Saturday, June 12, 2010

Close Call

Today the opposite of tomato is 'like watching a conjuring trick performed in slow motion'*


graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm

Continuing the 'roadkill' diptych series of drawings processed (increasingly slowly of late, it must be admitted: performed & unfolding in slow motion, indeed) from the close empirical study of found object/subject matter, with another intriguingly reshaped, reformed character thus represented, pleasingly rusting in the interests of providing further subtle incidents of colour in addition to those of its branded identity (which, rather ironically, are black, white & grey, enlived by a flash or two of red), a small synecdochal hint of which is offered - fittingly, perhaps, as the 2010 World Cup gets underway, that it proves to be one with associations to football.

*The tag line leading this particular post being found in & thus appropriated from Christopher Finch’s massive ‘Chuck Close: Work’, a recent investment in which we’re currently immersed: a truly fabulous art book, lavishly & exquisitely produced, which might be rashly but not necessarily wholly unreasonably claimed to be one of the best of its kind ever. The quality of the reproductions of many examples covering the complete scope of the subject’s painting, drawing, printmaking & photographic practice are stunning (including many details to be pored over – if you, dear reader, might excuse such an obvious pun - & scrutinized with great delight), with the accompanying text complementing such visual evidence perfectly, offering much fascinating insight into the creative process (& emphasizing that key word, with its especial value to operations here at TOoT), the work of art, its developmental stages & incremental progress, woven into the broader biography. Altogether an exemplary volume, a big one for a big subject, one to be treasured for its many & profound riches.

One of the particular issues related to the work of Chuck Close is, of course, scale, &, considering also a enquiring comment recently kindly posted by Jazz Green concerning the size ('life') of the objects represented in the ‘roadkill’ diptych series of drawings, this is something that’s been mulled over in terms of potential future developments of this very body of work, if such might indeed occur, whether it might be fruitful to explore enlargements of the subject/object matter, as found, as an aspect of the drawing process, for the scope such a device might offer for the representation of detail, for example, which can become frustratingly difficult, to a satisfactorily-realizable extent, on a 1:1 scale.
Of course, if such were to occur, the represented images would inevitably become something ‘other’, offering the possibility of being read as being more obviously ‘iconic’, ‘glorified’ or whatever, but the distance thus created from the original source could well be an interesting one to travel & explore - it might, for instance, be a fascinating experiment of both mark-making process (imagining this to be much more expansive under such circumstances) & perception to represent the objects on a scale of 5 – 6 feet tall, similar to the height of a human being (e.g. the viewer in the context of a physical spatial engagement with the work itself on a wall), where the shapes, kinks & angular folds into which many of the objects have been accidentally, unwittingly reformed (habitually chosen for such very reasons, of course), might well suggest & reflect those of various human stances & arrangements of limbs, etc, where a ‘dialogue’ between work & viewer could accordingly take place.

Someday, we really will require the environment of proper studio space & clear-the-decks-I’m-an-artist-&-nothing-but time in which to carry out some of these ‘dreamy’ proposals...

Soundtrack:

Pontone's 'Spectral Cassette' mixes Vol.1, Vol.2, Vol.3 & Vol.4

Alerted by Mr Reynolds to the existence of Volume 4 of the Pontone website's downloadable series of 'Spectral Cassette' mixes of various examples of obscure contemporary electronica, in the interests of TOoT's continuing aesthetic research projects it was felt to be of sufficient import to the sonic branch of proceedings to sample the preceding 3 volumes also.
Whilst the third of the compilations provided little of lasting or even follow-up interest (many of the selections within proving to be of insufficient duration to make much of an impression), the other 3 mixes revealed all manner of fascinating findings. Volume 4 in particular is a most compelling, immersive experience, characterized by periods of dreamy wooziness that recall early-ish Boards of Canada as something of a reference point, with all manner of found voices drifting in & out of consciousness, half-heard, half-remembered, very much appropriately spectral prescences haunting the overall enveloping atmosphere as it slowly unfolds in a sequence of minor shifts from one artist's chosen contribution to another, utterly engaging & a(nother) most efficacious accompaniment to the drawing process.

2 comments:

JazzGreen said...

I have been reading these posts in reverse order!! thus, come across a prior reference to Chuck (again)... always interesting to reflect on the supremely crafted, mechanical process in his paintings/drawings, pre-dating the pixelated, computer-aided image, the interplay between physical scale and visual perception, of abstract patterns when viewed up 'close' so to speak... I am thinking too (again) of Mr Hockney and his recent gridded canvas landscapes and the use of a compooter...

TV's Mr Snooker said...

Didn't think to mention Hockney, Jazz - despite recently reading an extensive article on the subject of those vast, gridded landscapes, but that's another most pertinent example.

It amused me that whilst I'm considering & blogging about scaling-up work (procrastinating, basically!), you're actually doing so & presenting the results...