Art or Rubbish? – It’s all Garbage to me

[Above: Uniformity by Emmerson Daniels –  (2017).  Synthetic polymer paint on plywood. Top VCE Art 2017-2018. ] Daniels was a student at Mount Lillydale Mercy College, Lillydale. Uniformity explores the overall similarity and lack of variation evident in everyday life. Emerson muses that the consistent likeness of each bin is symbolic of the alarming deterioration of original thought and a subconscious adherence to social norms. ‘Every household puts their bin out on a given day every week and repeats this process 52 times a year’. A subtle protest against suppressed individuality. Emmerson is influenced by Geoffrey Smart’s aesthetics in urban landscapes.

All though this work is clearly art, some of the other pieces included here are dubious. Some are located at well known street art locations, some decorated by street artists, some just make you want to laugh or make you wonder why is this here?

More examples are available on my Rubbish Art section. Way too trashy for me!

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in StreetArt | Leave a comment

None so campy as these vampy scampi

[Image: David Bielander – Scampi 2007] (Collection of the artist)

David Bielander (born 1968) started his career as an apprentice goldsmith in Basel Switzerland working for the industrial designer and jewellery maker Georg Spreng before studying under Professor Otto Künzli at the Academy of Fine Arts, in Munich.

In 2006 Bielander became the Artistic Assistant to Professor Daniel Kruger at the Academy of Fine Arts Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, Germany and by 2011, he became an external consultant to the jewellery department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

  • In his art, Bielander takes the familiarity of everyday objects and combines them with a witty abstraction to create unusual pieces as wearable art. His work has seen him win numerous awards including the Herbert Hoffmann Prize in 2010 and the Francoise van den Bosch Award in 2012.

His work is held in many public collections including the Fond National des Arts Contemporain, France, the CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, the Neue Sammlung, Munich and the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

  • Bielander lives and works in Munich where he currently shares a studio with fellow artists including Yutaka Minegishi and Helen Britton.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Art, StillLife | Leave a comment

Emily Floyd | The Installer I Most Enjoyed

Born Melbourne in 1972, Emily Floyd is Senior Lecturer in the School of Fine Art at Monash Art Design & Architecture (MADA), Monash University. She is also a 2015 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow. Floyd has been working in sculpture, installation, print-making and public art, and is renowned for her text-based sculptures and pedagogically inspired works that combine formal concerns with an interest in the legacies of modernism. Intersecting public space with carefully considered design, she creates bold spaces for public engagement and interaction.

Examples of Floyd’s art are present in major public collections in Australia and internationally, including: Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), The British Council (United Kingdom), The British Museum (London), Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Monash University Collection (Melbourne), Heide Museum of Modern Art (Melbourne), National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), GOMA / Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane); and prominent private and corporate collections.

  • Featured above: The Outsider (2006) polyurethane on wood synthetic polymer paint and lacquer. This work takes Algerian author Albert Camus’s novel ‘The Outsider’ (1942) as its starting point. In Floyd’s interpretation of this existentialist text, sentences from the novel suggest the coastline and urban centre of Algiers (the setting of the book); through a mass of toy-like building blocks; Some instances and precise phrases from the novel are evident, while at other times words collapse into indecipherable piles. presenting language in a material form. Floyd invites active participation from the viewer in the construction of meaning.
  • A Human Scale (2014) comprises 15 opaque synthetic polymer resin and bonded aluminium bronze LEDs. With this commission, Floyd investigates the potential of public art to activate urban spaces. The work’s title is drawn from the community based campaigns that emerged in response to the development of housing commission buildings in Melbourne and Sydney in the 1960s.

I am glad I did not avoid
Floyd’s abstract humanoid
installations that were employed
which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Art, Gallery Art, Sculpture, StillLife | Leave a comment

I’ll Put a Girdle Around the Earth

Australian muralist, mosaicist and painter in stained glass and other media, Mervyn Napier Waller was born in Penhurst, Victoria on 19 June 1893. He studied at the National Gallery school in Melbourne and exhibited his first paintings and drawings in 1915. The following year he married and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). During WWI he served in France and was badly wounded at Bullecourt, where he lost his right arm. He subsequently learned how to use his left hand after having been right-hand dominant.

By 1923, Napier Waller became the first to make and exhibit lino cuts in Australia. He then turned to mural design and won his first commission for the former Menzies Hotel in Melbourne, in 1927. (Although the building was demolished in 1969, the mural was sold privately). This was followed by a set of murals created for the Melbourne Town Hall in the same year. Later Napier Waller won the commission to provide panels for the Dining Hall at the Myer Emporium  in 1935.

Napier Waller became senior art teacher for the Applied Art School of the Working Men’s College, Melbourne (now the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University). Although his work was strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite and late-19th C British painters, his monumental works show a classical and formal style; using timeless and heroic figure compositions to express ideas and ideals often featuring Arcadian-themed Theosophical and Gnostic overtones.

  • Mervyn Napier Waller died on 30 March 1972, in Melbourne.

Some of his work pictured above includes:

  • I’ll Put a Girdle Around the Earth – Exterior mosaic mural, Newspaper House, Collins Street Melbourne (1933)
  • Wife Christian (nee Yandell) with their three dogs Baldur, Undine and Siren at Fairy Hills (1932)
  • Peace After Victory, The State Library of Victoria  (1934)
  • Mosaic and stained glass windows for the Hall of Memory, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1958.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in StreetArt | Leave a comment

Tuby or not to be | That is the question

French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Tuby was born in Rome in 1635 and died in Paris in 1900.  Tuby served Louis XIV of France and was regarded as one of the premier court sculptors of his time.

His art is remarkable for its extraordinary precision of symmetry and three-dimensional volume; its explosively animated forms; and for a delicate sense of embellishment and  humour.

  • Tuby is most renowned for the magnificent bronze centerpiece of the Fountain of Apollo (see above) planned and built by André Le Nôtre for the West Gardens of the Palace of Versailles. He also created remarkably nuanced life-size bronzes for Versaille’s Parterre d’Eau, representing several great rivers of France (the Saon and the Rhone).
  • His white marble urn is arguably the finest decorative urn at Versailles, Le Vase de la Paix, a monumental 2.5 metre tall piece that adorns the South corner of the stairs immediately below the west façade of the palace containing the Hall of Mirrors.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Angels, Art, Sculpture | Leave a comment

Feeling Pea’d Off? Don’t snubbo the art of Rubbo

[Image: Pea Gathering | Kurrajong Heights  (1918)]

Italian-born artist and art teacher Antonio Salvatore Dattilo Rubbo was born in Naples on 21 June 1870 and spent his early childhood in Frattamaggiore. He studied painting under Domenico Morelli and Filippo Palizzi before emigrating to Australia, arriving in Sydney in 1897.

According to Australian art critic Robert Hughes, Dattilo Rubbo was not considered a great artist and that – “muddy genre portraits of very wrinkled old Tuscan peasants were his strong suit,” but he was an inspiring art teacher, responsible for introducing a whole generation of Australian painters to modernism through his art school (opened in 1898) and his classes at the Royal Art Society of New South Wales.

  • In contrast to nearly all other art teachers in Australia at the time, he was not a reactionary, and encouraged his students to experiment with styles as radically different from his own as post-Impressionism and cubism.
  • Rubbo taught in Sydney schools including St. Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, Kambala, (private girls school), The Scots College and Newington College.

He was a flamboyant character who believed in championing his students to the hilt; indeed, in 1916 he challenged a committee member of the Royal Art Society to a duel because he had refused to hang a post-impressionist landscape by his pupil Roland Wakelin.

Other students included:

  • Norah Simpson, Frank Hinder, Grace Cossington Smith (whom Dattilo Rubbo referred to affectionately as ‘Mrs Van Gogh’),
  • Donald Friend (“Aha Donaldo, always the barocco; rub it out, boy, rub it out!“),
  • Roy De Maistre, war artist Roy Hodgkinson, Archibald Prize winner Arthur Murch, social realist Roy Dalgarno, Tom Bass, and many more.

In 1924 he helped to found the Manly Art Gallery and Historical Collection which holds over one hundred and thirty of his works. He died in Sydney on 1 June, 1955.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Art, Artists A-Z, Gallery Art, Paintings | Leave a comment

The Finite Art of Finn Dac Art

Finn Dac (aka Finbarr Notte) is a street artist originally from Cork, Ireland and currently based in London. He concentrates on large scale murals and pieces. He started making street art in 2008 as Finn Dac.

  • Shinoya (blue-image, Melbourne) was three days in the making and featured one of his signature bad-ass tattooed ladies based on his muse, Erin Fitzgerald.
  • Shinka (yellow-image Adelaide) was commissioned over four days as part of the Little Rundle Street Project in Kent Town and featured one of his muses, Meghan Lall.

Finn Dac’s use of  beautiful women in his murals are a modern interpretation on the 19th C art movement known as ‘The Aesthetics’. In similarity, he believes that art should not be political or social, but replicate the embellishment of mundane life. Therefore, the purpose of art should bring beauty to the world.

  • Hence, he references Urban Aesthetics, which combines both urban stencil art and traditional portraiture to create his art works.

Finn Dac art = Fine art!

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in StreetArt | Leave a comment

Hey Guys, Please Ladders In

Australian artist David Frazer was born in 1966 in Foster, Victoria. He graduated from Phillip Institute of Technology with a BA Fine Arts (Painting) 1984-1986. This was followed by a Diploma of Education (Secondary Art/Craft) Latrobe University (1991);  Honours Degree in Fine Art (Print and Printmaking), Monash University (1996); and an MA Visual Arts by Research, Monash University (1998-2000).

Frazer presents strong narratives in his art. His intricately detailed wood engravings, etchings and lithographs show great command for a range of printmaking techniques. His work explores a sense of place and the emotions of longing. This is evident in the nostalgia and isolation that can accompany his art, such as the universal yearning to be ‘somewhere else’ a common thread for Frazer’s work which often combines a gentle sense of whimsy and humour.

  • David Frazer has held over 40 solo exhibitions in Australia, London and China. To find out more, visit David Frazer’s site.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Art, Artists A-Z, DarkArt, Gallery Art | Leave a comment

Synthetic Meat as Art? Don’t Have a Cow Man!

Image: Butcher Shop. (Synthetic polymer and enamel paint on composition board and wood, ceramic tiles, transparent synthetic polymer resin, mirror, steel, fluorescent light, plastic, polyvinyl chloride, metal, string Measurements (a-l) (241.0 × 303.0 × 128.7 cm).

One of seven children, Australian painter, performance artist and writer Ivan Durrant, was born in Melbourne in 1947. His father suffered from alcoholism and his mother was forced to place all of their children into State care. As a consequence Durrant was raised in an orphanage in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton from the age of 7-15.

Durrant discovered a fondness for birds and animals on annual summer vacations; and after leaving school; he worked in a prosthetic laboratory at the Royal Melbourne Hospital; creating lifelike body parts. With these skills, Durrant began to create convincingly accurate sculptures of ears, hands, pig heads and various cuts of meat.

  • Combined with his childlike, folksy, naive art style of drawing and art, he morphed into a self-developed style of super-realism or extreme photorealism which is sometimes referred to as supraphotolism (to work ‘above and beyond the photo’).

As a result, Durrant is known for creating art with “great shock value” including butchered meats and pigs’ heads such as his 26 May, 1975 “Slaughtered Cow Happening“where he  dumped the carcass of a “freshly slaughtered cow” on the forecourt of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Prior to this, Durrant informed the NGV staff that he was donating a sculpture, and ‘asked whether they would consider leaving it in place for a few days’. This lead to his artistic ‘meat series’ which included:

  • Butcher shop and Pigs Head Exhibition (1978)
  • Meat Paintings (1979) and
  • Photographic Exhibition of Meat (1981)

Durrant now resides in Blairgowrie and his work is held in many public collections.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Art, Gallery Art | Leave a comment

May Your Cup Runneth Over and Be Squashed

  • Left: Paper cup and straw by Jasper Jacobsen, Time’s Black Arrow (2014). Jasper Jacobsen is a Melbourne-based artist currently completing a Master of Contemporary Art degree at the Victorian College of the Arts.
  • Centre: This paper cup was found in Union Lane, Melbourne – a great place to view street art. Is this cup rubbish, or an art installation? – you be the judge.
  • Right: From the ‘Cabinets of Wonder’ ephemera exhibition at the Historical Society of Victoria (2016). This exhibit entitled ‘Love the Design, Hate the Waste’, a selection of paper cups collected by ‘MC’.

MC states: “I am repulsed by the amount of ephemeral consumerist ‘stuff’ we throw out in our daily lives. I am also attracted to the design work that often adorns this stuff. I wanted to see how many paper cups I could collect for free, off the streets, and out of rubbish bins without ever buying a cup myself, or going out of my way to look for them. I also restrict my collecting to not picking up cups with the same design twice; although I do allow colour and design variations within the same brand.”

The humble paper cup, often made from recycled paper and sometimes lined or coated with plastic or wax were developed in the 20th century and became more popular after the invention of the Dixie Cup in 1908. They soon replaced drinking glasses on railway journeys and were considered more hygienic than the former glass variety. They were then adopted by public hospitals. Originally paper cups were printed using rubber blocks mounted on cylinders with a different cylinder for each colour. Until flexography plates were which allowed for more complex designs. Shorter runs can be produced on offset printing machines and although formerly used solvent based inks they now use soya-based inks to reduce the danger o cups smelling. The latest development is Direct-printing which allows printing on very small quantities, offering small quantities in short lead times.

There are many opinions in relation to their continued use and environmental and sustainability issues from habitat-loss trees, recycling techniques, biodegradability and emission studies and the general paper vs. plastic debate.

  • Paper cups as litter are like the new Cigarette Butt –May Your Cup Runneth Over and be Squashed

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Collectibles, QuestionableArt, RubbishArt | Leave a comment

Eggleston’s Time Capsule Goes Back to the Future

  • Images featured are from the: Festival of Photography: William Eggleston Portraits. An exhibition of his photographs of family and friends, casual acquaintances and strangers in a series of eloquent, poetic and character studies.
  • Many of the images are from the artists personal archive and are exhibited for the first time. Exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery London with support from the artist and the Eggleston Artistic Trust and presented by the National Gallery of Victoria.

Few photographers of the 20th Century have had such a profound influence on contemporary photographic portraits as the American photographer William Eggleston who was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1939.  Although Eggleston is not usually regarded as a portraitist, pictures of people have long been central to his practice.

  • Photographed near this home in Memphis and in the Mississippi delta where he grew up, many of his images depict friends and family.
  • Still more are of strangers – taken unawares and performing everyday tasks such as dining, shopping or waiting for a bus.
  • These spontaneous and unconventional pictures pose deep questions about humanity, self, memory and experience.

The main catalyst for New American Photography, Eggleston is credited with legitimizing colour photography (using the dye transfer process) as a fine art form. Teaching himself from books of prints by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, he began photographing his environment in the 1950s but turned to colour, then used largely only commercially, in the late 1960s.

Initially Eggleston photographed in colour using readily available films which he sent to drugstore laboratories for processing and printing. In his search for what he called the ‘ultimate quality colour print’, in the early 1970s, Eggleston happened upon  the dye transfer process, a close cousin of Technicolor in cinema film. Marketed by Kodak since the 1930s, dye transfer had until that point been used mainly for high-end commercial work. Eggleston began to use it for artistic purposes and his 1976 exhibition ‘Photographs by William Eggleston‘, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Images That Tell a Story |  Real Life |  Memories | Captured Forever

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in StreetArt | Leave a comment

Black & Silver

Black and Silver” (ca 1910) oil on canvas RA Diploma work accepted 1909. Shannon painted many society portraits from the highest ranks of society but this picture depicts his daughter.

Anglo-American artist Sir James Jebusa Shannon (1862–1923), was born in Auburn, New York, and at the age of eight was taken by his parents to Canada. When he was sixteen, he went to England, where he studied at South Kensington, and after three years won the gold medal for figure painting. His portrait of the Hon. Horatia Stopford, (One of the Queen’s Maids of Honour), attracted attention at the Royal Academy in 1881, and in 1887 his portrait of Henry Vigne in hunting costume was one of the successes of the exhibition, subsequently securing medals for the artist at Paris, Berlin, and Vienna.

  • Shannon soon became one of the leading portrait painters in London. He was one of the first members of the New English Art Club, a founder member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and in 1897 was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and RA in 1909.
  • His picture, “The Flower Girl“, was bought in 1901 for the National Gallery of British Art.
  • Shannon has paintings in the collection of several British institutions including Sheffield, Derby Art Gallery, Glasgow Museum and Bradford Museum.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Art, Artists A-Z, Gallery Art, Paintings | Leave a comment

Hard to surpass the class of this glass

French glass artist Émile Gallé was born in Nancy, 8 May 1846 and is considered to be one of the major forces in the French Art Nouveau movement. Gallé was the son of a faience and furniture manufacturer and studied philosophy, botany, and drawing in his youth. He later learned glassmaking at Meisenthal and came to work at his father’s factory Maison Gallé-Reinemer in Nancy, following the Franco-Prussian War.

His early work was executed using clear glass decorated with enamel, but he soon turned to an original style featuring heavy, opaque glass carved or etched with plant motifs, often in two or more colours as cameo glass.

  • In 1877, he assumed his father’s role as director of the Maison Gallé-Reinemer, and became Secretary-General for the Société Centrale d’Horticulture de Nancy. His career took off after his work received praise at the Paris Exhibition of 1878.
  • Within a decade of another successful showing at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, Gallé had reached international fame and his style, with its emphasis on naturalism and floral motifs, was at the forefront of the emerging Art Nouveau movement.

He continued to incorporate experimental techniques into his work, such as metallic foils and air bubbles, and also revitalized the glass industry by establishing a workshop to mass-produce his and other artists’, designs.

  • Together with other notable glass artists including Antonin Daum and Louis Majorelle, they founded the Art Nouveau movement known as École de Nancy (The Nancy School).
  • Gallé died in Nancy, on 23 September, 1904. After his death, the factory continued to prosper employing 300 workers and artisans at its height, including the notable glassmaker Eugène Rosseau, and remained in operation until 1936.

Today, many of Gallé’s works are kept at the Musée de l’École de Nancy.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Art, DecorativeArts, Gallery Art, Glass | Leave a comment

Bromley’s comely chums

[Three examples of David Bromley’s ‘Female Nude’ series]

Australian artist David Bromley  was born in Sheffield, England in 1960. As a young boy, he migrated to Australia with his family in 1964. Bromley began his career in Adelaide as a potter, but eventually turned to painting. He currently resides in Byron Bay, New South Wales. David Bromley’s artworks have two clear focal points – the ‘Boys Own’ adventure project and the ‘Female Nude’ series.

Bromley takes inspiration from childhood books, popular culture and artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Glen Baxter. His nudes portray the female form in contemporary fashion. Bromley makes use of layering and texturing techniques while employing mediums such as metallic paint and leaf combined with black outlines on bold colours. Since the mid-1980s, Bromley has had more than 30 solo exhibitions in Australia, as well exhibiting regularly throughout Europe, the UK, South Africa, Asia and the United States.

  • Bromley was an Archibald Prize finalist for four consecutive years and he has been listed by the Australian Art Collector magazine as one of Australia’s 50 most collectible artists (in 2001, 2002 and 2009).

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Art, Artists A-Z, Erotic Art, Gallery Art, Paintings | Leave a comment

The Art of Bishai is a Bit Shy and the Great Sphinx of Giza Holds Secrets as Well

Postcard of the Sphinx by A. Bishai (ca 1958). So far any information regarding the artist for this postcard remains a mystery, unless someone can provide any further information. In which case I would love to hear and then share with all. It would appear that he is Egyptian water colour artist Ayoub Bishai, and he is mostly known for his series of mid-20th Century illustrations for picture post cards. These were published by the Eastern Publishing Company in Cairo.

The subject of this post card is the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt which is located about 350 metres from the Cheop’s Pyramid. The colossal limestone Sphinx, represents a lion with a human head which some believe to be a likeness of Chephren standing guard over his tomb. It stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile at Giza. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 metres long, 19.3 metres wide, and 20.22 m high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and the basic facts about it, and its builders are still debated. Pliny The Elder mentioned the Great Sphinx in his book, Natural History, commenting that the Egyptians looked upon the statue as a “divinity” that has been passed over in silence and “that King Harmais was buried in it. Despite conflicting evidence and viewpoints over the years, the view held by modern Egyptologists at large remains that the Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500 BC by the pharaoh Khafra’ the builder of the Second Pyramid at Giza.

Website | About | Facebook | Twitter

“Is It Art?”

Posted in Cards, Illustrations, Postcards | Leave a comment