Part 5 – personal project preparatory work, digital seas

Flamepainter for iPad is a free app and it’s wonderful for quick, if somewhat erratic, sketches. The process is easy to work out – choose a brush, set the size and other parameters, change the colour if you want to, draw. The last part is the trickiest as the ‘light’ zooms around the canvas as if possessed. Best plan is to try one combination of brush and speeds and get used to it before altering anything else! The image above is made on a black canvas using a number of brushes to pick out the light that might be from … Continue reading Part 5 – personal project preparatory work, digital seas

Marina Abramovic – the artist is present

I think I saw this on TV a while ago, knowing nothing about her or her work. If this is what I saw, there is a point when her past lover appears in front of her as she plays out her two minutes of silent looking with strangers. It was heart breaking. The DVD is on order and I see it discusses whether or not this is art, which probably goes for a good many of the more contemporary installations and performances that appear now in galleries. So different from the traditional oil painting, the representational depiction of a something … Continue reading Marina Abramovic – the artist is present

Struggle: the life and lost art of Szukalski

Netflix 2018. Trailer via YouTube. This is a documentary made by two people who discovered Szukalski’s art then found that he lived almost nearby and went on the trail of the man and his work. What they found was both stunning and disturbing; massive bronzes reminiscent of the landscape of the 1920s film Metropolis – overwhelmingly solid and diminishing of human scale; a driven man with an extraordinary background that included idiosyncratic lettering and symbols in his writing; and a disturbing involvement with the Nazi movement. Most of his art work was lost in WWII and he seemed forever in … Continue reading Struggle: the life and lost art of Szukalski

Royal Academy and Virtual Reality This was a BBC documentary and I can find no trace of it now. In it, several artists, including Gormley and Hockney, were introduced to the use of virtual reality in creating pieces of art work for the Royal Academy. Wearing headsets and flailing around in apparently empty air, they had to get to grips with this novel medium and somehow tame it – or at least render it harmless – within a given time-frame. I thought the outcomes were variable and that some of the artists at least would never touch the idea again, but that, as … Continue reading Royal Academy and Virtual Reality

John Berger, ‘Ways of Seeing’

John Berger’s YouTube series, Ways of Seeing. From 1972. I can’t recall who recommended his video series but it predates this course. I watched over a lunchtime bowl of soup, slightly taken aback at the age of them and the brown/beige 1970s feel of them. They looked like the early days of the Open University, all kipper ties and heavy-lidded 5 am students figuring out Plato. So it came as a shock to hear him speaking about the role of women in art as if he were a contemporary of Mary Beard; calling out the male gaze for what it … Continue reading John Berger, ‘Ways of Seeing’

Blurred Lines: inside the art world

Blurred Lines: inside the art world. Netflix 2017 I found this simultaneously shocking and depressingly predictable. As in so many other areas, creatives become patronised by powerful others whose money opens the doors of galleries, museums, and collectors’ basements or vaults. After watching this, I felt grubby and no longer knew what ‘good’ art is because somehow it seems to be bound up in a rigmarole of taste and power that may have nothing to do with quality. There’s also the inevitable male gaze – whether directed to the subject of the art or the artist him or herself – … Continue reading Blurred Lines: inside the art world

Abstract: the art of design – a Netflix series Trailer for the 2017 Netflix series. Accessed 8th August 2019. This is a documentary series featuring designers/architects/artists operating in different commercial arenas. It’s easy to imagine that slick, polished adverts, stark photographic portraits, or magazine front covers, just get there through some act of private genius. But even though extraordinary talent is clearly a factor, so also is a work ethic that requires constant exploration of what’s required, rehearsal of skills, inquiry, and intellectual framing of the problem to be solved. These are people who don’t wait for the ideas to come, they create the environment to maximise those … Continue reading Abstract: the art of design – a Netflix series