Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Aloha Art Update #3 : August 2005


Gabe here-- in Maui, surrounded by artwork, just giving a big Aloha shout out. I just pulled together a few tidbits from island life here at the gallery that I wanted to share with you . I hope you enjoy it.

This aloha update is dedicated to the folly of age. Inevitably, guests of our gallery come across an artist they don't understand and exclaim a disregard for the perceived lack of talent. While I would never try to convince you to like an artist, I am convinced that these so called "child-like artists" are immensely deserving of the credit they receive. In a phrase, the emperor has clothes.

That's a reaction before the breadth, quality and energy of Keith Haring's output is experienced. Haring would start a mural as big as a building, complete it in hours, rarely stepping back to look--and upon completion, the mural would have perfect composition. I first found his work in NYC in 1984. I love it first for his intention to make art accessible to the masses. Haring created a complex and consistent visual language and influenced the way our culture uses and perceives imagery.

What goes better with fine art than fine wine? I had my first experience with "Old World vs. New World", "Full bodied" vs. "Fruity" and flights just recently in the budding art town of old Wailuku in Maui. Cafe Marc Aurel has over 90 wines all available by the glass, that's my painting on the wall on the right.

You could be the proud owner of this painting by Jean-Michel Basquait for $975,000. With its combination of music, dynamic wordplay, performance, and graffiti writing, Basquiat's art embodied the hip-hop movement during its infancy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Basquiat not only contributed to the visual language invented by some of the century's first great artists, including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and others but also transcended it. That is, he understood not only the African-influenced work of his predecessors from the beginning of the century, but also the state of contemporary art as his own generation had found it: austere, cerebral, exclusive, and detached from everyday life. In short, while his imagery befuddles some, this cat was very very smart and very very talented.

One of the most common questions we get is, "How much for the picture of Picasso and Chagall?"— The two titans of art in the 20th century rarely met and when they did it was often tense. Very few photos of the two of them together exist. In 1955, Chagall was having a photo shoot and the wife of the photographer, Philippe Halsman, recalls: "Suddenly Picasso arrived in a taxi and saw that Philippe was photographing Chagall. He said, 'Oh let me be there too.' Picasso embraced Chagall for the photograph and then disappeared." The image here was taken in 1952, in Chagall's ceramic studio in Vallauris in the south of France.

If it's not "a kid could do that" it's "I could do that". I think of Sam Francis as the "happy " Jackson Pollock. That is simplifying to be sure, but Francis was not the tortured soul that Pollock seemed to be. All I can say is if you get the chance—take a Francis into the viewing room and spend some time with it. If that doesn't do anything for you—walk the talk. Seriously, get some paint and give it a shot. Then again, someart is just not digestible for some people. But that's part of the joy of art.

Last week I was swimming at Twin Falls with my girlfriend in deep pools of water surrounded by jungle with not a soul in sight—"We live in paradise," I sighed. As soon as we got out we were mobbed by a swarm of hungry mosquitoes. Even in paradise. The Mosquito first came to Maui in 1826 on a trade ship coming into Lahaina.

Google provided a satellite picture with their mapping tool, well how about street level pictures? This is a view from across the street from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where the owner of our gallery helped authentic paintings for the Marc Chagall exhibit a few years ago. Take a visit to your favorite spot—it's sti Ll in beta so your home might not be in here…. Yet. http://maps.a9.com/

Stay tuned for more feng shui tips, more funky art, and whatever else is popping in Maui and the Arts. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! Let me know how I can help you.


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