Archive for: October 2006

October 16, 2006

Chiaroscuro at MIA

Filed under: exhibits,museums,painting and photography — mas @ 4:58 pm

The Minneapolis Institute of Art has an exhibition of paintings, including work from 16th century Italy. Those works are some of my favorite because of the spectacular quality of light achieved by the artists. It appears that there is an external spotlight, but since there is not, it appears as if the paint itself is emanating light.

The reason I like this, besides its aesthetic quality, is that it is one of the major objectives of photography. Photography is often defined as “painting with light,” but one of the techniques, chiaroscuro, meaning bright and dark, was actually developed by painters, not photographers. Or were they? If photography is painting with light, and these early Italian painters used material in their paint which actually creates light, maybe they were actually photographers.

All wild speculation aside, this should be a great show.

October 13, 2006

Movies & Books

Filed under: About Artists — mas @ 10:04 am

There are some great movies about artists. Many of them can be found at Netflix. I recently watched Girl with the Pearl Earring, Freda, and Artemesia. There’s also one about Goldworthy, the earth sculptor.

I also happened on a book called Portrait of an Artist, a biography of Georgia O’Keefe, by Laurie Lisle. That book got me thinking about trying to create more abstract work using photography. (More about that in another post)

Update: I just watched a movie about Cartier-Bresson.  It’s an interview with him and shows alot of his work. It’s a wonderful piece of documentary as well as being interesting just because Henri finally let himself be photographed.  He had some interesting things to say about the culture of the US changing after the ’70’s and the photos showing something getting ready to change.

I recommend the movie; get it from Netflix.

October 11, 2006

Artist Statements

Filed under: Marketing — mas @ 9:27 pm

The only thing worse than pricing work is writing artist statements. It seems to be in vogue to tell all about the spiritual aspects of making art, taking pictures, interacting with your subject. On one hand, I think that kind of explanation is best left to the critics, but on the other hand, collectors seem to want to know what the artist is thinking. Maybe it’s a small price to pay to encourage collectors to make it possible for us to make art.

I’ve been trying to write a new statement. One artist suggested that a good statement should be honed down to one sentence, although hardly anybody has ever done it. (Anybody know of artists who have managed this?)

I’ve been writing down ideas, and the only conclusion I’ve come to is that each body of work demands a different statement. Here are a few ideas I’ve jotted down

1. I try to capture a certain ethos. I want the viewer to share my own emotional reaction to an image.

2.I try to capture a grabbing facial expression and/or body language.

3. I’m fascinated with chiaroscuro.

4.I use photography as part of the discovery process by examining the new and exotic and seeing the mundaine in a new way.

I’m having fun with this process, but I’m trying not to let the words intrude.