Friday, November 30, 2012

World Cup '74 #5 (Miguel Brindisi)

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Presenting the latest drawing in the World Cup ‘74 project, the original source being a picture ‘stamp’ forming part of the FKS ‘Wonderful World of Soccer Stars World Cup 1974’ collectors’ album, subsequently scanned, reduced significantly in its digital dimensions & then printed on A4 scale, this object with its crudely pixelated image then serving as the immediate point of reference from which the drawing is processed, square by toned square within the overall, all-over grid matrix. In fact, two distinct variations on the original scanned image, in the form of two separate & different reductions, one half the size of the other & consequently individually pixelated to twice the dimensions, were utilized as the sources for this particular drawing, being thus a composite of both, & the formal development that might be observed, influenced by some of the variously-pixelated photo-sourced drawings of D-L Alvarez, an interesting & ‘influential’ artist (most certainly now) mentioned previously here at TOoT, back in the days of 2008’s drawing Project.

D-L Alvarez
from 'Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing'; Phaidon; 2005 (2007)

Although the act of drawing is itself the essential subject, the portrait subject that comes to be represented, schematically at least, via this drawing process is, on this occasion, Miguel Brindisi of the Argentina squad as predicted/proposed by the FKS album &, as it transpired, in actuality, although his is another of those names of former footballers of which I have no prior knowledge (thus the research for the project is proving something of an education, in global football/World Cup history).

In the opening round of group matches, Brindisi alternated with Rene Houseman (one of the relatively few players I do actually recall from the tournament) in the Argentinian team, being substituted for the latter during the first game, replaced by him for the second & coming on as a substitute for in the third. In the second phase, Brindisi was omitted for the first match, reinstated & designated captain for the second - a 1-2 defeat to Brazil during which he scored what at the time was the equalizing goal for Argentina - & retained his place for the third, his already-eliminated country’s final appearance at the ’74 World Cup.


Vic Godard & Subway Sect ‘We Come As Aliens’
The Stranglers ‘The UA Singles 1977-1982’, ‘Black and White’ & ‘The Raven’

Indulging in the delights of Vic Godard & Subway Sect’s stonking, garagey ‘We Come As Aliens’, a fine & welcome companion to the live sound of the band as experienced recently, & revisiting the sounds of The Stranglers - once my very favourite band, for the first time in a very long while & digitally, previously only ever being heard on vinyl & tape - some of which have endured better than others, but ‘Black and White’ (which John Robb has interestingly proposed as being the first true post-punk album: discuss) & ‘The Raven’ are fine albums still & it’s further pleasure to be reminded of some of their excellent singles releases.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

World Cup '74 #4 (Angel Bargas)

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Continuing with the World Cup 1974 drawing project, originally sourced from the FKS ‘Wonderful World of Soccer Stars World Cup 1974’ & Panini ‘Munchen 74’ collector albums of stamps/stickers, the image-objects from whichever specifically relevant publication then being subjected to a scanning/reducing treatment to produce the pixelated photomechanical image in the form of an A4 print that serves as the immediate physical-visual reference from which the drawing is processed.

The portrait subject that not necessarily emerges, with any particular distinction, but perhaps rather is embedded within the modular drawing process of the grid of toned squares that resolves itself into some form of image, is, on this occasion, one Angel Bargas, the fifth member of the Argentina squad as featured in the FKS album, the fourth in the project here (out of sync as the third is still in production, its coloured media dependent to a large extent on being seen/assessed/drawn in natural light, of which there is seasonally so precious little), an arbitrary executive decision having been taken to replace an image/player from the FKS album with one from the Panini because it produces a better pixelated image.

Bargas, it transpires, did actually feature in the actual Argentinian squad & represented his country during the tournament, although as with most of the 1974 World Cup footballers, he was previously a name unknown to me, the hauntological resonance being attached to the event itself – my real introduction to football - rather than the majority of its participants.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Road's Gone Out...

Today the opposite of tomato will tell you things to make your hair Straighten Out

A short afternoon visit back to the town of former residence, for the purposes of aural wellbeing, resulted in a most shocking discovery today. Gone, it appears, are the legendary double black lines, at least from the couple of locations where it was possible to ascertain evidence of this unfortunate development whilst perambulating prior to my appointment.

All that remains in some places is a certain ‘scarification’ of the road surface, the painted lines obviously scoured away by some process, appearing darker in tone than the adjacent, untouched tarmac, with perhaps a speck or two of the original yellow paint (over which the black had been layered, correctively) remaining & visible, otherwise wholesale resurfacing & complete obliteration seems to have taken place.

As anyone who might have visited this blog over its course (&, upon writing, we’re within two weeks of the 7th anniversary of its inception), this particular roadside/surface attraction has featured on many an occasion, from the early days to what has come to be the last appearance on May 14th of this year, primarily in documentary photographic form but also having been processed from such sources into drawing, initially in & for the many examples of itself & also, as aesthetic interests developed, as the scene for the visual recording of those numerous finds of discarded aluminium can ‘roadkill’ that have also littered (ahem) the passage of the blog.

To see it gone, therefore, results in an undoubted sense of loss. This, after all, was (to be) the primary subject matter for the ever-deferred Masters project, the intended site & opportunity for an exploration of the visual subject matter in whatever media might prove to be appropriate, not least drawing of course, and associated theoretical concepts: even though any such project would be based upon the photographic evidence amassed, still, it always felt & feels now, particularly acutely, that the source needed to exist in physical form, to be there, to be consulted &, probably, provide further, continued empirical reference material (material, perhaps, being the essential word).
What & where to now, one wonders, somewhat stunned in the immediate aftermath...?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Having a Re-think/Re-draw Again #2: World Cup '74 #2 v3

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Here is the third version of the second drawing of the World Cup 1974 football stickers project, representing an enlarged print of a digital scan (subsequently reduced in its dimensions) of the original ‘stamp’ image-object as featured as a component part of the FKS ‘Wonderful World of Soccer Stars World Cup 1974’ album collection.
In heavily-pixellated, de-photographized, re-mediated form, the portrait subject buried within the drawing process is again Argentina’s Roque Avallay, no longer necessarily recognizable as such as his features are broken down into toned cells within the overall grid structure but nonetheless distinct from number one in the series, his compatriot Norberto Alonso.

Again, the usual modernist-minimalist & ‘hauntological’ conditions apply.

At the current rate of drawing progress, the estimate is that the project as proposed will take a good 10 years to complete, which, whilst daunting, is also quite a comforting prospect, somehow…

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Having a Re-think/Re-draw Again: World Cup '74 #1 v3

Today the opposite of tomato is Double Negative

For the third time, the nascent project of drawings based upon the primary image content of the collectable stamp/sticker collections published by FKS, ‘Wonderful World of Soccer Stars World Cup 1974’, & Panini, ‘Munchen 1974’, has undergone a formal reappraisal, with the first physical result of such a decision & process represented here, returning to square one, with pun duly acknowledged, with what comes, eventually, to form a crudely-pixellated portrait of Norberto Alonso, the first featured member of the Argentina squad for the 1974 football World Cup tournament.

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

From the original stamp, scanned & then reduced in size, by experimental degrees, to 30% of its dimensions, a black & white A4 print was made, enlarging & consequently breaking up the image into a collection of modular units, & this served as the immediate visual reference from which the drawing was processed, more than anything an exercise in looking & tonal control, given the subtle differences apparent (barely, at times) between many of the individual squares within the overall grid of the image: the ensuing ‘portrait’ is a by-product, although significant in the context of the project as (if) it develops.

Although the original sticker & its portrait image was/is printed in colour, the decision was taken to work from a black & white reproduction for two significant reasons: firstly, in the context of memory, I have no recollection of a footballer such as, in this instance, Norberto Alonso, & thus a monochrome representation seems appropriate (those players I do remember are intended to be represented in colour, to suggest something more vivid); secondly, I experienced the 1974 World Cup - &, indeed, the 1978 tournament – via the medium of black & white television, & this thus constitutes a distinct ‘hauntological’ dimension to the project.

Such an approach to the representation of the human face from a photographic source most obviously references the practice of Chuck Close, as might be appreciated from the following images, a drawing & watercolour, taken from Martin Friedman’s ‘Close Reading: Chuck Close and the Artist Portrait’, a much-revisited source of fascination & inspiration.


Vic Godard & Subway Sect ‘What’s the Matter, Boy?’
Broadcast ‘Ha Ha Sound’
Bat For Lashes ‘Fur and Gold’
Cornershop ‘When I Was Born for the 7th Time’