Crossing Arkansas Street-Early Morning - 2002
oil on canvas
36 x 66 inches (91.44 x 167.64 cm)
Robert Bechtle I am interested in how things look; I am also interested in painting that is based upon how things look. I like to see things the way they are rather than thinking how they can be changed. The richness and range of the visual world constantly thrills and amazes me. I am most particularly interested in using the part of our world which we seem to notice least...that is, our everyday surroundings as we live day to day. Thus, I have painted friends and family, familiar houses, streets and neighborhoods. The paintings are on one level, about middle class American life as experienced in California. On another, they are about reconciling that subject matter with concerns about formal painting issues (the use of color and light, design, and the kinds of marks one must make to replicate appearances). They are, in that sense, a part of a long tradition of European and American painting which has sought to find significance in the details of the commonplace.
Robert Bechtle, 1999
wire with shadow
69 x 26 x 19 inches (175.26 x 66.04 x 48.26 cm)
Larry Kagan Like most artists that I know of, I love to draw and I consider drawing to be a most spontaneous and expressive visual medium. My exploration of drawing with shadows however, has forced me to look much more deeply at drawing and the complex dimensional interactions that are responsible for both its immediacy and at the same time its wonderful ambiguity.
Drawing as an activity depends on a mapping process. It converts scattered and fragmented observations of three dimensional space into coherent two dimensional representations that attempt to capture a continuity that may exist physically, but which certainly does not exist cognitively. Our vision of the physical environment is an illusion foisted on us by the method by which we acquire and integrate visual data. We translate sequential dynamic experiences into static geometric structures, and we orient ourselves within those structures by means of visual clues. Shadows constitute one important family of such clues.
When we "see" we never focus on shadows. Rather, we use our peripheral vision to account for the presence of shadows, and we extrapolate from them all kinds of information about size, scale, proximity, illumination, time of day, spatial and atmospheric conditions and the like. We are generally unaware of this seeing process unless something goes awry. For example, we might be startled not to see a shadow under a car, because that is usually how we tell that it is touching the road surface. The absence of a shadow would alert us that something is wrong. My shadow drawings are in fact wrong shadows, and it is precisely that "wrongness" that makes them at once so puzzling and so involving. They violate everything that we know about shadows.
Simply put, I draw by creating structures that cast inappropriate shadows. The normal expectation, that a particular structural shape will create an analogous shadow does not happen in my work. Rather, shadows appear that seem to be totally unrelated to the structures that produce them, causing viewers to doubt their existence. In fact viewers will swear that what seem to be shadow forms are actually cleverly drawn or painted forms on the wall. And when they discover that they are in fact looking at shadows, there usually ensue protracted investigations into which pieces of the structure are responsible for casting particular lines and forms in the drawing.
What I have discovered is that it is possible to create a visual dissonance between object and shadow that opens up an entirely new creative space. And what is more, because it was there all along to be seen and yet was not, we are left to wonder what else we may be missing.
. Larry Kagan, March 2001
Tilted Warhols - 2005
acrylic on canvas and wood
46 x 25 x 7 in.
Tilted Images - The recent artworks entitled “tilted images” are an attempt to investigate, invade and even violate the concept of the traditional picture plane. The receding or tilted back image and its attached illusions of frame fragments in perspective complement the metaphysical entrance into a universe beyond the imaginary but understood surface. The actual physical museum-like frame on one edge of the artwork initiates this progression from our space into the picture space. These frame fragments are a consistent element in my work since 1985 when the “slices of art” were first conceived and created.
The familiar art-historical references are pivotal and necessary factors provided for the viewer in order to dialog with the paintings. It may be noted that some of these references have been associated throughout their existence in particular with the phenomenon of the picture plane and the philosophical aspects of illusionism.
('Tilted Warhol') Andy Warhol’s iconic renderings of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe in his signature-style silk screen technique which flattens the image certainly refers to the picture plane no less than Piet Mondrian’s non-objective compositions ('Tilted Mondrian'). Rene Magritte’s well-known “ceci n’est pas une pipe” is also a primary statement about how we allow images of objects to be perceived subjectively ('This is not a Magritte'). (see website link ‘gallery of recent work’ at – www.gconstantine.com)
Greg Constantine, March 2001
Rust Baby Dress - 2000
cotton, artificial hair, iron powder
9.5 x 16 inches (24.13 x 40.64 cm)
Carson Fox Over the past few years, I have focused my gaze upon the rather mundane objects of my youth, specifically items of clothing, to chart how they have shaped me into the person I am today. This investigation allows me to return to those items that nostalgically and sometimes painfully symbolize moments and feelings I have experienced over the course of my maturing life. In a broader sense, I am also concerned with how simple conventions of dress continue to influence the construction of female selfhood in Western contemporary society.
I regard the construction of identity and the fabrication of art objects as similar processes. Both are defined by multiple layers that are influenced by change, evolution, time, and deliberate manipulation. My work serves as a material artifact that attests to my existence. In the layers of the object a record exists which approximates experiences that are both remembered and located along the way.
The found garments I am working with include women's and girl's gloves, slips, underwear, and dresses. The objects are subjected to numerous methods that promote their partial disintegration. This includes the use of mud, dirt, sand, wax, artificial hair, tearing, staining, and burning. The artificial aging and destruction of these objects is intended to correspond with the inevitable decay and dissolution of the memories and experiences they represent. The corporeal garments remain as a souvenir of a past history either real or imagined.
Carson Fox, March 2001
of LEONARD SCHNEIR
Art of the Billfold: Flash Gordon
Leonard Schneir Wallet Collecting In over 30 years of being a collector I have never seen an article written about pop culture wallets nor have I met another wallet collector. In fact there is almost no information available about wallet collecting, there are no books, price guides or clubs. But I enjoy collecting memorabilia that few if any other people collect. There are many advantages to this, namely you are often able to find a bargain and if lucky, might even create a market that other collectors will follow.
I am a child of the 1940's and 1950's and most of my wallets are from these two decades. Among my favorites are Elvis Presley, Captain Video, Buck Rogers, Superman, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hop Along Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, Blondie, Paladin, Red Ryder and Lassie. Almost all are the standard wallet size of about 3.25 inches by 4.25 inches and are faux leather as they were made for children.Their original price rarely exceeded 25 cents, today these same wallets sell for between $25.00 and $500.00.
Leonard Schneir, March 2001
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