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SUSAN ALDWORTH

27 Aug

Susan Aldworth: The Portrait Anatomised (National Portrait Gallery)
Produced as part of a commission for Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospital in Westminster, the portraits by Susan Aldworth in this display depict three individuals with epilepsy. Expanding a notion of contemporary portraiture, the artist appropriates the illustrative vocabulary of medical science in her innovative printmaking process and in doing so asks how this material corresponds or contrasts with the subject’s sense of self.

I’m not a huge fan of print making, so I actually found the method and ideas whilst creating these portraits more interesting than the final pieces themselves. Perhaps because they were large pieces created quite quickly and perhaps because of the strong connection to health and science that runs through the process.
I feel like a great deal of thought and emotion went into these portraits (the artist has a strong connection to the theme), and I think that is probably why they are so successful.

Collage Portraits

21 Aug

The Homeland promo poster has inspired me to look at other collage portraits.

ANTHONY BROWN
Artist from Liverpool

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  • Oil painting portraits on newspaper cut-outs about the individual.
  • People with a unique contribution to Liverpool life
  • 100 heads. Thinking as one
  • People from recent history
  • Multi layered process of news print, magazines, books, written words and photographs. Then oil and acrylic to create the image. Almost like a visual ‘diary’ of their life.

Collage of Apple CEO Steve Jobs made completely out of Apple products.
Created with the mosaic screen saver in Leopard OS.

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JOHN STEZAKER
Film Portrait Collages
black and white
surreal and fragmented

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DEREK GORES
Recycled magazine art Image

LUCIAN FREUD’s portraits can sometimes look like a collage because of the way they are painted. Each individual mark and brush stroke that builds up the image is visible.

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Homeland

20 Aug

I’d heard a lot of good things about showtime’s ‘Homeland’ (and some unnecessary bitching about how “unattractive” Claire Danes is…clearly people are just jealous)! So this summer I caught up on the first two seasons. It didn’t take me long to get hooked.
A CIA agent (Claire Danes), suspects that a rescued American POW (Damian Lewis), may be an Al Qaeda sleeper agent plotting a spectacular terrorist attack on the USA. The acting is great and I find the plot realistic, fascinating and exciting. You can’t predict what is going to happen next and you’re never really sure who is good or bad, who is going to live or die.
Danes’ character Carrie, is strong, intelligent and willing to risk her life to fight for what she believes in. However she also struggles with a mental health disorder and this makes her unpredictable, impulsive and emotional.

Gallery

I came across a promo poster for the second season and I loved it so much that I had to share it. On a pin board, photos, scribbled notes, highlighted information etc. make up the portrait of suspected terrorist St. Brody. With the addition of agent Carrie Mathison standing in front of the board and the tag line “The Obsession Continues…” it really is a brilliant and poetic image that examines the lead characters’ relationship and the hidden truths that they and the audience are yet to find out.

Oriol Angrill Jordà

15 Jan

oriol angrill jorda 4

“I did not start like most of the artists I’ve met… A majority of them had been enthusiastic about Art, almost since they were born, as a native desire to create or express themself. Unfortunately, it wasn’t like that (for) me.”

• Spanish illustrator
• variety of media (pencil, watercolour, charcoal)
• In his most recent project, “Blendscapes“, Jordà creates hybrid images with human figures constructed from delicate landscapes
• unique colour and texture combinations
• interesting displacement and reconstruction of traditional landscape imagery.

oriol angrill jorda 3

OTTO DIX

13 Jan

Born in 1891, Germany

• 1914 volunteered for the German Army in WWI
• Wounded several times during the war. Nearly died when a shrapnel splinter hit him in the neck.
• In 1918 (end of the war), Dix had won the “Iron Cross” (second class) and reached the rank of vice-sergeant- major.
• Developed left-wing views and his paintings and drawings became increasingly political
• Angry about the way that the wounded and crippled ex-soldiers were treated in Germany.

otto dix, trench warfare

• “The Trench” was purchased and exhibited by the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. Its depiction of decomposed corpses in a German trench created such a public outcry that the museum’s director, Hans Secker, was forced to resign.
• “No More War!” travelling exhibition put on with other artists who had fought in WW1
• 1933: Hitler and Nazi Germany
• Government disliked Dix’s anti-military paintings and arranged for him to be sacked from his job as an art tutor at Dresden Academy.
Dismissal letter said his work, “threatened to sap the will of the German people to defend themselves.”

otto dix, war cripples

• “The Trench” and “War Cripples” appeared in a Nazi exhibition to discredit modern art. Later several of Dix’s anti-war paintings were destroyed by the Nazi authorities.
• With the Nazis in power, artists in Germany could only work as an artist, buy materials or show their work if they were members of the Imperial Chamber of Fine Arts.
Dix was allowed to become a member in return for agreeing to paint landscapes instead of political subjects.
• Dix mainly painted landscapes during this period, but still produced the occasional allegorical painting which contained coded attacks on the Nazi government. He exhibited several of these paintings in a one-man exhibition in 1938. In 1939 Dix was arrested and charged with involvement in a plot on Hitler’s life. Eventually he was released as the charges were dropped.

otto dix

• In 1945 Dix was forced to join the German Army to fight in WWII. At the end of the war he was captured and put into a prisoner-of-war camp. Released in Feb. 1946.
• Most of Dix’s post-war paintings were religious allegories. However, paintings such as “Job” (1946), “Masks in Ruins” (1946) and “Ecce Homo 2” (1948), dealt with the suffering caused by WWII.

Otto Dix died in 1969

ADAM DIX

13 Jan

“A creation of a world where the human race would live in a technological utopia.”

• Born 1967, London
• M.A. Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art, 2009

adam dix, Aloft
“Aloft”

• Works set out to investigate the associations between technology and our need and fascination with it.
• Telecommunications and its impact on society
• Examined futuristic past predictions of the 21st century and the subsequent representation of that imagined future.
• Morphing past dreams together with present aspirations.
• Describing behavioural responses with regard to communication, how we relate or comprehend technology on a humanistic level.

adam dix, The Blessing 2011
“the Blessing” 2011

• Results = amusing take on how dependent on technology we have become.
Figures almost praying/worshipping (New Religion)
• Painted in ink and oil, but because of the style, could almost be watercolour

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
“Olympus Digital Camera”

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.