Weekly Evaluation #2

A quick post addressing my progress thus far. Despite looking at much research and resources, it seems I'm still in search of my true idea that will inspire my portraits. I am pleased with my portraits thus far, but I feel I need to take these further. I hope to find this soon in order to develop a greater substantial concept. Maybe I'm over thinking things a bit and just need a little time to let my mind settle.


tutorphil said...

Interim Review Unit 1: Anatomy 06/10/09

Hi Leo

Your blog is an utter delight; not only is it beautifully presented, but it is also rich in reference and range; I LOVED the avatar idea! You move seamlessly between reference points, but always with a sense of cohesion that comes from seeing the thematic 'bigger picture'. No wonder you are beginning to feel a little too saturated with ideas!

However, I can't help feeling that you still haven't made the creative leap that will satisfy you (and I). What is clear to me is that you like to be good at what you do (who doesn't?). You have been a successful Foundation student; you like to finish things and you enjoy doing well. All of this great - except I wonder if you're also a bit fearful of commencing something, the outcome of which you are uncertain; all the portraits you paint demonstrate your clear technical proficiency, but what problem are you trying to solve? For instance, one of the problems encountered when 'picturing identity' is the issue of time, motion and transformation; identities are in flux, they shift, blend and merge; so how to convey this restlessness in a single image - there are a number of ways; consider cubism/futurism as painterly solutions to showing increments of motion and time; the very application of the aesthetic pushes the subject out of the literal and into the abstract (only here, what is 'abstract' is being presented as more truly representative of the experience of looking and of motion). Perhaps you need to attempt a similar shift? Likewise, the problem about pluralism and identity; we exist in layers of self - like the layers in photoshop, with each layer with its own distinct level of transparency/opacity; how can you convey depth, transparency and spatiality in a single image. If you want my honest advice, I think you need to focus on one problem that needs solving (a problem that you believe is the essence of picturing identity 'truthfully') and let the problem lead the aesthetic choices; I don't want you to control them, I want the problem to take you somewhere unexpected; I think you should let it, Leo - indeed, I think it imperative that you worry less about doing well, and concentrate instead on doing something new.

Regarding your essay, both propositions seem like epic questions; the stuff of 10,000 word dissertations; perhaps, to keep the assignment under control, you might make a more structured comparison between photography and painting via images produced within the same year, and which you can argue represent the influences of one upon the other; ask yourself this? What was the painter's response to the invention of photography? Arguably, the camera made the painter's art redundant, but painting took steps to re-invent its visual language to keep itself current; can you perhaps identify an iconic photograph and then a painted portrait from the same year, in which the approach to the painted portrait is beginning to depart from the 'realism' offered by the camera? It would provide you with a nice tight comparative structure by which to talk about a period of great change...

Leo said...

Thanks for the feedback Phil, it is very enlightening. I think your right in that I need to let off the reins a bit and let the problem guide me instead. I will definitely try this!

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