Louis Armstrong at 7

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A Jewish family named Karnofski, who immigrated from Lithuania to the United States, took pity on a 7-year-old boy and brought him to their home.There he stayed and spent the night in this Jewish family home, where for the first time in his life he was treated with kindness and tenderness.When he went to bed, Mrs. Karnovski sang him Russian lullabies, which he sang with her. Later he learned to sing and play several Russian and Jewish songs.Over time, this boy became the adopted son of this family.Mr. Karnofsky gave him money to buy his first musical instrument, as was the custom in Jewish families.Later, when he became a professional musician and composer, he used these Jewish melodies in compositions such as St. James’s Hospital and Go Down Moses.The little boy grew up and wrote a book about this Jewish family, who adopted him in 1907. And proudly spoke Yiddish fluently.In memory of this family and until the end of his life, he wore the Star of David and said that in this family he learned “to live a real life and determination.” This little boy’s name was Louis Armstrong.

courtesy of Facebook post

Red Grooms, born Charles Rogers Grooms on June 7, 1937

“I had always done these 3D things that you could walk through. They were always done off the seat of my pants without blueprints or course.”

Red Grooms is an American multimedia artist best known for his colorful pop-art constructions depicting frenetic scenes of modern urban life. Grooms was given the nickname “Red” by Dominic Falconewhen he was starting out as a dishwasher at a restaurant in Provincetown and was studying with Hans Hofmann.

City of Chicago (1967)
Art Institute of Chicago

Five sculptural elements: plywood and beaverboard, acrylic paint, motors, and speakers, with audio
12 x 25 x 25 feet

Grooms is recognized as a pioneer of site-specific sculpture and installation art. City of Chicago (1967), a room-sized, walk-through “sculpto-pictorama,” features sky-scraper-proportioned sculptures of Mayor Daley and Hugh Hefner “joined by such historical figures as Abraham Lincoln, Al Capone, and fan-dancer Sally Rand, accompanied by a sound track featuring gunfire and burlesque music. Grooms’s genius for rendering the intricacies of architectural ornament is vividly apparent in several three-dimensional vistas of Chicago’s famous buildings. Evident here and in the numerous other cityscapes Grooms has created is his extraordinary ability to capture a sense of place with a great sensitivity to detail.”

London Bus (1983)
Ruckus Manhattan

“And I would line them up on the table and this was really my first sculpture.”

Seven in Bed, 2001. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian

“At the dinner table when I was very little, I would hear people bickering – the father saying something, the mother choosing to defend herself. To escape the bickering, I started modelling the soft bread with my fingers. With the dough of the French bread – sometimes it was still warm – I would make little figures. And I would line them up on the table and this was really my first sculpture.”

Resuming Classes at the Lumonics School of Light Art

We are happy to announce that we are resuming classes at the Lumonics School of Light Art! We are offering 1-session, 2-session, and 4-session classes on building and “artifying” your cube, the basic building block of the Lumonics art form when it began over 50 years ago by light art pioneers Mel and Dorothy Tanner.

More info at: https://www.lumonics.net/artclass

Examples of cubes that students have built and designed:https://www.lumonics.net/cubes

“one needs just a certain amount of trouble…”

I don’t think of myself as making art. I do what I do because I want to, because painting is the best way I’ve found to get along with myself.

If you don’t have trouble paying the rent, you have trouble doing something else; one needs just a certain amount of trouble.(note: Is this the “good trouble” that John Lewis talks about?)

It’s when you’ve found out how to do certain things, that it’s time to stop doing them, because what’s missing is that you’re not including the risk.

The activity is the thing that I’m most interested in. Nearly everything that I’ve done was to see what would happen if I did this instead of that.-
– Robert Rauschenberg, who passed May 12, 2008
(Oct 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008)

Walker Art Center
“Untitled (Spread)” (1982)

Barbara Hepworth (Jan 10, 1903 – May 20, 1975)

Sculpture, to me, is primitive, religious, passionate, and magical.

Barbara Hepworth with the Gift plaster of Figure for Landscape and a bronze cast of Figure (Archaean) November 1964. Photograph: Lucien Myers

Barbara Hepworth, in full Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth was a sculptor whose works were among the earliest abstract sculptures produced in England

Fascinated from early childhood with natural forms and textures, Hepworth decided at age 15 to become a sculptor. In 1919 she enrolled in the Leeds School of Art, where she befriended fellow student Henry Moore. Their lifelong friendship and reciprocal influence were important factors in the parallel development of their careers.

Hepworth was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1965. A Pictorial Autobiography was published in 1970 and reissued in 1993. She died in a fire in her home at St. Ives, Cornwall, in 1975; her home was preserved as the Barbara Hepworth Home and Sculpture Garden and is run by the Tate St. Ives, a branch of the Tate galleries.


The Family of Man (1970)

Before I start carving the idea must be almost complete. I say ‘almost’ because the really important thing seems to be the sculptor’s ability to let his intuition guide him over the gap between conception and realization without compromising the integrity of the original idea; the point being that the material has vitality – it resists and makes demands.

I have been very influenced by the natural colour and luminosity in stones and woods and the change in colour as light travels over the surface contours. 

Light and space … are the sculptor’s materials as much as wood or stone … I feel that I can relate my work more easily, in the open air, to the climate and the landscape.

[The 1960’s began] with a feeling of tremendous liberation, because I at last had space and money and time to work on a much bigger scale

Sculpture communicates an immediate sense of life – you can feel the pulse of it. It is perceived, above all, by the sense of touch which is our earliest sensation; and touch gives us a sense of living contact and security. 

It is easy now to communicate with people through abstraction, and particularly so in sculpture. Since the whole body reacts to its presence, people become themselves a living part of the whole.

My left hand is my thinking hand. The right is only a motor hand. This holds the hammer. The left hand, the thinking hand, must be relaxed, sensitive. The rhythms of thought pass through the fingers and grip of this hand into the stone. It is also a listening hand. It listens for basic weaknesses or flaws in the stone; for the possibility or imminence of fractures.


The comparisons and contrasts between these two artists [ Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth] are astounding. They went to the same schools, were part of the same artist movements like the ‘Seven and Five Society’ and ‘Unit One’, they spent summer holidays together – Henry Moore even lived in one of Barbara Hepworth’s old houses after she had moved to the country. The influence between the two, whether conscious or subconscious, cannot be denied. The discrepancies of who did what first [ piercing the stone / making a hole] feels insignificant when you consider all they have done in reflection of each other.
Quote of Lori Brookhart-Schervish, in ‘Hepworth & Moore – Piercing Holes, Shaping Space’ 22 Jan, 2011

“It’s just because I need to make them.”

“I make all this stuff in the studio, but I also work on these white elephants — like House or Untitled Monument — things that are incredibly ambitious, take an awful long time to do, involve a lot of controversy, an awful lot of people, and don’t make any money particularly, but it’s just because I need to make them.”
Rachel Whiteread, born 1963
As quoted in “Some day my plinth will come” by Lynn Barber in The Guardian (27 May 2001)

Embankment by Rachel Whiteread (October 2005-April 2006)
Tate Modern
 labyrinthine installation built of semi-opaque white casts of boxes.

Embankment by Rachel Whiteread (October 2005-April 2006)
Tate Modern
 labyrinthine installation built of semi-opaque white casts of boxes.

“Life…is never the way one imagines it.

“Life…is never the way one imagines it. It surprises you, it amazes you, and it makes you laugh or cry when you don’t expect it.”
Niki de Saint Phalle (Oct 29, 1930 – May 21, 2002)

The exhibit “She: A Cathedral” took place in the 1960s (Modern Museum, Stockholm)
Enter through the Vagina, an exhibition by Niki de Saint Phalle..

“The entrance of She: A Cathedral was through the sculpture’s vagina. And inside the sculpture were rooms such as a music room (stomach), a cinema, an aquarium (uterus), and a milk bar (breast) placed in appropriate places of the woman.”
excerpted from “That’s one big vagina.”
by Lou Lou Loves on July 1, 2013

“Saint Phalle also engaged with the politics of social space in her work. Addressing subjects that ranged from women’s rights to climate change and HIV/AIDS awareness, she was often at the vanguard in addressing pressing issues of her time. In particular, her work to destigmatize HIV/AIDS is highlighted through works related to her illustrated book AIDS: You Can’t Catch It Holding Hands (1986).”

International Jazz Day is celebrated worldwide on April 30

International Jazz Day is celebrated worldwide on April 30, recognizing jazz as a force for peace, intercultural dialogue and international communication.

Thank you UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, Herbie Hancock for making your dream into a reality 10 years ago! Now, more than 190 countries around the world celebrate International Jazz Day which culminates in the All-Star Global Concert (5PM EDT) made possible in part by Toyota USA and United Celebrate #JazzDay10#April30
excerpted from International Jazz Day Facebook page

The photos by Nickolas Muray of Frida Kahlo

Carl Van Vechten photograph collection (Library of Congress),

During Nickolas Muray’s forty-five year career as a New York photographer, he developed a growing reputation that began during the decade of the Twenties when he photographed everybody who was anybody. At the time of his death, most Americans had seen, at one time or another, Muray’s portraits of celebrities, Presidents, or advertisements. Whether they knew the identity of the photographer who had created these images, these had infiltrated America’s psyche as icons with which it readily identified.

Between 1920 and 1940, Nickolas Muray made over 10,000 portraits. Who would have thought that the one of Frida Kahlo, c. 1939 would bring him greater acknowledgment than any? But it did. The portrait, made in the winter of 1938-39, while Kahlo sojourned in New York, attending her exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery, became the best known and loved portrait made by Nickolas Muray.

Muray and Kahlo were at the height of a ten-year love affair in 1939 when the portrait was made. Their affair had started in 1931, after Muray was divorced from his second wife and shortly after Kahlo’s marriage to Mexican muralist painter Diego Rivera. It outlived Muray’s third marriage and Kahlo’s divorce and remarriage to Rivera by one year, ending in 1941. Muray wanted to marry, but when it became apparent that Kahlo wanted Muray for a lover, not a husband, Muray took his leave for good and married his fourth and last wife. He and Kahlo remained good friends until her death, in 1954.
Salomon Grimberg

Frida Kahlo Painting “Me & My Parrots” (with Nickolas Muray), 1939


“Nickolas Muray and Kahlo first crossed paths in 1931, on the photographer’s inaugural trip to Mexico. At the time, he was a renowned celebrity portraitist who was pioneering color photography in the United States. This trip marked the dawn of a passionate 10-year romance between the two artists, during which Muray intimately captured Kahlo in her studio and home. However, as far as scholars can tell, Muray didn’t photograph Kahlo until six years into their relationship, in 1937. During a lunch at Covarrubias’s home in Tizapán, he wielded his new Kodachrome slide film and took some of the first color images of Kahlo.

It was several months after Kahlo’s New York debut in early 1939 that she entered Muray’s studio to create the “Rebozo” portraits. More formal than previous images, Muray used studio lighting and the somewhat-newfangled three-color carbo process to produce hyper-saturated, luminous photos of Kahlo that embodied the glow of her newfound recognition. 

Over the next nine years, Muray took a number of images of Kahlo’s life, even after their romance ended in 1941.

In one of Muray’s last portraits of Kahlo, taken in 1946 on his Manhattan rooftop, her blue bows stand out against the sky and her brilliant red huipil puts the grey-brown New York skyline to shame. As a smile spreads across her face, she gazes at Muray affectionately—and triumphantly.

“Photography, fortunately, to me has not only been a profession but also a contact between people,” Muray once said. “To understand human nature and record, if possible, the best in each individual.” In Kahlo, he found his ideal subject—someone unafraid to be fearlessly herself in front of his camera.
excerpted from The Intimate and Iconic Photos Nickolas Muray Took of Frida Kahlo
by Alexxa Gotthardt (Feb 11, 2019)

Nickolas Muray
Frida Kahlo on White Bench, New York (2nd Edition), 1939