January 4, 2015

Shorts: Marina Abramovic, "Rythm 0"

Title: Rhythm 0
Artist: Marina Abramovic
Date: 1974
Performance: 6 hours (8pm-2am)
Gallery: Studio Morra, Naples

In an already male dominated art world women artists in the 70s found an outlet for expression in the new and growing medium of performance art. Many critics though criticized these works as masochistic, exhibitionist, and sensationalist. In response, Marina Abramovic took a completely passive stance in her piece Rhythm 0, allowing the audience complete control over what happened during the performance.

December 6, 2014

Shorts: Henri Matisse, "Harmony in Red"

Title: The Dessert: Harmony in Red (aka The Red Room in Russia)
Artist: Henri Matisse
Date: 1908-1909
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 180 x 246 cm (5'11" x 8'1" ft)
Gallery: The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

"A painting comprises of overall harmony: Any superfluous detail would steal, in the mind of the spectator, the place of another detail that is essential..." -Henri Matisse, Remarks on Painting*

May 5, 2014

Water Water Everywhere: Close ups, Moments, and Motions

When I think of a painting featuring water I usually think of a traditional land or sea scape. Something like a lake nestled amongst tree littered hills or salty ocean waters lapping up along the short cliffs of a picturesque seaside town. But there are so many opportunities for some really awesome paintings beyond this common subject. Our good friend H2O behaves in all sorts of interesting and wonderful ways within its environment, just waiting to be fully appreciated with a dab or two of paint.

Turning on the water in the kitchen sink and placing your hand under the faucet to test its temperature, I'd say a pretty common occurrence for many people, one of those normal things that is given little direct notice. With an impressive attention to detail Linnea Strid gets up close and personal with this everyday event and allows the viewer to study what otherwise is often glanced over and forgotten. It is so beautifully and convincingly painted I can almost feel the cold water splashing out onto my own hand.

Linnea Strid, Let it Flow, oil on plywood

January 11, 2014

Double Exposure Portraits Reinterpreted

A couple months back I wrote a post on Double Exposure Portrait Photography and featured many different artists who have contributed their own approach and style to the trend. Since then I've noticed the visual style of these photographs leak into other media of art. It may be that some of these artists have been directly inspired or the similarities are purely incidental, but I've collected some of these artists here for some cool inspiration for superimposed imagery outside the medium of photography.

Oriol Angrill Jorda
Oriol Angrill Jorda creates these gorgeous blendscapes, as he calls them, using various combinations of acrylic, colored pencil, and graphite with watercolor. Layering the abstract tangibility of substances like water and clouds with the concrete definition of a woman's portrait, these four works maintain a seamless flow between detailed definition and mystic blurs, creating an almost ethereal quality to an otherwise beautiful but normal portrait.

November 24, 2013

Time is Relative... What? And Other Timely Considerations

Learning is one of those passions I have that has never wavered but I've learned that understanding more does not necessarily make the world seem more simple or straightforward, as I once might have supposed as a kid. In fact, my view of the world has become much more complicated. Because the world isn't simple. It is deliciously and mind-bogglingly complex.

September 25, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Spatial Relationships

Huge news! A couple of weeks ago I collected four Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars as pets. They have since eaten a ton of parsley and wrapped themselves up in cocoons for the winter. Hopefully I'll have four butterflies to release in March, I'm pretty pumped about it. So this pet caterpillar adventure of mine got me thinking about Eric Carle's popular children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, published in 1969. Here is my favorite page from the book:

It is so simple and yet so striking. The bright yellow sun takes up almost half the space. Its imperfect orange and yellow rays help point your eyes straight to that goofy demeanor, which is easy to spot but still a bit subtle. Following the sun's gaze, the little green caterpillar is a clear contrast to the bright yellow next to it and the white sky further emphasizes the bold colors it surrounds. The sun, the tiny green caterpillar, the brown ground, and the white sky filling the rest of the space. Four incredibly simple elements used in a way to create a really great illustration.

August 11, 2013

Self Portraits Tweaked, Relationships with a Loved One

A self portrait is a representation of the artist, by the artist. It is a look at the individual as he sees himself. But the focus is shifted by adding a loved one into the mix. The relationship itself becomes the focus of the portrait as the individual alone takes a backseat. Just as a self portrait is a look at a person from his point of view, the self portrait with a loved one is a look at a relationship from their point of view.

Kate Teale explores the relationship between her and her husband in her series Through the Night. To do so, she suspended a camera over her and her husband's bed that was set to take a picture every half hour for one night. The resulting paintings are personal, intimate, and have a beautiful, quiet comfort to them.