Tag Archives: 21st century art

#FineArtFriday: Tokyo by Carl Randall 2011

Carl-randall-tokyo-painting-cityscapeArtist: Carl Randall (1975 – )

Title: Tokyo

Date: 2011

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: Height: 150 cm (59 in); Width: 65 cm (25.5 in)

What I love about this image:

This image shows us the artist’s view of modern 21st Century society before the Covid-19 pandemic, painted predominantly in shades of gray. Technology is the all-knowing, ever-watchful god in this world.

Buildings, filled to capacity, loom over streets jammed with people, most talking into devices. Everyone goes forward, each individual focused on their own goal, unaware of the seething ocean of humanity around them, carried along on the currents and the tide.

About the artist (via Wikipedia):

Carl Randall was born in 1975, in the UK. He is a graduate of The Slade School of Fine Art London (BA Fine Art), the Royal Drawing School London (The Drawing Year), and Tokyo University of the Arts Japan (MFA & PhD Fine Art).

He was awarded The BP Travel Award 2012, for his proposal to walk in the footsteps of the Japanese ukiyo-e printmaker Andō Hiroshige, creating paintings of the people and places of contemporary Japan.  His project involved spending time in Japan resulting in a group of 15 paintings exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of The 2013 BP Portrait Award exhibition, under the title “In the Footsteps of Hiroshige – The Tokaido Highway and Portraits of Modern Japan”. The exhibition subsequently toured to The Aberdeen Art Gallery Scotland, The Wolverhampton Art Gallery England, and then formed his solo exhibition in Japan ‘Portraits from Edo to the Present at The Shizuoka City Tokaido Hiroshige Museum, where the paintings were exhibited alongside Hiroshige’s original The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō woodblock prints. In conjunction with these exhibitions, the book Carl Randall – Japan Portraits was published, illustrating paintings and drawings made in Japan, with a foreword by British author Desmond Morris, and an introduction by the late American writer Donald Richie. A short documentary, Carl Randall – Japan Portraits was also made, showing the artist painting and drawing in Japan His Japan paintings were also the subject of a 2016 ‘World Update’ interview by the BBC World Service (titled ‘Painting the faces in Japan’s crowded cities’), and he was also interviewed by CNN about his Japanese work. [1]

To learn more about Carl Randall and his art, go to Carl Randall – Artist. Contemporary Figurative Painter.

 

Credits and Attributions:

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Carl Randall,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Carl_Randall&oldid=1018005949 (accessed May 27, 2021).

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Carl-randall-tokyo-painting-cityscape.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Carl-randall-tokyo-painting-cityscape.jpg&oldid=504966563 (accessed May 27, 2021). This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International lice

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#FineArtFriday: Utopien 04 by Makis E. Warlamis 2007

Artist: Makis E. Warlamis

Title: Utopien 04

Medium: painting

Collection: Kunstmuseum Waldviertel

Source/Photographer: Own work, Daskunstmuseum, 2007-01-05

About the word “Utopia,” via Wikipedia:

The word utopia was coined from Ancient Greek by Sir Thomas More in 1516. “Utopia” comes from Greek: οὐ (“not”) and τόπος (“place”) which translates as “no-place” and literally means any non-existent society, when ‘described in considerable detail’. However, in standard usage, the word’s meaning has shifted and now usually describes a non-existent society that is intended to be viewed as considerably better than contemporary society.

In his original work, More carefully pointed out the similarity of utopia to eutopia, which is from Greek: εὖ (“good” or “well”) and τόπος (“place”), hence eutopia means “good place”, which ostensibly would be the more appropriate term for the concept the word “utopia” has in modern English. The pronunciations of eutopia and utopia in English are identical, which may have given rise to the change in meaning.

What I love about this painting:

This Utopia is unreachable, as all true Utopias are. It floats high above the mundane world, visible but just out of reach. The colors are intense, vibrantly moody. The landscape above which this perfect island floats is serene, a beautiful place.

Every idea of perfection is different. Warlamis’ Utopia is not the golden city many storytellers and writers of speculative fiction might imagine, but is instead an island of undisturbed landscape, looking almost like the untrammeled headland one might find beside the sea.

His Utopia is a step back to nature, to a simpler time.

In truth, it isn’t too different from the land over which it flies. And, if that is the case, why strive to reach it?

What story lurks within this painting? What a great visual prompt to jumpstart Nation Novel Writing Month.

About the Author via Wikipedia DE:

Efthymios “Makis” Warlamis (also: Efthymis, Efthymios Varlamis; born 1942 in Veria, in Central Macedonia, Greece; died 27 December 2016) was a Greek-Austrian architect, painter, poet, writer, educator and museum founder.

Warlamis was a versatile artist. In addition to his basic profession as an architect, he worked as a sculptor, painter, designer and writer. He had exhibitions in museums and exhibition centres in Europe, USA, Asia and Egypt. His works are represented in international public and private collections such as the Graphic Collection of the Albertina Vienna, Museum moderner Kunst Wien, DAM Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, Collection Alexander Jolas, Collection of the State of Austria, Collection Liaunig.

In 1992, together with his wife Heide, he founded the International Center for Art and Design I.DE. A. in Schrems. He planned and built the Kunstmuseum Waldviertel, which opened in Schrems in 2009.


Credits and Attributions:

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:2010 Utopien arche04.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:2010_Utopien_arche04.jpg&oldid=501416249 (accessed October 30, 2020).

Wikipedia contributors, “Utopia,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Utopia&oldid=986041921 (accessed October 30, 2020).

Wikipedia DE Contributors, Efthymios Warlamis, Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efthymios_Warlamis (accessed October 30, 2020).

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#FineArtFriday: The Great Plague 1665 by Rita Greer 2009

Title: The Great Plague 1665, by Rita Greer 2009

Description (via Wikimedia Commons): Like many who could afford to, Robert Hooke left London for six months during the worst of the bubonic plague. All cats and dogs were destroyed as a preventive measure. This allowed rats to flourish and spread the disease which was carried by their fleas. The image shows a scene of horror. After sunset carts were driven through the streets to collect the dead. They were taken to the nearest graveyard to be buried in plague pits. Fires burned to make smoke. Pipes of tobacco were smoked, posies of herbs worn, and faces covered with masks. This was thought to be protection against contagion. London was overwhelmed with fear, terror and grief. It is thought that as many as 100,000 perished in London alone.

Date: 2009

Source/Photographer: The original is an oil painting on board by Rita Greer, history painter, 2009. This was digitized by Rita and sent via email to the Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University, where it was subsequently uploaded to Wikimedia.

What I love about this painting:

Rita Greer paints history as if she lived it, with meticulous detail. In this street scene, she manages to capture the despair and hopelessness that pervaded London with the advent of the plague. This scene is dark, and filled with emotion. Death walks the smoke-hazed streets, feeding on tragedy. Grief and fear are the driving forces, and no one’s family is spared.

This year, 2020, feels like an apocalypse year, in many ways. It helps to keep in mind that for London and all the great cities of Europe, 1665 was worse.

About the artist:

Rita Greer is a history artist, goldsmith, graphic designer, food scientist and author/writer. On retirement in 2003 Rita began the Robert Hooke project, “to put him back into history.” Much her work is available to be viewed at Wikimedia Commons, Category: Paintings by Rita Greer.


Credits and Attributions:

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:20 The Great Plague.JPG,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:20_The_Great_Plague.JPG&oldid=450173019 (accessed September 24, 2020).

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