Archive for:February, 2011

Art of the Day Doubleshot: Chagall’s “Angel Bay with a Bouquet of Roses, from Nice and The Côte d’Azur”; James Nares’ “Untitled”

February 28th, 2011

       (click to enlarge)

       Marc Chagall, Angel Bay with a Bouquet of Roses, from Nice and The Côte d’Azur, 1967

       (click to enlarge)

       James Nares, Untitled, 2008

    I neglected duties on Sunday so Monday gets you two.
    I started with the Chagall because, well, I love him — I especially love him in blue. I just wanted to write about him since I hadn’t for quite some time. & then along came the Nares with its sensuous creamy tresses. What seemed simple expressionist dolloping at first became something much more interesting within seconds of focused gazing: that dark blueblack cluster on the left center balanced out the opening up into white void on the right; the repeated diagonal units on the bottom made me hunt for other repeated vectors and shapes. Then I started to imagine I was seeing, in Nares’ entire composition, something like the slow-stuttering, low-bandwidth-delay video of a blue-wigged woman as she runs by, laughing at me.
    Now back to Chagall. Chagall & his glorious worlds of teal and indigo and kelp and moss and all infinite blue & greenblue hues in between, all in defiance of name. & the nonblues too: that little guitar-pick shaped smidge of sea-green on the left of the tree, the chalky ghosty bone-white presences that anchor the piece as much as do the blues (bird spirit atop, fish-trunk below, city behind); plus those sulfur splotches and roseate blossoms.
    Then, as with so much of Chagall, color opens you up so richly & serenely to emotion, & you encounter such enchanting non-linear narrative: what happened on this island? What will happen? A woman, sad or just waiting: love in blossom? Or in its last flower before taken by sea mist? Look at the ghost plants in the foreground already taking on the foggy aspect of faded photographs. And consider the leaping fish (ancient symbol of fertility) and, not far behind it, a bellied out sail as the vessel makes its goodbyes.

 Check out the Chagall retrospective at the SFMOMA for more of his work.

 Also please check out more of Nares’ work at

All writing © copyright C. Way / 2011

[posted by: C Way at 10:52 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY]
Comments (2)

Art o’ the Day: Ham Jin, “Aewan Love #3″, 2004

February 26th, 2011

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       Ham Jin, Aewan Love #3, 2004, C-Print

    Gorgeous piece no? I like imagining the little creature lurking in the pink, pouncing on the bee with a little lusty squeal when the bug came sniffing around for pollen. Or I like imagining the bee having spirited the humanoid away, pulling it out of some little clay habitat, hauling it through the air to make love to it where the petals were most flushed & dense; where the nectar ran thickest.
 Please check out Jin’s work at PKM Gallery.

All writing © copyright C. Way / 2011

[posted by: C Way at 6:11 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY ||| Ekphrasis]

Art of the Day: Martin Wittfooth, “As We Slept”

February 25th, 2011

       (click to enlarge)

       Martin Wittfooth, As We Slept, date unknown, oil on linen

 Check out for more of Wittfooth’s art.

All writing © copyright C. Way / 2011

[posted by: C Way at 10:58 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY ||| Ekphrasis]

Art of the Day: Break Time!

February 18th, 2011

Hi everyone, just a note that Art of the Day will resume on Tuesday Feb 22 Feb. 25.

Thanks for reading,

[posted by: C Way at 9:09 AM]

[file under: misc]

Art of the Day: JoKa, “Dark Desires Require Clean Sheets”, 2010

February 17th, 2011

       (click to enlarge)

       JoKa, Dark Desires Require Clean Sheets, 2010, Acrylic on Pastelboard painted with toothpicks

     This didn’t work for me at first. The title gave away too much. The demon figure with the hellfire surrounding him & charring game corpses behind seemed to strike too loud, brassy & hortatory a chord. And the sexfluid/mucus/semen-oozy mattress and pantied ass initially felt gratuitous.
     But I felt myself moved at some level and so stayed with it, as I try to do when my negative reaction to art comes too quickly upon first witness/listen. And before long I was hooked on it, found myself enjoying it thoroughly, enjoying its dark atmosphere and execution. The pointillistic technique helps enormously — if this were a piece by Robert Williams (whose name for some reason came to mind when I was letting this piece work its way into me), executed with clean & un-particularized contours and textures, I don’t think it would work so well. But the fuzziness & stippling help offset some of the more dramatic and blunt thematic elements.
    The color works it’s way into me as well. Those purples, lavenders, the bedsheets’ roses, the maroon on the wallpaper — the consistent saturation of redpurples gives the piece a unity that locks you in, and meanwhile your brain’s developing a narrative out of the characters, setting, lighting, mood. I think the technique is strong too — that perfect curve of ass; the monster-from-the-deep-lagoon daemon’s face rendered with a terrific mix of supercilious regard, alien intelligence, awful power & cretin-goofy unnnngh; the shadowplay on his resting body, the hot & kinetic lick of flame offsetting his static comfort.
     Ultimately the piece is powerful & compelling in a way I can only hint at through enumeration: the bargain being made, promise being broken, the metaphorical layers of it, the totally unmetaphorical evil reality of it, the charred-flesh smoke in the air, the claustrophobic wallpaper damask, the spinning corpses on spits, the sopping mattress, the heat, sweat, the fear, disgust, sheet-rustle, ruination, surrender.
 Check out for more of JoKa’s art.

All writing © copyright C. Way / 2011

[posted by: C Way at 10:17 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY]