So, Its going to be a long, fast week. I have two blank canvases and one underpainting painted. I have exactly one week to finish these paintings for a critique. This is my own pressure I am putting on myself, but lets see if it can happen.
Because these Critique responses are supposed to benefit us personally, I am going to use my conversation that I had early today combined with the critiques we had tonight. We critiqued Ella, Natiya, Jacob, Eric, Stephanie, and Jeff.
For the first years it was interesting to see exactly what they have been up to this year and try to compare it to where I was last year. Experimentation was a big part of what they were working on, whether they had finished pieces or not, the experimentation is great to see. The process of not necessarily making, but the thinking was the most interesting. The big thing that hit me today was the notion that we are contemporary, we don’t know what major movement the history books will write about our time. We don’t need a huge overlying concept that is going to make a change in the world as we see it right now. Did any of the past artist’s make are to make the history books? NOPE. So instead of having an theme that will reach across the whole art world saying “Hey, Yo”. We just need to know why we are doing what we are doing.
I struggle with this as well, but this is a reassuring support to think about ourselves. We need to think about us, personally, what we do, why we are doing it, not who is going to see it and think this or think that. Maybe breaking down each step in our process or experiments and taking note while doing it will be a benefit to our end product. Its hard to stop in the middle of making to think, or if you have a process down, think about each step you take. Why do you do an underpainting, why do you draw with charcoal, why , why, why? Maybe it doesn’t matter about the layers we don’t see. For my work,, its all transparent to some extent, but that is completely intentional, but why do I want it to be intentional. So I am going to quickly dissect why I do things, and quit thinking about the big picture. The thesis show, is just another show, its not a end all tell all type of scenario. Its our jumping point, it’s nothing more than that.
Because my process, my PHYSICAL labor is my art, I’m going to tell you, me and everyone why I do it.
But before I do…Jacob I like your idea of taking the marks of nature to a new, more livelong level. Philosophy says you think you have a soul and that’s why you want your art to go on past yourself, some deep thinking for you. Natiya, you have a huge amount of skill, that wasn’t really said in the critique, so just know you do have incredible skill in painting, but I fell in love with how watercolor the medium takes control for a painter, maybe free up in a few more areas? Ella, I already told you, but I am glad you found your way in art, its good to see a confidence in what you are saying about your ideas in art. Eric, your photos have a magical color to them and I think it really works because you are pushing it past the norm. Dealing with Jazzmo, I would say if that’s you putting your humor into your art, do it. Humor is a big part of who you are and that should reflect in your art. Stephanie, I have a vision of a huge combination of the one your hate and your figures. Its all in my head and contains a bunch of layers and there are transparency papers involved and everything. And I think doing what you think is creepy, it is, but why not do it in the name of art. I think newspapers are still relevant, and if they aren’t, words in columns are so it still relates to how we read on the internet, but I think you using them as a pattern is fine, multiple meanings is good. Jeff I was surprised by what you have been making. Having only seen your realistic stuff before I was pleasantly surprised in your experimentation. I received a disgusting feeling at first, but as Stacy said they become more and more inviting. Good work on leaving your comfort zone. If affect comes in different strengths I definitely get more affect off of the more abstract works.
Anyway, on we go to my own dissection. This may seem much like my free writing at the beginning of the course but I will also address it with the outcome and I will base it off of my recent work that is not on my site, for those of you on my site reading this. You will have no idea to my references; photos will go up as soon as the show comes down. It all starts with drawing as much art does, but it is drawing from what is directly in front of me, directly observed. Even if my drawing comes out abstract, it is from life. I do not like working from photos because it looses a touch of intimacy with my own work, it may not reflect in the actual drawing, but what I am putting into my prints or paintings is intimate for me. Although my thesis show has to be a coinciding body of work, my drawings are what is in front of me, so work that I make may differ from month to month, my subject matter is not what I am painting for, its not why I make art. I want to make art according to how I make art for the rest of my life, not some concept that I am working on for 3 years. The intimacy of drawing includes a marker, sketchbook, my environment, and me. While I am drawing, I am observing the place or subject. “Vision and its effects are always inseperable from the possibilities of an observing subject, who is both the historical product and the site of certain practices, techniques, institutions, and procedures of subjectification ”(Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer). So I take my observations through my visions and the possibilities I create are contributed from all of my knowledge and experience.
From my drawings I have to decide what to do next. How can I exploit this drawing? How can I exploit myself to ends beyond myself? Reading “Percept, Affect, and Concept” by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari I have gained much insight into my work from a theoretical point of view. “The artist creates blocs of percepts and affects, but the only law of creation is that the compound must stand on its own-its most difficult for the artist to make it stand on its own” (The quote after the dash is not a direct quote). So, no matter how I decide to exploit my drawing, my goal is to make it stand on its own. Whether it be wood-block, intaglio, screenprint or painting the art needs to stand on its own and its my pursuit to do this. I will however talk about my paintings, because they are my big thing, they are my freedom from all of the structure and strictness I take on for creating traditional editions of prints.
It is funny how in all of my earlier writings I don’t even address color in my process. My colors come from each other, I start from a color that I have seen recently or a color that I like. While painting, my colors come to me from past experience and knowledge, which could also be called intuition. The workings of my underpaintings is still something I am working on. Since, Italy my painting is different, I use watered down paints to create a watercoloresque effect, so all of the colors show through all the way from the bottom. I apply those colors in a free manner, I painting while I am painting, I make decisions while I paint based on my painting, it also comes from intuition. Then I print onto the canvas. Screenprinting on larger canvases with smaller screens is completely intentional and each screen can make the print over the underpainting by where it is printed and how much ink is pushed through. The reason I do the underpainting first is because when I am done printing, the underpainting does not match up with the print, completely intentional. By having this lapse in edges or shapes it leaves evidence of my process and creates more layers. I work on a 2D surface, but I create layers and layers of depth. I do not paint flatness, anymore, I used to, kinda. After that I paint over some areas to create a whole other layer. I will also use a marker to define lines from my drawing that I intuitively decide need to be more defined.
The rest of this is from “Percept, Affect, and Concept” It is what I am trying to decipher and use as an explanation of my art. There is much work to be done, but this is one writing that I feel relates really well, this first one comes with some hopefully shared relief for all of you struggling with concept.
“Conceptual becoming is heterogeneity grasped in an absolute form; sensory becoming is otherness caught in a matter of expression. The monument does not actualize the virtual event, but incorporates or embodies it: it gives it a body, a life, a universe. This was how Proust defined the art-monument by that life higher than the “lived” by its “qualitative differences” its “universes” that construct their own limits, their distances and proximities, their constellations and the blocs of sensations they put in motion –Rembrandt-universe and Debassy-universe. These universes are neither virtual or actual; they are possibilities the possible as aesthetic category (the possible or I shall suffocate), the existence of the possible, whereas events are the reality of the virtual forms of a thought-Nature that survey every possible universe. This is not to say that concept precedes sensation in principle; even a concept of sensation must be created with its own means, and a sensation exists in its possible universe without the concept necessarily existing in its absolute form.” Deleuze & Guatarri
Those are from my notes, but I think its all there, maybe it’s a little bit hazy. Anyway the last sentence is saying that sensation exists even without a concept, though the concept hasn’t been identified, so there is one there, when you create your “universe” you just need to find it? Thoughts?
So the “Don Filter” is the Don Johnson-universe.
Ok, I am sure you are done reading already but I have a few quotes from this article that I am trying to decipher and apply to my own knowledge, if you have thoughts, please let me know. All of these are from Deleuze and Guatarri. Some of them are easy though.
“The work of art is a being of sensation and nothing else; it exists in itself”
“The plane of the material ascends irresistibly and invades the plane of composition of the sensations themselves to the point of being part of them or indiscernible from them.”
“Sensation is not realized in the material without the material passing completely into the sensation, into the percept or affect. All the material becomes expressive.”
“By means of material, the aim of art is to wrest the percept from perceptions of objects and the states of a perceiving subject, to wrest the affect from affections as the transition from one state to another, to extract a bloc of sensations, a pure being of sensations.”
“Art does not have opinions. Art undoes the triple organization of perceptions, affects, and opinions in order to substitute a monument composed of percepts, affects, and blocs of sensations that take place of language.”
“Abstract painting is all sensation”
“It is certainly not an allegory but the act of painting that appears as a painting”
“Thinking is thought through concepts, or functions, or sensations and no one of these thoughts is better than another, or more fully, completely, or synthetically “thought.”
So quit thinking and do. Boom