Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Alexander Calder!

Alexander “Sandy” Calder was born to two artist parents on July 22nd 1898 in Lawnton, PA.  His mother was a famed portrait painter and his father was a sculptor who specialized in public installations. Calder is most known for creating the mobile in 1931 as well as his public structures.  Many of Calder’s works have been showcased and currently reside in Philadelphia. In 1949, Calder’s mobile the International Mobile was the center piece at the 3rd Sculpture International held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art among 250 artists.  One of Calder’s mobiles known as “Ghost”, created in 1964 resides in the Great Stair Hall of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.   The Three generations of Calders; Alexander “Sandy” Calder, his father Alexander Stirling Calder and his grandfather Alexander Milne Calder, worked in succession to complete a series of works on the Ben Franklin Parkway.  Milne created the William Penn Statue atop Philadelphia City Hall. Stirling created the Swann Memorial Fountain (also known as The Fountain of Three Rivers) at Logan Square on the Ben Franklin Parkway.  Where these work lie, on the Parkway, is also the spot for the proposed Calder Museum, which would not only honor Calder’s great work but the great work of his father Alexander Sterling Calder and his grandfather Alexander Milne Calder.

Even the popular search engine site Google has chosen to commemorate Calder's birthday with a uniquely designed mobile as the banner on the homepage.  Further showing the impact Calder's art had on the world at large.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Surrealist Painter Frida Kahlo Born on This Day in 1907

Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon, known simply as Frida Kahlo; was born on this day, July 6th in 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico City. Frieda claimed that she was born on July 7th, 1910 although her birth certificate states she was born on July 6th 1907. Kahlo said she did this so that she would be “born” after the Mexican Revolution,which began in 1910 and ended with the creation of the Mexican Constitution of 1917. into the new, modern Mexican society. 

Self Portrait-The Frame (1938)

Frida Kahlo is most known for her surrealist self portraits stating, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best”.  Frida began painting after she became temporarily immobile from a car accident as a teen as a way to occupy her time.  Kahlo’s work was inspired by indigenous Mexican culture and religion combined with a Surrealist twist of her everyday life.