Friday, November 20, 2009

Religious contemplation

Madonna and child by Hans Memling, the Madonna is looking away from her son and the interaction...contemplating what she know is inevitable, the sacrifice...the baby in these religious works all look more man like than baby like...stylized, alluding to those Gothic religious icons but more naturalistic and realistic.

These works almost always have feet and feet of fabric, showing the artists' expertise on folds...these kinds of works play with interior verses exterior space, showing an extended landscape...Hans Memling's female faces contain a lot of emotion, they speak to the complexity of the situation.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ample digestion

Pen and ink drawing by Massimo Guerrera...the triumvirate meeting of the minds in a triangular format and the repetition of the head form...looking left, looking right, looking down and an additional head-like form sitting precariously at the top of the picture plane...the activity at the left, the saucer, crumbs and cup push the eye over into the asymmetrical composition and up into the wall...back into the tallest, standing figure and around the three heads again...

Subtle line work and mark making set this drawing apart, stippling or splatter work adds to the movement of the piece, helping to guide the eye around the picture plane..the mouths lapping visual information in and digesting it out through the top of their heads like a blow hole on a whale...a smorgasbord of visual delights!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My safe place

Something a little different...this is a studio installation I did for a show summer was a very liberating experience to replicate my studio environment for is an intimate space that I live in and create, surrounded by the congestion of beautiful and challenging images...I want to be constantly confronted by creative works.

There are some days when I am out of gas or blocked and I go to my studio and just stare at the wall, it motivates me and pushes me to be better...I have to be work harder because I want more creatively...this piece is also about organization, the relationship between artists and their works next to one they connect and visually react to the viewer and the world around us...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parallel leanings

Beautiful altarpiece by Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden...Flemish artists were ahead of their time...the Italians were known for the high art of the Renaissance, but ten to twenty years prior, the Dutch were creating masterpieces of realism injected with great emotion...

This piece formally refers to the parallel emotional plight between Jesus and Mary, both in the same basic leaning pose...arms almost touching...Jesus traditionally splits the canvas in symmetry...he is the focus and lord God as prescribed by the donor...the gaze of those attending are very important in religious works, they act like visual lasers, forcing the viewer around the picture plane, we want to see what each character sees in the narrative.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bright white light

I really enjoy when artist push the limits on asymmetry and balance, teetering close to the edge of visual destruction! This photograph by Kate Peets certainly plays in that arena...So much of the piece is monochromatic and fading, loosing the boundaries between foreground and background, figure and open space...

The dark space between the lips and the eyes balance all of the creamy flesh and wall, the expression and pose add a conceptual depth that moves the piece beyond the formal...I can't help but wonder if the pupils have been digitally enhanced, they seem too square for the pose and position, regardless, artists are liars and proud of it! "Art is the lie that makes us realize the truth."