Brenda Starr, Reporter: The Art of Dale Messick

Brenda Starr, Reporter debuted in June of 1940 and was an immediate hit with young women and girls. Brenda Starr’s name came from a 1930’s debutante, Brenda Frazier, and her body, fashion sense, and persona mirrored leading Hollywood actress, Rita Hayworth, complete with matching long red hair and a curvaceous figure.

At its peak, Brenda Starr, Reporter was included in 250 newspapers and read by more than 60 million readers. When Starr and her long-time “Mystery Man” boyfriend, whose very survival depended on the serum found in the fictitious but famous black orchid, finally married after 36 years in 1976, President Gerald Ford sent a congratulatory telegram. [source]

Random squares from an exhibition @ The Society of Illustrators

February 9th, 2019

The Mighty Wurlitzer of Mesa

The Mighty Wurlitzer is a theatre organ of gigantic proportions, consisting of a console that rises from beneath the stage *queue dramatic music* and is connected to a roomful of pipes, bells, and assorted drums.

The theatre organ dates back to the early 20th century. Created by Robert Hope-Jones, it was originally known as a “unit orchestra” and was picked up by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of New York for distribution. It was used to compose the score of most films during the golden age of silent movies. After silent movies fell out of favor with audiences, some organs remained in their original theaters, but many were given to churches, museums, and other venues. [source]

The Wurlitzer in question sits in an appropriately gigantic room, where hundreds of people sit and enjoy pizza pies in an abundance of choice, listening to above mentioned dramatic music, accompanied by a light show.

The only other time we came across a similar organ, was in Macy’s Philadelphia – another unexpected location for an instrument of this size, but the Wurli-pizza-light show combination, is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed.

Organ Stop Pizza

Mesa, AZ

February 1st, 2019

First Impressions || Prints @Mesa

Every year, in a tradition established since 2010, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum publishes a limited edition calendar featuring 12 original works on paper by emerging and contemporary artists.

Every five years the Museum organizes a retrospective exhibition that showcases all the prints that have been part of the Mesa Contemporary Arts Annual Print Calendar for the last five years.

First Impressions 2019 was the second retrospective. The works ranged from relief prints to screen prints as well as etchings to lithographs.

Farhana Shifa Ahmed (Chandler, Arizona)
Owls, Photopolymer etching


Brooke Molla (Tucson, Arizona)
Desert Collection
Spoon rubbed woodcut on old topography map


Gretchen Schermerhorn (Silver Spring, Maryland)
Ladies of the Potomac
Woodblock, digital and screen print


Brent Bond (Scottsdale, Arizona)
The Guarding of Eating
Photopolymer relief and letterpress


Charles Barth (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Ready for More, Collagraph


Darshana Patel (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Untitled, Aquatint


Brooke Molla (Tucson, Arizona)
Nature, Relief on Japanese paper


David Manje (Mesa, Arizona)
A Quién Veo
Photo polymer intaglio, chine-collé


Brent Bond (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Bar-ometer
Letterpress with multiblock linocut relief


Mark McDowell (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Untitled, Photopolymer relief with linocut


Marlys Kubicek (Phoenix, Arizona)
In My Humble Opinion
Three-color reduction linocut


Katherine Sheehan (Long Beach, California)
Trickster Coyote and El Segundo Blues
Seven color screen print


David Manje (Mesa, Arizona)
Sea Impecable Con Su Lengua [Be Impeccable with your Tongue]
Photo Polymer Intaglio


Mesa Contemporary Arts (MCA) Museum

Mesa, AZ

February 1st, 2019

Saturday afternoon at the Met

Portraits, angels, ethereal figures, a lighthouse; I have them all to myself! Even on crazy busy weekends, the crowds disperse on all floors and into various galleries, engulfed by the vastness of space that is the Met, leaving me alone, to enjoy my favourite works in peace. Unless, that is, there is a popular exhibition – then it feels like the whole of New York has landed on that same floor, at the same time, making it really hard to appreciate the art. Popularity, like most things in this world, has its price…

Art:

1/
Fairfield Porter, 1907-1975
Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989), 1957
Oil on canvas

2/
Edward Hopper, 1882-1967
Tables for Ladies, 1930
Oil on canvas

In Hopper’s Tables for Ladies a waitress leans forward to adjust the vividly painted foods at the window as a couple sits quietly in the richly paneled and well-lit interior. A cashier attentively tends to business at her register. Though they appear weary and detached, these two women hold posts newly available to female city dwellers outside the home. The painting’s title alludes to a recent social innovation in which establishments advertised ”tables for ladies” in order to welcome their newly mobile female customers, who, if seen dining alone in public previously, were assumed to be prostitutes.

3/
Florine Stettheimer, 1871-1944
The Cathedrals of Broadway, 1929
Oil on canvas

4/ & 5/
Jean Dunand, 1877-1942 & Séraphin Soudbinine, 1870-1944
Pianissimo and Fortissimo, 1925-26
Lacquered wood, eggshell, mother-of-pearl, gold

Created for the music room of Solomon R. Guggenheim’s residence in Port Washington, Long Island, these screens are an artistic collaboration between the designer Jean Dunand and the sculptor Séraphin Soudbinine. While Soudbinine conceived the composition and carved the bas-relief figures of otherworldly angels and rocklike forms, Dunand lacquered the screen.  Guggenheim’s widow, Irene Rothschild, donated the screens to the Metropolitan following the death of her husband.

6/
Edward Hopper, 1882-1967
The Lighthouse at Two Lights, 1929
Oil on canvas

7/
Juan Gris, 1887-1927
Juan Legua, 1991
Oil on canvas

8/
Balthus, 1908-2001
Thérèse Dreaming, 1938
Oil on canvas

9/
Francis Bacon, 1909-1992
(Reflection on one of) Three Studies for a Self-Portrait, 1979-80
Oil on canvas

As Bacon remarked to David Sylvester in 1975, ”I loathe my own face… I’ve done a lot of self-portraits, really because people have been dying around me like flies and I’v nobody else left to paint by myself.”

10/
Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973
Bust of a Man, 1908
Oil on canvas

11/
Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973
Gertrude Stein, 1905-06
Oil on canvas

12/
Albert Bloch, 1882-1961
Summer Night, 1913
Oil on canvas

13/
Edgar Degas, 1834-1917
Young Woman with Ibis, 1860-62
Oil on canvas

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

February 17th, 2018