Here’s a look at some of the latest acquisitions at the Vertu Fine Art Gallery.
Tom Wesselmann, The Smoker
The Smoker is an embossed lithograph that contains some of Tom Wesselmann’s favorite things … a graceful hand, with dark red fingernails, holding a cigarette, and smoke wafting from a pair of full, red lips.
A true Renaissance Man, Tom Wesselmann had a degree in Psychology and went to Cooper Union to study Fine Art. He became a consummate New Yorker who loved, and wrote, country music (his song, I Love Doing Texas With You was included in the Brokeback Mountain movie soundtrack). He wrote a book about himself called Wesselmann, using the pseudonym, Slim Stealingworth. In Wesselmann’s own words, he wrote (as Stealingworth), “Many critics have described Tom Wesselmann as the most underrated painter of the American Art world of the 1960’s.”
Andy Warhol, Vote McGovern, Chicken and dumplings, Lifesavers
During the contentious election of 1972, the country was in the throes of the Viet Nam war and the Civil Rights movement. Alabama Governor, George Wallace, declared himself to be a Democratic presidential candidate along with George McGovern. McGovern, of course, wound up running against Richard Nixon, and Warhol was asked to contribute to the McGovern campaign.
In typical Warhol style, he created a demonic image of Nixon, with the simple slogan, Vote McGovern below the maniacal face. Simple, subtle, powerful and so very Warhol. If only he were around for this election… Also available in our gallery are Andy Warhol’s Chicken and dumplings and Lifesavers.
Roy Lichtenstein, Shipboard Girl
In the wake of his 1964 painting, Nurse, selling at Christie’s for $95.3 million a few weeks ago, Roy Lichtenstein’s artwork has become more desirable than ever. Created a year after Nurse, Shipboard Girl has the same mysterious and sensual feeling.
With no thought or speech bubble, it’s up to the viewer to imagine what is on Shipboard Girl’s mind. Maybe she’s thinking, “I’m getting a fine art print for Christmas. Maybe a Lichtenstein.”
Alex Katz, Red Hat Ada
Red Hat Ada is a recent work, a woodcut, of the muse (and wife) that Katz has been painting for more than fifty years.
Jeff Koons, Puppy Vase
The art of Jeff Koons isn’t always practical, but it’s always fun. His first Puppy sculpture was a 43-foot high topiary, installed on the terrace of Spain’s Guggenheim Museum, that supported about 60,000 flowers.
The Puppy Vase in our gallery is just 17 inches high. It can hold a bouquet of flowers and, unlike the original, doesn’t need to be tended to by a staff of gardeners.
Banksy, Choose Your Weapon
Banksy painted Choose Your Weapon on a London wall. No Timmy and Lassie here. The boy and his Keith Haring dog, in Choose Your Weapon, appear menacing and disenfranchised.
Banksy always gives his audience a lot to think about and Choose Your Weapon is no exception.
Kaws, You Should Know I Know
You Should Know I Know is the first screenprint that Kaws created this year.
Fans of Kaws (Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly) will recognize elements of his creation, Companion, the Mickey Mouse-like character that appears in many of his drawings, sculptures and even as a float in the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.