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...