Friday, August 14, 2009

Better than a comic book

In a comic book, narrative style, this drawing by Chris Cornwell, is a really nice example of moving that context into something more...taking into account the entire picture plane and unifying the composition...a traditional mistake made by comic book artists is to focus on each individual square, concentrating on the narrative and the stylistic elements of the image...good artists know that individuals respond best to those pages that deal with the full picture plane as well as the individual window narratives...

Circular forms are used throughout to reinforce the overall page, in the center top, center middle and all three sections of the addition, the flowing threads work to move the viewer around visually and become another unifying element...The brick forms are geometric elements that contrast the organic...the use of texture in the background areas, create another dimension of interest...a tight composition.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Commerically decorative

The day in the life of an individual touching any media source...inundated with logos, advertisements, visuals...this work by Colin Chillag has a graphical feel but pushes those conventions through repetition, color and placement...they are arranged in the picture plane off center...congealed and floating, but grounded by the logo on the left hand side, cut by the edge...

Color, value and shape are used to create the overall decorative shape...these small logos and lines are unified visually through overlapping and adjacent lines...the relationship between the background and foreground along the edges create interest and visual excitement...the way the white moves in and out...the light chroma car in the bottom, cloud in the top and shapes throughout the picture plane flow around the more intense hues...holding the diversity together into one.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A quiet but powerful voice

Okay, left over from our Washington trip this image from the Native American Museum...I really love the work of the late Fritz Scholder...being part Native myself, I enjoy the insight he provides into the culture...his view is not typical Indian craft and language and he was not always popular with his people...they often felt he disrupted the tradition and spoke too often in the language of white man...

He created a bridge into this artist trying to bring worlds together and reconcile the past with the future...this piece, "Indian in a Car," combines the central figurative work of religious art with the influence of artists like Francis Bacon...the face is spread and unnatural...there is an uneasy feeling we get from the bent arm, missing hands and smudged face...the tall feather on the side of the head is the only clue to the notion of "Native"...but there may be other clues...the awkwardness of the figure in the if technology is foreign to this traveler...Fritz tries to subtly narrate his life, the intent is to get us to think and explore...not only to better understand his environment, but to also see how the west has influenced Native people and how the Native culture has impacted us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Model building is not just for geeks anymore

Could you put this killer Nuclear Mosquito robot together??? I think not! This intricate and creative schematic is the work of Abu Bakarr Mansaray...the spaces he constructs seem planned and purposeful, parts of a greater whole...but, I can't help see the decorative qualities in these drawings...additional works are schema for a variety of mechanical beings...these may be the graphical version of Leonardo's technological sketches...if IBM white papers hit a Renaissance master in the back of the head....

The darker version of what technology can do is a running theme in Abu's work...conceptually they cover similar, common contemporary ideas we are confronted with in movies and television shows...formally, there is a main object or character and a supporting cast, each fitting together in a conceptual and visual way...marks run into each other, overlap and connect...filling the entire picture plane...complete with dialogue and directions for our amusement and reflection.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is this a joke, nightmare or both?

Playing with stereotypical archetypes...this work by Anton Kannemeyer entitled, "Nightmare," coldly and graphically looks at suburban sprawl and the hidden thoughts of those snuggled up nice in their homes...the idea that tribal "hoodlum's" will break in and kill the occupants is both amusing in intellectual circles and frightening for those without logical foresight...

The bubbles are allude to the cartoon thoughts we have seen in both comic books and pop art, they float above and below the house, interrupting visually the pristine, safe home environment...inside the bubbles are organic line work, contrasting the man-made geometries of the sidewalk, house structure, electric lines, fences and yard...the words at the top only reinforce the duality of the concept...should we laugh or cry for the occupants???