Jasper Johns: Great American Artist!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

johns_portrait_380x311I’ve been thinking back on an art history class that I took a couple years ago, finally following up on those promises I made to myself to learn more about the artists that we only covered for about five seconds before moving on for “test material.”  Jasper Johns’ name popped into my head this week, and I didn’t remember much about him except that he was famous for painting pictures of the American flag.  That of course was enough of a spark to get me Googling good old Jasper.  My memory didn’t fail me, Johns was in fact the artist that created a series of artwork making use of the 48-star American flag.  “One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it,” Johns said about Flag, and that dream spread to become more than just one painting.

JasperJohnsCicada53The flag paintings weren’t the only accomplished subject of Johns’ artwork: he was a major influence on pop art in his early work.  Johns took everyday images and made them into icons.  His flags, targets, maps, numbers, and other simple images brought him fame in the late 1950s.  During his solo debut at the Castelli Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, bought three of Johns’ pieces, effectively putting him on the map as a must-see artist.  As he continued his career, he added crosshatching and presses of body parts to his repertoire, not allowing his work to become stagnant as the years passed.

538491-3_flagsStill alive today, Johns can boast some pretty impressive accomplishments from his years of creating.  Johns is ranked the 30th most valuable artist by Skate Press and has 7 of his works in Skate’s Top 1000 Most Valuable Works of Art Sold at Auction.  In the 1980s Jasper Johns’ Three Flags was sold for one million dollars to the Whitney Museum of American Art, setting a record for the highest price ever paid for a work of art by a living artist.  Then in 2006 John’s False Start was sold to private collectors Anne and Kenneth Griffin for eighty million dollars, making it the most expensive painting by a living artist.  Now eighty-two years old, Johns has works in museums all over the world and can rest assured that his legacy will be one to remember for many years to come.

photo-2Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

(Another new pair of shades!)

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