Happy Birthday Picasso


No doubt an extraordinary character.
Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. The “Picasso” is actually from his mother, Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father is named Jose Ruiz Blasco.

Currently looking for a decent biography to read. Because online everything seems to be copied from somewhere else. And I m feeling particularly cynical.
33 Days is due out soon(August 24th 2015 ish )  a movie about the painting of Gurnica  so that is something to look forward to.

Picasso and Braque go to the Movies was a great watch. A fascinating look at the birth of
cubism and early cinematography.







Rachel Feinstein Sculptor of Fairy Tales and Something Else

R Feinstein

Rachael Feinstein
Sculptor 1971 –

Rachael Feinstein Puritans Delight

Feinstein’s mediums include oil paint on glass and sculptures made of plaster and carved wood.
Her work has been described as rococo with  baroque flourishes and  disneyesque and fairy tale themes. For me the sculpture above is some how deflated and a bit like a ransacked fairy tale

I like that she seems to follow an historical person, image or time down a sort of rabbit hole.
As well as sculpture there is much paper work and painting.
Reading about her has taken ages because of all the terribly interesting sideshoots.
Like likey like like.

Rachel Feinstein collage

This journey through her studio is a real inspiration too.



Maggie Hambling

Maggies Hambling North Sea

Maggie Hambling
Born October 23 1945
Suffolk England

Sculptor and Painter
This woman looks you right in the eye.
Bloody oath she does.
Maggie Hambling 01

Love the North Sea paintings. They wash about you with a tireless wild energy
makes your hair blow in the wind and your nose prickle with salt.
Also would love to see The Scallop up close. First impressions of the Oscar Wild
sculpture is that it looks a bit melty, or decompostey which is just a tiny bit off putting, but
probably quite intentional.

Well worth checking this lady out.
An interview with Maggie Hambling



ArtReview’s Power 100 list 2015

Yayoi Kusama

Check here to see the top 100 people of influence in the art world.
An interesting bunch of people who live in a totally different sphere.
Their tag lines are inspiring. Here are 7 artists who feature on the list to
inspire you.

Jeff Koons

8. Marina Abramovic – Performance-artist-turned-celebrity-inspirer-and- admirer
11. Wolfgang Tillmans – The most significant artist photographer working today
14. Jeff Koons – Omnipresent neoliberal pop artist and “balloon dog millionaire”
27. Gerhard Richter – Still one of the most important painters of our times
29. Pierre Huyghe – Cerebral conceptual artist
53. Yayoi Kusama – Red, white and instantly recognizable: the highest earning living female artist.
89. Rick Lowe –  Social Sculpture pioneer

Dan- Wolfgang Tillmans





Fiona Pardington

Organic Strawberry and Tui wing Fiona Pardington


Tui Wing and Organic Strawberry Ripiro Beach. 2012 Fiona Pardington.

I have been using this image recently  as a bit of a reference for the large tui painting I’m working on.
If you were in the room with this photograph it’s likely you would want to get up close and then range around to see it from all angles and distances.
It’s over sized and immaculately printed.
I kind of want to get around the back of it and see what is propping up the wing.
The strawberry is over ripe, I can almost taste it and certainly smell it.
The gloom gobbles up the sad whiff of the (imagined) tui meat.
There is likely to be a stack of symbolism in this thing, historical, cultural and personal, but for me just now it is simply hauntingly and beautifully elegant, if a little pungent.
What is it for you?

Get ye to Wellington
A Beautiful Hesitation runs from August 22 to November 22 at Wellington’s City Gallery.
Over a 100 of Fiona’s works, spanning 30 years.

More interesting stuff about one of New Zealand’s most celebrated photographers




Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago

Feminist Artist. Waker Upper. Sculpture. Painter,  Writer, Teacher.

Because men have a history, it is difficult for them to imagine what it is like to grow up without one, or the sense of personal expansion that comes from discovering that we women have a worthy heritage. Along with pride often comes rage – rage that one has been deprived of such a significant knowledge.”
― Judy Chicago

If you Google her you will get The Dinner Party which is great, but it is not all of her.
There is so much more and most importantly for me she hits on ideas and half thoughts that
have dogged me uneasily for years, things I couldn’t put names to, or articulate properly.
And then suddenly there she is laying it all out on the line. Giving a shape and form to
threads of uneasiness and slight discontent. They bloom, large, loud and billowing and then you are suddenly free to get on with the job. How did she do that?
Brilliant and inspiring. Thanks Judy.

Books by Judy Chicago (all available from Auckland Library, but you will need to get in line.)
Through the Flower
Beyond the Flower
Frida Kalho Face to Face

Bigamy Hood by Judy Chicago

“People have accepted the media’s idea of what feminism is, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right or true or real. Feminism is not monolithic. Within feminism, there is an array of opinions.”

Lady Butler – Scotland Forever-Battle of Waterloo


The work above is called “Scotland Forever” and it was painted by Lady Elizabeth Butler in the year 1881.
Lady  Elizabeth Thompson Butler (3 November 1846 – 2 October 1933) was a rock star painter of English military events.
To get a good look at the detail of this work check in here and for more information about the
artist who was a master of capturing the mood of conflict, camaraderie and patriotism
jump here.

This painting is recreated in the 1970 movie Waterloo

This is a link to the scene recreating the painting from the 1970 movie “Waterloo”
The Battle of Waterloo saw the end of decades of warfare and unrest in continental Europe, beginning with the French Revolutionary wars in 1792 and continuing with the Napoleonic Wars from 1803. .The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher. Every generation in Europe, up to the outbreak of the First World War, looked back at Waterloo as the turning point that dictated the course of subsequent world history. In retrospect, it was seen as the event that ushered in an era characterized by relative peace, material prosperity and technological progress.

And just for fun





M.C Esher master of the impossible shape

Cornelis Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher
Born June 17, 1898 Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Died 1970 in a retirement home for artists

Escher created 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings and over 2000 drawings and sketches. His work portrays mathematical relationships among shapes, figures and space and many of his drawings are composed around interlocking figures (tessellations) and impossible objects. Escher used vivid contrasts of black and white to enhance different dimensions and integrated into his works were mirror images of cones, spheres, cubes, rings and spirals.

escher stairwell



Impossible objects
An impossible object (also known as an impossible figure or an undecidable figure) is a type of optical illusion. It consists of a two-dimensional figure which is instantly and subconsciously interpreted by the visual system as representing a projection of a three-dimensional object.
In most cases the impossibility becomes apparent after viewing the figure for a few seconds. However, the initial impression of a 3D object remains even after it has been contradicted. There are also more subtle examples of impossible objects where the impossibility does not become apparent spontaneously and it is necessary to consciously examine the geometry of the implied object to determine that it is impossible.

The unsettling nature of impossible objects occurs because of our natural desire to interpret 2D drawings as 3D objects. This is why a drawing of a Necker cube would be most likely seen as a cube, rather than “two squares connected with diagonal lines.
Impossible objects are of interest to psychologists, mathematicians and artists without falling entirely into any one discipline.

Lillian Bassman – Inspiring Photographer of the secret lives of women

Lillian Bassman

Lillian Bassman
Born on June 15, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, Lillian Bassman is considered to be one of the most important fashion photographers of the 20th century.

Her work is stunning and well worth delving into.




At the age of 87, Bassman discovered PhotoShop and worked daily in her studio “toying and reconfiguring” her photographs. She claimed a proud proficiency with her computer. It is a skill however that does not extend to the use of e-mail or Google. ” “I’m not interested,” she said, “in any of that.” (New York Times)

Lillian Died in 2012

The Inspirational Natalia Goncharova

Natalia Goncharova by M

Born June 4 1881 Russia– October 17 1962 France
Russian avant-garde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer
She worked through Cubism, Modern art, Der Blaue Reiter, Moscow Futurists

She was prolific, experimental and controversial and well worth reading about.

In 1910, Goncharova was put on trial for pornography for some nude life studies in one of her exhibitions, but was acquitted.
Founding member of the Jack or Diamonds, Donkeys Tail and the Rayonists

Goncharova was hit by arthritis in her hands, leaving her to paint by tying paint brushes to her wrists.

Natalia Goncharova Picking Apples
On June 18, 2007, Goncharova’s 1909 painting Picking Apples was auctioned at Christie’s for $9.8 million, setting a record for any female artist. She achieved the distinction again the following year, when “The Flowers” (1912) sold for $10.8 million.



Artist Jacqueline Fahey responds to the life and art of Russian avant-guarde painter Natalia Goncharova