The Story of Art

I like the Holidays to be synonymous with the idea of peace, so as imagined, I've spent the last week with Fisk and few close friends and loved ones. Burning through favorite movies/recipes/and Xmas dinner has allowed for enough rest and relaxation to really consider my options for the next year. I've decided that I'd love to learn more about art history, and having spent 45 minutes in the art history department at The Strand, I figured I should start with the classic,The Story of Art, by E.H.Gombrich. I figure, preferred genres of art will appear after reading, and I can delve into those more deeply - instead of buying the largest history of art textbook imaginable. I've had a lot of fun reading parts of this book out loud, and really revisiting a lot of wonderful ideas about art. If you're looking for a book to help you understand whatever this thing called art is, this book is a great place to start. Here are a few good quotes from the introduction. 

Pg.6  "The trouble about beauty is that tastes and standards of what is beautiful vary so much... ...What is true of beauty is also true of expression.  In fact, it is often the expression of a figure in the painting which makes us like or loathe a work.  Some people like an expression which they can easily understand, and which therefore moves them profoundly."

Pg.10 "There is no greater obstacle to the enjoyment of great works of art than our unwillingness to discard habits and prejudices. A painting which represents a familiar subject in an unexpected way is often condemned for no better reason than that it does not seem right."

Pg. 17 "Admittedly, taste in art is something infinitely more complex than taste in food and drink. It is not only a matter of discovering various subtle flavors; it is something more serious and more important.  After all, the great masters have given their all in these works, they have suffered for them, sweated blood over them, and the least they have a right to ask of us if that we try to understand what they wanted to do."

Good & Great! I'll bring you more details from this book as I read through it. Happy Holidays. 


House of Relative Whale

A huge thank you to everyone who came out to see the show. I had a lot of fun seeing friends, catching up, and talking about art. Fisk was again, such an asset to putting this show together, I don't know how I would have managed without him! Thank you to Brenda for giving me yet another great opportunity to show my work for a bit. I can't imagine a better way to wrap up the year. 

 Acting silly with my paintings...

 This was one of my favorite watercolors from the series. 

Putting on a show can be a lot of work, but so worth it, and a great experience all around. I have a lot of exciting plans for the next year, one of which: starting my residency! I can't wait to get some new works started in a new community.  As for now, one more night of work, and then 5 days off! I am always so grateful for those paid time off days. I can't wait to get Holiday celebrating underway. Fisk and I are going to have a blast. 


Violence Lately

Last Week Fisk and I, (+friends) went and saw 2 movies on the Big Screen by Quentin Tarantino.
A) Reservoir Dogs
B) Pulp Fiction
It was pretty amazing to see these so huge. I mean, it really changes things.
Also. I've never read an Stephen King novel before.
The Shining is really great.  I have a little sparkle in my eye that is telling me I'll be watching this movie once the book is over.  So OF COURSE, all this violence just makes me want to...
...play the whole game of Halo 4 again on hero mode. Just until Fisk and I put the nuke in the alien spaceship.


Jon Contino

Last week, Fisk, myself, and some friends went to the Jon Contino lecture at the Museum of Arts and Design. Contino's lecture "Escaping Hell" took us through 7 different stages of Design from, as Contino states, "kid artist to design slave to professional freedom".  I really enjoyed the lecture, and was mostly impressed that Contino was so down to earth and eager to explain his own mistakes for the benefit of helping others learn.  It could be argued that the lecture was for college level designers - but I didn't mind, Contino was very clear in the beginning that he felt this presentation would be most helpful.  It would have been nice to hear him talk about some parts of design history he really enjoyed.  I enjoy listening to artists talk about where things came from in their own minds, what connections they're making to what.  There was an opportunity for that during the Q & A, when a listener asked about his influences.  Contino was hesitant about admitting that he looked to other designers for inspiration, and explained he is more inspired by old signs, lettering, and things you'd find in a thrift shop.  I can understand not wanting to admit that you're inspired by other artists, as the word "inspire" can sometimes carry a sentimentality that doesn't necessarily benefit professionalism, but it would have been nice to know which designers or artists really helped him think about his own design in a new way.  It's obvious from his presentation that there was an incredible amount of growth between each level of hell, to know aesthetically how he made those choices would have also benefited the audience.  I'm not complaining though, there is never enough time in lectures for all the answers.  It was great to hear him speak, and he seems like a good guy.  You can check out his work here--> http://joncontino.com/


The Turner Prize

Contemporary artists under 50 win it. It's a big deal in Britain. I know nothing of the 4 artists who made the short list. Here are the artists and their works!

Luke Fowler "All Divided Selves" 2011
Perhaps Fisk could have done a better job trying to find a place online to view this work. Vimeo, Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, and various illegal download sites fail to give me even a few minutes of this documentary. Do you have a link? I'd love to see it. I found an excellent description of the work here, http://www.ica.org.uk/32711/Film/AFC-Luke-Fowler.html.  I'll have to keep an ear and eye out for when this video may be showing in the states. A documentary about a somewhat mystical psychologist sounds engaging, and after listening to Luke talk about the genre of documentary film (in this video) I'm sure I would have enjoyed it very much.

Paul Noble


A detail of a drawing... 

 Public Toilet

Welcome to Nobson

I have not seen Paul Noble's work in person, but after my investigating online, I can't wait. The narrator of this video compares his drawings to Hieronymus Bosch, which feels like an incredibly bold statement, but after looking at how insanely detailed and somewhat absurd the works are, I don't really feel like I could disagree. The music in the video is pretty comical as well.  It's hard not to love a drawn world based on well understood cultural mythologies where the main figures resemble poops. Are those poops any better than we are? Who knows. Perhaps Noble. 

Spartacus Chetwynd 

This person video taped a large portion of the performance by Spartacus Chetwynd. There is so much going on. Participating in an artist's performance requires a kind of acceptance and trust in the artist & unknown. For this, participatory performance art is always something I'm intrigued by. I would have much rather participated, of course that would have made an ideal situation from which I could begin to talk about the work. Another video of the piece:

And Finally, the winner winner...

Elizabeth Price

The Guardian has a clip of the piece here. And Price talks about her work here.

Adrian Searle writes, "The focus and drive of Price's work, the cutting and the atmosphere, mark her out. There are silences, bursts of music, a terrific play of words and images, and switches in tempo that take us from an analysis of church architecture to a reconstruction of the fire itself by the Manchester authorities. Her use of footage from the fire itself never feels voyeuristic or meritricious.  She does a great deal in 20 minutes. Its complexity has stayed with me." I regret that I have little of my own experience to add to the words of others.  The Turner Prize is meant for a British visual artist under 50, so there is little I can do to see much of this work in person. Except for flying to Britain, which I would love to do, though not possible at the moment. The video seems compelling, and the words of others who have seen the work feel good enough for now. 

&just for fun, and 8bit of Smooth Criminal:

Fisk and I are going to a lecture tonight: John Contino. Thoughts on this shortly no doubt.