Archives for April 2016

Has the Art World Finally Crapped Out?

The Universe Juxtaposes in Strange and Unusual Ways

Toilet art

Today, The New York Times published an article about a new installation at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum here in New York City. It is a solid gold fully functioning toilet, with seat. (See the above top image.) The toilet will be located off a gallery and will be available for the public to use. The sculptor, Maurizio Catalan, said, “I don’t see it as a joke.”

Also today, my father-in-law sent the bottom image to me. It was intended as a joke. It’s called a Redneck BBQ and Beer Cooler. Sadly, the artist wasn’t credited. It was captioned, “When you are done, just turn the handle & it puts out the fire.”

Now I ask, which of these two toilets exhibits more creativity and which is the bigger joke?

Until next time…

“When you do what you’ve done, you get what you’ve gotten.” Mark Twain

Marvin Mattelson Summer Workshops at SVA@NYC

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Recent Posthumous Portrait of Edward Cripps by Marvin Mattelson

Contrary to popular belief, doing the same thing over and over doesn’t necessarily make you better. Many great achievers, such as Mark Twain, have echoed this same sentiment. For example, the writer/philosopher Rita Mae Brown has stated, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

If you want to become a better painter, you need to transform the way you think about making paintings. Simply put, the idea of going to a workshop and picking up a trick or two is not going to make a significant difference in the quality of the work you do. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading,” cautioned Lao Tzu.

So if doing what you’ve always done isn’t the answer, what is? Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” If you want to achieve greatness you need to approach what you do with the same mindset as the greatest painters in history. I have dedicated my life to uncovering the common threads that bind the greatest classical artists, such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velasquez, Van Dyck, Raeburn, Lawrence, DeCamp and Paxton.

This summer I’ll be sharing my observations at the School of Visual Arts in New York City during my one-week portrait drawing workshop and my two-week oil portrait painting workshop. In the past, people have made remarkable progress in a very condensed time period. Your mileage may vary. Hope to see you there.

5 Day Realistic Portrait Drawing Workshop
June 6 – 10, 2016
Find out more information about this workshop
Register online or call 212.592.2200

11 Day Realistic Portrait Painting Workshop
August 1 – 12, 2016 – No class August 7.
Find out more information about this workshop
Register online or call 212.592.2200
This course may also be taken for credit. Please call the registrar’s office @ 212.592.2200 for more information.

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