We’ve Moved! Visit the New Park West Gallery Blog

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We’ve moved! We’ll no longer be updating this site, but Park West Gallery has just launched a NEW website, where you’ll find our blog. There, we’ll be sharing even more news + information about your favorite artists, gallery events and art world happenings.

Please visit http://www.parkwestgallery.com/blog. See you there!

Park West Gallery remembers Le Ba Dang (1921-2015)

Le Ba Dang

Le Ba Dang

Park West Gallery artist and noted Vietnamese-French painter Le Ba Dang passed away in Paris on March 8, 2015, at the age of 94.

Park West Gallery, which holds fine art auctions on cruise ships, live auctions in major metropolitan areas, and runs galleries in Detroit and Miami Lakes, Florida, helped expose Dang’s artwork to a wider audience. Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione knew Dang for more than three decades.

The revered artist leaves behind paintings, lithographic prints and abstracts with private collectors and galleries the world over.

Dang was born in 1921 in the province of Quang Tri, and moved to Paris in 1939 where he joined the army to fight against German fascism. He was captured and held in a Nazi prison, and after his release, studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tolouse for six years. His first solo show was in 1950.

Dang’s first marketing success was painting cats onto ceramic plates, which are sought-out items to this day. Following a show at the Cincinnati Art Museum in the 1960s, Dang wanted to create new and exciting art, and used oil paints to create large-scale abstract works. The artwork contained vivid blues and puddles of orange and red, and proved popular with tourists and collectors alike, further cementing him as serious artist.

Dang’s innovations included the use of foam board, cutting out intricate designs with a knife and placing the foam between pieces of glass to form patterns and effects as light shines through them. Dang also worked in printmaking, terra cotta and a variety of other media.

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Each work speaks to the relationship of nature and man. His works also hint at his memories of growing up in Vietnam, with outlines of boats and bridges, as well as his experiences with the army.

Dang’s “signature” acted as a logo, closely resembling the calligrapher’s red square seal of a Chinese Song dynasty’s hand scroll. Their size, shape, and color are virtually identical.

Dang used his success to rebuild his devastated village in Vietnam, and was honored by his home country with a Le Ba Dang foundation and museum.

The artist split his time between Viet Nam and Paris, claiming that one day he would retire. His his creativity continued to flourish even in his 90s.

His accomplishments include an award from the International Institute of St. Louis in 1989 and a medal of recognition of artistic and cultural contributions by the French government in 1994.

He even has his own award, the Le Ba Dang Award, which is given bi-annually to someone who has demonstrated extraordinary volunteer service. The award was established by the International Institute of St. Louis to honor those who show “peace within you, your country, and the world.”

“Art, in all its forms, whether literature, philosophy, or the visual arts, expresses an attempt to understand the riddle of life and helps lessen the fear of death,” Dang once wrote.

Park West Gallery presents Pino exhibition

“La Diva” (2008) by Pino. Giclee in color on canvas with hand embellishment. Signed in pigment lower right.

“La Diva” (2008) by Pino. Giclee in color on canvas with hand embellishment. Signed in pigment lower right.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 25, 2015 – Park West Gallery is inviting the public to view artwork from one of the last great illustrators of our time.

The gallery presents “Pino: An American Master,” featuring 77 works by Pino Daeni from March 30 to May 17 at Park West Gallery, located at 29469 Northwestern Highway in Southfield. This is the exhibition’s only venue.

Park West Gallery serves as the official representative of the Pino estate. The collection of works by the celebrated artist includes paintings, drawings, watercolors and hand-embellished graphic works, all of which will be on exhibition at special estate sale prices.

“Never before has Park West Gallery exhibited such a complete collection of the works of Pino,” said David Gorman, gallery director of Park West Gallery. “Park West is truly privileged to be a part of Pino’s legacy as the exclusive dealer for the estate of this American master.”

Born Giuseppe Dangelico in Bari, Italy, Pino studied at the Art Institute in Bari and perfected his talent for painting nudes at Milan’s Academy of Brera. When he immigrated to the U.S. in 1978, his renderings caught the attention of multiple book publishers, and Pino’s illustrative art dominated the market. He painted around 3,000 covers in his lifetime, including working with the then unknown model Fabio.

Pino switched to fine art in 1992, and his paintings appeared in galleries throughout the U.S. His works focus on the female form, using his mastery of technique, body language and color to convey deep emotions from his subjects. Pino passed away on May 25, 2010.

Admission to the gallery is free for the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 248-354-2343 or visit www.parkwestgallery.com.

The exhibit has been featured in press throughout the community including the Oakland Press, Macomb Daily, and numerous television stations. The official press release for the event can be found here.

About Park West Gallery:

Park West Gallery in Detroit connects artists to fine art enthusiasts via art auctions on cruise ships, auctions in major metropolitan areas, and via art gallery locations in Michigan and Florida. Park West Gallery prides itself on creating an entertaining, educational and welcoming environment that ignites a passion for the arts and offers an incomparable collecting experience.

Tim Yanke artwork appears on The Bachelor and Good Morning America

Tim Yanke's Kokopelli appeared in the background of this clip shown on The Bachelor and Good Morning America

Tim Yanke’s Kokopelli appeared in the background of this clip shown on The Bachelor and Good Morning America

Fans of ABC’s “The Bachelor” may have noticed a familiar work of art in the background of the program. A work from artist Tim Yanke‘s Kokopelli series made a surprise guest appearance on the TV show with clips replayed this week on “Good Morning America.”

You can watch the full clip here

Autumn de Forest wows collectors in Boston

Autumn de Forest speaks during a VIP event in Boston on February 27. Photo courtesy of Doug de Forest.

Autumn de Forest speaks during a VIP event in Boston on February 27. Photo courtesy of Doug de Forest.

Along with painting like a learned master, Park West Gallery artist Autumn de Forest has the confidence of an accomplished speaker and the youthful energy to go with it.

The 13-year-old artist demonstrated all of these qualities and more when presenting at a Park West Gallery VIP event at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston on February 27.

This was the artist’s first time in “Beantown.” She took the opportunity to unveil one of her latest works of art, inspired by the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. The painting shows a pair of shoes that represent the bombings, modeled after Autumn’s tennis shoes, and stars to represent America. The painting will be presented to the mayor of Boston and belong to the city’s art collection.

“When I heard about the Boston bombings a year ago I was absolutely devastated,” she said.

Following the presentation, she took questions from collectors eager to pick the young artist’s brain. Autumn began painting “in her late 5s,” finding inspiration from world-renowned artists. When asked, she said she is a big fan of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

“I see these artists in museum exhibits and I’m in absolute awe,” she said.

She enjoys putting her own spin on classic works, such as painting a crayon into her version of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” or depicting a Barbie doll like Warhol’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe.

Other works are inspired by an artist’s style. For instance, her “dripping” series has captured the attention of many collectors, depicting scenes of hearts, oranges, beach balls or concepts like her imagination dripping from the sky. She said the series was brought on by Salvador Dali’s surrealistic paintings.

“I just thought how beautiful that is, and not only is it a surreal technique…but it can mean so many different things, it can symbolize whatever you’re attaching to the drips,” she said.

She draws from other inspiration as well, showing high levels of conceptualism, expression and technique. One of her favorite paintings, “Whale, What’s Next?” was inspired by watching the TV show “Whale Wars.” She became sad at the thought of never seeing a whale in person, which in turn inspired the painting.

Another painting at the event was from her Alaska series, which harkens to her family history. Her ancestor, plein air painter Lockwood de Forest, created a series of works 102 years ago based on a trip to Alaska. Autumn, having been on a Park West Gallery VIP cruise to Alaska, painted her own series based on her ancestor’s works.

The young artist has even developed her own techniques, one of which she calls “pull painting,” where she uses a wire to pull paint across a canvas. Another is “wind painting,” where she uses an air compressor to blow around watery paint.

“That’s what I do with a lot of techniques, I say ‘hey, I wonder if this will work,’” she said.

To quash any doubts about whether she actually paints these works, cameras are set up in her studio to record every painting she creates.

Outside of the VIP event, Autumn spoke to students at Emerson College during her appearance in Boston. Her speaking accolades also include being the youngest artist to present at the National Art Education Association’s annual convention.

Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione has helped mentor Autumn during her career. At the Boston event, he told the crowd that Autumn’s ability to harness the genuine creativity and imagination of a child to create art is nothing short of wonderful.

Picasso and Miro tried to paint like children – she didn’t have to do that,” he said. “She is fearless.”

Romero Britto named ambassador for 2016 Olympics

Above, Romero Britto with Brazil President Dilma Rousseff. Britto was recently named an ambassador for the 2016 Olympics. Photo courtesy of www.administradores.com

Above, Romero Britto with Brazil President Dilma Rousseff. Britto was recently named an ambassador for the 2016 Olympics. Photo courtesy of http://www.administradores.com

World-renowned Park West Gallery artist Romero Britto has been selected to represent his native country when the 2016 Olympics come to Brazil.

Not in a sport, of course, but as an energetic ambassador that will rally fans to cheer on their athletes.

Britto revealed the news during a visit to Park West Gallery’s Miami Lakes location on Jan. 20. The Neo-pop artist was appointed to be a Brazilian ambassador for the 2016 Summer Olympics by the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

The news later spread when a picture of him wearing a shirt themed after Brazil’s flag adorned with the Olympic rings surfaced on his Facebook fan page.

As an ambassador, Britto encourages the participation and involvement of fans during the international athletic event. The role comes naturally to Britto, as he and his art aim to bring joy and happiness to others.

“The idea of giving something – the pleasure of giving pleasure, to have the pleasure of doing something nice for somebody – I love doing that,” he said.

Along with Britto, other Brazilian ambassadors for the 2016 Olympics include Octavian Costa, Toni Garrido, Preta Gil, Luciano Huck, Rodrigo Lombardi and Roberta Sudbrack.

In keeping with the fun personality that produces bright, optimistic art, Britto joked about what he plans to do as an ambassador.

“I’ll just re-shape the country,” he said with a laugh.

Britto is no stranger to serving as a global sports ambassador. He was the official artist for World Cup 2010 and again in 2014. He hosted a painting workshop in 2010 to benefit FIFA’s charity program, “Football for Hope,” in South Africa.

“I couldn’t have imagined that one day I could do something out of my work,” he said.

The roles work for Britto on other levels. Growing up in Recife, Brazil, he said he originally wanted to be a diplomat and travel the world, but eventually pursued his calling as an artist.

“I’m really glad that I gave up the idea of being a diplomat,” he said. “Today people tell me that I am a different sort of diplomat.”

Britto displayed this diplomacy when he held a painting party with the 2015 Miss Universe contestants at his studio in Miami on Jan. 11. The project benefited Best Buddies International, and represented what Britto said was the world coming together to celebrate beauty and happiness.

“The girls represent so many different cultures and countries,” he said. “To me it was a real privilege to work with them.”

Britto combines cubism, pop art and graffiti painting into his style, citing influences like Pablo Picassoand Henri Matisse. After he moved to Miami in 1988, he was asked to create art for Absolut Vodka’s Absolut Art campaign, exposing Britto’s colorful artwork to millions.

Park West Gallery is proud to represent Britto and make his works available to collectors the world over, including three-dimensional works exclusively offered by Park West.

C and G News: New Habitat Home Dedicated in Madison Heights

Nonprofit continues to offer a ‘hand up, not a handout’

C&G NEWS — At the dedication ceremony for his new home Aug. 20, Michael Munger was grinning ear to ear, hugging one person after another and basking in the glow of adoring supporters who had spent many hours this summer helping him overhaul a foreclosed house in the neighborhood east of John R and south of 12 Mile.

Now Munger, 48, single with no kids, will have a place to call his own, not far from where he grew up in the 12 Mile and Dequindre area.

“It’s been an incredible experience,” Munger told the crowd gathered on the side of his new home on the 2000 block of Osmun. “Everybody did an excellent job — the quality of work, the time that they spent, ya know, just away from their families and their friends and everything, just to help me achieve a dream.”

From left: Artist Tim Yanke, home recipient Michael Munger, CEO and executive director of HFHOC Tim Ruggles

From left: Artist Tim Yanke, home recipient Michael Munger, CEO and executive director of HFHOC Tim Ruggles

The project was done through Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County (HFHOC), the first of three such projects in Madison Heights this year. Including the Munger home, HFHOC has already built or rehabbed seven homes in Madison Heights since 2010. County-wide, the group has 10 builds or rehabs planned this year.

Local artist Tim Yanke, of Park West Gallery, presented one of his “Yankee Doodles,” the third he’s donated to a Habitat dedication. The painting of an American flag featured the words of the National Anthem, and a rainbow-hued border celebrating the diversity of the United States. There was also a tree planted in the backyard — a new touch for a Habitat dedication. Read More →

Download the full article (pdf)

Hour Detroit Magazine: Wall to Wall Art

Park West Gallery and Dearborn’s The Henry team up to decorate a ’boutique’ hotel

HOUR DETROIT MAGAZINE — When the four-star hotel in Dearborn’s Town Center was part of the Ritz-Carlton chain, it had a multipurpose space known as The Gallery. In 2010, the facility changed hands, becoming the Henry Hotel Autograph Collection, and the new owners decided to retain the room’s name.

Then a real gallery moved in.

wall-to-wall-art-7

“When they said, ‘We’d like to put you down here,’ I asked, ‘What’s the Gallery?'” recalls Mike Snodgrass, the curator employed by Southfield’s renowned Park West Gallery to maintain what’s believed to be the largest in-house art collection at any hotel in the world. “They said, ‘That’s a function room! We can’t give you that room!’

“I said, ‘But it’s … the Gallery! … People are going to walk in and ask, ‘Where’s the gallery?’ And they’ll be looking for me over there.”

Eventually, they reached a compromise: The room is still known as “The Gallery,” but now it actually looks like a gallery, replete with gentle track lighting and complementary paintings adorning every wall.

But the Henry’s fine art isn’t confined to one area, or even two… Read More →

Download the full article (pdf)