Sunday, June 22, 2008

Remains of the Day

Packing and selling the last remains of the past dozen years, I'm reminded of a line from The Human Comedy by Balzac:

"Tell me what you possess and I will tell you what you think."

They say ownership is 9/10ths of the law, but are they referring to those that possess or those that are owned? Intersections and tragedies don't necessarily have to go hand-in-hand, but I'll be damned if it doesn't rip the essence from life every now and again.

Five weeks and I go home. - North

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Steampunk.... probably not



The last couple years I have really enjoyed reading about the different processes various Steampunk artists use to create their post-modern Victorian throwbacks. Perhaps it has something to do with the complete opposite approach to ornamentation used by 99% of the art world when presenting art – myself included. Now I’m not saying that I want to crossover to the Steampunk genre, but I do believe the style has definitely evolved these past couple years from nostalgic kitsch to verifiable minor art movement.

Click here to see an example of the process.

I bring this up, because Steampunk seems to be the most easily transferable functional art movement that I have come across. Nothing seems to be off limits for a Steampunk transformation: laptops, watches, lamps, etc. But is the utilization of transformation of a functional object into an art object enough of a process to generate a MAJOR art movement that will stand the test of time?

Rather than take something mass-produced and change it, I believe I need the complete sense of power that accompanies starting from scratch. That does not dilute the importance of this style or level of process (watch some of the online videos and instructions and you’ll see that the level of detail and raw talent utilized by the artists is astounding) – but for myself and my work, I just think I need to keep looking for the functional art process that starts with empty hands instead of something I picked-up at Bestbuy. - North

Monday, June 09, 2008

With Complete Disregard for the Bear...



While packing my studio for the next move, I ran across this nine-year-old photo from my Gallery Director days the first time I lived in Missouri. - North

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Collecting Thoughts

So I’ve noticed that the terms “functional painting” and “functional art” have a near endless supply of meanings. I’ve found examples of work that expand the definition of the terms to include:

  • Methods of alternating home-d├ęcor to suit one’s image or financial status.
  • Murals (this one threw me for a loop, I suppose the “function” includes teaching history, narratives, etc. – but that could include the majority of painting, so…)
  • Work that involves the recycling of one material to create the base substance for another creation (such as a couch or wall hanging).
  • Pretty much anything that falls within the realm of folk-art.
  • And of course the standard-bearer for the American West – lamps and end tables made almost entirely from antlers.

So where does that leave the fine artist searching for a bit of the ole’-kinetic-lovin’ in the standard-bearer two-dimensional painting process? I believe the answer lies in the mixing of traditional media. Clay, glass, oils and glazes – let’s not forget paper either, oh where would we be in this world without paper. Wood and canvas also seem necessary in any process that would require more than a token nod to classicism whilst displaying the innovation that can redefine itself as contemporary art.

Don’t worry I’m working towards something, here. – North