Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Sitting Nude" Gary Comoglio

Image posted with the permission of the artist. More of Gary Comoglio's prints and paintings can be found at the artist's website.

The presence of an ottoman, and the fact of her nakedness tell me I'm wrong, but I'm still convinced that the subject of this print is waiting at a bus stop. Well, okay, if not a bus stop specifically, at least waiting. And bored, at that.

I am not bored, but I am also waiting. Waiting for this kaleidoscopic vision of her body created by light reflected on planes of flesh to transform with the next sigh, next itch, next shifting of her weight into the next most comfortable position. Waiting for the light to change into something less spectacular and intense, but perhaps more complex and subtle.

It is amazing how bored we can be, even as fireworks go off all around us.

Comparing two nudes by Unichi Hiratsuka

Since discovering this wonderful artist at the start of last summer, I've written about Unichi Hiratsuka's landscapes, one color, natural one, and one black and white, urban one. At we end this summer, it seems about the right time to take a look at a couple of his figures. As with the two landscapes I wrote about before, I feel these two by comparison really show the range of the artist's interests and skills.

In this first, color print, I feel the model is particularly aware of the artist (and indirectly, the audience's) gaze. Though she leans back in the chair, she holds her legs together, her arms against her chest. He muscles tighten and she seems uncomfortable. I can feel her holding the pose, waiting for the moment to pass. She stares straight ahead with an expression so blank she appears more like a doll than a person, or just someone wearing a mask. The bright, garishly contrasting colors add to the plastic qualities of the image. The screaming yellow wall, unnatural green floor, they draw further attention to this awkward, self-conscious woman, and get us to stare at her longer, wondering at what thoughts are behind her mask.

This second nude has an altogether different feel. Again, I feel as if the model is aware of our gaze, but this time she wears an impish grin as she coyly looks down, her long hair swishing around the curve of her cheek and neck. I am convinced that if she locked eyes with the artist, she'd smile. Instead of holding completely still, she seems ready to move at any moment, to either climb down, or lean back, or just to breath as she patiently waits for the artist to finish capturing an image of her.  There is a mask here, too, but it is mounted on the wall behind her, and monstrously grins, bearing huge teeth. The tiles and other framing her body remind me of layered drum beats. Her heart thumps, blood courses through her veins...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Cornish Fishing Village" by Ernest Watson

I first became aware of the work of Ernest Watson in March where I saw one of his linocuts at La Salle University Art Museum. I wrote about works from that show here.

I have since sought out more of Watson's woodcuts, and many have a particular mood that reminds me the Japanese concept of the floating world. His images read as quiet, ghostly, fleeting moments in time. This print most exemplifies that impression.

The seagulls rise up into the grey sky, most of it already dissolved, just like the sides of the houses seem erased. Only the roofs remain, haunting, grey zigzags that call to the birds. The avian herd, a small mass of Vs, respond by heading in the direction of the fading structures. They, too, disappear in the embrace.

Who is witness to this? A man and two horses. They stand on a hill overlooking where land meets the sea. They are closer to me, more solid, poised to move. Nevertheless, I'm convinced they will not last long; already they melt into the translucent ground at their feet.

I fear neither will I.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Pasadena Bridge" by Belinda Del Pesco

Image reposted with the permission of the artist. Learn more about Belinda Del Pesco and her artwork at her website or blog. I previously wrote about two other works by Del Pesco on this blog, Sleep and She Never Liked Dresses, and just had to come back for more. I love how her images just dance up to edge of surrealism, but don't quite cross over. 

The bridge stands splendid, a marvel to behold, towering over a throng of colorful subjects. The tallest trees raise their green heads in greeting. Purple grasses wiggle, fiery leaves spill out into open spaces, while red pedals peek out of dark and distant corners to feel the sun. As we reach the pinnacle, a great cloud blooms above the grand bridge's altar like a white rose; a hypnotic, floral queen. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"A Woman With A Cello" by Victoras Petravicius

A good bio of Petravicius with several of the artist's black and white prints can be found online here.

The instrument reads like another figure, another body moaning and leaning back against the woman in red gloves. She does not play; she speaks to the frowning apparition who seems to rise and float above the floor. Maybe the haunt is the celloist's self doubt, and she is explaining how she has achieved a state of ecstasy while playing Rachmaninov. As with Saint Theresa, there will be piercings, but no blood.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Olivia Painting" by Beth Krommes

Image posted with the permission of the artist. More wood engravings and other artwork by award-winning illustrator Beth Krommes can be found at her website.

Young children often seem light and airy like little birds. They scurry and giggle. Their stomps weigh less than our steps, though a child's scream can be shrill.

But every once in a while a child falls silent, heavy, her concentration poured into peering through a window to another dimension. The sounds, smells, and patterns of the domestic scene she knows so well continue all around her: the running water, the mingling scents of toast and fresh autumn air, mom's polka-dot dress. But for this moment, she is no longer present in that world. She is too busy being the creator-god in another.