Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Kentucky tends to be a conservative state when it comes to buying art. In my experience appraising art collections, most people who live here prefer realistic images painted with traditional techniques.

Although it could be said that artist Shayne Hull paints in a traditional manner, the portraits he creates are often witty, full of color, and although they are fairly realistic, they tend toward a more folk art tradition.

Hull recieved his B.A. at Corpus Christi State University in Texas in 1985 and he received his M.A. from The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. In Louisville, his works can often be found at Swanson Reed Gallery in Louisville.

Mr. Hull takes commissions for both people and pets. He charges $750 for a 16" X 16" portrait or $2,400 for a 36" X 48". You can visit his website here to view more of his pieces.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


You don't know what you have 'till its gone.
I miss electricity. As I sit in a coffee shop 4 1/2 days after my electricity went out (due to Ike) I have been thinking about the way artists have explored the subject of electricity in art.

My immediate thought was local artist Ying Kit Chan. I was first exposed to this artist's work when I was a graduate student at U of L. One afternoon, taking a break from writing my thesis in the Bridwell Art Library, I wandered across the hall and discovered charcoal drawings the size of Mack trucks hanging on the walls. The drawings were depictions of telephone lines as seen from the ground, looking up. The dark lines against the white background created in such a large format was overwhelming, threatening, and thrilling. Artists have the job of exploring subjects in ways that average people don't think about them. Today, as I look at Ying Kit Chan's work I wonder if he was exploring the power electricity has over our lives. Because of my current lack of power, I know I am looking at his pieces in a different way than the first day that I saw them. Right now they are evil towers keeping me from hot coffee in the morning and the season premiere of my favorite television show.
Ying Kit Chan was born in Hong Kong in 1953 and moved to the United States in 1979. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Oklahoma in 1981 and his M.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati in 1983. Currently, he is a Professor of Fine Arts and Head of Studio Programs at the Allen R. Hit Art Institute at the University of Louisville.
"Industrial Site"
Charcoal on Paper
42" X 84"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Victoria & Albert Purchase Jagger's Lips

On September 2, The Victoria and Albert Museum announced the purchase of the original artwork depicting the famous "lips" logo of the Rolling Stones.
Frontman Mick Jagger's lips originally inspired artist John Pasche in 1969 when the band approached the Royal College of Art in London after Decca Records could not provide a design that suited them. The lips sold at auction for $92, 500 in the United States.

Victoria Broakes, head of exhibitions, V&A Theatre and Performance Collections, said: "The Rolling Stones' Tongue is one of the first examples of a group using branding and it has become arguably the world's most famous rock logo

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Ralph Kovel, a leader in the antiques world died on August 28 after a short illness. Kovel and his wife Terry are known nation-wide as antiques experts and as the duo who produced over 90 books relating to art and antiques, including price guides and reference books. In fact, it was the Kovels who first had the idea to publish a pottery guide which listed pieces by factory markings instead of by country of origin. Long before the Antiques Roadshow, the Kovels were educating the public on art, antiques, and the market. The Kovels had a nationally syndicated newspaper column and produced television shows about antiques on HGTV, the Discovery Channel, and Public Television.
If you are not familiar with the Kovels or their guides you should be. For a small fee, you can subscribe to their website here (which has price guides, articles about antiques, collecting, buying, and selling) or you can purchase one of their many price guides or reference books here.