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Artists Who Inspire Me

Joanne Leonard   American Photographer 1940-


Kitchen, Corean's Home, West Oakland, CA


Gelatin Silver Print

6 1/2 x 6 1/4 inch

In the 1970s Leonard began examining how domestic spaces are transformed through the presence of technology by photographing the interiors of her neighbors' homes in West Oakland, CA.


Laurie Simmons   American Artist 1949-


Blonde/Red Dress/Kitchen


Silver Dye Bleach Print

3 1/4 x 5 inch

Since the mid-1970s Simmons has constructed and photographed dollhouse scenes that reflect on critique the culture of domesticity. "It's interesting for me that a picture can be so colorful so bright and so vivacious and so lonely at the same time," she had said. ". . . Where is the rest of the world, where are the other people, where's the rest of the family?" Simmons made these photographs in the loft she shared with her friend and fellow artist, Jimmy DeSana.


Yayoi Kusama   Japanese Artist 1929-

Dots Obsession, Infinity Mirrored Room Series


Installation, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France

In 1977 she checked herself into a mental health facility and eventually took up permanent residence in the hospital. She has been living at the hospital ever since, by choice. Her studio, where she has continued to produce work since the mid-1970s, is a short distance from the hospital in Tokyo. Kusama is often quoted saying:  "If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago."

Image from Daily Art Magazine

Text from Wikipedia

Philip Taaffe   American Painter 1955-


Cappella Palatina


Mixed Media on Linen

2 panels 63 1/4 inch square

"It is a rare artist who can be completely contemporary while incorporating rules and rhythms of former times. Rarer still is the artist who can cull those rhythms from a wide variety of cultures and periods - an artist of great sophistication. Philip Taaffe is such an artist."  Vincent Katz


Glenn Brown   British Artist 1966-


Hilma af Klint   Swedish Artist 1862-1944


Group IV, The Ten Largest, No. 7, Adulthood


Tempera on paper mounted on canvas

315 x 235 inch

When Hilma af Klint began creating radically abstract paintings in 1906, they were like little that had been seen before: bold, colorful, and untethered from any recognizable references to the physical world. It was years before Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and others would take similar strides to rid their own work from representational content. Her work was largely unseen until 1986, and only over the subsequent three decades have her paintings and works on paper begun to receive serious attention.


Doug & Mike Starn   American Artists 1961-


The No-Mind No-Thinks No-Things


Alumnus of my art school alma mater, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Doug and Mike Starn are American artists, and identical twins born in 1961. First having received international attention at the Whitney Biennial, for more than 20 years the Starns were primarily known for working conceptually with photography, and are concerned largely with chaos, interconnection and interdependence. Over the past two and a half decades, they have continued to defy categorization, effectively combining traditionally separate disciplines such as photography, sculpture, architecture-most notably their series Big Bambu.

From Career Narrative page from

The Real Thing
oil on panel
32 1/4 x 26 1/8 inch 

"I like my paintings to have one foot in the grave, to be not quite of this world. For me they exist in a dream world, a world that is made up of all the accumulated images stored in our subconscious that coagulate and mutate when we sleep." -Glenn Brown

From Gagosian website

Cy Twombly   American Artist 1928-2011


Untitled (Odalisca)


House paint, acrylic and graphite on layered sheets of stapled drawing paper

Twombly wanted to demonstrate that "Modern art isn't dislocated, but something with roots, tradition and continuity. For myself", he wrote, "the past is the source (for all art is vitally contemporary)."

From MFA Boston

Nan Goldin  American Photographer 1953-


Trixie on the Cot, New York City


Silver dye bleach print

15 1/2 x 23 1/8 inch

Another alumni of my art school alma mater, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts is American photographer and activist, Nan Goldin. Her work often explores LGBT subcultures, moments of intimacy, the HIV/AIDS crisis and the opioid epidemic. Her most notable work is the Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1986). The monograph documents post-Stonewall, gay subculture and includes Goldin's family and friends. She is founding member of P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now). 


All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is a 2022 documentary film which explores the career of Nan Goldin and the fall of the Sackler family.

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