Today's Featured Article Archives. January-February, 2009

Introducing 1st International NeoPopRealism Starz Art Competition Winners Grigory Gurevich, Frederique Krzis-Lorent and Paolo Scalera

Grigory Gurevich, NeoPopRealism Starz Art Competition, 2nd Place (2009)2nd Place: Grigory Gurevich (USA) was born in Russia and received his Masters degree in Art from Academy of Fine and Industrial Arts in St. Petersburg. Now he resides in the United States.
Grigory is a former professor of St. Johns University in New York and faculty member of Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts Grigory Gurevich (New Jersey, USA), Esse Homo. Pencil drawing on paperin New Jersey. Sculptor, painter, graphic artist and print-maker, he had over 400 exhibitions in the United States and Europe. He conducted hundreds of sculpture workshops in Italy, Denmark and USA. Grigory's bronze tableau of seven life-size figures "The Commuters," sculpted in 1985 is permanently installed at the Newark Penn Station in New Jersey.
His book "Reflections" features 17 lino-cuts, etchings and mixed media prints. This book can be found in the print collection of New York Public Library, the Rare Book collection of Newark Public Library, the Library of Saint Bonaventure University, and Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in Russia. He created and patented a manifolding book, which also can be found in the libraries of Brooklyn Art Museum and Columbia University of Chicago.
He is the founder of "Arts on the Hudson" after school art program for gifted and talented students of Jersey City...
Grigory thinks that "there is nothing more permanent as CHANGE." His website is

Frederique Krzis-Lorent (France), NeoPopRealism Starz Art Competition, 3nd Place (2009)3rd Place: Frederique Krzis-Lorent was born in 1956, in Rouen, France. In 1982, she has received her Advanced degree in Architecture D.P.L.G. She was working as an architect and textile and furniture designer... Professor of Applied Arts for 5 years, in 2001 she has received her Diploma in art therapy. Today, she is dedicating her life exclusively to the ARTs.
"Faithful to the straight line, FrederiqueK often constructs her canvas starting from squares, a figure of rich symbolism that particularly suits her. To be rigorous is not to be rigid... FrederiqueK invites us to escape from the impotence, to Frederique Krzis Lorent (Loos, France), Sauge. Oil/Canvas, 60cmx92cmreact differently across our anguish. She is fascinated by fashion, and its refinement, its fabrics, the ideal of thinness, its light, its brilliance and its elegant women, its evanescence, and its mystery. Behind the appearance, FrederiqueK paints woman in her modernity...." said art critic Alain Coudert.
Frederique Krzis-Lorent paints in her place in Lille, France. In her work, she focuses on the light, calm interior, the woman, nature. Stylish and sophisticated, her art works carry sign of the contemporary world with its glamour and amazing uniqueness. She said to the NeoPopRealism Journal that she is influenced by the Greek art and its manner to look at the human body through its sculptures - school of Praxitèle; by the Italian renaissance for the construction, the looks, the drapes, the colors, the dough thinness, the woman… Angelico, Filippo Lippi; by Vermeer for the light, the post-impressionists; and the Russian constructivism (20s) because the color has a pre
ponderant place in the reflection of the latter, and also because she is an architect.
She uses old techniques. "The Néopopréalism imposed to me as an evidence, by my state of mind and my taste for the feminine portrait..." Frederique added: "My goal for the future is to show my canvases in the United States."
For more information visit

Paolo Scalera (Ireland), NeoPopRealism Starz Art Competition, Honorable Mention (2009)Honorable Mention: Paolo Scalera (United Kingdom) was born in Italy. Now he lives in London. Paolo's connection with Italy inspires his work through using the chiaroscuro technique. His work possesses sense of simplicity, feelings of nostalgia and romanticism; his camera captures his emotions and joy of life.
Paolo Scalera (Dublin, Ireland), Protest 2000. Photography, 40cmx50cmPaolo Scalera has worked
as a freelance photographer for many publications, including Elle Japan, The Irish Independent and Food and Wine Magazine. He exhibits his work since 1999, and developed a form of printing images using traditional printing techniques. Paolo created series of black-and-white images using the photographic darkroom, without digital imagery and manipulation...
For more info contact
Paolo Scalera.

Introducing 1st International NeoPopRealism Starz Art Competition Winner Simon Kavanagh, Denmark
Simon KavanaghSimon Kavanagh was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1974. He lived in Paris, then he moved to Shanghai, later he has returned to Europe, Denmark... In College, he studied Art and Design Education. He brought his skills into commercial multimedia, and within 1 year had become Creative director. Over the next six years he learned everything about production in all areas of MM for all platforms, inc. development of high end video and animation.
"I have always been an artist," Simon said. "Having the time to create is the challenge. When I lived in Shanghai, I found the stimulus there so intense that it allowed me the extra energy and inspiration to bring my art to the public. There, I had 2 major shows... a collection of 5 years work, and a graffiti show where I tested out my approach to interactive and media art on a large scale."
"What if the work of art becomes the interface, a dialogue of thoughts and perhaps also of common creation-cooperation and shared experience," Simon Kavanagh shares his thoughts with NeoPopRealism Journal. "The audience shares in the production of the exhibit,
contributes its imagination, and becomes a participant. An interactive art piece must facilitate the most natural and simple Designed Babies, Simon Kavanaghforms of human interaction, requiring of the user no special knowledge or skills - just a need to interact, a curiosity..."
"We need to take back the art world from the sellers and dealers, who place a false value and commodity status on art.
The greatest inhibitor is the artist themselves and the concept of artist as solo genius. As the biggest sacrifice to be made here, is the ego! the power to determine the art piece in its entirety, and to say when its finished. This is not the artists fault per-say, but more the fault of the way the colleges and art world see artists and train and shape them."
"I like NeoPopRealism," Simon continued. "Also, its funny how some of my ideas have revolved around revisiting Pop Art concepts and pieces again. Pop Art was a very important art movement, however, as it turned out it did as much damage as good for art. It brought art into the commercial age of mass production as well as challenging the concept of suitable subject matter. It lead to the commercialization of the art world, as I see it leading to massive inflation of art work during the 80s. It also inspired a new generation of artists to experiment and be provocative. Perhaps Pop Art is more relevant now, in the 21st century, using its topical, simple imagery to reach bigger audiences faster, like a commercial billboard which needs to be understood immediately, as everything is for sale, a commodity, but combined with new media and technology allowing for a new level of realism, accuracy and concision."
Starting in September 2009, Simon will focus on his art by reducing his employment. This will allow him the time he needs to develop some new pieces, software, concepts, ideas. He will also use this time to think about how to start working towards his goal of designing or helping to develop a masters curriculum in digital fine art, with a radical and interactive result. He is currently working in the KaosPilot in Denmark, a 3rd level education for social/radical entrepreneurs. Currently, he would like to do a PhD around the subject in order to strengthen and deepen the pedagogy.
For more information visit his web site at
Madonna's Photo For Sold $37,000
Christie's: February 12, an unnamed European buyer payed $37,000 for Madonna's nude photo, which had been expected to sell for up to $15,000.
It is an apparent record auction price for a photograph of the superstar singer. Then known as Madonna Louise Ciccone, she was a dancer trying to make ends meet when she answered a newspaper ad seeking a nude model.
This Lee Friedlander's raw, explicit black&white image appeared in Playboy in 1985. Friedlander has said of the photo session that Madonna seemed very confident, a street-wise girl, and she told him she was putting a band together but half the kids that age are doing that. She was a good professional model... The photograph auctioned February 12, was one of several from that shoot that appeared in Playboy. Other pictures were sold all together for $7,170 in 2003. Photo of Madonna's "True Blue" album cover, by Herb Ritts sold for more than $15,000 in 2006. It was the most expensive photograph of the singer to sell at Christie's. Photograph of Madonna, by Helmut Newton, sold Thursday for $18,750.
The Madonna photos were among 150 images, by the biggest names in photography, auctioned from the collection of Leon and Michaela Constantiner. It was fashion and other celebrity icons. The sale fetched more than $900,000.
Shepard Fairey Designed The Image, But...
Shepard Fairey, a street artist from LA designed the image that has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of stickers and posters. This image has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay. The artist has acknowledged the image is based on an AP photograph, taken by M. Garcia on assignment for the AP. The AP says it owns the copyright, and AP wants credit and compensation. But the artist disagrees. The AP's director of media relations has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission. AP safeguards its assets. AP have reached out to Shepard Fairey's attorney and are in discussions and hope for an amicable solution. Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, what the new work is used for, how much of the original is used, and how the original is affected by the new work. Artist has said he found the photograph using Google Images and he released the image on his Web site after he created it. It was in 2008. Then he made thousands of posters.
Artist has said that he did not receive any of the money raised during campaign, when people was downloading this picture from the website. A former Obama campaign official said they were aware of the image based on the picture by Garcia, a temporary hire no longer with the AP. They never licensed it or used officially.
After election, the image's popularity did not end. This image will be echibited in February, 2009 at a Shepard Fairey art show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; a mixed-media stenciled collage version has been added to the permanent collection of the Washington National Portrait Gallery. A New York Times book on the election, just published by Penguin Group USA, includes this image. Chelsea Green, a Vermont-based publisher, also used it as the cover for Robert Kuttner's "Obama's Challenge," an economic manifesto that released in September, and credited solely to Fairey. Chelsea Green president Margo Baldwin said that Fairey did not ask for money, and the publisher make a donation $2,500 to the National Endowment for the Arts. Fairey also used the AP photograph for an image designed specially for the Obama inaugural committee. They charged anywhere from $100 for a poster to $500 for a poster signed by Sheppard. The artist has said that he first designed the image a year ago after he was encouraged by the Obama campaign to come up with some kind of artwork. He showed a letter that came from the candidate whicj sais that the candidate would like to thank him for using his talent in support of campaign. The political messages involved in artist's work have encouraged Americans to believe they can help change the status quo. His images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign... Artist said that Obama's team encouraged him to make an image.
And he donated an image to them, which they used. It was the one that said "Change" underneath it. And then later on he did another one that said "Vote" underneath it, that had Obama smiling," Shepard Fairey said in a December 2008 in interview to an underground photography Web site.

Former President Bill Clinton Earned Millions in Speaking Fees

Former President Bill Clinton earned nearly $6 million in speaking fees last year, almost all of it from foreign companies.$4.6 million of the former president's reported $5.7 million in 2008 honoraria came from foreign sources, including Kuwait's national bank, other firms and groups in Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico and Portugal and a Hong Kong-based company that spent $100,000 on federal lobbying last year. Executives at many of the firms have also donated large amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation.
In addition to Bill Clinton's income from speaking fees, There is joint holdings of between $6.1 million and $30.3 million in a blind trust as well as cash, insurance and retirement accounts worth between $1 million and $5.2 million. Hillary Clinton made between $50,000 and $100,000 in royalties from her 2003 memoir "Living History." Bill Clinton earned between $100,000 and $1 million in royalties for his 2004 autobiography "My Life," the documents show. The Clintons reported no liabilities. All senior officials in the Obama administration are required to complete a detailed disclosure of their personal finances, including family members.
Deputy secretaries of state, Jacob Lew and James Steinberg, also filed financial disclosure forms. Lew, a former Clinton administration official who recently headed Citigroup's Alternative Investments unit, reported 2008 salary income of just over $1 million along with numerous investments. Steinberg, who recently was a professor at the University of Texas, reported receiving $35,000 in 2008 for foreign speaking engagements, including three before Japanese media firms and one before the Confederation of Indian Industries in New Delhi. The most Bill Clinton got($1.25 million) for appearing at five events sponsored by the Toronto-based Power Within Inc., a company that puts on motivational and training programs around N. America. For one Power Within speech alone, delivered in Edmonton in June 2008, Clinton was paid $525,000. For one event, he got $200,000 and for three others $175,000 each. The Hong Kong firm, Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Holdings, paid Clinton a $300,000 honorarium on Dec. 4, 2008. On Dec. 29, the company's chief financial officer, Jack Xi Deng, made a $25,000 cash donation to the Virginia gubernatorial campaign of Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe. The Hong Kong firm paid at least $100,000 in 2008 to lobbyists on immigration issues. The other foreign honoraria Bill Clinton received in 2008 are: $450,000 from AWD Holding AG, a German-based international financial services company. $350,000 from the state-owned National Bank of Kuwait. The Kuwaiti government donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. $300,000 from Value Grupo Financiero SA de CV, a Mexico-based financial holding company, whose chief executive officer, Carlos Bremer Gutierrez, is one of the Clinton Foundation's leading donors. Gutierrez donated between $250,001 to $500,000 to the foundation. $250,000 from Germany's Media Control Gmbh, which bills itself as the world's leading provider of entertainment data and was founded by Karlheinz Koegel, who contributed $100,001 to $250,000 to the Clinton foundation. $200,000 from Malaysia's Petra Equities Management on behalf of the Sekhar Foundation run by Malaysian multimillionaire Vinod Sekhar who donated between $25,001 and $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. In addition to the foreign earnings, Bill Clinton made just over $1 million from domestic speaking engagements, including $250,000 from MSG Entertainment, $225,000 from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, $200,000 from the United Nations Association, $175,000 from the ING North America Insurance Corp., $125,000 from the Rodman and Renshaw Capital Group and $100,000 from the Hollywood Radio and Television Society.

U.S. and China

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said that ties between USA and China may be off to a rocky start just days into the Obama administration... In his inaugural address, Barack Obama spoke of how earlier generations of Americans had faced down fascism and communism. China's state broadcaster quickly faded out the audio of its live broadcast... On Thursday, Obama's choice to lead the Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, wrote that Obama believes China is "manipulating" its currency, which US manufacturers say Beijing does to make its goods cheaper for U.S. consumers.
The United States often criticizes China about trade abuses and human rights. But USA and China find themselves increasingly intertwined in a host of crucial economic, military and diplomacy. Yang Jiechi (China's foreign minister) said that his country was committed to working with the Obama's administration to strengthen cooperation. Selig Harrison (director of the Asia program at the U.S.-based Center for International Policy) said that it was "very ill-advised" for the new administration to confront China as if this were 10 years ago and USA were in a strong financial position internationally. He said that USA are dependent on Chinese goodwill for economic survival and viability, and, it seems that this type of posture is very risky. Former President George W. Bush made it a priority to strengthen relations with China pushing the country to live up to what he considered its duties as an emerging global superpower and a veto-holding member of the U.N. Security Council. China says it has made progress on currency changes and worries about bills introduced in Congress that would impose economic sanctions on China. But trade ties between the United States of America and China often are tense. Geithner said that China is "manipulating its currency." He suggested that now might not be the right time to brand Beijing as a currency manipulator under USA trade law, which could lead to USA trade sanctions against imports from China. The foreign minister of China Mr. Yang has said that he studies U.S. television. magazines and newspapers. Obama and Clinton, during their long campaigns made clear their desires for a tougher position with China about its trade practices and its human rights record. Obama's administration isn't complete. He has yet to name many of the officials who will be dealing with China issues. Also, Obama has not yet decided whether to continue the high-level economic discussions the Bush administration has held twice a year with China. The Chinese have said during the past few months that they want a good start to their relationship with the new U.S. administration. Glaser said that everybody needs to be a little patient on this. I would not draw any conclusions that the administration has decided to take a tougher stance, and hopefully the Chinese will be patient while the administration works this out...

Image Comics: Women

Often the subject of controversy, women have been portrayed in comics books since the medium's beginning... Introducing selected titles:
Girls & Goddesses, Joe Michael Linsner, ImageComicsThe Limited Edition of the Girls & Goddesses: The Pin-Up Art of Joseph Michael Linsner (with introduction of Eva Hopkins) published by Image Comics in 2007.
Joe Michael Linsner didn't hate women, he adored them, and had them up on a pedestal. He thought they all are goddesses with some little spark of magic.
His mom had been letting him hang Playboy centerfold since he was 13 yo... Joe has been ogling women for most of his life. Many of beautiful women have posed for Joe, and he always managed to find something goddess-like in women of many types, sizes and shapes. Girls & Goddesses is a compendium of his vision, his excitement and fascination which he expressed using his artistic imagination. This deluxe edition contains dozens of Linsner's previously unpublished works.
Women by Frank Cho, ImageComicsWomen: Selected Drawings & Illustrations by Frank Cho published by Image Comics in 2006. This book contains Frank Cho's past and current work.
Frank was born in Korea, and at the age of 6, he and his family came to the US. He thought himself to draw and write by reading art books and comics. In Maryland University, Frank created the award winning college strip, which ran in the campus newspaper. It was just a beginning.
...In 2002, Frank has moved the successful Liberty Meadow comic from Insight Studios Group to Image Comics. He won many awards, including the National Cartoonist Society's Award for best Comic Book and Book Illustrations, The Eagle Award, the Charles M. Schultz Award for Excellence in Cartooning, and other...

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