Latest Interior Art Trends

by Lisa Doherty 18. April 2018 11:54

This year is proving to be an exciting year for interiors. There are such a wide-range of trends to help transform your home and suit every taste. We take a look at some of the top predictions and show you the art you need to make that style pop.

Folk or global style

For fans of tradition, or those who love to see the world and experience different cultures, Folklore and travel have been combined to create a global look. The key colours for this style are Terracotta, muted greens or sage and off-whites, which are offset by patterned textiles and wall hangings.

Example of folk/global style

Image courtesy of Dulux.

From an art perspective, this is all about pattern with a naïve twist. So, paintings that have a folk element, or a global tone to them are perfect for these interiors. This means looking for art that is more simplified and patterns that have a textile feel to them.

Creative Africa by Robert Niland
Creative Africa by Robert Niland Leaf Art #1 by Jo KC Ellis
Leaf Art #1 by Jo KC Ellis Green Palm by Jo KC Ellis
Green Palm by Jo KC Ellis African Tribal Women by Irina Rumyantseva
African Tribal Women by Irina Rumyantseva

Colour pop

As a nation, we’re getting much bolder and confident with colour, and this is being reflected in interiors. In fact, Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018 is Ultra Violet, which is a vivid purple, and marks the start of a trend in rich pigments, such as yellows, emerald greens, and blues.

Example of colour pop

Image courtesy of Swoon Editions

Even though we’re getting braver with colour, it is understandable that some people may be a little nervous about using it to cover a space. If so, then art is a great compromise as it allows you to be bold without saturating a room. With that in mind, you could have white or off-white walls and use art to provide that striking colour pop. Abstract art is great for this style, as are landscapes.

Despite the cold - XXL abstract painting - XXL abstract painting by Ivana Olbricht
Despite the cold - XXL abstract painting - XXL abstract painting by Ivana Olbricht Yellow line by Poonam choudhary
Yellow line by Poonam choudhary

Touchy feely textures

Alongside the Global style, texture is becoming more popular and we’re seeing large-weave rugs, carpets, baskets and wicker-style seating and lampshades becoming key interior features. This is no less the case with art as there a wide range of artists bringing texture to their painting with rough brush strokes and layering. This style of art complements the textured interior look well.

Table and chairs

Image courtesy of John Lewis

Portraits, abstract and three-dimensional art are styles to consider - or any paintings that use strong textures - when enhancing this look. Especially textured paintings with colour, as woven materials tends to be a neutral tone and can look a bit flat when used too much. Basically, this is a chance to be bold and really make a statement. Mid-Century art is also a great style to go with this look.

Mojito by Kerry Bowler
Mojito by Kerry Bowler Down in the Valley by Andrew Alan Johnson
Down in the Valley by Andrew Alan Johnson

Totally tropical

The tropical trend is set to remain popular this year and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. One of the reasons for this is, not only because it can create a warm and relaxing space, but it’s a style that you can have a lot of fun with.

Tropical themed bedroom

Image courtesy of Dunelm

Whether you want to just use hints of the tropical, by using art and accessories, or go all out with wall colour and house plants, there are no holds barred. As you would expect with this look, greens, reds and yellows are key colours.

Starfish by Jean Tatton Jones
Starfish by Jean Tatton Jones Organic2 by Jean Tatton Jones
Organic2 by Jean Tatton Jones Tropical forest by Viktoriya Gorokhova
Tropical forest by Viktoriya Gorokhova Blue and Yellow Macaw by Zoe Elizabeth Norman
Blue and Yellow Macaw by Zoe Elizabeth Norman

Latest art trends

It’s not just interiors that focus on trends, but the art world does as well. Currently, digital art is opening-up a world of opportunities for artists, and, as a result, we’re seeing a fusion of photography, paint and illustration to create mixed media imagery.

Artists are also using digital as an opportunity to be more creative with light studies as well, which has led to colourful and almost surreal images that play with and use technology to their advantage.

And the sky turned pink by Elisabeth Grosse
And the sky turned pink by Elisabeth Grosse Birds V / Limited Edition Print on Canvas by Anna Sidi-Yacoub
Birds V / Limited Edition Print on Canvas by Anna Sidi-Yacoub

Digital is also being used to create painterly paintings that have the feel of a photo negative and is making for really interesting viewing. If you’re someone who is forward thinking and are looking to invest in art of the future, then this digital is certainly marking the way.

Apple Blossom by Kathryn Edwards
Apple Blossom by Kathryn Edwards Sunrise in the forrest by leslie garrett
Sunrise in the forrest by leslie garrett

Whatever your interiors tastes, we most certainly have the art to match. Not only that, but we have paintings to suit every budget as well. Our budget search buttons mean you can go straight to the images in your price range, to avoid any distractions or lengthy searches. What are you waiting for, go get creative!

Tags:

Art Galleries | Buying Art | The Art World

How to Hang a Painting

by Lisa Doherty 7. March 2018 11:59

If you’ve invested in buying real art, then you want to make sure it stands out and always catches the eye when hung on a wall. And, although the actual process of hanging a painting is straightforward, how to frame, place and get the right measurements for maximum impact is a different thing altogether.

Here are our top tips on how to hang a painting and get the most out of the art you love.

What frame to choose

A lot of paintings on our site have already been framed, but it is standard practice to expect a canvas to arrive without one, which gives you more scope and flexibility to buy the frame you want.

To make that choice, it’s best to look at the style of painting first and work from there. The key to framing success is to make sure the art does all the talking - the frame simply helps bring that out.

Gold or gilded

Ideal for a simple still life, abstract painting or a clean and uncluttered image. If you’re going for a more classical look, then gold keeps to that tradition.

Black gold II by Birgitte Hansen
Black gold II by Birgitte Hansen The Toy Boat by Stephen Clark
The Toy Boat by Stephen Clark

Coloured

A frame that uses the same tone as the dominant colour in the painting. This complements the painting, enhances the image and merges the frame with the art into one whole.

Girl in a blue dress ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill
Girl in a blue dress ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill

Natural Wood

A versatile and popular choice, which is great for natural scenes, such as landscapes, portraits, still life’s and photography. They also work with contemporary art and can enhance a minimalist or mid-Century painting.

Starman by Sara Sutton
Starman by Sara Sutton

White Wood

Another popular choice for retro posters or paintings bursting with colour. If you’re hanging a painting against a dark wall, then a white frame can really stand out and show off an image.

Lights in the sky (large) by Paresh Nrshinga
Lights in the sky (large) by Paresh Nrshinga

Metallic

Black metal is the go-to frame for photography and can be bought in a wide-range of thicknesses. It also comes in a wide range of colours to work with nearly all styles and genres.

Sunset over a Scottish Loch by Louise Cairns
Sunset over a Scottish Loch by Louise Cairns

Choosing the thickness of a frame is purely a matter of preference, but the rule of thumb is that thinner frames take less attention away from a painting than a thicker one. When choosing a metallic frame, it’s always worth veering towards a matte texture to avoid shine taking over the painting.

Selecting the right wall

If you’re hanging a small painting, the it’s best to hang it on a smaller wall or space, a larger area will drown-out the image. If you do want to hang it on a larger wall, however, then smaller painting hangs well next to a bigger image or a cluster of paintings, like a gallery wall.

A painting needs light to show it off, but not too much that it affects the canvas or photo, so look for a bright space that isn’t in direct sunlight. If the wall you want to use does have strong sun, then you can buy anti-fade glass from a framing specialist.

Art should always be hung at eye level, so placing it too high will leave you straining your neck too look at it. the rule of thumb is that the midpoint of a painting should be between 50 - 60 inches from the floor.

Hanging over a bed, sofa or mantelpiece

There is a different rule when hanging a painting over furniture or a mantelpiece. The whole idea of hanging a painting over a bed or sofa is for the painting to work with the furniture and almost be an extension of the interior design.

Basically, there should be a connection between the two, as opposed to an image floating on a wall. To make this work, the bottom of the frame should be 8 to 10 inches above the piece of furniture.

If you’re going for a more relaxed or eclectic look, then a painting also looks good simply leaning against the wall on a mantelpiece.

Buying the right hanging kit

Most multi-purpose or hardware stores sell a wide-range of picture hanging kits for all types of art. A small piece can be hung simply with a nail and picture hanger, but a larger, heavier piece will need hanging wire or strong string for a more even distribution of weight.

Make sure you use nails that are around 1inch in length as anything over that will be too long and will leave the painting sticking out of the wall, and anything less will be too short.

If your walls are made from brick or plaster, then it’s more advisable to use a screw and rawlplug to secure it in place. Always make sure you use screws with a small head.

In all, there is a lot to consider when hanging art, but it’s worth going through the process to have a knockout painting that brings a wall to life, and leaves you feeling it was worth every penny spent!

Tags:

Buying Art | Exhibitions | The Art World

Art for Interiors: Art Deco Paintings

by Lisa Doherty 6. March 2018 16:56

The Art Deco look has become a timeless classic. Interior trends have arrived, gone, come back and gone again, but Art Deco has remained constant.

The main reason for this is because it is a style that remains modern in its look and feel and doesn’t seem to date. Not only that, but it’s constantly evolving to work with contemporary interiors.

If you’re in the process of recreating this style in your home, we take a look at how Art Deco  painting and photography can help you complete the look.

The Art Deco style

Originating in the 1920’s and 30’s, Art Deco is made up of strong geometric lines and shapes, such as triangles and circles, and also uses bold colours. It was heavily influenced by the latest technology of the day and drew from artistic and creative styles from the Orient and Persia.

The style grew out of a need from Designers, Architects and Artists to create a more ‘modern’ look. This new look was immediately popular and became a key style for almost anything, such as buildings, fashion, furniture, and, of course, art.

For Art Deco artists, the Cubist and Fauvist art movements were the main influences, and you can see this clearly in paintings through the use of strong, ‘block-like’ figures and shapes, and bright colours, such as yellow and red. The key artists of this movement consisted of Tamara De Lempicka and Sonia Delauney.

MANSCAPE 3 by John Varden
MANSCAPE 3 by John Varden

A coffee with Tamara de Lempicka by Jean-pierre Walter
A coffee with Tamara de Lempicka by Jean-pierre Walter

How to choose an Art Deco painting?

An Art Deco painting is very distinctive and easy to recognise. They also tend to stick mainly to three themes, which are figurative studies, abstract shapes or landscapes.

If you’re looking for a figurative image, then the Art Deco movement focused mainly on nude studies or portraits. If you’re especially influenced by the work of Tamara De Lempicka, then look for portraits with accentuated curves, or with a ‘solid’ or ‘heavy figured’ feel to it.

The Art deco period was also a time of innovation in travel and transport, as cruise liners, high speed trains and air travel became more affordable and increased in popularity.

As a result, posters became even more popular during this period and were treated as works of art in their own right, so think iconic London Underground posters or adverts for trains, Cars, or Cruise ships. Who doesn’t love this style?!

Two Figures, Aqueduct by Miles Bodimeade
Two Figures, Aqueduct by Miles Bodimeade

Cat and I. by Carron  Howe
Cat and I. by Carron Howe

In the morning by Florentina(anca)  popescu
In the morning by Florentina(anca) popescu

BSA motorcycle poster by Michael Gadd
BSA motorcycle poster by Michael Gadd

Modern art deco

If you want to create a more modern Art Deco look, then it’s worth looking at abstract art or photography to bring the look up to date.

Modern Art Deco colours are still very much based around monochrome, but they are now mixed with elements of pastel Pink, Gold or Green.

This is the beauty of this style and one of the reasons why it has stood the test of time, as it can be adapted, brought up to date so easily and work with a modern or traditional look.

The City at Night by Neil Hemsley
The City at Night by Neil Hemsley Beginnings by belinda jackson
Beginnings by belinda jackson DUVER VIEW by Suzanne Whitmarsh
DUVER VIEW by Suzanne Whitmarsh

The best rooms for Art Deco

As we all know, the 1920’s are synonymous with partying, so this look does tend to work better in the more social spaces around the home, such as lounges, dining rooms or even the home-office. This style also works in bedrooms and bathrooms, so you can wow house guests when they come to stay.

Overall, Art Deco is quite an indulgent and decadent style, so it works well in a room where you can really show-off. As a result, you can either go all out for patterned wallpaper or go for a sleek monochromatic look, which is broken-up with pops of colour from fabrics or paintings.

The Art Deco style also calls for a lot of geometry, not just through shapes, but also in the use of furniture and accessories such as lamps and chairs, which are always used in pairs to balance out a room.

This geometry is also worth considering when choosing art. A painting that works as a pair – also known as a diptych - can be placed either side by side or further apart on a wall, which could provide balance over a fireplace or desk in a home office.

So, whether you’re in a new build, or even a Victorian home, there is a lot of scope and range to work with. And, even if you’re a modern or traditional Art Deco-ist, this is a style you can have a lot of fun with.

Art is a great way to help you express your look, but don’t think it is something that is the left to the pursuit of the super-rich; there are paintings available to suit all budgets, tastes, and of course, styles…so what are you waiting for, it’s time to get creative!

The Three Hills (Diptych) by David Moore
The Three Hills (Diptych) by David Moore Waterloo by Rebecca Coleman
Waterloo by Rebecca Coleman Surrey Landscape 7 by Jan Rippingham
Surrey Landscape 7 by Jan Rippingham

Tags:

Art History | Buying Art | The Art World

Malvern Theatres - Autumn Show

by Humph Hack 15. October 2017 17:15

It is rare for a successful artist to paint in many different styles. The public will easily recognise a Monet, a Freud or even a Hockney. As ever it is the exception which proves the rule. So, for example Picasso is known for multiple styles, but even he had periods where all the work being produced at any one time was stylistically similar.

The three artists opening the new show at Malvern Theatres are all recognisable instantly because they all paint in a practised and recognisable style.

Amanda Dagg is amongst the best sellers from the online gallery www.artgallery.co.uk from which all the works on show are chosen. She relishes in the freshness of nature although her work does not attempt realism in the traditional sense.

She hails from South Wales and as well as producing an amazing quantity of work, she helps run a community led gallery in the area. She has successfully shown in the Theatre many times over the last few years.

Victoria Stanway’s works explore the female psyche. Her humorous paintings are much sought after, not just by women, but by anyone wishing to celebrate and understand what makes “girls” different. Victoria is based in Bicester and has not shown here before.

The third artist is Steven Shaw who hails from Solihull. His works – almost photo realist, are supreme examples of the genre. The works in this show are mainly animal studies, apart from two plates of biscuits; good enough to nibble with your cup of coffee in the Bistro. This is also Steven’s first show at Malvern. Artists queue up to be seen in this great venue.

The show runs from Monday 16 October until Saturday 25 November.

Tags:

Exhibitions | Malvern Theatres | The Art World

Movember Special: The Importance of a Moustache

by Aileen Mitchell 18. November 2016 15:53

The moustache is a real statement whether its handlebar, pencil or cowboy. It also plays a key role as a statement in art as well as fashion in everyday life. Join us this Movember as we look back at the historical president of 'the tash'.

One of the first and greatest celebrations of the upper-lip adorner was the Sutton Hoo helmet. This extraordinary object is a pinnacle of Anglo-Saxon burial art. The helmet was found as part of a ship-burial from the very rich archaeological site at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, England. Look closely at the face mask and you can see that the neatly clipped moustache represents not just a moustache but the tail of a bird flying upwards. Surely one of the most recognisable tashes in art history.

When we think of medieval knights we imagine tall, handsome men astride a horse with – of course – a terrific moustache. This hairy status symbol was of such importance that in the fourteenth century Edward Prince of Wales had an effigy on his tomb showing him in full battle dress armour but with his moustache on show.

We have always looked to our monarchy and aristocracy to keep up to date with the latest vogues. Although Queen Elizabeth didn't sport a handlebar, the Elizabethan era was the start of men choosing to be very bearded. This was then further refined by King Charles I and his iconic handlebar moustache and goatee beard.

There have been many modern artists who have used the moustache as statements in their work, and in fact on people's art! Revolutionary artist Marcel Duchamp, famous for the statement urinal in the 1917 exhibition for the Society of Independent Artists, has also paid homage to the moustache. In a series of works titled 'found objects', Duchamp would take a mundane and ordinary object and alter it, making it extraordinary. L.H.O.O.Q. is a postcard print of the Mona Lisa with Duchamp's addition of a moustache and goatee.

As Duchamp demonstrated, it's not just men who have an important relationship with the moustache in art. Frida Kahlo, surrealist painter most famous for her self-portraits, often depicted herself with a moustache – or more accurately the natural layer of hair that lined her upper lip. This attention to her natural features is for a number of reasons from pride in her Mexican heritage to painting exactly what she saw, to a feminist statement about her main pleasures in life being considered as 'manly'. Putting herself under such scrutiny as she painted, it has been observed that Kahlo would make the hair on her upper lip more prominent than it really was.

Our next moustache-wearing art icon appeared in Spain at the beginning of the surrealist movement. Salvador Dali's moustache is almost as iconic as the melting clocks in his artwork. When asked in an interview whether his moustache was in fact a joke, he responded by saying it was "the most serious part".

Dali's moustache was not only a famous part of his look that we remember him by even today, but an extension of his personality and mood at the time. One day it would be tied in a bow, the next stuck in spikey straight lines, sometimes curving up like the horns of a bull. He also would sometime use his moustache to paint – either whilst it was still attached, or he would use the trimmings to make his own bristle head on a paintbrush. 

 

Van Gogh is another famous artist who had a very close bond with his moustache. Almost every self-portrait he painted includes a beard and moustache – so much so that the painting of himself simply named, Self-Portrait Without a Beard, is one of the most expensive of his paintings going for 71.5 million dollars!

It is interesting to see that in his self-portraits his brush strokes do not change from the texture of his face to the moustache and beard; the only thing that changes is the colour. Art historians consider this as Van Gogh expressing how his facial hair is very much an extension of himself rather than a grown accessory. Closer studies on this subject have also shown how little difference there is between the way he paints his landscapes and the way he paints himself. Another example of very deep levels of an artist expressing their character in their masterpieces.

There are such strong links between artists and the moustache throughout art history it would be wrong to deny its constant presence and significance. Not only is the moustache a statement on a fashion and visual level but an embodiment of an artist's emotions and opinions at that particular stage of their career.

Image credits:

User: vggallery.com/ Self-Portrait with Straw Hat / Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

User: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei / Self-Portrait Without Beard / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

User: Karl Stas / LHOOQ (1919) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

User: Thomas Gun / Charles I of England / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Tags:

Art History | Artists | The Art World

What Is 'Fauvism'?

by Aileen Mitchell 17. August 2016 12:00

The Turning Road, L'Estaque – Andre Derain

Fauvism is one of the most influential styles in contemporary art, whether today's artists are fully aware of it or not. The 'wild beasts' of Fauvism radicalised colour and form, and inspired the next generation of young artists to engage with their surroundings on a whole new level, changing art forever.

Last month we looked at the trailer for the new film, Loving Vincent. It's from the legacy of Van Gogh that the story of Fauvism begins …

Starry Night – van Gogh

French artist Henri Matisse is considered the founding father of Fauvism. Inspired by Van Gogh's post-impressionist style of intensifying colours and distorting forms to create images fraught with emotion, Matisse began to use colour on a very emotional level. The results of this were bright, multi-coloured paintings and scratchy brush stroked figures.

In complete contrast to the pastel coloured impressionist paintings from the 1800s – 1900s, Matisse would use paint straight from the tube without mixing them, and combine cold and warm palettes in the same work.

The concept behind creating these daring new paintings was to not paint the scene before them as realistically as possible, but to interpret how the scene was conceived in the mind. Matisse didn't choose colours based on what looked technically correct, but based his palette on the feelings and emotions he had whilst painting a particular 'experience' rather than 'scene'.

The first time Matisse's colourful works were displayed, a respected art critic exclaimed that the one renaissance sculpture in the exhibition was surrounded by work created by 'wild beasts' (les fauves). Although this comment was intended to be highly damming, Matisse and his fellow artists in this new style decided to take this as inspiration for the title of the new movement they had created, Fauvism.

The Green Stripe – Henri Matisse

One of the most famous works created during this movement was the portrait of Amelie Matisse – wife of Henri Matisse, called Green Stripe, carrying the famous green stripe down the middle of her face.

Dividing the face into two shades is a conventional portrait technique – usually used to divide the face between light and shade – but Matisse chose to use the line as a divide between cool and warm tones.

This bold new move was analysed in many different ways – some said the green stripe was for jealousy, others said it divided the painting into purity and serenity. The most likely reason, however, is none of these. Matisse was not called a wild beast for nothing. Art was now beyond the point of displaying well-known representations and symbolism. The green stripe is simply there because it was what Matisse felt inspired to do at the time. Under close analysis, art historians claim that much of the painting appears to have been 'improvised'. This is indicated by the brush strokes – which are perhaps most obviously ad lib in the black patch centre-right. 

Paysage du Midi – Andre Derain

Although revolutionary, this gaudy movement did return to familiar territory in the subject matter artists would choose to paint. Moving away from the popular urban depictions, les fauves returned to painting landscapes.

In fact, London played a large part in the Fauvist movement. We can really see this period of history in context when we compare Claude Monet's dreamy, misty picture of the Houses of Parliament with Andre Derain's piece of yellows, pinks and lurid greens.

Houses of Parliament – Claude Monet

Charing Cross Bridge – Andre Derain

London art is still by far one of our most popular categories of art to this day! Perhaps it was Fauvism that set off this iconic theme with our very own ArtGallery artists.

Icarus – Henri Matisse

Fauvism was also a revolutionary movement for exploring the negative space in a painting. This is how works like 'Icarus' came to be so famous. Out of context, some people can find it difficult to understand why a piece so simple has become so revered. The answer is context. There may be thousands of people who can reproduce work like this, but les fauves were the first to do it – the first to have this original idea of completely breaking away from traditional art.

Inspired by some of the greatest painters of the previous era, like van Gogh, Munch and Cezanne – Matisse inspired many young artists who in turn became notable painters of their respective fields, such as Chagall, Levy and many abstract expressionists.

At the time of Matisse's first exhibition, another critic commented that his work was, 'a pot of paint flung in the face of the public.' This could either be taken in a negative way, or a great of describing the rebellious, spontaneous spirit captured by fauvism. We'd like to see it as a compliment to one of the most energetic and influential styles in Western art.

[Image credits]

User: artfactory.com/ André Derain, The Turning Road, L’Estaque (1906)

/ Public Domain

User: bgEuwDxel93-Pg at Google Cultural Institute

/ Starry Night – van Gogh/ Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain

User: William Allen, Image Historian

/ The Green Stripe – Henri Matisse

/ Flikr / Public Domain

User: Sharon Mollerus

/ Paysage du Midi – Andre Derain

/ Flikr / Public Domain

User: Unknown

/ Houses of Parliament – Claude Monet/ Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

User:  André Derain / Charring Cross Bridge – Andre Derain / Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain

User: Sharon Mollerus / Icarus – Henri Matisse/ Flikr / Public Domain

Tags:

Art History | The Art World

Father's Day Art on ArtGallery.co.uk

by Aileen Mitchell 17. June 2016 16:02

Father's Day Artwork on ArtGallery

With Father's Day fast approaching, we've scoured our ArtGallery collection to put together a special blog post gallery. All of these original artworks are for sale on our website, directly from the artist.

If you can't make up your mind, there is also a selection of vouchers to choose from. These are emailed directly to you and the recipient of your choice! 

Good luck, and we hope you have plenty of inspiration to choose from:

Dad's Day Out by Susan Shaw

Dad's Day Out – Susan Shaw

Beer by Gary Hogben

Beer – Gary Hogben

Speed by Andrew Alan Matthews

Speed 3 – Andrew Alan Matthews

Fish and Chips by Gay Forster

Fish&Chips – Gay Forster

New Bond Street, Bath 1930s by Ernest George Perrott

New Bond Street 2, Bath 1930s – Ernest George Perrott

God Save the Queen by Gary Hogben

God Save The Queen #2 – Gary Hogben

British Superbike Round 2012 by David James

British Superbike Round 2012 – David James

Old Blues by Shaun Keefe

Old Blues – Shaun Keefe

Tags:

Artists | The Art World

Happy Birthday Damien Hirst & Paul Gauguin

by Aileen Mitchell 10. June 2016 10:00

This month we're celebrating the birthdays of two famous artists, Damian Hirst and Paul Gauguin. These two artists have given so much to art as we now know it today, from the creativity behind a concept to a renewed appreciation of bright colours.

Damien Hirst

Hirst in a still from the movie The Future of Art

There are few Brits who have not heard of Damien Hirst. As one of the most influential thinkers and artists of the modern scene, Damien Hirst has inspired many, split opinion, and created his own legacy.

Now one of the wealthiest British artists, with a net worth estimated to be £200,000,000, Hirst's creative path began when he took A-level art – only to be graded E. After applying more than once to the two art colleges he attended, (Jacob Kramer School of Art and later Goldsmiths, University of London) Hirst began to make a lasting impression on agents and curators that came to graduate exhibitions – namely Charles Saatchi.

Saatchi was so taken with Hirst's work that he offered to fund absolutely anything Hirst wanted to make for the showcase of the first ever Young British Artists (YBA) exhibition in 1992.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living "Death Denied"

This exhibition saw the birth of the formaldehyde series – some of Hirst's most famous (or infamous) work. This piece was a shark suspended in a tank of formaldehyde, titled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. It also saw him nominated that year for the Turner Prize.

Since his YBA debut, Hirst's work has continued to sell out at auctions and galleries and he has designed charity CD album covers and even an image for a space probe to calibrate its onboard camera.

"Damien Hirst at the exihibition Damien Hirst The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011, Gagosian Gallery, NYC."

Although he has been widely received as a pioneer in modern art, there are also critics to Hirst's particular style. Some have described his paintings to be produced in a 'factory' setting. The famous spot series are largely painted by someone else, as Hirst has always believed that the creativity and art is in the concept of his work, rather than the production. He is even known to have said, "The best person who ever painted spots for me was Rachel. She's brilliant."

Paul Gauguin 

"Paul Gauguin, photography, ca. 1891"

Paul Gauguin was a French post-impressionist who was largely undervalued by critics until long after he died. In his lifetime he did however make a profound impact on Vincent van Gogh.

Inspired by his mother's Peruvian heritage and the bright colours of their culture, Gauguin incorporated bold, bright lines and backgrounds in his work that woke European art up from what he believed was a dullness in creativity.

"Parahi te maras, 1892, Meyer de Schauensee collection"

Initially a stockbroker, Gauguin began to paint in the late 1870s when Impression was the popular art style. Gauguin decided to paint with the colours he wanted to give life and vibrancy to his art, which was not in keeping with the style at the time. This lead to many bad reviews from critics and dealers alike, apart from one in particular…

Theo van Gogh was a big fan of Gauguin's work and bought three of his paintings. At the same time, Gauguin became close friends with Vincent – so much so they spent nine weeks painting together in Arles, France.

"Vahine no te tiare (Woman with a Flower), 1891, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek"

It was Gauguin who can be said to have had the biggest influence on van Gogh's progression and style as a painter. Sadly, their friendship ended after their nine weeks of painting, resulting in van Gogh allegedly threatening Gauguin with a razor blade before cutting off the lower lobe of his own ear. Van Gogh was subsequently admitted to hospital and Gauguin returned home.

Today, Gauguin's work is admired for its colours. The inspiration for these was African and Asian art – not to mention the Peruvian pottery and art that his mother collected whilst he was growing up. Gauguin tried to add a passion and depth to Western art that he thought impressionism lacked, creating the Symbolist movement.

Image credits

"Hirst in a still from the movie The Future of Art" by Christian Görmer licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living "Death Denied" by Agent001 licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

"Damien Hirst at the exihibition Damien Hirst The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011, Gagosian Gallery, NYC." by Andrew Russeth licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

"Paul Gauguin, photography, ca. 1891" by Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel - Museum page licensed by Public Domain

"Parahi te maras, 1892, Meyer de Schauensee collection" by The Yorck Project licensed by Public Domain

"Vahine no te tiare (Woman with a Flower), 1891, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek" by The Yorck Project licensed by Public Domain

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Art History | The Art World

Art News: 10 Ways Technology Is Redefining Art Techniques

by Administrator 31. March 2015 15:33

Image by Scott Lynch

Did you know that the word ‘technology’ derives from the ancient Greek word for the systematic treatment of art (technē) and logic (logia)? Today, you could argue that the synthesis between art and technology is stronger than it has ever been. To prove this, here are 10 amazing ways technology is driving the evolution of art techniques. 

1. A robot that draws abstract artwork

Designed by artists Julian Adenauer and Michael Haas, the Vertwalker is a lightweight robot that can walk up and down vertical walls while using an eight colour paint pen. To date, the Vertwalker’s greatest creation was an exhibition displayed at the Saatchi Gallery called ‘Emerging Colourspace’.  Because the Vertwalker constantly overwrites its own work, any painting the robot produces is in a constant state of flux – well, that is until the batteries run out.

2. The 3D pen that lets you draw in the air

Above: The world’s smallest 3D printing pen, which started life as a Kickstarter concept. Photo from: designmilk

The pen, manufactured by LIX and available for pre-order soon, allows you to draw objects in the air by using technology similar to a 3D printer. The LIX pen uses a USB 3.0 port for its power supply, which melts and cools coloured plastic from its hot-end nozzle. After turning the LIX pen on, it takes about one minute to warm up before you can begin creating 3D illustrations in any and all shapes imaginable.

3. A device that turns pollution into art

A media artist in Moscow called Dmitry Morozov has created a device that locates air pollution before turning it into glitch art. The device creates art by translating air data into volts, which are then turned into colours and shapes algorithmically. Originally, Morozov built the device as a way of protesting against the extreme level of air pollution in Moscow. Ironically though, Morozov’s device creates more beautiful pictures when there is more pollution in the air.

4. Stained glass windows made from laser cut paper

Above: Either/Or Decreed by Eric Standley, a stained glass window made from laser cut paper. Photo from: Jon Fife

Eric Standley, an artist based in Virginia, is crafting ‘cutting edge’ art by using lasers to carve incredibly ornate stained glass windows from paper. Standley’s designs often take many months to plan and over 100 sheets of paper stacked on top of one another to create. The artist says he is inspired by the geometry found in Gothic and Islamic architecture, which is clearly evident in the design featured above.  

5. Mobile technology is allowing us to become the art

There is no question that mobile technology has changed the way people experience art. By making art available via mobile devices, everyone has the potential to access art on demand. However, the addition of wearable tech such as Google Glass and Occulus Rift are pushing these boundaries still further. For example, the Belgian art collective Skullmapping is using Oculus Rift technology to produce more immersive pieces that allow audiences to exist within their artworks. 

6. Asphyxia: A blend of dance and motion capture technology

Created by Maria Takeuchi and Frederico Phillips, Asphyxia is a film project that explores human movement via motion capture technology. The pair used Xbox One Kinect sensors to capture the dance moves of Shiho Tanaka, before using that data to render some truly spectacular images of their subject in full flow. To see images and videos of the project, click here.

7. The street artist taking 'GIF-iti' to another level

Above: An aerosol mural by the London street artist, INSA. Photo from: Retinafunk

For those of you who are not familiar with the work of street artist INSA, now is the time to correct that injustice. INSA creates animations of his street art by painting on walls, photographing the results, re-painting the walls, re-photographing the results and then converting the pictures into amazing GIFS.

However, now INSA has taken his ‘GIF-iti’ to another level by creating the world’s largest GIF. Painted on the ground in Rio de Janeiro over four days, the GIF was created using the same technique outlined above, but the photos were taken from a satellite 431 miles above the earth.

8. Adobe Ink and Slide could help make drawing easy for everyone

Last year, Adobe launched the Ink and Slide – a stylus and ruler that integrates with a pair of iPad apps that help users draw masterpieces with comparative ease. Of course, Adobe has made software such as Photoshop that has been invaluable to professionals for years. However, with the Ink and Slide, Adobe could provide amateur digital artists with the tools to fast-track their budding talents. 

9. 3D printing is expanding the possibilities of sculpture

For sculptors who are used to working with less malleable materials, 3D printing is expanding the possibilities of their craft. This is because 3D printing allows sculptors to work with a complex level of nuance, quicker and easier than they can when using conventional methods. These six sculptures produced using 3D printing illustrate the potential of this relatively new technology for producing spectacular art work. 

10. Interactive art that defies the laws of physics

Above: The Rain Room, an art installation that made the impossible, possible – with the help of technology. Photo from: DJ Ecal

The London-based art studio Random International recently wowed visitors at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) with their interactive installation, Rain Room. With the help of technology, visitors could walk through a room of pouring rain without being hit by one single raindrop. The installation worked by using a 3D camera and sensors that stopped and restarted the rain around each visitor as they moved through the installation.

Want to own a painting that blends art with technology? Simply visit The Gallery, and then use the search tool on the right to find a variety of artists that are using modern methods to produce striking prints. 


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The Art World

Global Graffiti: 10 Top Cities for Urban Art

by Aileen Mitchell 22. July 2014 12:10

Graffiti, or street art, has always been about revolution and rebellion, a visual statement and paint-based commentary about the political, social and economic concerns of our time.

Councils have tried to ban it, some have painted over it (oh, if only they knew how big Banksy would become), supposed art critics have vilified it, and many have questioned whether it can truly been classed as art at all.


Image by:  Heather Cowper

The fact remains, however, graffiti art has captured the attention and imagination of the public and perhaps a generation which wants more than the usual, prescribed - and therefore limiting conventions of stuffy art galleries and dusty museums.

(Ironically, and somewhat fantastically, Bansky’s exhibition at Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery in 2011 attracted more visitors – from all over the globe – than any other event in the museum’s entire history.)

But like a pack of paint-spraying pugilists, graffiti artists continue to fight the fight and make their unmistakable mark(s) on the world. Their artistic creations have revived life in run-down areas, provoked controversy and comment, and transformed many of the art form’s finest exponents into international superstars.

Graffiti art is truly a global phenomenon that’s showing no sign of abating. Here are ten of the world’s top cities for graffiti. 

New York City

New York has produced an impressive coterie of graffiti artists, from Poster Boy to Basquiat. Long Island’s 5 Pointz area has over 200,000 square feet tagged by both local and international painters, whilst other locations of graffiti-led interest include the Bronx Wall of Fame on East 173rd St, Victor Goldfield’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard Memorial, and Manhattan’s Bowery Wall.  

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires has a much more open door policy when it comes to its tolerance of graffiti, as street artists are able to quite legally tag any building as long as the owner gives consent.  As a result there’s a cornucopia of top-level graffiti art all across the city, including works by America’s Ron English, Spain’s Aryz, and France’s Jeff Aerosol. 

And as you’d expect from such a diverse range of stencil-and-spray can impresarios, the themes encapsulated in their artwork is equally eclectic, from portraits of Argentine soccer triumphs by native Martin Ron, to political commentary by Italy’s Blu. 

Los Angeles

L.A. is a positive showcase for some for some of the most exhilarating graffiti in the world.  Bristol’s very own Banksy has several pieces along the La Brea Blvd, and Shepard Fairey – creator of the iconic Obama ‘Hope’ poster for the 2008 election – has a virtuoso mural on Melrose Avenue. Other pieces by renowned graffiti artist Lister and JR have also been frequently popping up. 

Melbourne

Down Under’s second city of Melbourne certainly isn’t backwards at coming forwards when it comes to embracing street art.  The city has its own Graffiti Management Plan, a body established to monitor and review graffiti work, as well as commissioning new pieces by emerging and established talent, and hastily removing illegal installations.  Notable native graffiti artists include Rone and Anthony Lister.  

Sao Paolo

São Paulo, Brazil’s bustling and chaotic industrial centre has a fervent and thriving community of street artists which has also attracted the attention of many international artists, including Paris’ C215 and urbanhearts.  Local urban art celebrities such as Vlok and Os Gemeos joined forces to create a graffiti corridor known as Batman Alley in the Vila Madelena neighbourhood, which consists of regularly rotating works

London

Cotemporary graffiti is represented on a grand and glorious scale in London, serving as a veritable who’s who of top talent with works and installation by internationally revered artists such as Grafter, Shepard Fairey and Banksy – all of whose unmistakable style span the Square Mile.  Camden, Shoreditch and Brick Lane are districts with new and burgeoning urban art talent.  

Santiago

Barrio Bellavista is the best place to check out the up and coming talent of Chile’s capital.  You’ll be dazzled by a colourful pictorial onslaught of variegated graphics, political cartoons and murals practically everywhere you look. And although graffiti is technically illegal in Chile, the government tends to turn a blind eye to graffiti as long as it’s confined to certain neighbourhoods.  

Berlin

Berlin is a tractor beam for top graffiti talent, being as it is a UNESCO-designated City of Design.  Most of the best tagging and installations are done in eastern Kreuzberg, where controversial political murals by Italy’s Blu take centre stage, as well as a huge astronaut on Mariannenstrasse by Victor Ash.  Spring 2013 saw Kreuzberg’s Gustav Meyer Allee clock tower receive the addition of a mural installation by France’s esteemed JR. 

Bogota

Whilst Colombia’s expansive vistas has miles and miles of murals, the historic quarter of La Candelaria – home to a coterie of university students and candlelit cafes – is regarded as the best. Everything from strong-worded comments against its former president to panoramas of a more psychedelic persuasion, the area’s cobblestoned plazas and sidewalks are decorated with invigorating graffiti art.     

Cape Town

Local graffiti celebrity Faith7 has firmly put the graffiti credentials of Cape Town on the map, giving it a kudos and gravitas that elevated graffiti to a revered art form in the city.   Public spaces and private homes in suburban Woodstock, for example, have seen specially-commissioned pieces adorn the buildings and walls, amongst them Cape Town’s native Freddy Sam and New York’s Cern.  In fact, Cern was instrumental in organising a global graffiti exchange program called A World of Art.    

Can you think of any other cities that should rank alongside these esteemed hubs of graffiti excellence? Share your comments below.

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Artists | The Art World





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