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Old 03-25-2007, 02:41 AM   #16
Brynn
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That was a really mesmerizing combination of music and images - I thought initially that I might get impatient
sitting there watching it morph ('what's this, the art equivalent of muzak???"), but instead I was hypnotized -
it asks that you be in the present moment, watching in expectation for the next unfolding of light. And eating
a hot dog, if you like.

I found it very intriguing that he thought of this as being installed in every home, on every computer. The colors
are beautiful, the music extremely serene. It seems as if its aim (beyond making a lot of money ) is to comfort
and soothe, and maybe inspire. After a day of mind-numbing work at the bank, I think coming home to an
environment like that would be replenishing. It transforms a computer screen into an unassuming reminder, or
placeholder, for beauty. The whole concept is ultimately very kind, isn't it? I found myself daydreaming about a
futuristic home where something like that takes up an entire wall.

He was emphatic that there is no story to tell - but it does tell a story of a sort, doesn't it? The art is recording
itself in our memories only, momentarily chronicling its own history as it progresses and never looks back. With
77 million possible combinations, I guess it would take a very long time to get through them all. It's a little glimpse
of infinity.

The lines/forms/shapes reminded me very much of the influence of cubism, and how that cubism affected
Stuart Davis, the American painter (1864-1964). A contemporary of Picasso, he was very much influenced by the
advent of jazz, and his paintings fairly dance, glowing with rhythmic movement:

Just think of the changes he saw in his lifetime! I'm reminded of our own situation now, uniquely poised in history
at the infancy of cyberspace, for instance.
Davis' painting belies an age that wasn't necessarily craving retreat and solace from the blows of a stressful
world like Eno's art does - in fact, it provokes the opposite. Or maybe, like Eno's use of the computer, it's just
reflecting a world very much in transition all around him:

Although his paintings looked abstract, he insisted that it all came from actual observed objects:


You can see (in a painting from his "eggbeater series", Eggbeater, No.4) his use of negative space that
Eno's shapes reminded me of:

He and Eno share the same kind of willingness to look at the ordinary and find beauty in it. For Eno, it's a blank
computer screen, or simple rhythmic lines and shapes. For Davis, it's ordinary household objects, bits of advertising,
letters of the alphabet, numbers:

Percolator, 1927


Visa, 1951
Both artists depend very much upon the "frame" around the art, too, and although it feels chaotic, there's a
beautiful sense of unity and balance as well (imagine taking the painting and turning it on it's side, upside down,
etc. and seeing how it is balanced from any angle):

The Mellow Pad, 1945-51
In this later painting, too, you can see the foundation laid with echoes and premonitions of Jackson Pollack's work
which was about to explode upon the art scene.
It's interesting to look at other influences - I'm also reminded of Mark Rothko as well the more I look at Eno's 77 Million Paintings yet again, and view the video.
What Eno manages with light and electronics
Rothko was aiming for with just oil paint in a limited world. His paintings have a shimmering, almost pulsating effect:

Red, Orange, Orange on Red1964
His aim was to get the viewer into another frame of mind that
would allow the viewer a way to see the painting with spiritual eyes.
He was asking the viewer to disregard, for instance, critical response
in favor of a highly individualized experience.
Oh how I wish he could see what Eno is doing! I think what I respond to the most
is his wish to change the viewer's relationship to a work of art - he allows the viewer control, for instance, over how
fast the images morph, and has individualized the viewer's experience
to the point where no viewer is going to see exactly the same
images as anyone else because the moment will be unique.
He's managed to create a true electronic kaleidescope, hasn't he?
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Old 03-25-2007, 07:33 PM   #17
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introduction

Hello

I will start out by saying that this thread makes me very happy and seize the occasion to present myself.

I live in Paris, France. I'm currently finishing a phd in acoustics, I specialize in 3D audio rendering techniques. Though I received no formal education in art I have taken great interest in it and tried to inform myself on the subject these past years. I've also had the chance to work with some composers and installation artists, which has further piqued my curiosity and interest in the subject.

I've just gotten back to Paris after a brief visit to New York City. It's amazing to see the amount of inspiration that I receive from that place every time I visit.

I started at the Guggenheim, in part because it was a Tuesday and nothing else was open. A show on spanish artists, from El Greco to Picasso, is currently finishing there. I'm not necessarily a huge fan but I decided to humor my 80 year old grandmother who had come into the city to visit me and wanted to see it. I ended up really enjoying the show; the parallels show the enormous influence that people like Velasquez and Goya had on Picasso, as is illustrated by the following parallel:


I had a preconception about Dali much similar to Brynn's (it's funny and comforting to know that other people have felt that way about his work). I've always found it repetitive and slightly lifeless or bland. The works I saw in the Guggenheim show really changed my mind about him, notably this one:



The rifle symbolizes Dali's sexual attraction for the woman (i think his wife, but i'm not sure) and the leaping tigers express the power of his lust. I stayed quite a long time in front of this one and it changed my outlook on his work. Not quite the epiphany described by Brynn but still mind altering.

As the week continued I visited the Rubin Museum of Art. The museum displays a large collection of Himalayan art (very old mandalas, thankas, statues). A tibetan artist, Pema Rinzin, is currently in residence there and you can see him working on the 6th floor. The museum is really a haven of peace in the middle of NY; I ended up going twice just to sit and absorb the tranquility of this wonderful museum (open since late 2004).

Two shows at MOMA were interesting; Jeff Wall and his modernist approach to photography, as can be seen in the composition of the following photographs:



His use of very large backlit photographs is really stunning. The retrospective is short (no more than 30 photos) and I really recommend it. On the bottom floor, the Out Of Time exhibition sports a very nice Bill Viola piece as well as the famous Warhol film Empire in which a sunrise on the empire state building is
slowed down to last 8 hours, thus rendering its evolution imperceptible to the human eye. This brings me back to the whole avant-garde electronic drone scene which I think owes alot to Brian Eno. Thank you for the link to the 77 million paintings which I found very interesting (after Music For Elevators, Eno gives us Paintings For Living Rooms, which I find funny and very fitting).

A visit of the Whitney revealed a very interesting and stunning Gordon Matta Clark exhibition that I really liked: It made me want to demolish walls in nice ways.

Finally the excellent PS1 gallery in Queens was my favorite of all. It sported 3 excellent exhibitions: Jonas Mekas and his video installations; a black and white photography exhibition by Tom Sandberg which was f'ing amazing

(that plane is far far above the ground by the way...); and finally Vik Muniz and his object arrangements that play on the difference between the up close and far away observation. I guess you could parallel the in between zone to an Escher picture in which you would choose to either observe the component objects or the figure that is represented by their juxtaposition:


This cupid (after Caravaggio) is one of the many examples of prowess that he displays in arranging things such as toys, caviar, spaghetti, peanut butter, junk, diamonds, etc... into famous and original compositions.

Now I must digest this stuff
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:27 PM   #18
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Louis Wain loved to paint cats. He painted these over a period of time during which he developed schizophrenia.


Some psychiatrists have proposed that Van Gogh, who clearly suffered from some kind of mental illness in his last years, may have had absinthe or foxglove poisoning, which can cause a yellow tint to one's vison.

Others posit lead poisoning, which can cause one to see spots and halos.

Personally, my money is on schizophrenia, however.

Jackson Pollock had chronic migraines. His paintings certainly remind me of my own.
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightpearl View Post
Some psychiatrists have proposed that Van Gogh, who clearly suffered from some kind of mental illness in his last years, may have had absinthe or foxglove poisoning, which can cause a yellow tint to one's vison.
that's all fine and good for psychologists. but one would think that physiologically a manifestation of yellowed vision would be an overcorrection towards violet tones to compensate.
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:51 PM   #20
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thank you T.I.P. and brightpearl - what fantastic posts, and great juxtapositions! Lots to absorb and respond to later.

I especially enjoyed browsing through the Rubin Museum of Art
link - the "collections" section is really well done - fascinating to zoom into the details, and some of the mandelas were strikingly similar to Louis Wain's cats .

It brings to mind a third-grader I know who was in one of the classes I was teaching through this amazing volunteer Art Literacy program in place at my kid's elementary school (example)
This was a kid I've had for a couple of years as a "reading buddy" to get him up to speed, and I suspected he was dyslexic. This guy would come to school in dirty torn clothes, dirty face, etc. and conversations I'd had with him in the past seemed to point to the fact that home was, well, not such a great place.

We were studying Andy Warhol, and the project was to draw 4 identical portraits from a picture of the school principal with carbon paper, arrange them on a page, then to infuse them with colors they wouldn't normally use for faces. Most kids followed the instructions like good little drones, but Kyle's was completely off the map - he'd drawn the face of a monster - and not a funny one either. It was obvious that he was working something dark out.

A segment of the teaching time is always devoted to the students critiquing each other's work. He was withdrawn - no one, especially some of the adults, ever liked to point his stuff out, and no one was about to this time. But this time I made a point to draw everyone's attention to the "rule breaker" and how imaginative his piece was, and how, out of all the pictures in the room, his was the most personal and powerful. I will never forget how his face broke into a huge smile as students started to talk thoughtfully about it and take it seriously.
Of course there's something so tragic about Louis Wain's work, and others like him - but such incredible, healing beauty that transcends the suffering.






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Old 03-28-2007, 02:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntie aubrey View Post
that's all fine and good for psychologists. but one would think that physiologically a manifestation of yellowed vision would be an overcorrection towards violet tones to compensate.
maybe he just liked yellow, but who's gonna accept a paper on that?
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:01 AM   #22
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightpearl View Post
Louis Wain loved to paint cats. He painted these over a period of time during which he developed schizophrenia.
this series is terrifying and beautiful. Yet another reminder of how our mind, through perception, is the creator of all things. One day you look and see a cat. The next day you look and it has become a wrathful deity.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:07 PM   #24
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77 million paintings
oh my, if that isn't the best media purchase i've ever made.
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
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physiologically a manifestation of yellowed vision would be an overcorrection towards violet tones to compensate.
You're not completely off.

(people with colour blindness also often like yellow, since it's a lot of what they see)

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Old 04-07-2007, 05:05 PM   #26
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Escher For Real
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Old 04-07-2007, 06:29 PM   #27
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Louis Wain loved to paint cats. He painted these over a period of time during which he developed schizophrenia.
Amazing series, brightpearl! That reminds me of a series of self-portraits done by an artist named William Utermohlen. The paintings were printed in the NY Times a couple of months ago, and chronicled his slow onset of Alzheimer's disease. Some of the later portraits are horrifying, in my opinion, but they give a glimpse of the state of mind one experiences b/c of Alzheimer's. I've linked to them below - I believe they are on exposition right now...

In chronological order:

1967


(Untermohlen learned he had Alzheimer's disease in 1995)

1996


1996


1996


1997


1997


1998


1999


2000


According to the New York Times, "Alzheimer’s affects the right parietal lobe in particular, which is important for visualizing something internally and then putting it onto a canvas,” Dr. Miller said. “The art becomes more abstract, the images are blurrier and vague, more surrealistic. Sometimes there’s use of beautiful, subtle color.”

I find it fascinating. Terrifying, but fascinating.
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:32 AM   #28
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Prosopagnosia, aside from being a visual disturbance common in Alzheimer's, is responsible for many of the 911 calls elderly people make, having seen themselves in passing in a mirror or other reflective surface and believing they have spotted a home invader.
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Old 04-08-2007, 05:06 AM   #29
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Well it beats ringing because there's a black hole outside your window. Or because there is a wildcat on top of your wardrobe. Or because you are on the floor and have temporarily forgotten that you live in an aged care facility and the best thing to do would be to ring your call-bell or even ring the nurses' desk like you do every other time you want some attention. Because that would have avoided some-one else having to do some interesting explaining to the boys in blue. And they are so never hot. Always old and surly.

Sorry.

Do go on.
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:32 AM   #30
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Prosopagnosia, aside from being a visual disturbance common in Alzheimer's, is responsible for many of the 911 calls elderly people make, having seen themselves in passing in a mirror or other reflective surface and believing they have spotted a home invader.
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2000
I think if I saw that standing in front of me I would
a) try to chop its head off
b) call an exorcist
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