Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eduardo Arroyo Paintings - What Do You See?

Having not read anything about Eduardo Arroyo before I am going to take a guess that this first example of his work is a graphic illustration and not a painting. Red, yellow, black and white are my favourite colours so I was instantly drawn to this artwork. The top figure appears to be of a skeleton and the bottom figure is that of a woman. Both of the figures are holding a camera with the skeleton appearing to hold a much larger and older camera than the female figure. 

Both are taking photos, but what are they taking photographs of? Each other? Why do we take photographs? It is a way of recording an event, we are taking a snapshot and creating a visual diary of our lives so we may reminisce at a later date. Visualising memories outside of our head echoes our existence. I am not entirely sure of the meaning behind this illustration and it doesn't speak to me on any level. It reminds me of an unfinished illustration for a book,film or play. The only message that does come across is that of how the artist himself sees life and death, just a collection of photographic memories.

This second image appears to be a painting showing two figures.To the left is a figure of a matador, which is a Spanish bull fighter, and the figure on the right appears to be the outline of some human internal organs. A representation of the Spanish flag is shown at the top of the painting in the form of a red and yellow stripe. In Spain the matador is highly regarded and are depicted as very courageous and powerful, maybe the internal organs are to prove how brave he is by showing that this matador has his inner strength on the surface with no physical protection. Again, as in the first image I am not totally sure what is going on in this painting, I thought I would be able to express what the was idea behind the painting or at least convey what it means to me, but I am drawing a blank. Maybe I should research the artist a little before I embark on the next post? Or maybe it is just that this artists work just doesn't convey anything to me? It could be just one of them days where my mind just draws a blank and refuses to work, like writers block but more of a thinking block. Better luck tomorrow.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo Appreciation of the Day - Richard Billingham

The photo of the day is by Richard Billingham and is yet another black and white photograph. I chose this photograph as I was instantly drawn to the man's heartily laugh and his disregard of having his photograph taken without his false teeth in. I am nosey and I want to know why he is laughing and I want to join in on his fun. 

The photo uncovers a simplistic way of life reiterating to me that happiness should come from within and not from the non essential trappings of the materialistic world. Full of character this man has had years of laughter and these years have been the building blocks of his friendly personality. This man has no airs or graces and what you see is what you get, he has a raw truth about him that you only tend to see in a child, which unfortunately tends to get lost in the journey into adulthood. His surroundings are basic and are placed in a disorganised fashion with a make shift bedroom unit, but he's happy and has no regrets, he's seen it all as far as he's concerned.

Karin Mamma Anderson Paintings - What Do You See?

Karin Mamma Anderson and her paintings are the ones I have chosen to look at today. Previously when I observed modern paintings of everyday objects I would think, why would anyone be interested in painting something so ordinary, what does it offer the viewer, what is the intention of the painter? But as I once learnt from an exhibition of old photographs of children playing which was running alongside recently taken photographs of children also playing. I came to understand the concept and I found that I appreciated the old photos of children and seeing them happily playing with spinning tops as this wasn't something I had witnessed so found them interesting and in years to come the recently taken photos of children playing out on their bikes would also be appreciated like I did of the old. This was like an epiphany for me, so now I feel I have a better understanding of modern artists who's subject could be seen as customary.

Back to the painting of the TV's. The TV's are on a very basic looking stand so I am thinking this scene is from a school or college where the painter attended or worked and the double TV is recording programmes for the pupils to watch later. Showing on both TV's are scenes with what appears to be snow, so maybe they are showing sporting events and these winter sports are very popular with pupils from this school or nationally recognised as sports the country itself excels in.

I do like the colours or should I say the lack of colours and the simplicity of this painting, it is what it is, a painting of two TV's and two recording devices off centre in front of some long grey curtains. This could be a lowly lit storage room as no visible features can be seen on any of the electronic devices. In the future the younger generation will be astonished and laugh at having to have two TV's to record two programmes that are broadcast simultaneously, just like I was amused by the children who entertained themselves with a large hoop and a stick rather than a bike or a games console. 

Moving onto the second painting by Karin Mamma Anderson I am thinking this is a classroom that has been wrecked by some persons breaking an entry or this school/college has some disobedient pupils. From what I can see the material of the blue seat to the right of the painting is torn, paintings have been strewn across the room showing a disrespect for the work of others or in fact their own, some of the chairs have been tipped over and one of the tables is turned upside down. Is this an actual scene or does it represent how Ms Anderson feels about the pupils in her art class? Is it showing they have no appreciation of art and are disrespectful towards their schooling by leaving the class room in an orderless fashion.

Being a relatively tidy person looking at this painting makes me want to tidy the mess up and if I owned this painting it would make me feel like this every time I looked at it. But if every piece of art we laid our eyes on was pleasurable, viewing art would soon become a mundane experience and I think we should always try and extend our outlook beyond what we feel comfortable with, as that is how we learn and grow as individuals.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Photo Appreciation of the Day - Philip Jones Griffiths

This photograph shows how creative children could be when they were left to create their own entertainment. A bit of rope and some wood provided endless hours of fun whilst the family pet stood guard and became their chaperone. It shows a time before all political correctness came into being as these children see no danger playing next to train lines, they just want to swing as high as they can.  

Lennart Anderson Paintings - What Do You See?

Today I am looking at two Lennart Anderson paintings and describing what I see. I have no idea what these two painting are about as I am learning the art of seeing and describing what I see rather than what a text book tells me to see. 

The first painting is of a busy street in a city and the scene is of mainly men of varying ages. There are a number of children in the painting without school uniform or bags which suggests it is a weekend. No street or shop signs are visible to identify which city this could be and the buildings in the background are lifeless and dull with a small glimpse of the sky alongside a residential area which would mean this area is on the outskirts of a city.

There appears to be a woman who is smartly dressed on her knees with her hand partly over her mouth in shock. Has this lady fallen or has someone else fallen in front of this lady as the unidentifiable object in front of the lady suggests?

The passers by are frozen in time, will anyone help the woman in distress or will they simply walk on by? If this is a street scene the painter experienced why not show the woman being helped by someone? Is the painter leaving the results of the experience down to the viewer? Are we all simply too busy to care about someone else's misfortune?

The second painting is of a street scene in a city with a mixture of men and women of different ages. A wheel lays on the road from a kart which was being pulled by a child who has now fallen over from pulling the kart up onto the pavement. The child is being attended to by a woman sat down on the pavement. One of the women from the group on the left is slowly bending down with an outstretched arm as if to offer a helping hand. 

To the right of the painting the men are briskly walking whilst catching a glimpse of the scene before carrying on. The small girl bursting out from the doors with a shocked look on her face could live there and the small child who has fallen is a relative of hers and is also coming to their aid. Maybe this painting is just a street scene and the painter has captured a moment in time with no hidden meaning or as with the first painting it could be a reflection of what happens in society when someone takes an unfortunate tumble.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Photo Appreciation of the Day - Wolfgang Suschitzky

I like this photograph as I can hear the sound of the man's footsteps echoing around the street alongside the fading sound of the truck driving off into the distance. The man has a peaceful walk to work with only the sound of his shoes walking against the cobbled street for company.

Josep Alberti Paintings - What Do You See?

Today I am looking at two paintings from an artist called Josep Alberti, not sure where he's from or anything about the subject in his paintings as I want to share with you what I see and not be influenced by anything I have read about him or his art.

This first painting is of a kitchen that is run down as the plaster/paint on the wall is falling off. The unevenness of the colour suggests that it hasn't been painted for a number of years as it has faded over time. There are no windows in the kitchen which suggests there wouldn't be much of a view outside and that the building is a basic shell that somebody calls home. 

Although the kitchen is in need of a coat of paint the cooker and cooking area is made from colourful tiles which shows the importance of food in this house and that a woman lives here. A sweeping brush and cleaning cloth can also be seen to the right of the painting showing how important it is to be clean. Whoever lived here saw the importance of food and cleanliness over an aesthetically pleasing kitchen. In fact, they probably didn't see the plaster falling from the walls as the cooker would've been the focal point and the heart of the home for them and it is where they would've created the most wonderful meals for her husband or family. 

This second painting of an old woman who has been painted in cold blue which suggests the painter wanted her to come across as a hard woman who had been hardened by life events. Alternatively, the colours could represent her living in cold conditions as she is after all wearing a shawl on top of her clothes. The lady is poor and she would have got some kind of pleasure from living in slight discomfort as it made her feel like a martyr, a feeling that she had become accustomed to by being a good wife and mother.

The woman is not smiling as she is lonely and no longer needed by anyone in her world, her children have grown up and her husband is no longer with her. She dresses for comfort and warmth rather than to make herself feel good or to make herself presentable to the opposite sex as she no longer feels attractive. Her hair is swept back in a nondescript hair style and shows her full face as it tells her life story and she is proud of that. Her face shows the story of her whole life for all to see. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gilles Aillaud Paintings - What Do You See?

Today I am looking at some of the paintings by the painter Gilles Aillaud. I will look at the paintings from my point of view and not be influenced by what is said of his work on the internet. Below is a brief description of the story both paintings show.

Painting 1
The first painting shows two men who look like they could be brothers as they have similar coloured hair and pastel shirts on. They are beating up a washed up looking man who looks like he has no strength to fight back, maybe because they have held him prisoner for a number of days as to obtain information from him. The man in the background is wearing shades to either hide his disguise, look cool or hide his joy from watching somebody get beaten up. He doesn't need to get involved as he must be the boss. It is dark outside or the window is blacked out as what happens in that room is not meant to be seen from the outside. The window is also high up on the wall which suggests it could be in some kind of basement. I feel like I am now writing about a scene from CSI rather than a painting. 

Painting 2
This second painting is of a man who is going to deliver someone a message as he isn't carrying anything so he is not on his way home from work with his briefcase or a newspaper. He is looking down so he is watching his step as he is not familiar to the stairs and therefore doesn't live there. The apartments are in a decent part of the neighbourhood as the walls on the stairs don't have any graffiti on them so the main entrance is likely to be locked. There are no paintings or plants in view and the stairs and walls are bland so it shows they are inside a stairway leading to an apartment rather than inside someone's home. What do you see?

An update to Maslow's hierarchy of needs