Tag Archives: illustration

Enlightenment by memory recollection.

A simple draft, hidden in a plain old-fashioned sketchbook. That’s all it takes.

As I was searching for something this afternoon (nothing out of the ordinary), I surprisingly stumbled upon this (old) sketchbook of mine, which dates back to my college-years (2011). Although this was (hidden) is my closet all along it still surprised me how many memories it made me recollect. This sketch (see below) in particular. First of all I can still remember the sight I looked upon when drawing this sketch, gazing over the Grand Canale in Venice (what a sublime picture). Focusing my sight upon the San Giorgio Maggiore. It was warm that day. The sun glazing upon my sheets, I drew this fast sketch.

Now, more than 2 years later it still reminds me of the particular feelings I felt that day, being in love and all. Things were different back then, so many has changed since I got my college degree. University is nothing alike what I used to to back in those days.

What I really wanted to share with you is what it inspired me to do these last couple of days. As i gazed upon this sketch, I saw one thing, “structures”. I saw how the dome has been drew with its skeleton included, its supporting structures. Well, that’s what I want to explore in the near future; how to trigger certain expressions using only the structural lines of an object/building. Which structures are unable to? If so, why is this? Which structures are more appropriate than others and why?  Architecture reduced to their fundamental support. “Des lignes sans plus”.
Sketch.

San_Giorgio_Maggiore_Venezia

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The least “pop” of all pop-artists.

Robert Indiana (Robert Clark)

Today we celebrate 84 years of love, the birthday of the least ‘pop’ among the pop-artists. Today we celebrate the anniversary of Robert Clark, better known as Robert Indiana. 

Well known for his bold, iconic and simple images, consisting of especially numbers and short words such as “LOVE”, he calls them sculptural poems. The iconography first appeared in a series of poems Indiana had written in 1985, where he stacked the letters LO and VE on top of each other as he would do in a similar way in his famous ‘Love’ series.

These sculptures can be found all around the world and are represented in many languages. They made stamps, musicians inspired their album covers upon it and so on. In this manner he “spreads” out love, all over the globe. He unites people by placing his (similar) work all over the globe (except for the translation).

Robert Indiana – LOVE

Robert Indiana – Ahava (אהבה “love” in Hebrew)

Rage against the machine (Album cover) – Renegades.

Robert Indiana – “Love” stamp

 

“Some people like to paint trees. I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than painting trees.” – Robert Indiana

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

He did not belong amongst them.

 

Ben Shahn – WWII

 

Another day, another birthday (what are the odds but it’s definitely worth trying: happy birthday to you if it’s yours as well). – Happy birthday Ben Shahn, you would have been 114 years old (if you do the math correctly you should find out he was born in 1898, unless I made a mistake). You probably can not see this, nor hear this but non the less here’s your gift (Yes I know, it’s a review).

Ben Shahn is most likely not well-known among you (at least not like you know Rothko, Klee..) but I do believe, although controversial, he made a big difference. You should know that his major works are to be situated in the first half of the 20th century. Which means; the era of the avant-garde (Dada, Surrealism, ..) and later on Abstract Expressionism (WWII) when the  major ‘artscape’ moved from Europe to America (because of the harsh regimes in Europe which suppressed all kinds of (artistic) freedom and therefore creativity). This is the time when a lot of painters, musicians, scientist, etc. had to move or rather flee to America or other non occupied regions. So did Ben Shahn.

“He identified himself as a communicative artist and employed pictorial realities instead of Abstract forms “to discover new truths about man and to reaffirm that his life is significant“. “

As my header might already have suggested, his themes and way of representing them were nothing like those used by the avant-garde, Abstract Expressionists. Whose paintings mostly were highly esoteric, abstract figures were used or/and color won over figure. So you won’t be surprised if I told you he challenged these ‘esoteric pretensions’ of art, which he believed disconnect artist’s and their work from the people, their public.

As an alternative Shahn tried to accomplish an intimate and mutually beneficial relationship between artist and public. He identified himself as a communicative artist and employed pictorial realities instead of Abstract forms “to discover new truths about man and to reaffirm that his life is significant“. But this didn’t mean he was a painter of the proletariat. As you can see on the painting below he did not only paint ‘social problems’ and ‘war-based iconography’. The painting ‘Still Music’ kind of reminds me of Miro, the playfulness of the lines and the rather ‘monotone background’. Whilst the second one -Farewell Luck Dragon- reminds of some landscapes Egon Schiele made or even a bit of Paul Klee.

Ben Shahn – Still Music

Jean Miro – Nocturne

Ben Shahn – Farewell Lucky Dragon

Egon Schiele – Landscape at Krumau

Non the less he also made some stark, dark and ‘bloody-shocking’ pictures:

Ben Shahn – Hunger

Or this one, which depicts on a harsh and bloody way the desolation and loneliness of war by showing a lonely, (most likely) dead soldier.

Ben Shahn – Death on the Beach

And my favorite:

Ben Shahn – Fourth of July

I could go on like this for pages, talking about the wonderful photographs, illustrations and murals he made. Narrating his life and so on. Although I believe that I made my point already telling you this painter had a statement of its own and did not follow any major group or stream as most artists in NYC did that time. He kept his own values and expressed humanity in a pictorial and ‘human’ way, although he wasn’t afraid of the color red, in contrary. It is worth saying that his art could be described as being introspective but non the less he often captured his figures engrossed in their own world.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: