Monday, April 19, 2010

Laura Letinsky

I am loving the photography of Laura Letinsky. One of my critics recommended I look at her and I am so glad because I don't usually look at a lot of fine art photography. Her work sort of reminds me of Morandi, its quiet and subtle and the objects seem alive. It just reinforces to me that the subject matter can be timeless, its composition, color and shape that are essential for making something new and reinvented. I think I will be spending the majority of my efforts in my studio on this premise.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

SF Bay Area Figurative Painters

David Park

Elmer Bischoff

Richard Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn

David Park
I am absolutely loving, loving, loving the SF Bay Area painters right now. These works are just great. I love knowing that they were abstract expressionists and began reincorporating imagery into their works. It makes them very emotive but there is a wonderful subtlety in color and formal composition- its all just working so well. The more I look at them, the more I see their influence on contemporary painters.
I was watching a youtube visit by James Kalm (which is a great resource where he goes to all the openings in Chelsea and reports on them) to a Maureen Cavanaugh show and he was commenting on 'chick art' that is emotive and painterly and I felt a connection there (can't put many words to it yet).
These artists also seem to have a common thread with the works I put up earlier from Humphrey Ocean and Chantal Joffe. I particularly like the works by SF painters of women, kids, relationships. So I am starting to see where my work is coming from or where I want it to come from...If I could just put all this together and produce a thousand paintings synthesizing all this I would be done painting and move on to something else...oh well at least I have an idea of what I am trying to do.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kiki Smith and Picasso

Picasso, Man with Lamb, 1943-44

Kiki Smith, Rapture, 2001

This has been a really inspiring week in terms of art. On Tuesday I went to a talk with Kiki Smith here at PAFA and yesterday I saw the Picasso show at the PMA. Both blew me away. Smith was so candid and connected, she said so many things I felt and needed to hear. She said as an artist you don't have to know what you are doing and defend it, you don't need a big idea sometimes you just need small ideas and you just need to continue to make things. She explained that her work has fallen apart and been stuck in a corner and needed to change and all the frustrations that I feel and tell myself are because I don't have a strong enough vision. She said the only thing that unites work is the fact that it is all made by her and made out of a need.
This felt so good to hear. It seems like right now, my critics, curators, the whole art world wants artists to know what they are making, what it is about, how it all relates and how it fits into the current fads. But after hearing Smith and seeing Picasso, I am reaffirmed that the work that lasts is made by artists out of a need and feeling about themselves and their world. They know as much as possible about art and their environment etc. and then they go make something that feels right, and curators figure out the why and how later.
Picasso went through so many styles and thoughts and experiments in his work, which wasn't even fully shown at the PMA show. The work that touched me most was his sculpture, Man with Lamb, right at the end of the show (which has to be seen in person). The expression and gesture of the man and lamb and the orientation of the viewer as the one to recieve this innocent sacrificial animal was truly heartbreaking. It was a return to the simple hand modeling of man and animal and it feels timeless and universally understood. I can see a direct relationship between this work and Smith's work, which too seems striped away and powerfully felt.