Statues by Kjeld Moseholm

(Last Updated On February 16, 2023)

Kjeld Moseholm-Jørgensen (aka Kjeld Moseholm) was born in Denmark in 1936. He is one of Denmark’s most famous sculptors, with his art exhibited in public places in Denmark and in other countries. Moseholm’s style is usually abstract. His figures are often bulbous, lending his work a touch of comedy. Nevertheless, there is a melancholic aspect to his sculpture. His abstract figures are often in strange postures or situations.

Kjeld Moseholm – Anette (1994)

The five works covered in this post are different from Moseholm’s typical work in two ways. First, each includes a young girl. Second, they are realistic figures in realistic poses. The Moseholm realistic statues I have seen are all females, usually nudes, or are a group of statues that contains a female. Perhaps he thought that the female figure is very aesthetically pleasing in a lifelike representation, and there was no way to improve on it with abstraction.

Kjeld Moseholm – Annette at Rudkøbing (1994)

Anette or Annette is peculiar in that two examples of the statue have slightly different names. The first image is of Anette in the city park Borås, Sweden. The second image, Annette, is on the grounds of the church in Rudkøbing, Denmark. I could not find information about the model for this statue. Where I live, in the US, it probably would not be acceptable to have a statue of a nude girl on the grounds of a church.

Kjeld Moseholm – Barn på Gungbräda (1992)

Barn på Gungbräda (Children on a Seesaw) is also in the city park Borås, Sweden. Moseholm sculpted many female nudes, but sometimes made statue pairs with both a boy and a girl, as in Barn på Gungbräda.

Kjeld Moseholm – Børn (1976)

The statues pair titled Børn (Children) is on display by the Nordea Bank in Assens, Denmark.

Kjeld Moseholm – Kommunikation (1989)

Most of the Moseholm girl statues I found are nudes, but the next one is an exception. The group includes a boy wearing shorts, a girl wearing a short dress, and a pigeon. The girl is writing; the boy is reading, and the pigeon may be a carrier pigeon. The group is titled Kommunikation (Communication), and is at the Post Office in Ringe, Denmark.

Kjeld Moseholm – Siddende Pige (1988)

Sitting Girl, aka Siddende Pige, aka Fille Sur Une Chaise is another popular statue with a simple pose. The first photo shows this statue in the garden behind the Slagelse, Denmark library. The next photo is of the statue in a public park in Monaco. The statue was installed in Monaco in 1981, and in Slagelse in 1988.

Kjeld Moseholm – Fille Sur Une Chaise (1981)

My Reflections on Graham Stuart Ovenden

(Last Updated On February 16, 2023)

As Pigtails in Paint celebrates its 12th anniversary, one understandably reflects on milestones. The biggest in my life and to many others is the passing on December 9th last year of my friend, Graham Ovenden. The funeral was on January 27th and attended by about 30 people. This post also commemorates February 11th which would have been his 80th birthday.

Graham Ovenden – The Shadow Self : Philosophers (date unknown)

The Approach: Probably like many others, I often assume that people with a certain notoriety will be unapproachable, either because they adopt the attitude of a prima donna or their entourage works to insulate them from their rabid fans. I was impressed with the scope of Graham’s work and upon working on Pigtails, realized that he held key information that would help us break open the “Cult of the Girl Child”. I had no idea how to proceed and was shocked when a close associate simply gave me his phone number. I was nervous and postponed calling him wondering if it was OK to just cold call him. It turned out great and that cold call led to a 45-minute conversation. It turns out Graham had a good sense of a person’s authenticity and he knew I was “the real McCoy” even though he did not “know me from Adam”.

Bad Timing: We had three great conversations before he expressed concern over our continued communication. He was just about to face trial and his friends advised him that including a new person in his life was too great a risk so he asked if I would stop contacting him any more until after the trial. I was disappointed, of course, but respected his wishes. I found out later that one of his American friends familiar with Pigtails strenuously discouraged contact and the perceived harm to his reputation. This friend has since reversed his opinion and we have actually had some productive dealings which led to the expansion of the PIgtails Library.

A Real Friend: It is common knowledge that the trials did not go well and Graham had to serve prison time. Fortunately, I had been in contact with a few of his friends and they were good enough to keep me apprised of his situation. A short while after his release, I was startled to find a letter from the UK in my mailbox. It included contact information so we could continue our association and I knew that he was just as cognizant of our chemistry as I was. I am eternally grateful for the efforts of Robin Hanbury-Tenison, a long-time loyal friend of Graham’s, for reconnecting us.

Soul Mate: From my perspective, Graham and I had a great rapport and I was later delighted that he recognized it as well and, in his frank manner, told me so. Our conversations were great and we emailed back and forth but I felt he was hinting that I should visit him in person. I am not fond of travel, but I realized that we could cover a lot more ground by spending some time in person. I planned and made my first visit in the summer of 2016.

Lucky Timing: I had never travelled outside the US except under the auspices of the US Army in my youth. I had heard that one should arrive at the airport at least 3 hours in advance of one’s flight. I did so and toiled through the process and patiently waited at the designated gate for my flight. I was so early that I had not realized my flight was switched to another gate and was surprised to hear my name over the intercom. I was redirected to the correct gate but I had gotten there too late and they gave away my seat. The airline scrambled to get me on another flight to the UK. The good luck was that I got a direct flight and so I ended up at my destination at roughly the same time as originally expected; I simply had to wait a few more hours for my replacement flight. I did not have a cell phone at the time so I had no convenient way to inform Graham of the change. When I arrived in country and took the train to Liskeard, Cornwall, it turned out that I was on the train just after the one they expected me on! Graham and a good friend of his, Jack, were still there waiting for me!

Living in a Museum: As far as I was concerned, I was staying in a museum. Graham was an avid collector and fit what he could into that small flat. The visit was overwhelming and I did my best to take notes and Graham was gracious enough to scan interesting items that could sometime appear on Pigtails. I tell people that if Graham had lived in Las Vegas, I would have visited him there. I was not that interested in the place, but I have to say I fell in love with Cornwall and his friends were delightful. They were understandably suspicious of this new friend of Graham’s but they too realized that I was the real deal.

Paying It Forward: One of the artists I learned about who really impressed me during the visit was Brian Partridge. I made a point of featuring him on this site early on. Brian and Graham had a long collaborative relationship and they lost touch during Graham’s incarceration. All he had on Brian was his mailing address. I took it upon myself to write to him and let him know how to get in touch again. I was delighted by the outcome because I got to see a lot more of Brian’s work and spoke with him on the phone a couple of times. As a token of appreciation, Graham sent me an annotated copy of the Garage Press publication of Brain’s work. It’s kind of like having an original manuscript.

Friendship Credentials: Graham was known for giving his friends gifts and, in a funny way, if one wants to show proof of their friendship with Graham, they need simply show the artifacts they were given, often including originals of his own artwork. I can boast two original portraits and a number of photographic prints. Graham bestowed me a special honor by signing a print of Sophie (a famous image from the cover of States of Grace). He told me he never signed photographs or prints and so it seems I have a unique item.

Reaching Out: Graham had an ambivalent relationship with technology. On the one hand, he experimented extensively with digital image manipulation such as the image appearing on this page, but he also resisted more convenient forms of communication such as Skype. He said he didn’t want to use such forms of communication to protect his friends but I suspect he didn’t want to cope with the steep learning curve. Because of this, I assumed he wasn’t interested in having a website to share his work and give his side of things. It turns out that I was mistaken and I am glad to have done him the service of connecting him with a website host who was also a fan of his. Fortunately, he also lived in the UK and could visit Graham in person to help him with any technical problems. This is why his personal and publishing (Garage Press) websites exist today.

Fly on the Wall: I was always kind of envious of journalists who got to speak with interesting personalities. I wish I had the presence of mind to bring an audio recorder during my visits because in retrospect, I realized we had a few fascinating conversations on a multitude of subjects that may have been of interest to others. We talked extensively about philosophy, history, politics and the arts. Graham educated me on Blues and Jazz and we shared a love of Classical music. Graham had an extensive phonograph collection and in my last couple of hours with him before my return home, we listened to Brahms’ Violin Concerto. Graham had the foresight to recognize the decline in his health and reached out to The British Library who happily accepted the donation. There are quite a few rare items in there including an interview with a woman who knew Lewis Carroll personally as a child.

Final Exhibition: Many times, Graham donated parts of his collect to exhibit in museums. With a lot of help from Jack—to whom he bequeathed this collection—he got to have one final show held in his home town of Liskeard displaying his Victorian and Edwardian photographs last October. It was well-attended and featured renowned photographers like Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Julia Margaret Cameron, Joseph Gale, George Ruff, Francis Bedford, Dorothea Lange and Lewis Hines.

Virtues and Vices: Of course whatever we may think of his work, Graham was also a man and had his foibles. He was a great collector and we can thank him for bringing all these interesting items together. However, he was kind of a pack rat and could not refrain from purchasing one more first edition even if the purchase worked against his interests. Collectors should be glad to know that a lot of interesting volumes will be appearing on the market sometime in the near future. I don’t envy Jack the task of cataloging and finding buyers for these items (Jack is a bookseller). This habit even had a little to do with his estrangement with his family; he even confessed one day that he was not really built to be a family man. However, his younger sister and brother remained supportive of him and are the executors of his estate. Since Graham was an invalid the entire time I knew him, he was always grateful when I went into town to get takeout food (the English call it takeaway). One of the items he always wanted was duck and if I was going to the Chinese place, I would always bring him some.

Graham Ovenden taught me so much in the time I got to know him but I know that was just the tip of the iceberg. I was fortunate to meet a few of his friends and I can understand why they were so loyal to him. He was a prolific painter and I came to understand that occupying himself with that work was instrumental in maintaining his sanity during the most trying times. I felt kind of guilty during my three visits because having my little space in the flat made painting impractical most of the time. Whenever I returned home, he would paint a flurry of new works. I could go on and on with anecdotes and I only knew him a short time. These will undoubtedly come out in due course as PIgtails publishes more posts and in responses to readers’ comments.


Two Photos by Josef Větrovský

(Last Updated On February 2, 2023)

Josef Větrovský was a Czech photographer who was born in 1897. Compared to other artists, there is not a lot of information about him available on the internet. He studied photography under František Drtikol, and his style of photography is similar to that of Drtikol.

Josef Větrovský – Nude With Shadow (1927)

Větrovský photographed in Art Deco style, emphasizing contrast of light and shadow, simple geometrical shapes, and female nudes. He photographed many adult female portraits and nudes. The two photos shown in this post are the only Větrovský photos of young girls that I could find. Větrovský participated in a Czech Photographic Society exhibition in 1926. In 1929 he published, at his own expense, A Handbook of Practical Topography. In 1939 he assembled a retrospective exhibition of his work. Větrovský died of a heart attack in 1944.

Josef Větrovský – Girl With Ball (1931)

The two images posted here, Nude With Shadow and Girl With Ball, are both typical Art Deco style. In the first, the dramatic shadow catches my attention almost as much as the girl.

Maiden Voyages: February 2023

(Last Updated On February 3, 2023)

Guardian Angels: As we approach our 12th anniversary, practically all readers know that we have gotten help from seemingly out of nowhere as we have been subjected to protests and cowardly shutdowns. In last month’s address, I expressed some concern that we may be coming to the end of our rope, but I have been assured that our arrangement right now is quite solid so long as your Editor-in-Chief continues to use good judgment regarding standards of content. To some, this may seem like a veiled warning but I see it as a vote of confidence that we have been dealing with such a tricky subject with due dignity and purpose.

Random AI: After the introduction of an AI-generated image on this site, a few readers have submitted their own attempts. If I published them all, it would dramatically change the appearance of this blog so I have decided to publish only one per month with a distinct theme based on my own impressions. In addition, spacing these out will mean we can get some perspective on how this technology is evolving over a relatively short time period. For instance, one reader sent a YouTube link that is a pretty good overview of the issue as it stands right now. And I just heard an excellent letter sent by listener Kevyn to Things They Don’t Want You to Know (The relevant letter begins at the 21-minute mark). Clearly, the implications of this technology ranges all over the place covering freedom of expression, commerce, the law and ethics.

The Joy of Fandom: Dr. Laurie Santos of The Happiness Lab podcast had an interesting episode recently about the happiness gleaned from being a fan of something, even if it seems a little silly. I am sure our biggest fans can relate!

More Social Media Gems: I continue to get leads about Instagram and other social media accounts. Here is one from Pinterest.

“Cute” Stats: As most people who have not been living under a rock realize, most media personalities are worried about their stats. These are important in attracting advertising and other forms of revenue so they can stay in business and make a living. There is a site which is, “a web service for Website Owners, Webmasters and General Internet Users to retrieve information related with Domain Name, IP Address, Web Server and Search Engine Optimization”. One of our contributors looked up this website and shared some details. As of January 18th, Pigtails is 5 years 11 months old [sic], has a global traffic rank of #637,405 in the world, has an estimated worth of $2,400 and a daily income of around $10. There were no active threats reported recently by users and is considered safe to browse. Don’t worry, there is no risk of selling out even if the stats were much better! It is interesting to see a volunteer site analyzed from the perspective of commercial interests. Of course the age is wrong because earlier incarnations of this site were not taken into account and the algorithm generating this data is clearly automated. As all of you reading this surely understand, such a narrow perspective leaves out the deep intangible value of this site evidenced by the wonderful messages I receive on a regular basis.

Public Sculpture of Girls in Hungary

(Last Updated On January 22, 2023)

László Marton – Little Princess (1) (1972)

Public sculpture of girls in Hungary (Magyar Republic) has something of a family-oriented perspective. Little Princess (Kiskirálylány) by László Marton is a statue of the sculptor’s oldest daughter, Évike. Marton said,

I modeled it after my own daughter; she was maybe six years old and playing in the garden. She dressed as a princess: laid a bathrobe on her shoulders and put a [paper] crown on her head. I managed to capture this moment and immediately felt that this was a successful work of art. Years later, the capital requested a statue from me. I immediately thought of the “Little Princess'” and luckily we managed to find the place where the statue feels good.

László Marton – Little Princess (2) (1972)

Actually, there are several places in which this statue “feels good”. The original statuette is in the Hungarian National Gallery. The life-size copy shown in the photos here is on the Danube promenade in Budapest. Another copy is in the artist’s hometown of Tapolca, and yet another is in Japan, in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space cultural center’s concert hall.

Raffay Dávid – A Girl With Her Dog (1) (c2007)

The next statue, A Girl With Her Dog, is also in Budapest near Little Princess. A Girl With Her Dog was created by Raffay Dávid. Both of Raffay Dávid’s parents were sculptors, and Raffay has been sculpting since he was three years old. By the time he was 48 years old, in 2011, he was the father of five children. His affection for children seems to show in A Girl With Her Dog.

Raffay Dávid – A Girl With Her Dog (2) (c2007)

The next statue, Little Girl With Dog, is also a girl and dog, but I could not find out the name of the artist that created this piece. It stands in the city of Szeged.

Unknown Artist – Szeged Hungary Little Girl With Dog (unknown date)

The city of Esztergom is the site of the statue of children playing on a rail. I do not know the creator of this sculpture, nor could I find the title of the statue.

Unknown Artist – Esztergom, Hungary Children (unknown date)

Böjte Horváth István created War Memorial, the last sculpture in this article. It is a memorial to the veterans from Vácrátót who lost their lives in the two World Wars. Typical of Hungarian sculpture, it emphasizes the family. The wife, daughter, and infant child of the deceased veteran are shown, but the husband/father of them is missing.

Böjte Horváth István – Vácrátót War Memorial (2014)

Azuma Itsuko, Japanese Illustrator

(Last Updated On January 17, 2023)

Recently while researching some material for references, I came across Azuma Itsuko (東逸子), a Japanese illustrator who made me fall in love with her works at first glance.  Unfortunately, information about the artist is vague on the Internet. The few images I could find about her work were enough to spark my interest. After a week of research, I decided to buy some of her books which, as they were printed in the ’80s and ’90s, are no longer being reprinted, becoming quite the collectibles.

Four books caught my attention the most: Pulstella, Passacaglia,  Aquarium and Twilight. I also bought a few others, including from other artists. The illustrations are made on textured paper, using dry and oil pastels, I believe. Most of them are monochromatic or with only a couple of colors. The theme is very interesting: mostly nymphs, with symbioses with animals such as mermaids, butterflies and birds. Often the characters merge with the environment.

The use of light effects is impeccably carried out adding lightness and transcendental airiness. Flowers are also often used, followed by various types of ornaments like pearls; angel-like creatures are also frequently seen. Often the characters are levitating or in very smooth and peaceful conditions, reminiscent of a pure fantasy world. A few of them, however, can have a more dense atmosphere. The sky, stars and constellations are also used in both the characters and in decorating the background. Nothing seems isolated, but rather interconnected between the entire composition, with a dynamic effect for the viewer—a continuous flow.

Below I’ve selected some beautiful images from the books.

Azuma Itsuko – Pulstella (cover) (1987)

Asuma Itsuko – Pulstella (page 21) (1987)

Azuma Itsuko – Pulstella (page 30) (1987)

Asuma Itsuko – Aquarium (cover) (1989)

Asuma Itsuko – Aquarium (page 12) (1989)

The cover of Passacaglia is quite damaged, but the content is perfect.

Asuma Itsuko – Passacaglia(cover) (1991)

Asuma Itsuko – Passacaglia (page 25) (1991)

While trying to acquire Twilight, I was scammed by the Japanese store selling the book, in a pack with other artists. I’ve lost a good amount of money but, hey, it’s life. I don’t have any images from this book.

Asuma Itsuko – Twilight (cover) (1988)

Another book that I couldn’t find anywhere to buy is Pirouette, about ballerinas:

Asuma Itsuko – Pirouette (cover) (1993)

Azuma Itsuko – from Pirouette

She also illustrated few story books, with several Japanese authors, mostly with fantasy and fairy tales as the subjects. There are few more gorgeous images and not so much famous works scattered through the internet. You can find the originals in Japanese auctions, but the books are still hard to find.

Beautiful 8-year-old girl topless in profile, gold applications, floral patterns, by Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha

(Last Updated On January 11, 2023)

This may the longest title in our database. In fact, it’s a set of instructions—cleaned up for clarity—given to an artificial intelligence (AI) which generates images based on a verbal description. This image was submitted by DS from Germany who wanted to begin a debate regarding the ethics and capabilities of emerging AI.

Stable Diffusion AI et al – Beautiful 8-year-old girl topless in profile, gold applications, floral patterns, by Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha

This particular image was created using a free application called Stable Diffusion which, like many in its cohort, create images from text. This is an early stage of developing AI technologies that simulate human pattern recognition and generation by “training” a computer on a multutide of examples on the internet or other massive database. After “seeing” endless examples of various objects and concepts, the computer is finally able to recognize a car or a chicken or a shoe, etc. which can appear in a myriad of variations/styles.

The technology is far from perfect so some quality adjustments need to be made. For instance, DS usually generates hundreds of images on his computer (about two images per minute) and selects the best ones. The algorithm in this case is not error-free, often producing too many fingers or heads appear. By repeating the process, an acceptable form can be found or some reworking may be required using Photoshop.

The more professional versions charge a fee but there are some free versions besides Stable Diffusion such as Midjourney and OpenAI.

There are many ethical issues that come to mind using this technology, some more obvious than others. And it is important we begin to deal with these sooner rather than later. After all, it is not as if we can put the genie back in the bottle. What control do we have over our own image? What about professional models whose images are used? What compansation is due to living artists whose work is used to train the algorithm? What is the potential for fraud in the art collecting community? What freedoms or limits do there need to be with respect to standards of decency?

These are just the tip of the iceberg and the last point forces us to expound on the issue regarding minors portrayed engaging in illegal activity. Already, many companies have put in safeguards to prohibit nudity, but right now it is a simple matter for competent hackers to override this safeguard. Let the discussion begin!

Random Images: Harry Callahan

(Last Updated On January 8, 2023)

Christian has been sharing a number of interesting leads lately. I have to say that the Google image search algorithm is improving with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). That means that even though the original image was unidentified, I was able to get some detailed information.

Harry Callahan – Barbara (1953)

Harry Callahan (1912–1999) was an American photographer and teacher. He was considered one of the 20th Century’s great innovators and technicians of black & white photography, He demonstrated a fluidity in moving between seemingly disparate subjects: still life, portraits, landscapes, urban scenes, architecture, street portraits and even abstract experimental double-exposure effects. He frequently photographed his wife and daughter who were an integral part of his art. For example in this photo, the choice for Barbara to wear a light-colored dress would have been deliberate given that she would be shot against a darker location. Personally, what is so compelling about this photo is capturing a girl’s moment of contemplation while the careful choice of backdrop adds a more complex texture and provides visual engagement.

Random Images: Eddy Samson

(Last Updated On January 4, 2023)

Very little is known of Eddy Samson (1914–1981) except that he was a painter who operated out of The Netherlands. Samson was likely one of those artists who was penalized for producing representative art when it was out of vogue. This painting predates that period slightly and so he may have enjoyed some success before the ascendance of the Nazi regime and the subsequent Cold War.

Eddy Samson – La naissance d’Aphrodite (1940)

Without even translating the title, the first thing that struck me about this piece (oil on board) is that it is a reinterpretation of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. It makes some sense that Aphrodite (Venus) should be portrayed as a youth since we are talking about a birth here, but on the other hand we are not looking at a toddler either. Given that “birth” in this sense is a metaphor, the symbolism is a bit mixed up here. I would love it if one of our readers had a little more on this artist and the artist’s intent with this piece.

Random Images: Emanuele Caroni

(Last Updated On January 4, 2023)

A reader shared this image presented in a Sotheby’s auction. Since Pip was more familiar with the use of mythological characters in art, I discovered that he had already given me the same lead a while back. You can see other angles to this sculpture using the link above.

Emanuele Caroni (b1826)  worked in Milan as the student of Vincenzo Vela and subsequently in Florence under Lorenzo Bartolini. He was politically involved in Italy’s 1848 struggle against the Austrians before settling permanently in Florence. The medium with which he showed exceptional skill was marble and a number of his works are now in prized collections. He combined the subject of a child with animals at least one other time in Triumph of Love over Force which depicts Cupid seated on a large, docile lion.

Emanuele Caroni – Leda and the Swan (1875)

In the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan, Zeus, in the form of that majestic bird, either rapes or seduces Leda, and she was impregnated with twins. It is common with classical painters to depict Leda in mid-coitus with the swan (one of the few examples of classic art where it was permitted to do so) or with her four children, usually with the broken eggshells of Zeus’s offspring. According to Pip, Caroni’s choice to depict Leda as a prepubescent girl with the swan between her legs was unusual for the time and seems mildly shocking today. But it isn’t exactly unprecedented to depict Greek and Roman mythic characters as children, complete with sexual subtext that most people of the time period would have been familiar with.