The Next Rembrandt

This is fascinating. The Next Rembrandt is a project that deconstructed Rembrandt van Rijn’s paintings and used the data to construct a new painting.

Reminds me of the fascinating documentary: Tim’s Vermeer about Tim Jenison’s attempt(s) to copy a particular Johannes Vermeer painting.

Interesting that both of these guys were Dutch artists and both of them are famous for their depiction of light.

[via Devour]

Inspiring Creativity

Inspiring Creativity – A Liberatum film presented by illy from Liberatum on Vimeo.

Inspiring Creativity is a short film created by Liberatum, directed by Pablo Ganguli and Tomas Auksas, and presented by illy, featuring 21 artists and cultural figures from art, fashion, film, design, technology and music. The film is an insider’s perspective on inspiration from the minds of leading creative personalities including:

Diana Picasso, Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer, Inez van Lamsweerde, Vinoodh Matadin, Academy Award nominee James Franco, Joan Smalls, Johan Lindeberg, Jonas Mekas, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Nico Muhly, Karen Elson, Karim Rashid, Klaus Biesenbach, Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels, Lola Montes Schnabel, Marilyn Minter, Mark Romanek, Tracey Emin, Moby, Paul Schrader, and TED founder Richard Saul Wurman.

Through the authentic interpretation and responses from these individuals, the overall project communicates what inspires creative thinking and behaviors for nurturing inspiration, while provoking thoughts on how culture, society, and technology continue to affect creativity.

I like this. Not overdone, interesting choice of people, some wisdom to be gleaned.

[via Devour]

Tim Prentice

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing the artist Tim Prentice do a talk and slide show at an event hosted by my good friend the artist Joy Brown. I’d seen Tim’s work before, one of his pieces hung in the old terminal at Bradley Airport for many of the years I flew through there, but I’d never heard him talk about it. It was a fantastic talk, Tim is a humble, articulate and brilliant guy and many of his references, especially to Russian constructivism and building things up in a modular fashion struck a real cord with me.

It was a wonderful surprise to find out that he lives and works a few towns away from us here so I hope to get in touch with him and get out to his studio at some point.

Doodle Dandy has a piece on the late Saul Steinberg’s artist in residency at the Smithsonian: Doodle Dandy.

When I first moved to Connecticut, the late S. Dillon Ripley, the then Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution who invited Steinberg to be artist in residence was my neighbor. He had a second home in Litchfield, Connecticut where he kept rare species of birds among spectacular gardens. Ripley was a well known ornithologist and had written many definitive books on birds.

By the time I met Ripley he was an old man but you could still see what he was about and I could imagine him ranging through India and Africa with a pith helmet looking for birds (and treasures) in days of old when going to such places was high adventure. Raiders of the Lost Arc comes to mind.

Ripley’s wife gave him an early Macintosh (512K) as a birthday present to write what turned out to be his last book, which he never finished. He had no clue about computers and somehow I was enlisted to teach him how to use it. He was a smart man but maybe born in the wrong century as we made only a bit of progress with the computer. Still, it was great fun to hear stories from the character that he was: big tall guy wearing bermuda shorts, a pin-striped shirt and tie, knee socks and wing tips, in the summer. The pith helmet was hanging on the wall by then (literally).

To bring this story full circle, Saul Steinberg was a staff artist at The New Yorker Magazine and last year they published an amazing article by John Seabrook called Ruffled Feathers about an ornithologist, Pamela Rasmussen who unravelled a long-standing fraud in the field (a famous ornithologist falsifying bird specimens). The book that Ripley was working on on his new 512K Mac was The Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide which Dr. Rasmussen co-wrote and finished after his death and during the writing of which she uncovered the fraud.

My mother’s pin

My mother's pin

My 90 year old mother has this unusual pin: a hammered piece of silver with a coin and some other stuff attached to it. She used to hang out with a crowd that included the artist Chaim Gross and she’s pretty sure he designed the pin and gave it to her (she has a lot more of his work as well).

You can see her wearing it here and here.

Isamu Noguchi stamps


I was just mailing something in the post office in the next town (not the micro-post office in our town) and noticed all the new commemoratives in the glass case on the wall. One of them was a wonderful Isamu Noguchi Uncut Press Sheet which I snapped up two of immediately, one to keep and one to use. Wow, what a spectacular sheet.

I could not find a picture of the sheet itself on the USPS site, just the top line of stamps. The sheet has a large picture of the artist and a beautiful quotation and 4 rows of stamps, each one a spectacular black and white photo of a different piece of his work.

noguchi_with_sculptureNoguchi, who has been dead since the late 1980’s, is one of my all time favorite artists. He used all media and his work is simple, useful, and beautiful. He made sculpture, furniture, parks, lamps, fountains, monuments, paintings, theater sets, and more. The Noguchi Museum in New York is well worth a visit if you find his work interesting.

If you’re a fan of Constantin Brancusi or Alexander Calder or even Buckminster Fuller, you’re going to enjoy Noguchi’s work and ideas about form and function.





Everything is sculpture.

Any material,

any idea without hinderance

born into space,

I consider sculpture.

— Noguchi