Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Here's a link to a 2005 interview with Tony Fitzpatrick at Reader's Voice (he likes James Ellroy). I've just ordered a book of Fitzpatrick's art called The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City -- The Dream City and I can't wait to see it!
Friday, November 28, 2008
On the same site is InsEktikA, another animated collage. Click on the moving insects with human heads to advance the story of "uniform non-conformity". A third piece called As I create, I also daydream, is also worth a look. There's lots of movement involving insects and other creatures in this two act drama. Click on the center of the first page to advance to the second.
Sadler has created a book of collage art titled Dreamiverse ("I dream in collage, don't you?" she asks) and also a collaged pop-up book. I learned about The Movable Book Society from Magik Glasses and at the bottom of the home page are many more tempting links that I'm off to explore right now!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Oh, yes. . . and my second flick is an older compilation from the National Film Board of Canada. I've seen at least two of the selections: The Cat Came Back and The Big Snit were favorites back when my daughter was young.
My second exercise was actual animation shot frame by frame with a 35mm camera on a copy stand. A library school assignment. I had just begun working for a large engineering firm and was adjusting poorly to the corporate environment. I used cut paper shapes from patterned wall-paper, plus letters and small birds printed with rubber stamps. (I found a manila envelope containing all of the pieces not long ago, and the actual film, packaged similarly, is hidden in some drawer.) I can't remember the title but I remember cutting out the individual letters. There is a man in a drab suit and tie and suddenly some birds fly into the frame, flutter through his brain, and he sheds his jacket and tie and adopts bright colors. I loved working on the copy stand and recognized it as a brightly lit stage upon which my true feelings could be exposed. I had created individual slides before, but this was my first experience with animation. I had a picture in my mind of what I was hoping to attain but had no idea what to expect. Everyone in the class shot their project on the same reel of film. The professor ran the film and when my short bit played by I felt like I had created magic. He played the film maybe two more times and that was it. Nobody wanted their work back except for me and I got it back on a little reel but I haven't viewed it since that class.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"The fear that others can disrespect a person because of something he shows means that he is always insecure in his contact with other people; and this insecurity arises, not from mysterious and somewhat disguised sources, as a great deal of our anxiety does, but from something he knows he cannot fix. Now that represents an almost fatal deficiency of the self-system, since the self is unable to disguise or exclude a definite formulation that reads, 'I am inferior. Therefore people will dislike me and I cannot be secure with them.'. . . Lacking the salutary feed-back of daily social intercourse with others, the self-isolate can become suspicious, depressed, hostile, anxious, and bewildered." [p 13.] "By staying indoors and not answering the phone or door, the discreditable individual can remove himself from most of those contacts in which his disgrace might be established as part of the biography others have of him. . . One method of disclosure is for the individual voluntarily to wear a stigma symbol, a highly visible sign that advertises his failing wherever he goes."[p 100.] My collages sometimes serve the purpose of similar disclosure. Damn the biography; it's the autobiography that matters!
I see my own childhood self in this next statement: "One day I sudddenly realized that I had become so self-conscious and afraid of all strange children that, like animals, they knew I was afraid, so that even the mildest and most amiable of them were automatically prompted to derision by my own shrinking and dread." [p 17.]
The author speaks of ". . . advocated codes of conduct. . . for an appropriate attitude regarding the self. To fail to adhere to the code is to be a self-deluded, mis-guided person; to succeed is to be both real and worthy. . ." but allows that ". . . this advice about personal conduct sometimes stimulates the stigmatized individual into becoming a critic of the social scene. . . [becoming] 'situation conscious' while normals present are spontaneously involved within the situation. . ." [p 111.] Hmmm, collage art as indicator of critical situation consciousness. I like that concept. I also like this statement: "Whenever an occupation carries with it a change in name, recorded or not, one can be sure that an important breach is involved bewteen the individual and his old world." [p 58.]
In the last chapter, Goffman finally arrives at the term "deviance" saying: "One such deviation is important here, the kind represented by individuals who are seen as declining voluntarily and openly to accept the social place accorded them, and who act irregularly and somewhat rebelliously in connection with our basic institutions. . . These are the 'disaffiliates'. . . Prostitutes, drug addicts, delinquents, criminals, jazz musicians, gypsies, carnival workers, hobos, winos, show people, full time gamblers, beach dwellers, homosexuals, and the urban unrepentant poor--those would be included. Then there are the folk who are considered to be engaged in some kind of collective denial of the social order. They are perceived as failing to use opportunity for advancement in the various approved runways of society; they show open disrespect for their betters; they lack piety; they represent failures in the motivational schemes of society." [pp 143-144.] He makes special mention of ". . . the quietly disaffiliated hobbyists who become so devoted to their avocation that only a husk remains for civil attachments. . ."
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"The Greeks, who were apparently strong on visual aids, originated the term stigma to refer to bodily signs designed to expose something unusual and bad about the moral status of the signifier. The signs were cut or burnt into the body and advertised that the bearer was a slave, a criminal, or a traitor--a blemished person, ritually polluted, to be avoided, especially in public places. Later, in Christian times, two layers of metaphor were added to the term: the first referred to bodily signs of holy grace that took the form of eruptive blossoms on the skin; the second. . . referred to bodily signs of physical disorder. Today the term is widely used in something like the original sense, but is applied more to the disgrace itself than to the bodily evidence of it." [Chapter 1, paragraph 1.]
"But how do they know what to make?" Boomer asks. And Ellen Cherry says: "Listen, it's really pretty simple. If there's a thing, a scene, maybe, an image that you want to see real bad, that you need to see but it doesn't exist in the world around you, at least not in the form that you envision, then you create it so that you can look at it and have it around, or show it to other people who wouldn't have imagined it because they perceive reality in a more narrow, predictable way. And that's it. That's all an artist does."
Earlier on, she realizes: ". . . a person has not only perceptions but a will to perceive, not only a capacity to observe the world but a capacity to alter his or her observation of it--which, in the end, is the capacity to alter the world, itself. Those people who recognize that the imagination is reality's master, we call 'sages,' and those who act upon it, we call 'artists'. . . Or 'lunatics'."
". . . but the true idiot is distinguished from the 'idiot' sage or 'idiot' artist by his or her lack of control. The idiot's twisted perceptions of the world are not voluntarily or imaginatively altered, they are merely faulty. Lunatics are at the mercy of misunderstool and unmanageable perceptions. When it comes to their reality, artists call the shots."
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Also, there is the full text of a 215 page master's thesis by Brendan Greaves titled: "Dream the Rest" On the Mystery & Vernacular Modernism of Felipe Jesus Consalvos, Cubamerican "Cigarmaker, Creator, Healer & Man." available online. Greaves also wrote an essay "The Art of Being Disagreeable" included in the exhibition catalog published by the Fleischer/Ollman Gallery.
I call the process "sneaking up on perfect." I turn the ringer off on the phone, put some Leonard Cohen on the CD player and start moving materials around, pretending that I am straightening up so that I don't scare myself into thinking I'm actually involving myself in the process of creating something important! Here are some works in progress:
The one above will be called: When Ravens Circled Over the Woods (For Neil). This next one below has been sitting around for ages. I keep changing the size of the board. This is the tightly cropped version but I'm thinking that the reason why I can't finish is because it needs a border of some sort. The four colored "stars" are test squares that I did in batik back in 1980.And below is another one from the depths of the Archive of Indecision. I've lost my train of thought on this one! There are too many images here for one piece so I need to edit them down or maybe start thinking of this one in terms of a series.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Much of the work is quite large. One piece titled Foil Temple, featuring numerous postage stamps and architectural details, is just over 41x34 inches. Opium Eaters ("Make Your Ladies Happy") is one of the smallest at 7.5x11 inches. I would be hard-pressed to declare a favorite without further study of all of the intricate details, but Home of the Nature Freak and The School For Future Mothers (with a man sporting a "Souvenir World's Fair" phallus) are on the short list!
Eric Carle, perhaps most famous for his book The Very Hungry Catepillar, is another magical collage artist. His not-to-be-missed official web site includes photos of Carle in his studio (with flat-files of paper filed by color, paint on his sleeves and everything!) and video clips showing how he creates his pictures.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
All my favorite Op artists are here: Victor Vasarely, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Frank Stella, Bridget Riley, Tadasky (Tadasuke Kuwayama) and Ben Cunningham. And there are many others I haven't heard of. . . over sixty in all are listed in the Artists' Biographies section. The book measures 10x11 inches and contains numerous full page color illustrations, as well as '60's cover art from Vogue, Life and Look. Online you can see some beautiful Tadasky targets and Anuszkiewicz squares as part of the "Optic Visionaries" show at D. Wigmore in NYC.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
...(one day later) Cate Blanchett is absolutely amazing. I'm starting to think that this is a really great movie although I still haven't seen it through to the end. It's a collage, really... of charachers, of images. Director Todd Haynes also did Far From Heaven starring Julianne Moore (who also plays a friend of Dylan) and if you want to digress, here's an ArtForum article that I found interesting. It discusses the director's use of color in Far From Heaven, and his skill is very evident in I'm Not There... like watching old news clips and looking at color-shifted photos from the 60's.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
...(one day later) The one I picked to watch last night was the only one of the bunch that I have seen before: Crimes of the Heart. Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek and Jessica Lange are the Magrath sisters. Based on a Pulitzer Prize play by Beth Henley, the dialog is riveting, tragic and hilarious. Love the architectural details of their victorian southern house. I most identified with the oldest sister, Lenny (played by Diane Keaton). Must be her wardrobe which could have come straight from my closet!