Posted in Art, design

Eye-Catching Statues And Awe Inspiring Sculptures Around The World

Visual art is something only a very few of humans can achieve, let alone having the skill and talent to create masterpieces. The creation of something beautiful, realistic, intriguing, and amazing pieces art are undeniably are the works of no less than a genius. Personally, as much as I wanted to have at least a small amount of talent to draw, at the end of the day, this dream always become a frustration.

Among the known techniques of visual art is a 3D works that requires not just the default set of skills of an artist but also more on the physical capability and endurance. Sculpturing is probably the most difficult form of visual art even with just considering the effort of manually molding, breaking, and forming hard objects into something awesome. I have all my awe and respect to all sculptures, past and present, for their works is really a no joke.

Having the ability to showcase their genius minds through massive sculpted structures, a few artists made masterpieces on streets and lands on different countries around the world. These masterpieces can be easily accessed and enjoyed by tourists and are resilient enough to stand the test of time. Check out some of the best samples of these public masterpieces famously known in the world.

EXPANSION

Expansion is a work of art by Paige Bradley, an American sculptor famous for representative symbolic bronzes. The artist made the sculpture amidst the time when abstract and conceptual technique were more sought after. For Bradley, figurative statues are timeless and still speaks the universal language which expresses the impact of human experience. This work shows the beauty of the human form while incorporating a metaphor for the uncontrollable yearning of the human spirit.

The Expansion is a blended work of bronze and electricity portraying a woman’s body. Bright lights radiates from the fractures in the woman meditating in a lotus position.

The Expansion is a figurative contemporary representation of Bradley’s ideas of freedom from containment. With the help of tools like wax, bronze and lighting system, the artist was able to impart her thoughts about liberty from suppression thru this majestic sculpture.

THE MONUMENT OF AN ANONYMOUS PASSERBY

The Monument of an Anonymous Passerby, also known as “Transition” or “The Passing”, is a public installation in the busy section of Wroclaw, Poland. This breathtaking set of human statues was done by Jerzy Kalina, an award winning Polish artist.

The renowned public installation was erected in December 2005 and honors the introduction of martial law as well as the people who vanished and went underground in the night of December 13 in year 1981.

The Monument of an Anonymous Passerby embodies the great suffering of the ordinary Polish Silesians over the abusive dictators of the land. Despite the serious subject pertaining to Polish history, this work of art is truly something to be proud of for the Polish people.

TRANSCENDENCE

Meanwhile, in Portland, Oregon, you’ll see the noticeable Salmon sculpture crashed in red brickwork building. This wall installation is known as Transcendence, an outdoor sculpture done by Keith Jellum – an Oregon based sculptor. With the use of bronze, copper, and steel, Jellum hand fabricates and casts massive sculptures and exceptional weathervanes.

Transcendence measure 3.4 meter (11 feet) long and is made using hard forged and welded bronze.

MONOLITHIC HUMAN FIGURES

The Monolithic Human Figures can be found in Moai, Easter Island. This amazing rock carvings was shaped by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500. The moia statues are most of the time 40% head and 60% the rest of the body. The largest among the many statues surrounding the island was named “Paro” and this one stands 10 meters tall and weighs 75 tons. However, “Paro” is not the heaviest among the group. Once squatting moai weighed almost 86 tons and is considered the heaviest. There is one unfinished sculpture that if completed, it would have been approximately 21 meters (69 ft) tall with a weight of about 270 tons.

MUSTANGS

The Mustangs of Las Colinas is an eye-catching realistic bronze sculpture done by Robert Glen, a famous Kenyan sculptor. This work of art is comprised of nine wild mustangs dashing across a granite man-made watercourse. Glen worked on the mustangs for 8 straight years. This larger than life centerpiece is one of the tourist attractions of the place.

PEOPLE OF THE RIVER

In the historical Cavenagh Bridge of Singapore, you’ll see the “People of the River” statue series which was done by Chong Fah Cheong, a Singaporean sculptor responsible for most popular public sculptures in Singapore.

The People of the River is one of the artist’s depictions of the life of the people living and working alongside the Singapore River. The masterpiece is regarded as one of the most creative statues in the world.

BREAK THROUGH FROM YOUR MOLD

Break Through From Your Mold, also known as Freedom, is a figurative work of art done by Zenos Frudakis, an American sculptor whose subjects comprise of influential individuals’ portraits.

This evocative sculpture of Frudakis is a representation about the struggle for attainment of independence through the imaginative process.

DAVID

Perchance the most celebrated sculpture ever recorded, Italian artist Michelangelo’s David is a masterpiece of Renaissance era and is truly a glorious sight to watch. With a height of 14 feet, David portrays the Biblical hero who was also famously known to be the rival of Goliath.

The sculpture was bespoke for the Cathedral of Florence and still existing for over five centuries.

THE SHOES ON THE DANUBE BANK

On the waterside of the Danube, people have the chance to see 60 pairs of iron casted shoes of different styles and sizes pointing towards the river. The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a commemoration to the people who lost their lives from the carnage committed by the militia men of the Budapest’s Arrow Cross during the Second World War.

This historical cenotaph was erected on April 16, 2005 and was a joint effort of sculptor Gyula Pauer and film director Can Togay. Nowadays, locals and tourists placed candles and flowers inside the shoes.

METALMORPHOSIS

One of the famous works of world renowned Czech sculptor, David Cerny, is the Metalmorphosis found in Charlotte. The art itself is a feat of engineering marvel. 40 pieces of steel were grouped into segments wherein every segment pieces rotate independently, spewing water until such time that all segments are in the right places to create a giant human head. This amazing moving masterpiece attracts foreign visitors to Charlotte every year.

NELSON MANDELA

Created by artist Marco Cianfanelli and Jeremy Rose, the notable Nelson Mandela sculpture was made public in year 2012 and placed on Mandela’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, the place where he was arrested by armed apartheid police in 1962. The masterpiece comprises of 50 steel poles of different heights. This monument will serve as remembrance of the historical death of Mandela.

THE GREAT SPHINX OF GIZA

The Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt, also known as the Sphinx, is a limestone figure of a mythical being with a human head and a lion’s body. The statue was erected on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile River and believed to be the oldest known monumental sculpture in the world which have been built by ancient Egyptian locals around 2558-2531 BC. The Sphinx is acknowledged as the largest monolith statue in the globe with a length of 73.5 meters (241 feet), width of 19.3 meters (63 feet) and a towering height of 20.22 meters (66.34 feet).

THE THINKER

The Thinker is a bronze sculpture done by Augeste Rodin in the year 1904. This work of art is often used as a figure that stands for philosophy. The work illustrates a large life size nude male in deep thoughts as it is sitting on a rock with his chin resting on his right hand.

The statue has been cast in numerous versions and is replicas are found all over the world. There are about 28 bronze casts replicas of the sculpture placed in museums and public places.

THE TERRACE OF THE LIONS

The island of Delos is thought to be the birthplace of the gods. A stone statue called “The Terrace of the Lions” is found in the island and it is said that the statues are dedicated to Apollo, Greek god of the sun, who was born there. Because of weathering, 5 of the original 12 lions only survived and were replaced with replicas to preserve the real ones in Delos Museum. Because of this figurative masterpieces, Delos Island remained to be one of the most famous island in Greece such that it holds strong mythological, historical, and archeological significance not just for the country but for the world.

STATUE OF LIBERTY

Situated on Liberty Island in Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture designed by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. It was officially opened to the public on 28th of October in year 1886 as a present to the United States from the citizens of France. The Statue of Liberty was given to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of the historical signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. This iconic magnum opus signifies freedom and serves as a warm welcoming gesture to immigrants arriving from overseas.

NON-VIOLENCE

No Violence is a bronze sculpture showing an oversized Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver gun with a looped barrel and its muzzle is pointing upwards. The renowned work of genius was made by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd to honor the death of the singer-songwriter and peace activist John Lennon.

The sculpture has been the symbol of The Non Violence Project since 1993. As of today, there are already 16 duplications of the sculpture around the world.

CATTLE DRIVE

Cattle Drive is a large sculpture showing herd of bronze longhorns rushing through the flowing stream and waterfall. This masterpiece was created by Robert Summers and it memorializes the nineteenth century cattle drives that took place alongside the Shawnee Trail. Each steer is larger than life with a height of six feet high.

SINKING BUILDING OUTSIDE STATE LIBRARY

Another historical landmark that can be found in the streets of Victoria, Melbourne is the Sinking Building Outside State Library. This large piece of art was sanctioned by the local government as part of the city’s art program initiatives.

The theme or story of this masterpiece is rather confusing as different groups share different takes on why the building sank in the first place. Some say that the building sank because of too much books featured inside it. Others tell you that it is a representation of the impossible demand of school to their students, or a dorm sinking due to the number of students staying, together with their furniture.

Whatever the explanation of the art is, in real life, it would be so interesting to see a failure architecture that sank into the ground due to the sheer weight of the things featured inside it.

HIPPOS

Hippos are a set of sculptures conceptualized by director Chen Pao-chung of Taipei Zoo. The Hippos are ingeniously established to complement the African Animal Area of the zoo. Hippos Square served as the zoo’s signature lifeless attraction.

A SCENE FROM THE WORLD WAR

In Eceabat, Turkey, you’ll feel the goosebumps as you may witness the collective masterpiece of A Scene from the World War with real size statues. Though war is truly a painful subject, this historical breathtaking work of art perfectly depicted the chronological events that happened during the World War in Turkey.

A Scene from the World War is a figurative tribute to the brave men who lost their lives and the unimaginable pain for their families while fighting and defending their country. The drama and emotions that the statues want to convey are intensified because of the life-size elements.

On the other hand, this inspiring masterpiece is one of the most visited and must see site in Turkey.

Posted in Art

13 Most High-Priced Paintings in the World

They say that the best things in life are free. Well, yeah, that is most of the time true if you want to live simple without the influence of society and of the modern world. Contradicting to that belief is also a powerful message that most of us lived by nowadays and that is, “money makes the world go round.” Sadly, that is how I view the world, especially with all the commercials and advertisements of things you would do anything just to have one.

In this modern world, there are unlimited things that one can have, one can collect, and one can brag about. You may collect something that has meaning to you, things that remind of places you have been, or you just being a plain hoarder who collects trash and anything in between. There are sentimental things to collect which sometimes cost just a penny while there are some that requires you to be born a prince to even have one. The more expensive these collectible gets, the more prominent you become in the society. The word expensive equates to bucket loads of money just in case some of you might have other ideas beside it. Some of the most famous collectibles that only the rich and famous may have the chance to get a hold of are expensive cars, yachts, mansions, and the most absurd of all…paintings.

Expensive paintings are paintings that were created by famous dead artists that define art during their time. Some of these paintings may directly mirror the lives of the artists when they were still alive while some are just chaos and with no meaning at all. Either way, expensive paintings are some of the most sought after collectibles that each time it is sold to new owners, the price just bloats up to unimaginable numbers. For the most of us, even if we pawn our very own souls in exchange for money, it probably won’t be enough to obtain the cheapest of the paintings listed below. Do not fret though, once these paintings are acquired by museums and government, we may have the chance to see them and steal pictures with them when no security is looking (wink).

PORTRAIT OF ADELE BLOCH-BAUER I

“Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I”, also called as “The Lady In Gold”, is a painting completed in 1907 by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. This dazzling masterpiece was sold to an American businessman, art collector, philanthropist, and political activist Ronald Steven Lauder for an amounting price of 135 million USD. The “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” was later exhibited in Neue Galerie, New York.

WOMAN III

“Woman III” is a painting created by William de Kooning. It is one of a succession of six paintings produced between 1951 and 1953 with using woman as the central subject. Woman III was completed in 1953 and measures 1.73 by 1.23 meters. This masterpiece was acquired by the American investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist Steven Cohen for a worth of 137.5 million USD.

NO. 5, 1948

The “No.5, 1948” is a masterpiece painted by American artist Jackson Pollock. The work of art was produced on composition board, measuring 8’ x 4’. The painting was sold to the Mexican investor David Martinez for a value of 140 million USD.

THREE STUDIES OF LUCIAN FREUD

The “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” is an oil on canvas triptych art that was completed in year 1969 by Francis Bacon, an Irish-born British painter. This three hinged work of art was sold to Elaine Wynn for a price of 142.4 million USD.

LA REVE

Pablo Picasso’s “La Reve”, also known as “The Dream”, is one of the most sensual and famous paintings of the artist. The artwork is an epitome of the early Fauvism. It was sold to Steven Cohen for 155 million USD.

NU COUCHE

“Nu Couche”, or just the “Red Nude”, is an oil on canvas artwork done in year 1917 by Amadeo Modigliani, a popular Italian artist. This painting was regarded as one of the artist’s most widely replicated and exhibited paintings. “Nu Couche” was sold with a price of 170.4 million USD to Liu Yiqian, a Chinese art collector and businessman.

LES FEMMES D’ALGER

“Les Femmes d’Alger”, also branded as the “Women of Algiers”, is a sequence of 15 paintings created in the year 1955 by Pablo Picasso, a legendary Spanish cubist artist. This work of art was procured by Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, a former Prime Minister of Qatar, for a price of 179.4 million USD.

PENDANT PORTRAITS OF MAERTEN SOOLMANS AND OOPJEN COPPIT

The portraits of Maerten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit, were two masterpieces done by the prominent Dutch artist Rembrandt in year 1634. Both of the portraits have been purchased by the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre for a value of 180 million USD. The said art pieces were exhibited at the Musée du Louvre.

NO. 6 (VIOLET, GREEN AND RED)

“No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)” is a painting done by Mark Rothko, a Russian-American Abstract expressionist artist. No. 6 is a blend of large breadths of color defined by jagged and hazy hues and was completed in 1951. Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire, paid $186 million for this masterpiece.

NUMBER 17A

“Number 17A” is an artwork painted by a famous American Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock in year 1948. This work of art was sold for 200 million USD to Kenneth Griffin along with the “Interchange” painting.

THE CARD PLAYERS

“The Card Players” is a series of oil paintings done by the celebrated French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne in year 1892. A single piece of the said series was bought by the Royal Family of Qatar for a luxurious price ranging from 250 million to 300 million USD.

On the other hand, The Card Players painting series is regarded by critics to be a foundation of Cézanne’s art throughout the early-to-mid 1890s era.

WHEN WILL YOU MARRY?

“When Will You Marry?” or also known as “Nafea Faa Ipoipo”, is an oil-painting by Paul Gauguin, a French Post-Impressionist artist. The artwork was sold to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani for the museum department of Qatar with a nearly amounting price of 300 million USD. The Tahitian inspired artwork was completed in year 1982.

INTERCHANGE

“Interchange” is a masterpiece done by Willem de Kooning, a Dutch-American abstract expressionist artist. This renowned painting was sold to hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin for the price of 300 million USD. The canvass measures 200.7 centimeters by 175.3 centimeters, and was completed in year 1955.

Posted in Art

Top 5 Nail Art Expos around the World

In case you haven’t heard about this yet, there are actually exhibits right now that mainly focus on nail art. Instead of the usual sculptures, paintings and photographs, displays of outrageous and fascinating nail art are put in frames, protective glass cases and even on some participants’ fingernails. It is amazing how nail art enthusiasts patronize this kind of event. These people can finally share their passion and interest with fellow devotees in the art of meticulous detailing of nails.

Best Nail Art Expos

Let’s find out the most creative and interesting nail art exhibitions in various countries. Prepare to be amazed by these fabulous events:

5. “Beneath the Lacquer” (New York, U.S.A.)

This is the simplest and smallest nail art exhibition here but still one of the most creative. I love how the artists David Dupuy and Ran Kowatari simply put the designs inside pretty frames. “Beneath the Lacquer” really feels like an art gallery but focusing on nail art. My most favorite part is the centerpiece composed of framed nail art displays that are formed into heart shapes.

To make the nail art exhibition more interesting, the displays were telling a story. The narrative of the displays referred to same-sex marriage. Some emotional photographs were included in the displays while presenting a specific nail art.

The event was specifically held at Arcilesi Homberg Fine Art gallery in Brooklyn. It went on for almost the whole month of February in 2014.

Olya Turcihin

4. San Francisco Nail Art and Jewelry Gallery (U.S.A.)

This nail art exhibition in San Francisco is similar to the “Beneath the Lacquer” exhibit. The big difference? It is much more glamorous because of the jewelry accompanied with nail art displays. The whole event looks like something out of a glamorous museum.

Organized by 24K Studios, the exhibition aimed to create a parallel between new jewelry designs and nail art innovations. For the nail art exhibits, the organizers worked with NancyMc, Nail Swag, Nail Jerks, Fleury Rose, The Illustrated Nail, Haus of Lacquer, Britney Tokyo and Astrowifey. These nail artists closely worked with jewelry designers to create a stunningly coordinated exhibit. There was a total of 12 original collaborations.

To trigger excitement for the first reception, Nail Swag and Nail Jerks posted some of their nail art designs online. Afterwards, their chosen artworks were displayed behind storefront windows.

Lidija Ristic

3. SINAIL (Seoul, South Korea)

Now, we’re heading to nail art exhibitions with more spectators. SINAIL is the biggest nail expo in South Korea because it also presented international brands and artists. It is amazing how every decoration and installation presented here were cutesy and girly. What I love the most are the gigantic nail polish bottles lining up to present some photos relevant to nail art.

The latest SINAIL event was held in Oct. 21, 2016 at SETEC Seoul. Aside from the nail art exhibits, the expo also organized some demos and consultations about setting up a nail shop business. Included in these interactive booths were presentations of the right materials and equipment for a complete nail shop. The organizers and exhibitors were very experienced in beauty shop management and marketing.

2. Nailphilia (London, U.K.)

From South Korea, let’s move on to the United Kingdom. If you love avant-garde fashion and style, then you may consider London’s premiere nail art exhibit called Nailphilia as your new haven. Everything here looks luxurious and unbelievably creative.

Nailphilia is tagged to be London’s first and biggest nail art expo. The displays here were out-of-this-world such as colorful rhinestones and 3-D cubes attached to nail art. Even animal hooves were designed here to represent nail art to a whole new level. The event celebrated extraordinary styles of worldwide singers such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

Held at East London gallery of DegreeArt.com, popular nail artists and experts brought the exhibition to reality such as Marian Newman, Jenny Longworth, Mike Pocock and Sue Marsh. In particular, Marsh lent runway designs from London Fashion Week and nail art designs she designed for big icons such as Spice Girls, Boy George and PJ Harvey.

Ryan Lanji, the curator of the exhibition, admitted that the whole event took hours of preparation. He also mentioned that each nail art display was created for several days. He stated that the exhibition became possible because of the artists’ passion and patience in the art of nails.

Nailphilia is very unique and trendy. It reminds us that beautiful nails, no matter how small, can really elevate a look.

1. Tokyo Nail Expo (Japan)

There’s no doubt that Tokyo Nail Expo is the biggest, most popular and most extravagant nail exhibition in the whole world. The crowd in this expo is insane. You would not believe at first that this is a big event focusing on nail art. The whole event really looks like an international expo because of the multitude of displays and the huge crowd.

Tokyo Nail Expo is also considered to be a “nail festival.” The biggest crowd it generated was composed of more than 50,000 people in just two days. One of its most-awaited activities is the Nail Competition. All Japanese nail experts who won in regional tournaments gathered in this event for the finals or championships. The attention they got from people was similar to Olympic athletes. These experts were very knowledgeable when it comes to unique styles and innovation.

Another highlight in this expo is the Nail Queen Award Ceremony. The awarding ceremony is always presented glamorously like what we normally see in Hollywood. This award is usually given to a famous personality who is passionate about nail art. The main stage is called “Nail Pantheon” and this is where the awarding normally takes place. Of course, every winner dressed up accordingly with their chosen nail art design.

Top 10 Nail Art Designs from Expos

These are my most favorite nail art designs displayed in the aforementioned expos:

Framed nail art designs from “Beneath the Lacquer”
“Vintage Wasps” by NancyMc in San Francisco nail art and jewelry exhibition | Photography by Bret Woodard
Sculptural hands by Sophie Hanson/”Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky” painting by Kostas Georgiou/Nails by Sophie Harris-Greenslade from The Illustrated Nail | Taken from Stylist | Nailphilia exhibition
Sculptural hands by Sophie Hanson/Monochrome Rose nails by Sam Biddle | Taken from Stylist | Nailphilia exhibition
Geisha nails by Sue Marsh | Taken from Stylist | Nailphilia exhibition
From Tokyo Nail Expo | Sophy Robson/Instagram
From Tokyo Nail Expo | Flavorwire
From Tokyo Nail Expo | Sephora Glossy
From Tokyo Nail Expo | Nevertoomuchglitter
From Tokyo Nail Expo | EPA/Franck Robichon

Personally, I love looking at the most intricate nail art designs. I can’t imagine the amount of work and patience required to accomplish the details since our fingernails are very small canvases. But I know these take lots work and not really for everyday life, so you can always refer to normal typical designs such as these everyday coffin shaped nails.

Posted in Art

10 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold in History

Outrageous – that’s the adjective I can come up with whenever I hear people buying paintings worth millions of dollars. But, it is just my initial reaction. I know that works of art can last forever if cared properly, much like jewelry. Paintings are good investments actually. They elevate the feel of a room. They are good conversation starters with sophisticated house guests. But, some are just too expensive, making this type of trade crazy.

Check out 10 of the most expensive paintings ever sold in the world based on the current prices, not the original ones:

10. “Woman III” (Willem de Kooning)

Willem de Kooning is a painter of abstract expressionism. “Woman III” is included in de Kooning’s series of paintings from 1951 to 1953. To be specific, this painting was finished in 1953. It spans 68 by 48 ½ inches.

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art previously included this painting in its collection, specifically from the 1970s to the 1990s. However, after the 1979 revolution, the government prohibited exhibiting this artwork because of its claims about the bad effects of visual arts.

In 1994, Thomas Ammann Fine Art discreetly traded the painting with businessman David Geffen. Ammann preferred to have the rest of a Persian manuscript called the Tahmasbi Shahnameh which can be traced back to the 16th century. In 2006, Geffen successfully sold the painting to the billionaire Steven A. Cohen for the price of $137.5 million.

Steven A. Cohen

9. “No. 5, 1948” (Jackson Pollock)

Jackson Pollock is another painter who made a name for himself through abstract expressionism. “No. 5, 1948” remained as one of his most powerful and expensive paintings despite several changes he made. Once again, Cohen is the one who purchased this painting worth $140 million.

Steven A. Cohen

8. “Nu Couché” (Amedeo Modigliani)

The eighth most expensive painting is an erotic one from Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani. “Nu Couché” means “Red Nude” or “Reclining Nude.” It is an oil painting on canvas which was completed in 1917. It was sold for $170 million to another wealthy businessman Liu Yiqian during an art sale at Christie’s New York.

This artwork is included in the infamous series of nude paintings by Modigliani. The Italian artist only had one art exhibition in his whole lifetime. In 1917, his show was being held at the Galerie Berthe Weill when the police suddenly raided the event and stopped it. Christie’s noted during the painting’s sale last November 2015 that Modigliani just wanted to express that nudity is just part of modern art.

Liu Yiqian

7. “Les Femmes d’Alger” (Pablo Picasso)

Also known as “Women of Algiers,” “Les Femmes d’Alger” is a collection of 15 artworks from the iconic Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. Picasso is so popular until this generation that his name is already associated with cubism. “The Women of Algiers in their Apartment” by Eugène Delacroix is the inspiration of Picasso’s masterpiece.

First buyers of the whole series were Sally and Victor Ganz. In 1956, they bought it at the Galerie Louise Leiris located in Paris for the price of $212,500. Interestingly, they sold 10 of the series to the Saidenberg Gallery.

Since the series became individual paintings, the most expensive one is simply known as “Version O.” Christie’s New York auctioned this in 2015. The painting was purchased by the former prime minister of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani for the price of $179.4 million.

Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani

6. “Pendant Portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit” (Rembrandt)

The famous Dutch painter commonly known as Rembrandt painted these two full-length portraits of the married couple Oopjen Coppit and Marten Soolmans. From the Rothschild family, both the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre Museum gained the rights for the paintings in 2015. Each museum paid half the price of €160 million.

Rijksmuseum/Louvre Museum

5. “No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)” (Mark Rothko)

It is a wonder why many of the most expensive paintings follow abstract expressionism. Here’s another example from the Russian-American painter Mark Rothko. “No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)” was completed in 1951. It is similar to other paintings of Rothko – different colors of big coverage that are connected together through shading. Dmitry Rybolovley purchased this painting for €140 million during an exclusive sale.

Dmitry Rybolovley

4. “Number 17A” (Jackson Pollock)

Another masterpiece from Pollock, “Number 17A” was purchased by Kenneth C. Griffin from the David Geffen Foundation in 2015. It was worth $200 million.

Kenneth C. Griffin

3. “The Card Players” (Paul Cézanne)

Paul Cézanne is a French artist promoting the Post-Impressionist movement in his paintings. His most popular work is a series called “The Card Players.” These five artworks are oil paintings created during the 1890s. They differ in size, setting and number of card players. One of the paintings belongs to the most expensive artworks in history because of the Royal Family of Qatar’s purchase in 2011. Its price is estimated to be at least $250 million and maximum of $300 million.

Royal Family of Qatar

2. “When Will You Marry?” (Paul Gauguin)

Translated from the Tahitian title “Nafea Faa Ipoipo,” “When Will You Marry?” is an 1892 oil painting by the another French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin. In 2015, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani purchased this for $300 million from the Staechelin family.

In 1891, Gauguin visited Tahiti and got inspiration there for his most notable artworks. He painted local women dressed in traditional clothing or just plain nude. He also captured Tahitian women wearing Western dresses. Historically speaking, it was said that Gauguin painted the natives as people who only love to sing and have sex. It is speculated that Gauguin earned so much money and fame in his time because of that.

Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani

1. “Interchange” (Willem de Kooning)

So far, this abstract expressionism painting titled “Interchange” is the most expensive painting ever sold in the world. Once again, de Kooning managed to produce an expensive artwork. Finished in 1955, the painting measures 200.7 by 175.3 centimeters. For the second time, Griffin purchased this from the David Geffen Foundation in 2015 for $300 million.

Kenneth C. Griffin

Final Thoughts

Like you, I was pretty overwhelmed when I first learned the prices of these paintings. Not to mention the simplicity of the artworks yet the intense fascination it gave to the curators and the buyers. Actually, there are existing artworks even more expensive than these paintings. Those paintings are already priceless, meaning they cannot be sold privately. One of which is the “Mona Lisa.”

Posted in Art

The Beauty Of Street Art: Mindblowing Street Installations

While the world provides the best canvass and media which visual artists can use to showcase their one-in-a-million skill, there is no denying that art started as an act of vandalism. The earliest forms of visual art that has been discovered are the cave paintings which depicted the simple hunting life of the earliest human caucus.
As time goes by and technology advances, people found more effective ways and venue where art can be rendered. Famous paintings and murals are now immortalized in fabric canvas or smooth walls and ceilings of equally-stunning architectural buildings. However, if you guys also noticed, these types of visual art mostly were and are created only for the eyes of the elites and those who can afford. If not privately owned by the richest people, they are displayed on highly guarded museums and government establishments.

True art is not meant to be that way though, it is supposed to be shared to the world and be appreciated by the many. Because historical forms of art are now priced and guarded, modern art started to act in defiance of what was set by the powerful. Ironically, art goes back to vandalism and street art was born. Street art, though tagged as forms of vandalism at first, became so famous and highly regarded that the world started to accept it as formal venues for free expression. Slowly through time, street artists are being recognized and are contracted by the government and private institutions to create masterpieces on walls and public spaces allotted for it. Not only that this movement paved way to the evolution of visual art, it also opens visual art back to the masses which is supposedly the true objective of such.

A sneak-peak of Street Art History:

Street art started in the 1920s and 1930s, and gained its popularity in early 1980s. It is often associated with the peak of graffiti art. Graffiti of protest slogans painted on open walls, trains and even cars are regarded as the forerunners of street art.

Street art started as simple shapes and line forms. During the peak of the 20th century and the dawn of the 21st, street art has progressed into intricate interdisciplinary form of imaginative expression – from wall slogans, graffiti, murals and stencils to large-scale contemporary artworks and street installations.

Here are some of the breathtaking street art pieces done in different cities around the world:

Hawaii

Sean Yoro, or best known as Hula, is an NYC-based self taught artist and the genius behind these stunning portraits. These incredible murals were painted on brick walls that separate the dry land from the ocean.


Hula endeavors to bring life to empty and forgotten spaces. Shipwrecks, abandoned docks and lonesome walls are some of his favorite canvasses. He prefers to use oil paint along with conventional painting techniques.


Look how the portraits unite with its reflections on the water, truly awesome! It’s undeniably a brilliant approach of Hula in showcasing the exquisiteness of his works and of course the beauty of Hawaii itself. His masterpieces will surely leave you with a range of emotions.

France


In a warehouse situated in Lyon, France, you’ll find a cleverly painted sleeping giant. This work of art was created by Ella & Pitr, French artists that are also a couple. Most of their works involve sleepy-head giants, large birds with heavy wings, piles of stones, children, burnt trunks or chairs.
One of their famous works is the “Les Papiers Peintres” which uses the technique called anamorphosis and applied large scale interventions.


“Reload” is another awesome masterpiece that can be found in France. This was painted by Levalet, a well recognized French artist. His approaches in street paintings are surreal and contemporary.

Also found in the streets of France is a stunning art installation entitled “Ants”. Pejac, the artist behind the incredible work showcases his love for the minimal designs. The mural portrays two silhouettes of curious and somewhat mean kids inspecting the tiny insect species underneath them.

Mexico

This gigantic interconnecting masterpieces is a collective effort of a Germen crew and the Mexican government in rehabilitating and at the same time revamping the Palmistas borough in Pachuca, Mexico. This project consisted of 209 painted houses (Wow! That’s quite grueling!).

The primary purpose of this project is to promote social transformation.

Portugal

In a busy street of Belem, Portugal, you’ll find this eye-catching raccoon that will surely make you pause and stare for a while. This splendid street installation was done by Bordalo II, a Portuguese artist who is renowned for his towering 3D murals. He was able to utilize other people’s trash into massive striking animal portraits. Indeed, it is such an awesome way of creating life through recyclables.

Next on the list is a contemporary mural famously called as “Crossroads” which is painted on a 10 story building facade situated in Lisbon, Portugal. This cartoonish fresco showing an old lady surrounded by animals was done by Sainer, a Polish artist.

Spain

This thought- inflaming and arresting street installation entitled “CRISIS” can be found on the streets of Bilbao, Spain. The masterpiece was created by SpY, a Spanish artist. This was composed of 2-cent coins amounting to 1000 Euros. Can you imagine the intricacy of this work and the persistence of the artist? Beyond doubt, this work of art deserves a global shout out!

Canada

This cleverly painted work of genius was completed by Julien Malland, widely known as “Seth GlobePainter”. The wall painting consist of two kids running toward each other. The contrasting usage of bricks and clouds is purely mind blowing!

Germany

Meanwhile in Germany, a British muralist widely known as “Phlegm” showcased his illustrative and minimal artwork portraying iconic characters and cluster of machineries on an accordion styled wall in the street of Berlin. The artist loves to create surreal storybook-like imageries using his very own imagination.

USA

On the other hand, Martin Whatson, a much known Norwegian artist, created the “Behind The Curtain” mural in Miami, Florida. This awesome ocular illusion mural comprises of stencil and radiant graffiti.

Likewise, this mind-boggling metallic mural can also be found in Miami. The artist behind this awesome masterpiece is Bikismo, a Spanish artist who is fond of using spray-paint.

Poland

This gigantic wall painting with an illusion of a girl watering an existing plant was done by Natalia Rak. Most of her murals are about women in dreamlike vivid setting.

United Kingdom

In Cheltenham, UK, you will find these three government secret agents who seem to be discreetly spying on a phone dialogue. Banksy, the artist accountable for this ingenious work, made use of the existing and old phone booth and added life to it by painting government spies behind it.

Posted in Art

Artist Appreciation Nook: David Hockney and His Pop Art Innovations

One thing I love about art is innovation. As observed through the years, new artists emerged to provide another interesting style on the canvas. I think they make art even more interesting because, well, they put out something new and relevant to current social issues. That’s why when I heard news about a David Hockney art exhibition this year, I want to go to Tate Gallery pronto.

 

Who Is David Hockney?

Well, David Hockney is one of the most influential pop art contributors. Being tagged as an “influential” artist is definitely not something to be gained in a snap. Hockney really came out of his way to present bold and meaningful artworks for how many years. The now 79-year-old British artist has received so many prominent accolades. For one, he gained the Order of Merit and the Order of the Companions of Honour. He is also acknowledged by the members of the exclusive Royal Academy of Arts.

 

Best Works

Interestingly, David Hockney is not just a painter. He is also a photographer, a stage designer, a printmaker and a draughtsman. Yes, he is really a perfect example of an all-around artist.

What makes me even more excited about Hockney’s art exhibition is the inclusion of his works as a student in the early 1960s. The retrospective of how Hockney developed as an artist from those early works is a great opportunity to know him more. Most of Hockney’s memorable works have something to do with portraits, homosexuality, landscapes and sophisticated photo collages.

Paintings of Homosexuality (1961-1963)

“We Two Boys Together Clinging” (1961)

David Hockney is a homosexual. He is a brave artist, painting about his affection for men. Two of his famous works that have something to do with his sexuality are “We Two Boys Together Clinging” and “Domestic Scene, Los Angeles.”

“Domestic Scene, Los Angeles” (1963)

 

Portraits (1968-1976)

“Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy” (1971)

Most of David Hockney’s early works are portraits. Hockney loved painting his parents, relatives, friends, lovers and inspirations. He managed to paint fellow artist Mo McDermott, fashion designers Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell, art dealer Nicholas Wilder, curator Henry Geldzahler, and ballet dancer Wayne Sleep.

“Mo McDermott” (1976)

 

“Joiners” (1980s)

“My Mother, Bolton Abbey” (1982)

This is when David Hockney decided to start with photo collages. Hockney called those works “joiners.” He made small patches from photographs to form a unified image. The final result of his joiners is similar to Cubism. Hockney’s first photo collage is inspired by his mother. He continued to do portraits like “Kasmin.” Then, he switched to landscapes like “Pearblossom Highway # 2.”

“Pearblossom Highway # 2” (1986)

 

Vogue Cover (December 1985)

Because of David Hockney’s stylish art, French Vogue magazine used his Celia Birtwell portrait as the cover design. The cover seems like an abstract painting. But, it resembles Birtwell’s face.

“Celia Birtwell” for Vogue (December 1985)

 

“Bigger Trees Near Warter” (2007)

This is considered to be David Hockney’s biggest painting. The artwork measures 15 by 40 feet. Hockney’s Yorkshire home inspired this painting. On 50 separate canvases, Hockney painted specific parts of the big picture. The finished work is a nostalgic image of big trees.

“Bigger Trees Near Warter” (2007)

 

Final Thoughts

Paintings may just be eye-candy for some spectators. But, artists put their heart and soul into their artworks. David Hockney is definitely no exception. His daring, stylish and innovative personality is clearly depicted on his works.