trying out hp paint.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pictures at an Explanation # 3.

Floating Viscos-City. Acrylic on Canvas (34" x 52 1/2"), 2012.
Should artwork reflect influences? In this case, it does.
I always think that my art is so literal and that even a hint of a representational element is easily readable. Not so.
OK...I have paintings depicting a tree, a television set, a building (usually mixed in with more absctracted elements), but they are what they are. Other times, I have depicted a shape that is meant to strongly suggest something, and it has gone completely unnoticed (unless I point it out) or misinterpreted/seen as something other (not necessarily a bad thing).
This painting, Floating Viscos-City, is influenced by sci-fi, comic books, architecture, early television, NYC and imagined utopian futures. The title, a play on words, is a reference to the thickness (viscosity) of paints, and to the idea of a floating city. Regarding the imagery of the painting itself, there are hints of pedestrian activity, although many are scientific and information research teams, that are somewhat oblivious to the outside (floating) world. It's a future in which mild decay and traditionalist structures are revered and allowed to co-exist with biomorphic glob structures (that are probably habitable).
If you know your modern art and your comic book geniuses, then you should be able to pick out the stylistic influences. If not, then know that even the obvious influences were filtered through me and my sensibilities (a mash-up as it were).
And yes, the left side of the painting is supposed to be a techno-inspired version of Ollie aka Oliver J. Dragon (look it up). But only if you want it to be. Otherwise, it's just a space pod-like craft hovering next to a floating city.
Detail of Floating Viscos-City.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pictures at an Explanation # 2

Claudette enjoys a Robert Cola. Collage, pencils on paper (magazine).
Uncertain of exact date...let's say 1987.

What is collage? What are magazines? Who are celebrities? What is meant by product placement? What can be called art for that matter?

These are all valid and important questions...none of which will be answered here. More importantly (for the moment), is this piece of art entitled (see above caption). I am not overly familiar with the body of Claudette Colbert's work, although her body was quite fetching in the milk bath scene in The Sign of the Cross. However, if you are going to be a purist when making collage art, you have to fall back on your instincts and just grab whatever strikes your fancy. So, in this case, I found an image of Claudette in soda-pop mode, and thought it might be cool to put her in a setting that had nothing to do with the original image. I found an image (Morocco?) and voila, put 'em together. Hand-colored Claudette (colored pencils) and attached a photocopy of a high contrast image of yours truly as the soda label icon. Hence the Robert Cola. This is the original version, as evidenced by the deteriorating paper throughout. I used a color copy of this in a larger piece (below).

 Claudette enjoys a Robert Cola in the midst of the Cola Wars. Acrylic and collage on linen, 1993.

I am not advocating the consumption of soda, nor am I a big fan of product placement. In a movie, for example, it's a distraction, unless it is there as a commentary on product placement itself. So, I would say if you are going to make a purchase, use that extra income towards original art.

Art instead of soda. There, I said it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Submitted for your perusal (a record album bin).

Cautious potential customer approaches vinyl record person (me).
Last Saturday, I was a participant/vendor for The Brooklyn Flea Record Fair held in Williamsburg (as part of the larger Smorgasburg event). Ably assisted by brother Andy (with a lending of a hand--by sis Kate). Andy and I schlepped the various 45s and LPs (along w/ a small box of cds) to the event. The weather cooperated (slightly overcast skies--no big deal) and we set up the items for sale. No sooner had I removed the lids from the cases and lo and behold there were potential customers. They were perusing and flipping thru many a choice title and immediately began making transactions. Most of the LPs (Long Players for the uninformed) and 45s were used, some gently. if ever played at all, whilst some had been given many, many spins. Some of the records were priced in advance, while others were priced on the fly, so to speak. At any event like this, you're gonna get hagglers...which is fine and to be expected. Most people were quite pleased with the prices I set and promptly made a decision ( to buy or not to buy--that is the question.--apologies to Shakespeare). It was music perusal non-stop (again, apology offered to Kraftwerk) and I hardly had time to consume my little gourmet sandwich, which was a tart/tangy falaffelesque concoction. Quite tasty, as was the dark chocolate brownie and the chai coffee (gulped down in rapid fashion).
     I was quite close to the deejay set-up so I found myself leaning in to hear the shouted inquiries: (How much? Who is on this? Have you heard this? When did this come out? Is it good? Who would you compare this to?). At the same time, the deejays provided mixes of the familiar and unfamiliar, which is all you can ask for. What fun is it if you know every song? Or for that matter, if you don't know any of the tunes? They were deejay sets that clearly celebrated the fidelity and inherent qualities that make vinyl records unique (surface noise, anyone?). Oh how I'd love to have someone cover my table in order to dj a short set. (HINT, HINT clubs, hotels, art galleries, etc.) The age mix seemed to run the gamut, with the majority falling somewhere between oh, let's say 21 and 60...and let me just say that probably my most aggressive haggler (hagglette?) looked to be all of 18.
   So what did this SINGLE guy learn from all of this? That generealizing doesn't work (everyone is into music that you wouldn't expect--a good thing), people grab for the stuff you think is ultra-obscure (Drinking Electricity, for example), it's not a trend--vinyl records are back with a Vengeance (Cramps reference), that many people wanted to know where my store is (don't have one, although will do online through the usual outlets soon), we all retain seemingly useless factoids from reading too many articles, record cover sleeves, etc. (a good thing when called upon to instantly recall said factoids), and that food and beverage just taste better when you can sit and get off of your feet (apologies to feet).

Would I do it again? Sure, in one magic moment, one heartbeat, one NYC minute, do it again, time after time...and on and on.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Paintings with explanations: 1

Hi boys and girls! This is a new painting titled Solar-Activity Day (for the whole family). I only used a few of the many pretty colors that are available from the happy art supply store. I used brushes both big and small to create this artwork.

The title is meant to convey a double meaning. On the one hand, it is about solar activity (sunspots, solar flares, etc.) which can affect us all. On the other hand, it is a wry commentary on how many (if not all) of today's major art museums have so many fun-filled art activity days worked into their schedules for all the boys and girls and their moms and dads. Not that this is a bad thing. When Uncle Bobby was just a kid, he never dreamed that the museums would one day be so welcoming.


Solar-Activity Day (for the whole family).
Acrylic on linen, 2012.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Apparently, I never got around to posting this, my 2nd animated attempt. A "music video" for Louise Frost's tune Lose those fears inside from her CAMEOS cd. Something about this song (probably the spoken passage) suggested a witch casting/conjuring a spell. What began as a loose doodle (seen in the end credits), turned into the main focal point. Going against the grain of the way that a lot of lip-synch in toons is done, I decided to animate every frame (more or less) of the mouth shapes. Even though it is hand-drawn, I was going for a Clutch Cargo type of effect.

Here then, in all of its glory, I present to you a cartoon: