Tag Archives: Park West Gallery artist

Inspiring Nano Lopez

Nano Lopez

When master sculptor Nano Lopez steps outside, he doesn’t just see grass, trees or animals – he sees life, inspiration and miracles.

“Everything is a miracle, everything is amazing – life in general, all life is amazing,” he says. “The richness of the world is inspiration.”

Lopez grew up in Bogota, Colombia, and took trips with his family to rivers and islands. During these trips, he was fascinated by the flora, fauna and animals he discovered, and these experiences fueled his imagination in a way that has remained with him and evolved. Today, he states that his way of understanding humanity is through the path of nature.

In fact, one of the very reasons Lopez has enjoyed sculpting since the age of 15 is that he connects with nature by using clay to create art.

“Originally the first element that I worked with was water clay,” he says. “You get your hands on it, the feeling of the earth in your hands and the water, all of that is very direct.”

His figurative works are a search for humanness, for universal, hidden feelings he cannot quite name. He compares it to plunging your hand into the dirt, blindly searching for something, but you’ll know what you’re looking for once you take hold of it.

“Early on I was really in love with nature and working on the human figure and thinking about life at all levels,” he says. “That kind of thinking made me want to incorporate life and nature into the human.”

Nano Lopez

Among his various sculptures, Lopez says his “Maria” figurative works hold deep meaning to him. They combine his love of the human figure and his passion for nature. In fact, he has alluded to wanting to create a 10-foot large version of his “Maria Alma” sculpture.

“It symbolizes the human soul,” he says of Maria. “It relates to Mother Nature a lot…the beauty of life, the power of life – that is a miracle to me.”

To emphasize and contrast the natural, organic textures, Lopez incorporates mechanical and man-made textures such as gears, letters and numbers. To him, gears represent human creativity, while letters and numbers remind him of the history of civilization with math, language and literature.

“When we’re talking about animals, it brings the human part into the animals,” he says. “That gives it that richness that refers to what amazes me the most, which is the richness of the world.”

Even his palette is derived from nature. He said everything from trips during his youth to visits to the marketplace has inspired his bright colors.

“I do remember going to the markets in Colombia, they are so visual in that sense out there, particularly the outdoor markets that are so rich in colors and all that, and in the tropics the colors are pretty intense,” he says.

Nano Lopez

Even when he isn’t working on his art, Lopez loves interacting with nature. He says he enjoys landscaping, which is evident when admiring the beautiful grounds at his residence in Walla Walla, Washington.

“You go into your backyard and stand in a square foot of earth, you start to see how much is going on,” he says. “The birds go by, the bees go by, and you look down you see an ant going by, and you dig under and there is more stuff going on with worms and beetles. It’s amazing, that power of life amazes me and I want to express that into the figures.”

View the entire Nano Lopez: Master Sculptor catalog here

Victor Spahn, the Painter of Movement

French artist Victor Spahn has earned himself a designation as “the Painter of Movement” because of his extraordinary ability to seize ephemeral moments in his artwork. Browse through the Park West Gallery Fine Art Collection, and even the casual observer will notice the Impressionist quality of Victor Spahn’s technique and the emotion he’s able to convey with his brushstrokes.

The following video features a wonderful montage of Victor Spahn’s dynamic artwork and exclusive footage of the painter at work in his studio.

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Artwork selections from the Victor Spahn collection are available for purchase through Park West Gallery and our cruise art auctions at sea. Visit the Park West Gallery Fine Art Collection to learn more.

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Noah Creates Kustom Chop and Rebel Mouser

Noah, Disney fine art, Park West GalleryNoah “Rat Rod #80” | Park West Gallery Collection

In the following behind-the-scenes video, the contemporary artist known simply as Noah creates Kustom Chop and Rebel Mouser characters to add to his “Motor Mouse” series of Disney Fine Art. Take a visit into Noah’s private studio and watch the painting come to life right before your eyes.

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If you’ve recently attended a Park West Gallery cruise art auction or land event, you may have had the opportunity to meet Noah in person. Don’t miss Park West Gallery’s exclusive interview with the artist.

Visit Park West Gallery to learn more about Noah and view selections from the Noah Fine Art Collection.
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Defining Beauty: Albrecht Durer at the Morgan

Albrecht Durer, Morgan Library and MuseumAlbrecht Dürer, detail from “Abduction on Horseback” (1516).

“What beauty is, I know not,
though it adheres to many things.”
—Albrecht Dürer

DEFINING BEAUTY: ALBRECHT DÜRER
The Morgan Library & Museum
May 14 through September 12, 2010

New York, NY—Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), preeminent master of the German Renaissance, transformed drawing in Northern Europe. Using his unrivaled talent as a draftsman and the force of his powerful artistic personality, Dürer tirelessly promoted drawing as a medium, creating works of exceptional beauty and remarkable technical skill.

Now, in an exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum, eight extraordinary drawings by Dürer demonstrate the variety and dynamism of his draftsmanship. Exhibitions focused on Dürer’s drawings are rare, and this occasion marks the first time in more than twenty years that the Morgan’s outstanding Dürer holdings will be displayed together. Also included are prints and treatises by the artist.

In his pursuit of beauty, Dürer devoted careful attention to every aspect of artistic production. On view in the exhibition are a woodcut, its associated woodblock, and a letter to the patron for whom it was made. In the letter Dürer wrote, “Please let it be as it is. No one could improve it because it was done artistically and with care. Those who see it and who understand such matters will tell you so.”

Learn more about this exhibition at www.themorgan.org

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The Park West Gallery masterworks collection is one of the world’s finest and includes rare artworks by Albrecht Dürer, one of the greatest printmakers of all time. View collection highlights »

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Watch Park West Artist Tim Yanke Paint His Largest Yanke Doodle to Date

Yanke Doodle 37

Park West Gallery artist Tim Yanke pays homage to his country with his Yanke Doodle Collection; Tim’s patriotism and deep respect for the multi-national communities America was founded upon shine through in each one of his artworks. Upon closer inspection, one will see that the 50 states along with the National Anthem are represented in every Yanke Doodle painting. Tim states that since 9/11 he has “never been prouder flying our flag at our home in Michigan.” Now art enthusiasts can hang Tim’s creations in their homes as a beautiful, unique way of expressing their own patriotism!

Currently, Tim is painting the largest Yanke Doodle to date! You can follow this incredible abstract artist’s progress over the new few days by watching the videos on the Tim Yanke website! More videos will be posted Friday and Saturday, and the finished work will be unveiled on Sunday, July 4th.

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The Magic of Rembrandt Paintings Revealed

Rembrandt's Saint James The Greater, 1661. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

Rembrandt's Saint James The Greater, 1661. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

While studying paintings created by Rembrandt van Rijn using software that examined lighting and spatial layout, University of British Columbia researcher Steve DiPaola uncovered how the Dutch master created his enduring works of art – through a technique that guides the viewer’s gaze.

According to DiPaola, Rembrandt’s technique was to paint a sharper focus on certain areas of a piece in order to draw the viewer’s eyes to that area. The study found that viewers would rest on the sharper areas longer, which resulted in a calming effect and also guided the viewer around the painting.

“This is about unlocking the puzzle of perception,” DiPaola told The Vancouver Sun newspaper. “Artists don’t always get the credit for it, but the way they make their magic is by exploiting brain science.”

By making certain details sharper and helping the viewer experience the painting, Rembrandt essentially created a narrative for his pieces. Whether Rembrandt actually knew what he was doing is still a question, but DiPaola feels the artist may have also intuitively done it. [Via CBC News]

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While Rembrandt is most widely known for his masterful paintings, he is also recognized as one of the best – if not the best – etcher of all time. For more information on the Park West Rembrandt Collection and the etching process in general, visit the Park West Gallery Rembrandt Website.

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Romero Britto Creates Art Poster for 2010 FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup 2010, which begins in 48 days in South Africa, marks the 70th anniversary of the first FIFA World Cup held in 1930. Since then, the international championship has been held every four years, except in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II.

There has been a lot of press and publicity leading up to the FIFA World Cup 2010, including the campaign for the Official Art Poster Edition 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, which internationally acclaimed pop artist Romero Britto participated in. Britto’s art poster, “South Africa 2010,” has finally been unveiled, and the Park West Gallery bloggers are excited to provide you with a glimpse of it here.

Congratulations to Romero Britto for another job well done on creating an upbeat, distinctive art poster for an international event! Visit the official FIFA World Cup website for more information on the championship, and read the exclusive FIFA.com interview with Britto regarding his art, football, his motivations and the FIFA World Cup.

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Park West Gallery Artist Interviews: Leslie Lew Part 2

In Part 1 of Park West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro’s interview with renowned artist Leslie Lew, the artist discussed her artwork and thriving career. Following is Part 2 of this fascinating interview in which she discusses her history as an artist…

Morris Shapiro: I know you have a really amazing resume and you have shown in some of the finest galleries in New York. And, you’ve shown next to artists like Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Keith Haring.

Leslie Lew: I knew Andy and I knew Keith.

MS: And you’ve shown side-by-side with them, as well as in some of the most prestigious galleries in New York and elsewhere. The choice to come to Park West is an interesting because I think it says something about your philosophy of art.

LL: As an art student early on, I would visit museums and high-end galleries, but I always had a little bit of a problem with the way they present their art, or even the approach that they take. Often they are very elitist; it’s almost like you are intimidated when you go in a place… you can’t touch anything. And I’ve always felt that art was supposed to be something that would reach everybody, not just a few people.

I think that’s why I am really, really thrilled with Park West. Your approach is to educate, to deliver, to present and have fun with the art, and to include, not exclude, people. I’m noticing as I go through these events and exhibitions with Park West that it’s a different approach, and it’s exactly what I want to do with my work.

My long term plan is to try to reach as many people as I possibly can. And I think a great way to do this is working with Park West. Yeah, my pieces get into museums…at the Guggenheim or some other high-end gallery, and that’s great. But the people that I’m meeting with Park West are from all over the place, all over the world basically.

MS: And with different levels of artistic sophistication.

LL: Exactly. And you know what, art isn’t just for the few. Take Rembrandt…he wanted to make art approachable. They didn’t have TV…art was part of their communication. And I feel that is really important.

MS: Well I think you are a perfect fit for that because you have such a wonderful energy yourself and so much enthusiasm about your work. That’s such a great combination…people just adore you and your work. So many artists have difficulty in really communicating about their work and sharing their personal side because it is just the way they are, but you have such a wonderful, outgoing personality and people are just delighted to meet you.

Let’s talk a little bit about your past, your background. I know that you come from a family of girls. You have four sisters?

LL: Yes, I am the oldest…I have three younger sisters.

MS: And your father was a pretty famous advertising executive, and his name was Leslie also.

LL: That’s right…I’m Leslie Jr., as I always tell everybody. My parents are a little unconventional…they were kind of like old beatniks; they had a spirit about both of them. My mother used to wear a chignon, big earrings, and funky shoes. I used to be embarrassed when I was a kid…I wanted her to look more like the Dick, Jane and Sally mom, you know with the flip haircut, but she didn’t. She had leotards, she was very dramatic. I probably got a little of that from my mom.

And my dad, of course, was an artist in his own right. But when he got married he needed to take the route of supporting his family; that is why he went into advertising. He drove to New York and got a job at J. Walter Thompson. He’s responsible for all of the coolest ads that we grew up with as Baby Boomers.

MS: Can you tell us some of them?

LL: Alka-Seltzer commercials…the Marlboro Man.

“Oh I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” “marshmallow meatball,” you know, that kind of thing. There was one with a newlywed who was cooking for her husband and she was a really bad cook… Dad did that one.

And the Marlboro Man. Dad went down to Kentucky. You know that guy just died recently from smoking. He was a really young guy though; he was only about eighteen at the time, even though he looked a lot older.

MS: And some of the famous breakfast cereals?

LL: Oh yeah. When dad passed away a couple of years ago, I decided to do a dedication to him. I recreated one of the Sugar Smacks boxes that he invented. He did the Smackin’ Brothers, which would be so totally inappropriate today…so “politically incorrect.” But what I did was paint a really big—about 90 by 60 inch—sculpted oil, based on Dad’s ad, and I had an exhibition called “Snap, Crackle, and POP” and I did a big POP. He has influenced me a lot.

In the old day with the ad layouts, they used those great Pantone markers. He had thousands of colors…and it was almost like a watercolor process. He had his own little studio in our house and I used to sit underneath his drawing table. He was really persnickety about his markers, and if they were the least bit worn or dry, he would give them to me. So I would sit there and actually copy my dad’s ads. I still have some of them.

MS:  So you were also drawing at a really early age?

LL: Oh yeah, absolutely.

MS: So then your father kind of packed it in; he kind of just turned his back on the advertising world and took your family to Oregon right? And you guys were living kind of as “bohemians” in Oregon?

LL: Yeah. What happened was that my parents got divorced, but we all ended up following my dad. My dad didn’t want to get divorced, but my mother, I guess she just couldn’t handle it. It was a time in the 50’s where she wanted to be more creative. She needed to “do her own thing.” She didn’t want to be a housewife. Ultimately, she ended up working as a writer for the Chicago Tribune and then later for the Oregonian. Even thought they got divorced, they remained friends. Dad went to Oregon, and I went to Oregon with him. Then my sisters followed. Then, my dad invited my mom to come, so everyone ended up in Portland.

MS: And this is about the time when you decided to become an artist, right? You moved to Chicago and went to The Chicago Institute, the School of Art Institute, which everyone knows is one of the greatest art schools in the world. Some of the work that you do today still has images that originated from your Chicago Institute days, right?

LL: Yes, the first piece that ever was in a museum is one of the etchings that I released through Park West. I had never sent them out…they’ve always been just with me in my studio. But, I love that you guys have great, beautiful etchings like Rembrandt, Goya, and I thought, you know what, I’m going to release these…this is the right place for them now.

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Stay tuned to the Park West Gallery blog for Part 3 of this absorbing interview with Leslie Lew, and review Part 1 here!

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