Monthly Archives: November 2013

Antony: The Cut

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The Cut was an exhibit of mixed media collaged piece of work by Antony Hegarty. He is both a fine artist as well as a musician. The work really explored materials and the juxtaposition of different materials. He used materials such as paint, fabric, plastic, tape, etc. The show was entitled The Cut in reference to a poem written by the artist.

Through juxtaposition of materials and the treatment of the materials (torn, burned, melted) Antony created a very visceral and gestural group of works. You could picture the physicality of the treatment of the materials. There was almost a violent tone in the way that he manipulated the materials. He utilized the surface of the materials in order to call attention to certain details. In the piece above, he has ripped up a black piece of paper and then taped it back together. The shine of the tape next to matte color of the paper call attention to this process and action of the tearing and the taping. In many of his pieces there was a repetition of tearing and taping. And, in the tape, he left pieces of hair that had gotten caught on the tape during the process. You really had to look closely to fully appreciate the mixture of delicate details and violent manipulation of the surface of his materials.

The Cut was very inspiring to me and my work because I am so interested in process, but also I work similarly to Antony in my Artist Book. It is a new way for me to work as a “distresser “of the image. I am normally very controlled in my process, not to say that I am not controlled in my Artist Book, but it is a different kind of control. When I am working on the spreads in my book, I am working in a kind of controlled chaos. This controlled chaos is also seen in Antony’s work. You can tell that each action was carefully thought out. The hand of the artist and process is very apparent in the scratching and distressing of the surface just as in my book. Both of leave a part of ourselves behind on the surface through gesture, but also I am printing my body on the page and he is leaving hair and fingerprints on his “page.”

 

Elizabeth Sanders

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Paul Donald: CB1 Gallery

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Paul Donald’s exhibit titled Blind, is located in the other half of the CB1 Gallery in downtown LA. The entire exhibit displays duck figures (of the same species, it looks like) with molded heads, seemingly going about their day or posing in the “natural habitat” of the gallery space. I found the literal translation of the paintings into sculpture (or perhaps Donald began with the sculptures?) interesting in that it was so faithful in replicating all the aspects of the figures, which made me wonder why he intended such a precise conversion. It almost looks like the paintings were created as character design sheets as a means to bring these characters into 3-dimensional being. This interplay between sculpture and painting reminds me of one of the artists whose lecture we attended a few weeks ago – she would choose a particular figure amongst a crowd of figures and made it into a sculpture that still appeared to retain its painterly qualities. Her translations, however, were much more compelling in that it really exposed the distortions of the body in a very raw way. Donald’s simplistic design and decision to solely represent one type of figure made me indifferent toward the relationship between his paintings and sculptures.

I enjoyed the visual playfulness and Dr. Seuss-like comicalness in the overall presentation of the exhibit. The basic out-of-the-tube color choices makes me recall my artistic endeavors in childhood – for a while I (and probably most children) didn’t have an elaborate set of crayons and colored pencils with the slightest nuances in shades. I often relied on a small box set of Crayola crayons that would contain precisely the black, white, orange, yellow, blue, and green we see in the paintings. Though there is something viscerally disturbing about how the beaks of the eye-less ducks morph in unexpected ways, the coloring book quality mostly steers our impression toward childhood imagination. It is sort of channeling some themes of Dada art, encouraging us to take a fantastical perspective on commonplace non-exotic beings such as ducks we can see in most parks, lakes, etc. Something as simple as distorting beaks/heads upwards, downwards, elongating, flattening already produces a sense of fantasy. The paintings did not so much resonate with me as did the sculptures. I felt that the paintings lost the innocence and playfulness by being too direct/trying too hard to convey the stark simplicity and funny head shapes. I didn’t like how Donald promoted the imagination and quirkiness of his ideas through the paintings – but it worked for the sculptures, which appear more elegant and are more successful. It’s almost like a child was assigned to create duck modeling show, something that might be titled “The Latest in Fashion for Duck Masks.” I think by me having that very thought, Donald achieved his aim to draw out some more of the uninhibited creativity of the childhood mind, temporarily Blind to the formal education and training that people popularly like to claim has been killing our creativity. In the words of Picasso –  “All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” I had a good time trying to interpret this exhibit. Go check it out to experience something oddly fun, or to have a chuckle.

– Jessica Huang

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Gallery Visit #2

 Today I went to the Daniel Maltzman gallery on N Beverly Drive. The entire gallery had all of his works, and there were about 10-15 pretty large paintings. At first I walked around a bit then chose my two favorite works which are uploaded with this post. I walked up and back from each a few times to view it from as many angles as possible.

These paintings are so modern, fresh, and bold; it immediately grabbed my attention. The figures are more abstractly and loosely rendered, yet have such a realistic alive feeling to them. The brush strokes are messy yet perfectly placed, and evoke emotion and movement. The size is also extremely intriguing because when standing right next to it, you can’t exactly tell what it is. The size of the piece creates an interaction with the viewer. Some of his paintings almost look like pre-sketches, but they are rendered so well and work so perfectly.

I absolutely love this artist and his style. I went on his website and found a painting of a skull he did also- so cool. I feel like he incorporates the kind of graphic style I love, as well as has a similar commentary on women, pop culture, and fashion. I really enjoyed  the very abstract, colorful backgrounds and how it flows around and on to the figure. I also thought he did an amazing job at using chunks of color to create shadows and make the figures look life like.ImageImageImage

Mira Schor’s Chthonic Garden at CB1 Gallery by Katy Durbin

Mira Schor’s Chthonic Garden is currently on display at the CB1 Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. In this show, Mira Schor is attempting to break from the more traditional conceptions of art, time, and space. There is an irony in the title; Schor takes “chthonic” for its literal meaning of subterranean, rather than its spiritual one of underworld. This further distances her work from a traditional format, by pushing it away from normal interpretations of spirituality. However, there is a definite psychological feel to her pieces, which is more palpable in some than in others. While her Reversible Painting: Map appears as a simple play on space and orientation, her multiple I Want to Let You Know that I am Real” paintings have a dark, subconscious quality to them, that touch on the human psyche and feelings of intrusion upon the individual by social order and regulation. This is then compared to the physical order of ground versus sky, and its connection with our own perceptions. Two paintings use the gallery space to enhance the sense of disorientation: Underground Garden is mirrored by an upside down replica across the gallery.

Although I found the message of Schor’s work interesting, her work was dull, and might have more attention-grabbing if the paintings did not look like the artist had done each one in ninety seconds. One of the pieces even had visible lines covered with white paint; it appeared that the artist had decided to do a painting similar to another style featured in a few of her works, then changed her mind and hastily painted over it. Perhaps this was intentional, though it did not appear to be so, and I could see no reason for it. The message was too reliant on visual acknowledgement of spacial orientation to merit this extremely lax attitude towards technique. The work was highly conceptual, yet there remained an air of laziness about her pieces, which was distracting. All in all, though, her paintings maintained a pleasing theme; the subject matter was dark, with subjects buried underground and speech bubbles hovering above, containing imposing, slightly menacing comments. She achieved an element of horror in her otherwise playful work, and, even with the lack of clean application or process, the exhibit holds together well under a unifying message of the imposition of order clashing with a reversal of spaces.

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Edouard Vuillard at LACMA

 

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At Los Angeles County Museum of Art, there were lots of famous artists’ work such as Picasso and Kandinsky’s works, but most of all, two of Edouard Vuillard’s paintings caught my eyes.  One is his painting work called “Nude on a Chair” and the other one is called “Walking in the Vineyard”.

Jean Edouard Vuillard is a French painter and printmaker.  He was not as widely known as impressionist, but he created more than 3,000 paintings.  Some of his most famous works were made early in his career during his involvement with Nabis. (It is an avant-garde group, which is deeply influenced by the work of Paul Gauguin.)  His early works were small-scale prints, primarily color lithographs of Parisian life, but later he did many big size works including oil paintings.

“Nude on a Chair” is a small size oil paint work on the cardboard.  He did not put oil paints thickly, but softly and lightly.  He depicted light by using various kinds of bright pastel colors with blurry brush strokes.  He focused on showing emotional sensation and emotion rather than direct observation, and his description of color and tone inspired me a lot.  In contrast, his other work “Walking in the Vineyard” is a huge painting hanging in the 3rd floor of LACMA.  I really loved this piece because of its overwhelmed size and atmosphere.  Every element in the painting was interesting and mostly soft shades of green, yellow, and brown were amazing.  Even though I didn’t know much about him but I really enjoyed his rich colors and dreamlike imagery.

-Jiwon Kim

Kush Fine Art

Vladimir Kush is a surrealist artist from Russia that focuses on painting and sculpture. I’ll admit that I’ve been to this gallery space once or twice before, but in my defense it was almost 4 years ago. The work of Vladimir Kush is unlike any other body of work I’ve had the pleasure of viewing. And seeing it years later with a stronger painting, and sculptural background, I appreciate it more then ever. Back in 2010, this Laguna Beach gallery space opened and I was lucky enough to make it to the opening night. There was an incredible video played that was a stream of animated versions of the exact paintings that surround the walls of the space. (Here is the link for a quick version of the animated video. http://vladimirkush.com/animation. It’s really worth taking a look at.) Along with this video there were sculptures created that emulated the images within the incredible collection of paintings.

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These oil paintings are not only visually pleasing to look at, but they are painted with such expertise and realistic qualities, that anyone who views them seems to be beyond amazed with Kush’s talent. Among most of the work Kush sets up a scene in which you can easily read the upfront location. As you gaze further into the work you start to see what certain aspects are made of and how they morph into something completely different. When you think your looking at a vase with some flowers in it, set besides a window sill, you then realize that your actually looking at a woman’s body with a giant head of flowers emerging from the vase. These surrealist images are visually creative as well as metaphorical. Being that you can relate a woman to the natural aspects of a rose or a flower. Seeing a woman romantically gazing out of a window in the nighttime is a scene that is also believable. Another example of this is his “Departure of the Winged Ship,” which displays large ship with sails made from butterflies. More of his work incorporates highly detailed miniature figures helping to build what would appear to be a huge structure or building, much like we do in the world today. But unlike building it in a human way, they work like little ants in an unrealistic process. Examples of these structures are giant fish made of coins or giant iguanas being pieced together. All highly detailed and beautifully rendered.
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Vladimir Kush one of my favorite working painters today and it was beyond exciting to visit the gallery years later to view even more works he has recently created. My favorite aspect of all of his work is the interchangeability of people, animals, nature, and mechanical goods, which he blends together to form single images. I love the ability to change peoples perspectives of what they are seeing, making them feel as though they could be surprised at any moment while looking within your work. It is this uncertainty and illusion that I strive for. I believe that seeing the work of Vladimir Kush when I first began making art has helped develop this desire for me as an artist myself. Overall, I highly recommend getting a chance to view this work, not only online, but in person as well. You will not be disappointed.
http://vladimirkush.com/

-Valerie Schub