Friday, October 2, 2009

The odd in three

Split into three sections, Tom Long explores the relationship between three distinct will these separate elements/environments fit together? This is the exploration that the artist is looking to achieve...A natural, mountain scene sandwiched between two geometric, decorative forms...not only in contrast but also in color, cool blues and pattern make up the totemic, vertical tower on the top of the mountain and the blue optical, horizontal shape grounding the mountain, visually.

This theme carries on in other works, he plays with the format to create an odd whole out of familiar parts...they are graphically executed, realistic interplay between tight patterns and modeled landscapes...a modern take on eastern influences.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The pretty vessel

The Reliquary has been great influence on my object making...the context is used and amended through out my career...There is something macabre about the idea of bones and body parts being housed in an elaborate container...they also feed nicely into my obsession with decorative arts...the skill needed to make these are amazing...they are certainly beautiful pieces of the context becomes a vehicle to create familiarity and comfort...the jeweled surfaces and decorative elements draw the viewer in and the details hold them in place...I like to take it to a deeper level and enhance the overall work by changes in the form and concept...moving the pretty into areas more sinister, building on the macabre true nature of these vessels...the viewer is paralyzed by the containers sparkle and forced to deal with what is really inside...the house is burning, but we are too enthralled by the pretty flames to leave...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Standing at the altered

This Isenheim alterpiece by Mathhais Grunewald is one of the most moving Alters ever seen...Jesus is so damaged and beaten, with thorns in the flesh and blood streaming from open sores...this was the first of its kind, to really show the brutality of the crucifixion...originally placed in a hospice environment for the terminally ill...the piece was meant to inspire those with no hope and to illustrate the agony Jesus went through...The front shows the donors on the left and right with the center focused on the crucifixion...the bottom panel is static and is not effected by the interior verses exterior relationship...

The interior explores the glory of the resurrection and the birth of Jesus...they are full of light and glory...the difference between interior and exterior is profound in this example, taking the story of Jesus to its conceptual end...this piece is the perfect union of concept, form and materials to create a highly spiritual and visual piece to contemplate...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Simplicity and surface

When I first saw the "Sprig of Flowering Almond Blossom...," the scale and execution took my breath away...I have been fortunate enought to visit some the most "important" works by Van Gogh, the portraits, the room environments the sunflowers...but his copies of Japanese prints and his paintings influenced by his Asian collection, were so impressive...They were an amazing combination of formal simplicity and rich, thick canvases...The painting itself is only about 5 x 7 inches, but the surface is quintessentially Van Gogh - directional, energetic marks, amazing colors, luxurious and meaty paint...However, this is not what occurs in the most accepted Van Gogh's works...those pieces are all over Van Gogh, as if he cannot stop the obsessive exploration of self...the image is completely digested and bled in the picture plane...he can't help standing in his own way...

The is "Sprig of Flowering Almond Blossom..." is compositionally subtle, lyrical and simple in its context...I think that is why I am so attracted, the strong contrast in the context of formal harmony...there is also something special about the personal discovery of a completely new body of master's works. One that doesn't fit and may be labeled, "secondary" to the major me, this piece is perfection...

Monday, September 28, 2009

A touch of pink

I like the decorative qualities of this is simple and a nice organic image...the work uses pattern well and plays with line work as both positive and negative shapes, flowing through the picture plane...repetition of the flower forms and the line work, it carries the viewer across the picture plane..

Contrast equals interest...this piece uses value variation as a primary method of creating tension for the is in this reconciliation attempt that visually an artist creates captivating visuals...through an asymmetrical composition, the artist known as Buff Monster, adds to this desire to "make right" and move the piece symmetrical...balance is the method he ends in harmony.