Sunday, November 29, 2009

subjective concerns

i've never painted myself as anyone other than who i am
yet each viewer has their own interpretation
independent of the artist's intentions.
there is meaning in the space between.
in the end that is the risk of art
the beauty of art, the beauty of life
the risk of love.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Hanes her way" and "Between Us"

the yes-sayer

This is my newest painting, it's still in progress. It's only about a week old at this point. Working title is "....I am" (Feedback would be appreciated.) I'm back to doing self portraits, I'm my most available and consistent model!

My intention is to try to paint more positive images. Nothing is more affirming than "yes", right? Granted the image may make some people uncomfortable. Implied nudity will do that. The color palette is pretty cool and subdued at this stage, I'm kind of liking it but I'm worried that the flesh will look lifeless. I'm unsure how the background will develop at the moment. I'm liking the grey wash, it's kind of symbolic as to what I'm currently feeling. That could change.

More writing on the body, I can't help myself. (side note: If you haven't read Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson, I highly recommend it!) This "yes" idea has been floating around in my head and my notebooks for quite a while now, at least 6 months. I like to think of it as "yes is the answer to your question".... is the subject male, female, happy, sad, peaceful, alive, meditating? Is the subject aware of what is written on their chest? Did the subject put it there? Is the subject a willing participant to this "yes"? What does the nudity imply? Is this meant to be sexual? Is there a personal narrative involved? To that question I can say.....YES!

Written on the Body....."A Love Story"

This painting is finished, which is appropriate. So is the message, the original intention. Now it acts as a symbol of transformation, change, manifestation. It is a personal narrative of what was, what is and what I wish would be. I decided at the last moment to add 'I' and 'U' to the heart, a choice I am happy about, it adds a lot more meaning (personally and compositionally). "I love you" carries weight, it implies. As evidenced in my other work, text is a tool for me. The idea of words and meaning being written onto the body, whether literally or metaphorically, really interests me. In this case: is this a message from the artist to the subject? from the subject to the artist? from the artist to the viewer? the subject to the viewer? how do these words make each participant feel? Is there vulnerability in this kind of declaration, is there seduction? discomfort? Also, why is this written on the body? Is it a tattoo? is it graffiti left over from an exchange between lovers?

The element of concealment is often at play in my work. I'm interested in its societal and personal implications when it comes to sexuality and gender. It can be a subtle or blatant element in my work. In this case the hoodie both conceals and reveals. I find that idea interesting, when it comes to how homosexuals interact in society, voluntarily or not.

I am very proud of this painting. It marks a return of confidence in my work and about my application of paint. There is less struggle in my brushwork. This painting looks very different that any of my other work, it's technically more superior than most of my other pieces. Unfortunately, the digital picture doesn't do it justice. Personally it is very significant as well, it's been a challenging process, I wanted to see this painting through, to make a beautiful ending...after all.