Friday, November 25, 2011

This is not a chair

Many artists play with this notion of what is "real," this piece by Joseph Kosuth is an excellent example of this exploration...the study of symbol and meaning and how it is stretched and adjusted for the artist's purposes...when someone says, "think of a chair," what comes to mind? Can you only see the chair in the image? Or an ornate, Queen Ann chair...maybe a bean bag chair...Joseph's chair exists in three-dimensions, two-dimensions and in a conceptual definition...the same chair, but is it? I would say definitely not, and to its extreme, it is never the same chair, as long as time moves are manipulated and put through some conceptual paces here...forced to confront the "reality" of our symbolic world - thoughts, words, and images stand in for individual concepts of the material world...why does he pursue this line of inquisition? What can he gain from this line of questioning? And most importantly, how should the viewer handle this dilemma?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not so naive

I am certainly enamoured by butterflies and their potential for conceptual play...this work has an obsessive quality which I am drawn too, but a balance of one main character and many subordinate characters...sometimes Tony Fitzpatrick's work becomes a bit formulaic...but, I think there's a strong evolution that counter's the favorite works are the baseball card series he did earlier in his career...the other elements that resonate with me are the commercial suggestions and the everyday images from the past and fits nicely with the Chicago, Harry Who, imagist style...

The patterns are beautiful in the butterfly, balanced and unique...the strong, central image creates focus and allows the other floating forms to remain fixed in the picture plane...Tony's work mimics, naive artwork, or Art Brut, but you cannot run from formal digs into your brain and soul and will not let go...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ode to Klee

A playful and simple work by Cole Morgan...I like the contrast of open space to the intimacy of the small areas of detail...some of his work looks at fruit and the grid...this piece struck me visually because of its texture and the incidental mark making...the surface is aged and worn and I am always drawn to the presence of if the work has secrets and has experienced things I will never know.

That is what I enjoy most about walking an art museum, the cracks and aged surface of Gothic and Renaissance art, what that world must have been like and the imagery of that period embodying its place in history...this work has that sense, manufactured and manipulated, but built on the Klee's, Twombly's and Da Vinci's...when the world is minimal, any contrast is heightened and visible for all to see...warts and all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stop Heart Ache

The combination of unconnected placing items next to one another it visually confirms, "guilty by association." Images relate to each other in harmony or disharmony by proximity...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Repetition of objects, the lamp and the figure becoming the lamp...using color to tie areas of the picture plane together, foreground objects and ambiguous open background space...flattened space...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Odd couch fellows

The gentle open hand draped over the back of the couch is a visual invitation to a raised modern figure...both hands are passively connected, the other hand fixed on the wall...fingers pointing stiffly down...the angles of the arms connect these two different people...Sarah Small, does an excellent job visually connecting the unrelated...this photograph is a great example of these explorations...

A neutral backdrop is the perfect environment for a pale, peach female form...costumed in red heals, referencing her skin, nipples and lips...The yellow and black dressed male figure is balanced by the larger neutral, reclining pink female and the silver arm forms fixed on the wall pushing the eye toward the right...the angles are imaginative and interesting...colors are simple and skillfully selected...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

More questions than answers

Nature crying over the death of one of its own...the inside of the bird form is playful and colorful...gum balls rolling out and onto the floor...the figurative, monster/tree like form is holding the bird in that traditional Lamentation scene, done so many times in the Gothic and Renaissance periods. This piece by Matt Furie leaves much open for interpretation.

The context and style could also be seen as referential to that time period, stylized and referencing realism, but not quite there...The open negative space is more contemporary, more and more I see artists eliminating that part of the composition, at first I thought maybe it was just an issue in execution, but now I wonder after repeated confrontations...Is this blank background a statement, a clear signal by the contemporary artist of a current universal truth...visually, the absence makes a strong statement. It also allows the image to move from context to context, like a figure in front of a green screen, or a tattoo...Many artists are influenced by body art. I will leave that answer to time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dorian Gray

Ivan Albright has a unique way of painting. dirty surfaces, layered and dense with information but balanced by large defined shapes that break up the patterning...the implied texture is visually appealing and luxurious...this is based on the story of Dorian Gray, a man who didn't want to get old, made a wish to stay the same age, yet his portrait would age in real time...a perfect conceptual collaboration with the style of Ivan...he could push his method of painting in the context of a portrait...he also did an extensive series of self-portraits, getting older and older...a chronology of the physical man...

The style has a rhythm to it, with intense colors and lurid hues...the figure is centrally located, to pull all of our visual focus into it...the horror of what he is becoming, unable to die, just breaking down in front of our eyes...there is also a conceptual space created when you know the story, a relationship between the physical man, trapped in the same time staring at the visual man he is becoming...what emotional reactions must be happening? In this piece, we are Dorian, watching the future unfold right in front of our eyes...the inevitable, the always present, holding hands with life, creating an ever-increasing shadow over our existence in the physical world...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

For a while I was taking images at a beautiful cemetery in Memphis, TN...Elmwood Cemetery...I saw these wooden structures on wheels they would place over the chairs in front of a newly buried individual, to protect the family from rain....I drew it over and over and even made stencils to repeat the looked very odd in the context of this 19th Century cemetery....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reorganizing and rearranging a face to resemble something recognizable....stripped background with nude floating in his head, as if in a thought bubble...squared...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dandelions in different stages...I really enjoy dandelions from many perspectives, they are considered weeds, but smell beautiful...they cannot be controlled, will not stay in one place, behave or do what they are supposed to do...runs parallel to human patterns, which I find amusing!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Here is a black and white drawing with markers and found objects of color...getting out some frustration! I went back into it with liquid paper to redefine some white areas and covered some areas with tape to resist the mark making...this piece is a more drawing than collage...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Skeletal remains

Exploring associations between black, white, red, skeletons and letters...variations on a theme, repetitions with changes in scale and context...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Amsterdam Reliquaries

A drawing from one of my favorite Van Gogh pieces, only at the museum in Amsterdam and some play on a series of reliquaries that I worked on many moons ago….the image in the lower right is of a gold reliquary I saw in an Amsterdam museum...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Amsterdam Sketches

These artifacts are from a trip to Amsterdam to visit my cousins and enjoy the sights...There are pictures of my cousins when they were little and living in the states...the trip was a bridge between the past and the future...all the fond memories placed in a new a strange land...repeating forms in different ways, photograph, ink stamps, map, memory...lists....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Studios Magazine

Nice little piece on my has been revealed before, my studio comes in all forms and has been placed prominently in a one-person exhibition. The significance is its place in the creative process and links nicely to the end "products" artists make...thank you Studios Magazine!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The decorative elements of my thank you cards and the cropped head image is combined to create a visually interesting and slightly disturbing image...I work to draw the viewer in and keep them engaged through contrasting color and conceptual challenges...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Skull Reliquaries

These decorative works have more of a commercial appeal, I have always been interested in skulls and their representation....the materials are plastic box form with painted wood interior and model skull to scale painted....the gold swirls break up the space behind and move the eye into the center, reinforcing the skull...these pieces are painterly but really embody the "object." The skull does move and sway with interaction, the scale is small and intimate, 3 x 5 can fit in tiny spaces and creates a beautiful shadow on the wall!