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MARC CHAGALL by Bob Kessel
Apr 6th, 2009 by admin

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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 by Bob Kessel
Apr 4th, 2009 by admin

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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…

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CLAUDE MONET by Bob Kessel
Apr 2nd, 2009 by admin

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“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.

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HAY STACKS by Bob Kessel

ANDY RODDICK AND MARIA SHARAPOVA by Bob Kessel
Apr 1st, 2009 by admin

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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.

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