Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Human Form and Perception

I have been in discussions to do artwork for a mutimedia event, the focus being the Human form. While for most this may seem a tantalizing subject, and perhaps a no-brainer, I am rife with ideas and doubts. You see, I am not enamored with the subject in any sort of representational way, but rather in the perception of the human form, either by self appraisal, distortions of self due to warped and societically-shaped views, how others view you under the same conditions, the form in motion, etc.

So, I am left in a conundrum. Since I do not intend to represent the body as an object, I need to find a way within my own style, which is highly abstract, to represent these ideas.

...And it's driving me nuts.

I may have a few ways of doing it, but the scale I tend to work, and the layered, intuitive way of assemblage (that is the only descriptive that suits my method, honestly), I am now obliged, no, FORCED to plan. Planning is generally a good thing, but the way I paint, I allow the image to gradually reveal itself, to shape itself. The 'idea' is never clear, it only becomes clear as I reveal it to myself. This is probably why I am never keen on showing the work, due to it's 'otherness', I never feel like I am the creator, let alone 'artist' (heaven knows I will not take on that label, it is not for me to determine whether I am fit enough to do so.). I never feel like it is mine, it takes on it's own life, it's own idea, like a potted plant... sure I may tend to soil and seed, but i do not determine how it will react to light, align itself, when it will bloom. How do I resolve this with a pre-determined subject, without giving up so much of the sponteniety that drives my work in the first place? How do I discard the knowledge that precisely the fact that I do not allow my concious mind to drive the work is the reason for it's existence in the first place? Will, by trying to take control, will I lose control, and risk it's frailty?

Don't mind me, just pacing out loud. Thoughts? Too many 'I's above for my liking.

13 Comments:

Blogger Contra-Chimpdicated said...

While art has a life of its own, whose could it be, but yours? The collective unconcious? The Flying Spagetti Monster?
I think its you... the you without arms, sense of self, or experience with lawn products.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Chance the half-wit gardener said...

Discard all the approaches you would normally take - the mind will kill it when put on the spot...
Just use yourself as the piece, turn it back onto your physical being... perhaps take a cue from this guy - Stelarc - http://www.stelarc.va.com.au/stomach/stomach.html

...love his work...

6:12 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

my approach is such that i approach it with nothing in mind... how can i approach with less than that?

this isn't to say i won't try, but the process itself is my only current hindrance.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Chance the half-wit gardener said...

That's not strictly true - your style is driving your approach. You talk about painting technique, size, multi-layered assemblage, and abandonment of the mind...
So to succeed with this commission, and avoid the 'risk' of frailty or personal disgust, by forcing something upon your work you don't trust - discard it.
Turn instead to your own grotesque human form and dissect that to the point of mistrust instead...

8:06 PM  
Blogger Sinkchicken said...

Just do the painting naked with a big full length mirror beside the canvas but try to forget why you put it there and took off all your clothes in the first place. That WILL work.

8:13 PM  
Blogger DaProkah said...

Do it with your eyes closed...no wait, then you'll be painting whatever's in your head!

Mayhaps take various pictures of the subject and combine the opposite of each and see what you get

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Chance the half-wit gardener said...

Don't paint at all.
Take a mold of your head, fill it with perspex... hollow out a brain-sized cavity, piss in it, and seal it up... All thought is golden...
refuse to talk about the existential nature of the piece, and pick your nose in front of interviewers...

8:31 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

that just might work, though, instead of nose picking, i'll take too much nyquil and stagger to stay awake.

all good suggestions, well, except for sink chicken. hate that bird.

i realize i will have to go to an uncomfortable place to do this. however, the only way to truly grow is to force one's self into environments which tax us. well, from a darwinist standpoint.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Sinkchicken said...

The only other way to truly grow that I've ever heard of is to actually respond to one of those emails that try to encourage you to buy their penis enhancement gadgets. Maybe that would help?

seriously though, and I mean seriously, all those other suggestions are just flaky. Mine is the ONLY one that WILL work. The very fact that you hate it proves my point, by your own admittance. It is guaranteed to take you to uncomfortable environs and tax you big time!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

I didn't know you are an artist. Very cool. Have you thought about using lighting and smaller images of people to cast large and interesting shadows. It's a little work for a big impact. Would be extra cool if shadows are cast on shiny, shimmery, or glittery surface such as a wall... just some ideas.

7:36 PM  
Blogger TheHamburger said...

You're right...if you approach everything with nothing, you'll always wind up with something.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

i have been thinking of perhaps starting with images of a model in action, and doing overlays... then fracturing that. i'm not sure how it will work, or if i will be able to keep my hands off the model long enough to do the work...

11:30 AM  
Blogger Mikey said...

Pre-determined project? Years working in ad agencies and PR firms, long ago zapped my sense/pride of ownership. Gotta save that for home, and execute for the guy paying the billable hours...

1:31 AM  

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