Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
|HIllary, Me and Jim at my 30th High School Reunion - |
now that's something to write about.
Writing is what I do. Always on the lookout for a way to jump start my day and have employed Julia Cameron's Artist Pages for at least a decade. For those who don't enjoy a journal and pen here's a super new place to get your 3 pages written www.750words.com. I like the mind dump so much that I am willing to try it online and do it twice a day. Wondering what to send me for the holidays? Mont Blanc Cartridge refills. Not expensive and much appreciated. Another super application for writers of any stripe is www.ommwriter.com - locks out everything but the writing until you tell it otherwise. Plays subtle music which helps me concentrate and you can silence this as well. If you are stuck or too easily distracted put down the Ritalin and check out these two programs. Back to writing...
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
THE PASSING OF PURVIS YOUNG
Monday, May 3, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Purvis Young, Folk Artist Who Peppered Miami With Images, Dies at 67
Purvis Young, a self-taught painter who emerged from prison as a young man and by dint of his striking, expressionist vision of urban life and mammoth output over more than three decades transformed a forgotten Miami neighborhood into a destination for contemporary art aficionados, died on Tuesday in Miami. He was 67.
The cause was cardiac arrest and pulmonary edema, said Dindy Yokel, a friend. Mr. Young was a diabetic and had several health problems in recent years, including a kidney transplant in 2007.
Mr. Young, who never attended high school, was often called an outsider artist or a street artist, and he lived a life that only intermittently surfaced on the art-world grid. But he was influenced by a number of artists — including Rembrandt, El Greco, van Gogh and Delacroix — whose works he pored over in art books in the public library.
“His great ability was to twin urban contemporary culture with high-art motifs,” said Brooke Davis Anderson, a curator at the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan, which has 20 of Mr. Young’s pieces in its collection, 14 donated by the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, which bought the entire contents of Mr. Young’s studio, as many as 3,000 pieces, in 1999.
His work can also be found in the collections of the Bass Museum in Miami, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among many other places.
Painted or drawn in ink on found materials as diverse as cardboard, discarded doors, orange crates, telephone bills, printed book pages and manila folders, Mr. Young’s work often concerned itself with cacophonous, urgent representations of urban strife. He lived most of his life in the Overtown section of Miami, a once-thriving community that was ravaged by the construction of an interstate highway through it in the 1960s, and he painted what he saw around him.
His work featured writhing calligraphic lines often denoting crowds of people, frenzied bursts of color and repeated symbols — a personal iconography that included horses, which, as he explained in interviews, denoted freedom; angels and large floating heads, which denoted good people and the possibility of goodness in a strife-riven world; and round blue shapes, sometimes coalescing into eyes that denoted an all-seeing establishment.
He often painted images of trucks, trains and railroad tracks to suggest possibilities of escape and methods of connection between the inner city and the outer world. Indeed, there is a storytelling aspect to his paintings; they resonate with the consequences of racism, the plight of the underprivileged, the atmosphere of daily violence, the world’s pervasive hypocrisy.
“I don’t like the luxury I see of a lot of these church people while the world is getting worser,” he said in a mid-1990s interview reprinted in “Souls Grown Deep: African-American Vernacular Art,” by William and Paul Arnett. “What I say is the world is getting worser, guys pushing buggies, street people not having no jobs here in Miami, drugs kill the young, and church people riding around in luxury cars.”
Purvis Young was born in Miami on Feb. 2, 1943. He was introduced to drawing by an uncle, but he gave it up at a young age. In his late teens he was convicted of a felony — it has been variously reported as breaking and entering and armed robbery — and spent between two and three years in a Florida prison, where he began drawing again and perusing art books.
“I didn’t have nothing going for myself,” he said. “That’s the onliest thing I could mostly do. I was just looking through art books, looking at guys painting their feelings.”
When he got out, in the mid-1960s, he was inspired by Vietnam War demonstrations and by the protest art he read about from other cities — notably the Wall of Respect mural in Chicago, painted by members of the Black Arts Movement. In the early 1970s he created a mural of his own, plastering a wall along a deserted stretch of Overtown’s Goodbread Alley with dozens of his works.
The mural drew attention from the news media and from Miami’s art establishment, including an eccentric millionaire, Bernard Davis, who owned the Miami Museum of Modern Art and briefly became Mr. Young’s patron, providing him with painting supplies. (Mr. Davis died in 1973.) From then on, Mr. Young grew into something of an urban legend, a local celebrity, a frequent interview subject and an art-world star.
“He became part of the itinerary for people going to Art Basel,” the Miami Beach art fair, Ms. Anderson, of the Folk Art Museum, said.
Mr. Young’s survivors include his longtime partner, Eddie Mae Lovest; two sisters, Betty Rodriguez and Shirley Byrd; a brother, Irvin Byrd; four stepdaughters, Kenyatta, Kentranice, Taketha and Elisha; and 13 step-grandchildren.
By most accounts Mr. Young never paid much attention to his finances, and in his last years he became involved in a tangled legal battle with a former manager, Martin Siskind, whom Mr. Young sued for mismanaging funds. Mr. Siskind successfully petitioned a judge to have Mr. Young declared mentally incompetent, and his affairs were placed in the control of legal guardians. Several of Mr. Young’s friends say that he was in no way incompetent, and that the arrangement had left him destitute.
In an interview, Mr. Siskind said that he and Mr. Young had settled their suit amicably, and that Mr. Young retained ownership of 1,000 paintings and had plenty of money, although he said he had contributed $1,000 to help pay for Mr. Young’s funeral.
Mr. Young frequently seemed nonplussed by reactions to his work.
“It was mostly white people interested,” he said in the mid-1990s, recalling the days after he was discovered. “Some people would say stuff, say I looked like Gauguin, all different artists they say I looked like. A lot of black people seen them, but they didn’t say much to me about it. Some of them said I was mad, some cursed me out, some liked it, some of them admired me, some didn’t. A friend of mine — he’s passed away now — say to me: ‘I look at your paintings but I don’t see nothing. But every time I turn around you’re in the newspaper.’ ”
Correction: April 24, 2010
An earlier version of this obituary referred to Art Basel as a Miami art fair. It is in Miami Beach.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
BERNICE STEINBAUM GALLERY TO HOST GEE’S BEND AUCTION TO BENEFIT HAITI
Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation to Receive Funds Raised
MIAMI, FLORIDA – (March 11, 2010) -- The Bernice Steinbaum Gallery announces an auction of quilts from Gee’s Bend and Friends of Gee's Bend to benefit the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund in association with the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance. The auction takes place on Saturday, March 13, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at 3550 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33127. Judge Karen Mills-Francis, star of the television series, Judge Karen’s Court, and author of Stay in Your Lane, is the auctioneer. The auction is open to the public.
The auction items include seven quilts by individual Quilters of Gee's Bend, one intaglio print by Mary Lee Bendolph donated by Paulson Bott Press, and one quilt from fiber artist, Mary McCarthy, a friend of the Gee's Bend quilters. The highlight of the auction is a collaborative quilt -- by 20 of the Gee's Bend quilters - entitled Gee's Bend Quilters Outreach to Haiti. Reserve prices range from $2,000 to $25,000. Judge Karen Mills-Francis will serve as auctioneer.In addition to the donation of the artwork by the Quilters of Gee’s Bend, the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery has generously donated its commission and the cost of packing and shipping following the auction.
"The women of Gee's Bend make quilts that are eye-dazzlingly beautiful. How moving that these women who are descendants of slaves offer their work for auction to help the Haitian people who are suffering from the after effects of the earthquake. How appropriate for this auction to take place in an art gallery; the Quilts of Gee's Bend prove definitively that the quilt is off the bed and on the wall," says Bernice Steinbaum.
In the aftermath of the earthquake the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective determined that an auction of quilts to raise much-needed funds was their path. Bernice Steinbaum and artist Edouard Duval Carrié (through his role as Director of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance) were contacted and an event was born. Miami is the locus of Haitian life in the United States and thus the perfect location for an auction. Once partners were secured, the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective contacted the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to coordinate efforts ensuring that the funds raised would be channeled properly to Haiti.
“The earthquake in Haiti brings to mind the disaster that took place in Gee’s Bend in 1930. My father, Rev. Purnell Bennett, born September 17, 1917 in Gee’s Bend, told us the story of the tragedy often to remind us how we overcame with the help of others. In 1930 a local merchant who had extended credit to the residents of the Bend died. His heirs demanded immediate repayment of all debts. To meet the demands, families sold their animals, tools and seed to raise the money. The community survived thanks to the Red Cross. They provided rations and the acts of giving, a lesson passed down from generation to generation in our community. We survived this tragedy with the assistance of others and that’s why we are giving from our hearts. Our quilts have warmed families for hundreds of years and through this auction we will raise funds that will provide Haitians some comfort and necessities. Residents of Gee’s Bend will donate cash to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to provide additional support,” says Lovett Bennett, President of the Gee’s Bend Foundation.
More than 20 quilters will be featured at the auction on March 13, and reserve prices range from $2,000 to $25,000. Mary Lee Bendolph and Loretta P. Bennett are donating quilts entitled “Road to Recovery” and “Strong,” respectively. The list of quilters donating to the auction includes Marlene Bennett Jones, Qunnie Pettway and Nettie Young among others to be named shortly. (Images are available upon request). The Quilters of Gee’s Bend are designing a tribute quilt specifically for the auction. This group endeavor is comprised of individual squares created by the group then pieced and quilted.
Paulson Bott Press is donating an intaglio print entitled, Black & Brown, 2005 by Mary Lee Bendolph. The reserve price is $2,000.
# # #
About the participants:
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
The earthquake that rocked the coast of Haiti killed or injured a devastating number of people. Even more were left in need of aid, making this is one of the major humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas. In the aftermath of the disaster, President Barack Obama asked President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to raise funds for immediate, high-impact relief and long-term recovery efforts to help those who are most in need of assistance. In response, the two Presidents established the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF) to respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life over the long term for those affected, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and “build back better.” The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will do this by working with and supporting the efforts of reputable 501(c)(3) nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations. Presidents Clinton and Bush oversee the CBHF through their respective nonprofit organizations, the William J. Clinton Foundation and Communities Foundation of Texas. One hundred percent of donations received by the Clinton Foundation and the Communities Foundation of Texas go directly to relief efforts. For more information, visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org.
Quilters of Gee’s Bend
Gee’s Bend, a miniscule rural community, is nestled into a curve in the Alabama River southwest of Selma, Alabama. Founded in antebellum times on the site of cotton plantations owned by Joseph Gee, the town’s women developed a distinctive, bold, and sophisticated quilting style with a geometric simplicity reminiscent of Modern Art. The women of Gee’s Bend passed their skills and aesthetic down through multiple generations to the present and in 2002, an exhibition of 70 quilt masterpieces from the Bend premiered at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
“The Quilts of Gee’s Bend” exhibition has been presented at more than a dozen major museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Newsweek, NPR, CBS News Sunday Morning, House and Garden, and Oprah’s O Magazine are just a few of the hundreds of print and broadcast media organizations that have celebrated the quilts and history of this unique town. Art critics worldwide have compared the quilts to the works of important modern artists, such as Henri Matisse, and the New York Times called the quilts “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced.” For more information, visit www.quiltsofgeesbend.com.
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery
The Bernice Steinbaum Gallery first opened its doors in New York City in 1977. Considered a pioneer for galleries showcasing women artists and artists of color the gallery remained in New York City for 23 years before moving the center of its operations to Miami, Florida in 2000.
The gallery shows a collection of stories made by artists that promote, explore, and appreciate the contribution of diverse people made across the globe. These stories foster a greater understanding of human history and promote cross-cultural communication.
Steinbaum is proud to represent three Macarthur “Genius” award winners; Pepon Osorio, Amalia Mesa and Deborah Willis, five Guggenheim, multiple National Endowment Winners, two Annenberg fellows, among other grant winning artists. In addition the gallery regularly organizes group shows which travel to various museum facilities, an unusual activity for a gallery which occurs primarily because of the director’s own academic art history background. www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com
Judge Karen Mills-Francis
Miami native Judge Karen practiced criminal defense law in Florida for 13 years in the Office of the Public Defender, as well as in private practice. She was appointed a Traffic Magistrate by the Dade County Chief Judge in 1998 to hear non-criminal traffic cases. Driven by the lack of diversity in the court system, Judge Karen decided to run for a judgeship in 2000, winning her first election by overthrowing a longtime incumbent and becoming the second African American woman to serve on the bench in Miami-Dade County.
Judge Mill-Francis is famous for the lines “Stay in your Lane, I know how to Drive.” 2010 finds her back in session on television with Judge Karen’s Court. Judge Karen is the author of newly published “Stay In Your Lane: A Navigational Guide to Living Your Best Life.”
After twice being elected to the position of Miami-Dade County Judge, Judge Karen made it her mission to support those who are at risk of getting lost in the legal system. Inspired by her previous work at the public defender’s office in the juvenile division, she has become known as an ardent backer of children’s advocacy programs and domestic violence prevention programs and regularly calls on lawyers to act on behalf of children in crisis. She became a foster mother herself to a child she first encountered in court and over the years she has repeatedly opened her home to children in need.
Edouard Duval Carrié
A figurative artist who works on canvas, installations, and sculpture employing found objects, resin and now aluminum fiber optics, Edouard Duval Carrié was born and raised in Haiti. He is not outside the mainstream; he is engaged with artists in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, and of course the Caribbean. His art deals with symbols of violence in colonial society and the ways of war, exile, displacement, all universal themes for the strife of peoples worldwide. His work deals with the history of Haiti, its legacy of slavery, its uneasy relations with other countries, its internal political, racial and class struggles. His art and his imagination is also engaged in the Afro-Haitian worship of voodoo. He has founded the Haitian Art Relief Fund in response to the January 2010 earthquake.
Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance
The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance (Alyans Atizay Ayisyen, Inc) was founded in 1994. It is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Afro Caribbean history, with an emphasis on Haitian culture, focusing in the areas of music, literature, dance, and the visual arts. HCAA is the home of the Haitian Cultural Alliance Archive, which houses a priceless collection of historical documents. This collection includes manuscripts, documents signed by founding fathers, maps, architectural renditions, new and old books, photographs, and films on Haiti and the Afro-Caribbean. HCAA takes pride and joy in facilitating and mounting art exhibits, presenting poets, musicians, and artists of all genres to a larger South Florida audience. HCAA also facilitates the Haiti Pavilion at the prestigious Miami International Book Fair annually. Through this effort, countless writers have been introduced to the public, raising the awareness of our rich cultural diversity. http://www.haitianalliance.org/
Paulson Bott Press
Specializing in limited edition intaglio prints, Paulson Bott Press emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich tradition of fine art printmaking. Paulson Bott Press’s philosophy is to facilitate rather than direct an artist, creating an environment where artists can do their best work.
Founders Pamela Paulson and Renee Bott were trained to help artists explore the parameters of this unique art form. Paulson and Bott gained invaluable experience working as master printers under the tutelage of Kathan Brown at Crown Point Press. While there they worked with a broad range of artists including John Cage, Richard Diebenkorn, Judy Pfaff, Pat Steir, and Wayne Thiebaud. Paulson holds an MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and Bott holds an MFA in printmaking and drawing from the California College of Arts. http://www.paulsonbottpress.com.