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ARTICLES

REVIEW

Blackstar and Lazarus

By Ron Barbagallo - February 17, 2016

With the advent of Facebook, posts I write for social media sometimes end up evolving into content good enough for this website. While off topic in a linear sense, anyone who knows me knows how influenced I've been by studying the professional choices of David Bowie. So it's not a surprise, that I'd be moved enough by his songs Blackstar and Lazarus to write a review about them shortly after Bowie's death. So what is the song Blackstar about? Blackstar, the song itself rests as an overture, much like...

 

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 Photograph © Jimmy King

By RON BARBAGALLO

DAVID BOWIE

Blackstar and Lazarus

FINE ART REVIEW

KAWS • Man's Best Friend

By Ron Barbagallo - October 25, 2014

The recent KAWS show at the Honor Fraser asks very loudly: What is caricature? And what is a cartoon in 2014? The lines defining that in people’s minds (literally) have been blurred. Appropriating Charles Schultz’s Charlie Brown characters and adding a few from Hanna-Barbera...

 

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© KAWS

By RON BARBAGALLO

KAWS • MAN'S BEST FRIEND

FINE ART REVIEW

Taryn Simon • Birds of the West Indies

By Ron Barbagallo - March 29, 2014

Taryn Simon’s conspiracy essay about straight men misses several key points. That human beings are, whether anyone likes it or not - mammals, and that there is a big distinction between what triggers heterosexual male LUST and the addiction that is needy codependent love. And that marginalizing ALL men through this type of periscope is a flamboyant generalization at best, and one that suggests trying to tell others how to behave so that they fit your needs is an argument about TWO people when in fact it excludes the other party’s nature and desires entirely. So rather than condemning someone for liking what they like, it might be healthier and more respectful for both parties to have the epiphany many people do when ‘things are not working out’ and move on to find someone with where your tastes lay.

 

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Photograph of the askew Gallery Entrance by Ron Barbagallo

FINE ART REVIEW

Albert Oehlen • New Paintings

By Ron Barbagallo - June 23, 2014

These are landscapes and visual diaries - written with line, painted with aqueous color fields and collaged with printed pop art media. They traffic in the space they’re created and their lines and flat fields make use of the room they’re exhibited in.

 

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© Albert Oehlen

By RON BARBAGALLO

ALBERT OEHLEN • NEW PAINTINGS

TARYN SIMON is an

By RON BARBAGALLO

ANGRY BIRD OF THE WEST INDIES

FINE ART REVIEW

Richard Avedon • Women

By Ron Barbagallo - November 5, 2013

Richard Avedon asks you to take a look at women. All women. From every possible vantage point. And in every way they exist. But most importantly, Richard Avedon asks that you do so in the way he communes with them as they fall through the guise of his camera’s lens and nest within the emulsion of his still frame film stock.

 

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Photographs by Richard Avedon, © The Richard Avedon Foundation

By RON BARBAGALLO

RICHARD AVEDON • WOMEN

FINE ART REVIEW

Inez & Vinoodh

By Ron Barbagallo - August 12, 2013

Both elegant and withdrawn, simplistic yet containing elements that are often highly energized, the aesthetic of photographers Inez & Vinoodh is all about the gesturing they employ as they transform their subjects from regular people and twist them into icons. It’s also about the details, like the drapping of a cloth around someone’s head, or a piece of lace applied to someone’s face. And not to be understated, their work is about the digital alterations and adaptations woven in and around their imagery.

 

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© Inez & Vinoodh

By RON BARBAGALLO

INEZ & VINOODH

FINE ART REVIEW

Richard Serra • Double Rifts

By Ron Barbagallo - May 11, 2013

Emotion: Dark, Brooding - Omnipresent Emotion. When one stands in opposition to a Richard Serra piece of art, the viewer is immediately drawn into a two way dialog. A visual lecture of paternal proportions that is at once informative but scolding at the same time. Deeply textured but simple in its harsh use of shape, Serra’s oily black flat fields fray at their edges offering an occasional contrast of white that acts as a repository for clean, even reflection. This visual conversation is as intricate in thought as it is in Serra’s suggested simplicity of execution.

 

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FINE ART REVIEW

Richard Prince • Cowboys

By Ron Barbagallo - March 24, 2013

But Richard Prince's Cowboys is more than a theme, it’s Fine Art and it's execution. And, the use of color here is no small feat. It can be as bold as simple interplay or as unusual as a light blue smattering in a field of red/orange. It can overwhelm or cause you to pull back. But within the application, it is brittle with electricity, stoicism, and peppered with sadness - like a painted photograph of a family member you never met or a handwritten note from your long departed Dad.

 

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© Richard Serra

© Richard Prince

By RON BARBAGALLO

By RON BARBAGALLO

RICHARD SERRA • DOUBLE RIFTS

RICHARD PRINCE • COWBOYS

DESIGN WITH A PURPOSE,    

an interview with Ralph Eggleston

ARTICLE

Design With a Purpose,
an interview with Ralph Eggleston, production designer on Pixar's WALL-E

By Ron Barbagallo - February 9, 2009

Long time Pixar virtuoso, Ralph Eggleston discusses his role as production designer on Andrew Stanton's Wall-E. Exploring the production design for Wall-E from many creative angles, Eggleston takes a detailed look at how he uses color to tell a story or to evoke a certain emotion. Previously unpublished art from Wall-E's production help illustrate how Eggleston and his team at Pixar created production design with a purpose.

 

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By RON BARBAGALLO

© Disney/Pixar

THE ART OF MAKING OF

ARTICLE

The Art of Making Pixar's Ratatouille

By Ron Barbagallo - January 28, 2008

An overview article on Pixar's film Ratatouille is followed by three individual interviews with Director and writer Brad Bird, production designer Harley Jessup and director of photography/lighting Sharon Calahan. Disney/Pixar contributed exclusive art which includes the storyboards from the famous fixing the soup scene and concept art from Michel Gagné.

 

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By RON BARBAGALLO

© Disney/Pixar

PIXAR'S RATATOUILLE

ARTICLE

Shedding Light on The Little Matchgirl

By Ron Barbagallo - January 20, 2006

Shedding Light on the Little Matchgirl takes a detailed look at Disney's adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story The Little Match Girl. The article includes exclusive art and an interview with the short's director Roger Allers. It also delves further into the meaning behind Hans Christian Andersen's short story and its origins.

 

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© Disney Enterprises, Inc.

SHEDDING LIGHT ON

By RON BARBAGALLO

THE LITTLE MATCHGIRL

MAKING HIS MARK IN CLAY,

By RON BARBAGALLO

an interview with Nick Park

© DreamWorks Animation SKG and Aardman Feature.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is distributed by DreamWorks Distribution LLC.

ARTICLE

Making his Mark in Clay, an interview with Nick Park

By Ron Barbagallo - October 7, 2005

In support of his much anticipated film, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Nick Park shares some of his thoughts regarding his artistic influences, on how he uses drawing to start telling a story and what it was like to bring everyone's favorite plasticine duo, Wallace and Gromit, to the big screen for the very first time.

 

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FROM CONCEPT ART

ARTICLE

From Concept Art to Finished Puppets, an interview with Graham G. Maiden, puppet fabrication supervisor on Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

By Ron Barbagallo - July 21, 2005

Graham G. Maiden goes into detail describing his role as Puppet Fabrication Supervisor for Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. Maiden's interview uses exclusive art and images from the film's production to narrate the many stages that went into making stop motion puppets for this film.

 

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By RON BARBAGALLO

TO FINISHED PUPPETS

© Warner Bros.

an interview with Graham G. Maiden

LORENZO

ARTICLE

Lorenzo

By Ron Barbagallo - February 27, 2005

Working with an idea that Disney veteran Joe Grant came up with 20 years ago, director / production designer Mike Gabriel nearly single-handily created the look of this 2D/CGI short named Lorenzo. Brought to you from executive producers Roy E. Disney and Don Hahn, this short tells the story of a fat cat whose haughty manners become the cause of his own undoing. The article includes an interview with Gabriel along with conceptual art and story sketches Gabriel created himself.

 

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By RON BARBAGALLO

© Disney/Pixar

FILM REVIEW

Ponyo

By Ron Barbagallo - July 16, 2009

Any discussion of Hayao Miyazaki's work needs to acknowledge that within the world of Japanese anime, Miyazaki's films are nearly unique. Many anime films use a similar visual style and their directors frequently traffic within storylines of revenge or apocalypse. While the works of Miyazaki do owe their visual lineage to the aesthetics of anime, it's Miyzaki's sensitive portraits of children, girls in particular, and his morality plays that more closely align his films with the type of narratives normally written by children's book authors Lewis Carroll, Hans Christian Andersen or J.R.R. Tolkien. Whether grounded here on Earth or heralding from some mythical place of Miyazaki's creation, Hayao Miyazaki stories are told with the precision of a master filmmaker. As a director, his visual vocabulary and specialized storytelling are like fellow stylistic auteurs Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton or Quentin Tarantino -- directors whose aesthetic sense is so strong and storytelling so unique that every film they make, even the small ones, are worth exploring.

 

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© 2009 Nibariki-GNDHDDT

FILM REVIEW

Where the Wild Things Are

By Ron Barbagallo - October 26, 2009

At first glance, Where the Wild Things Are might not strike you as what you were expecting but in this case, that's a good thing. We've been pre-programmed to slapstick humor, exaggerated facial expressions and topical gags from our kids' films. While Where the Wild Things Are is reverend to both the 338 words of Maurice Sendak's book of the same name and the look of the characters he created, David Eggers and Spike Jonze have updated this film genre with a twist by imbuing character traits, personalities and even neurosis to Sendak's furry, dysfunctional family.

 

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© 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SPIKE JONZE and DAVID EGGERS

HAYAO MIYAZAKI

By RON BARBAGALLO

PONYO

ARTICLE

Remembering Frank Thomas

By Ron Barbagallo - November 26, 2004

Written in memory of Disney animator Frank Thomas, Remembering Frank Thomas takes a look at the craft behind Thomas' work by reviewing the pencil animation he drew for the "I've Got No Strings" sequence featured in Walt Disney's 1940 feature film Pinocchio.

 

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By RON BARBAGALLO

© Disney Enterprises Inc.

REMEMBERING FRANK THOMAS

A BLADE OF GRASS

ARTICLE

A Blade of Grass

By Ron Barbagallo - June 30, 2003

Featuring background paintings from Steamboat Willie, Flowers and Trees, Mickey's Mellerdrammer, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi, this article is an aesthetic tour of the evolution that took place within 2D background painting at the Disney Studio from 1928 through 1942. It shows how one can make an impact on an entire genre by thinking outside the box, even if that impact starts with something as small as a blade of grass.

 

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By RON BARBAGALLO

© Disney Enterprises Inc.

By RON BARBAGALLO

ARTICLE

The Destiny of Dalí's Destino

By Ron Barbagallo - September 8, 2003

Back in 1946, Salvador Dalí started work on an animated short subject for the Walt Disney Studio. Walt Disney's plan was to continue pushing animation into untried areas. However the package pictures of the 1940's proved less and less successful as the decade ended, and Dalí was asked to abandon the project after creating hundreds of paintings and drawings. This writing illustrates the story behind The Destiny of Dalí's Destino.

 

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© Disney Enterprises, Inc.

THE DESTINY OF DALÍ'S DESTINO

ARTICLE

Building Mike's New Car

By Ron Barbagallo - August 5, 2002

Mike’s New Car takes off where Pixar’s hit film Monsters, Inc. left off. Co-director/creative director of shorts department Roger Gould and story artists Rob Gibbs and Jeff Pidgeon discuss how they followed up the CGI adventures of Mike and Sully by Building Mike's New Car.

 

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© Disney/Pixar

BUILDING MIKE'S NEW CAR

By RON BARBAGALLO

By RON BARBAGALLO

Art work by Mike Kunkel.

All images copyright 2004 The Astonish Factory, Inc.

HEROBEAR AND THE KID

By RON BARBAGALLO

ARTICLE

Herobear and the Kid

By Ron Barbagallo - June 25, 2002

Ex -Disney animator Mike Kunkel made the best of every opportunity life handed him. First as an art student, then as an animator and now as a comic book artist/publisher who has sold the rights to his comic Herobear and the Kid to Universal. Herobear and the Kid looks at Kunkel and his art.

 

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THE BACKGROUND ART OF

ARTICLE

The Background Art of Disney's Kim Possible

By Ron Barbagallo - June 2, 2002

Art director Alan Bodner and executive producer/director Chris Bailey discuss the inspiration and design process that went into creating the background art of Disney's Kim Possible.

 

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By RON BARBAGALLO

© Disney Enterprises Inc.

DISNEY'S KIM POSSIBLE

DESIGNING

By RON BARBAGALLO

© Disney Enterprises Inc.

THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE

ARTICLE

Designing The Emperor's New Groove

By Ron Barbagallo - October 18, 2000

Disney’s 39th Animated Feature Film is previewed by taking a look at the production designs, background art and character designs that went into creating the mythical South American world of The Emperor’s New Groove. Director Mark Dindal, producer Randy Fullmer, art director Colin Stimpson and character designer Joe Moshier (who also created some of the art featured in the article) go into detail regarding how they began designing The Emperor's New Groove.

 

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FINE ART REVIEW

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG • Works on Metal

By Ron Barbagallo - November 16, 2014

Not new, actually decades old, the Works on Metal exhibition at the Gagosian Beverly Hills hosts a collection of Rauschenberg’s works created using metal components. Nostalgic, poetic, somber, formal and yet casual in the way they’re collaged, these works by Rauschenberg are from the 80s and 90s. Assembled by way of paint on metallic substrates, these works include urban vestiges and manufactured elements. The result feels worn and warm, and familiar and textured and spacial, and their influence on the Fine Art being made by other artists during the last ten years is obvious.

 

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© Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG

By RON BARBAGALLO

WORKS ON METAL

INTERVIEW

Chuck Jones, in his own words

By Ron Barbagallo - the final version September 24, 2015

Over the course of his 89 years, Chuck Jones has seen animation grow from its beginnings through the heyday of the 1930s, ’40s and ‘50s, past its depths in the 1970s, and onto the renaissance in the 1990s. During that time, Jones has worked in nearly every capacity in the art form, leaving behind a body of work as a director of animation that boasts the only two Warner Bros. shorts included in the National Film Registry. I first met Chuck Jones in 1996, and later took the opportunity to interview him...

 

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 Photograph of Chuck Jones © Ron Barbagallo

By RON BARBAGALLO

CHUCK JONES, in his own words

from

the Lost and FOUND series

DOCUMENTARY REVIEW

Everything Is Copy, Nora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted

By Ron Barbagallo - March 25, 2016

Everything Is Copy, Nora Ephron Scripted & Unscripted, is a documentary from her son, filmmaker Jacob Bernstein. Bernstein assembled home movies and interviews with family, friends and colleagues and put them into a film that honors life and legacy of essayist, novelist and filmmaker Nora Ephron.

 

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Photographs © Elena Seibert

By RON BARBAGALLO

EVERYTHING IS COPY

Nora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted