Sunday, February 10, 2013

Doesn't everyone love ice cream?

That's the consistency of oil paint when it's mixed with wax and it almost feels like you can taste the different flavors: sweet red or tart green or chocolate brown. It just feels so malleable and soft when the hard edge of a palette knife brings it all together.

Now the palette knife - its main quality is scraping, having new color intrude on the old but not kill it, rather let it peak out in just the right proportions. That's why everyone is so into Gerhard Richter's work with scratched out surfaces. It marries the old and the new in unexpected combinations  - the flavors of ice cream never before attempted together.

You see the function of color best in Monet, Rothko, Pollock, Kandinsky. De Kooning I think was a total anti-colorist just as Picasso before him. Vuillard and Bonnard, Matisse - the fauves are seeing color in a completely separate light.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Switching hats: art sales vs. art creation

Love the story line disappearing into abstract background

Sam Francis - blobs of paint in opposite colors
So I was wearing an old hat last week, that of an art consultant attempting to sell some art to the somewhat interested public. It's amazing how quickly a different mindset kicks in. Within an hour I programmed myself to disregard artists trying to peddle their wares, to snob students and event organizers, and to hate dealers pushing the same things for less and being successful at it. What a thankless and personality-altering job it is to be in sales. A true salesperson forgets to be civil unless he gets paid for it, would only pretend to be a team player to somehow benefit from it and will wish you good luck or congratulate you on your sales hoping you fall to the lowest depths right after this one successful transaction.

And though I thought that having been in this world would help me in entering it as an artist, it seems that my mind cannot function simultaneously in various roles. I can look at art as a dealer, judging what might sell well and for how much. I can look at art as an art critic for its successful formal aspects. However, I cannot apply the same principles to my own art. I cannot tell myself to do this or that in accordance with current trends in the market. My voice just sort of comes from within and that's the end of the story. However, here're some of my personal favorites from the show and why I liked them.