Tom Wesselmann Pop Art

The Wonder of Tom Wesselmann

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Of the American Pop Artists that we feature at Vertu, it’s Tom Wesselmann’s Pop Art that consistently ranks high among our personal favorites. Time and time again, Wesselmann delights us – embracing the beauty and eroticism of the female form – exploring a wide variety of media and techniques – tackling works of enormous scale – and paying homage to other masters – all with incredible elegance.

Wesselmann’s place among Pop Art superstars like Warhol, Johns and Lichtenstein is most certainly framed by his own relationship to the art movement. It’s well-known that Tom Wesselmann did not like being labeled a Pop Artist. Yet, it’s hard to imagine that his early 1960’s “Still Life” realistic works featuring consumer goods and assorted American icons would be considered anything but Pop Art. Nonetheless, Wesselmann did manage to set himself apart, perhaps most notably by the manner in which he built his career.

While Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein continuously gravitated toward powerful commercial icons, by the mid to late 60’s, Wesselmann was moving away from commercial subjects, toward the nudes and seascapes that inspired him most. Certainly, if Wesselmann did indeed move through the Pop Art movement, he nonetheless adopted elements of the style – the broad lines and bold color palette most noticeably. Though Wesselmann stated that his work was not intended as social commentary, the fact that he was a New York artist pushing boundaries certainly contributed to his being labeled a Pop Artist.

When most collectors think of Tom Wesselmann, his depiction of the nude form is first and foremost. Wesselmann’s talent for capturing erotic elements of the female form is perhaps what most prominently separates him from the crowd. At a time when Pop Art notoriously depicted images devoid of emotion, Wesselmann captured the sexiness of shapely breasts, accentuated nipples, lips, legs, torsos and genitals. For some Wesselmann collectors, the sexually charged pieces are simply too bold. For others, these pieces hit the mark, and are synonymous with the free and evocative style that is purely Tom Wesselmann.

Tom Wesselmann’s Drop-Out series of works are among our favorites. Creating in the negative space − around breasts, legs, torsos and seascapes − the artist created works in which the background, along with the viewer’s mind, complete it. As with many of his works, vibrant colors and beautiful lines of the drop outs conjure thoughts of Henri Matisse, whose influence was prevalent throughout so many Wesselmann pieces.

Wesselmann’s creativity manifested itself in assorted shapes, textures and techniques throughout his career. Laser-cut steel versions of Wesselmann seascapes and vacuum formed plastic nudes are among the most well known non-print media used. Wesselmann collectors are often intrigued by the multiple versions of the artist’s vision. It’s easy to understand why one may favor the artist’s loose scribbled style, while another prefers a more detailed version of the same subject. For many, the joy is in discovering a beautiful theme deployed so many different ways, created in assorted shapes, sizes, media and techniques.

Another appealing aspect of Wesselmann is the artist’s tributes to other masters by way of inclusion. Monica Sitting with Mondrian, Still Life with Liz (Warhol), Monica Nude with Cezanne and Sunset Nude with Matisse Odalisque are all excellent examples.

If, like us, you are passionate about the works of Tom Wesselmann, please stop in to our Boca Raton gallery. We are most interested in hearing about your experiences with the artist’s works, and if you are seeking a particular work, please contact us and we’ll do our best to help you source it.

Roy Lichtenstein Artwork - Roy Lichtenstein, 1985

Roy Lichtenstein Artwork at Vertu Fine Art

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The works of American Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein never fail to draw us in. Whether it’s the familiarity of iconic comic book style, the quirkiness of his subjects or the emotional coolness of his works, Lichtenstein always makes us feel something. Perhaps it’s the artist’s reputation, his powerful contribution to launching Pop Art into the public mainstream that makes Roy Lichtenstein artwork work feel larger than life. As with other works by American Pop Art masters that hang on the walls of our Boca Raton gallery – those by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns or Robert Rauschenberg – Lichtenstein’s work spurs interesting conversations about the artist’s style, techniques and intentions.


The Student (Cat. #176), 1980

One of the newer Roy Lichtenstein prints for sale at Vertu is The Student, 1980 (Woodcut with embossing, 38.25 x 34 inches, signed and numbered in pencil). The student is a valuable low edition Lichtenstein print (edition of 50) that conveys the influence of cubist master Pablo Picasso. While elements of the work pay homage to the cubist style, the piece nonetheless contains many of the signature Roy Lichtenstein elements, such as the artist’s use of thick black lines and primary colors. The style of the window and curtain in The Student also tie in the Pop Artist’s signature comic book influence, while providing a bit of depth and whimsy.

For those of us over forty, Lichtenstein’s works are emblematic of the pop art of the 1960’s. The same could be said for other Pop Art masters, but Roy Lichtenstein certainly secured his own style within that mix. Pop Art collectors who equate Warhol with Babe Ruth will most certainly agree that Roy Lichtenstein is Lou Gehrig, or vice versa.


Study Of Hands, 1981

Much of the same cool modern style is true of Lichtenstein’s Study Of Hands, 1981 (Lithograph and Screenprint, 31.25 X 32.75 in., Edition of 100). Study of Hands is a fun piece, no two ways about it. Comic book style in the truest sense. Yet, four very distinct styles, as though they would each belong to a separate series within the same genre. Once again, the colors, lines and personality belonging to this work are all unmistakably Roy Lichtenstein.


Still Life with Red Jar (C.291: G.1621), 1994

Lichtenstein collectors who enjoy such representations are also drawn to another Roy Lichtenstein work for sale at Vertu − Still Life with Red Jar, 1994 (Screenprint, 21.5 X 19.25 in., Edition of 250). The simple and traditional subject of this work seem to accentuate that by 1994, one could argue that Roy Lichtenstein’s style is the subject. The lines, colors and depth all work so lovely that the longer one views it, the more complex the piece begins to appear. The objects appear lifeless one moment and full of expression the next. Once again, the viewer is forced to resolve the artist’s motive. Lichtenstein often said that he was as interested in the abstract qualities of images as their subject matter.


Repeated Design, 1969

Repeated Design – 1969 Cat. #90 (Lithograph, 16.75 in. X 40.75 in., Edition of 100) is yet another Lichtenstein work that viewers are immediately attracted to, often questioning which wall of the home or place of business would be most deserving of such a work. For many of us, this piece will also take us back to a place in time when it seemed like such contemporary pieces signified something futuristic. Interesting that we now see these works retrospectively! Once again, Roy Lichtenstein presents a work that is fraught with duplicity − simplistic and complex − flat, yet with great depth – lifeless one moment, emotive the next. This print includes a healthy dose of artist’s signature use of Ben-Day dots and most certainly alludes to a central lesson of Pop art; that all forms of communication are filtered through code.

If you’re a Roy Lichtenstein collector in search of a particular work, please contact us. We are always happy to help.

Artwork for Sale - Tom Wesselman

New Artwork for Sale at Vertu Fine Art

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Vertu Fine Art is pleased to bring you the latest offerings from acclaimed masters. If you’re in reach of our Boca Raton gallery, please visit. Call for an appointment or stop in anytime. If you’re looking for specific artwork for sale, please contact us and we’ll do our best to source them for you.


Tom Wesselmann
Study for Seascape with Cumulus Clouds and Sky, 1991

Tom Wesselmann is a Pop Art favorite at Vertu. Study for Seascape with Cumulus Clouds and Sky, 1991, is a welcomed acquisition for any Wesselmann collector. The work, done in pencil and Liquitex on Bristol Board, shows off the bold lines and rich colors that are emblematic of the artist’s pallet. As with many Wesselmann works, the artistic influence of Matisse and de Kooning are evident in this horizontal composition, yet the piece is uniquely Wesselmann.


Andy Warhol
Flash-November 22,1963, (II.42)
1968

Flash-November 22,1963 II.42, 1968 is a work from Andy Warhol’s famous Flash series of prints. Warhol’s Flash portfolio consists of eleven works, all focused on the mass media coverage of President John F. Kennedy’s celebrity, particularly the attention paid to the 1963 assassination. This series of screenprints is based upon campaign posters, advertisements and mass media images. Warhol, who was fond of President Kennedy, was reportedly bothered by the overwhelming media coverage of the tragedy. Typical of Andy Warhol’s style, as a person and artist, the work is unemotional yet powerful.


Andy Warhol
Dracula – (II.264) from the “Myths” portfolio, 1981

Dracula II.264 from Myths, 1981 is another special Andy Warhol print on display at Vertu Fine Art. Dracula is one of ten iconic figures depicted in Warhol’s Myths portfolio. Each work in the series was created with “Diamond Dust” and is a 38” x 38” square. In this series, Dracula shares the spotlight with a unique arrangement of cast members, including Mickey Mouse, Superman, Howdy Doody, Wicked Witch of the West, Santa Claus, The Shadow and Uncle Sam. Warhol’s friends nicknamed this print, “Drella” – a combination of Dracula and Cinderella. The series is thought to represent various facets of Andy Warhol’s personality.


Wayne Thiebaud
Country City, 1988

It’s difficult not to smile when viewing Country City, 1988 by artist Wayne Thiebaud. Considered to be a forerunner of the Pop Art movement, Thiebaud, like a number of Pop Artists, worked as a commercial artist prior to becoming well-known for his style. Country City is emblematic of the artist’s exaggerated themes blended with realistic elements, such as Thiebaud’s hyper-realistic use of shadows. Whether you’re a Wayne Thiebaud collector or merely an admirer, this is a masterwork that is sure to engage and delight the viewer.


Christo
Wrapped Motorcycle/Sidecar, Project for Harley Davidson 1933 VL Model, 1997

Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude are known worldwide for their “wrapped” works. They’ve wrapped monuments, buildings and a part of the Australian coastline. The duo has wrapped objects large and small, around the world. New Yorkers may remember their installation of The Gates in Central Park, which featured 7,503 saffron colored fabric paneled gates, looking like a golden river running through the park. New to VFA is this Christo Wrapped Motorcycle/Sidecar, Project for Harley-Davidson 1933 VL Model, 1997. Christo and Jeanne-Claude collectors will marvel at this print and enjoy owning a piece of history shared between the artist and the Harley Davidson company.


Roy Lichtenstein
Still Life with Red Jar, 1994

Roy Lichtenstein collectors will surely be glad to see the latest print, Still Life with Red Jar, at VFA. This famous Lichtenstein screenprint represents the Pop Artist’s comic book inspired style. The important role that Roy Lichtenstein played in launching the Pop Art movement, in terms of pop culture elements, unemotional affect and commercial styling are noticeable in this work.


Marilyn Minter
Gold Tip, 2009

The work of Marilyn Minter never fails to elicit a visceral response. That’s why Gold Tip is a photograph that we’re rather fond of at VFA. This 40” x 60” C-Print is one of five produced. The artist, who works out of New York City, has become known for a hyper-realistic style, charged with subjects that exude glamour, sexuality and eroticism. In 1989, Marilyn created a series of works based on hardcore pornographic images that stirred up controversy from women’s rights proponents. She defended her works and challenged critics to rethink their perspective, asking, “Does it change the meaning if a woman uses these kinds of images?” (Wikipedia). Today, the artist is known for her powerful works created via paint, photography and video production.


Thank you for being a member of the Vertu Fine Art family. Join us online to stay plugged in to what’s happening. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter or ring us at 561-368-4680.

OP ART ON DISPLAY TO OPEN ON MAY 13 CONNECTS WITH KINETIC ART IN BOYNTON

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Stan SlutskyBOYNTON BEACH, FL — A new Art in Public Places “Op Art” exhibit will
open May 13 in the City’s Library, featuring Stanford Slutsky’s Kinetic and
Optical artwork. Kinetic Art refers to art that moves, or that gives the
sensation of movement, through its optical effects. As viewers enjoy and
move around the art, the art work’s light, colors and surfaces change
dramatically. Optical art is a method of painting that provides an interaction
between illusion and picture plane, between understanding and seeing. Op
art works are abstract. When viewed, the impression of movement, hidden
images, flashing, vibration, patterns, or alternatively, of swelling or
warping.

Slutsky’s optical art is composed of precisely cut wooden geometric
shapes all fitting together to give the illusion of depth and distance. Slutsky
works are meticulously created by cutting wood with table saws and jigsaws,
separating them into pieces with spacers and fitting them perfectly
with their counterparts on a canvas or in a frame. Slutsky uses magnets to
piece together many of his works, making these removable, though not
noticeable at first, they become an interesting surprise to the viewer. He
also created painted acrylics pieces on wrapped canvas that have become
popular among collectors.

Inspired by Victor Vasarely, Slutsky achieves his effects by juxtaposing
hard-edged color patterns that disrupt the normal process of vision. Some
shapes of color seem to advance and then recede; others appear to
pulsate in waves. Slutsky painstaking, semi-scientific approach to painting
and mixed media constructions are based on the manipulation of optical
devices and depend on subtle color gradations, systematic chromatic
harmonic lines and shapes.

All pieces created by Slutsky are one-of-a-kind and for sale with
commissions benefitting the Art in Public Places program and Friends of
the Library. The Stanford Slutsky “Op Art” exhibit begins May 13 and
continues through December 5. Art in Public Places and the City Library
will host a meet the artist reception Saturday, June 8, 2- 4 pm. Public is
welcome and encouraged to attend. The City Library is located at 208
South Seacrest Boulevard, Boynton Beach.

For more information, contact Debby Coles-Dobay, City of Boynton Beach
Public Art Administrator, at 561-742-6026.

Visit www.facebook.com/BoyntonBeachArtInPublicPlaces or www.BoyntonBeachArts.org. Stanford Slutsky can be contacted by phone at 561-789-4678. His website is www.StanfordSlutsky.com.

Andy Warhol Prints for Sale

Andy Warhol Prints for Sale at Vertu Fine Art

Whether you’re an avid Warhol collector, a casual admirer or a critic of the artist’s work, there’s simply no denying the mammoth impact that Andy Warhol had on pop art and the art world at-large.

At Vertu, whenever we have new Andy Warhol prints for sale, it’s exhilarating. Warhol’s own celebrity loomed as large as the celebrities he painted − and in fact, for many Warhol collectors, it’s precisely the artist’s celebrity that lends a palpable emotional charge to his work.

Created in 1980, Andy Warhol’s Shoes (Deluxe Edition) Serigraph with diamond dust is one of the new Andy Warhol prints available at Vertu. For collectors who fancy Warhol’s shoe works, these diamond dust shoes are a real find. Part of a small edition (10), one must view this piece in person to fully appreciate its texture and glittering appeal. A lover of all things opulent, Andy Warhol had intended on using real diamond dust powder to make his series of diamond dust shoes, but quickly learned that real diamond dust is too chalky, thus the work was developed with pulverized glass pieces instead.

This authenticated unique Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is yet another captivating new Andy Warhol print for sale. In 1985, Warhol created a series of screenprints with subjects that included four contemporary queens. The series includes Queen Elizabeth II of the U.K., Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland, in addition to Queen Margrethe II. The juxtaposition of Warhol’s commercial and minimalist styling with that of the regal monarchs, used to being painted in dense realist detail, is striking. This is perhaps just one reason why this Warhol series or prints are so highly regarded by collectors worldwide.

S&H Green Stamps is another new Andy Warhol print for sale. For those of us old enough to remember the actual S & H Green Stamps, were ubiquitous in household for decades until the 1980s, there’s nostalgic memories of pasting stamps in collector’s books, which would eventually be redeemed for a variety of products. S & H stamps (created by the Sperry & Hutchinson company) were given out at supermarkets and other retailers and in their heyday, the annual production of these stamps was triple the number of traditional stamps produced by the United States Post Office. Warhol’s S&H Green Stamp screenprint is one of a series of approximately 300. In 1965, Andy Warhol used the S&H Green Stamps motif for 6,000 invitations that were folded and mailed.

Daisy is another unique Warhol print. In 1982, Warhol created a highly stylized series of daisy prints, each with a variety of saturated colors. For a number of collectors, Warhol’s daisies are a must-have, as they represent this definable period of the artist’s life and work, and his ability to transform even the most simple organic subject into what appears to be a commercial version of its self.

Perhaps our favorite new Andy Warhol print is this imaginative and bright camouflage work. While the obvious perspective is simply that Warhol flipped the switch on a pattern intended to help combatants blend into their natural surroundings, others delight in drawing conclusions about work’s ability to reveal elements of the artist’s personality. How interesting to imagine that within the camouflage works, Andy Warhol entertained the concept of his own desires and abilities to hide in plain sight. Warhol embraced the spotlight, yet often revealed so little.


If you have questions or would like to see this artwork in person, call or visit us. We are continuously acquiring new work and look forward to showing you around our gallery.

Anna Halldin-Maule

The Oil Paintings of Anna Halldin-Maule

The acute attention to detail evident in Anna Halldin-Maule’s work is most certainly amplified by her process of creating a strong artistic reference from which to work, far before the first brushstroke hits the canvas. Collaborating with husband Tom Maule, a highly accomplished photographer, the couple initiates a photo shoot to acquire an appropriate image that’s consistent with the artist’s vision. Anna Halldin-Maule serves as make-up artist and together with Tom; art directs the shoot – developing various compositions via adjustments of model, wardrobe, props and lighting. The photo shoot shares center stage with Anna’s painting process within each video captured to document the artist’s work, helping the viewer to gain understanding of the artist’s commitment to detail and at times, her motive.

The artist’s words and imagery appear carefully crafted to leave ample room for the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Halldin-Maule obviously enjoys the interplay between beautiful women and fashion-driven materialism. However, in work after work, one could argue about where to attribute the power. Is the subject a victim or a joyful participant in her relationship to high fashion and material goods?

In Anna Halldin-Maule’s Her New Religion, the newest work showcased in our Boca Raton art gallery, the piece shares an attribute of all great hyperrealism, asking the viewer to first reconcile the fact it is indeed oil on canvas. Regarding the meaning and significance of the work, the title and the subject’s skyward gaze work harmoniously to convey the pairing of prayer and materialism. But once again, the viewer is asked to draw the conclusion. Is this beautiful woman at the mercy of her material desires or is she merely grateful for her possessions? How interesting that the viewer’s subjectivity may reveal more about his or her own relationships with materialism than the artist’s intention. Of course, curious collectors have the opportunity to review the work’s associated video and take a stab at resolving the issue.  In sync with the artist’s intent, on another plane, or merely left to wonder?

Similarly, in Halldin-Maule’s Obsessed, one can’t help but feel, at least initially, that the artist has made an explicit statement. Her subject weeps, mascara running from her eyes, as her naked body reveals tattoos of high fashion name brands. However, the subject’s facial expression indicates that her emotion may be something other than sorrow. In this video, the artist is frank about crafting this work to leave the door open to interpretation, indicating her desire to show the subject as, “conflicted…she is happy, but at the same time…she has all these emotions inside her and this is taking over her life.”

In creating one of Halldin-Maule’s popular “pedestal” works, Pedestal 01, the artist is forthcoming about the fact that her art mirrors her own relationship with fashion and possessions. Admitting, that she shares with other women, numerous sacrifices that include “suffering” for fashion − from high-heeled shoes and clothes that fit uncomfortably – to the desires to own beautiful designer clothes and accessories. The artist speaks of the iconic Chanel 255 bag featured within the work as the desired possession for which the subject is willing to sacrifice comfort.  Yet, while Halldin-Maule focuses on the strength of the iconic handbag, the viewer is of course likely to draw a number of psychological inferences related to the attractive womanly features that form the pedestal. Undoubtedly, sexuality and fashion/materialism relationships are drawn as well.

At Vertu Fine Art gallery, we have the privilege of hearing from collectors about their conclusions formed as a viewer of Halldin-Maule works, and as should be expected, the interpretations are diverse. Regardless of which psychological meanings the viewer draws out of the artist’s works, what is universal is an appreciation for the incredible attention to detail that makes Halldin-Maule a significant figure in hyperrealism. Of course, the ability of her works to draw a visceral response coupled with sustained question of meaning is what has art collectors buzzing about the artist’s work.


If you have questions or would like to see this artwork in person, call or visit us. We are continuously acquiring new work and look forward to showing you around our gallery.

Helen Frankenthaler, 1956

Artwork For Sale: New Arrivals at Vertu

It’s our pleasure to share the latest works for sale at Vertu Fine Art.  These eight prints already feel like they’ve always been members of our gallery’s family and we enjoy sharing space with these powerful works.


Helen Frankenthaler
All About Blue, 1994

Whenever we have the opportunity to acquire artwork from abstract expressionist Helen Frankenthaler, we move quickly to do so.  “All About Blue” is a strong, moody graphic that conveys rich textures, including those of the surface created from the woodcut.  Helen Frankenthaler is a powerful art figure for collectors who appreciate her role in the context of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field, as a pioneering female artist and great American artist.  Frankenthaler has received enhanced attention following her death in late 2011 and Gagosian Gallery is currently showcasing works from the artist’s estate. This artwork is from a small edition of 38.


Alex Katz
Grey Dress, 1992

“Grey Dress” a signed lithograph measuring 36 x 28 inches, is the newest Vertu artwork for sale from acclaimed artist Alex Katz.  “Grey Dress” is a strong representation of the cool, flat, emotionally detached figurative work for which Katz is renowned.  It’s a pure Pop piece.  Alex Katz is currently 85 years old and considered one of few living artists responsible for ushering in the age of American Pop art. Katz has been an inspirational figure for a number of talented artists, include David Salle and Richard Prince.


Damien Hirst
The Souls on Jacob’s Ladder Take Their Flight (Small Green), 2007

Damien Hirst’s inked photogravure “Souls on Jacobs Ladder Take Their Flight” is the newest artwork for sale from the famous British Contemporary artist.  Hirst is a perfect representation of an artist whose printing technique is every bit as important as his subject.  This magnificent artwork must be seen firsthand to be fully appreciated.  The black suspended green butterfly appears to float in a black space that leaves the paper and approaches the viewer.

Known to many for his controversial installations that have focused on death, dead animals and diamond encrusted skulls, Damien Hirst is highly respected by collectors who value his scientific and imaginative body of work. His role as a key figure within the YBA (Young British Artists), who rose to fame in the 1990’s has solidified his place in history.


Tom Wesselmann
Seascape (Round) from the “Master American Contemporaries” Portfolio, 1993

Of all the new artwork for sale at Vertu, “Seascape – Round” from the Master American Contemporaries Portfolio is the one piece that surprised us.  Though we’ve specialized in and collected Tom Wesselmann for over fifteen years, we were unfamiliar with this work.  In truth, Wesselmann is one of our favorite master printmakers, and this seascape in round composition is a welcomed addition.  From a small edition of 30; collectors will undoubtedly be pleased to see this Wesselmann screenprint available at the gallery.


Tom Wesselmann
Bedroom Blonde Doodle With Photo, 1998

Another newly acquired Tom Wesselmann work for sale is the captivating “Bedroom Blonde Doodle with Photo.”  This graphic is a classic Wesselmann Pop piece that beautifully blends the artist’s influence of Matisse style, sharing commonalities of composition and color.  We think this work is gorgeous; both sexy and emotive.


Roy Lichtenstein
Red Lamp, 1992

Vertu has two new Roy Lichtenstein prints among our inventory of new artwork for sale.  Lichtenstein’s “Red Lamp” is indicative of the old-fashioned comic strip style that brought the artist fame as a leading figure of the American Pop art scene as it captured widespread attention in the 1960’s.


Roy Lichtenstein
Still Life with Red Jar, 1994

Roy Lichtenstein’s “Still Life with Red Jar” is another classic screenprint that is, “undeniably Lichtenstein.”
Reminiscent of the artist’s comic book inspired dots, this signed edition of 250 is a brilliant addition to any collector of Roy Lichtenstein.  Lichtenstein is known to have said that he felt so influenced by Picasso, that he started cartoon paintings as a method to get away from Picasso.  With this knowledge, viewing Still Life with Red Jar, one could argue that Picasso’s influence is quite present.


Frank Stella
Bonne Bay – from the Newfoundland Series (Axsom 55), 1971

This lithograph and screenprint was created shortly after the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a retrospective of Stella’s work in 1970. Stella worked on it in Los Angeles before he had a print studio installed in his New York home. This print series corresponded to the 1969-1970 painting series of the same name.


If you have questions or would like to see this artwork in person, call or visit us. We pride ourselves on acquiring Pop, Abstract Expressionism and Optical Art from the masters. We often receive gallery visitors who say, “I can’t believe what you’ve got here!”  We are continuously acquiring new artwork and look forward to showing you around our gallery.

Take 5

Like many hipsters in the mid-1970s, Bobby Grossman had the foresight to take his art degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and move to New York. This was back when New York wasNew York;it was gritty and full of twitchy energy, anchored by an unrivaled nightlife.

Grossman assumed he would continue his passion for illustrations and seek employment at a magazine. Instead, he found himself hooked on the city’s burgeoning punk scene. He was already friends with Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and David Byrne, three pals from RISD who had formed Talking Heads and were the talk of the New York underground. It wasn’t long before Grossman was taking his point-and-shoot Polaroid to CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City and other influential hot spots, shooting his new friends before, after and during concerts; Blondie, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and the Ramones were among his subjects. He also ingratiated himself with Andy Warhol, becoming a top photographer of the artist’s Factory.

Images by the Boynton Beach-based artist have appeared in nationally released documentaries about William S. Burroughs and Jean-Michel Basquiat, in the pages ofVogueand on the airwaves of MTV. Interest in his photographs haven’t waned since he moved to Palm Beach County eight years ago. He has exhibited at the Sundy House in Delray Beach, and his retrospective “Low Fidelity” was a hit at Vertu Fine Art at Boca Center earlier this year.

“As time goes on, people seem to have more have more interest in collecting them,” says Grossman, 58. “I’m planning that it will see me through my retirement.”

1. Do you feel like you were at the right place at the right time?

I always say I came to the party a little late. The scene had started in the early ’70s with the New York Dolls. But I guess I was there at the right time … people from all over the world were coming to New York to see what was going on. Towards the end it had gotten so commercial that I had had enough.

2. Did these musicians and artists ever have a problem with you documenting them so closely?

I tried to not be obtrusive. I made a point of being background. At times, I missed out on things, being that way, but I figured being less aggressive was better than being in someone’s face.

3. Did you witness anything dramatic between band members?

There would be day-to-day stuff that would happen … you’d read in the paper the next day that one of the Ramones got beat up, or the Dead Boys’ roadie got stabbed, and it would be in the front page of theNew York Post. It was life in the New York in the ’70s.

4. Why do you think there is still such a clamoring for the short-lived punk/new wave scene that you documented?

Because everybody is more interested in a generation other than their own. It was like that for me with the ’60s bands. As time passes, this becomes more history. For instance, young art students now admire Jean-Michel Basquiat; as time goes on he seems to be more and more popular.

5. What do you think of punk music today?

It depends what it is. I sometimes will impulsively give something a listen, thinking that it’s something I’ll be interested in; most of the time, I’m disappointed and it doesn’t hold my interest. Each generation has its own music.

To read more, pick up a copy of our September/October issue.

Steven D. Gagnon at Vertu Fine Art

March 21, 2012 (MMD Newswire) — Vertu Fine Art (VFA) is excited to present False Profits, a solo exhibition of multi-disciplinary artist Steven D. Gagnon. On view will be a selection of his mixed media works, prints, sculptures, and video installations. The artist’s often witty and sardonic pieces investigate American culture through the juxtaposition of symbols and imagery in an effort to better understand the society that has influenced and shaped the artist.

Over the last decade, Gagnon’s work has exhibited widely and presented at such prestigious venues as both 2008 Presidential Conventions, the Fotofest biennial in Houston, and art fairs in Miami, New York City, Palm Beach, and in the German cities of Berlin and Cologne. He has participated in many museum group shows throughout the country including such institutions as the Naples Museum of Art, the Palm Springs Desert Museum, the Bladen Memorial Art Museum, the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of South Texas, and the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science. His art has been the focus of a feature article in the Miami NewTimes, written up in Wall Street Journal, published in Harper’s Magazine, printed in the literary journal of the Henry Miller Library, and discussed in numerous online art periodicals and blogs such as ArtInfo.com, ArtLog.com and ArtNet.com. Gagnon’s work has also been displayed on billboards in Miami, New York City, and throughout the state of California.

The Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., the Art Museum of South Texas, American Bank, InterBank, Patrizia Grundbesitz GmbH, The American Bankers Association, and UMB Bank are a few of the public and corporate collections that own his work. In addition, his work is in such private collections as Jean Cherqui of Paris; former Ambassador to Singapore, Steven J. Green; Miami art collector, Richard Shack; and author, Andrew Tobias.

The exhibition will run from March 22nd until April 22nd. Opening night is April 5th from 7 to 10 p.m. with a special presentation of the Border Cruiser, Gagnon’s mobile video installation that tells the story of an undocumented Brazilian immigrant living in the United States.

Vertu Fine Art (VFA) is located at 5250 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, Fl 33486 and can be reached at 561.368.4680

Shepard Fairey and Bobby Grossman Collaboration

My friend, photographer Bobby Grossman, with whom I collaborated on a Debbie Harry portrait, is having a show of his awesome photography from 1975-1983. The show is called LOW FIDELITY and opens tonight in Boca Raton FL. There will also be a book of the works in the show available. Check it out.-Shepard

When I wanted to make a painting of Debbie Harry, I thought of Bobby Grossman because he made my favorite photograph of her. Debbie is a stylish, photogenic woman who became very comfortable in front of a camera. The beauty of Bobby’s Debbie Harry “Pepsi” photo is that it captures the natural, casual-­‐cool, Debbie exuded when she wasn’t posing. The image is wholly engaging, gorgeous, and absolutely real. It seems to me that Bobby saw importance in his subjects, and captured them organically, before they perfected their poses. Bobby was personally immersed in the culture he documented, and photographed his subjects in their element, when they were not self-­‐conscious.

Bobby’s photos make me feel validated to like the music I like because he caught authentic moments in the lives of so many of my favorite artists.

Shepard Fairey
5-­‐15-­‐11

Gallery Launch

Located in Boca Raton, Florida. VFA has maintained focus for over 15 years on the luminaries of Pop, Abstract Expressionism and Optical Art. As always we will be specializing in editions and multiples.

The Gallery has also recently branched out into emerging artists and photography. Online is only a small bit of our inventory. We are constantly updating and always purchasing new work. Please feel free to contact us if you wish to sell or are looking for something special.

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

We believe that the more you know, the more you will appreciate fine art prints.

In our Ebook you’ll learn:

  • A short history of prints from the earliest woodcut to contemporary processes
  • Which artists most influenced the making of fine art prints
  • What questions to ask when buying prints
  • The fundamentals of print identification
  • Terms and techniques for identifying fine art prints
Learn More