8 Artists You Should Know

Throughout the history of art, many brave and creative spirits have exposed their souls, their imaginations and their ideas about the world through the power of visual expression. Today, we're honoring eight individuals whose artistic expression has transformed the conversation surrounding representation, the role of the artist, the relationship between figuration and abstraction, and the power of art.


1. Claude Monet (1840-1926)
"My life has been nothing but a failure."


The work of French painter Claude Monet (pronounced Mo-Nay) isknown for his paintings of water lilies in the idyllic gardens of Giverny. Sadly, his work remains confined to institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Musée d'Orsay, and sells for millions of dollars. IMHO, those canvases are whimsical enough to warrant billion dollar price tags.

2. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
"I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have."


Leonardo has been dubbed a "genius," as well as the "Renaissance humanist ideal." There are forums dedicated to whether or not he was the most talented person that has ever lived. One of his most celebrated paintings, the "Mona Lisa," is likely the most famous portrait of all time, but it's also the most parodied, and sometimes that stuff gets mean spirited.

3. Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
"It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else."

henri matisse

Matisse (pronounced Muh-Tees) is known as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, as well as the leader of the Fauvists, French for "wild beasts," a group of artists who privileged intense and unnatural color, sometimes straight from the tube. In 2005 one of his pieces sold for $25 million to the Museum of Modern Art. It's not even one of the super famous ones.

4. Édouard Manet (1832-1883)
"This woman's work is exceptional. Too bad she's not a man."


In the mid-19th century, Manet (pronounced Man-ehh?) painted provocative artworks such as "The Luncheon on the Grass," and "Olympia," both radical for their use of a nude subject staring straight at the viewer without shame. Some say his career sparked the beginning of modern art. Also, his name sounds a lot like Monet (see #1 on list) who is slightly more famous, which, we can only imagine, must have been frustrating.

5. Michelangelo (1475-1564)
"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."


The Encyclopedia Britannica subtly states: "Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and ever since then he has been held to be one of the greatest artists of all time." He's responsible for works like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the "Pietà," and yet we're still left wondering: but who is Michelangelo?

6. Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
"My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso."

picasso photo

As Norman Mailer once put it: "By general consensus, Pablo Picasso is the most brilliant and influential artist of this century." Among other things, he co-founded Cubism, invented constructed sculpture and helped popularize collage. Sadly, however, many individuals still hurl disparaging comments at him, like "my five-year-old could do that."

7. Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
"We never really know what stupidity is until we have experimented on ourselves."


Gauguin (pronounced Go-gan) is a key figure in Symbolist, Post-Impressionist and Primitivist art. He's also, perhaps less widely, known as the former stockbroker who left his wife and five children to embark on a hunt to "discover the primitive." In other words, he moved to Tahiti and took adolescent girls for wives. Get this guy a reality show!

8. Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do."


Degas (pronounced Day-gah) is known for his weightless depictions of ballerinas in motion, combining on-stage performances with awkward behind-the-scenes moments. He's also known as one of the founders of Impressionism. His bronze sculpture creepily titled "Little Dancer of Fourteen Years" was estimated to draw between $25 million and $35 million during a Christie's auction in 2009. There were no bids. It did not sell.

Reposted From The Huffington Post

Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Rémy Van Gogh Series

Hospital at Saint-Rémy-de -Provence
Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Rémy is a collection of paintings that Vincent van Gogh did when he was a self-admitted patient at the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, since renamed the Clinique Van Gogh, from May 1889 until May 1890.

During much of his stay there he was confined to the grounds of the asylum, and he made paintings of the garden, the enclosed wheat field that he could see outside his room and a few portraits of individuals at the asylum.

The Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital
May 1889
Corridor in Saint-Paul Hospital, 1889

During his stay at Saint-Paul asylum, Van Gogh experienced periods of illness when he could not paint. When he was able to resume, painting provided solace and meaning for him. Nature seemed especially meaningful to him, trees, the landscape, even caterpillars as representative of the opportunity for transformation and budding flowers symbolizing the cycle of life. One of the more recognizable works of this period is The Irises. 

Irises, 1889
Works of the interior of the hospital convey the isolation and sadness that he felt. From the window of his cell he saw an enclosed wheat field, the subject of many paintings made from his room. He was able to make but a few portraits while at Saint-Paul.

Enclosed Wheat Field with Rising Sun, May 1889

Within the grounds he also made paintings that were interpretations of some of his favorite paintings by artists that he admired. When he could leave the grounds of the asylum, he made other works, such as Olive Trees (Van Gogh series) and landscapes of the local area.

Events leading up to stay at the Saint-Paul hospital

Following the incident with Paul Gauguin in Arles in December 1888 in which van Gogh cut off part of his left ear he was hospitalized in Arles twice over a few months.

Ward in the Hospital in Arles
In January 1889, he returned to the Yellow House where he was living, but spent the following month between hospital and home suffering from hallucinations and delusions that he was being poisoned. In March 1889, the police closed his house after a petition by 30 townspeople, who called him "fou roux" (the redheaded madman). Paul Signac visited him in hospital and Van Gogh was allowed home in his company. In April 1889, he moved into rooms owned by Dr. Félix Rey, after floods damaged paintings in his own home. Around this time, he wrote, "Sometimes moods of indescribable anguish, sometimes moments when the veil of time and fatality of circumstances seemed to be torn apart for an instant." Finally in May 1889 he left Arles and traveled to the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Van Gogh was initially confined to the immediate asylum grounds and painted (without the bars) the world he saw from his room, such as ivy covered trees, lilacs, irises of the garden, and the enclosed wheat field, subject of many paintings at Saint-Rémy. As he ventured outside of the asylum walls, he painted the wheat fields, olive groves, and cypress trees of the surrounding countryside, which he saw as "characteristic of Provence." Over the course of the year, he painted about 150 canvases.

Source Wikipedia


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How does Victor Gastaldi, one of LA’s most prominent drug Czars and Danny Ballantyne a Chicago gangster fit in?  

What do thirteen un-cataloged paintings by a French Impressionist have to do with the outcome?  Deadly Impressions asks hard questions about the past and the answers will dictate who lives and who doesn’t.  

Chris and Chubbs with Arney in tow wade their way through the murky waters of Hollywood to find clues which don’t connect until the very end.  The action travels to Cannes France, Monaco and Tunisia with all roads leading back to LA as the conclusion smacks you in the face like a wet boxing glove in the dark.  You won’t see this one coming, you can bet on that!