such individuality in their appearance, such great looks in how they put their hair and style together. It’s all in an expression of lines and compositions. How you compose them and convey the expression of the people—the vibe—that’s the important thing. When that emotion comes through the paper, it becomes real, comes off the paper. A lot of drawings and paintings to me are dead, they just sit there. It’s just paint. When art is alive, feelings are captured. It’s an emotional thing, can make you cry. Great art will do that. I could spend my life just looking at great artists’ work. It’s a forever thing. I was compelled to do that and I still am. I can’t live without art. It takes you over, you get possessed by it. Until that stops, I guess I will never stop.” Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 47


Wes Freed’s

Mountain GOTHIC MYTHOS By ELIZABETH BISSETTE

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Tuscon

es Freed’s paintings, like his film roles, ( Jim Strammels’ It’s familiar, comfortable but also foreboding. Some of the “Thrillbillies” and the soon to be released, “Degenerates”), people and places are just shadows. Some are skeletal. Others burst can be savage, extreme, imperative. His songs are no less with life. “We’ve found it! Come in! Come see! Here! It’s right over intense, though by contrast, quietly fierce. He communicates, through here!”, the people and creatures who live there all seem to say. You all of these mediums, a one-man universe full of stark dualities feel the “It” they speak of is something you’ll recognize the second that are uniquely Southern. It is not the South you are accustomed you see it. “It” is something you wanted so badly you hid it far, far to seeing, not one you expect to see. He exposes the dark, gritty away long ago. “It” vanished in the material world but hasn’t gone underside of all that, both good and bad equally. The omnipresent away here. possibility of both permeates his strange, sparse landscapes. No, in Crow Holler you find it again, tucked in a corner of the “To me,” Freed said when I asked him what the ominous world of dreams where it’s almost always autumn. There air is thick tone that crept into his work was reflective of in a recent interview, with the odor of hay and spilled gasoline. “ominous isn’t really bad, it means something interesting is going Crow Holler is, in part, a re-creation of Virginia’s Shenandoah to happen.” Valley, where Freed spent his childhood. He described it as a place, His work overlaps to such an extent he almost sings his paintings “full of old dirt roads, straggling trees on hillsides; corroded by time and paints his songs. Freed himself, his and progress.” He left the Valley for wife and long-time collaborator Jyl, his Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth truck and his home studio all seem to University, where he received a degree overlap with it as well. in painting and printmaking. Like All are best described as looking Chagall, he never returned to the place like live people, places and things from that his work often reflects wistfully but Crow Holler, the setting for most of his memories permeate his work. his work. His memories are layered with Crow Holler is a world built from those of his Grandfather who in turn, memory and memory of memory. In all was layering stories his Great-Great of the forms Freed’s art takes, its’ corners Uncles told him as a child. and crevices are exposed, piece by piece. “My Grandfather’s Uncles filled As this occurs, an anticipatory peace his head with stories and he filled emerges. A one-eyed owl hovers on the mine with them and some more of edge of an eerie landscape. Withered his own. When you’re a little kid you trees scratch a lonesome Moon. You believe everything adult’s say. They’ve Wes Freed’s “Crow Holler”, courtesy of the artist have the sense, as you look and listen, blended together in my mind, formed that something surprising is just around the corner. Smiling sirens a backdrop.” He laughed. beckon, hint that you should come closer; their moon-round eyes “My brother and I spent a lot of time with my Grandfather,” all aglow. Faceless men linger on lonesome roads, creep out of dark he continued. “We lived on the same farm and he was just a walk caverns, waiting, expecting. down a dirt road away. He had a ’51 Ford pick-up , open on both You feel they look back at you. Their expressions have an effect ends, that we’d sit in. He parked it in his corn crib to keep it out of similar to that of Goya’s portraits; their glances suggest secrets, the rain. We’d play with our jack knives while he told us stories.” possibly profound ones. Here, a pipe-smoking skeleton grins, leans “That truck is almost a shrine now, still full of the things that in to tell an ancient tale. There, women with their souls in their eyes were in it the day he died,” he told me, “like an old corn shucker wait for you with half-hidden smiles. The images and words that with ‘The Boss’ engraved on the bottom, Lucky and Camel packs, emerge from Freed’s inner world are haunting. Once you have seen receipts going back to before I was born. I used to go sit in it every and heard Dixie Butcher, Cecil Lone Eye, the Conjure Man or any day and pretend I was driving.” He laughed again. “One day, the of the other Crow Holler folk, you find you can leave them for as truck disappeared. I asked my parents what happened to it and they long you like but neither they nor the place quite leaves you. suggested I call the Sheriff,” (another laugh). “Turned out they’d 48 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011


gotten it running for me for my birthday. They forgot to flush the radiator though; it never drove right after that.” There are not only Southern but also outlaw undertones to Freed’s work. These may center most strongly on tales of a Confederate General named Mosby. His Grandfather’s Uncle’s, who had been Calvarymen with him in the War, painted tales of him that match the devil-may-care spirit of much of Freed’s work. “Mosby did a lot behind the lines,” he said then (laughing) added, “he and his men also robbed trains. Some of the men were hung in a public square with a note on them that read, ‘This will be fate of Mosby and all his men.’ They weren’t outlaws; they were all sanctioned but were spies and guerillas.” “It’s such an intangible thing, communicating the whole idea of the War, Mosby, the Valley,” he said. “It’s just a feeling for me, something personal that would be hard for someone else to understand because it’s so much a part of what’s going on in my brain. It’s like when I was eight and had this buzzing in my head after I’d taken some Robitussin for a cold. It’s just a feeling. There’s smells, sounds, sights; the smell of the truck and the corn drying in the cribs, the barn.” The nostalgic wistfulness of his work is not unlike that seen in the paintings of Brueghel, but with darker undertones. It’s as though we’re looking at the phantoms of lost dreams. In a sense we are. The places and times he draws from are irretrievably gone. “Brueghel was painting a vanishing culture. His landscapes weren’t completely romanticized but you get the feeling that he loved the farms that he drew,” Freed said. “My paintings are in some ways are similar, like a memory.” Also like Brueghel, Freed sometimes brings out chimeras from a gallery of oddities that’s often a little sinister, frightening. They lend a supernatural quality to his work, which has a touch of the Danse Macabre to it as well. Skeletons often dance in Crow Holler and other ancient rituals unfold. Unlike traditional Danse Macabre paintings, the common themes of remorse, hysteria, hopelessness, the grave, are absent. There is a common sense of mystery, however, of both profound contentment and wild abandon. I asked Freed if the idealized dream of lost happiness spread across an often ominous, spooky landscape didn’t seem like a contradiction to him. He said, “both the dark and light of it are reassuring to me. Beautiful is a subjective term. I see it as a paradise. When I was a kid, the idea of the Sunday school version of Heaven scared the Hell out of me. No dead trees? No old cars? No rust or broke down old barns? That didn’t sound like Paradise to me.” “ W h a t wo u l d yo u fi n d i n Paradise?” I asked. “A beat up old garage with a cool car and a bunch of motorcycles; a place where it wouldn’t rain a lot but it would be cloudy and the temperature would be just right,” he replied with knowing calm. “It would be full of the smell of baking chicken, gas and motor oil, things like that. Paradise isn’t really planned out. Crow Holler is almost like a dream state, like that half awake place you go to when you’re a kid.”

Drive By Truckers poster for the Paradiso, Amsterdam

“In the winter, my Grandmother cooked on a wood stove and my Grandfather had a rocking chair that sat next to it. There was a set of steps that went up the back way to what used to be my Dad’s bedroom. We’d sit on the steps and look out the window while she cooked. In that sort of setting, you can romanticize just about anything. That setting, to me, is part of Paradise; full of the smell of a wood stove and whatever’s cooking; with Grandma downstairs plucking a chicken.” “I think with my art I’m mostly trying to convince myself that the place really does exist somewhere. Maybe I’ll find it, in a metaphysical sort of way,” he concluded. In Freed’s work, fantastic imagery is used to create a dream world that mirrors our own. The monsters, chimeras and bizarre fantasies that come to life in Crow Holler are visual metaphors, a private language of symbols. As with Bosch’s, the paintings lead the viewer to question the conflicting qualities encountered there. Sometimes this leads us to question the ones we encounter within. Spring 2011 • Fine Art Magazine • 49


CELEBRITY ICONS SIDNEY MAURER— “LIFE IS A SONG”

BY VICTOR FORBES

E

arlier in these pages, Jerry Garcia attributed a living spirit to each of his guitar notes and Dino Danelli succinctly said, “When art is alive, feelings are captured, otherwise it is just paint.” These sentiments and attributes are perfectly apt in describing the work of Sidney Maurer. His current collection, comprising some 300 (and growing) portraits of famous and important past and present citizens of the world from Justin Bieber to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, conveys their lives in luminous captured frozen moments that sparkle with joy, power and confidence in a totally original, non-derivative style loaded with energy and creativity, with masterful strokes and insightful characterization. Combining bold, dynamic colors with painstaking layouts and typographical elements, the result is the unique blend of a painter’s passion tempered with the calculating compositional eye of a graphic designer. He explores his themes and subject matter primarily through symbols and personalities evoking pride, nostalgia, and hope. What can be said for his portraits can indeed be said for the artist. In a few conversations with Sidney Maurer from his studio in Atlanta Georgia, we developed a kinship that extends deep as our mutual Bronx roots. He attended a special high school for the gifted (a classmate was Anthony Benedetto — Tony Bennett) and went on to a career in creativity that most of us can only dream about. It began in the music world where he put on some man-tan and dark shades and played trumpet in a jazz band at the famed Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. He also made the scene on the fabled 52nd Street in New York City, home to small but intoxicating jazz clubs where he met the likes of Billie Holliday, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and all the other greats of the era. Then, one day with the brashness that comes from being a self-described “smart ass kid from the Bronx,” he hopped a train to Connecticut, where Columbia Records was then located, and landed a job as an assistant art director at the age of 17. As the music business with the advent of the vinyl long playing record exploded, within a few years Maurer was operating his own art studio in Manhattan, landing a contract to produce hundreds of album covers for Columbia’s subsidiary label, Epic. His studio/workshop became a home away from home for the burgeoning music crowd and amidst the easels, work tables, glue pots, T-squares and all the elements then involved in producing art for reproduction, Maurer became one of the hottest graphic artists in New York City. This was expanded to worldwide fame when he met the British pop star Donovan. Said Sid, “He was really a poet and > This page: Photograph of Sidney Maure; paintings of Justin Bieber, Henry Fonda. Opposite page: Painting of Michael Jackson 50 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

SIDNEY MAURER BIO Sid Maurer is a man with many stories. His long career in the world of Art and Music began at seventeen when he was hired as assistant art director at Columbia Records in New York City, where he spent weekends playing trumpet in Jazz clubs for extra money. In the period that followed, the music business exploded, and Maurer worked designing album covers and promotional material for


popular artists. His co-worker at the time: a young artist by the name of Andy Warhol. As Andy left to pursue a career in “serious” art, Maurer expanded his commercial art studio to tackle a wide range of projects for the music and film industries. His position brought him into contact with a group of artists whose names are well-recognized today, from Pollock to Rauschenberg, and Maurer was strongly influenced by their work and ideas as he developed his own unique style of painting.

Throughout the mid-sixties, Maurer continued his work in the music industry, notably with famed British recording artist Donovan, developing album covers, poster designs, and even a film for Warner Brothers. It was during this period that Maurer’s work as a painter first gained recognition, appearing in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris. In the early nineties, Maurer realized that the empire of music and art that he had helped to build left him little time to pursue his true passion:

painting. He moved to Atlanta where he has lived ever since, developing a vast catalog of works and perfecting his personal style. In the last decade, his work has hung in a wide variety of venues, including the Georgia Capitol, the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard, California, and the U.C.L.A. campus. His commissions include work for organizations like ESPN and Motorsport America magazine, as well as for individuals such as David Bowie, Boy George, and his old friend Donovan.

Artwork © 2011 Sidney Maurer

51 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011


came up to the label’s office in flowing robes, no shoes, long hair and had his own concepts for the artwork for his new album. He was quite put off by the acrid business-like atmosphere up there so we went over to my place, smoked a joint and became friends.” Sid managed to translate Donovan’s concepts into some legendary and radically creative album covers, along with a Hollywood billboard which they painted together. Their collaboration lasted for years with Sid branching out to manage his musical career, documented in Donovan’s autobiography, The Hurdy Gurdy Man. Sid also gets a few pages in 2Stoned, Andrew Loog Oldham’s autobiographical

52 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

> Clockwise from top: paintings of Salvadore Dali; Marilyn Monroe; Woody Allen; Humphrey Bogart; Liza Minelli; Duke Ellington.

account of his life as manager of The Rolling Stones. Sid’s resurgence today comes after a few bad breaks both personally and professionally, but at the age of 85 he is once again approaching the pinnacle of the creative world thanks to the support of his childhood buddy, actor/producer Allan Rich (Serpico) and the legendary art marketer, Marilyn Goldberg, President of Museum Masters International who told me, “For many years my favorite song was La Vie on Rose by Edith Piaf which simply means ‘always seeing the glass half full and life thru rose colored glasses.’ I so enjoyed receiving a painting of this great singer from Sidney that I couldn’t stop thinking of countless ideas to develop an international campaign to promote his art to the world. ” Noted art dealer Michael Miller who has sold millions of dollars worth of Andy Warhols and operated some of the country’s largest art galleries, concurs. “These paintings, both individually and as a body of work, have

more gravitas than the silkscreens by Warhol, not only because of the power of paint itself over the use of inks, but because Maurer’s concern with iconic figures (Einstein is just as stunning and important a painting as Marilyn Monroe) has more breadth and feels more compelling than Andy’s primarily playful focus on celebrity. Marilyn and Allan, in my humble opinion, have a phenomenal artist on their hands.” Even today, Sid will wake up two or three times a night, come into the studio and work. “That’s my life. That’s what I do and this is what I intend to do until I die. It’s like having a mistress. You don’t own her, she owns you. I paint because it’s all inside of me. I have been like this all of my life. In New York, I had a record company and a publishing company. I made a lot of money, lost a lot of money. The stories go on forever. I made other people stars, played in that land and moved to Atlanta. That’s my creative life. It’s the journey I’m on and the journey is finishing this collection.” “Onward and upward,” he says. This is one story surely to be continued. Artworks © 2011Sidney Maurer


Paul Hertz Painting with a passion By NINA VELAZQUEZ & V.B. FORBES

Swinger, oil on canvas, 18” x 24”

Paul Hertz is a dentist who paints…or maybe he is a painter who practices dentistry. He is still trying to figure this out. One thing is for sure: Hertz is passionate about painting. Ivy League trained, conservative in the mode of Michael J. Fox’s Family Ties fictional character Alex P. Keaton, Dr. Hertz had a revelation on a kite surfing trip to Costa Rica. There, in search of “something to get a little thrill” he found Reiki, an ancient healing method that manipulates energy flow in the body. Accustomed to wind speeds of 18-20 knots, being in kitesurfing conditions of 40-45 knots, way up in the air, was a far riskier endeavor. “I was scared for my life almost the entire time,” he recalled in a recent interview. “Every day it took all of my courage to go out there.” Situated on an idyllic, uninhabited preserve—a premier kite surfing locale—“it was the best place in the world, but you really don’t want to learn at the best place in the world.” With hotels nowhere near the water, Dr. Hertz found himself hanging out with a troupe of “international beach bums who all knew each other, often travelled together and at night enjoyed the company of ‘hippie witches’ who were there to meditate and practice healing arts. After dinners, these

Windy City, oil on canvas, 18” x 24”

Happiness, 24 x 36”, acrylic on canvas 54 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

women would work on me with the Reiki and I’m sitting there under these spells of calming energy flows, which helped me overcome my fear of flying the next day.” Recognizing that he was benefitting greatly from the experience, he returned home and is training to eventually become a Reiki master. “It freaks me out to hear myself say things like this coming from my background,” said Dr. Hertz, a dentist whose practice is in the northernmost section of New York City, Riverdale. “Healing with universal energy, that’s kind of ‘out there’ for one whose education and career is founded on evidence-based science. But even though it’s all anecdotal, I know it works.” Dr. Hertz employs principles of Reiki in his practice. “It helps keep me in a state in which I can do the best work that I can do. I have used it on a few patients but it is not an active part of what I do in my office, though my instructor would like to see me use it more. It helps in that I can make people more comfortable. I have also been trained in hypnosis and do a little of that to put people at ease. There are aspects of this in every culture throughout time so there has got to be something to it.” Innovative and enthusiastic, Dr. Hertz is also an inventor who has two patents pending, “Tools in the works to make things better,” is how he describes them. The patents include a revolutionary new chemistry and activation technology for tooth whitening. The second patent is in implant dentistry. “I find that as a restorative dentist there are a lot of things that cost much and take a lot of time. Using this process can save patients both.” At this point, he is negotiating with some good-sized companies to implement his inventions. “If this doesn’t happen,” he concludes, “I’ll come up with something else, kind of like the paintings. Although I really like my work, I am not attached to any. The ultimate compliment is to have someone want to put my work on their wall. I can always make more.” For many years Dr. Hertz has been using the walls of his dental office as his own gallery, rotating canvases to show off new work. Often non-patients will come by to look at the paintings. A solo exhibit at the Riverdale Y in March, Women, Water and Wind featured some 28 paintings.


In his newest work, Dr. Hertz is experimenting with wax transfer creating painted outlines of women on stark white canvas, almost reminiscent of Vargas girls. And then there were landscapes, lots of them painted in bright colors depicting both tropics and the city. It was evident that Hertz feels equally at home in either setting. He is painting places he has been, places that are meaningful in his own personal history. I visited him in his office on an afternoon in June to talk about his many projects. His office is filled with paintings, all of them his. Self-trained, he is trying on different styles and experimenting with texture and color. He is afraid of neither nor is he wary of taking a risk. “When expressing myself through painting, far from having a vision, I’m all over the place. I often don’t know where I am going when I start. I sketch on wax paper sometimes, push it onto canvas so it’s a monoprint, but a reverse. I have no training so everything I do, I’m making up as I go along.” He was fascinated at a very young age by his grandfather, who painted and “was really into it, though we never discussed art. I would sit there and watch him create in his tiny little apartment. I still use his easel and his brushes and I always think of him when I sit down to paint. When I was moving out of my parents’ apartment, in order to expedite the process, my father helped me pack. Included in a pile of stuff, I came upon my grandfather’s paints, brushes and easel. I asked my father what I was supposed to do with all of this. ‘Paint, he father replied.” Hertz listened and has been doing so ever since. His only formal training was as a graduate dental student at Penn he took a one-semester class to meet girls and discovered a life-long passion. “I enjoy relaxing and creating,” he said recently, “and compare it, in a way, to dentistry. They share a similarity in that both begin with a problem; you have a set of tools and you have to make those tools fix the problem. That’s how I approach everything. It’s the creative process. “If I could, I would be Pisarro —I love his colors and how he puts things together with those little applications of paint. I am always looking at technique, how it was done and what strokes were used. I, too, love bright colors and would love to have the ability to put things together and see that way. “I’m also fascinated by Picasso and Rembrandt. What was Picasso looking at when he created? What was going on in his brain? Where did Rembrandt find the skill level to create that light and realism?”

City at Dusk, oil on canvas, 24” x 36”

Dr. Hertz would fit in with the realm of action painters. He is a student of dentistry but not of most everything else, preferring to participate rather than watch. He played college ice hockey and never attended any games other than the ones in which he played. As a further testament to his quest for action, he drives his home town’s fire department’s tower ladder—47’ long with a 100’ foot ladder. His dream as an artist is to be recognized and make enough money from painting so he can sail boats and “just hang out. That’s what I would like if all things went the way I wanted. I hope I have a few masterpieces in me. I’m surprised when I look at my stuff and say, ‘that’s pretty good, I like that,’ but I never feel that way when I am doing it. I’m not striving to create a masterpiece but maybe to strive for one would change my approach.”

Paradise Sunset, oil on canvas, 36” x 48”

Dr. Paul Hertz

My Dream, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 55


New York Art Fairs, 2011 PHOTO ESSAY BY JAMIE ELLIN FORBES

Fine Art Magazine walked the NYC Art Fairs early this March. The Armory was Pulsating with Red Dots, as the Fountain of Art exploded with the new. Tried and true, blue chip, current collectible trophy art, Korean Art, any kind of Art you can think of was on display all over town. The mood of the buying crowd attending the fairs was active and upbeat, imagery seemed to focus on art as a window on the beautiful, actually making the viewing more enjoyable with a dash of excitement that had been missing for a long time. The Armory Show was as vast a representation of contemporary cutting edge collectable art that I had seen in a long time. Captured was a fresh look, displaying a more structured eloquent line of symmetry, there by communicating a more cohesive metaphor than in the recent past. The show was packed on preview day with artists, buyers, dealers, art lovers and market makers. Walking we ran into old friends Vered, Carolyn Beegan, Peter Marcelle and Kate Shanlyn. This is a massive two story exhibition requiring five fast paced hours, worth every minute spent viewing to cover the territory. The Red Dot and Korean Art Shows were together in SoHo this year. Collectible with a hint of the up and coming made these shows interesting. The shows were smaller, than l ast year, it seemed. Crash, Cutrone and Robin Antar, friends of FAM were shown, adjacent to this year’s best collection of Korean art and galleries. The Pulse show displayed an international group of established galleries. A cutting edge market feel was apparent in the quality and installation by the participants. It was comfortable to see and walk. The space was ample and the booths were not cramped. The surprise show was Fountain, which was saucy, energetic and out of the box. Happy to be at a “Happening” for those who remember the ’60s was the experience. The exhibitors lacked the pretense which accompanies the other larger shows. Raw art with good form and flavor was the mainstay of this event. Put Fountain on your list for next year; catch them all if you can.

Galerie Thomas, Munich, featured Robert Indiana, Jim Dine and Frank Stella 56 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Steve Hartman, Contessa Gallery, Cleveland, in front of “Chuck Close Self Portrait” via Jacquard tapestry at Armory Show

VERED at the ARMORY SHOW

Peter Marcelle, Director, Gerald Peters Gallery, Armory Show Artist Carolyn Beegan and Andrew Hart Adler at Armory Show

The Korean Art Show moved to Soho this year Shimon Okshteyn, Armory Show

Ronnie Cutrone, Jim Dine on display at Red Dot

Sculptor Steve Zaluski, Victor Forbes, Armory Show, stand by Frank Owens work, Nancy Hoffman Gallery


BOOK REVIEW

“The Soulmate Path”

by Monte Farber & Amy Zerner Published by Weiser Books

By JIFA WIND

S

urely the most unique aspect of this book, “The Soulmate Path,” is that it defies genre. If you’re interested in a self-help book revealing a couple’s particular point of view on how to be on a soulmate path, that’s in there. If you’re fond of memoirs, and are interested in their personal story—how they met in youth, marrying and sharing their journeys into and beyond middle age, including family and friends, work and creativity, struggles and triumphs —that’s in there. If you’d enjoy dipping into a kind of oracle, where you can randomly or selectively choose an affirmation to focus your attention upon, or with which to obtain an answer to a question in your life, that’s in there. If you’re looking to find a way to see the humor in relationship, that’s in there too. This book is a smorgasbord of concepts, ideas, secrets, stories, and lessons on how to be on a soulmate path. It presents to us a case study of a unique journey of how these two souls merged their two hearts and their two lives. Monte Farber and Amy Zerner are not just the co-authors of this book, but are the co-authors of their lives, individually, and together as a single unit. Certain sections are written specifically from either Amy’s or Monte’s personal point of view. Other times

the book is written in a unified voice. They write, “Staying together is an art, and all of us trying to bring love into our lives are artists.” Gradually, the book dissolves many of the multi-layered barriers that keep a couple’s intimate relationship separate and hidden from being seen or comprehended by others. They dissect their lives and offer to us the pieces that they find most significant to the success of their partnership. Through storytelling and lessons these themes open up vistas into their enchanted, yet very real lives, and into how they make it work and make it last. They present a role model of originality as a couple, going through life as a team, merging together their hearts and their spirits through shared passions, shared goals, and a shared journey. Part of one of the secrets they reveal is as follows: “This is the secret of true joy and happiness in a committed relationship. Our relationship is as successful as it is because we have both decided it is the most important thing in our lives.” Simple, yet very potent. The message that I took away with me after reading this book is not that anyone should aspire to be them, or to mimic them. Instead it is that each of us can bring our unique sense of who we are into full manifestation inside of our primary relationship, to share of ourselves without limitation, and to allow love and the highest regard for the other to be the medium through which all exchanges occur. Thus, over time the unique character of the couple

Amy Zerner, Monte Farber

emerges, exhibiting its distinct personality and an artistic expression all its own. Each person stands as an individual entity, but is also combined with the other to form something new, something fresh, like yellow + blue resulting in green. The green of Amy + Monte is vibrant and full of heart. The beauty of their example is that it allows others to observe and forge their own soulmate relationship as a unique work of art, to embody a soulmate path as a personal form of creativity, with each stroke an ultimate expression of love. www.TheEnchantedWorld.com

THE LIVE ADVENTURES OF

STEVE ZALUSKI

illustration WILLIAM HAMILL

ROLLING INTO YOUR TOWN SOON

A Work of Unbridled Genius A Monster of Gargantuan Proportions

HER TIME HAS COME theballadofdogzilla.com

available on vinyl, mp3, youtube and from wherever good music emanates

©SunStorm Arts Publishing Co., inc/Richie Records

58 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Times Square, New York City

WORLD TOUR ORGANIZING NOW

contact zaluskisculpturestudios.com 631-804-7073 Steve@ZaluskiSculptureStudios.com

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC


BOOK REVIEW

Dr. Bill Akpinar’s 7 Priceless Prescriptions For Health and Anti-Aging By TRISH MELEK

I

Grow Like A Plant

Breathe Like A Monk

Sleep Like A Lamb

f there is one word to describe Bill Akpinar, it would be “Healer.” Referred to by many names in various cultures— doctor, medicine man, shaman—the core of the essence is the same: a restorer of health through knowledge, faith, hope and love. Although Dr. Bill, as he is affectionately known to many, possesses numerous degrees in different healing specialties, perhaps his greatest attributes are those which true healers embody: compassion, dedication and the willingness to share his skills with all who are in need. He welcomes challenge with the spirit of a warrior, grateful for the divine blessings of opportunities to expand his healing experience globally through his practice, his books and his University of Health and Spiritual Sciences. He writes, “I truly believe that all great prophets, saints, yogis and other spiritual masters were able to perfect— either consciously or through some innate ability—the power to tap into, absorb and assimilate endless universal energy through the infinite storehouse of the collective unconscious and perhaps were even able to experience the joys, pain and suffering of humanity by reaching the state of perfection, or enlightenment, by cutting short the normal learning time required of normal mortals. They learned to cultivate their minds through mastering the science of breath. You can too. Our mind is the greatest force on this earth. One who can control his mind can gain mastery over self.” This may be one of our greatest challenges and when mastered, our greatest joy. In this, Dr. Bill’s fourth book, VII Priceless Prescriptions for Health and AntiAging (Global Health Press), he shows his readers how to take the first steps to better living. You are being given all the tools you need. You don’t have to keep looking obsessively for professionals to “solve” your problems. “If you really get to know them,” he states, “you will realize that many of them need more help than you do. No need to explain anymore why you feel bad. At the end of the day, explaining is complaining anyway. Who really listens aside from a person you are paying to do so? I’m not selling you a darn thing except faith, hope and renewed belief in what is possible with the right mind-set. You don’t have to change your whole life in an instant (unless the

Dr. Bill Akpinar’s Seven Priceless Prescriptions Cover by Michele Bramlett and Jaesen Kanter

Love Like An Emperor/Empress

alarm clock of disease is going off in your life louder and louder). Begin with some of these prescriptions and gradually incorporate most or all of them into your life. I’m sure you’ll be glad that you did. “Always remember that change is induced by either inspiration or desperation. Let’s strive to make the most of change from the former. I consider health a sacred gift and in that vein I would like you to consider these prescriptions my sacred gift to you. Welcome to the life-changing journey. Make this your new beginning.”

Illustrations by Michele Bramlett Available individually or as a suite of limited edition offset lithographs signed and numbered by the artist to order, visit www.sunstormarts.com/priceless Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 59


Golden Age of Beadwork in Russia and Europe From the Collection ofYuri Juravitsky

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he origins of bead embroidery go back to ancient times. Historians cite the appearance of glass necklaces in ancient Egypt and Rome as the precursor of later beadwork. In the 1980s when I participated in the archeological excavations in the Northern Caucasus, exquisitely beautiful ancient Greek necklaces made of colored glass were found in the burial mounds. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, glass necklaces evolved into tiny beads, which people used to cover the surfaces of household objects in order to beautify their lives. It was done by way of sewing the tiny beads onto fabric, a process that was called bead embroidery. The the fabric embroidered with beads was then used according to the taste and wishes of the embroiderer. Forms, styles and methods of bead embroidery changed radically and achieved, by that time, its Golden Age. In the beginning of the nineteenth century the Empire style ruled the world—strict, laconic and very decorative. According to this style, forms, decorative elements of everyday objects of life and architecture had to be kept in full harmony. Ornamental finishes of buildings, furniture and of objects of applied art were repeated and complimented one another. That’s why beadwork, being a part of the décor, looked so colorful and festive in the Empire style interiors of Russian nobility estates. The following household objects of beadwork became most popular at that time: inserts for covers of jewelry boxes, blotting pads, snuff boxes, occasional paintings or icons of various sizes, women’s handbags, numerous coin purses, tobacco pouches, men’s wallets and notebooks, hunting game bags, smoking pipe covers, walking canes, glasses and decanters. One can see all kinds of flowery motifs on the beadwork of that period, also genre scenes from the lives of different peoples, architectural ensembles, depictions of animals, etc. Some of these works you will see in my collection. My desire to write this article was prompted by the inevitable question which I constantly hear from a colleague, an old Moscow acquaintance, every time I mention a new purchase to her: “Is it Russian beadwork?” It seems to me that there is in Russia a traditionally high interest in beadwork objects. I, as a collector of bead embroidery, also hold Russian made beadwork in highest regard. But in spite of all my efforts, I sometimes cannot exactly pinpoint the country where the object was embroidered. Moreover, without trying to offend anyone, I think that half all the embroidery mentioned in Russian monographs and publications, and attributed to Russian origins, is in fact made not in Russia, but in Western Europe. By publishing my collection, I pursue the aim of looking into the true origin (Russian or western European) of the works of applied art of the nineteenth century, in this case—bead embroidery. 60 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

Smoking Pipes, Russian Micro Beading early 19th century; wood gold-plate on bronze and silver

Tobacco Jars covered with with micro Beading, hooked work method, early 19th century

The love of embroidery later turned into my passion for collecting works of bead embroidery of the first half of the nineteenth century. These works of bead embroidery are very decorative, and look wonderful on the wall next to paintings and other decorative objects of the same period. During my years of living in the USSR and then the United States, I have put together a sizable collection of bead embroidery. There are several monographs on Russian beadwork published in Russia. Naturally, all these books are in my possession, and while I lived in the USSR, I absolutely believed that the beadworks shown in these books were of Russian origin. But then, after coming to New York and living here for some time, I came to the conclusion that the Russian origin of these works is rather debatable. For several years I visited antique stores, antique shows and flea markets in the U.S. and Western Europe, and continued to acquire beadwork. And this is the conclusion that I came to: One can definitely state that such and such beadwork is made in Russia only if an object contains words in Russian or (to a degree) a scene from Russian life, or Russian ornamentation. Methods and techniques of bead embroidery in Russia and Western Europe were also similar. Besides, one has to take into consideration that in the first part of the nineteenth century, when bead embroidery flourished, there appeared in Russia and Western Europe specially colored drawings (usually hand painted engravings and lithographs, since color printing did not exist at that time). These drawings were sold in Russia as well as Europe. Russian and European embroiderers used essentially the same pictorial imagery for their embroidery work. This imagery was diligently kept in the families, passed from

Dog Playing with Bird, micro beads, needle work method, circa 1830s, 6½” x 9”

generation to generation, and often copied by the embroiderers. Each embroiderer could change the drawing or color according to her taste. So I have never seen identical color compositions in bead embroidery. There is another way that allows us to determine, with a certain degree of accuracy, the Russian or European origin of bead embroidery. Many years of experience of collecting beadwork in Russia and in the West has allowed me to draw the following conclusion: the majority of Russian handbags (tobacco pouches, purses) are made by sewing beads to the cloth, yet the majority of Western handbags (tobacco pouches, purses) are “woven” out of the beads themselves. As a summary, I would like to point out to the reader, that when buying a sample of Russian beadwork, one cannot be assured that this particular work was made in Russia. I want to assure you that embroidery made in other European countries in the beginning of the nineteenth century is of the same quality as Russian embroidery, and is worthy of collecting and the admiration of the fans of this art form. Russian beadwork is a distinctive part of the European tradition of beadwork. In my book I call Russian only those works which are considered to be such. I hope you will have a pleasant time getting acquainted with my collection. —YURI JURAVITSKY


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Esther Anderson, auto-photographed herself and Bob Marley in Trindad for Carnival, 1973

ithout dou bt, Ro bert Ne s ta (Bob) Marley, Peter Macintosh, and Neville (Bunny Wailer) Livingstone—collectively known as The Wailers—were every bit as important in our modern musical history as any band, including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dion and The Belmonts, Muddy Waters Blues Band…you get the idea. The three principals each possessed lovely voices, great songwriting skills, and a collective social and spiritual consciousness the likes of which had never been exposed on the international scene. Their first album for Island Records, Catch A Fire produced classic staples like Concrete Jungle, Stop That Train, Kinky Reggae, etc. A self-contained ensemble, the Wailers were propelled by the Barrett Brothers on drums and bass and Wire Lindo on keyboards. Their follow up album, also released in 1973, put them on the cusp of the big-time, “bubbling under the top onehundred.” International acclaim would soon arrive with “I Shot The Sheriff” but it was via Eric Clapton’s version. At this point, internal strife caused the band to splinter off—to the benefit of all—as Marley became famous and Wailer and Tosh produced their own stellar bodies of work. In the midst of this mix of powerful and gifted men was Esther Anderson—a star in her own right, at the time, bigger than them. —VICTOR FORBES

Esther Anderson – Burnin’ with Bob, 1973

BOB MARLEY The Making of The Legend, a film by Esther Anderson & Gian Godoy, takes you on a journey that reveals the stories behind some of the lyrics of his songs that became iconic anthems for his generation and many generations to come, like Get Up, Stand Up and I Shot the Sheriff. The house Esther and Bob built together as a refuge and retreat away from the pressures of stardom where many iconic songs were written; The places they visited across Jamaica for the first time when ideas, images, sounds and metaphors became part of his world and ended up as lyrics in his songs. Witnesses who met Marley stimulated him to write more songs about their plight and pain. But also on this journey you will discover with him beautiful Jamaica, its mountains and rivers—Columbus called it Island of Springs; The British legacy in architecture, botany and horticultural splendor kept by the Colonials. The culture of music and dance and the gift of oral storytelling handed down from the times of Aesop and Bra Anansi and Bre’r Rabbit. And the impact the music made on the country and its people. By the time of his early death in 1980, he had become a legendary global figure and remains so to this day. Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 61


Hellshire Beach, 1973, outside Kingston

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I started taking pictures some forty years ago. My first images were of Marlon Brando, which were shot between 1966 and 1968 with a Kodak Brownie Instamatic. But my first professional assignment as stills photographer was for Lord Puttnam, producer of The Pied Piper of Hamlin and directed by Jacques Demy in Germany. During the sixties, photographers like Avedon, Hiro, Jerry Shatzberg (who did the Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde album cover) and Robert Freeman (photographer of the Beatles revolution) used photography as one of the several means of artistic expression available to them. Whether it was to document events and performances or to break all so-called pre-written rules of photography in creating images in order to bring about unconventional works. From them I learnt that a ‘close up’ ‘BLOWN UP’ to the large photographic image format becomes pictorial art. Each of my shots of Bob Marley was created as an original work in 1973. Then I began to 62 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011

all images © Esther Anderson, used by permission

think about the way of exhibiting the pictures, and to analyse the context in which they were to appear. The result was the use of the large format for the front and back of the Burnin’ and Catch A Fire album covers, and for the inside sleeve of Burnin’ a mixture of free and applied photography, portraying a ‘never before seen’ group of people

Marlon Brando, Palm Springs

PHOTO © ESTHER ANDERSON

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orn in the Parish of St. Mary’s, Jamaica, Esther Anderson studied drama at the Actor’s Studio in London and played roles in movies—Henry Levin’s “Genghis Khan for Columbia Pictures, Robert Freeman’s The Touchables for Twentieth Century Fox, Ted Kotcheff ’s Two Gentlemen Sharing”, Jerry Lewis’s One More Time for United Artists, and Sidney Poitier’s A Warm December for First Artists. This role of an African princess won her an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in 1973. Her film Short Ends was selected by Linda Myles for the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1976. Her latest film was The Three Dumas, about the French writer Alexander Dumas and his African ancestors. It was premiered in London as part of the commemoration of the 200 years of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 2007. It also premiered in Canada, France and the US in 2008. She did it in collaboration with Gian Godoy in Paris, with Maria Schneider as the mother of Dumas, and the voice of his Haitian grandmother. Esther helped to develop the then-fledgling Jamaican music label, Island Records, from the early 1960s, promoting and managing Jamaican artists like Millie Small, Jimmy Cliff, and Bob Marley and the Wailers. Her iconic photographs of Bob Marley and their lyrical collaboration launched his international career in 1973 with the groundbreaking albums Catch a Fire, Burnin’, and Natty Dread. Following are Ms. Anderson’s reminiscences of those historic days.

Fixing a flat on the way to Hellshire Beach

living on the edge of society—the Rastafarians of Jamaica. In essence, these pictures/photo journalism uncovered hundreds of years of a forgotten people and their culture From a comparative viewpoint, I call it contemporary photography; depicting a different perception of a people’s everyday surroundings. I wanted to show this slight displaced view of things in familiar guise, although at the same time, new. Their presentation and the conditions associated to the threat of their existence, their vulnerability, but also their uniqueness is captured in a subtle but realistic way. The images show the Rastafarians and Bob Marley not in an “Island in the Sun” tropical tourist setting, but in a harsh human-shaped environment. I wanted to compile a social picture during Michael Manley’s PNP government by means of portrait pictures of the selected individual artists. I therefore concentrated on the single picture, showing the musicians and the Rastafarians with a sociological interest behind the pictures. Whilst the colours in the pictures are always harmonious, these are not so much psychological portraits, but rather carefully staged shots in which Bob Marley and the Rastafarian people present themselves. These pictures are

given their interest by the formulation of formal and contextual contradictions. The background and architecture chosen to reflect the urban appearance of a community in downtown Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, lends the rather surrealistic settings a concrete political context. My concern was to make clear that these photographs are products of a construction of authenticity. I wanted to show an image of the world, and at the same time discover my own individual picture world. And so I joined the great family of photographers thanks to Jerry Shatzberg, photographer/filmmaker winner of the Palm d’Or at Cannes who clued me into the power of the ‘close up’; Richard Avedon who taught me how to keep focus and concentrate as I watched him work in his studio, and Robert ‘Bob’ Freeman who studied architecture at Cambridge University but ended up as a photographer and filmmaker, and took me under his wings and taught me many things about lighting and framing. Photography became my shield, and a means of resistance—a way of affirming my view of the world. The first photographic sessions for the Burnin’ and Catch A Fire album covers were done at 56 Hope Road, Kingston, Jamaica at the end of February and beginning of March, 1973. The second session was done at Hellshire Beach outside Kingston with Countryman, an Indian Rasta fisherman and his family. The third session was done in Trenchtown, home of Reggae music. The fourth session was done at Bull Bay, east of Kingston with the Rastafarian Bongo Macky in another type of Rasta fishing community

1st SHOOT

For the first session, I choose 56 Hope Road because Island Records had bought the premises and it had a large garden with ancient mango trees that the leader of the group, Bob Marley, loved to sit under and cool out from the heat; to smoke and reason about philosophy and the Rastafarian way of life. It was there that I took the first ‘closeup’ of Bob smoking his ‘spliff ’, as he called it. It was a natural shot to make the point that smoking was part of their culture. I posed him with his shirt off, because I liked the way the sunlight reflected on the golden tone of his skin and bounced back into my lens. I used a


On set with Sidney Poitier

Nikon with a 200mm telephoto zoom lens and Ektachrome transparency with 400 ASA speed. But I used the telephoto lens like a close-up lens for the high contrast and grainy quality I wanted in the shot. There was no make-up, no hairdresser or stylist, just myself, Bob and the camera. The aperture was set at F22 to ensure depth of focus, and the effect of the telephoto was to compress the image into a tight shot. He had to fit into the square format of the album cover. These first shots were done early in the day, before the sun got too hot, when Bob and the other musicians would take refuge under the mango trees.

the lyrics should be written on the record sleeve in red green and gold. I suggested these points to my colleague Chris (Blackwell, head of Island Records) to whom I spoke before sending the transparencies to him in London. When I finished the shoot I had the rolls developed at Spencer Colour Lab in Kingston. I selected the best and sent them to London. Graphically, Burnin’ was the most successful Wailers cover, the lettering specially designed to express the title with the Wailers, a collage of six faces that would become well known by the end of that year, 1973.

2nd SHOOT

On my arrival in Jamaica, I met an Indian Rasta fisherman called Countryman. He lived in a shack outside of Kingston on a beautiful beach call Hellshire. He said he hated Babylon so much he had built his house and turned his back on Kingston. I was fascinated by his rhetoric. I wanted to photograph Bob with him, as their philosophy and take on the world were the same. After we finished the shoot at Hope Road, we got a taxi and left for Hellshire to continue the session. On our way, the taxi had a punctured tire and Bob got out and helped the driver fix it. I took shots of him as I was impressed. Not many rock stars would bother. We arrived just before sunset. Countryman was there to greet us and I introduced Bob to him. They talked while I photographed them together. The session continued until sunset and the light had disappeared. I made Bob run on the beach without his shirt again, using a wide angle lens and film from my Ektachrome transparency stock with the same speed 400ASA, the same Nikon equipment with the 200mm lens and the wide angle lens with the aperture completely open and without a tripod. I had to make sure to keep the camera steady, using my body as the tripod. I used the wide angle for the shots of Bob running on the beach and the 200mm lens for the ‘close-ups’ which created a soft focus and gave the pictures an atmospheric background. I got the wide angle shot I wanted, to give the feeling of space and freedom, although he ran in his boots. I posed him beside the Rasta Shorty’s canoe which was painted red green and gold like the tam he wore on his head which he called his ‘covenant.’ It was during this session that I got the idea to use the colours of Rasta in their promotion and that

The Wailers, Prince Albert Bridge, Chelsea, 1973

Parade where people left on buses going to all parts of the Island.

4th SHOOT

The 4th Shoot was done at Bull Bay, east of Kingston. I chose this location because I had met Bongo Macky who lived next door to Bunny Livingston, the difficult member of the group. Bull Bay was a community of Rastafarians of African descent and their families living on the edge of society. At first I used the telephoto zoom lens with Ektachrome 400 ASA with the aperture open at 16, and the first shots were done as photo3rd SHOOT journalism. But the children The 3rd shoot was done were happy to pose for me. photo-journalism style in Their father, Bongo Macky, Trench Town because that is a fisherman and small farmer, where the music originated. was from St. Mary, the same Bob also had a record shop Parish I came from so it was called the ‘Wailing Wailers easy for me. He was happy Shack’ down there. When I to share his views with me arrived, Bunny Livingston, about the PNP Government one of the Wailers and the of Michael Manley and his footballer Alan Skill Cole was Rastafarian Philosophy. He standing in front of the shop. posed happily with his pet I took shots of them without Iconic Catch A Fire album cover goat, smoking his chalice, and their knowledge. Although shots were taken of the interior of Bob’s record shop, with his daughter Bugus who was the first Rasta they were not used on the cover. The Nikon child the world saw with her dreadlocks when camera, with the wide angle lens, was used for Burnin’ was released, and his son standing on his most of the shots. I used Ektachrome transparency head with his dreadlocks hanging down was printed 200 ASA this time for the blueish tint I wanted upside down for a surreal reality. The group shot from the morning light. Bunny looked marvelous with Bugus and her sisters was the first picture in his Rasta colors, although at that time I knew taken after they had returned from a sea bath and him least of all the Wailers and was reluctant to were washing themselves with fresh water from a ask him to pose for me as he was a very volatile tin tub. Looking on at the scene and smiling at me person, so I took the individual shots without his was a handsome Rasta sitting under a guango tree, knowledge. But when the Burnin’ album came who looked rather like Bob. I took a shot of him out, I had to pay everyone on the cover for the and was told he was called ‘ITAL’ for natural, a use of their images. I was never compensated by football player with the ‘House of Dread’ and friend of Bongo Macky and the children of Bull Bay. the record company or Bob. The shot of the two boys pushing their cart BOB MARLEY, The Making named ‘Little David’ was typical of the hard of The Legend, a film by Anderson & Gian working youth in the ghetto. And it was one Esther Godoy (r) is scheduled to of the last shots I did as we drove away from premiere Autumn, 2011 Trenchtown almost at midday. The shot of the at the African Odyssey of the British façade of a record shop painted blue and red on the programme Film Institute, Southbank Kingston Parade with a statue of Queen Victoria L o n d o n . Vi s i t h t t p : / / in the Park behind was typical of the crowded rastaleaks.wordpress.com Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2011 • 63

PHOTO © ESTHER ANDERSON

Reasoning with Countryman, Hellshire Beach


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