“The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Nilo, “No Name 6,” Mixed Media on Canvas, 31.5″ x 39.4″
As long as there has been art, there has been portraiture. Portraits were originally reserved only for those who were regarded as important – religious figures, royalty, and nobility – and were meant to be in the exact likeness of the sitter. For many of us, these are the types of paintings that come to mind when someone mentions portraits. However, there is so much more to this personalized style of art. Whether a photograph, painting, drawing, or sculpture and regardless of artistic style, a portrait is just as much about the inner psyche of the sitter as it is about their physical appearance. That is why in contemporary art, it does not matter if you recognize the face that you are seeing. Instead, it is about relating to the overall essence of the image – the emanating emotion and energy.
Each of these Agora Gallery artists have used portraiture to represent not only a specific face, but a culture, a concept, or an idea.
These days, art is not limited – not in style, medium, technique, and certainly not in where it can be shown and enjoyed. Many of Agora Gallery’s artists have taken full advantage of the various opportunities available to contemporary artists, and we wanted to learn a little more about pursuing unique projects and how to use those connections to further your artistic career.
In our first post of the series, we’re speaking with New York-born, Japan-based artist David Stanley Hewett, one of the most well-known foreign artists in Japan. Having held major exhibitions in Japan, Singapore, and the United States, Hewett is known in particular for his abstract works with strong influences from the Samurai code of Bushido and the Japanese Shinto Religion. His works can be seen at The Imperial Hotel, The Okura Hotel, The Peninsula Hotel, Mitsui Trading, and numerous other collections around the world. Having created a large network in the hospitality industry as well as among other businesses, Hewett is always doing something big and new, and we were able to pick his brain and learn his secrets.
David Stanley Hewett with one of his works in the first-floor lobby at The Oakwood Premier Tokyo
“If you can’t excite people about wildlife, how can you convince them to love, cherish, and protect our wildlife and the environment they live in?” – Steve Irwin
When artists use the beauty and wonder of wildlife as their subject, they are not just recreating a depiction of an animal, they are exploring a life. Animal portraits, like with human subjects, much capture the energy, the emotion, and the environment that surrounds and animates the creature, much more than simply outlining the recognizable features. Artists who delve into the world of the wild learn to create a persona without the use of words or conversation. There is an innate understanding between the artists and their muse, which must be shared between the subject, the artist, and the viewer.
ARTmine has introduced many new artists who use wildlife as their inspiration and who portray these creatures in their work, and we’re glad to share their art with you:
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
Wanderlust: a very strong or irresistible impulse to travel. It’s a term that’s become all too familiar in modern times. With advances in technology and transportation, many of us have had the opportunities to travel around the world, and with travel, comes inspiration. Whether you’ve traveled around the world and want to relive your time abroad or if you’ve never left your home town and want to escape, take a moment to check out these new travel-inspired works by a few of Agora Gallery’s incredible artists.
Tonight, March 25th, 2015, Agora Gallery hosted the incredibly fun Young Professionals: A Joint Networking Event in order to raise money for the many humanitarian projects of World Childhood Foundation. Led by New York painter Fred Di Vito, a group of over one hundred young professionals in various fields got together to learn some color theory, paint mixing, and, ultimately, how to create their very own urban landscapes. The event perfectly combined Agora Gallery’s three most favorite things: art, New York, and charity.
We had wine, catered food, music, and great company.
After everyone had a chance to mingle, graze, and enjoy the artwork of the Swedish artists on our first floor, one of the event organizers, Matthew Linder, introduced us to Lindsay DiMichael from Chances for Children. Chances for Children has been working with parents, infants, and toddlers in lower-income areas in order to increase the chances for these families to foster positive psychological health and successful lives.
We wrote on January 23rd about a TV film crew that came to Agora Gallery to film an episode of Sinovision Journal. Well, the episode just aired recently on Sinovision, and we’re happy to share it with you today! Check it out:
NATURE AND ZEN: TWO CHINESE ARTISTS’ ABSTRACT WORKS ON DISPLAY AT AGORA GALLERY
From the website:
Chinese artists Michael Lam and Wei Xiong are presenting their works at Chelsea district’s Agora Gallery’s latest group exhibition. “The Substance of Abstraction,” inspired by Chinese calligraphy and Zen respectively, shows how two artists find a way to present Chinese art culture in a universal way. SinoVision Journal reporter Jane Stone brings you the story.
Happy Wednesday, art lovers! We enjoyed a visit from Agora artist Biddy Hodgkinson this afternoon. Biddy just walked down to Chelsea after visiting the Guggenheim – for those of you who aren’t familiar with NYC geography, that’s 40 street blocks and 5 avenues – QUITE the walk!
At the Guggenheim, Biddy had been enjoying the exhibition of V. S. Gaitonde, an artist with a style not too dissimilar to her own. In fact, the title of the exhibition, Painting as Process, Painting as Life, may easily be applied to Biddy’s work, as her subjects deal with such themes as life, nature, and decay. In her pieces, she applies acids and industrial destructive substances to organic matter, allowing natural processes to occur on canvas. The result is a beautiful and colorful homage to death.
Biddy is currently working on two large-scale pieces with a pretty funny story behind them. When calling up her supplier, Hodgkinson requested two 80″ canvases – or, as it turned out, 280″ canvases, as the supplier would hear it! Not complaining, Biddy is going to go with it, and we’re pretty excited to see her new 23+ foot (7+ meter) works!