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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"ode to edo"

so, there is this painting somewhere, possibly alberta, canada, of me.
the artist getting the credit for this life-size painting is dean smale, who aside from being an artist, has also been instructing a variety of art-related courses at the community college in medicine hat, alberta, canada.
in 2006, mr. smale did a stint of teaching at the east oregon university in eugene, oregon. it's while there he completed ode to edo..

it's here where it's getting interesting.....especially in view of some of the comments made by some of the models who demonstrated naked outside paris city hall.......you see, the painting is done from a photograph dean had taken of me several months earlier......now,i know, there are many artists (99 out of a 100, i guess) who create great paintings from photographs.......but the pose......the pose, my friends, is mine (the model)...it's my performance, my emotion, my gesture.......all dean smale did, was to copy the photograph.....(and he did it well, i might add)..
however, i suggest you read the critique that accompanies the picture in the eugene weekly ......and you will agree with me, i am sure, that without the dramatic gesture and emotion, this great work of art could not have been created.
good models who inspire good artists to create great art are few and far between......and those who are should get remunerated accordingly and not just tipped

imagine posing for a painting that was completed in eugene, oregon,....then finding it in a gallery in edmonton, alberta, canada.
yes, ode to edo is alive and well and hanging with a few other naked people in an art gallery in edmonton, as part of the show inner sense by dean smale.

video

Friday, December 12, 2008

carmelina, man or woman ?

art professors are a curious lot....i have modeled with over 100 and, though most are quite reasonable, there are some who are downright uninspired and uninspiring.

one case in particular was so absurd and such a waste of students' tuition money that it begs mentioning.
at one institution i was booked for two three-hour sessions (standard) for a painting class.
the assignment was to copy matisse's carmelina.
the students had already done one copy with the female model and now were required to do another one, using a male model (very inspired!!??).

my assignment was to assume the exact same pose as had been assumed by the female model and the one in fact rendered in the original painting.....absolutely exactly the same pose!
even if students had found this, as i did, absurd, uninspired and a waste of tuition money, they - being students hoping to graduate with a bfa - would not have dared to object.

the very least this professor ought to have done, was to allow the male to be male, which is to say, carry his body the way a male would.
aside from the very obvious, there are distinct differences between the male and the female body and the way men and women "carry their bodies"....this would have been a valid, though still somewhat uninspiring, excercise

to have a male strike exactly the same pose to the very last detail, as a female in exactly the same copy of the same painting, in my view, is an insult to the students' creativity and a waste of tuition money.

it also once again reinforced my point that some post-secondary institutions are counterproductive to the nurturing of the creative human.
one does not go to art school to become an artist...one is born an artist....art school often cripples the "artist-within", rather than elevate it.
the bfa and subsequent mfa, of course, are vitally important to art-related , though rarely artist's careers.
the frightening part of that is, that many will carry with them the legacy of an "education" provided by art instructors described above.
at the same (uninspiring) institution: a three-hour posing session for a painting class, the instructor took great pains to pin to the wall behind me swatches of fabric with all kinds of designs.....the assignment?.....to paint the human figure surrounded by designs......HUH???
the students' tuition included paying for a model, so why not paint the model? instead of letting them obsess over all the different patterns on useless pieces of fabric???
once again, with feeling: art school kills the creative spirit in the art student; is that perhaps the intention???????????????