Thursday, July 19, 2007

mim stella & sarah biteyourowntail

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i have to apologize to mim (portrayed above). her portrait of sarah (below) is not the one that she wanted to share. she posted her work in progress though. this portrait was her second attempt. she didn't like it as much as her third and final drawing but i found it much more interesting.

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here's why: when it was finished, it looked too real. mim's husband made her pull up one of the corners to prove that it wasn't a photograph. i don't think that realism should be the ultimate goal of art but i do think it's weird and funny that, when art does look too real, we tend to dismiss it. my favorite example might be common knowledge but i feel the need to share it here: rodin began sculpting in the distorted, expressive way for which he became famous because, early in his career, he created a sculpture (a david, i believe) that was too perfectly proportioned. the artistic community refused to believe that it wasn't cast directly from a model's body. rodin was so offended and hurt by their mistrust that he spent the rest of his career avoiding realism. it worked out for the best, i think, but who cares what people think? that perfect david was also an accomplishment.

6 comments:

steve said...

Wow, these are both great! Excellent point to Rama. I've been thinking about this a lot lately--the whole realism vs abstraction thing. I saw an art site the other day, basically comparing many "modernists" as talentless jerks and likening them to the people in the film "Art School Confidential". It (the site) took on a very elitist tone and basically said in order for anyone to be a true artist they must have the proper training, experience etc., before moving on to other things. While part of me agrees somewhat to both the comparison (to the film) and to the call for some type of training, they seem to forget all the great folk art, visionary art, and "cultural" art, and came off as if classical European training was the one true answer. Like you said, who cares. If you're honest about what you're doing, that's all that really matters.

biteyourowntail said...

Funnily enough I got a message from Mim earlier today saying she'd changed her mind and to post THIs one, so Rama I think she'll be pleased.

I do think honesty comes through. If a work is good it will communicate something regardless of the medium, the style or whether it is traditional, conceptual or anything else.

And thanks Steve, that's vary kind of you!

Prozacville said...

I agree with you Rama. And also, vaguely knowing Sarah I think the second picture actually CAPTURES her a lot better too. Both wonderful pieces akshooally.

As ever, YOU ARE MY PORTRAIT-MAKING GOD!

biteyourowntail said...

Yikes typos in my former comment.

Actually I think they both capture different aspects of me, but this one has an edge somehow which has nothing to do with realism.

Mim Stella said...

This has been a great learning experience for me, I love this challenge. Thanks Rama, Steve and Mr. Prozac for your comments. It is also so much fun to see Sarah's portrait of me - I love it!

phthaloblu said...

I am a photo realist, but I love other work, too, and this portrait is just so awesome. I love the effects and the colors. I don't know about the whole "proper training" aspect. I've had that training and I tend to think that all those rules about propriety kills some of the creativity. I've known many artists who have been self-taught and are very talented in their individual ways. Maybe they were just trying to justify their existence (the web site, I mean). We all know that the main ingredient to being an artist is how to "see", and once you've seen and then interpreted, the results are unique. Myself, I can't understand the whole competition between classical and abstract. Who cares? Art is for enjoyment, isn't it? Some people take themselves way too seriously. Great website, btw! I really enjoyed perusing it.