The cowboy is more than a figure of the West-he’s an American archetype, a symbol of freedom, of masculinity, of the taming of nature and the settlement of frontiers. As a cowboy himself, John Edward Borein (1872-1945) knew his subjects intimately, and his paintings convey that deep familiarity.
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Words can have a deadening effect on images, and images can do the same to words. An image can be stopped in its tracks by an interpretation that shuts down the ongoing play it offers, and an image can become a mere illustration to a text, cutting off the imagination’s trajectory.
Stepping into the world of photographer Kate Connell is like drifting between a meditative consciousness and a dream where memories of familiarly foreign landscapes float in and out of one another. The sky is a hazy white; the earth is dewy and tangled with vines. In Connell’s world, what is real effortlessly flips between a sharp focus and a soft blur, leaving much to the imagination.
Zuihitsu, a Japanese word that translates roughly into “following the brush,” is a genre of poetry that emerged sometime during the ninth century. Sensuality and nature are predominant themes, with a specific focus on romance. A clearer translation of zuihitsu might be “random jottings” or “occasional writings,” but the poetry-paintings of Barry Spacks are not intended so literally.
For more than 40 years, Santa Barbara-based photographer Santi Visalli has turned his lens upon the world with purpose and grace. From elegant architectural studies to intimate portraits of the rich and famous, Visalli’s portfolio is as diverse as it is prolific, and includes many of the major cultural and social icons of our era.
As varied and expressive as the moods of the ocean are the personalities and purposes of the men and women who ride her waves. In a fabulous and occasionally brilliant rendering of this variety, Edward Cella Art + Architecture offers up two separate collections of anything but traditional photographs.
“Art was my savior,” Larry Rankin says as we walk toward his Santa Barbara studio courtyard, where a giant mound is barely visible in the waning evening light. “After I came back from serving in Vietnam, art gave me the opportunity to express things.
As the Santa Barbara Museum of Art prepares to close its Asian art galleries for construction, Asian art curator Susan Tai has organized a special exhibition of more than 80 Chinese silk garments, representing approximately half of SBMA’s permanent collection.
There has always been a rift between “serious” painters, on the one hand, and illustrators who design children’s books, on the other. After all, children’s books are banal reading material for kids who need to be distracted by inferior-quality oversize pictures in primary colors-or so the theory goes.