Monday, September 23, 2013

#166 Silverpoint / Copperpoint

For a while now, I have been meaning to 
undertake some metalpoint drawings.
To this end I procured some copper wire from 
Home Depot, and some silver soldering wire from William Binnie.

Today, I visited the paper conservator at the National Gallery of Art
to talk about silverpoint, and she showed me a number of supports.
She then offered a few sheets of different prepared grounds to try out.
With these in hand, I then fashioned some electrical-taped tools
of which any prison-shank-aficionado would be proud.

The result:
Godzilla VS King Ghidorah (after Frans Post)

Here is Frans Post's original painting.
Vertical and Horizontal lines delineate different ground preparation.
The ground is bone ash and rabbit skin glue.
The right side of the page was dampened and rubbed with cheese cloth.
The middle horizontal third was burnished, and the
bottom third was sanded with pumice stone.
The dampening didn't seem to affect the surface too much,
but I found the burnished was easiest to work with.

The sky, background, and Godzilla are silverpoint.
The foreground and King Ghidorah are copperpoint.
When I was working, there was no visible difference in color
between the two, so I am interested to see how they age.

And here are the tools:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

#165 The Orangutan

Animalia: Day 118
The Orangutan


More sketches.

Traced on the Wacom tablet, so this one is entirely digital.
Throwin' barrels and stuff.
I love their neck flab that moves around when they walk.

Bonus color variation: Yeti Orangutan

Bonus color variation: Gorilla Orangutan

Tomorrow: the Ostrich.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

#164 The Opossom

Animalia: Day 117
The Opossum

It's an Animalia post!
Hot dang!
The possum. O is for optional.
Possums are surprisingly hard to draw.
The face on this one ain't quite right,
a little too badger-y.

Tomorrow: the Orangutan.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

#163 James Harper Tribute

So, when I first moved to Dallas
I went to an estate sale with my girlfriend.
The deceased was one James Harper, and he was a painter.
For $20, we bought a painting that was a copy of a Frederic Remington,
which is in the collection of the Amon Carter museum in Fort Worth.
We also bought his monogrammed wine glasses.

So this beauty – complete with its built in light attached 
to the frame – hung in our living room for two years. 
In the background, there are some mountains
that kind of look like weird white pyramids, and
for a while I wanted to add UFOs coming out of them.
In retrospect, there were a number of other paintings
I wish I had purchased.

Anyways, something finally got added:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

#162 More Doodles

More doodles from school.

Street urchin, Documentary Photography syllabus notes, cowboy hat, poses.

More moses and annunciation and stuff.
EDITE: I realized Nick alr'y did hands for eyes in this post.
Whoops. It cool tho. Steal from yo' frendz.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

#161 Doodles

It's been a while.
Thesis is done, just finishing up papers.

Here are some doodles that I have done during class 
or in lectures over the course of the semester:

Left and Right: Class on Byzantine Icons / Lecture on Postcolonial Brazil

Class on Early Italian Ren

Lecture on arabic / latin vulgate bibles.

Lecture on WWII art restitution.
i might color the Bloch-Bauer at some point.

Byzantine Icons class.

Italian Ren Class. Torso Belvedere. 
Also, attempts at Animalia: the Possom. Might repost this as my Animalia entry.

Two lectures, one on German Lothar Baumgarten's kale landscapes;
another on Fred Harvey Girls. Look it up.

Byzantine Icons class.
Invented 17th century dress from memory.
St. George.

Hoping to return to Animals this summer.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

#160 Gutai Card Box

Hey all. I made a print!

It is for the upcoming Gutai Group retrospective at the Guggenheim.
My good friend Seth Caplan works there and asked me to participate
in a recreation of the Gutai Card Box (1962), in which:

     "visitors were invited to deposit a ten-yen coin, and a Gutai member inside selected and presented through a slot a premade postcard-size work by a Gutai member in return. Gutai Card Box, conceived as a comment on increasing automation in society, sought to democratize art."

What better way to democratize art than with the
democratic medium of the print.

Anyways here is the print:

シラガ 対 ヨシハラ
(Shiraga VS. Yoshihara)

In the print, Kazuo Shiraga takes on Jiro Yoshihara.
Both were founding members of the Gutai Group.
Shiraga is known for his piece Challenging Mud (1955),
in which he put on a sort of diaper and rolled around in mud.
Yoshihara is known for his paintings of circles, probably meant to be donuts (right?).

Gutai Group was founded in 1954, ostensibly by Yoshihara and maybe
Shozo Shimamoto, who made paintings by throwing cans of paint

1954 was also the year that Godzilla made his debut.
Godzilla was a giant monster produced by the nuclear
fallout from American bomb testing.

Ishiro Honda's classic featured the likes of Takashi Shimura,
one of Kurosawa's go to's, who had just starred in Ikiru a few year earlier.
Also, the score to Godzilla (by Akira Ifukube) is pretty amazing.
The theme is great by itself (the link is a medley, theme at start).
Also in the score, there is the strangely nationalistic
(for what nation?), almost Souza-esque Godzilla march.

1954 also saw the detonation of the American
thermonuclear hydrogen bomb test Castle-Bravo,
which – due to its unexpectedly large blast radius –
created nuclear fallout that resulted in the radiation poisoning
of a number of islanders and the Daigo Fukuryu Maru.

Here is an excerpt from the Gutai Manifesto:

          "Yet what is interesting in this respect is the novel beauty to be found in works of art and architecture of the past which have changed their appearance due to the damage of time or destruction by disasters in the course of the centuries. This is described as the beauty of decay, but is it not perhaps that beauty which material assumes when it is freed from artificial make-up and reveals its original characteristics? The fact that the ruins receive us warmly and kindly after all, and that they attract us with their cracks and flaking surfaces, could this not really be a sign of the material taking revenge, having recaptured its original life?"

To make culturally specific a misquote of Adorno:
How does a nation make art after Hiroshima?

Lots of Gutai work deals with ideas of negation, emptiness,
embodiment, violence, movement, the gesture, destruction,
and post-war (atomic age) apprehension.
Other non-Gutai Japanese artists were doing similar things.
Shomei Tomatsu was photographing objects from Hiroshima.
See also the ceramics of Kazuo Yagi:
Circle (1967) and Hekitai (Wall) (1963)
The texture of the ruptured ceramics reflect the effects of an atom bomb,
releasing the organic state of things. Glass bottles melt to amorphous blobs.
Compare it with the skin of Godzilla.

I am also reminded of the way Godzilla's trademark roar was created:

"The roar was present in the first Godzilla (1954) and was created by composer Akira Ifukube who produced the sound by rubbing a resin-covered leather glove along the loosened strings of a double bass and then slowing down the playback."

There is something very Gutai about the image of 
Ifukube rubbing a resin glove on a loose double bass.

But back to Shiraga and Yoshihara.
Yoshihara's circle paintings encompass much of the
 ideas of negation and emptiness after the war.
In Yoshihara's Red Circle (1969), a reference to the Japanese flag –
and hence Japanese Nationalism – is explicit.
How does one be nationalistic in post-war Japan?
A hollow red circle.
And Shiraga flails in the mud.