Art + Comedy


These guys and their sense of humor really makes me laugh. I wish they were my friends...

Hank Schmidt in der Beek and Fabian Schubert have been poking fun at plein air painting since 2009. Their project, Und im Sommer tu ich malen (which translates roughly to “And in the Summer I do Paint”) is made up of a humorous series of photographs shot by Schubert that captures in der Beek with his original paintings. The idea behind the project is for the pair to travel to locations any arts aficionado may recognize, like places where Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet or Vincent Van Gogh visited and painted, but rather than replicating their celebrated works, Hank paints the pattern of his shirt instead.

Their works have been in several solo and group exhibitions, but they are also all together for the first time in a book published by Edition Taube. The publisher explains that “the work combines conceptual and concrete art as well as plein air and portrait painting,” however Hank elaborates that “basically, I paint whatever my wardrobe offers me”. 

via It's Nice That

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Judging Books by Their Covers


I'm definitely guilty of judging books by their covers. Don't get me wrong, I don't choose what to read solely based on what's on the cover. But, I am definitely drawn to picking up certain books if the cover design draws me in.  And for some reason, if a book has a nicely designed cover, I enjoy it just a little bit more. I'm not alone here, am I?

a couple of weeks ago I was browsing around a used bookstore and I stumbled across this copy of The Sibyl by Par Lagerkvist. The cover design alone is what made me pick it up, and I bought it because it just looked interesting. Turns out it is more a parable than a story - about divine love. It's short, and beautifully written, but one of those books that needs to be dissected and discussed to fully grasp what it's all about. Something that I most likely wouldn't have chosen to read if it hadn't caught my eye and drawn me in. And I'm glad it did.

As it turns out, the cover of this particular copy was designed by George Giusti, who was an award winning mid-century graphic designer, illustrator, artist, and architect. His career spanned all facets of the art and design world, but he maintained the attitude that "art is art" and he refused to label any of his work as either "commercial" or "fine art ."

Seems like a pretty good attitude to have. Maybe that's why I was so drawn to his cover design. 

Here's a small collection of some more of his work...

Duke Riley: Fly By Night

I spent most of this past spring and summer in New York City, and it was fantastic in so many ways. I visited all the museums and wandered around the city and tried to soak up as much as I could. I was also one of the really lucky ones to get to see Fly By Night, which was this amazing art performance/light show/pigeon ballet dreamed up by the artist Duke Riley. Two thousand pigeons, each carrying a little LED light, flying in unison over the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Seriously. It was an incredible thing to see in person, and one of the highlights of my time in the city. I LOVE when people think way outside the box, and come up with a huge crazy idea, and then make it happen. Well done Mr. Riley. Such a memorable experience.

Here's a short film about his project...

Fairfield Porter


Everyone, meet Fairfield Porter. When it comes to painters, I have a lot of favorites, but this guy is near the top of the list. In fact, he might just be at the VERY top. When I look at his work it just seems like he speaks my language. Or, I guess I should say I feel like I speak his language. His colors are perfect. His subject matter is quiet and serene. And his loose and brushy painting style feels relaxed and comfortable. 

"Porter's reputation rests in a penumbra of partial appreciation. His art is known but neglected, familiar but not famous, reproduced but on a limited scale." -John Wilmerding

I've seen a couple of Porter's paintings in person, at museums, and one unexpectedly at a meeting with a client. (A client with an impressive art collection!) For a long time I've been hoping to find a book about him, and I looked all over. There's been nothing. BUT, a couple weeks ago on a visit to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, I walked past the gift shop and saw a big Fairfield Porter book staring at me from the shelf just inside the door. I grabbed one and walked straight to the cash register.

And it's beautiful. So well done.

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