Saturday, October 25, 2008

A post of Generalities (and Genitalia)

On the iPod: Mastodon, Leviathan

Since my friend Del Klassen dropped in last weekend on his way to Halfax, Nova Scotia I have been much more excited about my Printmaking class. It was good to talk "shop" with him as Del always has something worthwhile to contribute in the area of the Arts.
Today I am working on a lithographic plate and am just taking a break while a series of washes I have set up take time to dry. I drew a sketch of a photo of Piet Mondrian's studio in 1926. Took a few liberties and was tempted to push the abstraction further but decided against it. Working on a sketch of my living room for the next print as well. When lithographs are printed the image is reversed, kind of like a mirror image. Mondrian's studio is coming out as a reverse image from the initial sketch and the photo, but I am drawing my living room in reverse so I can see it as it is.
Last night one of the senior students had a show at the university's gallery. On a technical level, the artist is quite good, but as for his subject matter... let us just that even Albrecht Dürer - who is known for his many self-portraits - wasn't that big of a narcissist. His portraits were all of himself and his naked body. I was told he only ever paints himself. There was a show before him that was pushing boundaries between portraits of children and a series of soft sculptures that examined tried to look at early childhood and sexuality. I am not really that offended or shocked (mildly uncomfortable, perhaps) but disappointed.
There are so many aspects of human experience to explore, yet the past 20 years plus have largely been stuck focusing on one. If sex is the one aspect of human experience that defines you then you truly have my pity - you are incomplete as a person. But people go on about how brave it is, how daring, how the artist is pushing boundaries. *Yawn* Next?
Self-possessed people are really quite dull. What makes Dürer worthwhile is that he did actually move beyond himself to create some interesting worl. Even then, at least Dürer has the distinction for being among the first of the openly self-absorbed artists in art history. And I will say that there is depth to Dürer's work that forces you to really examine what he is trying to portray and say with his work. The portrait's in last night's show - and I may have missed the mark - said little about the man painting and drawing them other than that he finds himself to be quite fascinating and beautiful. (including his rectum and especially his penis) Oh well, I showed up a scarfed down the free booze. Feel free to do the same at my show a few years down the road.


Anonymous Gavin said...

If you start doing prints of your rectum or penis we aren't Facebook friends anymore!

25 October, 2008 20:34  
Blogger Magnus said...

Prints? Never. Photocopies? Maybe.

26 October, 2008 15:22  
Anonymous Geosomin said...

Free wine aside, I'd mock you for ages...
I've always wondered at painting self nude portraits. One, OK. But a whole exhibit of it...with details of your hoo haa?

Screams of *issues* man :)

27 October, 2008 15:51  

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