Friday, September 30, 2022

Artist of the Day, September 30, 2022: Kozo, a, Israelist tattoo artist (#1661)

 Kozo's fascination with art began early on in his childhood in Israel. He drew, sculpted, and painted for years before trying a new sort of canvas— human skin.

Kozo picked up a tattoo machine for the first time at 17 and hasn't quit since. In 2020, he moved to New York City to pursue his dreams and currently works at Bang Bang Tattoo.

 Now, Kozo returns to his origins as an artist. He brings his pop culture tattoo designs that took social media by storm back to traditional mediums such as canvas and paper, making his art available to all.

Some of the most moving artworks throughout history confound the mind, and the same is true of tattoos. Eden Kozokaro—best known as Kozo—is a surrealist tattoo maker who has taken to creating his meticulously detailed work on the canvas that is the human body since he was 17 years old. Now, seven years later, Kozo comes to NYC by way of Israel, where he learned and perfected his craft. Working from Bang Bang in SoHo, Kozo often blends pop culture with significant works of fine art to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces for each client. We sat down with Kozo to learn more about his background, his process and the ways fine artists—including the Old Masters—have influenced not only his work, but his approach to success.

How did you get into tattooing?
I have always been fascinated with art and studied drawing and painting throughout all my teenage years. I eventually began tattooing at the age of 17 with a machine I got off of eBay. My first proud clients being my friends who let me tattoo them in my bedroom.

How did you develop your style?
The first micro-realistic colored tattoo I did was the famous painting, “The Persistence of Time” by Salvador Dali. I fell in love with the result and knew that this is a style I would like to dig deeper into and eventually master.

Tell us a little about how you’re influenced by fine art—oftentimes the Old Masters
I am inspired by traditional painters such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Jacques-Louis David, but not just by their paintings as much as their persistence and work ethic. Today, social media assists people to sky-rocket to fame overnight, but these figures often remind me that good things take time.

Your style is unique, but how do you feel that you fit into larger tattoo culture?
I feel like my designs portray a fusion of many different tattoo styles, as I am constantly inspired by nowadays artists, including tattoo artists.

What’s the most difficult portion of your process?
When it comes to micro-realistic tattoos, one of the main challenges artists face is adding a lot of detail in a very limited amount of time. Tattoos in general, it’s the fact that we are not working on canvas but on human skin that is sensitive to pain.

Each tattoo you make is entirely unique, can you tell us more about that?

I’ll never do the same tattoo twice. I always enjoy doing tattoos with great stories behind them, and I enjoy clients that provide me the freedom to tattoo wild designs that I’ve created.

© 2022. All content on this blog is protected by international copyright laws All images are copyrighted © by Kozo or assignee. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, the use of any image from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained. All images used for illustrative purposes only



Thursday, September 29, 2022

Artist of the Day, September 29, 2022: Lino Tagliapietra, an Italian glass artist (#1660)

 Lino Tagliapietra (1934) is an Italian glass artist originally from Venice, who has also worked extensively in the United States. As a teacher and mentor, he has played a key role in the international exchange of glassblowing processes and techniques between the principal American centers and his native Murano, "but his influence is also apparent in China, Japan, and Australia—and filters far beyond any political or geographic boundaries."

Tagliapietra was born in an apartment on the Rio dei Vetri in Murano, Italy, an island with a history of glass-making that dates from 1291. It provided an ideal educational environment for Tagliapietra to develop his techniques and glass artistry. On June 16, 1946, at the age of 12, he was apprenticed to the glass maestro Archimede Seguso. He began in the Gagliano Ferro factory as a water carrier and after two years was allowed to participate in glass manufacturing for the first time, applying ribbing to a single piece. He educated himself in modern art and at the Venice Biennales saw the work of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Ellsworth Kelly. For the history or glass art he used the local resources of the Murano Glass Museum, and his attempts to recreate historical models expanded his vocabulary as well. Nine years later, at the age of 25, he earned the rank of maestro. He interrupted his years of training to complete his compulsory service in the Italian military in 1952-54. On 13 September 1959 he married Lina Ongaro, whose family had been involved in Venetian glass production for centuries.

For the next 25 years Tagliapietra worked in association with several of Murano's most important glass factories, including Vetreria Galliano Ferro, Venini & C., La Murrina, Effetre International, where he was Artistic and Technical Director from 1976 to 1989, and EOS Design nel Vetro. At Murrina he developed his "Saturn" design, which became his "personal emblem". His influence on the American art glass studio movement is primarily attributed to his colleague Dale Chihuly. In 1968 Chihuly visited Murano, where he gave Tagliapietra studio time to develop his own pieces. He taught Tagliapietra his techniques, which Tagliapietra taught to other glass maestri, including Pino Signoretto, and Tagliapietra taught Chihuly the Venetians' secrets in turn. A 2001 film documents this collaboration: Chihuly and the Masters of Venice.

Tagliapietra taught workshops at La Scuola Internazionale del Vetro (Murano) in 1976, 1978, and 1981, where artists and blowers worked on an equal footing. In 1979 and 1980, he taught at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington state, which initiated an ongoing exchange of knowledge between the Italian maestri and American glass artists, groups that in the past had guarded their techniques as trade secrets. He has returned to Seattle and Pilchuk repeatedly.

In the 1980s, Tagliapietra transitioned from traveling, teaching, and designing for commercial glass manufacturers to creating individual pieces of art as an independent studio artist. He had his first solo show at Traver Gallery in Seattle in 1990. His technical resources continuously expanded to combine modern experimentation "carving, blowing, caning, layering, casing, and trailing along with the elaborate Italian tricks so sought after for centuries: battuto, zanfirico, filigrano, reticello, pulegoso, martelé, inciso and incalmo..." He has emphasized his own independent approach to design. He told one interviewer: "I'm totally open. I think that what I like to do the most is research. I don't want to represent Venetian technique only–even though I was born with it.... Your style is what you are. My older work has a different spirit and my expression has changed."

Though colored glasses have been available since the 1970s, Tagliapietra has continued to create his own colors and use them almost exclusively in his own work. He has said they allow him to maintain control and that they are "softer, more human, more ... Venetian".

He spent a week in October 2012 at the MIT Glass Lab, working with glass artists and educators to explore computer modeling and folding techniques. He has been working with MIT staff for several years to develop software for computer-aided design, known as Virtual Glass, attempting to improve advance planning to reduce costs, since both the materials and facilities rentals that glassblowing requires are expensive.

In November 2011, he inaugurated the glass studio at the Chrysler Museum of Art with a public demonstration in advance of its formal opening. He created "an impossibly large and complicated piece, which took a team of glassblowers more than an hour." In the spring of 2012, he participated in glassblowing demonstrations to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of The Glass Furnace, an international non-profit glass school in Istanbul.

In June 2012, the Columbus Museum of Art announced it had acquired a glass installation piece by Tagliapietra, Endeavor, an "armada of thirty-five boats suspended from the ceiling" that instantly became "an iconic part of the Museum's collection."

© 2022. All content on this blog is protected by international copyright laws All images are copyrighted © by Lino Tagliapietra or assignee. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, the use of any image from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained. All images used for illustrative purposes only

Lino Tagliapietra
Two Vases, 1982
 Green Disk & Stand, 1990
 Hopi vessel, 1996 Murano, Italy
Foemina vessel, 1997 Murano, Italy
Fenice II, 1998
Maracaibo, 1998
Endeavor (Installation of 35 boats), 1998-2003
Coronado, 2000
Foemina, 2002
Mandara, 2002
Small Batman, 2002
Berkshire vessel,  2003
Important Masai installation,  2005
Medusa, 2006
Dada, 2008
Masai (Twelve Elements), 2010 Murano, Italy
Fenice, 2011
Fenice, 2012
Kookaburra, 2013
Dinosaur, 2017
London, 2017
Spirale, 2017
Aquilone, 2019
Dinosaur (blue), 2019
Dinosaur, 2019
Dinosaur, 2019
Florencia, 2019
Masai Totem, 2020
Dinosaur, 2021
Masai, 2021
Dinosaur, 2022