How many times after a walk through NY galleries I wondered looking at my sketchbooks: why can I not do this in a different format? It seems and feels that my random, quick, thought-less sketchbook pages hold in the just exactly as much or as little what is needed in the modern universe - not too much, not too little - just right; nothing left. But page is page and book is a book - number of pages stitched together... so the story is different. It is not told or screamed or announced - it is read - by each viewer one by one.
Selected pages from recent books:
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
I unpacked my deadandstreight.com stretchers that have been waiting for me since at least July, stretched canvases and primed them all in one day with at least two coats each.
I quickly started 4 new paintings. Something was wrong with the most of them. It will take me a few weeks to understand. Though they looked new and different from each other something in them was repeating itself making it impossible. All of them have been very blue.
Realizing that some two weeks later I came back to my blues and started working on them again. Consciously avoiding blues all together. I discovered that the reason my work often look so bright is because I mostly use primary colors only. Blue is the only one (except white) that I allow myself to use as an extra color; all kinds of it.
New pallet of greens and browns came out and like in my struggle with darkness long while ago black line helped tremendously.
|Untangle Sails oil on canvas 26x24"|
|He and Eyes|
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Work has been often divided into sections which act more like sentences in the poem than pieces of cloth in quilt.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Preparing a syllabus for "Breaking the Boundaries" intensive workshop I thought about how to give examples of an art process to students, because before you "break the boundaries" you have to create them or at least find them. For that you have to discover your own creative process. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp was useful, but I wanted something hands-on. So I realized that I have all those books of mine. .. Hard cover with often more writing than paintings they are a process of my thinking. I picked up on eof my first American sketch book, dated 08/91-10/92. It says SKETCHBOOK 5A. I am not sure what 5A stands for.
Looking through the book I discovered an interesting clear transition from Russian suprematism to sexual expressionism. And I saw through the pages how naturally it happened... There is a poem (in Russian) that I am trying to write all the way through the book. It also illustrates this transition from clear geometrical structure to childish uncontrolled desire and physical expression.
Further in the book, you can find drawings that are transitional between geometrical decorative ala 1930's designs with curve lines and words often as a part of the drawing:
Words inside the drawing on the lower right are "Russia with Bad Luck".
Unfinished Russian poem on the left says: Inside the blue turned up side down square of of a human noise a crowd of old points of view has been walking inside the crowd through rivers, gardens and bridges...
With a poetry about transition, motion and descriptive organic shapes straight and edgy lines turn around, bind, connect softly... circles replace squares.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
A Trip To The Village
Her blue shoes had not been shined for months, and when he came from the shower, wearing a long bathrobe with silver stars all over it, she had already packed all her belongings into a small yellow suitcase that she kept under their bed all this time.
She kissed him good night and reminded him to turn off the stove. She got up, adjusted her jacket and lit a cigarette. She ran down the stairs, holding the yellow suitcase in one hand and the cigarette in the other. She thought about the Moon, the Milky Way, and the silver stars, and the village of her childhood. At the front door, she realized that she forgot her umbrella, but there was no time to go back now, the train was leaving in fifteen minutes.
She was going to the village to shine her blue shoes! When the train took off, she decided to brush her teeth. She met her reflection in a small round mirror above the sink. A woman in her early thirties, a toothbrush in one hand, wearing a jacket and a pair of old Levi’s, a few pimples, soft pinky cheeks, silver tips beginning to show in her dark curly hair, stared at her. She flushed the bubble gum and brushed her teeth. She was tired and fell asleep in her compartment.
The train took off and began slowly picking up speed. She was getting closer to the village! She thought about the gas station over there, in the village. Almost every boy wanted to work at the gas station, or maybe at the fire station when he would grow up. She dreamed of gas and fire, and her childhood, and Mom’s old house. It always smelled like diesel for her in this little village.
Early in the morning, the rain started behind her ribbed compartment window. When she opened her gray eyes, the rumbling of the wheels gradually faded, but the strong smell of her childhood village was now all over her. She looked under the bed and saw the small yellow suitcase covered with thick layers of dust. The sound of lost birds was coming from under the bathroom door. It suddenly stopped and she looked around wondering. And then he came from the shower holding her shined blue shoes in his hands. Long bath robe with silver stars all over it and shiny blue shoes in his hands reminded her of the Moon and the Milky Way, and the smell of a burned stove reminded her of a little village, where she grew up, where it always smelled like diesel.
He kissed her good morning and reminded her to brush her teeth.
She got up, adjusted her nightgown and lit a cigarette. She realized that he forgot to turn off the stove, but there was no time to go back now, the train was leaving in fifteen minutes.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Romanticism creates and cultivates a new repertoire of images, characters and places they live in. However, there is a crucial paradox in Romantic image making: It is a self-conscious process and it is the image of personality, private character that sets up a mechanism that sets it in motion. In the 70's Philip Guston stated that his work is "image ridden".
I still want to believe in strength and truth of purity, beauty and freedom.
purity = autobiography
simbolism = symbolism
freedom = philosophy
Of course beauty is relevant. But just believing in it makes all the difference in the world.
Here are a few images that from my point are pure, symbolic and free = beautiful.
|Still from movie Stalker by Andrei Tarkovski, Russia, 1970's|
|Full Moon on Friday night photographed from Brooklyn Bridge|
|Fra Abgelico The Saint, XIV century|
|Monk by the Sea, Caspar David Friedrich|
|Black Square, Kasimir Malevich, 1915|