Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More good press for the Charles Burchfield show at the Whitney

(Charles Burchfield, Orion in December, 1959)

What impressed me most was not so much the oeuvre, but the way the show was designed and curated. It has the stamp of an artist. In this case, he’s Robert Gober.

Each room has its own atmosphere, its own communication. And the show as a whole is pared down. In one room, there are but two paintings, for example. This is what I aim for in a single drawing: a tightly communicated but complex image. I’ve learned that it can take a thousand to get there.

The work itself leaves me with mixed feelings. Some details and atmospheres are immediately entrancing; but there is also a very tight tie to the written word that feels a bit too literal or familiar to me. These images border on cliché: denuded trees, barren streets. I feel pulled to read the journals instead. But that said, who cares. I have no need for original subject. Really. And there’s so much to see here about being true to one's own work.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What's up in teen pop culture

(Still from "Waka, Waka")

Justin Bieber. Still.

And covers. For example, a “We are the World” remake but for Haiti. And who sings the opening line? Justin Bieber. What’s more, Michael Jackson was resurrected for the event to sing with his sister.

After rewatching the original (25 years ago?), I only have one word: Bruce.

Also popular among girls is a Mariah Carey version of the Foreigner staple from 1984 “I Want to Know What Love Is.” It’s absolutely terrible and the video will turn you into a Jihadist. Watching shiny Shakira smiling and shimmying “Waka Waka,” a song for Africa that capitalizes on the World Cup, comes practically as a relief. Practically.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Line vs. Color

(Henri Matisse, The Dessert: Harmony in Red, 1908)

I think it’s true. There are two teams, Line and Color. Sometimes they play together, sometimes they are opposing. But they are always distinct.

Yes, there can be a colored line, and there can be the line outlining a form, but the color of the form is neither of these.

Color is a surface, an expanse. Color takes up room. Line doesn’t fill like color.

Line can go on top of color. And color can go on top of line. But I can’t think of a visual representation of a merged thing called colorline.

The personality of a line is in it’s marking: a line can be flexible or stiff, fast or slow, premeditated or in the moment. The personality of color is in its hue, its intensity, its thereness. Line does and color is.

Color has mass appeal. Line takes some learning and is therefore more elitist.

How am I doing on the generalizations?