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Saturday, 26 July 2008

Mock up, poetry and a bipolar painting.

Ever wondered, what one of your own artworks would look like, on the walls of large, public art gallery?

Or, as a giant billboard, along a highway on the out skirts of a large city? Well, there is a fun photo site that does all the work for you and you can find it here.

Below is a painting from a few years ago - it's actually a triptych of sorts. The two paintings are joined in the middle by a panel poem, consisting of four verses. This work is from my short lived, but not dead,'Twins series'. Most people, who view this painting think it is about an issue between a married couple - even my wife thinks this is so. But, originally the title was 'Big Brother 1 and Big Brother 2', and was from a smaller quick drawing - the poem came after the paintings were completed.

As for me, the artist, I'm not even sure on the artworks meaning or exact derivation. Below is a blow-up of the poem in all it's ambiguous glory. This poem was created by looking at the paintings and then just writing down whatever came into my head. The poem being derived mostly from observing the painting, probably does not illuminate the viewer to the meaning of the work very much either.

But, I will leave the meaning of this, all up to you - write your responses and revelations in the comments section - even write a new poem that ties the two works together - if I get a good poem I might photoshop the winning poem into the centre panel and post it on ArtSmelter.

Sometimes, I think this character could be me but I am not quite sure why. It could be the hair style or harlequin shirt or even the shadow.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

SHOWCASE REVIEW: Joe Daws and Dan Brock

Today, I drove down to Brisbane to check out a few art shows and check out an art supply shop. Arriving on Montague street was hectic due to the West End markets, but I eventually made my way to the Art Shed - and left without spending a thing - typical me. Next, I walked down to West End and bumped into an old friend, Danny- a Muso come IT guy - and his daughter Franke, who are locals on the West End Scene. West End has become very busy and a bit more trendy than when I use to work there in the mid to late eighties. Next stop was the market, for a coffee and people watch - I sample a crowd and file it all away for later assessment, never wanting to be part of any group - I also ate an apple.

Next stop was the Big Momma's - GOMA and QAG - Brisbane's State Galleries. I meant to see the Picasso show but just couldn't part with my money again. Instead, I checked out the Sidney Nolan and Gordon Bennett surveys. Nolan's works were surprisingly good, and I thought they were some of the best works I had ever seen in the QAG. Gordon Bennett's work in the GOMA was also great - complex, political, personal, with much detail and some great technique - very jealous!

I made a quick stop in at Jan Manton's gallery and had a chat to Jan about Daniel Mafe's work - there was a couple of good works. Then I made my way to the Dell gallery at the Queensland College of Art and checked out Ian Burns work which I really liked - and will try to review when I get time - interestingly an old High School teacher (Ross Woodrow) of mine wrote his catalogue notes.

Lastly, at 5pm I went to the opening of a joint show by Joe Daws and Dan Brock. This was at the Art Factory Gallery on Merivale St - not a bad little gallery. All the works on display are paintings and most have some relationship to the Glasshouse Mountains.

I managed to take a few photos - click on a photo for a larger view.







Joe's paintings were all, oil on canvas, mostly depicting sky, mountains and trees. In a few of the works I can see an  influence or reference to Cezanne's work. To me the works evoke an emotion, derived from a spiritual connection to nature. The works are actually quite loose and free, with many brush strokes building up various textures and some layers to create approximate samplings of the real thing. The colour schemes are also effective and help convey the light conditions and atmosphere . Joe's work at times, seems to show a poetic interplay between light and the fringes of matter - trees and land. His works at a distance are quite realistic but the closer you get to them the more impressionistic they become - he is quite a keen observer of the landscape and latter day impressionist. Joe's website can be found here.

Here is one I sampled from his website -


Dan Brock's works were done in acrylic and ink on canvas or ply. The ply works were like floating panels as the support timbers were set in a few inches away from the edge, so that all one could see was the thin edge of the ply. Quite a few of the works were multi-panelled - either diptychs or triptychs. Dan's work also focused on mountains, trees and sky - but in a completely different style and manner to Joe's. Many of Dan's paintings had various levels or planes - a forward plane normally of branches and flowers, a middle area reminiscent of mountains or buildings and then a stark, crisp sky as a backdrop. Occasionally the work had an overlay of ink drawn in a stencilled style. One work had a band across the middle of the work that blotted out the delicately drawn foliage behind. This creates a barrier that suggests an event and confronts the viewer, who in turn has to reconcile this back into the work - the myriad of 'Sigmar Polke' like dots aids in this visual process. Here is the painting, which I raided from his blog -

Many of Dan's works like Joe's, speak of beauty but Dan's beauty in some way seems to be cast against an urban mindset - it's as if the harsh silhouetted, stencil type images are giving way to an emerging beauty, particularly as depicted in the blossoming, Japanese like branches and flowers. Dan's Website/Blog can be found here.

As a postscript, Joe recommends I go back and see the Picasso show - and I probably will.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Bride



This is an example of what digital can instantly offer that is really not available any other way, in this case it's an analogue source with digital enhancement. it's not the work involved that matters it is purely down to the result from the choice, which after all is what art is; personal choices which convey personal perceptions. If you move back from your screen this image is different than when you're close to it.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Creep Baby


One thing that makes me feel like a dinosaur, is the proliferation of digital art. As an artist who primarily works with paint and pencil, I feel that I am caught between generations. I have over the last twenty years dabbled with digital media, but something in my formative years locks me into analogue. I can play with digital media - whether that be images, sounds, video or animation but somehow I feel inhibited by a subsystem of analogue processing.

The above mash up of images is not by me but my daughter: who has never known a world without computers. We have had a computer in the house her whole life and so the internet is like running water from a tap.

Is time and money the root of freedom in digital art or is immersion and conceptualisation the door to perception? Is a print from a bubble jet as authentic and valid as a print from an etcher's plate. Does the analogue inform all digital art work or can someone be purely a homologous digital artist?
All Artwork Copyright by the Artists represented on this Blog. 2010