Keith Haring: Off the Wall; Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf On the Walls

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring was both an artist and activist. He paved the way, in the 1980s, for street artists to gain acceptance in fine art galleries and museums.

The world was Haring’s canvas. He drew and painted on subway stations, billboards and walls…walls of homes, offices, schools. Haring’s goal was to make art accessible. And that he did.

In 1981, Haring was invited to speak at Bard College about the ethics of graffiti. He had a Magic Marker, of course, and drew five of his instantly recognizable Radiant Baby images on one of the walls of the college.

An art history professor at Bard cut the drawing out of the wall and kept it in his office. It remained in the professor’s office for more than forty years. The professor is about to retire and, thanks to a grant from the Keith Haring Foundation, the drawing is going to be permanently installed in the Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies.

Another Radiant Baby drawing, found in Haring’s childhood home in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, was recently auctioned at Rago/Wright’s auction house in New Jersey.

Haring drew the Radiant Baby, with a gold marker, above a light switch in his bedroom. Art historian, Christine Isabelle Oaklander, helped the home’s current owners get the drawing to auction. She said that Haring probably drew the work on one of the many visits he made to see his family before his death in 1990.

The drawing was estimated to go for $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $143,750.

Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf Paint the Walls of  Midtown St. Louis

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation commissioned twenty artists to create large murals on the walls of a neighborhood is Midtown St. Louis. The Foundation hopes that the art will lighten the mood of the neighborhood and encourage more visitors to the area.

Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams, Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón and Los Angeles-based artist Kenny Scharf and  as well as local artists, created brightly colored  murals that are just the beginning of the project.

The Foundation hopes to cover a four-block stretch of the area, in an effort to increase foot traffic.  The area is home to several cultural organizations and the Kranzberg’s High Low gallery and coffee shop.

The initial part of the project is complete and the murals are fabulous.

Thanks to Keith Haring for making Street Art a welcomed and accepted art form around the world.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf available at VFA.


References:
Alex Greenberger. Bard College to Reinstall Keith Haring Wall Work That Sat for Years in Professor’s Office. ArtNews. September 21, 2022.
Angelica Villa. Keith Haring ‘Radiant Baby’ Wall Drawing to Be Auctioned. ArtNews. August 23, 2022.
Jeremy D. Goodwin. Kranzberg has 20 artists transform Washington Avenue with murals. NPR/St. Louis Public Radio. September 20, 2022.

The Works of Eddie Martinez, Ugo Rondinone and Derrick Adams

Eddie Martinez 1977 –

Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez and his wife, sculptor Sam Moyer are showing their works in the garden of the Landcraft Garden Foundation. The exhibition was curated by Ugo Rondinone, who is a member of the Landcraft Garden Foundation Art Advisory Board.

Martinez’s work has been doing exceptionally well in the art market in the last few years. His auction record was set in November 2019 when the large canvas High Flying Bird, 2014 sold for $2.02 million.

His paintings and drawings, like his sculptures, are both figurative and abstract. They combine objects that he finds on the streets around his Brooklyn studio. The sculptures are finished with oil, enamel, and spray paint. While nonrepresentational, they suggest human and animal forms that parallel those found in his paintings.

The Landcraft Garden Foundation is located in Mattituck, New York, on Long Island’s East End, in the heart of the North Fork’s wine region.

Sculpture in the Garden 2022: Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez showcases 14 sculptures by the couple, with 11 by Martinez and three by Moyer. The exhibit is currently on display and will run through October 29, 2022.

Ugo Rondinone 1964 –

Best known for his sun paintings and silkscreens, Ugo Rondinone has also created large, impressive sculptures.

Seven Magic Mountains, one of Rondinone’s most admired sculptures, is undergoing routine restoration.

The sculpture is located ten miles south of Las Vegas, surrounded by mountain ranges. It’s comprised of seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders standing more than thirty feet high.

It was originally installed in 2016, and was meant to be on display for only two years, but has been so well received, that its exhibition time keeps getting extended.  It received a painting restoration in 2019. About 1,000 sightseers a day visit the amazing sculpture. Seven Magic Mountains will continue to be open to the public through 2026, according to the Nevada Museum of Art.

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams has spent much of his career focused on the importance of relaxation and leisure in the Black community. Tiffany & Co. has chosen Adams to be their first collaborator for Atrium, a program the company hopes will inspire social change.

Adams created a collage for the project titled I Shine, You Shine, We Shine.The work incorporates the iconic Tiffany blue. The collage will be auctioned off on the digital art platform Artsy. All profits from the sale will go towards Adams’ new artist residency The Last Resort Artist Retreat, set to open in his home town of Baltimore next March. The Retreat will be an invitation-only venue, where artists can choose to work or just relax.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Eddie Martinez, Ugo Rondinone, Derrick Adams or any of the fine art work available at VFA.


References:
Kristen Tauer. Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer Bring Their Work Together Out East. Women’s Wear Daily. July 8, 2022.
Landcraft Garden Foundation Announces Sculpture in the Garden 2022/Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez/June 4-October 29, 2022. June 04, 2022.
10 Standout Lots on Artsy This Week. Artsy Editorial. June 14, 2022.
Barbara A. MadAdam. Eddie Martinez: Inside Thoughts. The Brooklyn Rail. February 2021 Issue.
Ugo Rondinone on Art, Life & Everything In Between. Artspace Editors. August 11, 2022.
Taylor Lane. Seven Magic Mountains limits access for routine restoration. Las Vegas Review Journal. July 27, 2022.
With 40+ New Installations, Qatar Present More Than 100 Major Works of Public Art Ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. PR Newswire/Cision. August 10, 2022.
Camille Ohio.Tiffany & Co. Launches Atrium, a New Social Impact Platform. Elle Decor. August 4, 2022.

Derrick Adams’ Funtime Unicorns; Alex Katz on Park Avenue

Derrick Adams 1970 –

The works of Derrick Adams focus on play and leisure in the Black community. In his Floater Series he painted friends, family members, and even himself, relaxing in large, Black Unicorn pool floats.

This summer, children visiting the Channel Gardens at New York’s Rockefeller Center will be able to play on Funtime Unicorns, sculptures that Adams created as an extension of the Floater Series.

“In each one of these sculptures, my hope is that young Black boys and girls have a chance to laugh and bounce, climb and lean,” Adams said. “This is a place to make new friends – who are just as magical and colorful and who represent a more imaginative future for all of us.”

Based on the classic spring rider toys, the Funtime Unicorns will be at Rockefeller Center through September 9, 2022.

In an interview in Forbes, Isabella Lauria, Associate Vice President at Christie’s, explained why Derrick Adams has achieved such success in the art world. “His works are in the collections of The Met, Whitney Museum and The Studio Museum, among many others.” Laurie said, “This institutional focus and recognition propelled his primary market forward, and now that we have achieved a major record at auction, I firmly believe the secondary market will continue to strengthen as demand increases. I think demand for his work is driven by interest in artists working through identity politics and issues of systemic racism, while Derrick’s use of bright, happy motifs and palettes adds to the esthetic appeal and desirability, setting him apart from his peers.”

Adams has been living and working in Brooklyn for the last thirty years. He has also been creating projects to help Black artists in his hometown of Baltimore. Adams recently received a $1.25 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, with which he is establishing a cultural center known as the Black Baltimore Digital Database and a vacation retreat for Black artists.

Alex Katz 1927 –

Restaurant Daniel, on Manhattan’s Park Avenue, has begun to exhibit great art in its dining rooms. The restaurant’s initial exhibit is composed of large-scale paintings by Alex Katz.

Although Katz is best known for his figurative works, his landscapes, seascapes and flower paintings are just as extraordinary.

A retrospective of Alex Katz’s works will be on exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in October 2022. The show will include works that Katz did as a young student at Cooper Union in the 1940s.

Alex Katz currently has solo exhibits in London, Brussels, Trento and Madrid.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams and Alex Katz available at VFA.


References:
Chadd Scott. Derrick Adams Funtime Unicorns coming to Rockefeller Center. See Great Art. June 24, 2022.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. The Auction Market Of Artist Derrick Adams Is On The Rise. Forbes. November 7, 2021.
Jonathan Goodman. Alex Katz. The Brooklyn Rail. December 2021-January 2022.

Björn Persson, Shepard Fairey, Derrick Adams…Making the World a Better Place

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Björn Persson 1972 –

Björn Persson is spending the next two months in Botswana, exploring the Kalahari Desert and the country’s National Preserves. As always, his mission is to photograph the wildlife that roams free, in the hope of saving the animals from poachers.

Last week, his work raised thousands of euros at OperationAid gala in Stockholm to help refugees from the Ukraine.

The Swedish-born photographer has published two books, Beauty Will Save the World and The Real Owners of the Planet. He believes that by focusing his lens on the beauty and life of endangered species, more humans will become inspired to get involved in wildlife preservation.

This trip to Botswana will get Persson closer to completing the trilogy of books that he has been working on.

Björn Persson’s photographs have been featured in National Geographic, Africa Geographic, Vagabond, Digital Camera, Wildlife and other publications.

When he isn’t taking photographs in the African bush, he lives and works in Stockholm. Persson is represented in Florida by VFA.

Shepard Fairey 1970 –

Shepard Fairey’s work is going to be on display at this weekend’s Welcome to Rockville concert  at the Daytona International Speedway. Billed as America’s Largest Rock Festival, this year’s show includes KISS’ End Of The Road Farewell Tour, KORN, Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins and more.

Fairey’s Obey/Giant artwork will be presented on 16-foot-high pillars throughout the fairgrounds.

Shepard Fairey has spent his career creating art that advocates for social justice, like his Power to the Patients Nascar design.

During January’s Art Week in Miami, Fairey completed Invent Your Future, a mural at Miami Edison Senior High School in Little Haiti.

Although he often works on large projects, in a recent interview with Barron’s, Shepard said, “My prints are the cornerstone of my art, even though I love to make paintings and huge murals and clothing. Affordable screen-prints have been the consistent thing from the beginning of my career.”

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams teaches at Brooklyn College, has opened a free retreat for artists, has received a Mellon Foundation Award to help build a cultural center in his hometown of Baltimore and was recently honored with the Art & Social Justice Award from the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Adams has designed an instillation at the African American Museum in Philadelphia that continues his focus on leisure for Black Americans and the challenges they face in finding safe spaces for rest and relaxation.

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary was inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, an annual guidebook for Black Americans who were traveling through the U.S. during the Jim Crow Era.  It was  published by New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1967. The Green Book provided a list of hotels, restaurants, barbershops and beauty parlors, taverns, and other venues where African American travelers were safely welcomed during segregation.

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary includes about 50 pieces of mixed-media collage, assemblage on wood panels, and sculpture. The exhibit will be on display through August 28, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Bjorn Persson, Shepard Fairey and Derrick Adams available at VFA.


References:
Nadja Sayer. 20 Minutes With: Street Artist Shepard Fairey. Barron’s/Penta. February 7, 2022.
Look up! Banners by Shepard Fairey will fly over LA before Super Bowl. KCRW. February 10, 2022.
Brooklyn Street Art. Shepard Fairey Says, “Invent Your Future” in Miami’s Little Haiti. January 12, 2022.
Robbie Sequira. Bronx Museum of the Arts celebrates 50 years, Borough President Gibson among gala’s honorees. Bronx Times. May 13, 2022.
Moni Jones. African American Museum in Philadelphia: Celebrating our past, embracing the future. The Philadelphia Sun. May 6, 2022.

Derrick Adams $1.25 Million Award; Susumu Kamijo and Jonas Wood at VFA

Derrick Adams 1970 –

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has just awarded Derrick Adams $1.25 million to develop the Black Baltimore Digital Database. Conceived by Adams, the database will archive important contributions by Black Baltimore artists, entrepreneurs, writers, scientists and athletes.

“The Black American experience has strong roots in Baltimore—I am both honored and eager to share this project with the city,” Adams said. “It will live as a modernized historical society, whose dedication is equally important and inclusive.”

“Our goal,” he said, “is to provide a distinct entry point for a wider network of initiatives. This will not only support our archival endeavors, but also local community building—social engagement through events, workshops, and conversation.”

Adams’ work often focuses on Black Americans at leisure. He has created the Last Resort Artist Retreat in his hometown of Baltimore, where artists, by invitation, can relax and work…or just relax.

Adams was listed (along with Susumu Kamijo) as one of the Most in Demand Artists on Artsy, the online art brokerage service, in September 2021.

He currently has solo exhibits at the Cleveland Museum and the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle.

Derrick Adams lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at Brooklyn College.

Susumu Kamijo 1975 –

Demand for the work of Susumu Kamijo has increased dramatically in the past year. According to Artsy, Kamijo’s work sold for more than six times its high estimate last May. A month later, at Phillip’s, another work set an auction record for the artist.

Kamijo was born in Nagano, Japan. He came to the U.S. when he was 16. He earned his BFA at the University of Oregon and his MFA at the University of Washington in Seattle, along with classmate, Jonas Wood.

Kamijo became fascinated with poodles when he accompanied his girlfriend, Marta, to dog shows and has made them the focus of his drawings, paintings and silkscreens.

He has had solo exhibits in New York, Los Angeles, Milan, London, Tokyo, the UK, Taiwan, Belgium, Greece and Luxembourg.

Kamijo lives and works in Brooklyn.

Jonas Wood 1977 –

For the past two years Jonas Wood has been honing his already masterful skills. His soft ground etching, Pattern couch interior with Mars Vista View, makes the observer feel as if they are sitting at home with the artist. And though Wood’s work is done in his Culver City studio, a space that he shares with his wife, ceramic artist Shio Kusaka, much of it is inspired by family and magazine photos.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams, Susumu Kamijo and Jonas Wood, available at VFA.


References:
Artnet News. Artist Derrick Adams Wins $1.25 Million From the Mellon Foundation to Start a Database Documenting the Black Culture of Baltimore. April 11, 2022.
Benjamin Sutton. The Most In-Demand Artists on Artsy in September. Artsy.October 5, 2021.
Ryma Chikhoune. Jonas Wood on ‘Plants and Animals,’ the Artist’s First L.A. Show in Four Years. Women’s Wear Daily. January 28, 2022.

Keith Haring, Derrick Adams and Roy Lichtenstein

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring was one of the twentieth century’s most innovate artists.

Haring took inspiration from Pierre Alechinsky, one of Europe’s most avant-garde artists. Alechinsky was  born in Brussels, but has spent most of his life living, painting and teaching in Paris. At the age of 94, Alechinsky is still very active. A survey of his work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 2017 and, in 2018, he was awarded Japan’s Praemium Imperiale Art award for his work.

The NSU Art Museum if Fort Lauderdale has put together an exhibit that combines the works of Haring and Alechinsky. Many of Alechinsky’s paintings in the exhibit are from the museum’s collection of CoBrA artists, a movement that originated in 1948, of which Alechinsky was one of its founders. CoBrA was named for the three northern European cities that its founders originated from – Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Keith Haring described Alechinsky’s works as, “spontaneous, truthful, and real,” characteristics that can also be attributed to Haring’s own work.

Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky will be on view at the NSU Art Museum from February 27 through October 2, 2022.

Derrick Adams 1970 – present

Derrick Adams is not just a painter, he is also an educator, curator and community activist. He has been busy creating an artists’ retreat in his hometown of  Baltimore and has worked with young artists in New York, where he lives and works.

The Dreamyard In School program, established in 1994 to encourage children in the Bronx to develop their artistic skills, has created a jigsaw puzzle with of one of Adams’ paintings on one side and works by middle school students, inspired by Adams’ work, on the other.Proceeds from this project will be donated to the DreamYard scholarship fund.

Derrick Adams teaches at Brooklyn College, and is very much a part of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, where his studio is located. A PBS documentary, aired in April last year, looks at his work, his process and his desire to show how “relaxation can be a radical political act for Black people.”

Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

Before Roy Lichtenstein’s rise to fame in New York in the 1960s, he lived and worked in Cleveland with his first wife, Isabel, and their two sons. It was Isabel who supported the family with her successful interior design business, while Lichtenstien helped by hanging curtains for her clients, working as a window dresser, draftsman and giving art lessons.

It was a time when he was honing his style, but had little success selling his work.

The family moved to New York to help further his career, to the detriment of hers.

The PBS documentary, Isabel & Roy, captures the upward spiral of Roy’s life and the downward spiral of Isabel’s.

In the early years, the 1950s, it was probably hard for the couple to imagine Lichtenstein’s success, and that one of his works, Masterpiece, would some day sell for $165 million.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Derrick Adams, Roy Lichtenstein or any of the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Phillips Valys. Critic’s picks: Four eye-popping art exhibits this season. Sun Sentinel. January 25, 2022.
Dodi Kazanjian .Derrick Adams’s Art Celebrates Black Life at its Most Exultant. Vogue. April 1, 2021.
Victoria L. Valentine. 14 Jigsaw Puzzles Celebrate Work of Highly Regarded Black Artists, From Derrick Adams, Faith Ringgold, and Gee’s Bend Quilters to Horace Pippin and Jacob Lawrence. Culture Type. January 29, 2022.
Steven Litt. Excellent ideastream documentary explores Roy Lichtenstein’s pivotal early years in Cleveland. May 23, 2021. cleveland.com.

The Inspirations of Julian Opie, Derrick Adams and Kenny Scharf

Julian Opie 1958 –

The Newlandhouse Gallery in Petworth, England has put together an exhibit of Julian Opie’s work alongside his private collection of contemporary and ancient art. The show gives viewers an opportunity to see how Opie’s interests as a collector  inspire his art.

“Spookily often, when I am stuck for decisions,” Opie said, “I get up and look at some other art and find a solution right there. The work of others pushes me beyond what I know and assume, it suggests new logics and approaches and makes me feel not so alone in this strange endeavour.”

Julian Opie: Collected Works/Works Collected is currently open and will be on exhibit at the Newlandhouse Gallery through March 6, 2022.

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams finds much of his inspiration walking through the streets of Brooklyn, and taking photos, around the Bed-Stuy neighborhood where he has a studio.

Adams’ work is currently on exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle. Packaged Black: Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas is a multi-media exhibit that displays the works of Adams and Thomas in a dialogue about Black culture and representation.

“It’s never really about just making a good painting or making a good sculpture,” Adams said in a recent interview, “it’s about connecting with the audience. So I’m always picking subjects that are activated by my interest in drawing in the viewer.”

Packaged Black: Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas is currently on display and will run through May 1, 2022.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

In a 2020 interview in Curator, Kenny Scharf was asked what inspires him. His answer: “I am waking up every day excited to continue to learn and explore. This is what I find exciting, not knowing where I’m going and being open to “mistakes” which almost always lead to new discoveries. I listen to a lot of music when I paint. Lately, I’ve been vibing on Anderson Paak’s new album Ventura—it’s really up-lifting.”

Scharf has also been an inspiration to many, and recently to Dior. The collaboration began in 2020 and continues into 2022, with Scharf’s designs for the Dior Chinese New Year Collection.

Kenny Scharf’s playful designs reflect his upbeat attitude. ” I think, for a long time people were like ashamed. You can’t enjoy stuff because it’s not serious if you really enjoy it. I think that’s a problem that’s still going on. Like, if it’s enjoyable, it’s not really serious and it’s not very important.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Julian Opie, Derrick Adams, Kenny Scharf or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Mark Westall. A Rare Exhibition Showcasing Julian Opie’s Personal Collection of Contemporary Ancient Art, Accompanied by a Selection of Original Works. FAD Magazine. November 8, 2021.
Maximilíano Durón. Derrick Adams Create Scenes of Black Joy Through Formalism. ARTnews. December 10, 2021.
Dan Golden. Hangin’ With Kenny. Curator. 2020.
Farhan Shah. Dior teams up with Kenny Scharf for a capsule Chinese New Year collection. asiaone. December 10, 2021.

Vertu Fine Art at Miami Art Fair 2021

We are pleased to announce that Vertu Fine Art will be exhibiting at the 31st Edition of Art Miami at the downtown Herald Plaza. The Miami Art Fair runs from November 30th through December 5th, 2021.

Many of the works on exhibit in our gallery are recent acquisitions by contemporary artists like Alex Katz, Kenny Scharf, Julian Opie, Derrick Adams, Ethan Cook and Harland Miller.

View the show portfolio here and a preview of some of the works that we will have on display below:

Alex Katz
White Impatiens, 2015
Screenprint
70h x 53w
70
Available at VFA

Alex Katz will be having a much-deserved retrospective at the Guggenheim, New York, scheduled to run from October 14, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

Harland Miller Thought After Filthy Thought, 2019

Harland Miller Thought After Filthy Thought, 2019 Etching with Relief printing 58.60h x 35.30w in 74/75 HM003

Recent acquisitions by London-based artist, Harland Miller will be at our Fair gallery. Miller is best known for his tongue-in-cheek book cover works that he was inspired to paint when he was a lonely, young artist living in Paris. It was there that he began to buy and read Penguin books for comfort and later began to use the covers as a basis for his artwork.

George Condo untitled, 1985
Oil on Canvas
13h x 9.50w in Framed: 18.50h x 14.50w in
Signed on Verso
Available at VFA

George Condo has been a powerful influence on art, literature and music since the 1980s. Working in New York and Paris between 1985 and 1995, his Artificial Realism drawings and paintings influenced and inspired great writers like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg and Salman Rushdie. Condo still lives and works in New York.

Ethan Cook
Cut outs, 2021
Acrylic on aluminum and ash wood
22h x 22w x 4d in
Unique
Signed and numbered on the Verso
Available at VFA

Brooklyn-based artist, Ethan Cook, is best known for weaving blocks of color, on a hand loom, that form his canvasses. He also does sculptural work using everyday materials, like the aluminum and ash wood he used for the works available at VFA.

Derrick Adams
Mirroring Idealism, 2021
Wall relief of UV curable pigment on Mirror Dibond 23.25h x 53.50w x 3d in
22/40
Signed and numbered
Available at VFA

Derrick Adams’ work focuses on leisure and culture in the African-American community. He is so committed to encourage leisure as therapy for Black artists, that he has opened The Last Resort in his hometown of Baltimore, for invitees to create or just relax.

Kenny Scharf
Hedz, 2016
Oil on linen with powder coated frame
48.75h x 34.75w in
Framed: 50h x 36w in
Signed on the verso
Available at VFA

It’s always fun to see what Los Angeles-based artist, Kenny Scharf is up to. We’ve recently acquired oil paintings, prints with diamond dust and sculptures from the artist who has been making the world a better place since he began showing his work in New York in the 1980s.

The works of many more exciting artists, like Julian Opie, KAWS, Susumu Kamijo, Timothy Curtis, Eddie Martinez and others, will be on display at our Art Miami booth. Please contact us if you would like more information about the Miami Art Fair 2021 or about the works available at VFA.

The works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Derrick Adams at VFA

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1960-1988

In 1983, a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, titled Equals Pi, was featured in GQ magazine. Basquiat had achieved superstardom by then and his personal lifestyle, as well as his artwork, was the focus of many stories in publications around the world.

The dichotomy between Basquiat’s anti-establishment art and his being embraced by the establishment is understandable; he was a genius who lived life on his own terms and had a profound influence on art and fashion during his short lifetime.

Tiffany and Company has recently purchased Equals Pi and is using it in an ad campaign featuring Beyonce and Jay-Z. Tiffany reportedly bought the painting for between $15-$20 million dollars. It’s the background blue color that attracted the company.

Tiffany’s executive Vice President, Alexandre Arnault, said in an interview in Women’s Wear Daily that because the blue background is the same as Tiffany’s signature blue, Basquiat could have been giving a nod to Tiffany. “We don’t have any literature that says he made the painting for Tiffany. We know he loved New York, and that he loved luxury and he loved jewelry. The color is so specific that it has to be some kind of homage.”

The painting will be placed permanently in Tiffany’s flagship store in Manhattan.

Whether Basquiat had Tiffany’s in mind or not, using Beyonce and Jay-Z in their ad campaign, posing in front of Equals Pi, will amass a new generation of Basquiat fans and collectors.

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams’ style and unique perspective have earned him a special place in the art world.

Adams takes ‘the pursuit of happiness’ very seriously, especially as it pertains to Black Americans. His depictions of family, friends, and even of himself, at play are filled with color and joy. The underlying political themes in his works are presented with clarity, often with humor and always with great skill.

Adams was commissioned by the Milwaukee Museum of Art to create a mural for its On Site series. The mural, titled In Our Time Together, was inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book by Victor Hugo Green, first published in 1936, as a traveler’s guide for Black Americans during the Jim Crow era.  The mural is currently on display and is part of an ongoing exhibit.

“In Our Time Together, I highlight Milwaukee by representing commercial and civic gathering spaces known within the Black community,” Adams said. “These places, and those who spend time in them, are essential to the growth of American society as a whole — to its cultural, political, and creative output, which spreads out to a global audience. The installation reflects my respect and admiration for the perseverance of Black Americans in their pursuit of happiness and speaks to transformation, belonging, and normalcy.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Derrick Adams available at VFA.


References:
Nick Kenyon. The Real Star Of Tiffany’s New Campaign Is Jean-Michel Basquiat. Boss Hunting. August 24, 2021.
Christie’s. Jean-Michel Basquiat: ‘Painter to the core’. Post-War & Contemporary Art. November 2, 2021.
Sammy Su. JAY-Z and Beyonce’s Tiffany Ad Upsets Basquiat’s Friends and Collaborators. HypeArt. September 7, 2021.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. The Auction Market Of Artist Derrick Adams Is On The Rise. Forbes. November 7, 2021.
Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee Art Museum.

Art in Person and Personal: Donald Sultan, Jonas Wood and Derrick Adams

One of the difficult things about the pandemic has been the closing of museums and galleries. Our technology is great, and online art sales have found new audiences, but there’s nothing like seeing a work of art in person to be able to appreciate its full grandeur.

Donald Sultan 1951 –

Donald Sultan spent much of the lockdown in Sag Harbor…not a bad place to have to spend some time…but he bemoaned the fact that the colors and texture of his works can’t be appreciated on a computer screen.

Sultan has always worked with tactile, industrial materials; like tar, masonite and vinyl tiles. His father owned a tire company in Asheville, North Carolina, and Sultan was raised to feel very comfortable using industrial tools and supplies.

New York Times art critic, Michael Brenson said, “His images are fresh and direct in part because he approaches industrial materials as if they were tubes of paint, feeling free to use anything as long as he uses it directly, in the form in which he finds it.”

Even Sultan’s silkscreens are textural, with over-printed flocking on rising 4-ply museum board and the nuanced surface quality that he creates is difficult to see on a computer screen.

His sculptures are done in Corten steel, a product was originally designed in the 1930s to help build railroad coal wagons. Its strength and durability made it a useful material to use for outdoor building and sculptures.

Sultan’s use of industrial materials to create fine art prints and sculptures of delicate flowers has made him one of the most unique contemporary artists working today.

Jonas Wood 1977 –

The work of Jonas Wood is very personal and resonates with art lovers around the world. He draws, paints, etches and prints his surroundings and is able to imbue his works with the feeling that he is sharing a part of his private life with the viewer.

His softground etching, Pattern Couch Interior with Mar Vista View, available at VFA, feels like one could be sitting alongside Wood as he draws.

Many of his works are glimpses of his Culver City home and studio and include the sculptures of his wife, ceramic artist Shio Kusaka.

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams’ work is also very personal. He grew up in a loving, close-knit family in Baltimore, Maryland and bases much of his work on the wonderful experiences that he enjoyed surrounded by family and friends and on the daily lives of the people in his neighborhood.

Adams has been living and working in Brooklyn and teaching and Brooklyn College and has recently opened an ‘invitation only’ retreat for Black artists in Baltimore.

His work is included in Men of Change, an exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, that looks at the historic and profound influence that Black men have had in politics, science, entertainment, sports, business, religion, and other disciplines.

Men of Change will be on display through January 2, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about Donald Sultan, Jonas Wood and Derrick Adams work available at VFA.


References:
Michael Brenson. 57th Street: Jimy Ernst and others. The New York Times. May 4, 2014.
Maureen Feighan. ’Men of Change’ exhibit at Charles Wright museum challenges narrative of Black Men. The Detroit News. October 11, 2021.

Derrick Adams and Katherine Bernhardt

Derrick Adams 1970 –

My work is focused on the idea of how crucial it is for Black people to think of leisure as a radical act. – Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams’ focus on leisure activities seems a little ironic, considering how many projects he seems to be working on: he teaches at Brooklyn College, he’s opening an invitation-only retreat for Black artists in his hometown of Baltimore; last year he helped to curate Harlem Renaissance artist, Jacob Lawrence’s American Struggle Series national tour, he designed swim shorts and totes for Vilebrequin, he was featured in Forbes and Vogue this year and he has shows coming up in the fall at the Cleveland Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and the Longlati Foundation in Shanghai.

Available at VFA are works from Adams’ Floater Series, We Came to Party and Plan Series and his recent Style Variations Series, which was inspired by the hair salons and barber shops in his Brooklyn neighborhood and the hairdressers and barbers he interviewed.

Katherine Bernhardt –  1975

The works of Katherine Bernhardt have garnered international attention for the last twenty years. This year she was asked to design the cover for Vogue Italia and was invited be part of the recent international Urban Break exhibit in Seoul, Korea.

After spending twenty years in New York, Bernhardt has returned to her home town of St. Louis. She bought three buildings and has revamped two of them; one for use as her studio and one as a gallery to exhibit her work, as well as the works of other artists.

Bernhardt said she moved back to St. Louis to help her parents, and that she and her son are living in her childhood home. “When I was little here in St. Louis,” she said, “one of the only things I liked, design-wise, was the Swatch watches at Dillard’s. So, I would go to Dillard’s to look at them, and I would collect Swatch watches. I was always collecting stuff. … One of the other things to do was look at magazines. Some of my early work is all supermodels from magazine pictures. Then I became obsessed with Moroccan rugs and started painting those.”

Her work is playful and colorful and is not just in venues like the Smithsonian, the Carnegie Museum and the Sandretto Foundation in Torino, Italy, but has also been selling way above estimates at Christie’s and other auction houses.

Nike Panther and African Violet, done in 2019, are available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams, Katherine Bernhardt or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Megan Mertz. National artist Katherine Bernhardt’s Midtown studio was once an auto shop. St. Louis Magazine. May 6, 2021.
Mark Westall. David Zwirner Now Represents Katherine Bernhardt. FAD Magazine. July 6, 2021.
Park Han-sol. Urban art fair for millennials, Gen Z to kick off next week. The Korea Times. July 19, 2021.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. With His Radical Depictions Of Black Joy, Derrick Adams Is An Artist To Watch. Forbes. July 8, 2021.
Dodie Kazanjian. Derrick Adams’s Art Celebrates Black Life at its Most Exultant. Vogue Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Caroline Perrott. Derrick Adams X Vilebrequin Bring Miamians A Collab Perfect For The Days Ahead. OceanDrive Magazine. January 7, 2021.
Marcia G. Yerman. A Conversation With Derrick Adams. Huffpost. October 14, 2014.

The Joy of Derrick Adams and the Music of Yoshitomo Nara

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams focuses on friends, family, joy, serenity and the myriad leisure activities that make up the every day life of Black Americans.

He’s even opening an artists’ retreat in his hometown of Baltimore. He’s calling it Last Resort. Visitors will attend the retreat by invitation only and will not be required to do anything. Adams got the idea for the retreat after he was invited to the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida.

“You can come and not do anything.” he said in a recent interview in Vogue. “Everything is very loose. Artists create images that reflect certain ideals and conditions. A lot of my work is about leisure, and I thought, What if I make what I’m making art about—make it actual? Why don’t I just make it so it’s a real place? That will be my legacy.”

Adams attended Columbia University and the Pratt Institute and is currently on a tenure track at Brooklyn College.

His Style Variations Series was inspired by the hair salons and barber shops he passes by during his walks through the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood that surrounds his studio. He began to ask stylists about the cuts and culture and created the series that celebrates the variety of styles that he found in the shops.

Works from the Style Variations Series and other works by Derrick Adams are available at VFA.

Yoshitomo Nara 1959 –

Yoshitomo Nara is a superstar, not just in Japan, but around the world.

Last year, Nara was in the U.S., helping to install his exhibit at  the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Just three days into the installation, the pandemic had taken hold, the Safer at Home order was given, and the show was postponed.

It finally opened last year, and was a huge success. More than 800 works, spanning nearly forty years, were displayed, as well as an entry gallery that held 350 records from Nara’s collection that have influenced his work.

Music has had a profound influence on Nara’s life and work, since his childhood in Japan. He was a latchkey kid, who grew up listening to the music broadcast from a nearby U.S. military base. He was a great lover of punk rock, blues and much of the music he heard during the 1970s and ’80s.

The museum included a soundtrack of Nara’s favorite music as a background for the exhibit and an interview with the artist about the evolution of his work.

The exhibition traveled to the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao and is currently at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam through September 2021.

After the 2011 tsunami in Japan, Nara stopped working for a while, and then began to sculpt. He made Doggy Radio, a limited edition polymer sculpture that is also a functional radio, available at VFA.

The Work of Derrick Adams and Yoshitomo Nara at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams, Yoshitomo Nara or any of the fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Dodie Kazanjian. Derrick Adams’s Art Celebrates Black Life at its Most Exultant. Vogue Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Evan Pricco. Derrick Adams Finds Strength in “Style Variations”. Juxtapoz Magazine. March 23, 2021.
Elisa Wouk Almino. Yoshitomo Nara Reflects on His Major LACMA Retrospective. Hyperallergic. October 7, 2020.
Juxtapoz. A Daily Life: Julian Opie @ Lisson Gallery, NYC. Juxtapoz. March 5, 2019.
Tabish Khan. 10 Must See Exhibitions In London This June. The Londonist. June 2021.

David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Julian Opie and Derrick Adams at VFA

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David Hockney

As part of a £7 million Let’s Do London campaign,  the mayor of London commissioned David Hockney to create a sign for the Picadilly Circus tube station. Hockney reimagined the original red, white and blue sign with a whimsical, typical Hockney-eske iPad purple and yellow design.

Social Media users went wild, making fun of the iPad drawing…and saying that they could do better.

They can’t.

David Hockney, at age 83, has been painting every day at his Normandy, France farmhouse, enjoying every day and teaching the world to be grateful for the world around them.

A video of sunrises, titled Remember You Cannot Look At The Sun Or Death For Very Long, that Hockney created on his iPad, is being displayed on a large screen at Picadilly Lights every evening this month, and will also appear on screens in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tokyo.

“What does the world look like? We have to take time to see its beauty.” Hockney said, “That’s what I hope my work will encourage people to do when they see it on the large screens.”

In all his work, Hockney is able to let us see the joy and wonder of the world around him.

Early Morning and My Shirt and Trousers, available at VFA, are examples of the little things that Hockney is asking us to pay attention to… and enjoy.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s public persona was that of a creative, wild man who created remarkable art works at The Factory by day and partied at Studio 54 at night. Another side of Andy Warhol, his religious side, is being examined in an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh. He family members were devout Byzantine Catholics, who attended church regularly. As an adult, he often attended mass, and even had an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1980. The Roman Catholic Church even funded a Warhol film project that was commissioned by the de Menil family, but was never completed.

Toward the end of his life, Warhol painted over 100 versions of The Last Supper. Andy Warhol: Revelation will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from November 19, 2021 through June 19, 2022.

The taxidermied, mounted moose head that Warhol was often photographed sitting under, will be auctioned off next week, with the proceeds will go to the ASPCA.

An exhibit of Warhol’s silkscreens, including many of his early work, will be on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, New York. Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop | Works from the Bank of America Collection looks at his paintings and his innovations in silkscreen technique. The museum is using the exhibit as a learning tool for the many school children who will attend, to familiarize a new generation with the importance of an artist who changed the way that the world views art.

The exhibit will be on display through November 7, 2021.

Several of our recent acquisitions, like Grace Kelly,  San Francisco Silverspot and Campbell’s Soup/Pepper Pot (and Green Pea) are fine examples of the exceptional fine art prints that Warhol created.

Julian Opie

Julian Opie has been working in his London studio this year, sleeping in his studio at times and jogging along the Thames. He’s not alone in his studio; Opie works with seven technicians and three managers…to create works that appear uncomplicated but take incredible technical skill to produce.

Opie’s recent  Running People sculptures, composed of anodised aluminum figures mounted on Corlan bases, are available at VFA, as are his acrylic relief Small Bird paintings.

This year Opie’s work will be on display at solo exhibits in London, Seoul, Norway, Belgium and Japan.

Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams’ work has been setting auction records. One of his figurative paintings sold at Christie’s March Post-War to Present auction for twice the expected estimate.

Adams’ work focuses on the leisure activities of African Americans. His work is playful and very relatable. Paintings from his Floater Series also set records. Self Portrait on Float, a woodblock with gold leaf and college, from the Floater Series is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Andy Warhol, Julian Opie, Derrick Adams or any other the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Sarah Cascone. Andy Warhol’s Life Revolved Around Sex, Drugs—and Catholicism? A New Museum Show Says Faith Played a Key Role in His Work. artnet news. May 6, 2021.
Dana Schulz. ‘Urban Gems’ auction to sell Keith Haring’s refrigerator door, Andy Warhol’s moose head. 6sqft. Mat 7, 2021.
The Island Now. Andy Warhol: A Life in Pop. May 6, 2021.
Grace Glueck. The de Menil Family/The Medici of Modern Art. The New York Times. May 18, 1986.
Apollo International Art Magazine. In the studio with…Julian Opie. May 10, 2021.
Victoria L. Valentine. Auction Records: Paintings Derrick Adams and Jammie Holmes Establish New Benchmarks at Christie’s, Works by Titus Kaphar and Henry Taylor Also Sold. Culture Type. March 12, 2021.
Jacob Thorburn. ‘Looks like a seven-year-old won a competition’: Twitter users MOCK David Hockney’s Piccadilly Circus art fronting £7m ‘Let’s do London’ tourism campaign… and prove THEY can do better. Daily Mail. May 12, 2021.

Up Close and Personal: The Works of Derrick Adams, Jonas Wood and David Hockney

Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams is having a stellar year. He currently has a show at the Salon 94 Gallery in New York; his artist’s retreat in his home town of Baltimore should be up and running next year and he’s on a tenure track at Brooklyn College. His current exhibit, Style Variations, is composed of a group of portraits inspired by the beauty and barber shops he walks by in his Brooklyn neighborhood. The styles he saw, asked about and created in his paintings, define the culture and trends of the neighborhood. Works from Style Variations are available at VFA.

In this month’s edition of British Vogue magazine, Adams was described as, “the hardest-working leisure lover on earth.” His works from the Pool Float and We Came to Party and Plan series, are available at VFA.

“People couldn’t exist if they lived in constant grief.” he said in the Vogue interview. “My work is focused on the idea of how crucial it is for Black people to think of leisure as a radical act.”

Even the large house in Baltimore, that Adams is restoring for his invitation-only artists’ retreat, is going to emphasize leisure. It has a pool, a screening room, a greenhouse and studio spaces. Called The Last Resort, he plans to host, not just Black visual artists, but also writers, musicians, chefs and other creative people. “You can come and not do anything,” he says.

Derrick Adams’ work is in the permanent collections of the Museum Of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts and the Birmingham Museum Of Art.

Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood says that he was inspired by the works of Alex Katz and David Hockney. It’s easy to see the influence of Katz’s colors and Hockney’s intimate visions in Wood’s interiors, but his style is all his own.

The comfort of Wood’s interior works, comes from his ability to show his relationship with and enjoyment of his surroundings.

Pattern Couch Interior with Mar Vista View is a recent acquisition at VFA that exemplifies Wood’s talent and the reason that his works have been highly coveted at auction.

David Hockney

Since March of 2019, David Hockney has been living in a farmhouse in Normandy.

When he first chose the location, he said that it was because Normandy is one of the few places left on earth where he could smoke a cigarette at a cafe.

The paintings and iPad drawings that he has produced while staying at the farmhouse during the past two years are bright and beautiful and reflect the artist’s joy of life. Always able to see the wonder and awe of his surroundings, the work that he did in Mexico in the 1980s has the same sense of delight as the works he does today.

He currently has exhibits at LA Louver, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, Salts Mill in Saltaire, West Yorkshire and an upcoming exhibit scheduled at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in September.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams, Jonas Wood, David Hockney or any of the other fine art work for sale at VFA.


References:
Dodie Kazanjian. Derrick Adams’s Art Celebrates Black Life at its Most Exultant. Vogue Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Poppy Malby. Derrick Adams on the empowerment of black femininity. GQ Dagazine.uk. February 8, 2020.
Sophie Bew. Lose Yourself in David Hockney’s Work From 1966 to 1978. AnOther Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Tom Teicholz. A Pleasing Pandemic In Normandy: David Hockney’s Creative French Country Prints. Forbes. March 31, 2021.
Lawrence, Vanessa. “Bored at Home? David Hockney Has A Lesson for You.” Elle Décor. 17 March 2021.

Honors for Derrick Adams, Tweets for David Hockney

Sheltering in place for most of us is a new experience, but for many artists sheltering in place is not much different than what they do much of the time.

Derrick Adams and David Hockney live on different continents, but both have been working have been working with, and in, their surroundings.

Derrick Adams 1970-

Derrick Adams in front of his mural for the LIRR

Derrick Adams has been appointed to Pratt Institute’s Board of Trustees. Adams received his BFA from Pratt, in Art and Design Education, in 1996 and was given Pratt’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2018. He completed  his MFA from Columbia University in 2003.

He has also been honored by being named one of 15 new inductees into the National Academy of Design.

Adams is an Assistant Professor of Art at Brooklyn College.

Derrick Adams
Nostrand Avenue LIRR mural, 2020

He recently completed a mural at the Nostrand Avenue station of the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), just a few blocks away from his Brooklyn Studio.

The mural is made of of 85 panels of laminated glass artwork that spans the length of the newly renovated platforms and extends on to four new pedestrian bridges. “As a longtime resident, I was inspired to create this work as a response to the vibrant cultural surroundings and diverse population which I see in motion on a daily basis,” Adams said. “The figures fuse with architecture and nature as a representation of the progressive impact left by generations of growth. These hybrid structures represent the many important components which reside together to form a thriving community.”

David Hockney 1937 –

For more than a year, David Hockney has been painting the views, on his iPad, from the window of his home in Normandy.

David Hockney painting at home in Normandy, 2020

The New Yorker magazine commissioned Hockney to create an image for the December cover. Hockney did an iPad painting of his fireplace.

David Hockney
The Hearth
The New Yorker, December 21, 2020

The cover created a stir on Twitter, with critics tweeting that the drawing is too simplistic to grace the cover of the sophisticated magazine.

The New Yorker’s art director Françoise Mouly, who commissioned the work and interviewed Hockney for a piece in the issue, said, “For these short, dark days, David Hockney offers the traditional comfort of a hearth.”

The trolls on Twitter may not know Hockney’s work and that he broke the auction record for a living artist in 2018.

The 83-year-old artist has always been interested in using technology to help create his works.

In 1985 Hockney used panoramic photography to create his Moving Focus Series in Mexico. A lithograph from the series is available at VFA.

Hockney currently has solo exhibits at the Galerie Lelong in Paris and the The Morgan Library and Museum in 
New York and upcoming exhibits at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston
Texas and the Royal Academy of Arts in
London.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams and David Hockney, or any of the other fine artists whose works are for sale at VFA.

References:
Rich Pietras. Art Professor Derrick Adams Among 15 New National Academy Of Design Inductees. Brooklyn College. December 23, 2020.
LIRR’s Newest Elevators Unveiled in Brooklyn at Nostrand Avenue Station. MTA Construction & Development. February 3, 2020.
Pratt Institute’s Board of Trustees: Recently Elected Members and New DEI Committee. Pratt Institute News. December 16, 2020.
Francoise Mouly. David Hockney’s “Hearth”. The New Yorker. December 14, 2020.
Hannah Yoest. How David Hockney Trolled the ‘New Yorker’. His latest cover art set off a (small, cozy) firestorm. The Bulwark. December 15, 2020.
Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

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