CHANNELING EMOTIONS INTO ART

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I wanted to write this blog post about my experience with this particular painting. At first, I had found a photograph by @nathalieseiferthfairytales on Instagram. The image spoke to me for it's beautiful aesthetic.

 

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It wasn't until I was midway through the painting that the shooting in Ft. Lauderdale AirPort occurred. These tragedies are happening so often. Last year was the attack in Orlando at Pulse, which caused me to make this painting as a response. I know there is violence all over the world, but these are hitting so close to my home in Miami. It is frightening to go to a restaurant, a club, or anywhere public anymore. I keep alert at all times. Fun can be had but with vigilance. It is scary.

Back to the painting. As I painted this piece, I channeled my frustration with humans who kill others. The ambiguity of whether the killer was lying or not (he claimed to have been brainwashed by the CIA, who was forcing him to watch "videos". MK Ultra was a real thing, how do we not know that this may have actually happened?). It frustrates me that we the people, are out of touch with our government and intelligence agencies. There is no transparency, and it makes things hard to understand. Perhaps the man was just crazy. Perhaps he was being mind controlled. We can't know for sure.

The painting itself is both pain and relief. Pain that is felt for the loss of humanity in acts like murder. Pain for the loss of innocent people who die.

But why relief?

I think there is peace in death, a tranquility from the chaos of the living. Relief from suffering. I think this is what I wanted to channel into this painting. I did appreciate all the comments I've received from people's interpretations. They show the capabilities of art in making things be seen from various perspectives. 

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." - Jonathan Swift

NEW ART EXHIBIT IN MIAMI BEACH URBAN STUDIOS

This Thursday is the opening for my upcoming art exhibit!

I am so excited to be showcasing my conceptual abstract art, as it deserves to be exhibited for many reasons. The work itself has layers of meaning, and thus creates food for thought (or the soul?) depending on who views it. It also makes one think about their life, their relationship to others, and themselves. It makes one think about the present moment, because the work is meditative, but also because some pieces, such as my wall installations, contain themes of life and death. Anyone can relate to this theme, as we all experience loss in our lives. I believe there is beauty in facing this fact. It reminds us that nothing lasts forever, and as such, we should cherish our lives and those we love as much as humanly possible. 

The exhibit will be up from January 12th - March 10th 2017 with an opening and a closing reception. The closing reception will have an Art Talk, where myself, my fellow artist colleague Gonzalo Nunez, and curator Meg Kaplan-Noach will discuss the exhibit, our art practice, and create a dialogue about our work as professional artists. See you there!

 

 

 

FIGURE STUDIES CAN LEAD TO DISCOVERY

As I was working on my latest painting, I changed direction midway through the painting. Originally, I wanted to have a generally white background. I felt it would create a lightness to the painting. I had created marks with gesso, highlighter and pen, similar to how I work with my concept art pieces. However, it did not feel right. I think because there was so much white already in the figure itself. I think that in my next painting I will try duo-tones to see how that responds instead of white. I wanted to write about my experience with this painting because as an artist, documenting progress and observing a deviation from the "plan" is interesting to me. Life works this way. 

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I really enjoyed the way the painting turned out. The background makes the painting cohesive and in line with the new illustrative body of work I am beginning. I am excited to continue on this path. Oh, and oil paint is sooo amazing to work with. I think I'm falling in love with it all over again.

Until next time! 

SPARTACUS

NEW YEAR NEW ART DIRECTION

The year is about to end!

It has been a very busy year for me. Learning graphic design has been an incredible journey for me. It is interesting because I used to believe design was for sellout artists, but there is so much art and thought that goes into graphic design (at least the work that has strong concepts). So much of my art knowledge is taught in design as well. The two are similar!

I've been so busy that I have barely had the time to paint, which is an absolute shame. But I have taken it upon myself to end the year right. I want to go back to painting, but this time, I want to focus on the figurative. I want to actually sit down and focus on painting something and really practicing to train my eyes to see shape and color again. I had abandoned the figurative because it was all I did in art school, but now after several years, I feel it is time for me to go back and take my knowledge of abstract mark-making and infuse it with the figurative to create a new style that is almost surreal, almost realistic, but abstract at the same time. After all, are not all brush strokes but abstract marks that create the whole painting? This does not mean I will abandon my abstract work, just that I will use figurative to explore new methods of painting. 

I just made this portrait this week. I wanted it to evoke a feeling or a moment in time. To me, it feels peaceful, almost whimsical. Despite the evident darkness around the figure, the colors help to give it light. Interestingly enough, I used my knowledge of graphic design by employing strong use of negative space as seen in the black background. I have also limited my color palette to analogous colors, red and purple, and toned them down with greys. I feel this really creates nuances in the color and helps the underpainting show through.

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Yesterday I started the painting on the right. It was so challenging for me to sketch this one! What I loved the most about this piece was the fact that I really needed to use my eyes to create proportional lines. It required me to go back and erase and make changes. It was not easy! However I think this is the kind of training I need in order to progress my drawing skills. 

Now that it is complete, I will approach it with paint and go from there. I wanted to use a white background to explore how colors respond in this arrangement. I'll post more on this painting soon!

Until next time!

SPARTACUS

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CLARITY

For some time I have thought about starting a blog on my website, though I haven't been inspired to write, or perhaps I haven't had a reason to. There are two reasons for this blog post:

  1. To start my blog
  2. To unravel the scattered thoughts in my head and perhaps come to some clarity.

So I write to understand myself and the world around me, and perhaps find my direction. For some time now I have been battling the crippling chatter of the world around me in respect to my conceptual art. I have received criticism - good and bad - and it continues to be an issue for me. Not because I cannot handle criticism, but because it leaves me confused with what it is I am after.

I wish I could live off my art. That is any artist's dream. This world believes art is a luxury and not a necessity; I think otherwise. Art is at the very essence of the human spirit. Since pre-historic times, humans have depicted what they have seen as painted marks and carvings in caves. It is an innate human quality to want to leave our mark in the world. To have affected, touched, and inspired others through one's creative expression.

Which is why I am confused. I feel that if the art I am doing is so beautiful, conceptually and visually, then why is it not selling? Is it the medium? Is it the audience? What am I doing wrong? I have asked professors these questions and they have told me that an art practice does not equate to financial success. And sometimes people might get lucky and sell the art they make, and other times they don't. But the fact is that whether one sells their art or not, one should always be making it. 

I am not tied down to the art I am currently making. It is the art I am researching in this time in my life. I enjoy the Buddhist philosophy of making art in response to my senses because I can meditate through this process, I can be in the present moment. I also enjoy my work on wall, where I explore the textures of joint compound as well as the surface of the wall; these impermanent pieces talk about life's transitions and the beauty of appreciating art that cannot be "acquired." 

Perhaps I am making the right kind of art, since this art is a fundamental part of my spirituality. Perhaps it is those people who disagree with what they see that need to learn a little about my practice and why I make the marks I make and take the decisions I take. Perhaps they need to be exposed to the unknown so that they, too, can be informed of why I believe these Buddhist philosophies are so essential to being human. 

I think this was worth writing. I feel like I have some clarity. I have finally found some answers as to my direction. 

Until next time!

SPARTACUS