Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day

For unto you is born this day; in the City of David, a Savior…
who is Christ the Lord.

                                                                                                    Luke 2:11

Rejoice!   Rejoice!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Art Basel Miami Beach 2014

There was a gluttonous amount of art on view in beautiful down town Miami Beach Fla. at the end of last week for a solid four days. Along with the art on exhibit there were close to a million viewers; beautiful people of all ages contributing to the look of sophistication and style of this remarkable event; Art Basel Miami.

Between Art Basel, Art Miami, Pulse Miami and the many other satellite fairs it was a weekend nothing less than utterly amazing. The scene was extravagant and excessive but worth every effort in this; the “World Cup/ Main Event” of the art world. It was very much a carnival happening and in that way remarkably refreshing in all it’s luxuriant extremes.

I was able to meet and talk with gallerists, gallery girls and artists among the art market’s high end sellers and shoppers.   There were great conversations with people from around the world and US cities. The nations included Brazil, Bogota, China, South Africa and the UK. The US cities included (of course) New York, Chicago, LA, San Antonio and DC. The grand host city; Miami, is breathtakingly beautiful and the population is incredibly welcoming. The blue water and skies, cruise ships and yachts mesmerize; while the modern and art deco architecture complement each other in spectacular form.    

Great and important works of painting, photography and sculpture including Helmut Newton’s Sie Kommen, Jim Dine hearts, Jeff Koon’s banalities, Chris Ofili’s dung art and Picasso’s cubism available and on view in various galleries. All these works and thousands of others not only on view; but, most importantly for sell. 

There was also live performance art, video, mixed-medium, design and decorative art, supplemented by the many stunningly elegant and high fashion patrons. Yes; there were the "odd ball" one of a kind character dressers too, which in honesty made for a thing remarkable. Refreshment comes in the form of push cart girls selling the original champagne; Ruinart.  It is actually the Ruinart that makes me return to Basel. It is definitely one of the many unique extras that adds to the experience.  Attending Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami, Pulse Miami Beach and a few other fairs combined for a complete adventure in art fashion design and culture. It is as exhausting as it is exhilarating and by the way; I’m ready for next year. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth

Robinson Crusoe Illustrated by N. C. Wyeth was what the cover read. It was one of the classic and famously beloved volumes published by Scribners in the early 20th century. The book was a solid hard-cover edition that looked good and felt good to the hand. The illustrations were compelling, lush, heroic things that as far as I remember discovering was truly “love at first.”  For all it’s worth this encounter was something that has hooked me for life; the love of illustration, books and most particularly the illustration work of the master; Newell Convers Wyeth.

Wyeth had illustrated Treasure Island, The Last of the Mohicans, The Yearling and others in his time for Scribners. His work was always colorful and exciting. When I found Robinson Crusoe in the school library I had no idea how renowned N. C. Wyeth was. I just knew he was phenomenal in what he was doing and I was always able to imagine and wonder, even becoming lost in his detailed emotionally realistic visions. Wyeth towers among the best and is still much an inspiration for me. 

Wyeth would influence generation of young people including his children, especially his son Andy who became equally famous in his own right and then grandson Jamie who continues the family legacy. The Wyeths are certainly America’s finest and most cherished family of the visual arts. They are also great ambassadors of excellence and accomplishment. 

In a rite of passage when our school closed due to integration in 1966 we were allowed to take one book from the school library. Robinson Crusoe Illustrated by N.C.  Wyeth was my; without hesitation, choice. I have it even now and as I hold it and peruse it, I remain in awe as it makes me smile.