Tag Archives: Art

Kehinde Wiley’s Portrait of President Barack Obama

Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama, Kehinde Wiley, Oil on Canvas, 2018
Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama, Kehinde Wiley, Oil on Canvas, 2018
Artist Kehinde Wiley and President Barack Obama, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Official Portrait Unveiling.
Artist Kehinde Wiley and President Barack Obama, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Official Portrait Unveiling.

President Barack Obama’s official Portrait by Kehinde Wiley was unveiled at the Smithsonian National  Portrait Gallery,  Monday February 12th, 2018. The portrait has been met with criticism by some, and applauded by others. I for one am a huge fan of Wiley’s portrait. That said, I wanted to try and wrap my mind around some of the controversy that I’d seen on social media from those who felt it wasn’t ‘on par’ with the tone and tenor of previous Presidential Portraits. So I decided to do some research…

John F. Kennedy Presidential Portrait, Elaine de Kooning, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
John F. Kennedy Presidential Portrait, Elaine de Kooning, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
William Jefferson Clinton, Presidential Portrait by Chuck Close, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
William Jefferson Clinton, Presidential Portrait by Chuck Close, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

What I discovered is that President Barack Obama wasn’t  the first to buck classic portraiture for his official portrait.  Both John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton are represented by the avant-garde artist  of  their day.  As is frequently the case, stories on social media are tailored to reinforce a specific point of view. Namely, that Obama was wack for choosing such an outrageous artist that didn’t represent the traditional norms of the office.  When taking a closer look at the ‘norms’, one can clearly see that there’s been a broader range of painting styles presented at the Smithsonian over the years. Follow the link below to view all of the Presidential Portraits from the last century.

Artnet News: 100 years of Presidential Portraits 

I’ve been a fan of Kehinde Wiley for over a decade, and was thrilled to see his paintings on the tv show EMPIRE. It’s a brilliant choice to have a fictional character like Lucious Lyon, a black music mogul, fill his home with the art of such a highly regarded black artist, thus supporting those at the top of his community.

Kehinde Wiley, Studio Portrait
Kehinde Wiley, Studio Portrait

Here are a few more examples of Wiley’s work.

Starlit Nights, Kehinde Wiley, Oil on Canvas, 2013
Starlit Nights, Oil on Canvas, Kehinde Wiley, 2005
LL Cool J, Oil on Canvas, Kehinde Wiley, 2005
LL Cool J, Oil on Canvas, Kehinde Wiley, 2005
Jean de Carondelet III, Oil on Canvas, Kehinde Wiley, 2013
Jean de Carondelet III, Oil on Canvas, Kehinde Wiley, 2013

As an artist, I absolutely love the magnificent size of his paintings, as well as the lusciousness of the background behind his subjects. His ability to beautifully render skin tones is out of this world, and to quote Obama: I was struck by the degree to which they challenged our ideas of power and privilege. Kehinde juxtaposes contemporary urban culture with centuries old postures and wallpaper like backgrounds.

When I composed my own painting of President Barack Obama in 2011,  I also chose a lush green background to represent his  emotional life. I wanted my image to be reminiscent of a gothic stain glass window with the presidential seal as his halo. My overall theme was about the religious fervor surrounding the election of our first African American President. The ionic column represents democracy, with the red and blue states being represented on their respective sides of the column, blue on the left, red on the right.

Obama and the Tree of Knowledge, Oil on Canvas, Artist Romi Cortier
Obama and the Tree of Knowledge, Oil on Canvas, Artist Romi Cortier

For Wiley, he wove chrysanthemum  into the greenery of the background  (the official flower of Chicago),  and Jasmine for Hawaii, as well as African Blues symbolic of Obama’s heritage. Like the fictional character Lucious Lyon,  President Barack Obama chose one of the finest artist from the black community to forever represent the first African American President  in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. It was a bold choice that I absolutely applaud, and I believe  it will certainly pass the test of time. Great men must be ahead of the curve, not behind it,  paving the way for others to follow.

www.kehindewiley.com 

The Buddha’s of Artist Metis Atash

Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018,  Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
Buddha by Metis Atash, L A Art Show, 2018, Photo Romi Cortier
LA Art Show, Romi Cortier, Recio Young, JD Miller, and Melanie Engle
LA Art Show, Romi Cortier, Recio Young, JD Miller, and Melanie Engle

The Buddha’s of artist Metis Atash took the L A Art Show by storm. Covered in nearly 20 thousand Swarovski crystals, her Buddha’s radiated light in every direction, enticing patrons to take countless photos and videos of  her sculptures. JD Miller of the Dallas based Samuel Lynne Galleries, was a fantastic host on both days of our visit to the art show.

We were there opening night, and then again on the fourth and final day of the show. Opening night was fun and very conversational with several gallery owners and artists. Therefore, we didn’t make it to every booth. So we returned early Sunday morning and made our way to the booths that we’d missed. Our last stop was back were we’d begun… at the Buddha’s!

Atash sculpts in fiberglass, covers her creations with acrylic paint, and then meticulously bathes each piece by hand in upwards of 20,000 Swarovski crystals. The completed works can be an homage to icons like Chanel,  Lichtenstein, Warhol, or Hirst, with a zen vibe rooted  in Daoism. Her artwork has been exhibited in select galleries throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has been featured in Vogue, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and Haute Living.  And most recently her work has been seen on CNBC’s the Secret Lives of the Super Rich.

If one of these beautiful creations is in your future, then reach out to Samuel Lynne Galleries in Dallas and tell them Romi sent you.

Samuel Lynne Galleries, 1105 Dragon St., Dallas TX. 75207

214 965-9027

 

METISH ATASH

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic feels like an Impressionist Painting

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Fan, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Fan, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
'Contemplation' by Mary Cassatt, 1891 -92
‘Contemplation’ by Mary Cassatt, 1891 -92
Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, 2017, Will Rogers State Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, 2017, Will Rogers State Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Woman with a Parasol, Claude Monet, 1875
Woman with a Parasol, Claude Monet, 1875
Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, 2017, Will Rogers State Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, 2017, Will Rogers State Park, Photo Romi Cortier
'Racehorses' Edgar Degas, 1895, National Gallery of Canada
‘Racehorses’ Edgar Degas, 1895, National Gallery of Canada
Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, 2017, Will Rogers State Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, 2017, Will Rogers State Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, Georges Seurat, 1884-86, Art Institute of Chicago
Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, Georges Seurat, 1884-86, Art Institute of Chicago

I recently attended the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles. It was my first time attending this event, and my first time watching a polo match. The temperatures were pushing 90 on this very hot October day. In an attempt to stay cool, attendees  were huddled under a sea of orange Veuve Clicquot umbrella’s as far as the eye could see. We tried our best to purchase one, but they’d quickly sold out. Thank goodness for the complimentary orange fans and the faintest  summer  breeze.

As the day unfolded, I began to glimpse familiar visions of moments I’d seen before in museums, namely impressionist paintings.  It’s so odd to feel as if you’re living inside a painting, experiencing some sort of art deja vu. Impressionist paintings were inspired by everyday life, so why not this day? It was beautiful in every direction: polo ponies, orange umbrella’s, beautifully dressed people wearing the latest trends. To be honest, it was more fun watching the guests jockeying for photos ops at the branded photo stations, then it was actually watching the polo match.

However, as everyone stood for the National Anthem, I was both proud and humbled.  I was also reminded of George Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte. The beautifully groomed jockeys on manicured polo ponies reminded me of Edgar Degas’s Racehorses. And when a sea of women took to the field  at half time  to stomp the divots… and of course take a few selfies, I was reminded of Claude Monet’s  Woman with a Parasol. It’s amazing how much life changes, and yet stays the same. Maybe we all dream the same dream. To see. To be seen. To make a difference. And to look absolutely fantastic while we do it.

The Art of Michael Muller & Sage Vaughn

'Hitch Hiker' Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Archival Paper, Micheal Muller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
‘Hitch Hiker’ Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Archival Paper, Micheal Muller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
'Attacker 1', Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Michael Muller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
‘Attacker 1’, Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Michael Muller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
Echo Chamber, Acrylic, Ink & Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Michael Muller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
‘Echo Chamber’, Acrylic, Ink & Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Michael Muller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
'Peeper', Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Sage Vaughn & Micheal Muller, Photo Romi Cortier
‘Peeper’, Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper,  Micheal Muller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
'Garden Party Crasher', Acrylic, Ink, and Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Michael fuller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
‘Garden Party Crasher’, Acrylic, Ink, and Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Michael fuller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
'Attacker 2', Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Michael Miller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier
‘Attacker 2’, Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Archival Photograph Paper, Michael Miller & Sage Vaughn, Photo Romi Cortier

I LOVED the recent art exhibition of Michael Muller and Sage Vaughn. I’ve been aware of Sage’s paintings for years, but I’ve never had the opportunity to see his work in person. This  recent exhibit featured Vaughn’s painting over the photographic images of Michael Muller.  Most images were 48″ x 60″ and some as large as 60″ x 90″, ranging in price from $16,000 – $22,000. I was elated to see so many red sold dots on the pieces.

Over the last decade Sage has had multiple solo shows, from New York to London to Germany and Geneva. There have also been several group exhibitions from Los Angeles to London, San Francisco  to Belgium… it’s safe to say, Sage is everywhere. I wish I would have known about his work a decade ago, as it might have been a bit more affordable. But that’s what drives prices up: the international solo shows and a list of top notch collectors.

Below are a few more images of Sage’s work from his web site www.sagevaughn.com.

I'm not Trying to Forget, Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Paper, Sage Vaughn, SageVaughn.com
I’m not Trying to Forget, Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Paper, Sage Vaughn, SageVaughn.com
The Gazer (R Prince) 2014, Oil, Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Canvas, Sage Vaughn, SageVaughn.com
The Gazer (R Prince) 2014, Oil, Acrylic, Ink and Vellum on Canvas, Sage Vaughn, SageVaughn.com

As an artist, I’ve been very enamored by Sage’s use of the Butterfly, combined with his drip paint technique. Below you can view a YouTube mural making video that I created in 2014 inspired directly by his paintings. I have no idea if he’s ever seen my work, but I do hope that he would be flattered and not offended by my interpretation of his beautiful fine art.

 

Artful Living with Romi Cortier is here!

I’m thrilled to announce the debut of my new TV pilot Artful Living with Romi Cortier! The concept has been years in the making, inspired by my multiple DIY mural making videos on Youtube, of which I have over 1,500,000 views.  Yes, that’s 1 1/2 million views!!

Artful Living with Romi Cortier is a celebration of Art, Architecture and Interior Design. As an artist and a purveyor of good taste, I want to focus on what’s right and beautiful in this world. There is so much to be explored, and that’s our concept for this show. Interviews with designers, artists, architects, scholars, all threaded together by the history of the built environment. Art Deco, Hollywood Regency, Post Modernism… they’re all words we’ve heard, but what do they really mean? I’ll help you understand that in my show, and I’ll also show you some fun DIY tricks for things that you can do around your own home.

Romi Cortier and Coco, aka Malibu Pom on the set of Artful Living, Photo Recio Carrington Young
Romi Cortier and Coco, aka Malibu Pom on the set of Artful Living, Photo Recio Carrington Young

And did I happen to mention that my co-host is the cutest white Pomeranian you’ve ever seen? Her name is Coco, aka Malibu Pom, which is the name of her Instagram page. (Hey, this is Hollywood and  all the cool pups here have their own Instagram accounts).  But what’s even more fun is that she actually LOVES riding around in the car with the top down, cruising Rodeo Drive and brunching at Villa Blanca. If there’s a camera around you can bet Coco has a smile on her face…  and with that cute mug she makes friends everywhere she goes.

Coco, aka Malibu Pom, Rodeo Drive, Photo Jacob Kelso
Coco, aka Malibu Pom, Rodeo Drive, Photo Jacob Kelso

In this pilot episode you’ll learn a little bit about the history of Palm Springs and some of the hallmarks of mid-century modernism. You’ll also see a beautiful mid-century inspired table setting that I created, which was done in front of a mural that I’d painted earlier that day. The Mural was inspired by the drawings of Saul Lewitt whose work I’d seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I like to think of Op Art (optical illusion art) as an art movement that dovetails nicely with mid-century modernism, because it has it roots in the early 1960’s.

Romi Cortier on the set of Artful Living, Palm Springs, Ca., Photo Recio Carrington Young.
Romi Cortier on the set of Artful Living, Palm Springs, Ca., Photo Recio Carrington Young.

Here’s a close up look at a few of the details on the table. The plates with the platinum dots are from my personal collection of   Bernardaud  (fine china from France), and the crystal glass is by Reed and Barton available at Bloomingdales.

Table setting for Artful Living with Bernardaud plates and glasses by Reed and Barton. Photos Jacob Kelso
Table setting for Artful Living with Bernardaud plates and glasses by Reed and Barton. Photos Jacob Kelso

Here are our two cameramen making the magic happen while on set in Palm Springs: Willy Lazlo and Jacob Kelso… it takes a village, especially when it’s over 100 degrees!

Cameramen Willy Lazlo and Jacob Kelso, Romi Cortier, and Coco, Palm Springs, Ca., Photo Recio Carrington Young
Cameramen Willy Lazlo and Jacob Kelso, Romi Cortier, and Coco aka Malibu Pom, Palm Springs, Ca., Photo Recio Carrington Young

And lastly, here’s a great photo from our wrap party with our editors Antone Hammers and Amanda Bliss Taylor. They were hands down an extraordinary duo. Antone  was our story editor and created the rough cut, and  Amanda created the finished product complete with a final polish.  And most importantly, meet our producer Recio Carrington Young of Red Carpet Recio Productions He pulled together this amazing team, spent countless hours with our editors choosing music, directing cuts, and creating the overall tone of the show.

Antone Hammers, Romi Cortier, Coco aka Malibu Pom, Recio Carrington Young, and Amanda Bliss Taylor. Artful Living wrap party, Beverly Hills, Ca.
Antone Hammers, Romi Cortier, Coco aka Malibu Pom, Recio Carrington Young, and Amanda Bliss Taylor. Artful Living wrap party, Beverly Hills, Ca.

We’d really love your support and hope you’ll check out the pilot while it’s available on Go Indie TV.  Please follow the link below to watch the entire 22 minute pilot for free.

Artful Living with Romi Cortier