My Esoteric got interested in Art when attending an art seminar and auction on a Carnival Cruise ship. The rest is history.
IN A COUPLE OF OTHER HUBS I TALKED ABOUT PARK WEST GALLERIES and Carnival Cruise Lines and how Park West presents art auctions and classes on board cruises going all over the world. That was where I was introduced to art collection. In those hubs I presented an idea of how they introduce new artists, such as 10-year old (then) Autumn DeForest) into the broader market of regular people like you and me or how they let you meet established artist like Peter Max and hear their stories.
In this Hub, I want to be immodest and display what I have collected so far for those of you are interested in such things. Except for a few pieces, all were purchased (or given to us as enticements to spend more money) on board on cruise or another.
AN ISRAELI ARTIST EARNING MILLIONS! Yaacov Agam, 86, is a sculptor and experimental artist best known for his contributions to optical and kinetic art. In 1964, Agam wrote his "Artistic Credo":
"My intention was to create a work of art which would transcend the visible, which cannot be perceived except in stages, with the understanding that it is a partial revelation and not the perpetuation of the existing. My aim is to show what can be seen within the limits of possibility which exists in the midst of coming into being"
According to the various auctioneers from Park West, Agam is one of MBA must owns; the others are Peter Max and Romero Britto. Of course this is a marketing ploy, but, if you are a serious collector, it is nevertheless true as you can see from the less demanded pieces I could afford.
Ron Agam is the son of Yaakov Agam and carries on his style, on steroids.
Romero Britto, (10/6/1963) is a Brazilian Neo-pop artist, painter, serigrapher, and sculptor. We were talked into upgrading a purchase we made to buy the "Love Collection" from Peter Max, Alex Gockel, and Romero Britto on-board the Carnival Spirit. He combines elements of cubism, pop art, and graffiti painting in his work. Britto has lived in Miami, Florida since 1989 and has become famous not only for his unique 3-D art work shown below, for ad campaigns for Absolut Vodka, Movado, Disney, Enrico Coveri, Pepsi, the United Nations, BMW and Royal Caribbean Cruises (where his art is now sold as well.)
HIS INTRODUCTION TO US ON-BOARD THE "FREE" CRUISE was a bit unique. Instead of speaking to us, like the other three did, Simon Bull let the art director/head auctioneer speak for him. Allegedly he is a bit shy. Instead, while the director spoke, Bull painted. When he was done, there stood a one-of-a-kind piece of art, about 2' x 4' ... it later sold for around $13,000, if I remember correctly.
Simon, who is from England, has the same story has Duaiv. He moved to the United States a while ago and Park West Galleries signed his to a contract to market his works. While on-board, Simon got board and asked if there was somewhere he could set up an easel. They found him a place in a crew work area that had unused space. So, voila, or whatever the British translation is, there was another work of art which sold for about $15,000. The crew. by the way, were very appreciative for 1) the distraction and 2) the opportunity to watch.
AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER I HAVE ALWAYS wanted to own cartoon cells; so much so, that I talked a friend of mine into setting a studio in my garage to produce them ,,, this was in sixth grade. That was also when I discovered art was NOT going to be a career of mine; I couldn't draw a straight line with a ruler! Well, 50 years later, I finally own some from Warner Brothers Studios, Walt Disney Studios, United Features Syndicate, and Hanna & Barbera Studios (not shown yet).
I SAW THIS PIECE WHEN MEANDERING ALONG THE BACK ROW of paintings Park West had set up; it was not one of their featured ones. I had a tie with 9/11 however, in that I belonged to the Department of the Air Force at the time and was working in a building near the Pentagon where my boss's office was located when it was hit. The twin towers immediately caught my eye for they dominate the actual picture. The photo I took doesn't do it justice.
ALEXANDER CHEN - "MANHATTAN CELEBRATION"
Autumn DeForest, The Child Prodigy
AUTUMN DeFOREST IS THE OTHER ARTIST I DEVOTED a Hub to. When I met her, she was 10 years old, now she is 12, I believe. Of the seven artists I have met so far as well as hundreds of other speakers that have shared their wisdom with me throughout my professional career, Autumn was one of the most poised, articulate, well spoken, save one, Tim Yanke; who you will see next. She had help from her mother who use to star on Days of Our Lives before quitting to take over Autumns career seven(!) years ago. But, there is only so much you can teach, the kid was a natural.
You can read more about her at my Hub Discovering New Artists ... or go to her Facebook page. Most of what she paints is bigger than she is, or at least was and is unbelievably good and varied; but the piece we bought was somewhat smaller ... and affordable. My wife and I will be collecting another piece from her on a "free" cruise Park West is sponsoring where Autumn will be one of the artists in attendance again.
- Regarding the Dripping Hearts I below, Autumn De Forest wrote the following at age 8 (when the original Dripping Hearts was painted):
"I believe we are all on the Earth for a reason. We all have gifts that we can give the world before we die. This painting is what I imagine the inside of my heart looks like.
The gold drips are my feeling that are attached to my love. Each on stands for an idea of something that I want to do my life, to give back to the world.
The grown up trees stand for the artworks that I have already given to charities to help people. The road is the narrow path that I want to stay on so I can accomplish all of these goals in my life."
DUAIV, Just Duaiv
YOU WILL KNOW WHEN DUAIV AND HIS WIFE are around from the color of their hair and the style of the clothes they wear; his hair was a light blue and hers a kaleidoscope of pinks, blues, and greens. Duaiv attained great renown in France as an artist as did his wife as a premier ballerina before moving to the United States not too long ago. When they did, Park West Galleries signed him under contract to offer his work in America.
Duaiv, along with Autumn DeForest, Tim Yanke, and Simon Bull (who you will meet next) were the guest artists on the most expensive "free" cruise Mary and I have been on. A meet and greet night is held for each artist where we are introduced to them and they get a chance to tell us a little bit about themselves and their art. It is also the first chance we get to look at what they can do. In Duaiv's case, it was largely centered around landscapes of one sort or another.
Chris DeRubeis was born in 1978 and at age 20 went to the Pasadena (California) School of Art and the Associates in Art school in Sherman Oaks, California. To pay for his education, he painted custom Harleys and started a successful small business.
While working there, DuRubis discovered a new artistic technique using a grinding pad and metal exposed to the light combined with acid baths.
Here are some examples.
Construction of the "Yellow Angels"
ALFRED (ALEX) GOCKEL
MARY AND I PURCHASED OUR FIRST GOCKEL AS part of a "Love" collection on the Carnival Cruise Line, Spirit in Aug 2011; its name is Beating of My Heart. The others where Love on the Blends by Peter Max and Flying Heart by Emile Britto. We then actually met Alex Gockel in Dec 2011, at the Gaylord Palms Hotel in Kissimmee, FL; the first major auction to which we have been invited. Peter Max and Nano Lopez, who you will meet later, were also at this event.
Gockel is a fascinating French artist who works in many mediums, including sculpture. We were entertained by a film and discussion of his latest sculpture project the Yellow Angels. The Yellow Angel sculpture is located at the intersection of two highways known as Kamen Cross (A1/A2) in France. It celebrates the work of the ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V) Yellow Angel helicopter air rescue squadron who move victims of accidents across Europe to health care facilities. It consists of eight-legged angels and was set up on a hill 14 meters high; it bears an original ADAC helicopter on it`s shoulders. The intention was to create a memorial for more safety on traffic roads. Every day it is passed by thousands of motorists from two directions. A video of the construction is to the right.
PATRICK GUYTON (1964 - ), A PENNSYLVANIAN. Guyton earned his chops the hard way, working his way up the ranks in Warner Bros and Loony Tunes. Much of his work was painting background scenes for animation productions. In the process he picked up the singular distinction of Guyton was to have designed and painted the background scenes for “What’s Opera, Doc?” a limited edition animation celluloid (cel). This animation cel was included in the film’s preservation in the National Film Registry and was the first cartoon deemed by the United States Library of Congress as being among the most culturally, historically and aesthetically significant films of our time.
His biography on Park West's web site says this, in leading up to the two pieces of his art I purchased:
"Guyton has studied the work of a variety of masters such as Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Monet as well as Rockwell, Earle, Noble, Bisley and Roth of the 20th century. During these studies, he combined the 14th century Kamakura Period in Japanese leafing and the 17th century Flemish Masters technique of glazing to create his Moments in Time series."
I have been looking at his art since sailing on Princess Lines several years ago. In the intervening years Park West bought the Princess Cruise Lines art division and Guyton's work became available on the last Carnival Cruise Lines trip my wife and I took in February 2016.
THOMAS KINKADE (1958 - 2012) WAS AN AMERICAN ICON along with Peter Max in the art world. Virtually everybody, including me, wants to own a "Kinkade"; in 2006 I got mine. He was by far America's most prolific painter in that he did probably the best job of any artist in mass marketing his art work.
For the most part, however, they are lithographs and serigraphs and the like. Very few of his original one-of-a-kind paintings made it to market, almost all of them are owned by family members. If you happen to be on one of the ships Park West auctions on, you can get a KinKade at a Very reasonable price; the one below cost me $482. If you buy more than one, I seen them go as low as $250 each (qty 10 in that case).
BORN IN 1930 IN KIEV, UKRAINE DURING THE REIGN OF THE SOVIET UNION, Krasnyansky found is choices in artistic expression were limited by the requirements of the Soviet State. His paintings, while superb, were basically of architectural objects, buildings, etc. In an attempt to paint what he wanted to paint, he immigrated to America in 1975 and became, essentially, a starving artist.
And starving artist he remained until he got a gig as set designer for the bank Kiss ... where he became inspired by their outrageous customs and sets. If you're familiar with Kiss (the link goes to a fan site), then you can begin to appreciate where Anatole got the idea for the painting we bought. You should be able to see the design is made up of "faces". Sometimes it is only faces, sometimes they are incorporated in "somewhat" more traditional settings. The faces are you, each one a different mask you put on in each situation you find yourself in.
DORIT LEVI WAS BORN IN 1952 IN TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, and the culture/tradition of her home can be seen in her work. Dorit Levi brings to each artistic creation her experiences living in Africa and in Uganda, Africa, with its vast warm savannahs. can be felt in her use of warm, bright colors. Uganda's colorful markets and people in embroidered garb, imbue her images and background compositions with an enchanted feeling.
Dorit's works are remarkable in her use of gold leaf and the enormous attention to detail and complex composition.