Julie Mehretu uses a process of layering and erasing very similar to my process. Her geometric shapes mimic architecture. So you look at the structure and you can’t really define anything, but you know that it’s really just created out of geometric shapes. The more information that is layered the harder it is to decipher what is what which Mehretu says is intentional. She wants the images to be vague so that the viewer interprets what they want to. I do the same thing with my figures and layers.
She quotes in Artist 21, "What I’m really focused on and trying to go after in my work is not necessarily being informed by other artists’ work. It’s about trying to understand myself. I keep going back to that, digging deeper into who I am. You have all this experience that determines who you are, and you can’t change that too much. You know you can only get to know yourself better, understand yourself better, and evolve and try to grow. That’s how I am with my work—trying to push and understand what I make and why I make it the way that I do. Why the fascination with certain materials?"
I too am trying to figure out who I am and why I want to make what I do. I am constantly pushing the materials, mediums and content as for as I can. I want this struggle of chaos verses structure. Mehretu uses as her inspiration architecture, the news and life experiences. I use the brain, neurons, figures and color as inspiration to create my work.
Albert Oehlen's new work is stunning. I have talked about his older work before but his new work is more in line of my latest works. One of his favorite artist is Malcolm Morley. He said, "Malcom Morley is the greatest alive. It is so impressive to me what he did — so funny and so smart. He also speaks about his experience with de Kooning when he was teaching at the Black Mountain School. Oehlen had the students work for a very long time on one drawing. It was about what happens if you spend days on one drawing. Oehlen thought this idea was so crazy and so intelligent. It wasn’t about showing that if you work more, it gets better. You might destroy it, or you might end up somewhere else. You might get bored. He was not saying drawing can only be good if you work for a week on it. He just wanted to explore what happened. I found this analogy interesting. I have been working on four large pieces on paper this semester. I started with figures then added shapes, collage, screen print. I keep changing them and I'm not sure if I'm destroying them or just getting them to a place where they work. I just want to push these pieces as far as I can. I know this may or may not work out but it's just what I do when I'm struggling to resolve something. It seems to make the next pieces I work on better. I think as an artist you always have to have work that is experimental. Some that you don't care how far you push it. Of course not all work should be done in this way. Once you find something that works I think you should hang on to it. This struggle of figure, abstract, structure verses, chaos seems to be a constant theme in my work.
Her work is intuitive with an uplifting spirit about it. I know I have focused a lot on the dark side of my life, however, I my life has gotten a lot more positive this year. My color palette expresses that best by the bright colors I choose. Although the content is about sadness, turmoil, confusion, stress, pain and anger the color palette is bright and cheerful. i am constantly struggling with this idea of structure verses chaos.
Her work also focuses on how challenging the creative process can be. How hard it is to express yourself and as artist constantly suffering with self-doubt. I can specifically relate to this. Although I have more confidence in my work now, I still question am I ready to show my work. I want to show it, but I still worry if it will be received positively.
These works Alex calls ‘Unstable Equilibrium’. His paints his figures in a mythical way where they are in a mundane setting. They look both indoors and outdoors. He says his memories of Russia influence these works because these memories have emotional associations. He uses these memories whenever he wants to create a particular emotional climate. After reading this it made me realize that if I want to express a certain emotion in my work I could use memories of my past as well. They might not be literal memories, but smells, colors, seasons, etc.
Kanevsky has been greatly influenced by the American culture especially the arts. He likes the freedom, informality of it, and its focus on intense personal experience, its love of understatement and implied depth.
These works are similar in meaning to my work in that the Instability of life clearly exist. I also break down my paintings to resemble how unsure life can be and how unstable my experiences have been. Sharing emotional senses about real situations and how they affect the human mind.
Erik van Lieshout is a multi media artist creating installations encompassing video presented in specially built video rooms/installations, often encircled by collages of drawings and paintings.
I am most interested in his drawings. Since my undergraduate degree was emphases in drawing I love any artist with drawing skills. I love Lieshouts' expressive line quality. I like that some of the lines don't look like they belong but they do. I also like the unfinished quality about his work. This is something I have considered leaving things unfinished. It is hard for me and completely goes against my nature to finish things, but placing that in my work might be a good process.
Lieshout addresses contemporary socio-political issues such as multiculturalism, right-wingers, the position of minorities and outsiders as well as the modern consumer society. He places himself in these radical and personal views. I have recently taken pics of myself and placed me in my work about life situations. He chooses to not adapt to these almost comical situations, where I had to adapt to my circumstances in order to survive. I feel that its easy to have an opinion about things that are going on around the world or life situations, but until you live it and fully embrace it, you can then tell the story through your art.
Anna Boghiguian is a painter and drawer who uses a personal approach. Over many years, during her travels, she developed diary-like series of colored drawings and collages that describe the state of our world through her eyes. She covers issues like the environment, conflict in societies, diseases, etc. She speaks through her work as a third person who is immersed in modern urban cities all over the world yet never fully connected to that society.
I can relate to her nomadic lifestyle. I have moved around myself only living in an area for 4 years at a time. Being able to travel and do artwork about it is very appealing to me. I am interested in traveling when I graduate and I want my work to be relevant to where I travel and what I see. She tells a story through her work and that is my own goal.
Boghiguians' work interest me because it is about present situations. I like that her figures represent feelings and are not so literal. I also like the organic way she fills the page. She does include geometric shapes to contrast the chaos which I am including in my work now.
I do not include text in my work, because I don't want to be as specific as she is about intent, however I have considered in the future including text. She uses intense colors and expressive drawings similar of the figure similar to my work. Her work is a visual recording of experiences and perceptions very much like my work. Although my work is more personal the intent is the same to record life experiences and feelings that coincide with those experiences.