Category Archives: Art of the Week

Artist of the day 3/2/12: Dark Writing 3: Edgar Allan Poe (Part three)

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As I suspectedd at the start of this segmant ‘Dark Writing’ will run more then just a week. I knew Edgar Allan Poe would take up two or three posts, I don’t have to do this thired post but I always like to add some of the artist work. Now I know most people are formiluer with his work, Poe is requiered reading in most High schools. But as I have said before I love Poe’s work. Tomorrow I will post on someone new, but today enjoy one of my favorite short stories by Poe.

The Tell-Tale Heart

Copyright 2000, by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia.

TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture — a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night about midnight I turned the latch of his door and opened it oh, so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern all closed, closed so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head.

Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly, very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this? And then when my head was well in the room I undid the lantern cautiously — oh, so cautiously — cautiously (for the hinges creaked), I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights, every night just at midnight, but I found the eye always closed, and so it was impossible to do the work, for it was not the old man who vexed me but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.
Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch’s minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was opening the door little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea, and perhaps he heard me, for he moved on the bed suddenly as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back — but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.

I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in the bed, crying out, “Who’s there?”
I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed, listening; just as I have done night after night hearkening to the death watches in the wall.
Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief — oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when over- charged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself, “It is nothing but the wind in the chimney, it is only a mouse crossing the floor,” or, “It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp.” Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions; but he had found all in vain. ALL IN VAIN, because Death in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel, although he neither saw nor heard, to feel the presence of my head within the room.

When I had waited a long time very patiently without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little — a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it — you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily — until at length a single dim ray like the thread of the spider shot out from the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.
It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness — all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person, for I had directed the ray as if by instinct precisely upon the damned spot.
And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! — do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me — the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man’s hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once — once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But for many minutes the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence.
I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly so cunningly, that no human eye — not even his — could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out — no stain of any kind — no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that.
When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o’clock — still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, — for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, — for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search — search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.
The officers were satisfied. My MANNER had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness — until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears.
No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased — and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND — MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A WATCH MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON. I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why WOULD they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. O God! what COULD I do? I foamed — I raved — I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder — louder — louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! — no, no? They heard! — they suspected! — they KNEW! — they were making a mockery of my horror! — this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! — and now — again — hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! —
“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!” END.

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Artist of the day 3/1/12: Dark Writers 2: Edgar Allan Poe (Part two)

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Edgar Allan Poe (Part two)

Edgar Allan Poe

Part one contained Early Life and Military Career.

Publishing Career

After the death of his brother Poe began more earnest attempts to kick start his writing career. He chose a difficult time in American publishing to do so. He was the first well known American to try to live by writing alone, but hampered by the lack of an international copyright law. Publishers would often pirated copies of British works rather then pay for new works by American writers. The industry was also particularly hurt by the Panic of 1837 (The Panic of 1837 was a financial crisis or market correction in the U.S. built on a speculative fever. The end of the Second Bank of the United States had produced a period of runaway inflation, but on May 10, 1837 in New York City, every bank began to accept payment only in specie (gold and silver coinage), forcing a dramatic, deflationary backlash. This was based on the assumption by former president, Andrew Jackson, that the government was selling land for state bank notes of questionable value. The Panic was followed by a five-year depression, with the failure of banks and then-record-high unemployment levels.) Despite a booming growth in American periodicals around this time period, fueled in part by new technology, many did not last beyond a few issues, and publishers often refused to pay their writers or paid them much later then promised. Throughout Poe’s attempts to live as a writer he had to repeatedly resort to humiliating pleas for money and other assistance.

After Poe’s early attempts at poetry he turned his attention to prose. He placed a few stories with a Philadelphia publication and began work on his only drama ‘Politian’. In October 1833 Poe was awarded a prize for his short story ‘MS. Found in a Bottle’ by The Baltimore Saturday Visiter. The story brought Poe to the attention of John P. Kennedy, a Baltimorean of considerable means. Kennedy helped Poe place some of his stories, and introduced him to Thomas W. White the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. August 1835 Poe became assistant editor of the periodical, but within a few weeks discharged for being caught drunk by his boss. He returned to Baltimore and secretly married his cousin Virginia Clemm on September 22, 1835. At the time he was 26 and she was 13, though she was listed as being 21 on the marriage certificate. After promising good behavior White reinstated Poe, He returned to Richmond with both Virginia and her mother. He remained at the messenger untill January 1837, claiming that it’s circulation increased from 700 to 3,500 during his two year there. He published several poems, book reviews, critiques, and stories in the paper. On May 16, 1836 Poe and Virginia had a second wedding ceremony in Richmond, this time in public.

Virginia Clemm Poe

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was published and widely reviewed in 1838. In the summer of 1839 Poe became the assistant editor of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. He published numerous articles, stories, and reviews enhancing his reputation as a trenchant critic that he had established at the Southern Literary Messenger. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque was published in two volumes in 1839 as well, though he made very little money off it and it received mixed reviews. Poe left Burton’s after about a year and found a position as assistant at Graham’s Magazine.

In June 1840 Poe published a prospectus announcing his intentions to start his own journal ‘The Stylus’. Originally he had intended to call the journal ‘The Penn’ as it would have been based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Poe bought advertising space for his prospectus in the June 6, 1840 issue of the Philadelphia’s Saturday Evening Post : “Prospectus of the Penn Magazine, a Monthly Literary journal to be edited and published in the city of Philadelphia by Edgar A. Poe.” The Journal was never produced before his death. Around this time Poe attempted to secure a position with the Tyler administration, Claiming he was a member of the Whig Party. He hoped to be appointed to the Custom House in Philadelphia with the help of President Tyler‘s son Robert, an acquaintance of Poe’s friend Fredrick Thomas. However Poe failed to show up for a meeting with Thomas to discuss the appointment in mid September 1842, claiming he was sick, though Thomas believed he was drunk. He was promised an appointment, but all positions were filled by others.

One evening in January 1842 while singing and playing the piano Virginia showed the first signs of consumption, now known as tuberculosis. Poe described it as breaking a blood vessel in her throat. She only partially recovered. Poe began to drink heaver under the stress of Virginia’s illness. He left Graham’s and attempted to find a new position, for a time angling for a government post. He returned to New York, where he briefly worked at the Evening Mirror before becoming editor of the Broadway Journal, and later sole owner. There he alienated himself from other writers by publicly accusing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of plagiarism, Longfellow never responded. Poe’s poem ‘The Raven’ appeared in the Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845 becoming a popular sensation. Though it made Poe a household name almost instantly he was only paid $9 for it’s publication. It was concurrently published under the pseudonym ‘Quarles’ in The American Review: A Whig Journal.

Poe Cottage

The Broadway Journal failed in 1846. Poe moved to a cottage in the Fordham section of The Bronx, New York. That home is known today as the ‘Poe Cottage, located on the southeast corner of the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road. There Virginia died on January 30, 1847. Biographers and critics suggest Poe’s frequent theme of the “death of a beautiful woman” stems from the repeated loss of woman throughout his life, including his wife.

Increasingly unstable after the death of his wife Poe attempted to court the poet Sarah Helen Whitman, who lived in providence, Rhode Island. Their engagement failed, purportedly because of Poe’s drinking and erratic behavior. However there is also strong evidence that Whitman’s mother intervened and did much to derail their relationship. Poe then returned to Richmond and resumed a relationship with his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Elmira Royster.

Death

Edgar Allan Poe's Grave

On October 3, 1849 Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, “in great distress, and…. in need of immediate assistance”, according to Joseph W. Walker who found him. Poe was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849 at 5:00 in the morning. He was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. It was said that Poe repeatedly called out the name ‘Reynolds’ on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say Poe’s final words were “Lord help my poor soul.” All medical records, including his death certificate, have been lost. Newspapers at the time reported Poe’s death as ‘congestion of the brain’ or ‘cerebral inflammation’, common euphemisms for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism. The actual cause of death remains a mystery; from as early as 1872 cooping was commonly believed to have been the cause, and speculation has included delirium tremens, heart disease, epilepsy, syphilis, meningeal inflammation, cholera and rabies.

Griswold’s “Memoir”

The day Edgar Allan Poe was buried a long obituary appeared in the New York Tribune signed “Ludwig”. It was soon published throughout the country. The piece began, “Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it” “Ludwig” was soon identified as Rufus Wilmot Griswold, an editor, critic, and anthologist who had borne a grudge against Poe since 1842. He somehow became Poe’s literary executor and attempted to destroy his enemy’s reputation after his death.

Rufus Griswold wrote a biographical article of Poe called “Memoir of the Author”, which he included in an 1850 volume of collected works. He depicted Poe as a depraved, drunk, drug-addled madman and included Poe’s letters as evidence. Many of his claims either lies or distorted half-truths. For example, it is now known that Poe was not a drug addict. Griswold’s book was denounced by those who knew Poe well, but it became a popularly accepted one. This occurred in part because it was the only full Biography available and was widely reprinted and in part because readers thrilled at the thought of reading the works of an “evil” man. The letters that Griswold presented as proof of this depiction of Poe were later revealed as forgeries.

Artist of the day 2/29/12: Dark Writers 1: Edgar Allan Poe part 1

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For my first post in ‘Writing the dark side’ I choose a writer I grew up reading. There was a short time when I was little all I wanted to here was stories of princesses and knights in shining armor come to save the day. But that changed, when most girls still wanted to hear those stories I asked for Poe and Weird Tails. Weird Tails was a magazine when my father was a kid that dealt with stories of the dark and strange, but a compilation book when I was growing up. I wish I still had the copy my father got me, I loved that book.

Yes this man is long gone, but his work forever remembered by young and old.

Edgar Allan Poe

Born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts and died October 7, 1849.

Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic. He was considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Poe is best known for his tales of mystery and macabre, he was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. Poe is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

Early Life

Born Edger Poe, the second child of English-born actress Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe Jr. He had an elder brother William Henry Leonard Poe, and younger sister Rosalie Poe. Poe may have been named after a character in William Shakespeare’s King Lear, a play the couple was performing in 1809. Poe was orphaned at the young age of one when his mother died of consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis) shortly after his father abandoned the family in 1810. He was taken in by John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant, and his wife Frances Valentine Allan living in Richmond, Virginia. John Allan dealt in a variety of goods including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and slaves. The Allan served as a foster family and gave him the name ‘Edgar Allan Poe’, though they never formally adopted him.

The Allan family had Poe baptized in the Episcopal Church in 1812. John Allan alternately spoiled and aggressively disciplined his foster son. The family, including Poe and Allan’s wife, sailed to Britain in 1815. Poe attended the grammar school Irvine, Scotland (where John Allan was born) for a short time in 1815, before rejoining the family in London in 1816. There Poe studied at the boarding school in Chelsea until the summer of 1817. He was subsequently entered at the Reverend John Bransby’s Manor House School at Stroke Newington, then a suburb four miles (6 km) north of London.

Poe moved back with the Allan’s to Richmond, Virginia in 1820. In 1824 he served as the Lieutenant of the Richmond youth honor guard as Richmond celebrated the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette. In March 1825, John Allan’s uncle and business benefactor William Galt, said to be one of the wealthiest men in Richmond, died and left Allen several acres of real estate. The estimated inheritance was $750,000. By the summer of 1825 Allan celebrated his wealth by purchasing a two story brick home named Moldavia. Poe may have become engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster before he registered at the one year old University of Virginia in February 1826 to study languages. The university, in its infancy, was established on the idea of its founder, Thomas Jefferson. It had strict rules against gambling, horses, guns, tobacco and alcohol, but these rules were generally ignored (no surprise there). Jefferson had enacted a system of student self-government, allowing students to choose their own studies, make their own arrangements for boarding, and report all wrongdoing to the faculty. The unique system was still in chaos, and there was a high dropout rate. During Poe’s time there he lost touch with Royster and also became estranged from his foster father over gambling debts. Poe claimed Allan hadn’t given him sufficient funds to register for classes, purchase texts, and procure and furnish a dormitory. Allan sent additional money and clothes, but Poe’s debts increased. After only a year Poe gave up on the university, and not feeling welcome in Richmond, especially when he learned that his sweetheart Royster had married Alexander Shelton, he traveled to Boston in April 1827. Poe sustained his self with odd Jobs as a clerk and newspaper writer. At some point he started using the pseudonym Henri Le Rennet.

Military Career

Poe unable to support himself enlisted in the United States Army as a private on may 27, 1827. He claimed he was 22 year old using the name ‘Edgar A. Perry’ even though he was only 18 at the time. He first served at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor for only five dollars a month. That same year Poe released his first book, a 40-page collection of poetry ‘Tamerlane and Other Poems‘, attributed with the byline “by a Bostonian”. Only 50 copies were printed, and the book received virtually no attention. (all writers have there bad start, even the grate ones). On November 8, 1827 Poe’s regiment was posted to Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina and traveled by ship on the brig Waltham. Poe was promoted to ‘artificer’, an enlisted tradesman who prepared shells for artillery, and had his monthly pay doubled. After two years in service and attaining the rank of sergeant major for artillery (the highest rank a noncommissioned officer can achieve), he sought to end his five year enlistment early. He revealed his real name and his circumstances to his commanding officer, Lieutenant Howard. Howared would only allow Poe to be discharged if he reconciled with John Allan and wrote a letter to him, Allan was unsympathetic. Several months passed and pleas to Allan were ignored (Allan may not have even written to Poe to inform him of his foster mother’s illness. She died on February 28, 1829, ans Poe visited the day after her burial. Perhaps softened by his wife’s death, John Allan agreed to support Poe’s attempt to be discharged in order to recive an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Poe was finally discharged on April 15, 1829, after securing a replacement to finish his enlisted term for him. Before entering West Point Poe moved back to Baltimore for a time. He stayed with his widowed aunt Maria Clemm, her daughter (Virginia Eliza Clemm, Poe’s first cousin), his brother Henry, and invalid grandmother Elizabeth Cairnes Poe. Meanwhile Poe published his second book, AL Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, in Baltimore in 1829.

Poe traveled to West Point and matriculated as a cadet on July 1, 1830. October 1830, John Allan married his second wife, Louisa Patterson. The marriage and bitter quarrels with Poe over the children born to Allan out of affairs led to Allan finally disowning Poe. Poe decided to leave West Point by getting court martialed. February 8, 1831 he was tried for gross neglect of duty and disobedience of orders for refusing to attend formations, classes or church. Poe tactically plead not guilty to induce dismissal, knowing he would be found guilty.

Poe left for New York in February 1831, and released a third
volume of Poems, simply titled Poems. The book was financed with help from his fellow cadets at West Point, many of whom donated 75 cents to the cause, raising a total of $170. They may have been expecting verses similar to the satirical ones Poe had been writing about commanding officers.[30] Printed by Elam Bliss of New York, it was labeled as “Second Edition” and included a page saying, “To the U.S. Corps of Cadets this volume is respectfully dedicated.” The book once again reprinted the long poems “Tamerlane” and “Al Aaraaf” but also six previously unpublished poems including early versions of “To Helen”, “Israfel”, and “The City in the Sea”. He returned to Baltimore, to his aunt, brother and cousin, in March 1831. His elder brother Henry, who had been in ill health in part due to problems with alcoholism, died on August 1, 1831.

Artist of the day 2/27/12: Graffiti 6: Lady Pink

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Sorry for not posting an artist of the day yesterday everyone. It terned out to be a very hectic day. But I am very happy to say I hit a record yesterday, 99 views for one day! Thank you to all my readers!

Lady Pink

Lady Pink’s birth name is Sandra Fabara. She was born 1964 in Ambato, Ecuador, and raised in Queens, New York.

She started her graffiti career in 1979 after the loss of a boyfriend who had been sent to live in Porto Rico after he was arrested. She worked through her grief by tagging his name all over the city. Soon after she started to use the name Lady Pink. The name was inspired by her love of historical romances, England, the Victorian period, and the aristocracy. She studied at the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. While attending the school she was introduced to graffiti. This was when she was 15, when she lost her boyfriend, and started tagging.
Within a few years she began running with TC5 (The Cool 5) and TPA (The Public Animals) crews. She was soon well known as the only female capable of competing with the boys in the graffiti world.

Lady Pink painted subway trains from 1979 through 1985. In 1980, at only 16 years old she was included in the landmark New York show “GAS: Graffiti Art Succes” at Fashion Moda, which traveled in a modified form downtown to The New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Young, approachable, quick-witted, and one of the only female graffiti writers, Lady Pink became among the most photographed and interviewed graffiti artist of her time.

In 1983, 19 years old, she appeared in theaters in the starring role in Charlie Ahearn’s fill Wild Style as Rose. That same year she worked on a series of large scale paintings with artist Jenny Holzer, The two have since collaborated many times.

So while she was still in high school she was already exhibiting paintings in art galleries, by twenty-one she mounted her first solo show “femmes-Fetales” at the Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.

After 1987 she took a hiatus from painting outdoors, but she returned in 1993 after meeting her future husband, fellow graffiti legend SMITH, with whom she collaborates on murals and commercial work.

Lady Pink’s studio paintings often incorporate images of New York subways weaving and winding through decaying, POP-surrealist cityscapes. They have been widely exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.

Lady Pink is one of the leading participants in the rise of graffiti-based art. Her canvases have entered important art collections such as those of the Whitney Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Groningen Museum of Holland. She has established herself in the fine art world, her paintings highly prized by collectors.

Today she continues to create new paintings on canvas that express her unique vision. She also shares her 30 years of knowledge and experience by holding mural workshops with teens and actively lecturing college students throughout the northeast.

Lady Pink’s website http://www.pinksmith.com/

Her work

Artist of the day 2/25/12: graffiti 5: Banksy

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Banksy

Banksy has his hands in many artistic treasures as a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter. His artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

According to the author and graphic designer Tristan Manco and the book Home Sweet Home, Banksy “was born 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s.”

Banksy is known for his contempt for the government in labeling graffiti as vandalism, as such he displays his art on public surfaces such as walls and even going so far as to build physical prop pieces.

Banksy does not sell photos of his street graffiti directly himself. However, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.

Banksy’s first film Exit through the gift shop, billed as “The world’s first street art disaster movie” made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film was released in the UK on march 5, 2010. In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the film. Now who said “The world’s first street art disaster movie”? I think its safe to say they where wrong.
From Banksy’s page http://www.banksy.co.uk/ :

Frequently asked questions

Is it cheating to use stencils?
Stencils are good for two reasons;
One – they’re quick ; two – they annoy idiots.

Why are you such a sell out?
I wish I had a pound for every time someone asked me that.

Is Banksy just a big brand these days? Do you even paint your own pictures?
It’s not supposed to be a brand, which is why people in advertising think it’s such a good one. I paint it all myself unless its illegal, in which case I’ve never seen any of it before, your honour.

Is Exit Through the Gift Shop real?
Yes.

Are you still friends with Mr. Brainwash?
I like to think so. When I asked him what he thought about the film he said “This is a cult movie, this is a classic movie, this movie stands alone – like The Godfather.”

Did you paint over Robbo’s piece and have him beaten up?
His piece in Camden had been dogged for more than five years by the time I painted that spot. It’s a real shame about his accident and I hope he fully recovers. I would never deliberately cuss Robbo – he’s a graffiti legend.
And he’s bigger than me. Click Here

Did you rip off Blek le Rat?
No, I copied 3D from Massive Attack. He can actually draw.

Do you need an intern?
No thanks.

Why are you so annoying?
It’s not all my fault, sometimes they make it up – I’ve never vandalized a war memorial, painted Kate Moss’s kitchen or visited the Playboy club with Ashley Cole wearing a skull mask.

What artists do you rate?
Käthe Kollwitz is my favourite. Partly because her drawing style is so beautiful, and partly because she thought being an artist was self-indulgent crap and became a doctor in an orphanage instead.

Can you donate a picture for my charity auction?
What are you? Blind? In which case maybe. I mostly support projects working to restore sight and prevent eye disease. Or as I like to call it ‘expanding the market’.

faq@banksy

Please don’t follow me on facebook or twitter because I’m not on there.

Some of His work

I love this one

A lot of Banksy’s fans have gotten tattoos of his work 🙂
link to an article about this photo go check it out, its a good one. About people petitioning to keep his work up in a town where graffiti has been outlawed http://www.westendextra.com/news/2011/may/westminster-council-remove-banksy-art

Artist of the day 2/24/12: Graffiti 4: Xenz

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Graeme Brusby AKA Xenz

Brusby was born in 1974. He became a graffiti artist at the age of 14, inspired by films and books documenting the sub culture of New York. He developed the tag “sense” which evolved into what he does today – Xenz (pronounced “zenz”)

Brusby practiced graffiti art for 20 years, developing a unique approach to the well known art form.

If I may say so. He has beautiful work with true depth, color, and invoking feeling. He is now one of my favorite graffiti artist I have seen.

(origin of quote unknown) He has said and I must agree “I paint stuff that floats and stuff that flies, on a mission to capture the ethereal vision behind my eyes”

His early paintings where inside the derelict warehouses of Hull in Yorkshire England. This encouraged a very experimental approach to graffiti, to the point that the simple word graffiti no longer sufficiently describes what he does.

His imagination shows through in the landscapes he paints, using a spray can to capture fragments of memory and ever changing subjects, often drawn from the natural world and enhanced in his eye.

He lived in Bristol where he painted many pieces alongside one of the UK’s longest standing and most respected graffiti crews TCF( twentieth century frescos), He was one of three in the group, and artists such as Banksy, Inkie and Massive Attack’s 3D.

Quote from his web site (about TCF) “I painted with two friends called Eko and Paris, we were known as “The TCF Crew”( twentieth century frescos). If we had a vision we painted it, we did the wackiest stuff possible and really tried to be unique. We expanded our influences and started exploring different styles of painting even sculpture and printing, we always pushed each other’s ideas as far as possible being critical and particular about ideas and aesthetics sat in a small bedroom in the cold North Eastern part of England in a city called Hull.”

Xenz has been shown in exhibitions and art fairs in the UK, Miami, New York, Basel, Ibiza and Sydney. He has had sell-out London solo shows, and his limited edition prints are in huge demand. His work is in private and corporate collections worldwide. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art. He lives and works in London.

Solo Exhibitions

2011 – “Cloud Cuckoo Land” , December 1- 4, 2011, Blackall Studios, 73 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, London, England

2011 – “Pecking Disorder” , Lazarides, Outsiders, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

2010 – “Birds Butterflies and spraycans” , Wk exp, New Delhi, India

2010 – “These flowers grow wild” , La Hora Azul, Santa Gertudis, Ibiza, Spain

2010 – “Wonderlust” , Bicker gallery, Sydney, Australia Sidney Morning Herald

2009 – “Unforscenery” , Forster Gallery, London

2007 – “The Law Of Attraction” , Forster Gallery, London

2007 – “For The Love”, Workshop Gallery, Bristol

2006 – “Big City of Dreams”, This way up gallery, London

2002 – E Shed, Bristol, Uk

1999 – Avant Graff, Chicane, Bristol

Group Exhibitions and events

2011
Urban in Ibiza – Atzaro Ibiza
Ghosts of gone birds – Liverpool school of art and design

2010
Rise of the non conformists, Whitecross street, London

2009
Flying Eyeball, Gallery 24 Mayfair London
Friend & co Bristol
Bristollisboa gallery, Lisbon,
Tunnel 228, Waterloo, London
Meeting of styles, London

2008
Visual Street Performance, Barrio Alto, Lisbon
Artists 11, Truman Brewery, London
Big Chill, Festival
Glastonbury, Festival

2007
The Bad Note, Dragon Bar, London
One in ten, Forster Gallery, London.
Lattitude Festival
Write for Gold, London

2006
One the Seventh Day, Pimp Magazine, London

2005
Natural Selection, British Graffiti Alsopp Contemporary, London
Meeting of styles, Padova ,Italy

2004
Meeting of styles, wintertur ,switzerland

2003
Meeting of styles, Pori , Finland

2002
Attitude festival, Montpellier France,

1999
What’s in a Name, Retrospective of Hull’s Graffiti Scene, Quay Art, Hull
Walls on Fire, Bristol

1996
By Any Means, Wasps Gallery, Edinburgh
His web page http://www.xenz.org/site/ is a must see if you find his work as butiful and inspiering as I do!

Some of Xenz’s Work

Artist of the day 2/23/12: Graffiti 3: Jules Muck

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Artist Jules Muck

Muck was born in England, and raised in New York. She started doing graffiti in Europe and Great Britain. In the 90’s she began bombing in New York, where she was discovered by Lady Pink. Lady Pink took her under her wing as an apprentice for the next four years.

Muck has been published in Ganz’s Graffiti Woman, Cey Adam’s Definitions and both of the Murrays books Burning New York and Broken Windows. After moving to LA she added her first name Jules to the Equation. She has shown at Lab Art Gallery and the Rivera Beach area, where she lives and has a studio.

Jules Muck lives to paint and paints to live, every day, for life.

probably about 75% of the photos I found for work is green. I think it is safe to say she really likes green. But that is only my conclusion, I could be wrong. 🙂

Muck was Quoted saying in an interview with Ark Collective “I never planned to be an artist. I was actually not into art at all as a teenager, but I did do graffiti. Most of the time I used to go out and try to wreck murals and stuff, and put my name everywhere. Slowly, by doing it over and over again, my name got more and more intricate. Over time, this woman who is an artist in the Bronx took me on as her apprentice. I just did it because I wasn’t thinking, and I kind of became her right hand man. She showed me how to make money as an artist and make a living that way. Basically she gave me the confidence to do it since I never thought it was a possibility, and it worked out really well.”

muck certainly has come a long way since her teens. she has shown at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Fuse Gallery in New York, the Pacific Design Center in LA, the Stephen Cohen Gallery, and all over the streets. No big deal as she pumps out 1-6 paintings a day. “All I do is paint. Everything else has fallen by the wayside. I used to write, I used to read, I used to try and play music but now I just obsess over the painting 24/7.” says Muck.

Muck’s work