Dude, stop being so serious

With this piece, I turned a doodle into a painting. The purpose was to create something, well, humorous, while also retaining something more than just a punchline. 

I am sometimes annoyed by the overwhelmingly vague and grandiloquent language used by many folks in the art world to legitimize certain artworks. If they can create enough confusion by linking inexhaustible theories to such language in their art of art-writing, using overused words such as juxtapose, banality, and utilize (instead of use), then I suppose many people think they are smart and unquestionably correct. 

Why is the art world so serious? Is it because of the millions of dollars being exchanged by the few financial elite over a handful of contemporary artworks? Does a work of art really need to be valued as though it's a cure for cancer? 

Here's a middle finger. And the art police are chasing. Take the Ball and Run with It. 18" x 24", oil and acrylic on canvas.

1712 Beach Run Final rdcd3.jpg

 

 

 

To Be A Machine

Recently finished a stop-motion short film called HOP, a piece about life, mortality, and a theory of immortality.

I needed a dreamy version of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as the music theme, but I couldn't find a recording anywhere. So I took up a keyboard myself, learned the relevant portions, and you can hear me playing it. I do not claim to be an expert with the piano; indeed there are portions of the song that sound imperfect, but with the somewhat raspy recording, that was the intention. I chose not to fix the slight errors, use an expensive instrument, nor seek an impeccable recording studio. I like when stop-motion is a bit choppy, not completely fluid, so as to reveal the imperfect nature of humankind. So the song needed to match.  

The theory of immortality in the video was a contemplation of the contemporary transhumanist movement. Mark O'Connell recently wrote a book called To Be A Machine about the topic. "Transhumanists believe that technology — specifically, a direct interface between humans and machines — is the only way our species can progress from its current, far-than-ideal state. Evolution is now in our hands, they claim, and if that means shedding the evolutionary training wheels of flesh itself, so be it." More info at NPR

Click on the Videos Tab on this webpage to watch the video. 

3D Painting

Over the past few months the wave for creating stop-motion videos has once again grabbed me, and clay is typically an essential material in their creation. By exploring different concepts and experimenting with various ways of presenting them through visuals in the videos, it's shifted me to a different way of painting. I'm exploring new terrain in my paintings by creating a form of terrain on the flat surface.

A Visit , 35" x 24", 2016

A Visit, 35" x 24", 2016

By forming a three-dimensional surface, with both subtle and distinct shapes and texture, the piece blurs the lines between sculpture and painting. I like the effect of the properties of clay, such as its natural color, its cracked surface, and the way the paint adheres to it. As the clay dries, it cracks naturally, creating an effect that resembles decay, a reminder of our own vulnerability in this world. 

What's a bit disappointing though, is that in this day of social media and the ubiquity of the internet in everything we do, art benefits when the image of it transfers nicely to our computers, tablets, or phones. Here I go again . . . Maybe most painters/sculptors are somewhat disappointed with how their works transfer to a computer? But in this case, I think much is lost (more than usual) of the painting when seen only through the "lens" of your screen; when seen in person, the three-dimensional nature of the painting changes its look based on the lighting or the angle of the viewer as a result of varying highlights, shadows, and the nature of some of the pearlescent paints used here. 

Detail  A Visit

Detail A Visit

This painting references Pablo Picasso's famous blue period, particularly, one of my favorite pieces at LACMA: Portrait of Sebastia Juñer Vidal (1903). 

Detail:  A Visit

Detail: A Visit