Posts tagged with "portraits"

Image via Dreweatts for 360 Magazine

Dreweatts Auctions Off British Treasures

A TREASURE TROVE OF BRITISH HISTORY

CONTENTS OF WESTON HALL FAMILY SEAT OF THE SITWELLS FOR 300 YEARS TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION

Dreweatts is delighted to have been appointed to sell the contents of Weston Hall in Northamptonshire, a seat of the illustrious Sitwell family since the early 20th century and their ancestors since the 18th century. This spectacular sale charts the history of an eminent family of esteemed writers, eccentrics, pioneers and creatives through the centuries. Weston Hall was also the family home of journalist and renowned food critic and MasterChef judge William Sitwell. The sale, titled Weston Hall and the Sitwells: A Family Legacy, offers a once in a lifetime’s chance to capture a piece of literary history the like of which has not been seen on the market for some time. It will take place at Dreweatts on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

Amongst the maze of principle rooms and nine attics at Weston Hall lay untold stories and exciting finds. From a Tiepolo drawing discovered in the safe, to clothes and jewels that adorned the writer Dame Edith Sitwell, known for shocking society with her eccentric behaviour and fashion sense, during the infamous era of the Bright Young Things.

From Weston Hall’s 18th century library are wonderful tomes, comprising works by this unique literary family, amongst primary editions by other great writers, such as Milton, that would satisfy any bibliophile. Art works and photographs by some of the greats, such as Thomas Lawrence and Cecil Beaton offer us a pictorial history of the Sitwell family and their ancestors and transport us through the history of England from the 1700s to modern-day. The Sitwell family were the subject of a critically acclaimed exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in 1994, titled: The Sitwells and the Arts of the 1920s and 1930s and many of the exhibited works will be offered in the sale.

WESTON HALL – A TREASURE TROVE

As some parts of the house were untouched since various generations of the family left, it has been a treasure trove of exciting discoveries that tell their own story of Weston Hall, alongside the people who occupied it and their passions for collecting, writing and creating. Weston Hall is a veritable time capsule of British history, with its 18th-century library, 19th-century Justice Room and Victorian conservatory. William Sitwell, who continues the family’s literary legacy, relays in his first manuscript of his proposed new book, that gathering the contents of Weston Hall together for this sale, took him on a wonderful journey of discovery, exploring, even, rooms he hadn’t ventured into before.

Commenting on the sale, William Sitwell said, This sale offers countless individuals and collectors the chance to own items and collections that are part of the fabric of English history. It’s extraordinarily diverse, representing the wide interests and experiences of my family and our ancestors. After the sadness of leaving Weston it will be heart-warming to think that works of art and furniture, which are like so many close friends to myself and my family, will find new homes and become part of new, wonderful collections.

Joe Robinson, Head of House Sales at Dreweatts on taking up the mammoth challenge of cataloguing the works, said, Weston Hall was a fascinating encapsulation of not just the Sitwell family history, but also the social history of Britain over the last few centuries. With the extensive collection of works having been preserved in the house for so long, it has been thrilling to go on a journey of discovery with the family, to uncover so many hidden treasures with such wonderful provenance. The stories behind the works truly enrich the pieces and when you purchase a work from this sale, you know you are buying a true piece of history.

DISCOVERIES

One such discovery was of Dame Edith Sitwell’s clothes in the attic, which are included in the sale, alongside some of Edith Sitwell’s jewellery. A large rusty old trunk in one of the house’s attics revealed love letters from several women, to a married soldier in the 1800s, believed to be Colonel Henry Hely-Hutchinson, who had lived at Weston Hall with his wife Harriet Wrightson. The Colonel had a romantic affair with Napoleon’s younger sister Pauline Borghese (1780-1825), who sent love tokens to him, which were found in the house, including a fan and a pair of kid skin gloves in a walnut shell. Having fought at the Battle of Waterloo, it seems strange for the Colonel to consort with ‘the enemy’, but William Sitwell explains that history shows us that this was actually not unusual and that it was even considered appropriate on occasion to dine with the enemy before a battle! Among the Colonel’s other great love affairs was one with a Countess from one of the wealthiest families in Poland. He must have made quite an impact, as on her death she left her entire estate to him.

Amongst other wonderful finds in the house is a series of books from the 17th to the 18th centuries that have their own place in the library at Weston Hall throughout the centuries. It is comprised of recipes for both cooking and ailments, as well as general tips for maintaining a home. Each lady of the house from the 18th century onwards added their own personal tips and recipes to help the next.

While some of the personal items have been saved as keepsakes to pass on to future generations, this unique sale will offer a wonderful opportunity to purchase many spectacular works by important artists that have been in the same family collection for many years, as well as exquisite furniture, ceramics, silver and textiles amongst other objects that have never come to market.

While stories abound, one particular story involves a burr walnut William and Mary style cabinet-on-chest with fitted interiors. William Sitwell and his mother relay the tale of how Susanna Jennens, who was the first of the Sitwell ancestors to occupy the house in the 1740s, had a dream that was so vivid, she wrote it down. In the dream Susanna recounted receiving a note to say that her sister had suddenly died. The note mentioned a secret drawer in the cabinet that had some valuable jewellery hidden in it. Susanna popped the note into a bedside drawer, recounting the strange dream to a friend a few days later, then forgetting about it. Two years later Susanna did indeed receive a note to say that her sister had died. Her friend reminded her of her dream and they immediately set about finding the secret drawer in the cabinet, unsure if it really existed. Eventually they found it and sure enough tucked away inside were some valuable jewels. The cabinet still features Susanna’s note in the drawer and will be offered in the sale with an estimate of £2,000-£3,000.

Also worthy of note is an ebonised oak four-poster bed incorporating decorative George III needle work hangings. The stunning crewel needlework, carried out by Susanna Jennens, was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries and is a technique that is over a thousand years old. This bed comprises a spectacular example of the craft, with detailed floral sprays and a basket of flowers on the headboard. Highly decorative, the bed has ribbon-tied floral drapes and a tester with twin columns, which is joined by a ribbon-tied swag, as well as an ornate pelmet and valance in crewel work needlework. The needlework was carried out by Mrs Jennens in the 18th century and comprised a full suite of furniture for the room. In the 19th century Georgia, Lady Sitwell used the curtains, also in the same crewel work, to cover a set of chairs that adorned the room. The impressive bed was housed in a bedroom particularly favoured by Dame Edith Sitwell on her visits.

William Sitwell tells us that according to the family, It was on the grand bed that Edith Sitwell could be found, while visiting the family at Weston Hall. She would sit regally in bed propped up by so many pillows, her head adorned by some sort of turban and on a blue tray (still in the family), she would write her poetry. The bed will be offered in the sale and carries an estimate of £8,000-£12,000. The set of six George III side chairs with fluted legs are estimated to fetch £5,000-£8,000.

As well as being quite an eccentric character, Edith Sitwell was known for her bohemian dress sense. Described by her brother Sacheverell Sitwell as an altar on the move, she often wore flowing gowns and hats, feathers and multiple rings. William Sitwell tells us about an entry in Noel Coward’s diary describing an incident where, while on a visit to Weston Hall, Edith went missing after lunch. A search party was set up to look for her and she was eventually found amongst the cabbages! Noel Coward commented, she couldn’t see where she was going on account of her hat! One of her favourite hats is being offered in the sale, this is the famous hat she wore during a sitting with Cecil Beaton. A statement feather trimmed hat in Christian Dior style, which dates from the 1960s and is estimated to fetch £30-£50.

There are several pieces of Dame Edith’s clothing and jewellery in the sale, including a plush gown that she wore to the premiere of the musical My Fair Lady in 1965. She attended the event with her nephew, Francis Sitwell and Francis recounted that her outfit and demeanour made such an impression that the press spent more time gawping at her than they did at the cast of the film! The silk brocade dress in black, pink and green carries a conservative estimate of £80-£100.

Among Edith’s jewellery in the sale is a carved fluorite dress ring featuring two mythical beasts, described by The National Portrait Gallery in the 1994 exhibition titled, The Sitwells and the Arts of the 1920s and 1930s, as of 19th century Chinese workmanship and is believed to have been in Edith’s possession by 1950. It is estimated to fetch £800-£1,200. A selection of eight 19th century Chinese gilt-copper mounted semi-precious stone and jadeite brooches, converted from buckles are believed to have been brought back from China as a gift, by Edith’s brother Osbert Sitwell in 1934. The group is estimated to fetch £3,000-£4,000.

Among important art works in the sale is an important old master drawing by one of the greatest decorative painters of eighteenth-century Europe, the Italian artist Giovanni Batista Tiepolo (1696-1770). The work features Punchinello, the hook-nosed, humpbacked clowns who were one of the stock characters taken from the Commedia dell’ Arte, an early form of professional theatre, which began in Italy in the 16th century and became popular across Europe. The character fascinated Tiepolo and he returned to the subject throughout his long career, depicting them gluttonous, preparing food, overeating, drinking, passing out from inebriation and suffering the digestive consequences of excessive consumption. They were inspired by the Venerdì Gnocolar, a tradition in Verona on the last Friday of Carnival, where gnocchi, wine and polenta is given out to the crowds in the main square by Papà del Gnoco.

The drawing was purchased by the Sitwell’s at the Henry Oppenheimer sale of Old Master Drawings at Christie’s in 1936 and has remained in the family collection ever since. It was recently rediscovered in one of the safes at Weston Hall. It is estimated to fetch £150,000-£200,000.

Amongst other works, is Nativity Scene in a Mountainous Landscape, after Poussin. The work is in oil on canvas and is estimated to fetch £3,000-£4,000. The sale includes several works by the Italian painter Gino Severini (1883-1996), including the design for a dust jacket for the book Cyder Feast, published in 1927 and one of over 50 volumes of poetry and 50 works on art, music, architecture and travel, written by Sacheverell Sitwell. In pen and wash and signed lower centre, the design has an estimate of £6,000-£8,000.

FAMILY PERSONALITIES CAPTURED IN PORTRAITS

The sale will also feature an array of portraits of the Sitwell family’s ancestors through the centuries, by important artists. These include an oil portrait of Anne, Lady Blencowe (1656-1718) seated and holding a spray of orange blossom. From the circle of Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723), it is estimated to fetch £2,000-£3,000. Lady Blencowe was Susanna Jennens’ mother and it was she who wrote the first recipe book, which would remain in the library at Weston Hall for centuries. The book was rediscovered by Georgia Sitwell on her move to Weston Hall and it was published in 1925, 200 years after Lady Blencowe ‘s death.

A portrait of Colonel Hely-Hutchinson in a brown suit, in oil on canvas, is by the British Pre-Raphaelite painter Valentine Prinsep (1838-1904). A close friend of John Everett Millais and Burne-Jones Valentine Prinsep’s work was much admired and he exhibited annually at the Royal Academy. The portrait has an estimate of £300-£500. A portrait of Richard Jennens (1709-1773), Susanna Jennens’ son is by important English portrait painter John Vanderbank (1694-1739) and is estimated to fetch £4,000-£6,000.

A portrait of Arthur Barnardiston (1685-1737) from the Jennens side of the family and formerly in the family estate of Brightwell, is by English portrait painter John Vanderbank (1694-1739). In oil on canvas, it is inscribed with the name and date of death of the sitter and is estimated to fetch £2,000-£3,000. Vanderbank was known for using rich pigmentation in the skin of his subjects, where pink tones were painted thinly over the cooler greys of the ground layer, to suggest light on the skin. His colour transitions are reminiscent of Rubens and very distinctive.

A painting of the Princess of Wales (1683-1737) and her daughter in the sale, was given as a gift to Lady Glenbervie, the mother-in-law of Harriet Wrightson (who inherited Weston Hall). Lady Glenbervie was lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Wales, who later became Queen Caroline, as the wife of King George IV. The portrait, painted by an Italian-English artist Maria Cosway (1760-1838) was not well-received by Caroline and she reportedly asked her lover, the painter Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), to repaint her face.

Thomas Lawrence was very popular at the time, for creating colourful portraits in vivid colours against landscape backdrops. The painting was given as a parting gift from the Queen, to Lady Glenbervie, when Lord Glenbervie was leaving to become Governor of Cape Town, a post he eventually declined. The work is estimated to fetch £2,000-£3,000. Another portrait by Lawrence in the sale is of Harriet Wrightson’s father-in-law, the Rt. Hon. Sylvester Douglas, later Baron Glenbervie of Kincardine (1743-1823). He was a British lawyer, politician and Chief Secretary for Ireland between 1793 and 1794. He was also a famous diarist, recording everything from travel notes, to political gossip and anecdotes full of scandal and intrigue. Lord and Lady Glenbervie lost their son Frederick Sylvester North Douglas (1791-1819) at aged 28, only a few months after he married Harriet Wrightson. The portrait is estimated to fetch £60,000-£100,000.

There are many portraits of Sacheverell Sitwell by a range of artists in the sale, including a work by Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), which is estimated to fetch £6,000-£8,000. Lewis was close to the Sitwells for some time, until his hopes of being sponsored by them were dashed, which caused him to criticise their artistic abilities in public. Before this happened, he produced several works of family members, some of which are included in this sale and one of Edith Sitwell, which is on exhibition at the Tate, London.

As well as a superb selection of fine art, this extensive sale, which is described as a living museum of British history, also includes Chinese works from several periods, decorative arts, furniture, ceramics, silver, militaria, period clothes and textiles, jewellery, toys, including a charming rocking horse and an extensive collection of books from Weston Hall’s 18th century library. However, perhaps one of the most unusual items, is a Victorian Brougham carriage painted in blue and black, with a cream trimming to its interior. Built in 1857 and having been carefully restored by the family, it is estimated to fetch £10,000-£15,000.

The current generation of the Sitwell family tried hard to keep Weston Hall going, however after many initiatives, such as supper clubs, AirBnB hosting and guided tours, it wasn’t to be and it was finally sold last year after being a family seat for more than 300 years.

Find out more articles on car maintenance, such as classic car maintenance, car buying tips, and easy ways to maintain your car

Reese Sherman Spectrum 1 photograph for use by 360 Magazine

Reese Sherman Q×A

Reese Sherman is a talented photographer who creates stunning portraiture. The photographer has been featured by the likes of Town & Country, Essence, Ambassador Digital Magazine, W Magazine, Muze, and more. The vibrant portfolio of Sherman’s evocative, striking, beautiful photographs can be viewed on their website or Instagram. Sherman looks to empower viewers with their photography and highlight gender-neutral inclusivity and LGBT+ acceptance. During this pride month, we sat down with the artist to discuss their latest photography project, which involves self-exploration, unity, and love.

Could you tell us about your photographic approach to this project?

This all came about during the BLM and Trans Lives Matter movement, where I was noticing so many people were standing up and showing up as themselves. Such an array of different people showed off their style and spoke loud and proud about who they are. [It] really inspired me to pick up my camera and shoot my husband wearing masculine clothes mixed with feminine jewelry against bright, bold and colorful backdrops. [These photos] showcase[ed] him being 100% comfortable within the style of art and fashion. I wanted to explore incorporating feminine elements within a masculine framework in a way that transcends sexuality. This is all about style and freedom and identity that goes beyond any pre-conceived category.

“This is all about style, freedom, and identity…” Was your model, Jamarr, a part of the creative process as well? 

Jamarr is a creative individual… I love to collaborate with him and have him give his input into projects, especially this one, where we both styled the wardrobe and jewelry. Also having my husband a part of this, I wanted the story to stay true to his own authentic style, since his normal everyday accessory wear isn’t geared towards feminine pieces. But, styling him with a pink beaded necklace, yellow roses and eyeliner really took him out of his norm—but he was confident in wearing it all.

Did photographing your partner make this project more intimate/personal?  

Absolutely! We just know each other so well to the point when we first started to talk about this project, we spoke about the issues the LGBTQ+ community was going through. The issues that the Black community was dealing with made this personal to us. Seeing Jamarr model and stay grounded in his sexuality was inspiring to me. This made us both proud of what we’re hoping to accomplish, which is gender-neutral inclusivity.  

Some of your images are more detailed and some of them not, could you tell us what this mean/how you would like the viewers to interpret your photos?

I want the viewers to see timeless, intimate and non-conforming pictures. I want viewers to feel confident to do whatever is it that makes them happy. if you want to pile on a bunch of jewelry head-to-toe, do it! If you’re a man and you come across an accessory that is traditionally feminine, wear it and be proud! If you’re a woman, same thing applies, if you want to wear clothing that’s traditionally male. Be proud of how you present yourself. I just want people to feel empowered.

What is the most important component of this collection of work?
Two words: unity and love.

What is the most challenging component of this collection of work? 

The challenge was putting this all together and hoping the result would match what we envisioned in our minds.

Could you comment on the styling of choice and what inspired you to choose these colors in particular? (Apart from the colors of the pride flag!)

The unapologetic energy of the model, the juxtaposition of the traditionally feminine jewelry against his body hair, the structured clothing made of shiny, flowing fabrics—they all promote the idea that masculinity is what you make it. Initially the pink just felt fun and exciting. Yellow felt like sun kissed skin plus it reminded us of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The orange/red was striking and sexy. And a lot of the jewelry was my grandmother’s, so that added an even more personal aspect to the work.

Reese Sherman Spectrum 1 photograph for use by 360 Magazine

Reese Sherman Spectrum 1 photograph for use by 360 Magazine

Reese Sherman Spectrum 1 photograph for use by 360 Magazine

Reese Sherman Spectrum 1 photograph for use by 360 Magazine

Reese Sherman Spectrum 1 photograph for use by 360 Magazine

Reese Sherman Spectrum 1 photograph for use by 360 Magazine

Reese Sherman Spectrum 1 photograph for use by 360 Magazine

Artwork by Paul Gervais-8437-2

Paul Gervais – Faces and Forms

Leaning In to Reveal the Personal and the Imagined

On View through May 30 at the Boca Raton Museum of Art

 

The Museum premiere of these new paintings by Paul Gervais features portraits with a tenderness that urges the viewer to lean in closely, to really study them. All of the subjects in the portraits are personal, from the life he has shared for 46 years with his husband Gil, of whom there are several paintings. The exhibition is curated by Kathleen Goncharov, the Senior Curator of the Boca Raton Museum of Art. She chose to accompany the 14 portraits with a series of 13 paintings by Gervais of imagined objects. The exhibition is on view through May 30, and features an exclusive online conversation with Paul Gervais as part of the Museum’s Collectors Forum Series for Members. This virtual visit to the artist’s studio will also be made available free to the public later on, as part of the #BocaMuseumatHome series sponsored by Art Bridges Foundation and PNC.

“Whether real or imagined, all the paintings in this exhibition are a reflection of Gervais’s life and perceptions,” says Irvin Lippman, the Executive Director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art. “The intimate scale of these works forces the viewer to move in closer in order to see each painting’s fine details, and in the case of the portraits – to more closely read each subject’s personality,” adds Lippman.

Always Seeking the True Likeness

The artist was driven to explore portraiture for the first time by two events in early 2020 that left an indelible mark on Paul Gervais: after he saw the exhibition Lucian Freud: Self-Portraits at London’s Royal Academy of Arts; and after reading The Lives of Lucian Freud by William Feaver. “All of a sudden one day at home I came down to breakfast and there was my husband Gil, and it all clicked: in a flash I took his photo and rushed to my studio to paint my very first portrait,” says Gervais. The intimate, smaller scale of these paintings was inspired by Freud’s smaller works, especially Freud’s petite portrait of Queen Elizabeth. “To me, when I observe Lucian Freud’s body of work, his portraits come across as a kind of autobiography. When viewing them I feel as though I could fill in the blanks of his life, and the history of art in that place in time.”

Also an acclaimed author, his first novel was a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1991. Presciently, the title of Gervais’s first book was Extraordinary People, foreshadowing his focus today on painting people who are extraordinary because they stand out in his life. “When I’m painting a portrait, I’m thinking about that person all the time. A true likeness is what I am looking for most of all,” says Gervais, who always paints his subjects from a photograph. “I prefer to catch them while they are in a reflective moment,” he says. “I don’t usually want them looking at the camera. I prefer they never pose nor aim to please, to show a more intimate look at the person.”

 

“The Abstracts are also a Portrayal of Something that is Me”

Although the forms referred to in the title of the exhibition are imaginary, they reflect Gervais’s sensibility and experience, and are closely linked to his portraits. Gervais refers to these forms and figures as “all-time, from throughout all cultures of human history.” These abstractions have personal relevance for Gervais, such as Sculpture and a Pool – an homage to David Hockney, who Gervais met when he was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute in the 1970s, when Hockney was a guest lecturer. Hockney became friends with Paul and Gil. He pictured the couple in one of his Composite Polaroid works during that period, and they have remained friends ever since.

 

“The abstracts are also very much a portrayal of something that is me,” says Gervais. Some are imagined interiors, such as the hybrid style of Enfilade, a cross between a minimalist home and a contemporary art gallery. In some of these interiors, Gervais includes depictions of paintings behind the forms as nods to iconic abstract expressionist works. In some of his other abstracts, Gervais projects tones inspired by 18th-century neo-classical colors. Others show forms with oxidized copper hues that give heed to the Statue of Liberty, with a horizon line of pale blue sky.

 

More About the Artist

The work of Paul Gervais is in the collections of several institutions, including: the Museum of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco; the Bank of America Collection; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Hall Collection in New York. In 1980, he earned his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Gervais also earned a B.A. in English Literature at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont in 1969. At San Francisco State University, Gervais studied poetry with Robert Creeley and Phillip Lamantia.

His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe, including: The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts/The Museum of the Legion of Honor; Sunne Savage Gallery (Boston); Leah Levy Gallery (San Francisco); Fritz Gallery (Palm Beach); Bagni di Lucca Art Festival (Italy); and Gavlak Gallery (Palm Beach).

In addition to his literary success with the PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist nomination, other short fiction and articles by Gervais have been published in anthologies and periodicals including The Los Angeles Times. “My lifelong devotion to art, both visual art and writing, are my two passions. I believe that both art and writing come from the same place in the artist. They are just different disciplines,” says Paul Gervais.

Gervais met Gil Cohen in 1974, and the artist credits their shared life of more than four decades as being instrumental in his art. They now live in London and Palm Beach County. In 1982, the couple became internationally famous for the garden at their celebrated home in Lucca, Italy where they lived for 34 years before moving to London in 2016. The 60-acre estate, Villa Massei, was built in 1500 by the Counts Sinibaldi. Hundreds of garden lovers and botanical clubs visited their garden. It captured the attention of Prince Charles, who invited Paul and Gil to his Highgrove Royal Gardens. Many notables visited the garden and stayed at the villa, including: David Hockney; the Queen of Norway; Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Parma (the daughter of Italy’s last king); Hubert de Givenchy; James Lord; Edmund White; Kathleen Turner; and Michelle Phillips, among others. His book, A Garden in Lucca, is a personal memoir recalling the author’s journey of self-discovery after caring for the extensive garden.

Regarding this new pairing of his portraits alongside the paintings of imagined forms, Gervais states: “I am thrilled the Museum is showing them together, because they are linked. Faces and Forms takes a closer look at figuration in art. The abstract forms are positioned like actors on a stage, interacting with light and shadow and with each other. This show could be seen as people in my portraits contemplating the mysteries of abstraction, their faces surrounded by their inner artistic conundrums. Also, could this pairing be seen as an affirmation that all painting is simply portraiture, whatever the subject. This brings to mind a quote by Jamie Wyeth: Everything I paint is a portrait, whatever the subject.”

 

About the Boca Raton Museum of Art

Kicking off its eighth decade in 2021, the Boca Raton Museum of Art encompasses a creative campus that includes the Museum in Mizner Park and the Art School. As one of South Florida’s cultural landmarks, the Museum has provided cultural and artistic service to the community, and to many visitors from around the world, since it was founded by artists in 1950. Visit their website to enjoy the Museum’s current online content, including video tours and digital gallery guides. Support for #BocaMuseumatHome and #KeepKidsSmartwithArt virtual programming is provided by Art Bridges Foundation and PNC. Museum hours, admission prices and more visitor information available at the museum’s website.

Artwrk by Paul Gervais-8439-2

Katie Commodore x The Untitled Space

The Untitled Space is pleased to present “Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers” solo exhibition opening on November 21st, and on view through December 12, 2020.  Curated by Indira Cesarine, “Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers” debuts a series of large scale erotically charged figurative tapestries, created with detailed adornments and unique embroideries, along with a number of her signature portraits in gouache, miniature watercolor paintings on ivory, as well as works on paper including intaglio etchings, metallic foil cutouts, and photogravure prints. Katie Commodore is an interdisciplinary artist who concentrates on creating intimate portraits of her friends. In 2000 Commodore received her BFA in illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2004 she obtained her MFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design where she is currently an adjunct professor.

“Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers”

A Solo Exhibition
Presented by The Untitled Space

THE UNTITLED SPACE
45 Lispenard Street, NYC 10013

*RSVP*
Due to COVID, there will be limited capacity inside the gallery, and guests are required to wear masks. RSVP Required via Registration Link. All RSVPs will be confirmed. Thank you in advance.
RSVP REGISTRATION LINK 

EXHIBITION ON VIEW
November 21– December 12, 2020

“Everyone is my friend and they are allowing me to be a witness to their love, which in turn is then celebrated by everyone that sees it.” Over the past few years, Katie Commodore’s artwork has concentrated on depicting real people’s sexuality, although not necessarily their sexual preferences, but rather sexuality in the broader sense. Her intimate portraits address what is it that makes them feel sexy, how they express that physically, and how it evolves over the years for them as individuals. “We change our clothes every season; our physical appearance through body modification, losing weight, gaining weight, tattoos, etc; we change our kinks and sexual preferences partner to partner, year to year.  Our sexuality, and how we feel about it, is in constant flux; the same way that we redecorate our homes, change the wallpaper and curtains, change the sheets.” States the artist on her portraits. Commodore likens this subtle change in how her friends express themselves to the way society also expresses its collective self through decorative patterns. “In a roundabout way, it can be looked at as a meter of a population’s ‘sexuality’ – the public expression of the private. Bright colors, vibrant patterns, clean lines, and minimal decoration all provide a window into the personalities that chose or created them. Historians and anthropologists often use the decorative remnants (pots, jewelry, frescos, etc.) of past cultures to gain valuable insight into the lives of the people that created them, the same sort of cultural portrait can be drawn from our design choices today.”

Throughout the years, she has focused on various mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, and scrimshaw. She has often emphasized materials that are not considered “fine art” but were rather thought of as women’s “hobbies” and in so doing highlights their traditional merit. A majority of her artwork is portraits of her friends during their most erotic moments, acting as a celebration of personal power, beauty, and sexuality.  It is a subtle, but often rich moment that shows the kink, sexual fulfillment, and the sexual interests of those closest to her. “Any activity that helps someone express their sexuality is beautiful, to be supported, and worthy of being immortalized in art.” She states of her sexually charged portraits which depict real people in the moment, captured through private photo sessions with the artist which are used as references for her paintings or prints.

Commodore was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007, which forced her to adjust her artistic practice. Her diagnosis motivated her to explore ways of maintaining the vibrant patterns and detail that she’s known for while not having to rely completely on her super fine motor skills. “Right before I was diagnosed with MS my artwork got much more detailed and pattern-based, and I think that was an unconscious reaction to the fact that I was losing my super-fine motor skills. Since then, I’ve adapted my studio practice to accommodate what I can and cannot do. I don’t draw with a pencil or pen as much anymore, paint brushes are more forgiving when it comes to small hand tremors. I do much more planning and sketching in the computer. Embroidery has been a real change that allows me to maintain the compulsive marking and patterns while there’s no need for perfect hand-eye coordination.”

Her latest series of large-scale figurative tapestries are ripe with intricate details. In a continuation of her signature style she presents bold figures against dramatically complex patterns, pushing the visuals into the realm of surreal erotic fantasies. The sheer scale of the works heightens the drama in a cinematic manner with the life-sized figures taking center stage. “Tandem to creating miniatures and paintings with vivid patterns, I’ve always been interested in creating life-sized portraiture. In grad school I did a series of life-sized relief prints and over the years I’ve done several life-sized drawings that I then spent months filling in with patterns. There was always something about portraying my models in a completely relatable scale that took the image from something precious to something actually more personal, the viewer can feel their gaze and the energy in their pose, feel their weight and almost come away feeling like they know the model in real life. Several years ago, I wanted to have custom tapestries made to reference the historical value of tapestries while giving tribute to the fact that often women were the actual makers of the tapestries which were usually designed by men. My digitally woven textiles start out as drawings in my computer. Like my works on paper, the patterns are historical wallpaper and fabric designs that range from the medieval to contemporary examples. I embroider on them, adding appliques (chine collé, if you will), bejeweling and beading away for hours, turning them into monoprints. I’m creating something new that combines the immediate gratification of print on demand fabricated works with the meditative, time consuming craft of embroidery and fiber arts. I juxtapose mass-produced elements with the uniqueness of each piece, elevating each patch and plastic bead to something more substantial.” She also introduces a number of text works in fiber that complement the series with their adventurously powerful statements.

Katie Commodore has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, including England, Italy, Germany, and Greece. She has had solo exhibitions at Baby Grand, NYC, and SHAG, Brooklyn. Her work has been previously featured in a number of group shows presented by The Untitled Space including “(Hotel) XX” at Spring/Break Art Show, “IRL: Investigating Reality” and “Secret Garden”. Other notable exhibitions include “FEMME” presented by Spoke Art and Juxtapoz Magazine, SCOPE Art Fair, “StitchFetish 6” at The Hive Gallery, and “Facing the Walls” at The VETs Gallery. Residencies include ChaNorth, Pine Plains, New York; Red Light Design, Amsterdam, Holland; and One Night Residency, London, England. She is currently the Administrative Director of Crux, LCA, a cooperative of Black XR Creatives and Producers that focuses on Black storytelling and creating a foothold in the burgeoning vocabulary of new media of VR and creating Black wealth. Commodore has been featured in a number of publications including The New York Times and Dazed Digital, among others. She currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.

Camera illustration by Allison Christensen

Artist Introduction: Safaa Kagan

Safaa Kagan is a Los Angeles-based artist specializing in photographs of traditional people around the world

Safaa Kagan’s work celebrates varying cultures around the globe. Her portraiture work allows Safaa to visit and photograph many different tribes, communities, and countries.

Safaa Kagan is a travel photographer based between Miami and Los Angeles. Born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, Safaa moved to the United States to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer. Safaa studied art and earned a degree in Commercial Photography. She then apprenticed under many National Geographic photographic masters such as Steve McCurry, Sisse Brimberg, and Nancy Brown, working in portraiture and travel photography. This training broadened her horizons to the massive diversity of cultures across the world, triggering her desire to immerse herself in other cultures and traditions.

Hasselblad Masters Book

Hasselblad is a well respected photography company with Swedish roots dating back to the 1800s when photography was founded. Today, they are leaders in camera design and still handcraft their cameras in Sweden.

Every two years, the commemorative Masters book features ten world renowned photographers narrowed down from a pool of 1,700+ worthy contestants. The Masters book includes creative pictorials of each of the 10 winning photographers as they interpret the theme of 2018, innovate, working with only the best Hasselblad cameras at hand. The book includes sections that explore architecture, portraits, fashion, and more. Included below are some examples of the exclusive images from the book for you to view.

To check out more of the Hasselblad Masters Book, click here!

The Museum of Selfies

TICKETS FOR THE MUSEUM OF SELFIES GO ON SALE TODAY

Pop-Up Exhibit Opens April 1, 2018 in Los Angeles for Limited 

Two-Month Engagement

Museum Also Plans to Set the Guinness Book of World Record for the 

World’s Longest Selfie Stick

The Museum of Selfies today announced it will officially open to the public on April 1, 2018 and tickets will go on sale today at 12 noon PST. Furthermore, a proposed Guinness Book of World Records item for the world’s longest selfie stick will be unveiled at the museum’s exclusive grand opening event and will remain on display as an exhibition piece throughout the pop-up experience. According to the Guinness World Records’ website, the current record holder measures 18 meters (59.05 ft).

Open for a limited time in Los Angeles, The Museum of Selfies is an interactive museum that explores the history and cultural phenomenon of the selfie – an image of oneself taken by oneself – with historical roots dating back 40,000 years to the first depiction of human art.  From cavemen drawings to a “Narcissist” installation to a vertigo-inducing rooftop selfie illusion, the museum touches on a variety of points in human history that examines the intention of the selfie and what it means to the artist and its viewers.  The interactive exhibit will allow visitors to create art of their own through the lens of history, art, and immersive vignettes. Your inner narcissist – whether you like to admit it or not – will be ecstatic.

The Museum of Selfies will feature various one-of-a-kind exhibits dedicated to the most popular image categories spanning mankind, including: the “high-up selfie,” a vertigo-inducing, rooftop selfie mimicking the top of skyscraper; the “bathroom selfie,” a two-sided room that lacks self-reflection but excellent for trick photography; the “food selfie,” a super-sized exhibit that satisfies taste buds and foodie fanatics; a “narcissist” exhibit examining the number of deaths from selfie-related accidents while also offering a lesson in Greek mythology; and many other unique selfie opportunities that are reminiscent today and of centuries ago. The museum will also feature works from modern artists from around the world providing their provocative and creative vision of the selfie phenomenon.

Regardless of one’s perception of the selfie sensation, the museum offers a highly-visual and educational experience with every installation while also encouraging the inner-artist to post and initiate a discussion of the origin of selfies and their meanings.  And while other museums may have banned them, selfie sticks aren’t just allowed inside, they are encouraged.

The Museum of Selfies is located at 211 N. Brand Boulevard in Glendale, CA and will be open for a limited run from April 1 through May 31, 2018. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday from 12-8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from from 12-10 p.m. and Sunday from 12-8 p.m. Ticket prices are $25 and kids under three are free. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.themuseumofselfies.com.

Social Media: 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheMuseumofSelfies 

Insta: www.instagram.com/TheMuseumofSelfies 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/SelfiesMuseum 

PORSCHE CHRISTOPHORUS

Here is the newly launched elegant boxed set, Porsche Christophorus by publishers Delius Klasing. For the first time in 65 years, Porsche Christophorus Magazine has created six different covers for their September issue. The six magazine covers display a portrait of each of the six LMP1 drivers in the FIA World Endurance Championship during the six-hour race on the Nürburgring in July 2016.

 

Famous and influential portrait photographer, Martin Schoeller, photographed the drivers in a mobile studio immediately after they had climbed out of the cockpit of the Porsche 919 hybrid- racing car. Readers are able to feel and understand the emotions of each driver after the long distance race.

Book Available HERE