Chuck Close

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”


Back to the Future

I’ve recently been enjoying Young Me Now, a blog that posts photo recreations. I love how it shows the changes over time and also the creativity of the subjects. Then, I discovered Back to the Future, a photo project by artist Irina Werning. I was blown away. She takes the same concept, but adds a level of detail that is so impressive, I can’t stop looking. She not only recreates the pose, expression, and location, but also the exact clothing, lighting, color balance, and natural fading that occurs with older photos. So in love with these. Check out her site to view the rest.

Postcards from Google Maps

I saw these on Apartment Therapy and was in awe. Artist Clement Valla takes images from Google Maps that, when viewed at the right angle, transform landscapes into warped and surreal representations. Valla says:

The images are screenshots from Google Earth with basic color adjustments and cropping. I am collecting these new typologies as a means of conservation–as Google Earth improves its 3D models, its terrain, and its satellite imagery, these strange, surrealist depictions of our built environment and its relation to the natural landscape will disappear in favor of better illusionistic imagery. However, I think these strange mappings of the 2-dimensional and the 3-dimensional provide us with fabulous forms that are purely the result of algorithmic processes and not of human aesthetic decision making. They are artifacts worth preserving.

View More Amazing Google Map Postcards

My Favorite Places: #2 Montmartre

One of my very favorite cities in the whole world is Paris, and my very favorite part of Paris is Montmartre. The hill is topped by the beautiful and iconic dome of Sacré Cœur overlooking the city below. Montmartre is best known for the many incredible artists who gathered, worked, and partied in its restaurants and cabarets. Matisse, van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Toulouse-Latrec, and Picasso found inspiration here and drank plenty of Absinthe under the stars. When I visited the area, I was enamored with the collection of beautiful spaces. I spent hours there, pretending I was in a Renoir painting at the Moulin de la Galette, sipping drinks at the Lapin Agile, and admiring surrealist sculpture at Espace Dalí. Especially wonderful was the crème brulée at Les Deux Moulins café, made famous in Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain, my very favorite film. Around every corner is an artist at an easel, a couple in an embrace, or a scene right out of an impressionist painting. It’s the kind of place of which artists dream.

My Favorite Places: #5 Musée du Louvre

There are few single buildings that can draw visitors from every corner of the world. Musée du Louvre began as a palace, but has since been converted into the most visited museum on Earth. Inside its beautifully structured exterior lives the greatest collection of artwork ever seen, spanning from prehistory to the late 19th century. Historical timelines are kept in surprising quality as you travel through the Egyptian, Eastern, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, and sculptural collections. But nothing drops jaws or makes me feel warmer than the paintings that span the Richelieu and Denon wings of the museum. Delacroix, David, Vermeer, and Caravaggio are among favorites, but truly nothing compares to the Mona Lisa. While many who see it in person scoff at its surprisingly small size and its ever-present crowd of camera-flashing tourists, the tiny portrait’s draw is what makes it incredible. For a man to have created a single work of art that is recognized by all and is the most visited piece in the most visited collection of nearly 35,000 pieces, well, that’s magic. I love I. M. Pei’s glass pyramid, the distinct parquet floor of the Grand Gallery, wall after wall of masterpieces, and how I still have to pronounce it Loo-vrah.

Tilt-Shift Van Gogh

After seeing how tilt-shift photography could make real world scenes appear like miniature models, Serena Malyon, a third-year art student, decided to simulate the effect on Van Gogh’s famous paintings. Using Photoshop, she manipulated the light and adjusted the focus to make us see these paintings in ways we could have never imagined.

All I have to say is UH-MAZING!