Incorruptible Teeth, or, the French Smile Revolution
In 1787, Madame Vigée-Lebrun, painter to France’s royal and aristocratic elite, displayed a canvas at the Paris Salon. It was a self-portrait depicting the artist in an affectionate embrace with her daughter. Vigée-Lebrun is smiling—a sweet, broad smile revealing white teeth. There is little about this pose that seems in any way exceptional, yet exception was furiously taken. “An affectation which artists, art-lovers and persons of taste have been united in condemning,” wrote an anonymous commentator, “and which finds no precedent amongst the Ancients, is that in smiling she shows her teeth. This affectation is particularly out of place in a mother.”How the smile came to Paris (briefly), aka Grin City. [more inside]
Controversial artist George W. Bush, whose paintings of dogs, cats, and portions of his own nude body were "hacked" and swept the Twitterverse by storm, has opened a new one-man show of paintings, consisting of portraits of world leaders, in a library in Texas. Though political content has not usually been a part of his work in previous years, his interest in the subject matter may stem from his brief stint in public service a few years back.
Bill Gekas creates gorgeous homages to Old Masters with his 5-Year-Old daughter. On his blog he shares his set-ups e.g. The Letter… and the cookie!, Potatoes.
"Outcasts are my kind, they try harder. From strip joints to Burlesque theaters, I went on a quest and met the 'Legends', these dominating characters of the quintessential American art of strip tease. Hours of confidence on tapes, intimate photo sessions, they peel off and reveal the hidden layers of their life with throaty emotion. Their memories reflecting the memories of the land. Vietnam vets and bikers are their loyal patrons..." The Living Art Of Risqué, a photo essay from Marie Baronnet, features portraits of former strippers aged 60 to 95, accompanied by short bio-vignettes in their own words. [NSFW; nudity] [more inside]
Alfred Eisenstaedt, LIFE magazine photographer and photojournalist, most famous for his photo of a sailor and nurse kissing in Times Square (Previously), had a habit of taking self-portraits with his subjects.
"What we're going to do is have a map of the city of New York, where you can click on any neighborhood and scroll through the faces of the people that live there."Photographer Brandon Stanton has now compiled more than 3700 street portraits and 50 stories for his project Humans of New York. Photos are also posted with captions to a public Facebook group. (Album.) The Map currently shows 1500+ portraits, arranged by the location in which they were taken. Previously on MeFi [more inside]
Seat Assignments: "While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture." Seat Assignments will be on view in San Franscisco's Catharine Clark Gallery from April 14th through May 26th.
"I draw with a Biro pen, i paint with anything. I often run into the sea." Mark Powell draws old people on old envelopes with a plain old ballpoint pen. [more inside]
Britain's finest Baroque portraitist, on a par with Frans Hals, has been all but forgotten, but a new BBC documentary and associated website seek to address that. William Dobson, 1611-46, was painter to Charles I's court during the English Civil War, and the turmoil of the period meant that much of his biography and even the names of the subjects of his portraits were lost. But many of his portraits have survived, and they're astonishing. [more inside]
British figurative painter Lucian Freud, whose uncompromising, fleshy portraits made him one of the world's most revered and coveted artists, has died aged 88. Tate Gallery Google image search. [NSFWish]
The Cats' Portrait Gallery. Start at the ground floor and work your way up through twenty-five storeys of feline portraiture. [more inside]
Pierre Gonnord is a French photographer who specializes in arresting portraiture.His subjects have been described as quasi biblical (Fr). He lives in Madrid, where he currently has an exhibition on called "Terre de Personne." via
When the House of Commons required a portrait of outgoing PM Tony Blair, to whom did they turn? Phil Hale. [more inside]
Incredibly expressive portraits of apes and monkeys by photographer Jill Greenberg whose pictures of crying babies raised heckles last year.
The Velvet Republican. (ebay link)
Henry Lim composes sonatas and film scores. He also has a serious thing for Lego. The Hepburn portrait, Natalie Portman portrait, Beethoven and Fab Four portraits are impressive enough, but it is the full size, fully playable Harpsichord that demonstrates some kind of heroism. (mp3 included- to be listened to only once, really, or not even that.)
The National Potrait Gallery held a competition for new entries into the gallery. The winner is a fabulous painting by David Lenz. There is a great deal of focus in the exhibit of imagery that is truthful, but not necessarily flattering. The winner is both truthful and flattering. Lenz's subject is is his son, who has Down syndrome. The title, "Sam and the Perfect World" is quite poignant. There is a long NPR program covering the entire topic of portaiture in general and this portrait specifically.
Composite Drawings of suspects wanted by the Michigan State Police. With photos of the suspect if they are captured, for comparison. Via.
The Liner. "The entire graduating class of Hamline University, 1925, in drawings of varying quality made semi-nightly in about one hour each." (Appears to be by our very own interrobang.)
Simon Hoegsberg's latest project involved stopping passersby and asking what they were thinking at exactly that moment. These are their thoughts and portraits.