Monday, August 24, 2009

Words on a Portrait - Sharon A

I am kind of cheating on this one. Sharon Arnold is the subject in "Sharon A". She is also an artist, curator, and all-around good kind of gal (or so we've gleaned after some back and forth emails and mutual "friends"). She threatened to write a post on her Dimensions Variable blog a while back and around the same time my google alert came through today telling me it was up, she sent Matt an email as well (yes - I am a total google nerd and have all sorts of google alerts set up for various things. I am like a google alert collector but we can talk about that another time).
Anyway, back to cheating. I love what she wrote and so instead of asking her to write something specific for this blog, I will link her page and quote her.
My favorite? ..." the New Portraiture. We're invited into the scene, the stories are curious, and the pictures are snapshots of real lives; often drafted by the subject themselves. We want to know more about them, most likely because we are like them. Rather than some lofty idealised representation of culturally enforced perfection, potraiture has become not only an exaggeration of the idea but also a Cinéma vérité, a hipster editorial, a perversion, a study in heightened banality, an idea of excess, a reflection of ourselves; or at it's best, a really fun study of people finding each other in a living web of connectivity."
You can read the rest of her post here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Words on a Portrait - Konstantin

I think sometimes the simplest photograph has more power than the complex. The original photo - later to become the portrait "Kontantin" was so simple - a glance caught in such a beautiful environment with such vibrant colors captured Matt right away.
Konstantin sent us a note with a little story behind the photo. Here are his words:

The photo [was] taken on the 1st of January this year in Chamonix, France. To be excact, on top of the Aiguille du Midi, at about 3800 meters. We had had a long night before, starting to celebrate New Year's eve early in the evening. At ten, we had "Happy New Year" for the first time with the Russian group from the apartment next to ours, who were celebrating in Moscow time.
The next day, no one really wanted to go skiing, so we went up every sightseeing point we could reach by cable car or train around Chamonix. It was really cold up there, around -20° C and a lot of wind, so I was happy to have this old down jacket with me.
A last word to the goggles: The goggles have been up the Aiguille du Midi once before, about 30 years ago, when my father was ski mountaineering in Chamonix.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Artist on the radar

I often think of topics for random posts on my way into work in the morning. If I can’t think of something clear and concise I will think of two or three words to drop into google, do news runs on those two or three words and see what comes up. Today, I did just that. I dropped in “portrait painting” to the search bar and clicked the “news” tab and up came a few articles on the Mona Lisa Incident, some other random portrait painting articles and this one.
It somehow seemed familiar, maybe something I should already know about, so I click in and discover it’s about a recent graduate from VCU – Stanley Rayfield. The thing is, I do know of Stanley Rayfield. He sent us an email last week asking if Matt had any advice for a recent fine art graduate. We took a look at his website and all we could say was WOW! The guy can paint! I mean he can really, really paint! What advice could he give him? MOVE TO NEW YORK!
There are very few people in this world that walk out of their undergraduate university – a degree in fine art at hand – that see their future as bright as I hope Stanley realizes his is. I wish him all the best and I hope HOPE to see his work in person very, very soon. Congratulations on the Smithsonian exhibition, Stanley.