Denver was 164 years old on Nov. 22, 2022.
I know you didn’t think it looked a day older than 160
Denver was 164 years old on Nov. 22, 2022.
Denver was 164 years old on Nov. 22, 2022.
I know you didn’t think it looked a day older than 160
“The price for living the life I have — for any serious, devoted person, is that at times one must live alone, or feel alone. I think loneliness is associated in many people’s minds when they think about success.”
Helen Frankenthaler (Dec 12, 1928 – Dec 27, 2011)
Helen Frankenthaler in her East 83rd Street and Third Avenue studio, New York, April 1964,
Photographer: Alexander Liberman.
Getty Research Institute © J. Paul Getty Trust.
“I was a very delicate, sensitive child. I realized that there were a lot of things in the world that were going to really fuck with a little boy like me.”
– Mark Bradford
“I think that painting is a kind of alchemy. The paint is transformed into image, and paint and image transform themselves into a third and new thing.”
“I’ve always wondered, like, what is so masculine about abstraction? How did men get the ownership over this?”
“There was a time in the early 1990s in England where you basically felt like people at a party would turn away if you said you were a painter. People would constantly say ‘Oh, why are you a painter?’, and you had to defend it all the time. There was this idea that if you were a painter it was because you had an unquestioning belief in painting’s power, rather than that it just happened to be a medium that you wanted to employ and that you felt you could still use to say something.”
Cecily Brown – Sunset Motel, 2015, photo by Genevieve Hanson
Pauline by Cecily Brown
Untitled by Cecily Brown
“To keep our hearts open is probably the most urgent responsibility you have as you get older.”
– Leonard Cohen, who passed on Nov 7, 2016
(Sept 21, 1934 – Nov 7, 2016)
And the idea that if you’re a mother, you’re not doing anything—it’s the hardest job there is, being a mother or father requires great sacrifice, discipline, selflessness, and to think that we weren’t doing anything while we were raising a son or daughter is appalling.
It makes me understand why some human beings question their worth if they’re not making a huge amount of money or aren’t famous, and that’s not right.
My mother worked at a soda fountain. She made the food and was a waitress and she was a really hard worker and a devoted worker. And her potato salad became famous! She wouldn’t get potato salad from the deli, she would get up at five o’clock in the morning and make it herself, and people would come from Camden or Philly to this little soda fountain in South Jersey because she had famous potato salad.
She was proud of that, and when she would come home at night, completely wiped out and throwing her tip money on the table and counting it, one of her great prides was that people would come from far and wide for her potato salad.
People would say, “Well, what did your mother do? She was a waitress?” She served the people, and she served in the way that she knew best.”
– Patti Smith interview with Alan Light
p.s. “Take care of yourself, drink a lot of water and focus on your work. And don’t be afraid to feel joy. It’s OK—no, it’s essential to be happy in this troubled world.”
– Patti Smith
Photo by Frank Stefanko
I have been to Hell and back and let me tell you it was wonderful.
“That face is gorgeous, priceless–a gift from God. But the heart–and the soul–make the face look like the dog’s dinner. If you could order a saint from an ad in a movie magazine, that’s her.”
– Maureen Stapleton on Elizabeth Taylor/James Grissom/ #folliesofgod
“You hang on because you realize that everything fades away; everything passes. You can survive anything if you choose to do so. Beauty fades, so don’t take it seriously. It’s the bowl of candy someone left behind. You pounce on it too often and you pay the price, but it was heaven for a minute or two. Fame is a bit of perfume coasting on the air. Sniff deeply and walk on. What lasts is friendship, partnerships of the soul that keep you focused and strong and in your place. I now long for times with friends–evenings that don’t require denial, a pill, or a girdle. Just my heart, my time, and a rich history.”
– Elizabeth Taylor/Interview with James Grissom/1991
“I kept seeing all these news reports on this new disease and kept asking myself why no one was doing anything. And then I realized that I was just like them. I wasn’t doing anything to help.”
“I have never felt more alive than when I watched my children delight in something, never more alive than when I have watched a great artist perform, and never richer than when I have scored a big check to fight AIDS.”
“All of my life I’ve spent a lot of time with gay men – Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Dean, Rock Hudson – who are my colleagues, coworkers, confidantes, my closest friends, but I never thought of who they slept with! They were just the people I loved. I could never understand why they couldn’t be afforded the same rights and protections as all of the rest of us. There is no gay agenda, it’s a human agenda”
“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.”
“Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.”
I suppose when they reach a certain age some men are afraid to grow up. It seems the older the men get, the younger their new wives get.
Elizabeth Taylor was the first globally recognized celebrity HIV and AIDS activist. As ignorance, fear, and prejudice fueled the emerging HIV/AIDS epidemic, she used her massive celebrity platform to speak truth to power, exposing the injustice of society’s response to the disease. Her unyielding conviction and passion raised hundreds of millions of dollars, changed the hearts and minds of a generation, and saved countless lives.
In 1985, Elizabeth chaired AIDS Project Los Angeles’ Commitment to Life fundraiser. At the same time, the disease struck close to home as her dear friend Rock Hudson died of AIDS. So began her tireless commitment to end the epidemic. Elizabeth co-founded The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) in 1985 and regularly lobbied President Reagan and Congress to address the crisis. She established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1991 to provide direct care, along with love and moral support, to the most vulnerable patients.
Just as the public embraced Elizabeth’s activism, the world recognized her humanitarian efforts. France honored her with the Légion d’honneur, and President Clinton awarded her the Presidential Citizens Medal. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth II named Elizabeth a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Elizabeth passed away in 2011.
The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation
Appalled by both the suffering he experienced and the cruel and gratuitous condemnation that befell so many of those affected by the disease, Ms. Taylor became determined to speak out against hypocrisy and discrimination and for compassion and care. From then on she lent her voice—and indeed her heart and soul—to the fight against HIV and AIDS.
In 1985, Ms. Taylor joined with Dr. Mathilde Krim and a small group of physicians and scientists to form the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). As amfAR’s Founding National Chairman, she became the new organization’s principal spokesperson and titular head. As a great star and beloved public figure, she attracted enormous media attention. As a woman and a mother, her voice touched millions of hearts and minds. Indeed, for many Americans, it was Elizabeth Taylor who brought the issue of HIV/AIDS into the mainstream.
Elizabeth Taylor with her daughter and her Oscar for BUTTERFIELD 8, in 1961.
“Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-92) pursued photography as a serious visual enterprise throughout his long and distinguished career, creating brilliant nature studies and portraits, including those of New York School colleagues Mark Rothko, Betty Parsons, John Graham, Barnett Newman and Theodoros Stamos. In 1948 Pousette-Dart’s photographs were presented in a one-man show at the Betty Parsons Gallery and in 1953 honored by Photography Magazine.”
– Richard Pousette-Dart Estate
Self Portrait in Photography Studio
Photo of Mark Rothko (1950)
Photo of his Gallerist, Betty Parson’s (1950)
Queen Anne’s Lace
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
– Audrey Hepburn (1929 –1993)
Anselm Kiefer’s oeuvre encompasses paintings, vitrines, installations, artist books, and an array of works on paper such as drawings, watercolors, collages, and altered photographs. The physical elements of his practice—from lead, concrete, and glass to textiles, tree roots, and burned books—are as symbolically resonant as they are vast-ranging. By integrating, expanding, and regenerating imagery and techniques, he brings to light the importance of the sacred and spiritual, myth and memory.
His body of work represents a microcosm of collective memory, visually encapsulating a broad range of cultural, literary, and philosophical allusions—from the Old and New Testaments, Kabbalah mysticism, Norse mythology and Wagner’s Ring Cycle to the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan.
Born during the closing months of World War II, Kiefer reflects upon Germany’s post-war identity and history, grappling with the national mythology of the Third Reich. Fusing art and literature, painting and sculpture, Kiefer engages the complex events of history and the ancestral epics of life, death, and the cosmos.
Buying art is not understanding art.
Art really is something very difficult. It is difficult to make, and it is sometimes difficult for the viewer to understand. It is difficult to work out what is art and what is not art.
If I do something that depresses, it’s not because I’m depressed, but because political life and history is depressing.
When, at the end of the 1960s, I became interested in the Nazi era, it was a taboo subject in Germany. No one spoke about it anymore, no more in my house than anywhere else.
I was interested in transcendence from a very early age. I was interested in what was over there, what was behind life. So when I had my first communion I was very disappointed. I had expected something amazing and surprising and spiritual. Instead all I got was a bicycle. That wasn’t what I was after at all.
History is formed by the people, those who have power and those without power. Each one of us makes history.
History speaks to artists. It changes the artist’s thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images.
I remember in the 70s and 80s, you would have discussions with your collectors. You could tell if they thought a painting was shit. This is good for an artist to know, because if someone you respect says a painting is shit, you must reflect.
Alchemy is not to make gold, the real alchemist is not interested in material things but in transubstantiation, in transforming the spirit. It’s a spiritual thing more than a material thing. An alchemist puts the phenomena of the world in another context.
I do not paint because the canvas is empty or because I have nothing else to do. I start painting when I have a shock. When I am overwhelmed by something that moves me, something that is greater than me. It can be a real experience with a person, a landscape, a music piece or with a poem.
Life is an illusion. I am held together in the nothingness by art.
“The rational mind constantly wants to be in charge,” he once said. “The other parts want to fly. My painting is the encounter between the mind’s necessity for control and its yearning to fly, to be free from our ever-confining skull.”
“I’ve been student of Buddhism since 1960. And of course it interfaces how I behave, how I think, how I perceive.”
“This group of artists that hung out at Ferus Gallery, we all had an arrogance that we were the best, and all of the other artists in this town were on an old boat, and they had better get on a fast plane with us. We outshone them all; we out grew them all.”
“I don’t paint for myself. I’m against the idea of expressing myself, being creative, that’s another word I really hate. I paint for you all. What I do is for these paintings to be seen, and they are like metaphors of life. I feel that a real person that does this taps into his existence.”
“My thought is that the artist functions in a tribal context, that he is the shaman. When the urban life came in, tribes no longer existed … but there was still a genetic core of shamans, of magic men, broken loose and genetically floating around. And when they had this gene, they shook the rattles. The shamans were the interpreters of the unknown, they reacted to the unknown with symbols and objects and wall painting. And that’s where it all came from. That’s where I came from, but when you’re a young man you don’t know that.”
9 Things Ed Moses Would Want Us to Know for His 90th Birthday
In a career that spanned seven decades, Moses received national and international recognition for his practice known for its restless intensity and ever-evolving style. Considered one of Los Angeles’s most innovative painters and a central figure in the city’s art scene, Moses often referred to himself as a “mutator,” driven less by the desire for self-expression than by an insatiable curiosity to explore and discover.
Ed Moses had his first major exhibition in 1958 at the Ferus Gallery in Hollywood, where he became a member of the gallery’s post-World War II Cool School, a group of artists which put Los Angeles on the artistic map both for their outsized talents and personalities. Other members included Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Edward Kienholz, Larry Bell, John Altoon and Wallace Berman.
Over the next 60 years, Moses would work tirelessly, transitioning from one style to another.
Early in his career, he gained attention for his “Rose Drawings,” the result of tracing rose patterns he found on an oilcloth from Tijuana, Mexico, and repeating them until they created dense abstract fields that spread out seemingly endlessly.
In 2016, the year he turned 90, he debuted a series of craquelure paintings that he created by placing black or white paint on a canvas, adding what he called a “secret sauce,” letting it dry and then hitting the canvas with his fist or elbow.
“I’m doing what all modern artists do now, which is nothing – just sit around and dream about things. I’ll do what they call ‘the stroke of genius.'”
“Practically everything I do takes ten years for people to get.”
“If people say you can’t do something, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Billy Al Bengston
(June 7, 1934 – October 8, 2022)
“Born in 1934 in Dodge City, Kansas, Bengston spent his formative years in Los Angeles, where his family moved when he was a child. He attended the Manual Arts High School, whose alumni included Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston; then, at Los Angeles City College and the California College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland, his teachers included Richard Diebenkorn and Saburo Hasegawa. He later studied with famed ceramicist Peter Voulkos. “’I couldn’t believe the things Voulkus could do, and I still can’t believe it,’” Bengston said in a 2016 interview with Jennifer Samet for Hyperallergic’s Beer With a Painter series. “I knew I was never going to be as good a ceramicist as he was. I decided to be a painter, because I thought I could paint better than Pete.”
“As a key member of the ‘Cool School’ centered around Ferus Gallery, Bengston helped legitimize West Coast art in the eyes of the Eurocentric, New York-based art elite. With his hard-edged abstraction and exploration of industrial materials, he pioneered the Finish Fetish movement, though his work would expand beyond its confines. His persona as a tough-living, motorcycle-riding, surfing Californian no doubt added to his notoriety.”
Billy Al Bengston, LA Painter With a Contrarian Streak, Dies at 88
by Matt Stromberg
“His embrace of motorcycle and car culture led him to using enamel and lacquer to create highly reflective surfaces on masonite or metal, some of which are then dented and altered with a hammer (“Dentos” paintings).”
Jennifer Samet Interviews Billy Al Bengston
The works of artist Olafur Eliasson explore the relevance of art in the world at large. Born in 1967, Eliasson grew up in Iceland and Denmark, where he studied from 1989 to 1995 at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. In 1995, he moved to Berlin and founded Studio Olafur Eliasson, which today comprises a large team of craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, cooks, programmers, art historians, and specialised technicians. Eliasson lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin.
courtesy of https://olafureliasson.net/
“I see the artist as a participant, a co-producer of reality.”
“My goal is to formulate a new color theory based on the full spectrum of visible light.”
Over the years, in making art, I have constantly explored issues dealing with space, time, light, and society. I am particularly interested in how the light of a space determines how we see that space and similarly, in how light and color are actually phenomena within us, within our own eyes.
“Light has an evident, functional and aesthetic impact on our lives.”
“The viewer brings something individual to the experience of any artwork. I always try to make work that activates the viewer to be a co-producer of our shared reality.”
“To neglect your own mind, that’s like to neglect your consciousness. That’s like to give up all hope of joy and happiness, really. You’re the only one that can discover for you the meaning of anything. What it means to you. By that, I don’t mean intellectual meaning. I mean, what it means, how it makes you feel. You have to see whether you really are happy or not. Whether you really are sad or not. And you have to investigate what goes through your mind.” (1974)
Agnes Martin (1912 – 2004)
“That’s what it’s about. Freedom. That’s the only possession an artist has — freedom to do whatever you can imagine.”
Philip Guston (1913-1980)
“Be yourself. The world worships the original.”
Jean Cocteau (1889 -1993)
“One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind. To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it.”
As quoted in Dorothea Lange: A Visual Life by Elizabeth Partridge (1994)
“Photography is 1% talent and 99% moving furniture.”
“You don’t take pictures with your camera. You take pictures with your mind and your heart.”
“Successful portraiture is like a three-legged stool. Kick out one leg and the whole thing collapses. In other words, visual ideas combined with technological control combined with personal interpretation equals photography. Each must hold it’s own.”
Arnold Newman was born March 3, 1918 in New York City. He was raised and attended schools in Atlantic City, N.J. and Miami Beach, FL. He studied art under a scholarship at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL from 1936 to 1938. He died in New York City on June 6, 2006. Generally acknowledged as the pioneer of the environmental portrait, he is also known for his still life and abstract photography, and he is considered as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th Century.
Arnold Newman website
Several photos courtesy of The Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, TX
“A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart.”
“I didn’t set out to do something different so much as do something that interested me. I wasn’t trying to be avant-garde – that’s being fashionable. You don’t set out to revolutionize art, you make statements for yourself.”
“There are no rules and regulations for perfect composition. If there were we would be able to put all the information into a computer and would come out with a masterpiece. We know that’s impossible. You have to compose by the seat of your pants.”
“It seems to me that no one picture can ever be a final summation of a personality. There are so many facets in every human being that it is impossible to present them all in one photograph.”
“The more I get to know my subject the more he gets to know me, and so often the pictures taken at the end of a sitting are much better both creatively and interpretively… A photographer is always in a state of preparing himself for a given moment… we have only an instant in which to think and act.”
Thanks to John Paul Caponigro for some of the quotes
“We had many books and pictures… my parents’ way of life doubtless left a lasting impression on me. They created an atmosphere in which a certain kind of freedom could exist. This may well account for my seeking a related sense of liberty as I grew up.”
“The camera was waiting for me by predestination and I took to it as a musician takes to the piano or a painter to canvas. I found that I was master of the elements, that I could work miracles.”
“I was sad to leave Europe in 1890, after my student days in Germany… But then, once back in New York, I experienced an intense longing for Europe, for its vital tradition of music, theatre, art, craftsmanship… I felt bewildered and lonely. How was I to use myself?”
“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.”
“I have a vision of life, and I try to find equivalents for it in the form of photographs.”
“I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing.”
Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe married in 1924. The rocky marriage ended when Stieglitz died in 1946.
“If you can imagine photography in the guise of a woman and you’d ask her what she thought of Stieglitz, she’d say: He always treated me like a gentleman.”
“It is not art in the professionalized sense about which I care, but that which is created sacredly, as a result of a deep inner experience, with all of oneself, and that becomes ‘art’ in time.”
“My ideal is to achieve the ability to produce numberless prints from each negative, prints all significantly alive, yet indistinguishably alike, and to be able to circulate them at a price not higher than that of a popular magazine, or even a daily paper. To gain that ability there has been no choice but to follow the road I have chosen.”
“My cloud photographs are equivalents of my most profound life experiences, my basic philosophy of life. All art is an equivalent of the artist’s most profound life experiences.”
“Let me here call attention to one of the most universally popular mistakes that have to do with photography – that of classing supposedly excellent work as professional, and using the term amateur to convey the idea of immature productions and to excuse atrociously poor photographs. As a matter of fact nearly all the greatest work is being, and has always been done, by those who are following photography for the love of it, and not merely for financial reasons. As the name implies, an amateur is one who works for love; and viewed in this light the incorrectness of the popular classification is readily apparent.”
“I have all but killed myself for Photography. My passion for it is greater than ever. It’s forty years that I have fought its fight – and I’ll fight to the finish – single handed & without money if need be. It is not photographs – it is not photographers – I am fighting for. And my own photographs I never sign. I am not fighting to make a ‘name’ for myself. Maybe you have some feeling for what the fight is for. It’s a world’s fight. This sounds mad. But so is Camera Work mad. All that’s born of spirit seems mad in these [days] of materialism run riot.”
“Utopia is in the moment. Not in some future time, some other place, but in the here and now, or else it is nowhere.”
“The great geniuses are those who have kept their childlike spirit and have added to it breadth of vision and experience.”
“Early in 1902 Stieglitz announced the existence of a new organization called the Photo-Secession, a group whose name was an allusion to the secessionist artist groups formed in Germany and in Austria in the 1890s and that, like its European counterparts, was designed to break away from stodgy and conventional ideas. Photo-Secession was dedicated to promoting photography as an art form. In fact, all the Photo-Secessionist photographers were committed in greater or lesser degrees to what was called the Pictorialist style, meaning they favoured traditional genre subjects that had been sanctified by generations of conventional painters. Members of the group were elected by Stieglitz, and eventually its roll included 17 fellows and almost twice as many associates. Founding members included Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, Clarence H. White, and Joseph Keiley.”
“Late in 1905, with the encouragement of his young protégé Steichen, Stieglitz opened the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, a name soon shortened to 291, the gallery’s address on lower Fifth Avenue in New York City. During the gallery’s first four years it most often functioned as an exhibition space for the Photo-Secession photographers. By the 1909 season, however, the gallery began to promote progressive art in a variety of media, and the work of painters, sculptors, and printmakers almost usurped the gallery space. These exhibitions (many of them arranged by Steichen) included the first shows in the United States of the work of Henri Matisse, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso.”
“The attacks of which I have been the object have broken the spring of life in me… People don’t realize what it feels like to be constantly insulted. Insults are pouring down on me as thick as hail.”
“There is only one true thing: instantly paint what you see. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you haven’t, you begin again. All the rest is humbug.”
“It is not enough to know your craft – you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more.”
“No one can be a painter unless he cares for painting above all else. ”
– Edourd Manet (Jan 23, 1832 – April 30, 1883)
born and died in Paris, France
“Since rejection at the Salon, and despite my extremely modest prices, dealers and art lovers are turning their backs on me. It is, above all, very depressing to see the lack of interest shown in an art object which has no market value”.
– Claude Monet (1840 – 1926)
Impression, Sunrise was first shown at what would become known as the “Exhibition of the Impressionists” in Paris in April, 1874. The painting is credited with inspiring the name of the Impressionist movement.
“There’s no diploma in the world that declares you as an artist—it’s not like becoming a doctor. You can declare yourself an artist and then figure out how to be an artist.”
“Silhouettes are reductions, and racial stereotypes are also reductions of actual human beings.”
“If you’re a Black artist, you could paint a wall of smiley faces, and someone will still ask you, ‘Why are you so angry?'”
I didn’t want a completely passive viewer. Art means too much to me. To be able to articulate something visually is really an important thing. I wanted to make work where the viewer wouldn’t walk away; he would giggle nervously, get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful.”
“‘I’m not really about blackness, per se, but about blackness and whiteness, and what they mean and how they interact with one another and what power is all about.”
“Her trademark theme: the ravages of the antebellum South. A cast of characters flees an event that is not depicted in the painting but which has clearly resulted in atrocities.”
Kara Walker is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, installation artist, and filmmaker, who explores American history in narrative art that deals with gender, race, and sexuality. While Walker is not known to identify as a feminist, her artworks often depict aggression against girls and women. Her drawings and installations document the relationships between nineteenth century masters and their slaves in the American South. They also reveal the aftermath of slavery when freed African Americans migrated into cities where they continued to experience injustice and a lack of freedom.
Walker’s art has defied the political mandates of the black arts movements of the 1970s, which sought to uplift African Americans with positive images of Black people and condemnations of racism. She was not always appreciated for portraying the degradation of African Americans. She has said that her work “makes people queasy. And I like that queasy feeling.”