Falling Leaves: the Ardes blog

Monthly archives for "March 2015"

Psychedelic Painting

Ray Drainville

Bruce Riley paints in poured resin to create what the artist calls psychedlic paintings:

It’s a fascinating technique. You can see the relation to someone like Jackson Pollock, in that he’s reacting to the placement of previous layers on the surface & making immediate judgements as to where and what to paint next. The results are really interesting in & of themselves, but for me the real fascination lies in the process. Those animations give you a real feel for how he works & the moving artworks themselves are what makes the work truly psychedlic. This is a difficult technique to get right: one false move & all you’d have is a big grey mess.

Subverting Pop Aesthetics

Ray Drainville

The anonymous Vermibus (yet another example of Tumblr hosting great creativity) pulls down advertising posters, subjects them to an assault of solvents to un-fix the ink, warps the imagery & re-fastens the result to public spaces:

This is a brilliant idea. It totally subverts the pop aesthetic present in adverts, the usual “I wanna be like”/“I wanna shag” that model that we’re clearly suposed to feel when looking at such pictures. Instead, we’re confronted by something quite disturbing, sometimes looking not quite human, sometimes looking like a flayed or decaying body.

What’s also really interesting about this, I think, is that Vermibus has been able to separate the aesthetic of the human form & the aesthetic of the pose. As we’re repelled by the form, we can see the pose for the artifice it is. The poses then look twisted & unnatural when paired with such bodies. Think of all Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, whose hands are twisted in a neurotic, even spasmotic, pose: the sitter’s discomfort is obvious to us now. Vermibus has done something very similar with pop fashion.

This work also reminds me of some of Arnulf Rainer’s work from the late 1960s & early 1970s where he would paint atop photos to accentuate, or otherwise meta-comment, the imagery beneath. Vermibus’ figures are, if anything, even more disturbing.

The Great Reversal

Ray Drainville

Today I learned that the phrase “blood is thicker than water”, whereby we mean that family relationships matter more than, say, friendships, is a 180° misrepresentation of the original quote. The original quote is: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”, meaning that relationships formed by choice are stronger than those formed by birth. Wow. Just… wow.