Ah, yes yes: I have realized that I am quite blessed to have at my disposal a portal to all of the art my big, fat, indulgent heart can stand (the internet) *and* access to a whole city brimming and buzzing with museums, galleries, public/street art and much more to please my aesthetic tastes in general. WE are. We live in a time conducive to convenient consumption and one in which art is rather accessible, for which I am exuberantly grateful. I’ve come to learn that I actually need this imagination fodder and that I do well to satiate my craving for such stimulation. I’m just getting started!
One of my favorite things about living in Brooklyn is that it is the home of the Brooklyn Art Library. Here, I can sit for as long as I want, as frequently as I want (during their hours of operation) and the peachy-sweet, very hospitable employees encourage my presence without needing me to buy anything–it’s also a store hawking items like vintage postcards, notebooks, minimal art supplies, books and other odds-and-ends. Library cards are free there, just like the Public Library. It also doesn’t hurt that Mast Brothers Chocolate factory is only a few doors down.
The library hosts the permanent collection of a wonderful thing called the Sketchbook Project, the fruits of which line the walls of the space. The sketchbooks of artists from all over the world are just waiting there to satisfy your snoopiest curiosity. I insist that you to go there if ever in the vicinity. Upon receiving a library card, a set of sleek computers assist in the selection of art-filled loot by any of a variety of mechanisms, though I always choose mine by themes bearing enigmatic phrases. A friendly employee will retrieve several for you to pore over; simply return when finished for re-shelving and start the process of selection again. Repeat ad infinitum. It’s fun!
In case you’re more of a visual/audio person, here is a stop-motion video about the Sketchbook Project:
One of my favorite sketchbooks I’ve seen so far is Ileana Surducan’s The Greatest Story Ever Told, which you can see the entirety of by clicking the title. It is appealing for its wild-eyed sense of wonder and supported by her fantastic illustration skills. She’s from Romania and I like that.
This year’s collection of sketchbooks has just begun their tour and is perhaps in a city near you. You yourself can also contribute to this project; with a $25 fee, you receive a notebook and space in the library for your finished volume of sketches–and–for another $45, you can have it imaged and uploaded to the web archive for world-wide perusal along with a couple of other perks. I’m tickled half to death by this project.
To waltz along another avenue of my daily art immersion, here are a just a couple of gems I’ve found on the art blogs I pillage for sustenance–a habit I’ve recently acquired and one that I hope to continue for years to come. I strongly suggest that you get your daily dose of beauty and inspiration so you can grow up to be dreamy and giddy, just like me!
Follow the image links to view more fabulous work–these are only a sample.
Speaking of artists I admire, I’ve spent about six hours total at the Brothers Quay exhibit at MoMA. They’re brilliant genius twin brothers who’ve been making art for many decades. Perhaps you will enjoy reading this New York Times review of their retrospective.
Personally, I like their often repulsive, creepy aesthetic which tends to drum up the feeling of an era outside our own, of a grimy, interminable depression animated by repurposed cast-offs that speak not only to the intensity of the human condition but also of a whimsical imagination and a subtle sense of humor. It’s rich in detail, disturbing and simply phenomenal.
I was introduced to the work of Heinrich Kley by my art teacher, Andy Reiss. The free and sketchy quality of Kley’s art produces such excellent style and flow of movement, plus his imagination is pretty fascinating. The illustrators for Fantasia were inspired by his art.
After admiring her work online for the past numerous weeks, I saw Tiffany Bozic‘s exhibit at Joshua Liner Gallery in Chelsea. Her medium is watercolor and also washes of acrylic on maple wood panels, sometimes incorporating the pattern of the woodgrain to a lovely effect. Her subjects are primarily organisms of the natural world, often presented in unnatural combinations and positions with somewhat surreal elements, sometimes abstracted entirely for the sake of design. Her creative vision sets her apart from Audubon’s naturalist artwork that was more geared toward accurately representing nature for education as much as the appreciation of the forms–organisms in their natural environment. I could easily see the influence of Ernst Haeckel in her finely rendered organisms, their patterns and compositions–even her color choices on some pieces. There is a dark, unsettling quality to many of her pieces that I find outstanding.