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28 February 2011


'Cluster', 5.5"x5.5", oil on panel.

I've never seen it before moving to the south, growing out of the ground,and had to paint it; cotton.

11 February 2011

Art as Crime

Nothing massive today in terms of painting (albeit there is one at the bottom of the post. What kind of painting blog would this be if it was devoid of painting? Oh, sorry going all existential.)

I want to address a related interest in art of mine and that is art crime. I became fascinated by these nefarious activities when I saw The Thomas Crown Affair. The remake with Pierce Brosnan not the original from the 60's with Steve McQueen. I'm not that old. I thought the movie was intriguing as a kid, upon seeing it recently, I would certainly change my mind. It has its moments but overall less impressed.

However, it planted the seed that people would steal paintings from collectors and museums alike for their own uses, beyond being in love with a painting. I could understand this as it could be a crime of passion. Now, many years after seeing the Thomas Crown Affair, I have read a number of books and seen quite a few documentaries focusing on modern and historic accounts of art crime. Although its been going on for ages perhaps the Nazis looting and caching large quantities of masterpieces during WWII brought it to a world wide audience. Art crime has gone through fluctuations of notoriety since then with The Gardner Museum heist in 1990 and Edvard Munch's The Scream stolen during the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway.

There are loads of others cases that seem to get neglected by the mainstream media for a whole host off reasons. The neglect of the media to generate mass public disapproval may play a role in why now it has become the third highest crime business in the world behind guns and drugs. Multiple billions of dollars of stolen art are often used in the business transactions of for weapons and narcotics. I'm sure many of you didn't realize that. I know! It blew my mind too. This whole semi long winded stroll down art crime lane was a preamble to me linking a few articles on this very subject. I'm posting these two as they are two I most recently bookmarked. I've deleted a number of these articles in the last year and it struck me that other artists may like to know. Or, at least get in a good short read reminding us of the invaluable nature of art, where some will do whatever they can to acquire it, by whatever means.

A Russian Masterpiece Goes Missing

What Lucien Freud thinks about his stolen portrait

I will post more links as I come across them. . .do with them what you will. Later in the month I'll put up a couple books on art crime and a few notable links.

Also outdoor still-life action. Another small painting 7"x5":

Visible History

04 February 2011

February 2011 Group Show

This painting is in a group show kicking off tonight at:

The Peterson-Cody Gallery
130 West Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 820-0010

Click here to go to their website and see all the work

01 February 2011

Men with Swords

Hey February, how did you get here so fast?! I do not know and don't want to ask. Anyways, onward we forge into 2011 and new paintings.

'Men with Swords' could be an apt title to this small set of paintings, but it isn't. They each have their own titles and are tied together in concept and not necessarily in arrangement. The square(middle) one is only 10"x10" with the other two paintings measuring 7"x5".

Changeless Witness

Their size was an important aspect of the initial idea. All of these statues are located in civic or communal spaces. They were made at life-size or over life-size, adding to their significance to their respective cultures. As with many figure-based landmarks their likenesses are often glorified, making them not (entirely) accurate representations of their originator. My concern wasn't necessarily with their individual identities in the first place, it had to do with altering our interaction with the imagery.

Many Lifetimes

By translating them to paint they've become private, personal encounters and no longer exist in a public forum. On top of this notion, the canvas size has stripped them of their monumental scale, creating an intimate experience. This 'forced' intimacy is what I enjoy most about the pieces. When viewing them one can't get around the size and they'll draw the viewer in closer. As opposed to standing back like one would do outdoors with sculpture.

New Courage

Of course, that is more easily experienced in person and not on the web.
Thanks for checking in. . . more soon.