Friday, September 22, 2023


“After tea it’s back to painting – a large poplar at dusk with a gathering storm. From time to time instead of this evening painting session I go bowling in one of the neighbouring villages, but not very often.” -Gustav Klimt

“No man is an island” -John Donne

Each of us has, within our psyche, a differing need for solitude and community. But even those who keep themselves quite close and do not venture far abroad from their native habits have, from time to time, the need to gather. Community is part of what makes us human. Together we learn more about ourselves. Reaching toward each other contributes to a healthier life and enhances our experiences of this world.

John Wolf is the founder of John Wolf Advisory. An avid collector, he left the tech industry to focus on fostering and creating a legacy for clients through art. Wolf helps clients build their personal art collections in such a way as to enhance their lives and legacy. Collecting, Wolf says, “takes a few mistakes along the way.” No one starts out knowing what it is that they want and very often make purchases that they perhaps don’t love once they have lived with them for a while. Wolf helps his clients hone the ability to choose their acquisitions.

The way to learn his clients’ collecting style is often to delve into their personal background. That and the ability to read non-verbal cues as they look at work contribute to his success as an independent adviser. He often gives his clients homework, telling them to attend exhibits and begin to understand what it is that draws them in.

Wolf works with galleries, with collectors divesting their own acquisitions, and directly with emerging artists. As a third party, Wolf is often able to receive information from galleries that collectors themselves or other galleries likely wouldn’t receive.

In his work with emerging artists, Wolf sees his role as being somewhat akin to an entertainment industry manager. He helps to pair emerging artists with collectors he knows will find some affinity with the work. Those collectors may be private individuals, corporations, or institutions.

In terms of commission, Wolf works on an across the board percentage. In the case of emerging artists, he goes in fully aware that there may not be much in the way of commission at the beginning. It is the importance of fostering relationships between artists and collectors and galleries that Wolf prioritizes.

To hear more about John Wolf Advisories, and Wolf’s own take on navigating the art world, listen to the complete interview.

Curt Hoppe exhibited at the Bernarducci Gallery in New York during March of 2018. The images Hoppe exhibited were of people instrumental in the arts scene. For the work, Hoppe photographs his subjects using very simple lighting. He paints many of them, though not all. Ultimately the work will be displayed in two exhibitions. The first will display 23 of the images and the second, located in the Bowery, will include all of the photos including a photograph of Arturo Vega, the artistic director for The Ramones and the early inspiration for the work itself. Hoppe is also busy with production of a book of the photographs.

Hoppe himself has resided in the Bowery for over forty years. This put him in direct contact with so many influencers of the art, punk, rock, and many other creative circles. The work he is now doing is his offering to history, an attempt to archive some of these individuals who shaped the New York scene and indeed the world.

The scene in New York during the height of the LES punk era in the 1970s was unique and Hoppe and his friends all know this. He says that youth today, while they have their own particular culture, do not have the sort of culture available to them that was happening back then. The lack of digital media and constant contact perhaps contributed to this unique scene.

These days, those residing in the Bowery are more likely to be bankers than artists. Hoppe says that the gentrification doesn’t necessarily bother him, though it has changed the landscape of the place.

Hoppe is in the business of closely studying faces. He says you can see wisdom in the faces of those who he photographs and paints from this time in the LES. In the portraits, he included the bodies of his subjects in order to display posture, body language, and other characteristics that give a window into the individuals. Hoppe’s hyper-realistic painting style captures every nuance of his subjects, both the physical and the interior lives.

To hear more about Hoppe’s work, and his thoughts on high definition photographic printers versus painting, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

By all means take the time you need to sit with just yourself but do not close the world out entirely. Gather and be better for it.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. John Wolf is reading The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett. Praxis community member Mary Lou is reading Not So Still Life by Jimmy Ernst.


The Gateway International Painting Contest awards cash to best in show painters on a monthly basis. Anyone working within the medium of paint is invited to submit to this opportunity. In addition to the best in show award, a separate cash prize is given to the artists’ choice winner each month. For further details and guidelines, visit the website. There is a small fee for submissions. Deadline is July 31.


Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

Sponsor: Whitney Museum of American Art – David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night. Jul 13–Sep 30, 2018. Beginning in the late 1970s, David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) created a body of work that spanned photography, painting, music, film, sculpture, writing, and activism.



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