Saturday, October 31, 2009

real life stuff.

i guess this is by volkswagen, but it's cool cause it shows how art can impact people daily. and in any setting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Brown Sisters Photography Project

Nicholas Nixon. 25 years of the Brown sisters. I think this is beautiful, and that the pictures get better as they get older. It says a lot about the permanence of a true sisterhood and real love and dedication.
It made me think that if I had learned about this project about 3 years ago, I would have wanted to try something similar with my sister-friends. The project would never have come to a proper conclusion, because those friends are gone now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In photography today, I did a presentation on Sally Gall. Her photography is less important to me than what the article I read about her made me realize about myself.
Gall is, just like me, very hesitant to describe to others what the concept of her work is. I used to describe this as a problem. I regarded it as something I wanted to fix. Now I understand that it really isn't a problem, but a conscience decision I have made as an artist. Gradually, I am coming to terms with this decision. Once again, this becomes an issue in academic studio. During critique, I am expected, to some extent, talk about my art. Because of my fear of talking about (and therefore demystifying) my concepts, I sometimes hesitate to let free what I am trying to conceptualize. This interferes very negatively with my creative process.
Sometimes, I know that a strong concept exists but that does not necessarily mean I know any more about my concept than a viewer... There isn't always something to talk about.
My paintings have become a very exhausting, emotional, and slow journey of some sort of self-discovery. I wish I could be more sure of what I was discovering. I guess that question hanging in the air is what keeps me moving moving painting thinking. I am curious by nature, as are most artists. I need this curiosity to be sated or I will have no reason to be outside of square. Instead of move think paint, I would be reduced to move think about boys. Which. Yeah.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

RE: re: Eureka!

Yeah, I thought about revoking what I said about the artist community because I think I'm wrong there. I think what I was meaning to say is more along the lines of allowing myself to be accepted as what I am in that community, which for some reason I'm afraid of.

Also, as an art student here I've always been taken very seriously. If I hadn't, I never would have gotten to the point where I am now. I have raw talent but it definitely needed focus.
So the professors aren't the problem.
I think my issue is that this is the first time for most of my classmates where they are intensely on their own as far as what they are going to create. I'm not saying I'm more advanced than them, but I think I am more willing to go out on a limb conceptually. I have always leaned toward conceptual creation, even in high school. Except I never really knew how and I still sort of don't.

This was a good back and forth, I LIKE IT


Monday, October 19, 2009

re: eureka!

it's funny... this is like one of the times when you say you thought i already knew that when i'm telling you i realized something about myself... cause i thought you already knew all of this. maybe it's just because i feel the same way about this stuff as you mostly.

anyway. i like that you say yours isn't beautiful in the way theirs is. because everyone has a different opinion of beautiful, especially in art. and i agree with you that if you can stand in front of a painting and get a feeling from it and feel the emotion, that's what matters. that's what's real and that's what i find beautiful about art.

also, you SHOULDNT need to paint things "perfectly" over and over, but i think you should know how to do these things, which is why we're in art school. but you should use this knowledge you have from school as a jumping off point for whatever you as an artist, not as a student want to do.

i think you're assuming a lot to say that the artist community needs to accept the fact of what you're saying. first of all, i think the artist community has accepted it already (look at all the artists that don't paint "pretty" things and are famous). i just think your artist community (in school) hasn't accepted this, because they're still painting pretty pictures. second of all, the artisit community doesn't NEED to do anything. that's what art is. you make what you make, you think it's beautiful (for whatever reason), maybe some people agree with you, and definitely some people think you're shit.

anyway, i didnt mean to say that your art program is bad or anything, i just mean that by the time we're seniors here we've already been treated as artists, not students, and so we feel like we can do whatever we want and not be judged for it. and i think a lot of us end up making "non-pretty" art that is beautiful.

i hope your eureka moment ends in a fuck them all attitude and you can let go of whatever it is you're holding on to and you can just DO whatever you feel is beautiful to you.


This Sunday, at breakfast with my roommates, I had the BEST Eureka! moment!!!!

One of them asked me what I thought about Jackson Pollock. As I was explaining how much I love him, something sort of just spilled out of my mouth that made SO MUCH sense in regards to how I view art and why I lean toward creating art a certain way. I was surprised when it came out, but I felt a huge sense of relief that I had finally reached a new understanding of my own art.

What I realized is this:

I really love Pollock and I finally figured out that it isn't because I find his paintings to be visually beautiful, in the same way that I do not create art that is visually beautiful. That breakfast was the first time I said out loud (and realized, period) that I do not create beautiful art. This was a huge, huge, huge realization for me.
For one thing, it made me realize the discomfort I was having with creating art that is technically simple, but conceptually elaborate. I feel an incredible pressure with creating conceptual art that isn't "pretty" in an academic setting. It can be an uncomfortable feeling for me when other students are looking at and judging what I create. My work is not beautiful in the way theirs is; I avoid portraits and tomato plants and the norm. Whatever that is. At an academic level, my work is out of place and can be confusing. It's hard for my visions to reach their full potential in the current environment. Taken out of the context of a school, I really think they would thrive.

I have begun to completely view art not as something seen, but something perceived. I naturally gravitate toward art that typically falls short of being visually pleasing for the average person. I can FEEL the emotion emanating from these works. The artist has allowed me to experience some of what he is feeling...something important has been revealed. CONCEPTCONCEPTCONCEPTPROCESS.

I never allow myself to emulate the skill of another artist, because it should be a given that each artist does have skill. This is something that should be recognized and not forgotten, but not always shown. I should not need to paint the human figure beautifully over and over for others to understand that I can do so.
The artist community needs to first except this fact. I believe that anyone creating beautiful things for the reason of beauty is more of a craftsperson than an artist. I do not mean this in a critical way whatsoever. But I hold that if we can all recognize that we have skill and do not feel the need to prove it, or have it proven to us, we would stop getting stuck on the beautiful and move on to something much deeper and more important. That way, we might all start finding answers.

And that's just skimming the top


Saturday, October 17, 2009

no motivation.

rainy weeks are the worst for getting things done... i have no motivation to go to the studio.

Friday, October 16, 2009



It reminded me of how wild we are. And how we're not really allowed to be that wild, because we're adults and we're women and so we've become artists to compensate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009



"I'm working on a paper and I want YOUR STORIES!! I want to know your exposure to the arts! please tell me what you experienced or didn't experience. Do you consider yourself a creative person?? Do you tend to stay away from the ...arts? And by the arts i mean visual arts, performing arts, music, ect.. I want to know how you feel the arts have/have not had a role in your life and during your education"

I've always considered myself a creative person. I'm breaking down a lot of creative walls now, and trying to really throw myself "out there" to see what I can find. I look at the artists who I admire, and they went way past that creative wall- ultimately leading to their success.
My exposure to the arts started pretty late. I didn't become seriously interested until I was a junior in high school in Mr. Jiorle's drawing class, and that was the only really useful art class I took at the high school. For some ridiculous reason I chose it as my major, and so far it's worked out pretty well. My first few years as an art student weren't all that rewarding until I found my niche(?) in conceptual painting.
So basically since this summer I have become immersed in the arts. I sort of consider it my job to be thinking about art in some way at all times. Whether it's to notice that something is visually pleasing and WHY, or whatever. No matter what: my brain is WIDE OPEN at all times to things I've seen, heard, felt, experienced. I never fail to shock myself at what I pick up subconsciously and throw into a painting way down the road. I've learned to create extremely strong, intimate relationships with most things I'm working on. Like any relationship, this is a completely exhausting experience. I can throw as much love, money, and knowledge into a painting, but that doesn't always mean it will be worth anything. At all.
However, I am 100% willing to paint over any piece that does not satisfy me. If it isn't satisfying me, it isn't satisfying the viewer either, making it a completely useless piece of art.
I'm really in love with the idea of the process (or choice) of a piece of art. If there is a conscience process involved, or a conscience choice made by the artist: art has been created. Period.
Currently, I'm exploring my feminist philosophies concerning choice, having children, family ideals...etc. Anything relating to being a woman, basically. My main focus is embryos. They say a lot, even if I'm not always sure what that is.
The great thing about being an art student at Ramapo is that the visual artist community is extremely involved with the music scene. Having people understand the insanity of CREATING something that's worth anything is an awesome awesome awesome buoy.

Anyway Alison, hope this helps. I'll tell Niki to write something up too...I'd also suggest looking through the posts we've written on here. There aren't many, but a lot of them (especially the more recent ones) are about our own philosophies and experiences with art. All of them are geared toward answering the question of what art is. As individuals.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Get me??


Things I Know About Myself

Straight from my artist journal (MY AJ)

-I am in love with the idea of projecting onto the canvas so strongly that it projects back onto me. Even though it kind of makes me want to die sometimes.

-THE PROCESS of the piece. I explore my own process AS it is happening. With the expectation that it will eventually lead to something else & etc. Reflecting the evolvement of ALL art (!?)

-THE EXPERIENCE of painting is draining and emotional and painful both physically and emotionally. It can be a passionate fight uphill that reaps no reward. As an artist, I bear my soul in each of my paintings. Sometimes, I do not like what I see. Possibly, the occasional forced nature of what I paint is caused by an inability (refusal?) to come to terms with whatever it is that I feel (or don't allow myself to feel) on a regular, exhausting, basis. This bearing of the soul is also why I have a hugely difficult time talking about my art. What I paint is all I can offer to the viewer, I can't offer much else.
This is the lot of the artist. I take the challenge on willingly, even though I am tired.

-Everything on the canvas has a reason for being there. The viewer should become involved with the piece. Everything comes from somewhere.

-I want to convey a strong message through my art. I would like the viewer to experience some emotion when viewing my work. I greatly admire artists who I connect with emotionally. I do not always know why I connect w/ particular artists, but I believe they have accomplished what they may have set out to do by impacting me in some way. It has a lot to do with the viewer.

-Looking to achieve a grittiness that will evoke personal, intimate emotions from the viewer.
CHALLENGE my viewer into an internal conversation on feminism

Make a statement

-As the artist I prefer to share VISUALLY & withhold vocally. Secrets lose their meaning when they are shared. The mystique of the symbol is lost & raped by the eagerness of the viewer to "get it." I would rather my viewer just FEEL IT. I paint for the viewer because she will be seeing my paintings not based on my emotions, but based on her own story.
I guess we don't need our artists' journals to sound kind of nuts. I'm going to use this to develop my philosophy on art more aggressively. I might write things repeatedly. whoopsie

something from cezanne?

I'm not quite sure who said this because I'm reading a book right now that is quoting things from all these random places, so either Cezanne (MY FAVORITE) said this, or Cezanne kind of said this but a poet wrote it... or something...

"Shut your eyes, wait, think of nothing. Now, open them... One sees nothing but a great colored undulation. What then? An irradiation and glory of color. This is what a picture should give us... an abyss in which the eye is lost, a secret germination, a colored state of grace... Lose consciousness. Descend with the painter into the dim tangled roots of things, and rise again from them in colors, be steeped in the light of them."

my favorite is the last sentence.

RE: Phil Guston/my philosophy/ a little bit about duchamp

I LOVE WHAT THIS GUY HAD TO SAY. Even though I only heard the filtered down version via you.

Sorry I've been slacking on putting new interesting artists on. I like to put up people who are mindblowingly nuts, just to keep it interesting.

ANYWAY. What Phil Guston calls his control *I think???* I call the process. Or, as Duchamp said and which I love, the CHOICE of the artist.

I accept Duchamp's readymades 100% art, no questions asked, because he made the conscience decision to choose an object and display it as art. I feel like he had his own set of challenges as the artist, because he had to become a "selector." He had to find an object which he connected with and envision that object in a different setting from what was usual for that object. Thus, changing the meaning of the object. Allowing himself to connect with an inanimate object could not have been such an easy thing, right??

Also, I think Guston said something about allowing the painting to go through you. I LOVE THAT BECAUSE I HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT .I'm not sure if it's me the artist or me the viewer that can just sense when the piece I am looking at has not become a real part of the artist who created it. As artists, we need to get seriously SUBMERGED into our pieces.

Thank God we're both artists, I have no one else I can talk to about this stuff.
It's okay, probably even a good thing, to be insane. It isn't my fault that my paintings make me this way.

This makes some sense but is completely unedited and I feel like I just sort of put thought fragments in my excitement and rush.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I watched the BEST art video ever today. Philip Guston: A Life Lived. And i can't even find it anywhere online. His non-representational stuff i liked. the other stuff i can't really make a judgement on cause i havent seen them in person, but they're kind of cartoony, which he was going after or whatever. BUT just listening to him talk was AMAZING. I wish he didnt die cause i would make him talk to me forever. In the video he talked about everything that ever matters as a painter.

talked about how you have to paint what's real. You can't not paint it or it's fake. You become a wax figure i think is what he said. And he destroyed all the paintings he wasnt happy with. It's not even worth it if you don't make contact with it and have enough of an experience with it. and you KNOW it's good if the painting comes not from you, but through you. he said every other person in the studio disappears, and eventually you disappear and it's just the painting being painted.

i have this post it note above my desk that i wrote "ART IS CONTACT" and i knew i liked it enough to write it down, but i didnt really get it, and now i get it. Art is contact, it's not worth it if it's not. cause it's not real. and by real i mean to the artist. not to anyone else. and you might get shit or criticism for it, but AGH he described it so perfectly. basically you HAVE do it. to survive. otherwise you die.


found this: it's not the whole thing, but some clips from it. the guy talking is kinda boring, but guston talks around 2, 4, & 6 minutes. i'll keep looking for more...

Friday, October 9, 2009

LOOK AT THIS! (Eric Fischl)

i dont know what a chromecoat is ...?


i like the chromecoats cause they're not so detailed. they feel felt rather than thought. the portrait paintings on his website i dont like as much. too much thinking.

Borna Sammak interview.

I can't find images of what the end product looked like, but it's cool anway. gets you thinking about all the places you can put/view art.

oh, here's a link to what it looked like:

and a video that i can't get to work:

in response.

in response to kiki smith, it's about the same stuff.

janine antoni. and the piece of art i'm talking about is gnaw.

Artist Pick 6: Kiki Smith, Second Wave (?) Feminist

Awesome find, full length Kiki Smith on Art 21. Here is the link to the video. Her segment starts at 39:00

Unfortunately, I can't find a good website or blog that has written about her pieces. From what I know about her, she comes from a time in feminism when artists were very very into the "gritty" and grotesque of women. They did not back down from their feminism. For example, one woman poet read a poem from a ribbon as she was pulling it out of her vagina.
I would have LOVED TO HAVE BEEN AN ARTIST AT THIS TIME. This was the age of "female artist." In the third wave, I think we've gotten very caught up in political correctness, and so there is a lot less "I am female, I am proud," and a lot more ambiguity as far as gender...third wavers now lean toward just being a person, not male or female. So I am just an artist, not a female artist, because I have nothing to prove by saying that and because most men do not allude to gender in that way (except of course when they are in the role of something classically considered "woman.." go figure)


To remedy her lack of a website, I'll just add some images I can find online and put 'em right here for you all to seee. Don't forget to check out at least some of the video too.
I actually can't find the print I'm looking for and the biggest reason for putting her on here (other than how crazy her stuff is). The print is so SO similar to a piece I am working on for my next painting. It's weird because my painting professor's works have actually had a huge impact on my work, and Kiki Smith has made an even larger impact on my professor. I thought it was really interesting that now I am creating a work so much like Kiki Smith's without ever having seen it and only being influenced by her in this secondary way. WEIRDWEIRD

Whatever, I'm out


Thursday, October 8, 2009


this is kinda cool... i like the sound more than the idea or the visual.

or maybe the idea is the sound.

REPLY: RE: why can't abstract...

i have a feeling i won't be able to say what i mean in a way that makes sense:

i was talking about art from the viewer's perspective, not from the artist's. OBVIOUSLY it means something to the artist (and hopefully to the viewer too). and i've been painting non-representationally for a while, so i'm not... i dont know. ha i'm not discrediting or taking the piss out of anything.

so yeah, i guess i kind of meant art historians, or even people who don't know anything about art at all. why do they stand in front of an abstract painting saying this looks like this, this line means this... or maybe more when people ask, "what is that?" Why does it have to be something? can't it just be what it is... a painting. with colors or shapes or a mess.

Obviously as an artist you want the viewer to walk away from your painting with something. Some sort of experience or feeling or thought or impression. even if it's a bad one. what is art if it doesnt create a response?

i just don't see why there has to be soooo much analyzing for every single painting. Don't get me wrong, i think some abstract art definitely is created for analyzation and others deserve to be analyzed just because. I'm just saying that art like Pollock's (which i could be completely wrong about this cause I don't know anything about him or his process, but that's the risk of making art- people have their own views on it) seems more like a visual experience to me rather than an analytical experience, and why are people trying to find stupid shapes in it?

RE: Why Can't Abstract Just BE Abstract by NLeist

I think you should clarify what you mean in this post because it seems like you're on to something, but I'm confused as to what.
If you're saying you think art historians shouldn't sit around like assholes reading into every dot and line, I think I have to agree with you.
My current art history teacher seems to make things up on the spot (out of his butthole, that jerk), and it's really obnoxious.

But, since I've been moving into nonrepresentational and "obsessive" art I've begun to understand the mindset of people like Pollock. The idea of just getting it out getting it out getting it out, whatever IT is...which I think we've talked about and agreed on before.
I do think though, that Pollock may have been free of painting with a pretentious purpose, if that makes sense. I think that, like me, he may paint something and then decide later on whether or not it's coming from anywhere outside of pure visual elements.

Anyway, I think that this response isn't what you were getting at at all, but these are some things I've been thinking about recently.


Artist 5: Jenny Saville

Link: Jenny Saville (youtube montage)

It may be obvious already that I have a definite definite huge fascination with the grotesque in art. The next two artists on my list will also be indicative of that.

Jenny Saville, (my first female pick!!) is one of the most exciting painters of my life. She finds the macabre in ordinary situations and has the ability to create one of the most dynamic perspectives of the figure I have ever seen. To say the least, her work is gritty and it's just plain cool.

I definitely relate her to the works of Lucian Freud, who will be Artist Pick 7 and is pretty rockin'

Enjoy the video link!


why cant abstract art just BE abstract?!

I guess i get it because the left side of the brain can't help but put everything into order and symbols anyway, but WHATS THE BIG DEAL?! can't abstract art just BE abstract? that's the whole point. to not sit around and stare at something and say oh, that's a boat or that's a fish or that's a vagina. i mean, i dont know.

Look at this article about Jackson Pollock's painting. First of all, Pollock kind of pisses me off anyway, but this guy wrote a book on how pollock put his name in his painting?! I really doubt that it matters AT ALL.

Artist Pick 4: Ron Mueck

Watch the (link): video. Enjoy how very coolvery cool very cool awesome awesome he is.

I'll talk about how effective this video is in showing the first sculpture of the boy so many times. The entire piece changes based on the location of it, which is something that is very imortant to art. This particular piece says a lot about the artist's choice in location.
I am in love with how in certain spaces the boy may seem "too large" and cramped, while in others he somehow becomes vulnerable and small.

All of them make me want to kind of pee my pants or SOMETHING, but my absolute favorite is the piece toward the end....Look for it at moment 2:30!


Artist Pick 3: Matthew Barney, Cremaster Artist

Here is the Cremaster series website. I can't say much about this amazing dude, there are no words for the bravery he has in getting the shit in his brain out and into life.

Link: Cremaster 3 (the last video in a series of 5)

I'm not positive whether or not this is the full length version, but it's saweeeet. I'm having a hard time finding the rest, I know there are moments in the others which are much crazier and more intense than this example.



Artist Pick 2: Photographer, Abelardo Morell

Click for Abelard Morel's website. It's very extensive and FUCKING AWESOME.

The photographs which I find to be the most breathtaking are from his book series. This dude travelled worldwide to get these pictures of different books. Wowwowza
What makes the photos so great is the way he captures the romance of books. PERFECTLY. The photo I chose for this entry , Dictionary, is my favorite from the book series, but the other book "portraits" are downright gorgeous as well

The reason I gravitated most strongly to Morel's book series is because of the very important relationship I have developed with books. They are my saviors during the hard times, without them I would probably in a very bad place. Ie-reality.

Anyway, also of note by him is his retelling and photographing of Alice in Wonderland using cut-outs mixed with real life elements (ie- cut out of Alice, real water). Makes for a very very interesting layered effect.
Lastly, check out Camera Obscura. It's not obvious in many of the pictures, but he's playing with images upside down using the extremely simple camera obscura.

Good shit.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Us, We Love

I wasn't nude but I could have been. Art changes being naked to something else that makes you not naked anymore.
I guess nudity is a state of mind.


colors are weird things... Dyskinesia & Blue Lenses. xNiki

I swear it's real. Putting blue lenses on a percentage of Parkinson's patients helps with dyskinesia.


Everyone should take this:

it tells you what your current life problem is.

My first artist pick: Stephen Shanabrook

Stephen Shanabrook, "chocolatier."

Check out the link to see this dude's work. HE IS INSANE. My biggest question is about his suicide bomber piece (above), which is where that link should send you.

Shanabrook would go to morgues to cast the bodies and body parts that he wanted to become a part of his collection...but how in the world did he cast the body of a this dude with intestines hanging out and everything?? Was he called on site or WHAT.

One important thing to note about his work is that he makes a consistent effort to change the meaning of his mediums, something that can be difficult to do in a creative way in sculpture.
The chocolate is the biggest example of this, in that he is taking something edible and generally DELICIOUS and making it gross and icky.

Chocolate body part wedding favors...go figure. People are all sorts of nuts, and I kinda' like it.

I guess I won't be talking tootoo much about the artists or their process on here or whatever.
For this dude, I'll just say that I love his chocolate pieces and paper surgeries and pretty much everything else too.

Be warned that all of his stuff falls under the macabre in a kind of nauseating way.

He da bomb though.
As are all the artists I will introduce on this blog. Promise.