Thursday, 24 June 2010

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen's 'Never Mind Pollock'

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Never Mind Pollock, Tate Modern - 27 June 2009

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen's 'Never Mind Pollock' appropriates performances by numerous artists including Orlan, Yayoi Kusama, Ana Mendieta, Carolee Schneemann, Janine Antoni and Helena Almeida. All of the original performances are connected in their expressive use of paint and their implicit critique of the macho male painter which Jackson Pollock represents. Tying together all these pieces is Rasmussen's rap-like pop song which provides the narrative of the piece:

"Contemporary art is a grand buffet/ just shovel in the art of the day / too much consumption might cause bulimia/ while there is only loathe / for starving artists in bohemia / repeating reinventing new frames / recycling and sampling remains / historical pieces might tire / new names young fames help art respire…"

Music by Anders Christophersen
Costume Design by Lise Klitten
Camerawork: Richard Canham & Francesca Ungaro

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Self Portrait

Had a bit of insomnia, so decided to do some drawing, this was around 4 in the morning

Monday, 21 June 2010

Artists I admire: Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo 1907-1954 (The Two Fridas-1939)What do I like about Frida Khalo? Most importantly it is the intensity and passion of her work. She was a truly great artist combining Mexican folk art, with surrealism and making her works totally autobiographical through a symbolic form of expressionism. A self-taught painter she ventured into this profession to escape the boredom and pain of being in a hospital bed as she recovered from a near fatal accident. Abandoning her studies in medicine, she approached the artist Diego Rivera for advice on becoming a painter. Rivera gave her encouragement and they were to begin a turbulent affair that would last the rest of their lives. The couple divorced in 1939 and remarried a year later, but the marriage was always an unfaithful one. Rivera cheated on Khalo repeatedly, at one time with Kahlo's sister Christina. Kahlo's painting "Memory" or "The Heart" (1937) was based on this ultimate betrayal; the disproportionate heart which lies at her feet symbolises the intensity of her pain. Illustrating her feelings of helplessness and despair through her lack of hands using

Kahlo countered Rivera's unfaithfulness by having a string of affairs also. Notably with the American actress Josephine Baker (Kahlo was bisexual) and the Russian dissident Leon Trotsky. Kahlo painted "Self portrait dedicated to Leon Trotsky " for his birthday on the 7th of November (the anniversary of the Russian Revolution)
As a result of her near fatal accident and from having suffered from polio as a child, Kahlo would endure many operations and chronic pain throughout her life. She would also go through three miscarriages as a result of a damaged uterus sustained in the accident. Most of these physical ailments are depicted in her work, conveying a psychological and psychical vulnerability. Therefore in the "Broken Column" (1944) and ionic column, broken in several places, takes the place of her damaged spine, whilst nails are sticking in all over her naked body. The naked Khalo looks on solemnly with tears streaming down her face.

In My Nurse and I (1937) she addresses the issue of maternal relationships; Kahlo's mother was unable to breastfeed her because her sister (Christina) was born just eleven months after her. Therefore she was fed by a wet nurse. The relationship shown in the picture is distanced and cool reduced to the practical process of feeding, heightened by the lack of eye contact and the mask in front of the nurses face.

"What I Saw In The Water" (1938 below), shows the artists hallucinations and imagination run riot. Like many of her paintings, this is a semi self portrait with her legs painted from the bathers viewpoint (showing her damaged foot with its cracked big toe). Death, pain and sexuality floats on the water's surface

Perhaps her most famous work, is her most accomplished. "The Two Fridas" (1939) was completed shortly after her divorce from Diego Rivera, and is composed of two different personalities. The European Frida (on the left) and the Mexican Frida (on the right) express the predicament of her own identity. The Frida in the traditional Tehuana dress holds a small portrait of Rivera and represents the Frida that he loved. the European Frida sits with a broken heart and severed vein, dripping blood on the dress, symbolising her marital separation. Yet both Frida's are one and the same; their connection is enforced by holding hands, and an artery that links both of them through their visible hearts.

Kahlo is an artist with the capability to produce stark, shocking and imaginative images through a natural talent for painting. It is for this reason that she is one of the artists I admire and why she has become an art legend.


Memory or The Heart
Henry Ford Hospital
The Broken Column (1944)
Me and My Parrot (1943)
Self Portrait with Monkeys (1944)
What I saw in the Water (1938)
The Dream

Friday, 18 June 2010

Sophia Pan @ Trafik Hoxton

These were 2 minute drawings excercises:

These were 20-25 minutes each in charcoal and pencil

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Life Drawing with Cassandra

These pictures were done at the Hollybush Pub in Hampstead

Cassandra seated (Black and White)

Cassandra standing (Black and Orange)

Three Colours (Cassandra, Orange, white and charcoal)

Serene Cassandra (charcoal)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Nude Male Life Modeling Part 2

(Fig 1) That's me in a performance by the artist Oriana Fox at the Elevator Gallery. This was done at the Elevator Gallery and was based around Yves Klein's "Anthropometries".

(Fig 2)
Klein's "Anthropometries" included naked female models covered in blue paint and dragged across or laid upon canvases to make the image, using the models as "living brushes". (see figure 2)

This idea was subverted to include male models and substituting blue (masculine colour) for pink (feminine)

Nude Art Male Modeling Part 1

I first started doing some male modeling around two years ago to pick up some extra cash and now having joined R.A.M. (register for artists models) I have started getting regular work as a life model. The pictures and video are at the Tate Modern with artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen There is a live video beneath, if you can tolerate the music. Her piece is called "Never Mind The Pollock"

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Cassandra at the Hollybush Pub Hampstead

These are a series of charcoal pictures I did of the actress/performer Cassandra Tomaz. She is half Brazilian, half German model who is also an experienced samba dancer and a great model. Besides not using a great scanner and the pictures not being that great, I am still proud of them as they are the first pictures I have done since a very long time.

This was a 20 minute pose, and I have found out that I cannot work fast no matter how hard I try. Therefore as you can see little time has been spent on the face. Where the light catches her body I did the most basic thing of highlighting it with white pastels. I think I got the structure of her body well from the neck downwards but not so much her arm. Breasts I found hard to do when the female is lying down, but the definition of her rib cage was done well I think.

This one is not that good even though it was a great pose by Cassadra. It is not a good realisation of space hence why I shaded al the dense space in black. It still didn't help the pictue though.

Even though the face is extremely basic (I stress again that I was pressed for time; it was another 20 minute pose)I still like this piture. It looks very modern, (even though it was not intended to be). Cassadra has natural caramel tanned skin, (being that she is Brazilian and all) this is not reflected in the picture but I felt the need to try and document her bikini lins around her breasts. I doctored the rest by having a blue background ala Henri Matisse. (Le Danse)

This is my favourite picture as it is the most detailed and accomplished. I made the body less orange than the rest, using more black and white and her tone is better. I also had more time to do the face. Unfortunately not her extended hand. Though it was drawn as if she is suspended in space she is actualy lying on a couch, which is why her hair is defying the laws of gravity by the way it is trailing. Again I could not fit the whole picture in to include her thigh or (which is pissing me off), put the picture in landscape view.