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Archive for March, 2012

30th Mar 2012

Happy Birthday Vincent van Gogh!

Vincent van Gogh was born March 30, 18 53 in Zundert, Netherlands. He is known as a Post-Impressionist painter, one of the best know artists world-wide and is credited for his influence on twentieth century art.

Vincent van Gogh has been my favorite artist and painter and now greatest artistic influence ever since I can remember.

My relationship with Vincent van Gogh began as soon as I was able to walk, as my parents took me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art once I could walk, and returned frequently on weekend days of bitter cold or inclement weather (when they could not take me to the playground), as the art delighted me and a kid can wear themselves out walking through the large museum and climbing the stairs. It quickly became and remains a personal “ritual” that the last stop is to see the van Goghs. My favorite painting in the world is there: Cypresses.

Psalm 113 — Vincent van Gogh, 2010, ink on paper, by Judy Rey Wasserman

Since I am founding Post Conceptual Art and a branch of that called as UnGraven Image (free download of manifesto in PDF format, click: here), van Gogh’s art clearly continues to influence art to our twenty-first Century.

The idea that a secular narrative (image) can convey religious or spiritual content stems from van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh’s father was a minister in the Duth Reformed Church. Later Vincent van Gogh had a stint as a missionary himself. He wanted people to view his paintings and feel his passion, and he was very passionate about God and His creation.

What makes an artist a “blue chip” artist is their influence on other artists, especially those who go on to also influence other artists. These ideas can later be found in the works of Kandinsky and Rothko, two of the artistic giants and influencers of the Twentieth century (and obviously me).

Psalm 113 — Vincent van Gogh (color #1) 2011, original tradigital print, by Judy Rey Wasserman

I hold that Warhol, who attended his church weekly all of his life, knew these ideas and artistically applied them to the landscape of his urban life, which was filled with news and commercial imagery made by human hands. My belief of this is backed by Warhol’s latter religious works, where he uses commercial brands, such as General Electric and Dove Soap, to symbolize divine light and the Holy Spirit.

At twelve years of age I was given a bus and then train pass, plus as a student I enjoyed free admission to all of the art museums in NYC. I spent most after school afternoons and weekends visiting them, most especially the Met and MoMA, and art galleries until I left college and the Art Student’s League. So, during my artistically formative years, I spent an inordinate amount of time, including many afternoons, simply looking at and studying van Gogh’s works.

At the Met I saw and learned that like Da Vinci, Rembrandt and J.M.W. Turner, van Gogh is a master of dualities. For me his later works burst with passion that at once expresses joy and glory along with pain and fury. As an adolescent, my life (and hormones) also raged with these seemingly disparate emotions, which The Cypresses and Sunflowers echoed, so I felt somehow heard and understood van Gogh in a way that no one else in my world managed to convey.

Van Gogh’s works also helped inspire my idea of using symbols (letters/numbers) for the strokes in a painting. At 8 or 9 years old, I was absent when the rest of my class learned Morse Code. I returned to take a test on it that I utterly failed but the class moved on. All I had was an introduction to the idea that dots and dashes could stand for letters, and to me the dots and dashes looked like the dots and dashes I was familiar with in van Gogh’s paintings. Since I could not read Morse Code, I never spoke of this to my Dad on our museum visits as he was a veteran who knew Morse Code, and my question would reveal my ongoing failure to learn it. For several years I actually thought van Gogh was somewhat painting in Morse Code.

As an adult, I have learned to see the “footprints” of the words of The Divine everywhere and always – even in the darkest moments. There is always a duality, light coming from dark as in Genesis 1. As an artist I work to show this understanding, which I learned from van Gogh in my own unique way, in my art.

The greatest lesson I learned from van Gogh is that visual fine art can change lives. It can inspire new understandings, bridges between people and cultures, and that great art, whatever the narrative, is always somehow holy and inspirational. I doubt that I would be an artist today, or even as good a human being as I continue to strive to become without his influence and spanning across time, his visual friendship, for which I aptly thank God, as van Gogh would have wished.

Portrait of Vincent van Gogh Sunset by Judy Rey Wasserman

Close up section of Psalm 113 and Genesis 1-2:7 — Vincent van Gogh Sunset study, 2012, mixed media on board, by Judy Rey Wasserman

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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.

Check out the images and availability of limited and open edition prints — Click: store.

Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey

A smaller e-book will be available soon that is also filled with art, inspiration and Awakening Vision Experiences. The smaller brand new e-book will be available for free before the launch of the Crowd Funding campaign and that will also be available to mailing list subscribers first.

If you wish to have an advantage and to know exactly when the campaign goes live so you have first choice of the rewards that are for originals or limited editions,and get a copy of the free e book, you can use this link to sign up for the revamped free newsletter:

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21st Mar 2012

Etch-a-Sketch Art and the Presidency

According to a Huffington Post article, “Following a town hall Wednesday in Arbutus, Md., Mitt Romney clarified comments made earlier in the day live on CNN by his top adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, who said that Romney could be reset ‘like an Etch a Sketch.'” According to mainstream news reports, the idea behind this reset would be to make Romney, a Republican a more moderate and appealing as a candidate running opposite President Barak Obama, a Democrat.

Mitt Romney’s response that his is and has been a political conservative.

This Etch-a-Sketch Romney comment has been a bonanza for the mainstream news, which continues to look for scandals to gain eyes and ears of viewers and listeners, while diverting attention from many real, moral and pressing issues, such as banks’ frauds, severe water shortages world-wide and continuing ecological and climate changes and catastrophes of increasing earthquake and volcanic activity.

“Etch-a-Sketch” has been a Trending Topic all day on Twitter, thanks to many satiric or sarcastic tweets about Mr. Romney, or positive comments about Etch-a-Sketch, including by many who grew up using one.

As an artist, I highly recommend Etch-a-Sketch. I had one as a kid, and have seen that my kids and others all had or have one too.

I have seen artistic images created by adult hands using an Etch-a-Sketch that are as fine as a good line drawing with a pen. Such works are as fragile and impermanent as a sand painting or unrecorded performance art, which are meant to be fleeting — unlike campaign positions and promises.

The idea that a world leader, especially an American president, who as is our tradition takes the Oath of Office with a hand on the Bible, can have their views, campaign promises and image whimsically reset “like an Etch-a-Sketch” is appalling.

When I create a commissioned Essence Portrait, I discover through conversations and research the “divine spark” in the subject, which I then paint using relevant scripture texts for strokes. The text selected serves as the strokes* that both show the divine within the person, the structure of the features, plus, especially for anyone living, is a kind of artistic prayer for their life. [*The original letters of scripture are the strokes.]

I have been creating portraits of USA presidents using the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20, for the strokes. It has been said that the Ten Commandments were a basic inspiration for our laws. As Chief Executive each president’s responsibility is to see that the laws of the federal government and, especially the Constitution, are upheld.

Popularity is not a part of the president’s job. Despite what the polls infer by the skewed questions asked, voters seem to elect those they have the most confidence in, people they can trust, more that they elect those they would like to invite to a party. History has taught us that our best leaders have dug in their heels and done what they believed to be right even if it made them unpopular. Think of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who differed strongly but are now both revered.

History also shows that not all presidents have fully fulfilled their job description, or have interpreted the laws differently from others, there is no Etch-a-Sketch reset on the job description itself.

Certainly neither Washington, who was always very popular in the thirteen states after the revolutionary war was won (but not popular with England which until the war was won was actually his country), or Lincoln, who struggled with popularity as half of the nation went to war against him, never compromised on upholding what they held were the fundamental laws of the nation.

George Washington portrait by Judy Rey Wasserman created with strokes of Exodus 20

Exodus 20 (Ten Commandments) – George Washington

Prints Available Click: here

Abraham Lincoln portrait created by Judy Rey Wasserman created with Exodus 20 strokes

Exodus 20 (Ten Commandments) – Abraham Lincoln

Judy Rey Wasserman has also completed Essence Portraits of Presidents Andrew Jackson , Grover Cleveland and Barack Obama . She is currently working on one of Thomas Jefferson.
Barack Obama painted with the 10 commandments by Judy Rey Wasserman

Ten Commandments (Barack Obama) by Judy Rey Wasserman

Poster of Barack Obama -Ten Commandments at our Zazzle store.
To see more Essence Portraits and learn how you can commission one of you or a loved one, Click: HERE .

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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the images and availability of limited and open edition prints — Click: estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .(<–Click)

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