Monday, July 4, 2011

Art Foraging - The Latest Catch

Art foraging on the web...sometimes remarkable; always eclectic.

ENCINITAS, CA (AP).- The "Surfing Madonna" appeared just before Easter weekend and has been stirring a soulful debate in this Southern California beach town ever since. The striking mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe riding a wave was affixed to a wall under a train bridge by artists disguised as construction workers in April. It technically is graffiti that should be removed under the law. But the surfing Madonna's beauty is drawing a mass following, and even city officials who say she must go acknowledge they too have been taken by her. They have spent thousands to hire an art conservation agency to find the best way to remove her without causing damage to the art.  entire story here

 I recently discovered the work of Argentine artist Raquel Forner (April 22, 1902 – June 10, 1988), who mixed expressionist and surrealism to create her works. There isn't much biographical information on her other than this wikipedia entry, which mentions her artistic interest in the Spanish Civil War (she spent time in Spain) and in depictions of strong female images. 

(this, to me, is reminiscent of De Chirico)

And because I have a few friends who are R. Crumb fans (Susan, Joe?), here are a few images of his I discovered while art surfing recently. Enjoy!

(worth the visit!) 

For you Brits (or world travelers) lucky enough to access it - the Tate Movie Project, because who doesn't love animation?  :-)


  1. Wow! I love the Surfing Madonna - this rings all sorts of bells about what good agit-art can really do. The nature of graffiti, the borders of taste (the Madonna of Gaudaloupe as surfer), a whiff of healthy blasphemy, the nature of art itself, the location, the anonymity of the artists, the seriousness of the project (money spent on good materials, the hours involved in realising it) ... this is all just marvellous!

    Leave it there where it is, I say, let the people come to see it, let it cause inconvenience, traffic-jams, etc. The world needs more of this kind of stuff; Viva creativity!

  2. Madonna the surfer is just super.
    In fact all your post is so wonderful.

  3. Gina another great selection. Again
    you introduce me to new artists

  4. I love the 'Surfing Virgin of Guadalupe' and wonder why they can't just leave her where she is. It's not like she's bothering anybody.

    I looked up Raquel Forner's paintings and agree they're very powerful pieces. If she spent time in Spain during the 30's there were some very heavy hitters influencing one another. This last one you chose looks reminiscent of Guernica to me but perhaps I'm reading into it something that isn't there but there's an essence of the sorrow and anger Picasso portrayed.

    You well know there are a couple of Crumb fans at our house. We own a set of beautiful prints of the village he moved to in the south of France. We used to own all the Weirdo comics but the one we kept id Verre d'Eau, his first French version. They love him there. Zap's are gone too (I know you probably heard enough about those). What else? Yes, we have a first edition of 'The Book of Genesis'. His wife Aline sent him off to live in a cabin by himself until he finished it. Lastly, among the things we still own is an original 1984 Mister Natural statue. He was always my particular favorite.

    Have you seen the movie, 'Crumb'? A strange man from a strange family but fascinating and beautifully done.

    Glad you had a nice weekend and energy enough for treasure hunting.

  5. You, my friend, have hit a fantastic trifecta! I have somewhat of a collection of Virgins, many are Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is one I must have. I will look for a print for sale immediately to add to my Vigin Business.
    Of course R. Crumb is one of my favorite illustrators ever. I have many of these old comic books. The story of Adam and Eve is in an old ragged Zap Comix issue. I'll dig that one out. (FYI the larger woman that appears in the right lower corner of the "Believe it of not" cartoon is an image of his wife. he includes her, or images of his preference in the larger ftamed woman, in many of his drawings)
    Lastly, Pirates! I love pirates and know I was one in a former life. In fact, I want our dear friend susan to design me a pirate mermaid motiff for a tattoo, (Left shoulder).
    Great post. Thank you so much for mentioning it and getting me over here. I am so sad that life has me jumping around so much these days that I don't get here and to other's blogs as regularly as in the past. But still think of you often and know you're there.


  6. Francis - to your last sentence: yes, yes and yes! To remove her, albeit delicately, is in and of itself blasphemous. Though I do acknowledge my frequent lack of regard for such definitions and who gets to decide them. :-)

    Imac and Jams - I'm glad you enjoy what you see here!

    Susan - now that you've mentioned it, that last Forner painting does remind one a bit of a colorful Guernica. By the way, that is the first Picasso I was ever exposed to. My father, a highly political European, showed it to mw in a book. And of course, whenever the subject of Spain came up, there a tirade against the horrors of Franco.

    As for Crumb, I like it and perhaps because I only discovered such icons later than when they were popular, but still as a kid, I can't say I'm a huge fan. I found his style sort of course and the exaggerated female curves smacked of sexism! I fancied myself a feminist, you see! :-D

    Joe's tid-bit about his females being modeled after his wife puts things into perspective, as does, of course, many more years of living, learning and appreciating various points of view!

    Joe - it sure is great to see your words! Don't apologize, you're out doin' your thing and it's all very cool!

    I knew R. Crumb would be a draw but I'd forgotten about your penchant for the Madonna! I too have always had a "thing" for them, especially Our Lady of Fatima, who all over Portugal, of course and more revered than Jesus. Only a few years ago, my mother, who is Catholic, purchased for me a 8" OLoF, all adorned with rosary beads and blessed by someone important. She sits on my bureau, as a sort of homage to my Catholic and cultural heritage. My father was an atheist who softened into I'm not sure what philosophy toward the end of his life. It's all good...

    As for the pirate tattoo...I think you've found your artist! I cannot wait to see it! Have you ever been to the pirate store in San Francisco? Fun place and not tacky like I originally assumed!

    Lastly, here is something to make you laugh:

  7. The surfing Madonna is very nice! I love that Tate Animation project, too. Good pics.

  8. Thank YOU!

    How could you know I had Crumb on the mind today?!

    And loved the surfing Madonna!!!

    Great choices - we are linked-

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral


    > < } } ( ° >

    < ° ) } } > <

  9. Several treats from you this time. I say, keep the graffiti.

    I love R Crumb. Strange guy but talented.

  10. SB, Cloudia, Jams-Shaun - glad you enjoyed my choices! It's always a challenge to choose from among so much cool art and interesting stories. I'm up to my ears in good stuff!

  11. This is a great set - almost more like a triple feature than a random "catch." The Forner pieces are stirring, and the one with all the faces and intertwined animal and human forms makes me restless. There is something there which I am looking for in my own art. Something I need to do in acrylics. I feel it growing within me, but not quite ready for daylight yet. But seeing this may have moved it forward.

    I can't figure out what it is about Crumb's marks that makes them so totally his own. His figures are thick in a way that is also unique and recognizable. I love the wide roving spectrum of his work, from the crude and lewd to comical, from provocative to tender and nostalgic. But there is almost always a certain fascination with plumbing...

    The last piece is beautiful in a way that only children's drawings can be. I think this is one of the most difficult things to carry off as an adult - a nearly impossible return to innocence and simple delight.


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