Halloween Costumes Inspired by Artists

Halloween is coming up this month and you may find yourself struggling on what to wear. Look no farther because this year you can impress your friends by wearing a unique costume based on your favorite artists! Read on to get inspired:

Van Gogh

If Van Gogh is your favorite artist a costume inspired by him can’t Gogh wrong (too cheesy?). With his creativity and moving imagery that everybody loves, you can bet that a costume related to Van Gogh will get you compliments all night long. You could be a painting such as Starry Night:

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This outfit is great because there’s already a lot of dresses/jackets out there that have already been made for you! All you need now is a little bit of makeup or paint to swirl around your body and your look is complete!

Or if you wanted to get dressed up with a friend you can always go as the artist and the artwork:

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Or you could always just go as Van Gogh himself:

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Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt has an extremely distinct style that would be extremely fun to play with as a costume. Cover yourself in rich colors and golden fabrics and draw designs and patterns on your body to emulate this artist’s most famous style of paintings. His most famous painting (The Kiss) is perfect if you’re looking for a great couples costume!

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Roy Lichtenstein

If make up is your forte than this pop art style would be more than fun to create a costume around. Amaze your friends with your creativity and inventive costume making skills and show off the Benday dot style that Lichtenstein is so famous for!

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Grant Wood

American Gothic is a classic costume that is perfect for couples and is recognizable to many. You’ll get props on your creativity for a relatively easy costume to pull off.

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Picasso

If you’re a person who loves color and getting really creative with your costumes than Picasso is the artist for you. You can paint your face in fun, cubist and abstract ways and allow yourself creative reign over your costume.

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Johannes Vermeer

The classic image of The Girl With the Pearl Earring is a painting that many people know and love. Bring this painting to life with a  fairly simple costume that will still get you creativity points amongst your friends!

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Banksy

A fairly easy but still inventive costume takes after the works of unknown street artist Banksy. This costume shouldn’t require anything that you might not already have around your house but you’ll still look more creative than all the people that showed up as cats to the Halloween party. tumblr_maynr9z5ae1qmf3rso1_1280 screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-12-25-33-pm 1c7f1dfd5c3c7391cdafb1b1c28149f3There are so many other costumes out there that can be inspired by your favorite artists/works of art so don’t be afraid to get creative with it and create a wholly unique costume that suits your personality! Let us know what your favorite costume ideas were and if you actually try them out, tag us on Instagram (@aarongallery_dc)!

3 Minute Art History Lesson: Yayoi Kusama

Dates: 1929-Present

Location: Japan

Medium: Avant-Garde Sculptor, Painter, and Novelist

“A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement…Polka dots are a way to infinity.”

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Yayoi Kusama is an acclaimed contemporary artist who has worked in a variety of media such as painting, collage, sculpture, performance art, and environmental installations. Her thematic interests are in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. She is acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan and an important voice of the avant-garde.

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Fast Facts:

  • Kusama’s work is based in conceptual art and shows attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art and abstract expressionism. Her work is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content.
  • Kusama was a fixture of the New York avant-garde and had her works exhibited alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal during the early 60’s where she became associated with the pop art movement.
  • Polka dots are a trademark of her work. The vast fields of polka dots or “infinity nets”  were taken directly from her hallucinations.
  • Kusama was greatly involved in the New York art scene and staged many “happenings” in which she would gather people in conspicuous spots like Central Park and would often involve nudity to protest the Vietnam war.
  • She has complex installations of mirror/infinity rooms. These are purpose-built rooms lined with mirrors that often contains water and flickering lights. The viewer stands inside a small platform and light is repeatedly reflected off of the mirrors to create the illusion of a never-ending space. These rooms suggest a pattern of life and death.
  • In 1977 Kusama checked herself into the Seika Hospital for the Mentally Ill where she eventually took up permanent residence and is where she continues to reside. 1129861

Timeline:

  • 1957-Came to the United States and showed large paintings, soft sculptures and environmental sculptures using mirrors and electric lights
  • Late  1960s-Staged many happenings such as body painting festivals, fashion shows, and anti-war demonstrations
  • 1968-The Film “Kusama’s Self-Obliteration” which Kusama produced and starred in won various awards.
  • 1973-Returned to Japan where she continued to produce art but she also issued a number of novels and anthologies, one of which won a literary award.
  • 1986-Held solo exhibitions at the Musee Municipal, Dole, and the Musee des Beaus Arts de Calais
  • 1994-Began to create open-air sculptures.
  • 1996-Began to show works mainly at galleries in New York
  • 1998-1999-A major retrospective of Kusama’s work was shown first at LACMA and traveled around the world
  • 2004-Her solo exhibition “Kusamatrix” drew a total of 520,000 people.
  • 2006-Received a Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 2008-Her Documentary film “Yayoi Kusama, I adore myself” released in Japan and screened at international film festivals and museums.
  • 2015-Artsy named Kusama one of the Top Living Artists of 2015.

yayoi_kusama_jamie_green_victoria_miro_pumpkinsssWhere can I see her works?

  • The Broad, Los Angeles “Infinity Mirrored Room” Permanent collection
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York “From the Collection: 1960-1969” March 26, 2016-March 12, 2017
  • The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut “Narcissus Garden” May 1-November 30, 2016
  • Long Museum, Shanghai “She: International Women Artists Exhibition” July 23-October 30, 2016
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston “First Light:  A Decade of Collecting at the ICA” August 17, 2016-January 16, 2017
  • Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates “Dots Obsession” October 1, 2016-January 9, 2017
  • Helsinki Art Museum “In Infinity” October 7, 2016-January 22, 2017
  • Upcoming traveling exhibition: Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC “Infinity Mirrors” February 23-May 14, 2017
Infinity Mirrored Room

Infinity Mirrored Room

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DOTermination 2

DOTermination 2

Chandelier of Grief

Chandelier of Grief

What to do in October

Op-Ed
The Art League Gallery
Mon, October 3 thru Sun, November 6
Juried by photographer David Bellard, this exhibit challenges artists to share their personal voice and create artwork that provokes a reaction.
Open Exhibit
The Art League Gallery
Thru Sun, October 2
Artwork in all media by Art League artists. This exhibit is juried by Amy Klainer, a studio artist, designer, and art jeweler based in Towson, MD.
Soul Soil: Works by Mojdeh Rezaeipour
Strathmore
Thru Sun, November 6
Using encaustics, images on paper, wood-burning, and natural elements, Rezaeipour explores her personal connections to places of the past.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture
More than 100 years after it was originally proposed, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is opening its doors in Washington, D.C.
facade_big Reopening
The National Gallery of Art East Wing
The East Building of the National Gallery of Art is reopening after a 3-year renovation. The permanent collection features Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Georgia O’Keefe and Mark Rothko. Three new temporary exhibits include works by Barbara Kruger, a collection of contemporary photography.
14488284_188506024914990_255806727436369920_n-jpg-ig_cache_keymtm0odywnzq1odc1ndq0odk2na%3d%3d New Exhibition
Renwick Gallery
Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery highlights the evolution of the craft field as it transitions into a new phase at the hands of contemporary artists.

Why Art Matters in the Office

The average hours worked for employees, each week at the office is 47 hours. That is 47 hours that are spent under fluorescent lighting and focusing only on the project in front of you and the people you work with. Introducing art into the work place sets a well established tone that not only reflects visually, but also leads to positive productivity for the employees, making their busy weeks more enjoyable.

Running a private art gallery, Aaron Gallery, has given us the chance to incorporate beautiful artwork around the office. Everyday people comment on how positive it is to be surrounded by art in a work environment. We have been told that, “having art in the work place is like having a window, it gives you something to look at when you need more inspiration to continue working.”

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Javier Cabada’s “Abstract Shadows”, Acrylic on Canvas, 84 x 60 in

We have asked the opinions of the employees as well as people who have visited the gallery to see how they feel about the art and how it has effected the place in which they work:

“You walk into Aaron Gallery and are surrounded by beauty, expression, and the most wonderful bouquet of colors. Javier Cabada‘s work is energizing, in a class by itself. The only thing better than enjoying the art in the Gallery is enjoying the art in your own home!”
– Shelia G

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Duane Cregger’s “Suncycle I”, Acrylic on Canvas, 48 x 60 in

“Annette and her team are as wonderful as the art curated by Aaron Gallery. Not only are the pieces beautiful, timeless, and expertly crafted, but Annette continues to carry on her family’s legacy providing personalized service to each of her clients. A mainstay of the DC Art scene with 40 years of experience, it is a pleasure to work with Annette and her staff in Suite 800 at 2101 L Street NW. If you’re looking for brilliant pieces to add to your collection Aaron Gallery is the place to visit!”

– Jennifer

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Javier Cabada’s “Changing Prisms” Acrylic on Canvas 48 x 60 in.

“Every day at work I’m greeted by the bold, bright paintings placed by Aaron Gallery in my office space. The high quality art is seen throughout the hallways, providing a burst of energy whenever I move through the public spaces. Visitors never spend time here without commenting on how much character and sophistication this art brings to the office.”

– Holly C

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Duane Cregger’s “Borealis”, Acrylic on Canvas, 48 x 72 in

The Personal Recipes of Pablo Picasso

Food, much like painting, is a form of art. There is time, dedication, and pride that go into the making of an exquisite meal that is not lost on famous artists. Pablo Picasso has released some of his personal recipes in an interview with Vouge. He is one of many artists that have a knack for cooking, among Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, etc. While Dali and Pollock have released their own cookbooks, Picasso’s recipes went into the Modern Art Cookbook which features recipes of the famous artists of the 2oth century.

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The Modern Cookbook by Mary Ann Caws

Once, Picasso had lunch with Alice B. Toklas who decided to serve a dish that included her dressing up a bass with cream, herbs, and a red mayonnaise sauce. She decorated the serving platter with her boiled eggs, a tomato paste, and truffles in a way that she believed would impress Picasso. Upon seeing the platter, Picasso remarked in the beauty of the dish. This was not the only time that the look of the dish presented to him was complimented. Another time his wife, Jaqueline, made him an eel stew and impressed by its beauty Picasso decided to paint it rather than eat it.

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Pichet et Coupe de Fruits, Pablo Picasso, 1931

Picasso sees beauty in everything, even the seemingly random. He manipulates what he is looking at so that he is proud of his work and it fits into his personal style. By believing that you should have a sense of pride in all that you do, Pablo Picasso mastered a few of his own recipes in that he enjoyed serving to others as well as eating himself. Feeling confident about his art was carried over into his work in the kitchen and to his palate when savoring a meal. He would never serve something that he wasn’t satisfied with.

Some of Picasso’s famous recipes include:

Picasso’s Omelette Tortilla Niçoise

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
4 peppers, red and green
3 tomatoes
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
8 eggs
Salt and pepper

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Polychrome Bird, Pablo Picasso,1947

Picasso’s Eel Stew

6 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons butter
12 small white onions
1 teaspoon sugar
2 yellow onions, chopped
12 mushrooms
⅓ pound salt pork, cubed
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eels of about 1 pound each, cut into four- to five-inch sections
1 bottle of good red wine
1 tablespoon flour
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
Bouquet garni: thyme, bay leaf, parsley, fennel, and a small branch of celery

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Poisson de Chine, Pablo Picasso, 1952

Picasso’s Herb Soup

2 bunches radishes
2 handfuls chervil
1 bunch sorrel
2 cloves garlic
2 soupspoons olive oil
1 egg yolk
6 slices toast (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

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Visage dans un carré, Pablo Picasso, 1956

 

 

3 Minute Art History Lesson: Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí is considered one of the most recognized artists to have ever lived and the most famous Surrealist artist. Along with his artistic career, his home and married life are very different than what was expected in the 1900s. He was born in 1904, 9 months after his older brothers death and was given the same name as him. When he was 5 his parents told him that he was the reincarnation of his brother. Dalí’s mother died of breast cancer when he was 16 and he was greatly affected by it because she was the biggest supporter of his art and encouraged his eccentric behavior.

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Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on the Beach, 1938, Oil on Canvas, 45 x 57 in.

His original artistic influence were the Renaissance masters but he believed that once an artist masters the fundamentals they are able to break the rules, which he did. Upon becoming a Surrealist artist his influences became Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Diego Velázquez, and Sigmund Freud. Dalí met his wife Gala in 1929 and she became his biggest muse and inspiration during his career. Gala was a Russian immigrant and 10 years his senior and for many years Dalí’s father greatly disapproved of their relationship and marriage. She managed many business aspects of Dalí’s art making them business partners as well as husband and wife.

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Galatea of the Spheres, 1952, Oil on Canvas, 26 x 21 in.

For years Dalí and Gala moved all across the country while Dalí worked on numerous projects and presented his art all around the world. They moved back to Spain in 1948 where they remained until their death. Intrigued by math, science, and optical illusions, Dalí’s work often included these subjects along with symbolism. He used animals to represent things like desire, death, fear, sexuality, and reality. His use of an egg represents hope and love while his clocks were modeled after melting Camembert cheese and symbolize the relativity of time.

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Elephants Reflecting Swans, 1937, Oil on Canvas, 20 x 30 in

Dalí had many fears of abandonment and they got worse as Gala’s health, followed by his, declined. At 76 Gala gave Dalí a dangerous amount of unprescribed medicine leaving him with Parkinson like symptoms, damaging his nervous system, and making it so he was eventually no longer able to create art. In 1982 Gala, Dalí’s one and only muse, died causing Dalí to lose his will to live and had multiple incidents that were possible suicide attempts. In 1989 Dalí died of heart failure at 84 years old.

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Lincoln in Dalivison (Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea), 1976, Oil on Canvas, 99 1/4 x 75 1/2 in.

Dalí left a great impact on the art world with his Surrealist creations. Not only was he extremely eccentric, but he had incredible talent. He contributed to the arts in sculpture, theater, fashion, film, painting, and photography. Even today he is still a huge inspiration to many artists and has several museum and exhibits presenting his work all around the world.

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The Persistence of Memory, 1931, Oil on Canvas, 9 x 13 in.

11 Ways to Experience Summer Arts in DC

Summer in DC is a wonderful experience where many activities are available to the residents and tourists alike. The weather is warmer and there are many adventures to be had both indoors and while enjoying the sun outside.

Here are a few activities, that you can do with friends and family, that you do not want to miss out on!
Jazz in the Garden 

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Starting late May and running through early September you can spend your Friday nights from 5:00- 8:30 enjoying nice jazz music while appreciating the sculptures at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Enjoy the warm air, live music, and great art with your friends and family or go by yourself and still have an awesome experience.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival mission_festival_largeStill want to experience live music but jazz isn’t your style? Go to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival! Not only is there live music but there is the chance to learn about new cultures, try their food, and even learn phrases from their language. You are able to immerse yourself in a new culture without having to leave the comfort of your district. The festival is held on the National Mall from June 29th- July 4th and July 7th- July 10th. While already down by all the Smithsonian Museums it gives you an excuse to stop in to see some exhibits and cool down.

A Capitol Fourth

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Experience the 4th of July on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Celebrate America’s independence in the most patriotic city in the country! There will be a concert and fireworks so grab your friends and enjoy the show. Watching the artists preform might even inspire you to go view more art during your DC summer.

Visit Art Museums

Renwick Gallery

Renwick Gallery

Cool down for a bit and go inside museums for a chance to appreciate some extravagant art. Some great art museums include Renwick Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, and The National Portrait Gallery. The experiences you have at these museums will leave you inspired and craving more art.

The Phillips Collection

 

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By visiting the Phillips Collection you are able to cool off and enjoy the art! The Phillips Collection is the first modern art museum in America! They have multiple new exhibits to celebrate the new summer season, displaying artwork like you have never experienced it before. It is located in Dupont so while you’re down there you are also able to enjoy some shopping and trying out some trendy restaurants.

Busboys and Poets

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Busboys and Poets  is a a place to experience food, art, books, poetry, and culture. The name is in reference to American poet Langston Hughes and the restaurant works to inspire creativity in each person who comes to visit. The arts are vastly represented through paintings and poetry. In the summer it is a great place to cool off and get some food while still being around art.

Woodrow Wilson Plaza Concerts 

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Experience all different types of music genres at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza around lunch time Monday- Friday. The outdoor plaza space is perfect for nice summer weather. Grab friends and go appreciate the sounds and different cultures that will leave you feeling inspired and thankful for the arts.

Explore the National MallUnknown-3Whether you are a tourist or a resident of the DC area there is no denying that the National Mall contains the most important buildings in the country. Many historical moments have taken place on the National Mall and it is important to be grateful for it. At least once during the summer you should be able to pay the National Mall a visit to enjoy the architecture and history of the beautiful city.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

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Celebrate the women artists behind some of your favorite creations by visiting the National Museum of Women in the Arts this summer! Explore the summer exhibitions before it’s too late and while you’re there catch a Gallery Talk. Book a tour or wander through the museum by yourself, either way you don’t want to miss the wonderful art done by the female artists.

Lunder Conservation Center

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Not only is experiencing art important, but the process of restoring and conserving the art gives you insight into the lengths people go through in order to preserve the arts. At the Lunder Conservation Center you are able to go behind the scenes and watch the conservators at work in five different studios. By visiting you get a different look into the art world that you have never seen before. This is a must see for experiencing the art world this summer!

Labor Day Capitol Concert

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To celebrate the end of the summer and the season changing into fall go out and enjoy the Labor Day Capital Concert  featuring the National Symphony Orchestra! The concert is held the Sunday before Labor Day and a great last hurrah for appreciating the DC arts in the Summer. There is great talent in the National Symphony Orchestra and you may even leave inspired to experience more art in the new season!