Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Five Famous Paintings Recreated in Cool Ways

April 2, 2010

Recently we made a post about Lara Volkonskaya, a silk painter who recreates famous paintings as homage. Today we’re interested in recreations of a different sort, homages that are a little more unconventional, but notable for their creativity and execution. Since yesterday we joked about the Mona Lisa, today we’ll start with some interesting remake of that work of art.

Davinci’s Mona Lisa recreated with Cups of Coffee

In August of 2009, the Mona Lisa was recreated with 3,604 cups of coffee, as well as 564 pints of milk at the Rocks Aroma Festival in Sydney Australia. The image was created by adding different amounts of milk to cups of black coffee with the effect of creating the different sepia shades that make up the composition. It was seen by 130,000 visitors to the one day coffee event.

The Mona Lisa is probably the most common painting to be recreated, and has been documented to have been remade with train tickets, legos, and burger grease, just to name a few.

Van Gogh’s Self Portrait recreated with Leeks

This is part of a collection of famous portraits that were recreated with vegetables. Some of them are absolutely stunning. And edible!

Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks recreated in 3D

This Youtube user rebuilt Edward Hopper’s famous painting Nighthawks using Simple Life. There are so many recreations of the painting, including one by Gottfried Helnwein with Elvis, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean, but this recreation is extraordinary in that it It’s pretty extraordinary in that it digs through the mystery of the original, and tries to gain a new perspective into this world by giving the characters motion and life.

Munch’s The Scream recreated with Cardboard Boxes

Mark Langan, a native Ohioan, made this recreation of Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, entirely out of cardboard boxes. What is unique about this recreation is how the different textures of the boxes give the piece a very 3d quality. The corrugation on the bridge gives direction and mimics the wood boards that make up the bridge in the original. The different kinds of cardboard were taken from five different boxes. Because of how the cardboard is layered, the piece measure 2.25 inches in depth at its thickest point.

Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring recreated in a Hollywood poster

This is a poster of a picture of a woman who plays the part in a film that recreates the story of a painting for which a different woman once posed. When one considers the circuitous way that this image was produced, it seems a little unconventional.

Most famous paintings that have become icons have been recreated in some form or another because they inspired artists, who wanted to express their inspiration in their own unique way. New recreations arise all the time as ideas are recycled, revived, and changed in ways that become works of art in their own right.



Top Ten Worst Art Pieces Ever, Starting With the Mona Lisa

April 1, 2010

Today at JackGallery, we’ve decided to make an important post about some of the worst art ever made. Who makes it? How do you recognize it? What can YOU do to prevent it? We’ve done some research on what some of the worst pieces of art are, and are sharing with readers so that they can become art aficionados.

10. The Mona Lisa

This is a pretty obvious choice to make the list, but it’s not the worst of the batch, so it starts us off at number ten. Clearly, this Da Vinci guy must have been some sort of hobbyist who didn’t really know how to catch the finer subtleties of the human face. It’s understandable, from what I’ve read, Da Vinci was more of an engineer — you know, helicopters and the like — and art was just something he did on the side. Well, stick to your day job, pal. I think as an April Fool’s Joke, Wikipedia falsely states that this painting is hanging in the renowned Louvre museum in Paris, France. Well, I’ve seen that movie with Tom Hanks, and let me tell you, there’s no way this guy Da Vinci would ever get one of his works in the Louvre.

9. The Thinker by Rodin

Why is this sculpture on the list, you ask? The proportions are splendid, the execution is magnificent, the expression is indeed thoughtful, but I think what we have to consider is whether the sculpture is really thinking. I mean, how gullible do you think we are, Rodin? I’m sorry, but I don’t think that brains can be made out of bronze, and it is pretty deceitful to imply otherwise. Seriously.

8. Boy with Pipe by Pablo Picasso

Listen, smoking is bad for you, and no one this young should be smoking a pipe. This painting is number eight as a matter of principle. Just a little PSA from us to you.

7. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

This is going to sound absolutely crazy, but this is not a painting. I know that it looks like one, but it’s complete and utter trickery, a hoax like the Abominable Snowman or Global Warming. It’s just DOTS. So don’t be fooled into thinking that these dots masquerading as art are really art. They are like the gum drops you might buy when going to see a movie: completely artificially flavored.

6. The Treachery of Images by René Magritte

Yes. It. Is.

5. Nude Descending a Staircase, No 2 by Marcel Duchamp

Not to be crude, but I think that the painter, Marcel Duchamp, may have never seen a naked body and was just making it up as he went along. It’s like the model is made out of Cubes from the Future or something.

4. Figure 4 by Jasper Johns

I think my decision to rank this number four is fairly self-explanatory.

3. Bieres de la Meuse by Alphonse Mucha

At first I really liked this image. It’s full of rich color and nice lines. The girl is very well rendered and the composition as a whole is incredibly well-made. And then I realized it was trying to sell me beer! Then I just started to think about beer and how I didn’t want to be at work anymore, but wanted to hang out at a bar full of flowers with a pretty girl like the girl in the picture, and… and it’s just not fair. Art shouldn’t make me think about how hard my life is. So whatever, no beer for me, and this painting is at number three. Sigh.

2, Girl With A Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer

At number two, we have Girl With a Pearl Earring. Why did I pick this to be the second worst painting of all time? Well, it’s not that bad, okay, but I think my major pet peeve is that it just wasn’t as good as the original movie in 2003 with Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson. I can’t stand it when some bigshot artist takes it into their head that they should adapt a masterpiece into some shadow of its former self. Why would anyone ever want to make a painting based on a movie is beyond me.

2. No. 5. 1948 by Jackson Pollock

Finally at number one, we have No. 5. 1948 by Jackson Pollock. Why is this number one? Well, my major argument is that it is so easily reproducible When I first saw this painting, which is rumored to have sold for $140 million in 2006, I decided that I bet it wouldn’t be that hard to remake. I went out and bought 12 gallons of paint of totally different colors and a 96″x48″ canvas. Then I got some puppies. Like, 20 puppies, maybe give or take. Really cute ones — it’s important that they were cute. I put the canvas on the floor surrounded by all the gallons of paint of my living room, and I put my cat, covered in bacon, in the center of the canvas. I then let loose all 20 puppies and closed the door to the room for about an hour. Not only did I get a perfect recreation of this famous painting by Jackson Pollock, but all of my pets got some great and much needed exercise! My living room is also redecorated as a result to look like an abstract expressionist wonderland. If you ever want to check it out, maybe we can hang out? No pressure.


Advertising Through Art: The Golden Age of Posters

March 31, 2010
An advertisement for Gants Parfumerie, created by André Wilquin in 1934

An advertisment for Gants Parfumerie, created by André Wilquin in 1934

Many would say that ads usually have negative connotations. They flash annoyingly in pop-up windows, they cover up otherwise beautiful architecture with brandnames and slogans, or they interrupt our favorite televisions shows. Rarely would the regular person say that they like ads. But recently, the hit show Mad Man has opened up the world in a new way to viewers across the country that has been well-known to advertising agencies for a long time: advertisments are an artform. The writers and artists who work at the fictional Sterling Cooper discuss advertising as a way to capture the hearts and minds of consumers. Advertisements are intended to make viewers laugh or feel better about themselves, to comfort them and entertain them at the same time.

Some of most famous artworks began as advertisements for something. Movie and theater posters are key evidence of this — often the poster is more memorable than the film itself: I never saw Cloverfield, but I remember that the poster had a headless Statue of Liberty and Manhattan burning in the background, an image that drew in audiences for its release. The most well-known era in poster art, known as the Golden Age of Posters was from about 1865-1939. These posters didn’t just advertise, they inspired. With dramatic colors and lighting, they easily drew in audiences. Below are some of our favorite from this era, which have lasting influence even today.

Alphonse Mucha is considered one of the most successful poster artists of all time. His art was so elegant and beautiful that people would tear his posters down from the streets and keep them. The above advertisment is for JOB brand of cigarettes. Whether or not you condone smoking, you have to admit that this is a pretty classy ad.

This image of the poster by Theophile Alexandre Steinlein was remarkably famous in 1846. The Chat Noir was a theater-restaurant where there was often plays, poetry, readings and songs. The direct stare of the Cat is meant to convey the characteristics of the true Parisian cat, as well as the true Parisian: bold and elegant. This image is still famous today.

This advertisement for the world famous magician and escapologist, Harry Houdini, captured crowds with the dramatic images of hands captured in every increasingly complicated locks. In the center, Houdini stands looking brave and defiant. Who wouldn’t want to see this man triumph over death?

This poster depicting the French State (ETAT) Railways was so popular with collectors and institutions, that it became impossible for the artist to find one even for himself.  So to satisfy their requests, he kept redrawing his maquette, the original of which he had lost years earlier.  About 6 of these paintings are in museums including the Pompidou Center, the Musée de L’Affiche in Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (where it is currently on exhibit).  Even at the inaugural exhibition of the Musée de L’Affiche, it was a subsequent painting and not the original poster that was exhibited.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s poster, bold and colorful with flat forms and strong lines, were a familiar sight in Paris in the 1890s. They advertised luxury items such as clothing, theater, and food. His advertisements were very popular as they felt representative of the Belle Epoque.


Get some fresh air with the Easter Beagle!

March 26, 2010

Some of Charles Schulz most famous Peanuts’ comics include sports misshaps, which usually result in misery for the ever unsuccesful and morose Charlie Brown. He never seems to be able to catch the baseball, is always in the wrong place in the field, and is always somehow foiled (most often by Lucy) when he tries to punt a football. What you can say for Charlie Brown, though, is that he’s a good sport.

The importance of exercise in our lives, especially for kids growing up, cannot be emphasized enough, however. However bad the characters in Peanuts may be at sports, they are still constantly trying, behavior which should be encouraged to real children across the world. With help from the Peanuts, kids will be encouraged to do just that at multiple events across the country.

copyright UFS

“Peanuts at Bat” is an exhibit open now through May 1 at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum in Michigan. As part of the exhibit, the museum will host hands-on games and fun for youngsters from March 29 through April 2 from 1 to 4 pm. These games will focus on the fun and health aspects of all sports. Check out more information on their site.

Knott’s Theme Park will host “Snoopy Training” March 27 through April 11 for kids ages 3-11. Snoopy and his pals will be ready to get in shape by sharing their favorite sports activities, like baseball, soccer, basketball, and even some victory dancing. There will also be a live musical revue starring Charlie Brown and the Peanuts’ Gang at the Camp Snoopy Theater.

The Easter Beagle is also alive and well, and will be visiting the Texas state railroad as well as the Norwood Fire Company 30th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Kennedy Memorial Park in Hempstead, NY this Sunday, March 28 at 1:30.

These are just a few of the fun events that kids and families can take part in in the coming week, so encourage the whole family to go outside and enjoy the fresh air! Remember that for 50 years during baseball season, Schulz sent his hapless gang out to lose game after game, but they always had a good time, and entertained readers across the country.


Homage to the Masters: Paintings on Silk

March 25, 2010

There is an oft-repeated cliché that nothing is original, and that artists, writers, and thinkers alike repurpose the work of previous generations, reproducing styles, themes, and trends. Many embrace the work of other artists and create wonderful works in homage to their influences.

The piece on the left by Lara Volkonskaya is titled "Star Rise" and is an homage the the famous painting by Van Gogh on the right, "Starry Night"

One such incredibly talented artist is Lara Volkonskaya. Born to a Soviet diplomat, Lara spent her childhood travelling around the world, becoming exposed to many cultures, and exploring museums and galleries all around the world. The work of some artists spoke so strongly to Lara that she went to study art at the Moscow Art Academy.

As she progressed as an artist, Lara mastered the incredibly demanding technique of silk painting, which requires extreme patience. Using this technique, Lara began painting wonderful homages to the artists that so deeply inspired her, including Jasper Johns, Monet, Klimt, and Picasso. Her work captures the spirit of the original work, imbuing it with her own energy. Her versatility with different styles is also amazing, as she manages to get at the heart of painting by completely different artists. Below is some of her work that left our jaws hanging.


"Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" - Homage to Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror

"Will You Come to My Parlor" - Homage to Klimt's Water Serpents

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" - Homage to Matisse's La Chute d'Icare


The Art of the Movies: Classic Movie Posters

March 24, 2010

What makes a person decide to go see a film? These days, we have hundreds critics, tweets, youtube trailers, as well as dozens of other viral marketing forms that convince us to go see the newest blockbusters. But once upon a time, before the internet, mass marketing relied on a much simpler form to reach potential film goers: the classic movie poster. These posters have stood the test of time, and their influence can still be seen even today.

Here are some that have stood the test of time.

The Jazz Singer is famous as the world’s first “talkie,” the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue. The storyline, about a Russian born Jewish man who tries to build a career with blackface, has been the cause of much intellectual debate. The poster is undeniably striking, relying solely on white and black, the shape of the hands, eyes, shirt and mouth of the man in the images are angular and harsh and they pop out at the viewer. The hands seem to be reaching out, pleading for help. The rest of the figure is completely shrouded, merging perfectly with the background. The poster perfectly captures the conflicts of identity dealt with in the film.

At a time when producers generally only had one image to sell their movie, they would often rely on the image of a beautiful woman to lure in audiences. This poster for The Sin of Nora Moran by Alberto Vargas is not just a picture of a nearly naked Zita Johann: the figure captures both the erotic nature and extreme desperation of the character who curls up in near fetal position, hiding behind her hair. The figure is also isolated against a black background, which conveys her isolation. This is considered one of the best posters of all time for its layers of intricacy.

Karoly  Grosz was one of the most influential illustrators of horror and science fiction films of his time. He was responsible for the simple, yet stark and creepy image of Frankenstein, lit in red from below in order to accent his monstrous features. The purple in the image is both subtle against the black, and such an unconventional color choice, that the entire composition is haunting.

Grosz is also responsible for the poster of The Murders of the Rue Morge, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, and more. His clashing color choices and dramatic lighting became a signature for horror images to this very day, and was often reproduced on pulp covers and comic books.


Matisse at the Art Institute: a Must See

March 19, 2010

This much talked about exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago opens Saturday, and it’s a must see if you have an art-loving bone in your body. The exhibit named “Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917” focuses its lens on the art produced within those dates, a four-and-a-half year period in which Matisse’s works of art are particularly noteworthy for being “strange and enigmactic.” Although of the 120 paintings present, some fall out of the timespan, the exhibit is a robust sample of a slice of this artist’s life.

Why is this moment in the artist’s development so provocative? Many critics believe that the World War greatly affected Matisse’s psyche, and that his contemplation of darker thoughts pervaded his work. Prior to and after this time, bright colors predominated Matisse’s paintings, like in such memorable works as La Raie verte (The Green Stripe) pictured below that was painted in 1905.  In comparison, a portrait done in this crucial time period (1916), Portrait de Sarah (Portrait of Sarah), is subdued with muted tones of greys and browns. While the work is clearly done by the same painter, the difference is obvious.

La Raie Verte (1905)

Portrait de Sarah (1916)

Matisse is considered one of the most influential painters of modern art, so for scholars of Matisse and casual art lovers alike, the exhibit is well worth your while to get a glimpse at this radical time in his work. The questions that arise about the meaning of war in the painter’s life are significant, and will undoubtedly lead to more dialogue in the future. The exhibit opens tomorrow to the public, and will be traveling to New York Museum of Modern art in July.