Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seeing is Believing

I would like to begin looking at my fellow artists by starting on one of the most engaging, Susana. With the structure built here: http://cortez419.blogspot.com/2010/10/set-me-free-continues.html, Susana created her own environment and captured our attention during critique. Her performance made me want to help her out of the cage even though I was the one who filmed her in it for her video and took pics for her documentation purposes. To convince someone who was there all along is strong enough for me to want to see more performances in many more places!

To the artist that has the most potential is Alex. Her pawn piece really makes me think in so many directions and I want to see more (even if it isn't quantity, it could be how everything is set up or situated). You can see it here: http://aphil11.blogspot.com/2010/11/attack.html, when Andrew suggested a racial divide on the pieces I instantly announced to the class that the scene reminded me of an episode of Oprah. This narrative and many more are at Alex's fingertips so if she pushes everything just a bit more she can show all of us many wondrous worlds, especially her knitting work which is my favorite of hers.

The artist that I have the most knowledge of their process is Kyle. His studies on light and concept are incredible: http://kyleatseniorstudio.blogspot.com/2010/09/art-work-update.html, and it keeps going from there. His portraits blow my mind, but sometimes my favorite moments are his experiments in drawing. Kyle is someone who gets what it means to explore art; his drawing of the man in the ornate frame gave me such distinct feelings that I knew he thought about every aspect of the piece.

One artist I've discovered is Yuko Ishii who uses Mixed Media to the nth degree. Using photography and physical implements she expresses spiritual awareness through her pieces. http://www.yukoishii.com/

Another artist who I knew about only in photography apparently paints as well and he does a series of "Nurse Paintings" which hit home to my not only because they are figural, but my parents are both nurses. Richard Prince explores different ways to combine text and the figure to give a narrative that we may not have seen before. This article on a nursing site is interesting in juxtaposing the nursing world and his world: http://www.nursingadvocacy.org/media/va/nurse_paintings.html

My next project has to do with the secular vs. the religious, the liberal vs. the conservative, and conflicted identity vs. solid identity. My biggest issue is how to combine everything in a simple way. I have already figured out a way to deal with Neil Diamond and David Paskin, but I dunno if it is the direction I want to take. What would be the best way to explore these ideas? How could I combine them without losing any of the magic of the original images? And now...back to work on painting.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What is it? (REDUX)

My work is progressing in a different direction by using common materials for my backgrounds like newspaper and electrical tape. These items relate to my subjects of Abraham Cahan and Mark Zuckerberg. Cahan was the editor for the Yiddish newspaper called The Forward, which garnered a quarter of a million readers by 1924. As for Zuckerberg, he is the creator of Facebook, which has at least 500 million members. This push and pull from a selective readership to a unified membership represents the blend of cultural ideas adding to the greater picture of humanity. It'll never be a perfect relationship due to the clash of cultures on a regular basis, but there is at least hope people can gather together in a forum and be civil to one another.

While in my studio I think of all sorts of different ways to represent an image and how to re-think something that is the "norm" in society. I don't really think there is such a thing as "normal," just "less strange" because life is always strange. Everything is strange.


John Stuart Mill is as "strange" as it gets. The good kind, however. He was a British philosopher who was a proponent of Utilitarianism, which can be explained as: "the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people." I have read his book, On Liberty, which states the responsibilities of an individual who has the right to liberty. His view is that someone can do anything they want as long as they do not hurt anyone else in the process. Most people can agree with this autonomous ability. My work incorporates this autonomous idea of an individual and how they use their cultural heritage as inspiration for their ideas or even how their ideas come from the separation from their original culture.

Culture has its own pushes and pulls for people. Most people connect well to what they know, though some find new ways to express themselves through other cultural means. Jewish culture has become important to me not just because I have celebrated Passover a few times, but that it is a religion tied to a ethnic body and this is unique for any religious organization. The idea of a complete Monotheistic culture grants authority only to God, but who makes the rules when God is not clear or has socially obsolete ideas (613 commandments is a lot to follow)?

After all of this heavy talk of society and culture I would like to share something that is probably destroying ours as Americans. So now I would like to present the Deep Fried Cheeseburger: http://www.squidoo.com/deepfriedcheeseburger

Monday, October 18, 2010

Supernatural Kick



These are the two photographs I am using in my Digital Printmaking project. I want to juxtapose supernatural European Jewish folktales with an assimilated culture in America. The cultural aspect I chose to represent Judaism was Korean martial arts, specifically Taekwondo. Since this art was used for soldier combat at one point only to become an after-school activity it intrigues me enough to use it in a different context on how American Judaism has become more aggressive and concrete than mystic superstitious folktales of the "old country." I plan to paint on top of these photos as stated in my earlier post.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Darkroom

It's been awhile since I've been in the darkroom, and boy did I forget how much of a wonderful, even magical, place it is to me. I have been working on a photo mixed media project for digital printmaking and it's been fun so far. I plan to have double exposures of printed photographs, scan them into my computer, and then print them out on canvas paper to paint over them. This analog, digital, analog process intrigues me and I plan to focus more on the analog to reach my goal. I will post the photographs soon to give viewers a glimpse of what I was working on, ciao for now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dreams N' Schemes (The Surround)

I rarely take anything from my dreams if at all, but there is one in particular that really made me think. It began with me in a forest that was paved like a street. I followed the street until I reached a merry-go-round. The creepy thing about the ride was that all of the horses had googly eyes (you know, the kind that are glued to Pet Rocks?). A red-headed girl clung to me saying she was afraid and suddenly I was transported to a Chinese buffet I was currently working at during the time.

They told me to clean up some moldy dog poop and I did (though reluctantly). I finally left the building only to wind up back into the forest. The girl clung to me again and we walked slowly out of the forest into a desert. While we were walking, our lives fast-forwarded until we were both 80 years old and married. The desert we walked into had large awkward statues that loomed over us for miles. When we reached the horizon a witch (yes, she looked just liked the Wicked Witch of the West on a broom) swooped down with a 3-pronged gardening tool. She went ahead and ripped my wife's head in pieces (specifically the back of her head). I was standing there watching in horror while getting blood on my person. After the horrendous scene ended, I looked down and in my hands I was holding the tool used to murder my wife.

Anywho, this dream has always disturbed me though also comforted me in a strange, unexplainable way. It has to be the most visually graphic dream I've ever had. The most visually memorable moment I have ever had during my conscious existence is basically a collection of moments from Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. All in one day I saw the view of the whole park from violent, jarring directions on a rollercoaster as well as wolves for the first time in their zoo habitat. I love wolves by the way. I also remember going into this cafeteria that had an old German environment, complete with visuals, and they had a live band play celebratory music for Oktoberfest. Even though this scene was the least "amazing" it still had an impact on me as creepy and unfamiliar. There was no Nazi reference in the entire building, but I had this aching fear the Gestapo was going to get me any second during my over-priced amusement park lunch.

Progress Makes Perfect (The Surround)

I have been working in my studio for a few weeks now and I would have to say I am about half done with the triptych I envisioned, starting with these sketches:


The ideas are staying alive in my paintings, but I am not going to add the Yarmulke (or Kippah) and shawl (or Tallit) since I feel my pieces will speak for themselves and the vague dualities in my paintings will blend together better. My main purpose is to show a Jewish character actor in a religious state (whether it be praying to, basking in, or fearing God) while the background represents my thoughts on secular and cultural Judaism.

I did discover, however, that I truly enjoy using mixed media to express my work. I have used pastel on top of acrylic to give a material sense to my work as well as textured gel. I can be gentle when painting a figure to becoming forcefully violent with pastel strokes in the background. I am excited to see what will happen with my plans from here. The best moment I had tonight when I worked was when I added pastel to the textured pumice gel. I was adding or "creating," but some of the pumice fell off which felt like "destruction." This situation reflects the controversy with secular Judaism. Some feel like they are creating a new era while others feel like the sacred respect of Judaism is being tossed aside.

These dualities remind me of Christodoulos Panayiotou's audio/video pieces of the before and after. The same situation is introduced, but different reactions occur with the different parts. Out of all of the artists of the weekend I felt this coincided the best with my work, but Hassan Khan's piece with the reflective glass also feels like my current piece. I feel like I am exposing my ideas for the first time on canvas without any restraint.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sketches of my Heroes.

I did some sketches to pass the time of Tim Curry and Sam Neill. The former is an inspiration to us all and threw our nation into a frantic state of coulrophobia. The latter is best known for playing Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park, too bad I didn't use a picture of him wearing his hat.

Like I said in an earlier post I am interested in character actors. For my concentration I am interested in the Jewish links of myself as well as the real life Jews that play characters. These two men, however, are not Jewish though maybe I can make some links to all character actors and how they face absurd realities in their worlds. Sometimes (especially in Curry's case) they are the antagonist. What does a "bad guy" think in his everyday routine other than wanting to thwart his adversary? What mundane moments are in between building a giant ray gun and capturing the sweetheart of his enemy?

Dr. Grant's case, he does not fight a "bad guy" at all. He only evades dinosaurs who are merely confused in the time period they were forcefully brought into by man. There are thin lines between right and wrong. There are also thin lines about who is doing right and who is doing wrong. Is a man who sells drugs on the street to feed his family wrong? Is a woman who saves animals, but ignores the homeless right?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Formalities.

To All On The Internet,

I have no idea if anyone reads blog, but they are in for a treat. I plan to link this blog to my very first website. I want to include everything that I find interesting in art and I guess just type up little ideas about them. I am also doing some class assignments, but they go along the same lines.

To give you an idea about what inspires me, let's talk about what is on my desk right now. The second season of Columbo (an amazing mystery/thriller series about a wily detective who stops untouchable rich people from getting away with murder), The Wolfman (2009 remake of the classic horror film), the first season of Dragonball Z (an anime that follows an alien's life and how he fights to protect Earth), and the first season of Peewee's Playhouse (one of the most creative children's shows ever). As you can see, I am interested in a variety of things and I take ideas from numerous sources.

Thank you for anyone who reads this blog and I shall keep posting! So hold on tight!

Monday, September 6, 2010

"What is it??"

This summer was different for me since I worked on research instead of working at a Chinese restaurant where people asked why I wasn't Asian. Though, being a host can be fun at times I was much more content working at the University of Delaware by painting Jewish Comedians. I wanted to connect the idea of past events that were important to Jews such as Heinrich Heine (who created self-ironic satire for Jews), the Yiddish Theatre (was like a second community Temple for some people), the Holocaust (how people used humor to lighten the already dark situation they had to live within), and the struggle with censorship of identity. My final piece led to Larry David who was wearing women's underwear, this image showed everything that I wanted to describe in my work. Self-humiliation is an important aspect in Jewish comedy because as a minority they had to deal with people already putting them down, so why not laugh at oneself to ease any tensions?

This semester I want to focus on Jewish character actors. Specifically, for my first project I want to use Peter Falk (Columbo), Henry Winkler (The Fonz), and Paul Reubens (Peewee Herman). I also want to tie in historical contexts into them as well. Maybe to show how Jews have strengthened over the years and give a visual example of the vitality within these people.

Two specific artists that I want to look at and study while I paint is N.C. Wyeth (illustrated Treasure Island) and Norman Rockwell (Saturday Evening Post). Their work is amazing when a person's expressions are being illustrated. Wyeth has the ability to compose people in various abstract situations (which is something I am interested in) and Rockwell gives life to drawings/paintings with ease.


In the end I want a painting that has dual messages and using stark black/white people is misleading because people never have one clear situation to deal with, they always have gray areas. People always have choices to make and maybe fate leads each path a different way, but there is always an action that decides what will occur. My aspects will deal with religious thought and secular thought mixed with a historical reference that is relevant to the particular person being portrayed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Research Blog # 9

This is by far my favorite piece, Larry David in women's underwear.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Research Blog #8

My fifth project has to do with Prime Time television, especially actors Gertrude Berg and Jerry Seinfeld.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Research Blog # 7

My next project has to do with prime time television, here is an example using Molly Goldberg from the 1949 show "The Goldbergs."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Research Blog #6









































This project has to do with the birth names of well-known Jewish comedians.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Research Blog #5 (part 2)

Here are the text-based parts of the third project:

Summer Research Blog #5

Here is my third project, which involves the Producers (1968).

















Here are the images up-close:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Research Blog #4

Here is the second project that involves the Marx Brothers and writer Heinrich Heine.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Research Blog #3

Here is the first finished project!! In the end I will try to get finalized photographs of all of the finished pieces and re-post them in order.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Research Blog #2

Here are sketches for my second project, I am going to get the first project photos on here ASAP (probably tomorrow). These pictures involve the famous Marx Brothers and a writer named Heinrich Heine.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Research Blog #1

I am going to put pictures of progress from my summer research on here, most of them will be sketches and whatnot. Here are some sketches of the Three Stooges!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What I've been doing...

I have a new painting from the song "I Should Be Allowed To Think" by They Might Be Giants. The theme is that the freedom to think is unlimited and everyone deserves free speech, even the ones we don't agree with all the time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vampire: Menace and Malice Among Us

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJYD2N8pOrQ

This is my new claymation video. It's kinda about vampires.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Snails, Shells, and Exhaust Pipe Tails.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S3AiuniRc0

The first claymtion I've done for my class. There will be many more to come of course!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Paintings!









































My favorite medium is paint. Usually acrylic-based. I feel painting is something that comes from deep within your soul. As well as drawing or any other medium. But I like being covered in the stuff. I want to be part of the physical elements I created. The figure studies above were for my beginning painting class.

Here is a commission I did for a friend:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spitting Out Glasses

video
A little test in the art of stop motion!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stop Motions Galore!

Hey Everyone, I have a Youtube account under the name AureusFetch and if anyone is interested they can see all of my stop motion works so far. One of them is a collaboration I did with my friend for a project, but I am hoping to have many more independent projects posted from inside and outside a class. Check 'em out!

When Worlds Collide:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVUAvokDABc

Celebration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_S-NSzr0tM

Feral Phalanges:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VxkYB7jPsE

The painting in the first video is a reproduction I did of Max Ernst's "Fireside Angel" and I had to insert an object that looked like the style of the painting. He is now holding an umbrella because of me.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Frozen in Photographs

























"Christmas on the Second Night of Hannukah"








"Tractor Reformation"


























"The Creature"

These are a few pieces I've done over the winter.