and this shall be the new portrait

i love how people are most times dictated by an unavoidable aesthetic. one that probably has subtle shifts, but on the whole remains pretty constant once a visual conviction has been established... especially with regards to color. for instance:

GIOTTO - had that great blue that he used in his skies... kind of cobalty, but it feels so dry, and somehow milky.

DELACROIX - constantly used that great turqois color such as the socks of the dying man in "Liberty Leading the People".

CARLO CRIVELLI and JOHN GRAHAM - both constantly used this great pink. i feel like it always had just a touch of green in it to cool it down just right and keep it away from lending itself to middle school girl associations.

REMBRANDT - beautiful browns in paintings (particularly his self portraits)... so dark and yet somehow so warm - perfectly mimicking that candle light that he used to paint by.

MANET - one of the hardest tones to used, always nailed a great grey in his works - usually in the garb of his less-than-bourgeois figures. This same approach to grey is used in Jenny Saville's paintings, particularly in the shadows of her bulbous figures (more to come on that later...)

EL GRECO - those great reddish/burgundy's particularly implemented in his Christ paintings.

THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY RUSSIAN ARTISTS - with their perfect harmonious implementation of red text atop black and white imagery....

i guess there's no point to keep listing, i just really like how even color can become a signature... or perhaps its something more internal and each person has a particular set-up with regards to how they perceive lights via their rods and cones, and some hues simply react more harmoniously to their general disposition than others. Soon , this "daily musings" section will involve imagery attached and i can show you in pictures what i am trying to get across with words.

i think my colors might be brown, and rusty reds, and dirty looking whites. kind of like the whites of a paper once it has aged for 50 or so years. old books and drawings have it - and i want it. but i don't think its right to fake such an easthetic. in fact, i hate faux-old things.

i hate "faux" things altogether. i feel like sometimes people want a certain aesthetic that only comes with time or subconscious wear (like old paper, a really worn cap, a banged up frame) that sort of thing... but to buy something that is treated to mimic that aesthetic is horrible. the reason being, you can never perfectly manipulate an object to take on certain characteristics that only come with age and wear... and while you can get close, those subtleties become so evident. its like, you recreate something to 95% of its likeness, but that last 5% outweighs the other 95% so much that it hurts.

in a similar situation, today i was cutting, what was supposed to be a rectangular board for a book slipcase. and while my measurements were all perfect, my angles were not and i ended up with corners that were 89 degrees and 91 degrees instead of a perfect right angle. but it was that 1 degree difference that bothered me so much that i almost would've preferred me to be way off the mark.

i feel like this is getting long and monotonous, so i shall stop here on that matter. on another matter, i am really impressed with some work by a few working artists, all three of which female. and i know its not important to point that out, but i think with respect to a long-standing, male-dominated institution such as the artworld, its important to give credit whence due.

thus, JENNY SAVILLE, TRACEY EMIN and SWOON all get a "yip yip beep" from this guy. all three are currently creating art that i find, for the time being, pretty intriguing. while there are elements of their work i do not fully appreciate, there are certain things that i have not seen done before with regards to their approach. JENNY SAVILLE for instance, shades her bulbous nude figures beautifully. dark and fleshy, yet the perspective of the figures (usually with what-would-be the horizon line way above mid canvas) different from normal view. so you get this laden-looking figure sort of peering down on you, almost teetering or threatenning you with their obvious mass and weight (again, this is also augmented with her approach to shading - which i appreciate on many levels and hope to learn from). SWOON is a brooklyn-based neo-grafiti artist (i don't know if thats the right way to classify her artwork. but it'll do). she makes these great large-scale woodcuts, and then prints them on newsprint and wheatpastes them all over the city. the works are vrey detailed and beautiful. usually using a brownish, white and black palette, her images color shifts over time as the elements of nature wear on the paper. its a great way to exhibit art for everyone to see without having to enter into any pompous galleries. something really inspiring to me on many levels... from the technical abilities of the woodcut, to the boldness of putting her work up outdoors, to the leaving the standard gallery-scene... all in all... great stuff. TRACEY EMIN, however, creates some art that i think is pompous and seems like she's being bold just to be bold... but at the same time, i can appreciate it in the same way that i can appreciatet JEFF KOONS' work, in that, i dont really like it all that much, but i like how it really gets people to react to artwork. sometimes those reactions are negative, but at least it is something to argue about and get emotional about... too often art is created to please the retinal or the mental or emotions... but we, as artist, must remember that the gammut of reactions must be activated. some art should be pleasurable, but some art should evoke disgust. some art should bring on discourse and though and some should be easy-taken without too much thought.

my diatribe is getting a bit out-of-hand here.

as for my own art endeavors, this weekend i hope to print two prints that sold this past week, frame them and send them off to the new owners. i would also like to work on the new woodcut of the beached whale and start to draw again... i have not really drawn seriously in a long time and that is the birthing of every great visual idea i've ever had.

i also plan to research in the NY Public Library this weekend and also possibly buy brown wax paper and paper for the creation of the books i am working on.

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