Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Palm Beach Art Fair

Last week a new art fair opened in Palm Beach, the" Contemporary and Modern."  It was
excellent, better than I had hoped.  Much smaller than Art Miami, it was just the right size,
and I spent four hours and saw all 60 gallery booths and talked with many of the
gallery owners and learned much.  The best artists were represented, and the artworks
were excellent.  The  8 ft. high "Red Lollipop" in bronze is by Desire Obtain Cherish
(D.O.C. / Jonathan Paul) and  behind a bronze by British sculptor, Sophie Ryder.

Sophie Ryder.  "Conversation."  British.  Bronze.
Sophie Ryder creates mythical creatures part human and
part animal, frequently rabbits.

Fidia Falaschetti.  "Mickey Mouse."  Gilded Bronze.  Italy
Every country in Europe was influenced by American pop culture and Pop Art.
The figure of Mickey has become universal.

Peter Anton.  "Candy and Donuts."  Mixed Media
The mouth-watering donuts and pieces of candy greeted visitors to the Art Fair.
Everyone wanted to reach out and grab one and taste it.

Close-up of Peter Anton's "Pieces of Candy."

Kwang Young Chun. " Untitled."  Koreau  2106  Paper
Kwang is one of the leading Korean artists in folded paper sculptural reliefs.
He uses mulberry paper and folds pieces into little boxes, like he used to do
with herbs in his parents' pharmacy.  He then glues them with rice glue to the

Close-up of Kwang.
Folding paper into tiny boxes is a craft which children learn when they are very young.
It is perhaps the first exercise children do in Korea.  Kwang has adapted that 
childhood practice into wonderful abstract works.

Kwang Young Chun.  "Orange."  2105  Folded Paper  Korea

Kwang Young Chun.  "Orange."  detail

Tony Cragg.  "Portrait."  Marble   England
Tony Cragg creates a very different kind of sculpture, using stone.

Kenneth Armitage.  "Seated Figure."  English  Bronze
Kenneth Armitage uses simplified human forms for his sculptures.

Jim Dine.  "Chartres."  2012  woodcut  Pop Art

Sean Helms.  "Seated Man."  English  Bronze  2015
Helms' work is very realistic, of very ordinary people in very ordinary poses,
rather than ideal figures in contrived poses.  This is about 30" high.

Amelia Pelaez.  "Still Life."  Cuba
I was delighted to see that my favorite Latin American gallery
was at the show, with its wonderful collection of Cuban art.
Senor and Senora Cernuda and their son Sergio have built
the finest gallery of Cuban art anywhere.

Amelia Pelaez.  "Still Life."  Cuba
They have many more artists besides Amelia, but she is one of
my favorites.

Marc Quinn.  "Sunrise and Sunset."  2015  England
Quinn is one of the leading British artists today.  This huge painting, 8 feet long, is typical.
He takes a handful of flowers, lays them on a table, and then paints them on a
gigantic scale.  The colors glow and inundate you.

Dayron Gonzalez.  "The Holy Father."  Cuba   2016
Dayron was new to me.  Mr. Cernuda explained that he is a young artist who paints
social and political works.  This portrait, influenced by Bacon's Pope Innocent X,
shows Pope Francis involved in all of the political events of today and in Cuba.

Bridget Riley.  "Silent Memories."  English
Bridget is one of the leaders of the Op Art Movement, interested in how
our eyes respond to colors and the way they interact with one another.

Pablo Atchugarry.  "Untitled."  White Carrara Marble. Uruguay
The dealer explained to me that Pablo spends six months of the year, right now, in Italy
near the Carrara quarries.  He chooses his pieces of marble and begins to carve.  Then,
when the weather becomes nice back in Uruguay, he goes there and completes the
works in marble and also works in other materials.

Pablo Atchugarry.  "Red."  Bronze.  Uruguay
This piece was new to me, but Pablo now makes many pieces
which are cast in bronze and painted with automobile enamels.
There are usually eight in each series, two each of red, yellow,
blue and green.  This one is 24" high, but some are 80" high.

Alexander Calder.  "Tightrope Walker."  U.S.
Calder continues to be very popular, both for his paintings / prints and also for
his sculpture.  This piece is based on the figrurs he created for his famous circus.

Mel Bochner.  "Amazing."  Embossed monoprint.  U.S.
Bochner is one of the "verbal" artists, who use words both as
abstract forms and also loaded with meaning, that you cannot avoid.

Robert Indiana.  "Love Cross."  U.S.
Robert Indiana's LOVE in steel and in prints is found all over
the world and in every museum, but he always finds new ways to
use the word.

Victor Vasarely.  "Zak."  Hungarian /  French
Vasarely is often referred to as "The Godfather of Op Art."  The piece
above uses the same colors as the Indiana work and yet it is completely
different.  As you watch, your eyes will seem to detect movement.

Jaehyo Lee.  "Bench."  Korea  2016
Jaehyo is the third of the Korean artists I became acquainted with.  His sculptures
look like simplified furniture or biomorphic shapes.  This one is made of burnt wood,
which turns black, embedded with large nails and bolts, and then smoothed.
Other works have various kinds and colors of wood embedded in other wood.

Allan d'Arcangelo.  "Aspen Colorado."  1970  U.S.  Hard Edge
d'Arcangelo frequently used road signs and simple barriers
for his works.

Sophie Ryder.  "The Hare and the Goat."  England
Sophie Ryder usually depicts mythical figures, part animal and part
human.  Her favorite character is "Lady Hare."  This piece is 24" tall
and is cast in bronze.  She has a horse and rider at the entrance to the show.

Robert Motherwell.  "Orange Lyric."  U.S. Abstract Expressionism

Kaws.  "Orange Man."  Retna.  "Calligraphy."
These are both graffiti artists / street artists / urban artists, who also do smaller
works like these to sell.  Kaws is very active in advertising design, especially of toys.
Retna has invented his own calligraphy, made up of elements from Gothic, Arabic,
hieroglyphics, and his own invention.  He often decorates whole buildings,. as he
has in Wynwood, Miami.

Manolo Valdes.  "Infanta Mariana."  Spain.  Alabaster
Manolo Valdes now lives in New York and is extremely prolific.  He has been greatly
influenced by Velasquez' "Las Meninas" and Matisse's portrait of his wife wearing a hat
with ostrich plumes.  The form of the Spanish princess appears again and again in his work.

Manolo Valdes.  "Blue Butterflies."  Spanish.  Bronze
This is a variation on the portrait of Matisse's wife, but here the ostrich plumes
have become butterflies, one of them blue.

Damien Hirst.  "Psalm 21."  English.  real butterflies
Hirst buys exotic butterflies from dealers, glues them to a background, paints around
them, and then covers them with acrylic to preserve them.  They become abstract patterns.
He then takes the pattern and creates prints of the image.

Ilhwa Kim.   "Space Station Sample."  Korea 2016  Paper
Art fairs these days show the work of a number of Asian artists, far beyond the old
boundaries of Europe and the U.S.  Most recently, Korean artists have become wifely
known.  Kim is one of the finest.  This is a piece made entirely of rolled mulberry paper,
which is then glued with rice glue to the background.  This is a detail close-up.
Each "seed" is hand-dyed and rolled.

Ilhwa Kim.  "Space Station Sample."  Seoul, Korea.  Rolled and dyed Paper
Ms Kim studied art at Korean universities and works in Seoul.  Her art works are
highly regarded in Paris and London, where she has frequent exhibits.

Mauro Peruchetti.  "Seated Jelly Bean Babies."  Cast Resin.
Peruchetti is from Italy and creates various groupings of the
ubiquitous jelly bean babies.  These are two feet high.

Donald Sultan.  "Red Poppiess."  6 feet long  U.S.  Steel

John Chamberlain, "Rustling in the Grass."  George Condo, "Portrait." 
Roy Lichtenstein, "Portrait" and Lichtenstein "Brushstroke Portrait." 

Kaws.  "Smiling Face."  U.S.  Graffiti  3 feet in diameter
This is the sort of image that Kaws uses in advertising and is highly

Thalen and Thalen.  "Silver Vessels."  Dutch / Belgian
Father and son are Dutch in origin, but live in Belgium.  Each of these pieces is hammed
by hand from a single ingot of pure silver.  They are art objects, rather than functional.

Manolo Valdes.  "Woman with Flowered Hat."  Spain   Wood
This is one of the many variations Valdes has done on Matisse's portrait of his wife
with the hat of ostrich feathers.

Roberto Cavaliere.  "Twisted Spiral."  Italy.  Stainless Steel.

Keith Haring.  "Blue Triangle."  Graffiti Art
Although Keith Haring died at 32, the amount of works he created is enormous;
I find new ones at every art show.  This one was new for me.  The figures are still
the simple outlines he had created when he spray-painted subways.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Orchid Show 2017

Each year in mid-January, we have the Fort Lauderdale Orchid Show and Sale
in the large War Memorial Auditorium.  This year there were 22 orchid growers,
each with a booth and hundreds of orchids for sale, and each also responsible
for a display in the center of the room, usually 10x15 feet.  So there were thousands
of orchids of every size, shape, variety, and color to look at and buy perhaps.

"Pale Green Angraecum."  Grand Prize Winner.
These star-shaped flowers were popular in displays, because the theme this year
was "Galaxy of Orchids."  There is a different theme each year.  There were prizes
for best display in various categories, as well as best individual flowers.

Orchids are the most diverse and populous flowers on earth, found on every continent
except Antarctica.  There are over 1,000 genus, and hundreds of varieties
in each genus.  So there is a great variety in orchids.  These are pale blue.

Prize winner.  Growers frequently breed new varieties, so you will find some popular
varieties in several sale booths, while others are unique to a particular greenhouse,

Prize winner for small white flowers.  Many visitors come with grocery or luggage carts,
specially fitted with plastic crates, so they can purchase 4-6 new orchids in bloom each year.
In our climate in South Florida, you can simply tie a plant to the trunk of a tree, and it
will grow and bloom in your yard, or you can grow them in pots inside.

Part of one display.  All of the flowers are orchids, and there are trucks lined up
in back with lots more plants.

"Cattleya tiriana."  Cattleya is one of the most popular genus, so it is often cross-pollinated with
 other varieties.  Orchid aficionados know them by abbreviations like "Bc" or "Blc" in front
 of their names.  This tells who their parents were.  The simple "C" is for cattleya.

Copper and orange.

White and Purple Phalaenopsis with Fangs.  These were very popular with many
subvarieties.  There were also booths which offered free hand-outs on how to grow and
keep orchids, orchid magazines, pots, and other equipment.

There were a number of orchids in a variety which stood about 10-12 inches tall.
They came in every color and seemed to bloom profusely.

A prize winner in yellow with red accents.

Peach and Yellow.  I overheard collectors talking, and they would often discuss how they
wanted a particular new color or a new variety this year.  Prices varied for blooming
plants, from $8.00 to $85.00.  Most large, blooming plants were in the $20 - $40 range.

Pale green orchids were available in a number of varieties.  You could also buy
younger, smaller, not-yet-blooming plants for $5 - $65.  The more expensive
plants were exotic, rare, or brand new varieties which they had just begun

Yellow and Wine

Bright Orange

"Heavenly Hawaii" were part of a large display, where all of the orchids had
Hawaiian names.

A spray of white Phalaenopsis.

"Paphiopedilum" is the family name.  These are the "Lady Slipper" orchids,
so-called because they resemble the Lady Slipper wild flower

Yellow and and Red branch.

Pale Pink and Yellow.

"Pink Speckled."  Photographing the orchids in the crowded conditions and hot spotlight
atmosphere was a challenge, but this orchid, back-lit, is very nice and shows it off
very well.

"Purple-Speckled" with modified fangs.  I think this is probably not the proper
terminology, but I shall use it for the time being.

Counters would be filled with 30 of each color or variety, all in perfect bloom.

Striped Chartreuse

A branch of "Hawaiian Paradise."

Pink, White, and Yellow Orchids

This is the booth, both sides, back, and up above, for "Greenhouse Orchids."
Most of their orchids were in the $8, $10, $12, $15, and $18 range.  They were all
healthy and blooming profusely, and the owners were very friendly and helpful.

Orchids not only look beautiful, but many of them have beautiful aromas.  Dealers
would have special signs saying "smell this flower" and they would identify particular aromas,
like chocolate or vanilla or rose or many others.  One of the Thai restaurants here in town
always puts one of these flowers on top of a curry dish when served, and you are invited
to eat it, which I do.

A corner of one display.

This was a new variety and color at one booth and causing much excitement.

These are the traditional catteyas used for corsages in the U.S.

Beautiful branches like these were often hung from the side of a rack or placed on top
of the booth, because they were so common.

Veined Lavender Phalaenopsis

Yellow and Magenta Cattleyas

Yellow and Red Mask-like Orchid

Very Pale Green Angraecum in a prize-winning display.  They were following the
theme of "Galaxy of Orchids."

Orange orchids with a dash of red.

A splendid example of Paphiopedilum - Lady Slipper Orchid.

Spotted orange and copper.

Splendid pure white Angraecum

There were a number of orchids in darker colors, although I prefer the lighter.
Wine and Peach

Bold new cross-breed.

Dendrobium Dubiosa, a very pale, delicate pink with cream

Two Peach and Magenta Orchids.

I took several hundred more shots, but I think you get the picture and can plan
your visit to the show next year.  It lasts three days and is well worth a visit.