Archive: painting
At 78 years old, Ed Ruscha has perfected his artistic skills

At 78 years old, Ed Ruscha has perfected his artistic skills

Ed Ruscha - Fifty Years Of Painting, installation view, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, photo Åsa Lundén
Ed RuschaFifty Years Of Painting exhibition, installation view, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Photo: Åsa Lundén

At 78 years old, Ed Ruscha has perfected his artistic skills to the extent that he can express the noises of everyday life on a canvas. When he began his art in 1961, no one would have thought that the works that had words written over them would translate into such epic levels of fame. You too have probably come across his works and never stopped for a moment to think about the creativity that goes into making them. Some of these word paintings have published in not one, not two or three volumes but a record 20 and counting.

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This daring painting became one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous works

This daring painting became one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous works

Pablo Picasso - Guernica, 1937, oil painting on canvas, 3.49x7.77m, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

Pablo Picasso - Guernica, 1937, oil painting on canvas, 3.49x7.77m, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
Pablo PicassoGuernica, 1937, oil painting on canvas, 3.49×7.77m, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

Guernica is one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous works. This mural-sized oil painting on canvas was done in 1937. He used a palette of gray, white, and black colors to bring out a political statement denouncing the unnecessary sufferings brought about by Nazi bombings.

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Serving in the military inspired these red paintings

Serving in the military inspired these red paintings

Sea Hyun Lee - Between Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm

Sea Hyun Lee - Between Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm
Sea Hyun LeeBetween Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm

South Korea’s traditional illustrative and art history is immovable; however, cultural and artistic experimentation will always be relentless. Sea Hyun Lee demonstrates his understanding of just how true the above statement is through his art. He manages to join the two forces of past and present together to create Between the Red.

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Lesser-known side of Keith Haring

Lesser-known side of Keith Haring

Keith Haring, 1987, Red BMW Z1, Hans Mayer Gallery, Duesseldorf, Germany

Keith Haring - Untitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special
Keith HaringUntitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special

Keith Haring was born in Reading Pennsylvania on May 4, 1958 and grew up in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania. His passion for art began at a young age and following high school graduation he enrolled in the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh for two semesters.

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Spray paint & Old Masters create an interesting mix

Spray paint & Old Masters create an interesting mix

Miaz Brothers - Young Man 6, 130x99cm

Miaz Brothers - Master 8, 2013, 190x140cm, Acrylic on canvas
Miaz BrothersMaster 8, 2013, 190x140cm

The Miaz Brothers present a drastic new interpretation of portraiture, as the siblings, create large-format canvases using spray paint in a unique new way. Their series with the Masters focuses on the historic and notable figures from the time of the English Restoration, while evoking a new take on the Masters.

They explain that the use of spray paint is representative that we, as humans, “are composed of infinite particles in continuous evolution”. The spray paint creates a blurred effect that expresses the duo’s work: “dematerializing the lines, we gain a substantial indetermination of the picture. This skips any immediate reaction and provokes the viewer to use mnemonic associations instead for their own personal visual information encoding.”

The Miaz Brothers have a very particular method to their art; their style elements are dichotomized and further enact the concepts of temporality and transcendence. The Miaz brother’s paintings are made up of large haunting portraits, of ghostly figures that are only just visible. These works are based on the Old Masters, and with little more than that information, the viewers are given all that is needed to complete the narrative.

Their otherworldly work is without a doubt evocative and highlights our transitory actuality, and the interchange that is existence. The Miaz brothers also bring into conversation the many ideas surrounding perception and how each person’s perception varies from person to person so drastically. Every viewer sees precisely what they want or need to when viewing the portraits, whether they see a historical figure, or someone they know, each person projects their own associations and perceptions on to the blurred canvas. This is what is so refreshing about the Miaz brothers, they don’t tell you what to see, think, or feel- it is up to you to interpret the artwork, and no matter how you do, you are right.

Miaz Brothers - Young Woman 2, 163x130cm
Miaz BrothersYoung Woman 2, 163x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Young Man 6, 130x99cm
Miaz BrothersYoung Man 6, 130x99cm

Miaz Brothers - Young Man 2, 163x130cm
Miaz BrothersYoung Man 2, 163x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Old Master 16, 2014, 130x100cm, Acrylic on canvas
Miaz BrothersOld Master 16, 130x100cm

Miaz Brothers - Old master #31, 2014, 162x130cm
Miaz BrothersOld Master 31, 162x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Old master #30, 2014, 162x130cm
Miaz BrothersOld Master 30, 162x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Old master #19, 2014, 162 x 130 cm
Miaz BrothersOld Master 19, 2013, 162x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Old Man 4, 162x130cm
Miaz BrothersOld Man 4, 162x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Lady F, 2014, 162x130cm
Miaz BrothersLady F, 2014, 162x130cm


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China’s most important painter and his iconic series

China’s most important painter and his iconic series

Zhang Xiaogang - Bloodline Series - Father and Son
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Father and Son

Contemporary artist, Zhang Xiaogang, was born in Kunming in China’s Yunnan province in 1958, and was the third of four brothers. Zhang’s mother, Qi Ailan, taught Zhang how to draw in order to preoccupy him so that he would stay out of trouble. Zhang has made waves with his paintings in his predominantly monochromatic Bloodline series, which are stylized portraits of Chinese people, posed stiff and upright, in a manner that is deliberately reminiscent of family portraits from the 1950s and 1960s.

Through his painting, Zhang questions concepts of difference, otherness, and perception. His sitters stare out from the canvas with penetrating detachment, thus confronting the audience with an almost otherworldly gaze; the sitters vacant expressions seem to look into the audiences soul, nothing can escape from their big piercing eyes.

Mao’s Cultural Revolution of 1966-77 witnessed the annihilation of a significant number of historical documents, including family portraits. Family photos were a strong tradition in China before the revolution, and the change in the Family portraiture tradition represents to many the loss of precious family memories that are addressed in this Bloodline: The big family series.

He also uses vivid lighting effects combined with flat indistinctive backgrounds to venerate his subjects. In his work, the individuals are painted with a smooth pearly finish looking very similar to the finish of porcelain, and the faces lack any emotion whatsoever. These detached faces stare into the audience and the world beyond. However, the reminiscence of the traditional family portrait draws you in, contradicting the aversion to the seemingly unnatural expressionless stare of the figures staring back at you. Zhang Xiaogang uses his talent to create a sense of nostalgia in his works by employing the conventions of traditional Chinese photography. This work is simply intriguing.

Zhang Xiaogang - Bloodline Series - My dream, Little General, 2005, Oil on canvas, 200x260cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – My dream, Little General, 2005, Oil on canvas, 200x260cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family No. 1, 150x179m
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family No. 1, 150x179m

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family No. 1, 2001, oil on canvas, 200x300cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family No. 1, 2001, oil on canvas, 200x300cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family No. 2, 1993
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family No. 2, 1993

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family No. 2, 1996, oil on canvas
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family No. 2, 1996, oil on canvas

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family No. 2, 2001, oil on canvas, 200x300cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family No. 2, 2001, oil on canvas, 200x300cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family No. 9, 1996, oil on canvas, 150cmx190cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family No. 9, 1996, oil on canvas, 150x190cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family No. 9, 1997, oil on canvas, 149x189cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family No. 9, 1997, oil on canvas, 150x190cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family No. 10, 2000, oil on canvas, 200x300cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family No. 10, 2000, oil on canvas, 200x300cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family Series, 2006, lithograph, 105.4x139.7cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family Series, 2006, lithograph, 105.4×139.7cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family- Sister and Brother, 1999, oil on canvas, 190x150cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family – Sister and Brother, 1999, oil on canvas, 190x150cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family, 1995, Oil on canvas, 179x229cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family, 1995, Oil on canvas, 179x229cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Big Family, 2003, Lithograph printed in colors, 56.9 x 71.88 cm, Edition of 199
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Big Family, 2003, Lithograph printed in colors, 56.9 x 71.88 cm, Edition of 199

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Boy, 2003, oil on canvas, 130x110cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Boy, 2003, oil on canvas, 130x110cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Boy, 2004, oil on canvas, 146x118cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Boy, 2004, oil on canvas, 146x118cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Brothers, 2006, oil on canvas, 180x230cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Brothers, 2006, oil on canvas, 180x230cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Comrade (Sister), 2006, Lithograph on wove, 94×77cm, Edition of 99
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Comrade (Sister), 2006, Lithograph on wove, 94×77cm, Edition of 99

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Father and Daughter No. 1, 1999, oil on canvas, 100x80cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Father and Daughter No. 1, 1999, oil on canvas, 100x80cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Father and Daughter No. 1, 2005, oil on canvas, 80x100cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Father and Daughter No. 1, 2005, oil on canvas, 80x100cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Father and Daughter No. 1, 2008, oil on canvas, 200cx160cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Father and Daughter No. 1, 2008, oil on canvas, 200x160cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Father and Daughter No. 1, 2010, oil on canvas, 120cmx150cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Father and Daughter No. 1, 2010, oil on canvas, 120x150cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Father and Daughter No. 2, 2008, oil on canvas, 160x200cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Father and Daughter No. 2, 2008, oil on canvas, 160x200cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Father And Son
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Father and Son

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Lovers, 1999, oil on canvas, 130x110cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Lovers, 1999, oil on canvas, 130x110cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - My Ideal Job — Worker, Peasant, Businessman, Student, Soldier, 2008, oil on canvas, 280x500cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – My Ideal Job — Worker, Peasant, Businessman, Student, Soldier, 2008, oil on canvas, 280x500cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Sister and Brother, 2010, oil on canvas, 270x370cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Sister and Brother, 2010, oil on canvas, 270x370cm


Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – The Fixed Gaze, 2009, Lithograph, 120x80cm, Edition of 130

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series - Two Sisters, 2003, lithograph, 50.8x64.1cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series – Two Sisters, 2003, Lithograph, 50.8×64.1cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series, 1996, oil on canvas, 40 x 30.2 cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series, 1996, oil on canvas, 40×30.2cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series, 1997, oil on canvas, 40x30cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series, 1997, oil on canvas, 40x30cm

Zhang Xioagang - Bloodline Series, 1998, 150x150cm
Zhang XiaogangBloodline Series, 1998, 150x150cm


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Iraqi painter depicts the impacts of war

Iraqi painter depicts the impacts of war

Hayv Kahraman - Curfew, 2015, Oil on linen, 185x244cm, courtesy the artist and The Third Line
Hayv KahramanCurfew, 2015, Oil on linen, 185x244cm
Courtesy the artist and The Third Line

Hayv Kahraman was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1981, moved to Sweden at the age of 11 and began painting at the age of 12. She uses art in various ways to create something that is extremely unique and catching. Kahraman’s artwork depicts the impacts of war, significantly the affect on war women. Her diverse stylistic references range from Japanese and Arabic calligraphy art nouveau, Greek iconography and Persian miniature.

Hayv Kahraman’s work contends with the marginal spaces between Western and Middle Eastern culture, including the physical traits and the concepts of gender through her individual histories as an Iraqi immigrant to Europe then to the United States. Her work has intertextual notes of the Western and Middle Eastern art histories, but her personal aesthetic, as an immigrant, is of her very own and belongs to neither.

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