Art Inspired by the Arts

Anthony Japour (AJ) is an art collector, advisor, independent curator, and private art dealer. Japour deals in the international contemporary art movement with a focus on the Chinese Contemporary Art Movement and its relationship to the pillars of Western Contemporary Art. Since 2003, AJ has produced numerous art exhibitions and installations in Miami and South Florida through AJ Japour Gallery and now works on various art projects. AJ has served on the Fine Arts Board and the Cultural Arts Council of the City of Miami Beach.

This month we see Film inspired by Photography, Painting inspired by Literature, and Art inspired by Architecture.

Mona Hakimi-Schüler, Self-portrait #83, 2007 oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm (From Robert Andanto’s, Pearls on the Ocean Floor, 2010)

Robert Adanto (B. 1969, American)
Robert Adanto is a filmmaker who makes Documentary films about Art. His first film, The Rising Tide (2008) premiered at the Frost Museum at Florida International university and was so highly praised, that it was promptly accepted by Art Basel-Miami Beach Committee to be shown as part of it’s official Film Program that year. The Rising Tide features some of China’s most important contemporary artists working in photography and video including Wang Qingsong who is representing China in this year’s Venice Biennale, Cao Fai, Xu Zhen, Chen Qiulin and O Zhang. The film captures the Chinese contemporary art movement at a moment in time as China emerged with the 2008 Olympics.

Adanto’s second feature film, Pearls on the Ocean Floor (2010) was shown recently at Cinema Paradiso, a charming little movie theatre in Fort Lauderdale; the film explores the lives of women artists of Iranian descent living in Iran as well as those of the Iranian Diaspora. The Film brings into sharp focus, the feelings of ambivalence, fear, and uncertainty among these female artists including Shirin Neshat and Shadi Ghadirian. The title of the film takes its inspiration from a poem by the Sufi poet, Hafez (1320-1389). One of the figurative gestures for which Hafez is famous is artful punning in which both “essence, truth” and “pearl” take on meanings such as “a pearl/essential truth which was outside the shell of superficial existence.”

Adanto recently relocated from Los Angeles to South Florida as a professor at Nova Southeastern University and is busy at work on his third, fourth and fifth films.

Oleg Dou, Ira’s Tears, 2008 C-print under Diasec, 120×120cm/180×180cm (From Robert Adanto’s Darkly Digital & Divine, to be released) Edition of 8

The Rising Tide will be film will be re-shown on May 16, 2013 at the Hollywood Arts & Culture Center

Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center
1770 Monroe Street
Hollywood, FL 33020

Hernan Bas (B. 1978, Miami)

Born in Miami, educated at the New World School of the Arts, and represented by local Miami gallerist, Fredric Snitzer, Hernan Bas is what one might be considered “home Grown”. Bas’ work takes its inspiration from Literature and “indulges in the production of romantic, melancholic, and old world imagery. . .” as described by Mark Coetzee, previously curator of the Rubell Family Collection .

On view now at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Wynwood is Bas’ <>Boys in Peril?, is a series of relatively large format oil paintings which make reference to the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907). Joris-Karl’s real name was Charles-Marie Georges Huysmans but published his works under the pen name Joris-Karl in honor of his father’s Dutch ancestry. Bas has been a fan of Huysmans literary works because he is drawn to to explore the range of Dandyism to Satanism. The essay for the exhibition quotes a work from Huysmans’ work, Downstream “ . . . he realized the futility of changing direction, the sterility of all enthusiasm and all effort. . . Man’s life swings like a pendulum between pain and boredom”. . .

Wang Qinsong, Offering, 2003 C-print, Edition of 20 (Private Collection, and Robert Adanto’s Rising Tide, 2008)

Bas’ work appears both on the primary market and on the secondary market. A work from 2003 (Laocoön’s Sons, 2003) was recently sold in March 2013 for $50,000 (est. $30,-40,000) at Christie’s, the auction house. The work had been previously exhibited at the 2004 Whitney Biennial and had been sold at Christie’s in 2006 for $66,000 (est. $40-60,000)

MIAMI, FL 33127

Hernan Bas, Against the Stream, 2013 Oil on Canvas, 84 x 72 IN Courtesy, Frederic Snitzer Gallery

John Dowd (B. 1960, American)

John Dowd is not so well known here in Miami, but in Provincetown Massachusetts, where the artist lives and works, he is widely collected- no sooner do the canvases go up before they are all sold. Dowd is known for his architectural portraits of New England, largely, Cape Cod. Dowd received his formal training as an architect. Dowd’s inspiration comes from nineteenth century dwellings and his upbringing in Western Massachusetts.

On view at the Williams McCall Gallery, South of Fifth in Miami Beach is Dowd’s Florida Nocturne series. The artist describes himself as “nocturnal”. “ I wake up at twilight. Dusk is my dawn.” Florida Nocturne is a series of ten oil paintings of Miami’s one-story mid-century homes imagined at night. Each painting is a gem.

I was amused by one work entitled Casa Blanca, as one contemplates the notion of Miami as the Latin American version of Casablanca, Morocco.

Williams McCall Gallery
110 Washington Avenue, CU-3
Miami Beach, FL 33139

John Dowd, Casa Blanca Oil on Canvas, 20 x 24 IN Courtesy of Williams McCall Gallery
John Dowd, Florida Nocturne #3 Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 IN Courtesy of Williams McCall Gallery
Hernan Bas, Laocoön's Sons, 2003 signed with initials and dated 'HB 03'
 graphite and watercolor on paper, 30x22½ in (Source: anon. sale; Christie’s, New York, 16 Nov 2006, lot 314 and Anon. Sale; Christie’s, New York, 8 Mar 2013)
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