Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Master Weavers - of Glass!

A few years ago, I saw a dish that was woven from glass. I couldn't help but wonder aloud how it was done. The memory of that beautiful dish stayed in my mind's eye.

Then, earlier this year, I was stunned by a photo of an entire kimono created with woven glass! My interest in how this was done and who was doing these masterful works grew.

Of course, there were methods described on various sites, but none were anything like the finest, thinnest glass strips I'd seen shaped into the beautiful and colorful art pieces. As I dug deeper into the question of "how," I found out that these are closely-guarded glass artist techniques. What I did find out how painstaking this work is. Some pieces can take 3-4 months to complete.

Then there was the question of "who" were the masters? I found three - including the kimono makers. There is Paula Marksbury, who makes beautiful dishes. (She's in her largest kiln)

For draping glass, look no further than William Zweifel

Lastly, there's the team of Eric Markow and Thom Norris who not only create kimonos, but also origami birds, skulls, and a 7-foot cactus.
Gives a whole new concept to "weaving" agreed?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why Not Just Take a Photo?

Before photography, hyperrealism was important because people wanted records of events, possessions, and ceremonies.There was only one way to accomplish that goal - hire an artist. (17th Century Flemish paintings)
Since photography came into its own in the late 1800s, artists were free to paint in more abstract manners. The movement that comes to mind as exemplifying this freedom was Impressionism.

Yet, today, there are certain artists who paint works that are referred to as "photorealism." They are so technically masterful that often the question arises, "Is that a photo or a painting?"

There have been several recent articles written about visual artists who paint photorealistically (hyperrealism). The thrust of these articles is to ask the question, "What's the point? "

Those who disagree that photography has replaced hyperrealistic painting insist that a photograph cannot capture what the hand of a painter can do - greater depth of field, understanding of nature, combinations of real and imagined.

Below are the works of three well-known photorealistic painters. The question is: Where do you think? Would it be just as well to take a photo? (click on image to enlarge)
Roberto Bernardi: (Oils)

Steve Mills: (Oils)

Eric Christensen: (Watercolor)
(He also has a video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?disv=RNKk9G-Yzjk)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Does Art Still Shock?

What is shock art? According to Wikipedia it is "...contemporary art ...disturbing imagery, sound or scents to create a shocking experience." However, I contend that art has been shocking the viewers for much longer. After all, being contemporary can mean contemporary to the times.

Consider Daumier's "Rue Transnonain" (1834)

Then there was Manet.  For example, consider the effect in 1863 of  his "Luncheon on the Grass." 

In the early 20th Century, there was Duchamp's "Fountain." (1917)

  Today, these works created a hundred years ago or so, do not carry the same effect on the public.

So, what shocks today? Journalists have written that maybe we've reached the end of what can be described as shock art. What do you think? Are artists no longer able to shock us?