Strangers (click to enlarge)

Preparations (shortened story)

Framing new works. That was an interesting exercise. For starters I had to pick which works from the previous show will not make it to this one. That was a heart breaking experience with every matted work i took out of the frame. All of them seamed to have matured while waiting for the next show. In addition this venue had perfect track lighting to bring out the colors in all of the darker works.

My back is killing me (my basement)

My back is killing me (my basement)

Reality check is in the house (Esti)

Reality check is in the house (Esti)

40X60 peice of 3/16 foamboard(damn monster)

40X60 peice of 3/16 foamboard(damn monster)

Making a frame for Key to the forest. That was rather insane proposition. The only thing that I did not have in short supply for this project was determination. The artwork is 28″X39″ and I was building a frame from scratch without many tools to fall back on. Luckily in the process I complained enough about it to by standers for one of them to step in and offer to make a frame for me. Brad has a nice set of wood working tools and a stack of black walnut that he was eager to take for a spin. He made me a wonderful frame with a natural oil finish that matches the artwork wonderfully. I took it to a local framing shop with an artwork and had it glassed and dust sealed right on the day that I was hanging the exhibit.

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Anastasiy Safari

Decor: Elements of Emotion

Posted by Anastasiy Safari on Saturday Nov 22, 2008 Under Agent's bias, Galleries, Images, Subliminal, Decorating, Выставки

If you think we’re disappeared – that’s not true. We were in a rush preparing the new show. So…

ILYa GotFRYd presents Anastasiy Safari Fine Art Photography show.
Decor: Elements of Emotion
In the spirit of modern times Safari brings you uplifting decorative show . On Nov 29th at 5:00PM you will have an opportunity to brighten your day. Open your mind to the possibilities and your wallets for a chance to win one
of the artworks on display. Wine and cheese reception will feature raffle with the chance to win an artwork of your choice. We are looking forward to seeing you in Cleveland, OH, USA at Lake Erie Artist Gallery in Tower City. The Opening is Nov 29 @ 5:00 pm.

We’re also celebrating this day the birthday of our distinguished friend and art agent (as well as our main blog author). Don’t miss the opportunity to meet him in person and let him take you away into the aerial world of art with his unquenchable energy flux and friendliness.

Happy birthday, Ilya!

Remember to park and ride to protect the environment and save on parking.

Ilya Gotfryd

Agent’s Bias: buying art (sex appeal)

Posted by Ilya Gotfryd on Tuesday Oct 7, 2008 Under Agent's bias, Images, Subliminal

In this installment of “buying art” I am looking at a very basic attraction to a work of art. I am performing a dissection in attempt to analyze this particular force in visual art acquisition. While enjoying a work of art from the “sex appeal” category you might point out a great choice of color, an originality of a pose or a facial expression. There will always be polite remarks about some sort of details in the remaining background or wonderful details in the shading of the draping cloth. Some of you would be as honest as to state that an image is risque. I guess only the last admission will actually describe the basic reason for an attraction – it is after all sex appeal. An artwork can make it acceptable to have a nude in plain sight without raising questions of impropriety.

Polina Zaitseva – Body Series
Polina Zaitseva – Body Series ©, 2008

To the left we see a prime example of “sex appeal”. An exposed curve of human body catches your eye. This image carries very simple significance, it’s sexy. It does help greatly that the image is a worth while composition with an attractive character. That the fleeting moment looks so precious and that the framing of the image makes it look almost voyeuristic. It is filled with textured media and symbols of hidden significance. In a way the symbols might even give you a sensation that this is a start up guide. The kind of paper with few basic instructions that comes with your newly acquired gadget. Oh, the implications of these arrows – handle with care, this side up. This work takes you right to the destination of its purpose – sex appeal.

Polina Zaitseva – Closet
Polina Zaitseva – Closet ©, 2008

This next work has a flavor of exhibitionism to it. The darkness in it is of “the secrets of the high society” flavor rather then a touch of goth. The choice of camera included in the shot and the cloth of the characters garment add to the certain lighting quality of classy gentleman’s magazine pages. A mix of vintage in the soft tones of the room disappearing in the depth of field and the sharp modern look of the synthetic clothes and subject’s physique. Yet the basics of the shot remain the same, it is after all sex appeal.

There is however much more to the sex appeal then forms, textures and skin tones. It can go much deeper then cloth covering the nude body and the bone, muscles and fat tissue that that shapes it. A lot of sex appeal can be drawn from subtleties of chracter’s actions. Throw in the surrounding atmosphere and you can read a lot from an artwork at times without even knowing it.

Anastasiy Safari – Armenia Series
Anastasiy Safari – Armenia Series

It is interesting that the following image is made by the man on the left just as much as it is made by the woman to the center right. By the look of the eclectic surroundings he is not dressed for the occasion. The variable redness of his skin however indicates that he is actively partaking in the festivities. Yes he is mildly intoxicated, by the wine and the atmosphere. You can see it in the eagerness of his clapping as well. He is, however so mesmerized by the woman in front of him his entire head and neck is perfectly still and turned towards her. Moving on to the centerpiece; You can read so much drama in her that you would have hard time finding a place to start the description. We can tell that she is dancing for him, because her shoulders and even hips are clearly turned towards him, however the movement of the hands and the turn of the head try to hide these signs in the pattern of the dance. The mixed smile could be compared in complexity even to Giaconda. It has desire for happiness and signs of uncertainty and possibly even a hint of disappointment in these reoccurring feelings. This mix of emotions, desires and disappointment touches observer through paths other then logic. These signs of action short circuit the brain and take you right to the core sensation of sex appeal.


Anastasiy Safari

What’s in the void?

Posted by Anastasiy Safari on Thursday Oct 2, 2008 Under Images

Photographing flowers - is a high risk proposition for a photographer. There is always danger of complacency and trivialization lurking around. You can literally get caught in grass and leafs and let the subjects of the shoot prevail over the overall objective. It is too tempting to let these expressions of natural art form to lead you astray. However the desire to make those photographs, at times becomes unbearable. Especially when the subject itself takes a back sit and you see something that is difficult to notice from the first sight.

«What’s in the void?» ©,Anastasiy Safari. 4 fotos from a series of 6. 12×16″, matte paper. Photocopy.

A honorable mention at International Photography Awards ‘2008 (IPA 2008).
This worldwide award has more than 30,000 participants this year from all over the world.

Ilya Gotfryd

Agent’s Bias: buying art (hometown bias)

Posted by Ilya Gotfryd on Tuesday Sep 16, 2008 Under Agent's bias, Images

Buying for the sake of location.

We are continuing our exploration on buying art. A number of artworks be it stitching, water colors or photography is exchanged for “all-accepted” little green works of art due to their hometown apeal. Pardon my description, but dollars are exquisite works of mass produced art. Coming back to the hometown appeal. An artwork could be well framed mediocre shot of a well known local high-rise that symbolises a city of one kind or the other. If the city is admired by many you can find that image successfully sold in a local gift shop. Otherwise it is a purview of locals that would not live their town even in a case of a nuclear strike.

A somewhat sad reality of this artwork is that it is often a mediocre depiction that is valued more for it’s symbolism then for it’s artistic quality. If the artwork is made by a local artist this landmark had become such an eyesore for him that he had possibly lost all fresh perspective. If it is a well known location then all pervasive precooked images have often poisoned any possibility of a fresh look by a visiting artist. 

Shown here is a relatively common look at Cleveland, OH. Showing big city lights, its sea port features. This image is relatively common show of landmarks and skyline. There is an impressive line up of images on the web as well as a line up available for sale that tries to portray Cleveland in this same light. Multiple pictures of same landmarks in different light and with varying backdrops.These images carry a worn out appeal and are purchased in mass primarily for their symbolism and not their aesthetic value.Line © Anastasiy Safari. 17x23". Photocopy.

It is possible to take the city out of it’s usual used up context and put it into a different light that will either retain or enhance city’s character. Since these posts are in part shameless promotion of Safari’s art work, allow me to use one of his Cleveland images as an example.

The following image is a take on a well known statue that in a way became associated with Cleveland. This symbol of the city has been, you may say, heavily abused.But this simple fresh perspective although made just for fun adds to the reality ofthe statue. It enhances the vision of this work of art and at the same time personifies it.






Behind the liberty © Anastasiy.Safari. 23x17". Photocopy.This next work is en example that is ways away from Cleveland…

This symbol of New York city is a very well known and photographed landmark. I am sure you have seen myriads of pictures that portray this symbol our great nation of United States of America. However this is a daring take on this symbol of great power. This portrayal is rather depressing and some might say relatively negative, yet it does not denigrate the symbol itself. There are no horns on writings on the statue, it is simply taken in it’s context on this grey day in March. Its surroundings enhance its meaning in this troublesome times. 

I hope to have made a sufficient amount of one sided claims here to evoke a responce and a counter argument from the audience. See farther posts that describe other reasons why people purchase art.

Anastasiy Safari

The Infernal Smile Of Moscow

Posted by Anastasiy Safari on Tuesday Sep 9, 2008 Under Images, Subliminal

On that first show of ours, we were displaying photo pictures full of hidden meaning and links to known philosophical concepts. It’s a pity, but that was not understood by all. One of the critics even wrote a thought that all titles to the works were random. That’s not right, dear Zachary Lewis. And I doubt if the meaning in Art should lie on the top of surface. So I’ll demonstrate a work that was immediately understood:

“The Infernal Smile Of Moscow”, 3×1.7m, Copyprint on matte photopaper. Photoprocessed.

Shows that uncommon look on the city, that you will never find in prospects, but it can be felt by anyone who comes into collision with concrete jungles of any megapolis, and catches its eye…. I wanted to share this feeling of a man who once found himself in the front of this one-eyed infernal scamp.