What Art History Tells Us About Ultra Violet, Pantone’s Color of the Year

For centuries, the color purple has been associated with greatness: immense power, big personalities, and artistic genius. Cleopatra and Julius Caesar swathed their palaces and their bodies with it. Impressionists like Claude Monet became so obsessed with the color, they were accused by critics of contracting “violettomania.” And then, of course, pop god Prince branded his funky, supremely iconoclastic music with deep, dewy violet—a mystical force he dubbed “purple rain.”

purple-web

It’s these lofty qualities that color authority Pantone referenced Thursday when announcing its 2018 color of the year: Ultra violet. The company lauded the hue’s ability to communicate “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future” in a press release, noting purple’s longstanding connection to “unconventionality” and “artistic brilliance.”

 

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UV Painting Jason Barre

 

Indeed, nowhere is the creative and cultural influence of purple more clear than in a tour through the history of art, from ancient Roman frescoes to Pop art.
Antoine-François Callet, Louis XVI, King of France and Navarre (1754-1793), wearing his grand royal costume in 1779, 1789. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Antoine-François Callet, Louis XVI, King of France and Navarre (1754-1793), wearing his grand royal costume in 1779, 1789. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Palatial
Josef AlbersPalatial1965Susan Sheehan Gallery

It begins in the first millennium B.C., when humans developed a pigment known as purpura or Tyrian purple. Sourced from a tiny shellfish called murex, it wasn’t easy to come by. More than 250,000 of the critters had to be offed in order to produce half an ounce of the color—just enough to dye a single toga.

As with most rare goods, purpura became expensive and valuable. Ancient Rome’s rich and famous, in particular—led by Julius Caesar—fell for the color. Caesar’s interest was stoked after a visit to Cleopatra’s lavish Egyptian palace, decorated with purple porphyry stone and sporting couches upholstered in purple fabric. Upon his return to Rome, Caesar declared that only he could wear togas dyed completely violet. The law became harsher under a later emperor, Nero—if someone disobeyed, they could be punished by death.

Subsequent emperors loosened their grip on purple, but the color maintained its association with power and luxury. The wall paintings and mosaics that decorated Roman villas of the era often employed the color to convey status. Byzantine rulers assumed a love of violet, too. A 547 A.D. mosaic cycle in the church of San Vitale in modern-day Ravenna, Italy, depicts emperor Justinian I draped head-to-toe in purple cloth; the courtiers that flank him wear more modest bands of the same fabric, suggesting their high rank. (It was the Byzantines who coined the term “born in the purple.”)

The Catholic church later adopted the color, and violet-robed priests began to crop up in painted portraits. The 18th-century French court followed suit: When Antoine-François Callet painted King Louis XVI in 1779, he depicted him in a deep plum coronation robe.

via What Art History Tells Us About Ultra Violet, Pantone’s Color of the Year

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Why Pay for a Pollock When You Can Have a Presley?

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Revival (5)

Ok, same initials: James Presley, Jackson Pollock.

The Same birthday just different year, James Presley: 28/01/1970, Jackson Pollock: 28/01/1912.

Similar techniques, no copying.

Jackson Pollock’s most expensive painting: $165.4m

James Presley: $929

Jackson Pollock’s cheapest painting: roughly $3000

James Presley: $51

Everybody wants to make it as an artist when they are alive, but it’s so difficult as there are so many brilliant artists out there and everyone is looking for their own unique style.

The truth is, I paint how I do, I wasn’t influenced, I started painting like this, way before I had ever heard of Jackson Pollock.  In fact, when I started painting I knew nothing about art at all.  I knew names and certain pictures and had been to galleries and exhibitions, but had never heard of Jackson Pollock.

So is it a coincidence, or am I the reincarnation?  Spooky, eh?

Revival (1)

I found out about him in 2001 when I had a girlfriend from America who introduced me to the Pollock film.  The way he was portrayed by Ed Harris in it had me connecting with the artist and his art straight away.  But, I had started painting before I saw that film.

By the way, I have only been to America once and that was to South Dakota and while I was there I visited Wyoming, where Jackson Pollock is from, but I was nowhere near Cody, WY.

In summary, if you want to purchase art similar to Pollock then visit James Presley’s website to get it for a fraction of the price, but be careful, because if he makes it big he might be knocking Pollock’s prices out of the park.  Another great thing, he is still living, so you can even ask him to do commissions. 🙂  Oh yeah, you don’t have to bid, you can buy it for the price you see.

Expressionism to Minimalism to Expressionism

Notable minimalist artists were Piet Mondrian and Barnett Newman, who created large abstracts using mainly square forms and primary colours.  I, myself have been known to dabble a little with minimalism.  I created a whole line of paintings.  I always find myself bouncing back to expressionism though, this is how I feel I best express myself.

Piet Mondrian & Barnett Newman

Minimalism Art Movement, also called ABC ArtMinimal ArtLiteralist ArtReductivismRejective Art, emerged in New York in the early 1960s, in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

Minimalism By James Presley

Is a school of abstract painting and sculpture that emphasizes extreme simplification of form, as by the use of basic shapes and monochromatic palettes of primary colors, objectivity and anonymity of style.

 

Minimalism By James Presley

Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature or design.
In Music, a school or mode of contemporary music marked by extreme simplification of rhythms, patterns and harmonies, prolonged chordal or melodic repetitions and often a trance like effect.

There’s more to Peru than Paddington Bear

You might think that Peruvian art is all to do with their culture, The Andes and The Amazon, but it is as diverse as their country.  There are many Peruvian artists both past and present that have created beautiful artworks.  Here are three that particularly caught my eye.

 

Teodoro Núñez Ureta

(See featured image)

“This painter moves physically and emotionally between imbalance and depth. And so is his work, vivid, miserable and grandiose, not in size, but in spirit ” -Victor Humareda

Sérvulo Gutiérrez once said Teodoro Nuñez Ureta:

His strokes are feverish, dislocated, calligraphers, of a language, plastic of particular grammar, in which all the norms of logic are run over and imposed by a proper, instinctive, enlightened order.

To understand his art I will mention his appreciation of art and society “I have never believed in an art isolated from the reality that surrounds it and determines it, nor in a painting that pretends to ignore, as it is the impulse, the medium and the end of everything universal art “……. Read more

ÁLVARO SUÁREZ VÉRTIZ

 

Don Quijote y Sancho acercándose a los molinos de viento

As a child he began strict artistic training in an art academy directed by his father, Germán Suárez Vértiz, who was twice the Director of the National School of Fine Arts. Throughout his career, his style was constantly evolving. Through his experimentation, Alvaro eventually created a new style, self-described as “Garabaticista”, which requires a great deal of color and brushing. His work has been published in different art magazines in Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan among other countries.

Fernando de Szyszlo

Fernando de Szyszlo (3)

Fernando de Szyszlo is a Peruvian painter and sculpter who was an important figure in advancing abstract art in Latin America. Born in Lima, Peru in 1925, he spent many of his formative artistic years in Europe, where he met founding members of the surrealist movement like Andre Breton. He is best known for his use of pre-Columbian imagery in his red paintings. Szyszlo’s art is an attempt at reinventing Surrealist themes in a Latin American context, concerned more with feelings connected to indigenous mysticism than artistic conceit.

To read about other great Peruvian artists follow this link which is the source of some of the text.