Monthly Archives: August 2009

New Brushes, Lipstick 66

Man, glad I picked up some Gamsol. Whatever ghetto belnd of linseed oil and copal I used to glaze this sucker left a very strange finish. Not bad, but I don’t think a whole painting in it would work. Also, new brushes rawk.



Shots From Last Week’s Photo Walkabout

In continuing build to get more of y’all out to this week’s walkabout, here’re some shots I took out at last week’s with DJ Jared.

Again, this week’s is Thursday, downtown Indianapolis. No cost, just show up and be cool. We’re meeting at West and New York, be there before 9pm.

Now, the pictures!

Photo Walkabout Treks the Canal, Goes Vampire

walkaboutNick and I will once again be representing Grimey Studios and Roberts Imaging in the field as we invite everyone out for a free night of shooting, advice, and community. This time we’ll be hitting the White River Canal, downtown Indianapolis. Grab a camera, grab a friend (or two), tell a student, and meet us out there. For added fun, it’s a late shoot. We’ll be meeting at 9:00PM so we can try and catch the canal at night, with everything lit up in gorgeous and unusual colors.

This is a great photographic experience for shooters of all experience levels. For those of you just getting going you’ll have the challenge of shooting a night scene and get some experience with IS and tripods, and for you seasoned vets it never hurts to push yourself to find interest in what’s presented to you.

You can check out some shots from last week’s shoot at the Roberts Raw blog.

Nick and I also maintain a Flickr group through Roberts for anyone who shows up to any photo walkabout to post shots to, and you can find that here:

As always, these photo walkabouts are free, just show up. We hope to see you there.

The Venetian Gentleman and How We Interpret Expressions

Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman

Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman

In case you were beginning to doubt my assertions that this is a fine art blog, here we go: I finally had a chance to finish Tyler Green’s wonderful four-part series on the attribution of the painting Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman, and his relation of National Gallery of Art curator David Alan Brown’s thoughts about the mixed attributions of Titian and Giorgione, and his decisions about who actually painted it, his thoughts on the fallacies of relying too much on assertions purely ebcause they’re based in science, and of our propensity for adding perceived pscyhology to the table.

The whole thing was quite interesting, and I won’t steal any of Tyler’s eloquence by trying to sum it up, but I will point you to the four posts here, here, here, and here.

Oh, and I’ll point out this quote from curator Brown, which I quite like:

“It’s not a sterile debate about who did a painting that’s 500-years-old,” Brown said. “It’s about how we look at paintings and how we read them and the kind of evidence we look for when we want to make statements about them and the difference in reading this evidence whether it’s a facial expression or the evidence of x-rays. It’s kind of our attempt to understand the signals or the messages that were put into this picture 500 years ago. It’s fraught with complications and difficulties — and yet there are strong human motivations behind it.

Swindle Magazine Interviews Banksy

BANKSY’s work embodies everything I like about art and nothing I dislike about it. His art is accessible rather than elitist, since he does it on the street; it has a powerful political message that’s conveyed with a sense of humor, which certainly makes the bitter pill easier to swallow; it’s pleasing to look at, because it’s technically very strong but not overly complex and intimidating; and he pulls it off in such a way that its presence in its context communicates not only his message but his dedication to effecting the change he promotes in that message, whether he’s defying Israeli hegemony by painting the separation wall in Palestine or bypassing the elitist review board of a museum by hanging his work himself.

Banksy's Infamous Hack of Paris Hilton's Album (image via <a href=

Banksy's Infamous Hack of Paris Hilton's Album (image via Holland, 2002)

That quote, by Shepard Fairey from the Swindle article/interview on/with Banksy (which I hadn’t seen until now, despite being several issues abck for them), essentially captures what I feel about Banksy too. Banksy, for those of you not in the know, is by now quite then infamous figure in the art world. A legendary street artist (ie, vandal), Banksy has been both terrorizing British police and enriching British culture for some time now with frequently very insightful and amusing bits of graffiti art, as well as political stunts, sneaking art into museums, and in general apparently having more fun while my making a statement than anyone legally should be allowed to.

And, while I won’t go so far as to condone his illegal actions, in Banksy there lies a brazen spirit of guerilla art that I can only hope Grimey Studios can someday imitate, albeit from behind a desk and the actions of a new wave of art youth and not on the streets with the upset bobbies. The point still stands, Banksy breaks many of the stiff conventions of Art with the capital A, and he makes it work for him.

Banksy, whose approach to art echoes  the Guerilla Girls or an irate Andres Serrano and visually seems to tie in more with Andy Warhol and Basquiat (on the formal level, on the practical level he is of course inspired by the frequently more innovative graffiti styles, and apparently directly by Massive Attack founder 3D), makes some nice comments in the rather well-done interview, which I highly recommend reading while it’s still up here.

Fail to do so, and you stand to miss out on quotes like this one:

I have no interest in ever coming out. I figure there are enough self-opinionated assholes trying to get their ugly little faces in front of you as it is. You ask a lot of kids today what they want to be when they grow up, and they say, “I want to be famous.” You ask them for what reason and they don’t know or care. I think Andy Warhol got it wrong: in the future, so many people are going to become famous that one day everybody will end up being anonymous for 15 minutes.

Famous? maybe not, but boy, he has no problems with infamy, does he?