Oldřich Kulhánek

Lithographs by Oldřich Kulhánek

Born  in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1940, Oldřich Kulhánek was a graphic designer, painter, illustrator, and stage designer. He graduated in 1964 from the Prague Academy of Applied Arts, in the atelier of graphic artist and muralist Karel Svolinský.  At the time of his graduation, he had produced a series of illustrations to Vladimir Holan’s poetic work “Dreams” and poet Christian Morgenstern’s “The Gallows Songs”.  

Kulhánek had his first solo exhibition in Prague in 1968. He captured the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in that year in a series of allegorical drawings, which included pictures of Stalin and other communist dignitaries. These twelve prints made their way to the West, and were exhibited at the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan.

Kulhánek’s prominence among the dissidents in the Communist Era led to his arrest in 1971 by the State Security Police. His allegorical images of Stalin, Mao Zedong, andKhrushchev were judged slanderous and led to charges of ‘slandering a fraternal Soviet State’..  The images,, which included a distorted portrait of Stalin,  were deemed ideologically dangerous and destroyed. After a month in prison,  Kulhánek was banned from exhibiting his work in his home country and interrogated regularly for two years.

“I remember one interrogation by the secret police, when one idiot kept screaming at me. He wanted to know who Hieronymus Bosch was,  where he worked and how I had met him. Even though I knew that he wanted to throw me in jail and was screaming at me, I said to myself ‘I must be dreaming’.  When I told him that [Bosch] died 500 years ago, he told me to drop the intellectual mockery.” – Oldřich Kulhánek

In the 1980s, Oldřich Kulhánek created many lithographs based on the development of the human body.  In 1982 he was awarded the silver medal for his illustrations of Faust at the International Exhibit of Book Art in Leipzig. With the occurrence of the 1989 Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia which transitioned the political power, he was able to travel to the United States and attend the Lithographic Workshop in Los Angeles. Later he was invited to give a series of workshops at universities, including the University of Houston. Kulhánek also traveled to Belgium to study the classical works in its museums.

Oldřich Kulhánek was one of the more visible artists of the Czech Republic. He was the president of the Society of Czech Graphic Artists founded in 1917, the President of the State Jury of Postage Stamp Design,  and the designer of all currency now in circulation in the Czech Republic.  Kulhánek also became one of the principle designers of Czech postage stamps, many bearing his images of important Czech personalities. He passed away suddenly in Prague on January 28th of 2013 at the age of seventy-two.

Tattoo Art in Motion: Set Three

Tattoo Art in Motion: Set Three

“—So much motion, continues he, (for he was very corpulent)—is so much unquietness; and so much of rest, by the same analogy, is so much of heaven.
Now, I (being very thin) think differently; and that so much of motion, is so much of life, and so much of joy—and that to stand still, or get on but slowly, is death and the devil—”

Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, 1759

Cody Sampson

Cody Sampson, “Closer Look”, 2018, Digital Art, Computer Graphics

Cody Sampson is a digital artist living and working in both Long island, New York, and New Plymouth, New Zealand. His graphic works, often illusionary images or depictions of scenes with an unique flair, includes computer-generted animations, infinite loop gifs, and digital stills. Sampson creates his work using tools, such as Octane Render, Maxon’s Cinema 4D, and Adobe Photoshop. His main site is: https://cody-sampson.tumblr.com

Image reblogged with thanks to : https://doctordee.tumblr.com


Michisei Kohno

Michisei Kohno, “Self Portrait”, 1917, Oil on Canvas, Arthur M Sackler Gallery

Born in 1905 in Isezaki in the Gunma Prefacture of Japan, Michisei Kohno was a Japanese painter, illustrator, and printmaker known for his association with the yōga movement of the early century. His artwork is representative of the Taishō period, from 1912 to 1925, in Japanese art when Emperor TaishOō reigned. This era is considered the time of the liberal ‘democracy’ movement.

In his early youth, Michisei fell under the influence of painter Kishida Ryūsei, known for his realistic yoga-position portraits, and joined his art circle Sõdosha in 1915.. Upon Kishida’s death in 1929, Michisei turned to illustration producing work for novels and a variety of newspapers. In 1931 he became a member of Nihon Hanga Kyokai, the Japanese Woodblock Print Society, and also returned to painting, although sporadically, between 1933 and 1937.

The greatest influence upon Michisei’s work was the prints of Albrecht Dürer, gained primarily form books and magazines. The works of Michelangelo, as well as the Christian faith, also provided inspiration. In his work, Michisei reularly touched upon Christian themes, blending them with unorthodox elements, such as Adam and Eve crossing a river in Japan. He also produced many self-portraits throughout his career.

Michisei Kohno died in 1950 in Koganei in the Tokyo Prefecture of Japan. His artwork was soon forgotten until a 2008 retrospective at the Hiratsuka Museum of Art in Tokyo. Two of his paintings, a portrait of his son Shuntatsu and the self-portrait shown above, are in the Sackler Gallery in Washington DC. His works can be seen in several museums in Japan, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Hiratsuka Museum, both in Tokyo.

Image reblogged with many thanks to ; https://bloghqualls.tumblr.com

Saturnino Herrán

Paintings by Saturnino Herrán

Mexican painter Saturnino Herrán Guinchard began studying drawing and painting with José Ines Tovilla and Severo Amador. He later studied with teachers Julio Ruelas, Fabres Antonio Catalan, Leandro Izaguirre and Germán Gedovious.

Herrán’s work is mainly inspired by pre-Columbian Mexico, with its folk customs and the lifestyles of its people. His figures have been associated with the traditions of Spanish art, particularly Catalan Modernism, along with the work of Velazquez and Josa de Rivera, The works of Saturnino Herran include the paintings: “Labor and Work”, “Mill and Marketers”, and “Legend of the Volcanos”. Herrán also painted the “Creole” Series and the triptych “Our Ancient Gods”.

Fourteen Men Standing

A Collection: Fourteen Men Standing

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” 

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Julio Ruelas

Julio Ruelas, “Critica”, 1906, Etching, 19 x 15 cm, Museo National de Arte, Mexico City, Mexico

Born on June 21, 1870, in Zacatecas, Julio Ruelas was a Mexican graphic artist, printmaker and painter. He was one of the pioneers of Mexican Modernism and a significant representative of Symbolism in the country. 

In 1885m Ruelas enrolled in the National School of Fine Arts and later at the Escuela de Bellas Artes. He traveled to Germany in 1892, studying at the Academy of Arts in Karlsruhe, where he developed a serious interest in the works of Swiss Symbolist painter Arnold Boeklin. During his stay in Germany, Ruelas was introduced to the Romantic art movement, a style whose emphasis on emotion and the glorification of nature and the past would have a deep influence upon his works. 

After his return to Mexico in 1895, Ruelas published his works in the extremely influential symbolist publication, “Revista Moderna”, founded by poet Jssús E Valenzuela, and became its principal illustrator. In 1904, Ruelas traveled to Paris, perfecting his etching techniques, and then briefly onto Belgium to observe its symbolist movement’s works.

Julio Ruelas spent the last three years of his life in Paris. He died on September 16, 1907 from tuberculosis at the age of thirty-seven. His works are on display In the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico and in the Francisco Goitia Museum in his home city of Zacatecas, among other collections. 

Julio Ruelas’ 1906 etching “Critica” is from a series of personal portrait etchings that he produced. On the artist’s head sits a fantastic being with bird feet, two small arms and a body of chicken without feathers. The animal has a pair of large breasts that can be seen behind its arms. The creature, wearing an elegant, fashionable hat for upper-class men of the late 20th century, appears to be about to pierce the artist’s head with its beak. The grotesque feeling of this etching reflects Ruelas’ aversion to the unpleasant criticism being given to his symbolist works at this point in time.

Wondrous Promise of the Earth

Photographer Unknown, (Wondrous Promise of the Earth)

“Somehow the wondrous promise of the earth is that there are beautiful things in it, things wondrous and alluring, and by virtue of your trade you want to understand them.” He put the cigarette down. Smoke rose from the ashtray, first in a thin column then (with a nod to universality) in broken tendrils that swirled up to the ceiling.”
James Gleick

Ubaldo Gandolfi

The Artwork of Ubaldo Gandolfi

Ubaldo Gandolfi was born in San Matteo della Decima, near Bologna, on 14 October 1728. His father, a man of some standing in society, allowed him to move to Bologna when he was barely over the age of ten in order to begin studying drawing. He studied under Baroque painter Felice Torelli before moving in 1748 to the school of painter Ercole Graziani the Younger. 

At the same time, Gandolfi began to frequent the Accademia Clementina and won the much-prized Fiori Award for attendance and for quality in the depiction of the nude in 1746. Gandolfi’s tireless practice of drawing from life, from posing models which became a constant feature of his mindset, was organized under the academic teaching of the anatomist Ercole Lelli.

Gandolfi’s first public success came in 1759 in the shape of an altarpiece with the “Assumption of the Virgin and Saints” for Castel San Pietro in Verona, preceded by a small rough clay model, now in the Uffizi Museum. The altarpiece owes a debt to the models of painter Guido Reni and to painters and teachers Ludovico and Annibale Carracci in the attitudes and gestures of its figures. Ubaldo’s renown grew to the point where he was made a full member of the Academy in 1760, and his work was  sought even by the Empress Catherine II of Russia.

Gandolfi’s colleagues in the Clementina entrusted him in 1766 with painting a fresco in the Eleventh Chapel in the Portico of St. Luke, depicting the Resurrection of Christ. “The Resurrection” is a magnificent example of Ubaldo Gandolfi’s fervent style with its evocative, theatrical character. For the senatorial nobility Gandolfi  produced ancient and modern myths, such as the “Four Seasons’” on a wall and “Aurora” on the ceiling at the Palazzo Segni Facchini.

In 1769 Gandolfi painted figurative frescoes for nobleman Conte Bentivoglio, who commissioned the decoration of the rooms on the ground floor of his palazzo in order to mark his term as magistrate. But Ubaldo Gandolfi’s ability to convey the solidity of his figures’ bodies was to allow the artist to produce superb results in secular fables, for instance in his 1770 paintings “Perseus and Andromeda” and “Diana and Endymion”, commissioned by  Senator Marchese Gregorio Casali; the “Mercury About to Behead  Argus” commissioned for the Marescalchi family palace; and the six mythological stories painted some time later for the Marescalchi family’s Palazzo Dall’Armi.

The painter’s renown grew in the field of religious painting thanks to his highly theatrical Baroque pieces, such as the Medicina Altarpiece in the church of San Mamante with its “Christ in Glory and Saints” or his “St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata”, a composition of passionate gesture. This highly productive decade ended with a large canvas for the church of Sant’ Agostino in Imola, depicting “St. Nicholas of Tolentino Preaching to the Crowds”.

Throughout his career, Ubaldo Gandolfi produced portraits of young girls, children, apprentices, men and women portrayed from life, and old men with intense features. These works, for instance the “Young Woman” now hanging in the Louvre, were extremely popular in the 1770s. In his graphic work, Gandolfi produced numerous very fine studies from life, displaying a certain inclination to portray the natural, an inclination that showed prominently in his pen and ink studies of heads.

Ubaldo Gandolfi died of malaria in Ravenna, where he had just recently moved, on July 24, 1781.

Numbers: One, Two, and Three

Photographers Unknown, (Numbers: One, Two, and Three)

“He told me that in 1886 he had invented an original system of numbering and that in a very few days he had gone beyond the twenty-four-thousand mark. He had not written it down, since anything he thought of once would never be lost to him. His first stimulus was, I think, his discomfort at the fact that the famous thirty-three gauchos of Uruguayan history should require two signs and two words, in place of a single word and a single sign. He then applied this absurd principle to the other numbers. In place of seven thousand thirteen he would say (for example) Maximo Pérez; in place of seven thousand fourteen, The Railroad; other numbers were Luis Melián Lafinur, Olimar, sulphur, the reins, the whale, the gas, the caldron, Napoleon, Agustin de Vedia. In place of five hundred, he would say nine. Each word had a particular sign, a kind of mark; the last in the series were very complicated…”
Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings 

Walter Nobbe

Paintings by Walter Nobbe

Walter Nobbe was born in 1941 in Malang, Indonesia, later moving with his family in 1950 to the Netherlands. He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, graduating as a professor of art in 1963. Nobbe began teaching but later decided to concentrate on his painting; he was a master in drawing and painting the male figure. His first exhibition was held in 1966 at Felix Valk’s Galerie 20, which concentrated on the New Realist artists. 

Together with philosopher and politician Peter Blokhuis and painter-sculptor Pat Andrea, Nobbe formed the ABN group, a group of young painters who were considered the top echelon of the new Dutch Realist painters. His high level of craftsmanship makes his paintings stand out from the others, Nobbe’s work is represented in museums and galleries in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, as well as in private collections.

In 1972, Walter Nobbe started to design for the Netherland Dance Theater, designing ballets for dancers and choreographers Cliff Keuter, Jiří Kylián and Nacho Duato. His production designs include “Overgrown Path, the “Dream Dances”, “Bolero”, and “Arenal”. Nobbe has worked with dance companies throughout the world: the English National Ballet in London, The Culberg Ballet of Sweden, and the Houston Ballet in Texas. Nobbe’s ballet “Overgrown Path” is one of his three works in the repertoire of the American Ballet Theater.

Slumbering Figure

Photographer Unknown, (Slumbering Figure with Two Ceramic Beads)

“Then from those profound slumbers we awake in a dawn, not knowing who we are, being nobody, newly born, ready for anything, the brain emptied of that past which was life until then. And perhaps it is more wonderful still when our landing at the waking-point is abrupt and the thoughts of our sleep, hidden by a cloak of oblivion, have not time to return to us gradually, before sleep ceases. Then from the black storm through which we seem to have passed (but we do not even say ‘we’), we emerge prostrate without a thought, a ‘we’ that is void of content.”

–Marcel Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah

Felix d’Eon

Illustrations by Felix d’Eon

Guadalajara-born artist Felix d’Eon is influenced by multiple historical art styles, including vintage American comics, Edwardian fashion, illustrations from children’s books, and the prints of Edo period Japan. Doing careful research in costumes, settings, and the style of a period, he gives his work, done on antique paper, the illusion of antiquity, D’Eon’s thoroughness and accuracy allows his illustration to appear taken from the pages of an art history textbook. 

D’Eon uses the vintage illustrative style, with its delicate romance and aesthetics, as a tool for narratives of both marginalized and historically oppressed gay communities. He employs this technique in his illustrations, both erotic and provocative, to challenge the modern-day stigmas, still present, around same-sex relationships. 

Ultimately, D’Eon’s illustrations read as an alternative history for the queer people he draws. None of his characters suffer from tragic endings or acts of injustice like they perhaps might have in the past or even present day. Instead, D’Eon recreates the world not as it was or is, but imagines the world as it can be. 

Felix d’Eon has produced a series of tarot card illustrations and is currently working on a series of astrological signs painted with queer subjects. Many of his illustrations can be found for purchase at the artist’s site at Society6:  https://society6.com/felixdeon

Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester

Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester, “Manuel” Series, 1983-1985, La Luna de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Born in Tangier, Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester was a draftsman, illustrator and a sculptor. He was considered one of the most representative draftsmen of Madrid’s “La Movida”, a countercultural movement that took place during Spain’s transition after Francisco Franco’s death in 1975. One of Rodrigo’s few works in the comic genre was “Manuel”, an experimental and unconventional work, telling the tale of an nonreciprocal gay love story through an autobiographical character. The “Manuel” series was published in the oversize pages of the monthly magazine “La Luna de Madrid” between 1983 and 1985.

Rodrigo’s technical perfection and his mastery of perspective are evidence of his training as an architect and his study of Fine Art. In his illustrative work, he shows his fondness for realism and the classical paintings in the Prado Museum; he also recognizes the influence of the painters he admires, such as Edward Hopper and fashion illustrator Antonio López.

In 2005, a compilation of Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester’s work, containing “Manuel” and seven other works not published in La Luna de Madrid, was published, entitled “Manuel No Está Solo”, by Sins Entido, a Spanish publisher committed to graphic novels. Unfortunately, this compilation book is currently out-of-print.

Ángel Zárraga

Paintings by Ángel Zárraga

Ángel Zárraga y Argūelies was born in 1886 in the Barrio de Analco of Durango, Mexico. He attended the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in Mexico City and the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes. In 1904 with the help of his family, Zárraga made a study trip to Europe, where he visited and exhibited in Spain, France, and Italy. He also attended courses at the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.

In 1906 Zárraga exhibited some of his paintings in the Museo del Prado. Thirty of his paintings were exhibited in 1907 at Mexico City’s Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, two of which were purchased by the government. In 1909 Zárraga exhibited his work at the International Exhibition in Munich. During the same year, he exhibited in the Salon at the Piazzale Donatello in Florence and also participated at the Biennale di Venezia. 

In 1910 Zárraga exhibited at the International in Rome and while in Rome, painted a portrait of the Baroness Lombroso. He sent a group of twenty-five finished canvases to Mexico in 1910, selling four to the Mexican government and four to private collectors. 

Ángel Zárraga, upon his return to Europe in 1911, decided to call Paris his home. From 1914 to 1921, his work was in a Cubist style, but after 1921 his work became influenced by the painting styles of Paul Cézanne and Italian painter Giotto di Bondone. 

In Paris, Zárraga painted a succession of murals at the Château de Vert-Cœur; in the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris: and at the Mexican Embassy. He also exhibited his paintings at the Salon d’Automne, an annual Parisian art exhibition at the Grand Palais.

In 1941 with the outbreak of World War II, Zárraga returned to his home country of Mexico, where he painted murals at the Club de Banqueros and in Monterrey Cathedral, the main Catholic church and the home of the Archdiocese of Monterrey.. Ángel Zárraga died of pneumonia on September 22, 1946.

Bruce Weber, “Andy Minsker”

Bruce Weber, “Andy Minsker”, Cover Photo for Per Lui Magazine, Issue Number 29, July/August, 1985

Andrew Claude Minsker was born on March 20, 1962, in Portland, Oregon. He was named National Golden Gloves Champion in 1983 and National United States Amateur Champion by the American Boxing Federation in 1983. During his career, he tried out for the US Olympic Boxing Team, becoming the United States Olympic Trials Champion in 1984.

Minsker was a very disciplined boxer, training five days a week, every week, for the fifteen years of his career. By the time he retired from boxing, he had fought 344 matches, had never been knocked off his feet, and had won first-round knockouts against both the Yugoslav and British Commonwealth champions. In 1981 he smashed his right hand on an opponent’s head, causing major damage to his hand which was only partially repaired. Minsker continued fighting bouts, covering up his weakness, for an additional ten years, until his retirement in 1991.

Andrew Minsker was the subject of a documentary by photographer Bruce Weber entitled “Portrait of a Boxer”, a black and white film interspersed with color shots and mixed with jazz songs.The film focuses on Minsker as a coach training a group of kids in his boxing club.

Andrew Minsker is now coporate president of Andrew Minsker, Ltd, Inc, and has been with Postive Impact Unlimited in Milwaukee since 1988. Minsker continues to runs his boxing club in Oregon.

Image reblogged with many thanks to a great visual site: https://doctordee.tumblr.com


Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe, “Jack Walls”, 1982, Gelatin Silver Print, Getty Museum

Chicago-born artist Jack Walls has been a vital part of the New York art world for over 30 years. While his visual artwork primarily focuses on painting and collage, Walls is also a writer, poet and performer. In the early 1980s in New York, he met and lived as a couple with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, sitting for photographs and becoming his muse. This relationship lasted until Mapplethorpe’s untimely death in March of 1989. Since then, Walls has become a source of inspiration for a new generation of young artists including: New York City photographer Ryan McGinley, sculptor Dan Colen, and the late multi-media artist Dash Snow. Jack Walls currently lives and works in Hudson, New York.

Painter and poet Jack Walls is considered an ‘inside outsider’ when it comes to his own art which extends across all mediums including drawing, photo collage, poetry and painting. Each work is discovered through Walls’ personal patterns and discipline. As he navigates from one series to the next, he repeats and refashions successful themes. The overall effect fashions a cohesive narrative while still emphasizing his personal style.

“My time with Robert was a learning experience; there was so much to absorb being around him. We worked all the time, everything was about work, but you didn’t really feel like you were working. And yes, it was glamorous, we were invited everywhere. We were very social, we were young… we travelled. He was smart, but not in an intellectual way because he never read books, he was a canny observer, his aesthetic and taste were better than most. Needless to say there wasn’t too much about Robert that was average.”

—Jack Walls, Interview with Eduardo Gion Espejo-Saavedra for GPS Radar, September of 2017   

Image reblogged with many thanks to : https://leomanlds.tumblr.com

Jai Peng Fang, 永远 “Forever”

Jai Peng Fang, “Forever” 永远

Jia Peng Fang was born in April of 1958 in Jiamusi, China. He is a virtuoso of the erhu, the Chinese violin. He has played in hundreds of live concerts throughout China and Japan, as well as recording for movies, television and radio. 

At an early age, in 1966 and under the influence of his older brother, Jai Peng Fang began to learn to play erhu. At the age of sixteen, his brother helped him go to Beijing to study the Erhu with the most experienced players. From 1974 to 1976, Fang stayed with his aunt and practiced with the erhu. After the Great Karasan Earthquake, he joined the Navy Song and Dance Band until, as part of the Cultural Revolution, he was forced to return to his native Jama as an agricultural worker. 

After the Cultural Revolution, upon the advice of a former teacher, Fang decided to enter a music school. In 1978 he studied and applied to Central Conservatory of Music. After being recommended by Zhou Yaozhen in 1979, he officially became the erhu player of the Central National Orchestra as a performer in the Folk section. After six years as a professional erhu player, Fang was appointed deputy director of the orchestra department.

In 1988, Jia Peng Fang moved to Japan and enrolled in the Master of Arts Degree Program in Music at the Tokyo University of Arts. Upon graduating with his masters degree, he was admitted as a member of the China Musicians Association and became director of the Erhu Chinese Society. Upon graduation he also started participating in the production of Katsuhisa Hattori’s albums and concerts and began large-scale professional performances.

Jia Peng Fang has performed in the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York, and in Carnegie Hall, playing with the Tokyo Pops Orchestra and New York Pops Orchestra. In 1997, Fang’s brilliant performances with his orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York solidified his position in the world of music.

One of Jai Peng Fang’s most beautiful and moving melodic songs, “Silent Moon”, contained in the 1999 album “River”, was used as a musical mat in a famous video tribute dedicated to the great martial arts master Yip Man, master of Bruce Lee. The video shows the Grandmaster’s abilities in his Wing Chun style, images taken a few weeks before he died.