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"my search for a classical form in the emerging medium of digital art" - harvey rayner

Archive for September, 2007

Big-Ass-Contemporary-Art Epic

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Big Ass Contemporary Art Desktop Wallpaper


Download this image free as a 1280x1024px desktop wallpaper

The guy reading the low-down in the photo looks like a fat Matthew Collings. It would be nice if it was and also if the picture was real. Surely he’d have something to say about it. Or maybe he’d pass it by thinking it was something other than art. You know that’s not as dumb as it sounds. Most of the art of our time seems to revolve around the single idea and the single theme. We are all trying to make art sound bites. There are no epic stories being told in art anymore – well very few. Take Damien Hirst’s latest work: the diamond encrusted platinum skull. Its a pure and distilled idea realised by expensive yet simple means. Don’t get me wrong I really like it, and think its a work that sits at the pinnacle of the present canon of art his work occupies.

My approach, of course, is very different from this and the trend Damien’s work so perfectly demonstrates. My work has never been about reducing and distilling, but rather evolving and building. I feel my themes are like characters in a novel, each with an individual history and each enabling a complex narrative to be constructed. I’ve always wanted to make a work that tells the story of Root2Art in all is complexity. The story twists and characters have idiosyncrasies I could never have imagined ten years ago. I could never create a sound bite art work that encapsulates this rich history. The essences of Root2Art is only really visible when seen in its full complexity. Organizing this complexity into a coherent narrative is the big challenge.

The ‘big ass’ title is not a reference to the Matthew Collings look-alike.

Saatchi Online Showdown – New Call Of Duty For Old Painting

Monday, September 10th, 2007

self portrait 1994
Click image for full color version

The Saatchi Online Gallery Showdown is an exciting monthly competition run on the massively popular Visitors to the site can vote on artworks from an open submission with numerous rounds of voting determining a winner that gets to have his/her picture hung in the new Saatchi Gallery. A quick scan of the submissions that received the most votes last month reveals a marked preference for figurative painting. No digital art as yet, which is not really a surprise.

Wanting to enter this great Showdown I’ve decided to draw on my archive of paintings from my pre root2art days fancying my chances more with this medium. I’m very fond of this painting and have it hanging in my studio. It has a history of some personal significance. It was the painting I made directly after being rejected from art school for the second time. It was my attempt to confirm my artistic ambition and self-belief when it was being called into question by my contact with the academic world. I brought together everything I thought I had learnt at the tender age of 19 and produced something that maybe is a little naive, but still has a spirit I think I will always be proud of.

It would be marvelously ironic if this painting was to do well in this showdown and be the first of my works to catch the attention of someone as influential as Charles Saatchi. I’ve read he has a liking for painting so this could be my best chance at wetting his appetite. Of course there is a vast amount of good competition so its all a bit hypothetical to talk about doing well. Early indications however are showing it is getting a thumbs up from the voters.

Playing Digital Curator In Contemporary Art Gallery

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Contemporary Art In Gallery

Maru Gallery Japan

As part of an effort to get my work seen in galleries oversees I spent the morning looking at contemporary art gallery sites in Japan and Canada. I’ve long been interested in Japanese art, architecture and culture and although I’ve never been there I feel a strong connection to this country. Canada I have been to on a number of occasions and like for its people and exciting multi-cultural cities.

So anyway, I found this picture of the Maru Contemporary Art Gallery in Japan and was stuck by this wonderful space. As it happens the gallery only shows Japanese artists so there is no opportunity for me to use it directly. Still however curious to see what my work would look like in this setting I cheekily took to playing the digital curator in PhotoShop. I probably could have done a better job, but its good enough to get an impression of how the space and art would compliment each other.

Be sure to check out the Maru Gallery as it has some interesting artists represented.

Compound Composition (Art of Marriage)

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Compound Art

Sometimes composing a picture may take weeks, months and sometimes even years. Other times a new distinct composition is born from a simple act of match making. Within my body of work I find certain compositions like people compliment and enhance each other and work together as a single unit. The old proverb that ‘opposites attract’ also seems to have some truth when marrying visual elements as it does with people.

Cezanne’s dying words were reported to be ‘All lies in contrast’. I’d say this is a pretty good place to start for any aspiring artist looking to find his/her own voice. Bringing together contrasting elements still forms the meat and two veg activity of all my work. The of contrasting represented in this work is an example at one end of a scale: contrasting a straight line with a curve to form part of a new motif might be an example at the other. For me the best unions in art are the one’s made in complete certainty and with the least fuss.

Picture Polyphony

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Picture Polyphony

This ‘picture polyphony’ is simply three pages from a book I designed about 5 years ago. At the time (somewhat typically) I lost interest in the project as soon as the design work was complete. I’d pretty much forgotten about this work, but this week I found some prints whilst tidying my studio that led me to dig into my hard drive for the source files and have a play with this material.

Art, Sculpture or Architecture?

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

2d, 3d installation

I’ve been playing around with this parabolic form that could be made relatively easily from any rigid sheet material. I made one out of card board and its kinda nice to handle as it has unusual springy structural properties. Maybe it could be used within an architectural context, or maybe it will end up as a key element in an installation. I’m not homing in on any one idea just yet. Its all still very crude.

structural form
architectural roof structure
winged roof