Ruth Bader Ginsburg #RBG Chair Makes Great Grad Gift

What do you get for the most politically savy, independent thinking, strong young adults you know who is graduating? Why isn’t it obvious? A custom, handpainted chair of Ruth Bader Ginsburg –  none other than the Notorious #RGB – complete with her dissent collar and green earrings.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O’Connor) of four to be confirmed to the court (along with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who are still serving alongside #RBG ).

#RGB , who is generally accepted as being more on the liberal side of the courts, has become recognized through the years for her forceful dissents. She has authored notable majority opinions, including United States v. VirginiaOlmstead v. L.C., and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.

#RBG was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother, one of her biggest sources of encouragement, died shortly before #RBG graduated from high school. She then earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, and became a wife and mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class. #RBG transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated tied for first in her class. Following law school, #RBG turned to academia. She was a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field.

#RBG spent a considerable part of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights, winning multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsels in the 1970s. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she served until her appointment to the Supreme Court.

#RBG has received attention in American popular culture; most recently with the 2018 documentary RGB and more recently the movie On the Basis of Sex starring Felicity Jones

 

 

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Dream Commission Has Me Making 10 Grateful Dead Painted Chairs

As a Deadhead, I have always thought it would be cool to create a group of  Grateful Dead painted chairs paying tribute to the entire band. I have the one Jerry Garcia painted chair that I’ve created, but this fall I was so excited when I was commissioned to create ten members who played in the band over the years.

The Grateful Dead came onto the music scene in 1965 in San Francisco. Their music appeals to me because I love how it the band can create amazing jams that can go on forever. I also like how it combines rock, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, and other styles of music all into one. When I am painting, I am typically jamming out to them or Phish for my artistic inspiration.

The founding members were Jerry Garcia (on lead guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (doing rhythm guitar, and vocals), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (on keyboards, harmonica, and vocals), Phil Lesh (on bass and  vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (on drums).

Members of the Grateful Dead had played together in various San Francisco bands, including Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions and the Warlocks. Lesh was the last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead. Drummer Mickey Hart and non-performing lyricist Robert Hunter joined in 1967. With the exception of McKernan, who died in 1973, and Hart, who took time off from 1971 to 1974, the core of the band stayed together for its entire 30-year history.

The other official members of the band are Tom Constanten (on keyboards from 1968–1970), John Perry Barlow (a nonperforming lyricist from 1971–1995), Keith Godchaux (on keyboards from 1971–1979), Donna Godchaux (who provided vocals from 1972–1979), Brent Mydland (on keyboards and vocals from 1979–1990), and Vince Welnick (on keyboards and vocals from 1990–1995). Bruce Hornsby (on accordion, piano, and vocals) was a touring member from 1990 to 1992, as well as a guest with the band on occasion before and after the tours.

Each upcycled painted chair has a similar theme with the tie background and black overlay. The legs of the chairs pay tribute to the Dead’s famous concert posters (Winterland and the Fillmore) which have become collectors’ items.

Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Weir

Bob Weir – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pig Pen

Pig Pen – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phil Lesh

Phil Lesh Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billy Kruetzman

Billy Kruetzman – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mickey Hart

Micky Hart – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Godchaux

Keith Godchaux – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donna Godchaux

Donna Godchaux – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brent Mydland

Brent Mydland – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vince Welnick

Vince Welnick – Back

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Salvador Dali Commission Leaves Me Perplexed

When I got the call inquiring about a Salvador Dali tribute I have to say I was excited. Dali, who died in 1989 was very well recognized surrealist who was born in Figueres, Catalonia Spain.

His work was truly one of a kind, and he was actually a skilled draftsman but he is better known for his memorable and often bizarre images in his surrealist work.  Few, however, know that he also did film, sculpture, and photography. His best-known work is painting is The Persistence of Memory which he painted in oil and completed in August 1931. In it are melting and distorted clocks pocket watches that are said to represent the erratic passage of time that we experience while dreaming.

The chair I was commissioned to do  is actually pays tribute to many of Dali’s works of art including Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s Angelus on the front of the chair; The Temptation of Saint Anthony on the legs; Lincoln in Dali Vision on the back of the head; Atavistic Vestiges After the Rain on the back of the chair;  the symbolic melting clocks from The Persistence of a Memory on the center of the seat and along the right side of the chair; The Enigma of Desire on the seat; and an actual photograph of Dali for the for the head.

The result of the chair is a truly wonderful piece of functional art honoring this famous surrealist who often left us guessing as to what he was thinking.

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Church Pew Turns Into Yellow Submarine

I recently was commissioned by a Beatles collector to pay homage to the Beatles Yellow Submarine out of a bench.

“What!?!?” That’s what my wife said when I told her about the order. She thought I was crazy for taking on the challenge but I have to say I could envision it from the start and turned out being  one of my favorite commissions to date.

I first located an antique three foot church with high arms. (The high arms were necessary to create the  Then I went to work sculpting it into a submarine shape. From there I put my paint brush to work and the rest is history. I can honestly say it is the coolest church pew I ever seen and I’m proud to put my name to it and pay tribute to this classic album in this regard.

The Yellow Submarine is the tenth studio album by the Beatles. It was released in January 1969  and was the soundtrack to the Yellow Submarine which premiered in London in July 1968. The album contains many classic songs including: The Yellow Submarine , Only a Northern Song, All Together Now, Hey Bulldog, It’s All Too Much, All You Need Is Love,  Pepperland, Sea of Time, Sea of Holes, Sea of Monsters, Pepperland Laid Waste, and Yellow Submarine in Pepperland.  All tracks written by Lennon–McCartney, except Only a Northern Song and It’s All Too Much, by George Harrison. Of these, the most noteworthy of course are are The Yellow Submarine with Ringo Starr on lead vocals, All You Need is Love with John Lennon on vocals.  I have to say I’m partial to All You Need Is Love especially in today’s world.

I hope this commission brings a smile to your face. I know it brought me a lot of joy making it. If you have an idea for something special email me at toddfendos@gmail.com

 

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Renoir’s By the Seashore upcycled chair painted by Artist Todd Fendos

This upcycled painted chair pays tribute to Renoir’s “By the Seashore” Impressionist painting. By the Seashore is was completed in 1883 and now housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Renoir made a trip to Italy in 1881-82 and was very influenced by Renaissance art. After this trip, he began to explore a new manner of painting, different from impressionism. He started to emphasize contours and modeling, abandoned the principle that scenes should be painted outdoors to capture light and atmosphere.

Late in the summer of 1883, Renoir spent about a month in St. Peter Port, the capital of Guernsey, and admired the rocks, cliffs and stunning view of Moulin Huet Bay in St. Martin. He painted the starts of fifteen pictures during his stay, most of which were finished later in his Paris studio. Guernsey lies 48 km off the coast of mainland Normandy. Both share the same geology and Guernsey fulfills the “by the sea” criterion in the exhibition title.

However, By the Seashore is thought to have been painted in the artist’s studio. The beach depicted here is probably not in the Channel Islands but near Dieppe, on the Normandy coast. The model was Aline Charigot, his then girlfriend, whom he married in 1890. The arc of the sitter’s dark eyebrows and saucily tilted nose in that pleasant, rosy-cheeked face are common to works by Renoir.

I love the idea of the young woman’s posture by off to the side. It makes for a striking image. Thanks, as always, for supporting artists.

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Upcycled chair by artist Todd Fendos A Mother’s Love

This special commission speaks a lot to me about the power of love and the bond between a mother and a daughter.

A mom reached out me telling me that she wanted to create a truly one of a kind birthday present for her daughter who was literally an ocean away from her. She also wanted to let her daughter know that she will love her always and forever and that no distance can keep them apart.

She sent me a picture of herself in her favorite colorful shirt and asked me to please reproduce it into a chair. She also said because she has very sensitive eyes she always wears sun glasses and asked me to do my test to recreate her.

As a special touch we decided to have her hands making the shape of a heart letting her daughter how much she is loved and that no matter what her mom will always be at her side.

I’m particularly proud of the hands on this chair which I think really have a 3-D effect.

The mom told me her daughter was absolutely “over the moon” about her birthday present and that she love her latest piece of furniture for her home❣

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Upcycled chair by artist Todd Fendos Pays Homage to Jimi Hendrix

Although Jimi Hendrix’ mainstream career only spanned really four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”. And you know what, I have to agree.

Hendrix played a variety of guitars throughout his career, with a few exceptions, Hendrix played right-handed guitars that were turned upside down and restrung for left-hand playing, pretty cool huh? This made the sound of his music as unique as he was.

Hendrix’s music has received a number of Hall of Fame Grammy awards, starting with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, followed by two Grammys in 1999 for his albums Are You Experienced and Electric LadylandAxis: Bold as Love received a Grammy in 2006. In 2000, he received a Hall of Fame Grammy award for his original composition, “Purple Haze”, and in 2001, for his recording of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”. Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was honored with a Grammy in 2009.

In 2015, our family was lucky to see some of his guitars, clothing and concert posters at an amazing exhibit paying tribute to him at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle WA.

Then in 2017, our family enjoyed the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent exhibit to him that includes: his Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar and and Gibson Flying V, his priest’s robe from 1967, the jacket and pants frat he wore at the Love and Peace Festical in Germany in 1970 and more.

Both of these exhbits are must sees for music lovers.

So are you experienced enough to enjoy Jimi in a Purple Haze? Enjoy the site of psychedelic Jimi playing in your own home.

This custom order was combined with my tributes to Elvis, John Lennon and Prince to form one of Rock’s greatest bands to never play.

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Upcycled chair by artist Todd Fendos Pays Homage to Clint Eastwood and John Wayne

While Clint Eastwood refused to work together in a movie, who says that they can’t get together over a friendly game of high-stakes poker? This commissioned order does just that. Set in 1865, this table and chair set comes complete, including the players using Confederate bills. This was a great addition to a rec room.

 

 

 

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Upcycled chair pays homage to The Point by artist Todd Fendos

IMG_20151114_113216312This special commision went to a fan of the movie The Point! who wanted his own Oblio and and dog arrow..The Point! is a fable that tells the story of a boy named Oblio, the only round-headed person in the Pointed Village, where by law everyone and everything must have a point. Released in 1970, The Point! is the sixth studio album by American songwriter and muscian Harry Nilsson.

It was accompanied by an animated film adaptation directed by Fred Wold, which aired on ABC a few weeks after the albums release. Its lead single, “Me and My Arrow” peaked at #34 on the billboard Hot 100. The VHS and DVD releases feature another of Nilsson’s friends, Ringo Starr, as the father. Another version, seen on cable television in the 80s and 90s, featured narration by Alan Thicke. The voices of the son and Oblio were provided by Mike Lookinland, best known for playing Bobby Brady on the television series The Brady Bunch.

 

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