Jeff Koons




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Jeff Koons plays with ideas of taste, pleasure, celebrity, and commerce. “I believe in advertisement and media completely,” he says. “My art and my personal life are based in it.” Working with seductive commercial materials (such as the high chromium stainless steel of his “Balloon Dog” sculptures or his vinyl “Inflatables”), shifts of scale, and an elaborate studio system involving many technicians, Koons turns banal objects into high art icons. His paintings and sculptures borrow widely from art-historical techniques and styles; although often seen as ironic or tongue-in-cheek, Koons insists his practice is earnest and optimistic. “I’ve always loved Surrealism and Dada and Pop, so I just follow my interests and focus on them,” he says. “When you do that, things become very metaphysical.” The “Banality” series that brought him fame in the 1980s included pseudo-Baroque sculptures of subjects like Michael Jackson with his pet ape, while his monumental topiaries, like the floral Puppy (1992), reference 17th-century French garden design.

American, b. 1955, York, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York

See more: jeffkoons.com

Robert Mapplethorpe




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Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. Of his childhood he said, “I come from suburban America. It was a very safe environment and it was a good place to come from in that it was a good place to leave.”

In 1963, Mapplethorpe enrolled at Pratt Institute in nearby Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he also experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages, including images cut from books and magazines. He acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970 and began producing his own photographs to incorporate into the collages, saying he felt “it was more honest.” That same year he and Patti Smith, whom he had met three years earlier, moved into the Chelsea Hotel.

Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. In 1973, the Light Gallery in New York City mounted his first solo gallery exhibition, “Polaroids.” Two years later he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.

In the late 70s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S & M scene. The resulting photographs are shocking for their content and remarkable for their technical and formal mastery. Mapplethorpe told ARTnews in late 1988, “I don’t like that particular word ‘shocking.’ I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before … I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them.” Meanwhile his career continued to flourish. In 1977, he participated in Documenta 6 in Kassel, West Germany and in 1978, the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City became his exclusive dealer.

Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first World Women’s Bodybuilding Champion, in 1980. Over the next several years they collaborated on a series of portraits and figure studies, a film, and the book, Lady, Lisa Lyon. Throughout the 80s, Mapplethorpe produced a bevy of images that simultaneously challenge and adhere to classical aesthetic standards: stylized compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and studio portraits of artists and celebrities, to name a few of his preferred genres. He introduced and refined different techniques and formats, including color 20″ x 24″ Polaroids, photogravures, platinum prints on paper and linen, Cibachrome and dye transfer color prints. In 1986, he designed sets for Lucinda Childs’ dance performance, Portraits in Reflection, created a photogravure series for Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, and was commissioned by curator Richard Marshall to take portraits of New York artists for the series and book, 50 New York Artists.

That same year, in 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Despite his illness, he accelerated his creative efforts, broadened the scope of his photographic inquiry, and accepted increasingly challenging commissions. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, one year before his death in 1989.

His vast, provocative, and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Today Mapplethorpe is represented by galleries in North and South America and Europe and his work can be found in the collections of major museums around the world. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on through the work of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. He established the Foundation in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art, and to fund medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIV-related infection.

See more: www.mapplethorpe.org

Andy Warhol




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In the fall of 1977, Andy Warhol began work on two new series of artworks which would become known as Torsos and Sex Parts. While the Torsos paintings would quickly be praised for following in the “high art” style of classical nudes, the Sex Parts series from which Torsos was borne blurred the line between art and pornography.

In creating the artworks, Warhol was probably inspired by classical nudes and erotic art which have been depicted throughout history. Sexuality in artwork can be found as early as 35,000 BC in central Europe with the erotic sculptures of the Venus of Hohle Fels and later the Venus of Willendorf statuettes, all of which have enlarged breasts and well-defined genitalia. In addition, sexual acts were displayed on vases in Ancient Greece from the 6th Century BC with images of Zeus engaging with his male lover Ganymede, as well as scenes of coitus on Etruscan vases and erotic frescos uncovered in Pompeii. Classical nudes, some homoerotic, are also present in works from the Renaissance, as witnessed in Goya’s Las Maja Desnuda and Titian’s Venus of Urbino. Warhol would have been taught about such historical works during his Art History classes at Carnegie Tech, and their impact is evident in this exhibition.

The seed of the Torsos and Sex Parts series sprouted after a man approached Warhol boasting of his large penis. Warhol agreed to photograph the man’s genitalia and the photographs were placed in a box casually labeled “Sex Parts.” Later, Warhol noticed the wording of the box’s label and conceived the idea for a series of works based on the initial photographs. Subjects for subsequent photo shoots were recruited from gay bath houses by Halston’s boyfriend, the artist and window dresser Victor Hugo. The men were asked to relax, pose, or take part in various sexual activities while Warhol photographed them with a 35mm camera and a Polaroid Big Shot. According to associate Bob Colacello, when confronted on the explicit nature of the photographs sitting around the office Warhol responded, “Just tell them it’s art, Bob. They’re landscapes.” Holy Terror, p. 337

The tamer images became the basis of the Torsos series, which was meant to be exhibited in museums, and which debuted at the Grand Palais in Paris in October 1977. The more sexually-charged artworks were produced as the Sex Parts print portfolio and were intended to be purchased for private collections. But perhaps the underlying reason for their creation was as a tool for Warhol’s ultimate acceptance of his sexuality. Longtime assistant Ronnie Cutrone recalls: “… we always understood it was going to be one of those portfolios that would sit primarily in the back room; that it would take a certain type of collector to appreciate them… But Andy was Catholic and a homosexual…For years, the joke was that Andy called homosexuality a “problem.” Sex Parts was a final announcement or affirmation of his homosexuality.” Unseen Warhol, p.68.

Casually referred to by Warhol as the Cocks, Cunts, and Assholes series, many of the works in this exhibition are on view to the public for the first time.

See more: warhol.org

Evelina Pentcheva




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Featured by CBS Los Angeles as one of the Best Artistic Photographers of Orange County.

Award Winning Photographer at one of the biggest Visual Art Competition Venues in Orange County.

Evelina is born in Eastern Europe and besides an artist and an award winning photographer she is a facilitator of personal transformation and consciousness addict that loves spending time in nature. Evelina’s promise is to take You on a magical journey of self discovery and beauty beyond what the eye can conceive. It’s an experience that will transform Your Whole Being so you can live a life full of potency, ecstasy and limitless possibilities. As a result you will have a real connection to yourself and meaningful relationships with others. When we connect to our self we become Radiant, Glorious and Attractive. That Radiance is captured trough her vision and lens.

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Leo Degreco




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Graduate from ”La Femis”, french film school. But in my Pigall studio in Paris I was mostly occupied by writing space script for my future film “Monalisa”.

With luck of money film never go to production and, my .future collapse……….. I know a very successful “art star” with piles of money and prizes and she’s not only a dim bulb but her ex-boyfriend did most of her early work for her. After she made it, she could have (and did) shit on ten dollar bills and sold them for ten millio? ………….I see it as crap just like the Dushomps urinal. But? I’ll be frank: French film school seems like a piece of shit with a bow on it. I’m 30 +, and and, and at this point, I’m not to sure about if I should go to get diploma at all. I’m American, which means pretty much every thinks is a huge scam. It sucks, but that’s reality. The only reason I would go bock to America is because the money? however…my art work was critically impressive and thrown five new franks at during its infancy at an film school…and so an and an, no need to be shame and it since I’ve been actually thrown ten new franks out with in different areas in fact. why? I’m very intelligent and opinionated, and that gets many detractors: but not to get into ME too much, and off addressing what needs to be:?

La Femis Studio was transformed into a art gallery, view-able only from a narrow doorway, built with the experience of exclusivity in mind (with space only for a few painting to experience the principle vantage point at a time). This was in mind of the delicate and pretty nature of the experience, of the image of Montmart and Paris. ….It worth knowing, perhaps, Picasso has, for many years worked and have residence , and studio in next block.

Though it might seem like a stretch to reach for resume as artist..but is not? I’m not Marcel Duchamp running with urinal as resume. Or Marcel Proust writing ten telephone size book saying I’m not fagot? but he was a faggot. Without jumping into the fray of making resume I’ll ad kinda unrelated, but kinda not at the same time-The fact that in high school teacher come to lecture us of art, after fuck her she give me twenty bucks for my painting? opinion matter as much….and My thinking has really evolved into something new – and has officially made an impact on my paradigm. Oh how? I change my name to DeGreco> or I should change it to Hirst? Art doesn’t reproduce what we see; rather it makes us see what is nothing? (El Greco and) It just gripped my soul, It was so refreshing, still is 25 yrs + on.? And 8=hundred + yrs on,,,,,,,,, Large group of-educated plutocrats can set artistic agenda much more easily? Whether it’s Eli Broad at MOCA or Dakis Joannou at New Museum. Or Picasso? and his enjoyment of living in brick brownstone, with no toilet. Only toilet was in the basement – that pushes such investigation of Picasso watching women pissing in the basement, as the phenomenological influence of his art. .

The ready made materials—were mixed the standardised chaos batch imperfection, crocked lines and drips go through out canvas in view and appearance of vagina or does refers to actual vagina. Destroying boring traditional their structures and references and giving unsuspected fresh meaning to art.

See more: leodegreco.com