If you lived or traveled through the Fort Pierce region of Florida in the late 1950s and throughout the 60s, you may have had the chance to buy a landscape painting from an African American man, with Upson board as the canvas and crown molding as a frame, and the paint might have still been wet. Unable to get their art into local galleries, this rough collective of 26 self-taught artists peddled their wares to local businesses, through neighborhoods and to tourists. Their style fell out of fashion into the 1980s, but some of the painters persisted. Their style gained new recognition in the 1990s, a handful continue to paint to this day. They are known as The Highwaymen, and their art captures the natural, and somewhat lost Florida of the past. [more inside]
The 100 Greatest Painters in Western History (according to the editors of This Recording). [more inside]
Painters on Painting - 1972 documentary on the New York Art Scene 1940-1970, directed by Emile de Antonio. It spans American art movements from abstract expressionism to pop art via conversations with artists in their studios. Including Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell and others. (via Bibliokept) [more inside]
Up There (Vimeo). Ever seen those hand-painted high-rise advertisements, and wondered at the people behind them? This 12min documentary is a fascinating glimpse into the work of the painters, where apprentices spend years learning from their teachers before being allowed to paint.
Natalia Fabia Inspired by light, color, punk rock music, hot chicks and sparkles, Fabia is fascinated with “hookers”, which fuels her paintings of sultry women. (A bit NSFW)
A video game "based on Bob Ross' creative, unique and easy to learn painting techniques and TV show properties" is coming to the next-generation Nintendo system.
In 1872, influenced by the Impressionists at the Exposition Universelle, Italian painter Giovanni Boldini permanently settled in Paris. There, he quickly developed a reputation for his elegant depictions of fashionable society women executed with bold, fluid brushstrokes that made the model appear to be thrown onto the canvas -- the "Master of Swish". By the turn of the century Boldini had become the most sought after portrait painter of the 'La Belle Epoque'. More inside.
The World in Pieces. During the early 1960s, Mimmo Rotella (who just died in Milan at age 87) went around Europe collecting strips of advertising posters that had been pasted over and torn away many times. He also tore at posters (warning: big file) himself in a rebellious act of desecration to create the works he called decollages. More inside.
Martin Beck's Last Ten Years: How interesting to be able to look at a painter's work year by year: patterns and even stories seem to develop, disappear and change before (and after) our eyes. Are there any other good chronologically-arranged artist's websites out there? Or do painters habitually avoid them to prevent the detection of similarities and obsessions?
"Before the invention of modern billboards, sign painters used to paint advertisements and company names directly onto building walls. These gradually fading painted signs are known as ghost signs."
Turner Worldwide. The Tate's new online Turner project brings together works from over 100 collections, including about 500 previously 'lost' pieces.
Ton Mondrian Is Even Worse Than Mon Mondrian: Use the machine to see how you square up to the Master. [Shockwave required; first link via Bifurcated Rivets.]
Van Gogh's Letters unabridged & annotated. Searchable by topic or keyword.
This is the text of a painting called "Arsewoman in Wonderland," shortlisted for the UK's Turner Prize 2002. Fiona Banner's painting consists entirely of a textual narration of a porn film; specifically, a porn film dedicated to an extended exploration of anal sex, with an "Alice in Wonderland" theme. (Apparently, dwarves are also involved.) The Turner, which comes with a £20,000 purse, ostensibly recognizes the best British art. Now, I love a good conceptual dig as much as the next guy, but does Banner's painting really challenge the way we "compartmentalise private and public behaviour," let alone represent the best the British art world has to offer?