Visit my portfolio website here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Artist of the Month- September- Frederick Sommer

It's time for another artist of the month, but we're taking it back in history this time around. I'd like to talk about an artist that is very important to me, that influenced me when I was a photography student. History knows him to be a man of many talents such as painting and drawing, but Frederick Sommer is most known for his photographic work. 

Figure- 1962

Born in 1905 in Italy, Frederick Sommer found his way to America and into the hearts of over 50 museums nationwide. He was, and still is, a historical staple in the world of photography. I learned about his during my time at the Institute of Design. Sommer was in Chicago to speak to art students about his work. My class, along with the head of the photography department and eventually my mentor, Arthur Siegel, made our way over to the Art Institute to listen. 

Three Musicians (Smoke on Glass)- 1962
Golden Apples 

At this point in my school career, I had really only learned the traditional ways to make pictures. You can follow a set of rules to become a successful photographer because that is what history shows us. However, while watching Sommer speak, I knew I was witnessing history unfold into more untraditional avenues. Sommer's rule-breaking, surreal, and innovative work influenced me so much that it changed the way I viewed photography. From that point on, I knew that my camera didn't have to hold my creative mind back. I could make it do what I wanted by forgetting my disciplines and abandoning tradition. Frederick Sommer created his own definition of art, which paved a path that I would soon follow. 

Lee Nevin- 1965


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Spotlight- Paul Klein- Klein Artist Works

Paul Klein has an intense passion for art and, more importantly, its creators. He says, "I think artists are wonderful. They make my world better. And if more artists succeed we’ll all be better off. The perspective and enrichment artists provide is irreplaceable.  I treasure artists and their contribution." It's hard to dive into the Chicago art scene and not come across the name "Paul Klein". He is somewhat of the main artery in this community and it's because of his positive attitude towards artists and his dedication to their success. His way of expressing his opinions so openly and honestly has led people to flock to him for advice about their art careers. His trail of influence, spread across Chicago's art community and beyond, is what led me to his figurative door at Klein Artist Works

Screenshot of a Webinar in action.

Because Paul is important to us here at DSFA, we want our audience to get to know him and his endeavors a little better Check out our little Q&A session with Paul himself:

DSFA: When did you know you wanted to be involved in the art world? 
Paul Klein
: As a kid, I learned how to weld from my mother. I loved welding big ol things and I was thoroughly mediocre so I decided to try a gallery instead. It was a 3 year plan, to be followed with different occupational ideas, but the 3 years lasted over 30.

DSFA: How do you find the Chicago art scene compared to other art centers like New York and LA?
PK: I like the Chicago scene. I just wish people here were more positive about it. So much is a matter of perspective or attitude. I respect what gets seen in New York a lot, but there’s more that goes on in the world than there. I like that L.A. appears to be so supportive of their own.

DSFA:  When you operated your gallery, Klein Art Works, there was a point where you were seeing art shifting into a more tech-based platform and therefore followed suit with what you chose to display in your gallery. Today, are you seeing a similar forward shift in art or are we reversing into more traditional avenues, for example, the way the fashion industry recycles trends?
PK: I don’t see a lot of shifting, but maybe that’s because of how I look at the world. I see images without necessarily seeing the medium. I would like to see more painting.

DSFA: Darryll recently attended a party of yours and learned of the success of many of the other attendees, which speaks volumes of the great experience they had with your program. Since Darryll had such a beneficial experience as well, we can't help but wonder, what is next for you? Anything new in the works? 
PK: Not so much new. I still want Klein Artist Works to be stronger. I’m in the final stages of a book sharing as much information from the course as possible.

Paul (left) with Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger
More than just giving advice about your art career, Paul lays out the art world like a map, and gives you the means to navigate it. He is straightforward and genuine and I can honestly say that I felt he had my best interest in mind when speaking to me about the path I'm taking with my work. I highly recommend checking out his webinars if you're looking to hear from art world experts and equip yourself with tools you might not have known existed. Within Paul's program, there is also the opportunity to explore Chicago galleries and/or studios and to have one-on-one interaction with Paul as your guide. A truly priceless experience, in our minds.

Paul's Links:
Klein Artist Works
Art Letter