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Artist Cheat-Sheet: Kandinsky

April 28th, 2010 · 7 Comments

Perhaps you’ve lamented the fact that your love of Picasso won’t help you in the pursuit of living with art, but with a bit of guidance you can start to develop your taste on current art based on your preferences of “famous” art.

In this series I match major artists of the 19th or 20th century with current independent artists who share the artist’s style, subject, tone, etc. You’ll no longer have the excuse of not knowing any current, affordable artists you like!

Wassily Kandinsky is a Russian painter of the early 20th century who is considered a major pioneer of abstract art. He briefly taught at the Bauhaus School in Germany before permanently moving to France. From the 1920’s on, Kandinsky painted and wrote theory about abstract, geometric art while the formal art world revolved around the then popular genres of Impressionism and Cubism.

If you like Kandinsky’s early semi-abstract work…

…then you should check out the work of artist, Brandi Strickland, of Charlotte, NC.

If you like Kandinsky’s highly-geometric work…

…then check out Bay Area artist, Lena Wolff‘s, serene, geometric work.

If you like Kandinsky’s more abstract work with organic forms…

…then take a look at the work of the Cleveland-based Dana Oldfather

…and the San Francisco-based abstract painter, Jessica Snow.

If Kandinsky’s late-stage, more chaotic work appeals to you…

…then, again, check out Jessica Snow

…and the unusual mixed media pieces of Valerie Anne Molnar.

And lastly, if you like Kandinsky’s hyper-bright, hyper-graphic work…

…then take a look at the work of Brooklyn painter, Beau Chamberlain

…and fellow Brooklynite, Mike Perry.

Previous cheat-sheets: Georgia O’Keeffe, Gustav Klimt, Roy Lichtenstein

Out of the Mainstream: Brooklyn meets Portland…. Week 4: Beau Chamberlain

March 7th, 2010 · No Comments

Beau Chamberlain is a Brooklyn-based artist whose semi-abstract paintings are rooted in biology and infused with kaleidoscopic color and sci-fi visual punches. Beau is originally from Portland and has lived in Brooklyn for the past 10 years.

How would you describe your work?

Fantasy based semi abstract landscapes.

What are, in your opinion, the greatest challenges of being an artist today?

Juggling the role of business person vs Artist. It’s no longer the days of New York past where you could live on nothing and make your work without a $600 a month studio. You have to figure out how to make work you can live with but still allows you enough financial gain to keep making work. It’s hard to when you have multiple people telling you what they think is successful about your work to find your own opinion of what you think is successful. Its really easy to fall into the hole of replication. Studio practice is everything and you just have to keep working at your craft. So many artists just can’t keep making work when they don’t have a deadline to push them.

What accomplishments/ works of art are you most proud of?

I’m super critical about my work so it’s hard to pick a painting that I like for very long after I finish it. I’m just happy that I have continued to make work through this market slump and that the work seems to be really moving forward. It sounds a bit cliche but not doing 3 art fairs a year has allowed for growth and experimentation in my work, that might not have occurred otherwise.

Tell us about the biggest risk you’ve taken as an artist.

Really need to take more risks in my work. I’ve been messing around with sculpture all of which have failed up to this point.  Still planning on exploring that avenue soon.

What do you love most about Portland/ Brooklyn?

I grew up in Portland and moved to Brooklyn 10 years ago. In Brooklyn I am within walking distance to almost all my closest friends, studio, and a ton of restaurants. It really has a kind of  provincial feel to it. You get to buy your meat from the butcher and bread from the bakery. You are in the city but your neighborhood is where you live. Most of all I have a really great group of friends that are very supportive.

What makes Portland/ Brooklyn such a great place for independent art?

There is really just so many people making art in both these cities, that it just makes you want to produce. Especially in Brooklyn I feel like the type of people that make the move to live here are a little more motivated type personality. You can’t help but feed on that energy. It makes it so much easier to keep working when you are surrounded by close friends that are also making work.

Don’t miss this week’s Portland artist, Trish Grantham, on Habit of Art!