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An Extended Magazine Ban? OK, But Answer This Question: Why? | Main | Top Headline Comments 1-20-11
January 19, 2011

CAC's Late Night Art Thread

I'd still like to find a few good paragraphs on "how to see" abstract art. If anyone knows of something, put up a link. I'm not much of an art critic, but I'm open to different types of art and usually certain about likes and dislikes. Here is part of a discussion with CAC about something he posted in the Late Night Art Thread a few weeks ago:

Lavender Mist, Jackson Pollack, 1950.
Oil, enamel and aluminum paint on canvas 86x119.
National Gallery of Art (Washington).

On that Jackson Pollock? Here's a cool trick I learned from looking at stars and the Milky Way. Look at the picture and then, very deliberately, plug in the following thoughts: Hazy/blurry/fuzzy objects are far away. Objects with more form are closer. Objects in sharp focus are close by. That Pollack you posted looked like a fall or winter morning before sunrise, looking through the trees.

Suddenly, the Pollack snaps into perspective ("atmospheric perspective" is what is being put to use), and it has *tremendous depth*. (Do the same on a clear night when you can see the Milky Way. You can see where we are in the galaxy, since distance accounts for brightness of stars more than intrinsic brightness--since space is so big. Warning: When it snaps into perspective, it can cause vertigo.)

Well, that's one way of looking at it. Amateur criticism indeed. For me, the Pollock does have tremendous depth, and it really does look like a crisp winter dawn. I don't know if that was his intention or "the accepted view"--most certainly it is not--but that is what I see, and there is an inherently strong subjective element to the appreciation of art. I love it, but I wanted to put it up again tonight because many people reacted negatively to it. Try the "atmospheric perspective" trick mentioned above and take note of structure on different scales and see if you feel the same way.

For a completely different kind of art, here is some fascinating kinetic sculpture by Theo Jansen:

Now on to moron art. I can't help but think a couple of the submissions I got last night are tongue-in-cheek, but pickings are light, so I'm putting up all of them. I'll be doing the art thread next week, so if anyone has anything they would like to submit, send it to rdbrewer4(at) Replace the "(at)" with "@" and take out the yada yada yada. Please include information on the date, the medium, and film type and camera settings, if applicable, and anything else you feel is relevant. Maybe with more than 24 hours notice, we will get more submissons. And then I'll ignore pieces named "Poophead."

If You Desire Peace Prepare For War, Tom Dratler, 2010.
9x12 on water color sheet. Soft pastels, acrylic paint and ink.

Freedom, Tom Dratler, 2010.
16x20 on mat board. Soft pastels, acrylic paint and ink.

Cursored Imagination in Spring Hues,
from a lurker who wished to remain anonymous.

Poophead, SnowSun.

digg this
posted by rdbrewer at 10:33 PM

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