Tag Archives: art

teen artist masters realism in glitter

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My favorite thing about journalism (it ain’t the paychecks) is that it connects me with extraordinary people, like 17-year-old Hope Lennox. Throughout high school, the recent graduate of Atlanta’s Pace Academy eschewed football games to stay home and make art, teaching herself to create realistic portraits in glitter. She developed a surprisingly sophisticated take on a medium I associate with cheesy birthday cards! I’m sharing a few of her paintings here, and you can read all about Hope and her process in my profile for the Atlanta INtown paper.

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Q&A with actor and artist kevin christy

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Kevin Christy poses next to his portrait of Flannery O’Connor for the Atlantic

I pestered Print magazine into letting me interview actor and artist Kevin Christy, best known lately for his role as Lester on Showtime’s Masters of Sex. Kevin’s double life fascinates me: He’s a commercial illustrator and fine artist who pays the bills with minor parts for TV and movies. Most freelance creatives have bread-and-butter side gigs, but how many film for Dude, Where’s My Car? in the morning and paint a portrait for the Atlantic in the afternoon?

His dual gigs have more in common than I first realized. Rob Clayton, Kevin’s former teacher at Art Center College of Design, put it like this: “Being a character actor is really similar to being an illustrator. Because you get known for a particular thing, people hire you for that thing, and if you get big enough, you’re allowed to change and develop a new thing.”

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Concert poster collaboration with Brett Kilroe and Tina Ibanez
Kevin uses familiar logos as clues and emotional triggers in his latest personal work
Kevin uses familiar logos as clues and emotional triggers in his latest personal work

I think our talk revealed a few valuable lessons for artists and designers, and it’s also good for a few laughs (Kevin does stand-up comedy, too). Have a look on Print’s website and let me know what you think.

my favorite modern exhibits at LACMA

Last weekend we balanced our flea market marathon with a trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I had heard good reviews, but nothing specific. I wasn’t prepared to see important works, icons of modernism, that confronted us before we even made it inside! Here are my favorite moments.

On our way to the ticket window, we fell into trance watching three Alexander Calder mobiles in a lovely water garden.
Next we walked through Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass” installation, a mashup of primitive boulder art and modern engineering.
We spent several minutes in the courtyard watching these kids play with “Penetrabile,” by Jesús Rafael Soto. This little girl’s broken arm didn’t hold her back one bit!
Just after entering, we wound through Tony Smith’s monumental “Smoke.”
I’m in love with the color combination in Matisse’s ceramic “La Gerbe.” A local couple commissioned it for their patio in the 60s.
Didn’t expect to turn a corner and run into Josef Albers’s “Homage to the Square” paintings.
Looking closely at Lichtenstein’s “Cold Shoulder,” I was surprised to see many pencil marks and paint smudges. I always assumed that his imitations of mechanical printing were extremely precise. This discovery made me feel I could ease up a bit on my own perfectionism.