PICTURE ONLY GALLERY LINKS
The The Forks ~ there's no place like home gallery is here
The ART ~ conveys / transports / reflects gallery is here
The Decay & Disgust work/book is here
civilized ku # 2477 ~ wherein I make a picture in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned
The PBS segment about my life without the APA work aired last evening. You can view it here. IMO, they did a very good job of editing and putting it all together.
Unfortunately, before we did the video for the segment, I was not aware of the existence of the Automatic Artist Biography Generator (linked supplied by The Cinemascapist). If I had been, I could have talked like this (as generated by the Automatic Artist Biography Generator machine):
"I am an artist who mainly works with photography. With a conceptual approach, I consider making art a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which should always refer to social reality.
My photos are notable for their perfect finish and tactile nature. This is of great importance and bears witness to great craftsmanship. By focusing on techniques and materials, I seduce the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.
My works are based on formal associations which open a unique poetic vein. Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned. By emphasising aesthetics, I try to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations.
My works sometimes radiate a cold and analytical ambiance. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness, along with the conciseness of the exhibitions, further complicates the reception of their manifold layers of meaning. By choosing mainly formal solutions, I try to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, like to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes physical and believe in the idea of function following form in a work.
My works directly respond to the surrounding environment and use everyday experiences from the artist (in me) as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context.
I currently live and work in Au Sable Forks, New York."
Man, I would have sounded like a real art genius. I highly recommend that you give the AABG machine a whirl.
But if you're just looking for a phrase or two to throw out at the next exhibit opening you attend, you might give the The Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator a try. It's free, and other than spending a couple years of your life and $40,000.00 to get a MFA, how the hell else are you gonna learn how to talk this way? ...
"It's difficult to enter into this work because of how the metaphorical resonance of the referential signifier endangers the devious simplicity of the inherent overspecificity." or "It should be added that the reductive quality of the gesture visually and conceptually activates the substructure of critical thinking."
Hey, you can knock me over with a feather if that don't sound like a great way to hit on and pick up art chicks. Or, vice-versa, if you're a chick.
As mentioned in my previous explanation entry, Part 1, I mentioned a number of reactions, re: David S. Allee's Frame of View pictures and exihibition. # 1 that list was that I need to get my work circulating. That reaction was instigated by my pondering of the notion that, if my picture windows sample book had arrived at the door of the Margan Lehman Gallery before Allee's Frame of View portfolio (or whatever he submitted), would I be the one to have an exhibition?
IMO, the answer to that rumination is, "No".
There are a number of reasons for that supposition, but I'll mention just 2 (I'll mention another in tomorrow's Part 3 entry): a) my sample book is devoid of artspeak, and, b) Allee's pictures, unlike mine, are very window frame/framing oriented.
Allee's emphasis on his pictured framing devices really helps to ram home and make obvious the idea of, as the Press Release states, "the illusion of a two-dimensional picture plane", aka: his tromp l'oeil trope. While this was obviously his intent, it is precisely what I don't particularly like about this work - it is just too flat out visually obvious. On the other hand, that very obvious trope is most likely exactly what the gallery owner / director liked.
However, no matter how much art sauce they pour on that content / turkey, I ain't buying it.
When talking about his picture making M.O., Stephen Shore stated:
Because of the resolution of working on an 8×10 view camera, I found that I did not have to thrust the viewer's face into something. If I saw something interesting, it could be part of larger picture that has a number of points of interest. It changes the viewers relationship with an image. It is not framing one thing but creating a little triangular world that the viewer can move their attention around and explore.
I have have ranted and raved on quite a number of occasions, re: the picture making dictum of to simply. In most cases, but certainly not all, I see it as a prescription for dumbing things down. Not wanting to go there, that is one reason why most of my pictures are rather densely packed with visual information.
In the case of my picture windows work, I employ the same tromp l'oeil" visual trope as Allee. The difference is it is not as obvious because I have given the viewer much more room to move around and explore the entire two-dimensional surface* of the print. I do so because my work is not just about "the view" of the outside - it's also about the inside, both visually and metaphorically.
The visual aspect is visually obvious. Perhaps for some, the metaphor is not - the interiors of the rooms I picture can, if one is so inclined, be considered as a symbol of the interior / inner life of the individual wherein he/she tries like hell to make things comfortable for one's self. It's the way of the world, no matter how different those attempts at comfort might be.
But, of course, no matter how inner-sanctum safe and comfortable the inner self might be or feel, there is always the outside world to consider. An exterior reality which is always viewed and considered through the framework he/she has constructed for one's self.
All of that written (I could go on and on but I don't want to tell anyone how to think about my pictures), I am certain that it all can be "translated" into artspeak. And, if it were, the work just might stand a much better chances of impressing a "big-time" gallery director.
On the other hand, I'll close with a few words from Edward Burtynsky (you should read his refreshing direct and simple artist statement):
When one looks at my images, I want it that you don't need a text beside them but the communication is all encoded in the image. To me that is what the power of an image can be. What I saw happening in a lot of postmodern work was that you need to have the text, needed to know the concepts before the work could make any sense. Separated from the text, the work could not support itself. You had to be educated in the visual arts, the movements, and other things, to understand. I didn't want to go down that road but wanted to feel the work could contain all the ideas.
*In the gallery Press Release, wherein the artspeaker seems to be impressed by the fact that "Allee transforms three-dimensional views ... into the illusion of a two-dimensional picture plane ...". Don't these self aggrandizing / see-how-educated-I-am artspeak buffoons realize that every three-dimensional view ever pictured by any and all picture maker(s) is "transformed", by means of the intrinsic characteristics of the medium and its apparatus, into an actual two-dimensional picture plane?
As I was working my way through my explanatory entry, re: picture windows ~ this is a quiz, I arrived at the conclusion - after writing a zillion words - that there was no way the explanation could be accomplished in a single entry. So, without further ado, it's on with part 1 ...
The genesis of the quiz entry is to be found in an email from my son, the cinemascapist. In that email, he provided a link to an NYC gallery exhibit, Frame of View, by David S. Allee. His only comment (tongue-in-cheek?) other than the link was, "he stole your idea".
While I do not for a moment believe my idea, aka: my picture windows work, was in any way stolen, plagiarized, or in any fashion associated with Allee's pictures. Nevertheless, there is a remarkable similarity between his pictures and mine. However, that written, there is also a difference inasmuch as, on the whole, Allee's window pictures are much more window frame centric than are my window pictures.
Be all of that as it may, what kinda got me going was the exhibition press release wherein there is artspeak aplenty ...
"... shifting perceptions of reality ... transforms three-dimensional views into the illusion of a two-dimensional picture plane ... historical debates between pictorialism and straight photography ... recontextualize and reexamine ... challenge the viewer to reconsider what is in front of them ... the changing perception and definition of images, photography, reality, and illusion..."
My first reaction was that I needed to get my work circulating. My second reaction was that the press release was pretty accurate description of my picture windows work. My third reaction was that I could never have written an similar artspeak laden statement about my work. My fourth reaction was that, before I get my work circulating, I need to find an artspeak ghost writer who can fashion artist statements for all of my bodies of work - I mean, hey, you gotta play to the market if you wanna play.
That written, my fifth and most important reaction was to create a blog entry wherein it was my intent to instigate a reaction to my picture window work - a reaction from you, the readers of the landscapist, whom I believe not to be from the academic / BFA / MFA world. Or, in other words, from other picture makers as opposed to the concept-is-everything crowd.
Not that concept is a bad thing. My various bodies of picture making work are undertaken with, at the very least, a hint of concept involved.
However, for me the pictures are the thing - I strive to make pictures which draw the viewer in, first and foremost, for what is seen, i.e., the print itself. Hopefully, once the viewer is drawn in visually, he/she can be further drawn in in the cause of discovering / discerning meaning. Meaning which is, of course, related to concept.
All of that written, I'll wrap up part 1 with a question (not a quiz). Actually, 2 related questions:
question 1) - would you have thought as long and hard about my picture windows if I hadn't requested that you do so?
question 2) - how much do you contemplate, beyond the visually obvious, any pictures which you view?
FYI, part 2 is in the works.
I've been incredibly busy - 3 days of out-of-town guests + 2 days of honoring my commitment to hockey boy (Hugo) wherein I promised, if he were willing to skip school, to get him to (up near the Canadian border) a 2 day power skating / stick handling clinic. Throw my dealing with a miserable cold and, consequently, my follow up to the last entry will not be addressed until tomorrow.
That written, much thanks to all who responded to the quiz. The response was more than I could have hoped for. And, as mentioned, there were no wrong answers. In fact, none of the answers could have been better.
Thanks again. I really appreciate it. I'll be back at you tomorrow.
I am allowing some time before the explanatory entry in order to allow for as many answers as possible because, IMO, the more answers there are, the more interesting and revelatory my explanatory entry can be. PLEASE RESPOND
And rest assured, no one will be graded on their answers because there are no right or wrong answers, there are only answers. In fact, it could be honestly written that every answer will be a right answer. PLEASE RESPOND
In order for you to answer, there must be a question. So, without further ado ...
What do see, taken as a group, in these pictures beyond their referent of visual record?
In others words, what do you "see" beyond the pictured subject? Or, what do you think these pictures are about, re: the inferred or the implied? PLEASE RESPOND
FYI, I "see" nothing beyond the visual is a very acceptable answer. On the other hand, Who gives shit? or Who cares? is not, simply because everyone should already know the answer to those questions - I do.
BTW, did I mention, PLEASE RESPOND?
In response to the intro to / first peek of my information overload concept (see civilized ku # 2453-62 ~ no direction home, pepeye (no linked provided) wrote:
Interesting. But one problem I see from the sample work you posted is that a 3×3 of your work looks more like what we would see in a Flickr or 500px gallery of your work and not like the random overload of images you speak of. The overall style is too consistently your style. Where's the super HDR? The tilt shift? The expired film look, etc. that adds so much to the visual overload of images on the web?
In addition, Clifford Gwinn (no link provided but I did find this - Clifford, please correct me if this is not you) wrote:
my response: re: ...the sample work you posted ... looks more like what we would see in a Flickr or 500px gallery of your work and not like the random overload of images you speak of.
It is not my intention to replicate the myriad looks of the overload of pictures, but rather, to metaphorically represent the volume of pictures. IMO, introducing various picturing styles to the visual equation obfuscates that intention by drawing attention to distinct and differing categories of information as opposed to the sheer volume thereof.
My point is not about distinctions, it is all about sheer volume which tends to overwhelm the senses and engender a fog of indistinction. IMO, the more homogeneous the information, the more difficult it is to distinguish any one item from another. Consequently, I am placing no emphasis upon distinctions and, by presenting all of the pictures in my "style", I am further emphasizing the notion of volume.
However, as you so astutely recognized (although, maybe not the intention for it), the 3×3 presentation is quite deliberately meant to draw direct attention the ubiquitous web gallery presentation as seen on flickr, tumblr, and other picture sites.
my response: re: Why bother?
Hey, I gotta have something to do.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?
Photography is a system of visual editing. At bottom, it is a matter of surrounding with a frame a portion of one's cone of vision, while standing in the right place at the right time .... [B]y means of photography one can in a minute reject as unsatisfactory ninety-nine configurations of facts and elect as right the hundredth. The choice is based on tradition and intuition - knowledge and ego - as it is in any art, but the ease of execution and the richness of the possibilities in photography both serve to put a premium on good intuition. The photographer's problem is perhaps too complex to be dealt with rationally. This is why photographers prowl with such restless uncertainty about their motif, ignoring many potentially interesting records while they look for something else.