art

MAYA DEREN

A friend turned me onto the work of Maya Deren this weekend. This film is from 1944 called “At Land” which she directed and starred in. Really amazing work what with all the time and location jumps and a genuine sense of expression. Surreal yet completely sensible.

Quite a few of her other films can be found the YouTube machine and my friend says there’s a documentary called “In the Mirror of Maya Deren” which is apparently quite interesting. I know I’ll be looking for it.

I don’t know why this amazing filmmaker from the 1940’s escaped my radar. She was obviously ahead of her time and a true artist. I hope more people are aware of her contributions to film than I was.

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GOODBYE MARCH

I don’t know who painted this but apparently it’s from around 1680. It reminds me of this March, which I’m sure you can figure out I ain’t gonna miss. Hope things look brighter as spring settles in.

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IN MEMORY

I found out today the world lost another good soul, my friend KAIE. She was an artist with many gifts. Most importantly she was a caring, curious and beautiful person. I’m still a bit shocked and will miss her very much. Unfortunately, she couldn’t beat cancer. Please try to make a donation or something to rid the world of this damn disease that takes too many from us too soon.

Safe journey’s on the other side KAIE ❤️❤️❤️

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Willem de Kooning

"Park Rosenberg" 1957

I’m starting to get more interested in Willem de Kooning. Some of his work, like this one, strike an immediate chord inside of me. Others I find little to like, usually because of his color use. Still, I plan to study more about him to figure out why I have such polarized reactions to his his style.

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THE LATEST

My latest painting which I finished today. Again, very much enjoying the acrylics and charcoal combination. I like the contrast between them and the way the charcoal gets layered over or when used for a final bold black.

I experimented a bit with some different textures that I hadn’t used before. You see in the lower right and kind of mesh thing, the use of a palette knife with the red lines and using a dessert lid to make some circles down in the mix.

It was fun and as always I had no idea what would turn out. I’m pretty pleased with this though. I’m starting to understand a bit better what the paint is capable of and how to control it a little. But that’s boring to talk about. It was very relaxing and stress free to create. I can’t repeat enough that with painting and printmaking I really love the process. It’s full of unexpected turns and mystery. I can’t ask for more than that.

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PAINTING

“Untitled” Fred Vee, 2019

I’ve really been getting into painting more and more. I have about 7 or 8 of these style that are made with acrylics and charcoal. As of now I really don’t spend a shit load of time on any one piece. From start to finish maybe a couple of hours at most. The quickness of sketching, adding up layers and basically just reacting / improvising as I go along is the best part of it. Whether the final outcome is “good” or “bad” is irrelevant to me. Much like the printmaking I’ve been doing it’s a matter of process that gives me the most satisfaction. That’s really what’s it’s all about, isn’t it?

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THE ITALIAN WOMAN

Henri Matisse, “The Italian Woman” oil on canvas, 1916

I love the work of Henri Matisse and collect as many images online as I can of his. I found this one for the first time a few days ago. It’s impossible to have a favorite with the likes of Matisse but this quickly soared into those paintings of his that arrest me and are impossible to forget.

The simplicity, the subdued limited colors, the beautiful pensive face, the way the hair either makes her receding or emerging from the background and the unfinished hands. To me everything is perfect in this work. She will be in my dreams till I die.

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A PAGE OF MADNESS

This is a must see movie for any cinema fan. I can only write in adjectives and superlatives at the moment; it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, amazing visuals, incredible acting (though there is no sound), completely inspiring, terrifyingly beautiful, mesmerizing!

From Wikipedia:

A Page of Madness (狂った一頁 Kurutta Ippēji or Kurutta Ichipeiji) is a silent film by Japanese film director Teinosuke Kinugasa, made in 1926. It was lost for forty-five years until being rediscovered by Kinugasa in his storehouse in 1971. The film is the product of an avant-garde group of artists in Japan known as the Shinkankakuha (or School of New Perceptions) who tried to overcome naturalistic representation.

Yasunari Kawabata, who would win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, was credited on the film with the original story. He is often cited as the film's screenwriter, and a version of the scenario is printed in his complete works, but the scenario is now considered a collaboration between Kawabata, Kinugasa, Banko Sawada, and Minoru Inuzuka.

As there is no sound I watched it while listening to the Lo-Fi India Abuse album by Muslimgauze on repeat and it really worked for me. You might want to try a different album to set the mood for you.

Whatever the case, watch this masterpiece!

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EDWARD HOPPER

Room By The Sea, 1951

Big fan of Edward Hopper. There’s always a quiet, somewhat desperate quality in a lot of his work. This piece, while a bit surrealistic, definitely has that silent mystery aspect.

I’m just usually in love in with his compositions, color palettes and the like as well. Definitely a big influence on the way I see things.

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ACRYLICS AND CHARCOAL

I’m really digging the acrylic and charcoal technique I picked up from that artist Dan Tirels on YouTube. It’s really a loose fun exercise that takes a couple of hours to complete.

I’ve done about 7 or 8 of them now and feel a little bit of understanding starting to develop. I would like to use them as bouncing points for some other ideas I have, like as a loose outline for some wood prints or incorporating them with image transfers. Of course, they are fine on their own as well.

Give it a try, I bet you’ll get into real fast.

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FERNAND LÉGER

FERNAND LÉGER - Trois demoiselles sur fond rouge ou composition aux trois femmes, 1927

I only recently discovered the work of Fernand Léger. I really like how he uses his colors in his cubist style paintings and he has portraits that I love similar to the above style.

I think he played around with more than just cubism and painting. I know he did some printmaking and sculpture as well. I need to study up on him a bit more but what I’ve seen so far is right up my alley.

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TECHNIQUES BY DAN TIRELS

I found this really cool channel on YouTube by a guy named Dan Tirels. He has a bunch of techniques for printmaking and other stuff like the image I made above using charcoal and acrylic paints on paper.

The tutorials are easy to follow and mostly are low cost, easy to try art techniques to keep your creative mind active. No matter your discipline I highly recommend checking out his channel as I’ll think you’ll get inspired by his clever, simple yet really striking art that he demonstrates.

The videos are also really good as there’s no talking (though some people may wish there was) like a lot of tutorials with too much information. You just see his point of view and the making of the art. Really great stuff. Check it out!

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FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES

One of my favorite GIF's from one of my favorite movies, the Japanese cult classic "Funeral Parade of Roses" (薔薇の葬列). The movie was released in 1970 and explores the gay, transvestite and underground counter culture of the time. Pretty groundbreaking stuff for it's time in any country.

Very avant-garde with a series of twists and turns, the movie naturally goes over the top at some points but only lends interest from point of view. The movie stars a very young and quite beautiful Pita, who has gone on to be an iconic figure in Japan. I’m not exactly sure if s/he fully transitioned to a female but I’ve seen him/her (I don’t know if Japanese trans people use pronouns to identify as it isn’t very common to use them in everyday speech) on TV quite a few times speaking very openly. Again it’s a bit strange as on TV gay culture is accepted (if that’s the right word) but in normal life it’s not so open. Which makes the film all the more fascinating.

Directed and written by Toshio Matsumoto, it's def worth a watch.

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IMDB INFO

 

THROWBACK WWII STYLE ART

I totally dig these message oriented throwback posters.

Propaganda works for good or evil, and these are on the good side of things in my opinion.

Unfortunately, I don’t know who the artist(s) is/are. I found these a while ago on Tumblr and don’t think there was attribution. If you know who did these, or if you do similar work yourself, please contact me.

Thx

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LAM QUA

Lam Qua, photographed by John Thomson in 1871.

Fascinating article by Veronique Greenwood about artist Lam Qua and his medical paintings done for doctor / minister Peter Parker in the mid to late 1800's. Although the subjects are disfigured with various tumors of varying sizes, the artist captures dignity and humanity in each one. As noted in an interview:

“There is something about the paintings that goes beyond gawkery, however. “I can’t speak for all humanity. I know some people find them stomach-churning,” Rachman says. “But to me … if you’re the kind of person who actually thinks maturely about human affliction rather than just turning your head away from it … these people are fascinating.” He reflects on the intensity of preparing for major surgery, the fear, the pain, the distress. At the thought of posing for a portrait first, he trails off. “It’s almost like watching someone get ready for battle.”

Lam Qua’s Portrait Number 6. YALE UNIVERSITY

Very insightful quote and well worth the time to read the article.

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