Page 1

SPRING 2018 • $10

FINEARTMAGAZINEONLINE

By VICTOR FORBES Page 21


SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 1


SPRING 2018

www.fineartmagazine.com

Renee & Joel Meisner, page 78

Marilyn Goldberg, page 5

In This Issue

“I

Samir Sammoun, page 30 Darth Vader, page 26

The Synergists, page 21

Berberyan, page 27

Saori and Funayama, page 40

Jeff Vermeeren, page 66

founded in 1975

PUBLISHER

JAMIE ELLIN FORBES info@fineartmagazine.com POB 404, CENTER MORICHES, NY 11934

(631) 339-0152

facebook.com/FineArtMagazine

EDITOR

VICTOR B. FORBES victor@fineartmagazine.com PO BOX 481, KEENE VALLEY, NY 12943

518-593-6470

youtube.com/fineartmagazine

twitter.com/FineArtMagazine www.instagram.com/fineartmagazine/ Published by © 2018 SunStorm Arts Publishing Co., Inc.,New Yok, USA

Page 2 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

t’s been a long time coming,” goes the song and the same came be said for this issue of SunStorm/Fine Editor & Clarence Art, just in time to acknowledge 40 years of Artexpo. Four decades of all kinds of art, artists and art history — a generation of art. We have made many friends and business associates but none greater than (ladies first!) Marilyn Goldberg and Michel Roux. These are two legitimate marketing geniuses but their common thread is that both fuel their business success with a very evident love for art and those who make the art. Ms. Goldberg’s resume could fill a few books, a TV series and a couple of movies. Her innovative and fearless life in the arts is inspirational. A young and beautiful woman took the Orient by storm when it was unheard of for a female to exude such influence in the closed societies of Japan and China. She did it her way and continues the journey with Museum Masters International. Can’t say enough about this great woman and great friend. Then there is Michel Roux who single-handedly revolutionized both the vodka market and the world of advertising when “Mad Men” still ruled. By spending $60,000 on the teetotaling Andy Warhol’s portrait of an Absolut bottle ... well anyone who picked up a magazine in the 80s and 90s knows the rest of the story, which continues to this day with his new brands. A great man and we are so proud that he is our friend and staunch supporter of this magazine to this day. We love you, Michel, and may you live long and prosper. The Mighty Stan Lee creator of so many beloved superheroes is also featured. We not only share the same birthday, but graduated from the same high school, De Witt Clinton, in “Da Bronx.” I treasure his autographed business card “To

Michel Roux by Joyce Tenneson

Valorous Vic.” Jamie’s interview with Stan, which happened at an Artexpo in Anaheim in the 90s, is certainly one of the highlights of our magazine’s history and truly must reading for not only fans of Spiderman’s creator, but of the creative process itself. Also in this issue (among many wonderful articles) is a review of Leo Fender’s biography, “The Quiet Giant Heard Around The World.” A non-musician with a glass eye and hearing aid, his mission, he said, was to make it easier for musicians, who he termed “angels sent to earth to make the world a better place.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by none other than Keith Richards. So many people have been part of this issue and all the others over the years. Our gratitude to you all and “You know, the darkest hour comes right before the dawn.”


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SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 5


v

COLLECTION MARINA PICASSO

Limited Edition Lithographs of Pablo Picasso artworks!

Photo © Robert Doisneau

Portrait au Cou Bleu Poster #3-A $900

PUBLISHER:

Buste de Femme Nue Face Litho #011-212 $1,250

Museum Masters and it’s president Marilyn Goldberg, in collaboration with Antonio Banderas playing the role of Pablo Picasso, celebrate National Geographic’s second season premiere of the Emmy and Global Globe nominated series of Museum Masters’ favorite “Genius: Picasso,” in commemoration of his beloved granddaughter Marina Picasso. The “Marina Picasso Collection” is comprised of unique hand-made limited edition lithographs published between 1980-1983 by Jackie Fine Arts, Inc., NYC and curated by MariGold Enterprises LTD. NYC.

The Marina Picasso Lithograph collection are Signed, Numbered, and Stamped. These original lithographs have two editions. 500 of each numbered 1/500 signed in pencil by Marina Picasso, (with 34 AP’s) and 1000 Poster Lithos, (stamped with the name of the financial investor) 34 (APs of every edition). Each artwork is created from original paintings, drawings, pen and inks, done by Pablo Picasso, signed by Marina Picasso as the official authorized heir of the Estate for her late grandfather with an embossed Marilyn Goldberg with Picasso portrait © Sid Maurer stamp of the estate on the pencil signed editions. Posters Limited Edition. The Litho Poster Editions of 1,000 each were created from the original plates used for the signed, numbered prints, with a true signature selected by the heirs, MariGold Enterprises and attorney Martin Bressler of VAGA. The litho plates utilized were destroyed afterward under the supervision of Martin Bressler of VAGA, Marilyn Goldberg of MariGold Enterprises and Marcel Salinas who was Picasso’s his Master Chromist during his lifetime. There are no prior limited editions and no rights for re-strikes of the signed limited edition of these images. Each investor contributed $100,000 US dollars per image to pay off the $4,500,000 note of taxes owed by Picasso to the French government, in order to release the paintings to Marina which allowed her to contract: “The Marina Picasso Collection” for publication and release.

Museum Masters International Marilyn Goldberg, President

Art Merchandising & Celebrity Specialists Licensing, Branding, Global Exhibitions 352 Montauk Highway, Watermill, NY 11976 USA Tel: (001) 631 353-3107 Mobile: (001) 917 273-8710 Skype: marilyn.goldberg77 e-mail: mmimarilyn@aol.com www.MuseumMasters.com Page 6 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

PROVENANCE:

This Homage series was approved and endorsed by the heirs of the Pablo Picasso Estate witnessed by Marilyn Goldberg, Yves Arman, Martin Bressler of VAGA (Visual Artist and Galleries Association, Inc.). All other ancillary product and merchandising in Museum Stores worldwide created thereafter use the signature (below) created by MariGold for Jackie Fine Arts, Marina Picasso, as a graphism for posthumous ancillary products developed for the investors who fully financed this collection which then produced the merchandising program for Museum Gift Stores starting with the Guggenheim in NYC and the Hakone Museum in Japan. The Marina Picasso Collection (Poster Lithographs –1000; Numbered Lithographs – 500). Authentication is secured by the investors’ stamp located on the original Lithographs. Certificates of Authenticity are provided by the distributors for these exclusive limited editions.


Paper Size: 28 ½ x 21 ¼ inches

Ne Allongee et Tete d’Homme de Profil Litho #J-133 $4,800 Poster #J-133 $760

Femme dans l’Atelier Poster #J-129 $950

Le Peintre et son Modele Litho #27-2 $4,450 Poster #27-2 $625

Nature Morte a la Fenetre Poster #10-A $900

Cavalier en Armure Poster #7-D $610

Minotaure et Femme Poster #18-C $800

Nature Morte Litho #J-268 $3,900 Poster #J-268 $900

Joueur de Flute et Gazelle Poster #18-C $675

Composition Poster #13-D $610

Guitare Verre et Bouteille Poster #36-9 $1,000

Femme Endormie Poster #10-D $900

Violon Litho #35-2 $4,450 Poster $800

Tete Litho #24 $4,200 Poster $800

Une Poupee Decoupee Litho #18-D $3,700 Poster #18-D $760

Enfant en Pied Litho #12-D $4,150 Poster #12-D $750

La Fille de L’Artiste a Deux Ans Poster #4-B $850

Enfant avec Cheval a Toulettes Poster #2-C $910

Femme a la Guitare Poster #32-1 $700

Femme au Balcon Poster #18-A $850

Femme a la Chaise Poster # 9-C $200

Buste de Femme Poster #14-D $975

Femme au Corset Tesant un Livre Poster #J-204 $950

Femme Acrobate Poster #J-137 $850


Wonder Woman

Superhero Series

Joe Chierchio

Born in Brooklyn, 1940, Joe Chierchio graduated from The School of Art And Design and also studied at Pratt Institute and The School of Visual Arts, NYC. His phenomenal career began as an Art Director, working at world-renowned Grey Advertising Agency, Bates Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, in addition to Young & Rubicam. Among his outstanding awards, to name a few: Joe has won awards for art direction, including “Andy”, “Gold Effie”, and “Art Direction Magazine.” He has taught Art Direction at the SVA, NYC and has lectured throughout a vast amount of institutes and at colleges and corporations in the metropolitan areas of New York City and New Jersey. After a successful career as an Art Director, Joe made a transition into Fine Art. Sculpting, stone carving and bronzing have become his passion. His award winning sculptures have been shown in galleries throughout New York City, and the World Famous galleries of The Hamptons on Long Island, and throughout Italy. At his studios in NYC and Watermill, NY (a suburb of Southampton) Joe enjoys working in various media. He is currently creating drawings, watercolors and pastels from his own perspective in order to prepare for his world tour exhibitions.

Vespa Girls

Museum Masters International Marilyn Goldberg, President

Art Merchandising & Celebrity Specialists Licensing, Branding, Global Exhibitions 352 Montauk Highway, Watermill, NY 11976 USA Tel: (001) 631 353-3107 Mobile: (001) 917 273-8710 Skype: marilyn.goldberg77 e-mail: mmimarilyn@aol.com www.MuseumMasters.com Page 8 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Supergirl

Yellow Ferry

Porsche Girl


Kevin T. Kelly Kevin T. Kelly, born in 1960, graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1987 with a B.F.A. in Sculpture. He moved to New York City in 1988, where he worked as assistant to Tom Wesselmann for six years, a major influence on his artistic career. Kelly, a true American artist and a leading figure in the world of “Neo-Pop” which is a postmodern art movement of the 1980s influenced by Pop Art made famous by Andy Warhol, Sid Maurer, Keith Haring and Joe Chierchio. His artistic expression is infused with a postmodern sensibility, contemporaneous subject matter and executed by what the artist refers to as a “hyper-chromatic” palette. KTK’s work has been described as “Roy Lichtenstein meets Dennis Hopper on Steroids.” It’s a complex mixture of sardonic social commentary, the six o’clock news and the Sunday funnies. This renowned and controversial artist is enjoying a successful career as his paintings have appeared on the cover of New American Paintings in 2000 and 2003 and is featured in numerous public and private collections both in the United States and abroad, including Breitling S.A., The Kinsey Institute and Procter and Gamble. In addition to having taught as an adjunct professor at The Art Academy of Cincinnati and the Baker-Hunt Foundation in Covington, KY, he has also written reviews for many publications. His next stop will be in September 2018 at Atlanta Georgia’s exquisite Allan Avery Gallery. Kelly has recently signed a worldwide exclusive representation agreement with Museum Masters of NYC, masters of Picasso Editions, Classy Pop Art, Signed, Numbered Limited Edition Serigraphs & Lithographs, and creative merchandise sold in Department Stores and Museums world-

wide. They will bring KTK’s Art with Attitude into venues worldwide for Licensing, such as Robert Graham Limited Edition To Wear, Pocket Rocket Numero Uno Mens Sik Accessories Ties and Pocketchiefs, Top Quality Merchandise and cobranding with mega international firms from the likes of Breitling watches to Pepsi to Van Cleef & Arpels promotions to Mouton Rothschild Collectable Wine Galleries, Stamion Greece, for accessory gifts, and museum gift stores, Gentleman’s silks with Pocket Rocket, UK headed by Edward Woolf, Apparel by Robert Graham USA, Fine Art Editions published and distributed by David Roe of Felix Rosensteil Widow and Sons UK soon to be released with Certificates of Authenticity. Kevin T Kelly is enthusiastic, that his Art to Wear has been selected by world renowned Robert Graham for fall 2018 release. www.robertgraham.us

Museum Masters International Marilyn Goldberg, President

Art Merchandising & Celebrity Specialists Licensing, Branding, Global Exhibitions 352 Montauk Highway, Watermill, NY 11976 USA Tel: (001) 631 353-3107 Mobile: (001) 917 273-8710 Skype: marilyn.goldberg77 e-mail: mmimarilyn@aol.com www.MuseumMasters.com SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 9


Kimberly McSparran Kimberly began drawing and making things long before she entered kindergarten, “In first grade.” she recalls, “I won the Easter Egg Hunt Poster contest. In second grade I made myself a bikini and continued to draw, paint and sew throughout high school. Later on, as a young model, I decided to become a fashion designer.” Kimberly studied that at the University of Vermont before switching to fine arts. In her sophomore year, she studied illustration at Syracuse, followed by a year at St. Martins College of Art in London where she met Robert Welch, the famous metal-smith. Three years later, she was at the NY Hilton introducing flatware patterns designed for Yamazaki in conjunction with Welch and four other international designers. Her career in the Tabletop Industry had begun. Inspired by everything that surrounded her she was raised in the hills of Pennsylvania where Kimberly was constantly found in streams and ponds looking for polliwogs, turtles and frogs, loving long walks through the fields with her dog, Muffin. After school she visited horses and began to ride. “I have always been inspired by nature and the preRaphaelites strongly influenced me.” A trip to the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, stimulated her to draw and she continues to travel from Museum to Museum for inspiration, working in oils and loving it.

Museum Masters International

Mikasa homage to van Gogh

Mikasa homage to van Gogh

Winnie

Pizer

Mikasa Oleander

Marilyn Goldberg, President

Art Merchandising & Celebrity Specialists Licensing, Branding, Global Exhibitions 352 Montauk Highway, Watermill, NY 11976 USA Tel: (001) 631 353-3107 Mobile: (001) 917 273-8710 Skype: marilyn.goldberg77 e-mail: mmimarilyn@aol.com www.MuseumMasters.com Page 10 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Tossed Orchids

Orchid plate

Coco Condren


Sid Maurer

Marilyn Monroe 1, $6,800 18” x 20”

Edith Piaf, 28½” x 24½” $4,800 Franklin D. Roosevelt, 37½ x 29” $7,000

Martin Luther King, $7,200, 4’x 3’

Sid Maurer is a man of great and many stories now compiling the soon to be published book of his life and times globally in the music and entertainment industries. His long career in this exciting world 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. As the music business exploded, Maurer worked designing album covers and promotional material for popular stars — paintings and photographs produced by Sid and his co-worker of the period, the young Andy Warhol. They photographed the celebrities themselves, backstage, and hired other photographers whose work they respected like Frank Polony. Styling was done at the studio for George Hurell, another close friend of Sid’s. Many celebrities who loved both the Warhol and Maurer Pop Art style sent them favorite photos to work from. It was during this period (1960s) that Maurer’s work as a painter first gained major recognition, appearing in galleries and auctions in London, with his dear friend manager of the Rolling Stones, Andrew Loog Oldham. Exhibitions were launched in London, New York, Los Angeles, Asia, Paris and Spain. His portraits of the great stars of then and now are in great demand and Sid’s creativity and rare talent to capture these great stars —from Edith Piaf to Lady Gaga and everyone in-between, has made him a force majeur as an inventive and highly skilled chronicler of culture.

Steve Jobs 2, $5,500, 18” x 20”

Magic Johnson, 13½” x 15”, $4,800

David Craig 1, 16” x 20”, $6,000

Marilyn Monroe 2, $6,800 18” x 26”

Yao Ming, $4,800 Sophia Loren, $7,000 16” x 20”

Museum Masters International Marilyn Goldberg, President

Ladi Gaga, 15” x 10”, $7,200

Rita Hayworth, 10” x 13¼”, $4,800

Art Merchandising & Celebrity Specialists Licensing, Branding, Global Exhibitions

Steve Jobs 1, $5,500. 13½” x 13½”

352 Montauk Highway, Watermill, NY 11976 USA Tel: (001) 631 353-3107 Mobile: (001) 917 273-8710 Skype: marilyn.goldberg77 e-mail: mmimarilyn@aol.com www.MuseumMasters.com

SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 11


Luciano Martins

He began his creative career in adver tising in 1986, in Por to Alegre, where he received more than two hundred regional, national and international awards. Luciano found its true place of prominence in the field of the arts, where, using vibrant colors and playful features, and gradually emerged as one of the most important names of his generation. In sixteen years of painting, there have been more than 90 shows in his curriculum, with special emphasis on International Exhibitions in countries such as Italy, France, Portugal, the United States and Argentina. Cow Parade and Elephant Parade, two of the world’s largest open-air exhibitions, have also received his brushstrokes. In 2015, he was honored to be invited by the Ayrton Senna Institute to participate in a show in honor of the pilot’s 20-year legacy. He devotes part of his time to various social projects, supporting institutions such as the United Nations (“8 Millennium Development Goals” and “National Youth Movement for Water”), APAES de Santos, Florianópolis, Jaraguá and Pomerode, ABRALE, Friends AMUCC - Pink October, Guardian Horizons, Show the Language for Cancer of the Mouth, Mass Solidaria, Benefest, Gustavo Kuerten Institute, Cacau Show Institute, Infantile Hospital Joana de Gusmão, Luz de teu Sorriso, São Roque Volunteers Association and Popular Evangelization Center, ACIC - Catarinense Association for the Integration of the Blind, Barretos Cancer Hospital. His art has been heralded for always being available to promote great charitable causes. Included in his portfolio of achievements, are a wide assortment of educational projects with the teachers of public and private networks throughout the country. Today, there are thousands of children and young people who are studying their life and work, and in the State of Santa Catarina, they receive these students in their Gallery for chats and painting workshops. His work attributed to his love of children offers the possibility of immersing himself in this artistic universe of light, colorful and fun! Creativity is what is life is about and giving to the planet! Page 12 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Museum Masters International Marilyn Goldberg, President

Art Merchandising & Celebrity Specialists Licensing, Branding, Global Exhibitions 352 Montauk Highway, Watermill, NY 11976 USA Tel: (001) 631 353-3107 Mobile: (001) 917 273-8710 Skype: marilyn.goldberg77 e-mail: mmimarilyn@aol.com www.MuseumMasters.com


WOMEN TO WATCH 2018

Contemporary Artists Explore & Expand On The Qualities Of Metal At National Museum Of Women In The Arts The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018, which highlights contemporary women artists working with a variety of metals and techniques to create artworks such as wallsize installations, exquisite jewelry and reinventions of familiar objects. On view June 28–Sept. 16, 2018, the exhibition features 20 artists and more than 50 works of art made from silver, copper, b r o n z e , p e w t e r, aluminum and more. Inspired by NMWA’s collection of silverwork crafted by British and Irish women in the 18th and 19th centuries, Heavy Metal seeks to further disrupt the predominantly masculine narrative that surrounds metalworking despite women’s consistent presence in the field for centuries. This narrative is rooted, in part, in the gendered discourse surrounding the traditional distinctions between fine art, design, craft and decorative art. While large-scale bronze and steel sculptures made by men are hailed as “fine” art, subtle and more delicate works in metal, towards which women have been historically encouraged, are often dismissed as craft or “decorative” art. “The idea that metalworking is too physically demanding for women to do is pervasive in historical as well as contemporary discourse,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “The contemporary artists selected for the 2018 installment of Women to Watch—and NMWA’s own collection of 18th and 19th-century silver by women—contradict this archaic notion.” Heavy Metal is the fifth installment in NMWA’s dynamic Women to Watch exhibition series, which is presented every two to three years. The series features emerging or underrepresented artists from the states and countries in which the museum has outreach committees. Twenty participating committees worked with curators in their respective regions to create short-lists of artists working with metal. From these lists, NMWA curators selected the artists whose work is on view in Heavy Metal. “Like modern-day alchemists, artists working in metal transform their materials into valuable and unique objects,” said NMWA Associate Curator Virginia Treanor. “Heavy Metal demonstrates that contemporary women artists carry on a vibrant legacy in metalwork.” From the sleek Minimalist aluminum forms of Rana Begum to the rough-hewn quality of Alejandra Prieto’s iron pyrite sculptures, the featured artists delight in the physical properties of their chosen medium. Some artists revel in the manipulation and fabrication of the material, while others source their medium from existing, often discarded objects. Alice Hope arranges used aluminum can tabs and Page 14 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

ball chains to create mesmerizing, large- scale installations. Paula Castillo also uses readily available materials, particularly industrial by-products. She fashions these pieces into sculptures by first modeling the forms using computer software and then welding individual components together. Carolina Sardi and Kelsey Wishik both manipulate steel to create their vastly different forms. The durability of metal attracts artists who seek to encapsulate memory, either collective or personal. Leila Khoury creates industrial-looking works that serve as indelible monuments to places threatened or destroyed by war in Syria. The wearable art of Kerianne Quick is likewise inspired by the effects of war, particularly the objects carried by those who are forced to flee. From the macrocosm of the universe to the microcosm of the molecular makeup of metal, the natural world provides fertile ground for inspiration. Blanca Muñoz explores phenomena of space and light through undulating forms, while Serena Porrati experiments with the properties of different metals and ponders the endless cycle of mining, Blanca Muñoz, Bujía, 2013, smelting, use and reStainless steel, 10 1/2 x 23 use of the material. 1/2 x 21 1/2 in.; Courtesy of Charlotte Charbonnel Marlborough Gallery Madrid; Photo © Arturo Muñoz finds beauty in the visualization of magnetic fields using ferrite filings, and Beverly Penn memorializes the transience of nature with botanically inspired forms. Jewelers represented in Heavy Metal push the boundaries of the category with works ranging from darkly fanciful pieces by Lola Brooks to the oceanic forms of Cheryl Eve Acosta. Petronella Eriksson also finds inspiration in nature, particularly the forests of her native Sweden. Susie Ganch uses her training as a jeweler to create large sculptures that retain the delicacy of ornamentation. Some artists play with the masculine associations of metalwork to engage with ideas about traditional feminine roles. Holly Laws takes discarded wooden ironing boards and tops them with copper and bronze elements that transform these instruments of drudgery into something altogether more threatening and sinister. Venetia Dale works in pewter to evoke the colonial market for that material, particularly in the Boston area, and to examine the gendered market for household goods. Katherine Vetne also explores this market by using objects such as the crystal pitchers common to wedding registries, which she melts down and coats with silver nitrate. Through her wearable sculptures, Carolina Rieckhof Brommer considers the paradox of home as both haven and prison for women. Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018 is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts and generously sponsored


by the participating committees in Arkansas, Northern California, Southern California, Chile, Florida, France, Georgia, Italy, the Greater Kansas City Area, Massachusetts, the Mid-Atlantic Region, Mississippi, New Mexico, the Greater New York Area, Ohio, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Texas, and the United Kingdom. Additional support is provided by the Clara M. Lovett Emerging Artists Fund, the Sue J. Henry and Carter G. Phillips Exhibition Fund, the NMWA Advisory Board, San Francisco Advocacy for NMWA, and Nellie Partow. Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018 Nominating Committees, Selected Artists and Curators: Arkansas: Artist Holly Laws; Curator Matthe w S mith, Arkansas Ar t Center ; California (Northern): Artist Katherine Vetne; Curator Jenny Gheith, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; California (Southern): Artist Kerianne Quick; Curator Bobbye Tigerman, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Chile: Artist Alejandra Prieto; Curator Gloria Cortés Aliaga, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes; Florida: Artist Carolina Sardi; Curator Diana Nawi, Pérez Art Museum Miami; France: Artist Charlotte Charbonnel; Curator Alicia Knock, Centre Pompidou; Georgia: Artist Lola Brooks; Curator Sarah Schleuning, Dallas Museum of Art (Formerly of the High Museum of Art); Italy: Artist Serena Porrati; Curator Iolanda Ratti, Museo del Novecento; Greater Kansas City Area: Artist Cheryl Eve Acosta; Curator Barbara O’Brien, Formerly of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; Massachusetts: Artist Venetia Dale; Curator Emily Zilber, editor, Metalsmith (Formerly of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston); Mid-Atlantic Region: Artist Susie Ganch; Curators Stefanie Fedor, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, and Megan RookKoepsel, independent curator; Mississippi: Artist Kelsey Wishik; Curator Pat Pinson, Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center; New Mexico: Artist Paula Castillo; Curator Laura Addison, Museum of International Folk Art; Greater New York Region: Artist Alice Hope; Curator Shannon Stratton, Museum of Arts and Design; Ohio: Artist Leila Khoury; Curators Reto Thüring, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Matt Distel, The Carnegie in Greater Cincinnati; Peru: Artist Carolina Rieckhof Brommer; Curator Sharon Lerner, Museo de Arte de Lima; Spain: Artist Blanca Muñoz; Curator Lucia Ybarra, YGB Art and Factoría Cultural; Sweden: Artist Petronella Eriksson; Curator Inger Wästberg, independent curator; Texas: Artist Beverly Penn; Curator Virginia Treanor, National Museum of Women in the Arts; United Kingdom: Artist Rana Begum; Curator Caroline Douglas, Contemporary Art Society. Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018 will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring works from the exhibition, an introductory essay by NMWA curator Virginia Treanor and statements from each artist. The catalogue will be available in the Museum Shop and online at http://shop.nmwa.org/. Women to Watch is an exhibition series held every two to three years, developed in conjunction with the museum’s national and international outreach committees. NMWA currently has outreach committees with more than 2,000 dedicated members throughout

the United States and around the world. The museum’s committees play a critical role in bringing NMWA’s mission to regional audiences. The committees work with local museum directors and curators, education experts and business leaders to capitalize on their region’s artistic, financial, and educational strengths and resources in order to develop meaningful programming and build a bridge between their communities and the museum. The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhib-itions, programs and online content, the museum seeks tinspire dynamic changes about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement and social change. NMWA addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists w o r k i n g t o d a y. The collections highlight painting, sculpture, photography and video by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Mary Cassatt, Judy Chicago, Frida Kahlo, Shirin Neshat, Faith Ringgold, Pipilotti Rist, Amy Sherald and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun. NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. for information, call 202-783-5000, visit www.nmwa.org, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Alice Hope, Untitled, 2016; Used Budweiser tabs, 6 ft. diameter; Private collection; Photo by Jenny Gorman SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 15


THE FINE ART INTERVIEW – STAN LEE ‘I never expected to be in comic books. I thought I’d write the great American novel.’ After meeting at Marvel’s booth at Artexpo Cal in Anaheim, Jamie Ellin Forbes was invited to interview the head of the House of Ideas, Stan Lee, in his own California home. Mr. Lee is the writer/creator of Marvel Comics’ bestknown and most loved characters such as The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Uncanny X-Men and many, many more. This is reprinted from our Fall 1998 edition. Enjoy! Some of the info, of course, is dated, as this took place just before those multi-hundred million dollar mega-hits started to pour out of the Marvel Studios – but the story of Stan Lee is eternal! JAMIE: You have a new line of fine art prints that might be coming out, with your cartoon images. STAN: We may. They prepared those things in New York. The staff sends me stuff to autograph. Over the past month I have autographed a lot of animation cells, covers of comic books, whatever Marvel sends me. I am like a robot, they send me stuff, I sign it, I send it back. Conceivably some of those things will be sold by Marvel, but I don’t know the details. JAMIE: You still have an affiliation with Marvel? STAN: Oh yeah, I have been there over 50 years; I have been with Marvel longer than I have been married! I guess you could call that an affiliation JAMIE: When did you start? STAN: I started in either late ’39 or ’40. JAMIE: What walked you in the front door there? What motivated you? STAN: It was very funny. I answered an ad for an assistant at a publishing company. I had just graduated high school, and I thought I’d love to be a writer, and I thought ‘Gee that would be a great way to get into publishing.’ And I went up there. I must have been the only one who answered the ad, because they hired me. JAMIE: Oh my goodness. STAN: And I found out that they wanted me to work in the comic book division. It was the last thing that I had expected, but I figured, ‘Well why not?’ I’ll stay here a while, get some experience and then I’ll get out into the real world. I never thought of myself as being in comic books. I stayed there, and it kind of got interesting, and every time I was ready to leave they would give me a raise, so I figured I would stay a little longer. One time I was really about to leave, and they made me an editor. And I thought, ‘Well, that will be fun Page 16 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Fine Art Magazine publisherJamie Ellin Forbes & Stan Lee at Artexpo, California

being an editor’ Then I enlisted in the army, that was World War II, and when I came back I had the job waiting for me. It’s funny, every few years I would say to my wife, ‘Well, honey, I really ought to quit now because I am 26 years old. This is no job for an adult, comic books.’ Then when I was 30, ‘Honey, I’m 30 years old, it’s embarrassing. People say what do you do? And I say comic books.’ Because you must understand, comic books did not have the panache that they have today. People really looked down their noses at comic books. I would go to a cocktail party with Joan and somebody would come up to us and say, ‘What do you do, Stan?’ I dreaded what was coming next. I would say ‘I’m a writer,’ and start to walk away. But they would follow me, ‘What do you write?’ So I still tried to get away with it. I would say ‘Magazine stories.’ They would follow me, ‘What magazines?’ By now I was getting very nervous, I would say ‘Stories for children.’ ‘Really? What stories?’ And at some point I had to say comic books. They would do a hundred and eighty degree turn, and they were gone. It is different now of course. I go to a party and people see me and say ‘Excuse me, Bill Clinton, I’ll get to you later, I think that’s Stan Lee over there.’ Of course I may be exaggerating a bit. JAMIE: No, you are a hero, a legend in your own time. STAN: But I never expected to be in comic books. I thought I’d write the great American novel. That’s why I changed my name, which used to be Stanley Martin Lieber. When I got into the comic book thing I thought ‘I’m

not going to use my real name for these lowly comics,’ so I took my first name Stanley, and cut it in half. What happened was, after a few years went by, more people knew me as Stan Lee than as Stanley Lieber. Joan and I had many embarrassing experiences. We’d go to a department store, buy something and we’d say ‘charge it please,’ and they would say ‘to whom?’ and I would say ‘Stanley Lieber, sorry, oh no, no, that’s right Joanie, we have the name Stan Lee here, no no, the name is Stan Lee.’ They Lee Stanley, DeWitt would look at us like, Clinton HS, The Bronx ‘Don’t you even know your own name?’ After a while it got so complicated, I never could remember which name I was using at which place, that finally I legally changed my name to Stan Lee, which is really a silly name. People say to me what’s your name. And I say ‘Stan Lee’, and they say, ‘Stanley what?’ ‘That’s it, Stan-space-Lee.’ As a gag I thought of changing my last name to What, so when they say, ‘Stanley What?’ I can say ‘Right! How did you guess?’ JAMIE: You have a very lovely home here, and there is a tremendous amount of fine art. Did any of this art or art background influence your characters? Or your development of your characters at all? STAN: It is hard to answer that, because so many times I have been asked ‘what were your influences?,’ and I can’t think of any specific influence. I really think, and I’m sure


you will probably agree, we are influenced by everything we see and hear in our whole lifetime. I’m sure that the artwork that my wife has collected over the years, which I have lived with, has had some influence, but all the books I’ve read have had influence, all the movies I’ve seen, all the people I’ve known, all the conversations I have listened to. When I sit down to write something, I never say, ‘Well, I think I’ll make it like that, or I remember that.’ My head gets empty, and I just start fashioning things. JAMIE: It’s your flow. It is your subconscious. It is your projection. These icons are from you. STAN: I think the only trick, if you’d call it that, and it’s not a trick, in trying to write anything at all, whether its a comic book story, or an idea for a movie, or a television show, or an animated show, the first thing I think of is ‘What if? What if our hero suddenly got amnesia? What if our hero suddenly was hit by a car? What if our hero found that somebody was following him, and he didn’t know why?’ If I start with that ‘What if?,’ then I keep following it and see where it will lead. By the time I am finished, I have a rough idea for a story. JAMIE: It opens the door to your own imagination. STAN: Exactly. JAMIE: You get to follow it down a path. STAN: And I never know where it will go. In fact, in many of the stories I have written, I would start with a concept, and then I would start writing. People would say to me, ‘How can you do it if you don’t have the whole outline, if you don’t know how it is going to end?’ I wondered myself, and then I realized, I think it’s because if I don’t know what is going to happen next, then I am in the same situation as a potential reader. I try to think of it as, ‘If I’m reading this story, what would I enjoy happening next?’ I try to write that, and it keeps me interested, because, it may sound ridiculous, but it’s while I’m writing it, I’m getting caught up in it and wondering what’s going to happen next, the same way as I hope a reader would be, so that it maintains my interest. Whereas, if I knew what the whole story was going to be, I wouldn’t enjoy writing it as much. Because I would almost feel as if I had done it already. I would be repeating myself. JAMIE: It wouldn’t have that spontaneity. That energy and flow. STAN: So I never know the details of anything when I write it, I just like to start with the ‘What If?,’ and let it take me from there. JAMIE: That’s what Aristotle said, view the communicator as being the mirror image to the reading public. STAN: Exactly, If you think of yourself as the reader while you are writing it helps to you write things that would interest the reader, because I am no different than anyone

Mr. & Mrs Stan Lee; Albert Ortega photo

else. People have said to me, ‘How do you know what people are going to want to read?’ I don’t know what people would want to read, but I know what I would like to read. I have to feel that I am not that unique, so if there is something I would like to read, there must be millions of people who are just like I am. All I try to do is interest myself. Even now when I do television, I’m always asked ‘What is the demographic of your audience? Are you writing from 30-40 or 21-28 year olds?’ And I say I don’t know; I’m just writing for myself. Even with comics today, and years ago, people would write stories, and they would think to themselves, ‘these are for kids 6-10, these are for teenagers, and these are for college students.’ I never did that. To me, the best formula is: write something that is clear enough and colorful enough that a youngster can understand it, and enjoy it because there is a lot of excitement and flavor. Also let the thing you are writing be intelligent enough and have enough realism and good dialog that an older reader would enjoy it. So basically, I have always tried to write things for people of all ages. Which maybe isn’t so smart; maybe you are better off trying to pinpoint it. JAMIE: No, I think its brilliant. I think there is a simplicity to what you are saying that is ingenious. In the approach, I think the what if?, did you employ the what if in life when you were faced with different scenarios, were you able to employ that in your everyday life? STAN: That’s interesting, I never thought

of it that way. I haven’t had too many crises in my life where I had to say ‘What should I do?’ or I had to make a big decision somehow. Everything seemed to flow easily. The bad things as well as the good things. I don’t recall ever being at a point...the only time was when I was working at the comic book company, every few years I had to decide if I wanted to quit or not, and I always elected to stay. Beyond that, I knew I wanted to marry my wife, I knew we wanted to have a kid, I knew I wanted to move to Los Angeles. Nothing that I did that was a major decision was ever an agonizing decision. I always knew what I wanted to do, and luckily Joanie always wanted the same thing. When we moved to LA, I wanted to move here more than she did, maybe she didn’t even want to move here, maybe she would have preferred to stay in New York. But it wasn’t a big problem, it was ‘Okay, I guess it will be fun. ‘ JAMIE: She had you. STAN: Yeah, I think today if I said ‘Honey, we are moving back to New York,’ she’d probably like the idea. She loves Los Angeles, but I think I like it more than she does, and I think she still misses New York a little bit. But as I say, none of these things have had any urgency, or been serious problems. JAMIE: That’s really great; it’s a wonderful combination of energies, a big imagination, and a knowing of what you want to do. STAN: We’ve always been able, even if things happen that we are not happy about, to make the best of it. SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 17


JAMIE: When my son was four he’d run around the house as Spider-Man. I remember this very distinctly. He had a suit, sometimes he’d wear it, the cape was always on, sometimes there was nothing on underneath the cape. This was his hero. We really lived this. He still has all the comics. How do you feel about your alter ego, your projections or your creativity being the icon for an entire not just one generation, it’s many generations it’s an American cultural phenomenon. STAN: Honestly, I never think about it. I never, ever think. I’ve been asked this a few times before, and I don’t know how to answer it. I never sit and say ‘Wow I created Spider-Man, and people know it all over the world, blah, blah, blah.’ I very rarely think of anything that happened yesterday. Maybe if I were retired it would be on my mind a lot. Maybe when you retire you think back on everything you have done. But, and I never thought this would happen, when I was younger I used to say, ‘When I am older, and I have more spare time there are so many books I want to read, and I want to play with my camera and I want to play with my computer, and I want to have so much fun doing this and that. ‘ Today I am busier that I have ever been in my life. I am working on more things. I have no spare time, and I don’t have time to think of the past or what I have done, because I am always thinking of how am I going to sell this new idea for a television show, or wouldn’t this be a great idea for a movie: who can I talk to about it, or here is some suggestion I want to make to the guys in the comic book section of our company to improve the comics, or I’ve got a strip to write, it’s getting late, I’d better do it, or they are waiting for that treatment for the movie that I promised that I would have. I am so busy, I almost have to be reminded of Spider-Man, or those things in the past, because its not on my mind at all. JAMIE: What are some of the projects you are working on now? STAN: We’re working on a number of new animated shows. Fox broadcasting is going to introduce The Silver Surfer at the end of this month or the beginning of next year. Then we have Fury, Agent of Shield, a live action show, which was just filmed in Vancouver, that stars David Hasselhoff. That will probably be shown during sweeps week early next year. And I’m trying to come up with a number of other projects for Marvel for television. I am the co-executive producer for all our movie projects, so I am reading scripts and talking to the directors and writers, making suggestions about the stories. I am writing a movie now which is my own personal movie for 20th Century Fox, which is almost finished and I am quite excited about that. JAMIE: Do you use these mediums in the Page 18 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

same way you use comics, and do you think in the same way, in what would be interesting for the reader and viewer? STAN: Sure, whatever you are doing. I tell you, it goes for everything in life. If I have to make a speech, when I am up there talking to the audience, I am saying to myself, ‘What would I want to hear? ‘ In fact I lectured once at a symposium in Salt Lake City for teachers and professors and how they could teach better. I was invited to speak because they felt I had a good way of relating to children and young people. The thing I said was that I think that all teachers had to take a course in being stand up comics or entertainers, because one of the problems is, so many teachers, or any lecturers, know their subject very well, but they just drone on and on and they are completely oblivious to whether or not they are boring their audience. I have seen people give speeches where people in the audience are yawning, they are shifting and stretching, looking at their watch, and the speaker doesn’t change his rhythm or his cadence at all, he just goes on. You have got to be sensitive to your audience every minute, the minute you see them get a little fidgety, you say, ‘I have got to throw in something to grab them, I’ve got to say something funny,’ You don’t just speak by rote, regardless of how the audience is reacting. The same for writing, or the same for anything. You have always got to think of who this product is intended for, and what will keep that audience interested. JAMIE: You must have a very large audience now of just readers or followers or people who are interested in what your next projection or storyline, whether it be in the movies or be through the comics, or how this is going to unfold. What are your hopes for Spider-Man or his movie? STAN: I desperately hope that Jim Cameron will direct it and write it. He has already written a wonderful treatment which I have read, and I think it’s one of the best things I have ever seen. Jim has become a good friend, and I think he is the finest writer/director in Hollywood, in the world probably today. Unfortunately the Spider-Man project is mired in a number of legal difficulties, which have nothing to do with me. Until all of that is straightened out, we cannot move forward. I am hoping that in the next few months it will be straightened out, and I’m hoping that Jim will still be available. I know when I first met him he told me he was a big Spider-Man fan, ever since he was 14 years old, and it’s a movie he desperately wants to do. If it all works out well, and he does the movie, it will have to be one of the biggest hits of our generation. JAMIE: Definitely. I think your hero has touched the lives of so many people. Did you articulate this hero to specifically reflect

certain qualities that you wanted to get across to kids and people at the time? He’s a good guy, but all heroes are good guys. STAN: I had one specific purpose with Spider-Man, I wanted to make him totally different than other heroes, I think the reason why so many readers liked him was that he was the first one who wasn’t perfect. He had all kinds of problems. To start out with, he was a teenager. When I proposed the idea for Spider-Man to my then publisher, the publisher said, ‘Stan, you can’t have a hero who is a teenager, a teenager can only be a sidekick.’ I had to convince him of that. Then he even said ‘You can’t have a hero called Spider-Man, people hate spiders. ‘ The big thing was when I told him that I wanted Spider-Man to have a lot of problems. I said, ‘Why can’t we have a superhero who is not rich, he worries about money, he lives with his aunt, who is an elderly woman who is not too well, so he worries about doctor bills and making a living.’ And the girls are not crazy about him, its not like ‘There is that superhero, I wish I knew who he was so he’d marry me.’ People don’t even like him; maybe they are afraid of him, maybe they think he’s really a criminal because he wears a mask. I liked to do it differently, and basically in one sentence: I liked to think of him as the superhero who could be you. Any kid reading it could think, ‘Gee, that could be me. He’s just an ordinary guy who happens to have gotten his superpowers.’ There was another good thing about Spider-Man that was unintentional. Steve Ditko, who was the artist, and he helped me a lot with the script, when he drew the costume for Spider-Man, he drew a costume that covered him completely from head to foot, unlike Superman, where his face shows, or Batman, where part of his face shows. I didn’t think anything of it, I liked the costume and we used it. I realized years later, because he is completely covered, any reader of any race could imagine he is Spider-Man under that costume. A Black kid, an Asian youngster, an Indian, no matter what your color, you could be Spider-Man, because in the drawing you don’t see white skin sticking out. That was an accident, but I think a very fortuitous one, and I am delighted that that is the case. Basically, with Spider-Man all I wanted to do was be as realistic as possible, to come up with a character who could have been any young 17-year old who happened to be bitten by a radioactive spider, and it didn’t mean that life would be all peaches and cream for him. He still had to worry about acne, ingrown toenails, allergy attacks, dandruff, getting a date with girls, paying his bills, passing his exams, and there hadn’t been a superhero like that before. So I think that was the reason for his appeal.


Marvel characters ™ & © Marvel Caharacters, used by permission

JAMIE: On the film you are working on currently, is there a heroic concept to the film that you are writing? STAN: Yes, but it’s not quite as unique. The hero is just a regular hero who could be Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark, who’s just a good guy who has a lot of problems. JAMIE: What do you think goes into making a hero? What are the qualities? STAN: The first thing you need in any main character that you want the reader to be interested in, there has to be a quality the reader admires, that the reader likes. The reader, or in a movie the audience, the viewer, they have to be interested in the character, they have to care about him. Very often a movie will fail, even though it has a good story, and it is well directed and well written and well acted, if you simply don’t care about the character, because there is nothing interesting; there is just a guy. Years ago they referred to movies as grade B movies, the low budget movies, so there’d be a horror movie, a grade B movie. A quickie that was put out, people saw it, and they would forget about it a little bit later. Then you’d have a grade A movie like The Terminator, that people really loved because the character, The Terminator and the hero, they were real people. You were caught up in it, you cared about them. I often thought the difference between an A movie and a B movie, is that in the B movie the characters are just routine symbols. Their dialog is all the same, it’s ‘Oh! I’m in trouble, I’d better get out of here! ‘ JAMIE: Rote. STAN: ‘There goes the crook. We’d better catch him.’ It’s nothing. Where as in an A movie, they concentrate on characterization. People talk a certain way. They act a certain way. They have a certain personality. Which is why for most of the A movies, they hire big stars the public cares about. Someone like Clint Eastwood; you are always going to care about him in a movie, no matter what kind of role he plays, because he is just a charismatic actor. Sometimes it requires a good script to make an actor seem good. An actor who doesn’t have Eastwood’s personality could still seem good if he has got the right script. But if you get an actor who is just sort of a bland personality and you give him a script that doesn’t have anything unique or colorful for him to say or do, then you just got an ordinary movie. JAMIE: Well, when you speak your audience comes alive for me. They are here. You are doing this all the time. You are addressing your audience. You seem genuinely interacting and caring for your audience in a way I have never seen anybody else have this energy for others in this way. Do you feel that some of the dialog and some of the definition of character has to be reflected in your heroes for the audience? Are you always bringing them

Steve Kaufman’s Spider Man (light blue) from his Spider Man series, hand-painted limited edition on canvas 32’ x 32. Published by Chalk + Vermilion. Kaufman (1960 - 2010) was a true great American pop artist, former assistant to Andy Warhol and big fan of comic book superheroes

in? It seems as though its a group activity: you’ve got your heroes, yourself and your audience. STAN: That’s interesting. You have got to be thinking of all of them. And you have got to be a part of it. Now I know when I used to write these comics, Joan would come in my room very often and say, ‘Who are you talking to?’ And I would realize I was talking to myself. I used say the dialog out loud, because to me dialog is the most important thing. If the character’s dialog doesn’t seem natural or real, then you don’t believe in the character. If you don’t believe in the character, you don’t believe in the story. If I were writing Dr. Doom, who is one of our villains, I would say ‘You think you can convince me of that you fool!’ [laughter] I’d find myself talking like that, and I would find myself talking like the hero, and I’d even say the heroine’s lines. If they didn’t sound right to me, to my ear, I would change them. I think that’s why I like to be an actor, because I love saying the lines out loud. In fact one of the projects I just did for a company called Applewood Books, they are doing a CD of the first Spider-Man book, and they have me reading it, reading all of the dialog, acting it out on the CD. I can’t wait to get a copy of it to see how it sounds. JAMIE: That should be great! That will be

fabulous for kids. STAN: Yeah, The first issue of Spider-Man, is on this CD, and I’m reading all the dialog. I haven’t seen it, I’m not sure exactly how it will be, but it’s interesting. But you are right, it’s a case of the writer, the audience, and the hero and they all have to dovetail. Well, the writer has to fashion the heroes in such a way that the audience will care for them. You know, I am talking very pontifically, but believe me I don’t have all the answers. I am not the smartest guy in Hollywood. Nor have I done that many movies. JAMIE: There is a real energy or living quality to what you do. I see this in a lot of fine artists. Some artists just paint and the stuff is flat and it lays there. Then some people, their creativity instills life into what they are creating, and that is a great gift. STAN: Well, we all try. I like to think I succeeded. JAMIE: You have a great enthusiasm. STAN: Yeah, I do. I’d say probably enthusiasm is one of my top qualities because I love what I do, and I love communicating with people, whether it’s talking or writing or whatever. JAMIE: Now what are some of the future projects you would like to develop? STAN: I don’t know. I sort of take things as they come. There are always things coming. SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 19


Mainly movies, television, animation. I’d like someday for us to be doing a lot of big movies, television shows. I’d even like to do a Broadway show. I wish I were 25 years younger; there is so much I would like to do. I like to do everything. I have just as much fun playing with my computer. If only they had computers when I was in my 20’s or 30’s! To me the computer is one of the great things in the world. It has made writing so much easier. You can write something in the computer, look at it, and if you don’t like it, with a few keystrokes it’s gone, and then you can rewrite. Whereas years ago using the typewriter you had to cut things out and paste them down and use white paint and try to type over the white paint. It took forever. Now in one minute you can revise, you can edit. I think with a computer no writer has any excuse for not writing something that is a masterpiece, because its so easy to polish it, to do it over and change it. And I love photography. I have so many hobbies, that I don’t have time for. As I keep saying, ‘When I’m a little older and I start slowing down... ‘ JAMIE: Something tells me you are not going to slow down. I don’t think that’s in your future. If you were to go into television, you have the pilot for Nick Fury with David Hasselhoff coming on, that’s live action. Do you have any other animated projects, aside from the ones you are doing that you would like to get to? STAN: I would like to do a feature film in animation, like the Lion King. And sooner or later we will. I have a few ideas for them. Its just a matter of finding the time, and equally important, finding the right people. As you know, you can have the greatest project in the world, and if you don’t have the right people working on it, it’s not going to work out. The most important thing, whether it’s comic books or movies or television or opera or anything, is to have the right person doing the right thing. You need the right director, you need the right storyboard man, you need the right producer, actors, and boy, it is such a beautiful thing when it all falls into place. JAMIE: The synergy. I had said earlier you work well with groups. STAN: I have to. I love people. I am a great respecter of talent. I don’t care what kind of talent it is. I have as much respect for a great shoemaker or a great tailor or a great carpenter. To me, it’s all talent. Just so long as a person does what he does well, to me that is impressive. JAMIE: People who care and put the energy in. STAN: I have been lucky all my life, because I have always worked with people that I have liked and that I have admired. In comics I worked with artists who were wonderful, just wonderful. And now that I am out here, I have made friends with some of the best directors in the world. To sum it up: it’s not as though I am working, it’s as though I am playing in the greatest playpen in the world. JAMIE: Where did you grow up? STAN: New York, Manhattan. I am one of Page 20 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

the few native New Yorkers extant. I lived there all my life until 17 years ago, when I moved out here. We lived in New York and we had a place in Long Island for awhile, but it was always Manhattan. Our offices were in Manhattan. There is no more typical New Yorker in the world than me. The funny thing is, I love to fly. Because I find it so relaxing. First of all I get pampered on the plane. Through the generosity of our company I can fly first class. I just go there, and for five hours or so nobody is going to phone. Everybody is concerned. Do I have enough to drink? Do I have enough to eat? It’s nice, it’s just such a change. I like it. And I keep telling myself, of all the people that lived since the world began, it’s only been in this past century that people could fly. Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Michelangelo — they never saw the world from high up the way we do. What a thing to be up in the air, travelling in our generation. Everything astonishes me. I’m not mechanically inclined. A portable radio that you can carry in a little box this big, and turn it on, and hear something that somebody is saying in Europe, I still don’t understand. I’ll never, as long as I live, understand. I don’t understand television. A fax machine is just as incredible, you write something, you push a few buttons, and they have got it on another machine. So the whole world to me is really amazing. JAMIE: The fax is my only really good office companion. It is the one thing I know how to effectively use. STAN: Even things like carpentry. This room was not here when we moved into the house. We got very friendly with a guy who was a construction man. I said I wanted a room up here, and he built this room. To this day I don’t understand how one man can build a room. Just like there are men who can build houses. I mean he knew how to put that fireplace in. If my life depended on it, if I had all the tools, I wouldn’t know how to put a fireplace in. JAMIE: Yeah, but he can’t do your thing. STAN: Maybe not, but everything impresses me. A pianist, I can understand, because I have learned how to tap out a tune with one finger, if I stay long enough with it. But, how a guy can be playing the melody here, and the chords here: do you have two brains? How can you be thinking of this while you are doing this? Or a guy playing guitar. The world is filled with miracles. JAMIE: When you are going to do a storyline, do you create an environment in the room? STAN: I could do a storyline sitting in a closet, when I start writing I don’t know where I am, it’s just me and the computer. I used to work in a room that had a great view. Since then we planted some bushes. People used to say to me, ‘Gee, it must be great, Stan, writing with a great view in front of you,’ but I don’t even know about the view, I am just writing. JAMIE: You are just doing it, you’re part of the action.

STAN: I think when you write, you are living in the world that you are writing about, you are not living in this world anymore. When you are writing about someone in Africa, at that moment you are in Africa. You are trying to visualize Africa, you are thinking, What does the city look like? What do the people look like?’ You can’t be looking out your window. JAMIE: You are immersed. STAN: Yes. A lot of my friends who are good writers, much better than I am, they sit and they have the radio on, the television on. I can’t even have music on because if I know the tune, I will be humming the tune and that is distracting. That is the one thing I hate about writing. I am a gregarious person, I like to talk to people, to Joan. But, when I write I have to lock myself in that room. It’s lonely. Which I think is the reason that I am a very fast writer, not that its any great talent. I write fast so that I can finish it. I really don’t like to write. I like having written, and I love reading it and saying, ‘Boy I think that’s good.’ But, the actual process of writing, I find, is the most boring, uninteresting, unsatisfying thing. I would rather be out taking a walk. I’d rather be talking to someone. I would rather be watching a movie. I’d rather be doing anything than sitting still for hours at a time doing that. This is what you are doing. Sure your mind is active, but you’re still sitting doing nothing. JAMIE: Typing keys. STAN: And I hate that. JAMIE: That’s interesting, that is very interesting. STAN: Nothing is perfect. JAMIE: No, nothing is perfect. That’s why it is Earth, that’s why we are on planet Earth, otherwise it wouldn’t be Earth. STAN: You know, it just occurred to me that you’ve taken down everything I have said, your biggest job will be how do you cut it down, because I have probably chewed your ear off. JAMIE: Oh no, it is lovely. It is excellent.

Stan Lee and Jamie Ellin Forbes, at his home in California; photo by Albert Ortega


Helen Kagan, Garsot collaborate to create ArtSynergism

GARSOT • KAGAN

Forever Inspired By The Muses By Victor Forbes “An artist creates out of nothing but himself,” wrote America’s great story teller Mario Puzo in his 1978 follow-up to The Godfather novel, Fools Die. The Spirit of Creativity reaches to the highest mountain top, to the lowest valley and every place in-between and we note this with a sense of awe as we visit these works of joy and power by two artists who, in tandem, dispel Puzo’s not entirely inaccurate theory. They create together (building from nothing to everything) joyfully knowing that every moment is a gift and the results of their process is a party, a celebration of life. This is what the work by these two artists — Sotirios Garsot & Helen Kagan — does. It gives viewers inspiration to continue on journeys in music, art, poetry, science so that these paintings of Muses become muses in themselves. In the midst of all the action, energy and excitement there is also a calm amidst the storm. Energy, seemingly running rampant, becomes an orderly co-

herent statement of beauty and power in the tempest. What makes you really happy? they seem to be asking and in these paintings, we may find answers. Could it be a swirling whorl of nebulae? A beautiful woman or two? or a swatch of nature’s beauty in the form of simple fall foliage, as in leaves falling off a tree. Martin and Lewis. Lennon and McCartney. Mantle and Maris. Rodgers and Hammerstein. Dolce and Cabana. Komar and Melamid. These are but a few of the famous duos who have impacted the culture of recent generations. Now we have Garsot and Kagan developing ArtSynergism. They have spent the better part of the past couple of years working together on a series of paintings that bring to life the beautiful daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, a collection of nine goddesses who preside over the arts and sciences — in a vibrant group of paintings. Muses and Music consists of 10 large square works (48” x 48”), one for each

Muse with the 10th depicting the Mother of all Muses (Mnemosyne). A spectacular, double-sided screen called Muses Forever completes the series. This 8' x 10' masterpiece is certainly a show-stopper and the epitome of the work of two highly creative individuals pooling their unique talents and vision to create something that is geared to inspire the viewer on multiple levels. Thee works certainly pay respect to the creative process and the wonderful sources of inspiration known to all as Muses. Inspired by an indefatigable spiritual longing to paint a powerful tribute to the guides who inspire the mysterious process in writers, artists, musicians, et al, Garsot & Kagan have forsaken the ego of individualism and poured their talents and visions into a singular cauldron of creativity for which they have devised a new “ism” to add to the lexicon of art world vocabulary: ArtSynergism. SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 21


Urania

“It is important to me that art be respected as it has much to teach us. We see ourselves as ambassadors of art for the next generation and all the generations to come. We are following in the footsteps of artists from pre-historic days right through the greats of art history and as we learned from the past, generations to follow will understand through our art what happened today.” — GARSOT This combination of the two is greater than the individual parts in this particular series as each artist, in yielding to a process of cooperation and inspiration, in sum adds up to far exceed the individuality in this particular body of work. That is not to say that the singular work of Garsot and Kagan does not hold to the highest standards of artistic expression, but that in this joint effort, one plus one equals three. Coming from a family of scientists, Ms. Kagan, PhD., has always been fascinated with the left and right brain relationship. This led her to study many things — mathematics, science, psychology, healing frequencies of color, positively charged intention, embedded spiritual messages and energetically balanced composition. A holistic therapist, artist and musician, Helen has been developing her unique style of “Healing Arts” to reflect her own spiritual take on life. “It is my desire,” she states, “to bridge realities and heal the past to enhance healing.” Garsot first came to our attention at Page 22 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Mnemosyne

the New York City version of Spectrum, at the Jacob Javits Center’s new addition, a beautiful space more reminiscent of the Art Miami tent than a drab convention hall. Garsot’s work shone like a disco ball, sending light out in every direction. His avuncular attitude is kind and friendly and full of enthusiasm, perhaps his most endearing trait. Concentric circular renditions of sundrenched cosmic groupings grabbed my attention with their patterns evolving into a dynamic spray of the infinite. A youtube interview with Fine Art magazine publisher Jamie Ellin Forbes reveals much more. Honoring nine muses and their mother, Garsot and Kagan are up to the task. Their unique and individual backgrounds make close examination of the art all the more interesting. Seeking out and finding references and codes make understanding the process of creativity more and better, if such a thing is at all possible. Kagan’s “Healing Arts” and Garsot’s “fine art of music” (he plays synthesizer and composes) is well-recognized and much in-demand. “I am forever inspired by the muses,” he notes, and his kind-hearted prowess perfectly shares the stage with Kagan’s longing to heal. “My Healing Arts is a statement of my all beliefs,” she says.

The two truly reveal poet/philosopher Eli Siegel’s statement that “Beauty is the making one of opposites” and out of the chaos of content, an orderliness of composition, manners and peace ensues. Boldly calling out for attention, they softly bring you in to their core message. ArtSynergism magic is bright, light, complex, spiritual, enigmatic yet simple … energetically balanced and embedded with healing messages and ancient themes. It all adds up to truly dynamic works of art full of light, love, beauty and healing. In the Muses Forever panels — the pearl in the necklace — the two combine their forces, motifs, symbols and ideals to immerse us into an embracing warmth, sparkling brilliance, powerful soulful experience and the healing vibrations they so ardently aspire to portray. Says Garsot, “I think the more people will enjoy or even use our approach in the future, the more truly beautiful artworks will be co-created. More artists will bring positive and healing art and more people will better their relationships in general. My motto is ‘Stay optimistic.’” The works of this team prove that art inspires us to greater heights and depths in our own processes. The powerful, colorful


Muses Forever, from 8' x 10' two-sided, three-panel screen.

and action-oriented paintings spur a mindbody-spirit connection to all with the heart to give it a go. The ArtSynergists have displayed their tribute to the Muses at art fairs in New York and Miami and are currently in the process of securing future exhibitions in the US and abroad. So what does the immediate future hold for these two? One thing of which we can be certain, wherever the venue, The Muses not only captures the spotlight, but happily sheds it abroad for all who seek to improve life within and without.

“We hope our viewers will find themselves gently guided into a relaxing and embracing warmth. Our intent is that the healing vibrations of Muses and Music be a powerful soulful experience that resonates clearly to all. Collaborating with Garsot is very special — it feels as if we were meant to create art together. Our synergistic process is smooth, beautiful and healing.” — HELEN KAGAN

Melpomene SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 23


G A R S O T BY VICTOR FORBES

“Nothing compares with the arts,” is a motto that Sotirios Garsot has employed his entire life. Even as a child in his beloved homeland — Greece — the artist known simply as Garsot has plied his trade to an appreciative audience. His work is captivating and enchanting on many levels. Initially, one may be captured by the strong colors and intricate designs, reminiscent of the infinite complexities of what we know as the Greek key — a pattern of interlocking right-angled spirals developed by the ancient Greeks to decorate their temples and pottery. This continuous line, shaped into a repeated motif by the master, draws us into a universe of harmonic interaction that is both challenging, inspiring and peaceful. These kaleidoscopic elements turn up in Garsot’s body of work, which encompasses a myriad of subject matter. Primarily concerned with the protection of our environment, especially the ocean and its inhabitants, Garsot also employs elements of Cubism, for which some pundits have labeled him “the Greek Picasso.” Adds the artist/writer Jean Philippe Audra, “He paints with energetic, happy and joyful Page 24 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

movements that have a wonderful effect on collectors worldwide. In his prolific and wellrecognized career, Garsot has been acclaimed and admired everywhere.” Garsot explains his artwork is a source of positive feelings in which he has captured the beauty and pleasantness of his subjects. “My art is a way to transmit some positive messages to people. It is not political. Mostly, it is about how important a clean, healthy environment and state of mind is to our world and the human race.”

A composer and accomplished musician, musical themes also emanate from his work as does the beauty of the female form. Continues Audra, “His paintings are mostly expressions of realistic images in surrealism containing elements of both. Together, they create a unique expression that inspires optimistic feelings. According to this award winning artist, he wants anyone who enjoys his art to say, ‘Yes. Today is a wonderful day.’” Interact with him on FB and www.garsot.net


Big Bang Series, My Happy Universes, Acrylic on canvas, 36” x 48”

Helen Kagan

HELEN KAGAN BELIEVES ART HEALS Powerful works are a testament of her theories in action A holistic therapist and artist, Helen Kagan PhD. brings together Fine Art, the Expressive Arts and the Art of Healing by integrating certain frequencies of color, positively charged intention, embedded spiritual messages and energetically balanced composition. “My Healing Art is a vehicle for emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being,” she states, “and can enhance healing to those in need.” Her passionate works emanate vibrations of bright colors, heavy textures, charisma and high energy; viewers can feel a sense of peace and power from them. Kagan’s paintings are internationally recognized with a growing base of collectors enjoying the multiple benefits of living with an original. She has achieved worldwide acclaim via exhibiting at Artexpo New York, Art San Diego, Miami Spectrum and Art Hamptons as well as being featured in numerous media in print and online. Recently Helen had a TV interview about her “Healing Arts” in Healthcare; and solo shows in galleries as well as in a beautiful spiritual space, All Souls Interfaith Gathering, Shelburne, VT. For Helen Kagan’s full portfolio and gallery, please visit www.helenkagan.com.

In Search Of Meaning, Acrylic canvas, 48”x 36” Collection EnergyART

Summer in Vermont, Acrylic canvas, 48” x 36” Collection ColorScapes SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 25


Concept Art, Queen Amidala Senate Gown. Star Wars™: The Phantom Menace. © & ™ 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

Concept Art, Chewbacca. Star Wars™: A New Hope. © & ™ 2018; Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization

Power of Costume at DIA

The Force is with Detroit as evinced in an exhibition of original costumes and the artistry behind their creation. BB-8, Yoda and an Ewok, along with more than 60 original costumes from the first seven movies in the Star Wars saga are some of the highlights of the exhibition Star Wars and the Power of Costume at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). In addition, more than 150 pieces and sketches document the creative process, encompassing the essence of George Lucas’ vision and the exciting challenge of translating his iconic characters into a dynamic reality. Page 26 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

“This exhibition allows visitors to explore the creative processes behind the art of costume design, while discovering the unexpected ways in which these works relate to art from the DIA’s collection,” said Salvador-Salort-Pons, DIA director. It also connects directly with the Museum’s Detroit Film Theatre program, which has shared the art of film with hundreds of thousands of visitors over its 42-year history. The exhibition provides an up-close look at costumes of some of the most beloved and infamous characters in cinema history, among them Queen Amidala, Darth Vader,

Princess Leia, Stormtroopers, Chewbacca, Han Solo, X-wing Pilots and Droids, including C-3PO and R2-D2. Visitors can watch the designers and actors through several videos and experience the processes of concept artists and costume designers through interactive opportunities. Interpretation of cultural and historic context by Smithsonian scholars is also part of the experience. Star Wars and the Power of Costume was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in partnership with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and in consultation with Lucas film, Ltd. The Denver Art Museum provided additional scholarship and creative modifications to the exhibition at the DIA. Objects in this exhibition are on loan from the Archives of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Star Wars and all related characters, names and indicia are trademarked (™) & copyright (©) 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (SelfPortrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s worldrenowned Detroit Industry murals (193233), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art individually and with each other. Follow the DIA on Facebook YouTube Twitter Instagram. www.dia.org


BERBERYAN

Berberyan in his studio

Emotional Extremism In The Cultural Continuum When Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, he launched his nation on a dramatic new course. His dual program of “perestroika” (“restructuring”) and “glasnost” (“openness”) introduced profound changes and set the stage for the 1991 breakdown of the Soviet Union. By VICTOR FORBES

T

he portrayal of pain more than resonates in the art of Berberyan — it is exalted, made beautiful yet ultimately conquered. “…Over and done,” the song goes, “But the heartache lives on inside.”

As a teenager growing up in Armenia, Berberyan honed his skills at the best art schools with the best art instructors that the U.S.S.R. could provide; and they were superb. Here he is taking a plein air painting class with a student colleague at The Institute of Art and Design in Yerevan, 1976. He graduated with a Masters Degree in 1981.

For many years it had to, but in the stunning collapse of the USSR a legion of gifted artists emerged from behind the Iron Curtain finally liberated from the formless and all-tooreal shackles of life-threatening oppression. These artists with paintings and stories full of power and truth emerged on the New York City art scene in 1985 via the prowess of a Jewish Oleg Tselkov, Persona with Fork emigre, Eduard Nakhamkin, who was hosting us in his very spacious Soho Gallery where we were introduced to Oleg Tselkov, the artist and the man. It was an unforgettable interview, translated by M. Nakhamkin, and available in full online. In short, the artist related his story of how he arrived in New York, via Paris. After years of SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 27


The Intellectual, 48” x 36”

I’m Like A Blank Canvas, 48” x 48”

seeking to get out of Russia, he and his family were approved for a visa with one caveat: his paintings had to stay. He told the KGB he would burn them in Red Square before that would happen. They let him go and he rapidly became one of the big three —the Triumvirate — of the first wave of Russian artists to hit big in the art area. Mikhail Chemiakin and Ernest Neizvestny being the other two. Asking Berberyan if he would mind a comparison to the aforementioned Tselkov, whose faces could be those of the immediate ancestors of his subjects, “No,” he remarked seeming to appreciate the comparison. It’s a good starting point for taking a deeper look at Berberyan’s work in the context of modern art history. He is in the right lineage with the primary difference that Tselkov’s faces are in the grey area between shadow and reality, as menacing as they are fearful. Not quite there, but very there. Berberyan appreciated the comparison and the fact that he is linking the chain of the cultural continuum for a new generation of art collectors is not lost. His faces are literally in your face! The heartache lives on, but not necessarily inside any longer. “They represent,” notes gallerist and Berberyan’s publisher Elliot Blinder, “the extreme of emotions that are familiar to us these days, as we try to navigate through trying times and modern challenges in a world that is often confusing and unfair.” Page 28 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

In his striking portraits of figures real and imagined, Berberyan reveals the development of his own evolution. The colors — so beautiful and strong — reflect, the artists states, “The beautiful colors in my country, Armenia where nature is very alluring.” Berberyan manages to capture this vibrancy with his oils and acrylics almost as if he is creating the art with pigments he distilled himself, from the very soil of his homeland. His connection to the depth and vibrancy of the shades, hues and casts in his portraits comes from the way he feels. “To express emotions, to get contrast and excitement in the painting.” Continues Blinder, “Berberyan is here to remind us of our human shortcomings. Yet, we can all look at these faces and say, ‘That’s not me.’ ” The resultant imagery is certainly unique to this artist. His faces are not simply portraits but landscapes of the soul. That is why they are so deep and diverse. As a colorist and portraitist, getting the colors he wants is just a vehicle in the sociological and dare we say political resultant works of art. “To be truthful, the Communists did not look like this,” says Berberyan. “But, if you could peer inside their souls, “these kinds of feelings would be revealed over and over again.” Berberyan knows this from first-hand experience. His fears and frustrations are quite evident, even dating back to his

Germaphobe, 36” x 36”

childhood. He knows all too well about atrocity and man’s inhumanity to man. His grandmother was a survivor of the genocide of 1915. “She was seven or eight years old when it happened and told me a lot about it. It’s a very emotional, very tough topic. I am preparing to do a large painting on that subject. It’s a very deep thing and I don’t want to rush it,” he declares. “It is a very important painting on an extremely serious theme and subject, very emotional and very deep, as I said, for every Armenian. Even from the relative safety of the USA, the planet sometimes seems like it is coming apart.” As a university student, Berberyan studied a lot of anatomy. He “absolutely loves to paint listening to classical music and B.B. King.” His love of jazz is reflected in his improvisational renditions of human features. Like a Coltrane or Charlie Parker, you have to know all the scales before you can tear them apart and reconstruct them with authority.


Of Two Minds, 36” x 24”

OMG, 48” x 48”

Not The Real Me, 30” x 30”

Like Tselkov, Berberyan is a reflection in dichotomy. Gentle and quiet, both are heroes by necessity. While Tselkov’s canvases take men, women and children who look like cave-dwelling brutes out of the dark to be bathed in light, Berberyan’s characters are showcased with background colors that give more ideas to the point that the face expresses. “More deeper,” he says. “than just something to lighten up the day. There is a certain state of mind, what people feel in a certain moment, a certain time as we all do.” From a repressed place, both artists via real art — reality — tell us human beings carry some wild feelings and emotions inside. “He sees something deeper and more than we can see,” said Nakhamkin of Tselkov. “As in his families. They are wild and cruellooking people, yet all of a sudden, someone is shining light on them.” Berberyan’s hope is that “Everything is going to be OK with mankind, everybody will understand that we have to respect each other and have peace, respect each other’s traditions.”

I Did It Four Times, 24” x 30”

The study of anatomy, a love of painting and a deep emotionalism are the hallmarks of these two indisputably great artists who bring so much of themselves into each and every brush stroke. Our hope is that even these twisted Orwellian characters can find

peace, love and happiness and emerge from the shadows of distrust and fear to inspire us all to be better people — cognizant of our shortcomings but ready for affection. “Hopefully,” concludes Berberyan, “It will get better.” SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 29


Timeless and Alluring

The Landscapes of Samir Sammoun

By Victor B. Forbes, Editor-in-Chief

Coucher du Soleil sur la Méditerranée, 30” x 40”

By VICTOR FORBES

S

Wheat Field And Young Olive Grove, Oil On Canvas, 48” x 48”

AMIR SAMMOUN is world-renowned for his inspired Post-Impressionist renditions of lush, lavender wheat fields; cedar trees, olive groves and mountain ranges of his boyhood home in Lebanon; snowy streets of his adopted home, Montréal, quaint yet bustling; orchards, fields of blooming flowers, forests and sunsets over beaches…Sammoun’s brilliance is unparalleled in capturing the atmospheric and fleeting colors of our ever-changing world. His innovative approach and celebrated compositions make him one of the most acclaimed landscape painters working in North America today. Sammoun’s richly layered impastos exquisitely blend the post-Impressionistic style with spontaneous, gestural brushwork. Initiating each canvas as did the Dutch Masters, he applies a rich, burnt-sienna with brush and rag, accentuating the grain of his surface and providing luminous inner light underneath his brilliant and richly colored palette. Sammoun continues to attract the attention of international scholars and museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Marc-Aurele Fortin Museum and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.” He is one of the “headliners” at Artexpo where he has been a top-selling artist for many years. Page 30 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018


Amandier en Fleurs, Oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

The Ballet II, Oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

Lavande et Soleil, Oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

Central Park, View On West Side, Oil on canvas, 36” x 36” SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 31


Olive Grove Before Harvest, Oil on canvas, 24” x 30”

Samir with Sallie Hirshberg and her Galerie d’Orsay staff

SunStorm/Fine Art Magazine publisher Jamie Ellin Forbes bestowed the publications’ “Artist of Special Merit” award to Sammoun at Artexpo 2016

Sammoun was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit by the City of Brossard in 2017, an honor reserved for residents who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to the community. Sammoun is a long-time resident of Brossard, located on the south shore of Montreal, and was recognized for his remarkable contributions to the arts and

cultural life of his beloved city. “Sammoun has indeed built upon history to develop a personal style that is reflective of his inner being. Nothing is held back by these emotionally charged canvases that capture the essence of Nature as recreated by Man, in this instance Samir Sammoun,” writes Constance Schwartz, Director and Curator Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor,

Page 32 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Samir Sammoun, recipient of the Order of Merit of Brossard 2017, pictured with the Mayor of Brossard and Mr. Daniel Lucier, adviser. Year after year, Brossard is proud to honor outstanding citizens at the Order of Merit award ceremony. This prestigious event, organized by the City, was held in February 2017, during which medals of honor were presented to the winners for their exceptional commitment to the community in the following areas: Science, Education, Culture, Community, Sport, Humanitarian, Economy and the Environment


Parade, Oil on canvas, 48” x 36”

New York in the introduction to Sammoun’s monograph, Walking With Giants – a paean to the artist’s dedication to the traditions and impact of those who came before him, notably van Gogh. “Sammoun’s body of work is an indepth depiction of the connections he makes between his long-time residence in Montréal and birth and childhood in Lebanon. Painting and sculpture emerge as statements of common familiarity to be shared by all. His admirers enter into a personal involvement with the work making him a man for all seasons of expression through the universal language of art,” stated Jamie Ellin Forbes, Director of the Fine Art Museum of Long Island (1990-1995) and publisher of Fine Art Magazine in bestowing the magazine’s “Artist of Special Merit” award to Samir at Artexpo in 2016. “Honoring the spirit of creativity with exceptional contributions and significant achievement, Sammoun has taken his role as an artist to an exceptionally high level, not only for his paintings but for his interests in the human condition and what he can do to foster a more peaceful environment for all.” Samir Sammoun’s originality and unique style have caught the attention of viewers, collectors and art lovers worldwide. When he first showed his work at Artexpo in New York in 1996, the reaction was immediate and positive. What was said about him then still holds true today: “The fresh colorful Impressionistic renditions presented in his artwork have been received with unprecedented enthusiasm... Samir is a fresh and exciting talent depicting the landscapes he sees in rich colors with his own wonderfully unique impressionistic style,” commented Robert L. Mooney, Director of the Galleries J.R. Mooney, San Antonio, Texas. www.samirsammoun.com

Spring, Tuscany, Oil on canvas, 36” x 36”

Cherry Blossom, Central Park, Oil on canvas, 36” x 36” SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 33


Good friends Nick Korniloff, Pamela Cohen and Joe Namath at Palm Beach Modern Contemporary Art Fair

Art NY, B’way Joe Team Up Against A Mighty Foe

Art New York, presented by Art Miami, returns to Pier 94 New York Art Week, the pinnacle of New York’s art and cultural season. The Fair offers noteworthy and fresh works by artists from the Modern, Post-war and Pop eras, featuring paintings, photography, prints, drawings, design and sculpture. The 2018 edition will host over 75 from 30 countries representing over 1,200 artists, including this year’s context section which will provide the ultimate platform to enjoy and acquire artworks by emerging, mid-career and cutting-edge talent. Art New York is operated by LAAS LLC a subsidiary company of Art Miami LLC which is a partnership consisting of art and media industry veterans Nick Korniloff, Mike Tansey and Brian Tyler. In addition to three fairs during Miami Art Week in December – Art Miami, context Art Miami and Aqua Art Miami – the company annually produces Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary in January; Art Wynwood during Presidents Day Weekend in February; as well as Art New York. Art New York begins with an elegant, invitation-only VIP Preview event benefiting the Joe Namath Foundation and the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. The special preview offers collectors, art advisors, curators, and media the opportunity to examine and acquire the finest works available in the market before the fair opens to the public that evening. “We are honored to have both prestigious organizations as co-beneficiaries of Art New York. It is a privilege to be able to support great foundations that encourage understanding of the brain and the mind. Over the years I have had the privilege to witness firsthand the passion and energy that both Mrs. Gruss, Mr. Namath and their supporters bring to each of their respective causes and the arts. Combined, they are a very powerful team. Art New York looks forward to helping them tackle two of the most important issues facing every demographic and generation of our society,” said Korniloff, Founder/Director, Art New York. The subject matter of many artists over the past six decades, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and Super Bowl III MVP Joe Namath will return to the city of his glory days. Known as much for his off-the-field hi-jinx and pantyhose television commercials, Page 34 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Joe Namath at Art Miami 2017 (Credit Dylan Rives at Getty Images for Art Miami)

Namath put all the critics to rest when he made good on his brash prediction that the lowly New York Jets of the fledgling American Football League would topple the powerhouse Baltimore Colts, who 11 years earlier, had destroyed the hopes of New York Giants fans when they won the 1958 Championship in overtime at Yankee Stadium in what many call the greatest game ever. “Super Bowl III was better for us New Yorkers because we won,” commented Victor Forbes, former Sports Editor of The Riverdale Press. “Watching Joe fulfill his prophesy on that cold January day energized the entire city. Today, Broadway Joe’s mission is to create awareness and raise funds for his newly formed namesake foundation to help many causes.” Adds Joe, “I am thrilled to be a part of Art New York. Having played with the New York Jets for many years, the city holds a special place in my heart. )I am so happy to be here raising awareness of the causes that mean the most to me, through art, about which I am very passionate. I have no doubt that this will be a very special event.” Philanthropist and avid art collector Audrey Gruss founded the Hope for Depression Research Foundation in 2006 in memory of her mother, Hope, who suffered from clinical depression. HDRF is now the leading non-profit dedicated solely to advanced depression research with every dollar raised going directly to research. Appropriately, in that so many creative people have fought with depression both publicly and privately — from Gogh to Pollock — it is well documented that artists from different eras and backgrounds have struggled with mental health issues. We are grateful to Nick Korniloff and his team for helping Hope for Depression Research Foundation


Joe Namath. Audrey Gruss Courtesy of Art Miami LLC

Joe Namath and the Super Bowl cover of the Daily News

Art New York, presented by Art Miami, returns to Pier 94 to be the co-beneficiary of Art New York as a light on this extremely prevalent cause.” For more than 30-years Joe Namath has supported hundreds of charitable causes. Through his personal involvement he has helped rally volunteers and celebrities to raise millions of dollars for various charities. In 2017, Namath launched his own foundation to expand and diversify his charitable giving. The Joe Namath Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) organization which will benefit numerous children’s charities and neurological research. For more information on the Joe Namath Foundation visit: www. joenamath.org. or contact Joe Blaney, President, Joe Namath Foundation jblaney@ joenamath.org Hope for Depression Research Foundation is the leading non-profit dedicated solely to advanced depression research. HDRF’s mission is to fund the most innovative neuroscience research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression and other mood disorders – bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, posttraumatic stress syndrome, anxiety disorder and suicide. HDRF’s impact includes over 100 major research grants in 12 countries, 18 U.S. cities and 48 major universities, such as Harvard and Rockefeller University.

The calm before the storm at Art New York, Pier 94

In 2010 HDRF launched its Depression Task Force — an outstanding collaboration of seven leading scientists at the frontiers of brain science — from different research institutions across the U.S. and Canada. These scientists have developed an unprecedented research strategy that integrates the most advanced knowledge in genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, electrophysiology, and brain imaging.

To accelerate breakthrough research, they share ongoing results, in real time at the HDRF Data Center. In September 2017, Audrey launched hope - the uplifting fragrance, an inspiring new scent where 100% of net profits go to fight depression through HDRF. For further information and tickets: www.hopefordepression.org SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 35


The Legendary Art Collection Of Charles I For the first time since the 17th century, this landmark exhibition brings together the astounding treasures that changed the taste of the nation.

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), Charles I in Three Positions, 1635–36, Oil on canvas, 84.4 x 99.4 cm, RCIN 404420 Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018. Exhibition organised in partnership with Royal Collection Trust

The Royal Academy of Arts, in partnership with Royal Collection Trust, presents Charles I: King and Collector, a landmark exhibition that reunites one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections ever assembled. During his reign, Charles I (1600-1649) acquired and commissioned exceptional masterpieces from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, including works by Van Dyck, Rubens, Holbein, Titian and Mantegna, amongst others. Charles I was executed in 1649 and just months later the collection was offered for sale and dispersed across Europe. Although many works were retrieved by Charles II during the Restoration, others now form the core of collections such as the Musée du Louvre and the Museo Nacional delPrado. Charles I: King and Collector reunites 140 of the most important works, providing an unprecedented opportunity to experience the collection that changed the appreciation of art inEngland. In 1623, two years prior to his ascension to the throne, Prince Charles visited Madrid. The Habsburg collection made a lasting impression on the future king and he returned to England with a number of works, including paintings by Titian and Veronese. Intent on creating his own collection, he acquired the esteemed Gonzaga collection, which had been accumulated by the Dukes of Mantua. He also commissioned important artists, most notably Anthony van Dyck, who was appointed ‘principalle Paynter in Ordenarie to their Majesties’ in 1632. In collaboration and competition with other collectors close to the Stuart court, namely Thomas Howard (1586-1646), Earl of Arundel, and George Villiers (1592-1628), Duke of Buckingham, Charles I amassed a Page 36 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), Henrietta Maria with Sir Jeffrey Hudson, 1633, Oil on canvas, 219.1 x 134.8 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Samuel H. Kress Collection, inv. 1952.5.39, Photo © Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington. Exhibiton oranized in partnership with Royal Collection Trust

collection unrivalled in the history of English taste. By 1649, the collection of Charles I comprised around 1,500 paintings and 500 sculptures. An inventory compiled by Abraham van der Doort (c.1580-1640), first

Surveyor of The King’s Pictures, recorded the contents of the collection, providing a detailed account of the artistic tastes and high level of connoisseurship within the king’s circle.


Roman, Aphrodite (‘The Crouching Venus’), second century A.D.,Marble, height 119 cm, RCIN 69746, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018, Exhibition organised in partnership with Royal Collection Trust

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), Cupid and Psyche, 1639–40, Oil on canvas, 200.2 x 192.6 cm RCIN 405571, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018 Exhibition organised in partnership with Royal Collection Trust

Correggio (1489–1534), Venus with Mercury and Cupid (‘The School of Love’), c. 1525, Oil on canvas, 155.6 x 91.4 cm, The National Gallery, London. Bought 1834, inv. NG10 Photo © The National Gallery, London Exhibition organised in partnership with Royal Collection Trust Titian (c. 1488/90–1576), The Supper at Emmaus, c. 1534, Oil on canvas, 169 x 244 cm Musée du Louvre, Paris, Department of Paintings, inv. 746. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Stéphane Maréchalle, Exhibition organised in partnership with Royal Collection Trust

Anthony van Dyck’s monumental portraits of the king and his family form the core of the exhibition. Charles I commissioned some of the most important artists of his day, Peter Paul Rubens, with Renaissance paintings from the collection,

including Andrea Mantegna’s monumental series, The Triumph of Caesar, c.1484-92 (Royal Collection), which commands a dedicated gallery within the exhibition, as well as Titian’s Supper at Emmaus, c.1530 (Musée du Louvre, Paris). Further highlights

are the celebrated Mortlake tapestries of Raphael’s Acts of the Apostles, c.1631-40 (Mobilier National, Paris). Christopher Le Brun, President, Royal Academy of Arts, said: ‘Charles I is one of history’s greatest collectors, the Royal Collection is one of the world’s greatest collections and the Royal Academy’s galleries are amongst the finest in the world. https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/ SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 37


Offering, collage, Mixed Technique on Arches Paper, 30’’ x 24’’, 2016

THE AMOROUS AND ARTISTIC ADVENTURES OF

MINNIE written & illustrated by

HUGUETTE THIBOUTOT

Cover of Huguette Thiboutot’s “MINNIE OF THE GOLDEN WEST” Page 38 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Huguette Thiboutot came to international attention with a well-received exhibition in New York City followed by an inspiring week at Art Basel Miami where she lived her dream of experiencing the dazzling array of international artists, collectors, celebrities and hustlers. During this time, she cemented her vision of Minnie, a woman of years seeking adventure and love. Minnie found it in what some would consider “all the wrong places” but in following her heart, came upon what she was looking for. Enthralling, sexy, musical and artistic, Minnie is a character sure to find a place in the annals of literary heroines. In this captivating novel embellished by the author’s original paintings, we follow the adventures of a divorced grandmother as she bridges the gap between Innocence and Experience with an open heart and a mind full of hope. As she seeks out the best in the characters she meets along the road to latter day love — and they certainly are characters! — she finds the best in herself, and the strength to face life’s challenges head-on. Minnie doesn’t run from adversity, rather she runs toward it with the conquering heart of a lioness.


Vaps, collage on poster, 31½’’ x 23”, 2016

How it all plays out is revealed in a series of mystical revelations in the office of a gifted psychic, a talented seer who is able to conjure giants of creativity from Mozart to Da Vinci culminating with an invitation to dance with Gauguin in an amazing dialog. Yet the question remains: Will Minnie’s tender heart be broken or will love conquer all? – VB FORBES Following is a brief excerpt used by permission and all rights reserved to Huguette Thiboutot © 2017

B

ut our heroine’s madness is far from resolved. The shock wave created by the “New York special effects” continues to rock her world. Throughout this ordeal, Minnie’s spirit, her artist’s soul, shines forth in all its glory. Reading Anaïs Nin, Minnie takes heart. The book-jacket of Deirdre Bair’s biography of Anaïs Nin reads: “The writer’s life bears testimony to several major currents of the second half of the twentieth century: the quest for self, recourse to psychoanalysis, and women’s determination to reclaim their sexuality.” In psychoanalysis, Minnie will later acknowledge the relevance of these three themes to her own life. She has reclaimed her self — that’s done. Now, she’s determined to reclaim her own sexuality. The bliss she experienced in Henry’s arms, the thrill of Zoran’s presence, are her’s to keep forever. No one can take them from her. She herself chose Henry and Zoran to be her heroes. Both men know this. After all, there’s a reason Henry keeps asking her, “What is a woman like you doing with a man like me?”

California, illustrates page 45 of Minnie of the Golden West SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 39


Naoaki, X-don #54, Acrylic on canvas, 24” x 24”, 2017

Naoaki Funayama: WHAT HOLDS THE FOSSIL OF the Unknown? By SAORI TAKEDA “Human beings can’t know everything. We can only work from one part by imagining a thing’s whole,” says Naoaki Funayama, whose recent exhibitions at several art fairs and New York City galleries have opened his art to new world of admirers. Born in 1982 and growing up in Shizuoka in the shadow of Mt. Fuji, for him, the colossal is quotidian. The goings on at the foot of the mountain can easily seem insignificant trickles in time, microscopic next to the immense. In that sense, Funayama’s local circumstances strongly relate to his art, and his gravitation toward the dinosaur and the volcano, as subject and motif, seems quite natural. Through painting, he creates bridges between his own experience and Earth’s unremembered millennia. Often forgoing paleontological accuracy, Funayama’s art re-imagines the world as Page 40 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Naoaki, X-don #57, Acrylic on wood panel, 12 x 12”, 2017


Naoaki Funayama, X-don #29, Oil and acrylic paint on Canvas, 24” x 24”, 2014

Naoaki Funayama, X-don #44, Acrylic and copper leaf on wood panel, 12” x 12”, 2016 Naoaki Funayama, X-don #52, Acrylic on wood panel, 12” x 12”, 2017

NAOAKI_PORTRAIT BY SAORI TAKEDA

Naoaki Funayama, X-don #40, Acrylic and copper leaf on canvas. 24” x 24”, 2015

of the unknown.’ it could have passed With paleontological and blurs the lines that research the whole place uncovered relics body of a dinosaur in space and time. can be restored Cambrian Period from just the fossil Hallucigenia crawl of one tooth. I have alongside Jurassic and questions about Cretaceous Period how that works. dinosaurs. Colors fade Today ’s images of along some of their dinosaurs are one bodies as camouflage of the possibilities in the forests, plains we can consider and mountain ridges from a hypothesis. they inhabit. Human The paleontologist figures placed in the presents just one foreground would Naoaki Funayama, X-don 52, Oil and acrylic on possibility from the h a rd l y s t a n d o u t canvas, 24” x 24”, 2017 limited viewpoint of a if not for the stark juxtaposition they present. Next to the selection of relics of the past. This theory has striking greatness of the dinosaur or the been overturned. X-don shows that which is daunting potentiality of the volcano, they are larger than a mountain. I am expressing one merely members of an audience, onlookers to of its possibilities.” A 2006 master course graduate of Osaka gods. Still, it is exactly that contrast that is most illuminating. It’s not the missing link, University of Arts, the artist has exhibited but the pursuit itself ­— to imagine what at K & P Gallery, hosted by the Museum of could stand in such vastness. What could Russian Art; Dinosaurs at the International Center of CCCS, Naoaki Funayama Solo hold the fossil of the unknown? “I’m from the city that is famous for Exhibition at Ouchi Gallery; “Superfine!” Mt. Fuji,” said the artist. “I really like that Art Fair, Miami 2017; and the group show mountain, and dinosaurs as well. Both Playground at Walter Wickiser Gallery, New have special meaning: power, greatness and York City. For further information about specialty. The works titled X-don means ‘tooth Naoaki, contact ilovechopin48@gmail.com SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 41


Under the Spell of Japan

The Influence of Japanese Art on the Work of van Gogh The van Gogh Museum is hosting van Gogh & Japan – a major international exhibition on the influence of Japanese art on the work of Vincent van Gogh. The show, which comprises around 60 paintings and drawings by van Gogh and a rich selection of Japanese prints, highlights Vincent’s all-embracing admiration for this art and how fundamentally his work changed in response to it. Famous works from collections all over the world have been brought to Amsterdam for this show, including the Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889) – a fragile work that has not left the UK since 1955 and a painting that has not been seen in the Netherlands since 1930. Other highlights include SelfPortrait (1888), La Berceuse (Augustine Roulin) (1889), The Arlésienne (Marie Ginoux) (1888), La Crau with Peach Trees in Blossom (1889) and Undergrowth with Two Figures (1890). This is the first time that an exhibition on such a scale has been organized on this theme. Japanese printmaking was one of Vincent’s main sources of inspiration and he became an enthusiastic collector. The prints acted as a catalyst: they taught him a new way of looking at the world. But did his own work really change as a result? There was huge admiration for all things Japanese in the second half of the nineteenth century. Vincent bought his first stack of Japanese woodcuts in Antwerp and pinned them to the wall of his room. He described the city to his brother with these exotic images in mind. Moving into his brother’s Paris flat in early 1886, they built up a sizable collection of Japanese prints and the artist soon began to view them as more than a pleasant curiosity. He saw the prints as an artistic example and thought they were equal to the great masterpieces of Western art history. We don’t know exactly how big Vincent’s collection was at the time but refers to ‘hundreds’ of prints in his letters. Vincent adopted these Japanese visual inventions in his own work. He liked the unusual spatial effects, the expanses of strong color, the everyday objects and the attention to details from nature. And, of course, the exotic and joyful atmosphere. After two years, Vincent left the bustle of Paris behind setting off for Arles in the South of France in February 1888. In addition to peace, he hoped to find the ‘clearness of the atmosphere and the gay color effects’ of Oriental prints. He wrote to his friend Gauguin, who was Page 42 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Hiroshige, Depruimenboomgaard, 1857

also very taken with Japanese examples, that he had looked through the train window to see ‘if it was like Japan yet! Childish, isn’t it?’ Highlighting the painter ’s al lembracing admiration for this art and how fundamentally his work changed in response to it, van Gogh’s discovery of Japanese printmaking proved decisive to the direction he would take as an artist. He fell under the spell of the Ukiyo-e — 19th-century Japanese color woodcuts — during his time in Paris (1886–88), and began to collect these prints on a large scale. What he admired so much in these colorful images were the unusual compositions, the expanses of bright color and the attention to details from nature. The remarkable paintings he made in Paris after Japanese prints formed his first exploration of this new artistic model. Van

Gogh swiftly came to view Japanese art as a benchmark for his work, as shown by his letters from Arles, with the idea that the South of France was ‘the equivalent of Japan’. He learned there how to ‘see with a more Japanese eye’ and made ‘paintings like Japanese prints’. Van Gogh & Japan is a collaboration with Hokkaido Shimbun Press and NHK ( Japan Broadcasting Corporation), the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in Sapporo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto. The exhibition is being held at these three Japanese museums in 2017–18, and will be shown at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from 23 March to 24 June 2018. https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en


Bridge in the Rain (after Hiroshige), Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, October-November 1887, oil on canvas, 73.3 cm x 53.8 cm; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation) Van Gogh greatly admired Japanese woodcuts for their bright colours and distinctive compositions. He based this painting of a bridge in the rain on a print by the famous artist Utagawa Hiroshige. Van Gogh made the colors more intense than in the original, however. He painted this work on a standard size canvas. He wanted to maintain the proportions of the original print and so left a border, which he filled with Japanese characters copied from other prints.

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander (center) opens the exhibition in the presence of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven; the Director of the Van Gogh Museum Axel Rüger; the Japanese Ambassador his Excellency Hiroshi Inomata and the Acting Mayor of Amsterdam Jozias van Aartsen Having performed a traditional Japanese opening ceremony (cutting a ribbon with rosettes), King Willem-Alexander toured Van Gogh & Japan, before attending an informal reception. The exhibition runs until 24 June 2018.

Courtesan (after Eisen), 1887, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation) oil on canvas, 100.7 cm x 60.7 cm Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation); Van Gogh based this painting on a woodcut by the Japanese artist Kesai Eisen. The print had been reproduced on the cover of the magazine Paris illustré in 1886. Van Gogh used a grid to copy and enlarge the Japanese figure. He used bright colours and bold outlines, as if it were a woodcut. We can tell the woman is a courtesan by her hairstyle and the belt (obi) that she is wearing, which is tied at the front of her kimono rather than at the back. Van Gogh framed her with a pond full of water lilies, bamboo stems, cranes and frogs. This scene has a hidden meaning: grue (crane) and grenouille (frog) were French slang words for ‘prostitute’.

King Willem-Alexander admires the painting ‘The Arlésienne (Marie Ginoux)’ (1888, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), together with director Axel Rüger and senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh of the Van Gogh Museum SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 43


Pablo Picasso, The Crucifixion (La crucifixion), 1932, Ink on paper, 345 x 505 mm, Musée National Picasso, © Succession Picasso/DACS London, 2017

The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Olga in an Armchair, 1918 Oil paint on canvas, 1300 x 888 mm, Musée National Picasso © Succession Picasso/DACS London, 2017 Page 44 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

In March 2018 Tate Modern staged its first ever solo exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s work, one of the most significant shows the gallery has ever presented. The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy takes visitors on a monthby-month journey through 1932, a time so pivotal in Picasso’s life and work that it has been called his ‘year of wonders’. More than 100 outstanding paintings, sculptures and works on paper will demonstrate his prolific and restlessly inventive character. They will strip away common myths to reveal the man and the artist in his full complexity and richness. Even by his own standards, 1932 was an extraordinary year for Picasso, His paintings reached a new level of sensuality and he cemented his celebrity status as the most influential artist of the early 20th century. Over the course of this year he created some of his best loved works, including Nude Woman in a Red Armchair, an anchor point of Tate’s collection, confident color-saturated portraits and Surrealist experiments, including thirteen seminal ink drawings of the Crucifixion. His virtuoso paintings also riffed on the voluptuous sculptures he had produced some months before at his new country estate. In his personal life, throughout 1932, Picasso kept a delicate balance between tending to his wife Olga Khokhlova and their 11-year-old son Paulo, and his passionate love affair with Marie-Thérèse Walter, 28 years his junior. The exhibition will bring these complex artistic and personal dynamics to life with an unprecedented range of loans from collections around the world, including many record-breaking works held in private hands. Highlights will include Girl before a Mirror, a signature painting that rarely leaves The Museum of Modern Art, and the legendary The Dream, a virtuoso masterpiece depicting the artist’s muse in dreamy abandon, which has never been exhibited in the UK before. Having recently turned 50, 1932 was a time of invention and reflection. In collaboration with Christian Zervos, Picasso embarked on the first volume of what remains the most ambitious catalogue of an artist’s work ever made, listing more than 16,000 paintings and drawings. Meanwhile, a group of Paris dealers beat international competition to stage the first ever retrospective of his work, a


Pablo Picasso, Bust of a Woman (Buste de femme), 1931 Cement, 780 x 445 x 500 mm, Musée National Picasso © Succession Picasso/DACS London, 2017

Pablo Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (Femme nue, feuilles et buste),1932, Oil paint on canvas, 1620 x 1300 mm, Private Collection © Succession Picasso/DACS London, 2017

major show that featured new paintings alongside earlier works in a range of different styles. Realist portraits of Olga and Paulo revealed Picasso’s feelings of pride and tenderness for his family, while his sexually charged new paintings unveiled for the first time the presence of the secret woman in his life. This included the iconic trio of Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, Nude in a Black Armchair and The Mirror, widely regarded as a pinnacle of Picasso’s artistic achievement of the inter-war period. This dazzling series will be reunited at Tate Modern for the first time in 85 years. Picasso’s journeys between his homes in Boisgeloup and Paris capture the contradictions of his existence at this pivotal moment: a life divided between countryside retreat and urban bustle, established wife and recent lover, painting and sculpture, sensuality and darkness. The year ended traumatically when Marie-Thérèse fell seriously ill after swimming in the river Marne, losing most of her iconic blonde hair. In his final works of the year, Picasso transformed the event into scenes of rescue and rape, a dramatic finale to a year of love, fame and tragedy that pushed Picasso to the height of his creative powers. Achim Borchardt-Hume, Director of Exhibitions, Tate Modern and co-curator of the exhibition said: “Picasso famously described painting as ‘just another form of keeping a diary’. This exhibition will invite you to get close to the artist, to his ways of thinking and working, and to the tribulations of his personal life at a pivotal moment in his career. By showing stellar loans from public and private collections in the order in which they were made, this exhibition will allow a new generation to discover Picasso’s explosive energy, while surprising those who think they already know the artist.”

Cecil Beaton. Pablo Picasso, rue La Boétie, 1933, Paris, © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 45


THE ROCKIES AND THE ALPS Bierstadt, Calame, and the Romance of the Mountains

The Wetterhorn - Whittredge

Inaugural Exhibition in Newark Museum’s New Special Exhibition Gallery Explores Masterworks of Alpine Art The Newark Museum will mark the opening of a new special exhibition gallery and its newly reopened Washington Street entrance with a major exhibition featuring Hudson River School landscape paintings from the permanent collection and major loans from private and public collections. The Rockies and the Alps: Bierstadt, Calame, and the Romance of the Mountains presents a unique interdisciplinary and transnational view of alpine landscape art and culture in the United States and Europe. The exhibition is comprised of more than 70 rarely exhibited paintings, prints, drawings and photographs, showcasing Newark’s renowned landscape painting collection in context with loans from more than twenty distinguished private and public collections. Tracing mountain painting from early works by J. M. W. Turner and John Ruskin to John Singer Sargent’s camping scenes in the Canadian Page 46 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Rockies, The Rockies and the Alps treats visitors to an extraordinary array of mountain scenes painted by some of America’s most celebrated landscape artists—including Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church and Thomas Cole—and highlights the influence of the Swiss Alpine master Alexandre Calame and his circle. The exhibition is cocurated by Katherine Manthorne, a leading scholar of 19th-century landscape painting, and Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Ph.D., Curator of American Art at the Newark Museum. With thematic galleries highlighting literature, natural science, technology and tourism, the exhibition presents alpine painting as part of a widespread fascination with mountains in the 19th century, when both the United States and Switzerland were still developing a national identity. Albert Bierstadt traveled to the Alps for the first time in 1853, just prior to creating

his grand paintings of the American West. The importance of European excursions for Bierstadt and many other American artists has been long noted, but this exhibition and the related catalogue marks the first time that an international perspective on American landscape painting has been so broadly and thoroughly investigated. “The Rockies and Alps will introduce old and new audiences alike to the great beauty of these extraordinary landscapes,” said Ulysses Dietz, Interim Co-Director. “By displaying the works together, the exhibition will explore the dialogue between European and American landscape artists during the 19th century, and put forward a new narrative of transnational artistic and cultural influences.” A highlight of the exhibition and perhaps a discovery for many American audiences will be a rare selection of paintings by Alexandre Calame, the influential leader


of the Swiss Alpine school, whose role in capturing the Swiss landscape is comparable to Albert Bierstadt’s reputation as painter of the American West. Calame’s Alpine paintings feature sweeping vistas of mountain torrents and renderings of the high altitude terrain where he spent every summer painting. Just as Bierstadt’s paintings shared the wonders of America’s West, Calame’s depictions of Alpine peaks, lakes, and waterfalls revealed the majesty of the Swiss Alps to international audiences. With more than 40 artists represented, The Rockies and Alps highlights the role of early landscape artists as explorers, who often made their rugged trips into the wilderness as members of governmentsupported survey expeditions. The exhibition includes a wealth of artists’ sketchbooks, travel literature, postcards, stereoscopes and magic lantern slides, illuminating how the imagery recorded by landscape artists was influenced by mass culture and how their imagery was disseminated to mass audiences. One example is a finely detailed sketchbook by Sanford Robinson Gifford on loan from a private collection, which is being shown for the first time to the public. The scientific interest many artists took in recording the natural environment extended to documenting the original inhabitants of these landscapes, and a selection of images of Native Americans points to the treatment of indigenous people as mere components of the landscape by European-American artists. A popular Currier & Ives print by Francis Flora Bond Palmer, for instance, depicts emigrants traveling west, with generalized Native American figures looking on. “This encyclopedic approach to mountain painting,

Cho-looke The Yosemite Fall, Bierstadt

SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 47


J. Mcgahey. Ball Players

exploring broadly what the landscape meant in the 19th century, not only allows us to showcase the Museum’s diverse collections, it fits in conceptually with the themes found in our Seeing America galleries,” notes Bloom.

Vantage Points: History and Politics in the American Landscape Currently on view in Newark’s 19th-century landscape gallery, a related exhibition brings together historical and contemporary landscape imagery and prompts visitors to consider how historical landscape paintings reinforced dominant colonialist narratives. Part of Seeing America, the reinstallation of the permanent collection begun in 2016, Vantage Points features Bierstadt’s monumental painting The Landing of Columbus in context with a hide painting by Chief Washakie, a revered 19th-century Shoshone leader and Bierstadt’s contemporary, as well as recent works by Brooklyn artist Kenseth Armstead and Santa Fe artist Michael Namingha (Hopi-Tewa). Both Armstead and Namingha recast conventional images of the American landscape to question historical narratives about race, power, war and the environment. The Newark Museum and Giles, Ltd. have co-published a fully illustrated catalogue in conjunction with The Rockies and the Alps, with original contributions by Katherine Manthorne, Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Patricia Mainardi and James Saslow. The catalogue is available in the Museum Shop. Major support for The Rockies and Alps is provided by the PSN Family Charitable Trust and Beverly K. Nadler. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by George Robb, Barbara Brous, Eleonore Kessler Cohen and Max Insel Cohen, Mary and Raymond Courtien, Ellen and Don Greenfield, Judy Lieberman, The Marie and Joe Melone Exhibition Fund for American Art, and anonymous donors. For additional information, https://www.newarkmuseum.org/ Page 48 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Torrent under the Chamossaire, Calame


Kay WalkingStick, New Mexico Desert, 2011 Oil on panel, 40 x 80 in., National Museum of the American Indian, Courtesy American Federation of Arts

Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist

“My present paintings of mountains and sea are vistas of memory — our America the beautiful. They are meant to glorify our land and honor those people who first lived upon it.” –Kay WalkingStick

An unprecedented exhibition organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian — Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist — will travel to the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) for the final stop on its national tour. The exhibition is the first major retrospective of Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935), a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and one of the world’s most celebrated artists of Native American ancestry. It will be on view at MAM through June 17, 2018. Featuring more than 50 of WalkingStick’s most notable paintings, drawings, notebooks, and the diptychs for which she is best known, the exhibition traces her career over more than four decades and culminates with her recent paintings of monumental landscapes and Native places. Her distinctive approach to painting emerged from the cauldron of the New York art world, poised between late Modernism and post-Modernism of the 1960s and 1970s. Over decades of intense and prolific artistic production, she sought spiritual truth through the acts of painting and metaphysical reflection. Organized chronologically around themes that mark her artistic journey, Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist traces a path of constant invention, innovation, and evolving artistic and personal growth through visually brilliant and evocative works of art.

Night (1991), a seminal work by WalkingStick, was borrowed from MAM’s collection for the national tour, which included stops at the National Museum of the American Indian, Heard Museum, Dayton Art Institute, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and Gilcrease Art Museum. “Much of WalkingStick’s work deals with dualities in contemporary life and she often uses diptychs as a way of unifying this duality,” said Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator. “In Night, the two portions represent two kinds of knowledge of the earth. One is visual, a memory of a stream bed near Tucson, Arizona, and the other is more spiritual.” The presentation at the Montclair Art Museum spans several galleries, located on either side of the Museum’s well-known, permanent installation of works by George Inness. WalkingStick reflected, “I am a great admirer of George Inness and his work will serve as an introduction to my late paintings. In fact, I see myself as part of the long tradition of American landscape painters including Asher B. Durand, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and George Inness. In their work, especially Inness’ paintings of Montclair, there is a sense of his closeness to home. I am from the tri-state area and I love New Jersey’s landscape. I see this area as our place.” The exhibition is co-curated by NMAI curator Kathleen Ash-Milby (Navajo) and associate director David W. Penney, in close collaboration with the artist. The exhibition’s presentation at the Montclair Art Museum is coordinated by Gail Stavitsky, MAM’s chief curator. www.newarkmuseum.org.

or nearly half a century, Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935) has been rewriting the narrative about Native people through her art and life. A citizen of both the United States and the Cherokee Nation, she has forged an artistic identity that reflects the times in which she has lived and the beauty she encountered in the United States and abroad. WalkingStick’s artistic journey began in the 1970s, with her explorations of modernism and feminism, as well as sustained investigations into abstraction. Later, she combined a passion for landscape painting with the pursuit of spiritual truths about our shared human condition. The relationship of Native people to the land is a recurring theme, rooted in her family history and personal experiences. In the 1980s and early 1990s, she was part of a movement of Native artists who began boldly asserting their individual and national histories in the contemporary art world, a process that continues to this day. Kay WalkingStick is a multi-dimensional artist who cannot be reduced to a single definition or one artistic style. Her work is as complex in its origins and inspirations as the painter herself. In her words, “This is who we Americans really are. All different, all the same, all in it together, making art.”

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– Kathleen Ash-Milby and David W. Penney Curators

SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 49


Kay WalkingStick, Night, 1991, Acrylic, wax, copper, and oil on canvas, 36 ¼ x 72 ¼ x 2 in., Montclair Art Museum, Courtesy American Federation of Arts

Kay WalkingStick, Over Lolo Pass, 2003, Charcoal, gouache, and encaustic on paper, 25 x 50 in., Collection of the artist, Courtesy American Federation of Arts

Diptychs: In the mid-1980s

The Sensual Body: Early 1970s

WalkingStick began to combine images of landscapes inspired by her home and travels with abstractions in what would become her signature format: two square, side-by-side paintings called diptychs. The diptych helped her express spiritual themes. Painted with her hands, the landscapes signified what she called “snapshot’ memories, while the abstract panels represented deeper, “mythic” memory. When combined, the two panels express different but complementary kinds of knowledge: external sensory perception of the material world on one side, and internal spiritual comprehension on the other.

While living and working in New Jersey, WalkingStick benefited from the dynamic and edgy art-world developments of nearby New York City. The paintings’ details characterize minimalist modern painting of that moment: the large size, the reduction of form to flat silhouettes, the hard edges between areas of color and the brilliant neon palette. The nudes (most of them self-portraits) reflect the era’s newly liberated female sexuality and WalkingStick’s explorations of her artistic identity as a female painter in a male-dominated profession.

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At right: Kay WalkingStick, A Sensual Suggestion, 1974, 42 x 48 in. Collection of the artist, Courtesy American Federation of Arts


BELLA HEARTS

Isabella Thorn, founder of BELLA HEARTS, has been painting since she was 18 months old under the tutelage of her grandmother, artist Gloria Lee. What started as a window display for Valentine’s Day has turned into a career. Isabella has created and sold over 500 Bella Hearts that have landed in the homes of collectors all over the world. Bella has a true heart for those who are in need and suffering. Her desire in painting hearts is to bring hope and love to all. Bella is the featured child artist of the American Heart Association, San Diego and Las Vegas. She is also donating portions of her bella heart sales to the Syrian refugees efforts, to give back to the children who have lost their family and their home.

Exclusive collections galleries 800-599-7111 San diego, las vegas, laguna beach www.Ecgallery.Com ruthannthorn@me.com

SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 51


Raymond Hendler: Fifty Years of Painting at Berry Campbell A special exhibition of paintings by RAYMOND HENDLER will be the Berry Campbell’s third solo exhibition of Hendler’s work. After focusing on particular periods of the artist’s oeuvre, the gallery has curated a small survey of the artist’s entire career, allowing visitors to see the transitions from early gestural abstraction to tighter more graphic forms. A first-generation action painter, Hendler (1923–1998) started his career as an Abstract Expressionist in Paris, as early as 1949. In the years that followed, he played a significant role in the movement, both in New York, where he was the youngest voting member of the New York Artist’s Club and a friend of Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Harold Rosenberg, and in Philadelphia, where he ran an avant-garde gallery between 1952 and 1954. Over the course of his career, his work evolved from abstract gestural works to jubilant, abstracted words and shapes, which revealed a freshness, vitality, and highspiritedness unparalleled in the New York post-war art world. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1923 Hendler studied in his home town at the Graphic Sketch Club, the Philadelphia College of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, and the Tyler School of Art (Temple University). In 1949, he continued his art training in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière on the G.I. Bill. Immersing himself in the Left Bank art scene, he formed close friendships with the Canadian Taschist painter, Jean Paul Riopelle, and the noted Australian sculptor, Robert Klippel. In Paris, he exhibited at the Musée d’Art Moderne and was a founding member of Galerie Huit, the first American cooperative gallery in Europe. Its members included Sam Francis, Al Held, Shirley Jaffe, and Jules Olitski, among others. Returning to New York in 1951, Hendler became part of the exploding Greenwich Village art scene. He was a voting member of the New York Artist’s Club from 1951 until its end in 1957. He was a friend of the leading figures in the New York School, including the painters Pollock, de Kooning, and Philip Guston and the critic Harold Rosenberg. With Franz Kline, he established a friendship that would last throughout the rest of Kline’s life. During this same period, Hendler was active in Philadelphia. At the Hendler Galleries, which he ran from 1952 to 1954, he exhibited the work of de Kooning, Sam Francis, Guston, Kline, George McNeil, Stephen Pace, Pollock, Milton Resnick, Riopelle, Ludwig Sander, and Jack Tworkov. Around 1957, his work evolved from Page 52 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Raymond Hendler, August 1982, 1982, Acrylic on canvas. 50 x 42 in.

Raymond Hendler 1970s

overall tightly-wound linear webs into a personal language of abstract pictograms. The works are made up of lines, colorful right angles, and floating cartouches, which occasionally create picture environments that resemble gardens, skies, or artist’s studios. Over the next forty-years, his works would be defined by an almost childlike sense of wonder distinguished through a refined order and sense of spatial dynamism. Although images are at times visible, Hendler always maintained that his work was nonrepresentational. Instead, the images serve to convey spatiality and lightheartedness in a highly sophisticated order. Hendler continued to seek clearer lines and harder edges during the 1960s, so that by the end of the decade, he had eliminated the drag of the paint brush, commonly emphasized by the Abstract Expressionists. Remarking on Hendler’s departure from the popular Abstract Expressionist style, Kline wrote: “The direct austere design and color complexes paint the image without undue nuances — with clarity and mature independence.”1 Hendler differed from Rosenberg’s belief that American post-war painting should have a clear break from the past.

His work often recalls the autonomism and nonobjectivism of his European predecessors. However, Stuart Preston noted in The New York Times that Hendler had a “totally different approach to nonobjectivism. . . . He excels in bright hard explicit pattern-making, in straightforward parades of independent shapes, not unlike those in Matisse’s collages. There is something reminding of Léger here as well, particularly in the unambiguous glare of contrasted color and in the robust refusal to allow shapes to suggest anything beyond their merry self.”2 Like Miró, Hendler’s shapes shift from one image to the other, but as Gordon Brown noted in ArtNews: “[Miró’s shapes] don’t fluctuate spatially and structurally. Hendler’s images do.”3 By 1970, Hendler was producing some of his most important work. Using open and white spaces, which allowed more things to happen on a canvas, Hendler painted intelligible symbols scattered cheerfully across the flat picture plane. These jubilant marks on their fresh white grounds animate the canvas often appearing as if they were flowing hieroglyphs or animated handwriting. The artist called these artistic scrawls — “graffiti” before the style became popular as an art form. Hendler continued: “Writing is a kind of selfrevelation that gives you a chance to become. It acts as a catalyst. It does all a line can do in terms of noting and connoting.”4 As Scott Burton noted in ArtNews: “His paintings make pictures out of words (literally) and words out of pictures (figuratively). Hendler’s painting is a language.”5 Hendler’s style would foreshadow many of the movements that became popular in the latter half of the twentieth century: the lighthearted pop art of the 1960s, the reductive minimalism of the late 1960s and 1970s, neo-expressionism of the late 1970s and 1980s, and text based art of the 1980s. Hendler had frequent solo and group exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and other locations. He was represented by Rose Fried Gallery, one of the most important galleries of its time and a champion of many European artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Juan Gris, Vasily Kandinsky, Joan Miró, and Piet Mondrian. He had a series of solo exhibitions until Fried’s death in 1970. In 1963, he received the Longview Foundation Purchase Award, juried by de Kooning, Thomas Hess, Guston, Rosenberg and David Smith. Since his death in 1998, his work has continued to be featured in solo and group shows, many of which are important reconsiderations of the art of the second half of the twentieth century.


Raymond Hendler

Raymond Hendler, RH.1284, 1984, Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 16½ in.

Grey Art Gallery, New York University; J. Walter Thompson Company, New York; Minneapolis College of Art and Design; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Novartis Co., East Hanover, New Jersey; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; University of New Mexico, Art Museum, Albuquerque; University of Notre Dame, Indiana; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Berry Campbell Gallery continues to fill an important gap in the downtown art world, showcasing the work of prominent and mid-career artists. The owners, Christine Berry and Martha Campbell, share a curatorial vision of bringing new attention to the works of a selection of postwar and contemporary artists and revealing how these artists have advanced ideas and lessons in powerful and new directions. Raymond Hendler Other artists and estates represented by the gallery are Edward Avedisian, Walter Darby Balcomb Greene, Gertrude Greene, John Goodyear, Ken Greenleaf, Raymond Hendler, Jill Nathanson, John Opper, Stephen Pace, Charlotte Park, William Perehudoff, Ann Purcell, Jon Schueler, Mike Solomon, Syd Solomon, Albert Stadler, Yvonne Thomas, Susan Vecsey, James Walsh, Joyce Weinstein, and Larry Zox. Berr y Campbel l Gal ler y is located in the heart of the Chelsea Arts District at 530 West 24th Street, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10011.  For information, please contact Christine Berry or Martha Campbell at 212.924.2178 or info@berrycampbell.com.

During his forty-year teaching career, Hendler also taught at the Contemporary School of Ar t, Brookl y n; Parsons School of Design, New York; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; and School of Visual Arts, New York; and Minneapolis College of Art, where he was head of the painting department. Hendler retired from teaching in 1984 and moved two years later to the East End of Long Island. He lived and painted for the last ten years of his life in the house in East Hampton’s Northwest Woods that he built with his wife, Mary Rood. Hendler is represented in the collections of numerous museums and public collections Raymond Hendler, #3, 1953, Acrylic on canvas. 28” x 36” in America and abroad, including Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Calcutta, India; Frederick Bannard, Stanley Boxer, Dan Christensen, R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; Eric Dever, Perle Fine, Judith Godwin,

¹ Franz Kline, Raymond Hendler (catalogue for an exhibition at Rose Fried Gallery), 1962. ² Stuart Preston, “Art: Abstractionist Seeks Nature’s Aid,” New York Times, January 20, 1962. ³ Gordon Brown, “Interview with Raymond Hendler,” Arts Magazine, 1967. Brown interview. Scott Burton, “Two for May: Dunn, Hendler,” ArtNews, 1967. SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 53


(front row) Claudia and Neil Himmelstein; Back row: Vistors, Cindy and John Scott, artist Cindy Ceravolo, Gallery Director Jamie Forbes

Community Turns Out For Center Moriches’ New Art Space BY VICTOR FORBES

Welcome to the “home page” of the the Ketcham Inn Foundation’s and the East End’s newest venue for cutting-edge and heritage art, The Jamie Forbes Galler y. The most wonderful compliment came from Carlo Buscemi, our dear friend and colleague of many year who shot everybody for us at our gallery and Artexpo during pre-internet “Golden Age of Art” as Arica Hilton deems it. Carlo told me just the other day that Jamie’s gallery is exactly the way a Long Island art space ought to be. “de Kooning would have loved this place,” he said. Indeed, if you ask her, Jamie might tell you the story about how she met the legendary artist at a street show in Oyster Bay in the ’60s when he offered her a work for $100!

Ketchan Inn CEO Bert Seides, artist Christopher Maiorana, guests

It’s a long way from then but in this collection of exhibitions from the 2017 Sophomore Season of the Jamie Forbes Gallery, the focus is on the cultural continuity of a great artistic community from artists (some of whom we first met when we were publishing our newspaper SunStorm – Long Island’s Newspaper of the Arts)

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– starting with Lois DiCosola’s de Kooning recollections, right through to Dan Welden, who made prints for the master. We’ve known both since our very early days and it has been great to reunite with them and so many others over the two years since the gallery opened. Ty Stroudsburg, Carol Hunt and Kimberly Goff

are long-time bastions of the East End arts scene – international in scope and recognition – this gallery has been honored to show their work and grateful that they and all the other artists over these two years have helped us get off the ground. As is David Martine of the Shinnecock Tribe of Southampton who was recently awarded a Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island. A fine and eclectic selection of artists with a long history of great success in their fields introduced their “proteges” Justin Greenwald, Christopher Maiorana and Justin Mayer and the works by these young artists were well-received and sold well. New and exciting exhibits are planned for 2018 including Phyllis Hammond’s sculptures from the Dag Hammarskjöld


Artists Jim Ceravolo and Dan Welden

Artist Ty Stroudsburg (left); artist Carol Hunt (in red) with friends and family

Artists Kimberly Goff, Ty Stroudsburg

Ty Stroudsburg, Christopher Maiorana, Amy Worth, with Christopher’s father

Artist Justin Mayer (in hat) with friends at the opening reception for Pros & Proteges

Artists Amy Worth, Dan Welden and Dan Christoffel

Amy Worth, Terry Romano, Christopher Maiorana

Standing before Carol Hunt’s painting are Bridget LeRoy, Eric Johnson, and Terry Ruggio

Gallery Director Jamie Forbes, artist Justin Greenwald, Carol Valone

Plaza which will be installed outdoors at the Gallery site along Montauk Highway by Eric Johnson, installation coordinator. Recently an exhibition was held at the Oasis Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility. Scheduled this sason are a Local Artist Invitational; Artists for Peace and the Environment with the Backyard Environmentalist; “Learning at the Barn Art” and a show of “History and Signs From the Ketcham Inn.” At these exhibitions you will get to know artists who represent the creative heart, soul and ideals of art as expounded by Gallery Director Jamie Forbes and Ketcham Inn CEO Bert Seides, who heads the Foundation which also houses a very well-stocked bookstore

with quite a selection of antiques and hosts all kinds of events ranging from antique auto shows to Colonial Day celebrations with meals cooked on stoves from the original Ketcham Inn, circa 1770. “With Jamie’s experience as a museum director and curator of exhibitions of major international importance, we can now present a world class art gallery on the premises that will expand on our current mission, which is to ‘Restore and Maintain the Havens-TerryKetcham Inn as a House-Museum of 18th Century Life in the Moriches Bay Area.’ The gallery, in its first two seasons, has attracted a wide range of visitors to our historic locale, a few short miles from the Hamptons.”

Guest, Cindy Scottl, Bert Seides, artist/ photographer Carlo B, Mark Levine

Judie and Brian Wasarhaley with his sculpture SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 55


Phyllis Hammond, “Beyond the Edge” Installation at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, NYC, 2016-2017 Five sculptures of aluminum and steel, dimensions as follows: Tempo, 144 x 60 x 60”, aluminum and steel, 2016; Alien, 132 x 60 x 60”, aluminum and steel, 2016; Flying, 120 x 60 x 60”, aluminum and steel, 2016; Gateway, 108 x 60 x 60”, aluminum and steel, 2016; More This Freedom, 108 x 60 x 60”, aluminum and steel, 2016; Summit Tripod, 120 x 60 x 60”, aluminum and steel, 2016, $50,000

Phyllis Hammond Installation A Roadside Attraction

The artist in her studio in Springs Page 56 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Phyllis Hammond’s Beyond the Edge outdoor sculpture installation debuts May19 at the Jamie Forbes Gallery/Ketcham Inn Foundation & Educational Center in the waterfront Hamlet of Center Moriches on Long Island’s East End. These seven largescale works traveled directly from their previous space — Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the United Nations. “As a ground-breaking public art display, Hammond’s work culturally enriches the community,” commented gallery director Jamie Forbes. “My special thanks go to Bert Seides, President of KIF, for his perseverance in bringing this milestone art event to our town and to Eric Johnson of Sculpturescapes for introducing us to the artist and exhibition.” The coordinated efforts of Philip Berdolt, Commissioner of Suffolk County Parks; and Richard C. Martin, Suffolk County Director of Historic Services also paved the waty to bring this exhibition to fruition at this very accessible and visible site on Montauk Highway. Hamptons-based artist Hammond’s steel and aluminum sculptures feature narrow stem-like bases topped by whimsical, kinetic elements that rotate in the wind. Hammond uses an improvisational method to create her colorful, large-scale sculptures. The metal cutouts are based on playful, looping doodles on paper that she scans and modifies using a computer program. Once the drawings have been refined digitally, the designs are cut from sheets of metal using a water jet machine. After the metal shapes are hammered, bent and welded into curved shapes, they are powder-coated with brightly colored paint. The public is invited to celebrate this historic exhibition Saturday May 19th from 4-6 pm. , 90 Montauk Highway, Center Moriches, NYFor further information, e-mail: Jamie@fineartmagazine.com or call the Ketcham Inn at (631) 878-1855


Bob Romano, Eric Johnson and Bert Seides (Pres. Ketcham Inn Foundation)

At Phyllis Hammond’s Exhibition “Invatitional” Colleagues and friends join the artist: Tracy Harris, Jennifer Cross, Stephanie Brody-Lederman

“I work spontaneously. My sculptures are made of found objects; it just so happens that the found objects are ones that I’ve created. In the late 1950’s I worked for one of the first company’s building mainframe computers, making schematic drawings. It was my summer job in college. Those ink drawings of circuit boards evolved into the work I’m doing today. I make drawings that are converted to vector programs on a computer, then cut out of aluminum and steel with a waterjet machine. The positive cut out forms created are joined by welding into new configurations and playful combinations. The work talks to me and tells me what I need to do with it to make the forms work as sculptures.”

Eric Johnson moving Hammond sculptures into the “Barn” at the gallery.

Phyllis Hammond with Gallery Director Jamie Forbes getting ready for the installation in Center Moriches, Long Island, NY SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 57


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Pros & Protégés As Differing Views DAN WELDEN • AMY WORTH • DAN CHRISTOFFEL JUSTIN GREENWALD • CHRISTOPHER MAIORANA • JUSTIN MAYER

Dan Welden

By JAMIE ELLIN FORBES

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he exhibition Pros and Protégés as Differing Views introduces the viewing audience to the protégé artists Justin Greenwald, Christopher Maiorana and Justin Mayer. As “pros” of renown Dan Welden, Amy Worth and Dan Christoffel have mentored, supported and selected these three young artists about whom they feel strongly as talents to be seen. Each protégé — with their differing challenges — is presented within the exhibition as a creative talent outside of the mainstream. A gifted use of color, medium and space is demon-strated in Justin Greenwald’s works making it easy to understand the exceptional quality which caught Dan Welden’s eye. Greenwald met Dan Welden (pioneer of alternative printmaking since 1970 and Professor Emeritus of Escuela de Beas Artes, in Cuzco, Peru), while a high school student. Dan visited his art class to demonstrate and introduce print-making. Greenwald entered Carnegie Mellon University where the fit for him at that time was not right. Justin did not paint for seven years until he reignited his art process/interest and reconnected with Welden, a self-described “experimenter and explorer and a seeker of beauty. When I set out to work, I don’t have an image in mind, nor a specific focus, but, my vision unfolds as the work develops. I am

Justin Greenwald

process oriented, interested in employing materials and techniques to the ‘landscape’ of my mind. I believe that my creative act takes place during the ‘act’ of creativity, with no end in sight. My drawings, paintings and prints evolve from the idea of linear pathways echoing from the tracks of animals in nature, fissures in rock palisades and the patterns created by my hands becoming ‘playful’ with the tools I work with.” The works as Earth Elements dialogued by Greenwald in a series of wooden hewed split logs boards emote an earthy quality though medium and context of color. The artist explains, “I began the Armadillo series as a sculptural installation. I created it with repurposed wood that I cut, drilled, planed, sanded and stained before drawing and writing on the individual pieces. My work involves creating numbers and letters in an overlapping pattern. I am more concerned with composition and structure, rather than with legibility. SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 59


Forest Pond

In addition, I am intentionally blurring the line between insider and outsider art. I put my heart into these wood panels. The solar-plate etchings are an extension of the work on wood.”Adds Welden‚ “Justin Greenwald is without doubt, one of the most focused, self-directed artists I’ve ever known. On his mission, he never deviates from the ultimate goal of inner satisfaction. His talent may not be obvious to all but having known him more than half his life, I have seen his unwavering commitment to creativity.” Greenwald states an intricacy of detail which may be seen as utilizing numbers combined to create a glyph as an introspective unknown language. Possibly a reflection or remembrance of something being transcribed, the transcriptions may be seen painted on the wood as modern computer code when placed on the surface of the wood as imagery. A feeling arises from the green, silver, black, and brown painted panels recognizable as a universal message waiting to be read. The wood and paper works displayed in this exhibition demonstrate that Greenwald owns the space in which he paints. Designating medium to the background with a similarity to Outsider Art, Greenwald integrates his work as elements to be experienced. A gifted use of texture, medium and space is demonstrated from Greenwald’s works. Seen when painted on the wood as modern computer code is placed within the surface of the wood as imagery. Welden has been in the forefront of health and safety for working artists. He developed Solarplate printmaking and water based monotypes and has educated artists of all levels. He has coauthored Printmaking in the Sun, and directs Hampton Editions, Ltd. through which he has collaborated with artists including Willem de Kooning, Eric Fischl and Dan Flavin, among many others. He received international residency grants for China, Belgium and New Zealand, as well as several domestic awards. His 83 solo exhibitions have taken him to professional visits in over 53 countries. In 2016 he received a ‘Lifetime Achievement Grant’ from A/E Foundation. Recently his solo exhibit of works on paper was featured at The Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA.

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hristopher Maiorana met Amy Worth in her studio when he came for art lessons. Maiorana works though the lens of Downs Syndrome. During time spent with his mentor teacher, Worth saw Maiorana’s remarkable use of color and twodimensional space. “He translates what he sees applying color with a clarity rarely seen or unattainable by other artists,” notes Worth. A pure gift of spontaneity invites all viewers into Maiorana’s world of imagery. Regarding his process Maiorana relates, “I focus on different paintings. I mix different colors. I start with the background. I like the blue sky and the beautiful beaches. Inspired by my parents, I like baking and cooking. I am inspired by my garden, even the fence

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Amy Worth, “In A Pool”

and the chicken coop. I focus on different paintings. I mix different colors starting with the background. I like to paint pink roses, red roses, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens. I like to do something a little different.” His palette is unfiltered — a sophisticated blend of billowing forms placed to construct flowing landscapes and still life paintings. During his tenure with Worth, Maiorana has taken part in a student exhibition and a sold out one man exhibition at Worth’s South St. Gallery in Greenport, Long Island. His special lens offers a courage to others seeking to display the different unique within us all. Worth understands. “Working with Christopher continues to be a joy for me because of his enthusiasm and willingness to take chances. It is because of these qualities that I have learned from him too.” Amy Worth’s commitment to Christopher Maiorana is as a person as well as to championins his works as exceptional without labels. Her work is and was always about the medium, color and texture. “After a long career as a textile artist I picked up a brush and began to paint in my own voice. When I began creating my own work I was delighted to find that the years I’d spent matching color in gouache translated well to oil and that I could mix the hue and value I desired. Inspired by contemporary impressionist Peggi Kroll Roberts, I strive to say as much as I can in thick, intentional strokes. My landscapes and still life paintings are generally in a small format. Teaching drawing and painting, and considering the elements of art and the principles of design, has helped me focus on and develop my technique. Working with a palette knife is both liberating, for the freedom to plaster the canvas, and restrictive as mistakes are not easily corrected. Color is my passion and adjusting value and the intensity of a hue is a process I love. I spend a great deal of time on the composition and even more time mixing color. The actual painting happens fairly quickly. It is my intention to push my technique towards abstraction without losing the energy and beauty of my subject. I live in Orient, on the East End of Long Island, in an environment renowned for beautiful light and vista. I don’t think this landscape will ever cease to inspire


Upon the Death of His Son Willie

me but I look forward to exploring other terrains. My aim is to build a body of work that evokes the spirit of my subject with both color and technique.” s an artist, Justin Mayer is very much influenced by our contemporary culture which is both constantly evolving and vastly diverse. Justin Mayer met Dan Christoffel, one of his art professors, while a student attending Long Island University, Brookville NY. “Christoffel has become one of Long Island’s most recognized historical artists and manages to combine both his passion for history and his talent as a representational painter. His paintings are historical stories, not just portraits. They represent our country at times of change and promise.” Newsday, 2010. Represented in this exhibit are examples of his passion for Lincoln, Whitman, and Jazz. Mayer decided to get his degree later than sooner. Time and life’s lessons through experience had set Mayer free to state his personalized highly styled visual language. Mayer brought his energy and developed sense of iconic messaging within image to class. Those qualities of creativity did not go un-noticed by Christoffel, who saw Mayer’s distinctive style emerging. Mayer’s work crosses over between street and outsider art as complete dialogs containing social statements. Mayer relates his sense of street art in his distinctive tapestry works he calls murals on canvas. Contemporary icons and symbols are combined. The artist states his exampled work‚ American Chaos in Color “summarizes a reflection of my influences today.” The juxtaposition of images within this piece are incorporating his personal kaleidoscope of our collective consciousness and this work is an exercise in discovery on his questioning of our societal roles. Mayer’s stories related as a composition utilize unique stylized emblems, like patches of life combined with known street characters after Keith Haring’s “art babies” to incorporate his

A

Justin Mayer

personal experience. Dan Christoffel understood Mayer’s work as an important artistic statement in contemporary art and language containing energy and life for the viewer to experience. “The concept of fine art as we examine it today is one of associations comprised of societal influences both modern and historical. Today’s expansive appetite for original concepts have influenced myself and the world and time period that I occupy.” Special thanks to the Pros in our exhibition — Dan Welden, Amy Worth and Dan Christoffel. Each is accomplished and recognized as both artists and academics. By participating in Pros & Protégés as Differing Views‚ they support freedom of self-expression that may be defined as outsider or differing in each protégé: Justin Greenwald, Christopher Maiorana and Justin Mayer. Each pro, having carved out impressive careers over multiple decades, knows the difficulty encountered by emerging young artists. A generosity of spirit and nature opens the door to a form of expression we as viewers may have missed. A lens which is different outside the box when qualified by our Pros broadens our visual language and experience. We, the audience, are offered the opportunity to appreciate the creative expression Welden, Worth and Christoffel bring into view via selected works by Greenwald, Maiorana and Mayer. Kudos to Dan Welden who suggested our theme, introduced me to his fellow Pros and connected all parties. “I think you (we) have something special here,” Dan recently wrote to me. Together Dan, Amy Worth and Dan Christoffel brought their protégés together and we produced a multitextural out-of-the-box art exhibition offered to enliven the status-quo. An extra special thank you to Bert Seides for his untiring support and hard work to create a showplace for art in our beautiful town — Center Moriches, NY. Without his effort, this gallery would not be. — Jamie Ellin Forbes, Gallery Director SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 61


Born to be a Wild Artist

FINE ART INTERVIEW

By JAMIE ELLIN FORBES

Twenty plus years ago, my partner Judith and I lived in Montauk, New York, where she owned a down and dirty rock and roll bar called the Memory Motel. The Memory hosted many professional recording and touring musicians looking for a little beach down time. The most common comment from the mix of local and tourist patrons was “these guys are much too good to be playing this joint.” Fast-forward 15 years. I first met Michael Monarch when he played at a fundraiser for a fellow musician with a serious medical problem. That encounter triggered that old delightful recognition of a worldclass artist in an unexpected venue. As I got to know him I found out Michael was the original lead guitarist for Steppenwolf, a contributor on Janis Joplin’s “Kosmic Blues” , and for the last 20 years toured with the star studded band, The World Classic Rockers. More recently I discovered Michael’s digital artwork. I alerted my sister Jamie, the publisher of Fine Art Magazine, to my find. She was impressed enough to want to do a feature article on him. I will conclude these liner notes with my first reaction to Michael’s art, be it audio or visual. From a musical perspective, every guitar riff, every power chord is played with a go-for-broke, pedal-to-the-metal urgency. I had the same response to his digital work. Conformism and caution are not part of his repertoire, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from the featured graphics. Climb aboard for this kaleidoscopic Magic Carpet Ride. — RICHARD SCHALLER

Michael Monarch, self-portrait, “Then and Now”, 2017

When did you become interested in art? Everyone in my family dabbled in art. My brother, dad and uncle all painted. At a young age I did some painting and sculpting. Early on I was fascinated with the special effects and the art that went into the Disney movies and theme parks. Growing up in California I think I was taken to Disneyland the first year it was opened in 1955. I went regularly for many years. I even had dreams of working for Disney in the art or sculpting department but when my music career started to take off … well that became my focus. As I got older my taste in art became more defined. I was really drawn toward printmaking, especially etchings with shade and color (aquatint, mezzo tint, mixed media, etc). Generally I have been more interested in abstract than realism. Other than music are there other art forms you express yourself in? I did some competition swing dancing years ago and even won a few titles in California. West Coast Swing is the state dance. Another interest of mine is motorcycles and I have done some custom designing of a few bikes. Which artists if any influenced you? Well I can give you a partial list of well known artists that I’m interested in: Miró, Pollock, Kandinsky, Picasso, Rene Carcan, Renee Lubarow and Klee. Page 62 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018


Experiment

Red & Green Lumi

How long have you been creating your serious abstracts? For about the last ten years I have been creating the particular type of abstract prints seen here. What elements of sound or musical expression do you call upon as an emotional or intellectual influence if any? I love modern art – Expressionism, Cubism, abstract. The raw emotion in these forms plus the interaction with the viewer is very appealing to me. In music I love jazz and fusion (a mix of jazz, blues, rock, etc.) which definitely ties in with my artistic tastes. Music and art are so alike … expressing with sound or with a visual medium … it’s really the same thing to me. Angular lines, smooth curves, splashes and crashes of sound or color; creating moods and feelings; saying something. To me, music is art, art is music. Your palette used through your digital medium is clear and clean. Is this by design?  I would say yes. I think part of being an artist is to know what you like … what you’re after. Much of what I do is experimental but there is a guiding force that leads me to final composition and effect. I don’t really know why I’m so drawn to the etched look in printmaking. I love the detail but also there is a gritty, metallic earthiness that happens in the etching process that intrigues me and pulls me in. I also love the inkiness of the colors of that type SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 63


Eruption of Color

of art. There is a part of me that loves detail … but also a part that relates to big explosive free form expression … especially in colors. Another aspect is the unexpected things that happen in the mechanical process of printmaking. The acid eating at the metal and the artifacts that this leaves on the paper. All of this attracts and influences me and I think is visible in my work with the use of a digital medium. What story are the works telling? I consider my work abstract and free form not really trying to depict a thing but rather a feeling – really raw and emotional – with the process being an important part of the end product. The titles really come afterward as a possible description of the outcome and to help me recall and talk about a particular piece. The works appear to roll out of a differing spatial experience. “Experiment” looks like a Praying Mantis to me. Is there an underlying vision you’re expressing in this one? Do you see the complete expression in your mind as a statement (like a vision) for a work prior to creating the piece? Or do you form a compositional statement extrapolated from experiences you translate into color and form? The way I would describe my process of creating is playful experimentation; letting things happen and subconsciously releasing memories, feelings and experiences. Really, I’m just playing. Page 64 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Abstract Multi


Michael Monarch Legendary Guitarist, Visionary Artist By JAMIE ELLIN FORBES Michael Monarch’s work offers a pathway toward fluid movement, connecting a remembrance of rhythmic forms floating under light with color composed stating the artist’s creative intent. A new pallet of digitally organized tools, realize Monarch’s works technically outside the scope and capacity of the traditional medium to achieve his distinctive contemporary art style. The grid of the universe displayed in splashes and layers composed a freshly formed vision of impression within a digital art pallet which keystone Monarchs images. Works created by the new media permit a change in curve or line with contemplated exact precision offering a perceptual difference for the viewer. Senses are challenged to synthesize hearing in addition to seeing color and form when combine as composition. The artist’s abstracted impressions convey a remote story emerging from the far reaches of a universal minds-eye to deliver a non-linear visual experience as compositional works executed in the new medium of digital painting. Achieved via Monarch’s inflection of beat is his invitation to enter the free-form world of experimentation within digital medium. The expertise to paint digitally requires mastery of expression within the mechanics of the computer in combination with artistic imagination. Eluding or impressing line joining form within the works previously unknown in traditional media invite one into a spatially contingent experience observed as the work takes part in the now. As a feeling, Monarch’s perception of his creative idea can be absorbed as beads of water impacting or taking formation – spilling out. He is arranging the colored swirls and droplets against a background newly imagined as possible; always there and present simultaneously anew within each artwork. With spontaneity, Jackson Pollock splashed his paint, like watercolor hitting the canvas without order. When taken a step further, color is set free digitally. The impact or burst of energy injected is perceived very differently, for example, in “Abstract.” A path to the surreal without form suggested in “Experiment” reveals a subconscious origin of an idea awaiting communication, all the while maintaining a distinct ebb and flow woven within the color to create a semblance of a patterned idea, which the artist has directed compositionally. Monarch takes the viewer for a walk into the hinterlands of a universal

Explosion

landscape to deliver within the context of his work a mood and visuality reminiscent of Matta, Keel, Kandinsky, Miro, Picasso and the masterful 20th century Abstract Expressionists. Their influences newly imagined though the computer offers an infinite opportunity. Within the context of the Abstract Expressionists’ explosions of color filaments drifting like illuminated dancing forms moving through space with a destination in mind. Although random in the dispersion, there is an exactness to work driving to identify with Monarch’s intent. The energy force and color combined in “Eruption of Color” is not chaotic, though complex and sometimes very busy combinations of color and rhythm resonate within the plain of view cohesively. The dynamic movement captured in “Explosion,” and “Eruption of Color ” is pure Monarch. He melds line, color and objects seamlessly in digital compositions as an overall aesthetic. One associates the art

statement as uplifting in feeling. Michael Monarch brings his musical expertise to recognize and achieve his internal autonomous artistic statement with a developed awareness of style, form and function. Plus, he was a superstar in a revolutionary band (Steppenwolf), an accomplishment he achieved as in his art – with balance, great composition and a confidence enhanced by personal skill and plenty of practice. As free-formed as the works are, a disciplined execution of compositional abstract experience are evident in his visionary images. Digital art is a new medium in use by artists experimenting without limits employing the rich texture of color and compositional theory in a context waiting to be uniquely realized. Monarch maximizes his discoveries as opportunity to be found within his experimentations as curious, playful, diverse and just fun to view and explore – a world, familiar and unique – shared with his audience. SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 65


Page 66 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018


SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 67


L I V I N G

LIFE EXTREME I N T H E

By VICTOR FORBES

Boldness comes naturally to Jeff Vermeeren. Boldness and originality. We were neighbors with booths in a far corner at the New York Artexpo in 2015. Even on set-up day, any observer could tell there was something special about him. It was not just the artwork that stood out, but the artist himself. His colorful shirt exuded power, as did his art and his hair was perfect, like the Werewolf of London. Not to mention those Newman-esque blue eyes and a demeanor that – wait a second.... Vermeeren? Showing at Artexpo? Wasn’t he a Dutch Master? So we couldn’t help stopping and chatting with Jeff himself who was as personable and debonair as his outfit and blazing red hair, and whose collection of art on the walls was, simply put, energizing in it’s originality, color and power. “A work of art, is the trace of a magnificent struggle,” noted Robert Henri, a leading figure of the Ashcan School. “It’s really a battle,” said Degas. Chimed in Monette, “As an artist, you reach for the pen that’s full of blood.” While there is no pen in Jeff ’s tool chest, he creates with a potent concoction of a wide range of unstable chemicals mixed together with a combination of ice, fire and unbr id led enthusiasm. With no set formula to achieve a pre-destined outcome, each piece, generated from the artist’s vision and creative nature is as explosive as his electric persona and inflammable ideas. This unique form of art and his passion for creating with an almost rebellious disregard for the ordinary led him to this masterful mode of expression he terms “Extreme Abstract.” This particular school of art, of which Vermeeren is founder and chief proponent, follows no rules. From a scholarly point of view, it is a natural progression from the Fauves to the Color Field to the Abstract Expressionists and even though probably the farthest thing from his mind when he is setting fire to his latest creation, those antecedents come to mind when analyzing Vermeeren’s work. Newman’s latest auction prices, running in the $45 million range, should give Jeff and his collectors something to think about. As does the actor Newman’s role in that anti-establishment classic with the famous catch-phrase “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” While that worked well in an iconoclastic movie some fifty years ago, communication is not a problem for Jeff Vermeeren. His eloquence is evident in just about every creation. As does music, they speak in a universal language. “Part of me has a vision but it always evolves,” says the artist.”I learned to paint that way over time. Initially, it was nice for me to just have an idea. Now it’s just how I paint. I can’t pre-meditate to a full extent what the result will be yet somehow I know to some degree what I am getting into. That’s what I believe art really is: produce Page 68 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

ABSTRACT

something that creates an emotion in somebody, if that makes sense.” “It’s like writing a song,” I said. Replied Jeff, “That’s exactly right.” “How do you manifest that?” I asked. “Just by not repeating myself. I just don’t want get stuck doing the same thing every day.” Ever since Jeff Vermeeren heard the sound of a roaring engine, he has been infatuated with the freedom of the road. A motocross racer who owns a demolition company in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where he was born and raised, Vermeeren has always believed in the value of ingenuity, fearlessness and unyielding optimism. His favorite expression is “Perfect. My parents often worked two and three jobs, and we, as a family, just learned how to work.” Known for its entrepreneurial spirit, his hometown values have served as a guiding influence in his life and have driven him to reach higher, dig deeper, and push the limits of possibility. From a very young age he found inspiration through exploration and discovery. He loved to manipulate and repurpose everyday items. His company razes anything and everything from full size buildings to small construction projects, using excavators and a lot of manpower. “I was to the point where I wanted to start giving back and I was looking for something where I could express myself by creating, not just dismantling. The demolition company,” he says with no irony, “is going full blast” as is his art career. The success of his business allows Jeff to further explore the creative nature he exhibited as a youth as well as a formidable desire to use his art to benefit charities that primarily support children and their families as they battle life-threatening diseases. His art is a “Creation of extremes that produces a profusion of life.” From that initial exposure at Artexpo, with an explosion of color, forms and mediums completely different from anything in the show, Jeff has become a mainstay at some 40 galleries and the list grows every time he does an art fair. Collectors are drawn to his work and not surprisingly. They are impactful yet soothing. Meditative exercises for both artist and viewer. To get the vivid colors that infuse in each piece a variety of feelings and moods he employs fire, ice, pressure and a wide range of unstable chemicals. “It’s quite an extensive process,” he states revealing just enough for the sake of an interview. “Chemicals ignite at different levels of heat and burn at different speeds.” There is no way to duplicate one of his pieces. Explosion of color and forms are completely different from anyone working today. This is not oil paint on canvas. He takes the Old Masters and recent masters visions to a level heretofore unexplored territory. Freezing his product, setting it on fire and setting it on fire again, sometimes up to 15 layers of “paint” are applied and the different temperatures can brighten, darken or simply coalesce to


Life

Valiant

render swirling nebulae of cosmic proportion, bringing in light or simply reflecting it. Some people think I spray it, or drip it. But in actuality, I have tons of different techniques. “It almost looks ceramic, some say. Others are sure it’s glass, or plastic, or that there’s a light behind my painting Its interesting because everybody has their ideas and thoughts on how it’s produced. For now it’s my little secret and for me, definitely, I can stand out with it.” Adamant about not revealing the intricacies of his technique, one thing is for sure: it is definitely not a process for the faint of heart. If Cool Hand Luke was tagging subway cars instead of busting up parking meters, he would be Jeff Vermeeren. Each piece is visually stimulating; each

piece is an original; each piece is impossible to recreate. There are no editions, limited or otherwise. “I really love the vibrant colors and wanted to do something extraordinary that not everybody was doing. I don’t want to have the same art everywhere. Each piece is different in its own way and it is impossible for me to reproduce even my own work.” With such a delicate method and so many variables that can alter it in an instant, Jeff maintains control by mixing all his colors, using “tons of different kinds of trade secrets.” He sometimes invites fans and collectors to watch him work but “If you watched me do a painting you’d still be wondering how I do it. I don’t write anything down, or I’ll be doing the same thing I did yesterday.”

One could view an entire collection of Vermeerens — 50 or 100 of them — and never see the same blue, or the same red. “All the shades and hues are different,” notes Jeff, whose very first piece was created out of heating duct material. He has since tried everything from steel to cooper to brass; different layers of aluminum, such as high aircraft grade aluminum. Even now he consistently changes his materials. Creation for Vermeeren is “always a thing of excitement.” The result is “way, way different. Nobody has ever seen this kind of art before. It’s moving and majestic, I’ve been told. It’s very different.” To date, his largest work is about 10 feet by 10 feet for a collector in Calgary. SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 69


Flag Raise

“It’s not uncommon for me to be somewhere and walk into a piece that I’ve done hanging in an office or home. It’s like meeting an old friend.” Action is a keynote of Extreme Abstraction and it’s “the movement of the piece I like to create. I want everybody that is looking at it to see something different every time. I don’t ever want to be painting the same thing I’ve done or seen before. I want it to be interesting enough so that every time you see my piece you see something new.” In the World War II piece (pictured above) Jeff stepped out of his element and it evolved into some “neat things and neat venues I am doing now. I met the gentleman

in NY at Artexpo and he wanted to create something that was home to him. He’s a military guy serving overseas and asked me to do something on this particular theme that stood out for him. It’s debossed, reversed and was quite a project, but very satisfying to myself and the client.” Drowning in Fun (pictured below) is autobiographical. According to Jeff, “That was a super one-off sold in Key West at Zazoo art gallery, a very one-of-a-kind collectors piece. I sculpted the face but the hands are actually mine. There’s a lot of symbolism to that piece, you have to think about it. Many people don’t believe you can

Drowning in Fun Page 70 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

be married that long as long as LaDawn and I (or any other long-term couple) and still have fun with the same person. There’s certain things I included to reflect what I feel is important, such as on my hand is a wedding band. There’s a lot going on. When you’re in your 20s you don’t really think about the future. Later it’s about where I’m going instead of where I’ve been. You go through pain, you go through joy and there’s certain things that help you get there and certain things that don’t. A fun thing about being an artist is you’re switching out your walls all the time. “When I first started out only 10-20%


Essentials

Olympus

of the paintings I created worked. Now I would say 90% of what I do succeeds. I wish I could say everything.” One thing Jeff really enjoys is touring. “It’s very exciting, getting into new galleries. Since I’ve been exhibiting, I’ve come to know lots and lots of wonderful people over these years. The tough thing is as soon as you get to a certain point, it’s dumb to give up. I enjoy it. I love the charity stuff, love the people I get to meet with that and am always looking forward to my next step.”

Jeff loves collaboration and will be teaming up with Don Oriolo for a very limited edition of Felix the Cat mixed with his Extreme Abstract. They will be available at Zazoo Fine Art Gallery in Key West, FL. Dedicated to creating a new innovative tradition, completely different, Jeff Vermeeren continues to design works that are playful yet substantial, dynamic yet mellow. When he comes to a gallery in your neck of the woods, be certain to attend his exhibition.

Suds SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 71


Rise

Euphoria Page 72 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018


Portal

Untitled 4, installation SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 73


Jeff with the Vander Raadt Family

The Vermeeren Family: Jeff, LaDawn, Austin, Taya, Roman and Sasha

Jeff Vermeeren is proud to participate in numerous charities. A portion of proceeds from his creations are donated for children battling life-threatening diseases. Jeff has used his art and energy to help the work of Kids Cancer Care; the CJ92 Kids Fund, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, ALS/SLA Canada, Make A Wish Miami & San Diego, Heritage Heights School and an ever-expanding group of like-minded organizations.

Jeff and Graf Family

James, Jeff and Jason at Zazoo Fine Art Gallery

Lisa Herr and Jeff Las Vegas

Jeff Vermeeren, Scott Labadio, Don Oriolo, David Wight, Fabio Napoleoni

Jeff and Keeler family

Page 74 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

Jeff, LaDawn and William Carr Las Vegas


Jeff Vermeeren and wildlife photographer Dana Kennedy with their collaboration

Dana Kennedy met Jeff Vermeeren at The William Carr Gallery last December at a shared “Meet the Artist” event. According to Dana, “We struck up a conversation and developed the idea to create a collaboration of our art mediums. I am a Wildlife Photographer currently showing at The William Carr Gallery and my specific images include African Wildlife that I have been photographing over the last 10 years. Jeff Vermeeren is a talented and extraordinarily creative artist who has perfected a medium that is unique and as it turns out works very effectively with my images taken throughout the wilds of Kenya. My lion image (Full Throttle) was chosen as we thought it would work quite effectively with Jeff ’s unique artistic creations and the collaboration was born. We are very excited to present this pilot project that showcases our collective artistry and I look forward to working with him on future endeavors. This is a one of a kind piece that celebrates Jeff ’s unique style in tandem with the iconic African Wildlife captured throughout my photography. A partnership that compliments our different styles and hopefully resonates successfully as it shows exclusively within The William Carr Gallery in Las Vegas.

For more information about Jeff Vermeeren’s art, where he will be exhibiting and various collaborations, visit his website: http://www.vermeerenfineart.com SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 75


LJUBOMIR MILINKOV

162cm x 130cm, Acrylic and oil

“No Wire, No Border - Tesla”

milinkovl@free.fr • 0033.1.53.60.15.8460 • 60 Rue de Domrémy 75013 • Paris, France Page 76 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018


Art Takes “A Walk for Life” As Bay Area Residents Make Stand Against Gun Violence

O

n March 24th, when the nation walked with students in Washington DC and elsewhere, an art gallery owner and an artist who creates sculptures out of metal melted from guns led 100+ students, families and supportive community members down the streets of Menlo Park, CA in support of the students demanding change. Galler y owner Katharina Powers and New York City based artist Lin Evola, who creates Peace Angels from metal melted from guns, are passionate women that have had Peace Angel sculpture close up enough of senseless gun violence. Powers approached every local police station and government official trying to organize a gun buy back project in Silicon Valley in her personal attempts to remove guns from the streets. “I met Lin Evola the day after the Parkland, Florida shooting, and I tried to initiate a gun buy back project for Silicon Valley with the mayors. I sent e-mails to 30 and 4 responded. So my mission is to support the kids. I have four kids on my own. Hence, organizing a Walk for Our Lives in homage to the many marches being held around the country.” Quoting Gerhard Richter “Art is the highest form of hope” Powers further states, “I am proud that I saw so many walking in the streets of Menlo Park and Palo Alto. It is a start, but we need this to continue until we have our goals reached. When I was a student, I went to East Germany every Monday demonstrating to take the Berlin Wall down, and we did it. We were persistent, devoted, and stood up. The wall came down. Right now we need to stand with the students and make a change.” Lin Evola has been fighting this fight for decades. A United Nations delegate who attends closed meetings on disarmament, Evola has always been passionate about getting guns off the streets and has done something artistic to support her cause by creating Peace Angels, sculptures forged out of melted metal decommissioned nuclear stainless steel, guns and other weapons of mass destruction. Evola has received tens of thousands of street weapons from the NYPD, LAPD, LASD as well as other California law enforcement.

Renaissance Peace Angel, 13’, bronze poured 1994/5 in Berkeley, CA; plaque poured in decommissioned nuclear stainless steel and street weapons from Los Angeles in 1997. Cement base signed by Firefighters, Police Officers & Rescue Workers. Permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial Museum

She has created sculptures for Los Angeles, New York and is in the process of creating a Globe Peace Sign monument for her beloved Bay Area. She began the Peace Angels Project in 1992 inviting weapon donations and converting the once destructive armament materials into compelling images which provoke the possibilities of peace. During the more than twenty years of building the Peace Angels Project, creating art has been Evola’s way of working out philosophical insights and foundational thoughts that have become actualized as the Peace Angels Project. Evola’s sculptures and paintings integrate symbols of both affirmation and challenge to reach beyond words and touch a place deep inside of each of us. Her art pairs ancient symbols with weapons materials as she asks us to find common ground when we disagree, rather than to take up arms against one another. From primordial times to today, human beings have used symbols to represent prevailing cultural mores and expected standards for human behavior. A force to be reckoned with, Evola has the ears of many thousands around the world looking for a peaceful change. She’ll be bringing the Peace Angel to Silicon Valley to initiate a gun buyback program to get weapons off streets. Evola has been called the “US Gun Destruction Leader” with recent talks taking place in New York and Washington DC. Donations towards the Peace Angel for Silicon Valley can be done through the non-profit San Francisco Art Institute. www. sfai.edu SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 77


Modern Day Meisners Carry on Family Tradition

Renee and Joel Meisner, charter members of the Artexpo Hall of Fame, revolutionized the art industry with their sculpture foundry where they produced everything from Erté bronzes to the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC

“I am very proud of my daddy’s name Although his kind of music and mine ain’t exactly the same …” — Hank Williams, Jr.

Page 78 • SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018

PHOTO BY JAMIE ELLIN FORBES

M

ITCHELL MEISNER was but a school boy when the first Artexpo was held in 1978 at the New York Coliseum. But he was there, setting up his parents’ booth where they were exhibiting their wares. Today, a generation later, he and his wife Hillary have moved into a new state of the art casting facility in Deer Park, NY, a stone’s throw from where it all began. Today Meisner Art Casting is continues the family tradition of excellence and innovation “We’ve been out of the Artexpo and art retail business for a while and frankly, I’m missing that,” said Mitch in a recnet interview with Fine Art Magazine publisher Jamie Forbes. “We’ve had Meisner Gallery on Long Island and Meisiner Soho and we’ve done shows in Paris, Beligium and all over the United States. So we decided to jump back in and show some fresh artists, some new things that we like, some things that we make and some original paintings. We’re working with a well known ‘old-timer’ Billy the Artist, Dylan Morris and Colombian artists Jhon Cuesta whose work reflects the critical and social situation of these times.” Meisner Art Casting’s motto is “We work with you every step of the way from concept to creation enabling your project to be brought to fruition carrying on the quality we have been known for over 50 years.” There have been many high points during that half century but none more important and relevant than the the casting of the 3,000-pound bronze depicting three fighting men, each 7 feet tall. Unveiled before 200,000 veterans who had assembled to hear Pres. Reagan speak in tribute to those who

Hillary and Mitchell Meisner at their Deer Park, NY production facility Meisner Art Casting

had served in Vietnam, Joel Meisner, then 47 years of age, was joined by the reknown sculptor Frederick Hart. It was the pinnacle of both their illustrious careers and the New York Times article related a poignant scene at the unveiling when one of those veterans approached Joel and simply said, “Thank you.’’ Mr. Meisner responded, “Why are you thanking me?” Replied the former soldier, “I’m thanking you for making me free because for 15 years I couldn’t hold my head up. Now that the statute is here, I feel that I have been accepted by the American people.” The Meisners carried on for another decade or so, retiring when Renee was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s. Mitchell picked up the reins and never looked back. With his wife of some 20 years, Hillary, they have changed with the times and went from the “Lost Wax Method” to developing an acrylic casting foundry that

can make anything from from one piece to thousands in sizes up to 14’ x 5’ weighing as much as 10,000 pounds. Originally opened to cast works for artists represented by Meisner Gallery, the facility is now open to all artists and other professionals. With this many years in the business of “Making Beautiful Things” the Meisners certainly have the ability to get most any job done. For further information: http://acryliccasting.com/index.html

Champion Shepherd modeling for the AKC’s DOGNY fund-raising project


Joel Meisner in 1982, with Zorba himself Anthony Quinn, preparing sculptures for Artexpo

Ever the artist, Mitchell Meisner

Mold making

Whether the Lost Wax Method or the latest in digital art technology, as evinced by cutting edge artist Roz Dimon in 1993, the Meisner family was always at the forefront. Above is the back cover ad for Meisner Soho Gallery in Fine Art.

Movie star Danny Aiello with fellow thespian and artist Frank Bongiorno meet Mitch Meisner at Artexpo for a cover of Fine Art Magazine

When casting 10,000 pound acrylics, you need some heavy artillery

When Fine Art Magazine needed something special for our “Heroes of Creativity” awards, we went to the Meisners who created the above piece. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci, one of the recipients, wrote us as follows: “Hey Victor, thank you so much & Fine Art, I’m truly honored ~ wow!!! That’s one beautiful, good-looking award ~ let’s keep rockin’~d” SunStorm/Fine Art • Spring 2018 • Page 79


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