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Artist, Berhardt

Artist, Chojnowski

Vigoré extends a special thank you to this “Blue Collar” collector for sharing this artwork collection.

While most people think that the world of fine art is dominated by the blue blood crowd, you may be surprised to learn that more and more blue collar folks have learned to appreciate art. While blue collar workers may not have the talent to paint or create and often lack formal art education limiting their ability to express art appreciation in words, that doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate art. Many local Chicago blue collar art collectors with a careful eye and open mind collect fine pieces of art. What is art? Art conveys intense emotions. Often art reflects the life of the artist. Art is the freedom of thought created in a tangible form. From the blue collar art collector’s point of view, even breathtaking artwork may remain unrecognized by the professional art collector or dealer. While critics may call some art work kitsch—art that is regarded as tasteless, sentimental, or ostentatious in style—art—like beauty—is in the eye of the beholder. An art collection can start with one piece selected for one area in a home growing into a large and diverse collection over the years. Because of that diversity, it may appear that the collector is struggling to find an identifying style. But a careful inspection reveals the back story of each piece of art—the humor, the brilliance it conveys—and the pleasure the collector takes in every one. Water Lilies, a series of 250 painting by French impressionist Claude Monet, may be art to one person and a velvet Elvis may be art to another. In fact, the signature “Dogs Playing Poker,” nine dogs sitting around a card table, may be more recognizable by more people than any work created by the old masters—with the possible exception of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Art— and the artists that create art—are actually fairly modern concepts. Oil paint was first used for Buddhist paintings by Indian and Chinese painters in

Afghanistan sometime between the 5th and 9th centuries, oil painting did not gain popularity as a medium for art in the West until the 15th century in Italy. About that time, the Italian artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari first coined the idea of “work of art” a term that first included only painting, sculpture, and architecture. When works of art were later expanded to include music and poetry, those five arts became collectively known as “the fine arts.” And it was during the Renaissance that “the fine arts” were raised to a loftier perception and artists were often afforded a

higher social status. They were also considered to be inspired by some higher power not available to the masses. That then is perhaps the basis for the idea that people who appreciate the fine arts are also at some higher level of society. But consider Alfonso Iannelli, the 20th Century sculptor, artist, and designer. According to Tim Samuelson, Chicago’s cultural historian, Iannelli who is best known today by collectors and historians who rank him as a valuable contributor to American art made in Chicago, wanted to create art that people would experience in their everyday lives. According to Sam Guard, Iannelli believed that art is a public creation designed to make all people’s lives better —whether they have blue blood or a blue collar.

Every Artwork Tells A Story ...

Vigoré ?

Artist, Conger

Artist, Romine

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