Tag Archives: Contemporary Art

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.

 

Seven Magic Mountains near Las Vegas

Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Rom Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Rom Cortier
Sven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Sven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Romi Cortier at Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo by Tami
Romi Cortier at Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo by Tami
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier

Seven Magic Mountains makes me think of Stonehenge on acid, or psychedelic rocks as interpreted by Pop Artist Peter Max. Alas, it’s internationally renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone.

This two year installation which opened in May of this year, can easily be seen from your car while whizzing by on  Interstate 15,  about 10 miles  south of Las Vegas. Initially you might think you’re seeing neon colored balloons, however, as you near the parking lot and exit your car, something exciting starts to happen. The striking colors juxtaposed against the beige of the desert begin to feel cool, as in cold, despite the 100 plus degree temperature. Maybe it’s because they remind us of tubs of ice cream seen behind class at the local CVS or Baskin Robbins… there’s certainly something  pavlovian happening here.

In total there are seven towers made up of 33 limestone boulders.  The public art installation cost 3.5 million dollars to bring to life, including fees for permits, fabrication costs, road improvements, staff and studio travel over the 5 year timeline it took to bring this project to life, as well as for land restoration once the exhibit closes in May of 2018.

I’ve never been to burning man, however, for the short time I spent moving around this installation, I felt as if I might be getting a sense of what burning man is like: hip, cool, alternative, unexpected.  Experiencing temporary art thrust into a dry desert environment is quite exciting and invigorating. I actually visited this site twice in one day, as I wanted to see it while the sun was setting. Both times there were tons of people milling about, and the kids seemed the most excited by the bold colors. That said, it is the desert, so watch where you walk if you choose to  visit this site. Rattlesnakes are a real possibility since this is their native habitat. They won’t care if you you’re busy taking your  best art selfie to date. (yes, that’s a thing now) My sis yelled at me to stay on ‘the path’, but I had to get that long shot of all seven stones lined up side by side.  I’d love to revisit this installation in a year to see what the scorching desert sun has done to these saturated colors, or how they might look against a backdrop of white winter snow. If you’re on instagram, search #7magicmountains to see the latest and greatest of the seasonal shots taken around the spectacularly fun exhibit.

Art Selfie, Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier
Art Selfie, Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada, Photo Romi Cortier

You can learn more about artist Ugo Rondinone HERE

The video below will show you how they stacked these 40,000 pound boulders…  the first earth work installation created in over 40 years.

 

Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015

The Limited Barrier III, Flameworked, Borosilicate Glass, Eunsuh Choi, $72,000, Tansey Contemporary Gallery, Photo Romi Cortier
The Limited Barrier III, Flameworked, Borosilicate Glass, Eunsuh Choi, $72,000, Tansey Contemporary Gallery, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier
Archipelago & Glass, 2014, Oil on Pane, Tom Betts, $12,800, Dawson Cole Fine Art, Photo Romi Cortier
Archipelago & Glass, 2014, Oil on Panel, Tom Betts, $12,800, Dawson Cole Fine Art, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier
Delusion Study, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30, $4,500, Lui Ferreyra, William Havu Gallery, Photo Romi Cortier
Delusion (Study), Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30,  Lui Ferreyra, $4,500, William Havu Gallery, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier
BTWITIAILWY, Neon Sign, Edition 2/3, 32 x 40, Rachel Hovnanian, $9,000, Imago Galleries, Photo Romi Cortier
BTWITIAILWY, Neon Sign, Edition 2/3, 32 x 40, Rachel Hovnanian, $9,000, Imago Galleries, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier
Covenant with Diamond Dust, 2013, Silkscreen Print with Glaze and Diamond Dust, 53 1/2 x 53 1/2, Damien Hirst, $55,000, Heather james Fine Art, Photo Romi Cortier
Covenant with Diamond Dust, 2013, Silkscreen Print with Glaze and Diamond Dust, 53 1/2 x 53 1/2, Damien Hirst, $55,000, Heather james Fine Art, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier
Noe Katz, Thomas Paul Fine Art, Photo Romi Cortier
Noe Katz, Thomas Paul Fine Art, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier
Retardashians, 2011, Acrylic and Spray Paint on Faux Brick Panel, Gusford Gallery, Photo Romi Cortier
Retardashians, 2011, Acrylic and Spray Paint on Faux Brick Panel, Adam Mars, $5,000,  Gusford Gallery, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier
#22, Oil on Canvas, 45 x 35, Ryan Magyar, $4,000, William Havu Gallery, Photo Romi Cortier
#22, Oil on Canvas, 45 x 35, Ryan Magyar, $4,000, William Havu Gallery, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier
Going out of Business, 2012, Monoprint and Collage on Handmade Paper, Mel Bochner, $120,000, Heather James Fine Art, Photo Romi Cortier
Going out of Business, 2012, Monoprint and Collage on Handmade Paper, Mel Bochner, $120,000, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015,  Photo Romi Cortier
Hypochondria 60, 2014, Mixed Media, Klari Reis via The Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Photo Romi Cortier
Hypochondria 60, 2014, Mixed Media, Klari Reis via The Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015, Photo Romi Cortier

The Palm Springs Fine Art Fair of 2015 lived up to my expectations. It  has always been one of my favorites and this year it included  66 Galleries from 7  countries,  focusing on post-war and contemporary art.  As you can see from the images I’ve posted,  there was a huge variety and style of works priced  from $4,000 – $120,000.  Some of the works were elegant and refined, while others were  snarky and irreverent.

Patrons were gathering around the Gusford Gallery enjoying the amusing quotes of artist Adam Mars such as: RetardashiansI Stand By My Uninformed Opinions, Good Lay Bad Texter, True Love Waits and We’re Impatient, and For Eli Broad or some Rich Broad. 

The exquisite painting by Mexican born Noe Katz was a show stopper. I love the long sinewy lines wrapping around the male figure, which looks like it could have been painted by Fernand Leger with its Deco inspired shading. His work has been seen at exhibitions in the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, the Tokoro Museum of Modern Art in Japan and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach.

Ryan Magyar’s #22  lept off the gallery wall from across the room, glowing like embers in a fireplace. In my opinion it’s remarkably well executed and very affordable at $4,000. Imagine it hanging on a nearly black wall at the end of long corridor, it would be stunning.

Portrait artist Lui Ferreyra used a sublime muted color palette for his oil painting Delusion (study).  It has  a vintage cubist vibe and  reminds me of the Italian Futurist exhibit I saw at the Guggenheim in New York last spring.  At $4,500 I think it’s also a remarkable value.

I’m a huge fan of photorealism.  Tom Bett’s Archipelago & Glass looks like it could have been painted by a Dutch master. He used thin layers of paint on a smooth panel, therefore, there are no ridges on the surface like you’d see on canvas. Art consultant Marty Raichle tells me that the painting literally glows once the lights are turned off, and I’m inclined to believe her.  At $12,800 it’s a steep price point if you’re a novice art collector. That said, anytime you’re willing to lay out that much for a painting you’ll need to do your homework and look at the artists Curriculum Vitae. Who’s collecting them? Are they in any museum collections? Do they have any resale value in the secondary art market… you get the picture.

Artist Mel Bochner has his own dedicated Wikipedia page, which helps you understand why his works on paper go for $120,000. He’s an American conceptual artist and his works are in  nearly 2 dozen Public Collections in Switzerland, Germany, Australia and France.

To quote  art critic  and museum curator Peter Frank The fair has variety and surprise, two qualities I look for in a fair. I’m so glad that I made the drive from Los Angeles to see the 2015 fine art fair. Good art is satisfying and inspiring, and I for one left with a big smile on my face.

“Transitions: Works by Francoise Gilot”

Francoise Gilot 'Applause' Oil on Canvas
Francoise Gilot ‘Applause’ Oil on Canvas, Photo Romi Cortier
Francoise Gilot, Oil on Canvas, Photo Romi Cortier
Francoise Gilot, Oil on Canvas, Photo Romi Cortier

 

Francoise Gilot, 'Sea Goddess', Oil on Canvas, Photo Romi Cortier
Francoise Gilot, ‘Sea Goddess’, Oil on Canvas, Photo Romi Cortier

“Transitions: Works by Francoise Gilot” was a remarkable exhibit that I had the pleasure of seeing at the Oceanside Museum in the summer of 2011. It was curated by Mel Yoakum Ph. D, author of ‘Monograph 1940 – 2000′ Francoise Gilot: Painting – Malerei and Stone Echoes: Original Prints by Francoise Gilot – A Catalogue Raisonne. 

Mel’s knowledge of Gilot’s work is extensive, especially with their 20 plus years of collaboration which began in 1987.  His lecture was rich in detail, and was one of those moments in story telling that you never wanted to end.  The exhibit began with her Labyrinth Series and included important works into the 21st Century. Had I of known I’d be writing this blog post, I would have taken greater care to to get clearer images with the proper dates and titles. The images above were my favorites, and I snapped the photos for my own personal reference. However, they do not begin to capture the remarkable depth of this exhibit.

Due to its resounding success, the ‘Transitions‘ exhibit was taken to the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College in the summer of 2012.  To learn more about Gilot’s work, go to francoisegilot.com. 

 

 

Tulip Paintings

Lavender Tulips, Gouache on Paper, by Romi Cortier
Lavender Tulips, Gouache on Paper, by Romi Cortier, Sold

Here’s my most recent series of paintings: Tulips, works on paper. They’re freer and more spontaneous than my oil paintings on canvas.

I started by photographing a large glass vase full of tulips in my art studio, then, a few months later, worked to reinterpret the images with Gouache on paper. Gouache is a water based paint that is thicker than traditional water color paint. Apparently, before graphic design went digital with the rest of the world, gouache was the medium of choice. This medium allows the user to create  rich saturated colors that dry very quickly, especially when compared to oil on canvas.  Even though I’d used gouache paint in my design classes at UCLA,  I’d never really considered using it as a professional medium until I saw the work of Richard Diebenkorn at the Palm Springs Art Museum last fall. (Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953 – 1966) His moody saturated images really spoke to me, so I dug out my old tubes of gouache paint, bought a few new colors and went to work.  The above painting, Lavender Tulips,  is the third work in my progression of Tulip Paintings and is currently being framed.  Below you’ll see Orange Tulips, the first in the series, and Purple Tulips (which has already sold).  Additional inspiration came from the vintage print works of Francoise Gilot.

Orange Tulips, Gouache on Paper, by Romi Cortier
Orange Tulips, Gouache on Paper, by Romi Cortier
Purple Tulips, Gouache on Paper, by Romi Cortier, Sold
Purple Tulips, Gouache on Paper, by Romi Cortier, Sold

Below is a Flipagram (cool iphone/ipad App) that will let you tell any story in 15 seconds. In my Flipagram, I show you the evolution of Lavender Tulips from start to finish.