Going Large: Collage on Canvas


In my art studio, space is limited, and there is just barely room for this latest 4 foot by 8 foot canvas. I love working in large scale. I won’t give it up for anything, though I still find making small 14″ x 11″ collages on paper and unstretched canvas a way to grow as a painter daily by leaps and bounds.

Jan Kirstein

“The Fall of Western Civilization,” by Jan Kirstein. 4′ x 8.’ Mixed media on canvas. 2019

“The Fall of Western Civilization” Details

Click on above images to enlarge.

Detail: “The Fall of Western Civilization.”

The title of this work comes from the general shift of virtually everything I see around me on every level, in government, both Federal and State, in institutions, in relationships, in land, in all aspects of our culture, in all aspects of life. Though with the changes comes movement and flexibility with new connections occurring at a most rapid pace.

Jan Kirstein

Collage: An Intimate Act


 

PAINTINGS BY ABDELLAH EL HAITOUT, MOROCCO

https://abdellahelhaitout.wordpress.com/

” I quote from Paul Auster and I say: You find the painting where you work on it; that is the adventure. I love the challenge of collage, and the possibilities that are opened up in front of me, the work of the torn paper, crumpled or ripped and glued up piece of paper. Additionally, I like the intimate act. The superposition of different material and paint highlight the theme of concealment and transparency with mixed media like acrylic, ink and pens…

 

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UNTITLED. 100 X 80 MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS 2015

 

I add the necessities of drawing and graphics, I also meditate at length the nature and I try to learn more. I try to be as simple as I can, I like this movement on the surfaces of doors and walls, and I like to pass on my painting.

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Inspiration is everywhere, and the artist must start from what is local to transcend it, travelling beyond and reaching what is global and universal. Like Naguib Mahfouz, one must start from “where I am.” The Urban scenery is a rich material that I exploit. A contemporary artist must draw on contemporary subjects.

 

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Technical capability should guide the artist in the development of his work, pleasant warmth or a wild and sour chilliness. These elements are reminder of my childhood, which I spent in an open air. There, I learned to become familiar with the surroundings and tried to tame the wildness of this space. In my later works, I’ve chosen to intervene on pre-worked supports, fully or partially, like calendars, catalogs, or collage of paper and cardboard paper trying to go beyond what has already been created ».

ABDELLAH EL HAITOUT ,SALÉ (MOROCCO), 2016

 

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ABDELLAH EL HAITOUT IS A SIGNIFICANT ABSTRACT PAINTER WHO IS CURRENTLY CREATING WORKS OF GREAT NOTE. HIS ENERGETIC ORGANIC SHAPES AND TEXTURES COLLIDE WITH EXUBERANCE AND DEPTH IN AN OCEAN OF LAYERS OF CASCADING PAINT.
JAN KIRSTEIN

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Collector’s Choice: Miguel Velit of Lima, Peru


Miquel Velit is a Sculptor from Lima, Peru. His sculptures include a whimsical but powerful exploration of dynamic space. I have known him since our days together at Vermont Studio  in Johnson Vermont and his work has always been a testimonial to the relentless pursuit of art and its ability to influence and alter the world.

 

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He is currently in residence at the nearby Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Kentucky where he is working on a variety of large metal sculptures from scrap metal gathered from local metal scrap metal yards. He has made a tremendous amount of progress this week as shown in the photographs taken at the sculpture park of his sculptures in progress.

Miguel has built sculptures all over the world for a variety of parks, interior and exterior spaces. Countries where his work is on exhibit include China, Poland, the United States, Argentina, Mexico and of course, his beloved hometown Lima, Peru.

Embracing a vigorous investigation of building materials and spatial explorations, Miguel builds sculptures that are arrestingly confident, playful and memorable.

Kentucky is honored to host Miguel as he continues his lifelong  artistic quest.

 

Jan Kirstein

 

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More to come on Miguel as he progresses on his work at the Josephine Sculpture Park, owned and directed by fellow Artist and Sculptor Melanie VanHouten.

 

Miguel’s Process

Click on photos to enlarge and see captions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Miguel Velit and Melanie VanHouten for the photos in this story.

Your Office Is for Your Employees — Give Them an Experience Worthy of Art


Thinking about renovating or even restructuring your office, or office space? Check out this story about the restructure at Artsy, and check out the visual art suggested by Kirsteinfineart! Here are a few favorites to give you some inspiration for your staff.

Art to stimulate and inspire any work environment from the Kirsteinfineart Blog.

 

 

Writing By Sean Roland, Associate Director of Experience & Operations from Artsy Blog

At Artsy, the Experience team’s mission is to envision, build, and maintain the physical and operational infrastructure as an extension and manifestation of our online brand and product. Some might ask why investing resources into creating a high quality Experience matters. My general answer is that creating impactful environments is always worthwhile as an art form, because it moves people, creates the opportunity for shared experience, and helps galvanize community.

Creating artful, innovative, and positive Experience at Artsy matters because it’s essential to achieving our mission. In order to “make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an internet connection,” Artsy must become a powerful and positive force in the art world, which is no small feat in a highly competitive and critical landscape. The art, design, and hospitality worlds are closely aligned and constantly collaborating, so by demonstrating that we’re thinking and actively contributing to a creative discourse in all aspects of our brand, and not just our online presence, we will build trust and credibility within the world we hope to work and collaborate within.

Artsy team members — at HQ and global offices — gather weekly for catered team lunch. Stay tuned for more on our Food & Beverage program in a future post.

Our company values state that that we value “Quality Worthy of Art,” we believe that “People are Paramount,” and we strive to embody “Openness” and “Positive Energy.” We’re also constantly exploring the nexus of “Art x Science.” I believe that our physical spaces can embody these values, in much the same way our products, organizational structure, and communication style should. Intentional spatial and aesthetic decisions made with a strong point of view can provide the literal, concrete example of what our company strives to achieve in the digital world. In the past, Artsy hasn’t prioritized these elements, which makes sense. As a startup we’ve had to prioritize and allocate resources and time to where they most mattered — into our core products. But as we grow in size and visibility, our actions across diverse parts of the company will increasingly inform our social capital, and therefore our success.

To align the Experience of visiting or working at Artsy with our aesthetically and functionally mature online platform, our team is adopting an art- and hospitality-focused approach to Experience. We’ve partnered with design furniture company Hem to bring modern, fresh, and relevant design to our offices. We’ve begun designing and implementing a wellness-focused Food and Beverage program because we want to be part of a global dialog around healthy, ethical sustenance. And we’ve begun to add depth and variety to our internal events programming, so that we’re able to better create spaces and experiences that speak to the growing diversity of our team.

We decided on the above approach by first reflecting on the state of our affairs of operations and Experience at Artsy. We asked ourselves hard questions; what we were doing well, what could we do better, and where were we failing? We knew that Experience at Artsy wasn’t measuring up to the products we were putting out into the world, but we needed to tease out why. Our brainstorming yielded some big potential opportunities for improvement, so we built and ran a team-wide survey (with an 87% engagement rate), which helped us determine whether teammates agreed with our hypothesis and ultimately guided our priority setting process:

  • Optimization of systems, spaces, vendors, and information
  • Infrastructural improvements and interior design and curation
  • Diversifying our social event planning and execution
  • Building a wellness and ethically-focused Food & Beverage program
We’re lucky to have natural light permeating the entire office space, making meeting rooms brighter, more cheerful places to be.

1. Optimization of systems, spaces, vendors, and information

PICK LOW-HANGING FRUIT

Our survey results showed that first and foremost, we needed to tighten our ship. Our small team (4) was barely staying above water managing the huge array of company-wide support responsibilities — from onboarding logistics, to company-wide procurement of supplies and IT resources, to managing facilities, to food and beverage sourcing and programming. So we divided and conquered the challenges we faced, systematically addressing the failures in communication or process that were costing us time and money and keeping us from more effectively supporting the team at large.

CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSETS

Throwing away unnecessary baggage can really help reboot an Operations team. Our closets were literally full of broken furniture and forgotten projects, because no one felt empowered to ditch them. So we did, and then we bought nice storage shelves and a ton of labeling tape. Now we have room to store supplies, which has allowed us to shift our buying habits to be more efficient and cost-effective. Figuratively, our team was also storing some skeletons of projects and proposals that hadn’t come to fruition, so there was a hint of “can’t do” instead of “let’s try it” in the air. We ditched our hangups, and reset expectations that any good idea is worth exploring and pitching to each other and leadership.

OPTIMIZE SYSTEMS, THEN GO VENDOR SHOPPING

We were constantly running out of office and food supplies. After we solved the storage issue, we built inventory and ordering systems. We trimmed the variety of things we buy, and created pars (standardized consumption data) based on observation of consumption over a period of weeks. Now that we’ve reached a steady state, meaning the basics are covered week after week, we’ve begun shopping for better vendors who will offer us wholesale relationships. This will help us simplify ordering and allow us to provide better amenities at the same cost. We no longer feel beholden to vendors who don’t want to work with us on pricing, because we now have the bandwidth to shop around. For example, we were working with a startup cleaning company with a cool interface that “spoke” our language. But our floors were filthy, so we traded them in for a more traditional company, with good results and great cost savings.

GET COZY WITH FINANCE

We spend the money, and Finance pays the bills, so it seems natural that we would constantly be in communication. But we weren’t, so important bills (like our internet!) weren’t getting paid. A little digging revealed that transitions on both our teams had put us at a distance, and we needed to reestablish clear processes by which to communicate effectively to ensure we were fulfilling our responsibilities. Now that we’ve repaired the broken communication, we’ve naturally begun collaborating on creating reporting tools to help us make smart budgeting and decisions, which is especially important given the volume of transactions that flow through our team.

LISTEN TO YOUR TEAM, AND GET CREATIVE WITH SOLUTIONS

One of the most notable results from our first survey was that team members felt unhappy about the lack of color and art in our office. We brainstormed an exciting long-term project called “Art at Artsy” with our Special Projects team. We’ve begun planning, but in the meantime we wanted to show immediate results. So we went out and bought plants. A ton of plants. A jungle. Overnight we went from a white box to a tropical haven. Everyday my team gets thanked for bringing color to the office. Never underestimate the power of affordable but impactful purchases.

What Next?

We’ve taken our first steps on a long path to transform Experience at Artsy. We hope it will become something extraordinary that parallels the journey you might take in an amazing restaurant, or at an incredible art installation. It’s an approach that is challenging yet actually pretty simple; shift your team away from a reactive, need-filling mentality to an intuiting, experience-creating mindset. Cover the basic needs and automate them whenever possible, so you can spend more time creating impactful experiences that move beyond the everyday and push your team to engage in a collaborative discourse with other parts of the company and the creative disciplines.

The Glorious Grandmas of Instagram


I love this story, appearing in the New York Times, written by Ruth La Ferla. How refreshing and invigorating to see someone my age strike an individualistic fashion statement without reserve.

Calm, graceful and unapologetic, Lyn Slater asserts her free will and expressive clothing choices with aplomb and panache. She gives me hope that there may be some women out there willing to take a chance and wear clothing that is outside the narrow restrictions of “the norm.” Bravo Lyn!

Jan Kirstein

Click below image to open this story.

 

If you like this story, you might find my fashions appealing at Kirsteinfineart.   My fashions can work well for you, no matter your age. Young or age plus, these styles make a definite statement for the woman who is an individualist. Check out my fashions And enjoy my landing page here for my new Collection: Evening Splendor.

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“Shaman’s Dream,” long sleeve women’s t-shirt by Jan Kirstein : Front. This design originated from my mixed media painting of the same name.

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Kick up some trouble in these high heels at Kirsteinfineart!