Thursday, May 30, 2013

Color Theory

To paint or not to paint, that is the question. Should contemporary gallery and museum walls be painted any color other than white? Should the 'white cube' as its known be abolished for good?  It's a long running debate in the art world and has been addressed by many artists, myself included. In fact for my senior thesis show I painted the gallery walls bright pink and added big painted flowers, but that was the work, not the back drop and was a direct statement on the white cube. Another student made a white cube piƱata and as a performance piece beat it until colorful confetti came spilling out all over the gallery floor. Fabulous piece. Seriously great work by Rocio Mendoza. 

There are some museums that are opting for colored walls, mostly for historic works and for specific shows that fit the mood and feeling of the work itself. But in the contemporary art world, white is still widely acknolowdged to be the best choice. There are some art critics such as Jonathan Jones who argue that anything but white is distracting and compromises the work itself and the only colors we should be focusing on are the colors in the artwork.

I happen to agree. I love me a crisp white wall to hang my work. I don't want anything pulling the eye away or changing the feeling of the piece. White is bright and cheerful yet goes unnoticed in a gallery setting. If walls are painted in any other color it is inevitable that this will somehow become a focus, mostly because it's not the norm and anyone who frequents art shows will be interested in the the chosen color and how and if it effects the work ultimately leading the discussion away from the art. 


When it comes to interior design my ideas are very different and while I still love a crisp white room with bright colorful furniture and pops of color I also love colored walls. My bedroom is chocolate brown and my kitchen is dark red. Which, by the way I later found out was the worst possible choice I could make since red is know to increase appetite. We now eat in the white living room. 
But art is not interior decoration and deserves to be the center of attention and the only focus in a gallery or museum setting. 

What do you think? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let's discuss, leave your comment below. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rip Everybody Off

I'll never forget the first day of my TDS (trans disciplinary studies) painting class when one of the professors said to all of us that the best advice he could give us as young artists was, 'steal, steal, steal'. 

A few days ago an artist who I greatly admire posted a comment on her facebook page that was very interesting and thought provoking. The topic was in regards to teaching techniques to other artists and what those other artists then do with the techniques. Apparently some don't learn the technique and then use it to create their own work as the classes are intended but rather they copy the techniques step by step, pass them off as their own then turn around and teach them to others for a profit. Of course my first reaction to this was, 'how dare they?' But then I got to thinking about it, and I do think that trying to pass off anothers technique as ones own is dishonest, but I'm not sure that I necessarily think its wrong to re-teach the technique as long as credit is given where it is due. 

As you can imagine the topic received tons of comments and there are those who believe that since the teacher was sharing her technique and the student paid to take the class they are free to use it in any way they choose. Others believe that this is absolutely wrong and should never be done and that the offending teacher should be reprimanded in some way (and obviously quite teaching the classes.) 

When I worked as a tour guide and relayed information to tourists about the art and history of Florence I certainly didn't site the author of each book I read or professor who lectured on the subject and I was certainly working for profit. I this really any different? Why? How? 

Where is the line between copying and being influenced by other artists? And is there really anything wrong with copying in the first place? Is imitation the best form of flattery? Or is it immoral and lacking respect?

I know that I am always looking at other artists and designers for inspiration as well as their handling of space and materials, of course these influences are bond to come out in my work in one way or another. Every artist would like to think of themselves as one of kind and completely original but  influences and the world of imagery that we live in tends to creep in. What is the difference between influence and copycat-ing? And do we as artists have a moral obligation to each other? 

Manet clearly copied Titian's Venus of Urbino (above) and the Olympia became one of his most important works. Is it ok to copy as long as its not a contemporary? Is there a statute of limitations?*

I'm interested in what other's opinions are on this subject because I truly have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I understand the frustration of an artist who works hard to create new and interesting work in a field that is difficult to make a living in to begin with,  but is there really anything that hasn't been done before and can we truly claim anything as our own? As artists when we put our work out into the world we essentially give up control of what happens to it from that point forward. Personally, I try not to worry so much about people stealing my ideas and try to concentrate more on the work itself. I also wonder why this is such a touchy subject in the art/handmade world and not so much in the fashion industry? Or is it an issue there too and I just don't know about it?  A trend is generally started by one designer and the the rest follow suite and then there are knock-off's galore! 

Let's discuss. What do you think?Where do you stand on the subject? How do you interpret Picasso's quote about stealing? Please comment below. 

* I know that there is indeed a statute of limitations when it come to copyright laws, but I'm more interested in artist edict.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Musings

                              Inspired by bright Colors, bold patterns today! Happy Monday!



Monday, May 13, 2013

Welcome to my Studio!

I've been working on it for a long time and I feel like I've been talking about it for even longer. The one thing that I have always wanted, something I set my sights on more than 6 years ago is FINALLY mine! I still can't believe it. Sometimes I just sit here and stare at it and dream about all the things I get to create.

So after months of bricks and concrete, plaster and paint, my studio is finally ready! The day I met Luigi was probably the last time I was this happy! And I knew he was a good man because its   really thanks to him and all his hard work that I have this space, he did it all by himself and he did it for me and its beautiful! Thanks Babes!!!!
Before: The exposed brick walls would have been nice but unfortunately there was too much damage to the structure and it wouldn't have held up nor been very safe!
I've been busy decopaugeing floors, painting walls, moving furniture and organizing my mounds and mounds of art supplies, as well as taking a little trip to Los Angeles in the interim (where I purchased more art and craft supplies) and I now have my very own work space. Hooray!!!!

I was going to wait to post this until everything was perfect and I had a studio full of new work to show you but I realize that that could take a while and that this is really going to be a work in progress for a long time coming. I have so many ideas as to what I want to create and not only with my artwork but for the studio design and decor as well. So for now it is almost perfect and getting closer everyday. And besides I can't wait to post all of the little project that I will be working on.

I can already see that my artwork is beginning to change directions. Somehow I feel completely free all of a sudden and I know this space is really going to help me grow as an artist. Thank you to all of you who have supported me and this little dream of mine! Thanks for believing in me!

Have a look at the before and after photos below. Its pretty remarkable! It was a lot of work but so worth it!
Before: Gigi hard at work! 

Before: The space was used as a warehouse, garage and tool storage for Gi and his brother's construction business for 15 years, needless to say there was A LOT of stuff! 

After: Yes it really is the same space!

Add caption
During: This is after the old plaster and concrete was removed



After After After!!!!!

You can find me at Via di Mezzo 6, just down the street from Piazza Sant' Ambrgio

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Quick Note....

Hi there, just a quick note to let you know that I will be back soon. I know I seem to do this a lot, call it my ADD or dyslexia (yes I have both) I don't know but a friend of mine made a very good point this morning. You see I've been getting sick a lot lately. Too much. And not just a little cold kind of sick but the really bad kind of sick that lays me out for days with high fevers. My friend said that sickness is often 'like a coded message' and that our bodies are trying to tell us something, perhaps like, slow down, or maybe even just STOP for a while. I always have a hard time doing that. I always feellike I need to get everything done NOW! In fact my husband even said to me last Sunday when I insisted on going to ikea to get a few things that honestly could have waited, that we haven't had a day of rest since I got back from the US.

So her thoughts seem to be right on and it makes perfect sense. Between getting over my last illness just in time to travel to California to finalize some documentation, to finishing my studio (which I will post picture of, I promise) to coming back to high season and apartment rentals in full swing, as well as work, overdoing my workouts (my own fault) and some other personal things, my friends comment really made a lot of sense. Sometimes it takes someone outside of your daily life to point things out before we can really see them. So for that, I would like to thank her for taking a moment to help me see what I was missing.

On that note, as I said, I will be back, but for now I need to just stop and relax and regroup. Thanks for understanding everyone!

A presto!

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