art · luxury

A Jewel Lover’s Paradise

I am SWOONING over the pieces in Bonhams’ upcoming jewelry auction. So many gorgeous pieces and a little something for everyone: what more could you want?

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This stunning diamond necklace could fetch up to $7,900

Bonhams Auctions will be selling over 300 jewelry items on July 11 at their London, Knightsbridge location. This sale boasts pieces by luxury brands such as Bulgari, Boucheron, Cartier and Tiffany. Also, there are a lot of colorful gemstone pieces in this sale, which is a special treat: from what I’ve seen, many jewelry auctions feature diamond pieces (almost) exclusively, with only a few colored gemstones represented.

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Gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring

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My birthstone, a flawless peridot solitaire

This collection has a wonderful range, from very affordable to truly luxurious. There is a little something for everyone with this auction, and that excites me tremendously. Some of my favorite pieces were expected to sell for less than $1000, though I saw some other pieces expected to fetch over $25,000 once the bidding starts.

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One of my favorite pieces, a diamond clip brooch

You all know how much I love jewelry, and I was in heaven looking at the incredible pieces offered by Bonhams. I registered for an account, so who knows? Maybe I’ll end up getting my dream item after all.

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Tiffany Seagull brooch set

The information for the auction is below. If you’re able, you should check out the pieces in the days prior to, and the day of, the sale.

Bonhams, Jewelry Auction, July 11, 2018

London, Knightsbridge location

Montpelier Street
Knightsbridge
London
SW7 1HH
Viewing dates and times (BST):
July 8, 11:00 – 15:00
July 9, 09:30 – 16:30
July 10, 09:30 – 16:30
July 11, 09:00 – 10:00

 

 

art · international

Portuguese Contemporary Art in Richmond, VA

Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite museums, Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA) to view the exhibit, Contemporary Art from Portugal. As you all know, I’m currently studying the Portuguese language so this exhibit was an obvious choice. Also, last month (June) signified Portugal’s 900th anniversary of being a sovereign nation (Go Portugal!)  so there are nationwide events commemorating this incredible event. This exhibit was one of many of the commemorative events happening all over the country, and I’m delighted that my hometown participated in the festivities.

I’m beginning to really love contemporary art: this is REAL progress, as I’m a huge fan of Impressionism and Neoclassicism. I’m opening my horizons and making an effort to embrace newness and innovation, and I was very pleased with the exhibit. I’m  happy that I got to learn a little about some of the artists representing Portugal. These artists are tremendously talented and are a great representation of what this wonderful country has to offer.

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Info card from the exhibit

The exhibit featured work from Helena Almeida, Fernando Calhou, Ruy Leitão, and several other notable artists. The exhibit was small but impactful: I was fascinated by the the drawings and paintings enough to start doing my own research on Portuguese artists. As with pretty much all research that I do, I learned of a rich cultural heritage among Portuguese contemporary artists. I am fascinated by what I’ve learned and I’m eager to learn more as time goes on.

In the meantime, here are a few of the works that I viewed. If you are interested in checking out the exhibit for yourself, it will be at VMFA until July 22, 2018, so you still have time. However, if a trip to Richmond, VA is out of the question, you should check out your local museum to see if there are any Portuguese art or cultural exhibits on display. Just go to Facebook’s Month of Portugal page for details

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art

A French Affair: Time with Napoleon

Several weeks back, I stopped in at the National Gallery of Art and saw one of Jacques-Louis David’s most famous paintings, The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at The Tuileries. While taking in this massive and majestic work, I remembered that Virginia Museum of Fine Art would be unveiling a Napoleon exhibit during the month of June.

The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at The Tuileries by Jacques-Louis David

I went to the members preview on Saturday, June 9th, and this exhibit didn’t disappoint. The word “luxurious” is the most apt way to describe the exhibit. I will be returning again, before the exhibit leaves, so that I can (hopefully) get pictures that I can share on this platform.

art · luxury

Get Your Modern Art Fix at Christie’s

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My favorite piece from this auction (Untitled (2/98), I by Charline von Heyl)

I haven’t been monitoring the auctions as closely as I normally do. I’ve been a bit too busy keeping up with my online classes and navigating some big changes at work. So when I had a chance to check out Christie’s website, I was excited to see this Post-War to Present art auction.

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This piece could fetch more than $4 million USD (Peinture 195 x 130 cm, 3 février 1957 by Pierre Soulage)

Generally speaking, I’m more of a fan of global art and European art dating from the pre-World War II era. However, lots of exposure to contemporary art is starting to change my taste (I’m sure that my recent Instagram Artist series has something to do with that). This auction features two paintings by contemporary art darling George Condo, as well as pieces by notable artists like Willem de Kooning, Georg Baselitz, Damien Hirst and Ai Weiwei.

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The Secretary by George Condo

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Untitled by Willem de Kooning

This event will be held on June 28th at 2:30 PM. This is going to be an exciting auction, with prices expected to soar over $4 million USD. If you’re in London, you should check it out!

 

(Photos courtesy Christies.com)

art · Uncategorized

Want to Learn About New Artists?

painting

Make sure that you’re following me on Instagram, so you can see the daily artist spotlights that I’m featuring this month. I’m taking the time to share what I’ve seen on social media and (hopefully) bring additional attention to these talented artists. Who couldn’t use more art in their lives?

Here are a few of the artists I’ve featured so far:

art

Review: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Part 2

Happy Friday, friends! There’s not a whole lot to say, especially if you’ve seen Part 1 of this review (you can view Part 1 here). I’ll stick to sharing photos that you all haven’t already seen and providing a little commentary.

I saw a few Pablo Picasso works that I’d never seen before. I’m so accustomed to seeing his Cubist works that I forget that he didn’t always work with abstract figures. Earlier in his career, he worked with Impressionist techniques, as you can see in the paintings below.

Head of a Woman, Pablo Picassso (1901)

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Old Woman (Woman with Gloves), Pablo Picasso (1901)

This is the style we know and love from Picasso:

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Three Musicians, Pablo Picasso (1921)

I always have loved Pierre-Auguste Renoir, another Impressionist. His photos are both timeless and beautiful. This is a tender portrait of his beloved wife and favorite model, Aline Charigot Renoir.

Portrait of Madame Renoir, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1885)

This sweet-faced little girl was the daughter of an art dealer friend of Renoir’s.

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Portrait of Mademoiselle Legrand, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1875)

Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers are a great example of post-Impressionist work: it features thick paint, more vivid color selection and slightly distorted forms. The work is paradoxical: it’s a still life but the technique used by Van Gogh gives it a feeling of movement and dynamism. This work inspired Faith Ringgold’s The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles, which is also at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (I missed it on this trip, but I’ll be sure to catch it next time!) Ringgold even inserts Van Gogh into her work! You can view Ringgold’s work here.

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Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh (1888 or 1889)

Lastly, I was drawn in by the beautifully serene expression on the subject’s face. She looks like she was briefly interrupted while concentrating on her embroidery. She’s still thinking about her design and this is just moments before her attention is completed diverted away from her handicraft. I love how Mary Cassatt has caught this fleeting moment.

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Mary Ellison Embroidering, Mary Cassatt (1877)

I can’t wait to return to the museum to see some more artwork and to take lots of photos for you all! Talk to you all tomorrow.

 

art

Henrietta Lacks, An Overdue Tribute

Recently, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of African American History and Culture jointly acquired a painting of Henrietta Lacks, as portrayed by Kadir Nelson. Lacks died from cervical cancer at the age of 31, and her cells were subsequently studied and used over the past 60+ years. Lacks’s cells (named HeLa, for Henrietta Lacks) were instrumental in developing treatments for a variety of illnesses, such as polio, AIDS and Parkinson’s Disease.

I was familiar with Lacks’s story from many years back, as she was a Virginia native and never forgotten here, in her state of birth. Thus, I knew that I had to see the painting, titled “Henrietta Lacks (HeLa): The Mother of Modern Medicine”, for myself.

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Henrietta Lacks (HeLa): The Mother of Modern Medicine, Kadir Nelson, oil on linen, 2017

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Information card as displayed in the National Portrait Gallery

The painting is large and breathtaking: Lacks smiling sweetly and posed with her bible. Nelson incorporated some very special details that refer to Lacks’s legacy. As stated on the National Portrait Gallery press release:

“Commissioned by HBO, Nelson used visual elements to convey Lacks’ legacy. The wallpaper features the “Flower of Life,” a symbol of immortality; the flowers on her dress recall images of cell structures; and two missing buttons allude to the cells taken from her body without permission.”

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Close up of the background, featuring the “Flower of Life”

Henrietta Lacks’s story raises issues surrounding ethics, right to patients’ genetic information, and privacy. The fact that she died but her cells made it possible for other people to live is heartbreaking, but what’s even more tragic is the fight that her family had to undertake to challenge the medical industry that used HeLa cells without Lacks’s, or her family’s, consent.

I’m so happy that Henrietta Lacks is being featured at the Smithsonian Museum and is taking her rightful place in American history. I really enjoyed seeing this beautiful portrait for myself, and I hope that you all get a chance to check it out, too! It will be at the National Portrait Gallery until November 4, 2018, and then it will be at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. You’ll be glad that you made the visit!