Mark wishes he could travel to Europe and see the Louvre. I came back from a 48 hour video-making challenge hosted and ran by the Gore Street Café in my town. I presented a 4 minute video for the first time and it was pretty freaking fun!
The holidays brought in a lot of interesting stuff, then the return was pretty busy. Mark went to Cuba and I was busy with schoolwork. In this episode, we talk about stuff in a general way. No real topic, just chatting!
Today we have a treat!! London-based artist Jeff Willmore joins Mark and me on our crazy chats about the art world. I very much enjoyed our discussion about his life as a seasoned artist. I especially enjoyed the story about the birchbark suit! Jeff doesn't think painting is fun: it's work for him. We discussed drawing, painting in Canada, abstract painting in North America and a whole lot of other stuff! Mark and Jeff have an amazing friendship, it definitely comes through in this conversation. Please join in.
Check out Jeff's amazing artwork here: http://www.jeffwillmore.com/
It's good to be joined with Mark again. We discussed Art and Science. What does it mean to be making art in 2015? Does painting have a place in the Canadian art scene? Young Canadian artists are influenced so much by science, it does seem that exhibits are becoming increasingly oblique. How can the viewer understand the meaning of the exhibit? Also, I messed up in Printmaking. Yay!
This last Friday, I had the pleasure to chat with Aryen Hoekstra. We discussed his exhibit Above the clouds which has been showing at 180 Projects and which was closing that night, in Sault Ste. Marie. As a Third year undergraduate, my artistic language is still somewhat limited, so it was an amazing opportunity to sit down and listen to Aryen. I am still trying to compute everything that I have seen. I imagine that it will take a while for all this new information to settle in my mind. I was so fortunate to have this opportunity and again, I want to thank Aryen for his generosity.
I was so lucky to meet a great art teacher and artist last Wednesday. Shawn Serfas is a Canadian artist born in Saskatchewan who creates 3-D, multi layered, textural paintings about landscape and about many other topics related to Human interaction with the environment. Shawn graciously agreed to allow me to record our talk together. The song clip at the beginning is Swisha by Ratatat. This podcast was mixed using my iPhone and mixed using Audacity. This is my first time trying Audacity, so wish me luck!!! Thanks for listening and please comment! :-)
Inspired by Mark's posting of a video of Ellsworth Kelly, now 92 years old, we went on talking about our childhoods and our understanding of art at that time. It was a great little video which I would recommend you watch. https://www.sfmoma.org/watch/ellsworth-kelly-explains-abstraction/
This week we have not prepared anything to talk about specifically, so we let our previous posts on our Facebook page guide our conversation. Isabelle could not remember if Renoir was an Impressionist because of his more "realist" or "classical" tendencies... But he indeed was an impressionist and hung out at Manet's studio. I got my categories and my dates mixed up in this podcast and I'll try to get those firmly in my head. Édouard Manet was the mentor painter who supported and helped Monet, Renoir, and Degas at a period called "la fin du siècle." Then Mark talks about his artist friend Jeff Willmore from northern Ontario https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Willmore who made a forest and town made of styrofoam in an installation called "A forest the size of France."
Mark and I met at Milos pub on Talbot Street in London Ontario. Mark recently returned from a visit to the Detroit Institute of the Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit (MOCAD) as well. We had a two part conversation about what he saw and about my work as a student and how things tied together. At the Detroit Institute, Mark and his girlfriend Ashley saw works by Claes Oldenburg (he makes huge sculptures of everyday objects, Mark saw an outlet, but he also made a clothespin, needle and thread, lipstick), by Lichtenstein (Brushstroke number something, which we talked about in my Drawing class, in relation to "scale." We are learning about 'scale') by Rothko, and others. He also saw an exhibit at the Museum of contemporary Arts by Latin American artists and one piece struck a chord with him. The exhibit is called "The United States of Latin America" and assembles over 50 artists from Latin America. Mark described a piece that was done right inside the walls of the gallery and it reminded me of my experience with a visiting artist Duane Linklater. In the podcast I said that Duane was Oskago but in fact he is Omaskeko, also, he graduated from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Art at Bard College in Upstate New York but did his undergrad at UofA not at the University of Calgary (I mix them up all the time), and the piece I was referring to is called it means it is raining and it is at the JCA Philadelphia. In this piece, Duane wanted to find the drawings of an artist named Kimowan Metchewais. Linklater sanded the walls of the gallery in order to find the old drawings. It is very wonderful when somehow things seem to be interconnected. The noise in the Milos pub is a bit loud but I hope you enjoy our conversations. Please feel free to comment and if you feel like joining us, let us know!!
The Fluxus manifesto asks artists to purge from Europanism and to make anti-art that all peoples can understand. What if people only like traditional art? Are some artists able to make universally understood Fluxus art? Mark identifies a few.
At Marks's suggestion I attended last night's opening of Paul Walde's Exhibit currently showing at the Art Gallery of Algoma. This is a raw recording of the opening. The first voice is that of Jasmina Jovanovic, the gallery's Director and the second voice is that of Walde. Paul Walde was Andrea Pinheiro's art professor at one point in her career, Andrea being herself a wonderful Fine Arts professor at Algoma University. She encouraged her students to go meet the artist and enjoy his installation which featured a series of wood panels, a large photograph, a piano under which was suspended some evergreen trees or maybe some red pines? And a film of a piano recorded on St. Joseph Island where Paul Walde spent some time as a child.
In this episode, Mark and Isabelle talk about Isabelle's return from a 3 day workshop on Manitoulin island. Mark argues that everyone is capable of creativity, as it is part of the human experience. Isabelle talks about her infatuation with cows.
Photography for me is simply a way to archive my life. For others, it's a means of artistic expression. Lynne Cohen is an amazing photographer and artist. Her exhibit Faux Indices was super cool. She created spaces that one might have otherwise overlooked. Her compositions are decontextualised so as to create a cold, clinical, odd and distorted outlook on the way humans choose to inhabit their work places or places of leisure. Photo: Lynne Cohen.
Lately, I have noticed an influx of artisanal art into the current multimedia and hybrid art movements. Crochet has escaped Aunt Midge's livingroom and taken to the streets in the form of yarnbombing. It is also found a new home as organic sculptures or great installations in art galleries. It is just fascinating how the art of crochet has been transformed over time. Heres to the humble crochet.
Les tapisseries du musée de Cluny are lush, sensual, repetitive, heraldic and bright. After all these years, the colours still dazzle my eyes. The figures are strange and funny sometimes, especially the leopards. Art and Nature intertwined. Fabulous!! Photo: Broderie aux léopards, Musée de Cluny.
Hodgkin is super neat because he paints in lose, large, and strong strokes over the frames of his paintings. So in effect, the paintings are about the paintbrush and the frame first and then about colour. Or you could argue that it's all about colour, too... His minimalist way of painting brings the painterly to the maximum, it overtakes all the space available on his surface. Or you could argue as well, that it's all about emotion, of course. Bold, muttled, garbled, primal emotions. Whichever strike your fancy, it's all there to be discovered!! Photo: Howard Hodgkin Fisherman'Cove
Henri Matisse is perhaps the most often cited painter by my professors. His Fauvist style has no equal still today. He has the unique ability to place elements in his paintings. His compositions are super fantastic; he might be the master of colour in the 20th-21st centuries mindset but in my view, he is the master of composition first and then of colour. Yay Henri!!
While Mark is away doing super important family activities and other cool summer things, I decided to keep the recordings alive until his return which I hope will be very soon. So the next series of podcasts will be about a wide array of topics, from Matisse to the use of crochet in art. Each episode will be short, 7 minute podcasts about stuff I like, artists I admire, things I like about art. I know you miss Mark, I do as well, but he shall return very soon.
After a three week break, Mark and I discuss the business of art, the way in which art is evaluated, and everything we can think of around this subject. We argue that collectors are central to the valuation of artwork and wonder if some artwork will hold up well in 200 years. Will Mark pick up his paintbrush again? I do hope so. He's a good artist! It looks like I'll continue giving my paintings away for a while as I am not quite ready yet to enter the world of making art for money. Living the life of the Visual Artist interests me more right now. It's a good life. Photo: Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone living, 1991.
Abstraction is vast, people often hate it, but Mark and I love it in our own specific way. Why is this so? We're not quite sure exactly, we're figuring out. Maybe some questions can't really be answered. Mark went to the AGO and Museum London and talks about what he saw there.