Okay, I’m not going to the Surrealist Ball (but if any of you lot want to be my Surrealist Fairy Godmother and make it happen for me, by all means). Just couldn’t resist using that as the prelude to some art I’ve been clicking on lately.
I love her. She is the queen of the digitally manipulated art world. I needed a new author pic and she happily agreed to do it for me. Bit raunchy, and for some reason she turned my surfboard into a horse, and insisted on calling me Boudica, but no matter. I still think it turned out pretty well:
Also, love, love, LOVE this Gif Art by photographer Ignacio Torres. Gif Art! – Knew that would happen sometime. So beautiful, even as straight images.
And this faux moon by SpY. That’s some nice street art.
More later. We should all get back to work probably.
So I went to see the Ben Brown exhibition at Manly Gallery. So bright. So bold. So awesome. When I’m rich and famous *(which is what replaces ‘When I grow up’, once you actually grow up) I’ll surely get him to customize a board for me. There was a wall full of portraits like these:
Famous dead people. Also included Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix – you get the gist. In his notes for the exhibition, Ben Brown said:
Since I was a young boy, I have been fascinated by skulls, both as a motif and as an object. The skull is a symbol of outlaw escapism and at the same time a beautiful natural form.
Which made me think of how skulls used to be used in art, say in the 1500s, as a reminder of mortality (that link is to The Ambassadors, painted in 1533, in which the skull is also considered to be an example of anamorphic perspective, which is a whole other fascinating thing).
Funny how skull’s have morphed into something else now – more like a motif of Live Fast Die Young, or Live Fast Don’t Die At All (I’m thinking of the way that EVERYBODY is throwing those cool Mexican influenced skulls into EVERY design element they can possibly think of).
But getting back on track, he also said:
I like thick black lines, bright colours and simple composition; images that deliver a message simply and quickly.
They do. They do! You should go see this if you’re in Sydney. Take the ferry, have a day out at Manly. Treat yourself, you deserve it.
This is why I love the internet – happy accidents. I was doing a search on carpe noctem, (which means ‘seize the night’, a play on carpe diem), and I came across We Are Sleeping Giants – the project site for a series of photographs by Canadian photographer Brooks Reynolds about summer nights, youth, and that moment just before something happens.
You have to check these out. THEY’RE SO BEAUTIFUL. More
Fishermen at Sea (JMW Turner)
One of the big things in Night Beach is obsession, and Abbie, the main character, is definitely an obsessive type. Aren’t we all? Anyway, while a guy called Kane is probably her most dangerous obsession, it’s her fascination with art and the ocean that help to define her. What I loved about writing the story is that it was influenced by so many things and ideas; working on it was like going exploring every day. Sorting through a big box of cool shit.
Romanticism was definitely an influence. Nothing to do with love, or being romantic, but the artistic movement that includes authors like Goethe and Thoreau and Poe. Mary Shelley. Poets like Lord Byron. Artists like Joseph Turner. The good old Encyclopaedia Britannica lays it down as being about: the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental.
They were awed by the natural environment – mountains, the sea, the sky. I love their take on awe. A not entirely comfortable feeling that somehow straddles delight and terror. A reaction to bigness.
From Romanticism it’s only a small leap into Gothic fiction, the supernatural, and symbolism, all of which fed the story, too. I leave you with the deliciously creepy painting, The Nightmare, by John Henry Fuseli. As you can see, he leaned towards the supernatural …