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Original Paintings by Shaun Taylor
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Shaun Taylor
Nashville - United States
Mixed Media & Collage - Other/Misc.

1983 to present / Art Instructor, Designer, Illustrator, Painter and Print Maker, Art Appraiser, Art Director
1983 / Studied graphic arts and illustration / Art Institute of Houston
1975 - 1981/ Paintings exhibited in Juried Exhibitions at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts & the Birmingham Museum of Art /
Recipient of "Best Painting Award" / Birmingham Art Association Jury Exhibition
1981 / Bachelor of Fine Arts / Birmingham Southern College (Recipient of Intaglio Print Award at BFA Graduate Art Exhibition)
1978 - 2009 / Works exhibited in solo shows and in group shows nationally and internationally.
1975 / Studied design at the Julian Academy / Paris, France

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Artist Blogs

The 40 Million Dollar Elbow

You might have seen “Le Rêve,” Picasso’s 1932 portrait of his mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter, in your college art-history textbook. The painting is owned by Steve Wynn, the casino magnate and collector of masterpieces. He acquired it in a private sale in 2001 from an anonymous collector, who had bought it at auction in 1997 for $48.4 million. Recently, Wynn decided that he’d like to sell it, along with several other museum-quality paintings that he owns. A friend of his, the hedge-fund mogul and avid collector Steven Cohen, had coveted “Le Rêve” for years, so he and Wynn and their intermediaries worked out a deal. Cohen agreed to pay a hundred and thirty-nine million dollars for it, the highest known price ever paid for a work of art.
A few weeks ago, on a Thursday, a representative of Cohen’s came from California to inspect the painting. She removed it from the wall, took it out of its frame, and confirmed that it was in excellent shape. On Friday, she wrote her condition report, and so, according to their contract, the deal was done. All that was left was the actual exchange of money and art.
That weekend, Wynn had some friends visiting from New York—David and Mary Boies, Nora Ephron and Nick Pileggi, Louise Grunwald, and Barbara Walters. They were staying, as they often do, at his hotel and casino, the Wynn Las Vegas. As they had dinner together on Friday night, Wynn told them about the sale. “The girls said, ‘We’ve got to see it tomorrow,’ ” Wynn recalled last week. “So I said, ‘I’ll be working tomorrow. Just come on up to the office.’ ” (He had recently moved “Le Rêve” there from the hotel lobby.)
The guests came at five-thirty, and Wynn ushered them in. On the wall to his left and right were several paintings, including a Matisse, a Renoir, and “Le Rêve.” The other three walls were glass, looking out onto an enclosed garden. He began to tell the story of the Picasso’s provenance. As he talked, he had his back to the picture. He was wearing jeans and a golf shirt. Wynn suffers from an eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa, which affects his peripheral vision and therefore, occasionally, his interaction with proximate objects, and, without realizing it, he backed up a step or two as he talked. “So then I made a gesture with my right hand,” Wynn said, “and my right elbow hit the picture. It punctured the picture.” There was a distinct ripping sound. Wynn turned around and saw, on Marie-Thérèse Walter’s left forearm, in the lower-right quadrant of the painting, “a slight puncture, a two-inch tear. We all just stopped. I said, ‘I can’t believe I just did that. Oh, shit. Oh, man.’”
Wynn turned around again. He put his pinkie in the hole and observed that a flap of canvas had been pushed back. He told his guests, “Well, I’m glad I did it and not you.” He said that he’d have to call Cohen and William Acquavella, his dealer in New York, to tell them that the deal was off. Then he resumed talking about his paintings, almost, but not quite, as though he hadn’t just delivered what one of the guests would later call, in an impromptu stab at actuarial math, a “forty-million-dollar elbow.”
A few hours later, they all met for dinner, and Wynn was in a cheerful mood. “My feeling was, It’s a picture, it’s my picture, we’ll fix it. Nobody got sick or died. It’s a picture. It took Picasso five hours to paint it.” Mary Boies ordered a six-litre bottle of Bordeaux, and when it was empty she had everyone sign the label, to commemorate the calamitous afternoon. Wynn signed it “Mary, it’s all about scale—Steve.” Everyone had agreed to take what one participant called a “vow of silence.” (The vow lasted a week, until someone leaked the rudiments of the story to the Post.)
The next day, Wynn finally reached his dealer, and told him, “Bill, I think I’m going to ruin your day.” The first word out of Acquavella’s mouth was “Nooo!” Later that week, Wynn’s wife, Elaine, took the painting to New York in Wynn’s jet, where she and “Le Rêve” were met by an armored truck. Cohen met them at Acquavella’s gallery, on East Seventy-ninth Street, and he agreed that the deal was off until the full extent of the damage could be ascertained. The contract, at any rate, was void.
The painting wound up in the hands of an art restorer, who has told Wynn that when he’s done with it, in six or eight weeks, you won’t be able to tell that Wynn’s elbow passed through Marie-Thérèse Walter’s left forearm.
Last Friday, when Wynn’s alarm went off, at 7 A.M., his wife turned to him in bed and said, “I consider this whole thing to be a sign of fate. Please don’t sell the picture.” Later that morning, Wynn called Cohen and told him that he wanted to keep the painting, after all.

(written Angela Doland)

The enigmatic smile remains a mystery, but French scientists say they have cracked a few secrets of the "Mona Lisa." French researchers studied seven of the Louvre Museum's Leonardo da Vinci paintings, including the "Mona Lisa," to analyze the master's use of successive ultrathin layers of paint and glaze - a technique that gave his works their dreamy quality.

Specialists from the Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France found that da Vinci painted up to 30 layers of paint on his works to meet his standards of subtlety. Added up, all the layers are less than 40 micrometers, or about half the thickness of a human hair, researcher Philippe Walter said Friday.

The technique, called "sfumato," allowed da Vinci to give outlines and contours a hazy quality and create an illusion of depth and shadow. His use of the technique is well-known, but scientific study on it has been limited because tests often required samples from the paintings.

The French researchers used a noninvasive technique called X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to study the paint layers and their chemical composition.

They brought their specially developed high-tech tool into the museum when it was closed and studied the portraits' faces, which are emblematic of sfumato. The project was developed in collaboration with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble.

The tool is so precise that "now we can find out the mix of pigments used by the artist for each coat of paint," Walter told The Associated Press. "And that's very, very important for understanding the technique."

The analysis of the various paintings also shows da Vinci was constantly trying out new methods, Walter said. In the "Mona Lisa," da Vinci used manganese oxide in his shadings. In others, he used copper. Often he used glazes, but not always.

The results were published Wednesday in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, a chemistry journal.

Tradition holds that the "Mona Lisa" is a painting of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo, and that da Vinci started painting it in 1503. Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century painter and biographer of da Vinci and other artists, wrote that the perfectionist da Vinci worked on it for four years.

NadaDada Motel
The following blog entry was written by Patricia Brown for the New York Times
RENO, Nev. — Venice has its Biennale. Basel, Switzerland, has its Art Basel. And Reno has the NadaDada Motel, a jubilantly unpretentious art event in which some 100 artists rent rooms at two of the city’s vintage hotels and motels and temporarily transform nicotine-infused rooms into art.
At NadaDada, one can find ceramic sea anemones on a simulated beach in one room (a comment on global warming displayed in El Cortez Hotel by Cindy Gunn) or encounter a bed in another room on which the bedspread and burgundy pillows are decorated with stencils of guns (“The Reno Gun Show,” also displayed in El Cortez, by Ann O’Lear).

The event, which is in its third year and ran from Wednesday night to Sunday, is an homage to Reno’s unsung motel heritage. It celebrates the spirit of establishments like the Ho-Hum, the Hi-Ho (could be they got the idea of 'Ho' from HoJo, as in Howard Johnson, or maybe it's a reference to the oldest...nevermind), the 777 and the Sandman.

“Transience is very much alive in Reno,” Jennifer Garza-Cuen, a photographer, said of the 50 or so motels that survive in downtown Reno, a city of about 210,000. “There’s a poignancy to it.” Many of the hotels have been plagued in recent years by drug dealing and other criminal activity.

The Town House Motor Lodge and El Cortez served as sites for NadaDada this year. The event attracted more than 3,000 visitors, more than double last year’s attendance.

At both venues, artists paid normal rates — about $150 a night — for rooms that were essentially blank canvases, canvases with wall-mounted Zenith television sets and orange shag carpet. Many artists did away with the rooms’ furniture completely, turning them into minimalist galleries.

El Cortez was built in 1931 to take advantage of the state’s liberalized divorce laws, back in the days before no-fault divorce when thousands wanting to untie the knot flocked to Nevada.

Vintage motels and lodging houses dot the landscape here, many holdovers from the divorce era as well as Reno’s now-dimmed status as a paradise for road-trip vacationers.

“Divorce seems like a weird thing to brag about, but it’s part of the attraction,” said Chad Sorg, 36, a window cleaner and video blogger who has curated two shows of NadaDada artists’ work at the Marjorie Barrick Museum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The NadaDada concept — “Get A Room, Make a Show” — came from Jeff Johnson, 48, a custom neon artist who thought the city’s sparsity of art galleries could provide an opportunity for artists to show their work independently. Participants came out of the woodwork — much like the roaches some of them encountered this year beneath the Formica furniture.

One room in the Town House motel contained Dominique Palladino’s artistic musing on matriarchal society, a display for which she tacked 600 pages of the Bible to the walls and placed a glass-encased hive of live bees in the middle of the room. In Room 311 of El Cortez, Erik Holland displayed plein-air paintings in gilt-edged frames.

There was quite a contrast in the El Cortez lobby on Thursday between an artist toting an 8-foot praying mantis and a full-time hotel resident, William Hogg, an 80-year-old retired electrical engineer who was trying to concentrate on his crossword puzzle. Mr. Hogg, who was born in Wales, described the artists’ physical appearances as “iffy.”

The iffiest may have been that of Andrea D. Juillerat in Room 218. Ms. Juillerat, a 39-year-old sign language interpreter and performance artist, designed a room filled with an enormous dress, made of 150 yards of flowing white fabric, that her fiancé, Ricardo Olvera, stapled to the room’s baseboards. Covered in white makeup, like a Japanese Butoh dancer, and draped in the sprawling garment, Ms. Juillerat stood in the room, unable to move since her dress was fixed to the walls. She said her work, “Sugar Room,” was meant to be a metaphor for prostitution and trapped women.

Many of the artists were inspired by what John Molezzo, a court reporter by day and an artist in his off hours, called the “mythic, Old West quality of Reno.” Mr. Molezzo displayed his own photographs, which showed blurs of neon and toothsome automobiles. “It’s a cinematic city,” he said. “Unlike Las Vegas, it’s still a step back in time.”

Some artists, though, ignored Reno and its history entirely. The Los Angeles Mud People, an improvisational silent performance art group, turned their room into a forest floor, with dried leaves strewn about and a small tree in the center ornamented with plastic motel drinking cups in translucent sanitary wrapping.

Daniel Sterling, a landscaper who said he has not worked since last November, traded his skills in exchange for a free stay at the Town House motel. He converted the previously dirt- and weed-covered courtyard into a verdant patio.

During NadaDada, Mr. Johnson, the neon artist, displayed a piece of art in the courtyard — a bullet-ridden newspaper vending machine in which the words “News Media Under Fire” had been inserted in neon.

Robert Greco, 50, a former steelworker from Steubenville, Ohio, who has lived at the Town House motel for a year, said NadaDada was “a dose of energy.”

“It’s nice to have a little bit of artwork up front,” Mr. Greco said of Mr. Johnson’s piece on the new lawn. “It perks up your whole day.”

Van Gogh's Ear

The following was written by
Kurt Shaw, a writer who covers the art scene for the Tribune-Review.

It's one of the most legendary stories in all of art history. That in 1888, Vincent van Gogh cut off part of his left ear and gave it to a prostitute named Rachel as a gesture of love.

Now, a soon to be released English version of the German book titled "Van Goghs Ohr: Paul Gauguin und der Pakt des Schweigens " (Van Gogh's Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence) will be published in an attempt to debunk the legend.

In it, Hamburg-based academics Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans proffer that the official version of events are inconsistent at best. Instead, they theorize that the lopping off of van Gogh's ear was a mere accident, the result of a row between he and fellow artist Paul Gauguin on Dec. 23, 1888.

Two months prior, the pair had taken up quarters in a small yellow house in Arles at the suggestion of Theo van Gogh, Vincent's older brother and patron and Gauguin's dealer in Paris.

Much has been made of Vincent van Gogh's descent into madness, a probable result of a bipolar affliction that led him to commit suicide at the age of 37. But in the fall of 1888, living alone in the south of France, van Gogh's only complaint in letters written to Theo was that of shear loneliness.

Theo's idea that Gauguin and van Gogh should live together had many advantages: Gauguin could keep an eye on the increasingly unstable Vincent, and the two stone-broke artists could share expenses. Excited by the idea, Vincent thought together they would form a "Studio of the South" in the little yellow house.

This would be "an artists' house," wrote Vincent, "but not affected, on the contrary, nothing affected."

But living, eating and working together in a room only 15 feet wide and 24 feet long proved to be taxing. Except for occasional outings with visiting friends and nightly visits to the local brothels, which the pair termed "hygienic excursions," the two artists were rarely apart.

Imagine this "Odd Couple" pairing. Van Gogh, then 35, was "Oscar." Just as unkempt as Neil Simon's Broadway and TV character, he would talk incessantly while working frenetically, oftentimes fueled by too much alcohol.

The 40-year-old Gauguin, on the other hand, liked everything orderly and neat. He was the "Felix" of the scenario. A former stockbroker and onetime sailor in France's Merchant Marine, he favored solitude, but was a good cook who did not mind preparing meals for others. That was another plus for van Gogh, who sometimes would rather drink than eat.

The only commonalities between the two were bouts of depression and suicidal tendencies.

Gauguin's account is telling: "Between two such beings as he and I, the one a perfect volcano, the other boiling inwardly, some sort of struggle was preparing."

It all came to a head on Dec. 23.

Upset over Gauguin's plans to return to Paris for Christmas, two days prior van Gogh had hurled a glassful of absinthe at Gauguin at a local bar in a fit of rage. "Dear Gauguin," wrote a sober Vincent the following day, "I have a vague memory that I offended you last evening."

Gauguin, who by then was staying in a hotel, readily forgave him. But when Gauguin set about leaving the next day, Dec. 23, with suitcases in hand, van Gogh ran after him in the street hurling wild accusations. Gauguin turned to confront him, whereupon van Gogh retreated to the house they shared.

There, as legend goes, he used the razor to cut off part of his left ear, which he carefully wrapped in newspaper and presented to a young woman at the local brothel who promptly, and fittingly, fainted.

Van Gogh was hospitalized, and Gauguin left for Paris the next day.

But after van Gogh's discharge from the hospital, he begged Gauguin in a letter not to speak ill of "our poor little yellow house."

Kaufmann and Wildegans spent 10 years reviewing the police report, witness accounts and the artists' letters. They claim that it was Gauguin, a skilled fencer, who most likely sliced off the ear with a sword in an act of defense during their final fracas, and the two artists agreed to keep a "pact of silence" -- Gauguin to avoid prosecution and van Gogh in a vain attempt to maintain the friendship, even though van Gogh was institutionalized for most of the rest of his short life and never saw Gauguin again.

Though this new theory of the ear incident will likely be hotly debated (scholars at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam have already publicly dismissed the theory), one thing is clear: The nine short weeks van Gogh and Gauguin spent together in late 1888 in Arles produced works that helped set the stage for much of what we know today as modern art.

During that brief, exhilarating period these two not-yet-famous artists created a stream of masterpieces within the shared studio -- including Van Gogh's "Sunflowers," which decorated Gauguin's bedroom wall.

The story also has inspired writers and filmmakers over the past 120 years, as evidenced by the numerous books and films on the subject.

Which is why most of the Western world believes they know what happened to van Gogh's ear.

Given the romantic nature of the tale, perhaps this story is better left alone. After all, of the long list of biographers for either artist, none have ever come across this account before, and Kaufmann and Wildegans theory of what happened is just that, a theory.

A Painting Riddle
I thought I would relate something that really got my
attention. I was looking through an art book and saw a
painting by the artist, Annibale Carracci, an Italian
Baroque painter from the mid 16th century. The
painting is entitled, "Christ Appearing to Saint Peter
on the Appian Way". The painting concerns an apparent
vision that St. Peter had. It shows Christ carrying a
cross and pointing toward the viewer. St. Peter, who,
of course, appears startled, asks Christ, "Where are
you going?" To which Christ replies,"I am going to
Rome to be crucified again."

More Blogs
6 posts total
Green Nose - Acrylic on Driftwood - 5 1/2 in. X 12 in. - $700.00

Shaun Taylor
2010-03-16 01:24:42
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