Archive for January, 2009

Favorite Art: Art I LOVE, Pentii Sammallahti:The World in Black and White

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2009 by echostains
houston-texas-1978-pentti-

houston-texas-1978-pentti-

Whilst looking through some old research I had on disc, It occured to me  that so far in my blog, I haven’t included any photographers.   I came across this photographer a few years ago.  I love the abstract quality in his work.

sammallahti_pentti_50-penalti-napal-94

sammallahti_pentti_50-penalti-napal-94

I don’t know why, but I thought he was Russian.  Wrong! when I looked in the Wikipedia I found that Pentii Sammallahti was actually born in Finland! HELSINKI to be exact.  Now that is strange…………look at page 14 of my Altered Art Book.

sammallahti_pentti_60-solovki-white-sea-russia-92

sammallahti_pentti_60-solovki-white-sea-russia-92

Advertisements

Hovis stands still as time marches on…and on

Posted in HOME with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by echostains

Fresh Hovis mmmmmm

Fresh Hovis mmmmmm

I love that new Hovis advert!  You know the one? where the lad races through time to deliver the Hovis?  I like the way the ad gets across that the world has changed (since Hovis was first invented) BUT Hovis has stayed the same.  I like the sense of continuity.  Continuity makes me feel secure.  Change may be exciting in a nail biting way (unless it’s gradual and you hardly notice – as in the Hovis continuity) but there’s no security in drastic change  is there? 

Old Hovis advertising sign

Old Hovis advertising sign

Here’s the Masterpiece itself! complete with Dvoraks New Symphony

Here’s that man going up that hill on his bike, bringing the Hovis home……  did this really happen?

hovis its worth the exertion

hovis its worth the exertion

 

I don’t think Hovis has changed much at all.  I still love it and always will, unless they start putting sawdust in it…….. I also wasn’t surprised that Hovis makes Nimble, miles better than other slimming bread.

 

Hominis vis (which means ‘the strength of man’) er AND WOMEN mate!

Favorite Art: Art I LOVE, Frank Auerbach ‘Head of Gerda Boehm’ The Head Says it All

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by echostains

head-of-gerda-boehm-auerbach

head-of-gerda-boehm-auerbach

In 2002, the Frank Auerbach Retrospective at The Royal Academy London had a profound effect on me.  ‘The Head of Gerda Boehm’is a relatively small painting (about 13 in x 13 in), but the effect it had on me was enormous.  Before I had seen this painting, I could never understand why Auerbach painted the same model every day for year: though I could understand the compulsion of why he scraped back, layering brushstrokes with the intervention of the knife; –

” These brushstrokes, forever catching the changing light, the accidental drips, the swirling paint sometimes laid on like butter or mixed up like concrete, or at other times reminiscent of the viciousness of black pitch, are all testaments to a unique way of making and marking down reality in a visual way, which is all that visual art of whatever direction can hope to do.”   (Norman Rosenthal)

The head of Gerda Boehm shouts: she has a voice!  It comes from beneath the layers of paint – it is beyond paint.  Auerbach has gone beyond paint, he has captured her essence!  It is so certain because it affects the viewer through the senses.  I am speaking from my own experience of course.  Rosenthal is in a way right, Auerbach may indeed be marking down reality, but everyone experiences ‘reality’ differently, everyone has their own reality: reality is subjective.

 

What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things…it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface.”   (Brancusi)

Taken from my short dissertation ‘Echostains: The Artist as Magician’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: nothing beats seeing the real thing, reproductions will only ever be just that – reproductions.

 

 

Altered art book Page 15 continued: A Trashy Romance

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by echostains
page15-someone-was-god

page15-someone-was-god

Page 15 continued……..

The words on this page are: –

‘Someone was God and she was always flirting with him’

‘In her empire of Junk’

My first thought were to go with artists who were either spiritual, God Fearing or who just celebrated God: William Blake sprang to mind.  But then when I thought about it further, it seemed to me that perhaps ‘God‘ taken in this context, might be some sort of hero figure.  There is also a strange kind of romance going on: almost comic book or Mills and Boon.  Perhaps I should have tied some tiny tin cans to the threads that are wrapped  around the hearts…. perhaps not eh.

page15-in her empire of junk

 

 

 

 

page15-in her empire of junk

The words ‘Someone’ was God, suggests that the person is in favour or in the good books or is the flavour of the month (or however long it lasts).  Andy Warhol said that ‘everyone will be famous for 15 minutes’.  Coupled with ‘the empire of junk’,my thoughts then began to turn to our throwaway society, transient and fleeting.  Trashy romances, tabloid fodder: tomorrows chip paper.  Also the darlings of the Art world, here today gone tomorrow, little microcosms  of human life and struggles.

gavin-turk-sid-vicious

gavin-turk-sid-vicious

 Gavin Turk (b.Guildford UK 1967) exhibited a sculpture in the now famous ‘Sensation’  of 1993.  ‘Pop’ was a statue in a vitrine of the artist himself as Sid Vicious imitating the pose of  Andy Warhol’s painting of Elvis as a cowboy. 

elvis-warhol-1963

elvis-warhol-1963

 Turk was trying to get across the idea of the artist as an icon: in a sense the artist’s ‘death’ by becoming an embalmed pop icon.  Turk has turned himself into a prop, an object, a brand name, a commodity.  He has turned a bin bag into a painted bronze; a dirty old sleeping bag into a painted sculpture.  All the viewer needs to take, is that leap of faith and suspension of disbelief for a moment to ‘get’ Turks art. 

quinn-siren

quinn-siren

UK artist Marc Quinn (again) has a fascination with Greek art, which has led to his sculpture ‘Siren’.  The sculpture is of the famous British model Kate Moss and is made entirely of gold.  Quinn is alluding to Moss’s stature as an icon, like one of the Greek Goddess of the ancient world: a Goddess for our time. 

dirtywhitetrash with gulls -1998

dirtywhitetrash with gulls -1998

 UK artist Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s  (1966 and 1967) instillation was literally a pile of old rubbish collected from the streets of London.  ‘Dirty White Trash with Gulls’shows a mountain of rubbish with a projected light showing two shadows on the wall (the artists themselves).  The shadows of two people are surprising given the shape of the rubbish: unexpected.  This instillation was included in the opening show at County Hall London of the Saatchi Gallery.

 

 

.

Transcription Journal:Getting under the Surface, pages 1 – 9

Posted in ART, TRANSCRIPTION with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by echostains

transcription-journal-front

transcription-journal-front

This journal is several years old.  It turned into two journals stuck together!  I did get carried away….  The idea was to take a picture from a gallery  and bit by bit, transcribe it into an original work of art.  The idea came from the ‘Encounters’   exhibition I went to see in the National Gallery London 2000.  Each artist chose a painting or sculpture form the National Gallery  to transcribe – with some very surprising results!  Antoni Tapies (see Favorite Art: Art I love) transcribed Rembrandts ‘A woman bathing in a stream’ (1654)  as his piece, and underwent quite a journey to reach his conclusion..

transcription-journal-back

transcription-journal-back

For the cover and back of this journal I used all sorts of media;paper I had made myself,  with ink drawn into, wax dotted over it. There are pieces of velvet, filler and inks (including silver), silver and gold card that I turned metallic using a combination of inks and acrylics.  I have a ‘recipe’ book with how I made these different surfaces, some employ unusual materials, like latex.   I will get round to including these in a different section.

I got off to a false start with my first piece.  The first piece I chose proved a bit limited.  This piece came from the Lady Lever Gallery. Port Sunlight and here is what I wrote on the first page: – (I scanned the journal but it came out blurred)

 

“William Hesketh Lever 1st Viscount Levershulme (1851 -1925) Founder of ‘Lever Brothers’ created the building, the collection and the model village of Port Sunlight.  He was born in Bolton and was an avid collector of art, especially the PreRaphaelites.  He also liked ‘Classical’ artists like Alma Tadema and Frederick Leighton.

The Museum is packed with Lever’s furniture collections, tapestries, needlework, classical statues, wedgewood china, Chinese porcelain and Greek and Roman antiquities.

page-3-transcription photograph montage

page-3-transcription photograph montage

I was drawn to Gabriel Rossetti’s ‘Lute Player’.  I found the painting interesting because the lady  playing the lute is left handed.  This led me to question if the Pre Raphaelite   was using a Camera Lucida.  The date of the painting is 1867,  the picture is not an especially small – nor is it huge.  If Rossetti was using the camera lucida as a tool purely to paint detail, it would seem a pointless exercise, as the gown is hardly sumptuous by Pre Raphaelite standards.

the-lute-player-rossetti

the-lute-player-rossetti

The subject – the lute player has an almost Japanese quality about her.  The way her hair is dressed and the Kimono type robe would suggest this.  Perhaps the painting was commissioned?  The lady pictured is not oriental looking, she may be the wife of some dignitary: though there is no information about this.  This particular picture is not in the Lady Lever guide book, neither is it in the Pre Raphaelite books I have looked at.  So from this, I get the impression that this is not an important work of Rossetti’s – perhaps some sort of experimentation?”

transcription-page-7

transcription-page-7

I then began to experiment with the painting by changing from colour to black and white.  The first figure is a photo copy, the others are painted: –

transcription-pages-8-and-9

transcription-pages-8-and-9

Although this is not my main transcription piece, I did experiment quite a lot with this painting.  I will continue adding the pages as I scan them, until it is complete.  I may at some stage add my main transcription (which occupies the two journals nearly!)  I would do this bit by bit of course.

To be continued……..

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Altered art book page 15 ‘He was a God in her Empire of Junk’ part one

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2009 by echostains
 
 

 

page15-someone-was-god

page15-someone-was-god

 

 

‘Someone was God and she was always flirting with him’

in her empire of junk’

page15-someone-was-god-detail1

page15-someone-was-god-detail1

A garishly painted man and woman talk (probably) rubbish to each other, amidst a background of scribbled swirling ink marks.  Two hearts connect, forming a kinetic link with each other: they whirl against a tactile layer of faux leather and satin papers.  Silken thread provides the ties that bind, also the unromantic nitty gritty of how things actually work.

page15-someone-was-god-detail2

page15-someone-was-god-detail2

These chapters are LONG!  Yes LONG!  In fact I can’t believe what possessed me to actually do chapters!  I think there’s about 3 altogether.  I’ve just checked and this chapter has 26 pages alone.  I am going to have real difficulty closing this book lol!

I have a couple of artists in mind for these particular pages, but they will have to wait until tomorrow…

To be continued……

Media used; coloured inks, papers, acrylic paint,threads,card,

AND my 50th post!

Scratching the Surface and other Crevices

Posted in ART, MY SURFACES with tags , , , , , , on January 18, 2009 by echostains

Ceramic journal cover

 

Ceramic journal cover

I managed to get a new scanner today, so we’ll see how these images come out……  Given that its one that also prints and photocopies, I’m not expecting great things.

Ceramics Journal back view

 

Ceramics Journal back view

Mmmm, thought so, as I expected, not a good result.  This image is very large though, I may have to shrink it or try to remove the Moire…

 

I love surfaces!  I love to decorate them!  I can work for hour upon hour building surface upon surface.  I hadn’t been in Uni long before I started t decorate my journals.  The first one just had a big sticking plaster in the shape of a cross over it!  This is one of my Ceramics journals.  I used a variety of inks and acrylics: I also liked to mixed a little Polyfiller powder too….