Tuesday, May 20, 2014

TONY OURSLER(click for link)        Part 1 of a 2 part series

Tony Oursler     Installation Art                       from google image for the sole purpose of art advocacy

Language and communication have been an interest of mine for years, and if I really think about it, since childhood.  I have always managed to say things backwards, especially under stress.  Things like Monkey's Uncle come out as Uncies Monkle.  If you give me word scrambles I can often work them out easily without using pen and paper.  It turns out dyslexia and learning disabilities run through the family.

Vox Vernacular  by Tony Oursler
This image was projected on the outside of the Tate Musuem in London.
My cousins son, who is a brilliant Harvard educated doctor and Phd. researcher has talked to other researcher's about studying our family's history because symptoms go from generation to generation.  It skips some, but it surely landed on me!  What it took me a lifetime to learn is it wasn't a disability but I just learned differently.  When I came across Tony Oursler's work and his interest in language, visual clues, and story telling it was of great interest to me.
Tony Oursler Video Art Pioneer
 For over 10 years now I have been looking after my Mother who was the victim of a hemorrhagic stroke deep in the center of her brain.  In the ensuing years I witnessed my Mother grasp for words to communicate, her mind getting stuck on one word and looping, and at times making up her own language to communicate. A building might be a vessel, and a duck was a Tommy given. There are other times my Mother would say whole sentences she seemed to understand, but make no sense to me.  The odd thing these sentences  followed the sentax and pattern of a words and conversation. 
Tony Oursler  

The other part of my life that led to an interest in the mind and language was teaching special education for many years.  I taught blind, deaf, autistic, multiple handicap children and well as those below 25 IQ( a mentality of 3 months old).  I became interested in what children could learn, how they perceived things and how the communicated down to the very lowest learning level.  What I learned made me intensely curious about language, image, and the brain.  And now I find it of interest in the art I create.  How can I communicate what my Mother feels, what her brain perceives, and what parts of the brain are being tapped upon to relay information. For not only my Mother, but the universal understanding of language, image and communication. In Oursler's work I began to get insight into how I might approach the process.

Tony Oursler   Installation Artist

In this piece I love the idea of the projected image on to the soft sculpture.

  Oursler uses a projected image in much of his work. 

The image is distorted and that to me conveys the distortion of

Oursler began working with small LCD video projectors in 1991 in his installation The Watching presented at documenta 9, featuring his first video doll and dummy. This work utilizes handmade soft cloth figures combined with expressive faces animated by video projection. Oursler then produced a series of installations that combined found objects and video projections. Judy (1993) explored the relationship between multiple personality disorder and mass media. Get Away II features a passive/aggressive projected figure wedged under a mattress that confronts the viewer with blunt direct address. These installations led to great popular and critical acclaim.[citation needed]" from Widapedia

*all images are from google and used for the sole purpose of art advocacy,art education, and to highlight artists.

Monday, May 19, 2014


photo by Elizabeth Gordon

Sunday, May 18, 2014









Who is this amazing abstract artist that works in such detail? Who is this amazing new abstract talent? It is none other that you, or any human being.  These are microscopic studies of tears.  Tears of laughter, grief, remembrance and so on.  In this study by Rose Lynn Fears on the Typography of Tears she wondered what her tears would look like. Our tears have a distinct mark depending on the emotion we are feeling! It reminds me of the studies done to show how water changes molecularly when exposed to different music or sound.  Our bodies and our worlds are far more complex than we understand.  And I think we can fairly say our senses are far more complex than we have ever understood in the sciences.  The more we discover about our world the more interconnected we are to all living things and perhaps some things we have not considered to be living at all…like a rock.
Artists are very sensitive people who are highly observant in ways that they hardly understand themselves and often not understood by others.  They open themselves, as if refined antennas, to the world around them, the express and reflect what they absorb.  Art is a complex business, it is not about the mere copying of a scene or a person.  The previous post Rabbit's Moon Studio did on the artist for the 9/11 memorial is an example of this.  Spencer Finch did not paint a scene of planes hitting the twin towers or the grief and panic on peoples faces. No, his thought was far more complex.  He remembered the clear blue sky, the fall deep blue crisp sky on that day….a beautiful day by all accounts, so many people remarked on that.  Who would expect such a horrible event to take place on such an absolutely gorgeous day?  So Finch created a mural assigning a hue of blue to each of the 3,000 victims of that day the sky was so beautiful.  It speaks of contrast of beauty and violence, of peace and war, of life and death.  In this single concept the artists has captured the complexity of the moment…joy and grief, laughter and tears…all from the myriad of hues of blue on what was a stunning fall day.  To the sky we looked, the planes came out of no where, to the sky we look and the ashes fell of thousands of lives, to the sky we look for hope of a better tomorrow.  A remarkable monument to the families and to a country that was changed forever on that day.
"From a distance, in the museum’s soaring subterranean space, which is clad mostly in concrete and aluminum, Mr. Finch’s work looks as if it could be a decorative stone mosaic. But as the viewer approaches, it becomes clear that the color is simply watercolor paint on unframed paper, hung on a wire armature like children’s artwork at a school fair or, more so, like themissing-person notices that papered the city after Sept. 11. The work, which surrounds an inscription in steel taken from Virgil’s “Aeneid,” also brings to mind the reams of office paper that floated over the city on the day of the attacks, some of it drifting as far as Mr. Finch’s studio near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.
Over several weeks in the late winter, Mr. Finch, 51 — whose work often focuses on the interrelationships of light, color and memory, operating in a territory somewhere between poetry and science — mixed subtly varied shades of blue and, day after day, painted the papers, managing to complete as many as 150 on a good day." Randy Kennedy, Art and Design


I think there is much we have not learned yet about our world.  I think there is much we assume is fact, that is not.  I think we often belittle people who dare to think differently.  Many scientist and artists have been persecuted as witches and the like, for their ideas, beliefs and concepts. Newton, Galileo, and Leonardo da Vinci for a start.  Some were imprisoned, others humiliated and shamed. Perhaps they are just ahead of their time and perhaps society cannot accept vision and change…or things not commonly understood.   
Watch these two films below, the first on water and emotion and the second on how plants may feel emotion.


Cannes Film Festival

An unlikely film on the life on an artist.  A few films have made it big, like Lust of Life on the the life of Vincent Van Gogh or Frida   on the life of Frida Kahlo, but in general it is difficult to make convincing work of an artist life and his creations. Mike Leigh's new film on the life of JMW Turner, does an excellent job of showing the last 25 years of Turners life.  It is wonderfully detailed and stays very true to the era. Timothy Spall does an excellent job of portraying Turner,  as a stumpy, pug faced, but very confident in his own talent. 

Timothy Spall in film portraying Turner                        from google for education

   I have loved Turner's work for a long time and I am very excited to get to see this film.  I also love films or books that take me back to another time and place.  I think this is a film we can all look forward to as art lovers and appreciators at an independent film theater near you.   Think of an artist life you would like to see in film and who you would like to play them.  Who fascinating you, not only in their work, but their life.  I think I would like to see a movie on Miro's life spanning pre-world war Spain, during WWII and after.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


I doubt any American can forget the day, this fall day of clear skies, crisp clear beautiful day, on September the 11th that the planes came crashing into the twin towers in New York City.  I remember well I was teaching a 5th grade class and the classroom teacher had just come to pick them up, when the intercom went off directing teachers to immediately read their computer message from the office.  At first all the news was piece meal and often incorrect, but it changed America for ever.  And for weeks and months the sky were circumspect, nothing was to be trusted for who might have taken it over and attack another government building, school, or hospital.  Fighter jets flew constantly leaving contrails high in the sky daily.  
I met a friend of mines friend in Washington D.C. and he recounted his personal story with that day.  He was an Episcopal priest at the little church near ground zero.  When the buildings fell and the ashes and dust bowled down the street, he dove under a car to escape.  He later saw a Reuters new photographer had taken his picture and it was on the cover of a magazine.  He normally would be black, but covered with ash he was a ghostly while.  
The artist Spencer Finch often though later about the color of the sky that day, the clear kind of day that pilots call "severe clear." When he was chosen two years ago to do art work for the memorial he knew the sky would be his subject. 
Spencer Finch saw" the problem was how to find a way to get at something so evanescent and powerfully evocative. “It had to be believable,” he said, explaining what believable meant to him in such a case: “It had to be about that human quality of remembering, how it’s so fuzzy in some ways, and in other ways it’s so completely clear.”

'" Mr. Finch’s solution will be put to the test in a kind of consecrated and highly contested space that would put any work of art under intense pressure to play a meaningful role. “Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning” is a monumental but at the same time delicate work made up of 2,983 "Wikapedia source

Friday, May 16, 2014

Leonard Misonne


I love Misonne's work.  There is almost a magical realism to his photo's.  He has manipulated the photo's to his own idea of an image.  I think it is quite amazing for the time.

from google for education only

Leonard Misonne mystical photographs were known as pictoralism, a method in which he manipulated the photographs to achieve a certain emotional style and creating his own image from the photograph.

"Pictorialism is the name given to an international style and aesthetic movement that dominated photography during the later 19th and early 20th centuries. There is no standard definition of the term, but in general it refers to a style in which the photographer has somehow manipulated what would otherwise be a straightforward photograph as a means of "creating" an image rather than simply recording it. Typically, a pictorial photograph appears to lack a sharp focus (some more so than others), is printed in one or more colors other than black-and-white (ranging from warm brown to deep blue) and may have visible brush strokes or other manipulation of the surface. For the pictorialist, a photograph, like a painting, drawing or engraving, was a way of projecting an emotional intent into the viewer's realm of imagination.[1]" source wickapedia

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Twenty Five Graffiti Artists that are shaking it up.

         3 ROA
         Roa is not the artist real name, it is a name he uses in doing his graffiti art.  He often uses colors like black, white and red, a very limited color range for a dramatic effect.  He usually paints animals and birds that are from the area he is painting. Graffiti artist are rebels of a sort, painting illegally often.  Roa had a giant rabbit he had painted on a building and it was threatened of being removed.  He later legally pained the same painting on the wall of a recording studio. (source Wikapedia)

from google for education only

Wednesday, May 14, 2014



The very first thing I learned about this artist was it was not one, but two artists!  Os Gemos means twins in Portuguese. Two identical twins are the artists!  They begin working during the Hip Hop era, and began to get noticed outside of Brazil.  As graffiti became more popular in Brazil the twins war chose to do art work in the transit areas legally.  There many graffiti artist who begin doing their graffiti illegally on buildings they have not been given permission to paint on.

Os Gemos of Brazil

from google for education only



Jaz, Street Artist Buenos Aires          google image for education 

I love Huffington Post Art section, that is where this post comes from.  I think you may want to book mark the art section for your own perusal.  It seems like the latest thing is to say the top 10 or the  20 this or that…some how adding a specific number attracts attention. I think you will enjoy this and then we will look deeper into each artists work.  Most of these list are superficial, but it gives us a place to start.

1)  Jaz

Franco Fasoli, known as Jaz in the art world began a street artist, and graffiti writer in the 90's.  He began with graffiti writing, but evolved over time into more figurative painting.  He works on a large scale and often uses unconventional materials.  He has a unique style and his use of unusual materials makes him different than his fellow artists. He first used spray paints and stencils. He now uses techniques that allow him to work larger and larger. His most recent work is on football and "lucha Libre wrestling with masks and part man-beast figures.  
He began his work as a street artist in Buenos Aires active street artist scene.

Please do us a favor at RMB we need to check out our following form and subscription.  It seems as if it is not accessible for some and to hard to figure out to do.  Please give me feed back on your experiences.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Artist who Knits Playgrounds for Kids

Toshiko Horiuchi  McAdam is an artist that is not your everyday knitter.  My Grandmother knitted, my aunts, and my Mother, but they knitted sweaters and the like.  They were skilled, but Toshiko has taken knitting to a whole new level!

Can you imagine if you were  a child to play in this wonder world!   from google image for education only

Toshiko Horiuchi McAdam, artist, knitter 
Who is Toshiko and how did her journey lead her to these massive projects she does.  I would call them "art installations for fun." Lets she what we can learn about this amazing woman. 

"Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam is a leading fibre artist in Canada and Japan, using knittingcrochet, and knot making techniques to create her work. Currently, her work focuses on creating large, interactive textile environments.
MacAdam was born in Japan in 1940 but soon moved to Japanese-occupied Manchuria with her family during World War II. When the Soviet Union took over the area in 1945, MacAdam and her family were forced to flee and eventually returned to Japan. Later, MacAdam attended the Tama Fine Art Institute in Japan and went on to study in the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where she received her masters of fine arts degree.[1] After graduating, MacAdam worked for Boris Kroll Fabrics, an acclaimed textile design company in New York City. She then went on to teach at universities across the United States and Japan, including theColumbia University Teachers CollegeHaystack Mountain School of Crafts, the University of Georgia and the Kyoto Junior College of Art.
Currently, MacAdam teaches a textiles and fashion course entitled "Fiber Fabric Fashion" at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and runs Interplay Design and Manufacturing with her husband, Charles MacAdam, in Bridgeport, Nova Scotia.[2] " from Wikipedia

Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam  

The video below is about Toshiko's art installation playgrounds.  Just click on the arrow in the center of the screen.

I love this artist and what she has created. One of the parts I especially loved reading about her was that she noticed that children were climbing her installations in museums.  Rather than getting upset, she took interest and consulted a landscape specialist and others and altered her style to large installations with rainbow colors for children!  Amazing!  Learning and adapting is a creative skill set.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Famous Pictures of Mothers in Art



Dorothea Lange  Depression Era Mother  from google image  

Mary Cassatt             Mother and Child

Michelangelo's Pieta   from google

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I hope you are enjoying this series.  I plan to post the whole series for you.  I love hearing artists talk about their work and the various approaches each artist has.  From the potter to the fine artist this give a wide range of artistic approaches and beliefs.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014



Conceptual art is just that, it is based on a concept or idea. For many years I was not sure how to define myself or my art until I read about conceptual art. I have always been a teacher and a researcher.  I have loved both and often one generates the other.  I love thinking about how to relay an idea or concept to others.  Though much of my art is done intuitively that only happens when I get to the actual act of putting the material together.

Rene Magritte, Surrealist  
 Actually much research and thought goes into my art, as if I were writing a paper to present, or a class to teach.  I love learning and sharing what I have learned.  Being an art teacher for 37 years I do a good bit of both.  I learned early on the more I researched a lesson or a unit to teach students the more excited I was and the more the enthusiasm carried over to the students.  My research and my act of learning excited them and made them want to investigate and create.  
Ai Weiwei   Chinese Conceptual Artist
 from google image for  educational purposes
For all the years I taught I was an artist before and after, it was essential to me to always do art and share what I made. Working with conceptual art let me go back and forth between my world of teaching and my world of being an artist.  So I learned what I was doing was called Conceptual art and the realm I was working in was Surrealism.  These two areas gave me the path to doing intellect based art.  I could never be nor want to be a representational artist.  
Below are pictures form the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The architectural firm that designed the new Dali museum incorporated his interest in the double helix that is often found in his paintings. But the building design only allowed for one helix though.  

Of the last three conceptual art pieces I have done, one was 2 dimensional and two were  3 dimensional assemblage.  Both were created working from a theme for art membership shows at the Morean art center and one for the Dali Museum for a benefit. The piece for the Dali was done with Dali's complete history of Surrealism and his different periods in mind.  The theme was "Liquid Desires" working off many levels of meaning.  I responded with a piece named "Wet Dreams".  Freud's psychological theories were very prominent in the work of the surrealists. And in the piece I entered I included many symbols that would trigger unconscious meaning in the viewers mind. 

details of  assemblage "Wet Dreams"

The present piece I am working on will be conceptual and have multiple levels of meaning as well.  I am beginning with an African head and headdress base and then moving into universal themes and present day issues.  At least that is where my mind is now.  I am working with a sub theme of aphasia in on a personal level and on a universal level of the challenges of communication. The head itself lends one to think of speaking, communication, and reasoning.  African headdress often convey additional meaning in the details of what is woven or sewn or sculpted into the headdress.    Bits and parts of pieces of everyday life, a bit of a metal tag, a piece of cloth, a watch band, bullet casings, and what ever seems of value or to be honored.  It is a part of the celebration of life in the African culture where art is not a separate entity unto itself.  
I have been very interested in the concept of the brain, its function and how the separate parts of the brain can work independently when damaged.  My Mother had a stroke at 90 and had been having small TIA's for a few years before, my Grandmother also had a stroke and had brain damage.  In both cases I was and am intimately involved.  In addition half my career dealt with teaching special education with multiple handicaps and levels of thinking.  How the human brain functions is of great interest to me and I am in awe of how complex an organ it is.  
The piece I am working on now will at some level respond to all of  these issues.  It is still forming in my mind until it begins to form a shape and gel.  How will I work in all the ideas I have in mind and on all the varying levels at this point is still a mystery to me.  I would would like to incorporate a video loop somehow and/or layers of transparencies of images. The pieces below are the beginning of the collection of items I have collected or bought that I will be working with.

Head for designing hats
Antique Gas Mask

Ship building molds

*all highlighted areas are to click for more information

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Jack Venttriano

Continuation of the series on "What do artists do all day?"

Just click on the arrow to watch.

The Generosity of Artists is Powerful

I wanted to personally thank Eric Laffrogue and many artists I contact about using their images or highlighting their art.  And I want all the readers of the Rabbit Moon Studio Blog to know every effort is made to contact artists, if possible, when their images are used or they are honored in with a post.

Photography by Eric Laffrogue ,  permission of the artist for sharing  given
  Our effort here is art advocacy and art education.  I share my art with you and my processes and other art to help everyone gain an insight into the mind of an artists, to feel as if you are with us step by step.  I also want you to understand not all art is beautiful, realistic, or meant to be.  
Eric Laffrogue, Ethiopia 
Art has many purposes, and this is a journey to help everyone see and understand that very fact.  You can love classical music and not see the value of improvisational jazz or other forms of music. Whether you like jazz, classical or another form of music, the point is they all have value and I see it as part of my journey as an art educator to help everyone understand that.  
Again it is because of people like Eric Laffrogue and so many other generous artists I can share their work with you.
If you want to delve deeper into African politics may I  recommend a standard text written by my brother and sister in law,  Don and April Gordon  Understanding Contemporary Africa.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What Do Artist Do All Day?

Artist/ John Byrne 

This is a continuation of the series I posted earlier.  There are quite a few to the series and I think we will enjoy them all. 

 I know one of my joys of writing and researching is discovering things for you
that I love also. Enjoy!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Awesome Photography of Eric Lafforgue

When looking for ideas for my assemblage I notice one by line over and over on the best photos and it was Eric Laffrogue.

 His photography is stunning and he is a traveler visiting indigenous cultures and photographing these peoples before the disappear from this Earth or learn to shop at Target. 
So I wanted to share Eric's work with you and thought we should do him the honor of giving him his own post.  If you are as taken with his photos as I am, you can order prints of his photography on his website, click here for link.

Please visit Eric's site and tell him Rabbits Moon Studio sent you.  And if you love Africa and indigenous people then order one of these stunning photo's.  I am still in awe of how he gets these shots and expressions on peoples faces.

More on Eric's work from the Mail online.

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