Sunday, December 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
There's nothing really that interesting about this image, but it becomes somewhat more interesting when you know what it actually is. It's a window to an office in the Russell Wright home in Garrison, NY. (He was a designer and an early ecologist in the '50's). It's made from cardboard rolls (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.) that have been bent into ovals and then covered in plastic. The shapes are very organic, like leaves or stones, and I'm sure that's what he was looking for. He wanted to blend the natural environment in with the man-made structures, and vice-versa. In the photo, I like the way the light coming through on the left side gives it some color picked up from whatever's in the room beyond; and how it's focused in the middle, but then a little more blurry and dark towards the right. It's floral on one side, and then rocky on the other, almost like nature versus nature - a flower bed amongst rocks.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
A la "Pop Art" (Jasper Johns, Warhol, Claes Oldenberg) we have 'Budweiser/BeerLao'. The image is done to look early 70's, but the idea behind the connection is very 2010. Notice the "Budweiser" can is just a little bit bigger. And note that almost all beer brands are now owned by just three huge corporate entities that span the globe.
Well this one doesn't really work out here. It's just too small and you can't see it. It's really very basic, but it's also interesting. It's just an intersection in Manhattan along Canal Street. Hardly anyone in the center is looking forward, but there are a few people along the sides that you can see, and the one Asian gentleman to the left is clearly looking at the camera. If this was enlarged to about 12' across it would be an interesting slice of life. Then you could mix it with other 'slices of life' (perhaps a wheat field in Nebraska, something from a swamp in Florida, day workers waiting outside a Home Depot in San Diego, fishermen along a pier, the line outside of a nightclub in Vegas) and you've got something. Will I ever actually get that printed up and make a work of art out of it? - probably not, but the idea is there, and that's good enough for me.
Friday, August 27, 2010
This is just a simple shot of a wall in Manhattan on the lower east side displaying an ad for a piano shop within. There's really no subject to it, but I love the color of it, and the balance. I find it really interesting that the eye kind of makes the stucco wall look green besides the purple of the painted sign. It's really not green, you just perceive it that way. And I think the balance is impeccable. It's a bit dark in the lower left hand corner, but then there's a burst of sunshine in the mid-to-upper right. And the black fence draws you back down to the lower left, but the black and grey graffiti pulls you back. Add in the rusty red-brown of the beam at the upper canter and it just focuses everything along with the one shiny piece of 'silver' fence capping at the lower left center.
This is what I try to do in my abstract paintings. I try to have different points of focus, but also lines (the wires and breaks in the stucco) that separate things and move the eye around. I flip the canvas end to end trying to find a perfect balance no matter how it might be hung - and this photo, I think, achieves that.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
This is a little bit of graffiti done in nail polish on a light post in Manhattan near the corner of W 20th St and Tenth Ave. It reminded me of dripping blood; and because of the grey background, Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 "Bram Stoker's Dracula" as well (I must be remembering some advertising from the film that looked similar).
But back to the graffiti, there's something about the look of the dripping blood red nail polish that projects pain when combined with the message. Had it been pink (or yellow or orange) nail polish it might have looked hippie-ish or fun, but it's not. So although this was probably nothing (maybe just school girls goofing around with nothing else to do), it seems like a dramatic cry for help. And the blistered, wrinkled, aged and cracked, lifeless grey paint that it's on top of only helps to make it stand out that much more.
So what's the point? I don't know. Maybe that there are little drips of emotion all around us that we never take notice of. It's nothing, but it's also something. We'll never know the real story behind it. Maybe it was just a few kids wasting time, or maybe it was a woman who couldn't cope with a lost relationship and eventually commited suicide. Or maybe it was a man! (Why necessarily a woman?) Maybe it was just someone crying out to be loved. Maybe it was a quickly scrawled joke. We'll never know, but it leads us to ask the question, and that's the art of it. Even if it is just graffiti.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The way that we put images together tells a story, almost as if we were speaking it directly. The images flow together. They form relationships. They act as stepping stones to the next scene and the next part of the story. But a lot can be read into those connections as well; sometimes things that the artist hasn't intended - or even thought of. And I guess that's the beauty of it, that it's not all there. That's part of what the artist tries to do. That's the beauty of a short story that suggests everything within a few hundred words. That's the beauty of a song that leaves you slightly hanging melodically. You know what the missing note is.
This is me getting old. And I'm surrounded by darkish old stuff. Antiques.
I think it's important to understand the cycle of life, and realize where you're at in it. Doing that while you're young is the hardest part. (Sugar Mountain, right?). I felt like a teenager until I was 41, and now I feel like an old man - how does that happen!?!
So this is a good self-portrait for me... this is the change: loss of hair, bags under the eyes, dry skin... at least I still have some color in my cheeks :)
Monday, March 15, 2010
What a can of worms this one is! If we can just get past the whole child porn thing, this is just a figure study of a few kids that reminded me of a Picasso painting (something I saw at the Barnes, but that's a whole different discussion for another time). Anyway, what makes it interesting, I guess, is that it's modern day in Central Park NYC; and that the one kid on the left seems to be bent on breaking his friend's finger off!. Not long after I took this shot a family was thrown out of the playground and given a ticket because they were there without a child. It was an elderly couple and their daughter and son/spouse. I, of course, had my two monkeys with me, and the only reason we were there was so that they could go to the playground. But here I was taking photos of other kids and I didn't get in trouble! So are we believing, as a society, that pedophiles don't have families? Of course they do! But simple rules make it simple to operate, so that's the way we do it. I'll agree that to follow the rules the family should have been asked to leave, but I think it was wrong to give them a ticket. And if they were doing their job they would have kept an eye on me - but, oh, wait, that's not their job....