Ad Reinhardt, from ‘How to Look at Art, Arts & Architecture’ (1946)
Diamonds – Kurt Pio. These paintings are awesome.
Consider these simple line drawings of half-smiley, half-frowny faces. In a literal sense, each is equal parts sad and happy. But to most people the emotion on the left side of each face (from the viewer’s point of view) dominates, and determines the overall emotional tenor. There are a few reasons for this…
Below the original is my attempt to copy Sargent’s painting. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how people learn to paint. I’m starting to think that maybe copying paintings you like is a good way to study other people’s paintings technique while forcing yourself to learn some basic skills along the way. I gather that this is how students learned to paint back in the day, so it seems like a good thing to try in my spare time.
The painting took about an hour to complete, but I feel like I learned a lot in that time. Here are my random notes in case you are interested…
This entire thing is fantastic.
Winners of Chimpanzee Art Contest Announced – The Humane Society of the United States. Art is subjective and all, but this one is definitely the best. Also, I’m feeling a lot of mixed emotions about many aspects of this.
Lit Hum: Jorie Graham on Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus. Gonna go right ahead and do a mega-quote here:
I often teach a painting of Caravaggio’s, Supper at Emmaus. Christ is sitting before us in an alcove against the “back wall” of the painting. We face into a dinner table covered with things for the meal. We are quite sure that the edge of this table is identical with the absolute front of the canvas. But then one undergoes a troubling sensation. The basket of fruit, the edge of the wicker basket, sticks out into our “actual” space, our here and now. The host suddenly recognizes the stranger at his table as Christ and throws open his arms, like this. [Gestures.] His left hand comes out, beyond the border—further than the sacramental grapes in their wicker—out here into the same air that you (and I) are breathing in the National Gallery. At the same time, his right hand penetrates the crucial illusionistic space, the alcove in which Christ sits. What he does, by going like this, is enact what it is to be “taken” by surprise, to be, suddenly, in that spiritual place where the otherness of the world, of possibility, “turns” one’s soul—taking one off the path of mere “ongoingness” onto the other path of “journey.” At any rate, the host’s gesture connects that immortal-because-imaginary space Christ occupies, with the mortal one of the gallery in which I am standing breathing my minutes—and you suddenly realize Caravaggio has activated what I call the “sensation of real time”: the time of the painting’s represented action has crossed over into the time in which my only days are taking place. So you cannot read the painting without being inside the terms of the painting, which are these graduating degrees of temporality: mortal time, immortal time, represented time, actual time, the “time” of process. The activity of the painting is to do that. The host is crucified in this position—a position the artist is also in—saying, You reader and you subject (God, Christ), I have put you two together. It’s my job. That’s what the meal is. That’s what we eat.
Boom. Art, man.
When Film Imitates Art
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and Herbert Ross’ Pennies from Heaven
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper and Robert Altman’s MASH
Edgar Degas’ Dancers Lace Their Shoes and George Cukor’s A Star is Born
Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare and Ken Russell’s Gothic
From the canvas to the cinema.
David Liu | 21 January 2013
The Return of the Prodigal Son (Rembrandt, 1669; oil on canvas)
Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)
In the end: a dog, a father and a son. Like the works of Rembrandt, Tarkovsky’s adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 science fiction novel reveals a consummate humanist at work — an artist for whom the individual search for redemption transcends the realms of faith and waking consciousness.
I think of my work as what used to be called women’s work: knitting, quilting. Women were busy cooking, raising children, so they had to have an activity that they could pick up and put down. A quilt may take a year, but if you just keep doing it, you get a quilt. Or if you knit one and pearl two, and you believe in the process, eventually you’ll make a sweater. There’s some aspect of that in me.
This is so awesome.
So here’s something you don’t hear about a lot — Bob Ross, the famous afro-ed host of The Joy Of Painting, was taught his famous “wet on wet” fast painting technique by a German expatriate painter named Bill Alexander, who, believe it or not, had his own PBS painting show calledThe Magic of Oil Painting, that ran from 1974-1982.