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.
The other day my professor had asked me why I was interested in the figure. My immediate explanation was that it was an obsession of sorts. It had originally started out that I was unable to render the human form well and I simply wanted to be able to. So the human figure became my subject of choice for almost all my recent work. However, what I failed to mention to my professor was that my interest had developed beyond technical ability. I am extremely interested in humans in general. One of the biggest surprises yet disappointments I learned of when I studied abroad, is that I respond to people not environments. The beauty of Lacoste France was one that could compare to no other. But honestly speaking, it was not all that inspiring in correlation to my work. (I could say otherwise about its affects on me as a person) It was the people who surrounded me, the locals and the students I was with, who influenced me the most. I am interested in those I do not know and want to learn more. The characters I create are just as much a stranger to me as the viewer and want to understand them, learn from them.
My latest series is a response to two sources. One: There She is - Taking a Bath, a short story by Sherwood Anderson. Two: 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. He wrote to Baudelaire about their spacious quality and high level of comfort. He of course wore them to the duel. Manet was the first to strike, whereupon the duel was immediately called off. Now Daughtry had been wounded in the chest, and in a bizarre turn of events; Manet immediately offered his new boots to Edmond. How strange. Perhaps his levels of testosterone went down and sense was once again returned to his mind. But within minutes of striking down a friend he felt remorse and offered up his most prized possession at the time. To me the duel is of no interest, it is the hidden tale of the boots that are beyond fascinating. And so it creates the beginnings of a series:
There She is-Taking a Bath; 2010, oil on wood panel, 48" x 60"
The Philosopher; 2010, oil on wood panel, 72" x 36"
Oh my. " All that remains is the vast grayness, stretching into the distance like a congealed sea, and of course the idea: the quantity, the labor, the care..."
Perhaps a little more research should have been conducted before the installation of Ai Weiwei’painted porcelain seeds at Tate Modern Museum. Once allowed to interact with the seeds, the viewers must admire from afar for the seeds have been claimed as a hazardous. Read more:
" 'Hot dogs and potato knishes are great, but they’re hardly the staples of modern dietary habits,' he said. The kiosk, by contrast, he added, 'would be more sanitary, as well'..."
The Guggenheim Museum wants to rid of hotdog vendors infront of its historic building for they are aesthetically unpleasing. Really? There is not much to say on this one other than it's New York! Unless you are craving some quick food, the last thing you would notice outside the beautifully designed Frank LLoyd Wright building would be the vendors. They become background noise, part of the city. They are no more distracting then your average citizen walking past. Want to know more? Check it out:
Last spring I was lucky enough to travel to the south of France, where I lived in the small medieval village of Lacoste. It was there, where I first experimented with the very old and traditional art form printmaking. While I had my grievances with the different techniques, my approach to my preliminary drawings were completely different from what I am accustomed to. I have always been drawn to linear work, and when I paint I've learned not to try to recreate the whole, but just small shapes that stand beside each other to build the form. So I did just precisely that with my prints; I'm emphasized shape rather than form. Just a few images to follow:
Universal Collective I; 2010, Linoleum Cut, 6” x 5.75"
Universal Collective II; 2010, Linoleum Cut, 6” x 5.75”
Universal Collective III; 2010, Linoleum Cut, 6” x 5.75”
Contain; 2010, Linoleum Cut, 16.5” x 12”
I thinking about approching my future paintings with the same mentality as my prints. Going in a more graphic direction.... how or why for? I am not entirely sure, but I just have to do it.
This past Thursday, Savannah College of Art and Design played host to visiting artist Cary Leibowitz. Part of the Pathetic Art Movement his short lecture kept a conversational tone that was informative yet continuously entertaining. Primarily language based, his work is full of social commentary addressing issues such as adolescent angst, superficiality, cultural and religious stereotypes, fame, and American history in such a witty and sharp brevity.
Within the first few minutes of his lecture he states, “If you think I am self involved… well… I kind of am.” As I touched upon in an earlier post, artists have a certain conversant love of “self,” and Leibowitz was no exception. However, there was modesty, and honesty that you found within his work and character that was refreshing.He mentioned how earlier in his career he had a compulsive need to be liked by everyone, and so he would fill rooms with numerous different goods that would satisfy a range of needs. He admitted that his signature “candyass” became a crutch. He confessed that after a long days work, he wished he had gone to view a new show or two, but the reality of the situation was that he went home and watched a lot of television. He was just tired. He commented that if he really wanted to create something he would, and if not, watching TV was just fine. Refreshing.Though a simple statement, it best describes the hilarity and wonderful way of it all. His works of multiples are mostly manufactured goods, where he does not necessarily need to put in many hours of studio practice. Nonetheless, he did not pretend tto aganize in the studio, or suggest that he attended every gallery opening possible. He kept it real. For the truth of the matter is that we all get tired time and again, and sometimes we just need to sit and relax. Iit is not the end of our careers as artists if we do. Below are just a few examples of Leibowtiz work and I strongly suggest to further learn of his career and creations.
Within the past few years I have not been on this grandiose path to discover who I am as a painter. I simply wanted to paint. I have a strong belief that one must attain some form of basic academic understanding of materials and technique, before they develop their "style" or "label" as an artist. Perhaps these ideals come from going to art school for numerous years. Where the halls are filled with conceptual artists who at times do not have the skill to back up their work. Do not get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for conceptual work. But I can not appreciate the work of an artist (or student I should say) who refuses to go beyond hiding behind their ideas (or lack of) to avoid learning. Without some level of skill, are you to be still considered a artist? Or perhaps just a philosopher? The same could be said for those who hid behind there abilities to render form, for their lack of concept. There needs to be a balance and understanding of both worlds. And once you have that knowledge, feel free to roam and do what is best for you. What it really comes down to, you have to be open to learning, experimenting and failing.
Now, on this path to learning and understanding painting on its own, I began to have a better understanding of who I want to become. As of now I find that I am moving towards figurative and narrative work. I am interested in creating characters, and understanding who they are as they develop. Who they are in relation to each other, and who they are in relation to the viewer and myself, for I am just as much a stranger. The piece above is just one painting that pointed me in this direction, although it is not a direct represention of these ideals. Instead the focus of this 48” x 60.5” canvas, entitled, "The Gentlemen", was to understand form and have fun with it. Anyway, just a taste of what is to come.
It’s official. I have begun a blog of my own. I have often tossed around the idea of creating a personal page, however, always thought it unnecessary. But now, as I begin my career as an artist, it only seems like next best step. Marilyn Minter once stated, as a true artist would, “I am not much, but I am all I can think about.” As a painter, and I’m sure any artist would agree, I spend a whole lot of time thinking about myself. It is not some reflection of a huge ego. However, it reflects a constant need for self growth. A blog only seems a natural progression from here. It’s a way to better filter my thoughts. Who are the artists I look at? What articles fascinate me? What patterns are arising from these choices? Me. Me. Me. An artist’s goldmine. If you are an artist and are not questioning yourself, motives and creations, you should start. So here I am laying it all out on the line. Whether or not I develop followers is unimportant. What is important that I am continually searching, learning, and posting.