Cadmium pigment for oil, acrylic and watercolor has been an ingredient of artists’ palettes since the 19th century. Getty Images

Rest in peace, Cadmium Yellow, Orange and Red (c. 1829-2014). Your vibrant, exuberant and reliable reign is about to be brutally terminated—cut down in your prime by colorless legislators in the European Union.

Cadmium pigment for oil, acrylic and watercolor has been an ingredient of artists’ palettes since the 19th century, prized for its brilliance, intensity and lightfastness (resistance to fading when kept indoors). The element was discovered by the German chemist Friedrich Stromeyer in 1817, when he noticed that a sample of zinc carbonate contained a minute residue that he decided to call cadmium sulfide (cadmia is the Latin for zinc).

Damien Hirst, in his vast tableau “The Periodic Table of the Elements” (2005), illustrated cadmium with two lumps of zinc, and a caption: “Its bright sulphide makes the artists’ popular pigment Cadmium Yellow.” The hue is turned orange and red by the addition of increasing amounts of selenium. It remained scarce, however, until large sources of the metal became commercially available in the 1840s (strangely, J.M.W. Turner, an often reckless dabbler in new media, doesn’t seem to have tried cadmium yellow). Its high cost still meant that relatively few painters could afford to use it until World War I, when better production methods increased supply and brought the cost down. It was used to paint vehicles, and to color soap, glass, jewelry, toys and later plastics. The most famous use of cadmium yellow was for the New York taxi. Whistler, Monet, Matisse, Munch, Picasso and Warhol, and sculptors such as Anthony Caro and Jeff Koons, have all relied on it.

Now a ban throughout the EU has been proposed, and a decision will be made by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in December. The move came after the Swedish government claimed cadmium used as a pigment in paint finds its way into sewage sludge that is used as an agricultural fertilizer. Many artists and paint manufacturers argue that the problem is caused by the industrial use of cadmium in batteries, and that artists’ paints only make up a small proportion of the total usage of cadmium. They also note that cadmium paint is very dangerous—carcinogenic—only if inhaled. Cadmium paints already come with a warning: “DO NOT SPRAY. APPLY.” Users often wear gloves.

The ban has been in the cards since an EU Council Resolution of Jan. 25, 1988, that called for “an overall strategy to combat environmental pollution by cadmium, including specific measures to restrict the use of cadmium and stimulate the development of further alternatives to the use of cadmium in pigments, stabilisers and plating, asking for limitation of the uses of cadmium to cases where suitable alternatives do not exist.” Cadmium is gradually being phased out world-wide, but until recently artists’ paints have been excluded. The EU now believes that suitable alternatives do exist. Paint companies have been coming up with alternative organic pigments for many years and—bizarrely—they are marketed with exactly the same name. So Winsor & Newton Cadmium Red Dark comes in cadmium and noncadmium versions. The ECHA found 24 cadmium-free paints whose names contained the word “cadmium.” However, the alternatives are less intense and have to be painted in several layers, which can lead to muddiness and a loss of opacity.

The sole exception to the ban will probably apply to art conservators, who may be able to use cadmium paints for the restoration of artworks and buildings. When cadmium is mentioned, the artist whose work instantly springs to mind is the American minimalist Donald Judd (1928-1994), who is the patron saint of Cadmium Red Light. His breakthrough show in New York in 1963 featured an array of mostly wooden geometric reliefs and constructed boxes. Although every work was “Untitled, 1963,” Judd specified the paint used for each one—Cadmium Red Light. He wanted to make the work “so strong and material that it can only assert itself.” Cadmium red—then also used in the car and furniture industry—fitted the bill. Another influence on Judd was the Abstract Expressionist painter Barnett Newman, famous for his narrow bands of color—he called them “zips.” His discovery of his mature style had come on Jan. 29, 1948, when he centered a vertical masking tape line on a dark field of cadmium red and painted over it with a glowing cadmium orange. He called this momentous picture “Onement I.” It is not clear whether restorers of such works will have to stockpile dry cadmium pigment, or whether small quantities of paint will be made in a controlled environment in a factory. It will certainly not come cheap.

Could there also be a puritanical motivation behind the move to ban cadmium paints? Barnett Newman’s most famous work was the series of 1960s murals titled “Who’s Afraid of Red,Yellow and Blue.” He was referring, of course, to cadmium red and yellow. The point Newman was making was that many people were suspicious of big blocks of pure color, seeing them as hedonistic, frivolous and insufficiently austere. For the past two decades the dominant color among designers has been gray (Fifty Shades of Grey), with black in the wings. Car manufacturers have had almost no need for cadmium yellow or red—practically everyone drives a black, grayish, or white car, often with dark tinted windows. I’ve just seen a huge Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Royal Academy in London that is an ocean of gray. I’m writing this article on a laptop made from gray brushed aluminum with a black keyboard. The prospective ban on cadmium may in fact be the last nail in the coffin for color.
By
James Hall for the Wall Street Journal

Posted by Bill under Fine Art,Personal

My longtime friends and ambitious contemporary artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe have another mind blowing show opening up at Marlborough Gallery in Chelsea. A must see for sure!

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Marlborough Chelsea is pleased to present Floating Chain (High-Res Toni), the third exhibition with the gallery of the ongoing collaboration of Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. The opening reception will be held the evening of Tuesday, October 28th from 6PM – 8PM at 545 West 25th Street. The exhibition runs through November 29, 2014.

The central component of the exhibition is a film entitled The Floating Chain. It takes the form a faux-ethnographic cut-up narrative illustrated through a series of props, environments, pictures and architectural models. The film’s aesthetic is inspired by the surrealistic banality of a breakfast cereal commercial, and the physical setting is the placeless and timeless location of the “set”. People exist solely in pictures on the wall, footage on monitors or voices from a stereo.  Scenes, divided into discrete chapters, play within the frame of a television or film projection located within the “set”. Each chapter is told through a disembodied voiceover that illustrates a series of disparate groups and settings. The cumulative result is a collage portrait of a parallel science fiction culture where the cohesive whole is left in obscurity.
 
The exhibition spirals out from the film screening room into a series of architectural interiors that represent the mise-en-scene of different social groups and historical time periods. This is a continuation of the artists’ practice of using the room as a vehicle for an ethno-fictional display of the remnants of the built world. It includes an inner-city swap meet, a 1960’s hotel lounge, and a site of domestic fantasy among other recognizable but non-specific liminal spaces such as hallways and waiting rooms.
 
A through-line of the show is the appropriation of The Continuous Monument: An Architectural Model For Total Urbanization by the 1960’s-70’s Italian architectural collective known as Superstudio. A system of rectilinear forms comprised of square blocks, Continuous Monumentwas articulated through a series of theoretical renderings of a superstructure imagined as a single contiguous environment spanning the entire planet. The notion is a comical critique of the reductive ambitions of modernism, techno-utopianism and uniform culture. For this exhibitionFreeman and Lowe have taken Superstudio’s square grid pattern as a basis for a system of rectilinear sculptures that pierce through the existing architecture of the gallery, imposing extreme rational uniformity onto the character of each room. In several cases, the interior of the rectilinear forms will be clad in mirrors offering kaleidoscopic apertures into adjacent rooms and creating a skewed continuity to the overall installation.

Posted by Bill under Fine Art,Personal

This Editorial fashion accessory story for Niche Media was shot in NYC on the streets of the financial district. Amazing team headed by Fashion Editor Faye Power with Styling by Kadeem Greaves,  Creative Director Ann Song, Fashion Director Samantha Yanks, Senior Fashion Editor Lauren Finney, Producer Vanessa Ly.

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Posted by Bill under Editorial,Fashion,Fashion Accessory

This photographic title by Brian Rose follows his earlier work on New York neighborhoods in the 1980′s and then revisits them in the 2010′s.  The images in this latest book document the trendy NYC neighborhood known as the Meatpacking District. Brian Rose launch’s this new book and exhibition of  Metamorphosis: Meatpacking District 1985 + 2013.  The event will take place from 6pm-8pm on July 15th at the Dillon Gallery which is located at 555 West 25th St. New York, NY. The exhibition will be be open from July 15th through August 15th.

                                                            Click to see book preview

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Posted by Bill under Fine Art,Personal

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Posted by Bill under Personal

Fun shoot at beautiful location in Agua Dolce, California with fit model Ashley Novak, Creative Director Ben Margherita,Photo Director Toni Paciello, Fitness Director Jeanine Detz, Photo Editor David Baratta, Hair/Makeup Daniele Piersons

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Posted by Bill under Fitness

This shoot of model Leah O with Wilhelmina was shot on location in Malibu California. Creative Director Ben Margherita, Photo Director Toni Paciello, Fitness Director Jeanine Detz, Photo Editor David Baratta, Makeup and Hair Daniele Pierson.

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Posted by Bill under Fitness

Put your feet up, grab a cold one and enjoy your family…dads everywhere deserve the love. Have a great day my fellow fathers.

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Posted by Bill under Personal

I was asked to shoot this beauty feature illustrating simple makeup with a pop of color women can use during the hot summer months.Fun shoot with amazing team. Photo Director Toby Kaufmann, Photo Editor Karina Dearwood, Creative Director John Herr, Beauty director Heather Muir, fashion Director Argy koutsothanasis, Model Susan Seymore with W direct, Hair Linh Nguyen with kate ryan, Makeup Jane Choi with Stockland Martel, Manicure Gina Edwards.

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Posted by Bill under Beauty,Editorial,Fitness

I was asked by Photo Director Toby Kaufmann to shoot this feature story about the dangers of sun exposure for the busy girl on the go.
Great shoot with great team…Photo Editor Karina Dearwood, Model Breanna Sabo with Ford, Hair Linh Nguyen with kate ryan, Makeup Jane Choi with Stockland Martel, Manicure Gina Edwards, shot at Sun West Studios in NYC.

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Posted by Bill under Beauty,Editorial,Fitness

This feature shoot for Shape Magazine was my first under Creative Director Joe Heroun.  As always it was great working with fellow creatives David Baratta and Jeanine Detz. Makeup Mari Shten, Hair Leah Bennett, Model Christi M/ agent Abbie Zeplowitz, shot at Sun West Studios in NYC

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Posted by Bill under Beauty,Fitness

It was a pleasure shooting this beauty story with Photo Director Freyda Tavin and Beauty Editor Jill Percia… great team! makeup by Regina Harris, model Susan Seymore with W, hairstylist Natasha Leibel, photographed at Sun West Studios in NYC.conceptual_cheek_153_tear

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Posted by Bill under Beauty,Editorial
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