Meet The Artist: Joel Rea

Joel Rea, 32-year-old artist from Australia, works in an unusual genre, combining photorealism with surrealism.
He paints portraits and landscapes, animals and the ocean and it seems that there is no such theme on the basis of which he could not create his picture.Joel prefers to work with canvas and oil, perfecting every smallest detail.

“It is very easy to smile when you win, but for me the most interesting thing is exactly what people do in the darkest hours of their lives, because it is at such moments that you show up as a person,” says the artist.

Mail Me A Baby

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The inauguration of a domestic parcel post service by Postmaster General Frank H. Hitchcock in 1913, greatly increased the volume of mail shipped nationwide, and motivated the development of more efficient postal transportation systems. (Wikipedia).

Many rural customers took advantage of inexpensive Parcel Post rates to order goods and products — food, clothing, grain, tobacco, medicines — from businesses located hundreds of miles away in distant cities for delivery by mail. Many college students and others used parcel post to mail home dirty laundry, as doing so was less expensive than washing the clothes themselves.  Image result for old pictures of postman

Mail was obliged to deliver not only fragile items, such as eggs, but livestock weighing up to 50 pounds. Under this category, the mailing of  baby chickens delighted the farmers and consumers across the land.chicks.PNGBut as it turned out, not only chickens fit this category, but little kids, weighing under 50 pound, too.

In January 1913, Mrs. and Mr. Jesse Beauge of Glen Este, Ohio, sent a parcel to Vernon Little, to be delivered to Mrs. Louis Beague, using the services of Rural Free Delivery.

The shipment cost them 15 cents paid for the postage stamp, while the content was insured for $50. The content of a parcel was the grandson of Mrs. Louis Beague. The kid’s parents figured out that sending a child by mail would be cheaper than taking him to his grandmother by any other means.

It was the first, but not the last child thus mailed.
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On January 27, 1913, Mrs. and Mr J.W. Savis from Pine Hollow, Pennsylvania, “packed up” and mailed their daughter to James Beyrle of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. The girl was safely delivered to the recipient on the same day. The shipment cost the parents 45 cents.

On February 19, 1914, three months before her sixth birthday, May Pierstorff was mailed by her parents from Grangeville, Idaho, to her grandmother who lived 73 miles away. The cost of this “parcel” was 53 cents. May’s weight was 48.5 pounds — less than the maximum permissible 50 pounds.

After this incident, parcel post regulations were changed to prohibit the shipment of humans.

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This photo was published as an illustration to the USPS announcement that the mail will no longer accept humans for shipment.

But, as they say, the laws exist to be broken. A couple of months after the decree, a certain B.H. Knepper from Maryland mailed a 14 lb child to his grandmother in Clear Spring, some 12 miles away. Local newspapers claimed that the baby was sleeping peacefully throughout the entire trip.

In the same year, postal workers of Stillwell, Indiana, accepted a parcel marked “live baby”. The parcel — baby unharmed —  has changed hands through the post office window in South Bend, Indiana, baby’s divorced father on the receiving end. The shipment cost 17 cents.

And yet again, a year later, six-year-old Edna Neff  has been mailed by her mother from Pensacola, Florida, to her divorced father in Christiansburg, Virginia. The family fell on hard times with no money for travel. The shipment cost 15 cents. Edna’s weight was approaching the 50-pound mark. This was, distance wise, the longest registered transport of a child by parcel service.

1915 was a record year for mailing children. In September, three-year-old Mod Smith has been mailed by her grandparents to her mother, Ms. Selina Smith of Jackson, Kentucky. This case has been investigated by postal authority, and, apparently, was the last recorded instance of mailing children by USPS.

I didn’t know, did you?

 

 

Мееt The Sculptor: Isabel Miramontes

Born in Spain and influenced by the Celtic Origins of her village, the bronze works of Isabel MIRAMONTES have both a primitive and essential quality to them.

Her recognizable androgynous figures express a narrative of quiet certitude and the inevitable struggle of everyday man, his obstacles and triumphs.

The figures bear the weight of humanity, astonishingly defying their bronze origins with a definite fluidity of movement and a spiritual density omnipresent in her work.

Highly schooled and celebrated artist, Isabel MIRAMONTES resides in Belgium where she was raised and attended the Institute Sainte Marie and Saint Gilles.

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Allez Viens

Isabel is known for her bronze works, and does both commissioned monumental works, as well as small to midsize more accessible works as found on display at the Canfin Gallery. 

(Most of the narrative for this post and some of the images came from the Canfin Gallery’s site.)

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Extase

Isabel’s works reside in both public and private collections.

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Glissade

The artist’s work is pure movement, even if it’s an “animated” chair or bench. Unusual forms, elongated spirals and horizontal strips, which seem to wrap around the figure, show an inner confusion. Every figure is amazingly plastic and poetic.

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Chemin de Vie

“Isabel Miramontes feels that art calms the torments of life, and she freely
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reinvents them using her own artistic language. Her line is that of the wind, timelessly expanding and contracting to form her unique sculptural style. She does not like superfluous expression. To Miramontes, man and medium intermingle, becoming emotions and forgotten sensations which create art in its purest sense.”

 

 

Aliens Downstairs

This story is from the very recent archives of St. Petersburg’s agency of Russian EMERCOM (the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters), one of the Russian Federation’s emergency services.

Image result for emercom of russiaThe EMERCOM agents respond to the unusual complain from a citizen residing in the second floor apartment of an upscale St. Petersburg’s building.

The agents ring the doorbell. A man wearing an aluminum foil cap opens the door just a crack. When the agents announce themselves and enter the apartment, they can hardly contain their bewilderment. Every surface  in the entire flat — walls, floors, ceiling and every piece of furniture — is covered with aluminum foil. The owner, still wearing the foil cap, explains the reason for his obsession with foil covering as an attempt to protect himself from the deadly radiation emanating from upstairs.  “You see,” he laments, “My neighbor from the apartment directly above mine constantly, day and night, irradiates me. Do something. Help!”alumium.PNGThe agents gently reassure the “victim of irradiation” and, on his insistence, head upstairs to visit the villainous neighbor. They don’t mind, really. As a matter of protocol, they have to make sure that the paranoiac foil-capped man doesn’t bother the inhabitants of the upstairs apartment.

Another doorbell, and the neighbor — bespectacled, bearded, looking, incongruously, like a mad scientist from a bad movie — opens the door. EMERCOM agents walk in and… encounter yet another curious setup. The entire apartment is filled with… microwave ovens. microwave.PNG

Dozens of them. All turned on and facing down. The “mad scientist” explains that this is how he fights against an alien living downstairs who wants to enslave the world!

Funny or not, this is a real and fairly recent story from Russia. I would’ve forgotten about it, if not for this article in Daily Mail: Billionaire Bigelow space mogul says he is ‘absolutely convinced’ there are aliens on Earth.

A billionaire aerospace entrepreneur who has recently worked with Nasa has said he is 'absolutely convinced' that there are alien visitors living on Earth. Robert Bigelow (pictured), speaking in an interview with 60 minutes, said he has spent 'millions' on alien research

A billionaire aerospace entrepreneur Robrt Bigelow has said he is ‘absolutely convinced’ that there are alien visitors living on Earth. 


Robert Bigelow, aforementioned billionaire space mogul, runs Bigelow Aerospace, a private space technology company, often partnering with NASA.

Speaking in an interview with 60 minutes, asked if he believed in aliens, Mr Bigelow responded: ‘I’m absolutely convinced. That’s all there is to it.’

Mr Bigelow made a number of other statements about his belief in aliens among us:

‘There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence [on Earth].

‘I spent millions and millions and millions – I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject [aliens].’

Mr Bigelow did not specify exactly how much he has spent on this research, and declined to comment on any personal UFO encounters.

Correspondent Lara Logan, who was leading the interview, then asked Mr Bigelow whether he felt it was risky for him to say in public that he believes in aliens.

She asked him whether he worried that people might think he was ‘crazy’.

Mr Bigelow responded: ‘I don’t give a damn. I don’t care.’ (–Excerpt from the article.)

Smoldering Stone: Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Скульптура_Джан-Лоренцо-Бернини_Blessed-Ludovica-Albertoni-1671–74_02.jpgContinued from previous post.

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Self-portrait of Bernini, 1623

Passion is like a tornado, its frenzied whirlwind is felt in Bernini’s every sculpture. Bernini’s marble breezes passion, feeling known to him only so well.

He had a mistress, you see. She was a beautiful married woman named Constance. Some well-wisher told Bernini that Constance was cheating on him with his brother Luigi, no less. Furious, overcome with jealousy, Bernini informed everyone that he was leaving town for a few days. By the day’s end he showed up at Constance’s house. The rumor, unfortunately, turned out to be true.

Betrayed, enraged, Bernini would have killed his own brother, but the guards arrived and prevented murder about to occur. Then he sent his servant to exact an awful punishment on his cheating lover. The servant cut Constance’s face with a knife, ruining the woman’s beauty forever.

The year was of Our Lord 1640. By his late teens, Bernini had already established himself

Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1665, painted by Giovanni Battista Gaulli.

as a prodigious artist. He received his first major commissions from rapacious art lover Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The early works executed for the Cardinal won Bernini such acclaim that praise and accolades began to pour in. In 1621, Bernini was knighted, and in 1629, he was named the Official Architect of Saint Peters, one of the highest honors an artist could wish for. The artist frequented papal and royal circles, and was fervently admired even outside of Italy.

Thus punishment for all his crimes was far from harsh — Bernini had to pay a modest fine. And then the pontiff, who considered the sculptor to be his friend, sentenced him to… marriage to the most beautiful girl in Rome.

However, the dark streak wasn’t over. In 1646, the bell tower Bernini created for the façade of St. Peter’s had to be demolished after it developed worrisome cracks, and the shame of this failure proved almost too much for the artist to bear: contemporary sources say Bernini took to his bed and fasted almost to the point of death.

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Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. 1647-52

Then Bernini created The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, and immediately revived his career. It was a success that started a new era in Bernini’s artistic life and popularity that lasted until his death in 1680.

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Blessed Ludovica Albertoni. 1671-73

Indeed, “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” and “Blessed Ludovica Albertoni” are the two masterpieces that did not allow Bernini to fade into obscurity in the declining years, as happened with many great ones.
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A wild and miraculous cocktail it was, mix of carnal passion and spiritual desire. Look at these young nuns, not at all burdened with asceticism, and you will understand why Bernini was kindly treated, despite his criminal episode and epic failures.

Cold Stone, Hot Sex: Gian Lorenzo Bernini

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Gian Lorenzo Bernini,  also Gianlorenzo or Giovanni Lorenzo (7 December 1598 – 28 November 1680), an Italian sculptor and architect, loved sex, was very fond of sex, and was one of greatest admirers of carnal pleasures.
At the age of 16 he created a masterpiece that emanates passion — The Rape of Proserpina (1621-22). It’s hard to believe that the hot, full-bodied passion marble is the work of a sixteen-year-old boy!Скульптура_Джан-Лоренцо-Бернини_Похищение-Прозерпины-1621-22_02.jpgNo, not a boy, but a man. A man who knew about the power of passion and how impossible it is to contain. Proserpine seems to fly upwards, trying to escape from the strong embrace of Pluto, and the fingers of God of Underworld cling to her young flesh. No one could make stone convey soft skin, curling hair, or crinkling fabrics the way Bernini could.  Related image

Bernini was 26 when he created Apollo and Daphne.  The technique of the caught moment reaches perfection.Apollo & Daphne September 2a.jpg
Apollo is consumed by desire, but Daphne appealed to the gods, “Destroy the beauty that has injured me, or change the body that destroys my life.”  Gods obliged, and the maiden was turned into a tree. Скульптура_Джан-Лоренцо-Бернини_Аполлон-и-Дафна-1622–25_02.jpg

A real passion born of love is always a movement, it is a whirlwind that captures the body. Passion is like a tornado, and its frenzied movement is felt in Bernini’s masterpiece. The chase is over, the movement fades. Daphne’s feet grow into the ground, hands turn into twigs, and Apollo slows his run at a loss, feeling in his left hand not the desired flesh, but a rough tree bark.

(to be continued…)

Meet The Artist: Gregory Scott

Gregory Scott, designer, artist, photographer.

Disconnect

Most of my life I worked as a graphic designer and creative director. I owned a design firm in Chicago and it was a great ride. But eventually I began to want something different. I began to play around with art in my free time, painting and shooting photographs.

Bound

[…] The idea I had tested was to take some paintings I made during a figure painting class and fill in missing parts of the painted figure with myself. I thought it was fun and different, but didn’t really have any plans for what to do next, if anything at all.

Thank You Jeff Koons and Art Rogers

Framed

Homage

Storybook

 

“all by himself with leaves, trees, mud and rabbits”

Christ in the Wilderness. Driven by the Spirit. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.” Mark 1:12

Stanley Spencer (1891 – 1959), a great English artist, joined in his work expressionism and primitivism, mysticism and grotesque. The cycle of his paintings “Christ in the Wilderness” (1939-54) literally overturns traditional notion about Christ and his relationship with the Earth.
IN middle age, eccentric British painter Stanley Spencer changed his obsession from religion to sex — with disastrous consequences. He divorced his homely first wife Hilda Carline and shacked up (or tried to) with glamorous lesbian Patricia Preece, who turned out to be mainly interested in his money. The potboilers he painted in the 1930s were done to keep Preece in furs and jewels; and he made the mistake of signing over his house to her. Not long after their wedding, Preece let out the house, making Spencer homeless.The director of the Tate Gallery found ­Spencer lodgings near Swiss Cottage Tube station in north London. It was in this bedsit that the artist embarked on a series of paintings called Christ in the Wilderness, which included this panel, Consider the Lilies.

“Consider the lilies how they grow,” runs the line in the Gospels to which the title refers. “They toil not, they spin not, and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not ­arrayed like one of these.” Like most of Spencer’s works, however, the biblical scene has been transposed to the Berkshire village of Cookham where he grew up, and which he considered a sort of paradise on earth — these are not lilies but daisies and wild grass flowers of the sort that grew on Cookham common in his youth. (from Stanley Spencer confronts the self, alone in Christ in the Wilderness.)

Many dismissed the artist as an eccentric crank. He identified himself with religious figures, dwelling in contemporary village. Still, it’s exactly this very eccentricity that Spencer’s works so powerful, art lovers and art critics alike agree.Christ In The Wilderness: the hen. This painting illustrates Matthew 23:37 ‘…how often would I have gathered my children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings…’ 

Where else in the Bible does man appear in such union with the beasts, with no fear and alienation? Obviously, in Eden, where Adam resided before the fall. Christ, who came to save mankind from the curse of original sin, is the new Adam, as described in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul. Therefore, the desert where Spencer’s Jesus find himself, is not only the place of fasting and prayer, but also the image of the restored paradise, where man is reunited with God and the universe created by him. The desert is the tiny remnant of Eden, which once extended to the whole Earth, and at the same time the foretaste of a new Earth, where humanity will enter through the saving sacrifice of Christ.

Therefore, Jesus peacefully dwells among animals, birds, plants and with childish curiosity he peers at them, for this firstborn Son of God has found his human nature, similarity with earthly being. As a creature “from another planet”, Jesus gets used to this world, delicately delves into it, amused and delighted. (My free interpretation of the excerpt from the Russian article by M. Epstein, an Anglo-American and Russian literary theorist and critical thinker, S. C. Dobbs Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature at Emory University.) 

Christ in the Wilderness. The Scorpion. “Behold, I give unto you the power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19.

There were meant to be 40 panels in the series, one for each day Christ spent in the wilderness. They should have covered the vault of the ceiling of a church, so that the Jesus’ whitish robes would take on the appearance of clouds in a mackerel sky.

Spencer finished only eight panels of the series. Historian Simon Schama described them as “the least elaborate and most affecting things he had ever done”. In 1983, all eight (plus one half-finished canvas) were bought by the Art Gallery of Western Australia for $600,000, the museum’s entire annual budget. It was a wise decision.  Christ in the Wilderness paintings are popular with gallery visitors and much in demand for loans.

Hyperrealistic Picasso

Eugenio Merino, a Spanish sculptor from Picasso's birthplace of Malaga, has created the life-like statue of the artist for a new exhibition highlighting the problems of tourism for locals. Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, in 1881 he died in France in 1973 having helped create one of the 20th century's most important artistic movements in CubismEugenio Merino, a Spanish sculptor from Picasso’s birthplace of Malaga, has created the life-like statue of Pablo Picasso for a new exhibition highlighting the problems of tourism for locals. Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, in 1881 he died in France in 1973 having helped create one of the 20th century’s most important artistic movements in Cubism.The work is displayed inside a gift shop and viewers are allowed to take selfies with it, which Merino says will demonstrate how a complex artist and his work has been reduced to souvenir status. Picasso initially started out painting relatively life- like portraits influenced by impressionism, but soon incorporated surreal elements and motifs from African art, creating CubismThe work is displayed inside a gift shop and viewers are allowed to take selfies with it, which Merino says will demonstrate how a complex artist and his work has been reduced to souvenir status. Picasso initially started out painting relatively life- like portraits influenced by impressionism, but soon incorporated surreal elements and motifs from African art, creating Cubism.Merino is allowing tourists to take pictures with the statue, including with selfie sticks which have been banned from most museums, in a move which he hopes will help to prove his point. During his early years in Paris, Picasso was so poor that much of his early work was burned into order to heat his apartment. Today he holds the record for most expensive artwork ever sold, at $117millionThe work is constructed from fiberglass, resin and plastic and has been coated with silicone and embedded with real human hair. Merino matched the model to the artist’s real height, 5’3″ and based it on photographs of him. The artist was well-known in his later years for wearing a striped top, cloth trousers and rope-soled shoes, which he is dressed in for the show.

Merino is allowing tourists to take pictures with the statue, including with selfie sticks which have been banned from most museums, in a move which he hopes will help to prove his point. During his early years in Paris, Picasso was so poor that much of his early work was burned into order to heat his apartment. Today he holds the record for most expensive artwork ever sold, at $117million.Merino said tourism is often harmful to local communities, pushing people out of their homes as prices rise and drawing in huge crowds of people who put a strain on resources. While Picasso often takes all of the credit for having developed Cubism, in fact he created the artistic movement alongside collaborator Georges BraqueMerino said tourism is often harmful to local communities, pushing people out of their homes as prices rise and drawing in huge crowds of people who put a strain on resources. While Picasso often takes all of the credit for having developed Cubism, in fact he created the artistic movement alongside collaborator Georges Braque.Merino (pictured rear) is known for creating sculptures of dead people from history. He has previously made a mode of dictator Franco inside a Coca-Cola fridge, and of Osama bin Laden at a rave. Picasso set the mold for modern artists, and is often cited as the first painter to have achieved real fame while still aliveMerino (pictured rear) is known for creating sculptures of dead people from history. He has previously made a mode of dictator Franco inside a Coca-Cola fridge, and of Osama bin Laden at a rave. Picasso set the mold for modern artists, and is often cited as the first painter to have achieved real fame while still alive.

The “real” Pablo Picasso:Picasso was born in Malaga but left for France as a young boy and never returned. He died in France in 1973. As a nod to this, Merino has written the plaque for his sculpture in French, which reads: 'Here lies our beloved Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, we miss you.' Picasso did return to Spain several times in his life and drew on it for inspiration with his painting

The related Daily Mail article is here: That’s a good impression(ism): Hyperrealistic sculpture of Picasso complete with HUMAN HAIR goes on display in his birthplace of Malaga.