The highest condition of art is artlessness. — Henry David Thoreau
The highest condition of art is artlessness.
RED ASS AND CHICKENHEAD after Marc Chagall by Bob Kessel
“Work isn’t to make money; you work to justify life.”
– MARC CHAGALL
Bob Kessel has created a new art series based on the works of Marc Chagall. The pictures are available as limited edition fine art prints. Contact Bob Kessel for prices and availability.
Marc Chagall was a Jewish Russian artist, born in Belarusand naturalized French in 1937, associated with several key art movements and was one of the most successful artists of the twentieth century. He forged a unique career in virtually every artistic medium, including paintings, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramics, tapestries and fine art prints. Chagall’s haunting, exuberant, and poetic images have enjoyed universal appeal, and art critic Robert Hughes called him “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century.”
As a pioneer of modernism and one of the greatest figurative artists of the twentieth century, Marc Chagall achieved fame and fortune, and over the course of a long career created some of the best-known and most-loved paintings of our time. According to art historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be “the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists.” For decades he “had also been respected as the world’s preeminent Jewish artist.” He also accepted many non-Jewish commissions, including a stained glass for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, a Dag Hammarskjold memorial at the United Nations, and the great ceiling mural in the Paris Opéra.
His most vital work was made on the eve of World War I, when he traveled between St. Petersburg, Paris, and Berlin. During this period he created his own mixture and style of modern art based on his visions of Eastern European Jewish folk culture. He spent his wartime years in Russia, and the October Revolution of 1917 brought Chagall both opportunity and peril. He was by now one of the Soviet Union’s most distinguished artists and a member of the modernist avante-garde. He founded the Vitebsk Arts College, which was considered the most distinguished school of art in the Soviet Union. However, “Chagall was considered a non-person by the Soviets because he was Jewish and a painter whose work did not celebrate the heroics of the Soviet people.” As a result, he soon moved to Paris with his wife, never to return.
8th Man Print By Bob Kessel
Shown above; 8th Man smoking an atomic cigarette by Bob Kessel. 8th Man, also known as 8 Man (Eitoman), was an animated cartoon that appeared in the 1960s. In the middle of every episode, 8th Man would run out of energy and need to stop and smoke an atomic cigarette (which he kept in his belt buckle secret compartment) to restore his energy. Back in the sixties this was acceptable in a cartoon for kids. Today it would be considered politically incorrect. This picture is available as a limited edition fine art print by Bob Kessel. Contact the artist for pricing and availability. More pictures of 8th Man and Astroboy and other Japanese characters can be seen in the art series “KAIJU” (Japanese monsters) and “FUTURISM” by Bob Kessel.
8th Man was a Japanese “manga” or comic strip which first appeared on a weekly basis in May of 1963. Written by Kazumasa Hirai and drawn by 28 year old artist, Jiro Kuwata, 8-Man told the story of Detective Hachiro Azuma, who was killed by the notorious gangster Mukade and resurrected by Dr. Tani in the form of a human-looking robot.
The series proved to be so popular that TCJ Animation produced 56 animated episodes of 8-Man’s nuclear-age escapades. On November 7, 1963 – 8-man made his television debut in Japan! Within two years (or less) a freshly dubbed 8th Man was showing in American living rooms.
8th Man is hands-down my most favorite animated series (but you’ve probably guessed that already!) Truly ahead of its time, 8th Man pioneered many of the elements that have distinguished Japanese Anime for years until the present. So did Astroboy, but this is not his page, ok? Despite the “limited-action” and low cel count, even in the earliest works of 60’s Anime, we see that the inventive Japanese went beyond the one-dimensional mind-set of the American television industry animation houses and their shallow “talking animal” toons. And in the most ingenious manner applied cinematic technique to their TV animated works. Through the use of simple yet clever camera methods – cut, pan, focus & zoom were used to create tension, excitment, or suspense. Characters were manipulated inside the frame as never before with highly exaggerated and 3-D in-your-face action!
But more than this, the Japanese totally revolutionized that industry with stories and scripting that went beyond children’s ideas and introduced passion, pathos, and personality into the world arena of TV animation, filling the void left by the cat-&-mouse slapstick humor prevelant in American TV animation at that time.
Yes, 8th Man, Prince Planet, Astroboy and others were the dawn of a new age of TV animation where the players could laugh, cry, hurt, and even die…were these concepts too strong for young children? Perhaps. Many people who testify of their childhood experiences with these early anime-works will state they were deeply moved and thus, well remember these works as they have seemed to make more than a lasting impression…
“Everyone discusses my art
and pretends to understand,
as if it were necessary to understand,
when it is simply necessary to love.”
– CLAUDE MONET
Claude Monet by Bob Kessel, is breathtaking and catching the attention of art lovers worldwide. Bob Kessel takes off in his art series “Show Me The Monet!” on Monet’s many themes- Parliment, Haystacks, Water Lilies, Poplar Trees, Japanese Gardens and many more.
Monet almost never left Europe, thus never traveled to Japan. But in his Giverny home, he surrounded himself with Japanese woodblock prints. He first collected Japanese prints in the 1860s, and this passion would last for over three decades. At the end of his life, he owned 231 Japanese engravings.
Like many other artists, Monet considered Japanese culture as very artistic, shaped by the refined aesthetic tastes of its people. Many painters of the 19th Century were influenced by Japanese prints and paintings. As far as Monet is concerned, the way Japanese art shaped his style and the way he saw the world around him can be noticed in many of his canvases as early as the 1870s.
Who launched the frenzy for all things Japanese, called Japonism, in the 19th century ? It is hard to say, however, the universal exhibition of London in 1862 and of Paris in 1878 introduced Japanese art in Europe. Specialised merchants settled in Paris.
It was a upheaval. The artists of the Far East had a completely new aesthetic approach, marking a break with Western painting convention.
Monet, like many others, was carried away. He began collecting woodblocks by the greatest masters, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro… “Hiroshige is a wonderful impressionist, Camille Pissarro wrote to his son. “Me, Monet and Rodin are enthusiastic about them.”
The fancy for Japanese engravings seized also painters such as Vincent van Gogh, politician like Georges Clemenceau, writers like Edmond de Goncourt or Emile Zola.
HAY STACKS by Bob Kessel
RODAPOVA by Bob Kessel
Bob Kessel drew this illustration for a New York Times article on the growing rumors that tennis players Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova were an item.
PORTRAIT OF CHARLES BUKOWSKI by Bob Kessel
Bob Kessel has created an art series titled “American Icons” featuring a portrait of Charles Bukowski. Appropriately, Buk is shown drinking a bottle of beer. This picture is available as a limited edition art print. Contact Bob Kessel for pricing and availability.
from: Love is A Mad Dog From Hell
by Charles Bukowski
I don’t know how many bottles of beer
I have consumed while waiting for things
to get better
I dont know how much wine and whisky
I have consumed after
splits with women-
waiting for the phone to ring
waiting for the sound of footsteps,
and the phone to ring
waiting for the sounds of footsteps,
and the phone never rings
until much later
and the footsteps never arrive
until much later
when my stomach is coming up
out of my mouth
they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:
“what the hell have you done to yourself?
it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!”
the female is durable
she lives seven and one half years longer
than the male, and she drinks very little beer
because she knows its bad for the figure.
while we are going mad
they are out
dancing and laughing
with horney cowboys.
well, there’s beer
sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles
and when you pick one up
the bottle fall through the wet bottom
of the paper sack
spilling gray wet ash
and stale beer,
or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.
in the morning
making the only sound in your life.
rivers and seas of beer
the radio singing love songs
as the phone remains silent
and the walls stand
straight up and down
and beer is all there is.
Bob Kessel has created a picture of Muhammad Ali immortalizing the iconic image of Ali standing over Sonny Liston at the end of their famous fight as part of his “American Icons” art series. It is available as a limited edition art prints and originals. Contact Bob Kessel for prices and availability.
Jersey Joe presided over a fight that even today still contains a mystery, a short fight that has become the most written about and talked about of all time. It lasted one minute and 42 seconds only. Ali threw three punches of note, Liston none at all. The first came almost before the bell had finished ringing, a stiff right cross. The second was a clip to Liston’s head, again with the right hand that appeared to stun him. The third, which practically no one, including Liston himself, even saw in real time was a flashing right hadn’t that lifted Liston’s left leg and sent him to the canvas for a long count.
The punch, which Ali was quick to call the anchor punch, has been analyzed endlessly. Seen now with the benefit of slow motion technology. It is exquisitely timed and certainly concussive almost like the blow of a martial artist. Liston shakes and slumps to the floor. Only sonny would ever truly know what effect it had.
The punch had certainly duped the crowd. The columnist jimmy cannon proclaimed from ringside that “it wouldn’t have dented a grape…” the audience became convinced the fight was fixed a view that became popular over the following months. “Boxing wants no more of Liston,” intoned the ring magazine. Ali himself said afterwards: “the punch jarred him. It was a good punch but I didn’t think I hit him so hard he couldn’t get up.”
Ali stood over Liston, screaming at him to stand up and fight. Sonny couldn’t or wouldn’t. Jersey Joe Walcott failed to get Ali to a neutral corner. Transfixed by Ali’s manic behavior, Walcott didn’t realize Liston had been on the floor for a full 17 seconds by the time he finally got to his feet.
Walcott wiped down sonny’s gloves and ordered the fighters to resume. Only when a journalist at ringside alerted him to the fact Liston had been counted out by the timekeeper did Walcott signal the fight was over. For the second time, an ali-vs-liston bout concluded in chaos.
Bob kessel’s American Icons art series also includes Marilyn Monroe, Miles Davis, Charles Bukowski, Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, John F Kennedy and many more.