Friday, June 29, 2007
A. 'Black Square' by Kazimir Malevich
B.'One (Number 31) ' by Jackson Pollack
C. 'Fountain' by Marcel Duchamp
D. 'Campbell's Soup Can' by Andy Warhol
E. 'Les Demoiselles D'Avignon' by Pablo Picasso
'Black Square' by Kazimir Malevich
'One (Number 31) ' by Jackson Pollack
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Medium: Oil on MDF
Size: 40" X 48"
PS: Rose Tisnado (57) is a transcriptionist, has cancer of the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma) and is currently packing up her NY apartment to move into a hospice where she is getting ready to die. I read about her in the New York magazine and then painted her likeness.
Read The Survivor Monologues here.
Scanned below is the 'tally' for yesterday. Mind you, this does not take into account the deaths of non-military personnel, Iraqi citizens or nationals of other countries embroiled in Iraq currently.
Emily Prince "American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (But Not Including the Wounded, Nor the Iraqis nor the Afghanis) 2004 to the present". Pencil on color coated vellum. Project comprised of approximately 3,800 drawings to be added to daily. Each image: 4 x 3 in. / 10.2 x 7.6 cm. Overall: 300 x 540 in. / 762 x 1371.6 cm. (Photo ripped from New York magazine)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
There is no point in recounting the current brouhaha over the cost of Damien Hirst’s latest artwork or who its final buyer might be (the artwork "For the Love of God" is a life-size cast of a human skull in platinum and covered by 8,601 pave-set diamonds weighing 1,106.18 carats. It is still available in the marker for an asking price of 100 million dollars. It took about 20 million dollars to create).
What was instructive and was on my mind for all of last week was the interview that Mr. Hirst gave on artnet (linked here) and the following advice for up and coming artists. In this he essentially tells you the reason for charging the work 5 times its cost price and I must say that the reasoning is fairly solid. I don’t like the guy too much, but after this interview, I decided to pay a little more attention to what he says...
Copied here are parts of the interview that struck me the most. The interviewer was Joe La Placa of artnet.
At the time of writing this article, no less than six potential clients were competing to purchase For the Love of God. One client, wishing to remain anonymous, if successful in purchasing the piece, had already organized a two year tour, calculating he’d make a large percentage of the purchase price back from exhibition fees.
Joe La Placa: For The Love of God has a huge sale price of $100 million. . .
Damien Hirst: It’s too cheap! People really want it.
Joe La Placa: £50 million is too cheap?
Damien Hirst: Definitely! If the Crown Jewels were on the market, they’d sell for a
hell of a lot more than that. It’s just one of those objects.
Joe La Placa: Yes, but in relation to what other contemporary art has sold for, this
is over the top, particularly for a living artist.
Damien Hirst: Not really. What do you mean, living artist? That’s a bit of a fucking red herring really, isn’t it, a living artist? I mean, art lasts for thousands of years; it’s been going on for thousands of years and a human’s lifetime is less than a hundred years. There are only a few artists alive, relatively speaking. And the art market is, what, 2000 years old and beyond, of artistic activity? You need to forget about the living artist and just talk about art.
When I got into the art world, I consciously wanted to change it. I found it really annoying because it seemed like a kind of club where people would sell cheaply to investors and they’d make the money. Collectors would take the art off the artists and, because they came in early and they gave the artist a little bit of money, later, when the artwork got resold, it would be the collector who made the big money in the secondary market. And I always thought that was fucking wrong. I’m the artist, the primary market. And I want the money to be in the primary market.
I’ve always said it’s like going into Prada and buying a coat for two quid and then selling it next door a charity shop for 200 quid. It’s totally fucking wrong! Why are they doing it that way round? Art should be expensive the first time around. There shouldn’t be all these old boys making loads of money on the secondary market.
Joe La Placa: So you’re saying it’s the artists who should make the lion’s share of the money, not the dealers or collectors?
Damien Hirst: Right. We should have learned from what happened to Van Gogh. Art has a kind of value now! People fall for that old fucking vintage trick, don’t they? "Oh, it’s a vintage antique, so it must be expensive." But that’s another priority. When you go in someone’s house and see a painting on the wall, a new painting should be much more exciting than an old painting . . . and that should be where the money is spent.
I am sure that gallery owners and speculative hedge fund managers would not like it if this kind of a feeling took root. Imagine most of the galleries in Chelsea would be charging the final price of the artwork guaranteeing the artist maximum benefits and the buyer maximum pleasure from owning the artwork while simultaneously denying the buyer postprandial pleasure in selling the artwork for 5 times the original price in the futures market...
Of course, the above will never happen, but it always good to indulge in a bit of wishful thinking.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
‘Michael Simpson' by Paul Emsley won top honors. The painting is indeed excellent, a nice mix of light and dark with a brooding countenance of the old artist. He almost looks like he wants to leap out and grab you from the shadows…
Paul Emsley (b.1947) lives and works in Bradford on Avon, near Bath. Paul has exhibited widely and won several prizes. His portrait is a large close-up of the head of 67-year-old artist Michael Simpson, whom Emsley often meets bychance in Bradford on Avon, each time struck by his appearance. “I find his face and head visually interesting and with a strong presence,” he says. “I feel it is essentially European, particularly carrying something of the history of Eastern Europe.” Simpson, who is portrayed with his white hair contrasting strongly with a dark background, has Russian ancestry and studied at the Royal College of Art in the 1960s. Michael Simpson is painted in oil on board and measures 137 x 112 cm.
Note: Images ripped from the National Portrait Gallery website.
The original long winded name approximately conveyed my interests in recording random thoughts on neurology, its intersection with the arts and also serve as a showcase for my paintings. Of late, I have not been getting the dedicated time that is required to understand the nuances of neurology. I have been concentrating on the art world and on my paintings a lot lot more (and enjoying it immensely)... This also makes the 'neurology' part of the blog-name superfluous as the posts on this specialized subject seem to be dwindling. I would still continue to post the occasional bit about neurology/science every once in a while (if I get the time), but I would want to concentrate more on art as that is where my primary interests lie... Simplistic refers to the fact that art in my view should be simplistic (in a non-condescending, non-derogatory way) on the outside but still yield deeper layers of meaning on introspection and inspection.
PS: (The cartoon above has been shamelessly lifted off the net - I know, I know. I should not be doing these things...)
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Some introduction first: Designed by a former Universal Studios exhibit director Patrick Marsh, this state-of-the-art 60,000 square foot museum called the creation museum (in Petersburg, Kentucky) purports to bring the pages of the Bible to life. It touts that the universe is about 6000 years old and God went ahead and created the whole thing in about 6 days. That is all ok (religious license), but what is galling is the fact that it purports to use scientific evidence to prove the above two assertions (and many others)...
Just how they use the scientific evidence is indeed fascinating - if you care to read on...
Patrick Marsh, used to work at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and then in Japan before he saw the light, opened his soul to Jesus, and was born anew. "The Bible is the only thing that gives you the full picture," he says. "Other religions don't have that, and, as for scientists, so much of what they believe is pretty fuzzy about life and its origins”
How do they explain dinosaurs? Since there are undoubtedly dinosaur bones and since, according to the Creationists, the world is only 6,000 years old – (a calculation devised by the 17th-century Bishop Ussher, counting back through the Bible to the creation, a formula more or less accepted by the museum) - dinosaurs have been shoehorned in along with the Babylonians, Egyptians and the other ancient civilizations. Patrick also said: "We do believe there were dinosaurs on the ark. They could have been small when they came on".
OK, please explain the Grand canyon: No problem: The canyon was created in a couple of months by the deluge that resulted from Noah's Flood.
What about the fossils then? Patrick Marsh had this piece of illuminating advice where he not only takes science and whacks it on its butt but also manages to give New Yorkers a sideswipe along the way: “There are no such things as fossils. Humans are basically as you see them today. Those skeletons they've found, what's the word? ... they could have been deformed, diseased or something. I've seen people like that running round the streets of New York."
It also seems that they have a lot of promotional video and instructional material that you can use to study the story of Adam and the garden of Eden and the romps within. Turns out that one of the men picked by the Creation Museum to play Adam leads quite a different life outside the Garden of Eden - he is a porn star!! Eric Linden owns a pornographic web site called "Bedroom Acrobat." Of course, as soon as they learnt of the dreadful transgressions committed the videos were pulled out...
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Bible or the ideas expressed (in fact some of the Hindu religious texts contain some equally outlandish ideas), but when money is used to subvert science and the minds of gullible museum goers (children especially), it irks me to no end.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
'Zephyrus Cupid and Phyche', Oil on canvas, 24 " X 36"
I remember thinking that each of us sees the nature around us in different ways and this was just one way to look at it. I also remember thinking looking up to the sky on cloudy days and trying to decipher and attribute the wondrous figures that form ever so ephemerally in the ethereal reaches of the upper atmosphere and then so suddenly shift away in the winds. I saw Zephyrus Cupid and Phyche playing on the canvas when it was complete.
Monday, June 11, 2007
I exhibited here more with a reason to find out what people thought about my work and how people would react to the same when my art was exhibited in public and the answers that I encountered are worth mentioning. Here is a sampling of some of them:
Husband and wife walking around: “Wow! these works are so big - and a little creepy if you ask me”. Notices me overhearing and the wife quickly nudges husband, they both quietly walk on…
Art aficionado: “Can you tell me the significance of the Indian Lady and why you decided to paint her lips a dark vermillion?”
I go through an explanation and I notice a certain glaze settling over the person eyes… I need to do a better job at explanations… Guess I need to adhere to the ‘Keep it Simple, Stupid’ philosophy…
General well meaning couple: “Don’t you paint anything smaller? I wish you did. They are very beautiful and the colors are striking”
Officious looking gay couple: “This will look good on a corporate lobby. I do not think this will look good in our living room.”
Businessman in a suit: “How much do these go for?” (It sounded as if he were referring to bargain vegetables at a supermarket) - I told him that this was not for sale - he snorted and left.
Husband and wife team (looking obviously well off), the husband more interested in buying and the wife more interesting in enjoying the artwork: Man asks: “Are these for sale?” I reply: No, I wanted to only exhibit them. Man : “What?! they are not for sale.” (Gives me a look of "How dare you - you little cheeky thing" and stomps off - leaving wife in a confused state of appreciating the artwork single or following her spouse - she finally decides that it is better to take the latter course).
Two art students from the University of Rutgers: "Hey, that portrait of the ‘Coolie’ looks like you." I did not know if I should be flattered or hurt.
Young shy Indian girl: "Could you please explain the technique used?" After I took some time and explained the technique, she said that she would try it and let me know how it turns out. I said I would be happy to help.
On the whole, I think it was a good exhibition, well received and I got a lot of useful feedback and comments. The main thing I took away was that people were responding to the artwork and I think that is a very important first test that I seem to be passing.
Friday, June 08, 2007
- Discussion around two of my paintings 'Tangata Whenua' and 'Sandhya Ragam' here.
- A discussion on plagiarism with a focus on Joy Garnett's work here.
- A discussion on getting children into art early on in life and one of my experiments here.
- A post on the EU completing 50 years and the art festival that went with the celebrations.
- Discussion on my paintings 'Pilgrim' and 'Coolie' here.
- A review of Jordan Eagles at Merge Gallery and his 'blood' art here.
- An enlightening bit about Vanity galleries and my travails with the same.
- My thoughts of William Powhida’s work at Schroeder Romero in Chelsea.
- Some musings on photography here.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
The following website has a fairly detailed rendering of how humankind actually went about colonizing the earth. I watched the three minute video that tracks the migration of human beings from the 'cradle of civilization' - sub Saharan Eastern Africa from about 165,000 years ago. I remember thinking that a lot of this has been pieced together based on fossil evidence whose bedrock relies on the fact that there is no older fossil of a human being on the earth other than the one found in sub-Saharan Africa.
What if in the future someone discovers an even older fossil of a human at some other location - we would then have to reconsider and revamp the entire migration theory that humans emerged from Africa. The evidence that this whole thing rests on is pretty flimsy but nonetheless it is definitely a valid theory with fossil proof and we have to accept it for now…
I also noticed that the region where I am from (Southern India) was populated roughly 90,000 years ago. If you have the time, you should also check out the actual website of Bradshaw Foundation - they have some very commendable articles on human evolution.
Monday, June 04, 2007
It has been a while since I posted - but rest assured - the time has been well spent in making sure that our newborn son is doing well (as is my wife).
I wanted to highlight the fact that this weekend, I will be participating in my first juried show - at the Annual Fine Arts festival at East Brunswick, NJ on June 9th (Saturday). I will be at exhibit space # 59. For those of you who are in the area, please drop by if you get a chance.
Details: FINE ARTS FESTIVAL (SATURDAY - JUNE 9, 2007 (rain date June 10) 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EAST BRUNSWICK MUNICIPAL POND, Ryders Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816