The Raft of the Medusa and Two Naked Men

[Images: Nude Warrior with a Spear, Man Naked to the Waist, and The Raft of the Medusa]

French artist and lithographer Jean-Louis Andre Theodore Géricault (26 September 1791 – 26 January 1824) was born in Rouen, France. Géricault was one of the early pioneers of the Romantic Movement in art; and is best known for his work The Raft of the Medusa (1818-19, Louvre, Paris).

  • During his career, Géricault often painted military themes in his early paintings, however in The Raft of the Medusa, he depicted the aftermath of a contemporary French shipwreck, (The Meduse) where the ship’s captain had left his crew and passengers to die.
  • The Medusa was a French naval frigate that boasted 40 guns and fought in the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century. Remarkably, the ship survived these maritime battles only to crash on a sandbank in 1816 with over 150 soldiers on board, during an attempt to colonize Senegal.
  • This work became a national scandal, stemmed from its indictment of a corrupt establishment, and the dramatization on a more eternal theme; “man’s struggle with nature”.
  • Interestingly, one of the models who posed as one of the dying figures, was ‘artist-in-the-making’, a young Eugène Delacroix.

Amid the last days of his life, Géricault needed to have a tumour on his lower spine removed which was the consequence of three horse riding accidents that happened in the spring of 1822. Always intrigued by anatomy and ‘the body’ Géricault rejected the offer of surgical anaesthesia, so that he could see; with the guide of a mirror; the components of his body as the surgeon operated.  Needless to say, it was not long after this procedure that Géricault, weakened with illness, died on 26 January 1824.

  • His companion and admirer Ary Scheffer recorded the scene in his artistic creation The Demise of Gericault in 1824.

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TWOONE is a Hungry Animal

Contemporary artist Hiroyasu Tsuri (also known as TWOONE the Street Artist) was born on 26 February 1985 in Yokohama, Japan. His work consists of painting, sculpture, installation, performance art and sound; and in his street art he is known for his large scale mural works all around the world.

  • In 2007, at age of 18, Tsuri moved to Melbourne, Australia, where he lived, played and started painting a lot on the streets; and began exhibiting his works in galleries and museums.
  • He illustrates his pictures from his dreams and his characters often have both animal and human characteristics. They often focus on tribal, symbolic, animal spirits and characters, as shown in the  images featured here.
  • Whilst in Australia TWOONE collaborated with other street artists such as Shida, Nails, Ghostpatrol and many others.
  • His artworks have been acquired by The National Gallery of Victoria and by the City of Yarra, Australia as part of their permanent collections.

Since 2014, Tsuri has been living in Berlin, Germany where he continues to experiment with materials and media and push his art to new levels.

His many collections, murals, commissions and exhibitions (including solos) feature in exotic and world-wide locations such as:

  • Australasia: New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Napier New Zealand.
  • Asia: Nagoya, Japan; George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Goa, India; Kolkata, India; Tokyo, Japan; and Hong Kong.
  • Europe: Berlin, Germany; Cran Montana, Switzerland; Lieusaint, Paris, Lille, Vernuil Sur Seine, France; Madrid, Spain; Leeuwarden, Netherlands and Osimo, Italy.
  • Africa: Djerba, Tunisia.
  • The Americas:  Miami and Chicago, US; and Toronto, Canada.

Discover more at Hiroyasu Tsuri’s website or follow on Instagram

In Hiroyasu Tsuri ‘s own words – TWOONE is a Hungry Animal
And we are hungry for more

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When Art Imitates Street Art

  • One of street artist Rone’s “Jane Doe’s” pastes is featured in this work ‘Under the Arts Centre‘ by Melbourne -based artist Eolo Paul Bottoro!

Eolo Paul Bottaro’s artistic career spans over 20 years of creative practice. Bottaro operates within the genre of contemporary realism. Yet despite the finely executed and detailed naturalism that defines his style, his work resides outside of a popular photo-realist genre. His fascination with the formal elements of printmaking, painting and craftsmanship, are coupled with an exuberant imagination often found in his work.

Bottaro has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts and an extensive resume. He has been a finalist at the Hurford Hardwood Portrait Award, the Rick Amor Print Award (both in 2015), a semi-finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (2013) a finalist in the the Banyule Works on Paper Prize (2013) Fleurieu Art Prize (2013) the Geelong Acquisitive Print Award (2013, Acquired) Muswellbrook Art Prize finalist (2013) the AME Bale Art Prize (2012) Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the National Works of Paper Prize at the Mornington Regional Gallery (2012) Winner of the Nillumbik Art Prize 2012, a finalist in the Prometheus Art Prize (2011) a finalist in the Rick Amor Small Drawing Prize (2010) and a finalist in the Archibald Prize in 2008, among many others.

  • His work is held in public and private collections including the National Museum, Canberra; the Geelong Art Gallery, the City of Darebin Art Collection; the Victorian College of the Arts Collection and various private collections nationally.

From ‘Under the Arts Centre‘ to works on the walls, Bottaro’s art adorns treasured halls.

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Rone’s Grown | From Jane Doe’s to Top Studios

Street artist Rone (real name Tyrone Wright) (born 1980), is an internationally renowned artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Rone grew up in the Geelong suburb of Curlewis on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria. A keen skateboarder, he did a two year TAFE course before moving to Melbourne in 2001 to study at RMIT University. Rone lasted 12 months before the now defunct skate wear company November offered him his dream job after spotting his stencils pasted around skateboard parks.

Rone became a member of the Everfresh Studios in Collingwood as a graphic designer working alongside fellow fledgling street artists such as Ha Ha, Phibs and Psalm. His compositions are mostly women, now collectively known as his “Jane Doe’s” who he has been painting since 2004. After initially using posters, stencils and spray paint around the neighbourhoods of Collingwood and Fitzroy; Rone now uses brushes and rollers to complete his often vast in size murals spread to the streets and inner-city lane-ways of Melbourne and beyond.

  • These days he is a well-known internationally recognized street artist and inveterate traveller and his distinctive female muses have followed him around the world, and can be found peering out from beneath overpasses and emblazoned on walls everywhere from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, to Santo Domingo, Mexico, Christchurch and Port Vila.

As a gallery artist, Rone has exhibited at Backwoods Gallery in Collingwood. His work has been acquisitioned by the National Gallery of Australia, commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria to work with Jean Paul Gaultier and shown by galleries including Stolen Space and in London, White Walls in San Francisco, Urban Nation in Berlin, and the Opera Gallery in New York. He is also an ambassador for Japanese brand Uniqlo.

  • Discover more at his website or follow him on Instagram @r-o-n-e

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Franz Marc | Degenerate Artist

All eight images above were painted over a three year period and form a part of a menagerie of animal artworks from cows, cats, horses, a fox, a little blue horse, a monkey, a dog lying in the snow and a set of stables. All of these works were painted in bright primary colours under the artist’s influence of fellow modern artists involved in cubism and futurism. The colour blue was used to portray masculinity and spirituality; yellow represented feminine joy; and red encased the sound of violence.

The artist – Munich-born painter and print-maker Franz Marc (February 8, 1880 – March 4, 1916) one of the key figures of the German Expressionist art movement.

  • In 1911, Marc was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists including August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky and others who had split from the New Artist’s Association movement (Neue Künstlervereinigung).
  • This movement held exhibitions throughout Germany in major cities such as Munich, Berlin, Cologne, Hagen and Frankfurt.
  • The following year Marc met Robert Delaunay whose use of colour and futurist method was a major influence on Marc’s work.

During the ‘Great War’ Marc enlisted in the German Army first as a cavalryman and later as a war artist using military camouflage to paint canvas covers to hide artillery from aerial observation. His career was cut short when he was struck in the head and killed instantly at the age of 36, by a shell splinter during the Battle of Verdun on 4th March, 1916.

  • Years later, the National Socialists took power and suppressed modernist art; in 1936 and 1937, the Nazis condemned the late Marc as an Entarteter Künstler (degenerate artist) and ordered approximately 130 of his works be removed from exhibition in German museums.

Thankfully those years are over and art lovers can once again appreciate the art of the great Franz Marc.

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Three Cheers for EARS | For ‘EARS a Jolly Good Fellow

Sydney-based artist Daniel O’Toole aka street artist EARS is known for his fragmented and fractured faces presented in an almost Cubist art form. Many of his works can be seen in Sydney or Melbourne, often recognisable by the thin-lined, patterned textural faces and expressions interwoven across O’Toole’s oeuvre in painting, sound, photography and film.

Born in 1984 and growing up in the outer suburbs of Sydney, O’Toole was brought up playing classical violin; and from an early age showed great aptitude in drawing. Coming from a creative family surrounded by music and painting this provided the right environment for him to develop into an established artist.

  • O’Toole studied Audio Engineering at SAE in 2004, later attending the National Art School in 2007.
  • The following year marked the birth of Sydney’s Newtown based gallery ‘Oh Really’ of which O’Toole was a founding director at the age of 24; and was involved in the running of; for nearly three years.
  • O’Toole later established ‘Soldiers Rd’, an inner city gallery located in a loft apartment overlooking Central Station at Sydney’s infamous Hibernian house; and after 12 months at Soldiers Rd, he returned to full-time art and closed the gallery doors.
  • In recent years, O’Toole’s projects have taken him around the world – from the Gobi desert making Super 8 films, to an artist residency in Berlin and Japan, to shooting a film clip at Shibuya‘s famous scramble crossing.

Daniel O’Toole / EARS continues to explore the correlation between painting and video, while pursuing a studio practice at ‘Higher Ground Studio’ located in Sydney’s inner west. For further information go to his website.

For ‘EARS a Jolly Good Fellow | And So Say All of Us

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1901 | Campbell Art Studio, Fifth Avenue NYC

It was during 1901 that a photographer and art manager of the Campbell Art Studio on Fifth Avenue, New York City took a series of photographs of a stunning artist’s model. The result of this eponymous collection is arguably his best-known portrait work.

  • He was American pictorialist photographer Rudolf Eickemeyer Jr. (August 7, 1862 – April 25, 1932) and one of the first Americans to be admitted to the Linked Ring (a British photographic society created to propose and defend that photography was just as much an art as it was a science).

During his career, Eickemeyer’s photographs won dozens of medals at exhibitions including 11 medals at the Yonkers Photo Club’s Lantern Slide Exhibition in October 1890, and over the subsequent decade, he collected over a hundred medals at exhibitions and salons around the world; and he was awarded the gold medal for photography at the St. Louis World’s Fair (1904). (Eickemeyer’s best-known photographs are now part of the collections of the Smithsonian Institution).

  • She was Evelyn Nesbit (December 25, 1884 or 1885 – January 17, 1967) one of the most in-demand artists’ models in New York who was frequently featured in photographs in mass circulation newspapers and magazine advertisements from Vanity Fair to Harper’s Bazaar; and appeared on souvenir items such as beer trays, tobacco cards, pocket mirrors, postcards becoming a celebrity in her own right.

Nesbit lead a colourful life. Her post-modelling career included a stint as a chorus girl through to actress, dancer and singer. Nesbit attracted attention from a variety of wealthy men including multi-millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw who after a year of marriage, killed wealthy architect Stanford White, an admirer of hers. White was shot dead at the rooftop theatre of Madison Square Garden in June, 1906. The Press referred to Thaw’s resulting trial as the ‘Trial of the Century‘ – the first time this was ever coined.

I’m sure we have had many a ‘Trial of the Century‘ since then.

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The Hallmark Art of Vibrant Al Stark

Al Stark is an Australian gallery and street artist who admits that he is inspired by music, literature, film and artists including Robert Crumb, Chris Burden, Oskar Kokoschka, the Vienna Actionists and The Vienna Secession.

Now based in northern New South Wales, Stark has come a long way since the 1980s where at about the age of 10 or 11 he had a crew of outcasts called ‘The Grunters’ who ran a weekly zine called ‘Grunter’s Weekly’.

  • Nowadays, from Fitzroy to Clayton and anywhere in between Stark has been painting his bold neon tribal street art murals around Melbourne. Works include his murals or collaborations with other well-known local street artists such as Nails and TwoOne.
  • When it comes to his gallery art, Stark has exhibited both locally (represented by Mars Gallery) and overseas including Lyon, France.

More information about Al stark is available at his blogspot, Facebook or Insta@alstarkruins

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On Today | Wednesday December 12 1979

Japanese artist On Kawara (December 24, 1932 – July 10, 2014) was a Japanese conceptual artist who lived in New York City from 1965. Kawara belonged to a broadly international generation of conceptual artists that began to emerge in the mid-1960s, stripping art of personal emotion, reducing it to nearly pure information or idea and greatly playing down the art object.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 12. 1979 (1979) synthetic polymer paint on canvas and artist-made cardboard box. (MOMA).
  • This work belongs to On Kawara’s Today series, which consists of thousands of ‘date paintings’ made between 1966 and the artist’s death in 2014.

To create the starkly uniform series, Kawara adhered to a precise set of rules. Each painting executed in Liquitex on canvas, depicts the date when it was painted. The text, inscribed in white paint against a dark monochromatic background conforms to one of eight standard sizes, ranging from 8×10 inches to 61×89 inches; all horizontal in orientation. Many of the canvases are accompanied by a handmade cardboard box lined with newspaper clippings from the same day and location. If a work was not completed by midnight, it was destroyed.

By diligently repeating the same process for almost five decades, Kawara succeeded in tangibly representing this abstract concept of time itself.

When Kawara died in New York on July 10, 2014 (at the age of 81) his published obituary stated that he was alive for 29,771 days rather than giving his dates of birth and death.

Life and Death | An abstract concept of time itself!

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Here’s a good part of some CDH art


CDH art has been around for 20 years, starting his street art creatives around 2000/2001. Working mostly alone, CDH’s interest came from his admiration with the street art of San Francisco. He uses anything and everything from paste-ups, aerosol, naping (fire graffiti), hammer-drill or welding, to create murals and pieces. Many of his works take a great time and effort up to 20-30 hours, and others are ‘quick and dirty’ taking as little as 20-30 minutes to create.

Amongst this collection which I have taken over a great period of time include:

  • Raimond Gaita – an Australian author, academic and moral philosopher.
  • Kyle Magee – Melbourne ad-busting political communication speech activist.
  • Matthew Brady (grey portrait) – the ‘gentleman bushranger’, colonial convict escapee of Tasmania. Got his nickname for never robbing or insulting women and conducting himself with good manners during a robbery. Sentenced to hanging at the old Hobart jail in 1826. CDH explains more about this on his website.

CDH states that he tries to work in areas where street art has been tacitly endorsed; where there is long standing, pre-existing street art or where the owner has demonstrated indifference about the aesthetic of their building (peeling paint, extensive tagging, poster advertising etc). I’m trying to make my community better with my street art.

Find out more about CDH at his website and whilst there, don’t miss reading Fandalism – such a great story!

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Mike Kelley Was No Nelly

American artist Mike Kelley (October 27, 1954 – January 31, 2012) was born in Wayne, Michigan, (a suburb of Detroit). Kelley worked in performance, music, sculpture and installation art, mining the American vernacular culture to develop what has been described as ‘an aesthetics of delinquency’. In his younger days he was a member of a noise band ‘Destroy All Monsters‘.

Kelley graduated from the University of Michigan in 1976 and moved to Los Angeles, California where he undertook a Master of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts. One of his teachers at the Institute was John Baldessari.

On January 31, 2012, Kelley was found dead from an apparent suicide at his home in South Pasadena, California.

  • The above images, all ‘Untitled’ (1990) [from a MOMA, New York collection] use ‘found objects’, which include crocheted rugs, and abstract patterned ‘afghans’; hand-sewn dolls and stuffed animals. Kelley claimed that the materials used were not meant to suggest childhood comforts, but were chosen instead for their formal elements and patterns.

‘There was a general tendency amongst a number of New York artists at that time to try to capture the look of the brand new manufactured object’, Kelley said, ‘so I started collecting things that were obviously handmade and that weren’t made to be sold.

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What to See by Lucy Lucy

Meet Street Artist Lucy Lucy who came to Melbourne from Paris, France. Lucy (born 1983) has been  living in Melbourne for many years and is known for her paintings and pastes of gorgeous females. She also loves fashion and fabrics, patterns and material. Lucy is part of the AWOL Crew Street Art Collective, along with Adnate, Deams, Itch and Slicer and has illustrated the children’s book ‘Nancy Wake: Fighting for Freedom’.

  • A lover of drawing and painting since childhood, Lucy got involved in street art after moving to Melbourne from her native Paris in 2007, to study a master’s degree in international business. She befriended several street artists and began joining them on nocturnal painting jaunts, honing her skills away from the public eye.

Post-study, Lucy returned to Paris for a few years, but returned to Melbourne about six years ago. She ended up being a room mate of an artist who was friends with Slicer, Adnate and Deams; and soon became attracted to street art.

  • Now known as Lucy Lucy, she depicts “different aspects of the feminine” in murals of archetypal women. They’ve been displayed on walls in Brunswick, Collingwood, Prahran and Richmond and Union Lane in Melbourne, as well as the Box Hill Town Hall and Preston Library; further afield in Mayfield (NSW); and there are two in Benalla, home to the Wall to Wall street art festival.

Further information is available on Facebook.

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Some Tender Fender Stories

Leo Fender | Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar[Fender Stratocaster electric guitar designed 1954 made 1957 wood metal and plastic MoMA | Leo Fender (American 1909-1991), George Fullerton (American 1923-2009) and Freddie Tavares (American 1913-199)].

The Stratocaster (“Strat”) electric guitar was designed by Leo Fender, a self-taught electrician, inventor and amateur musician from Southern California and it is one of the most successful musical instrument designs from the 20th Century. Sold with a range of finishes with detachable elements which are easily repaired or replaced, these guitars were designed to withstand heavy use and amplification.

The ergonomic and balanced form was contoured to fit comfortably with the player’s body and technical innovations included a three pickup for a bright glassy sound, and a fender-patented built-in tremolo arm (“whammy bar“).

The Strat’s user-friendly design and unique sound meant it soon dominated the market, attracting numerous devotees including: Jimi Hendrix, Mike Oldfield, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Rory Gallagher, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck and The Beatles to name but a few.

  • Mike Oldfield has a “Salmon-pink” Strat, which is his favourite guitar.
  • Ry Cooder used his 60s Strat slide guitar for the film soundtrack Paris, Texas (1984).
  • Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour owns Strat #0001, which was manufactured in 1954, but was not the first Strat made since Fender does not use sequential serial numbers. His custom modified Strat features in his solo piece on The Wall’s Comfortably Numb, which remains a definitive Strat moment in music.
  • Both George Harrison and John Lennon from The Beatles were Strat owners. Harrison hand-painted his original Strat in psychedelic paint with “Bebopalula” painted above the pick-guard and the guitar’s nickname, “Rocky” was  painted on the head-stock. He can be seen playing Rocky in the Magical Mystery Tour film as well as The Concert for Bangla Desh. Lennon had a 1961 Strat during his Beatles days and a different one for his solo Imagine album. He acquired a candy apple red Strat with 22 carat gold electroplated brass hardware around 1980 not long before his untimely death.
  • Jeff Beck is noted for his innovative use of the Strat’s vibrato system. Originally a Les Paul devotee, he moved over to a Strat in 1975 and is recorded as saying “With a Les Paul you just wind up sounding like someone else. With the Strat I finally sound like me.
  • Jimi Hendrix’s main stage guitar was a Strat. Although left-handed, he is noted for playing a conventional right-handed Strat flipped upside down because he preferred to use the controls in that position, rather than buying a left-handed guitar.
  • In 1990, Hendrix’s white Strat used at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 sold at a Sotheby‘s auction for $270,000. (A record price at the time).
  • Rory Gallagher loves his worn 1961 sunburst Strat. He once said “B.B. King has owned over 100 Lucille’s, but I only own one Strat, and it hasn’t got a name”.

Sounds like a case of Fender Splendour for the Megablaster Stratocaster

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Here’s a Plug for Smug

Smug or Smug One (aka Sam Bates) is an Australian born photo-realistic contemporary street artist now residing in Glasgow, Scotland.  Born in 1982, he grew up in a small town in New South Wales about three hours from its capital, Sydney. Always interested in drawing, he began spray can art after graduating from high school. As a teenager, Smug skated and hung around in the streets with his friends, writing their names on the walls and listening to hip-hop music.

Known for his outstanding photo-realism street art murals, Smug uses nothing but spray cans to create amazing highly technical large-scale wall pieces that are often edgy, cheeky, or incredibly playful; whether the subject is flora, fauna, a tribute to his grandparents or a cheeky self-portrait.

  • You can discover more about Smug at Widewalls website.

Asked about his artistic name, Smug says that he cannot remember how he received his. Originally he tagged using various names, but somehow Smug stuck. Now he is as Smug as he can be.

Don’t be a mug | Get some Smug!

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John Baldessari | What is Painting?

John Baldessari | What is PaintingWhat is Painting [Synthetic polymer paint on canvas (1966-1968) MoMA]

  • Do you sense how all the parts of a good picture are involved with each other, not just placed side by side? Art is a creation for the eye and can only be hinted at with words.

American artist John Anthony Baldessari (June 17, 1931 – January 2, 2020) was an American conceptual artist known for his work featuring found photography and appropriated images. Initially a painter, Baldessari began to incorporate texts and photography into his canvases in the mid-1960s.

  • It was during this period that the Southern California-based artist lived and worked in Santa Monica and Venice, California. Baldessari began to reconsider both the nature of painting and more broadly, the practice of art-making itself. Undermining the importance of the artist’s hand in creating a work, he hired a commercial sign painter to execute What is Painting. 
  • Challenging the artist’s contribution of content, Baldessari appropriated the work’s text from an instructional book; turning sentences on how to compose an artwork into a self-referential painting.
  • From 1970 onwards, he began working in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture and photography.

I think the wonderful irony about this piece is that it’s text‘, Baldessari has said. ‘But in fact it is a painting, because it’s done with paint on canvas. So I’m really being very slyly ironic here in sayingWell, this is what painting is“.

What is Painting? | Is It Art?

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