Sunday, November 01, 2009

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Saturday, April 21, 2007

I think I am in LOVE!

With a Statue! The Met's new Roman wing is open, and I got to see it yesterday! It was fantastic and inspirational! This is a marble statue of the young Hercules, it is from Rome A. D 68-98, he was so massive at least 14 feet high, so amazing!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Importance of Allegory

As an Icelander story telling, and the art of allegory is very much part of my life. As a family we talk of our ancestors triupths, they are heroic, and allegoric: my fore mother's bearing a child in Canada during the 11th century, my forefather killing his first man at 7 over a lost game of soccer. All these stories are captivating but what is most compelling is that they have all been proven to be fundamentally true. The Icelandic Sagas, have all been proven true with archeology and science(DNA).

I went to the Frick Collection today, and saw this painting. It was incredibly moving, and allegorical.


Gerard David
(active c. 1460 - 1523)
The Deposition, c. 1510-1515
oil on linen (mounted on mahogany panel)
56 1/8 in. x 44 1/4 in. (142.56 cm x 112.4 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest.
Accession number: 1915.1.33

You see mary magedaline bereft, and all the disipaples, you also see the dark clouds that were supposed to represent the darkness that fell over the earth when Jesus passed. This story, of Jesus and his death, and the people around him most have happened, I am a firm believer in the truth of 'stories' why then do we as humans attach such importance to stories and allegory. Why? And why do they hold so much truth?

Every creation myth, has been proven with DNA science, to have a profound if not direct truth. For instance some of the plains Indians, believed in a great migration from a mystical land, it has been later proved that America's native did in fact migrate from central Asia.

It is really fascinating, humans and our stories.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Studio Visit with Ben Huberman

Ben Huberman is one of my favorite painters, he is also a family friend, and I have had the privilege of living around his spectacular paintings for as long as I can remember. One painting in particular(pictured below) has been in my family's home since I was a young child. I was always fascinated by it. It was a portal of shape, dimension and space where light bounces forth from delineated planes. It's intense feeling of space is captivating and as a child it was if he was showing me that reality could be distilled and defined in a robust visual language and this painting still intrigues me at 28. My eyes still wonder to it during meals.

Huberman has been painting for almost for forty years and I recently visited him in his studio to talk with him about his paintings. Huberman started out as a sculptor but in his early 20's he wanted to try a new medium and enrolled at the Studio School in New York in the hopes of taking drawing classes. The drawing classes were filled but there was space in a painting class , taught by the admired painting teacher Leland Bell. Bell was a consummate teacher but a tough one and took an interest in Huberman's work and as Huberman puts it "he has been painting ever since." It is not surprising that Huberman started out as a sculptor because his paintings have such an appreciation of form, and rhythm.

Angel, gouache on paper, 2006

Presently, Huberman has been working with gouache and creating vivid paintings on paper of angels. They are meant to represent the angels in his life that have helped him in different ways. What is most interesting about the angels, is that they have such a robust physicality: they are strong but beautiful. .

If you are interested in more information on Ben Huberman or would like to purchase on of his works please contact me at

Monday, September 18, 2006

Family Legacy

My father is suing the Icelandic government and has been working on this case for five years and he just left a few minutes ago to travel to Iceland because it is finally going to trial, and I wish him all the best.

My father's grandfather was/is Iceland's most famous painter and my father is suing the government over how his estate was handled.

Johannes S. Kjarval was more then a painter he was also a cultural figure and was often heralded as a living legend. He was an important part of Iceland's romantic movement, that was instrumental in giving a then poor Iceland, the confidence to seek Independence from Denmark. Many of his paintings of Iceland's natural settings helped all of Iceland to see the beauty in what was once thought of as ugly, and some of his greatest paintings are of the bleak but intricacy beautiful lava felids that stretch for miles just outside of Reykjavik.

It was his status as a cultural figure that complicated his relationship with his family, he was after all, a bohemian, and despite the fact that he was at one point Iceland's biggest tax payer, having a large mansion in one of Reykjavik's toniest neighborhoods he opted to instead to stay in his small crapped studio house in downtown Reykjavik where he slept with his work.

There are numerous stories about his eccentricity, he was a very political man, and was infamously known for his politically inspired stunts. He once walked through Reykjavik clad in a suit made out of newspaper and then in another, he invited the prime minister to dinner and a horse who he brought inside to eat at the table which was supposed to be an affront to the prime minister. He was an environmentalist and a great critic of Iceland's whaling tradition which was a very controversial stance at the time, penning numerous poetic pamphlets on whales and they are filled with beautiful poems about the size and shape of whale's hearts.

It was in this mixture of fame, old age and the abstract nature in which an artist views the monetary value of their own art work that the my father's case is based. Upon my great-grandfather's death, the Icelandic government seized 5000 of his works, his bank accounts, his mansion, his studio house, a large farm in the country, and a storage facility filled with his personal possessions and art work. Everything was taken, everything. My grandfather, Kjarval's only son(he had a daughter living in Denmark) tried to contest the fact that the family was not given anything or even consulted. At the time, Iceland was (and still is), a socialist country so he was viewed as an opportunist someone who was greedy, and I think my Grandfather had a complicated relationship with the idea of his father's money because he himself was an and artist and a furniture designer. My Grandfather for whatever reason, but mainly because he lacked support, was not able to contest the fact that the work was taken away from the family. He stepped aside as the estate was divided and dispensed receiving nothing.

The money was divided, much of it went to promote artists within Reykjavik and the rest was used to create a museum in Kjarval's name that was supposed to exhibit his work, and also to serve as a venue for Icelandic painters to show their work, because there had been few in Kjarval's lifetime. Which did happen:Museum Link

There was a lot of 'strange' things that happened around this time, and many of the inner circle who were involved with the dispensing of the estate--- government officials, people who where involved with creating the museum, must younger 'friends'----- benefited personally during this period one became a prime minister and another the president of Iceland's biggest newspaper.

My great grandfather was senile at this death, and there was no written will or consent and most of he men involved with taking the work were half is age.

So let us fast forward to today, where my father is on a flight back home to sue the Icelandic government because he feels that his family was wronged, and I wish him all the luck I can muster.

My father, this spring.

My family has wrestled with this issue because we are proud that his money went to promote the arts in Iceland, and like him, see viewing art as a monetary commodity as difficult, however we all feel strongly that we belong to him and that we should have a say in the preservation of his legacy.

Friday, September 15, 2006

For The Love of Bears

I have always been captivated by large mammals, and I have been drawing and painting them for as long as I remember. In some ways, it is a way for me to connect to them, be closer to them, but it is mostly a love and appreciation for their natural beauty, grace and the fluid sculpture that they are.