Wednesday, March 5, 2014

School Daze-An Update

Subject of my paper, The Holy Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili

It's been a while since I've posted on my Art School Adventure but no sense in holding back, right?  So I finished Art Appreciation (redux).  I pretty much enjoyed every minute and have added an "A" to my GPA. Jupiter campus (FAU) was a peaceful sanctuary compared to Boca and even the Monday and Wednesdays 8AM class time was quite doable in the end.  The big challenge was writing the research papers.  Yes, I can write but writing to formula ie MLA was new to me.  The paper was to be about controversial art and I must say the biggest challenge was just picking the topic!  In the end my choice was not so original but it was one that intrigued me and there was a ginormous wealth of material about it.  I wrote about Chris Ofili and his Holy Virgin Mary which almost got The Brooklyn Museum closed by Mayor Giuliani about 16 years ago.  It included elephant dung, pornographic clippings and a black Madonna.  That's all you need to incite a riot, I suppose.

This semester I find myself in 3D Design.  I certainly had no idea what to expect.  That could mean anything! Turns out it has a lot to do with wood shop.  Day 1 was a whirlwind tour of power tools led by sculpture Professor Mark Oliver (not my instructor).  Ummm that was a little scary.  Even though I know nothing at least I can say I've been in close proximity to power tools for a long time at work.  I learned what it means to "knoll" watching this (sort of) interesting video called 10 Bullets by Tom Sachs which doesn't even remotely resemble anything I've seen in the shop at work!


Check out this video clip from 10 Bullets.  It's the part about knolling. Thankfully assignment number one did not involve wood but it was still a challenge.  We were instructed to make a household item to scale, at least 5X bigger or smaller than actual size.  We could use anything BUT wood, weren't allowed to use paint and the final result should be art!  Again, selecting the subject was my biggest hurdle.  I finally settled on the kitchen sink.  I am a kitchen designer, after all, the kitchen is the heart of the home and the sink, I believe, is the heart of the kitchen.  Taking it further (because that's what I love to do,over think), it's traditionally a woman's domain.  I thought it would be cool to take one of my art collages featuring a quintessential 1950s woman and stick her under the sink! Voila', art! She's yearning to escape and I've certainly left the doors open for her.  Lastly we had to photograph our piece in the appropriate setting for "documentation" purposes.
In Sink, 5X smaller than an actual 36" sink base cabinet


Yes, the drawer front is a bit wonky.  I'll put that on my to-do list.   For the second assignment I really had to put my "big girl panties" on!  It was called "Music Theory".  We had to select a song and give it form reproducing musical qualities such as rhythm, repetition, beat etc.  This had to be made from wood using those dang power tools.  Again, choosing the song was the biggest challenge for me but in the end I chose a familiar song from the Buddha Bar III compilation (my fave) called Solitude by Karunesh.  The words are in Hindi so they wouldn't influence my work.  You can hear the song below. BTW I did not see this video until today writing this post but her dress reminds me of the piece!!!




After many many revisions,  under the fine tutelage of Pat in our woodshop at work, here is the finished product.




Next assignment is a paper and Power Point Presentation about a sculptor of our choice.  I'm choosing Petah Coyne.  She works with wax among other things and I first learned about her at the Encaustic Conference last year.


Petah Coyne and some of her work courtesy of Museum of Art at Duke University

Concurrently we'll be working on an installation art project.  I'm really in the thick of it now and there's no turning back.  I'm discovering new worlds and skills that are surprising me.  The well runs deep I suppose. Ok, now that I've got that off my chest I promise I'll write Art Palm Beach Part II soon.  Cheers!














Monday, February 10, 2014

Boynton Beach Art District hosts Art al'Fresco


The Boynton Beach Art District is the real deal.  I’d been meaning to check it out for ages but you know how it goes, life gets in the way.  This year’s ArtPalmBeach put BBAD on the map as a part of ArtSynergy, the first countywide gallery walk weekend taking place in six historic art districts and coinciding with ArtPalmBeach.

Richard Beu-Lieu Sculpture Studio
ArtPalmBeach has developed into Palm Beach County's most significant and influential art fair. This year the show which ran from January 24-27 celebrated its 17th year.  That Friday night, deemed Art al'Fresco, afforded BBAD a moment in the spotlight and I finally got to check it out. What I discovered is a local hub of all types of unique art unafraid to be raw and real.  

Look down!  This lovely pattern grew out of the sidewalk at BBAD
Sculpture, painting, craft as well as performance art were all on show.  Set amid auto shops and a seeming graveyard for dead construction equipment, it somehow works.  They describe themselves as "an incubator for alternative contemporary art".  I think that's an apt description and I believe we need that here.  
Local suspects! Check out their FaceBook page for list of events.

BBAD is actually the brainchild of Rolando Chang Barrero, director of ActivistArtista Gallery.  He found artists already doing their thing a couple years ago in this little industrial area and put them on the map by organizing events and working his PR magic.  On Friday January 10th the BBAD suffered significant flood damage.  Remember the monsoon we had back then?  They are looking to raise around 2K as a start to replace equipment that was lost. If you'd like to find out more and possibly make a donation (of any size) here's where you can go.


 BBAD is located one block west of Boynton Beach Blvd. exit off I-95 at 404-422 West Industrial Ave, Boynton Beach, Florida 33426 and you can contact them at BoyntonBeachArtDistrict@gmail.com

Next up:  ArtPalmBeach, the next day, what was going on at the Convention Center...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Art Basel Part II- Art Miami


Finally getting around to posting the rest of the story my experience of Art Basel Miami which happened last month.  It was certainly a happening!  Last time I posted images from ground zero of the event, the Miami Beach Convention Center.  The second half of the day we headed over to the all-of-a-sudden ubercoolness of the Wynwood Arts District.  The neighborhood is a formerly dodgy industrial a area just over the bridge and west of the main event on Miami Beach.  Today, due to the efforts of a group of gallery owners and investors, the neighborhood is home to a massive shopping center and numerous art galleries (70!). In addition, it has become a palette for artists of the street.  Not sure how I feel about the former but the latter intrigues me!
Photo by Official Wynwood Blog 

Banksy's got nothing on them.  The second Saturday night of every month, is "ArtWalk" in Wynwood, when the art galleries and studios open their doors to the public for viewing. From eleven in the morning until midnight you can also view the Wynwood Wall I hope to soon participate so I can check it all out and report back to you. Regarding the street art, there are actually a couple peeps who scope out the neighborhood on a regular basis so they can note all the street art locations on a map!  If you don't believe me check this out!



I found Art Miami to be an extension of the showings at the convention center. It takes place right in the heart of Wynwood under a ginormous white tent.  I only scratched the very surface of Art Basel to be sure but what I did find was a good mix of Fine Art by the big names in art history such as Picasso and Nevelson and new talent.


There was a lot of transgressive art as well as the creativity and originality that makes contemporary art so fascinating.  After Art Miami we were on to, for me, the most exciting part of the day, a viewing of Portrait of Marina Abramovic.  I've been a huge fan of this multi talented and controversial performance artist ever since watching The Artist Is Present, a documentary about her retrospective at MOMA in 2010.  The building in which it was held was amazing in and of itself.  It is basically an abandoned box made of colored glass sitting atop a smaller box and is aptly named "The Jewel Box".  The event was hosted by the National YoungArts Foundation and Visionaire. The effect of the light filtering in from the outside at night was ethereal and so fitting. The 3D film is only 6 minutes long but was predictably moving.  The following video tells you a bit about it and how it was made.



For a more academic and comprehensive review of the events of Art Basel check out artist Joanne Mattera's coverage over at her blog here.  Next up:  ArtPalmBeach, our very own mini-ArtBasel?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One View of Art Basel, Part I





Perhaps the biggest art event here in South Florida is the world reknowned Art Basel.  That said I believe Art Palm Beach will rock your art world as well, especially this year as it expands with satellite exhibitions in neighboring locales.  The inauguration of "Art Synergy", the first countywide gallery walk weekend taking place in six historic art districts and coinciding with ArtPalmBeach.  Art Synergy will include gallery receptions, open artist studios, performances, museum openings, lectures and special architectural tours.  ArtPalmBeach  2014 begins January 23rd at the Palm Beach Convention Center.

Back to ArtBasel which ocurred December 4-7th in and around Miami Beach.  One thing I learned is to do it right you really need at least one sleep over.  There are so many galleries to see!  We went on Saturday leaving West Boynton at around 8 in the morning and were in MIA with plenty of time for breakfast, Miami-style, on Lincoln Road, right by the convention center which opened at noon.

We focused on viewing exhibits in the convention center until around 3:30 then headed west across the Venetian Causeway (a beautiful drive) to Art Miami in Wynwood.  Here are the things that caught my eye at the Convention Center.  We'll call this Part I.  Part II will feature what we saw at Art Miami as well as the height of the day for me which was the screening of Portrait of Marina Abramovic, also in Wynwood.


Some color field paintings by Josef Albers
It was exciting to see work by famous artists of the past including these paintings by Josef Albers, many pieces by the famous Louise Nevelson and even one by Michel Basquiat.




There was a lot of conceptual art including this pile of shellacked dirty laundry.  I didn't catch all the galleries or artist names on these.  If you know who they are, don't be shy.



This is by famous artist Robert Indiana.  He likes numbers and you've probably seen his famous "Love" sculpture.


Glo's view of the crowd.  Like the pointillism effect?


A print of a simple design that spoke to me.  If you don't know Beatrice Wood, you must!


A hell of a rug, no? This woman thinks so too!


No comment.  Let's just say I probably wouldn't have looked at this 20 years ago.

Emerging artist perhaps?


Fisherman's net or mermaid's tale?

Artful rest area for the weary viewer made for some great people watching.


Such a stunning rich saturated RED!
Malandro by Jason Martin is pure magenta pigment on aluminum
by Gideon Rubin, gouache on cardboard


by Gideon Rubin, gouache on cardboard

An interesting shot of the viewers

I really was much more excited than I look!
Seems like everyone wanted a photo of this sign by Jack Pierson!


I was very excited to see this fabulous work by Petah Coyne, the subject of the 7th Encaustic Conference Keynote speech!

A little photo editing fun with Ms. Coyne's beautiful mixed media sculpture.
Next up:  Part II Art Miami and Portrait of Marina Abramovic

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday Redux


8X8" encaustic, oil paint and gold pigment on plywood panel


So after looking at last Sunday’s production for one week I was sure of one thing.  I hated it.  That was my  first  thought.  The second thing that occurred to me is that perhaps I wasn’t finished!  

The Original


Here’s what I did:  First I removed a lot of the wax with this tool (meant for clay).  

This is a loop which can be used for encaustics but is made for clay.


I even took one of the figures off.  Then I sort of fragmented the remaining figure.  I kind of like the ancient imperfect look of it.  The next thing I had to do was address the color.   The color on the figures was kind of nondescript and didn’t work at all with the background.  My urge was to work some oil paints in to unify the piece and further that old feeling.  I used a combination of yellow ochre, burnt sienna and raw umber, heavy on the raw umber.  Last but not least I rubbed in some gold pigment which you can't really see in the photo. Actually, photographing the result was another challenge.  I referenced this really good blog  for that.   I followed Julie’s instructions but used my iphone4.  The result was too bright so I toned it down a bit using photo editing.  This photo is close but still not exactly like the real deal.  Also disheartening to realize that everyone's monitor will show a bit differently so it's hard to share perfectly.  What I can say is that I’m much happier with the piece now and looking at how I explore these elements and concepts further, perhaps in larger scale?  It still lacks a name...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Renaissance Ladies Get No Respect

Self portrait as the Allegory of Painting by Artemesia Gentileschi

Monday  we explored late Gothic into Renaissance art in class.    How often have we heard of and seen the work of da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo?  Of course everyone has but do you know of Artemesia Gentileschi ?  I discovered her a few years ago and fell in love with this historical novel of her life.

Great book, def. 5 stars!

She is known mostly for her painting Judith Decapitating Holofernes and for her own self portrait (at top)

Judith Decapitating Holofernes
Gory, biblical and skillfully executed.
.
 
Little did I know that around the same time, also in Italy (60 years or so later),  there was  Sofonisba Anguissola .    She was so good she ended up as a member of the court of the Queen of  Spain. Simultaneously, over in the Netherlands you would have found  Dutch Golden Age painter Judith Leyster known for  her beautifully executed domestic genre (everyday life) paintings. 

The Proposition by Judith Leyster

She married a fellow artist, stopped painting, had children and fell quietly into obscurity.  All of these women were from families of artists. This is actually the reason we don’t hear much of them.  They were literally the women who were behind the men who carried the names. 

The Chess Game by Sofonisba Anguissola

One of Anguissola’s best known works is The Chess Game.  The painting depicts a chess game between three sisters.  Revolutionary in its depiction of a “real moment in time”,  the expressions on the girls’ faces really do tell a story.  The intriguing thing is that this work contains a mysterious element.  It is said that the maid depicted on the right was painted in at a later date.  This appears to be the case as her presence very much throws off the composition of the piece.  In addition her placement is a bit off.  Is she behind or in front?  The big question is, why was she added?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wax, Africa and One Sunday's Experimentation


     Last time I posted here I never dreamed I would be telling you that I am back at school!  I figured if I was going to love and continue to explore art, even at this age, I might as well go back and do it right.  I am a very part time student at FAU majoring in Studio Art.  No I do not know how long it will take or if I will ever see that Bachelor's of Fine Art but it doesn't matter.  I'm doing it for the experience.  I'm doing it to fill in the blanks.  I have several core classes to complete before I submit my portfolio for review then I can really get down to the nitty gritty.  Fall Semester I took Art Appreciation, not a new course for me but they made me do it again.  No problem, I figured it's a great way to get my feet wet. I've loved it but at the same time couldn't help but note things I would have done differently as the Professor.  The text book, Gateways to Art, is excellent.  It's so good I think I'll hang on to it.  Anyway the class certainly filled in the blanks for me.  The biggest challenge was writing an official research paper.  Writing to formula is so different from what I usually do!  The class has also made me incredibly grateful as I realize I have been to so many places and seen so much of the art we learn about in class.  That truly blows my mind!  Enough about that.

The Repetitiveness of Days (in progress)

     Today is Sunday, art day if I'm lucky.  This day was pretty satisfying because due to that research paper (done) it's been a while.  I'm working on two things today.  The first is my ongoing project (above)  for 2013.  The working title is  "The Repetitiveness of Days".  When complete it will be a polyptych comprised of twelve 12 by 12 canvases.  The media is acrylic paint and it is more than anything a conceptual piece that I could go on about forever.  I won't though, an introduction will suffice for now but stay tuned for progress.

Step One, an unusual palette
     It's always good to work on different things to allow for drying time, thought percolation etc.   Since it's fall it's time to fire up the wax!  This is an encaustic and oil painting.  This strange palette appealed to me somehow.



    The raised figures (final shot) are something I found in this book which I believe I originally purchased at the MET in New York.  It's a West African Adinkra symbol which happens to incorporate two of my favorite visual elements, the fish and the spiral.  It  actually is called Gyawn Atiko (JOW en ah TEEK koh) and is the symbol for great courage and determination.

Stage two, interesting texture but crying for more!



Stage three, where I left it.  Symbols are from stencils wax on wax with contrasting textures.  Symbols sit about 1/8" above background and are covered with oil paint.  The entire piece is 8X8".  
     I photographed in stages to show you.  I'm not a good judge of my own work as I usually don't like any of it, trying to work on that.  This piece remains nameless but maybe you can help with that.  Any suggestions?  With any luck I'll be back soon with more art, progress on "The Repetitiveness of Days" and what's happening in class.