Kentucky Art Speaks

Archive for the ‘Artist: Present & Past’ Category

David LaChapelle

In Artist: Present & Past on July 3, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I’m a fan of all medium’s of art, especially an artist with the purpose of creating a melodramatic method to position him or herself apart from the rest. One of my favorite artists with this gift is David LaChapelle.  At times, his work may resemble other artist, but the vibrant colors he uses to create erotic art that is pleasing yet; imperceptible.

David LaChapelle’s photography career began in the 1980’s in New York City galleries. After attending the North Carolina School of Arts, he moved to New York where he enrolled at both the Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts. His ability to create scenes of extreme reality using rich and vibrant colors makes his work instantly recognizable and often imitated. He continues to be inspired by everything from art history and street culture, to the Hawaiian jungle in where he lives, creating both a record and mirror of all facets of popular culture today.

He is quite simply the only photographic artist working in the world today whose work has transcended the fashion or celebrity magazine context it was made for, and has been enshrined by the notoriously discerning contemporary art intelligentsia.


Stumbled upon Uniquitibles

In Artist: Present & Past, Kentucky Artist, Stumbled upon on June 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Last week, Mark Lenn Johnson came to F.A.T. Friday and stopped by K.A.S. Gallery to see the Botanical art exhibit. While chatting with him I discovered he is an amazing artist and has been spotlighted in Bead Style and Polymer Clay magazine. Mark Lenn Johnson’s work is represented in several retail galleries in Kentucky also; he has participated in numerous art shows.

Mark’s Story:
Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Mark Lenn Johnson realized his passion for glass after purchasing a vintage amethyst carnival glass bowl. That piece, particularly its color, captivated him and introduced him to the beauty of handcrafted art glass. Several years later, that appreciation would materialize into an antiques business where he specialized in vintage art glass and costume jewelry. He continued to educate himself about art glass and jewelry but always his creative nature called out for him to make.

Succumbing to the calling a few years later, he started his own handmade jewelry business–initially stringing purchased glass beads for his bracelets and necklaces and then evolving into actually making his own colored beads from polymer clay. He garnered some notoriety in the medium after being published in a number of national publications but making glass was still the siren’s call to his soul.

To read more about Mark Lenn Johnson visit his website at

Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on April 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I discovered Eric Yahnker in this month’s issue of Juxtapoz.

Cheese Slice on Garland, 2010, colored pencil on paper, 72 x 72 in.

Sequins n' Stripes, 2010, colored pencil on paper, 30 x 44 in.

Berry Astonished, 2009, colored pencil on paper, 44 x 30 in.

Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on April 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Martha Colburn is a filmaker best known for her use of puppetry, collage, and paint on glass techniques. Below are two recent videos (Dolls vs Dictators, 2010; Join the Freedom Force, 2009)




Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on March 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Agnes Martin (March 22, 1912 – December 16, 2004) was an American painter whose work is considered minimalist.


Homage to Life, 2003

Gratitude, 2001

Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on March 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is a Mexican Artist most famous for her self-portraits as well as her dramatic relationship with fellow artist Diego Rivera.

Her self-portraits became a dominant part of her life when she was immobile for three months after her accident. Kahlo once said, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

Drawing on personal experiences, including her marriage, her miscarriages, and her numerous operations, Kahlo’s works often are characterized by their stark portrayals of pain.

Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds.

The Two Frida, 1939







Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (Diego in My Thoughts), 1943

Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on February 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Peter Voulkos (1924-2002)  was Greek-American abstract expressionist who made ceramic sculptures that blurred the lines between fine art and craft.


Standing Jar, 1954-1956


Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on February 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Ed Ruscha is an American artist associated with the Pop Art movement. He works in various mediums, including film, painting, printmaking, photography, and drawing. He achieved recognition for paintings incorporating words and phrases and for his many photographic books, all influenced by the deadpan irreverence of the Pop Art movement. Ruscha’s textual, flat paintings have been linked with both the Pop Art movement and the Beat Generation.

Fulcher Frew, 1960

Belladonna, 1965

Raw, 1971

Sand in the Vaseline, 1974

Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on February 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Gossamer, 2005


Soda, 2000


Constellation, 2004

Mika Kato paints portraits of doll-like figures with close-cropped frames. At first glance, the dolls appear flawless and remote, but tiny details reveal how stylized their beauty actually is. In Gossamer, a circular scab can be found in the doll’s freshly plucked eyebrows. Can you find the other flaws?

Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on January 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Porträt der Edith Schiele im gestreiften Kleid. 1915. Oil on canvas.


Self-Portrait With Arm Twisted Above Head. 1910. Watercolor.


The Artist's Wife. 1917.


Egon Schiele (1890-1918)  was an Austrian-born painter. He was a student of Klimt and is often categorized as an Expressionist.