Sunday, February 24, 2013


Winning the much coveted statuette “Oscar” is no less the pinnacle of success for all that make their lives in, through and around the film industry.  The 85th Annual Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards Ceremony will be held this Sunday night February 24th in their singular glory. Praise, adoration, glamour, riches accomplishment, purpose and joy live within this gold plated embodiment of “the stuff of dreams.”

There are nine nominees for the award of Best Picture. It is to the Academy’s credit that a total of nine candidates were selected in a category that allows for ten. This adds a special legitimacy to the choices. There is no reason to pick a tenth less accomplished piece just to fill a slot and nine are enough. The nominees are strong and varied in every way. Equally while uniquely worthy in fact they are truly all winners. Political intrigue, history, religion, childhood dreams and revolution are among the elements of these excellent works. Emancipation, rescue, revenge, survival and commitment are found along with feast; famine, love, hate and torture all brought to the big screen and this from the one feature “Zero Dark Thirty.” Imagine what the other eight are like with titles including “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, ”Silver Linings Notebook” and “Life of Pi.”  Twenty Twelve was an amazing year for the lovers of film and the nine nominees for best picture are:     



Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz   Producers


Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney    Producers

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald     Producers

Django Unchained

Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and
Pilar Savone    Producers

Les Misérables

Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh    Producers

Life of Pi
Gil Netter, Ang Lee and
David Womark Producers



Steven Spielberg and  Kathleen Kennedy   Producers

Silver Linings Playbook

Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and
Jonathan Gordon   Producers

Zero Dark ThirtyMark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison   Producers

Monday, February 4, 2013

Charles White; the Greatest Draftsman


In many ways Charles White is the greatest draftsman the African/American community has produced.  White is a master of grand style. Robust, massive, detailed works that to look upon is to see into the heart of a people that have persevered for generation on faith and an unparalled inner harmony of self, god and nature. His works are intentional pieces; they are testaments to the power of dedication to the higher callings of the artist. They can sometimes be viewed as propaganda pieces but they are of propaganda of necessity and not one of exclusion or a false superiority. White; by reaching into the self and the genetic id of a people has tapped into the universality of the human spirit. In short his works speak to all nations and every human condition.


The Nineteen Forties through Seventies were White’s productive years and his style evolved and matured as his skill of craft grew. He was married for time to another luminary artist, Elizabeth Catlett. There are individual works by both artists that show a commonality of style and influences.

White was recognized on a global scale throughout his life. He was much lauded and influential as a teacher as well as a professional artist and a friend to the creative men and women of his time. His works of power, beauty and grace virtually shout to the highest of hills of joy and into the deep valleys of despair with the eloquence only the greatest of artists are able to imbue into their works.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Social Critique and Satire of Daumier


Honore Daumier has been part of the “Canon” forever; it seems he was possibly born into it, an artist’s artist, his own pinnacle. Daumier was a painter, sculptor and lithographer. Most importantly he was a social satirist of the highest order. The numbers he acquired are staggering; 4,000 lithographs, 1,000 each of drawings and wood engravings, 500 paintings and 100 sculptures. An impressive feat for an artist of any era. Daumier was to be influential for generations. 

Daumier’s work can be viewed as both High and Low Art. His subjects also were high and low; the bourgeois, the working/poor classes, government leaders, and especially judges and lawyers were targets of his satire. He reported the worlds he inhabited and the art world connoisseurs and critics were not lost to his efforts, they are represented by Daumier with the same virtuosity and vigorous vanity. His lines were graceful, elegant and grand.  

 The works are beautiful to behold and equal to the test of time and scrutiny. He was imprisoned briefly for a scathing remorseless depiction of the king titled “Gargantua.” This incarceration failed to soften his social critiques. Daumier would continue to work and spared no one; creating brilliant things throughout his life until his eventual loss of sight.
 Ironically it was a year before his death that he would be recognized for his masterful and original paintings. France has given the world many greats. Daumier…decidedly, dangerously dissident!