Monday, June 29, 2009
Surface Part 3: ???!!!!
You know writing is probably one of the most stubborn things you can get yourself into, I'm not going to..... well, yeah i guess i am... I'm a painter sort of, you got ink, acrylic, graphite, three materials... see what they can do, no problem. words, how many damn words are there, I've been think all day about which word correctly explains the link between what canvas and paper have in common in reference to their ability guide marks. Simple right, canvas has a grain which guides marks going with it, and resists marks going against it. Paper has a supple quality that allows for marks to be embossed which in the end acts like the grain of the canvas. But what damn word explains this occurrence? Seriously let me know if you got it.... The best thing I could come up with is Tactility, but then I spent 3 hours writing about tactility, trying to bring it all back around to what I initially wanted to write about, and still never got there, so here I am writing about what I was trying to write about, and you know, I think even this is going way better. It even took me on this tangent about Deleuze and Francis Bacon, and how terrible the Bacon retrospective is at the Met because it is completely devoid of emotion or "tactility"(see the connection). How a space can surgically extract the ...intensity from the work of Francis Bacon? I think can only be accomplished in a dead space like the Met, that should have the been the title of the show come to think about it, "how to kill sensation." It was kind of amazing, I was so bummed because I felt absolutely nothing, I thought something was seriously wrong with me till I thought about it a couple days. I had seen the same exact pieces in different spaces and felt an unexplainable, emotional response. But here, nothing... I know he's dead, but still...
Ok I'm chill, going to try to bring it all back, again. So I don't know what the right word is, but it leads me to think context is absolutely crucial. The way in which the work is made needs to have some connection to the way it is presented. Even Showing the work here (above and below) on the internet reduces them to a level of flatness, in turn only the image is legible. Like cramming 15 huge Francis Bacon paintings into a small room with 11 foot ceilings, all you see is 'oh this figure here is exploding' and 'that one there is chilling out on the toilet', cool.
So finally, this is why I started talking about the books in the first place, there is a forced connection that the reader experiences with the material, the reader feels the material just as I did, follows their finger as the canvas unravels. Opens and closes to flip to the following page reflecting the same gesture that caused the marks in the first place. Because, it is simply amazing how much variation and how much beauty can be derived with letting the surface dictate what comes next, and how transparent that intimacy becomes.
well I just realized I never actually got there, mercy.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Surface Part 2: Porosity
Right, right, ok... I realize it has been a bit of time since the last post, I'll work on being more on it, but in the past few my course of action has been focused on being a little more direct with getting the work out. From participating in BOS (Bushwick Open Studios) to trying to sell work on the street, I have been struck by the types of varied information that comes across from the presented work to the viewer/ reader. Even the nature of a blog in self addresses the topic I wish to explore today, Porosity. The opposite of density, porosity explains the nature of an object to absorb or let pass through, perforation even.
When I came to New York and started to work on Canvas, as opposed to the paper pieces above and below, I was immediately struck by susceptibility of the surface, the reason in fact that I started painting figures was solely because of material connection I made between the pores of the skin and the pores of the canvas, trying to painting everything but the figure itself to make that tactile connection. It seems to me that if the raw canvas is indeed embodying the figure as a whole only to be articulated, one could assume the mark to the canvas is in turn the action being done to the body. The rest became a realm exiting between the extremes of romanticization and violence.
So if I'm going to sit here and talk about figure paintings, why show these two eh, right right I got lost myself. Ok, the point is, that one can't expect to approach a blank surface, even priming a surface which negates it's inherent properties is an action not to be disregarded, in fact I think an action more violent than cutting and stitching the canvas which engenders what the canvas is made for. Therefore, these two pieces (above and below) begin to approach how a seemingly homogenous surface, that of paper absorbs and allows materials to permeate its surface under certain condition. Ink bleeds through, gesso sinks into transparency, the graphite pencil embosses, and acrylic just sits, all of which are specific in aesthetic to only this paper. Every sketchbook I have is comprised of different paper that expresses itself uniquely. The fun is finding it.
So in conclusion, the last couple of weeks I have been observing, what properties of the the work is permeable (or interesting) to other people... what is dense/opaque, and what is legible/transparent. When presented in these forms (via street or studio visits), the casualness of these encounters reveals where the eye goes, and what the hand wants to hesitantly touch when your not looking. Anyway, look forward to hearing any thoughts on these topics, hence the nature of the blog...
all the best,
Monday, June 1, 2009
Essence: Surface, Material, Body
I know it's been a long time since my last post. Since my show in Nashville on April 24th, I've spent some time regrouping and reevaluating my work. For the past few weeks I have been working on small canvasses comprised of simple marks and techniques, a way of addressing the canvas similar to when i moved to New York 2.5 years ago. It is interesting to me how a place, or more a space, has such a profound influence on the work that is produced and I have found it extremely helpful to go back to earlier work, not relevant to this place and time. The books, made between 2003 and late 2005, have provided the essence, the language, from which to draw lines of connection from the past to the current. Surface, from paper into canvas, to material, expanding control of paint and color, to body, gestures that engage finger, wrist, arm... all of these have been moves that push the work forward. However, what I wish to discuss in the next couple weeks are strategies and conditions that remain constant in order to find a essence, that which is relevant to any scenario past or present, since intuition is a property extremely difficult to curb. In short, I'm getting in touch with my inner luddite, the way I engage surface through material. Though the work in the books are old, (and being kept on life support by other "artists"), I will use their imagery to explore these properties, from surface to material to gesture (body), and the connections (often non-linear) between these three points. I would love any addition insight others have to add on these subjects as they go.
Surface: Part 1, Structure
Whether canvas or book, each surface has in implied nature in which to address it. When beginning the books I found that just the process of flipping the pages, using the book, created marks that transferred to create reflections. I don't want to make this a step by step process of how to make this kind of work, that isn't interesting for anyone, but as an example I see that canvas has a similar nature. It wants to be pleated, bunched, draped, unravelled, stretched (as in the case of most paintings), and all these contortions provide a variety of traces to be revealed. Whether using bricks that want to be stacked (dimension / weight), my first thought is how let the structure of the material combine with the intuition of the body, perchance, creating an experience where the viewers eye can act to re-enact the making. The result cannot be classified as purely abstract if the mark is a clear representation of action. In both these cases (above and below) the 'reader' reenacts the process by opening. In close, what does the surface want to happen and how can that be manipulated to become more or less apparent.
see whole book at: