Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Radiohead - Karma Police

I'm just going to trust Wikipedia as I discuss my favorite music video and just song in general.

I think a music artist should count as an artist that inspires myself as a visual artist. Particularly since a music video has strong visuals. My artwork is very dark and sometimes depressing, no wonder I love Radiohead so much.

Wikipedia explains,
"Yorke explained that the song was about stress and "having people looking at you in that certain [malicious] way, I can't handle it anymore".[9] Thom Yorke explained the idea of the lyrics to The Independent in 2006, saying, "It's for someone who has to work for a large company. This is a song against bosses. Fuck the middle management!"[5] Yorke and Jonny Greenwood emphasised in interviews that the song had a humorous bent; Yorke said, "[It's] not entirely serious, I hope people will realize that."[9] The song includes the line "He buzzes like a fridge/He's like a detuned radio", a reference to the distracting, metaphorical background noise Yorke calls "fridge buzz". Yorke has said that the idea of fridge buzz is one of the primary themes of OK Computer;[10] "Karma Police" also shares themes of insanity and dissatisfaction with capitalism.[11]"

This idea of constant fridge buzz, distracting and creeping/sustaining in the background, causing buildup in your mind's attention is very intriguing to me. There's a certain coldness in the attitude of the song and film. It's lonely. Why would such a lonely and brutal song be so successful? Because people relate? And it just sounds wonderful. In the above paragraph Yorke says that the song is "for someone who has to work for a large company." He's talking to people, and many can relate. 

I really should keep that in mind.

Up Close and Personal- Carolee Schneeman

Portrait Partials

Saw Over Want

Carolee Schneeman is a very well known feminist. Her art ranges in painting, photography, performance and installation. Notice in the very top photo collage, she focuses in very close to certain body parts and objectifies them. I catch a sense of dehumanization from this. I strive to do this myself on occasion. Just seeing a portion of the body is so impersonal, I think that's what causes these feelings of dehumanization and objectification.      

Her juxtaposition of the collages is also interesting; what she chose to place next to each other and it automatically creates tension in all of the photos put together. The top one is extremely successful in creating a very "touchy feely" complex and creating also a strong impression of sensitivity. 

"The history of her work is characterized by research into archaic visual traditions, pleasure wrested from suppressive taboos, and the body of the artist in dynamic relationship with the social body." -Elizabeth A. Sackler Center

Basically Schneeman knows how to make viewers uncomfortable, socially. She enters taboos that most would avoid discussing or portraying and finds uncomfortable ways to juxtapose imagery.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What are the similarities of these paintings?

  They are both very dark and draw you in. They cause you to want to look deeper--
Matt Price on discusses Ghenie as, "Ghenie plunders visual history via disparate avenues - archives, history books, cinema, painting, YouTube and Google - to build his dense, multi-layered paintings. His preparations are intriguing in their ebb and flow between fact and fabrication. Once images are selected from different modes of representation, Ghenie creates collages with printed images that are overworked and embellished in paint. Sometimes he turns stills into cardboard models, creating a kind of mini film set, tangible, with shifting light and relative scale. 

Cinema’s aesthetic preoccupies Ghenie, particularly the moment cinema developed its own unique qualities: when scenes were created, seen and understood as nothing but filmic – movement, light, structure, genre, and moments repeated in different productions to the point of cliché that could not be separated from that medium, just as the surface and qualities of a Caravaggio can only really exist in paint. "

                                                                    Michaël Borremans
                                                                          Automat (I)
                                                                      80,0 x 60,0 cm
                                                                        oil on canvas

"The films, paintings, and drawings by Belgian artist Michaël Borremans (°1963) overwhelm the viewer through the use of deceleration, precision and vortex. His seductive works contain timeless images of inner drive and external force, of the latent pressure involved in being human. Behind a veil of stylistic perfection, the artist simulates common rituals of interpretation and meaning. His intensely atmospheric images are puzzles involving political and psychological patterns of perceiving the world, which oscillate in a camouflaging, fragile way between inexorable realism and nebulous distance." 

-Zeno X Gallery- Michaël Borremans Biography

More paintings by Adrian Ghenie:

It Could Be Anywhere 

The Hit

Babe In The Woods

The Red Is On Fire

More by Michaël Borremans: 

Taking Turns

The Case

Four Fairies 

The Load

Paul Ruiz

I've had my eye on Paul Ruiz for awhile now. He's beautifully expressive with paint and very creative with color. Texture and color play roles in space and unity. He's based in Melbourne, just like Sophia Hewson and a few other artists that have caught my attention. Seems like Melbourne is doing well in the arts.

He has a very nice website showing a lot of his recent work and a blog which gives a lot of what's on his mind. And he updates them very often. 

Here's a nice close up of one of his paintings that he displayed on his website. He's very soft with his faces which brings out the paint textures in many places. 

It de-personalizes the subjects softening their faces. He reminds me a lot of Cezanne with how he depicts space through texture and color.

He makes such strikingly beautiful close ups.


The above link is an interview with Paul by 
They make an interesting point that he's trying to conceal or reveal the emotional state of the subject. Sounds similar to what I've been trying to explore with veils in my own personal painting and drawings. 
Speaking of drawings, Paul's are very elegant--

He doesn't need to put every part of the figure in. The interviewer also discussed this at how "Paul’s subjects seem to be enveloped, concealed, or surrounded by the very medium which he uses to depict them..In Untitled Man, it’s not clear whether the partially visible figure is breaking free of his surroundings or being engulfed by them. . . and that’s probably as intended.
Either way the imagery is powerfully tragic: the figure’s face is bathed in golden light, but he appears unable to see it." 
He is creating his own veils just using paint and nothing else. He paints the face, then scratches away or adds more paint. 

untitled man

Sophia Hewson - Photo Realist

I discovered Sophia Hewson on the Lindberg Galleries' website.
 There's an interview on Art Re-Source's website:  

The questions weren't touching much on her concepts behind her paintings. I feel like photo realist painters don't really get much attention or questioning behind what their work means. People just look at their technique and how long it takes them to paint so realistically. 

Perhaps they speak well enough on their own. 

  • UNTITLED 2010
  • 180 X 200 CM


I think I would like to read an artist statement to learn more about what she's thinking. 

Marina Abramovic - Staring Contest

This is a picture taken from Juxtapoz discussing Marina Abramovic's performance at the MoMA in New York City. There's something so intimate about this, with a person you've never met before which is what makes it so challenging. My twin nephews just turned one and they just stare into my eyes, study my face, I really think Marina Abramovic is on to something here. I love seeing a new face that I've never seen before, it can sometimes be comforting, and sometimes humbling. 

Perhaps that's why portraits will always be intriguing and never out of style. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ellen Kooi

I feel like I'm watching a Stanley Kubrick movie when I look at these photographs. They have narrative, as if you are in a dream as described in the above New York Times article. Similar to the last artist, not all the answers are given. The photographs are surreal and inviting. The children look back to the viewer beckoning us to follow--with caution of course. 

Jeremy Geddes' Lonely Cosmonauts

The above link is an interesting interview with artist Jeremy Geddes. It definitely sounds like he wants to remain mysterious in his artwork. He describes leaving just enough elements in his paintings to create questions, not answers. I personally find it successful and intriguing. He's kept my attention for awhile now because of it.

Plus his paintings are just drop dead gorgeous. The cosmonauts are always alone and alienated in their suits leaving viewers with feelings of subtleness and solitude. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jason Shwan Alexander

 I don't recall feeling as similar to another artist. His art is dark and expressive with abstract qualities. It focuses on his honest feelings and he expresses what he finds truly intriguing and beautiful. 

He has a new series coming out that I read about on called Mouners.

One question that I connected with in particular in the article was this:
Q: Does Jason have a dark side? 
You more than likely see it in the paintings. That's really what they are. I'm a happy man, for the most part, and that's primarily because I try my damndest to put everything else in my work. Work is therapy for me. I can't explain how that is, but I'm changed every time I finish a piece or have a full day of painting.

I often am asked how I have such dark themes in my artwork and I have yet to figure out why. Recently in a critique we concluded that since I've had such a happy childhood perhaps I just need a little darkness in my life. Sounds like escapism.