Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Aesthetic Apparitions

     We have all experienced it. We see a work of art, or stumble upon a picture in a book or on-line, and an immediate perplexing fervor overtakes us. Oftentimes, it is indefinable...obtusely explicable...familiar yet baffling. This is the vibe I strive for in my paintings...sketches...sculptures. I am not sure why I endeavor to elicit that feeling, but my internal voice rattles off in an excitement when I tap into that vein. I float out of myself, become an imaginary fly-on-the-wall when my work falls into an observer's gaze. What do they see? what do they feel? Do they think the piece is odd...funny...daft? Are they engrossed in questions?
excerpt from The Cracker-Barrel Surrealist Sketchbook
     What do I like? As an audience member, what makes me linger...ogle...flinch...weep...scream?! Wow, that is a very broad question, but (cue music) "here are a few of my favorite things". 
  • DaVinci...how could you not be enamored with his genius. 
  • Hieronymus Bosch...his tortured conflicted visions are brilliantly disturbing
  • Kale...I know, it's a plant/food, but I love the taste, love the nutrition
  • R. Crumb...his line work, his aesthetic pen work is mesmerizing...his wacky toon lifestyle fascinates me
  • Glenn Barr...wow, his retro-style and mastery of paint...awesomeness
  • The Wonders of the Universe...Brian Cox does a great job humanizing astronomy
  • The Golden Age of Illustrators...NC Wyeth, Howard Pyle, Arthur Rackham, Edward Dulac, Maxfield Parrish, Frank Schoonover....
  • Children's artworks...from the early (and ongoing) work from my own kids to all others...their work exemplifies a cathartic honesty and integrity I covet 
  • Norman Rockwell...I feel his caricatures and painting style are brilliantly executed
  • "Alien"...they should have stopped with the 1st movie, but the others have merits...just not as significantly on an artistic level
  • Astronomical Art...I love the visionary concepts of other worlds
So, as a matter of aesthetic investigation...I will shift my discussions from my own work (although I might dredge them up along the way) to a broader commentary on the world as I see it. These topics/persons that I find fascinating will be my focus from here on out. The above list will get me started and I hope to push it as long and as far as I can. MM :)

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