Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The '70s & Beyond

"Back when I was illustrating for the likes of the Playboy company my fine art took on a more cosmopolitan hue in the mid-1970s. Now Johnson Publishing Co. sold its building to Columbia College.  Playboy is leaving Chicago.  What will happen to their art collections?  I used to be a free lance illustrator for both.  Now that type of professional work is gone, leaving a gap in the beginnings of so many folks' visual careers.  I used to roll up & down Michigan Ave.  Gigging. Partying. Playing.  Working and learning my trade with the best in the biz.

Not like being a fan-boy at a convention.  But real work being published on an international level.  Jet setting even.  Now we surf the web for work.  Publish online and hope to get paid.  Both Johnson and Playboy paid well and quickly. Those were great times to be an illustrator."

 The late Lucille Ellis, of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, was the main person , along with her friend Kittie, to suggest I go to Paris to reach my potential in 1977.  BTW: Kittie turned out to be Eartha Kitt.
This is a Rhythmistic '80s portrait I did of a chilkdhood friend, Thea Barnes.  She was with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and Martha Graham before being with the Dance Adminstrator with the British edition of the "Lion King".  We met in 7th grade and were buddies in high school.

I checked out the Chagall Musee' in Southern France when I first got to France in '77.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rhythmistic Art Appreciation

I use the 4-Step Process to critique visual art.  This means having a set of standards by which to objectively evaluate a work of art.

1. Description. ( Detail how the art actually looks. ) 

2. Analysis. ( How are the materials, tools, design elements & principles arranged 
or manipulated to create the artwork. ) 

3. Interpretation.  ( What is the artist expressing and what do you make of the artwork's statement. )

And 4. Judgment. ( Is it a successful work of art & why? )

Keep in mind to attack is to assault.  To appreciate is to employ empathy.
To critique is to have a set of values to apply in the appraisal of the artistic effort.
Ownership is the highest form of appreciation.

For would-be collectors, curators or critics this process may lead to how one connects with the artwork on an intellectual or passionate level and does this result in the need to own, exhibition, or write about  the actual work of art.

In my work I tend to have a construct of goals, imagination and reasonable technique based on form following function.  Effect grounded in concept.  Experiment bound by the moment. The context may shift from that of historian, critic, or artist with the same steps being applied.  All while being mindful of the potential of the methods and materials being used.

Usually each individual Rhythmistic image is part of a larger body or collection of work.  It is a unit of a whole.

 I hope curators, collectors, and critics will be mindful of this. 

BTW: I reserve the right to grow and become better at all of this along the way.  Thanks!

Rhythmism has future-primitifism as its syllogism.

Studio Process

This gives one a view of the working stages from complete pencil drawing using a model, its watercolor finish, and the final digital graphic design treatment.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On the Red Carpet at the 2011 Italian Expo at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago.  
My studio is on the 4th. ONLI STUDIOS.
This photo is from a recent visit with my Nubian God of All Things Artistic.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I look to equal or surpass.....not imitate......so I tend to seek out innovators and masters along the way.  Rhythmism rocks.  Past, present or future. Be it major market illustration, fine art, wearable art or graphic noveling.....Rhythmism rocks!