Saturday, July 17, 2010

Part 2: Artists Panel Discussion at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art

Here is the conclusion of what the artists thoughts were on their work and the process of creation.

Your thoughts on the divide between ideals and evidence. What you want to convey versus what you see.

Here was when Tom put an interesting spin saying that art is one type of documentation that is allowed to be correct. Very good point. It can stir controversy but noone can argue that the artist's view is incorrect. My thoughts are that everything we experience day in and day out go through our filters, our experience and what we interpret from them are 'correct' to us. So everyone can have various 'correct' versions of the same event. 

Inventing work with its own internal logic or leave something for the audience to grasp?

Lisa's work "Pontiac Kingston" is of a car dealership that had closed. It's painted in a way to have the cars, the lot and building appear to be melting. Pretty cool execution in my opinion. So with this piece, Lisa does little of both; it's not very literal and involves some thought by the viewer to interpret what's going on. Our work, as Kamrooz puts it, is an abstract reflection of the world in which we live.

Liz originally was doing paintings just for her and later on wanted the audience to connect and have an experience with her work. So I ask, as artist ourselves, how are we able to connect to work that inspires us? Perhaps the person that created it had us in mind when creating their work.

For Ryan, part of being an artist is creating your own world with its own dialog and rules. I agree, not everyone will get it. I'll add that everyone that experiences a piece adds a little more dimension to it. A work can grow infinitely through the experiences of others. 

At this point in the panel discussion, I can rely on Tom to sum things up in his concise way: An artist is someone that creates art for an audience, if you are doing it for yourself, it's a hobby. If there is no communication with the viewers, it's not art.

Do you have more in common with conceptual or abstract style?

Kamrooz identifies with abstract expressionism though he adds that it's problematic for artists to be asked to take a position. True, sometimes it's hard to put your work into a category. 

Liz doesn't consider herself a figurative painter (you can view her piece by clicking here) and would identify with being more conceptual. For her, an abstract piece would need to be planned, she couldn't start something with the intention of it being abstract. Instead, she would allow the process to dictate the style.

Tom's one-liner was that abstract is art being made in conceptual terms.

For Lisa's answer to the above question, she says that it depends on what it is that drives the starting of the painting. Good point.

Ryan considers himself to be an abstract artist as he is driven by the relationship with colors. So when one color is in one area of the canvas, he would think about what other color would compliment it.

Do your paintings surprise you?

For Lisa it does. Since her work, along with what other artists experience, changes in the process of creating it, the outcome does surprise her.

Discuss source material as it relates to your work.

Source material is important to all the artists in the panel (and for me too). It is very important for Ryan who uses newspapers, magazines, his own pictures, and the internet. He would tack on the wall images that he's considering using for a painting. They may be on the wall for a while and then he'll let his instincts take over. For example when new canvas arrives to his place, he'll know what picture would be painted on what canvas. 

Lisa travels a lot so the subject matter for her work leads her to visit places in person. She would do sketches on location as well as take pictures. She would even use found objects for some of her work. She told a story about finding a litter box on the side of the road in the town where she lives and it had been there for a while. She ended up taking in and painting it.

The internet is a common source of pictures. Tom uses it too and in fact, draws from his monitor! I admit to doing that too :) After this initial sketch, he'll do a larger one before sketching to the canvas. Tom adds that source material is important to make work more credible.

Liz would look for images online and print them out while researching a topic or concept of interest. She'll let the idea stew for a while before starting a painting. 

Kamrooz also uses source material such as patterns and photos of textures and would get ideas from carpet stores. He also made a link between Persian rugs and conceptual painting as there is a story and context behind those rugs. However, over time, the history and meaning has been lost to where it is now only something pretty.

What musician or band has influenced your work?

Ryan: Nirvana
Lisa: The Doors
Kamrooz: Bob Dylan
Tom: Frank Sinatra 

Thanks everyone for reading! If you're an artist reading this post, it'll be interesting to hear what your answers to any of these questions would be.