A darker Gauguin: art by Alan Prazniak

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art Fairs, Artist Spotlight, Finding visual references, Making an art history comparison

I saw some paintings by Alan Prazniak at the NADA Art Fair, and there was something about this one in particular that felt like a darker, people-less Gauguin … I think a big part of the Gauguin feeling is that the texture of the canvas (or is it burlap, as Gauguin sometimes used?) comes through […]

Tim Okamura’s Rosie the Riveter

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Artist Spotlight, Finding visual references, Historical Figures in Art, Making an art history comparison

I saw this painting by Tim Okamura at the VOLTA Art Fair, below left. It’s titled “Rosie,” and it’s an obvious reference to the J. Howard Miller poster of “Rosie the Riveter” (below right) which was commissioned by the Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee in 1942. Okamura is a Canadian-born artist who has lived […]

That tiny sticker art portrait looks familiar … it’s Walt Whitman!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Finding visual references, Graffiti, Street Art

Sticker art graffiti artists like to place their “slaps” on the backsides of stop signs, and this one on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, is filled with a bunch of different images. But it was the tiny round sticker in the bottom corner (in red circle, below left) that caught my attention … a portrait […]

Were the kids looking at Basquiat for their chalk drawings?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Finding visual references, Found art, Murals, Street photography

I walked by this chalk drawing mural on a brick wall at a school in Boulder, Colorado, and the first thought I had was: were these kids looking at Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work as inspiration for their figure drawings? Scroll down to see some original Basquiats to better understand the visual association I was making … […]

Wearing a farmers’ market on your head

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art and Fashion, Art History, Art That Makes You Go "Huh?", Finding visual references

I found these two unusual watercolor illustrations on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Collections” page, and they’re described as “Fantastic Hairdresses with Fruit and Vegetable Motifs.” They’re both by an unknown 18th Century French artist. It’s hard to imagine what these drawings were for, other than fantasy images, since the way they’re depicted suggests an […]

French fashion from the 1830s inspires the Rescue Heroes?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art and Fashion, Art History, Finding visual references

I was looking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s online collections when I noticed this anonymous 19th Century French fashion drawing, below left. The exaggerated body type of the man: massive shoulders, tiny waist and legs, and big feet instantly brought back memories of the Rescue Heroes action figures that my kids used to play […]

Blurring a line between science fiction art and fine art

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art That Makes You Go "Huh?", Finding visual references, Making an art history comparison

I was doing a Google search for something – I don’t remember what, exactly – when I happened upon a science fiction image that struck me as extremely artistic. I wished I had saved the picture on the spot, but I didn’t – but the thought stuck with me: why can’t fantasy art, or science […]