Archive | November, 2012

Paint Made Flesh

13 Nov

Paint Made Flesh examines the ways in which European and American painters have used oil paint and the human body to convey enduring human vulnerabilities, among them anxieties about desire, appearance, illness, aging, war, and death. In the tradition of great figure painting stretching back to Rembrandt and Titian, the 34 artists in the exhibition, working in the years since World War II, exploit oil paint’s visual and tactile properties to mirror those of the body, while exploring the body’s capacity to reflect the soul.

Drawn from private and public collections and arranged by chronology and nationality, the 43 paintings in the exhibition reflect a wide range of styles. Strong colors and vigorous brushwork associated with German expressionism give crude life to figures by artists ranging from the San Francisco Bay area painters to a younger generation, including Markus Lüpertz and Susan Rothenberg. Candid depictions of flesh by British painters Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud suggest psychological pain at the margins of society, while paint as skin betrays the inner feelings of Jenny Saville’s swollen females.

Other artists represented include Karel Appel, Cecily Brown, Francesco Clemente, John Currin, Eric Fischl, Willem de Kooning Leon Kossoff, David Park, Julian Schnabel, and Pablo Picasso.



11 Nov

‘Blood Script’ 2008

• A live performance piece that took place at the PULSE Art Fair at Pier 40 in New York.
• A list of over 200 hateful words and phrases previously given to her by viewers
• The artist had 75 of the most common words tattooed onto her skin, without ink, in a very ornate script.
• Created a dichotomy between the beautiful visual form of the words and the ugly meanings they convey semantically.
• Contact prints were made of each word by immediately pressing watercolour paper against the fresh incisions.

‘Note to Self’ 2005

• A twelve hour performance where the names of 438 gay, lesbian, bi and transgender individuals who were murdered due to hate crimes, were tattooed onto the artist’s body, (using no ink).

‘Binding Ritual, Daily Routine’ 2005

• A live performance that took place at Artists Space in New York
• The artist repeatedly taped and untaped her breast with duct-tape for over ninety minutes.
• This piece speaks to the emotional and physical pain that many transgender people may feel on a daily basis.
• For Female to Male transgender individuals, who may bind daily, want to be perceived as having no breast at all. To bind that tightly can be not only extremely physically painful but can be mentally trying as well.
• The artist wanted to create a physical manifestation of the mental space where she imagines transgender individuals silently suffer, while shortening a lifetime into a few hours.

‘Aversion’ 2007

• A live performance piece performance that took place at Conner Contemporary Art in Washington, DC.
• The artist attached electrodes to her arm and had herself shocked, with an electric shock device, to recreate the severe effects of electric shock aversion therapy that was once commonly used to “cure” homosexuality.
• Patients were subjected to repeated sessions during which they were shown a series of erotic images. Where as opposite-sex images elicited no negative stimulation, shock was administered in conjunction with same-sex images.
• The performance lasted thirty minutes, which was the length of an actual shock therapy session.
• The artist wanted to not only call attention to a practice that many did not even know existed. The piece also points to continued social pressures towards conformity, which perpetuates the advocacy of reorientation therapy for homosexuals by extremist organizations today.


10 Nov

Painting with glue (and sand/glitter)


10 Nov

Performance portrait painting


10 Nov

“Rock Foot Plnat” 2009

• American
• Graduated from Yale University School of Art (1997)
• A prolific name in contemporary figurative and representational painting
• Meticulous technical skill Awkward compositions and subject matter
• Elements that are typically difficult to find beautiful – minute details of the body like veins and fingernails, intimate body parts and body hair
• Lifeless gourds, desiccated cacti, scaly logs and unruly tumbleweeds
• Both ugly and beautiful, representative and abstract
• Paints from life, (personal engagement with the subject)
• Intensified details of individual hairs and pores create dense paintings
• Division of the male from into smaller parts adds a level of abstraction
• small scale, tiny brushes
• voyeuristic nature

“Bent Leg” 2008

VOKA – ‘Spontaneous Realism’

9 Nov


9 Nov

Barry Schwabsky
“Before there was art, there was painting”.