Monday, September 24, 2012

Jose Bolet's Work

J.F. Bolet. Artist statement.
These paintings are part of a larger project I’ve been working on now for a few years that I call “Metropolis”. They represent an intimate view and interpretation of the conflicts, isolation, distress and ambiguity of the urban society in modern days.
The planes or fields of pure color and light suggest all the emotional stages that are constantly flooding our existence, in which the subject matter is as important as the color. Both play an important role in the interpretation of the paintings. Many times, however, those zones of pure color are transformed into a dripping space of paint from which the figure emerges in isolation and confusion.
These paintings explore the relationship that involves not only the psychological aspect of today`s life, but also the intimate meaning, and the misuse of values, and how we as human beings, are affected by this urban confusion that we call society.
At the end, the results are an uneasy image that triggers the imagination, and invite the viewer to think about life in today’s modern society.  Locked up spaces, isolation, emotional violence, are all urban experiences that I have tried to develop into uncomfortable but attractive visual images. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Andrew Blair's Elephant drawings and Painting

The Elephant Pattern Studies are  meant to work out spatial issues within the work along side of trying to figure out how much one can break apart a pattern at still have it seen as at least as a part of a pattern. I welcome feed back on both spatial and pattern related issues within my work.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Andrew Blair Work and Artist Statement and Critique by Sharon Servilio

The ZSB Apprenticeship is named after Chryslers’ “Three Musketeers” engineering team and focuses on the path, desires and expertise in hopes of reaching the teams level of innovation. The “Three Musketeers’” drive for ambitious achievements in the automotive industry and my personal connection to Fred M. Zeder’s own drive and devolution through his daughter, my Grandmother and the spirit to understand, design and create has emerged in my own work in a way that is best described as an apprenticeship.
 ZSB 6 set the stage for how I as the Quixote attempted to reconcile the inabilities I have in explaining what I learned from my family’s prestigious history. Uniquely designed furniture pieces, sculptures, paintings, drawings, prints and hand crafted wallpaper serves as a legend to understand the rest of the Apprenticeship series. The second part of the Apprenticeship series ZSB 3 is the process an apprentice takes in learning and developing a skill.  This set represents the Quixote’s advancement, it contains still life drawings with the process still apart of the image, rubbings of printing blocks discovering a form of image making, and woodblock prints emulating strategic plans.
The ZSB Apprenticeship intertwines esoteric symbols, hierarchies, patterns, historical and pop culture references, not in the vein of an illogical fool, but one who creates a new logic from what is inside him. “A Quixote’s Apprenticeship towards ZSB” continues for why and how the world needs to be constructed so that he may understand and so he will be understood.

One of the things that strikes me in your work is a tension between two different types of worth - two different ways to measure oneself.  First, there is the internally-driven striving for greatness - the innovation and craft that's exemplified by the ZSB Chrysler engineering team.  This ideal is historically very American - the self-made person who is creating his/her identity through ambition and achievement.  This contrasts with the externally-imposed status symbols of Prada and other European designer names - measures not of any internal drive but of wealth which may or may not be earned.

That you identify with the Quixote is very interesting in this context.  Don Quixote so preferred an imagined past of chivalric knights, that he completely eschewed his present reality in order to live this fantasy.  Similarly, I think we can look back through American history with nostalgia - we can see a time when cars signified optimism and faith in the idea of limitless progress and industry.  Today, knowing the environmental and political consequences of our reliance on cars, and also knowing that the American dream is not a guaranteed birthright, it's hard to imagine a time when cynicism wasn't the norm.  As a nation we are definitely experiencing growing pains and resistance to letting go of industrial era norms and assumptions, to the point of Quixote-esque denial. I think it's quite interesting that your work acts as a personal microcosm to reflect that collective anxiety.

Here are some questions I think you'll need to grapple with as you continue this project.  To really understand the project, viewers need to know a fair amount of background and context - how are you going to convey the backstory to the viewers?  Over time, can you incorporate more of your concept into the work itself so as to be less reliant on the artist statement?  (This is something I think most artists struggle with!) What will be the scope of the project?  I could see this as an intimate dialogue between yourself and your great-grandfather, or it could grow to encompass more of your family tree, becoming one of those multi-generational family sagas.

Another challenge is that the designer names such as Prada are so laden with meaning in our culture, and I'm not sure it's always the meaning you intend.  I project a multitude of associations onto these - the frivolity of celebrities who collect a $20,000 handbag in every color of the rainbow; young status-seekers who rack up credit card debt on designer items they can't afford.  Your intent in using these symbols is a bit too vague for me. It's always a fine line between being too heavy-handed vs. too vague, but in this case the ambiguousness is distracting and I could use a bit more direction in how I should relate to these symbols.

In terms of the craft itself - I find the rubbings very beautiful but the woodcarvings/drawings intrigue me more because when your hand is present, you are forced to come to terms with your own skill level and how that measures up to the ideal you have of your great-grandfather (and surrogate grandfathers like the renaissance painters).  I would like to see the drawings become more complex/challenging - maybe taking a subject like the intricate inner gears and engines of the automobile, or doing a drawing that's actually the size of a 1920's car.   Or perhaps a subject that's not related literally to cars, but that has a level of intricacy or challenging spatial relations that will push the drawing further into the realm of your heroes.

Theresa Walloga Artist Statement, Work and critique

My recent work is an exploration of my own psychological space.  The work reflects a range of subject matter that is explored formally as well as conceptually.   
The brushstrokes, drips and buildup of paint, as well as drawing elements all collide on the canvases, paper or metal, presenting an idiosyncratic approach to both the figure, and painting itself.  The work questions the validity of subject matter, authenticity and ownership.

 your strongest element within you work is your capability to capture the human form and the emotions that go along with the depicted poses.  The figures emotion seems to be the catalyst of how the painting is to be rendered. In the painting with the female bust looking to the sky your minimal execution gives a sense of relief, the painting Bad Girl number #2 (the girl with the fur coat) and the painting with the girl sitting backwards on a chair you lay the paint on thicker in places giving a sense of need for attention and concern.  These are nice approaches to dealing with the different issues you are talking about, but I think that in each you could go further use the paint drips, the build in up of paint, painterly brushstrokes and the blank canvas in a more selective and decisive manner. In doing this you will not only help the viewer understand your psychological spaces, but have parts of your paintings fall in and out of the realities as you choose fit. 

In Black Boots, Bad girl # 2 and the painting of the girl sitting backwards in the chair you show moments of this focus for the viewer, but this get lost in the works unclear  and  sometimes  un-descriptive use of drips, washes and paint strokes. The Black boots painting you render the boots unlike anything else in the painting, which is nice, but I start questioning why the rest of the painted is so highly under realized? I believe that you could render the whole painting more and bring the boots to a highly realistic style or you could possibly make the painting around the boots even more ambiguous.  Bad girl # 2 displays that more ambiguous setting giving focus to the figure, but it is in the figures coat I start to lose the painting. With the under painting of the figure’s structure showing through parts of the coat I am left wondering why the exposed part of the figure is not rendered more than a couple layers of washes?    The painting of the girl sitting on the chair seems to have that rendered quality that is missing in Bad Gil #2. Though I don’t think your treatment of the background is  unsuccessful, your choice to give more attention to how you paint the female figures bust compared to the rest of the figure gives a sense of beauty that not completely there in the rest of the work. The way you paint her face gives the viewer the sense of her humanity, suffering and also her acceptance of what and who she is.

For me your paintings do not question the validity of the subject matter, the authenticity but it does make me question my ownership as a viewer and how I see these people I am interacting with.

I like what is starting to happen in your figures, and there is a lot going on that I had not even touched upon. It may also be helpful if you help spark up a larger conversation by bringing up issues you are personally struggling within your work or point out crucial elements to your work that I over looked in my initial response. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rachel Stewart's Artist Statement, Work, and Andrew Blair's Critique

Have you ever tried to get a good look at the sun?  It is painful to attempt and impossible if you try without the proper viewing device.  I am compelled to see the sun, so I like using the people and things that I paint for this purpose. 

In my paintings I try to give the viewer a way to see something real that can not be seen, and I always try to tell the truth.  I call this approach hyper real because when someone looks at one of my pictures it allows them to absorb days or weeks of observation in one look.  All the easily glossed over details in a subject interest me to the point of obsession.  In the subtlest details I can sense a subject’s essence, the energy that secures a person or thing’s existence in the world and makes them seem alive and fleeting. 

Like most humans, I am fascinated by things that glow, or sparkle in the light. Shiny objects appeal to my sensitivity in a very basic way, because they harness the brightness of all the light in their surroundings.  Looking closely at a reflective surface is like seeing into another word that is like our world, but follows its own absurd laws of physics.

Bicycling is a terrific inspiration because when you ride a bicycle, it feels like having a super power: flying, or running as fast as a horse.  The act of bicycling heightens your senses and helps you see the beauty of the world around you.  I also use mirrors and magnifying glasses when I paint.  They allows me to see things that would otherwise be impossible to look at. I sneak up on my subjects by looking at them from an unexpected viewpoint, and I find that every day objects become abstract and reveal hidden complexities about themselves.   Scale works in my compositions to allow things that are practically invisible due to their smallness to be massive in the viewers perception.  My favorite paintings are giant, and immersive, and reveal microcosms.  I make self portraits to tell the story of what it feels like to see what I see.  I do this with paint because it is not enough to simply describe what a thing looks like so it can be identified.  With paint, I can create an immediateness of material that allows the viewer to have distinct sensations, like the heat of the sunlight, the slickness of oily metal, or the tickle sweat dripping from the subjects pores.

My pictures satisfy the viewer by allowing them to have hyper powerful seeing abilities, overflowing their eyes with a flood of information, gushing into their other senses.  I want this sensation to stick with them and remind them how overwhelmingly beautiful and captivating everyday experiences can be.

Rachel, I find your work refreshing, honest and filled with personal experiences almost anyone can relate to.  Similar to images found on someone’s Tweeter feed or Facebook account your paintings emulate a sensation of how some one would document what happened to them on a particular day.

Your images in your work seems to be driven by the photograph of what you experiences, the composition, the color and the flattening of the depth within your paintings all are clear signs of this.  The painting titled Scuffed Chrome Fork clearly shows your investigation. With the tire, background and the brake being painted in such a flat manner and the bicycle fork being painted quite differently the attention to the highly glossy fragmented appearance of the fork – with painterly marks to represent the scuffs – you start to show, at times, how the image branch out pass what the photograph already gave you.

Sunny Afternoon on a Single Speed Bicycle seems to address a lot of the issues you where dealing with in Scuffed Chrome Fork and refines them. Single Speed Bicycle pushes your viewer to see what you and every other bike rider has experienced on a nice afternoon, it is rendered just enough to have a sense of reality, but also presents inside itself painting issues of movement, color, value and how to render form. Though the composition seems to still reference a snapshot one would take, as they are looking down at their handlebars at high speeds the colors used and the approach to how particular forms are rendered differently shows your progression away from the limitations photographs can cause as a foundation. Your painting Reflection refines the painted form even more than the Single Speed Bicycle and puts painterly issues aside and makes me wonder what your goal is; is it to make hyper real paintings and/or are you just refining your painting skills? 

The set of Nose Piercing paintings has some of the most redeeming elements within your work to me as a painter.  As a set the paintings show nice investigation into form, color, composition and also mark making. Your use of colors instead of black and white to create value shifts in the second painting shows a nice sense of realism over the first painting in the series. Even with a more painterly approach in the second painting it’s overall approach shows better form than the first.

With all the good that is going on within the Nose Piercing series, there is one thing I do not think was needed in either one of the paintings and that is the white splatter around the ball of the jewelry. I am not sure what if any significance it has to the image or the subject matter. At moments it becomes a part of the highlights found within the jewelry, but the majority of the time is sits on the surface as nothing more than a white Splatter. With such a painterly approach to both images I think the splatter becomes unnecessary and a bit overkill on making sure the viewer knows it’s a painting. Your use of the splatter in Stand Back! becomes the exact opposite. The splatter counteracts the realism of the portrait and achieves the movement and energy talked about within your artist statement and with this being said I believe Stand Back! to be one of your most successful pieces. Formally and conceptually I see this piece doing exactly what you drive to accomplish in all of your works.

Rachel I hope this helps you in some regards. Of course, this is the opinion of one person and I welcome a larger discussion to take place on matters discussed and matters over looked.