Good artists copy. Great artists steal.
attributed to Picasso
Norberto is pictured with his rendition of the $10 bill as his passionate statement about social injustice on Canada's '150th' birthday. We love how he speaks truth to power through a deeply thoughtful painting in the style of Daphne Odjig. Cheers to you, Norberto!
Looks like we were able to surprise JoAnn with birthday greetings. Wishing you an awesome day, JoAnn, the weather is cooperating with a pleasant day to celebrate!
JoAnn Turner explains the theme for her cabinet. "I did almost like a four-colour photographic process with it, going from black and white to sepia (the traditional underpainting for oil paintings) to full colour, to wild Peter Max-style intensely coloured. So I was going through more or less a review of traditional artistic styles and techniques for each stage, until I got to 1960s psychedelic."
Vincent van Gogh was born March 30, 1853, and died in July 1890.
van Gogh's "Wheat Field with Cypresses" was the Ripoff Artists very first challenge. There was a sense of magic and wonderment in the air in 2007 as the artists struggled to be finished by the 3 pm deadline. The smiling faces say it all!
"I don't know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream." Vincent van Gogh
"Normality is a paved road. It's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it." Vincent van Gogh
"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere." Vincent van Gogh
"Art is to console those who are broken by life." Vincent van Gogh
"I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process." Vincent van Gogh
My favourite RipOff piece was Vincent van Gogh's "Wheatfields with Cypresses". It was our first foray and a one day event. From that start we realized the challenge we put before ourselves had to expand the time frame into a full week.
From this starting point we would prepare our masterpieces at home for the length of time required before gathering together for the final week in open studio.
My collage was made up entirely from magazine paper. Many hours were spent looking through magazines to find all the colour matches for use in my piece. My method was to cut out pieces of paper in such a way as to duplicate Van Gogh’s brushstrokes. It was by creating my picture in the “van Gogh” style of swirling skies and wind swept trees and fields that sealed my admiration for van Gogh. I always enjoyed his works but now I view his work in a way I feel drawn into his magical landscapes with reverential praise.
van Gogh created this beautiful painting in June of 1889 while a patient in a psychiatric hospital. What would make him take his own life just one month later? I somewhat have the answer as I’ve just finished reading “van Gogh’s Ear, the True Story” by Bernadette Murphy. It is in depth investigation of the events surrounding van Gogh cutting off his ear Dec. 26, 1888 until his death seven months later. It’s a captivating account of a complex, intelligent, sensitive man unable to adjust to life at the end of the 19th century.
I now view van Gogh differently, with more knowledge of his life. I now view him with more respect and sympathy. I like this quote by Vincent. “A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”."
Ansel Adams was born on Feb. 20, 1902. His photographs of American wilderness well known exemplifying his love for the outdoors. It is somehow fitting that he died on Earth Day, Apr. 22, 1984.
"Our lives at times seem a study in contrast...love and hate, birth and death, right and wrong...everything seen in absolutes of black and white. Too ofter we are not aware that it is shades of grey that add depth and meaning to the starkness of those extremes." His image of "Half Dome, Merced River, Winter" is a good example of the importance of shades of grey even in a black and white image.
In contrast to the shades of grey, in 2012 the Ripoff Artists chose to use his photo of "Factory Buildings San Francisco" in Colourful Black and White interpretations.
Grant Wood was born on Feb. 13, 1891. If he hadn't inconveniently died in 1942, he would be 130 this year. His iconic painting "American Gothic" was chosen for our 5th Ripoff challenge in 2011. The twist was that each Ripoff artist had to do their version in the style of another dead artist.
Ripoff Artist Terry Irvine, a former brewery brat, agrees with Wood's sentiment, "You can do anything with beer that you can do with wine. Beer is great for basting or marinating..." In honour of Wood's birthday, let's get basted and marinated. Cheers!
Our long standing tradition at our opening reception is to have a food theme which honours the victim's roots, which was American food for Wood. Kurt Hutterli captured the spirit on many levels. He chose Alexander Calder, American, as his muse and wore a red t-shirt all week as red was a favourite theme for Calder. His food contribution hit the ball out of the park!
The Ripoff Artists happily announce plans to give 2021 birthday shout outs to the dead artists who have been 'victims' of this tenacious gang. Birthday greetings will also be going to members of this larcenous group. Pictured above is the end of the week group photo from the Lawren Harris challenge in year four. Left to right back row: Kurt Hutterli, JoAnn Turner, Terry Irvine, Barbara Levant, Marion Trimble, Dianne Birnie, Leo Pedersen and Enid Baker. Front row kneeling: Russell Work and Thea Haubrich.
Here's a quick look at what Ripoff Artist Leo Pedersen is up to, as he warms up for next week's 2020 Ripoff Artist Challenge, starting on Monday.
This year, the Ripoff Artists take a flying leap at Marc Chagall’s Blue Circus, painted in 1950. Chagall (1887-1985) worked in many different artistic media: painting, drawing, printmaking, illustration, theatrical backdrops, ceramics and stained glass. He studied and participated in many of the major artistic styles of the early twentieth century. In the 1950s, Picasso said, "when Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is"
Chagall was born in 1887 near Vitebsk, a small city in Belarus. He knew early he wanted to be an artist, which wasn’t easy for Jews in Imperial Russia. He chose to use his Jewishness as a major artistic theme, but came to see his art as "not the dream of one people but of all humanity." He moved to St Petersburg, then to Paris to develop his art career. In 1914, he went home to his home village to marry his sweetheart Bella Rosenfeld, just as the First World War broke out. They were trapped in Russia. They moved to St Petersburg, then in 1922, they left Russia, never to return. They lived in Paris, then in New York.
Chagall said that every time he was with Bella, his feet didn’t touch the ground, and in his paintings, happy loving couples lift off and float, as in one of his best-known works, The Birthday. Bella wrote about that day in her own memoirs, when she surprised him at his studio with cake and flowers she’d hidden in a shawl. ‘Spurts of red, blue, white, black. Suddenly you tear me from the earth, you yourself take off from one foot. You rise, you stretch your limbs, you float up to the ceiling. You head turns about and you make mine turn. You brush my ear and murmur.’
His work was an outpouring of his inner self onto canvas, and he had more in common with the poets, writers and thinkers of Paris and New York than with many other modern artists. His figures are abstract but recognizable, and his work is full of movement, colour, emotion, dreamlike settings, whimsy and humour, personal symbolism and references to his own life. A fish often appears in his paintings as a tribute to his father, who worked long hard hours for a fish merchant. Chagall set many paintings in his home village, long after it had been destroyed by two World Wars and the Russian Revolution, but the Eiffel Tower may appear in the background. In his work, rabbits play in an upside down landscape, horses fly and mermaids soar above a moonlit sea.
During the Second World War, some prominent Jewish scientists, writers, artists and thinkers were taken to the US on a special visa program, among them Marc and Bella Chagall and their daughter Ida. By the end of the war, almost all European Jews had been wiped out, and of 240,000 people in their hometown of Vitebsk, only 118 survived. Bella died in 1944. In 2016 a musical play about Marc and Bella Chagall, “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk,” was mounted in the UK (A glowing review of the play is here) (And the 1:53 minute trailer for the play is here)
A year after Bella’s death, Chagall began a romance with photographer Virginia Haggard, and they had a child together. She left him in 1952, then his daughter introduced him to Valentina “Vava” Brodsky, a woman from a similar Russian-Jewish background. They married and were together for the rest of his life.
Chagall was already well-known by the time he moved to the US. In the 1950s, his career and reputation exploded and he took on much larger challenges: a painting on the ceiling of the Paris Opera, stained-glass windows for the synagogue at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and in many European churches and cathedrals. He created a stained glass window called “Peace” for the UN. He also did backdrops, set and costume designs for theatre, mosaics and many tapestries. On the day he died, he did a design consultation with the weaver of a tapestry he’d designed for a hospital in Chicago. He was 97.
Blue Circus is one of many images he created of the circus. He would attend with artist friends, taking his pencils and sketchpad. As one writer states, Chagall loved the circus. “Why am I so touched by their makeup and grimaces?” he said. “With them I can move toward new horizons.”
The Ripoff Artists are moving toward our own new horizon by doing the 2020 challenge in a virtual format. Each artist will work at home, and every day during Ripoff Week, July 6 to 11, we’ll share photos or video of our progress. Look for those by late afternoon every day during the week.
Leading up to that week, we’ll be sharing photos, videos and updates as we prepare for the challenge.
Look for “Virtual Studio Tours” and slide shows on our website, ripoffartists.ca,
our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/southokanaganripoffartists
And our new YouTube Channel, South Okanagan Ripoff Artists! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEdXUR1mEhMerxb0diJTQCA