As a comeback from the hiatus I took from this blog (thank youuuu holiday madness) here’s Five Friday Favorites.

I wrote one of these awhile ago and I posted 5 random art related things. This time I’ll give you the scoop on five amazing artists that you should know about if you don’t know already. So without further ado, in no particular order, meet my five friday favorite artists:

1. Amanda Wachob

Amanda is an artist based out of New York City who works in several different media. She’s known for pushing boundaries through experimenting with various types of surfaces as her canvas, most notably, human flesh. I’m fascinated by her ability to transform a media and present it in a way not often found in our culture.

“It is my intention to expand the boundaries of the tattoo medium.  In the past, tattooing has been looked upon as a trade or craft.  I am re-imagining its potential as a fine art form.  In the same way that a brush can paint the interior of a house or render a fine oil painting, I see the tattoo machine as a tool that can make art.” via

2. Jean-Léon Gérôme

 (May 11, 1824 – January 10, 1904)

Gérôme was like the Tupac of Academic painting, “a style of painting produced under the influence of European academies of art” via. As Tupac revolutionized hip hop, Gerome changed the game for his style of painting. A French painter and sculpture of many different styles, he’s well known for his specialization in “Orientalism”. “Orientalism” comes from the term “Orient” as in the East, think “oriental”. In this style of painting, artists depict exotic, mystical scenes of modern day Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and Northern Africa, such as Islamic cultures. This is by far one of my favorite styles of painting, it’s sultry, colorful,dreamy, sensual… not to mention stereotyped. One source says:

“Orientalism, in which Jean-Leon Gerome rather excelled, introduced to the West new ideas, though often incorrect, about the Arab and Turkish costumes, oriental carpets, Hookahs, oriental antiquities, furnishings, tiles and Islamic calligraphy in mosques and seraglios, warriors and others on horses, camels, and carriages.”via

Gerome is known as one of the artists who took it to another sometimes controversial level. Here’s a few of my faves.

(Snake Charmer,1870, read more about it here)

Pelt Merchant of Cairo, 1869

Black Bashi-Bazouk, 1869

Le Barde Noir

and one last amazing piece

Pollice Verso (read more about it here)

3. Kehinde Wiley

(Read about his “Kehinde Wiley Swag” here)

This Los Angeles native is one of my FAAAAAAAAAAVORITE artists working today, (yes, all those extra A’s were completely necessary) Many of you Richmonder’s out there may recognize this piece from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts:

 “Kehinde Wiley has gained recent acclaim for his heroic portraits which address the image and status of young African-American men in contemporary culture.” via 

In his work, the artist depicts men of African-American, African, Afr0-Brazilian, Indian and other descents in traditional, heroic poses. He fuses the contemporary and the modern in these large-scale paintings based on photographs of young men that he sees on the street. I could talk more about him, but I think you’ll get the idea just by looking. These are fantastic:

Napoleon Leading The Army Over The Alps, 2009

Triple Portrait of Charles I, 2007

Sleep, 2008

4. Ben Tour

I just discovered this artist a few minutes ago. I’ve been researching some watecolorists lately and I ran across him and had to share. I don’t know too much about him yet, other than that he lives and works in Canada… and he’s kind of cute. To me, watercolors often have a warm, washy feel to them. These illustrations have an interesting, futuristic edge to them as opposed to your typical watercolorish feel.

DI 3. Ink on paper. 23×15. 2011

Portrait of Hans-Peter Lindstrom for Color Magazine 7.4 2009

Cold 1. Ink on paper 23×15. 2009. Also used in Playboy Magazine December 2009.

5. Willem Janszoon Blaeu

1571 – 21 October 1638)

I had to throw this guy into the mix. You might not consider him to be an artist, but I do.  Blaeu, was a Dutch cartographer, atlas maker and publisher. I don’t know enough about him to write intelligently, so I’ll let the other websites out there do the talking:

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) founded one of history’s greatest cartographic publishing firms in 1599. Using skills learned from the celebrated Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam as a globe and scientific instrument maker. He soon expanded the business to include map, chart and book publishing”

Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula

Willem Jansz Blaeu (1571-1638)
Celestial globe, after 1630
Florence, Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, inv. 2697

“This extremely beautiful celestial globe was made by the most celebrated globe builder of the 17th century. It has a portrait of Tycho Brahe, under whom Blaeu had studied. The names of the finely drawn constellations are given in Latin, Greek and Arabic.” via

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