Fine Art Connoisseur Sep/Oct 2018

art magazine for collectors of fine art

United States
Streamline Publishing
$9.32(Incl. tax)
$44.25(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
how collectors become artists

Over the past decade and a half, while publishing this and other art magazines, I have discovered something I never anticipated. People who collect art often become artists, and I see a lot of artists who become collectors. At exhibition openings and other events, collectors often declare, “I wish I could do that,” then, “But I don’t have any talent.” Those are trigger words for me, so I immediately respond that art isn’t strictly about natural-born talent; rather, it is an acquired skill like cooking or typing. It takes instruction and time. As an artist myself, I started out believing that I had no talent and that I could not paint or draw. Thankfully a couple of mentors along the way gave me hope and step-by-step tools, urging me to be…

2 min
modern realism?

For well over a decade, artists, curators, and collectors have debated whether the term “contemporary realism” makes sense generally, and specifically to folks who don’t know much about what we do. Though some say names don’t matter, I disagree — “branding” is everything in our society, so if people can quickly grasp who you are, things just work better. When you browse Fine Art Connoisseur, you’ll see lots of representational artworks made recently. By “representational,” I mean representing something recognizable. It’s a mouthful of a word, and not exactly enticing, so generally we use “realist” or “realism” instead. Problem is, “realism” has encompassed so much over time that it’s hard to visualize what it is now — is it the peasant scenes made by Gustave Courbet in the mid-19th century, the…

3 min
on the horizon

Thomas Moran (1837–1926) was one of those young men who did go West. So compelling were his 1871 sketches of the Yellowstone region that, a year after they saw his finished versions, members of Congress and President Ulysses S. Grant began the process of establishing Yellowstone as America’s first national park. Although Moran would later paint large oil canvases depicting the Grand Canyon and other natural wonders of the West — some of them now at the Smithsonian American Art Museum — his diminutive plein air works are equally coveted, including Laguna, New Mexico, Looking from the East, a watercolor, gouache, and pencil work on paper, signed and dated 1891. When one considers the desert heat and sun, and also the fact that Moran was riding a horse or mule in…

3 min

Philip Pearlstein (b. 1924) learned about perspective while awaiting combat. Despite the gravity of his wartime assignment, the real lesson he learned was about the meaning of one-point perspective, more so even than the perspective on life itself. As a young infantryman in Italy during World War II, Pearlstein was stationed outside Rome as preparations were made for an Allied invasion against the Germans to capture a mountainous region between Florence and Bologna. While some servicemen might have been visiting USO halls or doing mess-hall duty, Pearlstein and a group of like-minded soldiers he befriended would visit the Vatican Museum and other venues while waiting for the battle plan to be forged. “We visited all of these galleries and for me it was a fantastic education in Renaissance art,” says the…

6 min
three to watch

The Florida-based artist HEATHER ARENAS (b. 1969) may paint many types of subjects — still lifes, portraits, plein air scenes, interiors, Western landscapes — but it is the figure she finds most inspiring. Although her childhood was filled with an abundance of creative activity and influence, her fascination with the form and function of the human body led her to study orthopedic surgery. Eventually, she found her way back to art, and her medical studies in anatomy only served to enhance her figure paintings. “Figures are a vehicle for me to show my appreciation of the grace and mechanics of life’s ultimate creation,” Arenas says. “When I paint them, I’m thinking not only of their physical beauty, but also of the underlying structure that I observe.” Regardless of the subject matter,…

4 min
a truly global salon

Founded in 1999 by the New Jersey collectors Fred, Sherry, and Kara Lysandra Ross with several of their fellow scholars, the Art Renewal Center (ARC) is a nonprofit educational foundation that encourages the reemergence of traditional art and training techniques. The fruits of its labors are becoming ever more apparent as time goes by. ARC is probably best known to readers of Fine Art Connoisseur for its impressive website (, which contains more than 80,000 high-resolution images by Old Master, 19th-century, and early-20th-century artists, along with artist biographies and related articles. The site has evolved into an invaluable reference for anyone interested in historical realism. ARC is equally committed to bringing this rich heritage up to date by highlighting the booming field of contemporary realism. In addition to its ever-growing roster of…