Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Collection

All my latest paintings gathered in one place; in chronological order, with the latest posting at the the top.

VENUS: Olympus/Night  2017  oil on canvas  20" x 16"
Woman at the Sea  5/2016  oil on canvas  8" x 10"

Noelle Ascending    16" x 20"    oil on canvas    5.2017

Hathor    30" x 24"    oil on canvas    5.29.2017




Dying Comedian    16" x 20"    pencil, pastel, acrylic and oil on canvas    10.2016



Vibration (Earth Healing 3)    30" x 24"  oil on canvas  2017



Earth Healing 2    30" x 24"  oil on canvas  2017


Lake    20" x 16"  oil on canvas  2017


Earth Healing 1    30" x 24" oil on canvas 2016


Big    30" x 24"  oil on canvas  2016


Prostitute    20" x 16" oil on canvas  2016

Sunday, February 18, 2018

VENUS series: No. 1

VENUS: Olympus/Night  2017  oil on canvas  20" x 16"

This is the first picture of the VENUS series, don't know why I started but I'm determined to finish it; a series is kind of a trap, and I guess you can only exhibit it once, if someone buys a picture integral to the concept: like this one.

Why Venus? I think she's ruled my life and yours; every man wants her and every woman wants to be her. Nice line for perfume, but I'm a painter. I've got about four of this series in progress and am waiting for more ideas. The concept such as it is, is Venus' entry into my life in this century (how any gallerist would find that interesting, I don't know). 'Birth' shows her being born in my childhood bedroom, sort of, but I'm leery of making too many, or any, jokes on the time/space dichotomies.

Venus is shown here summiting Mount Olympus in the middle of the night. This is the one canvas in my life where I had a picture in my mind of what I imagined it could look like, and at the end it happened! I gave up half way through, and you can't imagine my surprise. Am I an artist??

Friday, February 16, 2018

Photography in the ICU: condition stable

I was going to mention at the end of my 'wrong altar' piece, in parentheses: photographers seem to search out the cliche.

I'm seriously disappointed in almost all the 'art' photography I see. Take your pick among slice-of-life kids with guns and needles, blank-faced rich kids in a waking coma, empty landscapes that seem determined not to evoke an emotion (verboten in the 'postmodern' art world; emotion is seen as 'naive'; authenticity a hopelessly outdated concept. Admittedly the challenge of authenticity is greater than ever but no one wants to step up to the plate; I think that's what's missing from today's art), hypermarch├ęs from ceiling height with every single item on sale, people at a nightclub, dreamlike tableaus from some alt-Hollywood, people from 'marginal' communities in full frontal (do you really want to copy television?), pseudo-pornography determined not to turn people on but to be taken 'seriously'... the list goes on.

I'm sure you know who/what I'm talking about. The problem in each seems to be the same: photographers tend not to put forth their own vision, but rather what they think an audience will respond to. It's a bit of a crowd-pleasing element that I don't think belongs there. Is it because they are insecure about an art form that basically requires only that you point and shoot? If so, they are missing the point (no pun intended, please); with such an immediate capture, the demand of this form is immediacy, not the opposite. The demand is for intuition, spirited emotion (define it how you will), daring, engagement with life, not thoughts about it; Zen.

This I think is the province, the challenge of photography, but those who really engage with it don't seem to have a chance in the big galleries; as if staging a shot were a sign of seriousness. Like, I have a camera too buddy. I shoot pictures out an about, what of it? Is it a failure of the curators, gallery owners, not to be able to discern to good, the genius, from the bad, the random? The charge on the gate-keepers is pretty hefty, admittedly. I would not want to sift through the many thousands of photographs taken on the fly purporting to be the ultimate, the transcendent, etc. But the state of photography pretty well encapsulates the sad state of the art world today; an eschewing of the 'authentic' in favor of, well, you call it: the proper bourgeoisie aesthetic distance, the jaded search for a more elegant perversity, enough irony to keep 'reality' at a safe distance hahaha. Okay I'll stop.

Whatever happened to the practice of finding, as the Buddhists would put it, the 'jewel in the manure'? Where is the visual equivalent of the Blues, as a universal language, not limited to Americans or to any class, race, or category? Where are the Zen photographers? They're out there, but they're not going to make anybody any money. They're too good. As with so many things...

If you think I've missed something/someone, let me know. I know I've taken a really harsh view of photography but I see the same thing (almost) every time. I'd be happy to be proved wrong.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

LOOKING INSIDE/LOOKING OUTSIDE

LOOKING INSIDE/LOOKING OUTSIDE  2018  ink on paper  5.5" x 8.5"

Sorry for the vignetting.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Blame De Kooning

I just realized, in thinking how I'd not posted anything in quite some time, and of how exhausting it was trying (and failing) to post that perfect thing, that I'd lost track of the original idea of this blog: to have a conversation, if only with that special someone I greet everyday, in the mirror.

Today I want to say that I've been painting, and I finally got back paintings I did years ago in a big box from out-of-state. I will post them all (except for those few I paint over), I've been touching them up. A 90% finished painting is the kiss of death, that last 10% is a quagmire, a pit swallowing all good sense, discernment, discrimination, restraint.

98% finished is even worse. Luckily I couldn't get my hands on these for the last year-and-a-half so they were safe. My latest work on the theme of Venus has me flummoxed.

Unable to continue, I made a series of drawings on the subject of Woman, after De Kooning. I don't know if it quite worked for him, but you see a definite change over the years from the angry scary overwhelming women to the happy joyous overwhelming women. Women that are more like water. My women hold pistols, ride nuclear bombs, see 'apparitions', believe in us from beyond the stars, and take part in theatrical productions (Pierrot Lunaire).

Oh what the hell here they are:

Marauder  8.5" x 5.5" mixed media on paper


Woman with Hat  2017  ink on paper  5.5" x 8.5"
Manhattan Apartment  5.5" x 8.5" mixed media on paper
3 Women  5.5" x 8.5" mixed media on paper
STAR-MA  8.5" x 5.5" mixed media on paper
Pierrot As A Girl  5.5" x 8.5" mixed media on paper

What is my problem? Hopeless romantic. I'm still in the position of not having conversations with anyone; the curse of the visually-oriented. On a drive I'll point out an interesting sight to someone. Silence. I was much relieved to read The Private Lives of the Impressionists, to know of men and women who went on at length about things they saw, as if their appearance was of great import! This is how I am. I could appeal to people's sense of Feng Shui, in that disagreeable appearances can cause illness, and agreeable ones health, or simply become an architect or a landscaper. Ha.

People don't care what effect their environment is having on them. They want relief, instant relief, as they don't feel there's any hope of improving their environment at any level. In cities it's all too true, in the country they can look out of doors although if born there, perhaps none too impressed.

Explaining to people why art matters is simple: it's exactly because you can't change your environment, your world, your politics, your (or their) situation, that art is important. It's all you've got left. Art you can change, create, revise, etc. to suit your needs, yourself, your heart.

But our (N. American) culture's not about that. This was considered worthless in the year 2000, but four people disagreed, and saved it. You can disagree too.

The background I first used for this blog:


(and thankfully stopped using as no one could read the text), is an old painting I did of Herbert Huncke, the first writer who was called, 'beat' (his own idea).
It's after this photo:


It seems I'll also have to do this one, and a bit better:


A compelling figure, no? You perhaps don't know him, one story here.

Art matters because of people like him.

Fearless Collective

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1350317354/fearless-public-art-residency-protest-by-creating

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Woman at the Sea

Woman at the Sea   5/2016   8" x 10"   oil on canvas

I really didn't try to make this one. It is an abstract painting. She just showed up...  Hello.

This is the first painting I made where I really thought, 'this is Art'.  As opposed to 'artistic'. Maybe it's the 1000th, but this time, there was 'meaning'.

I've been 'final touching up' some paintings from years past, this first, more to come.