Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why Aliens? Why Devo?

Here are two pieces that touch on the "Balloon People" series I worked on years ago.  The series illustrates alien-like adolescent beings playfully showing themselves to the viewer.  Because I am not using a model things naturally look "alien" and out of this world.  I think in fashion and art these qualities have always been very present.  The more weird, the less judgemental you can be on what your looking at because you have no where to pull preconceived ideas from.  So you just enjoy the absurdity and the colors.  In one way I am hoping that the series can talk more about what our internal make-up is, not what we look like physically. 

The first study is called "AlienGirl" and the second is in its mid-stages untitled.  They are both painted on Arches watercolor paper.  All in all they are some of the strongest pieces I've been working on recently.  Somehow Clash's "Straight to Hell" and Devo's  "Mongaloid" works with these pieces

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Toke Over the line

So...below are three recent line drawings i made in my new studio.  I used Sumi Ink, which originated in China over 3,000 years ago.  It has become a large part of Japanese and Korean culture in traditional painting.  Its a medium where you can get expressive imagery with splashes,  fluid runs and fast brush or pen work.  The beauty of the material is that you can also get really slow fine tuned lines as well.  I am experimenting a bit with it so here are some of the new works.  The top piece is in the beginning stages but I kind of like it as is.

Lizzy Weinberg 15"x22" sumi ink on Arches (early stages of painting)

sketchbook studies with sumi ink 1/2011

"Day of the Dead Study" sumi ink on Arches 15"x22" 1/2011

Also included below are some ink drawings by different artists in their unique styles.  I think they all have a powerful impact.  1st John Singer Sargent's study of hands, created in 1908 showing that less is more.  He is most definatley a master in drawing the figure and shows only what is neccesarry.   The next piece is by Anastasia Demson.  The piece is balanced with concentrated areas and vignettes showing control and skill in her line work.   The last artist, Ralph Steadman, who has infamously illustrated Hunter S. Thompson many times and created the artwork for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Steadman  has a totally different way of using ink.  His pieces are loud and sinister and playful at the same time.  The man created his own font to show you  how unique and stylistic his ink work is.  I included a cool tribute video to Thompson with some of his coolest pieces. 


Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Took a Bite out of the Worm

"Wormboy" was one of the first pieces I painted New York when I moved to Hell's Kitchen in 2002.  It's an image of a pig-like over sized baby whose has his back towards you.  He turns and looks at you for a quick glance before he is about to take a bite out of a worm that he just found.  This piece reefers to two things. The song by the Boys called "The Worms Song" about a weird little boy who grosses everyone out because he eats insects.  In more of a metaphoric way the boy is about to lose his innocence and grow up by biting into the worm which is representative of an apple and New York.  This was part of my "Balloon People" series which I am excited to paint again.  A few more images from the series are shown in this article with two songs by the Boys including the Worm Song.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rage, Sacred Monster, an Outlaw God

All great artists display rage.  They become "Sacred Monsters", and aspire to be "Outlaw Gods".  These are some of words that Jerry Saltz, one of today's most influential critics, uses to describe Francis Bacon in an article in New York magazine.  The article overviews Bacon's retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009 (The most inspiring and horrifying exhibitions I have ever seen).  Satlz asks "was Bacon the really the greatest painter of all the twentieth century, or just a fascinating mess?"  I'm not going to get too much into the article but all artists can aske themselves this question.   I've always related to Bacon in my paintings and how he might percieve raw human nature as a metaphore for art.  There is something self-destructive about our nature that I like to embrace sometimes.  Comedy and Tragety.  The curiosity to be more than who we are will kill us in the most poetic ways.  I've always tried to define what raw beauty is in my paintings and find that the darker and more weird my work goes, the closer I get to the root of it.  I hate the fact that I have older paintings and drawings in my studio that still exist as they taunt me of who I was.  That person is not here anymore so in one way my works constantly not just document my life but remind me of moments I've lost.  As dark as that sounds I embrace the power that art has on an individuals Psyche...I did series called "Happy Endings", which reflected on the beauty of self destruction and regeneration.  All the pieces were painted in Red which reflects the urgency in our human nature to prosper and destroy.  In this article I posted some examples of these paintings as well as some of my favorite Bacon paintings. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Docorative, Expressive and Grotesque

January 3rd 2011

The piece below is by Alphonse Mucha, a Czech painter.   He was part of the  Art Nouveau movement prominently influenced by French artists in the early 1900s.  Iv'e been influenced by this style of painting for years.   There are two things about these works that I have always been impressed by which I would like to bring to my work.  One...organic quality of these pieces, which keep the viewers' eyes flowing like a really well written song, or a movie that you want to watch over and over again.  There is a sense of expression but controlled with ease and grace.  Simply put, there is balance.  The other thing I love is the draftsmanship.  These well designed pieces are thought out, crafted, and harmonious like their subjects.  The line work is usually flawless but seems spontaneous.  You can see that the artist took their time to work out the whole surface of the canvas or paper.  Overall, l they are as decorative as they are expressive, qualities in my work that I am starting to explore.  Below I included three paintings of mine, a bit more grotesque in ways, but, I think have some indirect similarities to some the Art Nouveau painters.  Also a trailer for a biography of Mucha which looks like its worth checking out.