5 minute page
5 minute page
When Matisse’s illness prevented him from painting, he developed a technique of cutting out shapes from large pieces of paper painted with gouache, then directed assistants in mounting the shapes on huge scale canvases. Initially, the idea of cut outs being pasted on canvases gave me the mental image of pritt-sticking coloured bits of paper on to a £9.99 canvas from The Works. I suppose because it’s not often that I am exposed to someone doing well the same sort of thing I did badly as a child. There is something in Matisse’s technique that makes his work so pleasing to look at. It is as though he were painting with scissors, precisely crafting the outline around definite, opaque shapes. His colour palette frequently consists of a vibrant mix of primary colours, and complimentary colours. Using gouache on large sheets of paper meant that he could contain sections of solid, vibrant colour, in clean-cut shapes that respond to his observations of the world around him. Often his interpretation of a subject abstracts it, for example The Snail reduces the form of a snail shell to a spiral of coloured fragments framed with mustard yellow. The only photos I got at this exhibition was of Phoebe and I trying to copy the poses of two of Matisse’s blue figure pictures, so I scanned in some post cards that I bought in the shop.
The Space Where I Am exhibition at Blain/Southern gallery, which featured works by Gerhard Richter, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and Tim Noble & Sue Webster among others.
On the way back from The Space Where I Am, I spotted this ominous looking to let sign in a window of a closed down shop.
This summer Emma and I have started an instagram account called @distasty4eva dedicated to distasteful discoveries, unorthodox graphic design, and strange ideas that somehow get put into production regardless of how bad they are. This was based on an idea we had a while ago when we were designing the graphics for a food van. We wanted to make a design feature of making it look as unappealing as possible eg. curls mt, rainbow gradients, over saturated images of burgers presented at wacky angles etc. The name of the van would be Distasty. In the end, we didn’t go through with this design because it was a joke, and instead we designed Punctuate. Having said that, we had loved the idea enough to continue collecting research images in order to refine what distasty is, building up a nice archive of distasty memorabilia.
A place where I get inspiration - at the barbers.
Waiting to get a haircut is just one instance where I find myself getting my favourite ideas. Really, any situation which involves waiting around gives me the excuse to start drawing in my little green book in order that I use time more productively. In turn this helps me to make my thoughts more tangible. Why the other day, someone was *ahem* 1 hour late for meeting me to go to an exhibition, but deep down I was glad because I was out of the house, and I had my pencil and a book. The first image in this post is a drawing I diwhile waiting to get a haircut. The second image is of a barber shopI walked past the other day. Another thing I like about the hair dressers is the vernacular signage, home-made graphics, and the weird mood boards of conventional and elaborate hairstyles sculpted on the heads of celebrities and catalogue models. There seems to be a tradition of DIY graphics and outdated posters at independent barber shops, which gives them character.
Synesthesia directed by Terri Timely
The other day I went to the Whitechapel Gallery, and saw Saskia Olde Wolbers' 10 minute film 'Trailer'. In the film, a narrator talks over beautiful scenes of a movie theatre that looks as though it were caked in red lipstick, and a swamp dripping with translucent green ooze. The narrator, Alfgar Dalio tells the story of going to a dilapidated movie theatre that only shows old hollywood films, and while watching a trailer, he discovers that he shares his name with an extinct Amazonian moth. The moth's life was dependant on a species of flytrap, the Elmore Vella, and an ancient red back tree, the Ring Kittle – two plants named after his mother and father. It is at this point that Dalio realises that the trailer is directly addressing him, revealing the secret about his parents who long ago went missing in the jungle, where they were shooting their last film.
Each of Saskia Olde Wolbers films narrate fictional biographies, often loosely based on anecdotes, news articles, and real life stories. There is no digital editing in her films. Instead she meticulously hand makes the miniature sets. For her film ‘Placebo’, she created a set of an operating table in a hospital room, covering it in paint and submerging it in water to create a lava-lamp-like effect. A lot of her films have this quality of loosely resembling reality, but melting at the edges like a warped dream. The full versions of her films are only available to see in exhibitions, but you can get a taste of her films from the short snippets available on her website.
'Eyes' by Cornelius.
This video is directed by Koichiro Tsujikawa. I wish I understood Japanese so I could read his blog, but it is worth visiting the website just to watch the finger motif playing about at the top of the page. Koichiro Tsujikawa directed the videos for the musician Cornelius’ album Sensuous, and you can see more of his projects on this section of his website. In a similar way to the Haptic exhibition, a lot of Koichiro Tsujikwa’s work seems to be about appealing to the senses.
Rather harmoniously with Koichiro Tsujikawa’s style of directing, Cornelius’ album Sensuous is themed around the senses. With the video ‘eyes’, using notes ascending up the pentatonic scale to illustrate eyes blinking, the music has a feeling of magic and clarity. Each separate aural element is clearly distinguishable from one other: the clean sound of the well-tuned piano; the synthetic keyboard notes, which sound like eye drops raining down; and the juttering synthesizer chords that feel like the watery residue cleansing the surface of the song. The video in some ways feels like an old 70s Sesame Street short clip that intends to enlighten children on the wonders of eyesight. Specifically in the first 14 seconds, there’s something quite children’s documentary-like about the sounds and the visuals that makes me feel like a neutral voice is about to interject with interesting facts about eyes. Instead, what follows are mesmerising, experimental, and visually exciting patterns of blue and black eyes blinking across the screen.