curtis logo

Featured Community Creator Jane Knox

  • Medley of Ropes
  • A Color for Anyones Taste
  • Colorful Face of Havana

if you say so

Posted by Maria on August 24th, 2016

Have you ever wondered what makes a portrait a portrait? The Bowdoin College Museum of Art has a very interesting show on display right now called This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today. It is a thought-provoking exhibit of paintings, sculptures, mixed media, lithographs, drawings, and more, all of which challenge the viewer to expand his or her idea of what a portrait “should” be.


The use of words as images is a common theme here, and two of my favorites from this show were Mel Bochner’s “word portraits”: Self/Portrait and Wrap: Portrait of Eva Hesse. I love the rhythm and the distinct mood he creates in each piece through his mark-making and composition.


Mel Bochner, Self:Portrait

Mel Bochner, Self/Portrait


Mel Bochner, Wrap- Portrait of Eva Hesse

Mel Bochner, Wrap: Portrait of Eva Hesse


Struggling to read Glenn Ligon’s Untitled (I Am An Invisible Man) left me feeling unsettled and as if I was trying to peer into a dirty, smudged window, while the absurdity of plastic flowers in a basket on an exercise bike (Eleanor Antin’s Yvonne Rainer) made me laugh out loud. Robert Rauschenberg’s Autobiography (complete with an astrological chart on top of a skeleton) was enormous and wonderfully overwhelming.


 Glenn Ligon, Untitled (I Am An Invisible Man)

Glenn Ligon, Untitled (I Am An Invisible Man)


Eleanor Antin, Yvonne Rainer

Eleanor Antin, Yvonne Rainer


Robert Rauschenberg, Autobiography

 Robert Rauschenberg, Autobiography


This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today runs through October 23rd. Have you seen this show? If so, what did you think? Please share in the comments section! 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Featured Community Creator Jane Knox

  • Medley of Ropes
  • A Color for Anyones Taste
  • Colorful Face of Havana

see you in the funny papers

Posted by Maria on August 10th, 2016
This past Friday, I attended an impromptu dinner party at the home of photographer Keith Spiro. One of the guests was artist/political cartoonist Peter Noonan, who was visiting Maine on a day trip from New Hampshire.

I’m pretty sure Peter is the first political cartoonist I’ve ever met, and he’s set the bar rather high: Peter was friendly, approachable, and easy to be around, with a warm smile and an infectious laugh. His wife, Elizabeth, and their new baby daughter, Isla, were equally lovely, and the evening was filled with good food, lots of laughs, and lively conversation.

the anti-candidates

“The Anti-Candidates.” Peter A. Noonan


If you visit Peter’s website, you will see how diverse his work is. Political cartoons and portraits are side by side with still-lifes and children’s murals; all share a feeling of lightness, grace, and clarity.


Political cartoons have been around for hundreds of years, and if you’re interested in investigating their history (and the artists who created them), Curtis Memorial Library has plenty of titles to choose from. Personally, I’m curious about Dr. Seuss Goes To War: I didn’t realize that Theodor Seuss Geisel was a political cartoonist during World War Two! Do you have any favorite political cartoonists? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!






Tags: , ,

Featured Community Creator Jane Knox

  • Medley of Ropes
  • A Color for Anyones Taste
  • Colorful Face of Havana

continue to expect the unexpected

Posted by Maria on July 27th, 2016

Random art always makes me smile. Whenever I see it, I feel like I’m being given a treat… a reward for keeping my eyes open. Here’s a small collection of some public art I’ve had the joy of spotting recently!

These two photos were taken right on Maine Street in Brunswick. I have to wonder: how many times did I pass by before noticing these creations?




This random art can be found on the Topsham side of the Frank J. Wood Bridge:



I wonder how many of these bananas are in Portland…does anyone know?




This mural on Free Street in Portland is quite large, but it’s not going to be around too much longer: the Asylum has plans to expand, and as a result, this wall will be demolished. They say all art is temporary…





Greater Boston wants you to give peace a chance…





…and Gardiner, Maine wants to see your pearly whites!



If you enjoyed this post, give Acts of Random Art on Instagram and/or Facebook and/or Twitter a follow!

Tags: , , , , , ,