Thursday, October 18, 2007

Marcus Harvey (Mike Seidman's pick)

My pick this week is Marcus Harvey who Greg introduced me to a few days ago via the email tubes. In this series he’s doing, he layers an abstract ground with very hard-edged graphic/illustrative images (mostly pornographic). He uses a the full spectrum of colors and a combination of random and clearly premeditated directionality in the brushwork, which is at points related to, but not perfectly aligned with the content that is outlined on top. They eye darts around the square compositions and tries to relate it to the outlined subject. I find myself allowing the coloration to act as shading and depth and form, yet it is dynamic and upon close inspection, this effect breaks down. The viewer is free to jump in and out of seeing a complete and incomplete image. I really like this series and it inspires me to continue struggling with my project/s, and to find an uncontrived elegant way of dealing with all this in one decisive… thing. It also inspires me to broaden my scope to a wealth of diverse techniques and colors and styles that can all create the same effect. I need to use more color and go back to oil. Also, obscene is always a plus. Yes always.

Now for the artificial business of connecting some aspect of this work to some aspect of another posted work. You could really choose any two at random and draw some connection. I suppose it’s a good exercise in building an eagerness to make connections in the art world. I will connect Marcus Harvey to Morton Bartlett (Nicole’s pick). Both artists straddle the impression of realism and familiarity. Bartlett deals with family and tries to concoct realistic family photos with dolls, while Harvey evokes this tremendous institution of pornography and so they both deal with a whole genre of something that we have expectations for. Yet they both tweak the presentation in a way that it becomes something new. Something familiar and unfamiliar by the same token.

I like Andy Goldsworthy (Michael’s pick). A lot. I love the act of creating something that appears artificial from that which is exclusively “natural.” I love the act of creating something that looks natural that, upon closer inspection, cannot possibly be naturally occurring. I like the transience of his sculptures and the fact that they rapidly deteriorate. Yet he photographs them, so we know that he is not simply at peace with allowing his works to dissapear. He documents them and stores them and guards them. Goldsworthy’s less-than-Zen personality is a remarkable compliment to his reeking-of-Zen productions. That makes his whole career even more interesting.


by Cade Overton said...

Interesting how no matter how abstract the base layer is, the hard black lines really interfere with the eye's ability to accept it as abstraction. It's also awesome that it's the idea of introducing structure to abstraction, but then doing it with porn.

mpiedrahita said...

I LOVE the painting that you posted for this week. Not just because there's a vagina in the mix of abstract stuff, but because it is do dynamic with all of the different layers and colors. I definitely think that Harvey's work relates to yours in the sense that you try to make sense of what exactly is being shown in the painting, and once you notice the vagina, I found myself seeking-out other familiar shapes/objects etc.