Chess and Art

17 September 2008
Duchamp playing Chess

Duchamp playing Chess

The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.
(Marcel Duchamp, from Session on the Creative Act, Convention of the American Federation of Arts, Houston, Texas, April 1957.)

A playful man, Duchamp prodded thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much with words, but with actions such as dubbing a urinal “art” and naming it Fountain. He produced relatively few artworks as he quickly moved through the avant-garde rhythms of his time.


Magritte’s the man

17 September 2008
The Treachery of Images (La trahison des images) (1928–1929)

The Treachery of Images (La trahison des images) (1929)

Magritte completed The Treachery of Images , the famous ‘pipe’ picture in 1929.

A consummate technician, his work frequently displays a juxtaposition of ordinary objects in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things. The representational use of objects as other than what they seem is typified in this painting, which shows a pipe that looks as though it is a model for a tobacco store advertisement. Magritte painted below the pipe “This is not a pipe” (Ceci n’est pas une pipe), which seems a contradiction, but is actually true: the painting is not a pipe, it is an image of a pipe – a representation of one. Magritte also first uses another technique around this time: that of representing a familiar object and given it a name other than its conventional one. Through this gallery of word-paintings, Magritte plays on the discrepancies, paradox, clarity and obscurity of common sense. The question remains as to whether the words actually represent what we think. As a result, the painting becomes a type of language.

René Magritte described his paintings by saying,
My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, “What does that mean?”. It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.


Batty

17 September 2008
The bat

The bat

One winged creature that still inspires fear in humans is the bat. The Australian aborigines have a story about a race of human-like creatures with bat wings who captured a family of brothers. The brothers escaped and the strange dances they had seen the bat men perform are still used in rituals today. In Eastern Europe, bats are strongly associated with vampires, spirits of the undead who rise at night to do harm to the living.


Copy Paste

17 September 2008

Sorry, or maybe not, the images on this blog are mostly stolen as they include visuals taken from other sites (without permission), photocopied or scanned – probably in breech of international copyright laws.

However, should you have been directed to this blog it means that  you have been invited to look into a private visual process, a non-public virtual sketchbook.


The Creature

17 September 2008
Dorothea Tanning, Birthday, 1942

Dorothea Tanning, Birthday, 1942

Dorothea Tanning on her 30th birthday painted her self-portrait “Birthday” in 1942.

Her fascination of the endless openings of doors depicts a surrealist’s image of the labyrinth, the ‘rooms’ of the unconscious mind. The winged creature in front of her is a nocturnal animal called a Lemur from Madagascar, usually associated with the spirits of the dead and the night. The theatrical purple jacket and the human-shaped roots skirt express the conflict and contrast of nature and culture.


Siren

17 September 2008
Siren, The J. Paul Getty Museum, ca 350 - 340 BC (Late Classical)

Siren, The J. Paul Getty Museum, ca 350 - 340 BC (Late Classical)

THE SEIRENES (or Sirens) were three sea nymphs who lured sailors to their death with a bewitching song. They were formerly handmaidens of the goddess Persephone. When the girl was secretly abducted by Haides, Demeter gave them the bodies of birds, and sent to assist in the search. They eventually gave up and settled on the flowery island of Anthemoessa.

The Seirenes were later encountered by the Argonauts who passed by unharmed with the help of Orpheus, the poet drowing out their music with his song. Odysseus also sailed by, bound tightly to the mast, his men blocking their ears with wax. The Seirenes were so distressed to see a man hear their song and yet escape, that they threw themselves into the sea and drowned.

The Seirenes were depicted as birds with either the heads, or the entire upper bodies, of women. In mosaic art they were depicted with just bird legs.


Process

17 September 2008
The process

The process

I don’t know how this is going to end up – exploration will give some kind of result – perhaps my virtual sketchbook will end as several collections /visual stories/ on different themes – hopefully a way to produce more concrete art pieces which are non-virtual, ie material – which are then also put on the Virtualities blog in more than just sketch/idea form – should not forget to mention that the aim of this space is also to establish some working continuity in my artwork.