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Joost Swarte …. a collectable cover (continued)

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Two years ago i received a Xmas present from wife. It was the book on the covers Joost Swarte made for the ” THE NEW YORKER ” , beautiful and highly original, typical Joost Swarte covers. SOme 100 pages filled with his covers. NOwe i have found on the bookmarket an original THE NEW YORKER with a Swarte cover. It is the June 9 &16 , 2014 issue. One of my personal favorites. It is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

Swarte New yorker

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Kenny Scharf (1958)

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It has been a very long time since i first encountered the works by Kenny Scharf at the Groninger Museum in the early Eighties. During  the famous Grafiti exhibition the works by Scharf were among the ones i admired most. Comic like , huge paintings that impressed, but somehow…. over the years ….did not stick with me.  Last month i encountered a catlogue by the Tony Shafrazi gallery. It was the Scharf 1983 catalogue and i was fascinated again. the same powerful comic like figures , but over the decades they have matured into great timeless art. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

scharf 1983 a

scharf 1983 c

scharf 1983 d

Here is what Angelica Jardini says on Kenny Scharf and i can fully agree with her.

If you like to have fun, you’re going to like Kenny Scharf.

The American painter sources his fantastical creations from retro cartoons, like The Jetsons and The Flintstones, and popular science fiction. His style is completely unique, and once you know his colorful, animorphic creatures, you’ll see them everywhere.

No, literally. Scharf does tons of murals and public art. This ties in with his manifesto to make art for the people- works that anyone can enjoy, not just stuffy academics or rich collectors. And his vividly playful tableaux live up to his goals.  Whether he’s picking Instagram followers for “Karbombz,” where he spraypaints one of his signature critters on your car for free, or reimagining a picnic table as a psychadelic atomic bomb, Scharf breaks down the elitist barriers of the art world by implementing his vision in lots of places outside the gallery and museum.

And boy is he prolific. He’s collaborated on a collection with fashion designer Jeremy Scott, creates immersive blacklight installations called “cosmic closets” for parties, and even designed this hilarious pool toy

Though a lot of his work references serious subjects like apocalyptic nuclear warfare, he somehow makes it lighthearted. One of his newest series of paintings features shining cartoon donuts, some of which are hurtling through space. Homer Simpson and I were both tickled pink (with sprinkles). 

Scharf hit it big in the 1980’s art scene in a little place called the East Village, in Manhattan. He was friends and roommates with famous street artist Keith Haring, and it’s easy to imagine them tagging up the town, brightening city streets and commuters’ days with their creative graffiti.

Now you’d assume most famous artists with famous friends would let success go to their head, but when we met Scharf at an event he graciously passed the time chatting with us about his life and work. Over ice cream tacos, we learned he likes to ride his bike and that he released his pet turtles to a local turtle sanctuary where he visits them often.

Like his art, the guy makes you smile.

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Karen Sargsyan (1973)

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First there was this catalogue that struck me. It was the Thieme Art published catalogue from 2008 to commemorate the winning of the Thieme Art price by Sargsyan. The title is THE TOUCHING and the art shown in this publication is totally original, Fragil paper and aluminium sculpturen build with this layers of material into moving figures. Their actions seems to be frozen to be captured by the artist. This is not the kind of art you would present in your living room, but fill a museum with these figures and you will be amazed with every corner you turn and encounter a new composition of almost true life action figures.

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Karen Sargsyan’s sculptural installations are made of paper aluminium and refer to the materials’ importance in the history of international communication. His sculptures personally materialize history, characters, events, and nature through this simple material.

sargsyan

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Floor van Keulen added to the FTN art collection

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It was a long time on my wish list and ia finally could fullfill this wish. Since i met Floor van Keulen at the Haags Gemeentemuseum where he painted the  “Project room” at the Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1989.

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His wall drawings are extremely large narratives. You can discover human figuren, weapons, books and landscapes all within the same wall painting/drawing. Connected with eachother by more figures and objects, resulting in an almost abstract painting, but with so many details that are realistic. His stand alone paintings are scarce. Most of the time lare/extremely large and where his small drawings are just sketches and exercises for the large wall drawings. His paintings on paper are true paintings. Where his wall drawings are most of the time removed or painted over. His large “paintings” are permanent and one of these , from 1987 , i now have added to the FTN art collection.

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The following text was found on the Piet Heen eek site and shows a different approach to his art.

Human figures and cartoons are the only motifs in the repertoire of drawings created by Floor van Keulen since 1980. They appear to be randomly spread across the surface, components of a well-balanced composition without any specific meaning. Shapes effortlessly melt into one another, debate with each other; emotions occasionally flare up, only to harmoniously merge together afterwards.

Floor van Keulen appears to shirk from the formal experiment, the abstract art experiment, in which realistic and figurative art that set the tone for hundreds of years is brushed aside as a truly relevant form. Van Keulen does not allow himself to be drawn into movements or trends within contemporary art. He has developed his own unique vision and confrontational visual language in which figurative depictions are interwoven with abstract shapes.

His art originates in his imagination and reality. He uses the ‘vocabulary’ he has put together through the years to formulate a vision of the world around him. The viewer encounters the virtuosity of the image and gets carried away in the painter’s exuberant gesture. On closer analysis of what it is exactly that affects the viewer so strongly, he or she first focuses on the pattern and motifs, attempting to decipher the artist’s story by interpreting the figurative elements. Only later does he or she discover that it is the work as a whole that is key here, the total emotion, not the details, form and contra-form. At first glance, the work appears to be expressive, but on closer inspection, clearly has a more subdued character and is carefully balanced and considered.

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Loustal….Bestiaire portfolio 1993

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“I enjoy drawing animals”, says Loustal. His illustrations confirm this. In the comic-strip squares that feature African settings, sinuous lizards adorn the walls. His amazing “dog-pig-hyena” hybrid has become a signature. Now, with “Bestiaire”, a portfolio comprising 7 screen-print plates, Loustal pursues a theme that has long fascinated him. The result is an ode to graphic art and a tender exercise embracing fantasy and wit.

The ” BESTIAIRE” portfolio, published in 1993 by Champaka is now available at www. ftn-books.com

loustal bestiaire c

 

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Joost Swarte (continued)

The year is 1987 and PLaisier in Bruxelles published the niow much sought after series DILEMMA by Joost Swarte. The series was 10 postcards, which showed a “real life” dilemma. I do not have the complete series , but the onse i have i will show you with the text and series number .

1.swarte dilemma h card 6, ” You have gotten a girlfriend pregnant. Do you tell your wife?

2.

swarte dilemma dcard 4, ” You find that your wife is having an affair. Would this be a reason for you to send her away?

3.swarte dilemma g

card 5, “You hear your neighbour beating his wife. Do you call the police?

4.swarte dilemma f

card10, ” Your Friend is constantly suffering from a bad breath. Do you tell him?

swarte dilemma c

These cards from this series are on request available . please inquire at http://www.ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

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Tante Leny ( from 1971-2000 )

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In total 26 volumes within the series were published over nearly 30 years.

This ante Leny magazine was first published in 1971 modelled after the great american underground like  ZAP and YELLOW DOG .

The dutch youth and music magazine Aloha had its own group of illustratores who regularly were invited to illustrate in Aloha. These artist were among the best and most controversial in the Netherlands and include Joost Swarte, Ever  Meulen and from later on Peter Pontiac.

They were invited to participate with a short comic in ethe first Tante Leny magazine. The initiatave was taken by Willem de Ridder and Ever Geradt , who would contribute to all volumes within the series. The series was at that time ” vanat garde” not only the subjects, but also their artistic approach in drawing text and size was completely new for the dutch readers. These series has become a classic in dutch comic art and was published irregularly until  2000 when the last number was published. This last number is something of  a special volume. It contains the very best comic artist who all had a complete free hand . The best story….one by Joost Swarte who’s main character Jopo de Pojo is strugling with a rubber condom. This latest number 26 of the Tante Leny series is now available at www.ftn-books.com.

tante leny 26 b

 

 

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Ronnie Cutrone (1948-2013)

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Ronnie Cutrone (July 10, 1948 – July 21, 2013) was an American pop artist known for his large-scale paintings of some of America’s favourite cartoon characters, such as Felix the Cat, Pink Panther and Woody Woodpecker.

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This is how the Wikipedia listing starts , but there is so much more to Cutrone as artists. He belonged to the first wave of New York graffiti artists in the New York region it is there he met with Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring and he even made it at one time as Andy Warhol’s assistant at the Factor. trone’s paintings are colourful, lively, and less challenging than those of his contemporaries. A frequent use of comic figures makes his art accessible and appreciated for almost any age. The first generation of street artist in the US were recognized as being important and Frans Haks from the Groninger Museum invited them for an exhibition in the Netherlands in the early 80’s. the result ….a growing popularity and appreciation for this generation of street artist and as a result gallery presentation in the first half of the Eighties, after these years these artists became less popular, but interest starts to be picking up. I have seen some great auction results recently and I expect a growing interest for the decades to come.

http://www.ftn-books has recently acquired a nice 1984 Cutrone publication.

cutrone aa

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the Drawings of Roy Lichtenstein (1987)

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I like this title. It was published at the end of the EIghties which finally recognized the historical importance of Pop Art in art. before , in th early Sixties pop art exhibitions were held all over the world including many impotant ones exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Among them a highly important Lichtenstein exhibition, but the difference with the 1987 exhibition at the MOMA museum is that in 1967 in Amsterdam it was NEW and MODERN and in 1987 in New York is was “established” art. A difference of 20 years and now another 33 years later . The quality of the works by Roy Lichtenstein is once again underlined with this exquiste catalogue on his drawings. It shows the metaculous preparation in drawing for all larger works he would create after.

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Ørnulf Ranheimsæter (1909-2007)

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Ørnulf Ranheimsæter was a Norwegian illustrator, graphical artist and essayist.

He was born in Skien, and educated at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry, where he also later worked as instructor and eventually professor. He is known for his many book designs, and received the Bokkunstprisen award in 1967 and 1987. He was awarded the Fritt Ord Honorary Award in 1998.

gullberg f
Why this rather obscure , lesser know Norwegian artist?.

The best reason is he illustrated DEN HELIGE NATTEN by Hjalmar Gullberg.  A short story on the Holy Night ( containing 4 original prints). The most appropriate story for today. ( the book is available at www.ftn-books.com)

Merry Christmas!

wilfried