Frederick Arthur Bridgman – The Siesta (1878)

By the end of the 19th century the allure of the Orient and the “far away” was sweeping over Europe and North America. Following Napoleon’s 1798 – 1801 invasion of Egypt, other expeditions followed, drawn in particular towards the Middle East and North Africa. Scientists traveled alongside artists, in an attempt to decipher the exoticism…

Andy Warhol – Green Coca-Cola Bottles (1962)

With his ad nauseam repetitions of commercial items like Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell Soup cans, you could easily think that Andy Warhol’s art was a social critique of mindless, impersonal consumerism. What better way to epitomize globalization and the greedy corporate world, after all, than by evoking the ubiquitous Coke bottle? As it turns out,…

Julie Mehretu – Stadia I (2004)

Half Ethiopian, half American, abstract artist Julie Mehretu moved with her family to the US when she was only seven years old. Her immigrant status made her more sensitive to what makes a culture, an environment, more curious about how history, social norms, and the development of architecture through time infuse the physical space around…

George Tooker – Landscape with Figures (1965)

With the advent of abstract expressionism, George Tooker was for decades forgotten, until the 1980s when he re-established himself as a prominent figure of American painting. Although his subject work varied, the most powerful scenes the American artist ever produced are deeply satirical in nature, a social commentary on the human condition amid an increasingly…

Andrew Wyeth – Frostbitten (1962)

Overshadowed by postwar abstractionists like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, lacking the attention-grabbing presence of Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009) remains, in spite of all that, one of the most popular American artists. At just 31, his painting Christina’s World brought him fame and recognition, after being purchased by the Museum of Modern…

Dan Witz – Mosh Pit (2000)

A master at depicting crowds clashing in violence or lost in pure ecstasy, Dan Witz (born 1957) is a contemporary American painter and street artist. Witz describes himself as a realist painter and portrays crowds of people in ecstatic, physical instances. His objective is to capture the chaotic, savage energy of the engrossing, hardcore events…