A recent trip up I95 to New York with fellow painters and graduation looming near has prompted two compositions that are fairly inexplicable. They are responses to consistent discussions of "the real world"fused with the abnormalities that I have found in my present understanding of life. They reference tangible experiences, people, objects and environments, however formulated and juxtaposed, creating an ironic hypothesis of what is to be expected after graduation. This slightly shallow concept allows me to focus on the physical act of painting, working with the materiality of acrylics and oils, exploring the relationship between figure and ground, and experimentation with color.
The Real World; 2011, acrylic and oil on canvas, 66" x 78"
Boys Club; 2011, acrylic and oil on canvas, 66" x 78"
There is much to catch up on, however I will reduce my history down to its simplest forms and only focus in on the last series of work I produced.
It is no secret that I am and probably always will be interested in the human race; such as how we interact, the different ways in which we present ourselves, cultural barriers and distinctions, why we choose to do the things we do, actions we may take, so on and so forth… after all I am a figure painter. With that being said, it seemed to me that the next logical step within my works was to do a series that broke down the most essential form of communication between us all; body language. Sixty percent of how we communicate is through out bodies, and in an age where a significant amount of communicative forms are through technological means, it is evident, our instinctive way of understanding each other is becoming extinct. Body language is on its way to becoming a dead language. Such things as email and text messaging strip a sentence of its context from an individual and we read things at face value, and thus it only makes sense the people are increasingly voiding personal interactions of various connotations. I may say I am fine, but my tapping fingers, defensive stance, and avoidance of eye contact would argue otherwise. Younger generations no longer take into consideration the subtle movements, and in return believe the former. The series consists of singular figures made to scale of the individual depicted, each demonstrating a common communicative stance that is in theory, universally understood. What better way would there be to illustrate a silent language than through a silent medium such as painting.
John Singer Sargent, a late 19th century realist painter, once upon a time switched over his approach to painting and had a short lived experience as a impressionist. Why? Well, perhaps a change was needed, or his new friend Monet was of great influence. Maybe the big scandal surrounding his "Madame X", made him grow more of an appreciation for impressionist works such as the scandalous "Olimpia" by Manet. Either way the works are intriguing nontheless for it just goes to show the many possible faces of an artist. "Sargent and Impressionism” continues through Dec. 18 at Adelson Galleries, and encourage all to go.
"There’s something somnolent, even funereal, about this work — and about Sargent’s Impressionist pictures in general, for all their vivid colors and vigorous brushwork."
In an earlier post, I uploaded a few images as well as the synopsis for my latest series. But I will recap a bit. My current work is a reaction to two sources. The first is There She is - Taking a Bath, a short story by Sherwood Anderson. The second is a tale of a recorded duel between artist Edouard Manet and writer and painter Edmond Daughtry. In both stories the lead male feels as if his honor has been tampered with, and in response acts irrationally, losing sanity and one could argue respect. What I found particularly interesting about Manet's tale was his relationship with a pair a boots he purchased the evening before the duel to wear that day. The duel is of no interest; it is the hidden tale of the boots that are beyond fascinating, for they are the most human representation within the tale. After one strike, Manet offers his most prized possession of the time to his opponent; the boots. The same pair of which just the night before he wrote to Baudelaire how remarkable they were. The paintings address themes of loss, remorse, possession, greed and reflection of self. The two images below, are the supposed third and forth paintings of the series, although I am not completely satisfied. There is still a bit of work to be done, and perhaps a fifth painting needed; maybe even a sixth and seventh. Regardless, I am happy with the new direction my paints are taking me. From working on several murals in New York, the flat large shapes of saturated color have a direct reflection in my studio paintings. I am embracing the way my mind sees and comprehends in shapes and am directly translating images onto the panel as I would break them apart in my mind. Well hope you enjoy.
Thanks for reading.
MANet vs. MANet; 2010, oil on wood panel, 48" x 54"
One Size to Small; 2010, oil and acrylic on wood panel, 48" x 48"
Beneath the Streets of NYC, two street artists are gathering a team of over a hunderd to create works at an unknown abandoned subway station. From murals to installations the visiting artists are blindfolded as they are lead underground through the dark tunnels of Manhattan. Only allowed to work for one night, supplying their own materials, they must work fast under one battery operated lamp, listening carefully for any subway workers that might be coming through. The idea of such a project is something I find invigorating and would love to take part of such a scheme. However, even with such a great idea, there are many risks involved. Will these images become an urban legend? Or is it only a matter of time before authorities discover the secret location of the modern equivalent cave paintings?
Takashi Murakami is causing quite the commotion over at the Palace of Versailles with his new retrospective. The negative reactions are overwhelming in numbers and conservatives are out for the kill:
"On Tuesday, the first day of the three-month show, the critics plan a demonstration mocking contemporary art. Protesters have been asked to take with them a painting of a cat's penis, a urinal or bidet on a shopping trolley, or "any other object of your invention". 'Let your imagination run wild,' wrote the Save the Chateau of Versailles collective. 'Be just as provocative as the 'artists' we are forced to admire.'"
Strong words. "...the "artists" we are FORCED to admire." If you find the work so revolting, there is a simple solution. Do not go and see it. In this case, ignorance is bliss.There is no force. So far "more than 11,000 people have signed petitions claiming the show is degrading and disrespectful."
There is most definitely a tangible and understandable argument in maintaining the honor and authenticity of Versailles, but perhaps they are taking it just a bit to far with their urinal stuffed trolley cart. I do not believe Marie and Louis would approve of such behavior.